Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Itty Bitty sweaters. knitting in traffic. art supplies. and yarn, lots of yarn.

I am addicted.

somuchso that I am planning to open an Etsy store to sell them as pins! somuchso that I have been knitting them exclusively for a week! somuchso that I have rewritten the pattern over 10 times in the past week! somuchso that I found myself knitting at a stop light today! (yes I put it down when the light turned green and I promise I won't make a habit of it :) )

Here's the lowdown...My friend Karen gave me a cute pattern for a tiny sweater - she makes embroidered cards and someone on one of her Yahoo! groups had posted it. I loved the idea of a super miniature sweater...yes that's a dime...even Barbie couldn't wear this one.... I knit one up and reallllly wasn't happy with it. So, I did what I always do when I don't like a pattern. I made one I do like. I switched it to a top-down version...and promptly got a headache from it. Then, I went back to the original pattern and switched up the stitch pattern for the bottom hem, the cuffs, and the collar, changed the proportions a bit...and VOILA! a cute little sweater! Did I mention I have become addicted to these??? :D
In other parts of my life...
I am overhauling my studio - putting all of my supplies in cute white boxes, categorizing the stash, labeling the stamp sets, straightening the origami paper, organizing the paints, markers, and other coloring materials. I will be moving in a month so everything is getting a once over - if it won't be used or hasn't been used recently, it is going in the yard sale pile. I have been diligent about this across the board...um...except for...uh...
I haven't decreased it at all. Actually, I stopped at a yard sale the other day and bought ten brand new skeins...75% wool 25% acrylic, in a pretty tan/blue-black colourway (one color per ply)...that would have cost me $5.99 a skein at the LYS. Look at me, validating increasing my stash!!! I should feel ashamed for not wanting to reduce my yarn clutter, but I'm not. Not one little bit. If yarn is clutter, then I am perfectly happy with it. Plus, it looks pretty and nothing like clutter as far as I can tell.
wonderful = Itty Bitty sweaters. knitting in traffic. art supplies. and yarn, lots of yarn. - jj

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Sooooo.....where have I been since almost a week ago???? Well, it's a secret...

Ok, I hate secrets, so I will give you a hint...

Size 0 straight needles...

That's it! I want to say more, but I can't. Not yet. Soon. I promise.

wonderful = curiosity. - jj

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cowboys and Yarn. A Match Made in Heaven. Who Knew?

It rained today. That means indoor recess. For the children who had been taken over by boredom and who had not been initially drawn to knitting, I pulled out balls of yarn and taught them how to finger-knit. Finger-knitting consists of a looping pattern that is essentially identical to a crochet chain; the only difference is that you just use your fingers and forget about the crochet hook. A couple of girls wrestled with it for a few minutes and finally got the hang of it...taking their balls of yarn with them as they distributed themselves in every nook and cranny in the room. After recess was over, one of the boys, who had decided to play Tiddly-Winks rather than bother himself with Yarn, came up to me.

"Will you please show me how to make a Cowboy Ring?" he asked in the sweetest little voice.

"A what?" I was slightly taken aback by the question considering I don't know any cowboys, and even if I did, I would assume few of them wear rings due to the nature of their work.

I pondered the question for a few minutes, until it dawned on me. Literally. I believe the lightbulb that went on over my head was probably visible from the moon. The aforementioned little boy beamed as he realized that I indeed knew what he was talking about.

"I would love to teach you how to make a yarn lasso! (read "slip knot" :D )" I declared, thrilled that he had been watching the fibery pursuits of his classmates.

He smiled, nodded his head slowly, signaling that he was quite appreciative, and sat down with the class satisfied that he would soon learn a new skill.

Cowboys and Yarn. A Match Made in Heaven. Who Knew? - jj

Thursday, May 17, 2007

tank tops. Christmas in July. granny squares. socks. yes. socks.

Knitting To Do List:

*Finish cream colored cable tank top that I started a few weeks back. I would like to do this before the end of June...so that I can actually wear it this summer :)

*"Tie up loose ends" (yes, I do like puns :)) on several WIPs including the celery iPod case, the cable socks, and my mother's socks. Oh yeah, I should probably do the kitchener stitch on my friend's 5 yr old's socks (we are talking about 8 live stitches here...That's right. 8. Total.)He might want to wear them before he has grown out of them, and considering that I have let them sit for the past month, that could be sooner than I think. :)

*As there are only
221 Days, 7 Hours, and 49 Minutes left until Christmas I think I had better get started on the presents. I have already promised waaaaay too many pairs of socks. I will definitely be knitting for Christmas in July this year. Luckily I promised socks...not afghans!

