Thursday, April 28, 2005


Just a quick note to let you guys know that I haven't forgotten yarn yoga. School is wrapping up; I only have 4 classes left now. Finals are a week away and I have a ton of studying to do!

Here's blog stuff I intend to do when life gets less hectic:

1. Post a pic of the lovely sitch markers that Laura sent me.

2. Post a tutorial on how to make stitch markers.

3. Post my responses to the cool tag that Snooze sent me.

4. Post some pics of my WIP's.

Miss you guys!

Friday, April 22, 2005


Nepal is the word of the day. Unfortunately, I can't enlighten you with infinite wisdom about Nepal. This is a direct result of my complete lack of knowledge of all things Nepal. Well, almost all things...

My LYS.. Yes, I have an LYS NOW!!.. Knit 'n Needle, is just barely open. They hadn't intended to open until mid to late May, but Debbie has been working herself like mad and we actually had our SnB meeting there last night. Anyhow, she's placed quite a few orders, but the first thing to come in was the gorgeous recycled tibetan silk from himalaya yarns. So, of course, i had to support my LYS and buy some. :)

I intend to make the chinese charm bag from the first Stitch 'n Bitch. I think bamboo handles will lend itself well to the look and the 'culture' of the bag. I'd love to find a tibetan charm to go with it. My interst in the charms led me to Mandala. It seems pretty cool. There are some things I'd really like to splurge on there. :)

Speaking of Nepal, moira introduced me to BANANA SILK. Yes, silk-like fibers made from bananas! Isn't that just the coolest thing? They ship to the US, so if i can't find somewhere to get it here, I may have to order from them. I get Gwen Stefani's new song, Hollaback girl, stuck in my head everytime I think of bananas!

While we're talking about silk, I'd like to mention Tussah silk. Tara told me about this a little while back. :) This silk is gathered from cocoons AFTER the moth emerges. This is such a wonderful thing, and the price isn't bad either! Check out the Wool Peddler.

Here's an interesting aritcle that Ms.Snooze sent me. I find it really interesting and wonder why people don't think about what they put into their body just a little more. I'm guilty of that at times, too. Maybe I just trust society a little too much sometimes.

Monday, April 18, 2005

I got RAOK'd!!

Dear Ms.Snooze,
I got my RAOK in today.. and I was beyond words. I quite literally screamed and got a dirty look from my husband! I think the first thing I said was "Wow" and the second thing I said was "They're all VEGAN!!!!!!" I must say, your children are quite talented to master up all that fancy bead work! I love how the wire spirals back down so pretty!
I've been getting some criticism for my vegan ways on the homefront and over some emails. I asked a question on a certain list for knitters and got some suprisingly negative reactions. That's ok. I'll chalk it up to their ignorance and a teaching opportunity. Since that happened, I posted a bit about my suprise about the reactions I received. Only to get a flood of support emails! Seems like for every possible negative member in a bunch, there are 20 positive ones ~ or more! Anyhow, I didn't mean to be a bit of a killjoy. I just wanted you to know a little bit of what's been going on these past few days, just so you can really see how much it cheered me up that I got a ton of lovely animal friendly yarns and gifts! Thank you so much!!!

On with the pictures!

First off, there was a lovely letter inside from the delightful Ms.Snooze It was a very sweet note that wished me a Happy Birthday and said some things that mean a lot to me.

Here's the box freshly ripped (yes, ripped) open.. This is where I about lost it with trying to contain myself. Bring your face really close to the monitor.. There's some real treats in there!

The fist thing I see is... SOCK YARN! How throughtful! I think you're right that the gauge is a little big for the retro rib, but I can get some practice in with another pattern on this yarn before I try someting too difficult.

The next thing is 2 skeins of Incredible ribbon yarn! I've never knit with this before! I've always wanted to try out ribbon yarn and now I have my chance. It's funny, because I've picked up this very colorway many times before. :)
(My flash went nuts with that shimmer!)

That's it, right? I mean, those are some great gifts already. There couldn't be even more. Well, yes, there is more! Check out my new tank top! Ok, so it isn't a tank yet and I'm not sure if I can pull off a skimpy 400 yd tank, but I'm going to give it a whirl. If not, I've got some undergarment designs I'd like to try. ;)
Don't you love that turquoise?

She even sent me some pattern ideas and ways to create a garment to your idea fit!

Just when I thought I had found everything, I spotted a cute white organza bag with something pretty inside:

It's homemade stitch markers! Snooze and the family are incredibly talented! I love the swirly wire work and the beautiful beads. Unfortunately, I'm not so talented to really capture their beauty.

