MonkeyGirl Knits

A Monkey Girl and her needles... It's total bananarchy

A Schecki production.

Monday, September 27

Son of a Monkey

I swear I just posted yesterday!! The weeks are really flying by lately. Scruffy and I have been married for almost six months. Six months! It feels like we just had the wedding.

I haven't done much fiberwise lately. I took my wheel to Stitch'n'Bitch last week, and people thought it was cool, and one of the women has a bunch of fiber at home that she doesn't really feel like spinning and wants to contract me to do. Which is awesome. Also, I'm a Knitter For Hire™. I'm doing a sweater coat from Vogue Knitting International (the 2003 Holiday issue) for a fellow S'n'Bers boss.

I went to Michael's and picked up some gigantic chenille yarn to make the two tasselled cable hat in the Hip to Knit book, and I got all the way home before I realised that I'd bought some big fat wool to make the very same hat. Oops. Also, I got some Wool Ease worsted to make Ann Budd's cabled leggings pattern that I found in the Subscribers only section of Interweave Knits's website. I'm making them in the Fisherman colorway, I figured that since they look like an Aran, might as well make them so. The pattern has them in this gold buttery color, and though it's pretty it would match approximately zero percent of my wardrobe. I hadn't intended on making legwarmers at all; I found the pattern for Rachael, because she was just talking about wanting to make legwarmers, in practically the same pattern. Last week though, I was here at my office, wearing a skirt and freezing my knees off. So legwarmers there I went. I spent most of my freetime this weekend working on them, and I've finished one, and I tried three times on the train to cast on and work at least one row of the second this morning, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Oops, got ahead of myself a bit. Rachael and I went to Arcadia on Thursday night, and I was magically restrained. I bought a set of double points so that I can get on towards finishing my Lopi sweater, and by luck they had the very issue of Vogue KNitting I was looking for, and I splurged on a Knit One, Crochet Too scarf kit. It's a little skinny fringey scarf, in black and silver. I thought it would look really cute with my jean jacket, so... I got it. Scruffy couldn't believe how little I'd brought home. Usually I come home with a giant bag o' stuff. Anyway...

This weekend we went down to visit Scruffy's parents and go to the Apple'n'Pork festival in Clinton, IL. It was so much fun!

That's about it for now, I think.


Thursday, September 16

Spin Span Spun


I'm so bad about updating. I'm pretty busy at work; we've just moved offices, and we're putting on a conference in Missouri that starts this weekend, so I've been pretty swamped. But I've got a couple of minutes, so here goes nuttin'. :)

This past weekend, as I mentioned before, a couple of Stitch'n'Bitch friends went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Fiber Festival and Wisconsin Spin In. I spent half the week preparing, that is when I wasn't either in the emergency room for my eye, or at the doctor's office, again for my eye. I got a spiffy new back pack, and some camp dishes and a waterjug, but best of all was the camping friendly margarita glasses, which made awesome presents. I gathered all of my gear and things together on Thursday night and set out to packing. That was when I started to freak out a bit. Me? Going camping? Surely you jest. (And don't call me Shirley.) So I packed everything up and took a couple of deep breaths. I went to work on Friday, and left early. R picked me up from work, and we zoomed up towards my neighborhood where we did some serious grocery shopping. We hit three of the four grocery stores in my 'hood. It was intense. ;o)

We got the car loaded up, waited for J, and then once J got there, we were off! We got up to the campsite with little difficulty, and got some fire wood, then set up camp. It was great! We got the fire burning, and the camp chairs set up and just hung out around the fire for the rest of the evening. I can't convey how incredibly awesome it way. (In case I haven't mentioned, this was my first time camping, ever.)

Saturday morning, we got up, found the showers and got cleaned up, then headed over to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds for the Festival. Jefferson was really nice. It's the Gemütlichkeit City! So. We got to the fairgrounds and headed in. And naturally made a beeline for the "Country Store" vendor area. All three of us are rabid knitters, and J spins. We looked all through the first building, and drooled all over everything. There were such incredible fibers, handpainted roving, handpainted handspun yarn, alpaca, wool, llama, angora rabbits to take home, you name it, it was there. I really wanted to take a bun-bun home with me, but the cats would absolutely terrorize it.

Now, for the real reason I wanted to go to the Festival. I wanted to learn how to spin. And there was a particular wheel which, if I could manage spinning, that I wanted to buy. And by sheer luck, they were holding a free class at their booth/area in the Country Store. So, we found our way to Babe's Fiber Garden's booth, and I inquired about the two o'clock class. There was 1 opening left! It was like fate! R and J went off to shop and see the lambykins and things, and I learned how to spin!

Learning to Spin

The class lasted for about an hour, and it was one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. It's almost as if I already knew how to spin and someone had to remind me to remember how. It was so awesome! So I bought a wheel. (and I've been obsessively spinning since. Knitting? What's knitting?)

After we left the festival, with gobs of fiber and yarn and a wheel and a drop spindle for R, we stopped at a grocery store to get some more ice for our cooler and some soda and then J had the most brilliant idea of getting a fireplace starter log. Because she rules. We hadn't had trouble getting the fire started on Friday, mind, it just took a long time due to the lack of kindling. And this fire? This was a serious fire. We burned through 4 cords of wood over the course of the evening. The ashes in the morning were still warm.

