the deep end

April 26, 2011 § 5 Comments

There is an arbitrary knitters` line which I have decided to cross with this new project of mine. I have always said that I knit, but I am not one of those people who knits real pieces of clothing. I was happy with the basics required for a scarf or blanket. But my craving for crafting challenges took me one step closer to this precipice with every new and more complicated project. The urge to make knitted items for my two new neices has driven me to the edge. Once I finish this inaugural baby sweater, I will have gone past the point of no return. I know it, but I can`t stop either. But that is not the most frightening part: I am proud of it! I am so close to finishing this little clothing item and I just can`t wait to do so and plunge into the depths of wool and alpaca and mohair below (and emerge triumphant!). No longer in denial, I am ready to embrace the granny comparisons as I point my hands toward the sky, and bend my knees, ready to dive into the deep end of knitting.

Periodically, as I was going through different sweater knitting stages I showed my sisters the project through skype video. It was pretty funny, I shoved the yarn in front of the camera as they made faces squinting at the picture of an unfinished sweater (that probably looked like it had been eaten up by a wild animal ) and tried to discern what the heck I was up to. “What do you think of the colour?” I wanted to know. “Uuuh, is it green?” comes a voice from my computer speakers. “No, it`s yellow…does it look green?!” then I frantically run around my apartment shutting curtains, turning lights on and off to try and get the colour to come out right oceans away. “Mmm, well, it looks green on the webcam, but I am sure it`s a nice colour” my sisters assure me. I assert that I believe it will be very cute, although Shannon and Natasha give me some stress about how baby sizes are never right after I tell them the pattern says it is for a 12 month old. Gah. Someone else might have the foresight not to try and get project approval mid-knitting, but even at 26 I still like to know that my older sisters know what I am up to and think that it is awesome. I don`t know if the youngest child ever grows out of that. The baby of the family, but a granny at heart.

So. at this point, all I have left to do is sew the little buttons on this mini cardigan and then it will be official!

I just need to find the right buttons! I wish I could take a little trip to this little shop in Vancouver that my sister found called Button Button. It`s a quaint little shop, but when all you sell is buttons, how much space do you need? If only I could go there and spend exhorbitant amounts of time looking through all the different shapes and colours to find the perfect buttons. I will just have to try my luck here in Fukui.


the knitters are coming! the knitters are coming!

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment


Sometimes, knitters feel the need to go public with their private hobby. It goes by many names, yarn storming, urban knitting, yarn bombing, knit graffiti and my personal favourite, guerilla knitting. From tree cozies to memorial mufflers, these knitters know no bounds! Though they all seem to have different motives, I think it is safe to say that it is usually done in the name of art…warm, cozy and colourful art.

Not only are people acting out on their own, but the knitters are gathering and making collectives. Some of the culprits at work have some real rock`n`roll names with no shame for punnieness (when have crafters ever shyed away from a clever play on words?).  Examples; Knitta Please, Graknitti and Micro-fiber Militia. Need I say more?

Vancouverites would be familiar with this scene:

The mermaid in Stanley Park

Reactions to this form of art-graffiti-protest are usually positive, but while checking out what other people were saying about this craft phenomenon I came across some pretty heated debates! has an article on the subject which attracted some colorful language:

Realgraf says, “this isn’t graffiti. its a joke. knitting requires little to no skill …  500 hours for the tree? why don’t you spend some time doing something worthwhile. if you had spent that much time with a can you would probably be a respectable writer.”

(I don`t know exactly what he means by being a respectable writer by spending 500 hours with a can, but I digress) These are a few of the gems from replies:

Erica softens the blow with, “Anyone that doesn’t see this as wonderful and awesome has a stick up their bum.”

Xstitcher, “Respected by who? Other morons like yourself? I’d rather be able to knit and only have the respect of my grandmother if that is the alternative.”

So true. So true.

Troll says “idiot. …  no skill to knit? can you knit? can you make something coherent out of string? …”

Well, can you?! There are about 154 comments on the article and I am pretty sure all of them are a backlash to the first comment by Mr.RealGraffiti. You better watch out, because knitters can really take this stuff personally, and they have large needles which airlines consider dangerous weapons and oh, do they know how to use them!

For more of knitting`s seedy underbelly, here is the site of the two who started it in little old Vancouver, Canada:

what is wrong with me?!

