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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Knittin' for the kitten on: October 02, 2007 09:20:44 AM
...or the cat, as it may be.

The problem is, we've got fruitflies in the house.  We don't know where they come from or what they're eating, but they're breeding in a way that's taught me a lot about exponential growth.  The freaking things are everywhere.  And while there are worse insects to have wandering around than fruitflies, the fact remains that they are extremely annoying, especially if you're trying to eat fruit.

But there is hope! Simply wait until the weather is cold and let your house cool down to 55 degrees Farenheit.  That'll teach the little buggers!  It won't be so bad for us humans - we've all got sweaters - but the cat is not so gifted.  All he's got is a fur coat, and while his fur is decently thick, he's still adjusted to it being 65 degrees or warmer.  We're thinking that a drop of ten degrees is going to upset him a wee bit.

He needs a sweater.

Here's a picture of the cat, because cats are cool.  Especially this one.

He's only got one eye, and yes, he's wearing an eyepatch.  He's going to be a pirate for Halloween!  No, I don't know what happened to the missing eye; we adopted him as an adult.  That whole side of his face is a bit off, though; his whiskers constantly quiver, and he can't quite close his mouth there.  There are dark suspicions he was hit.  But now he is fine, if piercingly loud and vocal.  I've met children who speak less than this cat.

I've never really made anything clothing-like for a cat, so I need help.  Will wool be okay, or will that risk overheating him?  I'd like to avoid pulling something over his head - is it possible to make a cardi for a kitty, possibly buttoning along one side?  I was going to make some measurements and knit the main pieces, then crochet them together as needed, to make up for any shortfalls.  Will that work, or are there common pitfalls to avoid?

Does anyone know of a decent free pattern for a cat sweater?
2  CLOTHING / Shoes: Discussion and Questions / Studded heels on: May 10, 2007 09:29:51 AM
So, I've got this really cute pair of black kitten heeled pumps from a resale shop.  They're nice, but...eh.  They could be nicer.

What I'm thinking about doing is getting some studs (you know, like for gothy belts) and putting one in the heel and a a few down the top of the toe section, right down the middle.  Before I do this, though, are there any known issues with this sort of thing?  I don't want to install studs and then discover I can't wear the shoes anymore.

Er...and also...any advice on installing studs?  Do you need special tools?
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Errata!? How about publishing it CORRECTLY in the first place!? on: April 16, 2007 09:21:18 AM
Once upon a time, I knit myself a sweater. I found it the other day, and immediatly felt that surge of emotion that accompanies many first projects - whitehot rage and the undiluted bile of bitterness.

It was the very first thing I ever knit.  That's right.  I went straight from playing around with swatches to a sweater.  Nothing too complicated - just a sleeveless sweater with a little bit of shaping at the waist and bust.  No shortrows, just casting on and casting off. Nothing too fancy - it was knit one row, purl the next all the way through

Did I mention I'm a size 24?  I wear a 44 DDD bra.  The yarn was sport weight.

Did I mention it was my first project?  To make it really special, I went out and bought some nice yarn.  *Nice* yarn.  Ten bucks a ball.  About ten balls of it.

Take a moment to consider how many stitches this was.  Just think about it.  All those thousands and thousands of stitches.  It took me half the year of constant knitting on buses, on lunch breaks, while watching TV.  I knit.  And I knit.  And then I knit some more.

It looked a little saggy, but I figured that'd come out when I blocked it.  That's what blocking is for, right?

Yeah.  It shrunk a little.  But when the front is a little saggy and the back is a little saggy, the whole thing will be a lot big.  Like...a lot.  Big enough that I can put this on, pick up my cat, and cradle her under the sweater without anything stretching.

How could I have done something so completely wrong?!  I checked the designer's website to see if she had any suggestions for this sort of problem, and there I saw it:

She'd added an extra fifty stitches to the extra-large size. That's fifty in the front, fifty in the back.  A hundred total.

Freaking knitwear designers.  Freaking errata.  I can tell you one thing - you don't see errata lists for other hobbies like woodworking or remodeling.  I've checked.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Creepy craftspeople on: February 22, 2007 11:07:57 AM
So.  Sometimes, crafts afford people a chance to be creepy in a unique sort of way.  I'm not talking about talking too close - I mean creepy things that require a craft to be involved.  Like the woman who lovingly makes a toilet-seat cozy out of her deceased cats. (Sidenote:  if such a person exists, do not inform me. Seriously.  I don't need to know.)[/size]

Has anyone else encountered these people, or am I the only one so graced?  I've met someone who made disturbing vignettes with dead flies, nail polish and polymer clay, a lady who really did taxidermy her own, beloved dogs, and the Creepy Icky Knitter.

