Saturday, September 13, 2008


I must say there is so much that I love and hate about being unemployed.

There are some people that don't do well with too much free time. I think that if I had a little more security with my life I could see myself being rather content pursuing my passions. I love that right now I am able to indulge in my hobby of knitting. I've made a number of projects, done some serious brainstorming and planning on future endeavors of yarn, and have promised a number of hand knitted items to friends and family.  I've also learned how to crochet; and it's a great feeling to learn something new. In fact, here's a picture of my Aunt Trish with my first completed crochet project:

I adore the sense of accomplishment that comes from handing off a finished project to someone. Lately I've been also getting a sense of accomplishment from my walks. Almost everyday I go on something that is more like a hike than a stroll in my neighborhood. It takes about fifty minutes and I work up a sweat doing it. Fortunately aside from leaving me sweaty, it alsogives me a sense that I'm doing something good and healthy for myself.

Though I'm going through an existential crisis, it seems thatquite a bit of it is due to me coming to grips with who I am andb having it not mesh with what society expects from me. Alas, more on that later.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Over a month ago I left Blizzard, which was not the easiest decision to make. I loved my co-workers, the banter, and occasionally being able to assist people in having fun. However, there were enough reasons that I decided it would be prudent to begin looking for employment elsewhere; even in a completely different field.

After applying my signature to documents (that sadly I did not receive copies of) at Idexx (a laboratory company that runs all the tests on your pets), I put in my two week’s notice at Blizzard I received emails from disappointed coworkers who were flattering enough to say they were going to miss me. In fact a few were personalized and photoshopped… but here’s one that made it to my Blizzard email address:

My last morning at Blizzard had me walking out with a lump in my throat. I hadn’t even been there for four months, but surrounded by cynical geeks... it was like being home! Driving away I actually started to cry, feeling like I was leaving everything behind.

In the car driving home, I got a phone call from the friend that had gotten me the job at Idexx. Despite signing a contract, the manager had changed his mind and decided that the only position available was one with lower pay and responsibility. Unbelievable… finding out after just having worked my last shift at Blizzard.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Snoozing for them!

The personification of warm fuzzies is perhaps this little kitty bed.

It was made with some desperately unsubtle "tickle me" novelty yarn that my mother purchased a few years ago with the intent of making a scarf for my brother. Before you ask, no my brother is not gay; he's was just the unfortunate victim in a bad yarn choice. Though in my mother's defense, Ray does not like scratchy things (and who does, really?), and so wool wasn't quite an option. Bless my mother's heart.

At this time society tends to not judge pet fashion trends so harshly... though perhaps a few more years with Paris Hilton's animate fashion accessory, Tinkerbell, and this may change. Anyway, armed with some of my trusty Red Heart yarn (which Kevin had gotten for me in a grab bag auction on Ebay), and about five skeins of the soft but silly tickle me yarn, I crafted the pattern for the "Princess Snowball Cat Bed" found in Debbie Stoller's Stitch n' Bitch.

As you can see, Ryan's cats, Shadow and Aeris love the thing. In fact they were lying on the knit pieces, effectively keeping me from sewing them together to create the finished product. Again, it was rather kind of them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mr. Mouse

Encouraged by the reception that the knitted bee received, I put my needles to work on another treat for the feisty felines. This little mouse pattern came from Debbie Stoller's Stitch n' Bitch Nation, as part of a "Catwarming Set". Some left over acrylic yarn, a few cotton balls, with about a teaspoon of catnip tucked in, and you too can enjoy watching your cat trip out. It was again a compliment that though Aeris had some toy mice, which he didn't play with, he went out of his way to wrestle and bunny kick the one I made. Good kitty!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bumble Cat Toy

Cats don't like sweaters. Understandable, especially considering how warm things get here in August, not to mention most felines wear fur coats year round. So, when knitting an item for a cat, toys seem to be a better decision. That being said, I never knit anything expecting the recipient to love it. The best I hope for is an, "oh, isn't that nice! You made it? Gee, thanks (insert muttering about having to wear it since it was hand-made)". Still, that's with loved ones. People who desperately don't want to hurt your feelings and will smile and nod at the hideous scarf you made and pretend that they will someday find a use for it. Who knows? It could be very useful if you ever run out of toilet paper.
Anyway, cats, unbound by our social code, could not care less if they hurt your delicate feelings. All of that hard work put into something like a cat sweater, and they will not hesitate to let you know how loathsome a creature you are to make them wear such a monstrosity. Did you spend hours making a cat toy? They could care less. Honestly. Much more efficient to roll up a sheet of paper into a ball, less cost and takes approximately three seconds while providing hours of fun.

