Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I am not doing a good job here...

...and I know it! My whole schedule is thrown off. I haven't touched my knitting since Saturday—any of it, and there's a lot of it.
But it's not for nothing. I'm spending the next 6 days dog sitting while my parents are out of town, and there's not much I enjoy more...I think I enjoy knitting equally as much.

Besides, look at that face.

Meet Mr. Chips. Mr. Chips is a cocker spaniel my parents rescued about a year after our previous rescue cocker spaniel, The Maxx, died. 
We really enjoy rescuing cocker spaniels. 
I used to think The Maxx was the sweetest dog in the world, even though he did bite my sister in the face. She wouldn't leave him alone! She was little, he was recently rescued, and there was probably some harassment going on for her part. He ran into his crate to get away from her, and she tried to follow him in, and he snapped at her face. And possibly caught it. But she was fine and there was no blood or breaking of skin, so I still thought The Maxx was a contender for sweetest dog in the world. 

Plus, they were totally best friends after that initial misunderstanding.

matching faces
But while The Maxx was incredibly sweet, he was also moody. If Maxx didn't want you to touch him, he'd just walk away from you and not look back. If he was mad at you, he'd ignore you, or possibly do his business in the house. He was obsessive with his toys and water, to the point of vomiting if he had too much of either. And when he eventually went blind and hard of hearing, all bets were off. The only person he could tolerate for any extended period of time was my mother, with whom he was obsessed. 

Mr. Chips is very different. Like my sister and I, Mr. Chips has terrible seasonal allergies. Which makes staying with him an interesting experience, because as much as my parent's house, with such close proximity to a blooming park, is killing me, I can't feel sorry for myself for too long when I see him sneezing and rubbing his eyes along with me. He's also part brown and part white—just like us. Mr. Chips never barks, because someone clearly beat the bark out of him, so instead he does what I call the "silent scream"—a high-pitched, almost soundless throat whistle that sounds like the wind moving through tightly packed trees. He talks as well, when he's hungry or tied up, making little guttural moans, whining, and generally just chopping up his voice into little bits, so it's never barking. The only times I've heard him bark were when he first met my older brother (who possibly reminded him of someone dangerous), when there were wolves howling on the tv, and when he's having a nightmare. Last time I stayed with him, he would have a nightmare about every other night. He wouldn't even wake up—he'd just shoot into a sitting position and start baying like an alarm, until I woke him up by petting and talking to him. I often wonder what happened to him before he found us.
Chips, unlike Maxx, craves affection and a sense of being included. Unlike Maxx, he loves riding in the car no matter where you're going—he even loves being left to sleep in the car. Maxx fell off the car seat once, and that was it—he hated it, and would shake uncontrollably any time he had to go in the car. And unlike Maxx, you could stick your face into Chips' face and harass him all the live long day, and he's never going to get exasperated and snap at you. He might walk away, but that's about it. I'm convinced he would be a great baby dog, because he has the patience and tolerance of a saint.

Seriously, he might be the sweetest dog in the world.

I mean, look at that face.

The point of this post, I guess (besides having nothing knitting-related to post about) is that I've been wanting to rescue a cocker of my own for quite some time. 
At any rate, there's a 3-year-old cocker spaniel waiting for me back in Astoria—to make a long story short, I tried to adopt him once, someone else got him, and now he's back. So as soon as I'm done watching Mr. Chips, I'm going home to meet him. I hear he can be a little hyper, which I'm hoping is just a symptom of being caged most of the day, with no one to call his own.
There is nothing better, nothing, than a quiet, relaxed cocker spaniel sitting at your feet. I imagine my next post will tell you whether or not I got him.
In the meantime, enjoy this Harry Nilsson song, which I constantly find myself singing.

Happy puppies!


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Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

I could write a 1,000 word post on the subject of women, but I think I would end up exhausted, angry, and depressed by the time I finished it, so I won't do that. I will, instead, direct you to the Yarn Harlot, who wrote a more-than-adequate post on the subject of women in the world.

I will also leave you with these pictures put out by the Red Cross during World War I, encouraging women to do their part through knitting.

Because women have always done "their bit," without question, often without being asked, and mostly without anything in return.

Everyone should call their mother today. Just saying.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Because the point is NOT to crush one's skull...

