Monday, July 30, 2012

My favourite song: Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens

This is a sad and beautiful song about a girl dying of cancer and the unfairness of it. 

Sufjan Stevens is an American Singer-Songwriter, this is the 10th track on his album 'Come on, Feel the Illinoise' published in 2005. 

I love the story of it. The song starts when the narrator discovered that the girl had 'cancer of the bone' and how people cope with that. There are references to the Lord, all the glory that the lord has made and the complications we could do without, bible study and prayers take place of course, but there's such a frustration when he sings 'nothing ever happens'. There's the sweet love story, he sings about how he "almost touched her blouse". Casimir Pulaski Day, the song title is a holiday and it's the day she dies ("I thought I saw you breathing"). 

This song never fails to calm me down, the melody is beautiful, the voice is perfect. There's a live unplugged radio mix around, that's even better.

This was the first Sufjan Stevens song that I got to know and it was enough to justify going out and getting the album, I knew I would like it. I liked it so much, I even bought the album a second time, because I found one with Superman on the cover (which were only printed the first time, because of copyright issues). Never mind that I was a poor student living in a foreign country with no income, I had to have it (twice). 

Hm, I now realize my banner looks a bit like the cover too... coincidence, I'm sure.

Friday, July 27, 2012

My favourite Song: Si, paloma from Sun Kil Moon

This is a beautiful song with a powerful melody, an extremely pretty guitar song. Throughout the song you're kept interested, the guitar playing keeps changing and evolving. The song fits all kinds of moods: You can dance to it or relax to it, it's a song that never fails to cheer me up, ever since I discovered it with the shuffle function on my Ipod. 

It was published in 2004 by a band called Sun Kil Moon. 

This is an instrumental, and words could not make it better. If you're making a mix-cd or a playlist, this song can link songs together. Or it would work well as the opening song, encouraging the listener to stay interested and wait for words which will only come in the second track. 

What do you think? Great song, isn't it? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Why knitted socks are better (2)

Knitted socks are available in the most amazing colours and styles. You have thick woollen socks, lightweight cotton socks, lace socks, knee high socks, ankle socks etc. 

My socks on Etsy

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekend projects

I made some progress this weekend, but not as much as I wanted:
New project: Bri stocking exactly like a sample stocking I got. It's not easy to get the size exactly right (different yarn), though I got the colour pretty right. 

I think I doubled this, it will be an 18" pillow cover, still a few inches to go.

I finished the MR and MRS stockings, only the hook was left to do. 

I started the second socks of these. I love the colour but I don't like the pattern anymore. 

I need one pair of easy socks to knit when I don't want to look at what I'm knitting. I didn't make much progress, it's a project for my knitting group.

I finished this nice stocking, and it's already promised for someone on Etsy. The second out of four. 

I started a warm winter scarf for myself.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Projects this Weekend

The weekend has started, I'm happy. I hope I'll get some knitting done, I have also planned a trip to IKEA tomorrow. But these are my seven main knitting projects this weekend:

From top to bottom, left to right:
- I want to start a winter scarf, probably for myself 
- I have a custom order for an 18" cushion cover, so I'd like to get one finished (have to make 2)
- Start a new stocking (has to match other stockings in the family, a bit of a challenge)
- Only sew on the hangers for the Mr and Mrs stockings pair, probably my last for a while
- Start the second sock
- Finish the reindeer stocking and possibly start the next stocking (part of a custom order)
- and a nice and easy plain pair of socks which I will be knitting on the bus tomorrow (unless the promised weekend of summer happens, then it might be too warm, one can dream...)

I will post an update on Sunday, maybe. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Knitted Socks are better... (1)

The list is endless and I have more Blog posts dedicated to this absolutely non-controversial topic in mind. 

1. Knitted socks are fun! Fun to look at and fun to wear. Who wants to wear boring black socks? Colourful socks are good for the soul. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Polar bear stocking

I've been working on this polar bear stocking this weekend, it's basically finished (just needs a loop at the top). Polar bears came out really sharp looking, and I like the two rows of polar bears. Also, it was easier to knit it without a name there (I didn't have to pay so much attention) though it took just as long. 

It's for an Etsy order, though if the customer doesn't like it, I will list it as a regular stocking. There are 3 more to be done in a similar style (if the order comes through). 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Projects progress

Well, I made some progress over the weekend, but not as much as I wanted: 

I finished the stocking, which is great, and I also finshed the little ringbearer pillow. I crocheted a few more rows of the blanket (my favorite project at the moment). But I got held up majorly with the thick stocking (I finally ripped it back), then a grey-yellow stocking which looked like Halloween, so I ripped it as well. Then I exchanged purple for yellow and I'm doing a MR and MRS set now. I hope I'll finish these. No progress at all one the celtic knot pillow and the sock. I might do a few rows of those now. The weekend isn't over yet!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Current Projects

From left to right:

Caramel Celtic knots cushion cover
Red, white, green double-double knit stocking on 6mm needles
Red, white, green Tristan stocking
White and Yellow: Two ringbearer pillows
Purple lace-pattern sock
Green ringbearer pillow
Purple and turquoise lace scarf
Zic-zac crochet blanket 

Maybe I'll post on Sunday night what progress I made... I'll probably start more projects, I'll never learn...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Making videos is so easy!

I still can't believe how easy it is to make videos for youtube using Animoto ( 

1) Choose (and look for) your photographs. (This is the most difficult step!)
2) Open animoto.
3) Choose style of video.
4) Upload photos (only a few for the free version). 
5) Add text or change the music, change the pacing of the slideshow (optional)
6) Preview
7) Make any changes
8) Produce

Then Animoto will notify you when it's ready (usually straight away). 

To post the video on Youtube:

9) You have to have a youtube account
10) Go back to Animoto, look at the video, top right hand corner there's a drop down menu, choose 'Export video'
11) Export to youtube
12) Allow access

Then it takes a few minutes and the video is in your activity feed in youtube. Now you can make a few edits (search engine optimisation), i.e.

13) Change header to something people would search for
14) Change the video description (as detailed as possible, with a link to your shop, if applicable).
15) Add tags to the video, repeat words from the header and description
16) Change the thumbnail picture if you want.

That's basically it. 

This website is free to use for 30 seconds videos. Then there's a subscription which is 30$ for a year. I wanted to show off my knitting-skills in longer videos, so I bought it. 

Here are some of the videos I made:

This was my first video, it's still the most popular one, with over 300 views now!


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

5 Christmas Stockings: The snowman, the rocking horse, the train, the reindeer and the penguin

I have recently finished a custom order for 5 Christmas stockings. It only took two months... Granted, I took my time, went on holidays twice and only knitted one per week that I was not on holidays. But still, if it takes that long later in the year, I won't be able to handle many orders. Though I'm very happy with the results:

The train, the snowmen and the rocking horses are completely new. This is the first time I used four colors. 

Here's a video I made about the process:

These kind of stockings (not exactly the same ones) can be bought in my Etsy shop: