Thursday, February 28, 2008

I have a problem.

So, one evening I'll be straightening up the portion of the stash that lives in my room, admiring the beautiful colors and fibers I've garnered, and thinking of all the things these cakes and skeins could become. Then I'll touch a skein of gorgeous alpaca lace, or an especially springy and cushy worsted wool, and I'll be nearly overcome with the desire to actually wear it. To be able to work it into something that can be next to my skin, to warm and comfort me.

And then the search begins.

I'll start hunting through my personal library for something suitable. Then I head online and search at Ravelry. If that fails, I'll get to Googling for patterns. After hours of intensive perusal, I'll find something that catches my fancy--not too complicated or fussy, yet classic and wearable--and cast on, still dreaming of how great this little number will feel, and loving how the yarn feels as I work with it.

I knit on, sometimes for an afternoon, and sometimes for days. And then it happens. At first, it just seems that what I'm knitting doesn't look nearly as nice as the photos, or what I had imagined. Then, as I keep on working, I realize that what I'm knitting simply isn't pretty. It's not meeting my needs for aesthetic pleasure, and I become sadly disillusioned with the project. Sometimes I wait a week or so to frog it, but usually it's within only a few minutes of the final verdict that the yarn is back in it's embryonic state, awaiting a pattern to bring it fully to life.

I don't think this is startitis, because it's not as though I just fall out of love with a pattern or idea, my interest trailing away as I begin looking at other projects. It's that they all seem to fall so far short of what I think they should (or could) look like, and I can't bear to work on them any longer, knowing that I'll be unhappy with the finished product, and won't wear it.

Am I the only one who does this?

It would be so nice to have some idea of what to do with all of this yarn, and not have this worry hovering in the back of my mind, taunting me with the likelihood of hours and hours of wasted effort. If you know of a 12-step program for this type of thing, do please speak up . . .

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nifty Knickers have arrived!

Yep. The longies pattern is done--well, until you all flood me with questions about the pattern, that is. ;o)

Check it out here.


And now for something completely different.

A finished object!

Behold, the top-down longies are finally done . . . and were sent off today to their new owner. (Double knitting mojo points for not procrastinating on that one, eh?)

These are sized for a good-sized toddler, between 2.5 & 3 years old. They have hemmed cuffs and an encased elastic waist. The elastic casing was knit flat for a few rows in the middle of the inside half so an opening was left for adding the elastic later (and for allowing for adjustments and replacement, if necessary). I personally don't like elastic waists in diaper covers, because the polyester elastic tends to build up odors, while the wool doesn't.

Here you can see the short rows in back . . . they're a little down from the waist, and marked by the wedge-shaped stripes on each side.

And here, here is the crotch gusset. This one went together far, far better than my first attempt. This one is basically like the toe of a sock . . . but instead of decreasing down to it, you increase a few stitches in the middle on the last couple of rounds, put the leg stitches on needles (or whatever), and graft the center stitches together. Then you pick up a few stitches on each side of the gusset strap that now connects the front and back, and knit the legs down from there.

And now, I'm off to put some very tired, slightly ill, hyper munchkins to bed. So far we've dodged the flu that's going around, but the two youngest are starting a gunky cough. So, with bitter herbs and herbal cleansers to the rescue, we should be fine in a few days.

And don't worry . . . the longies pattern really, Really, is coming. No, really . . . ;o)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Longies: Some progress!

So, today I'm up for a nice, light, knitting post. ;o) I've been working on some more custom longies for another mama, and here's where they stand (er, lay):

These are the prototype for my top-down longies pattern, which should be done by the end of next week. (It's a conservative estimate, since we'll be gone all weekend, and I'll be completely offline for that time.)

Here's a close-up of the crotch gusset, take #2:

This one has worked out much better than the previous attempts. It's just like the toe of a sock, and since I'm a doofus when it comes to grafting, I had to graft it from the inside (since I couldn't figure out how to graft in knit--just in purl!). But I think it looks pretty darn good, don't you? And the leg on the left side of the photo comes out from the gusset in a neat fashion, without any ridges or holes.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

On Licensing

Designer Series, Part 2

So, now that we all understand copyright laws do not control what a knitter (crocheter/seamstress/etc.) does with the pattern itself (beyond copying/distributing it), or with the finished product of our patterns (provided they're not patented), what options are available if we choose to care?


