Sunday, November 24, 2013

the sock conflict

i'm starting to think i'm the only knitter out there in internet-land who doesn't love knitting socks.

i mean, i like sock-knitting.. but it's not a love. but i keep wanting more, somehow, like i just want to have knit them and be done. i think it may be partly (or mostly) to do with the fact that i don't really like doing the same thing twice. recipes, paintings, day jobs apparently... so i do tend to prefer fraternal socks.


and yet, here i am with twenty-two sock patterns on my ravelry queue. some, since 2007. i need to get a grip on reality. why must the call of self-striping sock yarns be so strong?

end sock one.

i've been thinking of this lately because of these. i found some lovely coffee-colored yarn on etsy to make a little something for my lovely coffee-fiend boyfriend. i had intended to start & finish them in a couple weeks before his birthday this spring. that didn't happen. fine, i thought. plenty of time for a christmas gift. right? HAHA. here we are at the end of november, with less than half of a sock. that's it.

boyfriend socks

and it's getting sort of close now, so i keep making myself work on it, even if i'd rather be knitting something else. it's not exactly fun-knitting! so much as monotonous-knitting. blehhh. did i mention he's a size 13 1/2? yeah. so i guess what i need to do is stop beating myself up. stop burning myself out on repetitive projects. knit with more handspun.


(my one exception: will never tire of knitting handspun socks. um.. if it's worsted-weight.)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

knitting in november

so much to be done.

cascade 128 in apple green

every year (every. single. year.) i say that i will start gift knitting in july. this has never happened. this year, at least, i have about half a sock going for the boyfriend (but really this is only because i was trying for his birthday earlier in the year..). though now i am feeling drawn in to all these november knit-a-longs going on. could i do it all??

there's wovember of course, where you knit with nothing but 100% wool for the entire month. this sounds excellent, but i tend to use blends and machine-washable fibers when making stuff for other people. aww.

and then there's naknitswemo, in which, much like nanowrimo, you must knit a 50,000 stitch sweater within the month of november. this i could do! i have some handspun intended for a sweater, and a pattern lined up for it. however...

there's also the indie design gift-a-long, which would be great gift knitting encouragement. but can i do that and knit a sweater at the same time, all in a month? considering we're nearly a week in, decisions must be made.

in other news, thanks to a kindly ravelry person, i have acquired the last skein of cascade 128 needed for my skoodlet (see above!). i should be able to polish that off quickly before starting november's journey, whatever it may be.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

skoodlet in progress

hello october! my favorite month. (:

so at long last i have started the skoodlet. i'm a big fan of leethal's stuff - fun thinky knitting! i've only had this yarn balled up and ready to go for skoodlet since the summer. erm, of 2011. anyway. after a few false starts, it zoomed along until i realized that, tragically, i had underestimated the amount of yarn i would need. daaaaamn.

skoodlet in progress
good thing i waited two years to cast on so there's no way i'll be able to find some from a matching dyelot, right?? sigh. i actually only have part of the scarf bit left to go, so a single skein should do it. i found someone destashing some on ravelry, so i sent out a message to her today.. fingers crossed!

Friday, September 20, 2013

summer's end

the dreaded time of year.. the end of summer. bah. we did okay though...

instagram summer

1. outdoor concert at waterplace park in providence.
2. at the beach in matunuck, ri.
3. sunset.
4. the columbus theatre on broadway in providence.
5. the newport folk festival.
6. the zipper, at the washington county fair.
7. cape cod seashells.
8. gondola rides during waterfire.
9. the end.

im memory: an end of summer treasury.

summer's end etsy treasury

i'll get over it soon enough.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

on knitting with art yarn: a cowl recipe

so what i wanted was to knit with some handspun. i also wanted one of those scarf-type things that you wear around your neck like a cowl, and can pull up over your head like a hood. this did not end up to be one of those things. just means there's more knitting to do, is all. never a bad thing.

but i got to knit some handspun, and really, this is something that one just needs to do that every so often. there's something that feels more real and dirty about it, you know? in the best possible way. lumps and fluffs and lanolin, a bit of hay every so often. real life, real yarn.

