A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

Inspirational February 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:49 pm
Tags: , , ,

When we moved into our current apartment last July, I was suddenly thrust into a strange and delightful world nearly entirely new to me; the world of the Craft Room. My mom and I had set up something like a craft room when I was in high school, but it’s never quite the same if you have to share, and I was very excited to try to set up the perfect working space for myself. In that interest, I put out a call to friends for artwork to put in my room; I carefully planned the layout of the furniture I had available, and purchased a hutch and shelves to maximize surface area and storage; and I attempted to set things up to provide myself with the maximum inspiration possible within the space I have available.

However, since we moved in, I have sat in that room and worked a grand total of maybe five times. This has bothered me quite a lot, really, since it’s such a wonderful asset to have, I can’t help but feel guilty and confused about not utilizing it. Since a big part of what I’m doing this year for myself is ridding myself of guilt, I’ve decided that I need to fix whatever it is about the room that is not calling to me and getting me to sit down in there and create.

I started in on it today, with some reorganization- mostly of my yarn. I’ll take you on a bit of a tour- if you want more details, a flickr set with notes is here.

This is my desk.

DeskUp until today, the top cubby held an assortment of costume pieces from Halloween and a few papers. Now, it holds yarn- but not just any yarn. That is all, except for two sweater quantities, of my new, unused yarn, including a couple of skeins of handspun. It kind of makes me weep a little that I only have that much that is new. Oh well.

The leftovers live on the other side of the room, here:


And here, with the two aforementioned sweater quantities:

Ball ends and sweater yarn

The yarn in the drawer is useable amounts of leftovers; the stuff in the sheet-bags is ball ends, too little to do anything with.

Why, you ask, do I not count all of those seemingly unused skeins in the drawer as new yarn? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s because I’m neurotic, and have this weird and totally stupid delusion that knitting something for someone with leftover yarn is like inviting them over for dinner and serving leftover food. It’s totally tacky and I can’t bring myself to do it. It also helps that, like my inability to happily do a pattern twice, I have an identical distaste for using the same exact yarn twice (same color and all). It’s boring.

Meanwhile, my spinning supplies live in the bottom drawer.


And my spinning wheel is across from the dresser and shelves.

Wheel and basket

As you can see (more if you check out that flickr set above) it’s a reasonably tidy space, full of color, and as of today I finally have yarn in plain view (something that has been bothering me about the room was that all my yarn was hidden away). There are still a few things to fix before it’s truly comfortable.

One is the lack of audio entertainment- either music or podcasts. I have a cd player, but I don’t particularly care for cds, as they are so limited. I have an mp3 player, but since I have no speakers for it, I have to use headphones, effectively cutting off all communication with anyone around. Since I don’t live alone and I quite like talking to my husband, that doesn’t work for me. So I’ll be working on solving this issue, along with the fact that I have to go into the bedroom to communicate via internet or check ravelry. You wouldn’t think a 15 foot walk would be such a hassle, but when I’m in the spinning groove and have a few ounces of predrafted fiber on a cloth on my lap… it gets to be a real sore point when I hear the “bink” of google chat telling me someone’s talking. (And no. I can’t ignore it. I like people.)

In other news, I finished up the first Leyburn sock today, and it fits pretty well! It’s maybe a little long, but is very comfortable.

Leyburn 1I’m a few rows into the foot of the second sock, now.

I feel like, throughout the day today, I’ve been coming up with topic after topic to talk about on the blog, but I can’t fit them all into one post- I’m already at 775 words at this point!- so tonight, I’ll leave you all with a series of questions… one that’s been occupying much of my headspace lately.

What is guilt, to you? Does it serve a purpose, or is it just a negative thing? Do you harbor lots of guilt, and if so, does this bother you? How do you feel it helps or hinders you?


Knot bad February 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:21 pm
Tags: ,

Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

I was struck, this morning, with a sudden desire for a small project bag- something, say, the right size for a sock project. After a while browsing Etsy, I had an idea of what I wanted, but no desire to wait 2-7 days for it to ship to me- nor did I particularly want to spend $10+ on something so (relatively) simple.

Now, those that know me probably know that I’m not the greatest at sewing. I can make a decent pieced quilt, and maybe a tote bag or two, but I’m by no means accomplished and I tend to avoid sewing if at all possible. I’m just not precise or patient enough, most of the time- though I do love how fast you can end up with a finished object.