Thank you so much Ms.Snooze! I really adore and appreciate your thoughtfulness. I really can't imagine it coming at a more appropriate time. I'd say you've made my day, but I'd be lying. You've probably made my whole month! I'll be sure to keep you updated on my plans for the yarn and keep posting pics of my progress. Thanks again!



Saturday, April 16, 2005

Vegan Retro Rib Socks

I'm addressing this post to lucia over at the Knitting Fiend, but anyone is welcome and perhaps, begged, to respond!

You are so amazing, lucia! I have a question for you. I'm a vegan and am having trouble finding cotton yarns in the gauges I need for socks. I'm an aspiring first time sock knitter and would like to make the Retro Rib socks found in the Winter '04 issue of Interweave Knits.
Retro Rib Socks call for a gauge of 32 sts and 44 rnds = 4 inches in St st on size 2 dpns. Assuming that the woman's size will fit me (I am, in fact, a woman.) I would need 406 yards of Kroy Socks yarn, which contains wool.

Elann has some yarn that I think would be a quick knit for a newbie. Is this yarn even feasible for this sock pattern?

Sock It to Me Collection Esprit

Fibre Content: 98.3% Cotton 1.7% Elastic
Made In: Brazil
Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat
Gauge: 25 st/4 inches 4.5 mm (US 7)
Yardage: 91m/ 100 yds (relaxed) - 170m/186 yds (stretched)
Size: 50g (1.75 oz) ball

My other option is Bernat Sox yarn which can be described as follows:

· Long-wearing 60% acrylic/40% nylon easy-care blend for great durability.
· 1.75 oz/50 gr/203 yd ball.
· Machine wash and dry. Imported.
· Crochet gauge in single crochet, size D-3 hook/Knit gauge in stockinette stitch, size 3 needles: 28 stitches and 36 rows = 4".

I would prefer the Sock it to me, just because it will be a super quick knit and there are more color options. I also would like to eventually make these using the bernat to hone in on my tiny dpn skills. Any suggestions?

Ethical Wool +

Check out Homestead Wool for some ethical fibers! You can see photos and read stories about all of their cute sheep, including a llama. This may help some of you who may not be ready to give up merino or animal derived yarns, but will provide you with a resource that is ethical and sweet to the sheep!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Tao lovin'

I really like the Tao Te Ching and if you're even remotely interested in Eastern philosophies, you probably will, too.

I know there are some free versions of this book online somewhere, but none of the ones I looked at were as well written as the translation I have by Stephen Mitchell.

Here's some passages from the book that I really like:

The supreme good is like water,
which nourishes all things without trying to.
It is content with the low places that people disdain.
Thus it is like the Tao.

In dwelling, live close to the ground.
In thinking, keep to the simple.
In conflict, be fair and generous.
In governing, don't try to control.
In work, do what you enjoy.
In family life, be completely present.

When you are content to be simply yourself
and don't compare or compete,
everybody will respect you.

It presents a simple and honest approach to life. I don't read the text often, but when I do, it helps me feel more grounded and at ease. The tao is pretty cool. :)

Here's another one. Part of it is dedicated to Stara knits. You'll know the part when ya see it!

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Hope you enjoyed the samples!

Silk & Vegans & Me

This is basically a copy of a post I sent to one of my vegan mailing lists. I was inquiring about other's thoughts on silk issues and here's my reponse to their repsonses. Everyone was very nice and thoughtful with their responses. The general consensus was that silk isn't vegan, but being vegan is doing as much as you can to ease suffering. And if you are doing that, you shouldn't care if someone claims you aren't vegan.

I have to agree that wool is not vegan. Although, I don't oppose using wool from farms where the people treat them like pets. I am going to a spinning retreat at the end of next month and I may buy some, I may not. However, I will not buy wool from a place where I can't see, touch, or get to know the sheep. I know that some people say if it's from an animal, it's not vegan, but I believe that a symbiotic relationship is possible. I live in Louisiana, so wool isn't really a necessity for me.

Silk, on the other hand, lends itself to our weather. Silk blended with cotton produces a wonderful yarn and consequently, an amazing garment. I became a vegan for the animals. I don't really consider worms an animal. It is a being and I hope that it doesn't suffer, but I can't be sure. In most cases I would say that it's better safe than sorry, but for some reason I'm not moved to feel much compassion for worms. Well, that's not entirely true. I do care when I accidentally cut one in half with my shovel while I'm gardening. I feel bad and cover it back up with dirt to help heal the shock a bit. I just feel like I'm sacrificing enough and I want to enjoy this one luxury.

