Thursday, December 20, 2007

One day...

So I'm posting from Gail's house, where I don't have pictures, becuase if I don't do it now I'll forget. I gotta let you guys know that I'm going to be gone this week to one of the coolest places in the world(literally). We have to get up at 4 o'clock Saturday morning, and we're all thrilled.

Me, Mom, the Small Ones, Tita, and Tita's son and daughter-in-law are going to be spending a whole week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This place is freaking fantastic. We're going to have a white Christmas! I don't think I can use a keyboard to convey how excited we are. Well, think of this: The night before you go to Rhinebeck. I've never been to Rhinebeck(boohoo), but according to people who have, it seems to be on the same excitement level.

I was kind of panicing(sp?) the other day because my stash is puny(really, just look at my Ravelry) and I didn't have anything to take with me to knit. Well we went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and I got some wool for a felted bag and some cotton for a poncho. Considering that there's a yarn store in Jackson Hole that I fully intend to go to(just try and stop me...) and I do have that prize Brooks Farm Primero, I think I'm okay(please don't mock me when I come back and post about my panic attack when I run out of yarn).

In other news, I finished the blue Sockotta socks(nicknamed "blueregard") and I think I have a picture on my Ravelry. Go check it out! I'm KnitWize there too. And if you don't have Ravelry yet, you need to get it ASAP!

Jesse the Intrepid Explorer

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nothing like a change of plans...

Heather's slippers have been sitting on my worktable for a while now, just needing to be felted. I was getting kind of tired of it, so I finished them off about 20 minutes ago.
(I swear these are the same size. It's just the angle of the shot)

The slippers were fun and quick to knit, but in the felting I encountered 2 problems:
1, They're not very snug at the heel. I'm not sure how much of a problem this is, but I'm not going to worry about it. The deed is done.
2, They're small. This in itself is not a problem, they will fit Heather just fine. The problem is that 3 of the 4 people I was also planning to knit slippers for are men with substantially larger feet than Heather. I don't think I can make them both big enough and sturdy enough to fit big feet.
This is where the change of plan comes in: instead of 4 more pairs of slippers, I am going to knit 3 cabled scarves for the guys and some kind of decorative pillow for the woman. I am not mad about this change of plans, on the contrary. I think it's actually going to save me money.
I think next year I'm just going to come up with one project, like mittens or hats, and knit variations for everyone. I could buy one weight of yarn in a bunch of colors, mix and match, and use most of it up. This would be easier to organize and would hopefully remove the need for all this plan-changing.
On the downside, I might get bored knitting the same thing(however different) over and over. This is only a minimal concern, though. I plan to give myself lots and lots of time(starting no later than August) so I can knit other things and not lose my mind. Once the plan is established, there will be no changing.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm on a roll...

Wow, 2 posts in a week! Whoopee!
Plain vanilla sock with the awesome Sockotta yarn. This sock and I are having some relationship issues. I thought the yarn was going to stripe. I'm okay with not striping, but it's kind of pooling, and I'm not entirely sure how much this bothers me. I thought I would just keep knitting until I realise that I can't live with it and find some kind of solution(See, I'm not sure it bugs me that much. Odds are I'll be just fine. It's only minor pooling, and the non-pooling part looks great.)
Mom's Christmas shawl is done! It was a lovely quick knit, and now it's a lovely soft wrap(I'm wearing it right now. That's okay, cuz Mom thinks I made it for myself.)
Good shot of the colors.
Eyelet edge.

The only problem was that it kind of sheds. Just a little when it's being worn, but the whole couple days I was knitting it, I was constantly picking little fuzzies off of myself.

I started on Grandma's shawl a few days ago. I couldn't for the life of me get a photo with anywhere near accurate colors, so just imagine a big triangle the colors of the yarn I showed you last week. It's the same as Mom's, but without the eyelet(my Grandma wouldn't be able to see anything that subtle) Fingerless mitts for my cousin, a variation of Dashing from I made them shorter, and with only the cables on the tops of the hands. I like them, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I may need to make the thumbs wider.

