Don't Forget To Knit Awesome!

Knitting our collective way out of a paper bag since 2011

Archive for the tag “awesome”

The House That Death Built.

Some of my greatest stories come to me either in my sleep or in the fugue state on either end of it.  Such as this one from the other night….

A man, though just barely in age and experience, walked on his own down a dark road one night.  He had set out from his family’s humble home in order to build a life which would make his parents proud.  The previous winter, his father had passed from the flu and his mother of a broken heart, leaving the house to his elder sister and himself.  He had signed over his portion in exchange for support on his quest.  Days he had walked until he found a road which no one passed him on, and this night he would find a plot of land to claim as his own.  And on this night, he would be watched by a dark figure, hidden amongst the abandoned orchard and overgrown path of an old mansions grounds.

The next morning he woke, and set out into the trees to gather wood.  He fell three trees before the wind shifted and the fourth fell upon him.  He laid in pain for hours, calling uselessly for help, until the dark figured approached.  “I am Death, I am the Reaper.  I have come for you.  Take my hand so I that I may relieve you of all your burdens and weights, and whisk you away unto the afterlife.”

The man was taken aback, but not afraid.  He looked at Death and asked “Who gave you the right to decide that?  My weights and burdens are mine, for I choose them willingly.  If you want to deliver relief, remove this tree from atop me and mend my wounds.  I will gladly meet you later when I have accomplished what I have set out to do.”

“You are not the first to bargain with me, and you won’t be the last.  I am immutable and unstoppable.  You can come willingly or fight, but you will come with me,” Death replied, in a bored tone. He reached out his hand and waited patiently for the man to make his choice.

“I am not coming at all.  I instead challenge you to a game.  If you win, then you take me, if I win, then I am your master.  I believe that’s how the rules go, correct?”

Again bored, Death replied, “That is how they go.  What game do you wish to play?  Chess?  Poker? Hurling?  Maybe a round of caber tossing?  I have played them all, and won.  No one is my master, save for fate.”

The man replied, “Life.  I challenge you to live a life in which you win, you succeed, and in measure against mine, you are declared a winner.  You and I will judge, and fate will be our third.  Agreed?”

Intrigued, Death agreed.  He knew it was ridiculous, but he relished a new experience.   Death only experienced new things when mankind came up with new ways to kill each other and themselves.  He sat next to the man and discussed the rules with him at length.  If they had not been in a frozen moment, weeks would have passed.  The more they discussed, the less Death understood, and that terrified him.  He wanted to back out, but a forfeit is a loss, and he must not lose.  Finally, the man broached the subject of the tree again.

“So, we’ve discussed the rules and what one must do.  However, I am still under a tree.  Are you going to help me?”

“No, that would be helping you win.”

“But a man, for that is what you are to play as, who will only help others when it helps himself is a man who has lost at life, has lost something more important than life.”

Death nodded, and reluctantly removed the tree from his opponent.  He tended to his wounds, letting him heal in the froze moment before letting time continue.  The world around them resumed, and the man told death of his plans to build himself a farm.  Death laughed and pointed to the dilapidated mansion behind the trees and remarked, “That is where I will live, for it is already built and much larger than anything you can assemble.  I am ahead already!”

With that, Death tried to float through the woods.  He was horrified to find that he was now in possession of a human body and none of his powers.  He had dark black hair, and deep green eyes.  The skin on his body was as pale as his bones had been, but were markedly more squishy. His only attire were his robes, which he held around himself to keep out the early autumn’s chill.  Still assured of his impending victory, he rushed off to the dark mansion to live his life.

The man, however, continued his task, though much more carefully, and had fell half a dozen trees and made himself a lean-to by nightfall.  For the next 5 weeks, the man went about building himself a humble home, one room big, with the necessities.  Death laughed from his dark abode, striding around and the second of three floors.  He would have laughed from the third, but the roof had collapsed and rotted out the majority of the top floor.

The very next day after finishing the house, the man set about tilling the land for his crops.  Upon seeing this, Death came over and demanded to know what the man was doing.  “I am tilling the earth in order to grown crops.  I intend to become self sufficient, and eventually, have extra to barter and sell.  I will then buy some animals, and make myself a living off my land.”