April 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

Swiftly after posting a bunch of new and fun crafting projects (having nothing to do with yarn), I started knitting a sweater. What is wrong with me?!

Knitting is addictive. I can`t watch a TV show without it, I knit during my lunch break and find myself prying the needles out of my own hands to keep myself from starting a new row, “just one more, just one more!”. I may have a problem.

There are several factors figuring in the reasons why I am in such a state. One is that I just recently recieved a super awesome INTERCHANGEABLE, CIRCULAR KNITTING NEEDLE SET! Say that five times fast. For my birthday, my friends went all out to give me this most coveted item and now that I have it, I must knit! I must knit until I go cross-eyed, my fingers start bleeding and my shoulders begin curling in…if I`m not careful we may have a Rumplestiltskin situation on our hands (But how excellent would it be to knit hay into gold?! Rock on).

Secondly, I am moving soon. After living inJapanfor what will be two years this summer, I am heading back to the true north strong and free. I have no intentions of packing the mounds of yarn I have accumulated and mailing it back toCanada, so I am trying to knit as much as possible before we must be parted. This has also inspired some more creative projects (and subsequently, some very creative messups).

This toque is made of three different yarns: two leftover from the Lucky Clover Baby Blanket and one full skein I bought on a whim because it was on sale. It has served me well during the cold mornings and evenings this spring.Me wearing the toque and…

Gaspard trying it on for size (or is that Lisa, I don`t know which is which).

Thirdly, I am certain that there is one more very rational explanation for this little problem of mine, because all good things come in threes. Alas, it escapes me.

I haven`t started knitting up tree clothing yet, but there is something inspiring about it. Isn`t there?

the new girl`s club crafts

April 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

I blame Hong Kong…and spring break…and nice weather, for my recent blogging absence. With spring, and spring travelling, I have been drawn out of doors much more than in the past winter months. Now that I am finally coming down from the buzz of Hong Kong`s neon lights, epic cityscapes, “family walks” (more like arduous hikes), and markets of every shape and colour, I am ready to get back to crafting.

When I returned back to the real world, I found a facebook message from my oldest sister. She needed a craft for a girl`s club mother-daughter night and asked me, with my infinite crafting expertise, to give her some ideas.

I thought back to when I went to a girl`s club every Friday at my church. I went with my best friend Carley for the longest time and we liked to take every opportunity to be a little wacky. I remember one night we both wore our matching bright neon, flare pants (before flare was cool) that we had scrounged out of a bargain bin the Saturday before. I loved those pants.  And what about the crafts? I tried to remember a craft we did…First, I remembered doing an intense Christmas ornament involving a large styrofoam ball, small squares of fabric and tons of pins. I remember it, because it was incredibly difficult to do. Then there`s the annual Mother`s Day crafts! All of these involved things like potpourri, plastic flowers and ribbons. I decided, that the crafts I would choose would have nothing to do with those three items (even though I still have an affinity for ribbons…obviously). Girls should learn that crafting can be fun and hip, not stale and antique looking. So, my hunt began.

Craft suggestion 1: Button rings!

On the Craftzine site, there is a great instructable about making rings out of unused buttons and it doesn`t require a Harvard diploma. I have made my own version of these using metal wiring, but it was much more difficult, so I think that this version would be the way to go for young and old. Check it out here.

Button Ring Steps

Suggestion 2: Interchangeable headbands!

This one came from a site called dollar store crafts, where you can find all sorts of budget accessory and home decor ideas. The site gives a recipe for making hair accessories which can be slid on and off the same headband (why didn`t I think of thought). She explains and does everything real simple-like for us everyday folk. The great thing is that depending on your taste, the options are endless and if the girlies wanted to make something really wild they could really go for it. A stroke of genius. I may have to make some of my own. Take a look!

Suggestion 3: Recycled paper beads

Instructions on how to make paper beads minus the brain explosions and the tendency toward tacky. I suggested she get the moms to do the cutting part of course. Also, painting the beads is optional. If you just roll up the colourful or patterned parts of pages, then there would be no need. I found some super cute ones made out of recycled security envelopes at Junk Mail Gems.

beads made from recycled junk mail, blue security envelope patterns

Where Am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for April, 2011 at a red ribbon.