The term Cottage License is pretty familiar to most of us. It grants the use of a pattern for monetary gain, usually for an annual or lifetime fee. Most free patterns right now have a "For home use only" stipulation at the bottom, which could be understood to be a license. The fact that the person who downloaded the pattern didn't know about it beforehand, and therefore couldn't agree with it, raises some questions. In software, you must agree to the software's license before you're able to install it. Some kind of forewarning is courteous, and I believe legally necessary, in order for it to be binding. But in the case of free patterns, since there is no money exchanged, it's easy to delete the pattern if you don't agree with the license terms.

There is a Cottage License statement on my patterns, which serves only to limit their use by larger business or manufacturers. (I highly doubt that any manufacturer would wish to license my pattern, but it's nice to reserve the right to license to them on different terms, should that highly unlikely possibility ever arise.) For my patterns, Lifetime Cottage Licenses are free for work-at-home-type businesses.

So, how does one apply licensing to income-producing pattern distribution?

If you wish to limit the use of your pattern, you need to alert the recipient of it before they spend money. Do all you can to ensure that your customer understands the terms of the license they're purchasing. Notice I said the customer is purchasing a license. When you license patterns, it's not the pattern that is for sale. It's only the license. Included with the license should be a copy of the pattern, but the pattern itself remains the property of the designer. That's the only way you can closely control the usage of it.

If you're selling patterns, and thereby transferring ownership of that copy to the customer, there's not much you can do about what they choose to do beyond the previously outlines confines of copyright law. If you're selling licenses to use something to which you retain ownership, then it's a different story, and under the law you may set the terms. There are a lot of factors to consider in setting the terms of your licensing, and that will be covered in a later segment of the series. You can dream up any set of terms you like, but bear in mind that if they're too restrictive or distasteful, your sales will be affected.

If it's a free pattern, current practice seems to be sufficient--simply have a notice on the pattern somewhere stating the terms of the license extended with the pattern.

Next up, Licensing Terms: How much annoyance will customers take?

Monday, February 18, 2008

On Copyright

Designer Series, Part 1

So, as many of us are painfully aware, there has been quite the, shall we say, "discussion "proceeding over copyright and it's application to kntting patterns and designers. Thread after thread has been started, flames ensued, cool- and hot-headed types both weighed in with varying clarity and success. But nobody seems to come to any type of reliably-referenced or well-founded answer to the questions floating around about just how much control a pattern writer or designer has over their pattern, and whether or not it's legitimate for another person to imitate their finished item.

It was getting so this really bothered me . . . partly because I prefer to find the basic principles behind a problem, partly because I wasn't willing to jump in and provide another target for the hotheaded participants, and partly because I'm also one who holds copyright to patterns. So, I've done some reading, delved into the US Copyright law, and here's what I've found.

There are two elements to this issue. First, how copyright applies to the pattern itself, and secondly, how it applies to the item which can be produced from it. This applies equally to knitted, crocheted, and sewn items. I've mostly used knitting in my examples, but that's only for brevity and clarity. I also crochet and sew . . . so don't fear I'm knitter-centric. ;o)

How exactly does copyright apply to patterns?

First, patterns are copyrighted just as any other written thing is copyrighted, whether it’s poetry or this article. Here’s what title 106 of US Copyright law has to say:

§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works38

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

(1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;

(3) to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

(4) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works, to perform the copyrighted work publicly;

(5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; and

(6) in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

There is some debate as to whether knitting from the pattern constitutes creating a derivative work—but whether or not it does, a pattern is written with the intent to allow others to reproduce that the author has already created, and therefore grants an implied license to the pattern recipient to do so. In addition, the existence of the pattern itself sends a clear message that the designer wishes her original to be duplicated, and allows pattern recipients the ability to do so.

Next, how does copyright apply to the finished item?