The Doo and I have been living together for quite some time now, and for all that time I have had a manila envelope full of antique pictures that I've wanted to frame and hang around our house. Despite the high cost of living in NYC, The Doo and I are living quite comfortably in a large house in Astoria, which is pretty astonishing if you live in NYC. We each have an office, we have a dining room separate from our kitchen, and our living room has a library... not to mention our front porch and backyard. I have The Doo to thank for all of this, because he's been living here for over a decade and our landlords are quite old and sweet and haven't raised the rent much at all. If I told you how much we were paying, you would be appalled.
At any rate, we have a lot of wall to cover, and I have a lot of pictures to cover it with.
I desperately, desperately wanted to put these two images above our bed, but we realized after hanging them that they were incredibly heavy, full of glass, and might crush our skulls when the Metronorth train rattles by—I've always loved the sound of the train, but I might not if it precedes a thoroughly fatal skull-crushing. 
But aren't they absolutely gorgeous??

Most of my pictures were torn out of books (not by me, mind you). I purchased the pages off of etsy for very little—it's amazing what you can get. I also got all the lithographs from A.A. Milne's A Gallery of Children, which are stunningly beautiful. They each have a color scheme that matches a room in our house, and there is one for every room—don't ask me how that happened, but it did. 

I also got these pages, which were torn out of a sci fi book, and I think they are stark and beautiful. Each one has a word printed underneath, like "ice" and "the desert."

We've already decided that they will look best climbing the wall next to the stairs.

The only problem we found is that we really want something above our bed, but everything is glass and we're neurotically afraid of having our heads sliced open. So The Doo suggested a textile of some kind.


How is it he thought of it before me? I really should be ashamed, as a crafter. The recent pieces I posted by Turkish artist Merve ┼×endil would be perfect for just this situation.

Of course, a day after he mentions it, this pops up on a blog I follow

©Sonya Yong James
That, or something like that, would be gorgeous above a bed. The piece is by Sonya Yong James, a sculptor and fiber artist living in Atlanta. I probably wouldn't make exactly the piece above, but I'm thinking that (over a ridiculously long period of time) I could make my felted lavender hearts in different sizes (and without the initials, obviously) and have them hanging over our bed—not just an homage to our love, but, being filled with lavender, a genius way to surround ourselves in the soothing scent of lavender as we fall asleep.

Yes? No? To The Doo I go!...
... to find out if it's really that good of an idea.

I kind of wish I could just buy one of her pieces; even though I know I could make it, it's gonna be a major butt-hurt in terms of time and energy spent, and I'd rather just support another fiber artist and have it hanging over my bed already.

And, her stuff is just really, really beautiful.

©Sonya Yong James

Happy crafting!


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babyKNITS! the second, part two

The second hat is finished. Clearly meant for a very hip, rocker baby. 
I had to shove a grapefruit in it to get it the proper shape for photos. 
Note to self: a mid-sized grapefruit is about the size of a newborn's head.

One thing I will say about knitting for newborns—I don't have a baby, nor am I around babies, so I really have to put the brain to the math when it comes to figuring out how to size everything. Hats are no big deal; I can do that fairly easily. But up next is a diaper cover and I'm a little wary. I could use someone else's pattern, but the whole point of this project was to come up with my own patterns so that I could fairly and legally sell the finished KNITS! once I was done. I can pretty much look up the size of a baby's waist, but from waist down to legs, and around legs... well, we'll see I guess. 

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Friday, March 2, 2012

A ball, a skein, a hank, a cake

These are all different terms for yarn and the way it is wound. I realize I toss these terms around a lot and that non-knitters probably have no idea that they all mean something different. So, here goes...

A ball...

A skein...

A hank...

A cake...

All except the hank can be immediately knit—the hank must be wound first... into a cake or a ball.

So there you have it. A ball, a skein, a hank, a cake. 

It's starting to sound like Dr. Seuss in here. 

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babyKNITS! the second...

Who knew a newborn baby's head was precisely the size of an unused skein of yarn?

Onward and upward, my friends! Second hat is on the way. 

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

babyKNITS! the first...

Every baby should have a nightcap...


Next up: babyKNITS hat with earflaps and mohawk. Yeahthat'sright... mohawk.

Happy babies!

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