Wednesday, March 19, 2008
a. reorganized my messy closet and yarn stash (pictures coming soon, cause it’s not yet finished)
b. attended SXSW
c. driven to San Antonio and back for Cirque du Soleil
d. worked feverishly in Photoshop and Illustrator, plus my sketchbook, to create portfolio pieces
So – as for SXSW, it was awesome! I’ve lived in Austin almost 8 years now, and this is the first time I made it downtown for the festival. I had always mistakenly assumed that if you didn’t have a wristband, there was nothing for you. I was so wrong! My hubby and I both took the day off work and headed downtown around noon, to the Dell / Stereogum / Paste lounge and saw Lightspeed Champion and The Weakerthans. I especially enjoyed Lightspeed Champion. Lead vocalist Devonte Hynes must have been miserable in his signature furry hat though, as the temperature was 92 degrees!
We then headed to Waterloo Records where we saw a couple of free shows. We saw Division Day, Elf Power, and the amazing Kimya Dawson. Although we went to see Kimya, I was really impressed with Division Day. We ate at Central Market after the show, and then hiked the mile plus over to Mohawk where we caught some really strange experimental type bands as we waited to see the show that took us downtown to begin with – Be Your Own Pet! Brian and I have been listening to them for a while, and so we were really excited to see them play. They put on an amazingly awesome show. They managed to blow a fuse or something on the equipment, and we had about a 15 minute break before they were able to play again. We felt a little funny being amidst a bunch of teenage girl groupies, but the energy and the music was way worth it.
Of course I took my current knitting project with me. I worked on the Prairie boots in slow moments and when we had to stand in line. I got no few strange looks for that, but hey - I like to keep busy. Not to mention that I'm addicted to knitting like it was some high grade crack. :)
I promise to get some pictures and videos up soon!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
A couple of years ago my grandmother showed me how to knit and purl, and before leaving her house in Nevada I had a neat little square of stitches. When I got home, though, I couldn’t remember how to do it at all. I couldn’t cast on, I couldn’t purl. I picked up a couple books and tried to teach myself, to no avail. After awhile I gave up, and decided to teach myself to crochet. It seemed infinitely easier to learn from a book, and I stuck to that.
While being very happy with my crochet, I was disappointed at the lack of good patterns. (Recently some great books have come out for crochet, so this trend is changing, if somewhat slowly.) I looked at wonderful knitting patterns on the internet and in books so longingly, and decided I just had to figure it out. I came across a video on Amazon that had a lot of good reviews, so I ordered in December. It’s called The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Knitting. Within hours of watching it I was indeed knitting and purling away. It’s a great video for those who know nothing about knitting. However there were some things that I just couldn’t seem to catch from the video that I really needed to know, such as un-knitting and switching from knit to purl in the same row. Those items are on the video, the information just wasn’t sticking. A friend and I decided to sign up for a knitting class, and headed over to our LYS, The Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe.
After two hours of their class, I had learned to knit, purl, increase and decrease, cable, un-knit, and much more. The lovely Sue-Ann, our instructor, was extremely helpful. Of course I also left with a lighter wallet thanks to their wonderful yarn selection. This was the first time I had ever bought yarn outside of a hobby shop, and it was heaven. I made a scarf from the yarn I purchased that day, but being the stubborn and mule-headed person that I am, I instantly jumped to making a garment. Scarves are nice, but I made plenty of them when I learned to crochet. I want to knit so I can make gorgeous clothes that fit my small frame! So with no further adieu, here is my first project. It is the Grand Plan Top Down Capelet from Interweave Knits’ Wrap Style book. I am working it up in and inexpensive Bernat acrylic, but it is soft. I plan on embroidering it when I'm done to jazz it up a bit. I might line it too, I'm not sure yet. I have gotten a little further that when I took this picture, and I hope it will be done soon!
Monday, March 10, 2008
And here's what it looked like about 2 hours later:
SXSWi was a lot of fun. I was lucky enough to catch a panel that was hosted by the folks over at Craft: High Tech and Craft. They also had Diana Eng speaking, the "geek" resident from Project Runway a few seasons back. She is also well known in the crafting and fashion industries for bring technology and electronics to fashion. It was a fascinating panel. They showed several projects each panelist had made, and then talked extensively about how crafters can take the step to improve American ingenuity. With our economy in a downturn and many Americans talking about all of our products being made in other countries, this is our chance to make a difference. We can create new ideas and new markets, and make people recognize that "craft" is not a dirty word. It means workmanship and care. It was a very inspiring segment, and my husband and I instantly spent a good hour or more discussing how we could use circuit boards, conductive wire, and LEDs in a fun way.
I planned on using this blog primarily as a diary of sorts to track my crafting efforts because there is so much I've done that I haven't documented. I've been a really bad blogger lately, but I have been very productive craftwise, so I will try to get lots of new posts up over the next couple weeks.