Death was confused, “Why do this when you can go an easier route and work for another?  I will get a job in the village and fix my house up.  Then  I will eat only the most luxurious foods and drink the most decadent liquids.  I will win this yet!”  With that, he ran off to the nearest village.  Weeks went by as he searched for employment, but he found some.  He used his first wages to buy a wardrobe, the next to eat, the next to his mansion, then repeated.

Soon, a year had passed.  The man had two successful crops, and a disappointing third.  For this winter, he was living off his stored foods.  He started offering his services and skills he had from making his life to others in exchange for food, furs, and future assistance.  Death continued to live life lavishly.  His mansion was complete, he was full every night, and he worked a shorter day than his opponent.  Eventually, a large blizzard hit. In the weeks before, the man had gathered food and wood, while Death had continued on as normal.  Late into the hours of the second week,  Death was out of stores.  He strapped on a cloak, and over that put in dark robes, and ventured to the man’s house.

When he knocked upon the door, the man let him in.  He fed him in silence, for Death glared about him with the anger of one with naught but wounded pride.  After he ate, he returned to his mansion in silence.  The next day, he refused himself the act of approaching the man again, choosing instead to hunt.  He tracked a hare, snared it, and brought it home.  Laughing, he ate only the finest part.  Smugly, he bundled up the organs and bones in the pelt, and gifted it to the man.  Dripping with sickly sweet contempt, he told the the man “Thank you for helping me.  I give you these things so we’re even.”  He left and soon the blizzard ended.

Years passed in this, or a similar, manner.  Eventually, the man had a large farm with dozens of animals.  He had food for himself and food to sell. He bartered for utilitarian clothing and quality tools.  He even found a woman to court.  Death mirrored the man’s successes in his field.  He climbed the ladder, soon becoming a vicious middle manager, pushing his underlings as hard as the man pushed himself.  His house had unused rooms in which he kept unused items.  Death kept himself in the highest of fashions.  He even afforded himself three servants.

One day, the man ran into Death in town as he was leaving his job.  The man greeted Death as an old friend, and Death regarded him as unworthy of his attention.  The did converse, however, and the man remarked on his love for another, and Death laughed, telling the man he could have any woman he so choose.  In fact,by the night’s end. Death would steal the man’s interest right out form under him.  The man did not take kindly to this, and warned Death off it.  The parted ways shortly thereafter.

The man returned to his farm for a bit, getting his affairs in order, bathing, and putting on clean clothes.  Death chose to buy a new suit and get professionally groomed in town.  He  hunted for and found the woman and approached her.  He immediately let her know of his intention to possess her, causing her to walk away from him without so much as a syllable uttered on her part.  Offended, he hounded her until the man arrived.  Then, throughout the night, he followed them and insulted the man, pursuing the woman after she was interested.  Eventually, the man had to strike Death, the first time Death had experienced such, in order to get him to leave.  The man laid Death out, and Death was offended.

Weeks later, Death married a woman he deemed to be superior to the woman the man had grown to love, for she appreciated Death’s status and finances.  He threw a lavish wedding and invited everyone in the village and surrounding lands.  The man and woman choose not to attend, instead taking the time to expand the house by three bedrooms and a dining room.  Later that year, the man and woman married in a quiet ceremony.  A year and a half later, the had the first of two children.

The game of life continued like much like this for the next few decades, until both Death and the man were elderly.  Death had his third trophy wife on his arm, and had disregarded any threat of the man winning long ago.  The man eventually cashed in his many favors and bought large lots of land, hiring locals and new arrivals to tend them.  Unbeknownst to Death, the man rivalled his wealth.  The didn’t speak anymore.  They hardly ever saw each other.  The man worked his long hours on his farm, and Death worked his hours, and made his underlings work longer hours, in the village.

