Princess Buttercup Friday, May 29 2009 

It’s possible, just possible, that I thought my stash-busting efforts as of late—two sweaters worth of yarn down–deserved a slight lapse in my non-yarn-buying vow.

A tiny lapse, really. Itty-bitty. Miniscule.

Malabrigo Organic Cotton

You see, I had gone to Sweet Adeline’s last Saturday for Knit-One-One’s Saturday knitting group, and one of the women was working on the infamous February Lady Sweater in Malabrigo’s new organic cotton. I’m still not a fan of the February Lady Sweater, at least for myself (I’m fairly certain it requires a bit of boobage to hang properly, and would just make me look like I’m getting a little chubby) the yarn was amazing. So soft for cotton, and a great color that managed to be muted without being pastel.

You see where this is going, don’t you?

I stopped by Article Pract on Memorial Day weekend, and I had to pick some up. I went with the yellow–not my usual choice, but I’m trying to accumulate sweaters in different colors, for those days where I stand in front of my closet wondering why everything I own is green, purple, black, or red.  It reminds me of buttercups, and I’m already plotting to make Kira K’s Eyelet Twist Pullover. It’s a great, versatile looking sweater, and I’m already referring to the project as Princess Buttercup in my head.

(Now, if only I can get someone to say “As you wish…” then I’ll be all set.)

New project: Bulky Cabled Cardigan Wednesday, May 27 2009 

When I said my knitting mojo returned…I meant it. In addition to working on the Origami Wrap cardigan, I also decided to cast on a new project as backup, in the event that I run out of yarn. Since ArtFibers is only open on weekends, and is now in Pinnole, getting more yarn isn’t quite as easy as I’d like.

Bulky Cabled Cardigan

So I cast on for the Bulky Cabled Cardigan from Glampyre. I’ve had this yarn and pattern for a long time, and I’m really excited to finally get started. It’s a quick knit, and I think it will be really cute!

Bulky Cabled Cardigan (detail)

The cables look nice, so far. I had trouble with gauge at first. I got gauge on US13s, but I didn’t like the look of the fabric. So I switched to US11s, and I’m making the medium size rather than the small. I hope that’s enough to compensate!

But my favorite thing about this sweater right now?

It’s not pink.

WIP Wrangling: Origami Wrap Cardigan Monday, May 25 2009 

Amazingly enough for a knitting blog, today I have–actual knitting content! Astonishing, I know. But it seems my knitting mojo has returned with a vengence.

A week or so ago, I dug into my basket of deeply hibernating projects and pulled out my Origami Wrap Cardigan. I love the pattern, but I got a little burnt out after the first few rows. Because the body is knit seamlessly in one piece and it’s a wrap sweater, those first few rows take quite a long time! I think I managed 4 rows in 2 hours at one point.

Origami Wrap Cardigan

But this weekend, I picked it up again and whipped right through the rest of the body. I’m a little concerned about having enough yarn for the sleeves. I’m partially into the first sleeve, and I’m seriously doubting that I’ll have enough to make it through sleeve number two. I’m using Artfibers Phyz, and I’m hoping that Artfibers will have more in a similar dyelot that I can get ahold of if I run out. If all else fails, I suppose I can turn it into a short sleeved sweater, but I’d hate to rip that much out.

I’m not sure where the motivation to work on this came from, exactly. It’s very pink, which is unusual, and it’s a little girlier than my usual style. But given the amount of products involving honey and rose that I’ve bought or thought about buying in the  past three days alone, I’m thinking that this one has Aphrodite’s fingerprints alllll over it.

But hey, at least I’m getting some things finished, right?

Thank You Thursday Thursday, May 21 2009 

So, I was reading something which had the idea of Thankful Thursdays. I like the idea of setting aside time to think about what I’m grateful for, because that so often seems to get lost in the business of everyday life.

So, welcome to Thankful Thursday!

I’m thankful for…

* Getting to play with some amazing new features at work this week. I work with some crazy smart, creative people and it’s always so much fun to see what’s being worked on.

* My tribe of friends, who are amazing and awesome, and for reasons I don’t always understand, seem to wnat to hang out with me as much as I want to hang out with them!

* Having a place to go where I can just relax and hang out with people if I’m not quite up to going home after work just yet. I’ve really missed having a place to go and know that I’ll see someone I want to talk to.

* That I have such sweet and wonderful cats, and that the big hunk o’ manly cat is finally learning to cuddle. (Even if it does make my legs fall asleep when he sits on my lap!)

* That I am beginning to try to accept that storytelling is what I am gifted at, and that it is okay to want to do that, even if it’s not as “important” or “smart” as other skills.

What are you thankful for?

Buy pagan? Friday, May 15 2009 

So, I came across this article recently about one couple’s experience trying to shop at black-owned businesses for a year, to support their community. While the discussion around it devolved a bit, as is prone to happening on the internet, it brought up some really interesting ideas for me, about supporting one’s community.

I know that I try to support local business, women-owned businesses, and indie crafters if possible. It’s hard sometimes–not so much the actual buying of things there, but trying to explain it to others. That, no, I really would wait a while longer and pay $30 for a butter dish from a potter on Etsy than go to World Market and buy one for $5. It’s also been a battle sometimes for me, to break away from what my parents insist are necessities and things I should buy cheaply so I have them right away, and what actually are necessities–usually, it turns out there are far fewer things I actually need than I’ve been raised to think I do.