I learned to knit when I was 8, but never learned anything but the knit stitch and never made anything. Last October, a dear friend of mine showed me how to knit Continental and renewed my interest. From there I shot off like a rocket, learning everything I could and knitting every waking moment. Well, I'm not quite sure when exactly I entered the maniac-knitting stage I'm in now, but I think it was after Christmas, because I didn't even think of knitting any gifts.

With this in mind, it seems a tiny bit odd to me that, after only a year of serious knitting, I feel compelled to knit every single present on my list. Just a teensy bit, though.

I feel absolutely no desire to enter into the raving-mad stage of Christmas knitting known as "IT," and I tried to stay within the realm of possiblity. I chose only(well, mostly) smallish, quick gifts, and started knitting them in August. I really think I'm going to make it. This is all I need to finish:

  • aforementioned shawl for Grandma(garter stitch on US 10 needles, and it's already 3/4 done. I am not worried at all.)
  • 4 pairs of slippers(don't laugh. I can easily finish a pair of these in a day. I have done it before.)
  • a wire bracelet(provided I don't make some idiotic mistake, this should take maybe 1/2 an hour at most)
  • some small stuffed toy suitable to entertain an almost-3-year-old boy(this also should be very quick)

I think it's completely reasonable to expect that this will all get done... If you don't think so, and you have a better idea, please let me know. I promise you will not hurt my pride one little bit.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


So I got my hair cut today. Really cut. Seriously cut. Big changes. Before:
Y'all have seen my hair before. Reasonably long, right? You wanna see the after?



Real big changes. I love it! I can't wait til tonight when I wash it. It'll be so quick and easy!

Note that my hair is doing that flippy thing naturally: It's actually pretty wavy, but you could hardly tell before because it was so weighted down.

Big announcement in knitting news as well: Thing 1's Christmas doll is finally finished! I finished the doll a while ago, but still had to make it some clothes. I used the original pattern as a guideline and made a dress. Lots of thinking was involved: I did in mostly in the round, which changed my gauge, and the whole thing was seamless so I had to figure out how to knit the sleeves, knit the skirt top-down, then pick up stitches(provisional cast-on) and knit the body(joining in the sleeves with raglan decreases) bottom-up. I also added a placket and buttons on the back to make it easier to put on. This was a major accomplishment in itself because these were probably the only 2 matching buttons in my collection.

Remember that huge pink sock that I said was going to be a felted slipper? Well, it didn't work out so well. It turns out that even after felting, the foot was incredibly long compared to the width. So I whipped up a pair of Seamless Lopi PhD Boots, a free pattern from the internet.

(Before felting, obviously.)
This is a simple triangle shawl for my mom for Christmas. I love the stripes that the yarn is making. I was so tickled when I showed the yarn to my mom and she gushed over the feel and the color(I told her it was for me) You can't see in this picture, but there's a neat little eyelet edging along the side. Every other row, I k2, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k2. That's my increase.
This is the same yarn in a different color for a shawl for my grandma(and yes, I do have another ball. I have no delusions of a shawl on US 10 needles with 219 yds of yarn.
This is some yarn for socks for myself. Is that not the coolest blue? I'm in love. It's 45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, and 15% nylon. I've never made socks with a nylon blend yarn, and I'm interested to see how it wears. I've heard that a bit of nylon in sock yarn is like a little dose of superpower. I'm hoping that't true, because I have 2 pairs of handknit socks that I wear at least once a week, and I'm loving them to death(literally. They're wearing down fast.)

So now you're all nice and caught up. I have Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off for Thanksgiving, so I'll get lots of knitting done and might possibly remember to post something.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's a Conspiracy

I should have seen this coming. Today I have free time in the evening, I remember how long it's been since I've blogged, I have FO's, WIP's, new yarn, and stuff to talk about, and my computer decides that today I'm not allowed to upload pictures onto the blog. Since my blog posts are not worth much without picture, this is kind of a problem... So I'm here venting my frustration. I won't make any promises(cuz you know how unreliable I am when it comes to blogging), but I'm going to try my best to post tomorrow. Hopefully the computer will be in a better mood, and you can see all my stuff.