Here’s Title 102 of the US law:

§ 102. Subject matter of copyright: In general28

(a) Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories:

(1) literary works;

(2) musical works, including any accompanying words;

(3) dramatic works, including any accompanying music;

(4) pantomimes and choreographic works;

(5) pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;

(6) motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

(7) sound recordings; and

(8) architectural works.

(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work.

The discussion I've seen maintains that knitted items (soakers, hats, etc) are covered under item 5 above, and cannot be imitated once they've been seen by other knitters, for that constitutes both copyright infringement and the making of a derivative work. Under the definition for line item 5, it lists works of applied craftsmanship as a type of "pictorial, graphic and sculptural" work, which has been cited by pattern writers as protecting the finished item. But that's not all that the definition says. Here it is in full:

“Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works” include two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of fine, graphic, and applied art, photographs, prints and art reproductions, maps, globes, charts, diagrams, models, and technical drawings, including architectural plans. Such works shall include works of artistic craftsmanship insofar as their form but not their mechanical or utilitarian aspects are concerned; the design of a useful article, as defined in this section, shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.” (Emphasis added.)

Unless the art can be identified separately from the useful aspects of your soaker, then what you’ve knitted is not copyright protected under the law above. It is a utilitarian item with some great features, and therefore not covered under copyright.

Here is further discussion on the topic from WikiPedia:

Useful articles

If a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work is a useful article, it is copyrighted only if its aesthetic features are separable from its utilitarian features. A useful article is an article having an intrinsic utilitarian function that is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey information. They must be separable from the functional aspect to be copyrighted. [1]

There are two primary approaches to the separability issue: physical separability and conceptual separability. Physical separability is the ability to take the aesthetic thing away from the functional thing. Conceptual separability can be found in several different ways. It may be present if the useful article is also shown to be appreciated for its aesthetic appeal or by the design approach, which is the idea that separability is only available if the designer is able to make the aesthetic choices that are unaffected by the functional considerations. A question may also be asked of whether an individual would think of the aesthetic aspects of the work being separate from the functional aspects.

There are several different tests available for conceptual separability. The first, the Primary Use test, asks how is the thing primarily used: art or function? The second, the Marketable as Art test, asks can the article be sold as art, whether functional or not. This test does not have much backing, as almost anything can be sold as art. The third test, Temporal Displacement, asks could an individual conceptualize the article as art without conceptualizing functionality at the same time. Finally, the Denicola test says that copyrightability should ultimately depend on the extent to which the work reflects the artistic expression inhibited by functional consideration. If something came to have a pleasing shape because there were functional considerations, the artistic aspect was constrained by those concerns.

And, lastly, here is the official story from the Fact Sheets at the US Government Copyright website:

Designs for useful articles, such as vehicular bodies, wearing apparel, household appliances, and the like are not protected by copyright. However, the design of a useful article is subject to copyright protection to the degree that its pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features can be identified as existing independently of the utilitarian object in which they are embodied.

The line between uncopyrightable works of industrial design and copyrightable works of applied art is not always clear. A two-dimensional painting, drawing, or other graphic work is still identifiable when it is printed on or applied to useful articles such as textile fabrics, wallpaper, containers, and the like. On the other hand, although the shape of an industrial product may be aesthetically satisfying and valuable, the copyright law does not afford it protection. The designs of some useful objects may be entitled to protection under design patent law administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Write to Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, P. O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450 or call the Patent and Trademark help line at (800) 786-9199 or (571) 272-1000 (tty: (571) 272-9950). For the Trademark Assistance Center, call (800) 786-9199. Information is available at

Designs separately identifiable from useful articles may be registered on Form VA.