*I have been craving the feeling of crocheting an afghan, so I may devote August to something a bit fancy, and warm...it starts to get cool here toward the end of the month. Of course, I may go with plain old granny squares as well....we'll see what kind of burn-out I'm feeling from the July sockfest.

wonderful = tank tops. Christmas in July. granny squares. socks. yes. socks. - jj

PS - What is the best part about this post? Ali is having a contest! All you have to do is go to her blog, leave a comment telling what colourway you would like, and tell her you were referred from this blog (psst - RHYMES WITH SOCKS (http://www.rhymeswithsocks.blogspot.com). Then, list your knitting goals for Summer, 2007 on your blog and e-mail her with a link to your post. Tah-Dah! You're entered...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Warm Spring Day. Playing Tag. Anyone for Lemonade? I'll get the glasses.

I've been tagged by Marly

I am relatively new to this concept...but I am going to give it my best try :). In order to keep the chain (not a crochet pun - promise ;) ) going, the instructions are as follows:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.

Now, as I have just started my blog, I don't know very many bloggers. I still wanted to participate in this game of tag, so I started surfing. Here are seven blogs that caught my eye...I found their photography, topics, and/or writing style to be quite interesting...hope you enjoy! Amanda's Weekly Zen, Knit Annie, Knitting for Sanity, Dances With Wool, Knittens, Sugar Bunny Boulevard, Pen and Purl

Here are my Seven Random Things:

1. I quit smoking cold turkey over six months ago...not surprisingly my FO list has increased exponentially since then. (my theory was, if your hands have needles in them you can't hold a cigarette). Oddly enough, I also have more $$ for yarn...hmmm why didn't I think of doing this sooner?

2. I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 1988, at the age of 8

3. My favorite number is 24. My birthday and my mom's birthday are both on the 24th of the month, exactly 6 months apart. I turned 24 the same year my mom turned 48 (24 x 2) and get this...this happened in 2004. Cool, huh?

4. Another one of my favorite pastimes, beside knitting, is origami. I really enjoy modular origami particularly (the final piece involves more than one piece of paper)

5. I love math. Especially geometry, and patterning...hmmm surprised at my hobby choices???

6. I have actually read both War and Peace and Moby Dick from beginning to end. I read War and Peace because that is the "classic" example of a really long book that everyone talks about, but no one has read and I wanted to see if it was worth reading. Turns out it is a great book! I highly recommend it. Ditto with Moby Dick.

7. My favorite vegetable is asparagus.

Oh, btw, if you stop by, please say Hello! I would love to meet you :)

wonderful=Warm Spring Day. Playing Tag. Anyone for Lemonade? I'll get the glasses. - jj

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

iPods. Headphones. Walkmans. Mitres.

Since I purchased my iPod a few months ago, I have been secretly wishing for the greatest iPod case in the world to knock on my front door and say, "Hello! I am here to keep your iPod safe and happy and warm and to look quite stylish in your knitting bag."

Everytime I walked into a store that seemed to be of the type that might sell such a bag I would look in every possible section...hoping that "it" would just appear, with a bright orange 80% off clearance tag, screaming "Buy Me! Take me home!" No luck. I even considered *gasp* paying full price if the perfect case came along. Still no luck.

At the same time, I was having a lot of trouble with those little ear bud things (you know the little speakers you stick in your ear). Apparently my ears are too small, and if, while wearing them, I attempt to do a silly thing like, say, turn my head, they fall out. I decided to go out and purchase a normal set of headphones.

"Oh no!" you say, "Now you're never going to be able to find a suitable case for your iPod! Headphones were not intended to go with iPods! They were made for things like, um, well, Walkmans. Jennifer, you're dating yourself."

Oh, dear reader, do not dispair!!! I have solved the dilemma!...with mitres!

"Mitres? Solving an electronics transportation device problem with mitres? Oh dear, she has been knitting too long! All of those ssks have turned her brain to mush! The kitchener stitch has taken over her thought processes!"