Monday, October 22, 2007

All Across the Continent...

...the blogging world is silent. Because all the bloggers are at Rhinebeck! Except me! boo hoo... I am supremely ticked that I have not gotten to go to a single fiber event this year. Oh well. Maybe I'll just pop on over to Ravelry. That'll occupy me for a couple of hours, and the pictures of lovely wool and sweaters will ease my pain. sniff...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm Baaa-aaack!

Okay, there's been lots of knitting going on, but first, I have to tell you what happened last weekend.

The Small Ones and I were at our dad's house, and we went to this art fair on Saturday, where I met some interesting people. The first was a lady with a booth where she was selling jewelry she had made. I complimented her work, and mentioned how all the little cards the earrings were stuck through had pictures of sheep printed on them. She said that was because she collected sheep. In fact, her daughter owned a yarn shop, but she had collected sheep long before that(I wish I could have seen my face when she said "owns a yarn shop") I said that was really cool, I'm a knitter and I love sheep. She said that her daughter had some patterns published on the internet and I should check them out. She wrote the name of the shop on a card, though she wasn't quite sure how to spell it. It's "Knit Nueveau(noo-vo)" or however you spell the French word for "new"

Second interesting encounter happened shortly afterward, when we found this booth and some ladies who were medieval re-enactors. One of them was spinning on a drop spindle. I already knew sort of how to do it(from reading blogs) and I watched her and she showed me and after a while she let me try it! It was great. I only spun about a yard, but it was really even and she said I did really good for never having spun before in my life. I was riding that high all weekend. I'm going to have to get me a drop spindle real soon.

I realised a while ago that I never showed you guys the yarn I won in Annie's drawing, so here it is:
Ain't it purty? Smells good too. It's Brooks Farm variegated primero, 500 yards, 100% mohair. I adore it, but I can't for the life of me think of what to make with it. But for now I'm content with leaving it on my worktable as a pet skein.
(color sooo not accurate) These are Tita's Christmas socks, in all their glory(well, most of it. I spent five minutes taking this picure again and again, in various lights, and I couldn't get the color anywhere near right) I just might have to steal these. Maybe I could hypnotize her into thinking that she bought this yarn for me out of the goodness of her heart, not because she wanted socks.
This is a dainty little tote I whipped up from one ball of ribbon yarn from the dollar store. That brings be so much joy. My mom even bought the yarn for me, and even if I bought more it would only be a buck-a-ball. I'll probably sell this for $10-$15!
This is a Christmas gift, a clutch purse for my cousin. This is it before felting,
and after. I love felting. I also love how it freaks my mom out.
Tita and I are taking a crochet class at out LYS, and this is the square I made at our first session. It's from the book "200 Crochet Blocks" by Jan Eaton. The whole class, in fact, is on squares from the book. There are 30 block classes offered, one a week. Tita and I are going to 10 of them, on various weeks, in various months(it'll take a while to get through them all) By the way, this is the block called "Lemon Peel"
This is another Christmas gift, a slipper for our nanny. (yes, I know it's gynormous. It's going to be felted)
I FINALLY finished Thing 2's blanket! Yay me! I put so much work into this, I've decided I'm just going to put it away and give it to him at Christmas. He'll forget about it soon enough. Small boys are like that.
This is a Dobby Hat for my friend Wayne, who is the boyfriend of my friend Anna, whom I have also made a Dobby Hat for. He saw hers, and loved it, so I was planning to make him one for Christmas, but then his birthday snuck up on me, so here it is. I can't wait to see his face when I give it to him tomorrow.
So now you've all been suitably caught up, and I'm off to read blogs. Ciao!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Okay, this time it's really not my fault

So here's how it goes: I've been wanting to blog for at least 2 weeks now, and the first few days it was just my forgetfulness that prevented that. But then our internet went haywire, and I haven't been able to post. I go over to Gail's twice a week, but her computer is screwy and won't let me access my account. I'm at my mom's computer at her office right now, where I don't have any pictures. We expect to have internet back by Friday, but I'm going to my dad's on Friday afternoon and won't have time to blog. But never fear. I promise I will post a nice long, picture-laden update sometime next week.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Swatches are Dirty Liars