FL-103, Revised July 2006

Long story short, the law above is very plain. Here is the wrap up:

  • Patterns are covered by copyright, just as any other written work.
  • The knitted items produced from those patterns are not copyrighted so long as they are useful. Apparel items specifically mentioned above, encompass soakers, longies, etc. They may be imitated by anyone who feels inclined to do so, which will provide opportunity for innovation and improvement on all aspects of that knitwear's design.
If you see an item that looks suspiciously like your pattern, there are a few possibilities:
  • Knitting, for most of us, is a very straightforward and simple craft. (Nicky Epstein and Barbara Walker are prime exceptions.) There are bound to be knitters who come up with the same solution to the same problem--even if it's picking the same stitch pattern from a treasury and making it into a hat in the same gauge. It was most likely a case of great minds thinking alike--not plagarism.
  • Someone saw the item you knitted, and imitated it. Perfectly fine. The last time I heard it wasn't okay to imitate something really great or appealing was on the playground. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and if a community shuns it, they are damning nearly all progress, condemning the budding designers and would-be improvers to creating in a vacuum . . . repeating many of the same mistakes as their predecessors, wasting time and effort in doing so.
  • Someone downloaded/bought your pattern, and knitted something from it. So long as they're not selling your pattern (whether attributed to you or not), odds are it's legal. Very few of us have patents on our designs--and very few of us would be granted patents even if we were to apply for them. Even if the item knitted from your pattern is being offered for sale, it's still not copyright infringement. Copyright extends only to the sale of the written pattern itself--not the product of it.

I truly hope that no one reading this is seeing red by now. I've done my best to find the applicable law, and to try to provide access to it so anyone who is curious can see it for themselves. Quoted text, links, and all.

I'm expecting reactions--feedback, questions, and debate. But I am not expecting or welcoming flaming, name-calling, or any other such manner of behavior. If you have a concern or question about anything above, please do leave a comment or email me. I'm happy to post responses and explain things further. However, this is posted at my own blog, (as opposed to on a forum or an email list somewhere), because I don't wish to be attacked for providing transparency to a very muddy subject.

All the best,


Disclaimer: No part of this article is intended to be, nor may it be construed to be, legal advice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

WIP Wednesday

It has been a while since I posted some WIP photos, so here's a little parade for you. ;o)

It looks like more than it really is . . . honest! ;o)

The Christmas Easter Shawlette. Had to frog 1/3 of it the last time I touched it, so I'm not really feelin' the love for this right now. Maybe in a few weeks . . .

Big girl's mittens. Well, 1/3 of one mitten. I bought her some on clearance at JCPenney (I know, bad knitter, bad knitter!), and so I'm not sure what this yarn will be for next. It's Plymouth Handpaints, a bulky single-ply. (I usually hate single ply, but this is such a pretty colorway, and it's good for mittens and other things that need to have no holes.)

The Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl in Knit Picks Shadow. It's about to the point where I could change patterns and put a border on it . . . but I have no border. I'm pretty zzzzz'd with the FCSS pattern now, and I want something fresh, something new, something not the same as I've knit for a few thousand stitches already. ;o) I sense a lace stitch dictionary in my future . . .

MS3/Swan Lake. This is gorgeous, beautiful, and I'm looking forward to working on it again sometime. After I'm done with the custom knitting I'm working on right now, and have finished some more woolly goods for the new baby, and have gotten the newborn cloth diapers finished up.

The Anderman's hat. It's done! I'm still trying to get a good picture of it on someone--I'll be sure to post it when I do get one. It's a hard color to capture. :oP

Anderman mittens. These were the project that put me over the edge a year ago during my next-to-last bout of morning sickness. I haven't been able to work on them since, and he's got a good pair from Land's End (sic), so this is going to go back into the stash after a visit to the frog pond.

Pink custom longies for the lady who ordered the pair I've been working on so far. These are going to be frogged and knit from the top down, I think. Or maybe I'll keep the legs I've got done and knit the hips from the top down and graft the two together. I do like a good grafting challenge. Hehehehe.

Bellflower lace scarf. This is in some wonderfully soft Kid n Ewe yarn (a wool/mohair blend), which I was able to supplement with a purchase from a nice lady over at Ravelry. This takes real brain power, though, so it has been on hold. (Pregnancy brain is NOT good at lace knitting.)

The Round Dishcloth. I had to knit this when I saw Susan's version for Dish Rag Tag. It was really pretty. I got this pattern free online somewhere, though, and can't find it now. If anyone knows where it is, please do tell me! Hmmm . . . maybe I'll go check out Susan's blog.

Found it!