There are some good yarn options out there for vegans: soy silk yarn, Bamboo yarn, hemp, aloo, paper, tencel, cotton, and synthetics. I'm not a fan of most of the synthetics, but I really like the plant fibers. I just wish they came in more sizes.

Sometimes certain yarns just work better for certain projects. I love to knit and didn't go out with the intention of buying silk. I was looking at yarns for a sweater and was drawn to this gorgeous light purple in the store. It felt wonderful and cool next to my skin, so I started adding up the yardage to be sure I'd have enough for my project. Once I'm done, I turn over the tag and it lists 70% silk. Ugh. I was already in love with it, so I bought it anyhow. This yarn has been a dream to work with and knits up beautifully. I'd be lying if I said I'd never use it again. I'm not going to go out and look for projects that specifically call for it, but if it works best for something I want to make, I'm not going to pass it up either.

My concern about the 'what is a vegan' issue is just that I don't want to be a hypocrite. Hypocrisy is one of the main things that turned me away from the church. Well, that and the fact that I was kicked out of altar servers because I was a girl. The pope deemed that women couldn't serve God in that way, so I got the boot after more than 5 years. I mean how do you tell an 11 year old girl that God doesn't want her because she's a woman. My faith was pretty much ruined after that.

Anyhow, maybe we should measure veganism in %s. That way, I wouldn't feel like such a hypocrite. I eat a vegan diet, which the exception of some trace elements that I can't read the scientific names for. Also, with the exception of small amounts of honey in some of my processed foods. Right now I'm still low on the vegan household products, but that will come over time. It's more of a crime, imo, to waste products that you already have, rather than use them up and then buy vegan ones to replace them. So if you count diet and most knitting, I could probably be a 30% vegan. :)

Monday, April 11, 2005


I'm 26 today. I'm having one of those zen type moments where I'm pretty indifferent to the whole deal. On one hand, I'm thrilled to be alive! :) On the other, big 30 is just lurking around the corner. lol. I'm going to stick with the positive note. :)

So what do I have planned for this day of celebration? Work, school, and more school ~ just like valentine's day this year, hooray! ;) Tomorrow night my mom is taking DH and I out to eat. I have no idea where or if I'll find something to actually consume. Dad took me out to eat last weekend, but, being vegan, all I could have was some falafel and hummus. I think I was the cheapest date out of everyone there, lol.

Happy unbirthday to all of you that read my blog! If it happens to be your birthday to, let me know! Love you guys!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Nifty progress bars

Check out this awesome tutorial Lesley made on nifty progress bars over at knit-ticisms. She rocks! Thanks so much!

edit: OK, if I can figure this out, then anyone can. I made mine at 200 pixels for the complete 100% because I couldn't figure out how to start my bars exactly below the title of the project. Once I learn this, I'll probably change it back to 100 pixels for 100%.

Also, I'd like to know how to make those nifty little boxes that outline the possible knitted space... umm, ok that sounded funny. I'm doing to much probability in school lately.. I mean to say, I want a nifty outline of a box to see how close I am to filling it up. Ya dig? I'll shoot Lesley an email and ask her. :)


Ok, so it'll be a while before I start these, but I've finally found the socks I want to knit. It turns out I've had the pattern all along. It's the retro rib socks from Interweave Knits Winter 2004. The photo doesn't show it well, but they have the sort of ribbed heel that I like. (Well I like the look of it, I haven't worn any like it.)

I need to find the yarn for them, but I'm not actively looking.

I'm still looking for something to knit with a 20 sts over 4" gauge, as mentioned below. I guess it would be ok to order the yarn without a pattern. I'm thinking I need something in pink. Lavender is one of my favorite colors and I'm already knitting a sweater and possibly a cardi in that color. Black is a good option as well. So, what do you guys do when you want to buy a yarn that you don't have a project lined up for? How do you know how much to buy? I'm not in love with any of these colors, so I may just let the yarn go. Hmmm.. yeah, I'm a bit too passive about this. :)

Saturday, April 09, 2005

WIP post

Just wanted to post a quick look at my AV pullover. I'm doing 2 sleeves at once and it's coming along fairly quickly ~ considering I work full-time and go to school full-time. The yarn looked a little dark in the stash pic. I think this photo shows more of the true color.

(yeah, that's my calc on the side. I use it for school.)

I'm feeling great about this sweater. I can't wait to finish it!

Speaking of new projects (well, once I finish this): I found some yarn that I want to try on sale. Someone PLEASE send me some ideas for a project that uses size 7 needles ~ something with the gauge of 20 sts to 4". The available colors right now are navy, powder blue, lavender, black, grey, white.