The creepy knitter is a woman I met in a local coffeeshop. I was curled up in a comfortable chair, working on the wildly colored scarf I've been making from bits of yarn culled from yardsales. She came up, sat next to me, pulled out her project and we started talking.

This is common enough among knitters.  Like most people with a common interest, we tend to be friendly.

We talked about projects. She was making a horrifically ugly sweater in a wierd colorway. It featured bobbles. One row all the way around the hips to call attention to the ass, and then lots more tossed along the thick, braided, ugly cables. It was ugly. Uglyguglyugly.  I don't mind a few bobbles, but there's a limit.

After a while, the conversation wandered to knitting books. I said I was a devottee of Stephanie Pearl-MacPhee, the Yarn Harlot.   The Yarn Harlot is a comedy knitting writer, and she's absolutely hilarious, brilliant and sublime.

She was so totally not amused by the name of the Harlot's blog. Or by the fact that when you google harlot, she's the second thing you find. Or by the fact that someone who called herself a harlot knitted.

"Because harlots are dirty whores, and knitting is nice and clean." she said. The woman had no comprehension of irony.

After a bit more conversation, she abruptly announced she had to go to the bathroom. She took her purse and her project with her. Okay, it's a little wierd, but maybe she was afraid I'd take her stuff. Or walk off and leave it unguarded. I would have, too, but I was in the middle of a section of more damn ribbon. you don't want to stop in the middle of ribbon. It slithers. Like the guts of hope.

Maybe twenty minutes later, she came back. I would have thought she'd left or something, but there was a....smell. A smell that indicated that yes, she was in the bathroom, and yes, she had been occupied, and no, I would not be running in to fix my hair before leaving.

She settled down with her godawful bobbled sweater again. And then I noticed it: she had knitted about an inch while she was in the can.

I left. The ribbon slithered. I unravelled it and threw it away, because the memory would have haunted me.

...does anyone else have a story like this?  Or am I just lucky?  And...does anyone else knit in the bathroom?  I'll admit to doing it a few times while I was soaking in the tub, but there's a difference!
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Help on sleeves on: February 21, 2007 11:04:36 AM
Recently, I finished my first knitting project.  It was a very nice knitted tank.

It's lacking some things.  Like some freaking sleeves.  I'm a big lady, and my arms aren't exactly my favorite part of me.  So here's my plan:

1.  Get a button-down, nonstretchy shirt that I like the fit of in the arms.  Put on my sweatertank, trace around the edges at the arms, then cut the shirt to make a nice flat guide.

2. Draw out flower and leaf patterns on the sleeves.  These will be culled from my old crochet magazines and such.  These will also be doily patterns, because I don't want to add any extra thickness to the sleeves - I need to get my coat on over this!

3.  Draw out connecting lines.

4. Make the doilyflowers.  Pin them on.  Connect with lines of chain stitch.

5. Attatch the sleeves to the sweater body.

Here's my question:  Is this a bad idea?  I'm not too worried about ease; the shirt I'm using isn't stretchy fabric and fits me quite nicely, so there's plenty of easement.  But am I going to discover that thick-but-lacy fabric is a really nasty idea in the armpit area?  Will I find I can't lift my elbows?  Is there a better way to go about this?

6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / I glued my hand to my crotch. on: May 27, 2005 01:03:54 PM
I am not someone who dresses up much, but I'd like to be. Its hard to find shirts I like, but when I do, I love them like...like....well, more than children.  I wouldn't freak out if one of my children got iced coffee on them (er...not that I have children) , but God help the barrista who splatters my Dressy Shirts.

One of my Dressy Shirts is a wonderland of greens and blues in swirling, floral patterns.  It is accented with rhinestones and bugle beads (yay, shinies!).  When I went to put on The Shirt this morning, one of the rhinestones popped off.

Oh, NO!

After freaking out, I realized I couldn't sew it back on - it'd been glued to this wierd looking metal platey thing that was kind of clipped into the fabric.  Sensibly, I went to find superglue.  I put a little drop on the plate, pressed the rhinestone on, wiped the excess off with my fingers, and when all was well with the world again, I set my tube down on the bathroom counter and finished dressing.  I was halfway through, when I saw that the tube had dripped.  I reached over, recapped the tube, wiped up the glue with my fingers, and then I zipped up my pants.