Then, in the blink of an eye, Death lost it all.  He fell ill, for he didn’t take pride in his health, but in his lavishness.  He wasn’t able to continue to work, and his wife left with one of his employees.  He was fired, and ran out of money.  He soon sold all his things just to eat.  He forgot of the winter the man had helped him.  He instead focused all his hatred on his old foe.  Everything was the man’s fault, he decided.  He told himself that the woman was instead his true love, and the children should be his.  He spent his days as a miser, his house falling apart around him.

Eventually, he decided the man must die, so this game would stop.  He snuck to the farm one night, intent and murdering the man.  He was happy to kill, for he missed it.  He startled the man’s sheep, causing the man to come check on them.  He attacked him from behind, and the moment froze.  Both Death and the man stood, now facing each other, as fate sat passively off to the side.  In this moment, Death knew that he lost.  He railed against it, citing his achievements and all that he had once owned, blaming the man for all his ill will.  Fate held up a hand and silenced him, turning to the man.

The man spoke.  “I knew I would win the moment I asked for the game, old friend.  For you, you have no humanity.  You weren’t raised or taught.  You fought against empathy when I asked for it.  And because of that, you had only the ambition to win, not to succeed or learn or love.  Not even to live.”

“I cheated, because I knew the deck would be stacked in my favor from day one.  And I don’t regret it.  Because I have lived a great happy life, and left my children more than what was left for me.  I loved my fullest, and improved the lives of those around me.  I stood up for my beliefs.  I had no need for humility or piousness, for I was a good man regardless. I saved your life, though I knew you hated me, and granted you mercy on more than one occasion.  I cheated, yes, but because I worked smarter and harder than you.  I did not violate any rules. But I am glad for your company, for I used you a yardstick to measure my work.  If you worked 8 hours, I would work 16.  The silent competition guided me until love took the reigns.”

“However, know this,  I hated you as you hate me.  You dared to try to take my life from me before it was lived, as you took my parents from me in a single winter.  And I wanted you to suffer that which we, us mere mortals, have to.  And that was the sweetest part.  Because you choose to not only suffer, but to miss the point entirely.  you had to experiences, only possessions.  You had no joy, only addictions.  No love, only trophies.  Go ahead with your duties now.  Resume your calling as the Reaper, knowing that that it’s only a rare few that were at any point more miserable that you are right now.  I have brought upon the world a justice none thought could ever exist, and for that alone, I win at life.”

Fate nodded, then turned to Death.  Death struck out angrily at the man, only to see himself as he was so long ago, a skeleton in a dark cloak, clutching a scythe.  He swung it angrily at the man, but it bounced off.  Fate had bestowed Death his true identity, but he had given the man a new identity as well.  The man now represented Hope.  To his family, he has passed quietly in the night, falling asleep watching over his hearth and home after checking on the sheep.  But he stayed with them.  Hope never truly leaves a person it has touched, not even in Death.  For Hope is clever, devious, relentless, without rival, and hard to beat. It had no use for anything other than what one needs it for.

Death quickly forgot of his emotions from that game.  Because, after everything, Death relieves one of their burdens and weights.  Even those of Death itself.


This was a weird one to have rattling around in my head.  It occurred in land in which technology had existed long ago, but humanity had left it behind.  There just wasn’t a point of telling you that in the story.  This land is ruled over by many deities and their many, various servants.  Death was one of many Reapers, and the man became one of many Hopes.  And he was able to spend the afterlife with his family as well.

Hope you guys enjoyed that.  I have a couple other posts I’m working on, as well as the ever present previously mentioned projects.  Some of those should appear in the next few days, provided nothing derails them.

Have a good time waiting on me,


This 40 hour a week job looks more like 8.

You may remember that I  got hired recently, and that I haven’t been treated the best.  No worries, it’s retail and it’s very in par with all my other experiences in the field.  But, all hires were told we’d be getting 40 hours a week, and we’re all at around 8.  My wife managed to pick up another shift on Saturday, which will bring her work week to a whopping 3 days.

The result of all this has been, surprisingly, that I’m less inclined to knit, and more inclined to surf the same 10 or 15 sites repeatedly.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sites and the internet as a whole, but I’ve got things to do, and this job sucking out my motivation… sucks.  And, the constant standing bruises the balls of my feet.  But, whatever, job’s a job and there’s no use hating it.  I have other pokers in the fire.