I finished my redpinkpurple socks this weekend, with quite a lot of yarn left over. But that's okay, cuz I'm gonna use my leftover sock yarn to make doll socks for Peanut to sell at the Christmas craft fair.
But about swatches. Never trust them. I was swatching for Tita's socks, and my tape measure said that I was getting 13 1/2 stitches over 2 inches. The place on my leg where I wanted the sock to start(and Tita's legs are pretty much the same size as mine) was 9 inches around. If the swatch was truthful, that would mean I would need to cast on about 60 stitches.(and I used a calculator) But I knew that couldn't be right because I had just finished a pair of socks in sock-weight yarn with 58 stitches cast on. This yarn is DK.
So I decided to wing it. I cast on 50 stitches and started working in k1p1 rib. I tried it on several times, and it seemed to be working, so I kept going. Apparently I'm a really good guesser. I knit the whole first sock and part of the second sock in less than 2 days.
(as you can see, there's a substantial guage difference.)
This is a doll I made for Thing 1. I know, she doesn't have any pants. I started knitting the top before I decided that I was going to save this and make it a Christmas present, so I'll have to make her a little sweater and some pants.
In other news, the high today was somethig like 80 degrees. I had to put my jacket on when I went outside this morning. You have no idea how happy this makes me. The weather is changing! My favorite time of year is on its way!
I want to knit myself a cardigan or a jacket for cool weather, but I'm not sure exactly what style. I couldn't find a pattern I really liked on the internet, but I think I've got it down to either Tilted Duster from the Fall issue of Interweave Knits, and the Trailblazer Jacket from the September issue of Creative Knitting. But all this said, a jacket for myself is not the highest item on the priority list right now. I really don't want to succumb to IT this Christmas, so I'm going to go ahead and start on my holiday knitting. That means lots of yarn buying, and lots of time, and hopefully a more enjoyable Christmas season(free of frantic last-minute knitting). Comments, I beg of you!!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

How long has it been?

Wow. So sorry I've been gone, I just haven't remembered or haven't had time. But I got goodies to show!

This is the bag for Thing 1 when I was attempting to felt it by hand. It felted some, but it took a long time and didn't get as dense as I wanted. So I waited until we got home from the mountains and felted it in the washing machine.
Thing 1 adores it.
Remember the sock yarn from Germany or something? I love it!!! It makes the most fabulous stripes. It's almost embarrassing how much the changing colors entertained me.
And they're very comfy. And machine washable.
I got some new sock yarn that I'm also thrilled with. Isn't the colorway just gorgeous? This is also mahcine washable. It's 50% superwash wool, 25% Soysilk, 22.5% cotton and 2.5% chittin. Did you know that chittin comes from the shells of shrimp and crabs. That's really cool.
I know this may look like a pile of knitted sausages, but it's really the parts for a doll. All I have left to do is finish the sewing and stuffing, and knit on the head(and make it some clothes) but I'm procrastinating horribly. I really hate this yarn, so it's in my best interest to get it over with ASAP.

This is the makings for a pair of fuzzy dice for Heather's birthday. All I have to do now is felt the black knitted fabric, cut out some circles, and sew it together.
Mom and Tita went on their own vacation the the mountains last weekend, and they brought us goodies back.
A swift and a ball winder for me, Tita, and Thing 1 to use(though it's mostly mine)
This some yarn that's not exactly mine. Tita got it so I could make her some socks with it. I don't get the socks, but she's let me do my favorite part. The box thingy is a little pouch with a grommet on top so you can stick your yarn ball inside and not have to take it out to work on the project.
This is a shawl for a dear friend of ours who has just lost her husband. A warm shawl is like a hug, which is something I reckon she needs a lot of right now.
Can you see the heart?

