Sunday, November 29, 2015

There's two big debates going on right now on the net & neither of them involve guns or war. 

The first is this Black Friday thing that seems to have morphed into Black Friday week in most places in North America. It's threatening to become Black Friday MONTH & it's echos are being heard in Europe. Can you say Retail Desperation???? It has even crawled into the net forums where peer pressure is forcing Designers to discount their work for the Black Friday monster.

The other big debate is FREE patterns. Apparently, some craft sites operate solely to supply FREE patterns. That's 'FREE' patterns scarfed from others who make all or part of their living from creating patterns for you & I. The 'Free' sites make their money from actively trolling for 'freebies' which they post on their own sites. They also take short term 'freebies' like 'Birthday Sale' 'One Week Only' 'One Day Only' etc & post them as 'FREE' forever.
Now, I like a FREE pattern as much as the next guy BUT, if someone is making money out of offering it to me, why shouldn't that money go to the designer??? Knitty, for example, has been giving us FREE quality patterns for years now. They not only PAY the Designers, list their blogs/websites/contact info, but give them a lot of exposure as well.

So what is the wise Crafter to do???  I still prefer to touch & squeeze before I buy. So I say, shop all the sites to see what's out there first. And, like the street of small shops where you know who supplies the things you love, go directly to the Designers for your freebies. See what else they have to offer. See if they have a blog or forum. Check in regularly for specials - sometimes you get BOGO. Test knit. When you find the Designers you like, support them or they won't be there when you want them. Try the 'free' patterns. Just remember, 'Free' should be a taste of what's available, not the whole meal.  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Debt, debt, debt, debt debt debt . . . .

I've never been a fan of commercials which is why I mostly watch & support, Public TV. But, sometimes even I watch regular channels - I'm hooked on Longmire(APTN) - nothing like a good western, NCIS & NCIS-New Orleans - Scott Bakula has finally found his home, Mysteries at the Museum & the Ice Road Truckers - Go Lisa Go!!! And though I sometimes tolerate the commercials just to see the shows, there have been times when I had my fill early & shut the damn show off. Commercials now take up more prime time than the program you're watching.
But, you know, I've actually seen a couple of commercials lately that really resonate with me - I love the one that asks why the holidays can't be filled with L-O-V-E instead of S-A-L-E. And my very favorite this year is the one where the toys start singing DEBT DEBT DEBIT when the woman whips out her credit card, making her think about what she's doing. What a great commercial!!

Contrary to what most folks are doing right now, I am NOT knitting a Christmas gift for anyone. No one. Not even knitting hats for charity this year. Most years I knit hats but not this year. My hands are really sore - that damned one-handed stapler that takes me two hands to use - has really inflamed my right hand & fingers. I can't even pick up the coffee pot with my right hand because my right index finger shoots pain jolts into my wrist. My right middle finger knuckle burns & my right thumb is just sore, especially where it connects with my wrist bones. I can still do up my shoes & brush my teeth but I dropped the coffee pot the other day when I tried to lift it off the stove. All in all, stupidity & overuse made them sorer than usual. I guess I'm out of the knitting game for a while.

So, I'm being forced to rest my hand. Somewhat. I still have to wash dishes & carry grocery bags. I can kick the laundry basket down the hall instead of carrying it. And there's still a mountain of data entry to do but I've been taking it easy & wearing rubber finger tips to give me some protection from hitting the keys. You'd be amazed how well it works. And, when no one's looking, I've been sneaking in a row or two on my Lace Frock Vest. For Me.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cross Eyed & Pole Axed

It's been a hellofa week of hard slogging through boxes of paper. I've squeezed that stapler so often that my right hand aches like an infected tooth. I can't even staple one-handed any more. But, by gum kiddies, I do believe I can see the bottom of the second box. With all my piles neatly organized, labeled, added, sorted & itemized, I can get back to the important things in life - knitting & spinning.

The Dirt Magnet has now taken possession of his new sweater. The body bottom is black which his dad appreciated since the kid might be able to wear it for an extra day before it hits the wash.
Another friend just had a longed for baby girl last Thursday - God, are they tiny when they're a day or two old!!! with tiny, tiny feet!! So, I have to make a pair of socks for those feet. I think, I'll make a pair of l-o-n-g baby frankensocks for fun. I believe I've got lots of nice baby colors tucked away in the Pink/Purple bag of leftovers - mom & dad had her decked out in Pink, already. But frankensocks go with everything!! bwahahah

And, while sitting shell-shocked in my chair after my marathon project was done, I decided to pull out a sweater I started THREE YEARS ago for myself in a Mule Spun wool called Mulberry Heather. The yarn is quite rustic - I'm pulling out bits of straw as I sloooooly knit with aching hands - and quite greasy - but I'm sure that will change when it gets it's bath at the end. I'm using the Cabin Fever pattern, 'Lace Frock Vest' from the "Need a Plus Sized Cardigan" book. I believe the 'Lace Frock' is also available as a single pattern on Patternfish as well. I'm going to wear it over a long sleeved shirt for extra warmth in my office. I had finished  the basic yoke almost to the arm area but hadn't split the arms from the main body when it got stuffed into a bag & forgotten. While looking for more colored acrylic to finish the Dirt Magnet sweater, I found the bag with my Mulberry yarn in it. It was meant to be.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Two Weeks Since Surgery

Tomorrow, it will be two weeks since my voice operation. I'm still swollen & bruised but it's fading quickly into yellow & green. Tomorrow I see the surgeon for my official unveiling - the surgical tape comes off!! It will be nice to have a proper shower again!! And I'm still a little raspy but it's coming along very well. I don't think I'd want to answer phones all day just yet but it's nice to have a voice in the proper octave again.

The Dirt Magnet Wallaby is just about done. I ripped off the hood & some of the yoke a couple of days ago because I thought the yoke looked a little shorter than it should. Since I'm working with yarn that's thicker than usual, the decrease count is off. So, I frogged it back a bit, added about an inch to the yoke & then back to the hood. I figure I need another couple of inches on the hood & I'll be done. In the meantime, I tucked in all the ends & closed one of the underarm openings while I watched NCIS-New Orleans last night.

Just Right
My hands have really been feeling the chill in the air. The landlord & I do battle every year about this time as to when the furnace should be turned on. Neither of us wants to wimp out & be the first - he doesn't want to spend the money & I don't want to cope with my allergies. But, I feel the cold in my hands long before I feel it anywhere else - except when I'm getting out of the shower. And why do we play this game???  I've lived most of my life with radiant heat which doesn't cause my allergies to flare up. Every fall when the damn furnace comes on, I have to suffer for a couple of weeks until I get used to all the dust flying around. I'd rather postpone turning it on & wear a sweater for a while than deal with allergies. So every fall about this time, I get out the wrist warmers & wool sweater to keep me warm in my cool office. Eventually, he gets too many complaints from the family & turns it on. LOL

Too Big
This year, I decided to knit myself a pair of l-o-n-g fingerless mitts to keep my hands & thumbs warm. My hands give me hell in the damp weather. I've overused them most of my life so I guess this is payback. Since I'm still overusing them, I thought I'd wrap them in wool to see if it would help. I fell in love with the Ringwood stitch when Knitty published the Ringwood Gloves pattern. It's so easy to knit!! And so stretchy!!! I thought it would make a lovely pair of mitts for me to work in. I didn't swatch in the yarn I wanted to use so my first mitt was way too big. Let that be a lesson - swatch, swatch, swatch!! So I made the second one a lot smaller. And it fits like, well, like a glove!!