All of this being said, there is something amazing about a cat trying desperately to chew the head off a knitted bee that you made. This ferocious display can only be given by a cat that sincerely appreciates having and outlet for their pent up killer instincts. I made a bee a few months ago for Laverne and Shirley, which they enjoyed, briefly. Recently I took some scraps and crafted another one for my boyfriend Ryan's two cats, Shadow and Aris. Aris, at five months old, has taken to tugging, chewing, pulling, clawing, nom-ing, and bunny-kicking this plaything. Truly, the most sincere and honest compliment comes from a cat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cool Head

So, this is my version of the "Hot Head" pattern found in Debbie Stoller's "Stitch 'N Bitch". Since I didn't want to make something with reds, oranges and yellows; I figured this color combination would work just as well. Acutally, I like it quite a bit more than what the original pattern calls for. My brother was so kind as to model this beanie for me. Thank you Ray! You look Marvelous!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Navy Twist

This little hat has a bit of a story. Originally I made it for my father, who seemed to desperately need it. While late October in Southern California is relatively mild, it’s also not the ideal temperature for sitting outside in the middle of the night playing with your ham radio set trying to get some rare DX contact. The Ham Shack, called such because it’s the hobby room that my father has for Ham (or Amateur Radio), was undergoing major construction. Well, it’s always been under construction, but at this time, a wall was missing. Needless to say, it got pretty chilly in there.
Finally, I could finally take an interest in Ham Radio, at least so much as I could knit something to keep the pops a little less like a popsicle while he scanned the airwaves. So, within an evening or two I whipped up this hat with some navy colored Red Heart yarn and the Basic Cable Hat pattern from Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation. I gave it to my dad, who seem pleased enough with it.

However, fairly shortly after this hat reached my father, my mother decided to visit my Aunt Randi. In something akin to crayon pictures stuck on a refrigerator, my mom took some of my completed projects with her. Scarves and hats returned with her, with the exception of two beanies. My dad’s Navy Twist and another one, Cool Head (more on that project later), ended up being borrowed by my uncle Eddie and cousin Moosa for a trip back East to look at perspective college campuses.

Can I say there is little more that feels better than having someone look at something you made and go, “Hey! That’s cool! Can I borrow that?”. Perhaps the only thing more flattering is them flat out stealing it. Anyway, my heart was warmed more than their heads, I’m sure. Anyway, this hat was borrowed by my cousin Moosa, who ended up taking it not only to the East coast, but also to Europe. Warm fuzzy. Though I am slightly jealous of this well traveled hat.

Friday, March 28, 2008

One little Shadow Alien

Thin strips of alternating green and black? Yes, but it's so much more! Hidden carefully in Area 51... I mean in rows of knits and purls is a shadow knit Alien. Totally groovy, no? When glimpsed at an angle, you can see how this bad boy suddenly becomes less subtle. The technique is called illusion knitting or shadow knitting. The pattern is available in Stitch N' Bitch by Debbie Stoller.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Gainful Employment

Totally not knit related, but definitely newsworthy to me. I was just offered a position at Blizzard and have accepted it. These cool kids are the ones that have come up with the massively multi-player online role-playing game called "World of Warcraft" or for short "WoW". Favored by people with only one 'X' chromosome, this leads to an interesting phenomenon in the gentler sex. Ladies tend to notice that the man in their life spends far more time online doing heroic things rather than hanging out with them. Thus giving birth to the concept of a "WoW Widow". In fact, this lovely motivational (or demotivational) picture should give you an idea of how bad it might get.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Braid Panels

I like braid cables; according to the snooty these are actually plait cables. Anyway this is going to be a disgustingly warm blanket. After I make the fraternal twin of this panel (instead of one braid going up and one going down it will be reversed); I will have used nearly eight 12 ounce skeins of yarn. This means that it's going to be SIX FREAKIN' POUNDS of yarn! Oh, and I'm not done yet.

Well, this is what I've been doing with my spare time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kinky Knit!

Thoughtful gift = handmade item. Sexy present = edible undies. Combine thoughtful with sexy to create the superlative gift. The gift to end all gifts... red laces licorice panties crafted with care (and chopsticks) by a naughty knitter. If only I were cool enough to come up with this. Alas not, but that is fortunate for the rest of the world; because had I come up with the idea I would hold this little gem of a pattern hostage only to be released to the highest bidder. In what can only be described as an Nobel Peace Prize winning move, the pattern is available free. This nifty little number is called 302 Calories. This isn't granny's knittin'... or at least not any kind she told YOU about!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Perfect for Transvestites!