Well, then I found out that I’m going to a party of sorts with Janelle tonight, and it is likely to be the kind of thing where I won’t want my big ol’ purse with me, so I decided to give this tutorial a shot and make myself a Japanese Knot bag.

Here’s what I came up with. It’s not perfect (some of the seams are kinda puckery and I think the lining is slightly bigger than the outer bag for some reason) but it’s cute, and it works.

Robot fabric = WIN


Perfect for a skein of yarn and your sock in progress.


Note the credit card / ID pocket. I thought that was a nice touch, myself (yes, it was my idea, heh).

Card Pocket

When your project’s all packed up, you just slip the long handle through the short one…

Ready to go

Sling it on your wrist, and head out!

Off we go!

And speaking of heading out? I’m gone. See ya!


The long awaited finish line February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:26 pm
Tags: , ,

Dear readers, I owe you one.

Tonight, I sat down to blog, and realized I had nothing to say, no photos for your enjoyment, and no idea of how to make it up to you.

So instead of blogging at 7:30 and giving you nothing… I’m blogging at 9:30, and giving you… this.

Brown socks DONE

That’s right. Those are husbandfeet, proudly bearing the fruits of my labor. The brown socks- the boring, neverending, please-kill-me-now brown socks- are DONE. FOREVER.

So, readers: thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for motivating me to sit my butt down and finish these *(#%(#&*# socks for once and for all.

I feel lighter just knowing I never have to use that yarn again.

I leave you tonight with this:

I like turtles.

Cory figured out how to doodle the Ninja Turtles. He’s very excited and wanted me to show you.


Almost Socks, and an open invitation February 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

I got a lot done on the brown socks today! I made a mini goal (not a deadline, a goal) of finishing these by midnight Saturday, and I’m now about 1 inch from starting the toe, so no worries.

nearly a sock!

I’ll be really glad to get these done and offa my needles.

I had a great time at knittin’ kitten tonight. Janelle was sick so she couldn’t come 😦 but we had a good time anyway. Kelly (who I met at DKN a couple of weeks ago) came this time, too, and also gave me a ride home (thanks again!). Fun times.

Now! For the invitation. As you all should know at this point, because I shout it from the rooftops, my birthday is coming up one week from Saturday (March 7th)! I am having party times. If you’re reading this, feel free to come along! We will be starting at 3 Kittens Needle Arts sometime in the afternoon, then going to Cold Stone Creamery for delicous frozen goodness. After that, we’ll all head to my place for knitting (or watching other people knit, for Janelle) and socializing, then off to Brit’s Pub for dinner.

Here is what you Need to Know:

  • if you want to come for the whole afternoon, email me at blackbirdswings at gmail dot com so I can fill everyone in on when we’re meeting. Carpooling is recommended, though I’m afraid the car I’m riding in is already full.
  • if you just want to meet at dinner, we’ll be meeting around 7pm. Please email me, also, coz I need to call ahead and let them know how many are coming. Brit’s Pub is on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, and weather permitting we’re just going to walk from my place. It’s only a few blocks. If we need to park, though, bring some cash/quarters for a ramp/meter.
  • presents are not necessary, but always appreciated 🙂 As for what… when in doubt, yarn is always good. Fiber= same story.

*disclaimer: those embarrassed by walking around with a fat girl in a tiara should consider not attending. There may (read: will) also be drunken shenanigans. Come prepared.


Shenanigans! February 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 7:38 pm
Tags: , ,

Today, as previously stated, is Janelle’s birthday. I had already given her gift to her, last Thursday, so today I settled for some smaller things- took her out to lunch, gave her a card and a balloon, and baked her some cookies.

Soft Chocolate Cookies

Some very cake-like chocolate cookies. I’m mailing half to Matt, whose birthday is tomorrow, as soon as I get my HEAD out of my BUTT and freaking write down the address before I leave the building so that when I get to the Post I can actually mail them. Grrrr. (Yes. I forgot to write it down TWICE TODAY.)

I started my new spinning project last night, though I didn’t get very far. This batt has a story.