The slow, unmotivated knitting, is making this initial pattern release date very iffy.  I may end up releasing a bunch of patterns in the next few months, or one a month for a number of months.  I’d rather do the first, but the second could work as well, I would hazard.  The best way I’m keeping myself motivated is that I’m going to knit myself this (which isn’t really shown to it’s full effect on the first page…) I’m looking forward to that, and to the next design.  And the one after that, etc.

Strugglingly motivated,

GL Blumenshine

10 things I knit/crochet about you. And by “about”, I mean “for”. Obviously.

I may not have mentioned to one and all, but I used to crochet things for pocket money in what little of high school I attended. (You see, I dropped out to avoid the people and the same classes I did in elementary and junior high and went right to doing horribly in college @ 17)   During all my time knitting and crocheting, I’ve made a fair number of gifts.  Let’s get ten out there today.  With pictures for a solid 80% of them!  Conviently, for me, these will be in a slide show, then in the list.  Enjoy!

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1.  The one I’m most proud of, my first sweater.  For my son, Case.

2.  This pattern is form an awesome comic about knitting and crocheting super heroes, and it was for my wife.

3.  Then this one was for my friend, the whom you can Google and get me a result,  because he’s big and scary and needed pockets to go outside and smoke in his underwears.

4.  No pictures for this one, but an interesting story.  The whole reason I learned to crochet was so I could give my girlfriend at the time a hand knit blanket.  I bought 25 dollars worth of Red Heart cuddly something or other, and set about going crazy with the hook.  I didn’t cont stitches, and didn’t use a pattern.  So, obviously,  I ended up with a lumpy, wavy, red thing. It was roughly two feet in width and 12 in length, so I quickly made a little square patch and attached it to the end with some some small buttons that fit through the stitches and called it a robe.  And she actually liked it and wore it.  So there’s a moral for you.  Even if you screw everything up, if you give it someone who loves you, they’ll like it.  Unless they suck.  and cont your stitches.  And perhaps your first project should come form a pattern.  Okay, Three morals.  Whatever.  you’re life is better for this story.

5, 6, 7 and 8.  Dice bags for Christmas!  In order of left to right, first then second pic, Batman’s ex,  Batman, Nightwing Skywalker, nd  Lori-who-refuses-all-nicknames.

9.  The caution tape bag you see in my pic currently.  I made this for the very same girl showing off the scarf I made when I was pissed at the pants I’m making.

And 10.  All the beanies I made in high school.  No pictures, but I mention these because I only charged for like 60% of them, and a third of those were never delivered  because I was just so unmemorable that people forget they gave me money.  that like… 10 bucks (at 5 a hat) I made free there.  Man I hated high school.

The Monday Before The Tuesday After Today

How many Vegans does it take to screw in a lightbulb?   I’m better than you.

I’ve been knitting so much lately that I’m starting to wear on myself with it.  So, this temp job I’m starting Thursday ought to help me get motivated again.  Nothing makes me want to knit like everything else a grown up has to do.

So, check this out.  Knitting’s on there. Good to know.

Here is one of my favorite yarn sources.  I feel like I can share them with you, and you won’t snipe all the yarns I want.  I’m trusting you guys here.

Alright.  Videos.  What shall we theme today on?

Wait!  Here’s a video I remember from high school.  With knitting!

Oh, hey, I have a new challenge, because the appreciating people on facebook didn’t work out.  This is how it goes.  I subscribe to 4 monthly mags, and haven’t actually read any of them in 6 months.  So, for this next month, I’m going to try to read 20 back issues of my mags.  If nothing else, this will get me out of bed before 4 in the afternoon.  Which we can all appreciate.

Well, without more comments to drive my comment driven section, I can’t really tell you guys about each other’s favorite quirky yarns.  We’ll put a pin in that request for a while I guess.  Anything random you guys want to let me know right now?  Then post it.


GL Blumenshine

Matt Damon say I need glasses.

