Dec 21, 2007
Nov 27, 2007
Not anymore, to say the least. I picked up a few things at my LYS at their Thanksgiving sale, but check out the haul from my honeymoon! I had no idea I'd bought so much until I was taking the photos!
Portland has dozens upon dozens of yarn shops spread out all over, so we didn't even touch half of them. We did manage to make it to 5 stores, not too shabby (in 3 days!). Don't feel too bad for DH's patience, he's been known to knit occasionally and some of this yarn is his.
Of course I picked up some Kureyon, as well as yarn for 7 (!) pairs of socks, but I also tried to buy locally. In addition to Oregon wool, and specially dyed yarn, I bought some handspun that comes from a 90-year old woman!
I was extremely impressed with yarn stores in Portland. They average about 3 times the size of the ones here, are absolutely bursting with yarn and they carry enough varied things that you'd have to shop at 2 or 3. Plus, perfect LYS manners: ask you if they can help, then leave you alone and when you do need help, they were very friendly and down-to-earth. We even got free handmade glass stitch markers at one because it was our honeymoon! None of the snobbery that keeps me out of a lot of places.
These are the places we visited and I hardily recommend all of them. The ones with an * had a tad more variety in my opinion.
Dublin Bay Knitting Co. (specializes in yarn from the British Isles, very fun!)
*Abundunt Yarn & Dyeworks
The Naked Sheep
Finally, the months-overdue Harry Potter beret. Probably not worth all the build-up, but I did get my photo taken with Hagrid, Mad-Eye Moody and Snape (sigh) while wearing it!
Project: Harry Potter Beret
Source: Charmed Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in #999 & #1382 (maybe 1/2 skein of the red?)
Needles: US 6 & 7
Comments: Easy Peasy!
Nov 14, 2007
So here are the details on my beautiful wedding shawl.
This was my first big lace project and I was plenty nervous. Miriam, the designer, was very helpful when I had questions and other knitters helped me through my first time blocking with wires and how to wash the delicate yarn. Thanks a lot!!
I think this pattern is perfect for a beginning lace knitter. It's pretty straight-forward and the charts are easy to read. The yarn is the softest thing I've ever touched and I wish I could drape myself in it all the time. When knitting the shawl, I often stopped for minutes at a time to pet the yarn! The yarn also seems much sturdier when knit up. I only had breakage once and that was when I was pulling from the first center ball I had wound. I do tend to wind too tightly.
This is definitely my most loved of all the things I've knit. I'm extremely proud of it too!
Now for lots more photos!
Project: Seraphim Wedding Shawl
Source: Mim Knits
Yarn: Lobster Pot Lace Weight Cashmere in Salt Rose, 1.5 skeins
Needles: US 6
Comments: I left out one repeat because I'm so short and also because I was worried of running out of yarn. I had plenty of yarn left over and the shawl ended up being only slightly shorter than the one the pattern calls for. This shawl was knit in secret and my sweet husband ended up being very surprised (he's my #1 knitting fan)! I only hope I can figure out how to wear this often.
Nov 1, 2007
Oct 31, 2007
I've mostly been on a knitting and blogging break for the past few months because I was planning my wedding. Now that the wedding and honeymoon has come and gone, I'm going to try to get back up to date. I have lots of new yarn to post, fun projects and plenty of knitting to do. In the meantime, enjoy this shot of my first big 'ol complicated lace project. Oh, my luxurious wedding shawl, how I do love thee so!
Sep 24, 2007
Project: Yo, Drop It Scarf *modified*
Source: Stitch 'n Bitch Nation
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky in #3681 (Hot Pinkish, hard to photograph)
Needles: US 13
Comments: I changed the amount of wraps and the beginning and ends of the scarf. Nice, fast project.
I still have a few more projects to photograph, including the HP Beret, of course, and another alpaca project. Photos to come soon...