Anton batt

Back when I used to plurk quite a bit, I responded to a thread regarding one’s first kiss. I told my story- my first boyfriend, Anton, and I went to see “The Mummy” at the movie theater (we were in 7th grade) and he kissed me during the movie. It was actually pretty gross, and I was too young for that junk, but it was still my first kiss. So, I told my story, and a couple of hours later a well-known Etsy seller (sugarbeestudios) was reading the thread and snapped up a bunch of the first kiss’s names for use in her shop, as her batts are called “One Night Stands” (non-repeated) and have boy’s names. She mentioned that she’d taken the names in the thread, so I swung by her store. I quite like her shop, but was very surprised to see this batt pop up, named “Anton”!

For some reason, it struck me as quite odd for someone else to purchase and spin a batt named explicitly after my first boyfriend and first kiss, and I also quite liked the look of it (unlike my first boyfriend- sorry dear, you were 13, all 13 year olds are awkward and funny looking) so I bought it right away. The seller also did a custom “Cory” batt but that’s a tale for another time.

I’m spinning this up in long color repeats. It has a lot of sparkle and some silk carded in, too, so it’s very shiny.


My goal is to get a sport-weight (or slightly heavier) 3-ply.

The main reason, however, that I only have that much done… well, you can ask these guys.

final fantasy VII

Janelle lent me her copy of Final Fantasy VII, which I haven’t played in… oh… probably 8 years now… so that’s where my evening went. I may go spin now… or I may play the sims. We’ll see. Had a long, busy, hard day. Not sure I feel like doing anything productive.


The Birthdaying February 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:25 pm
Tags: , ,

That’s right- we are nearing the very middle of the Birthdaying Times, the two-and-a-half week period in late Feb./early March when myself and three of my closest friends all suddenly, and without warning, become a year older. Nicole’s was last Wednesday, Janelle’s is tomorrow, Matt’s is Wednesday, and mine is next Saturday (not this coming one- the one after that). It’s sort of like mini-Christmas, for only four people.

I gave Nicole the secret skein from my random shopping spree a couple of weeks back- it was a skein of Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway Midnight Derby. I got Janelle 4 volumes of manga, as she was behind on several that she follows, and I’m mailing Matt some things tomorrow but I’m not posting what as he may read this. And (heh) I’m getting myself a Bosworth Featherweight spindle, made from Lacewood, as soon as I get my birthday money.

Crazy times.

I didn’t get much knitting done today, as it was pretty busy (both work and home) but I did finish turning the heel and did the first few rows of leg.

Sock heel

I like the way the heel kind of ends up looking like one of those “Eye of God” things you make at summer camp. But, like… prettier.

I’m hoping to start a new spinning project in the next couple of days here, if not tonight, so you’ll have something else to look at. I know not everyone can be as madly in love with these colors as I am.


Lost and Found February 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:46 pm
Tags: , ,

Today was apparently the day for losing and then finding your wallet.

Janelle came to pick me up around 11 to go hang out at her place while she did homework, and we were most of the way there when she realized she’d left her wallet at my place. She decided she could do without going out to lunch, so we kept driving…. and then we got all the way to her apartment building before she realized she couldn’t get into the apartment without her apartment keys, which were- guess where- in her wallet. So we went all the way back to my place and then all the way back to her place again.

Then, when we decided to meet Cory for dinner, she couldn’t find her wallet again. We searched her whole apartment for a good 15 minutes before finding it in her schoolbag. We got to the restaurant and ordered drinks. I ordered a beer, reached for my ID, and- no wallet.

I spent a while freaking out a bit, then Cory and Janelle’s boyfriend Chris went back to the apartment to see if I’d dropped it there or in their other car. They couldn’t find it, so we ate our food and Cory and I went home… and found my wallet, sitting serenely on my desk where it had been sitting all day long.

In less irritating news, I worked on the teal yarn while at Janelle’s, and got about half of it done. It kept breaking while plying the second half, so I stopped for now as this is already more than I need for her hat. I’ll finish it later- probably after adding more twist to the singles.

Teal yarn

Penny size comparison

Mystery wool, haven’t counted the yards yet as it’s only half finished, chain plied. Approx. aran weight (heavy worsted), same as its sister yarn, the opossum/wool blend. Here they are together.


I find it very hard to believe that the weekend is already over. I honestly feel like it was Friday yesterday, or maybe even earlier today. This weekend was just gone in a flash.

Can I have a do-over?