Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Is it Ever Easy?

If you've been reading the blog for some time, you know my struggle to find a safe, stable place for Lucky Penny HQ.  I can pinpoint the time of the downward trajectory to our living situation, which happened before the inception of this blog.  Right now we are waiting for the go-ahead to move into an apartment that is in the Man's family.  It's a senior building, which cracks me up, smaller, which will require considerable purging.  I have been mentally placing furniture in it for months, and imagining doing my laundry in my residence.  The best part--it's so quiet, and I just know all those old folks are blasting their televisions.
I finished the sweater that I have been knitting.  This is Leigh, by Julie Hoover, who I think is a brilliant designer.  I used Shibui Pebble held double, and I love it so much.  I wish it were just a bit cooler so I could actually wear it!  I got a lot of knitting time riding in a car on a road trip for once.  I had brought other projects on the trip, but couldn't put this down.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Weekend of Driving and Eating

Scene from a road trip.  The trip of driving and eating, because that's what we did.  We borrowed the car, as my Rav4 now has 32,000+ miles and a noisy muffler.  Madeline liked to spend some time on that shelf under the rear window, and would sleep for some of the drive.   Sleeping in the car is new for her.  It rained most of the weekend, and the sun broke out on Monday afternoon just a few hours before the drive back to Chicago.  We spent the night in Fond du Lac, and I had a nightmare including zombies and having a different boss, my last one, in an old work place, to fire me all over again.  And, Madeline had a seizure.  Not part of the nightmare, she really did.  What on earth is triggering a nightmare?  I hardly ever have them.
I'm hoping the next trip that I start in a few days goes better.  I have to prep Mad's meals and supplements and finish some knitted wardrobe pieces.
I'm working on the most luscious piece in a double strand of Shibui Pebble, an extravagance even with a generous employee discount.  There was an incident in Wisconsin yesterday.
Part of my process with knitting for myself usually involves my yarn escaping from the project bag, and often me going quite a distance from it before I realize what's happened.  Once I locked the yarn in my car, walked across a parking lot, and across Lincoln Ave. into the store, leaving a strand of yarn between me and the parked car.
It was windy yesterday, and I noticed that my Pebble had broken away from the knitting when I had stopped to put gas in the car.  I was at the end of two skeins, and had two full wound skeins in the open ziplock bag holding the project.   Hours later, I realized that the two small remaining balls, and one full ball were missing from the car.  The only conclusion I can make is that the broken balls and one extra had rolled out of the car.  So maybe some lucky knitter getting gas in Oconomowoc will find some luxury yarn.  There would be enough for a nice scarf.  I'm hoping that the yarn amounts for the sweater are generously calculated so I don't have to purchase that much to complete the sweater.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Fantastic Gift

There's things that I want to wear, but I might not want to knit them.  Number one being a Hitchhiker, a now iconic piece of neckwear.  I started one last year but never finished it.  There are other pieces of knitwear that I can't style properly.  I can't wear a triangular shawl without it looking like a bib.  A rectangular shape works better for me.   I have an extensive wardrobe of cowls and infinity scarves.  Very easy to wear.   My preferred item to knit these days is sweaters, either for me or dogs.  This lovely shawl was knit for me!  I watched my friend David work on it, in my favorite shade of Mrs. Crosby's Satchel (I think the color is African Grey), never knowing that I was the intended recipient.   It's called the Banana Leaf Shawl.  This one is really long, probably more than eight feet.  Something I love having, but especially love that I didn't have to knit it.  I asked my friend Helen for tips on styling it.  Helen can put on any sample in the store and tie it just right.
I just love this shawl, it's the perfect style for me.  What a thrill to be gifted a hand knit.  I am a lucky woman to have such a lovely friend.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Treasured Companion

Have I mentioned what a remarkable little creature my Madeline is?  I have been having the best time with her.  Such a lovely little doll.  She charms everyone who meets her.  In the last few weeks she's been getting a little shaggy around the edges.  There's a horrible dog flu epidemic here in Chicago, and I am reluctant to expose her by taking her in for a grooming.  Her groomers are lovely, and I think they must be suffering dreadfully as this flu rages on.
I knit this gradient sweater for her a few months ago.  A lighter weight wool, perfect for transitional weather.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

If I Could Afford You, I Wouldn't Need You

A few weeks ago, a marketing enterprise reached out to me.  I agreed to a phone interview.  They were promising getting Lucky Penny more visible, and linking my product to a celebrity,  re-working my web presence, etc.  All for the minimum of $3000/mo.  If I was successful enough to blow that amount on their services, I wouldn't really need them.  The irony.
I left my first (one star) Yelp review today.  Having terrible experiences with owner occupied properties, I thought I might do better with a property management company, and all of their buildings in my neighborhood look nice, and the rents appear reasonable.  The apartment hunt goes on.  In four years, it has turned into a real racket.  Pet rent, for one.  I looked at an apartment yesterday that I didn't have a chance of renting.  I was the meat puppet to make the other party think that they had to rush to a decision.  I declined another opportunity to do the same today.  When I told the rental agent that I didn't want to fall into an endless loop of looking at apartments that essentially were not available, her attitude was flippant. Take it or leave it.  So I left it.  Is there no integrity left?
I hated the foam case I purchased for my MacBook, so I created a knit/crocheted one.  I have to do another, as this one turned out a little too big.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Why Not?

A few months ago, at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago, I had planned on a little shopping action in the market.  I was all set to purchase a sweater's worth of Brooklyn Tweed Loft, but I was hesitant about a color.  Instead, the only purchase that I made was from a Chicago shop.  They are closed on the same day as the shop I work at, so I have limited access to them.  One of my purchases was a skein of Pepperberry Knits cashmere in dk weight.  I combined it with a cowl kit that is stocked at the store, and this is the result.  Cashmere for La Mad.  She deserves it.
I have heard that Vogue Knitting Live will be at another midwest city this fall.  I'm disappointed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Henry

After Piccolo died, a friend sent a stuffed Pekingese as a remembrance.  I thought that the gesture was lovely.  I wanted to adopt that tradition as my own.  I knit a little dog for that same friend after the passing of her dog, and it sadly was lost in the mail.  I must make another.
This little kitty was for my friend T, who had a grey tabby that died the week of Thanksgiving.  I used a pattern from the book Knitted Cats and Kittens.  I modified the pattern to have the head markings done by duplicate stitch.  The pattern as written had the markings knit separately and then attached.  I stuffed pipe cleaners into the legs so Henry could stand up straight.   I used Debbie Bliss Bluefaced Leicester dk, and Rowan Felted Tweed for the markings.  I purchased the glass eyes from Amazon.
The current status of everything is that I'm overwhelmed.  I have been doing a lot of teaching, classes and private lessons.  I expect this will slow down a bit in March.  There's also a pile of finishing and repair work that I'm behind on.  Add to that the distractions of wanting to knit things for my wardrobe.  It seems that I used to be able to get lots more done.