Friday, February 8, 2013

Letter to an Addict

Well, I found out this morning you're in jail.  I'm surprised your mother told me, but then every morning when she catches me before I leave for work the first thing she says is "Have you heard anything about ____?" No, I never do.  They'd call her first anyway, but she's so confused these days that doesn't click.

You've been too busy getting drunk and high to notice, haven't you?  How much she's failing.  Or maybe you just didn't care.  You've been taking her money for years and it's been pissing me off.  I always knew, but didn't have proof how much you actually made.  You fed her so many 'broke' stories... when I "helped" you the first time in rehab I saw exactly how much you got in a paycheck.  And no, your company has to take the child support out before they give it to you, that's the law.  I wasn't doing it for you, hell no.  I did it for her, I needed numbers, solid proof that you didn't need her money.  I saw 3 trips to the grocery store in one day... booze.  Your online banking said you hadn't paid the electric bill in 3 months.  The phone system told me when you made the last payment to catch up, or rather when you conned her out of the money to pay it.  Do you know she panicked thinking she wouldn't be able to buy her medicine that month?  But she wouldn't tell you no, and you knew that.

Well karma has really bit you in the ass.  You've lost a job most people would kill for, and clearly all those DUIs and driving without a license caught up with you.  Yet when my mom asked you if you hated the hospital enough to stop you only said "Maybe,".

Meanwhile, you'll be sitting in jail for her birthday this year.  She's older than her years, no thanks to you.  Depending on how long they give you, she might not even be around to see you when you get out.  I haven't decided yet if that would be a bad thing...

What happened, cousin?  What happened to the sweet boy of 13 years who, when I was learning to walk, cleaned up the plant I knocked over so I wouldn't get in trouble?  Where is the boy whose lap I passed out in after my second birthday party? The one who dressed up as Mickey Mouse when I turned three?  I want to believe he's still in there, somewhere.  I know your mother does.  It's up to you to find him.  Even she can't do that for you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have knit you up the bomb! - A free pattern!

Dudley the sad Bob-omb
Mario fans everywhere recognize the adorable yet deadly bob-omb. This is Dudley, and he is a bob-omb that does not go boom. Try as he might, he can’t even turn red. Won’t you take him home?

This is a great last minute gift for the Nintendo fan in your life. He takes oddments of black, gray, and gold worsted, white felt, sewing needle, white thread, and stuffing.

Using size 5 DPNs and gray yarn, CO 3 stitches and work I-cord for two inches. Inc in each stitch (6 stitches) and divide across three DPNs. Inc in each stitch again (12 stitches).

Knit 1 round
*K1fb, k1* around
*K1fb, k2*
*K1fb, k3*

Cut gray yarn, and change to black

*K1fb, k4*
*K1fb, k5*
*K1fb, k6*
*K1fb, k7*

Knit 7 more rounds even then work decreases as follows:

*K2tog, K7*

And so on as before until you only have 6 stitches on the needles again. Break the yarn and thread it through the live stitches, but do not tie it off. Stuff firmly, then pull yarn tight and tie off, burying the end into the body.

Cut eyes from white felt and sew onto body with needle and thread.

Feet (Make 2):

With gold yarn, CO 12 stitches and work garter stitch until piece measures 2 ½ inches.
K2tog across
Knit a row
K2 together across then cut yarn and thread through live stitches. Pull tight to close and sew up long seam of foot. Stuff foot firmly, then sew back seam and whipstitch foot to underside of body.


Using a crochet hook size J or something similar, SC a chain 10 1/2 inches long. Fold into a figure 8 shape and tack onto the back.

Weave in all ends. Enjoy!

Pattern may not be used for anything other than personal use. Do not print multiple copies, send your friends a link! Thank you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thoughts on a Christmas Sweater

Tonight I finished my sister's Christmas gift. Last year she borrowed a sweater I made years ago for a party, making the comment "You know, you could make me one of these". For my sister to say those words was indescribable. It was a few days before Christmas and I already had her presents wrapped and in place, but I knew I had to make it for her this year.

