purple fish guts

Monday, March 19, 2007

Works No Longer In Progress

I've finished some of my works in progress! I didn't get a picture of the white preemie hat before I mailed it to Stephanie for the NY launch of her new book tour. Her vision is to have masses of knitters show up in New York City on Thursday to show the world how many of us there are, and for those that can't make it to mail a hat. I hope it is one of thousands!

Here are the Opal Kid's Socks. They fit my little friend perfectly, and he won't let his mom take them off.

Here is the Moderne Log Cabin blanket that I knit for Mom. She and my aunt were watching a video of the girls knitting (and A was knitting on this blanket) when the UPS man knocked on the door with the blanket. She loves it. I knit it with Bernat Softee Chunky yarn, on 10.5 needles and it turned out 64 1/2" X 44 1/2".
Here is the applied i-cord border. I like the way it turned out.
Here are my cuties knitting this morning.
Z is making her first Log Cabin pattern.

And here it is finished:

Friday, March 16, 2007

My New Guitar

For a while now, I've been looking around for another guitar. Not very seriously... but seriously enough to say I've been looking.

At first, I was thinking I wanted to get a Strat.... for a few reasons.

1) They're classics. Lots of great music has been with them in a wide variety of styles.

2) It would be nice to be able to get the single-coil sounds that my guitar just wasn't designed to produce.

3) Some people love to ask you what kind of guitar you play. I've never really had a good answer for them. If I go generic and say "Ibanez" or "It's a dual humbucker guitar"... I just get more questions. If I go specific... "It's an Ibanez SA 420 X DR"... I just get blank stares and/or the classic smile/nod action. Life would be so much simpler if I could just say "Strat," get the obligatory grunt/nod, and then move on. (Yes... I know it's a dumb reason.)

Since I really didn't want to spend a lot of money, and since I'm kinda partial to the beat up Strat look, I started watching ebay to get an idea of what they typically go for. After watching for a while and realizing that even old, beat up Strats sell for more than I'm looking to spend... I started looking at some other options.

That's when I stumbled upon the Squier '51. Typically, the only good thing you ever hear about Squier's is that they're cheap. This one, though, got a nod from Guitar Player magazine, appears to have a borderline cult following, and sells for $99.99. Add the fact that it's been discontinued... and well.... I'm looking into it.

It's a somewhat strange guitar. It has the body of a Strat, a Tele neck, and the pickguard and control knobs from a 1951 Fender P-bass. It also has one Strat pickup and one humbucker that can be "split" to act like a second single-coil pickup. Some have referred to it as a "Fender Garage Sale" and I'd say that sums it up pretty well.

After a little more research, I decided to give the '51 a try. I opted for a blonde one I found in a local guitar shop.

Is it perfect? No! In fact it has some really irritating little issues. None of them are deal-breakers or anything.... but let's just say an extra 5 bucks at the Indonesian Squier factory would've gone a long way.

After playing with it for a couple of weeks, I have to say it's a keeper. It's certainly not a replacement for my Ibanez. But it totally nails some of the sounds my Ibanez just can't come up with.... like gritty blues and Tele twang. It also has a sort of quirky, pawn-shop charm to it that's just plain cool. I honestly can't say it's a "nice" guitar.... because it's not. But for $100.... it's a great guitar.

I really enjoy playing bluesy stuff on it. It just sounds right. Sure, it's a cheap guitar... and it feels like a cheap guitar. (I mean.... it's obviously not a PRS or anything.) But you really shouldn't have to have an expensive guitar to play the blues. Should you?

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Girl With The Rhino Tusks

I suppose it is better to fantasize about head-butting your sister with rhino tusks than to actually head-butt her. It does make me sad that it would be "fun and funny to me" for Z to make her sister cry. Sigh. She did do a very nice job on the bird, though.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Works in Progress

Here are my four works-in-progress. The pink sock on the left is from Cat Bordhi's book Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I'm at a standstill because they seem to be coming out pretty big, even though the gauge is correct. I LOVE the yarn. It is Regia Silk, and is so soft.

The white in the middle is a preemie hat for our NICU. I almost always have at least one of these going, because they are straight stockinette in the round which is mindless knitting I can do anywhere. They knit up fast, and are for a good cause. (My 12" Addi Turbo Circular needles are perfect for these hats!)

The socks on the right are the Opal Kid's Sock pattern knit with yarn leftover from Kris' socks. (Thanks, Kris for having such small feet.)

And last but not least is the afghan on which they are sitting. It is the Moderne Log Cabin pattern from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. I'm using the baby blanket pattern, but instead of small needles and baby yarn I substituted chunky yarn and 10.5 needles. I'm almost done with the last side, and then I need to do a border. I don't think I'll do the recommended border. I've been wanting to learn how to do an applied i-cord, so that will probably be the border I use. I should get really good at it if I do it around the entire afghan.

I need to finish at least a few of these up, because I just ordered yarn and patterns for two more projects! Kris (different Kris) at The Knitting Wannabe opened up an online knitting store. Think of the cleverest name you can for a knitting store, and then click here to see if the name you came up with is as cute as the name of her shop. She was very helpful planning the projects, and even did some special ordering for me. (Thanks, Kris!) So I'd better get going on my current stuff, because it will be hard not to start my felted clogs and felted alpaca when the supplies arrive.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Ending Women's Suffrage

Are kids really this clueless? Didn't they watch Mary Poppins when they were little?

h/t to Alex at http://abillings.livejournal.com/