Weapons of Mass Construction

My needles came in shortly after my blog posting on Monday. I think I scared the postman when I opened the door before his hand even touched the doorbell.

Needles now safely in my hands I  must say they are better than I had expected. Made of bamboo and all nicely polished, each one is engraved with the US size and mm. The needles are sets of double-pointed ranging in sizes from 0 to 9. The needles are 13.5 inches long. ( And, yes, this makes the size 0 needles look like toothpicks for giants.)

My Freaking Long Double Pointed Needles

The whole idea of buying freaking long double-pointed needles was to create smaller needles at a cheaper price. Since I don’t knit with double-pointed needles, but need the smaller sizes for knitting socks, I figured I could cut a pair of the needles in half, thus creating two pairs of shorter straight needles and still leaving one set of long needles in the same size for other ‘non-sock’ projects. Smart idea, huh? The price I had to pay for these needles is pocket change compared to how much it would have cost to purchase pre-made smaller needles in all these sizes.

Once I cut the needles I will glue a small bead to the ends which will give me some nice custom DIY needles for all my two needle sock knitting.

Of course my Boy Toy had a few things to say about my new needles:

Boy Toy: Why not cut all four of the size 0 needles?

Liver Chick: I’ll end up with two pairs once I cut the first two, so there is no need to cut all four.

Boy Toy: But what are you ever going to knit with a pair of 13.5 inch size 0 needles?

Liver Chick: You never know when I might need long needles that size.

Boy Toy: Yes, because when Godzilla comes into town to can take him down by giving him a splinter in his foot with one of these.

Liver Chick: It could happen.

Boy Toy: You know, we have meat skewers thicker then these things. No needles should ever be this thin and long. Seriously, these things aren’t for knitting, they’re weapons.

Liver Chick: Oh no, you’ve discovered my secret. For years now I’ve been practicing the ancient art of stealth knitting needle kung fu.

Boy Toy: Dude! I could totally use these as poison darts. All I need is one of those long straws that I can blow into and shoot them at something like elephants.

Liver Chick: Yes, because there’s a huge elephant problem here in Arizona.

Boy Toy: Or maybe I’ll just blow one at you when you’re ignoring me.

Liver Chick: And when we’re in the emergency room because I have a knitting needle stuck in my butt I’ll make sure to ask the doctor to give you a vasectomy while we’re there.

Boy Toy: Would I get extra points if I hit bullseye?

Liver Chick: WHAT?…you…you know what, don’t even talk to me.

Boy Toy: *laughing* 50 points for the right butt cheek. 60 for the left one. 100 if you get it in the center.

Liver Chick: Okay, that’s it.

(Liver Chick gets up and goes after Boy Toy. Boy Toy takes off running and locks himself in the bathroom. Liver Chick walks away fuming and thinks of leaving one of the size 0 needles outside the bathroom for Boy Toy to step on and get a splinter.)

The Slow Boat From China

I have been waiting for almost a month now. It seems strange that in a time where I can download a book in two minutes and have a burger, fries and drink in under five minutes, that I have to wait a month for a new set of knitting needles.

Last month I bid on, (and won!) a set of knitting needles on Ebay. I was just as surprised as the other bidders when I won. I have a pretty consistent track record when bidding on Ebay.  About 99.9% of my bids never win.

After winning the bid I then realized that these knitting needles were being shipped from China and the scheduled delivery date would be a month away! I won them. I paid for them. So I would have to wait for them.

The needles were delivered to the house this past Friday, but I wasn’t home at the time. So instead of being greeted by my highly anticipated package, I was greeted with a “Sorry we missed you…” slip from the postman. The package had been sent registered mail which meant I needed to sign for it.

I rescheduled for delivery today and now, like a school girl waiting for the cute boy in class to call her, I’m waiting for that little white postal truck to pull up in front of the house.

So, why more knitting needles? Do you really need to ask? Knitting needles are like jello- there’s always room for more! Truth be told I have never met a knitter who ever said they have ‘enough’ knitting needles. I really don’t think there is such a thing. It’s like having too much yarn or too much chocolate- it just doesn’t happen.

