General Ginger Knits

random thoughts on knitting and the universe

Monday, February 28, 2005

and the winner is.....

Thank you all for entering the Stitch 'n Bitch Nation Giveaway contest!

My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your diverse and creative suggestions for using the souvenir camel yarn that came home from our Alaskan honeymoon. We were delighted to read all of your wonderful ideas and will let you know as soon as we decide what will be knitted from that groovy yarn. If you haven't read all these intriguing ideas then please scroll down and check them out.

Now I'm sure you're all dying to know who the winner is. was a long and grueling process to select the winner. First I had to cut up little pieces of equally sized paper. Then I carefully recorded everyone's name onto an individual slip. It seems there were duplicate names from different people so I had to be careful to differentiate the two names. The correct vessel had to be selected to hold the entry forms.

The husband was recruited as an objective third party to draw out the actual winner. Then the entries had to be swirled and shuffled around on the inside.

There were two false starts with one slip of paper accidentally falling out onto the floor and the first drawing consisting of two entry forms. Finally....

Congratulations to...

Valerie, please email me with your address so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

This has been some of the most fun I've had with my knitting blog and I thank everyone who stopped by to share their comments with me.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Kate knitting

my heroine

Friday, February 25, 2005

wip - sock pal's socks

Finally! I started my sock pal's socks. It's not that I'm a procrastinator or anything :) it's just that I've had all these other projects standing in the way. I'm thoroughly enjoying knitting these socks. The color is a very pretty blue and the yarn is easy to work with. The socks are knitting up very quickly since she requested ankle length. I'm actually about half way through sock number one.

Stitch 'n Bitch Nation Giveaway Contest ends on Monday get your entries in soon. I love all the ideas I'm hearing so far!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

FO sweetheart's socks

Finally finished my sweetheart's socks yesterday. I hear that they were worn and admired today. The Regia sock yarn is terrific and easy to work with. I immediately put those needles back into use today working on my sock pal's socks. I'm using some of the sock it to me yarn that I picked up at elann.

sweetheart socks

Don't forget to scroll down and enter the Stitch 'n Bitch Nation Giveaway Contest. I am thoroughly enjoying reading your entries!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Stitch 'n Bitch Nation Giveaway Contest

I find myself with an extra copy of “Stitch ‘N Bitch Nation” by Debbie Stoller that I’m offering up in an online contest. You could win this book by suggesting a knitting project for my souvenir yarn.

While on honeymoon in Alaska I met Boris and Tula, two Bactrian camels, who gave me these two skeins of their yarn. Boris and Tula live at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. I simply could not pass up this yarn when I spied it in the gift shop and it’s probably my favorite souvenir. I’d like to knit something really groovy from this yarn that will remind me of my honeymoon.

Each skein is approximately 75 yards and is 77% camel hair and 23% wool. I wouldn’t mind mixing it with another yarn if anyone has any suggestions about that as well.

Please pick your best idea and add it as a comment on this blog entry. Winner of the Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation Giveaway Contest will be selected at random from all entries on Monday, February 28th.

“You should only buy yarn from camels that you know!”

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I have indeed been knitting this week despite my lack of posting. I'm past the heel of my sweetheart's second sock so I hope to finish it up this weekend in order to begin my sock pal's socks. I know, I know, I should have already started that by now. But she requested ankle socks so I figured it wouldn't take me too long to whip them out.

sweetheart's second sock

I've also been working on a third felted Lopi bag. Boy do I enjoy knitting these up! What a breeze. This one was requested as a charity item for an up coming silent auction. What do ya'll think of the color combination? A bit...well....festive...I suppose. I couldn't resist these colors at the LYS.

third lopi bag

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

TAGGED - music

It feels like it's been about a thousand years since I posted. Sorry about that ya'll! I finished a blue bag just like my green bag for a friend's birthday. She loved it but started to worry she might be allergic to wool after a few minutes of using the bag. What exactly are wool allergy symptoms anyway? I've also been working on my sweetheart's socks. I'm planning to start my sock pal's socks this weekend.

I've been tagged!

1. Total amount of music files on your computer?
No idea. Probably not as many as most folks since I'm not too interested in the latest technology. Most of my files came from those ol' free Napster days.

