July 31, 2012


just when we thought summer would skip our grand nordic nation entirely, that she would cruelly ignore our very existence in this odd peninsula--affectionately nicknamed either the armpit or the asshole of northern europe, depending on which warped position you imagine us in--she arrived in a blazing chariot of heat and sunshine.

"go out and get naked," she said, and the entire nation went, "okay."

except me.

this is me celebrating summer in the best way i know how, i.e. by posing in a long-sleeved shirt and a chunky woolly hat, looking as soulful and tormented as edgar allan poe, or robert smith, or to a lesser extent, aaron lewis. i can't believe that band still exists.

rosebud by jared flood
size small
brooklyn tweed shelter (50g / 4.5-5mm)

what can i say. hats are my weakness.

against every last grain of intuition i had in my body i made the smaller size instead of the slouchy one. usually i'm drawn to anything that's labeled slouchy like gum on shoesoles, but this time something in my brain said no. by the time i reached the point of either continuing on to crown decreases, or knitting the cable chart once more, i just found myself having less and less stitches on the needle. i like to wear my hats pretty far back so somehow i managed to figure out even the shorter model could work.

and this time, completely out of character, i even weaved a lifeline into the stitches of the final row before the decreases, so that if i totally changed my mind i could go back and undo the rows without counting them and getting all messed up on the chart. i have no idea where all this epic far-sightedness comes from right now.

it sits really well too now, and the shelter yarn (in homemad jam, for those interested) was every bit as pleasant to knit with as i expected. although i have to say that both loft and shelter tend to lose some of their perky fluffiness with blocking. or maybe i'm doing it wrong. they get a little droopy. not too droopy, but i could do without some of the droopiness. it doesn't really show in photos though.

what's also not showing in the photos is my mom crying because of my fascistic art direction during this photography session. sorry mom. at least the girl knows what she wants.

and i haven't had a haircut in 13 months. does that show? sheesh. no wonder i'm still single.

July 25, 2012

hippo hooray

just so you don't think i'm a ruthless, heartless bitch with no tolerance or compassion for any my fellow men, please know that i've just had four quite relaxing days off work and am now more or less back to my own amiable self. thank you for your patience, and apologies for all the fuck you's.

also, have a look at the following.

flodhästen by mia bengtsson
smc egypto cotton (50g / 2.5mm)

he was a gift to my brown-eyed, four-toothed angel of a niece on her first birthday. and probably the most heartwarming, awww-inducing little thing i've ever managed to make. not entirely childproof, but festively plump nonetheless.

and he even has freakin' toes. the wrong amount though, as my dad, ever tactful, was quick to point out.

so happy birthday again, sweetheart. may this anatomically incorrect hippo be your guide through your second year of existence. just try and not eat the eyes, or mom will beat the living crap out of me.

July 20, 2012

people = shit

forgive me the raunchy title. how it takes me back to year 2001, a year covered in heartbreaking teenager angst and soundtracked by a certain iowan 8-piece with a well-noted affection for such raunchy titles.

but i'm not really a people person. i see that now.

this week, at work, i've witnessed so much astonishingly assholistic behavior from all and every direction that i'm currently on the verge of losing my faith in mankind.

you see, there's a very special symbiotic bond between you and your LYS worker. the store wouldn't exist without you, and satan would use your hands for masturbation without the store. an open and creative dialogue with mutual respect among all parties is encouraged and nursed for the benefit of the individual, the community, and the entire human race.

some people choose to treat this sacred bond with the loving proverbial curb stomp instead.

please note that while there is a certain responsibility on my part to be the smart one; to not get dragged into childish feuds and unending he-said-she-said bullshit; to be polite and show respect even to the douchiest, most outrageously inappropriate people--which thankfully sometimes pays off--there's a limit to anyone's endurance, including mine.

i am not your BFF, or your therapist, or your general piñata-style punching bag.

and if you're having problems which i, at that particular moment, for whatever reason, cannot help you solve, then go home and cry in the dark like everyone else, YOU MISERABLE ASSHOLE.

that felt good.

and thankfully each day, after another day's worth of trying to cope with all the shit described above, i get to come home to this.

all sarcasm and ironic moustaches aside, for real, seriously, i truly honestly shit you not--

--this is the most enjoyable knit i've ever had on my hands.

it's a  BT lace wrap with three simultaneous charts and 40+ row repeats, but i don't ever want it to end. normally i'd rather go all gaear grimsrud on myself than volunteer for lace. especially during times of great emotional discomfort.

here, there's a sense of pure zen-like relaxation when i'm creating these stitches. a perfect pairing of the exact right texture of the yarn and smooth wooden surface of the needles. the meditative repetitiveness of the garter stitch. the sense of achievement after a completed chart. just one more row, i keep telling myself, and lose myself in the silky grey haze.

forget all about the stress-induced zombie nightmares. the panic attacks. the lunchbreaks spent crying in the kitchen.

that there, my friends, is what knitting is all about, and what will keep me going through anything.

July 12, 2012


you may recall that i have an awesome brother.

now it turns out i have another awesome brother.

(i also have a sister, who admittedly has an awesome washing machine as well as some fairly awesome food at my disposal, but until she offers me some kind of a knitting-related near-life experience as described below, or saves me from the depths of a mental institution, or something, for now she herself will remain slightly less than awesome.)

this brother flew out to the great new york city recently and, in between doing all sorts of manly man stuff, dutily made his way down to broome street, where at number 459 there lies a soft humble haven, a holy destination for knittery pilgrims everywhere, called purl soho.

obviously not the crafty type himself, he had generously agreed to act as a surrogate buyer for certain yarns that are scarcely available elsewhere. i didn't even have to bribe him, or make him feel guilty, or beat him up with a traditional finnish musical instrument, as i vividly recall doing back in the early '90s.

all a testament to his awesomeness.

and so, with my meticulously crafted shopping list in hand he stepped into a world completely unknown to him, and summoning up an admirable amount of pioneer spirit proceeded to complete the list down to every last detail.

a cardigan's worth of brooklyn tweed loft in almanac, a perfect deep blue with perfect little specs of turquoise. and with delightfully imperfect little flecks of plant matter wedged between the plies, which some may find crude and offensive, but which i just find adorable. snooky-ookums. poodgy woo.

another two skeins of loft in woodsmoke and old world, already on their way to become a bayard hat. not the most creative choice of colors, but then again, i never claimed to be creative in the first place.

two skeins of BT shelter in homemade jam. i'm planning on a rosebud, but reserve the right to change my mind. gorgeous heathered color nonetheless.

and to top everything off, a skein of spud & chloë fine, a sinfully luxurious blend of merino and silk, in an aptly named colorway of burnt orange called orangutan.

"really fuckin' expensive," brother awesome commented on the total sum when i later went to collect my hairy babies from him, pointing out in a loving, brotherly manner that, after all, it's just yarn. to this i was unable to respond, because i had my face buried in the lofty loftness of the seven loft skeins, fighting down tears of overwhelming emotional movement.

how anyone would consider this expensive is beyond me

the only thing that irks me now, the thing that is driving me absolutely berserk, is that he's now been there and i haven't.


he's awesome, but still. @!#$%.