In other news, I just won 500 yards of free, gorgeous yarn in an online drawing hosted by Annie from AnnieKnits(see sidebar). It should be coming in the mail any day now.
PS: I am number 9018 in line for Ravelry. There are now more people behind me that in front of me. You have no idea how much this gladdens me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Saving the World, One Bag at a Time

Hey y'all! Just getting in a post before we leave for the mountains. We're on our way as soon as Mom gets home at noon and we won't be back till Sunday.

My BagBag marathon continues, and I have successfully completed another that doubles as my first mosaic knitting project (I think it's mosaic knitting, I'm not positive. If not then it's my first slip-stitch colorwork project.) That white card is a price tag. By my reasoning, I think I can get $30 for this. (I have, however, given Peanut my permission to lower the prices a little if they're not selling.)
I have also made more doll stuff. These are shawls, and I've made another little bow tote. Thing 1 adores the little bags and has agreed to purchase several as soon as she is no longer broke.
This is a to-be-felted purse/bag type thingie for Thing 1(don't tell). She loves it, but(apparently) has no idea that it's for her. And I inted to keep it that way. I'm taking it with me to the mountains. I'll most likely finish it, which means that I'll most likely end up felting it by hand because the house we're renting doesn't have a washing maching. But I'm okay with hand-felting.
Gail took Thing 1 and I to our not-so-local yarn shop(we have a LYS, but this one is cool too) on Saturday. Gail and Thing 1 are taking knitting lessons there, and I just love going. I got some cool self-striping sock yarn. I will not be taking it to the mountains because I haven't found a suitable pattern yet.
One problem is that the label is written mostly in another language. I'm pretty sure it's German. Maybe something Scandinavian. I know the most important stuff, that it's machine washable and one ball is enough for 2 socks. Anybody recognize this label?
There's some text ab0ve the name that reads "heiB waschbar waschmaschinenfest garantiert filzfrei" I'm pretty sure that says something about machine-washable.

12383 people are ahead of me in line to get into ravelry. I'm still not obsessing.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Thirteen thousand, three hundred and seventy-five people are ahead of me in line. I will not obsess.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I will not obsess

I promised myself I wouldn't obsess over this waiting list thing. But I've already checked 3 times today. (btw, there are 13,528 people in front of me) But I just realised something awesome: I'm number 20660 on the list, but that just means that I'm the 20,660th person to sign up, there's not that many people in front of me. It's still a lot, but it's 7,132 less than I thought yesterday.

The shawl is done. It looks the same as it did yesterday, but bigger. It's not as big as I'd like, cuz I only had one ball of yarn, but as I was admiring it in the mirror, I realised that it's the perfect size to turn into a shrug with just some ribbon. I feel so smart. Pictures later. I'm off to cut up some more bags.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Wait Begins

I have just joined the legions of knitters and crocheters waiting to join, and at the moment of this writing, I am number 20660 in line. Dang.

Something I can't believe I forgot to show you last time: a recent FO, Accidentally-on-Purpose, a drop-stitch vest from Stitch n Bitch Nation.

I absolutely love it. It's very easy and pretty quick to knit. You just knit 2 stockinette rectangles and drop the stitches as you bind off. The neck shaping on the front was a little tricky, but I pulled it off and it's wonderful.

This is a patternless gossamer shawl made using the first yarn I've ever gotten from an actual yarn shop instead of a craft store. The yarn is Karabella Gossamer and the needle is a US 17 circ.

This Sunday we went over to our friend's lake house to fish and grill and hang out. Our other friend, Peanut, the one that asked me about the BagBag, was also there. I brought the one in progress with me and finished it there, so I don't have a picture. She loved this one too, and we agreed that I would make some more and she would sell them at the craft fair. I said that I could also make lots of purses out of yarn instead of bags. She liked the idea and I've been churning them out ever since.

Emily the Doll is seen here modeling and hoping Thing 1 will buy her one. In rows from top left: dainty bow tote; on-the-go shoulder bag; roomy knapsack; cary-all tote; slightly smaller carry-all; fair-isle shoulder bag. And that's just in 3.5 days in between other projects! I do think I should start making some BagBags now, though.

