Ren Knits ^^

a tale of two projects… October 27, 2007

Filed under: embroidery,knitting — Ren @ 7:50 pm

i am generally a one-project knitter. i cast on, knit to completion, finish up and move on to something else. once in a while, i’ll knit up a quick project while i’m working on something bigger, but mostly i stick to just one thing at a time. i’m not sure if this is because i have limited knitting storage space, i tend to knit smaller items, i can’t stand having too many things going on at once, or some combination of the three. but anyway, this is the story of an exception to my general rule… the story of an unfinished object.

a while back, i was very excited to get a copy of jess hutch’s unusual toys for you to knit and enjoy (which is now out of print). of all the patterns in the booklet, i loved squarey best (go look at him, he’s adorable!). i didn’t know what yarn to use or anything like that, so he ended up on the back burner for quite a while. finally, i found the perfect yarn… lion brand’s new cotton-ease. i love cotton-ease… the colors are great and the yarn is really soft, if a little splitty. i cast on right away and got through his body pretty quickly. i even bought the pillow to stuff him with. but then i hit a road-block.


no matter how i tried, i just could not convince myself that his arms looked like arms (if you know what i mean). i knew that they would probably look better once they were attached, but i couldn’t get up the nerve to finish them and see. in frustration, i stuffed the parts i had done back in my stash tub and moved on to other projects.

a few months later:

after finishing up the embroidery school samples that i’ve posted about before, i decided to sew them up into a pillow. i got mom to help me with this one, since i needed to use her sewing machine. we sewed up all the pieces and i got ready to stuff it. at about this time, i found squarey’s pillow form in my closet, figured i’d never finish squarey, and used the pillow for my embroidery. the pillow looked good…


until i went to put it on my bed. squarey’s pillow form wasn’t a polyfil form like most, but rather one of those little squishy styrofoam bead pillows that are pretty popular now. turns out, this type of pillow didn’t really show off the embroidery very well. it always managed to look squished and contorted, like this:


or this:


which wasn’t very attractive at all. also, i realized that i didn’t want to put my face all over my embroidery work, so the pillow wasn’t very useful, either. on a whim, i decided to finish squarey (i needed the space in my yarn tub!) and either find a different pillow form or a picture frame for the embroidery. i still couldn’t bear using the arms, so i decided to just leave them off and make squarey just a pillow with a face.


not only do i think he turned out pretty cute, but he even looks sort of endearing when he’s all squished on my bed:


AND i don’t feel weird about laying my head on him and taking a nap. yay for stories with happy endings!

on a separate (but also very happy) note, look what i got in the mail earlier this week!


hannah sent me a whole gladware full of snickerdoodle cookies! they were SO yummy… let’s just say they didn’t last very long… ^^ if you don’t read hannah’s blog, you really should go check it out. she makes the most adorable toys and writes up cute stories to go along with them. also, she’s a really good vegan baker (as i can now tell you first-hand) and even has a book coming out soon. besides all that, she’s such a sweet girl!


finished projects galore! October 22, 2007

Filed under: catch-up,charity,knitting — Ren @ 12:11 am

in my last post, hidden underneath the bathmat fiasco, i briefly mentioned the fact that i was out of my slump and knitting new things. too bad it’s taken me nearly two weeks to post about any of it! i’m sorry i’ve become such a delinquent blogger… school and interviews and all that has been keeping me more than busy. turns out that i’d rather be knitting than blogging, haha.



red scarf #1 is my so-called scarf knit on US 11 needles with Moda Dea Tweedle Dee in color surf ‘n turf. i absolutely fell in love with this yarn (and it was on sale, too). i understand it isn’t red, but i felt like it was the most “gender-neutral” of my options. if i made this scarf again, i would definitely go up a needle size because it was pretty hard for me to work with. it turned out well, though!