Waiting this long does have its upside. It has given me the time to think about projects I want to use my new needles on. My poor Boy Toy has had to endure another trip to the craft store as I just had to buy more yarn for all these upcoming projects.

FYI- If you need me for anything today, I’ll be at home stalking my own front door and hopefully soon casting on another pair of socks on my new needles.

Knitter’s Proverbs and Sayings

We’ve all heard them. Those classic proverbs and sayings like, ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’. Well, I wondered how some of these saying would go if it was a knitter who first spoke them. Below are some classic sayings reworked in a way I’m sure all knitters will understand.

If at first you don’t succeed. . . hide the evidence in the back of the closet and pretend like you never knitted it.

The early bird. . . gets the last 3 skeins of discontinued yarn on Jimmybeanswool.com

Early to bed. . . early to VooDoo Donuts before Sock Summit.

A penny saved. . .means you’re one cent closer to getting that Cashmere/Mink blend you’ve been drooling over.

You can’t party with the sinners and . . . not learn the effects of drunk knitting the next day.

If the shoe fits. . . buy it and knit a pair of socks to go with it.

You only live once. . . so buy the yarn now. You may not be around for the sale.

Beauty is in the eye. . . of the knitter who just spent a month knitting that sweater for you. So put it on and say thank you or you’ll never get another birthday gift from them- EVER!

A fool and his money. . . will soon find his house taken over by his wife’s ever growing yarn stash.

Better to have loved and lost. . . then to have wasted good yarn knitting him a sweater.

All roads lead. . . to a great little yarn shop.

Curiosity killed the cat. . . and yarn was spun with the fur off his back!

What does not kill you. . .only makes your kitchener stitch even stronger.

Time heals all. . . remaining guilt from your last yarn shopping spree.

Nothing last forever. . . except Red Heart Super Saver Yarn.

A wise man knows. . . to give his wife the credit card and don’t ask questions.

If you can’t say something nice. . . stitch it in duplicate stitch.

You’re nobody. . . ’till you’ve got a fan group on Ravelry.

Behind every great man. . . is a happy knitter.

Money can’t buy you love . . . but it can buy a Starbucks frappuccino and several skeins of alpaca yarn.

What goes up. . . can usually be fixed by adding a three-inch knitted border to the hem. 

If  life is a highway. . . make sure to pack plenty of yarn for the journey.

When life bring you lemons. . . add vodka and sip while knitting.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. . . just use bigger needles next time.

Lovers come and go. . . but good knitting needles last forever.

When faced with a fork in the road, I take the road. . . that has the most yarn shops.

To thine own self be true. . . and let your knitting tell little white lies!

June. What June?

WTF. Yup, those three little letters basically sums up my month of June. I’ve gone the whole month without being able to knit anything. Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t knit a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g! Life got into that ‘suddenly I’m so busy and don’t have time to do anything but at the end of the day I can’t for the life of me figure out what the hell I was doing to be so busy’, mode. That has been my month and as I take a moment to reflect on it I still can’t see where all my time went.

My mom says that everyone experiences one month each year where they fall into a vortex of nothingness at the start of the month only to fall out at the other side at the end of the month scratching their head trying to figure out what just happened to the last 29 days of their life. I’m really starting to agree with her theory.

My ‘no knitting’ June must have also coincided with my yarn stash’s breeding season as now I am finding yarn balls of all colors and sizes falling off book selves and hiding in the bottom of my panty drawer. I guess when the needles are away, the balls shall play!

I did it in some good knitting eye candy by surfing the pictures of the most recent TNNA conference that such wonderful knitters are blogging about and uploading into their Flickr account.

I do hope that many of you out there were able to accomplish some grand knitting this month and if anyone knows how the whole vortex thing works, please let me know so I can try to avoid falling into another one this year.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: Yarn Stash, Interupted

All this week my postings are a part of the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. To learn more about it, just click here.