2. The CD you last bought is: Nude on the Moon the B-52's Anthology. I've been hearing songs from this album a lot the last few months in various shops. I finally picked up a copy at a collegetown indie record shop a few weeks ago.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message? Siren by Tori Amos. I've come to realize in the last few years that 90% of the cds I own are actually sound tracks. I wonder what that means? I've seen lots and lots of films and when the music is good I tend to pick up the album. The songs usually bring back the memory of the feelings that I experienced while watching the movie.

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

I'm going with the mean a lot to you songs:

  1. Love is only sleeping by the Monkees
  2. Landslide by Stevie Nicks
  3. Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  4. Bela Lugosi's Dead by Bauhaus
  5. Raspberry Beret by Prince
Wow, am I dating myself or what? I used to watch the Monkees on TV when I was a kid. I was totally crazy about them. I don't feel too bad admitting this since I've seen other folks such as Alison admit her fondness for them too! Stevie Nicks is the queen and nothing makes me feel so powerful as Landslide. Yeah, I've seen her in concert, twice, and saw the Fleetwood Mac reunion tour. Tainted love is the quintessential 80s tune. Come on, you know you do some seat dancin' when it comes on the car radio. The dance club I used to frequent in the early 90s used to always close down at 3a.m. with Bela Lugosi's Dead. Then they'd snap the cold, bright lights on and you could truly see who you'd been dancing with all night! LOL. Nothing, I repeat, no other song, can turn my mood around more quickly than Raspberry Beret. Of course, I may go deaf early because I also cannot seem to listen to that song without turning the volume way up and, of course, singing along with the tune at the top of my voice! Maybe I should buy a copy of this song since it's such a cheery little ditty.

5. Who are you going to pass this to? (3 persons) and why? Tami because I'd love to see what her list is like.

And in case you're wondering. It's Mike. It's always been Mike.

Monday, February 07, 2005

attack of the killer spiders

What happens when you take this:

pile of useless acylic yarn

and turn it into this:

spider from above

It turns into Attack of the Killer Spiders! Yes folks, my first and only true novelty knitting project is complete. But wait, was there any actual knitting to make up the components of this spider? Ah yes, the legs are nothing more than i-cord. Oh, and so are the fangs. The rest is crochet. Thankfully I was able to follow the extremely helpful instructions sent to me to create a less shower cap looking head.

I'm delighted to report that the birthday recipient was thrilled with his killer spider. The spider was actually played with for over an hour. He was tossed about, twisted his head, and tied up all for my pleasure. It certainly was wonderful to see my hours of labor enjoyed so thoroughly. His playmate was so taken with him that he made a request for one of his own. Yeah right kid, it took me three weeks and a crocheting meltdown to make the thing so I'm not sure I'm up to another one. I think I'll make him a snake scarf instead.

I think one of my favorite parts of creating this spider was the tons of fun we had posing the him out in the backyard in scary attaking spider positions!

Friday, February 04, 2005

wip - creature body

Thanks to High Energy Jenny and my mom for sending me some crochet advice. I didn't feel like facing all that crochet last night so I put the spider aside in favor of finishing my friend's birthday present (note to friend: I know you can't wait), and working on my sweetheart's socks while listening to HPOoTP.

Is it a bird, a plane, a shower cap? Nope, its a creature! Here is the spider as it exists now. It will be stuffed with poly fiberfil, have legs with claws attached, and grow a terrifying head. That novelty yarn sure comes in handy for novelties!


I would have gotten a few better pictures of the creature but I had this fellow here helping me take pictures.

helping with knitting

Thursday, February 03, 2005

crochet help needed

I'm working on this spider as a birthday gift. I couldn't figure out how to knit a sort of a circular ball so I decided to crochet it instead. I figured I could do it easier.

But, the thing is, it turns out that I pretty much suck at crocheting in the round. I crocheted the body in a fuzzy yarn but I think I must have increased too many stitches because it got kind of puckery. Ok, I guess the best way to explain the way it looked is to say it resembled a shower cap with its puckeriness. Um, ok, you can stop laughing now.