handspun cowl in progress

i had a particular skein picked out. a big reason for it being that it has been in my stash for so so so long. embarrassingly long. years. i was never quite sure how to do it justice. now was the time.

after much swatching, i found that the best stitch pattern for this would be.. garter. just garter stitch. on big needles, for some nice drape. but it wouldn't really look, or stretch, quite right.. so sideways garter stitch it is. of course it would be much easier to calculate how many stitches around it should be, and then just knit in the rounduntil the yarn ran out, so it could be as long as possible. but if there's one thing i'm good at, it's making things more complicated. and i can now tell you that this stuff stands up to multiple froggings. nice!

handspun handknit cowl

here's what i came up with.

needles: size us 15 (10 mm)
gauge: 9 sts per 4 in (10 cm)

cast on 28 stitches. knit every row until you run out of yarn.
(once i started getting toward the end, i measured in inches how much yarn it took to knit one row. i kept going pretty much until i had just this much left, for a three needle bindoff.)

if i had extra yarn, i might just knit it with a button closure.. but buttons may have been a bit too busy for this yarn anyway. just something else to think about for the next one.

at this point, i took it off the needles, ran the remaining yarn through the live stitches like a lifeline, soaked and wet-blocked it. extra drapey-ness! then for the three needle bindoff. not the most elegant (or elastic) thing in the world, but it worked in this case. and while you're working from the inside, this would be a good time to poke any cool fluffy or loopy bits to the outside.

weave in your ends and it's done. this was all i had left.. used every last drop.

yarn ends

of course this sort of thing doesn't really look like anything until it's being worn, so.. enjoy this hastily edited mirror photo! (i don't really do selfies.)

fo: cowl scarf thing

finished dimensions were 12 inches high, and about 22 inches around. and it still smells like fresh sheep.

Friday, August 16, 2013

the style cure

a bit late the game (what else is new), but i'm in on apartment therapy's august style cure. our place is really just a hodge-podge of hand-me-downs and miscellaneous furniture bits that we've collected over the years.. really no style to speak of. maybe this will be a good first step...

for day two, i'm just going to share some favorites from my home design pinterest board. i am behind after all, and i think this will be more accurate than rushing about town with a camera anyway!

yay for bright color! can't wait.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013


pink sky

so since google reader is going away very soon (boo!), i have been sorting through old things. it just occurred to me that i might be losing all my starred stuff from way back that i still haven't gotten around to re-reading. pages and pages of stuff, going back to 2008. sigh..

some were just for lulz. others are articles and things i'm glad i saved. share?

a lot of stuff about becoming "unstuck".. getting out of creative slumps. and havi brooks' post on asking why that i wish i remembered more often. also, why don't i have an artist statement? (not that i show anyone my "art"...)

and tons of crafty tutorials, but i guess that goes without saying.

i was also reminded.. should i be using evernote? because it seems like everyone is. hmm.

so i've switched over to feedly, and i'm liking it so far. nice clean interface, and it has an iphone app. works for me! and i've discovered today that my stars will be coming along. yay!

but anyway, if i've been blowing up your pinterest feed lately, this is why.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

so, the new flickr...

yeah, so i'm not so sure how i feel about this flickr redesign. really not a fan of all these huge images running into each other and taking over the screen. space, please! also annoying is the fact that they seem to be beta-testing it on all of us, with all the bugs i keep running into. sigh. maybe it just needs some getting used to... i've been there since 2006, so i'm not going to just up and run off to another site just yet. i did set up an account over at ipernity a few years ago, but i'm not nearly as active there.

buuuuut i think i could fit a lot of stuff in a terabyte.... and the coolest thing so far (for me!) is getting my old photos back that had run over the photostream limit.


my very first upload.

it's been really interesting to see all these old forgotten photos, although some of them did make me a bit melancholy (see: shana, the college years). time for a bit of weeding out, i suppose..

coney island.

maybe flickr will actually take our criticisms to heart. maybe something new and awesome will come of this. maybe one day i'll finish my degree. ahem. ah well..