I'd prefer a garment such as a sweater, tank, or shawl, but I'm open to anything. Patterns can be from a free source or from a book or magazine. I just need to know the yardage to buy asap. Time is of the essence, the sale ends super soon!

Sweater progress and swaps.

I want to share with you all of the awesome swap stuff I've received from my awesome swap partners on craftster.

First up, some amazing pin cushions by Lorie! I cant' believe that she did that apple with no pattern or anything. That girl has talent! She's becoming a good friend of mine through emails. I'm so glad that she's so understanding, because I'm late on her pin cushions. I'm going to have to send her a little something extra. 1) because I'm so late. 2) because I can not match her skills in the sewing arena.

Next, this cool purse by Mere on craftster! I'm not usually a hot pink kind of gal, but it is perfect with the grey! I love the color combo and the polka dots. I can't wait to get to use this bag! She even has a velcro close and a snazzy zipper pocket. Talent! (This is extra special because my original swapper disappeared on me! Mere did this out of the kindness of her own heart ~ thanks so much!)

Finally, is the greatest of all flower pins. Meredith hand embroidered this pin with my favorite color combos ~ pink and brown! She did an amazing job and I can't even begin to count all the compliments I've gotten on this pin when I wear it. I deem Meredith the felt queen!

Image hosted by

I love all of my swap stuffs! Thanks so much to all of you! I highly recommend swapping at craftster. Everyone there is so nice and so talented. I am working on your pin cushions, Lorie! I just can't post my progress here. ;)

Thursday, April 07, 2005

New Yarn.

School has got me so swamped lately. I have so much crafting and knitting to catch up on. I'm late on two of my swaps, which is NOT my style at all. (I'm so sorry guys!)

I did have an excellent trip to Yarns 2 Ewe. I can't remember the name of the woman who was working that day, but she was incredibly busy, and she still gave everyone very warm and personal service. She was great! She even had this awesome german accent. Anyhow, as I was browsing I noticed a lilac sweater knit up on one of the bins. It was made from Kathmandu. And ya know what? I'm glad I never got that stinkin yarn. I didn't really like it at all. I did fall in love with Rowan's summer tweed in a beautiful lilac color. And, although it had silk, I bought it. I just couldn't resist. Shame on me, bad vegan. Well, I guess it was a decidedly non-vegan moment. I do feel remorse,but, well, I'm not going to go into the details of it. I also picked up some Rowan cotton glace in pink. Here's a pic of what I came home with

In case you're wonderin what that is on the needles below the yarn. It's the start of the sleeves for my AV shawl Collared Shawl. My knit-along for it can be found here

Aside from the yarn, I also got Jaeger's #35 book. I want to make the sweater that's on the cover and advertised in just about every knitting magazine. I'll have to look for a photo online and post it. I originally bought the cotton glace for a scarf that is used as a sash in the book. It turns out the yarn is the wrong weight. I may make it anyhow. Anyone have any other ideas of what I could do with 2 skeins of cotton glace?

I just wanted to do a short update for now. Be sure to check out Stara knits to see her 'under the hoodie.' It was her First ever sweater and a total success! She rocks the party that rocks the party!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The inquisitive Stara Knits hits me with some serious Questions

Stara knitsthought of some very thought provoking questions to interview me with. Now that I look at them, I answered them super-wordy-like, but hey, that's me. If you want me to interview you, which I'd love to do, here's what you need to do:
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones below.
3. You will update YOUR blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Here I go!

Stara says: 1. You're a dedicated Vegan that avoids using wool and other animal-derived yarn, what made you decide to become one? Did you babystep first as a lacto-ovo vegetarian or just dive right in?

Initially, I was a lacto-vegetarian. When I was about 16, I received a small pamphlet from PETA in the mail. I read it cover to cover and was just shocked and saddened by the photos inside. I’ve always been very compassionate towards animals (as well as people) and it hurt me to see them suffer. I wanted to do whatever I could to help them. I decided that I would quit eating meat. At the time, I didn’t realize that the dairy cows were being treated just as poorly and even worse. Well, I was a teenager and although I was a vegetarian for 2 years, I still ate by-products. No eggs, but I did eat dairy and basically anything that wasn’t meat. Needless to say I wasn’t very healthy, so after 2 years I started eating meat again and quickly regained my energy and strength. Eventually I shook the guilt off and didn’t think a whole lot about my choices and the effects they were having on animals.
Fast-forward to hmm, last month or so. I noticed that some of the knitters on craftster weren’t using wool. I wondered why. Little debates started popping up and I read them all. I even searched for old debates to look through. I did plenty of my own research and through that I ran into all the other traumas that animals of all types are suffering through. My heart sank. I contributed to their pain. I had to stop and I had to stop Now! So, from that point I went vegan. I think it was a Thursday. J

On that note, I have a confession to make. I fell in love with Rowan’s Summer Tweed and it contains silk. Hell, it’s 70% silk and 30% cotton. I caved and I bought it. I’m still not 100% sure on my thoughts of the silk issue, but I will research it more and hopefully not buy it again.

