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


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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keeping Up

Today is my day off, with the exception of teaching a class tonight.  I've spent the better part of this morning attempting to log on to the Brooklyn Tweed site to see the newest look book.  True to predictions, the internet has crashed!  All those East coast knitters snowed in are using up the bandwidth, I suppose.  I still have things from the last most recent collections to knit.  The truth is that I want to make everything, and I can't knit fast enough.  When work officially commences on a new dog sweater collection, I'll have even less time to knit all the stuff I want for my personal wardrobe.  I have some warm weather garments that I should finish and be ahead of the game.  Spring will be here soon enough.
The hat photographed is Skiff from the fall 2014 BT collection.  I've knit it four times.  This one was a gift for my friend H.  Who almost never wears hats.  I want her to keep her lovely little noggin warm on the coldest days here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

That's So 2014

It's comforting to think that a new year starts with a clean slate.  I can't say that it's true for this one.  Starting with more crisis for the studio HQ.  When I rented this residence, I was told that the rent was low because of the lack of amenities, like laundry privileges, storage, and parking.  We had another rent increase to ring in the New Year.  A 13% increase.  So in total the rent on this place has gone up >25% in three years.  For the same lack of amenities, with the added annoyance of garage band activities in the basement below our residence.  I didn't think I could despise the people who share this building with me and collect the rent, any more than I do already, but I do.  I'm going to have to drag the Man kicking and screaming to a new place, but I swear it's going to happen.  Why he is content with staying in place has been one of the frustrations of this past year.
My color obsession of 2014 was this shade of pink.  Now most shades of pink.  I love pinks for Madeline.  This sweater is Bellows from the fall Brooklyn Tweed collection.  I knit it in Imperial Stock Ranch Native Twist, in the color Dusty Rose.  My plan was to knit it in a light gray, then a friend came into the shop wearing a lovely pink coat, and I just had to change.  I have more pinks in store for my knitting.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014: Truimph and Tragedy

If you didn't get to see it earlier this year, here is one of the knitting accomplishments of my life:  The sweater that I knit for Russian Transport at Steppenwolf Theatre.  Thank you to Mae Haskins of the Steppenwolf costume shop for the photo.  I loved working with them.  That was the triumph.
The tragedy is the deterioration of my Lucky Penny studio and living situation, that occurred at the same time.  Since February, it's pretty much influenced every day.  My fear, rage, and just feeling unsettled.  I haven't felt this bad since 2002/2003, when I lost a residential/income property due to family malfeasance.
I'm staying in this New Year's eve, knitting and hanging out with Madeline, the Man, and the two little dogs I'm taking care of.  Keeping my fingers crossed that 2015 is better.