R and J Around the Fire

While R and J sat around the fire knitting, I (you guessed it) set up my new wheel and spun for awhile.

Spinning at Camp

After it got dark, we roasted hot dogs and sausages and then made smores! It was so much fun. Then we all sat around and shot the poo for awhile. J was tired, so she went to bed and R and I stayed up til some ungodly hour talking. It was great.

The next morning we hung around the campsite for awhile, then R and I checked out one of the trails. This park is ginormous! We headed back, and knit some and I spun some and R tried her drop spindle for awhile until she got frustrated with it. Then we broke camp and headed back into the city.

It was a really incredible weekend!

Thursday, September 9


I've been kind of scarce, as I injured my poor eyeball. Yes, that's right. I somehow managed to scratch my cornea and get (according to the opthamologist) "not an infection, per se". And i'm having some girly health problems. So I've been just a joy to be around lately. I'm sure my husband just loved the pants out of sitting with me in the ER on Labor Day, due to said eyeball injury.

The good news is that on Saturday I got to go to the Yarn Exchange in downtown DeKalb! I got a really nice scarf kit that I'm in the process of knitting as we speak. Erm, type... Read? Well, ok, I'm not knitting and typing, (and thank goodness for that. I'd never leave the house), but I think you know what I mean right?

I made a drop spindle last night, out of a couple of AOL cds, a dowel and a couple of rubber bands. It's too long, and I don't own a saw. Hmm.

I'm so excited though, because I'm going with a couple of friends to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival and Wisconsin Spin-In this weekend at the Jefferson Fair Park in Jefferson, WI. We're also going camping! I'm so very excited. I may be getting a spinning wheel. I'm really, really excited. I've never been camping before, but I'm so (you guessed it) excited.
I'm going to take my scarf, a three quarters of the way finished sock, and a new sock to start with me. I may take the Lopi sweater with me, but I'm not sure, as I'm in the sleeve phase, and there's a lot of pattern to follow. It's not as mindless as I'd like for the road/for socializing/for knitting under the influence. :o)

I'm going to take a bunch of pictures this weekend, and I may make an audio post or three. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 3

SP3 Questionaire

Here goes nuttin'.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I am definitely not a fiber snob. If it's nice to touch, I'll knit with it. In fact, my favorite yarn ever is Bernat's Denim Style, which is a really awesome cotton acrylic blend. I guess it depends on the project, really.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I have a drop spindle that I'm very nearly proficient at spinning with, and I'm probably going to get a spinning wheel in the very near future. I also crochet, but not nearly as much when I did when I was younger.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

I have a slight allergy to smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?

I think I've been knitting for four years... maybe five.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)


7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

Yes. Especially chocolate and mint.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I sometimes do cross stitch.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if you want to make her a CD)

I like almost everything, though I'm not particularly a big fan of new country or rap.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

I lurve purple. And I'm suddenly finding myself attracted to hot pink and black together.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I'm newly married, no kids, with two cats who are plotting to destroy me, but fortunately have no interest whatsoever in yarn. (Except once, because I was delinquent in my litter changing duties, I found a ball of alpaca wound 'round four rooms in my apartment.)

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

I want to open a combination yarn shop and coffee house.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

I love it all, from lace weight to super bulky.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Scratchy acrylic.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

Socks are a constant obsession, and my current obsession is icelandic style fair isle.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Probably socks. They can be super complicated or super easy, and they're very portable. Which is good, because I knit on the El train.

17. What are you knitting right now?

What aren't i knitting right now? ;) I think I've got three sweaters going, two or possibly three socks, and who knows what else. I keep finding random projects that I forgot I'd even started.

18. What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question for us)

I like how they look on people, and I love them until I try and wear one out of the house. There's just no good way to carry a purse/bag with one on.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

Circs. For sure.

20. How did you learn to knit?

From a Leisure Arts "I can't believe I'm knitting" book.

21. How old is your oldest UFO?

I have a four(?) year old, terrifically bad Lion Brand Homespun sweater that is approximately the size of a Buick that I have resolved never to finish. I think my next oldest UFO is almost a year old.

Thursday, September 2


It has been awhile, no? My office just moved to a new building and getting internet access has been quite the hassle. But we're up and running, and I have very little knitting news to report. I haven't done a lot of knitting, though I did finish the body tube part of my Lopi sweater. I started a sleeve, finished the ribbing and went to start the colorwork, only to discover that I can't get the sleeve to fit around my shortest circular. And I don't have big enough double points to continue on with (it changes needle sizes between the cuff and the body of the sleeve) and I don't think I could manage double points, continental and fair isle all at the same time. My head might explode. :s I have a stitch'n'bitch friend who is going to lend me another size eleven circular and i'm going to "in the round on two circs" it. So I'm taking a break on that.
I picked up my sock again this morning on the train, which was nice. A woman sitting next to me was tying friendship bracelets. I used to tie friendship bracelets like mad when I was younger. Also, I got this month's SOTM package today. It's handpainted! It's so gorgeous. Check out for the picture.
Next weekend a couple of friends and I are going to the Wisconsin Fiber Festival, and I'm very possibly getting a spinning wheel. I'm so excited!
See you later!