Posted by: looptangle | January 6, 2009

Moving

Just in case your rss feed looks funny, I have moved the blog from being hosted on wordpress.com to a private hosting package. You can still find me via http://www.looptangle.com! Hope to see you on the new blog, with threaded comments, among other wonderments!

Posted by: looptangle | December 3, 2008

Inspiration

Yes. Yes.

This guy gets it.

“Well, you could quit, because it’s too hard to make stuff you aren’t already great at. You could convert all that pointless effort and practice back into MySpace updates and the production of funny cat pictures. No, it’s not technically the worst thing that could happen, but it’s a damned common pathway for fear to molder back into an emotional impulse to put on jammies and watch Judge Judy.”

Read Merlin Mann’s essay on Courageous Sucking. Go ahead, read it. I’ll wait.

It’s the perfectionist trap. “I can’t start that project now, I have to research every possible combination first.” That’s what often happens in my head, when I should just dive in and screw up a few times. I always remember the pain of failure, but I forget the valuable lessons you learn from it. I gritted my teeth and dove into making the polonaise, and just look at all the stuff I learned from Polonaise 0.1.  It seriously sucked, but I feel like I emerged from beginner to intermediate seamstress along the way.

I’m going to make a more conscious effort to run and jump, nay, cannonball into new ideas.

Come on in, the water’s fine.

Posted by: looptangle | November 25, 2008

Time Travel: Duct Tape Doubles

Now with New and Improved Pregnancy capabilities!

Kate, Jo and I assembled a few months ago to create our doubles out of an old Tshirt and, you guessed it, duct tape.  It’s pretty straightforward, and it’s not dangerous to the baby (I’ve seen him, he’s doing great!) because you don’t wrap the victim tightly.  It’s not overly pleasant to be inside the duct tape, but only in the sense that a tight leather jacket is uncomfortable sometimes.

Kate's Duct Tape Double Kate's Duct Tape Double Kate's Duct Tape Double

Kate went first.  She had a great sense of humor about it.  I was very nervous about taping her belly since I don’t have much experience with pregnant people, but it turned out great.

Kate's Duct Tape Double Kate's Duct Tape Double

Left: The obligatory boob shot.  You just have to laugh.

Right: All wrapped up.  We put cling wrap around Kate’s neckline so we could get the duct tape right up there without any discomfort.  And what a cute belly!  She mentioned she’ll probably save it as a souvenir.

Jessi's Duct Tape Double Jessi's Duct Tape Double

I was next.  It feels weird.

Jo's Duct Tape Double Jo's Duct Tape Double

Left:  I got a little silly when it was Jo’s turn.  Arrrr!  Duct tape pirate!

Right: Kate drew a center line on each double, with a bellybutton marking.  Very handy for fitting purposes.

Lessons:

  • A second layer of duct tape would be a good idea.  I don’t know about Jo’s but Kate’s and mine both seemed to stretch when we stuffed them.  I solved that by putting my corset on it, since I was working on the Polonaise (to be worn over said corset) anyway.
  • Kate suggested the “old hanger through the neck, then stuff” method.  Very handy.  I hang mine in the doorframe of the studio, so the waist is around eye level.  Use your imagination to picture the plastic store hanger at the top…
    Bustle!
  • It’s interesting to see your shape from the third person vantage point.  Stuff looks different, sometimes better!
Posted by: looptangle | November 24, 2008

More Baby Knitting than You Can Shake a Baby At.

You shouldn’t though.  Shaking babies is bad.

My manager at work is due in December, so we had a shower for her at work last week.  You may know my anti-pastels-for-children policy, so I jumped for joy when I found a baby hat designed to be made with Noro!

My poor camera is on its way out, so I took these with the not-great camera phone:

Noro Baby Hat for Work Kate Noro Baby Hat for Work Kate

Cuffed and uncuffed.  (It’s amazing how similar my Magic 8 Ball is to the size of a newborn baby’s head.)

This hat has such a HUGE payoff for very little work.  I started it during a web design meetup presentation on PHP and the crown shaping is really easy to keep track of in your head.  Well, I’ve had a bit of lace knitting practice, so it might not have been so easy for me a couple of years ago.

Mama and Daddy loved it and I think were both relieved by the pretty colors.  I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of the wrapping paper, but it was white with photographs of chimps wearing party hats.   Again, compliments.  I love how being my quirky, unusual self surprises people.  I also love that their surprise surprises me; I so often live in my own little bubble world.

Posted by: looptangle | November 21, 2008

I love the intarwebs.

I got into a conversation on Ravelry with a woman in Wyoming looking to barter for some of the yarn I’m not using anymore. She’s going to make me slippers! I did warn her about my amply-sized feet, but she’s up for it.

Go say hi to her if you’re on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/people/AuntyM

Posted by: looptangle | November 19, 2008

The Monster Hat that Almost Ate Atlanta

I’ve enjoyed Marnie McLean’s patterns for a while now, and when she recently released her Alsace Le Monstre hat pattern, just in time for me to whip it up for a late-summer baby shower, I was really pleased. The hat is just adorable, and the construction is really well thought out.

