Inspiration ruined

I took a beautiful picture of my current project with plans for blogging about it, but now I can’t find my photo card adapter. And since I never use the cable for the camera, I can’t find it either. C’est la vie, n’est ce pas?

So, in an effort to keep me from going any longer without updating my blog, I’m phoning one in and sharing with you my list of all-time favorite podcasts, knitting-related and non-knitting.

 What’s on Heather’s iPod:


1. Stash and Burn – a must! Jenny and Nicole are hilarious, smart and fabulous knitters.

2. Ready Set Knit – Kathy and Steve crack me up with their spouse banter, and it’s the best place to find out about Webs sales (that’s why I’m waiting for a box of discontinued Noro Kureyon to show up soon)!

3. CRL with Vickie Howell – Fellow Texas-inhabitant Vickie Howell is the queen of crafty, and I lurve her!

4. Cast On – I haven’t listened to Brenda in awhile simply because I have so many others to stay up with, but I love her soothing voice and witty observations.

5. Doubleknit – I have to admit I haven’t listed to this yet. I ONLY just now subscribed. I didn’t realize Jessica from Rose-Kim Knits was doing a podcast until just this week. I have the highest hopes, though, if it’s anything like her blog.

I’ve tried a few other knitting podcasts, but either wasn’t enamored with the host, the content, the style or the frequency of publication, but I hope that some of you have some suggestions for other podcasts I’d like!

General podcasts:

1. This American Life – Need I say more?

2. Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me! – NPR’s weekly news quiz show; the best laugh on the radio!

3.  WNYC’s Radio Lab – It’s about science and philosophy in ways you wouldn’t expect; give it a try despite my bad explanation.

4. Slate Magazine Daily Podcast – And the Explainer and Slate V Video. I would read anything Slate takes the time to publish, and I’d listen to anything they take the time to produce! The weekly political gabfest is gold.

5. The Sound of Young America – Maximum Fun! Lots of musicians, comedians and writers. Jesse Thorn has a great interview technique, and he’s hilarious.

6. Word for Word –  APM’s weekly speech series; it’s wonderful to hear straight from sources what they’re thinking.

7. The Onion Radio News – for laughs! The Onion News Network videos are hilarous, too.

8.  The News From Lake Wobegon – It doesn’t get better than listening to Garrison Keillor.

8. The Story – Dick Gordon does great long-format interviews with interesting folks and everyday people.

9. The Lost podcast – currently on summer hiatus, but highly entertaining

And finally, this video podcast is all about DIY crafts:  Threadbanger


Yarn shop review: Upstairs Studio

Sometimes it’s easy to look at a map and convince yourself something’s closer than it really is. La Porte isn’t THAT far from my suburb. When you compare it to, say, Beaumont, I guess it’s close. But then again, I’m spoiled. Almost anything I need or want is within 5 miles of my house. It’s only yarn that I have to travel for. My closest yarn store is 20 miles away. When you put it into that scope, Upstairs Studio is really fairly close.

The store is in the middle of old town La Porte. There are a number of interesting boutiques and stores lining West Main, and as someone who used to be afraid to leave “the Loop,” I was impressed. It’s the perfect setting for wandering the street looking for treasures; and just around the corner was Upstairs Studio.

I was greeted by Earl, who demonstrated a spinning wheel for me and explained the theory. I really want to take a class now. They have beautiful roving for spinning or needle felting. They have some amazing examples of things that can be made by felting.

The yarn selection isn’t huge, but it’s unique. There’s a lot of Elizabeth Lavold and a few European brands I haven’t seen. The sock yarn is mainly self-striping, Trekking for instance. There are some novelty yarns and ribbon yarns mixed in, too, and a lot of Brown Sheep Company offerings. There are some hand-dyed, too, which was hard to resist! Especially the Madelinetosh stuff.

The shop is very welcoming, and I highly recommend visiting.

Christmas in June

Deadlines motivate, no question. Last December, I finished knitting one present in the car on the way home for the holidays.
Talk about pressure. Even worse, I didn’t get the inspiration for someone else’s present until Christmas day. And that one had to be mailed.

So I told myself I’d be better this year. I’d plan ahead. I’d figure out patterns, then start knitting; maybe even shoot for one gift a month.

Halfway through the year, how much holiday knitting have I done? None. In fact, I almost raged at the holiday aisle at Hobby Lobby. it’s June! I know crafting takes some time, but come on folks. I’m not ready to be reminded of all the work we handmade gifters have in front of us! Can’t I stay in denial until Thanksgiving? Please?

Dyeing for inspiration?

Knit Picks has come up with possibly the COOLEST idea ever: sock blanks that you can paint. They’re double-stranded, so if you do two-at-a-time, you end up with two matching socks painted to your own specifications. I wish they offered the gauge info in an easy to find place. It’s a really neat idea for people who want to try dyeing with a safety net. Let me know if you try it!

Babies, babies everywhere!

The change in the weather has stomped all over my knitting mojo. When it’s warm outside, you want to enjoy it (or hide from it). You want to recline in the shade or swim in the pool or tromp through the garden (or sit inside under a fan with the A/C on). You do not want to haul around balls of wool to turn into sweaters.

That being said, I’ve brainstormed several summer projects. First, I wanted to make a tank top. Then I fixated on a bolero. After determining I didn’t have enough suitable yarn for either of those (and not wanting to get more if it could be avoided), I fixated on the Clapotis, which makes no sense for summer knitting. I considered using the stash of Classic Elite Bam Boo I stored up during a Yarns 2 Ewe sale intending to make a baby sweater. Since that hasn’t happened yet, why not a bamboo Clapotis? Nix, not enough of that, either.

And then I realize, I have like a bajillion baby showers to go to! After finishing my nephew’s blanket finally, I was in no mood for baby knitting. Now, however, I have a deadline to consider. Namely, a shower tomorrow, then one next weekend, with surely more to come! As a former newspaperwoman, deadlines speak to me and offer creativity. That said, I’m recycling a tried and true pattern for most of the gifts but inventing a new one as I go. We’ll see how it turns out (no details until after the first shower, at least).

Why so many babies? My best thought is that after college, everyone has that year where it seems like everyone they know got married. For my husband and me, that year happened a few years ago, so now all those people have decided it’s time to start a family! Or, as so many people like to say, it’s in the water.