Stitch n Pitch

Last night was Stitch n Pitch, aka knitting at the Mariners Game. The way the story goes, there are some unflappable female knitters who work at the Mariners Headquarters. They’d spend their lunchhours knitting and ignoring the teasing. Then, someone watching them had the idea of selling tickets to knitters as a theme night (the mariners are neither leading their league nor selling out the park), expecting a crew of maybe 40. Instead, they had between 1200 and 1600 people show up (depending which paper you read). Knitters rock.

It seems that as the ticket count continued to mount, the organizers got more and more psyched. They draped the Mariners Moose (does he have a name? not sure?) in yarn, gave him huge needles, and had him throw a basket’s worth of yarn out (instead of the usual t-shirts or towels) to an adoring crowd of knitters. They displayed each of the Mariner’s names in cross-stitch on the jumbotron when it was their turn to bat. They changed all of the crowd-rousing slogans to things like “You hit the STITCHES off that one!” Very cheesy, and very fun, though with $10 tickets the food prices felt particularly ridiculous, and so also very hungry. I ended up in the middle of a slew of eastside knitters and bloggers, including Laura and her husband, Diana and her boyfriend, Rebecca, and Janell and her husband. (You’ll note that the pictures are all of the moose — we were all way up high at the tippy top of the stadium, so attempting to take pictures of the game would have been optimistic. :-))

The first quintet

I finally got all of the fabric ironed and cut into strips a few nights ago. All of that color sitting just inside the door to the bedroom makes me happy.

Then I got on a square making kick last night, and so here’s the progress:

Aren’t they pretty? I still have yet to make a perfect 5″ square, but someday it will happen. I also noticed that sometimes I log-cabin around clockwise and sometimes it’s counter-clockwise. However, since the point of the squares is to blend the colors, not to create a pattern, I don’t think it matters so much, and I can keep quilting as the spirit moves me.

This is not a geranium

In a slightly misguided moment at knitting on Wednesday, the conversation devolved into a game of “guess that houseplant.” I have a plant that I got at the grocery store with pink flowers on long stalks. I keep forgetting to water it, and on the next sunny day it wilts and looks dead, and then I water it in a fit of obtuseness and the thing spits out new leaves and flowers — I love it. We’ve been doing this for nearly a year now. The group decided by consensus that it was a geranium. I’m confident it’s not.

Here it is… You can see that it ‘s been through a drought and lost most of its leaves, but there are two more buds in the back so not too much harm done.

So, all-wise knitters… now that you have a visual, what kind of flower is this? 🙂

And yet another

My sewing machine is contagious. Or maybe I’m just particularly susceptible to the siren song of fabric stores, but I have more sewing projects. Specifically, shirts for work.

In true dive-in spirit, I found fabric for versions B and D, buttons, thread, and fusible interfacing (that I haven’t figured out yet). My only tailoring experience was in fourth grade (third grade?) when I “helped” my mom make me these two one-piece summer outfits that I loved dearly. So, I can’t entirely say that I know what I’m doing. Exhibit A in that regard is the amount of fabric bought… I read the back of the pattern, deduced that I needed 2 1/4 yards of each color, brought it home, washed it, ironed it, hung it over the railing and realized that I’d bought enough to clothe the Von Trapp family.

I guess it’s better that too little though? And it wasn’t exactly an extravagant purchase at $2.50 a yard, so no harm done.

I’ve now made it through cutting out all of the patterns from the tissue paper, and folding the mountains of fabric right side together. Cutting is next, wish me luck. There are four cutting patterns — I think I’m supposed to choose the most appropriate, not use them all, but I can’t say that it’s entirely clear. And I think bias tape is only needed for version E, but I also can’t say *that’s* clear. And there’s a boatload of symbols scattered all over the pattern, which I’m sure are there for a reason (mysterious as they may be) — any offers of websites with tips or tricks would be very helpful and well-received at this point! I’m sure I can’t go too woefully wrong by just jumping in, cutting, and sewing, (I’m a smart girl, right? And I knit!) but I’d really like to understand the finer points of what’s expected — the pattern gives basically no discernible guidance.

P.S. Bonus points/Project motivation: I’ll get to use my sewing machine’s buttonhole-maker! Sweet!!

A little 1998 humour

My brother just came across this gem of a forward from back in the day. Worth a good laugh (*how* exactly do you woo women?).

Though it is interesting: I found this funnier back when I was caught up in (read: hysterical over) the college application process. I’ve always admired people who are utterly capable but take things less seriously.

(Google update: Sad to see, it was for a writing contest?)

First time!

Here’s the first log cabin “square”, yay quilting:

The colors rock, yet I think something went awry on the assembling, as the end result is 4 3/4″ x 5″ instead of a solid 5-by-5. Obviously more practice is needed. 🙂 I’m in luck though, as the final square count is over 80 so by the end of this I should be an expert. I’m figuring to aim for a square a night, and hoping the assembling will move faster as I get in the groove. Meanwhile, I’m loving the 1/4″ foot that came with my sewing machine (thanks again, Mom and Dad!! — the machine was my endlessly appreciated and already highly used birthday present from last year.)

I’ll try not to post pictures of every new square. 🙂 Though: Kevin was actually amazed at the result. Mad cool. I’m used to a delay and a “huh” when it comes to crafting… 😛

And then there were 2, pt. 2

Nothing like motivation! Both fronts for the cardigan are done:

Unfortunately, this made completely clear the fact that the insets for the arms on the back were nearly two inches too short. I ripped them this afternoon (only five rows, luckily), and re-knit. No picture, but now the back matches the front. I should have done it earlier, since I knew it was needed, but at least it’s done now. 🙂

P.S. Download “All These Things That I’ve Done” by The Killers — song of the weekend.

And Then There Were Two

A few weeks ago, I found an iron stand and another 55 gallon tank on micronews for $50. We’ve been looking at setting up a refugium and this seemed too good to pass up, so we bought the two, and I spent a highly noxious few days spraying the stand with assorted pre-sprays, enamels, and coats so that it (fingers crossed) won’t rust. Here’s the new tank atop the stand, 2/3’s full, waiting for the sand to settle.

Ultimate optical illusion, by the way — these two tanks are within a quarter of an inch of each other for the dimensions… who would have thought after seeing this photo? The second (now in-use) tank will go on the bottom of the stand, and will hold the protein skimmer, a pump up to the display tank, and a deep sand bed with assorted macro-algae to further filter the water. We went today to get the baffles cut, so now all that’s waiting is the sand to settle so that we can move all of the rocks, fish and corals from the old tanks to the new, and so that we can clean and dry the old tank to get it ready for siliconing things in place.

The white cabinet in between is another micronews find, and will hold the new pump which will power a closed-loop circulation system, and which can also hold all of the food, etc. Best part: it has a towel bar on the right side. 🙂 There’s a glass panel for the door, currently removed, which I plan to frost so that the pump, etc. isn’t quite so visible.