Super Secret Hat

Here’s an in-progress shot.  You may have noticed a lot of green yarn lately.  Yep, all from that very skein of Cotton Ease.  Very nice cotton/acrylic blend.  I decided to use the green for the teeth because I liked the lower contrast.

Monster Hat for Kate

Here’s a detail of the horns.  The one on the left is stuffed.  Isn’t that cool?  I love twistie horns.

Monster Hat for Kate

The eye is crocheted, and I only had 100% wool, so I felted it before I sewed it on.
Monster Hat for Kate Monster Hat for Kate

On the left, unfelted.  The hardest part was getting the horns to line up and twist the way I wanted them, but they’re pretty forgiving once they’re sewn on.  You can smoosh them and twist them if you really need them the be symmetrical.

Monster Hat for Kate

All wrapped up and ready for the shower.  I’m philosophically opposed to pastels for children.  An interesting side effect?  Compliments on the wrapping since it tends to stand out.  Cool.

No action pictures yet, but he’ll grow into it soon.  His mama tried to put it on, but alas, her head was too fully-grown.  Still, a high compliment indeed.

Posted by: looptangle | November 18, 2008

Discipline

Blogging is hard! But, I have lots to share, and I’m going to try to queue it all up and publish it over time. Getting into the writing mode is new for me, but I’m digging it.

I’m starting small. Here’s a picture of a Ballband dishcloth/swiffer cloth I made recently:

DSC02385-01

It was really fun to knit. I love the slip stitch pattern. Mine didn’t really end up fitting my swiffer all that well, but I may just use it as a scrubbie in the kitchen anyway. It took hardly any yarn, so the most expensive part of it is the labor. It did take longer than I expected, but that always happens to me with garter stitch. It’s really sturdy and I like the colors. I think mixing multi-colored yarn like the pattern suggests will be fun next time around.

Another small project:
Yoda!
Yoda! It’s a great little pattern (Ravelry link), so much fun to make. Lots of tiny pieces, but it goes so quickly that it didn’t bother me at all.  The birthday boy loved it.  Who doesn’t love getting Yoda for their birthday?

Stay tuned…

Posted by: looptangle | November 14, 2008

Squee!

I must have this fabric:

Mermaids Aqua ~ Mendocino

Mermaids Aqua ~ Mendocino

That is all.

Posted by: looptangle | October 28, 2008

Solsticeareanism

First, before I get ahead of myself, next year I am going ALL OUT for Halloween.  This year we won’t be around for it, so I just can’t really get in the spirit.  Although I do have some ideas for decorations next year.

Photo by w_dinkel on sxc.hu

Photo by w_dinkel on sxc.hu

I’ve started planning and budgeting for winter holiday stuff, which gets me thinking about the most efficient, elegant way to do things.

  • I don’t really do the Santa/Christ thing.
  • I’m a Unitarian and that means I can pretty much do whatever I want as long as I’m not infringing on anyone else and it enlightens me.
  • I like fire, trees, snow, and ornaments.  Especially birds!
  • I LOVE giving presents!
  • Getting them isn’t bad either.
  • An excuse to tell people how much you love them is always a positive thing.

So, I’m converting to Solsticeareanism this year.  I just made that word up.  You can use it too.  We Solsticeareans surround ourselves with bright, warm, pretty things and share our blessings with others.  Made by hand, if at all possible.

Join my cult of awesome.

Posted by: looptangle | October 7, 2008

Vacation Knitting

I’m heading up to visit my family tomorrow, and of course today I am obsessing about what projects to bring.

The top-of-brain projects:

  • Brain Slug – a birthday gift
  • Toe-up Jaywalker socks – are being difficult.  I can’t find a gauge, they’re taking a long time with the tiny needles I chose, so I’ll probably leave them at home.
  • Fibonacci Cowl – (Ravelry link) The one I’m making is loosely based on this.  Mine isn’t Moebius-like.  I’m just not that cool.  One math reference is enough for now!
  • Prickly fingerless gloves – I don’t think I have any yarn for these but they’ll come in handy.
  • A trio of floopy berets: Rose Red, Star Crossed (Ravelry link), and Bounce – I can’t decide!  I might have to make them all.
  • Carillon – A cropped cardigan whose pattern isn’t quite written yet – go look at the picture though!  If you’re on Ravelry, please encourage the designer to finish writing the pattern!  I told her I’d be happy to help her size it up to a large.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting Halcyon Yarn!  So I’ll have some supplies to look for there, as well as try out their spinning wheels.  I don’t know how many are available to store visitors, but they carry wheels from Ashford & Kromski; Louët, Majacraft & Schacht.  Dangerous.  I have only tried Mom’s Hitchiker and a Louet S-15 which was damaged.  I didn’t really care for either, but I think everyone’s preferences can be wildly different.  I’ve been lusting after the Majacraft Suzie and Little Gem for forever.  Thanks to our failing US Dollar, their price has been going up and up.  The Louet company has a couple of base models which are really reasonably priced, so I’ll definitely try one of those out.  They come unfinished, but it might be fun to do a little trompe l’oiel painting.

Wish me luck and keep an eye on my Flickr account for some good ole fashioned cellphone photo blogging!

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