And, last but absolutely not least, the Cargo Longies!

I finished attaching the elastic and sewing down the waistband on Tuesday, and clean forgot about the pockets until I went to mail them off this morning. Whoops. So, I spent my knitting time today knitting little pockets and flaps, and sewing them all down. (Oh, and sewing on buttons, too.) It was kind of fiddly, and I'm not sure I'll do it on any such things for myself (well, maybe if I picked up stitches on the back of the flap and knit the pocket down from that, instead of knitting them separately and then sewing them together. Ick.)

Here's an action shot, to show you the cute little cargo pockets. Not too shabby . . .

. . . Eh?

And lastly, just for kicks, my favorite new knitting toy:

The Poulder Pocket Scale.

Accurate as anything (it weighed more than 20 nickels perfectly--5 grams each), weighs to 1/10th of a gram, tiny, and perfect for splitting sock yarn skeins, or weighing leftovers, or what-have-you. It's also great for letters and all kinds of other things. If you're looking for a good scale, this is a great one. There was only one bad review at Amazon on it, and it was the kind of thing where an exchange for another one from Amazon could have easily fixed the problem.

And now, it's off to make some dinner for the restless posse. Have a great Wednesday!

FS: New Stitch Markers

Well, I've got a bunch of stitch markers just sitting around, and I need to move them so I can make some more. ;o) So I thought I'd open this up to internet purchases, as well as stocking them at my LYS. I'm happy to customize the ring size upon request. I have small (up to US4), medium (up to US10), large (up to US15), and monstrous (they'd fit over a broom handle). Prices do not include shipping--that is added at actual cost (no handling fees ever!).

I usually make my markers in sets of five, with one differentiated marker, so they can be used for knitting in the round as well as other projects. I also sometimes make extra large sets that have eight or more markers. I've noticed that some of the wire eyes that hold the markers to the rings look as though they have monstrous gaps in them. (Ack!) I've used many of my stitch markers without any snagging problems, but be assured I will close those up snugly and seal them well with a little adhesive before they are sent off to their new homes.

Here's what I currently have in stock:

A set of five fiber-optic glass cat's eye bead stitch markers. Will fit up to a US10 needle. $6

Teal blue oval glass with various 6/0 blue seed beads. Currently fits up to US10. $8

Autumn Jasper and mixed agate with Swarovski crystals. Up to US15 (happy to size those down, if need be). $12

Purple swirly art glass & seed beads. Up to US15. $8 *Sold*

Czech iridescent burgundy glass coins, cream soda seed beads & irridescent peacock pearls. $6

Sodalite chip and glass seed beads. Set of 6, up to US10. $10

Swarovski crystal and non-tarnish Celtic knot beads. Up to US10. $8
(I have clear Swarovski, as well as a few assorted colors on hand, and have more arriving tomorrow, if you'd like these with a different color.)

Deep purple glass briolette drops with bead caps and iridescent purple fringe beads. Up to US10. $12
These are some of my favorites ever--they look like little fairies to me, or flower people. Non-tarnishing.

Large iridescent peacock pearls with Swarovski crystals and fluted non-tarnishing beads. Up to US10. $12

And now for some scissor fobs:

Left: Large peacock pearl (matches the stitch markers above): $4.50
Center: Silvery purple and swirly purple art glass beads with silver accents. $5. *Sold*
Right: Teal glass with assorted blue glass seed beads. Matches stitch markers above. $6

These have about a 2" lanyard on them, which should be long enough to loop around most scissor handles--but they work much better for smaller scissors than large ones.

And now, for the last few things . . .

Bracelet with hand carved bone, amethyst rondelle and purple swirly art glass beads. Magnetic gold-plated closure. ~8" long. $14

Left: Silvery purple glass, grey-purple cat's eye & hemalyke beads. Bali silver toggle clasp. ~8" long. (Sold)
Right: Matching set of bracelet & earrings. Natural, unbleached mother-of-pearl and green adventurine with gold-plated spacers and bayonet clasp. ~8" long. $18

And the best for last (or at least my favorite!).

