Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Again with the Squid

Hey kids - here's the squid again dolled up in a Santa hat for the Holiday Softie Awards! Wish me luck! (Or wish yourself luck as the case may be...)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Signs that living alone is getting weird...

I just took a bath with a bucket.

Here's a peek into my world -

I've been volunteering with Recycle a Bike lately resurrecting old bikes and teaching other people how to do it, too. Today I went on my first Ride Club with them. Recycle-a-bike is great. A herd of 10-to-14 year old kids and various and sundry grown-ups rode from Long Island City to Prospect Park and back again. 23 miles - that's a lot even if you're not a kid! It was lots of fun, but a really long day... I left my house at 9 to ride to the ride, and didn't get home until 5.

Living alone is still so new to me that it feels like a project. As I rode home through the park I planned my evening out - eat dinner, take a bath, then watch tv and work on knitting squid number two, photographing the tricky moves as I go this time for the pattern write-up. My head is bursting with projects lately - squids, octopi, starfish, kraken, then finally some mammals ... most everybody on my Christmas list is getting knitted softies of some sort or another this year (sorry for the spoiler, relatives, but it's not like it would suprise you!), plus I'm cogitating on playing along with NaSweKniMo, and making some mobiles, and finishing the baby quilt I started for Mathea before she turns one, and I promised somebody a poncho, plus I have this idea for sewing a shower curtain, which would also involve decorating my brown-tiled bathroom with pink everything, except it's impossible to find a pink toilet seat that doesn't have hellokitty on it, and I wish I could find time to cross stitch, because a nice subversive sampler would go great next to the kiki smith poster...

And also I have plans for this bucket. It's not just any bucket, it's an old Japanese water bucket my mom picked up at a shrine sale when we lived in Japan. It made of pieced wood, and it's in fine shape, but there are some gaps where the wood pieces meet. But a couple years ago I heard a story on the radio about the people that make New York's ubiquitous water tanks - they leak like crazy for the first couple weeks after being installed - the wooden tanks suck up the water and swell, and that's how they hold together. There's something I love about this - form and function mixed together where function comes first - you have to do the verb to become the noun. I've been keeping the bucket next to the tub to remind me to see what happens when I get it wet.

So I set the bucket under the tub spigot as I filled up my bath. But the cracks between the wood slats are big enough that it really won't hold any water at all, and then what am I to do with this soggy bucket? So the bucket and I took a soak together. Here's what I learned: Thirsty, dried-out water buckets make a really great noise when you put them in the bathtub with you. If you've ever forgotten to water a spider plant for a month or so and then remembered, it's a sound kind of like that - an alive, squeaking, rice crispies kind of sound.

At some point it will probably bother me that I'm multi-tasking even in the bathtub, but for now I'm really happy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Knitted Squid - Yippee!

Here's the squid I knit this weekend while visiting my folks and sis - some version of the pattern has been kicking around in my head for months now, but I'm still amazed at how quickly it came to life once it hit the needles ... I cast on the first stitches of the mantle on Thursday, and by tonight I was weaving in the yarn-ends! Made on the subway, in the airport, and on mom and dad's couch. Though I confess, the family does watch a awful lot of football when we get together. Pattern available here!
Marjojo points out that I have a thing for arms - she's right, this one has 20!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Prototype Tuesday - Jumbo Knitted Octopus

I'm usually not one for showing works in progress, but it's killing me that I can't show the other thing I've been up to lately since I submitted it to knitty (everybody cross your fingers and hop on one foot for me), so here's one - it's my most recent attempt at designing a knitted octopus! It's not 100% there yet, but it's getting close - this is the rough draft. And can I just say I love radial symmetry?

This is worked completely in the round with (ta daa!) no sewing whatsoever. Which means it's totally scalable (by the time I do the pattern write-up, there'll be two or three sizes - a whole octo family), and you can make a snuggly cephalopod of your very own with any gauge yarn you want. I'm planning to self-publish this one in the etsy shop, and I'm writing up the pattern super-deluxe, with step-by-step pics of all the tricky moves. Watch this space for some small-scale circular knitting tutorials in days to come.

There's a squid in my head that will be made much the same way and follow hot on the octo's heels... or tentacles, tee hee! And did anybody see the creatures of the deep on the cover of Smithsonian magazine this month? Yipes - it's got me trying to figure out how to make a see-through plushie!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New Digs!

I moved! I no longer live in a sprawling, falling-down victorian with a gash in the ceiling, two of my closest friends, their son (my godson), my cats and their stinky dog with a rotating cast of crazy ladies and juvenile delinquents squatting and smashing things upstairs from us on the second floor. Whew! Don't get me wrong, it was a lot to give up, but for the last week or so I've had that Celine Dion song stuck in my head, but in a happy way ... all by my se-e-elf ...

A few years back when I was taking color photo class I took a picture of an electrical outlet in my bedroom wall. You just moved, didn't you? the teacher asked. Um, yes, how did you know? 'Cause by next week you'll have five plugs sticking out of each socket.

So here's the shelter-porn before the new-apartment smell wears off:

can you find in this picture?

my cats (there's a reason we call them the little lumps)
candy darling (it's an athony and the johnstons album. crappy album, best photo ever)
my bowl of pretty
great grandma mary's dresser cloth
the b.v.m.
my first patchwork quilt (made in '02)