Friday, May 28, 2010

Indie Mart

The Grumple army is slow growing, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to add a good number of members over Memorial Day weekend.  The gym is actually closed for Saturday and Monday, so I have an unprecedented three days off in a row!  It's a break I definitely need and I'm psyched to spend it relaxing and reading and crafting.

This morning I spent about an hour winding bobbins of yarn so that my craft bag is full of new colors for Grumpling, and then I made one little sock monkey inspired Grumple (pictures next week) who turned out pretty adorable.  I anticipate making more because I'm guessing he will be pretty popular.

All of this finger puppet making madness has been inspired by Adam's invite to sit with him at the upcoming Indie Mart and sell knitted things.  I've never heard of or been to Indie Mart before, but I expect it's exactly what it sounds like, and that it'll be a nice way to pass a Sunday, and maybe make a few bucks.

In any case, I like my bag o' yarn and am ready to start whittling it down. 

Side note: with all those balls rolling around together, strings tend to come undone.  I decided this morning to start taping the loose ends down and half-way through that changed my mind and started using rubberbands.  It works awesomely well and is so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner.  If, like me, you struggle with craft bag messiness due to unravelling balls of yarn, I strongly suggest buying yourself a little bag of bands and straightening that mess up.  So much easier!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


We are going to eat your face.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We're past the two-hand mark.

I have to come up with a name for these creatures.  Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Army Grows

So I made good on my plans.  Tuesday night I came home after work and finally, after weeks of inactivity, got crafty.

It took me a while to get going, mostly because I felt a sort of knitter's-block when it came to the kind of puppets I wanted to make.  Originally (with the first batch) I just free-knit and decorated at will, and those guys turned out pretty awesome.  At last week's craft night I attempted to recreate the magic but wound up with sort of weird results. 

I sat for a while, contemplating the best direction for my puppet knitting, and then made a quick decision not to fix what isn't broken.  One of my favorite puppets (and the first one I ever knit) was this guy:

So I grabbed a ball of yarn and made him a brother.  And then a mother.  And another, and another.

Seven puppets does not an army make, but I figure that if I try to make at least one every day from now until June, I'll be able to join Adam at his whatever-festival with a sizable puppet army.

The only drawback is that they still take me between 45 - 60 minutes to make from start to finish, and that seems like an incredible time investment for something so tiny.  If I'm going to sell them for a reasonable price, I will have to decrease that by at least half.

That is, if I can bring myself to sell them.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Like To Read

It's Tuesday, so if I don't want to slip into blogging obscurity that means it's time to author a post.  Unfortunately I've been lazy about bringing my craft bag in from the car so I still don't have photos of the finger puppets.  Instead of heading out to get them I've decided to write this post bare (well, not naked...just without photos) in the hopes that it will motivate me to write a second post on Thursday featuring the puppets.  I'm also planning on spending some time tonight making new ones, so it's possible I'll be able to get more photos and then actually have something exciting to show off :-)

I wrote out a little calendar for myself the other day so I could get a visual idea of how my time is breaking down and it made me feel so stupid.  Based on my calculations, I have more than enough time to fit in all the stuff I'm saying I don't have time to fit in, so there's really no excuse for not getting to things.  Hopefully I will continue to be motivated to fill up my time with worthwhile pursuits.

One thing I did that I haven't done in a long, long time was go out and buy some books.  Mostly I've been relying on the library for my reading needs, but I happened to have a gift certificate to a book store in town and this weekend I decided to finally make use of it.  I discovered writer Lorrie Moore and bought a book of her short stories, as well as Bright Lights, Big City (which I've wanted to read for a while but is never at the library).  I also got Push because I picked it up in the store and found it compelling enough to read (and since it's been movied I doubt it'll be checked in for a while) and I Am Legend, which was also moderately compelling when I flipped through it (though, vampires?  Really?).  I haven't seen either movie version of the books I got so I have no preconceived notions going into reading them.  Lastly I got Gideon, which I wasn't too attracted to just by reading the synopsis or flipping through the pages, but it won a Pulitzer and I'm curious to see whether I think that's any reflection of its readability.

I've been reading Bright Lights, Big City for the past 3 days.  I really like it, and I'm sad that it's so short, and that I'm devouring it so quickly. And I doubt anything else that McInerney wrote or writes will ever compare to it--it's got that first-book thing going for it--so it's not even like I feel like I've discovered a new author to follow.  I know this is most likely a singular experience, which is kind of a bummer.

It's been a long time since I read a book that I really liked, and that I felt both sad and excited about finishing.  I've read lots of books that were average and then a few that were a little above or below, but nothing since Snow Crash has really pulled me in.  I miss when reading was like that.

So here's a list of books that completely sucked me in.  If you like this blog, you might like them, too.

Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Captain Correlli's Mandolin and The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts by Louis Des Bernieres
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan
The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
1984 by George Orwell
The Gunslinger by Stephen King
Less Than Zero and The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis
Fight Club and Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy