Monday, December 14, 2009

New Knitting Bag!

A week or so ago, Ron and I were at a local discount/salvage store called Ocean State Job Lots (it's similar to Mardens, Ollies and other such stores...). While we were there Ron noticed that they had a knitting bag. Well, not technically a knitting bag, but a "General Tote" that would work really well as a knitting bag. I checked it over and it looked pretty nice, not to mention the price was right at $10. So I snagged it and I'm really glad I did. It has so many pockets, inside and out, that I'm still finding them! I like that I am able to fit everything that I need in it. While it would make a nice take-along crafting bag, I imagine that I'll use it mostly at home, to contain all the yarn, needles, rulers, etc, that are usually floating all over the coffee table. Here's a pic of what it looks like.

I was going to take some pictures of it, but took the lazy route and looked online instead. I found the one above. The actual bag is identical to the one I have, though the box in this picture is labeled as a Quilter's Tote. Now that I have mine, I was thinking it would be nice to get one for my Mom who has gotten involved in sock knitting recently, but has been knitting in general for a long time. However, it seems like they aren't making these bags anymore. Damn. If I get back to the store and they still have any, I'll be sure to get one more.

LISTENING TO:  Elizabeth Fraser - "Moses"

I was very excited to find this single on iTunes a couple of days ago. It has been such a long time since Cocteau Twins called it quits and despite some guest vocals here and there, Liz Fraser has been pretty quiet. Which is a shame as she has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard. So it was a real treat to find out she's still making music. Could this mean a solo album could be in the works? I've got my fingers crossed!! Hit the Play button above to take a listen...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The finished Octopus!

Well, the octopus is now complete. It didn't even take all that long. Probably the most laborious part of the whole process was making the eight tentacles, but even those weren't hard, just a bit repetitive by the time you get to the last couple. I love that he has the pipe cleaners in his legs making him pose-able. I think he might actually look kind of limp and sad otherwise!

I have made a lot of different crocheted (and a few knitted) Amigurumi, but never kept one for myself. So this was going to be the one. However, he kind of decided, all on his own, that he wanted to live atop the water tower on Ron's train layout. That way he can wreak havoc on all the unsuspecting citizens there. And that's ok with me. I can go visit him whenever I want.

On a non-knitting note, I have been totally drawn into the web of pop-hooks spun by non other than Lady Gaga. I managed to resist her for about a year now, but finally gave in and let The Fame into my psyche. I must say that it is a catchy disc and her follow-up, The Fame Monster, while a bit darker, is just as good. Now if I could just get the songs out of my head!

Speaking of music, I used to do a "Listening To:" thing at the end of each post, and with my extended break, got out of the habit. That being said, it was fun for me to share what I had going in iTunes or on the iPod at the moment. I often heard from others who had similar taste in music and got a few tips on bands that I ended up really liking. So, I think this may be the time to resurrect that little section. Here goes...

LISTENING TO: MANSUN - "Kleptomania"

Mansun was a great band from the UK. They started out in 1995 and ended up releasing a series of four EPs before their first proper album, "Attack of the Grey Lantern." The single "Wide Open Space" was the first thing I heard from them and I was hooked from that point on. They eventually disbanded in 2003 after 14 EPs and 3 albums. They were in the process of recording their fourth album when they decided to call it quits. Fans petitioned and those recordings were finally released as "Kleptomania." Here's a live video of the song that started it for me...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Well, after a bit of a delay with being down sick with the flu for a week, I'm back with an update! I'm currently working on the Octopus pattern by Hansi Singh. It appears in her "Amigurumi Knits" book. Now I am making it quite a bit smaller than called for in the book after seeing it done that way by a fellow Ravel-er. So instead of a worsted weight yarn on size 5 needles, I'm using sock yarn on size 1 needles. It should be quite cute when it's done. Here are some pics of the progress so far. This first one shows a few of the tentacles knit, but not seamed.

This second picture shows the tentacles all knit, seamed and with pipe cleaners inserted. The pipe cleaners will make the legs fully pose-able!

And here are the tentacles all joined in the round. This is the view of the bottom.

This is all I have to show so far, but I'm working on the head, so it shouldn't be too long til this little guy is done.

Well, off to the kitched to start on the holiday cooking, but before I go, here's a wish to all of you...hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Little Sky Sock

Well, I got Cat Bordhi's "New Pathways For Sock Knitters" a while ago and I decided it was time to try something from it. So I did the logical thing and made the first project in it, the "Little Sky Sock," which is a small-scale learning sock. It is meant to teach you the basic techniques you'll need to know in order to make a full size version of the same style sock.

This all seemed fine and good but then I wondered what I would do with this one, lone sock. Then it dawned on me that my co-worker/friend's brother is having twins. So I have made a pair of these socks. I will also be making a pair from the "Little Coriolis" pattern, which is another learning sock.

This will work out well since I will get plenty of practice on two diferent types of "sockitectures" and I will have two gifts when I'm done. Nice!