Also, if there are trace amounts of honey in something, I will still eat it. Amy’s Kitchen makes some great frozen veg*n foods. Not all are veg*n, but the package is clearly marked if it isn’t. The point is, when you get into the nit picky part of being a vegan, like learning what all the scientific names are for some trace elements, it starts to make less of a difference. If you are just starting out, learn the main things and avoid them, then work on the tinier stuff.

2.Another Vegan question: What's your husband think of it? Is he a herbivore or carnivore?

My husband is a carnivore. You could almost call him a strict carnivore, if there was such a following. He eats meat with no remorse and loves every minute of it. We are total opposites in that respect. He was NOT happy about my choice to become vegan. He would have been a little bit better off had I chose vegetarianism, but Vegan? It took him a while to get used to that idea, but he’s still not happy about it. He’s dealing with it for now. He’s hoping that it’s some sort of hobby and that I’ll get over it and he can have hope of having a steak on the table when he gets home from work. Hello? When did that ever happen before? I hated cooking meat!! If I cooked the meat, I wouldn’t eat it. The only time I ate meat in the times I wasn’t veg*n, someone else cooked it for me. I rarely cooked for him in the first place, so his hopes being gone are all they were. He can’t really miss something that never happened.

3. My husband thinks my knitting is 'cute' but doesn't get the obsession: What's yours think? Is he supportive of or exasperated by your yarn woes?

For the most part, he’s supportive. I don’t really like shopping *gasp! No really, I get frustrated when things don’t fit the way I want them to. Also, I might like the way one thing fits, but in the design of something else. With knitting I pretend like the yarn pays for itself twice: once in a hobby, and once as a garment. That makes each item worth 50% of the total cost. See? I can justify anything! I do all my yarn shopping on a separate credit card that he doesn’t really use or look at. So he doesn’t really notice too much. J He doesn’t care for all the extra balls lying around from old project leftovers, but I tell him that everyone has that and that I’ll use them for something eventually.

4. You're a student in Louisiana; are you there for school or were you raised there? What made you choose your school? I see you have a Dixie button; do you feel a deep southern pride, do you prefer to the rest of the nation? (Side note: I ask because I'm from Ohio but went to school in Tenn and loved it...I also found that most Southerners prefer the south, while I'm somewhat ambivilent about my birthplace (even if I share it with the Wright brothers:) )

I was born and raised here. It’s kinda funny, because I was adopted and my original parents are from here as well. So, no matter what I would have been in Louisiana. I basically chose my school because I was lazy. I didn’t know what all to do for college when I was in high school. It turns out, you have to get the ball rolling on your own. People don’t give out scholarships if you don’t apply.
Southern pride. I’m not really sure about that. Once I get my degree, I’d like to move. Somewhere like TX, CO, or FL. Tennessee is Beautiful! I wouldn’t mind living there either. I dreamed that I lived in NY last night. That would be cool. I’m not really confined by regions. I just like cities with a lot of culture and things to do. Louisiana has it’s own culture, but I’ve gotten my share of that. It is lacking in the activities department. CO would be nice cause you could get a lil’ of everything: snowboarding, mtn biking, knitting.. all the stuff that I’d like to do more often. I do like the southern hospitality we southerners carry. I am proud of that. It isn’t always there, but most of the time it is.

5. And finally, a knitting related quesiton: Do you prefer to work on larger projects (like your gorgeous sweater) or smaller ones?

I prefer larger projects. Living in the south, I won’t get as much use out of my sweaters as I would if I lived, well, North, but I do love to knit them. They are calming and are I find that I am drawn to them more than smaller projects. Plus, in the south, we don’t have a big selection of sweaters. I like the ability to design my own and have others ask where I bought it. (No, that hasn’t happened… yet!) I haven’t found a use for very many small knitting projects. I’m not really a hat person. I’ve made a water bottle sling, which is small. I think the other small thing I made was my shrug. Plus, how many cozies does one really need?

I will update with pics from the great SEX I had last weekend in Houston very soon!

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