Hand-carved bone, silvery purple glass & cream soda seed bead necklace. Silver-plated barrel clasp (screws together). $12.50

Please do excuse some of the photos--most of these were to be for my own reference, and it's not possible for me to take additional photos right now. Most of these are in stock at my LYS, and so there may be a slight delay in shipping while I go retrieve them for you. If, by some strange chance, something has just been sold, I can usually make up another set from materials on hand.

Thanks so much for looking, and have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Infamous Seven Things

Well, Cami tagged me this time, so I'd better get a'crackin' or she'll be plotting revenge. ;o)

Here's the scoop:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

#1 . . . check.

Now, 7 facts. About me. These are the kinds of things that come to mind when I'm doing other stuff . . . like dishes, or laundry, or running errands. Not when I'm sitting in front of a compose window. So, we'll see where we end up.

1. I'm a farmer's daughter. We had few animals, as my dad raised commercial grain crops mostly. The animals were usually efforts by my mom to feed us better, or earn a little money, like the drop calves: Big Mac and Whopper. I got up with her every morning and helped to mix the calf formula, and remember how rough and tough the tops of their baby mouths felt against my fingers as I taught them how to drink out of a bucket. (You put your fingers in the calf's mouth and it starts in like you're a pacifier. Then you slowly lower your hand into the bucket, and after a startle, the calf goes for it like gangbusters. After a few feedings like that, they get the hang of it. I can still smell the warm, sort of powdery smell of their formula.

2. I'm insatiably curious. The internet is a wonderful and dangerous tool for me. I could spend literally days and days just reading over at WikiPedia, or perusing various and sundry forums and Yahoo groups. I love learning new skills and techniques, and ways to improve my life and the lives of those around me (at least the lives of those around me who will let me). My maternal grandmother has the same kind of mind; I remember her telling me the story of how she tried and tried to get her stepmother to change the way she had grandma do certain things (like put all the un-rinsed, dirty cloth diapers into a huge pail all week long, and then wash them all on Friday), but to no avail. (Grandma wanted to at least rinse the diapers out before putting them in the pail, but great-grandma would have nothing to do with it. Grandma just had to deal with it for the seven children that came after her.)

3. I love language. Reading. Writing. Linguistic surprises. Turns of phrase. Listening to the way people speak, and recognizing them by their voices alone. Using what little I know of other languages (French, Latin, and a bit more Spanish) to see additional depth of meaning in my native discourse. Or, maybe I just love communication . . . because I love music in much the same way. I love to listen to other musicians who strive for excellence, and who deeply love what they're doing as they play or sing. As one of my favorite quotes points out though, music has one definite advantage over language: "Art inspires us, literature persuades us, but only music takes us by surprise."

4. I have four children, three of which were born at home with a midwife (and that's the plan for #5 as well). Now that I've got some mothering skills under my belt, I think I could have a baby at a hospital and not have it completely foul up my ability to bond with and understand my baby . . . but that first one was a complete disaster. I was never a baby person--and while most of the other girls I knew flocked to and nearly fought over whatever baby was in the vicinity, I stayed back. It wasn't that I didn't like babies . . . I just didn't want to invite yet more rejection by the crowd, (plenty of that at school), and I didn't really know what to do with one. I'm ashamed to say that it really didn't dawn on me until much, much later that babies come with all of the emotions and feelings that bigger people have--and finally getting that little detail nailed down and incorporated into my consciousness was life-changing.

5. I've been a pack rat for as long as I can remember, but I'm reforming. With skills from my paternal grandmother, I've managed to hoard far, far more schtuff than any woman my age should reasonably have. (And a lot of it is just junk. Stuff I'll never use. Stuff I don't love. Stuff that sucks the life force out of me and clutters up my basement.) Vern is not a pack rat, but he manages to love me anyway. ;o) I'm working valiantly on letting go, and so far have been really successful mentally. I've even gone so far as to tell Vern he can throw away anything he wants to besides journals and pictures. (He's tasked with going through any box he wants to get rid of and make sure there aren't any of those in it. Otherwise, it's fair game for the dump or thrift store.)