What can I say? I was seduced by the idea of cheap novelty yarn. Did I heed the warning on the front? Noooo... It was there, right on the front; it was even the name of the yarn: "Boa". But I can go broke saving money and any inexpensive yarn can find a home in my stash, no matter how ugly it is. After discovering that I couldn't distinguish the front from the back or knits from purls, I just did a garter stitch (knitting every row). Thus creating something that perhaps Dr. Frankenfurter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show might wear if he ever found himself stuck in the furthest reaches of Transexual.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Even more blanket!

Luscious, is it not? This is is a modification of a pattern from Debbie Walker's A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. The pattern is called "Triple Braided Diamonds" and I just multiplied everything in there by two so that it would kind of measure up with gargantuan nature of this blanket. I think this one is going to be the center panel.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Perfect for those freezing So. Cal winters!

A few months ago I bought a ton of denim colored yarn on sale. In fact I got 96 ounces of this yarn for the low price of $32.00 (plus tax of course). With such an abundant supply; I had little choice. I needed to make a blanket. I found a pattern I liked from Lion Brand's website and got started. Here's what it's supposed to look like....

Cute, right? Well, it calls for a really thick yarn... No problem; I get the same gauge when I hold two strands of my denim yarn together. Then I decided that I wanted to make it long enough to cover my queen sized bed. By repeating the pattern so that it's more than twice as long as originally intended, I got a panel that looks like a very long version of the panel below.  Right now I have two of these long little babies waiting to go. I need to post a picture of the other panel I did for this blanket, but this is enough for now.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lace and Cable Beanie

I made this lace and cable beanie a while ago and for the life of me I can't seem to find the pattern online anymore. For some unfathomable reason I made it using Lavender yarn. Know of anyone that would love and appreciate this lovely one of a kind lace and cable beanie? Currently it is residing in a basket of finished projects.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Iced Venti Coffee Cozy

So folks, what do you think? Since I work at a Starbucks and spend quite a bit of time knitting; when I'm not putting little cardboard sleeves on cups of coffee that is, it was a natural to link the two. Wonder how much cardboard people would save if they just used little knit sleeves each day. Hey does anybody think I could sell one or two of these things? Maybe if I charged a buck or so for them?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sheesh, how many occular points do you need?

Coolest knitting pattern ever. I can honestly say that when I first saw this R2-D2 knit hat I had a hard time deciding who would be the first to get one. Slightly intimidated by the project, it turned out pretty damn fantastic. Though it ended up larger than I had imagined, Ray seems to do pretty well with it. In case you want to see what this is supposed to look like, check it out here at Carissa's Knit site. I think she might be my doppleganger... she's an OCD knitter who works as a barista at Starbucks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Little cutie "Ugg" booties!

Here are pictures of some fake "Ugg" booties I made for my assistant manager's baby (Gigi's brandy-new kid). They're intended for a child of 9-12 months.

I found the pattern originally at knitting pattern central (a favorite of mine). Apparently this is from the DIY network's show "Knitty Gritty". If you want the pattern it's here: "Suede" booties. Damn it. This might actually push me to get cable. Then again, you could always watch the little instructional video online here.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Drop Stitch Scarf

I got some ribbon yarn on sale at Michael's. Mostly I wanted it for novelty's sake. I wonder what it's like knitting with different types of things. (So far my favorite is seeing someone's pictures of knitting ramen noodles with chopsticks.)

Here I used the follow up book by Debbie Stoller "Stitch 'N Bitch Nation". The pattern for the scarf is called "Yo, Drop it!". Cute title? Eh, my little knitters in the know? [I know that explaining a joke can kill it... but YO is a pattern abbreviation for 'yarn-over' - which adds a stitch. Drop it refers to dropping the stitch that you added in the previous row.]

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's time

Hi. My name is Dania. And I'm an addict.

Of course my addiction is to knitting needles; which is slightly more socially acceptable than some other needle addictions.

It started sometime in early summer of 2007, when while working at the local library I happened to shelve some knitting books. My eyes can't help but stray to the titles as I scan the Dewey decimal numbers. This is how I first found Debbie Stoller's "Stitch n' Bitch". This book along with a bit of guidance from my friend Bridgette and my mom (Mom and Jonathan pictured here) helped me learn how to knit. Of course there is the requisite yarn, needles, and tireless patience.

So, thousands of stitches later, I think I'll begin a blog. Of course it's about time.