Monday, March 23, 2009

Homage to patterns

Just a hello.
Two things.
Some people love yarn, have a major stash, etc. While it is true that my close friend (and pack rat in her own right) told me I have too much yarn, I do not think that my problem is yarn.

Instead I have a problem with patterns. I think I am alone in this one. Many blogs talk about "yummy" yarn, a yarn obsession, an over flowing stash. It's true, I have a lot of yarn. But my obsession, my passion, with knitting is the patterns! What is it? The potential? The thrill of making it my own? Its the idea that here is all I need to create this beautiful clothing. This piece of paper, these letters, can be transformed, translated, with yarn and time, into a wearable object. A clothing item - -but a work of art, in a way. Or maybe just a way of passing the time - a physical representation for the time I spent watching Dollhouse, BSG, Dexter, or any other inanely nerdy show. I show it in knits. Maybe that's why, when I finish a pattern - no matter how many are in my binder - I hunt for more...what's next? A cami? A tee? A slouchy hat? In that moment between casting off and casting on that is where possibility lies! I cannot wait to cast on again - but part of the trilll is finding the best pattern to suit my skill, my time, my available yarn ( use up the stash baby! ). Seeing the potential, the garmetns I can make...That is the most thirilling.
I think I may be alone in this obsession. I know lots of knitters thrilled with yarn. To me the potential of yarn is in the pattern. Perhaps this is because I haven't delved into making my own patterns. Instead I look to patterns to dictate what I will knit. I don't see a problem with that tho. It makes me so excited and thrilled to look at patterns.
What's your take?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Shelf

Originally published at my other blog, I thought it was more mousehouse style to have a book review section. Since books take up so much room in my house, it seems natural that they should have a home here on my blog too.

I am the type of person that reads at least 5 books at once! Blame it on an inability to focus, a need for variety, or a passion for learning new things, but I actually enjoy reading a number of books at once. Usually I read one or two main books, often a novel, and have other usually non-fiction books that I rotate through in the background. I wrote this entry a while ago, and have since finished this book, but thought I would share my thoughts regardless.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
This is currently my main book, a novel. It is written from three different perspectives, and different time periods. It also includes first person narratives and letters which are also first person narrative obviously.

When first starting this book it was a little confusing who was speaking and what time period we were in. But as I read on and realized what the separate threads were, I started to get into the book and read more and more in one sitting which always helps to increase reading comprehension. ;)

The story mostly told from the perspective of an unusual boy whose dad died in the world trade center on 9/11. It's also about his family, his grandparents voices are in there heavily. Comparisons are drawn between 9/11 and ww2, and also the personal tradgedy that is life and living. "We spent our whole lives making a living." Things like that, quesitons about the way life ends up. How did we get here from there? What the hell happens in each day that is so small that leads to something that you are living in the present that is nothing like what you thought you would be doing. It has a very poignant feeling, I want to say bittersweet, but that's not quite right.

It is actually quite well written, there are particular phrases that absolutely glow. My favorite chapter so far has been the one about the Dresden bombing. The way it was written was intense, fast-paced, and punctuated with red circles like someone had edited the page, which at first I thought was distracting, but then thought it added to the velocity and fierceness. Somehow red marks all over the page really fits with a chapter where the narrator sees horses on fire galloping down the street swirling with smoke and screams.

Pros: Pictures, unique book layout, includes blank pages, colored pages, etc...immersive, a few excellent passages that really show off some great writing.
Cons: The narration can take on a conceited & irritating tone sometimes. Sometimes the way its structured makes me wonder how "real" it is (if that makes sense), like he was trying too hard to be clever or innovative.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Check out these gorgeeeeousss DIY flower fairy lights! You make them with vellum paper so they hold up outside!!! Follow the link at the bottom for the tut.

This needs to be done to my balcony immediately!!!!!!

From Apartment Therapy via Craftzine

Knit Update

I'm almost done with the simple knitted bodice. (Only been at it for about a!). I have two more rows on one sleeve, and the the second sleeve, then the neckline. I hope to finish the sleeves today. Is that too ambitious? Maybe, but I have a whole season of Dexter to watch, and I am hopeful. Nevermind the fact that I also have to finish an entire website for a final project, and adjust some photos for a friend. When the end is in sight, it makes me want to crank it out.

Other news, I broke down and actually bought the Apartment Therapy book. I'd checked it out from the library before, but I think its a book you should own.