Don't worry. :) While the kitchener stitch does hold a dear place in my mind, it has not taken over yet. I promise. In fact, mitres were the perfect solution. I cast-on thirty eight and then created a mitred square out of this cheap acrylic that has been sitting in one of my stash boxes for years (I really like the color - celery). With the size square I obtained from this experiment, I determined that I would need ten squares (four for each side and two for a cute little flap). This allows plenty of room for both the iPod and its new headphones. At the moment I have eight squares finished. Two more, then a seam (and maybe a button). Ta-da, the perfect iPod bag for a woman with smallish ears.
wonderful = iPods. Headphones. Walkmans. Mitres. - jj

PS - for some amazing mitre inspiration check out Wendy Knits and january one

PPS - Thank you Marly from Yarn Thing for showing me how to put up buttons...and, to everyone reading this, check out her podcast - it will make you want to buy an iPod and knit (or crochet) a bag for it while you listen, and then buy some wool to crochet and felt a bag to put your new iPod case in.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day. Is Sunday. Oh No! Worsted Weight to the rescue.

For some reason my brain decided that Mother's Day is two weeks away. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Try four days. I am feverishly attempting to put together a pair of socks by noon time Sunday. Yikes. If only there were more minutes in the day...knitting minutes that is. Luckily my mother made it easy for me. She recently asked for a pair of socks to wear in the house (read...worsted weight...hurray!), and she likes her socks plain (read...k2p2 ribbing, all stockinette foot...hurray again!). Earlier tonight she saw me knitting them and asked what they were. I don't think she knows yet...let's hope I'm right. I've always been terrible at keeping a secret, but I am set on succeeding this time. This is my first pair of gift socks and I can't wait to wrap them! 'Course I have to finish knitting them first. wonderful = Mother's Day. Is Sunday. Oh No! Worsted Weight to the rescue. - jj

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Third Grade. Knitting. Doors Locked? Don't Forget Your Keys.

In through the front door,

Around the back,

Peek through the window,

Off pops Jack.

"Good, you guys are doing great! Ok, one more time..." I use a metered chant to speak to the small group of 8 year old girls and boys balanced on the edges of their blue chairs, rather uncharacteristically focused. They quietly sit, tongues firmly between their teeth, haltingly repeating this new rhyme as they attempt to make yarn and needles do what their brains bid them to do. Suddenly a ball of red yarn sails through the air landing between the legs of two chairs and rolls, bump!, into the bright yellow bookcase in our classroom. Following the yarn back to its source, I look at her, with her mop of blonde hair shaking, cheeks red, and two needles clenched in one sweaty palm. The colt-like little girl looks up with fire in her eyes and exclaims, " gggrrrrr, MS. JAAAAAACCCCQQQUUESSS, THE FRONT DOOR IS LOCKED! Do you have a key?" *sigh* I smile, and say, "Yes dear, I certainly do have a key. Needles at the ready - that's right, working yarn is on the right needle, remember? Good, let me show you how this works." wonderful = third grade. knitting. doors locked? don't forget your keys. - jj

Spring. Cotton. Tank top. - Love it.

Tank 5/8/07
Originally uploaded by rhymeswithsocks.
Q: What do you call a tank top with eighteen identical cables in a row, that just insists on turn up at the bottom? A: A nightmare. After frogging the nightmare and replacing it with a garter stitch hemline transitioning to a plain stockinette pattern with two simple cables (one in center front, one in center back - see pic), I am finally happy with this tank top. (click on the pic for the frogged version as well as the original design swatch) Don't get me wrong...I love lots of cables and I love the tank top I designed originally. In my head. On the needles, not so much. I am much happier with the new design. As they say... simple = wonderful. wonderful = spring. cotton. tank top. - love it. - jj

Monday, May 7, 2007

rhymes with socks? What does that mean?

For the past four years I have worked as a teacher's aide in an elementary school classroom. When children, or adults for that matter, see my last name they tend to have a difficult time pronouncing it, as it is French and has several strange letters in a row. I have taken to introducing myself as Ms. Jacques rhymes with socks (or more properly - sock - but as my family has been in the US for almost a century, and over a hundred years in Canada before that - the pronunciation now tends to lean toward English). I love language. I love art. I love to knit. Especially socks. So here it is. rhymes with socks. My world in blog form. I hope you enjoy it. -jj