And when I went to reach for my sandals, my fingers were stuck to my fly.
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Kitty and Dragon hats on: May 27, 2005 11:38:13 AM

I made these for my wonderful friends Becky and Kevin, for Christmas, mostly on buses and in cars.  After I gave them to them, I photographed them obsessively...and forgot about the pictures. Heh.

They're just standard crocheted toques, made with a pattern I dug up online.  I started at the brim and worked my way to the crown.  The cat ears and dragon ridges are cones, which are shockingly easy to make; you just chain twice the width you want the cone to be, make a circle, work the first row in sc, then continue working upwards in a spiral of scs, decreasing at a regular rate.  The quicker you decrease, the fatter and shorter your cone.  If you use a hook that's too small (I used an F hook with Lion Brand homespun), you get a really stiff, dense fabric that will stand up on its own.

So. Yarns.  The blue hat is Lion Brand homespun, with Fun Fur trim around the bottom of the ears and the edge of the hat.  The black hat is Lion Brand colorwaves in Lava, which is a really spiffy color.  There is a row of fuzzy black on the edge of each spike, from a labelless ball of something furry that I got for a quarter at a yard sale.  It isn't Fun Fur - they eyelashes are sort of wild and kinky.

Hats.  So much fun.

8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Help! Sun dress for a big, big girl. on: May 16, 2005 11:10:01 AM
If people were fonts, I'd be Helvatica Bold.  I'm a great big girl.  I have big hips, a big bottom, and giant breasts.  I'm not saying that I'm ugly - I've got a nice waist and shapely legs - but everything about me is definitly built on a wider sort of scale.  I'm sort of a horizontally stretched hourglass.

This is all fine and dandy, until I go shopping.  I can find plenty of attractive long skirts, and pretty blouses, but finding a pretty sun dress is pure heck.  I've been looking for three years now, and apparantly, if you're above a size 18, you're supposed to dress like a kindergarden teacher.  I don't want to dress like a kindergarden teacher.  I want to dress like a spicy hot mamma who wears flowers in her hair, and I darn well deserve a dress that'll let me do that.  

Does anyone know where I can find a pattern like this for a size 20/22?  Preferably one that doesn't make me look like a bloated tart (I'm aiming for a sexy, but fully clothed look)  or a librarian? I'm not the best seamstress, but I can follow directions and I'm patient...especially if there's a chance of looking really good at the end of it.

And does anyone else have this kind of problem?  I know I'm big and fat, but that doesn't mean I should look like I'm trying to hide!
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / When crocheting a sweater for your cat... on: March 28, 2005 12:29:48 PM
...don't put the unfinished product on the cat.

Last night, my mother suggested I make a sweater for the cat.  Since Smokey has patiently endured being dressed in my sister's clothing, doll clothes, and one memorable outfit made out of tinfoil (there's not a lot of excitement at my house...), I figured this would be an amusing project.  I didn't have a pattern, so I sort of winged it.  I chained in a circle and made a little sleeve, then chained some more for the part of the sweater that would go over her back, and made another sleeve.  Then I DCed a few rows over the back.  Since I was using a size N hook and some ultra-chunky yarn, I figured the sweater was big enough.  So I pulled a long loop in my last row (I didn't want to cut it until I knew it fit) and we put it on the cat.  Who purred, and sat there, then heard a dog bark THREE BLOCKS AWAY and bolted.

I was holding onto the yarn.  I watched the loop pull out, then the first stitch, then the next stitch, then the next, and then the cat vanished around a corner.  I followed the brutalized remains of my cat sweater to the second floor.  She unraveled it back to one row of DC, and then she had the audacity to attack it!

Stupid cat!  She's dumb, but she's full of sly cunning.

10  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Anyone know of a pattern for a crocheted thong for a man? on: January 03, 2005 05:08:38 PM
To make a long story short, a friend of a friend commented on my mad crocheting skizzizles, and I ended up agreeing to crochet him a thong.

Eek!  There appear to be no patterns for a male thong, anywhere!  I can't make up my own pattern, since the nifty guy who will be getting it lives across the country, and I have no males at hand that I would ever want to see in a thong.   I found some patterns for a woman's thong, but men need a sort of hold-all instead of a triangle, and I have no idea of how big I should make it.  Too small would be insulting, too large would be a bit goofy-looking.

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