Guess what came in the mail yesterday!

"The Museum of Kitschy Stitches: a Gallery of Nototrious Knits" by Stitchy McYarnpants. Hilarious! I definitely reccomend it for your own bookshelf.

My grandparents on my dad's side are getting on up in their years and recently moved into an assisted living facility. A few weeks ago, my dad and his siblings were up there helping them get settled and sort through their stuff. They got rid of a lot, but he brought back lots of old pictures and some things for us kids.
This is a crochet doily that my dad's dad's mother made. I love it to bits(metaphoricaly, of course. It's a priceless family heirloom and it's staying right where it is, away from the hands of destructive little Things) and as a crocheter myself, I can fully appreciate how much time and work went in to this.

Just a warning, beware the edges of open tin cans. However docile and harmless they appear, they are viscious and think nothing of slicing open an innocent and well-meaning thumb.(The resulting cut will render the thumb 75% useless, which, strangely, is a whole lot more annoying than a 100% useless thumb.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I'm Not Dead

I'm sooooooo sorry I haven't posted in forever, but I was always forgetting or not having time or not having the camera, but now I'm back! And I've been knitting(and crocheting).

This here is part of a rug I'm crocheting with a very large hook and cut-up fabric. It's not even half the size I'd like yet, but I'm out of fabric. The colors are pretty basic, however, so I shouldn't have trouble finding some more. It's very comfy to stand on.
These are socks knit using the basic recipe, but with a k2,p1 rib. They're knit on US 2(2.75 mm) dpns, the smallest needles I own or have ever worked with.
This is part of "Knit Your Own Rock Star" from Stitch n Bitch Nation, but it's not gonna be a rock star. It's gonna be a doll for Thing 1.
These are squares for a blanket for Thing 2(current placement has nothing to do with final placement). I'm having fun with this project. I have no deadline and no pattern, so I can take it at any pace I please. I can also use a variety of techniques. The top middle square is my first intarsia, and it's not nearly as scary as people think. With only 2 colors, it's actually pretty easy.
This is a BagBag, a purse made of cut-up shopping bags. I've made one of these before, but bigger and at a tighter gauge. My mom showed it to a friend of ours, who has a booth in our local semi-annual craft fair. She loved it and told my mom that she was sure people would buy them. The one she saw took me forever, but I could make a bunch of smaller ones with bigger needles and they wouldn't take nearly as long. I'd really like to get a profit out of my knitting, so I'm gonna take her up on her offer.
This is my new and improved circular needle holder, made of a leg from an old pair of jeans. I've labeled it with both US and metric sizes, so it also serves as a conversion chart.
Did you know that today is World Wide Craft Books Day? No? That's cuz it's not. I just felt the urge to show you my knitting library.
We have here, from left to right:
+A binder full of patterns I printed off the internet(the blue folder is not knitting-related)
+Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting
+A pattern booklet published by the Lion Brand Yarn company.
+the May and July 2007 issues of Creative Knitting
+Fast Knits, Fat Needles and Quick Crochet, Huge Hooks, both by Sally Harding
+Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel
+Simply Fabulous Knitting by Montse Stanley
+200 Knitted Blocks by Jan Eaton
+Stitch n Bitch Nation and Stitch n Bitch Crochet, both by Debbie Stoller(I have The Knitter's Handbook, but I'm letting a friend borrow it)
+1000 Great Knitting Motifs by Luise Roberts
+All 4 of the Yarn Harlot's books: Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee Casts Off; Knitting Rules, the Yarn Harlot's bag of knitting tricks; Yarn Harlot, the secret life of a knitter; and At Knit's End, meditations for women who knit too much. These four are my favorites.
+Knitting Tips and Tricks(expanded), contributed to by a whole bunch of people and edited by Pam Hoenig
What's in your library?
An aside note, why is nobody commenting? I know people have read my blog, but I've only gotten 2 comments! Please, if you read this, drop me a line. A single sentence will make my day.
PS: y'all go over to the sidebar and take my knitters poll and my Harlot quiz, pretty please with chocolate chips.