Project: Ballband Dishcloths
Source: Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Sugar 'N Cream in Light Blue & Jewels; Red, Strawberries 'N Cream, & Patio Pinks
Needles: US 7
Started: 7/18/07 & 7/24/07
Finished: 7/23/07 & 7/26/07
Comments: It wouldn't be summer without more ballbands!
Project: Dragonfly Dishcloth
Source: It was from a blog called PurpleDuckie, but it appears to be missing now
Yarn: Sugar 'N Cream in Hot Purple
Needles: US 7
Well, as I previously mentioned I've been a tad busier than usual and have not been knitting much, nor have I posted photos of most of my projects from the summer. So this post is more in the "get thee up-to-date" style.
Project: Kids Swirl Ski Cap
Source: Knitting for Peace
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Dublin & Jade
Needles: US 7 & 8
Comments: Easy hat to knit, it's flat, so there is some seaming to do. It really expanded when I blocked it.
Project: Baby Baseball Tee
Source: Knit 2 Together
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Dublin & Jade
Needles: US 4 & 6
Comments: I made a few modifications, namely leaving off the pocket & mittens and just knitting stripes randomly. I like how the stripes look and the difference in the front & back, but all of those stripes made for lots & lots of ends to weave in. Annoying, of course. Pretty easy, straight-forward pattern.
Project: Baby Lydia's Blanket
Source: My Design with Fancy Diamond Pattern from Harmony Guides Vol. 2
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Superwash in Dublin, 8 1/2 skeins
Needles: US 7
Comments: I really like the yarn, easy to care for, has great stitch definition and is soft & warm. My only problem with Knit Picks is that most of their skeins really should have more yardage. I really liked this stitch pattern also, it's textured without being bumpy. Oh, and the Swish blocked very well.
Baby has been born and is doing well, hopefully she's enjoying her snuggly blanket. Now I kind of wish no one I know gets pregnant next year, that would be a first, but I spend every spring & summer slogging through bibs and blankets!
Sep 4, 2007
Well, August has been busy & scorching. I've taken a slight break from knitting after all of the baby items, but I plan to start again soon.
I have tons of other projects to post, but in the meantime I have to share my new hobby. I finally broke out the Stitch It Kit I received for my birthday and whipped up a embroidered tea towel yesterday. I've always wanted to know how to embroider after seeing all of my Grandmother's lovely inherited doilies and hankies. I have to agree with everyone else, it is addictive! I can't wait to do more, obviously hoping my stitches will improve in consistency.
Aug 1, 2007
Okay, so how good was that book? Obviously the best of the series, rightly so.
I can finally post my second pair of socks!
It's really hard to photograph this yarn. You can't really see the stitch pattern, even in the close ups. What's really funny is how the yarn seems to stripe in the photos, which isn't evident at all in person. Luckily I got to make these socks much longer than the last pair because I had 2 skeins and wasn't worried about running out of yarn. Let me show just how much I had left when I finished.
Only about 1 yard! Now I have a whole other skein to contemplate. These socks didn't really take as long as it seems because I took several months off between them to knit baby things. Each sock only took about 2 weeks. Here are the stats:
Project: Alternating 2x2 Rib Socks
Source: Sensational Knitted Socks
Yarn: Mountain Colors 4/8s in Wildflower (this is worsted)
Needles: US 4
Comments: I didn't really have any problems with these. I still can't believe how straightforward sock knitting really is, especially with this book to help figure it out. Perhaps now I can contemplate some of those popular fancy patterns floating around out there. Lord knows I've bookmarked a ton from Knitty.
Jul 24, 2007
The Interweave Fall preview is up. I really like all of the warm, cozy projects. I think it looks better than the last few issues. Eunny's cardigan is gorgeous and why in the world is everything Norah Gaughan creates so damn cool looking?
In other news, you may know I have a penchant for entrelac, so I was delighted to combine it with my love of dishcloths in the garterlac cloth. However, this cloth has caused me nothing but trouble. I found it very hard to simply knit into the stitches themselves for one thing. The pattern is fairly straightforward and I do not fault the designer at all. I brought it on myself by apparently knitting too tightly and wanting to use 3 different colorways of yarn, thereby creating hundreds of ends to weave in later. Needless to say, the cloth made the forlorn yet inevitable trip to the frog pond last night. Adios amigo, may we meet again in better circumstances.
Here's a bag I'm not sure how much I will use, but I needed a quick, fun project to work on while watching Live Earth. The colors will just not photograph well with or without a flash, so this is kind of an approximation.
Project: The Buttonhole Bag
Source: Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in Periwinkle, Fuchsia, & Turquoise
Needles: US 15
Comments: Easy peasy, fun
I will be on vacation (in seclusion) for the rest of the week to savor reading Harry Potter. I shall return afresh next week with Harry hat photos & sock photos!
Jul 19, 2007
Meshell mentioned this about a month ago and I wasted no time in compiling a list of my very own. I've always loved making lists and loathed not completing most things. However, I think this project could be very focusing and perhaps life-changing. Without further ado, I present the details from Triplux regarding my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days Project:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).
Why 1001 Days?
Many people have created lists in the past - frequently simple goals such as new year's resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organising and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
Some common goal setting tips:
1. Be decisive. Know exactly what you want, why you want it, and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Stay Focused. Any goal requires sustained focus from beginning to end. Constantly evaluate your progress.
3. Welcome Failure. Frequently, very little is learned from a venture that did not experience failure in some form. Failure presents the opportunity to learn and makes the success more worthy.
4. Write down your goals. It clarifies your thinking and reinforces your commitment.
5. Keep your goals in sight. Review them frequently, and ensure that they are always at the forefront of your thinking.
So I think this project could be really good for me. I can never motivate myself enough to change things that I really want to and I'm hoping this will help. There is a good mix of fun stuff and heavy stuff in my list and I'm really looking forward to starting. Some of the tasks I've done before or used to do regularly and some are completely new, so I'm hoping that a lot of these goals will become habits if I do them consistently. I'll link this post in the sidebar and update my progress in it, plus I'm sure I'll talk about it in other posts. Some stuff is just too personal to put online so I've got some secrets! Here's my list broken into categories.
101 Things to Do in 1001 Days
* This symbol means I've already started on the task!
Items in Bold are completed
1) Crochet 5 Granny Squares (0/5)- Easy for some, but crochet is a killer for me
2) Write consistently on novel
3) Create a mosaic piece
4) *Finish first subversive cross stitch
5) Learn to sew & sew a DPN case
6) Make 5 photo collages & frame them (0/5)
7) Compete in Knitting Olympics- Assuming there will be another one
8) Do the finishing up of WIPs before I cast on a new one five time in a row (0/5)
9) Make soap & bubblebath (0/2)
10) Build something myself out of wood
11) Submit photo to photography contest
12) Seek out new & interesting things to photograph
Food & Drink
13) Bake 10 kinds of bread by hand (0/10)
14) Bake 5 kinds of pie by hand (0/5)
15) Cook 10 never tried vegetables (0/10)
16) Try 10 never tried fruits (0/10)
17) Eat in 5 new restaurants (0/5)
18) Make fresh pasta 5 times (0/5)
19) Eat raw for a week (0/7)
20) Give up alcohol for one month
21) Give up refined sugar & flour for a month
22) Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per night for a month
23) No junk food/ bad snacks for a month
24) Eat no Mexican dishes for a month
25) Go vegan for at least 2 weeks (0/14)- I'm already vegetarian
Healthy Mind & Body
26) Go on a hike
27) Get teeth fixed
28) Go to dermatologist to have mole removed
29) Go to dentist regularly
30) Go to doctor for complete check-up
31) Go to gyno
32) Go to bed no later than 11 every night for a week (0/7)
33) *Lose at least 20 pounds (5/20)
34) Follow skin regime everyday for 2 weeks (0/14)
35) Stop biting nails
36) Go to eye doctor
39) *Do yoga at least 6 days a week for one month
40) Detox once a month for 6 months (0/6)
41) Pluck eyebrows regularly for a month
42) Get a professional massage
43) Get professionally fitted for a bra
44) Drink 2 cups of hot tea everyday for a month
45) Read passages from the different religious texts (list forthcoming)
46) Go to a jazz club
47) *Watch all Star Trek: The Next Generation Episodes (20/178)
48) Go to a classical music concert
49) Watch The Wizard of Oz synched with Dark Side of the Moon
50) Read at least 10 banned books (0/10)
51) Read 10 books from my bookshelf that I haven't read & have had for more than 1 year (0/10)
52) Spend an afternoon walking around downtown
53) Start selling crafts (knits, patterns, photos, cards)
55) Buy no new books for myself for 3 months & see how much money I save
56) Sell stuff on eBay
57) Buy only necessities for one month
58) Participate in a charity run/walk
59) *Knit at least 20 items for charity (0/20)
60) Donate blood
61) Sign up to be an organ donor
62) *Plant trees in the names of my family (10/110)
63) Donate to the ACS or MD Anderson in Mickey's memory
64) *Rate all iTunes songs (12405/18252)
65) Recycle all old magazines
66) Get rid of old, broken electronics responsibly
67) Do something about china cabinet
68) Organize printed photos
69) Knit produce bags & start bringing to the grocery
70) Buy a fireproof safe & store documents
71) Put rest of loose recipes in binder
72) Catalog & photograph household inventory including serial numbers
73) Sign up for Greendimes
Better my Environment
74) Find a place to live & move
75) Research new cities to live in & how to go about moving
76) Don't use a computer for 72 hours
77) Don't watch tv for one weekend, 4 times (0/4)
78) Get something to hold LPs
79) Vacuum once a week for 3 months straight
80) Have front door fixed
81) Dye my hair pink
82) Get hair cut professionally
83) Go on a romantic picnic
84) Learn to ride a bike
85) Play tennis
86) Visit at least 1 new state
87) Buy vinyl, old-school Mary Janes
89) Buy a DSLR camera
90) Go on a weekend getaway to a cabin
91) Buy a dress that looks fabulous on me
93) Dance everyday for 2 weeks (0/14)
94) Spend at least 30 mins. "chill time" outdoors everyday for a month
95) Play in the rain
96) Send at least 5 notes/cards to Gram (0/5)
97) Forgive myself
98) Brush all cats once a week for month
99) Write down one thing I'm thankful for everyday for 1 month
100) Film videos of Amelie playing (digging in bowl, jumping, kickin' it)
101) Start a new 101 list no later than 1 month after finishing this one (catch-22)
Whew, I'd better get started! Tell me what you think of my list and if you're thinking of starting your own!
In knitting news, I'm almost done knitting up my second sock. Stay tuned for Harry photos!!
Jul 11, 2007
Here's my recently completed Swiss Pride Hat that I designed exclusively to wear while watching Roger Federer win Wimbledon for the 5th straight time. He's an amazing athlete, watching him at his best is like ballet. I'm very proud of this hat because it turned out exactly as I envisioned it (it's the Swiss Flag by the way) and I conquered scary intarsia by just plunging right in. I also hear that the Mad Hatter is planning on making the same hat!
Project: Swiss Pride Hat
Source: My Design
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in #9601 & #208
Needles: US 7
Comments: Intarsia, smarsia. I was nervous about attempting this colorwork without practicing, but it was a complete snap with no problems whatsoever. I thought I might have to do some duplicate stitching at the corners of the cross, but once the ends were woven in, it was fine. I did block the hat with a sample of Soak, which I really liked. The yarn is mostly acrylic, so it didn't do too much, but it does smell good! Poster Boy here I come!
I also blocked my Cotlin hand towel and the Soak worked wonders for it. The stitches are nice and even and it doesn't stretch out horribly like before. It feels a little softer and will probably increase with use. I can't say much for the slight pilling which will probably increase as I use it and toss it in the laundry, but I'll probably use the yarn again.
Lizzy, I would recommend Mason Dixon. It has a lot of things for the home, which I like, but if you want to look at lots of examples, check out the archives of the KAL.
Stay tuned for a very long list of things to do coming soon!
Jun 27, 2007
So here's my finished hand towel. I wanted to try out KnitPicks' new Cotlin yarn and this was the perfect pattern to use. It took me awhile because I stopped to finish the blanket and had forays into mitered squares.
Project: Moss Grid Hand Towel
Source: Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: KnitPicks Cotlin in Fiesta Pink, almost 2 full skeins
Needles: US 5
Comments: This yarn is pretty good. It's a blend of cotton and linen and I'm interested to see if it will soften with washing. The colors are very vivid, which I like, but I disliked having to pull out bits of straw(?), hay(?) at regular intervals. I'm pretty sure I was going to run out of yarn, so I left out one repeat. Before blocking the towel measures 18.75"L x 12.25"W. The finished product is a little stretchy even when dry, so I probably could have stood to go down another needle size, but the fabric does have a nice squish to it. All in all, I'd probably use this yarn again (ok, I'm already picturing bright purple & pink chevron stripes), but not for a garment. The cast on edge seems to be pilling a little already just from carrying the project around.
Jun 13, 2007
So I've been trying to organize my digital photos a little better and have been agonizing over my miles & miles of printed photos (should I scan them, box them, chuck them?), wondering why on earth I have so much of everything. In the tradition of better bloggers before me, I propose to post a photo each day I don't blog about knitting (which is most days really).
I haven't come up with a clever title or anything and I probably won't say much of anything about said photo, but do expect to see lots of flowers and cats. If you don't like it, don't look.
Therefore, I present: Missing October
Jun 11, 2007
More baby knits to share. I don't know where I'd be without my standard baby patterns.
Project: Umbilical Cord Baby Hat & Baby Bib 'O Love
Source: Stitch 'n Bitch & Mason-Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Bernat Cotton Tots in Jelly Belly & Sugar 'n Cream in Pastel Delights
Needles: US 7 & US 6
Started: 5/5/07 & 4/24/07
Finished: 5/6/07 & 5/4/07
Comments: Wonderful standby patterns. I wish I could get some feedback from the moms who used them. I'm never sure if the hat will fit or if they will use the bib when they have so many that are store bought.
On another note, I'm *this* close to finishing the baby blanket. Hooray!!
And while I've had this blog for over a year and my heading promises other crafty things besides knitting, I never seem to have time for other pursuits. That dry spell seems to be over... hopefully. Just take a look at the jewelry I made for my sister-in-law's birthday.
Pretty standard stuff really, but I'm pretty proud of the dainty, swingy earrings. They're the first pair I've made!
Jun 7, 2007
I apologize for the absence of the last month. There have been a lot of parties, get-togethers and some vacation recently, anyway it's been hectic.
I got a lot of yarn with birthday money, but I don't think I'm going to post it all. I will show you this tantalizing mountain of Kureyon for my blanket.
Yay for yale sales and generous employees!
I do have my finished Harry Potter Beret to show off soon and I'm currently in a semi-frantic mode to finish the baby blanket by the end of the French Open this weekend. The due date is not until September, but I want to be done with it so I can be involved in other things.
I did go crazy and start another blanket. Maybe. I picked up some Tahki Cotton Classic to try out a few mitered squares from the Mason Dixon book. I didn't like the mitered squares in the Ninepatch Dishcloth, but they weren't very straight and looked awful. Of course, they did not lie and mitered squares are addictive. For now I'm just playing around with colors and having a good time. I like having a tiny little project that's instantly gratifying. I'll think about putting it all together into a blanket in the years to come.
Okay, so I got my first tag from kathymarie for the Seven Weird Things About Me meme. I think pretty much everything about me is weird, but my mind goes blank when I try to narrow it down. Let's see what I can come up with:
1) I don't drive. Technically I know how and plan to someday, but I've never wanted to drive in this city. The people in this city are crazy. This has caused undue stress and annoyance to others and major embarrassment to myself over the years, but I've stuck firm. It makes me feel like I'm 85 and I long for the day when I live in a smaller, safer city. Or better yet, somewhere with excellent public transportation. I can't say I really understand how families can afford 2 & 3 cars either.
2) I snap my fingers constantly while listening to music. Some people clap, some have the sense to avoid making their own sounds, while I am compelled to snap. I have a very firm, loud snap, equally so with both fingers. This can be somewhat embarrassing as well, but I can't help myself. I have both good (strong) & bad (weak) snap days.
3) I love all my books so much. It's a lot of fun to organize them into their different genres, by height, or alphabetically. Sometimes I like to just relax and look at them. It's reassuring to know they are on the shelves if I need them.
4) I try to be as organized as I can when it comes to knitting. I'm an extremely messy & lazy person, so this can be hard, but so far it's going along pretty well. All new yarn & needles go into an extensive database. Any leftover yarn from a project goes in as well, after being weighed. All yarn goes into plastic bags that are manually vacuumed sealed and then into a storage bin or trunk.
5) I have a very sensitive gag reflex. Sometimes a smell or sight can trigger it very quickly and I keep gagging and retching until I calm myself down. The smell of eggs and mayonnaise leave me very susceptible to this.
6) I'm deathly scared of a home invasion and have been since I was like seven. I used to stay up until 3 in the morning reading Archie digests because I thought someone was going to come in my bedroom window & knife me to death. It's gotten a little better, only a little, and consequently I always have to sleep on the side of the bed furthest from the door so I have time to roll off and escape. I can drive Greg a little crazy with hearing sounds and checking to make sure doors are locked, but he usually goes right to sleep. There's hardly a night that goes by that I don't picture it all happening. I really believe I was raped and murdered in my home in a past life.
7) In the past people have always thought I'm a good listener because I'm somewhat quiet and let them go on & on about their problems. For some reason, people that are a little off have always been attracted to me. While they always said I was nice & patient, I really have never liked people very much. They really annoy the hell out of me. It's much better to read what people have say on blogs than be face to face with them.
Okay, I tag Sarah, Anna, Greg, & Lizzy.
May 4, 2007
Update: I've finished my baby bib & think I will start some quick booties today. I've finished the back & left front of Kenobi & am steadily working on the right front. My blanket yarn should be arriving soon, so I'll probably jump right into that. I constantly feel slightly overwhelmed by my list of upcoming projects, yet any time I have nothing scheduled I go a little crazy and feel like I've forgotten something. It's a very strange dichotomy.
Anyway, Spring has sprung, although it feels more like the beginning of Summer here, so my blog has a fresh new look. I'm using a new browser and will soon have new email. Things are changing, huh? Let's hope so. My old browser was never very compatible with Blogger and I had to type out a lot of HTML myself so this is going to be much more fun & efficient. Thanks to phydeaux3 for helping me sort out my label cloud. By the way, I make no apologies to anyone who doesn't like pink!
Look at the yummy sock yarn that Greg gave me for my birthday. They're so bright and squishy. The colors are Girls Just Want to Have Fun & Crush Me. The yarn is from Crash Into Ewe.
And of course another skein of Kureyon!
I also received quite a lot of crafty books: Hollywood Knits Style, More Sensational Knitted Socks, Knitters Book of Finished Techniques, Lace Style, Folk Shawls, Died in the Wool, Simple Sewing with a French Twist, & the Stitch-It Kit by Jenny Hart. Yay! Now if only I had the room for them. I even ordered a couple others from Amazon the other day! Knit 2 Together is something like $9 and I ordered Charmed Knits because I need to get seriously busy on my HP knitting before July!
Hope you enjoy the new blog!