I wish it would rain here.  Apparently, some parts of my horrible,  hot, smelly town have gotten rain, but not us.  And that’s desert for you.   Someday,  I will live in a wonderful, wet, cold place where my knitting can be worn through out the year.  That’s a dream for me.  Just a little something for you guys to learn about me.

I’m watching The Adjustment Bureau, and I love it.  The way in which to make the world the way you want it is to be willful and improvise.  Also, wear a hat and punch guys.  That’s awesome.  If it included knitting and geeking out, I’d be golden for all of time.  Also, Matt Damon looks good with a hat.  I’d like to think I look good in a hat, but I usually have to have some glasses on to even out the look.  Which, considering that I need glasses, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.   Moral of the story?  Matt Damon has justified me needing glasses.  Science!

As a reassurance, I do in fact have a free project in mind now, I will release it the same week that I release my first paid pattern.  Also, I will post it all over “teh interwebs”, as they say in “the business”, to direct people this way.  So leave awesome comments so othesr are encouraged to do so as well.  Because, obviously, it’s all the awesome comments that makes people like the blog, not the content.  Don’t be ridiculous.  Seriously, guys.  It’s all up to you.  Like vigilante justice.  And Matt Damon.

So the comment request today is:  Tell me about your favorite “weird” kind of yarn.  Thick and thin?  Latter Lace?  Variegated centered around a specific character in a specific something?  Hand painted dog fur?  Let your quirky side filter through my comments this time.  I’ll see if I can’t find some pictures or stories relating to each of the mentioned items for Monday.

We could all use some gourmet chocolate after that post,

GL Blumenshine

Distractio- Hey I Own Video Games!!!!

Last night, I was all set to knit some on the prototype I have going (Suspense!) when my friend (If you Google his name, I’m literally the third result) brought over some original Xbox games, an original xbox, and an Army of Darkness comics Omnibus (It’s so freaking cool!  Like, you have no idea how happy I am about it.  Reality can’t handle it.)    After after 20 minutes, we couldn’t hook up the xbox because my tv is too new (It’s one of those 4 base colors sets.  It’s really big, but my wife wouldn’t let me get the 60 inch.  She said we didn’t need it, but seriously, how could we not need it?  She won.)  So, I ended up rocking Batman: Arkham Asylum(They’ve got DLC with different outfits for him.  You can rock the movie costumes, a Green Lantern Costume, or a Captain America costume. Even Batman Beyond costume.  I don’t have any of it, but I must get it.) until 3 am.  Which left no time for knitting.  And that was disappointing.

I totally got hired at my old university’s book store for a temp.  job.  It’s amusing because I rocked my interview, and the dude next to me did less well, and they hired us both.  Which makes me feel like they’re just desperate for cashiers to check out books in the insane rush of the beginning of the school year.  And that’s probably totally accurate.  Which is cool.   The pay is going to help me even out some bills, and get supplies for more prototypes.  And that’s good for everybody.  Right?

Let me know your favorite/most dire distractions in the comments?  I’d appreciate being amused by them.  Thanks guys!

Unti- Let’s go ride our bikes!

GL Blumenshine

Personal Challenges, Energy Drinks, and Fear in the eyes of a salesman. (All without appropriate segues.)

So, I’ll explain to you guys why I’m a good knitter.   Lots of others say I’m great, but I have a few glaring mistakes.  But, the reason I’m good at it is that every challenging pattern I see is a personal challenge.   Like, say, a coat kit with insane cables is the designer’s way of saying “GL, I bet you can’t get this done.  Cause you’re lame.”  than I do it, and feel embarrassed that I heard a picture and some words talking smack at me.  Because that’s a crazy person thing, you see.  Inanimate objects talking to you.  (Shut up, Watch!  Just because you having moving hands doesn’t make you sentient!)   And that’s why I always have needles and yarn not far from me, and a queue longer than my arm.

Energy drinks, right?  During school, I tend to avoid them unless I absolutely need them.  Being a father of a toddler who really tries to split duties with his wife, that’s like six times a week, but still,  I attempt to avoid them.  But during the summer, I really just want to spend my whole day downing them.  It’s not like I’m doing anything except the odd class or designing like 16 different patterns to release, but I don’t really need to down a 5 hour energy and a Xenergy to do that.  What is it about the three digit temperatures that make me want to work like a coked up ferret?  Science, I’m looking at you.