Anyway. The point of this, is that the article sparked an idea in me. What about buying pagan? The pagan community isn’t always the most visible community, and while I’d love to support pagan-owned and pagan-friendly businesses, sometimes it’s kind of hard to recognize them outside of your local metaphysical shop. And a quick glance around the internet tells me that no one seems to have embarked on this in a comprehensive way.

So, what I’d like to do is ask you, internet, to help me out! My plan is to collect a list of pagan-owned and pagan-friendly (either in their support of their employees or the community) businesses to make available for people who would like to make an effort to support this community. Obviously, this will include a lot of pagan suppliers, but I also want to make an effort to have more mundane stores (from bookstores to grocery stores to accountants).

If you are a pagan business owner, or know of one who would like to be included, leave a comment or send an email to quirkyknitgirl@gmail.com. And please, feel free to re-blog, Tweet, or whatever this!

FO: Mom’s Secret Cowl Wednesday, May 13 2009 

My Mom finally got to open her birthday present this morning (on her birthday! Between knitting delays and the post office, that’s a rare occcurance!) and that means I finally get to show you one of my secret projects.

Mom's Cowl

It’s another Poinsettia cowl. I love mine, and so did my Mom when she came to visit. I used the Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca DK again; I love the colors, and the yarn is so soft, perfect for wearing against your skin. And I can make a cowl out of one skein with plenty left over, so it’s a great opportunity to knit with a more luxurious yarn that I could normally afford.

I think it turned out reallly well, and Mom seemed to like it too. (Even if it is horribly out of season.) Cowls are definitely a winner.

Too much sun! Monday, May 11 2009 

This weekend was ridiculously busy! Alas, I have no pictures of most of it, but some things will be documented soon.

First, I went to Grove of Artemis on Friday night. It was awesome, and I got to invoke Freyja’s sacred cats. In this particular ritual, that involved wearing cat ears and a tail…which I now want to own. I don’t know where I would actually wear cat ears and a tail, but it was awesome and I am clearly part cat.

I also got a chance to wear one of my little-worn dresses. Which is comfy, but has a tendency to fall down a lot. Oops…I guess I can cross that one off the wearing in public list! Or figure out how to make it stay up.

Saturday, I went to Ikea and got a new couch! Hooray! It’s got actual cushions, which is an improvement over the other couch, and folds out into a bed so I have some space when people visit. Then I went to Pagan pride, and had a lot of fun hanging out, looking at shiny pretties, and seeing friends. It was awesome, until I got home and  realized I was seriously sunburnt.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was devoted to massive cleaning and moving furniture around.  I now have two couches set up in my living area, which gives me actual seating for people to come over. I also have the main part of my living/dining area, hallway, and bathroom clean and looking like a grown up lives here (and not a herd of marauding frat boys) which is big progress. That still leaves the kitchen, rest of the living/dining area, and bedroom, but if I can keep this clean while I work on those, it’s major progress. And I was able to have my fellow initiates over, which was awesomely fun and wonderful.

Unfortunately, the sunburn kept getting worse. It was so bad this morning I couldn’t really lift my arms or move my head (it’s mainly the back and sides of my neck and the part of my shoulder that meets my neck that got burnt) and I wound up working from home because it was one of those burns that comes with chills, shaking, weakness, and fatigue.

I’ve been re-hydrating all day, and using lots of aloe gel. I’ve also brewed some lavender tea and cooled it for a compress, which seems to have helped more than anything. I also have some oatmeal to make another compress later, and see if that will help as well. When I did the first lavender compress, I could actually feel the cloth get hot from laying on the burn…yuck. But at least the pain is dulling enough that I should be functional tomorrow. Hopefully my energy will start coming back too.

That should show me–I will have to get some more sunscreen and remember to use it! (And probably make up some sort of lavender or lavender/calendula salve to have on hands for sunburns.)

Such a tease! Wednesday, May 6 2009 

So, I did finish one of the secret projects I bought yarn for…but I can’t show you yet.

Mystery Project! ooh!

I can show you a little, though. Just a peek.

I will say, it was a quick knit, and fun to do. I’ve got a lot of bigger projects on the needles and I’ve been feeling a little burnt out, so it was a nice distraction.

In other news, I’m still sort of mulling over a lot of the things and issues that Beltane brought up. I’m considering signing up to take a belly dancing class. It looks like fun, and maybe something to help me feel more at ease in my own skin. I’ve even found a place that has a weeknight class that I can get to after work, without having to leave early!

Aside from that..not a whole lot going on, besides a whirlwind of cleaning, since somehow I am having people over tomorrow night, Saturday, and Sunday. Eek!

Merry Beltane Monday, May 4 2009 

Yes, I know I’m a little late with this one.

This weekend was full of Beltane festivities–a wedding on Friday morning, then Amazon Beltane Friday night, during which we heard the happy news that it was time to welcome Raspberry to the world! A big congratulations to Ladybug on her new baby, who already has so many people so happy to know he’s here. Then, Saturday was CAYA Beltane, and then I kinda collapsed.

It’s a little strange. Beltane isn’t a huge holiday for me normally. It’s all about love and sexiness, and as someone who is perpetually single and not especially sexy, I really don’t feel like it has much relation to my life most of the time. But it was good, and both rituals were amazing.

I also finally set up my Beltane altar:

Beltane Altar

It’s very pink.

I also made some Beltane oil. It’s got a very spring, vintage-y floral feel to it. It makes me want to find a great ’40s style dress and ooze glamour.

Yes, this oil-making could become a new hobby, very easily.

In other news, I’ve been frantically cleaning so I can have people over this weekend. Plus, I’m getting busier and busier with CAYA stuff, and it really would make life much easier. I just have to stick with it…

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