I don't really care that its this way on the body because it will sort of look lumpy after its stuffed and I think that's fine. Now I want to do the head in a regular non fuzzy yarn but its coming out all shower cap looking too, which I do not want for the head.

Ok, let me explain what I'm tring to do so you can advise me. I would like to crochet two pieces in the round then sew them together and stuff them for the spider head. How do I do this? What is the stitch ratio? Do I increase in every stitch on the round and then crochet one even or what? I'd actually rather crochet one big piece to simulate a round ball instead of the two pieces because I hate sewing things together. But if its more complicated this way then forget it. That is how I crocheted the body though.

Thank you, thank you to anyone who can help.

knitting in the news

Political protest turns to the radical art of knitting, The Guardian, Monday January 31, 2005
"For many political knitters, the craft represents an act of rebellion. "
Instructions included at the bottom of the article to "Knit your own purse grenade"

Knit two together, The Times (London), January 29, 2005
"There's a lot of woolly talk these days about 'post-feminist knitting', says Erica Wagner, who takes up the needles for the sheer comfort of it"

"Church membership is not required. Meetings include a time for devotion and prayer. Everything the crafters make is given away to beneficiaries ranging from newborns and preschoolers to men working on oil tankers."

The neat thing about knitting, Baltimore Sun, Friendships are formed at weekly sessions
note: you may have to register to read this one

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

FO felted lopi bag

I think that I had more fun felting this bag than I did with the French market bag. I love the way that it came out. I'm planning to cut a piece of foam core board to fit down inside to stiffen the bottom of the bag. I was trying to figure out how to secure the board inside so that it wouldn't shift around. My sweetheart came up with a brilliant idea of using liquid nails to hold it in place. Has anyone had any experience with it and have any tips to share? What other things have you used to stiffen the bottoms of bags?

lopi felted bag

I'm still working on the spider. I forgot to get a picture of the fuzzy body but I did manage to get a picture of the legs. They look a bit like match sticks don't they? They're actually over a foot long. Notice the blood red tipped claws. I think the soon to be six year old recipient will be pleased. I'm sort of just making this pattern up as I go so we'll see how it turns out.

spider legs

My local public library had lots of knitting book treasures on their shelves. I picked up Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear by Nancy Bush, Folk Mittens: Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens by Marcia Lewandowski, Knit One, Felt Too : Discover the magic of knitted felt with 25 easy patterns by Kathleen Taylor, and Felted Knits by Beverly Galeskas.

Thanks Tami for suggesting the Folk Socks book. As well as sock patterns, there is lots of groovy information in this book about the history of socks. I'm still on the lookout for an interesting pattern to use for my Sock Pal's socks and I may have spied one in this book. Folk Mittens has many beautiful patterns that are awe inspiring but that I probably won't knit. Not much call for mittens here in the deep south. I guess you all can figure out how I feel about the two felting books I picked up. I want to felt everything that I can get my hands on! The Felted Knits book seems to be full of useful basic information about the felting process whereas the Knit One, Felt Too books has really jazzy patterns. I can't wait to put some of these to the test.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

wips & ice

Thank you all for your comments regarding what you keep your works in progress in. It was very interesting hearing about all the different ideas that people have come up with to store and make portable their knitting projects.


The above picture sums out how my weekend went. We had a bit of an ice storm down here and the whole city stopped and stayed inside while the sleet fell down. Yes, all activities were arrested because a little bit of freezing rain came down. Now you nice folks up in Canada can go ahead and laugh if you want to but this kind of thing doesn't happen here in the deep south very often so naturally I had to break out the camera. I stopped short of taking pictures of truly adorable stop and street signs with icicles hanging off them so at least you are spared those shots!

Bad weather has kept me from photographing my latest FOs. I finished the Lopi bag and felted it. I think it is the cutest thing that I've ever made and, of course, can not wait to make something else that is felted. I've made down to the heel on my other half's second sock. I've had to put that project mostly aside though because I've been working on two birthday presents, one of which is finished but I'm unable to share In case the receiver reads this blog (hey there!). The other is a spider. The eight legs are done. The fuzzy body is nearly complete. The head is coming out all wonky. I'll get a picture up soon so that I can discuss the details.