Here’s a story for you guys.  I went to Best Buy to look for a tablet.  I had a list of requirements, and as I was going through them, my son it in my arms rambling about a sign.  The salesman started off thinking he could help me, but as I progressed further into what I need and why,  fear crept into his eyes.  Not just fear, but F E A R.  He started to panic and, as I know for a fact is the default in the situation for sales people, he just ran me through all the tablets they had in stock.  So after, number three,  I slowly explained what I wanted again, and he gave up.  He said there wasn’t really anything that had everything I wanted.  Then, as I was leaving, he sighed in relief.  Here’s the thing, this always happens when I know what I want.   I love face to face sales, when I’m not selling.

Now, I request that you, my humble readers, give me a suggestion on something to design for a free pattern to get people interested in my patterns.  Let loose in the comments!

I’ll move your TV for a burger.

True story.  Just got back from doing that.  Helped my uncle move his big screen.  But, the burger had to be Carl’s Jr., or no deal.  That burger was the highlight of my day.  I didn’t do much else, so that’s not AS sad.  Anyway, down to blogness.

Last night, I had to restart a project I’m making a pattern for again.  It’s the second time it’s turned into a mobius strip, and, understandably, I got a little pissed.  So, I knit a whole scarf in anger.   That’s just how I roll, guys.  I knit so I don’t kill people.  I create to prevent my destruction.  Because, man, I’d destroy whole cities.  The only thing holding me back is YARN.  Think about it.

So, my appreciate your friends on FB campaign is going great.  I’m actually wording some not so awesome things to appreciate someone into words a little less hurtful.  Which isn’t what I intended with this, but is a nice by product.   Now, somewhat in the same vein, how do I choose which friends that I knit which prototype for?  I don’t need all of them (unless I move somewhere not horrible.)   Suggestions?

Did you guys know that a copyright only costs 35 bucks in the US?  SO, when my patterns come out, they’ll always be copyrighted.  Oh!  In regards to that video I tweeted about earlier, it will be a surprise… After I get, you know, a video camera and some editing software for a single web video that has nothing to do with my brand.  So, kind of soon.  Look forward to it!

To infinity and, like, 3 blocks further and the first house on the left,

GL Blumenshine

Random today? Yes.

Hey guys,  welcome to today.  It’s Monday, so it’s Random Content Monday.  No much to say to today, but I’ll make sure you have some interesting things to distract yourself with.  Also, some stuff from some comments!  Let’s go to work.

My friend’s completely inspirational blog

Comment suggestion 1

Working retail?

Batman: The Brave and the Bold combines two of my favorite things EVER.

Besides our random content, I’d just like to say I wish I had maid bots, like from the The Jetsons.

I’ll blog you later,

GL Blumenshine






New lands, mostly. Well, kinda. Okay, new things happening in the same land as last week.

Hey there dear readers!  I just got my first comment for the blog.  How exciting.  It even had helpful advice and praise.  How inspiring. Thanks Ali!  And, last Wednesday, I had 20 whole readers. That was cool too.  Pretty exciting for  a blog written from my Mom’s couch while my two year old runs rampant around me. (I’ve trained him well.)

Another new idea of mine is that I’m choosing 30 randoms friends from FB this month and posting on their respective walls why I appreciate them.  I’m trying to get better at my being a mean loner thing (my wife hates it, and that bugs me.)  Last month, I cut out trolling.  Which was initially hard, but got very easy by the end.  I guess I’m becoming an adult.  Besides the fact that I’m aimless in school, design weird knitted things, only wear super hero t shirts and have absurdly high standards for the pants I wear.  Then I’ll stick, tape, glue, and knit those pants into a zombie state a hundred times before I give up on them.  But I like to think that all just makes me intriguing.

So, I still love input for the next Random Content Monday, so all you innumerable readers should post a link to your favorite time waster, or good cause.  I’ll throw what I get up Monday, and we’ll go from there.

Until the next today, and probably the last yesterday,

GL Blumenshine

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