Author Archives: onemilljellybeans

Inspiration: Wonder Woman!

You guys!  I watched Wonder Woman this weekend, and holy cow!  It’s so good!  Back in high school, I used to be 100% in any time they made a movie about someone with superpowers (superhero movies were new and exciting then).  But the last decade or so has so over-saturated the market with too many crappy superhero movies where overly-muscled dudes in spandex level cities in an attempt to show how they’re stronger/better/right-er than their arch nemesis.

Enter Wonder Woman!

I mean, look at her!  She’s amazing!  She fights her way across no man’s land between WWI trenches with a freaking sword! She speaks hundreds of languages!  She fights to end war!  Her whole thing is saving people!  I’m pretty stoked about her.

And, there’s her aunt, Antiope, played by Robin Wright (Princess Buttercup!  The Princess Bride was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and it’s awesome to see Princess Buttercup do some fighting).  She’s a totally bad-ass general.  At one point she flips off the back of a horse while shooting three Nazis simultaneously with the three arrows she had nocked in her bow.  So good!

But it’s not just the good guys that are kick-butt women.  The bad guy, Dr. Poison is a totally creepy mad scientist lady!  She’s got a super icky mask (because she melted the bottom half of her face in a lab accident), and a penchant for inventing chemical weapons.

Of course, there are men in the movie, too, but it’s just amazing to see women headlining a superhero movie- and totally kicking butt!

So, let’s tie this to something knitting-related (this is a knitting blog after all).

This tiny Wonder Woman will save the day using her cuteness!

Wonder Woman Amigurumi by Clare Heesh

I love this classic Wonder Woman-style hat!

Great Hera! by Jensen Reyes

And this sweater would be perfect for days when you need to feel your most Wonder-full!

Wonder Woman Jumper by Kirsty Lothian

Have you seen Wonder Woman yet? If not, what are you waiting for!  (Just be aware, you’re going to go around kicking things and sword fighting after you see it.)

Tip-toe

I’ve made it to the toe!  My socks are almost finished!  Woo!  There’s something just so satisfying about finishing a pair of socks (or any knitting, I suppose).

This morning, after dropping off my husband at his bus stop, I sat down to do knit a couple rows before grabbing breakfast.

And, well, I got a little distracted.  Let’s just say I got my breakfast a couple hours later than I had planned (which is saying something. I love breakfast).

I’m so happy with how the socks turned out, but I think my favorite part of making socks (and the reason I love making top down socks in particular) is sewing up the tip of the toe with the Kitchener stitch.  It’s one of those perfect knitting tricks that just makes me endlessly happy.  I know that a lot of people have trouble with the Kitchener stitch, and it took me a long time to figure out how to do it.  But, man, I love it now.

It’s like magic!

You start with a big ugly hole in the end of your nice sock.  Then with a few careful stitches,Then a little careful pulling,  (I know you’re supposed to keep your stitches tight when you do the Kitchener stitch, but for whatever reason, leaving them loose, then tightening them up afterward makes more sense to me.)And, voila!  A perfect, lovely toe!  I just love how the stitches disappear, looking just like your knitting.  Whoever figured out how to do the Kitchener stitch (presumably, Ms. Kitchener) is a freaking genius! Now I have to go weave in all my ends (my least favorite part of making socks).

Do you have a favorite technique?  Something that makes you happy whenever you have to do it?

On the Road Again

We just got back from another road trip! This time, to Mt Rainier National Park.  My folks came to visit last weekend, and we drove to the mountain and stayed in the lodge at the top (well… the lodge is about a third of the way up the mountain, but it’s as far as you can get with a car).  The weather was… wet… but the park is absolutely gorgeous, nonetheless.

I mean, look at it!  It’s absolutely stunningWe spent the day hiking around, checking out waterfalls and finding tiny wildflowers.  (We even spotted a fox and a few deer-but they were too fast to get a picture.)And, in the evening we hung out in the lodge, playing cribbage and playing the ukulele.  It was absolutely delightful.

Unfortunately, the road to Rainier is narrow and twisty, so I wasn’t able to make that much headway on my Road Trip Socks (dang motion sickness!).  I had hoped I would be able to finish them last weekend, but it looks like I’ll just have to keep working on them at home.  Oh well- we still had a fantastic trip.

Have you spent any time in National Parks?  Which is your favorite?

Inspiration: Silicon Valley

Sometimes I search out knitting;  I go to the library and look through books.  I spend hours scrolling through Ravelry or visiting yarn shops.  I’m not complaining, obviously, I think it’s fun, interesting, and a pretty pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

But, sometimes knitting just jumps out of the weirdest places, without any warning.  For example, I was catching up on last week’s episode of Silicon Valley (episode 36, “The Keenan Vortex”), and BAM! Knitting!