The sweater itself is not a difficult pattern. It's done in 2x2 rib and theres no shaping whatsoever, and a ribbon around the shoulders holds it up. (I don't suppose you remember Tempting from Knitty? That's the one!) My sister has borrowed and worn it as much as I have worn it, mainly because I rarely have an event that I can wear an off-the-shoulder sweater to.

So why is this so remarkable? you may ask. It stems from our childhood. My mother sews, and she used to make us clothes all the time. I never minded wearing them, proudly displaying my mother's handiwork even though it might not look all that professional. But my sister, when she was around 10 or so, asked my mom to stop. I guess she was more fashion-conscious than I, which wouldn't surprise me. People tend to think she's the older sister, even to this day.

She's always been my biggest critic, but as my knitting skills grew I heard less criticism from her and more praise. And borrowing my sweater was part of that affirmation that she appreciates my work. I never thought to make her one of her own until she mentioned it last year.

My sister has long forgotten that conversation about my sweater, and that works just fine for me. When it came time to buy yarn, I got Knit Picks' Comfy Worsted in black. It's incredible. The pima cotton is going to be fantastic for her sensitive skin, and the acrylic means it won't shrink in the wash. In fact hers is softer than mine - think she'll notice if I switch them? Just kidding.

I honestly have never had a sweater recipient be ungrateful, although I know that's the stereotype. Maybe it's because I don't make ugly sweaters. And I cannot wait for Christmas morning for my sister to open hers!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ready for My Close-Up

The sweater is done!

My old college roommate, who I've mentioned in this blog before, kindly took the pictures for the pattern to be published on KnitPicks' website. I really wanted someone who knows what knitters look for to take them. She was the ideal photographer, and I was grateful for her efficiency - because I was wearing merino wool in 90 degrees Fahrenheit!!

I edited out the shorts and sandals, haha.

Here's a quick preview, since the pattern will not go live for a few more weeks. It will be well worth the wait! I will have an "Amanda's Aran FAQ" post when it does go live so that any pattern errata or questions may be answered, and everyone will benefit from them.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Running out of time!

I am so frustrated I could scream. One of my dear friends is pregnant for the fourth (and last!) time, and they are finally getting their girl. I have a tradition of knitting a blanket for each child prior to the birth, and this time I have seriously procrastinated. I've been so distracted knitting my sweater (only the sleeves to go - more on that later) that her due date is barely a month away and I still can't even decide on a pattern!! Mom wants a cotton blanket. This is easily accomplished, except that the blanket I wanted to make originally is designed for DK weight, and I can't afford the yarn it would call for. Stupid medical bills. I'm sure you're thinking, 'Guen you're a designer, just rewrite it'. And I probably will, but that goes beyond refiguring guage and size. I will be totally guessing at the yarn quantities. Risky business, that.

For the last baby I made the Rainbow Chain Blanket by Erika Flory from online magazine Knotions, and she really wanted the new one to coordinate. I love it. It is so bright and vibrant, and I just don't know if I can top it. She suggested I look at Ravelry for inspiration. I have avoided that site because I was afraid I'd get addicted, like I knew I would with Facebook. But I need something to inspire me...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

She threw the gauntlet....

Before Christmas my friend and I went to see her boyfriend perform in a modern interpretation of The Nutcracker. She collects nutcrackers, and when I was thwarting her attempts to steal the ones in the lobby of the theatre, she said "Knit me a nutcracker for next Christmas! GO!". My immediate thought was, 'Well, I needed an idea for your birthday...'

It took appoximately one month and a couple of design changes before I was happy with him. Last night we went out for her birthday and the look on her face was amazing. Apparently, she hadn't been serious, and hadn't expected me to actually knit her a nutcracker.

With that kind of success, I might offer a custom nutcracker in my etsy shop, I just have to figure out pricing. But never let it be said I don't rise to a challenge.

In other news, the Swish Worsted came in today from KnitPicks! It is so much softer than I imagined, knits exactly to gauge, and the color is beautiful, albeit darker than on the website. I had to wait til after the new year because Indigo Heather was out of stock.

I'm waiting to start it til probably tomorrow, I have four Valentine's bracelets that have to come off the loom for the shop. But that yarn knits like a dream!