Most knitters and crocheters, unless they just had their workroom redecorated by Martha Stewart herself, would be crazy to share photos of their yarn stash. We all know how just a few balls of yarn in a plastic bag can quickly multiply into a unruley herd that flows from the knitting basket into the closet, under the bed, in the hallway closet, the kitchen cabinets, etc.

We crafters try hard to hide what we have and never admit to ourselves, (or our spouses), just how much yarn we own. Well, I’m going to break that code of silence by showing you all how and where I keep my yarn. I have to tell you know that what you are about to see is only about half the amount that I really own. Since I go back and forth between two states I have two stashes. This is my Arizona stash. I have a whole other stash in California. Enjoy!

My Plastic Costco Bin Of Yarn

 

Current Knitting On Top Of My Dresser

 

More Knitting On The Reading Nook

 

More Knitting On The Nightstand

 

Knitting Needle Stash Housed In A German Beer Mug

 

Bag of Yarn and Spinning Hiding in the Closet

 

My Spinning Stuffed In a Dresser Drawer

 

Yes, There Is Even Yarn In My Purse

 

Even My Hubby Has His Yarn & Projects Hanging Around

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: You Got Skills!

All this week my postings are a part of the 2nd Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. To learn more about it, just click here.

My Very First Two Needle Sock

Looking back on where I was this time last year, I am just amazed at just how much I’ve grown in regards to my knitting.

If you had told me last year that by this time I would have a pattern available on Ravelry, I would have laughed in your face. What started off as just me taking on another knitting challenge to conquer by knitting my first pair of socks, has now turned into a passion of wanting to make and promote two needle sock knitting. 

I can still remember being frustrated at how I was all thumbs trying to knit a sock on double-pointed needles. And how jealous I was watching Cookie A working on her latest sock at the local knitting group. She could make almost any sock yarn her bitch and I wanted to be able to do that.

I watched every YouTube video I could find on how to knit socks using various methods. I tried toe up and top down, sideways, knitting loom and even crochet. It was some random obscure pattern that I ran across online that finally made it all come together for me. Child socks knitted on two needles with a seam down the back and on the sides. Pure magic! 

After knitting my first sock with this pattern everything just started to make sense for me. I studied other sock patterns, learning about sock history and sock construction. Soon I was able to read a top down sock pattern and be able to convert it into a two needle pattern. Now, I have sketch books  full of ideas and thoughts of publishing my own book of two needle sock designs!

A Recent Sock Design

I have learned and grown a lot. But I am nowhere near considering myself an expert by any means.  I am not ashamed to confess that there are still things I have yet to learn in knitting. My lace knitting is a true testament to resisting the urge to frog. I still have never done a cable pattern. My  I-cords look more like I-won’ts. And no matter how hard I try, I suck at Faire Isle.

The wonderful thing about the needle arts is that you are encouraged to always keep growing and learning and just when you think you’ve learned it all, there is always something new just waiting around the bin.

So, what new skills / techniques have you learned this past year?

My Cute Little Sock

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Okay, I just couldn’t wait to share my freshly made sock. Just clipped the last piece of thread before I snapped a picture of this lovely creature.

Yes, a pattern for the sock will be posted soon. But right now I feel like a proud mamma showing off my little baby. Isn’t it just percious?

Liver Chick Knits Is Open For Business

Finally, after months of talking myself in and out of it, I got my store up and running on Etsy.

It is a place for me to sell my every growing collection of stitch markers that I keep making. (Well, it was either this or tell everyone they would be getting a set of stitch markers for Christmas.)

If the mood hits me, I may also add a few knitted items to the store around the winter holidays.

The store is still a work in progress and I will continue to add more of my stitch markers each week.

When you get a moment, head on over and take a lot. I hope you enjoy it: http://www.liverchick.etsy.com

Knitting Hand Me Downs

 

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I do love how our society just assumes that if you are old with grey hairs, then you must spend your days knitting blankets for babies and crocheting slippers for your other elderly friends. This is the case for my grandmother-inlaw, Ann, and her sister, Wanda.

Every so often, they are given piles of yarn, knitting books and other needlecraft accessories from kind-hearted young people who feel they are doing a great community service by providing such articles to Ann and Wanda. Well, neither of them knit or crochet. Wanda dabbled in crochet for a little bit, but much prefers to do needlepoint. And Ann? Well, her gift is with a rolling-pin and cookie sheet, not yarn and knitting needles.

However, Ann and Wanda are far too kind to turn down such thoughtfulness. So they graciously accept these gifts knowing full well that even the finest skein of mink and cashmere blend couldn’t  convince either of them to pick up needle or hook.

So, I end up being handed down these items, usually along with the same comment, “Now if you don’t need any of this stuff don’t take it. I don’t want you thinking you have to take home this junk.” (As of the day of this posting, I have yet to turn down any knitting ‘junk’ they have offered to me.)

Do you have any knitting ‘suppliers’ among your family? Anyone that knows you well enough to think of you every time they come across yarn?

The Treasure

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Was at the local Goodwill thrift store with my mom yesterday. I usually don’t buy anything when I’m there. It’s not that I don’t like what they offer, but this particular Goodwill is so popular that unless you camp out at the door and run in the very minute they open, chances are all the really good finds are gone.

As usual, the place was packed, and it was a Wednesday afternoon. My mom was searching for a skirt, so I just walked around looking at the stuff in other people’s carts.

There is a small craft section on the far side wall of the store tucked into an odd corner between the kid’s toys and purses. This area is usually filled with bags of tired looking zippers and old Butterwick patterns for flower skirts. An ocassional bag filled with shower curtain rings or plastic Christmas ribbon finds its way to this area as well.

I made my way over to the area on the off-chance I might find a package of straight pins. I have plans this year to finish my quilt tops and for the life of me I don’t know where my straight needles have disappeared to.

Now in the craft section I found the usual suspects along with a bag filled with florist tape and another stuffed with scary look doll heads- the type one would use in cake decorating. I was thinking of how I could paint over the doll faces to make them look like shrunken heads for Halloween, when a long package hanging behind a bag of broken needlepoint hoops caught my eye.

I pulled the bag off the hook only to discover a similar one right behind it. With both bags in my hands, I stared down at my packages, unsure of what I was seeing. Through it’s loosely bunched plastic coverings sat in my hands two bags filled with knitting needles!

There was no time to lose. I felt a sense of urgency to get this needles to the counter and claim them as mine with my cold hard cash. ‘How could anyone have missed getting these’, I thought to myself. I have seen far too many times in stores women and men come to near blows over an item that they both wanted. Although most people at the store seemed generally nice, I was not going to take a chance of anyone seeing my discovery. I could just see the news headline now: Young Woman Stabs Stranger In Eye With #4 over Knitting Needle Dispute. So, I tried to move through the store discreetly, being careful not to bring any attention to myself or the items I were carrying.

I manged to dodge an aisle filled with several gray-haired ladies. I was sure if any of them had spotted my treasure the news headline would be: Gray Hair Granny Mafia Takes Out Store Customer, Impaled With Knitting Needle.

Safely at the checkout out counter, the bubble gum popping cashier, overly made up in a sad attempt to look older than her 17 year old true self, didn’t even look my way as I sat the needles on the counter. She was busy trying to flirt with the older bag boy in between the continuous line of customers.

The bag boy motioned to me letting the young girl know she had another customer. As the cashier began to ring up my order, I wondered if I should be kind enough to save the poor girl from her fruitless attempts at flirting by informing her that her lover boy was gay, seeing as he was wearing a gay pride necklace.  As the cashier handed my items to the bagger she said,”You buying these needles. Do you use them to crochet or something? I could never do that stuff. Maybe when I’m in my 30’s or 40’s, when old and don’t have a life anymore I might learn. It’s such an old people thing.” I decided that having her heart-broken by a gay man would be good for her.

Package paid for and hidden in the white plastic bag, I enjoyed the rest of my time shopping with my mom, knowing that this old lady with no life had scored a treasure far better than any 17 year old could imagine.