(as a post script, may i point out that of my wantlist from 2008, i have at this point acquired only five of 16. boo!)

Sunday, May 5, 2013


did i really not post in all of april? jeez.


(photo by wonderlander on flickr)

i'm hoping that the impending sunnier weather and things will help improve my mental block. sometimes you just feel sort of stuck, you know? damn stuckiness.

Friday, February 8, 2013


hi. i'm shana, and i have a problem with food.

well, maybe not food, so much as going out for food. well.. here's the thing. the boyfriend and i don't spend a lot of money going out. we don't go out to shows, or movies, or for drinks, or anything all that often. (and we work totally different schedules, which makes going out a little challenging!) when we do go out, we go out to eat. and we live in providence. there are a lot of options.

waiting for falafel at king kabob

we have good italian, indian, mexican, middle eastern.. sit-down places, take-out, food trucks..

pvd pudding pops at armory park

i've been trying to cut down on my "going out to eat" spending, so i do a lot of groupon, livingsocial and sort of things. (it's okay if i give you my referral, right? i don't want to be rude.) still, i'm thinking we need to cut back.

wright's dairy farm

sigh. and with so many tasty baked goods to be had...

sugarush cupcakes

but yeah. it's gotta be done.

ama's (rip)

so, this month i must stick to my guns. more cooking at home! no going over my restaurant budget on mint! i've actually been getting back to making a sort-of meal plan every week. finally trying out some of the recipes i've been pinning. (made this black bean soup; was pretty good but could use some work. and this sweet potato pizza crust was surprisingly tasty.) now for the real challenge: i sort of didn't do grocery shopping this week. i usually go on thursday, but there's a nice little blizzard on the way. in the time-honored rhode island tradition, people are swarming every supermarket in sight to stock up on bread and milk. so, no. will i be able to find something to make that's not spaghetti? only time will tell.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the january cure

i guess a fresh start would be nice...

i've started apartment therapy's january cure, and am actually pretty much sticking with it. it's sort of a way to get your place in shape, to begin and work on projects and things you've been meaning to do around the house/apartment (and by you, i mean me). anti-procrastination!

we moved in in july. for various reasons, the place still doesn't feel quite as lived in and homey as i would like. it's a nice space and we love the neighborhood, so i really want to make the place work.. you know?

day 5 has you choose one thing from your list of projects to finish this month. i have it narrowed down to three (is that bad? they're small..). 1: the kitchen table. we have been using a small narrow bar-type table since we moved in, but we were offered a more standard-size round table and chairs. all we need to do is go get it.

january cure: kitchen

our lovely bare yet still somehow disorganized kitchen.

bonus step: i did get and hang this coat hook set, so that there will not be winter coats draped over chairs for the next few months. another thing i'd like to do at some point is finish and maybe hang that painting.. (is there a february cure for creative block?)

possible project 2: shelves for the bathroom. planning trip to ikea this weekend, hoping to aquire some lack shelves. and a new toilet scrubber, because hey, they're 99 cents.

and project 3: get knobs for our tv stand. it's actually a hand-me-down cabinet-sort of thing that we painted green (and it doesn't need touching up at all, ahem). finding hew coordinating knobs for it has been harder than i thought.

january cure: tv stand

we don't have a specific color scheme for that room to speak of, so i can't go by that. i guess i'd like something interesting, but nothing too crazy.. so indecisive!

so now that i've talked about it and shared the semi-embarrassing photos, time to get to work on things!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

last year

2012 review via instagram. too bad i started in april or so...

2012 in instagram

click for biggerness.

1. april, roger williams park in providence.
2. cupcakes (with easter chocolates inside).
3. daphne.
4. westminster st, providence.

5. may, lincoln woods in lincoln, ri.
6. friendly freckles.
7. massachusetts sheep & woolcraft fair.
8. july, bridge to prospect mountain in lake george, ny.

9. cannonball express.
10. just before seeing andrew bird at the met in pawtucket, ri.
11. september, sugarush cupcake.
12. winter squash at the farmers market.

13. october, my meager knitting of the year.
14. december, christmas candles.
15. flying to arizona.
16. a warmer christmas.