Jared, my favorite character, the dorky business manager with a heart of gold, was rocking some great knitwear this week.  (There was a whole subplot where there was a cold snap, so everyone was getting out their winter gear, but Jared’s was my favorite.  Everyone else had boring ski jackets on.  Why wear a ski jacket when you can wear an amazing wool sweater?  But I’m getting ahead of myself.)

He starts out slow, with a simple ribbed-scarf-and-pea-coat combo.  Classic.I need a nice simple scarf- maybe I should follow Jared’s lead and knit up one of these.

Fisherman’s Rib Muffler in Three Gauges by Churchmouse Yarns and TeasThen he stepped up his game with a mustard sweater vest. Now, I’m not usually a fan of a sweater vest, but if I really wanted to stay true to the Jared spirit, I’d knit up one of these bad boys.

Nathan by Jones & VandermeerBut the best knitwear is definitely saved for last- Jared comes out of nowhere with this amazing cabled gansey turtleneck.  The guys on the show tease him for it, but I gotta say- I love anyone who can unironically rock a cabled sweater.  Those are my people.It’s not as great as Jared’s sweater, but this one’s pretty good, too.

59-6 Sweater by DROPS DesignHave your favorite TV characters ever shown up in knitwear?

Seedy

I’m working on a very simple project right now.  It’s a wrap/big scarf/narrow blanket.  (OK, really, it’s just a big rectangle, but sometimes I try to be fancy.)  It’s super warm and thick and lovely- knit up in bulky wool.  It should just be boring, but it’s so satisfying. I don’t know the last time I made something so simple.

It’s just a big ol’ rectangle of seed stitch.  (Seed stitch is alternating rows of k1p1 and p1k1.)  I’ve always loved seed stitch.  There’s something very satisfying about it.  It doesn’t roll, like stockinette.  It doesn’t shrink up, like ribbing.  It’s thick and poofy and squishy and warm.  And, I think, it’s just beautiful.  Of course, fancy cables and intricate lace are gorgeous, but there’s something perfect and pure about a big square of seed stitch.  It’s homey, yet refined, the same way a linen shirt is both totally casual and very up-scale.  It’s fancy without being fussy.

Of course it’s taking me a million and a half years to finish this project, but what’s new. It’s satisfying knitting and I’m enjoying myself immensely.  (And it makes great TV-knitting!)  It feels great to get back to my roots and make something so totally simple.

Do you have a favorite stitch?

Travel Socks in Progress

Last weekend was a whirlwind!  I had an amazing time traveling down to LA to visit friends (and their perfect tiny baby!  Hi, Janey!), watch comedy, dance, and eat way too much good food.  I still feel like I have a hangover, despite not drinking anything since Saturday.  I guess it’s just an emotional “Why can’t I still be on vacation” hangover.

LA isn’t that far from Seattle- a couple hours on the plane isn’t that bad.  But, it still gave me plenty of time to get started on my Travel Socks.  And, I gotta tell you, I had almost as much fun working on these socks as I did the rest of the weekend.  (OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but they’re turning out really, really cool!)

I mean, look at this stitch pattern!You’d never know it was so freaking simple to knit.  It’s ingenious!

I showed it to a bunch of knitters over the weekend, and none of them could figure out how it was worked.  (And even when I told them what I was doing, they had a hard time believing me!)

It’s a 1×1 row stripe (1 navy row, one light blue row).  Every dark row, you knit, and every light row, you work K1, P1, alternating back and forth just like in seed stitch.  The finished fabric is beautiful, squishy and soft.  I think this stitch pattern might just start showing up in other knitting patterns.  (Right now, I’m dreaming of a raglan sweater with this pattern.  Maybe with variegated yarn?  Or maybe with stripes!  Or maybe with variegated stripes!)

I’m using the dark (MC) to make a simple cuff, heel and toes, which I think is going to look really classy- instead of an obnoxious striped sock, I’m going to have very cool, interestingly-patterned socks.  I can’t wait until I’m finished!What’s the last project you got really excited about?

Too Many Bears

Oof.

These bears are going to be the death of me.  There’s just so many!

I thought I’d done this before, but I must not have made this many all at once.  Because stuffing and finishing six bears takes. For. Ev. Er.

I put on a nice long movie last night and sat down with my box of bears and a big bag of fluff.  I figured two and a half, maybe three hours would be plenty to get all the bears put together- maybe even enough to put on faces.

Well.  I was wrong

It literally took TWO HOURS to stuff all six bears- I didn’t even get to start sewing them up during that time.So now I have a big box of bears/bear arms with stuffing popping out the tops.  (It’s actually kind of morbid… like I can see the bears’ brains!  Zombie bears!  Aah!)

It took another half hour to sew up one bear- closing the top of the head, attaching the arms and making the neck.  That means I’ve got another two-plus hours of work ahead of me before I even start sewing on faces.  Ugh!