So here is a look at the first pair of socks. It's not the best picture because I took it under artifical light. But I wanted to get this posted while I had time tonight, so it'll have to do for now. I made these both today and they were very fun to make, different than other socks that I have made and knit up quickly. I'm looking forward to making a full-size pair with some of the new sock yarn that I just got!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Here's a scary (well...) Zombie that I made for Ron, the biggest Zombie fan that I know. Though he's not very frightening, he is awfully cute...the zombie that is...well, Ron too!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sock #1

Here is one of the socks that I'm knitting currently. That is to say, this is the first, finished one. I have the other one on the needles now and am about half way done with it. The yarn I'm using is anyones guess. It some that I've had around for well over a year and the labels are gone. The pattern is the Simple Sock from Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles" however I decided not to carry the ribbing down the leg and left it as a simple cuff.

In other news, I've become fairly active on Ravelry...finally. I was signed up before, but never even filled out my profile. Mostly as a way to look for patterns. So when reminded by Amanda to check it out, I decided to! So now I've got pictures of a lot of my projects, have my 'library' of books listed, and have joined a couple of 'groups.' If you'd like to find and/or 'friend' me on there, look for me as KenInMaine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Amigurumi KNITS

In response to Dave's wish that there were more Amigurumi patterns for knitters...there are! They're gathered together in a book called Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh. I just picked the book up on Knit Picks for 40% off during their fall book sale. In actuality this is probably technically more of a knitted toy book than Amigurumi, which tend to be much smaller and less complex. Nevertheless, the patterns are incredible. The jackalope pattern alone is worth the price of the book. Though I haven't gotten a chance to make any yet, this is already my favorite knitting book (of the moment anyway...). I hope to delve into some of the projects soon, though I have a couple pairs of socks lined up first. So for any knitters who've been wanting to try their hand at Amigurumi, or toys in general, here's your chance!        

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A great weekend...

Just wrapping up a nice weekend off.

Yesterday Ron and I took the convertible for one last spin and got some leaf-peeping in while we were at it. It was slightly chilly, but overall, very nice. Today was spent on yardwork and getting the roof tapes on the front of the house. Last winter's snow lead to ice which lead to ice dams which lead to water in the house. So we're hoping this will take care of things. And with the potential for snow at the end of the week, we got it done just in time!

Here's another present I made for a co-worker, our beloved Dr. Lyn. I decided to surprise her on her birthday with this little guy.

Has anyone been following the innovative knitting work of Cat Bordhi? I've gotten a few of her books recently and am excited to dive into some of her patterns, especially those from her two most recent sock books. I'd be interested to hear any feedback if you've tried either.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More critters

Because we all like to show off our work, I wanted to post a few more pictures of the Amigurumi that I've made over the past year. Two of them are the Amineko, or crocheted cat from the original Japanese pattern. I've made three of these now in different colors as presents for people. It's a fun project and while most Amigurumi are fairly rigid due to their tightly constructed gauge, I like that this one is poseable due to the long floppy appendages.

The one that I've made most recently is a seen below. He went to my good friend Karen who collects giraffes. She LOVED him which made us both very happy! He was very fun to make due to the unique way the legs are made separately and then joined together in a round to start the shaping of the body. The pattern for him can be purchased on Ravelry.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Toy Society

Has anyone heard of  The Toy Society?  Here is a description from their website:

"The Toy Society spreads the love throughout the streets of the world. Nothing to it really just a bunch of handmade toys looking for a nice home.

What started as a small street art project in Australia is slowly spreading around the world.

Should you come across a member of The Toy Society on your travels collect them up and take them home with you! But don't forget to let us know about it here."

I guess the premise is that you make a small toy (knit, crochet, sewn, etc...) and leave it in a public place. You attatch a sticker to it that says "Take Me Home" with The Toy Society's web address. The person who takes it is then asked to go online and post that they've picked the toy up and given in a home. It's a kind of feel-good project for you and them. I'm thinking I'll give it a try and see what happens. Anyone with me?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Amigurumi obsessed!

Well, in the time that I've been away I've ended up making a lot of amigurumi. In case you haven't yet heard of them, they are small crocheted/knitted toys. I think technically to be called amigurumi the item should be crocheted, but the term seems to be becoming less restrictive and includes knitted toys now too. Over the next couple of posts I'll share some of what I've made.

One of the first things I made was a penguin. My coworker's Mom collects penguins, so it was a nice first item and gave me some practice before moving on to the bigger (though actually not harder) cat (which you can see in a post below).

To make these I had to learn how to crochet, but that was actually an easy task. To make amis you really only need to know one stitch, a single crochet...and then how to increase and decrease. That's basically it. A few of the patterns I've seen call for a few other stitches, but they are easily learned.

Another little guy that I made was for a coworker who loves frogs. I scoured the internet in search of a nice frog pattern and couldn't find one. But what I did come across was a set of pictures for a teddy bear with a frog hat. It was really cool, but the person who posted the pictures didn't include a pattern. So I thought, what the heck, I'll try coming up with my own version by using the pictures as a guide. And this is what I came up with. Pretty cool!

Currently I'm working on some socks (for me) and a hat for another co-worker (hmmm, it seems like my co-workers are keeping me busy, doesn't it?). And I just got some of Cat Bordhi's books and am very excited to dive into some of the projects, socks and otherwise...her patterns are very interesting, new perspectives on traditional items.

For now, a good night to you all!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Testing, testing...

Is anyone still out there? Should anyone still be, since I haven't posted anything in a year! Jeez, what's wrong with me? I've been working on some fun stuff and would like to share, so I'm thinking it's time to get posting again. I hope there's someone left out there to see it! See you again very soon! Ken