Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Bit of an Excuse Leads to some Bits and Bobs

 F or most it might not seem like Christmas is fast approaching, but unfortunately for me it might be upon us all too quickly. Since I am making quite a few of my presents, although not as many as I originally wished to, I am in a bit of a frenzy to get them all done. However, since some of the people I am making gifts for read this blog I won't be able to post them until after the holiday season. So, if it looks like I am being super lazy with crafts as of late, it is quite the opposite. I look forward to posting about these various items in January and in the meantime I will try to post (for the few who care) occasionally with bits and bobs.  To show I am serious about this, please see below.

Bit number 1 of the holiday season:

Amy Sedaris has come out with a new book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. While this book doesn't really actually give you much insight on how to make worthwhile crafts, it is fun and the pictures are extremely enjoyable (especially the chapter on safety) for those aware of the little problems crafts throw at you every day. So check it out and take a second to laugh at the ridiculousness of the crafting craze.

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut

 ear Kurt Vonnegut,

Thank you for writing so many radiant books and stories and commentaries for so many years. You offered your truth and simplicity to the world, along the way inspiring me and many others. In pointing out so many flaws of our civilization, you were also able to illuminate so much of its beauty.

With much appreciation,

"I wanted all things to seem to make some sense, so we could all be happy, yes, instead of tense. And I made up lies, so they all fit nice, and I made this sad world a paradise."

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Yarn Crawl Productivity - Well Kind Of!

 L et me first start by stating that after a few months of being personal computer-less, I am happy to now be making this post with my brand new computer! Super yay! Hopefully this will spur my ambition to post on that note let me jump right in!

As I posted a few weeks ago my friend and I were preparing for the Second Annual NYC Yarn Crawl and I was planning my purchases (quite a bit of alliteration in that sentence!). As soon as I made that post though I though to myself, "Watch me not get any of those yarns." Which really proved how well I know my future self because I came home with $100 more worth of yarn than I planned on and not one of the yarns I wrote about! Despite this I have absolutely no buyers remorse and have already started projects with two of the yarns I got. 

My friend and I started the day at Purl, for various unimportant reasons, and we swiftly set to work. While my lady companion had a list of what she needed for a particular project, I was well prepared to wing it and went on the hunt for multicolored yarn. Armed with my trusty t-shirt, I was ready to purchase enough yarn to make 100 scarves (although monetarily that just wasn't possible :)

My T-shirt (a present from my beau and from Threadless)

At Purl I made some really exciting purchases. They were:
One skein of Blue Sky Bulky (50% alpaca and 50% wool) in color grasshopper 1212
One skein of Manos del Uruguay Handspun Pure Wool Kettle Dyed in color Wildflower 113
One skein of Manos del Uruguay Handspun Pure Wool Kettle Dyed in color Fruit Salad 124
Then, on our way out, we got to do a quick raffle drawing and I won a tote with a fat quarter (I began using the tote immediately and it is now my primary means of carrying things) and the lady bee with me won two skeins of cashmere! How much fun!

After we hit up Purl my spectacular friend made it clear that she was here to support me in getting away from green. Now, she has nothing against green, but it is my absolute favorite color and so we decided since I have already bought so many green yarns that perhaps I should branch out. I must thank her for her unwavering encouragement to try new things because I was able to get some neat and different yarns by passing up some great, but similar, green yarns.

After Purl we headed out for lunch, which was super amazing butternut squash soup made by this Chiquita banana friend of mine. After this we went to another store, that since we didn't like I won't mention here, and then off to get some coffee. We headed over to Birch Coffee, both of us for the first time, and were blown away by the awesome yumminess of their cappuccinos (we both got soy)! Best cappuccino of my life!! On top of this they had a very comfy "library" upstairs where we got to sit and chat. 

Once our chatting was done and we had licked the last of the foam off our mugs we departed for uptown and String. I had seen mixed reviews about the service at String on Yelp, but was excited to go there because I had also read that they had some very nice yarns to offer. I was in the market for some cashmere or cashmere mix for a scarf for a family member, so I was happy to go somewhere that prided itself in offering great luxury yarns. Once there I understood why people might think it was a bit cold. The prices weren't marked on anything, which I hate (especially when buying fancy yarns), and while the woman on the floor got us whatever we needed, no one was over-friendly. However, they did have some really nice yarns. I found a blend with cashmere in it that I thought would be perfect for the family member in mind and I even got myself a little treat. I wound up leaving with:
Three balls of Sublime CMS DK (75% extra fine merino, 20% silk, 5% cashmere) in color Carrots 219
One skein of Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca in color Plum 5653
Both of these are soooo soft and spunky fun colors! I had originally intended to try and get a pure cashmere, or at least a blend with more of it, but when I felt the Sublime CMS I knew that it didn't matter because it was as soft as I could hope for.

After String we moved on up the road to Annie and Co. Needlepoint and Knitting. While this was the last stop on our ride it was really where the party began! Annie and Co. is absolutely incredible!! This store was packed full of yarn with deals around every corner for the Yarn Crawl and the staff was A-mazing!! I went a little nutso here, I mean when everywhere you turn there is another fantastic yarn, it isn't hard to do. My craftista friend got a bag of yarn, more than enough to make a sweater, for a steal and I grabbed so many skeins they had to set some aside for me so I could grab more. In the end I bundled up:
Two skeins of Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in color Cumin 605
Two skeins of Blue Sky Multi Cotton in color Gherkin 6802
One skein of Cascade Yarns Eco Duo (70% undyed baby alpaca and 30% undyed merino wool) in color Zebra 1701
One skein of Malabrigo Rasta (kettle dyed merino wool) in color Baya Electrica 865
Two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino (50% silk and 50% baby merino) in color Cape Cod Gray 429
I will for sure be going back to Annie and Co. for future purchases of yarn and embroidery supplies...I don't care how out of the way it is for me. Not only did I get great yarn here, but I also got a great experience (yes...I am aware that sounds slightly corny, but I don't care, it is true!). 

So, all in all I would have to say that the day was a definite success!! I got to spend super fun time with a super fun friend and go crazy on some yarn stores! I am already enjoying the incredible yarns I got and feel a tinge of happiness every time I walk past my stash. Also, the day after I felt so excited that I ended up winding all the yarn, minus the two skeins that were wound for me at Purl, and so now all that I need to do to get a project started is pick up the needles!!!

My spending spree results (no flash to show off true texture):

With flash to show off true colors:

 In the sunlight to try and do justice to both:

All wound up:

*cap supplied by Jessica Hische at DailyDropCap