Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Update

I am working on a design for a dear childhood friend. She requested a scarf but I think she would equally appreciate a cowl (she just doesn't know it yet).

I've been busy all weekend with yarn selections. This here is a lovely Malabrigo Superwash, which means it's been chemically treated so you can machine wash it without it felting into a tiny, stiff version of itself.

and swatches!

It's coming along swimmingly! In fact the single request has inspired more than one design and a few drawing ideas I hope to get down on paper soon.

Tomorrow it's back to the nine to five. I hope everyone enjoys MLK day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Attention New Yorkers

Dear Fellow New Yorkers,

The weather outside has been, shall we say, sloshy lately. Being a very pedestrian city it is necessary we get ourselves around by foot despite the weather.

Umbrellas play a very important roll in keeping us from looking like we jumped in the Hudson with our clothes on while on the way to work. However, my dear neighbors, I am begging you to reconsider, nay, consider your fellow New Yorker on our mutual plight to work.

What I'm trying to say is what the &$%^ is with the giant golf umbrellas New York?!

Seriously, are you waiting for the cabana boy to bring you drinks under that thing? I think the entire Dugger family could sip Shirley Temples beneath the giant canopy you try to pass off as an umbrella.

I can only speak for myself, but I would like to say that my eyes are quite valuable to me. Clearly you do not see as much value in my eyes as I do. Otherwise you might make an attempt to not gouge them out with your massive tent on a stick.

I'm not asking you to get soaked on the way to work merely to salvage my sight. I am simply requesting you consider some other options for staying dry while you trek around the city.

There are some really great choices out there. Take these hand less options, for instance:

Or how about a rain slicker and some wellies? I hear yellow is "all the rage" this season!!

Whatever you choose to do, please save your golf umbrellas for the golf course and get a friendlier, less eye mutilating, personal space respecting umbrella. My eyes and my patience will thank you.

Your Considerate Transplant Tamara

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Handmade Christmas in Remembrance

It's that time of year when the Christmas tree carnage begins to line the streets of New York. I occasionally trip over the nubby ends that poke out onto the sidewalk, but manage to ignore this mild nuisance due to the fact that I get a good whiff of pine (which is my equivalent to an addict sniffing glue).

Christmas 2011 was pretty dang fun. It marked our first year with a real Christmas tree (I know, it's criminal), Jeremy's first real tree ever. Since most of our ornaments are stored in the attic of our house back in Dallas, or were sold before the move, I had free range with new Christmas decorations. My goal was to decorate using my stash as to keep the cost at a minimum, work my way through the crafting stash a little, and give my husband the gift of thriftiness (quite possibly his favorite observed adjective).

I managed to nab an a$$load of free paint swatches from the local hardware store, catching a few funny looks from the employees while doing so. They seem to get suspicious of repeated shifty eyed glances over the shoulder as fist fulls swatches are shoved into a purse. I bought a soda to ease my guilty free loading conscience. These swatches were then cut with dye cutter I had on hand and hot glued back to back with a long string of waste yarn in between, making a pretty adorable, 100% free (relative to this Christmas- I had to buy the other stuff at some point), garland for the tree!

The paint swatch scraps were cut into strips and curled, scrunched, crumpled and folded into clear glass ornaments I brought with us from Texas and have had for years. They looked like frozen little moments of confetti falling. Love!

Going through the fabric stash I knew I wanted to make little stuffed birds. I free handed a little dove on the fabric with a fabric marker and just let it come together as it may. They ended up having felt lined wings and button eyes. The yarn loop had the love doves perching perfectly amongst the branches.

I have to apologize for the less than stellar photos. I couldn't find my camera at the time and took a few shots with my phone during the creating process. I managed to forget to snap a pic of the finished tree before we took it down. Sad face. There's always next year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Public Knudity

I am a solitary knitter. Or at least I've always thought of myself as one. I taught myself to knit and continue this practice all by my lonesome.

Most knitters I know love the company of their own kind and even go to great lengths to share their time and knitting sense with these like minded peeps. They dole out wads of cash for knitting retreats and travel miles to commune over needles and yarn (and beverages). While I love to talk shoppe with fellow knitters at length about knitterly things, I just don't often find myself doing the deed with them. I was beginning to feel like...(gasp)...a knitting prude, or knude if you will.

The thought of my possible knudity horrified me. How could this be?! I was but a lonely knude with not a knitter to share my knudity with. After some internal wrestling I had an epiphany. The only answer: public knudity.

The next question clearly is who to get knude with. After a quick and dirty internet search I encountered the Pints 'n Purls Meetup group. Their intro reads, "Do you like crocheting, knitting, and other needlework? Do you like beer? (Of course you do!) Then this is the group for you." are the perfect people to go all knude on. I swiftly accepted the open invite.

I was a bit fearful as I headed out with nothing but a simple 2x2 rib hat on my circulars. Arriving at the pub 8 short blocks later, I found a group of 15 knitters huddled in the back. Sheepishly, I said hello and took my place amongst the flock. I pulled my knitting from my bag, started up a chat with a few friendly folk close by, and low and behold, forgot all about being knude.

It was a splendid evening of knitting and chatting and I can't believe it took me so long to figure out the fun in it. Clearly I like people and knitting (and beer!). It's a win-win (-win)!

As for my knudity, it got the kibosh. No one wants to see that anyway.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

If I knew you were coming I'da baked a cake!

Welcome to the whimsical little hand crafted world of Tamara McDannel (that's me)! I am so pleased you stopped by for a visit.

Here I will disclose my shenanigans, vagabonding, and rabble-rousing attempts as a craftsman. Adventures include, but not limited to, fibery things (the knitting and the needling), pulpy things (of the paper variety), thready things (of man and machine), edible things (with sugar and spice), earthy things (from a thumb of green), daubed things (with color, quite naturally), sketchy things (what did you take me for?!), hoochie things (the giggle water, my friends!), musical things (not me, silly, just my affinity for some bitchin' tunes), and whatever else my crafty little heart desires!

My secret hopes are to fill these posts with an unfailing heart for folklore, a valuation for vintage and curiosity for creativity. Stop by often and take a gander at something nostalgic yet unique!