I wish I could just send in the un-stuffed bears to the Mother Bear Project and have them finish them up.  I could make so many more bears that way!  (Although, then the Mother Bear folks would have to spend all their time stuffing them… They probably have better things to be doing.)

Have you been working on anything lately that’s taken longer than expected?

Road Trip Knitting

Summer’s Road Trip Season, and this year I’ve got a bunch of trips coming up.  We’re flying to California to visit friends, we’re driving to Mt. Rainier with my folks and we’re going to a family reunion waaaaay up in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan.

Of course, we’re not doing all this at the same time (we do have to work, after all).  But, I want to get ready for all that car/plane downtime.  That means stocking up on Dramamine, filling my Kindle with new books, and planning out some simple-yet-interesting knitting projects.

I’m a big fan of socks as travel knitting.  They’re small enough to fit into a purse or cary-on, but take long enough to fill up a whole week of travel.  And, other than turning the heel, they’re easy enough that you don’t really have to focus on what you’re doing.

They’re the best!

Anyway, I dug into my stash, and found a bunch of little ends of sock yarn.  So, I was thinking of doing something to use up that yarn.  Stripes seem too boring, and colorwork would make me carsick (simple is the name of the game, after all).

I poked around on Ravelry, until I found these beauties!

Broken Seed Stitch Socks by Hanna LevaniemiHer original pattern (it’s not a formal pattern, exactly, more like a design suggestion that I can use with my standard Socks by the Numbers pattern) uses a lovely cream color with a pretty variegated yarn. The little stripes combined with the knit/purl pattern make the colors blend together really nicely.

But, what I really love is the idea that Ravelry User mckr had.  Stripes!  But when the stripe colors are mixed with the background color, the whole thing looks gorgeous and cohesive.So, I picked out six mini balls of leftover sock yarn, and a full 50g skein of a lovely navy blue.  I think they’ll look great together.  (One of the mini-skeins even has sparkles!)

I’m making myself wait until our road trips are officially going before I start knitting these bad boys.  Vacation can’t start soon enough!

Are you looking forward to any upcoming projects?

 

Inspiration: Ukulele

For my thirtieth birthday, I decided to splurge and get myself a birthday present.  And what did I pick out?  Something practical?  Something yarn-related? Something that I knew I’d use?

Of course not.  Instead, I got myself a ukulele!  A baritone ukulele, actually (which sounds like a guitar, but is small and easy to play, like a uke).

I’ve been slowly teaching myself how to play over the last year and a bit.  I’ve learned a couple handfulls of chords, and I know a few songs (unfortunately, I’m a fairly terrible singer, so singing where anyone other than my dog can hear me is right out).  When my dad visits, he brings his bass and we play together.  And over the last couple months, I’ve been playing with a ukulele group in Seattle (It’s me and a bunch of old hippies/baby boomers.  We meet in a park once a week and play old standards…  it’s silly, but pretty fun).

I’m not going to be going professional with my ukulele playing, but I’m having a great time learning a new skill- I’ve never really played a stringed instrument before (I tried to learn guitar in high school… it went… poorly).  And, I think it’ll make a good excuse to visit Hawaii again.

In celebration of my new hobby, let’s look at ukulele inspired knits!

I stole the strap from my old guitar to put on my ukulele, but I really like the idea of making a strap myself.  I think it should be in a cute, tropical color!

Ukulele Strap by Lise GrayYou guys know I love tiny things, so of course I’d love a tiny ukulele (which are tiny to begin with, so a mini one must be super tiny)!

Melee Ukulele or Guitar by Mad Crochet ScientistIt gets a little chilly, playing in the park in the evenings, even in June.  So maybe I should make myself a Hawaiian-themed blanket to keep me cozy when I’m playing with my uke group.

Hawaiian Flowers by Sarah London

Have you been learning any new skills lately?  Do you play any instruments?

Bare Bears

It’s been a minute since I talked about my bears!

And… that’s mostly because I have kind of been slacking…

Well, not slacking exactly, but getting busy with other things, so I haven’t been working on my bears as much as I had hoped to.

If you remember, I resolved to make one bear every month, so that I would end up with a nice even dozen to send in at the end of the year.  So far, unfortunately, I’ve more or less been doing one bear every other month, then three bears last week when I realized how far behind I was.

So, at least now I’ve got six bears all knit up (except for one arm, but I’ll take care of that this afternoon) and ready for stuffing.

It feels good to be more or less back on schedule.  Unfortunately, now I’ve got to do all the finishing still…

I guess it’s time for a good TV binge-watch and marathon stuffing/arm attaching/face embroidering session this evening.  Oh, but they’ll be so cute when they’re done!

Are you making any Mother Bears?  How many have you got going this year?