red scarf #2 is a basic garter stitch scarf knit on US 9 needles with Patons Classic Wool in colors dark natural mix (i think) and bright red. i found the yarn in my stash and figured it was as good as any for a scarf. ^^

i’m much more pleased with the scarves i donated this year as compared to last year. maybe that means my knitting is improving? we can hope so, anyway!


i also got my Ghana project squares finished and sent. i no longer have any machine washable scrap yarn in my stash, which is really exciting. this project is run by one lady who seams together all the afghan squares she receives, adds borders, and everything… she has 27 afghans to send on the next trip! such a good project! ^^

speaking of charity projects, Rachel is doing the soaring eagles project again this holiday season. this time she’s asking for mittens and socks/slippers for elementary age children. i can’t wait to get started!

and, last but not least, i am about an inch away from finishing my first magic-loop sock. whoo! there won’t be pictures until i have the pair done, though.


he never stood a chance… October 9, 2007

Filed under: knitting,sadness — Ren @ 1:05 pm


i apologize for the terrible picture (it was the only one that captured the colors of the new bleach stains). my poor bathmat… he never even had a chance against the bleach. i came back after class today and he had that huge spot in the middle as well as the new drops in the upper right corner. i was pretty unhappy and had to go downstairs anyway, so i went and complained. the cleaning girl and her supervisor came in and apologized, but basically told me that she was too busy to have to move everybody’s mats each week and that i should be picking it up myself before she comes in (as a side note, this is my third year living in the dorms and i haven’t ever had that problem with any other bathmat; the other cleaning ladies have moved the mats before bleaching the floor). you know, at this point it’s like why bother? it’s totally ruined any way you look at it, whether it has these stains on it or twenty more. i didn’t want to be mean about the whole thing because that doesn’t accomplish anything, but i am really bummed. *sigh*

on the bright side, my knitpicks order came today and i can have fun with that just as soon as i finish red scarf #2, which has to be done today so i can get them mailed out tomorrow. be looking for some socks in my near future! ^^


resurfacing October 6, 2007

Filed under: catch-up,embroidery,knitting,meme,school — Ren @ 1:31 am

this school year is quickly becoming my most intense one yet. every time i think i have a few minutes to post, i remember something else that i’m supposed to be doing. as it turns out, right now i should be writing emails thanking my most recent interviewers. or studying for an exam. or watching lecture. or sleeping. sleep would be very good. but anyway!

over three months ago, the very lovely sophia nominated me for a rockin’ girl blogger award. at the time, i had thought of my five (untagged!) people and what i was going to say about them and everything, but i never got around to actually posting about it. the comment email has been sitting in my inbox since the first of july and it’s time to get it out of there. it seems a bit silly to tag anybody now, since it has been so long, so i’m just going to apologize and not complete this one. i had good intentions, though, i promise!

 changing gears, a few weeks ago, i came back to my room after class and found this:



do you see that, in the upper right hand corner? do you know what that is, all over my pretty, relatively new, bathmat? yes, that’s right, it’s a BLEACH STAIN. apparently, the cleaning lady came in and didn’t bother to move the mat when she was cleaning and so now it’s basically ruined. i’m still using it and everything, but i was really upset. i’m sure you can sympathize with me, though, considering how much time and effort went into it. it almost makes me not want to knit myself nice things… almost.

in happier crafting news, i finished up the embroidery school lessons. i have to wait until i go home to sew up the squares (i want to either frame them or make a pillow, we’ll see), but the main embroidery work is done, at least. i think they turned out pretty well.


 anyway, i’m in the midst of a few scarves for the red scarf project now (i broke out of the slump) and i hope to have pictures up soon. the scarves have to be sent in next week, so i need to get a move on!

also, i am waiting for my new knitpicks sock needles and yarn to come in the mail… i want to knit more socks! i am anxiously anticipating all the wonderful pairs of socks i will be able to complete once the package arrives… too bad i won’t even have time to knit them! *sigh* a girl can dream, right?