I went to Target yesterday and spent a gift card on kitty litter, aluminum foil, and some cute ballet flats that are 1/2 size too big. My friend just gave me some amazing green Doc Martins that are 1/2 size too small. Can these two shoes get together and exchange their half size wrong-ness...please? I'm going to check out a cobbler next week I think to get some boots re-soled and see if they can stretch the Docs.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apartment Therapy Spring Cure

I am in severe need of taking part in this "cure". My poor little mousehouse has become more like a mousecave over the winter. There's stacks of clutter everywhere and I am so overwhelmed by it I don't know where to begin. I know I'll be taking part in the spring cure. What about you? This month is Kitchen and bathroom month too, so here's a couple inspiring pics from AT. I like the colors in all of these!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

6 Things about Container Gardens

Crocuses, daffodils, a pink aura on the trees...I don't care that its currently snowing like a snow globe outside - spring is almost here!! That means I am worried about having to start wearing spring clothes - damn my pale fat winter self!! - But it also means I am starting to think about what to plant in my porch garden. This is the perfect time to start seeds indoors. I'm also plotting how to make my urban apartment balcony into a beautiful summer space for sipping greyhounds and knitting.

6 things to think about when setting up a container garden:

--How much light does it get?
My balcony gets blazing full sun in the morning until around 2pm in the summer. I need to take into account plants that are going to like that such as lavender, poppies, daisys, beans, tomatoes. Another option would be to create a little shade for them with some kind of cloth canopy to shield certain plants from frying in the sun.

. How often can you water it? Are you never home? Maybe you could set up some kind of self-watering system. I've heard its best to water them at night after the heat of the day is gone so they can soak up all night. I also think it is a good idea to give them a little water in the morning too before the sun bakes the dirt completely dry. Keep in mind tho, that over-watering is one of the most common mistakes gardeners make, especially with container gardens. This is not as big of a problem in the dry heat of the summer as it is when it is humid.
---How to tell when to water or not. Just use common sense, look at the dirt and touch it. Is it dark black and slightly moist? Then the plant is fine, don't water it. Are the leaves of the plant wilt-y and droopy looking with the soil lighter in color and dry to the touch? Water it! Soak it if it is at that stage! If the leaves start turning yellow that is a sign you may be over watering.

--How much space do you have?
Do you want a lot of little pots? Or one or two larger ones? Would it look better to have a large circular one in the corner flanked by little round ones? Or would you prefer long narrow rectangular window boxes on the ground in a border around your space?

--Think about how you want it to be arranged.
I think it looks best to have a mixture of sizes, nothing too uniform. Keep the big ones in the back. Think of the principles of foreground, middleground, and background. The delicate little stuff in front, the mid range stuff in the middle, and the big show-case stuff in the back.

--Think vertical
. I have bars on my balcony, so I really try to think of climbing plants to cover them in an explosion of flowers and green. Tomatoes, morning glories, sweet peas, beans...etc. When ground space is limited, think UP.
I am thinking about using this idea, but I'm not sure how my property mgmt would feel about me drilling holes into the brick.

See how amazing it looks to have the green cascading down! I love it. I think this is a beautiful way to use up otherwise blank space. Painting the cans a vibrant color really adds to the interest. I think its a good idea to think of what color would look really good with bright greens and brick red. Blue is a great idea, it turns the cans themselves into something fun to look at. Imagine if they were black...(which I am a big fan of btw)...but that would look so misplaced. Like you were trying to hide the cans.

--What kind of plants do you want? Do you want a lot of flowers? Or are you trying to have a little veggie garden on your porch (which is do-able!)? Are you thinking about making an herb garden only? Or do you want a little mix of everything? Think about what kinds of plants you want before you go to the store! If you are anything like me, it is easy to get swept away in all the beauty and potential of the seedlings, and buy more than you have space for, or get overwhelmed and walk away with nothing. Its good to plan a little before hand.

Coming up :::
--Types of plants for your container garden
--Porch decoration ideas
--Cocktails to drink on your porch (or in your living room)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Owls Sweater

Wow, this is so cute. I don't even like sweaters with that neck decoration, (what is it called?), but owls are such a little cute friend of mine. Plus button eyes!!! I love it!

Would I personally actually wear it? I don't know.
Should I make it? Maybe for someone else. This totally falls in that category of knits I think are so cool/cute but questionable to wear - ie not really my style. Maybe I will steal the owl cable pattern and create something a little more subtle. Probably in black...what a surprise :)

via CraftGossip
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