Friday, May 28, 2004

Finally. Finally!

You know that obsessive clicking you do on your list of favorite blogs? Don't look away. I know you do it too.

You don't have to anymore. Kinja, the weblog guide is here.

I found it through someone who'd added this blog to their digest and at first I thought it was some kind of sneaky RSS feed. But it's not. It just takes any URL you want to read and posts an excerpt on one tidy page when that URL shows an update. And there's a handy toolbar button that allows you to add any page to your digest with one little click when you visit it. Squee!

It's something I'm sure we've all been waiting quite a while for. Only thing: for some reason, when a person updates a blog, all the posts on their main page [or many of them] will then be excerpted along with the new entry. So you could find 10 excerpts from one blog on your digest, when you really only want the latest one.

I wrote and asked for this feature. Maybe it's in the works. Maybe it's a bug. But still, even until it's fixed, it's a very cool service.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Knit-ish birks!

Yes, you're not seeing things. That's a sheep painted on those red Bostons. I wish I read German so I could see if these were some kind of custom jobby or if Birkenstock actually makes them.

They also have a pig and a cow model. Hm.

Friday, May 21, 2004

quick rave

i am not a big animation movie lover, so perhaps it's that much more a rave review when i tell you to drop everything and go see

shrek 2.

i will say nothing. it's just really, really funny. especially if you've ever had a cat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Noo stuff!

What I do when I get restless? I make new merch for the Knitty shop!

In all three colors, even. I've retired the Yarn Ho for now. I think she's served us well. It's time we embraced our full Knitty geekness and proclaimed it proudly!

[you're starting to worry about me, aren't you?]

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

a little of the old blog

Before this was the Knitty blog, it was a place I shared stuff I found that I loved. One of the things I found that was most popular was the online source for Birkenstocks, with free shipping.

I thought it only fair that, having finally placed an order with them, I should report back.

I bought three pair, two of which were for someone else. The one above is Helfort, and that was for me. $78cdn, free shipping. It arrived in about 7 weeks. As a new Birkenstock addict, the only thing I don't like is feeling shlubby in very flat shoes. So these seemed to be a good compromise. They don't look nearly as clunky as my Bostons and are just as comfortable. I believe they will be my shoes of the summer, but will take some judicious breaking in. [I overdid it yesterday.] So a big thumbs up on Jestel KG!

Except for one thing. Of the three pairs I ordered, one was backordered and they neglected to tell me. They're not answering e-mail. And my card hasn't been charged for the third pair, so that means they're not even in the mail yet [but it *is* good that they don't charge for merch until they ship]. By the time these sandals come, it could be fall. So I suppose the caveat here is to order well in advance and don't assume anything will be mailed until you receive it.


Okay, now another shopping issue. If you read this blog a few years ago, you may remember my endless pursuit of the perfect knitting bag. Never found it, by the way.

Now I've found another thing that doesn't exist, and I'm just dumbfounded. I want an adorable business card file solution. Not a stupid Rolodex. Not a ridiculously boring black or brown leather [or leatherette] folder with plastic sleeves. Something brightly colored, like a pink Filofax, with the ability to add and move around the pages. [So a small 6-ring binder solution would be perfect]

I have found pink Filofaxes online, but usually out of stock, at a company that won't ship economically to Canada or exhorbitantly overpriced.

I've also figured out that Franklin Covey [the rasbperry Rio is a perfect candidate, IF I could get it], Daytimer and Day Runner make units that might do, but either their colors are boring or they don't ship to Canada.

Does anyone know something I'm missing here?

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Last Saturday, I decided I had to have a poncho. I wore it out today. A one-week poncho! It was perfect for today's chilly spring weather.

It wasn't exactly what I'd imagined it would be when I started, but the finished result was cute enough for both Steph and Jenna [!] to demand to try it on.

So what the heck...I'm gonna share.

The great fun was diving into my rather small stash and finding enough Araucania Nature Cotton to make it, no waiting. You'll see in the pics that it can be worn straight across your body, or with the point in the front. I designed it to be worn straight across my hips, but fringed. However, after a massive disaster with the Araucania fringes and my washing machine, I learned the hard way that this yarn knits and machine washes/dries like a dream, but isn't meant to fringe. So i just cut out the fringe and wore it with the point in front.

On Jenna, who is shorter and more normally chested than I am, the straight way was the perfect length and it looked great on her. Same with Steph. But it looks much better on me the pointy way.

Pattern notes:
- I picked up the neck 1 for 1 and knit it up, rather than starting with the ribbing and knitting down. There's a lot of stress on that point of the poncho, and I wanted to give some stability to the neck area by doing it this way. It worked very well.

- In the photo, you can see that the point is acting a little weird. That's because I stopped increasing, thinking it would look better that way when worn straight. I was wrong. So the pattern below tells you to increase till you bind off, which will avoid the problem.

- Fringing is optional - you'll need a suitable yarn that can handle being washed without turning into cotton felt.

Freeform pattern follows. Don't stress over this -- it's a freaking poncho, for heaven's sake.

Instant Poncho!
By Amy R Singer [that's me]

Finished measurements after washing/drying: 26" around at neck, 86" around at hem, 18" long (measured straight way)

araucania nature cotton - 6 skeins
needle size: US#11 and 10.5 circulars (the Denise set was perfect for this since the circumference of the project kept growing as I worked down!)

gauge (before washing): 15sts/18 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch on larger needles

With larger needle, cast on 112 sts.
Join, PM [1st], k 56 sts, PM [2nd], k to end of row.
Row 1: Sl 1st marker, kfb [knit into front and back of stitch], knit to 1 stitch before 2nd marker, kfb, sl 2nd marker, kfb, knit to 1 stitch before 1st marker, kfb.
Row 2: K one round.
Repeat two rows until desired length is achieved (approx 260 sts around - 20" long measured the straight way).
BO very loosely.

With smaller needle, pick up sts one for one around neck (112 sts).
*K2, p2*, repeat to end.
Continue 2x2 rib for 10 rows.
BO loosely.
Wash on warm cycle, dry on high and enjoy!

Friday, May 07, 2004

crazy request
Is there anyone in New York City who has an hour free on monday to get a box of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and deliver them somewhere for me? it's just over a mile from the bakery to the delivery location. i mapquested it.

please send me a note in the comments if you're up for a ridiculous adventure that will put smiles on the faces of at least 4 really nice book packagers. there's a rather nice choosable thank-you gift in it for you, plus reimbursement of course!

[i know, i'm nuts. i can't find an online service that does this and i have to try...]


addendum: yes, i continue to be aware of the craziness of this request. however, i'm not willing to give up. monday would still work beautifully. i called magnolia directly and they're no help.

just 6-8 cupcakes. anyone?

Thursday, May 06, 2004

i have a mad crush on ira glass
i am a sucker for brilliant deadpan delivery and excellent radio.

yum, npr.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Araucania Nature Cotton adoration continues...
I bought this stuff first, and fell in love instantly. The Cotton Ho™ in me was ecstatic to find a thick/thin cotton that had character, affordable AND could be machine washed and damp dried. This lilac stuff is in the middle of being turned into a slimmer banff-based cardigan with a zipper front. It knits up quickly, is soft and I love the color variations. But it's stalled cause I'm working on something else.

See, I got more. And two nights ago, I decided I had to have a poncho. But not one with a pointy-in-the-privates in front. This one is more like the Needful Yarns' short flat-bottomed version. Different at the top, but I'm knitting it in the round, top down.

I am SO in love. At this rate, it should be done by the end of the week. Eee!