6. There are very few things in this world that I truly dislike. Close-mindedness is one. Living life with one's brain asleep is another. Violence. Stereotyping. Bigotry. War. Oh, and select colors with yellow undertones. (My apologies to Steph . . . they depress me.)

7. I love pink! ;o)

#2 . . . check.

Hmmmm . . . who to tag?






Since I'm still two short, I'm going to tag all of the participants in the Baby A Baby swap. (It's hard to single out just two, and there are only 11 of us total, so it's not toooo many, I think. ;o) I think it'd be a fun thing to post to the swap blog, if TopHat doesn't mind. ;o)

#3 . . . check.

#4 . . . check.

Let the games begin!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Baby A Baby Swap Questionnaire

Survey Says . . . .

1a) What is your favorite yarn?

I love soft wool yarn, especially Australian or Peruvian/South American products. Like PureWool, and Plymouth Outback wool. Come to think of it, Paton's Classic Merino or Lion Wool are pretty darn nice, too. (Can you tell I like natural fibers?) Oh, and I love cotton, bamboo and soft hemp, too.

1b) Favorite colors?

I love "baby" colors for a new baby. Soft pinks, purples, greens, yellows, blues. Since I don't know if this bub is a girl or boy, I'm up for anything. But, then again, I'm fine with surprises too: bright or rich reds, blues & greens with yellow or orange accents are always fun.

1c) What is your least favorite?

Long story short: synthetics. My least favorite fiber EVER is polyester. Can't stand to touch the stuff. Very close second is acrylic. (Although Lion Brand's new Vanna's Choice surprised me mightily.) Nylon is fine, if it's in a blend with something, since it's so close to wool on a molecularly-speaking.

2) Knit, crochet, both?

Both--but I like knitting a lot more for things that will see regular or hard use, instead of simply decorative or light use (like a baby bonnet or table runner).

3) How long have you been knitting/crocheting? Who taught you? Why did you want to learn?

Crocheting: Nearly 20 years.
Knitting: 2 years.

4) What is your favorite snack/sweet?

Ben & Jerry's (nearly any flavor), or Soy Delicious Mint Marble Fudge. Endangered Species or Dagoba chocolate come in a very close second

5) What did you want to be when you grew up?

Active, involved, and contributing meaningfully to the lives of those around me. But when I was five, I called it "a Mom".

6) What names would you NEVER consider for a baby?

Balthazar. Methuselah. David (Do you know how MANY David's there are out there?). Delbert.
Margaret. Erma (with apologies to Ms. Bombeck, whose writing I adore). Pearl.

7) What things did you, as a child, vow to never to do your children, but have since decided that you will? For example, we weren't allowed sugar-coated cereal growing up and I told my parents I'd NEVER do that to my kids. After some life experience, I think my parents were pretty smart in that decision.

I thought I'd never sound like my parents . . . that I'd somehow manage to make my own parenting style completely distinct from theirs. They were good parents, and did an excellent job. But I just have a different take on things. Either way . . . I'm still working on that. ;o)

8) What is your favorite thing about being a parent/expectant parent?

How much I'm in love with my children, and how much fun we can have.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Hey Look! Knitting content!

Yep. Can you believe it? We spent most of the weekend elsewhere, visiting friends and family (but still sleeping in our own beds--it was wonderful). Somehow, though, I managed to get a little done in odd moments on yet another baby project. Isn't it just too cute?

I'm really pleased with how these are turning out, and hope that the recipient (and her mama) will be just as pleased. (I'm working on the pooling issue that's happening now that I'm up to the hip section--I'll post photos and details when I get it worked out.) It's so fun to knit things for tiny little folks. They go so fast, you get to use fun colors that grown ups don't usually wear, and the yarns are soft, soft, soft.

I'm actually working on a longies pattern of my own, which will be available for free here when it's done. I'm tired of seeing all of the "For home use only" restrictions on patterns, and will have no such stipulation on mine. I'm not out to make money off of them, and even if I was selling patterns, what you make from them is your own--not mine. I'm hoping for some feedback from people who actually knit the pattern, so I can fine tune it, if need be.

So, stay tuned, and hopefully this will work out well. ;o)