Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NaKniDeMo! Let's make stuff up.

OK OK! This is going to be fun.

Thursday is the first day of November, which means it's the official kickoff of National Knitwear Design Month!

On each Friday in November, all participants will post a NEW and ORIGINAL free knitting pattern on their website. Each pattern should include:

1. A detailed sketch of the design

2. Photos of test swatches for gauge and illustration of key stitches

3. Complete, written pattern instructions for a handful of realistic sizes (for example: S, M, L, XL... or whatever makes sense)

I'm not a pro at this, so there are going to be errors. Therefore, anyone who knits up a NaKniDeMo pattern and provides feedback and a photo will be rewarded with a nifty set of beaded stitch markers that I will personally hand make with love and appreciation.*

*Anyone = a word which here means the first 3 people to submit feedback on each pattern.

Feel like designing too? Grab your ass and let's go!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A November of new designs!

For this year's NaNoWriMo, I'm going to skip all the in-between crap and take you right past the part where I bitch and complain and eventually give up.

Wasn't that satisfying? I kind of feel like it was.

Instead, I'm going to make the world a better place by designing a bunch of knitwear.

Will there be sketches? Yes! And patterns? Yes! Will they be posted here for free? You bet!

Will they be any good?

Um. Free!

And there will be fabulous prizes awarded to daring and speedy test knitters. No kidding. I'll have to work out all the details, but that's what I've got so far.

There's just no way I could get through November without making shit up in some fashion or another.

If you don't knit, you have six days to learn so you can be in on the fun. NaKniDeMo!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Hannah Hangover

Hannah Montana, it was awesome.

Matilda screamed, danced, and sang at the top of her lungs the entire night.

Gert went into complete shutdown mode after the first half-hour, and rode out the overstimulation fest by sitting and watching from the safe venue of Daddy's lap. (She is only 5. The deafening sound and chest-thumping bass is probably something you have to develop an appreciation for over a few concert experiences.)

This morning, Matilda left the house for school totally decked out with a pop princess fashion aesthetic, her pink Miley concert tee layered over a pink striped, long-sleeved tee and her hair tied back with a pink skull-and-crossbones headband.

She bought a Jonas Brothers poster with her own money, and after hours of needling I finally got her to admit which Brother she "likes."

As groggy little Gert was getting dressed today, she asked if we could go again tonight. I told her Miley was well on her way to the next city by now. "Are you sure?" Gert pleaded. "We still have our tickets.."

Monday, October 15, 2007

The claw fairy

The cat lost a claw, and Gert found it. She held the pointy little whitish thing up to me, pinched between her thumb and finger, for me to identify.

The cat frequently leaves pieces of herself in my bedroom. Usually it's hair, or the contents of her stomach. But occasionally I find whiskers and claws too. I assume this is normal.

When I explained to Gert that Kismet must have lost a claw, she got very excited. She immediately ran to her room and put the claw under her pillow.

"Um," I hedged. "I don't think that works for claws..."

But Gert was undeterred. When Matilda walked into the room, Gert ran up to her to share her news.

"Kismet lost a claw!" she exclaimed. "And I put it under my pillow. For the Claw Fairy!"

Matilda looked at me, and we both started struggling to stifle laughter.

"Well—" Matilda choked. "I guess maybe some sort of fairy might come..."

I knew she was picturing the same thing I was. A horrifying, demon-spawn devil of a fairy with claws for hands and fangs for teeth, wild hair, and soul-less eyes like mirrors of the blackest depths of hell.

I think I know what I'm going to be for Halloween.

P.S., the Claw Fairy did come last night. She left a handful of dry cat food and a note that urged the cat to be kind to the little girl named Gert who loves her so.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Because coincidences ring hollow when they're not true

One day, I joke about giving Matilda a promotion.

Later the same week, I'm offered a promotion.

No, seriously. I have too much shame to make up lies that transparent.

You're looking at the new Creative Services Segment Manager. I'm a promotions strategy and initiatives leader! (I have my chest all puffed out when I say that.)

I'm excited. And a little conflicted, because for 90% of my professional life I've defined myself as a writer, and now writer is gone from my title. I'm in a new box on the org chart. I'm outside the writer/designer "talent pool." I report to my former boss' boss. I'm not so much writing anymore, I'm strategizing. I'm liasing. And I don't know what any of that means!

I need to go cast on for a new sweater...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


This morning, I came into Matilda's room and sat down on her bed beside her. She looked at me funny, because I usually try to stay out of her space in the mornings. (She has a very tentative relationship with waking up, and most human contact throws the delicate balance into chaos.)

"Congratulations," I told her.

"Why?" She was suspicious.

"We've decided to offer you a promotion."


I went on, my voice rising with enthusiasm. "We'd like you to take on the role of Senior Daughter. You'll receive a new title with an additional set of tasks and responsibilities, but with no appreciable pay increase. And we'll also ask you to take the bulk of the blame whenever things don't run smoothly around here."

"Um... okay...?"

I stood up and reached out to shake her hand. "Well done, M!"

She still has no idea what happened.

By the way, I have a new sweater! Here she is, Vernik Avery's Silver Streak from the current Vogue Knitting (it's one of the free cover patterns, here).

Silver Streak

Details on Ravelry! (apologies to the non-users -- that link will work as soon as the site's live, I swear!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I keep thinking it's Friday. That means instead of Tuesdaying through the backlog of work on my desk, I'm sitting here with my eyes glazed over, Fridaying about what I'm going to do this weekend.

I need to find my winter clothes. Actually, I did find them. And they all depressed me.

Amended: I need to weed through my winter clothes and find things that A) still fit and B) aren't ugly.

I'd kind of like to unravel the rest of the alpaca sweater I started pulling apart last winter and see how much yardage I can get from it.

Skein & wash recycled yarn = Fun! Not! Come over and help me. We can also have cheesecake.

Is the garden dead yet? No. I can keep ignoring it while it continues to make futile offerings of tomatoes and peppers, hoping to recapture my affection.

Mittens. I think I'll make the girls mittens this winter. That alpaca is probably perfect for Eunny's anemoi mittens. For me, anyway. I think Gert and Matilda each need a pair of SpillyJane's piggy mitts.