Saturday, October 9, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
It took me five minutes to come up with a solution for showing off the striped translucency of this shawlette while also having to hold the camera. Let's just say that my bendiness came in handy.
I also finished (a while ago actually) this sock made from a soft soft soft sock yarn in a colorway named "Harry Potter."Due to the pooling that occurred, I decided to stop at one sock and use the remainder of the yarn to make a moderately complicatedly patterned so as to break up the pooling. I will definitely/try to not start any new projects though until I decrease the number of wips!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
First, I started delving into more podscasts. In addition to Stash and Burn, I now listen to The Knitting Show. I love it! It features a brother and sister who live 2000 miles apart and who are both avid knitters. I have a celebrity crush on the guy, Peter. I love both of their midwestern accents. They sound like fun people who I'd want to be friends with in real life, much like the Stash and Burn girlies.
Second, I went to Knit and Stitch = Bliss today and just loved their new makeover. I am a pretty loyal person in general, but when it comes to knitting stores, I am not monogamous. I go to several in the Maryland suburbs of DC depending where I am at the time: Knit and Stitch, A Tangled Skein, and the Yarnspot. (I also love going to yarn stores out of my normal stomping ground just to see what they're like. and WEBS. I love WEBS.)
Third, well I am currently evaluating my UFO's to try and whittle them down. That didn't stop me from buying yarn today though, thanks to AC Moore and Knit and Stitch:
New Debbie Stoller 100% wool yarn on sale 2/$7. I think I will make a gradual color-changing scarf:
And Plymouth Jeanee Cotton/Acrylic on sale for $3 each! Summer tops are in their future:
And this is what I have been working on recently: the Citron quasi-shawl from Knitty:
I am using Malabrigo Lace in hollyhock. This looks a little dusty-rose-ish but it is more of a lilac color. I am currently on the final section which is over 500 stitches wide!
To see my other UFO's I have added updated pics to Ravelry which can be seen in the righthand column. I have also been working on non-knitting craft projects... yes that's right. Actually to be precise, I did find the pattern in a crochet magazine but had already half-way planned this kind of a project. Here it is:
I cut up old t-shirts and sweatshirts from college, originally planning to sew them together into throw blankets. Then in this crochet magazine I get (from which I usually don't like any projects) they suggested crocheting the squares together. I got a 1/4" hole punch for the edges and then crocheted a foundation row using the holes, then I will either crochet or seam the squares together. For the sweatshirts the fleece on the wrong side will add comfort. For the t-shirts, the pattern calls for ironing on fusible interfacing with stitch direction/ stretchability running perpendicular for stability, then crocheting two t-shirts wrong sides together, so there is never a wrong side showing on the final product. I will update you on my progress.
So that's where I am. I hope it is not too long before I write to you all again.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
And on impulse I started a new project. I was helping my BFF Alison, the novice sock knitter, on her second ever sock and I felt compelled to be knitting a simple sock. I bought this yarn from ShelbyB at a fiber festival a few weeks ago. She has all kinds of colorways related to the Harry Potter series. I happened to fall in love with the namesake one because of its combination of many colors. And Shelby was able to name why she included each. Here is what happened with the cuff so far, knit in stockinette stitch. So neat!
I also just finished a rad yoga bag with a pocket.
Friday, March 12, 2010
I got 9 hanks of Berroco Touche which might become a new favorite. It is soft like Caron simply soft but not acrylic (it is cotton/rayon).
So now with my pico de gaillo breath I am off to stick Coraline in my laptop and knit away.
Oh, and p.s.: This is not technically breaking my yarn fast because I wasn't the purchaser. p.p.s.: the number of stitches to cast-on for my size is the same as my 2-digit year! weird....
Sunday, March 7, 2010
So then God rewarded me for my efforts when I found out that all bamboo circular needles at said yarn shop were 50% off because they are not selling bamboo needles anymore (they will sell only addi's...I love those too but don't get me started on optimal yarn and needle combinations...)
I also knitted a lot and made markable progress on several different projects.
I am a toe away from the first sock of this project:
Can't wait to block.... these are a little snug.
Finished the transition gloves:
I must've been tense when knitting the first one (on the left) because it is way tighter. Luckily I have tiny wrists.
Made progress on my petal halter, which was my Olympics Knitting project:
I give myself an honorable mention for this. If knitting was really in the olympics, SPM would have gold with her fair isle sweater made of sock yarn and I'd be that athlete in 26th place who just barely qualified for the olympics and went just for the experience, knowing that I wouldn't actually win. See how that hanging string is a little wavy? That's because I seamed and unseamed the blasted sides a few times, ending with an unseam. Grr. At least I've made progress though.
I love the progress I've made on the February Lady sweater:
I also made progress on my After Dark Robe. A picture of it would be way too boring to post though.
And I end with something I've been pondering. I have added in the column to the right a countdown to the MD Sheep and Wool Festival. Like many others, I will be making the vow to not buy any yarn until then. Most people call this a "yarn diet" but I propose calling it a "yarn fast" because you are ridding yourself of all yarn intake... using only what you have stored up (stashed), much like a hibernating bear. Just a thought. Feel free to share your opinion.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
One petal of the 6 is completed and even blocked! And only after 1.5 days. She really made the most of training (if you remember, she made a perfect swatch the first time). At this rate, she may be finished with the halter top long before the February 28th deadline. She had to learn a new skill for this event... the provisional Eastern Cast-on, but with her experience with the Figure-8-style cast-on it was a cinch, except that she tragically dropped two stitches off the cast on, which will probably negatively alter the final product, despite the fact that she made adjustments to make the final stitch count correct. That might be a cause for deduction.
A few times she got too much in the groove of knitting when on the WS selvage and kept knitting when she should have purled, and had to frog and do the row over, which cost her some time. She made up with that fabulous muscle-memory most knitters are known for, which increased her speed. At times she doesn't even need to look at the work as she is doing it. Her only spectator--her boyfriend--was shocked at the ability.
Interveiwed after the event, Emmybear commented, "after doing side one I really got the hang of the complicated shaping and short-rows, and was able to do the second side without looking at the directions too much." She hopes to memorize the petal pattern by the third petal. She also plans on altering the two top petals to add another selvage edge under each armpit. She learned this from Ravelry where others who knit this suggested an alteration there. In regards to the blocking process, she commented later, "I'm glad I opted for a cotton-wool blend rather than the simply plant-based yarn that was called for... It has more memory thanks to the wool while the cotton makes it good for summer."
She showed off her finished first round product to fans:
And for bonus points, while waiting for the petal to dry, she finished the Panel Jacket she made for her mother for Christmas 2009.
Stay tuned for more updates on Emmybear's knitting!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I am using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in a sort of slate blue. Here is my perfect swatch, completed on the first try after guesstimating that I'd need one needle size down to reach gauge:
I was going to choose the Central Park Hoodie or Swirl Scarf, but I didn't want to end up curled in the fetal position in the corner out of frustration.
Man, I am finding it difficult to wait until tomorrow night to cast on!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
A woman my age entered with her wheel, carried by her boyfriend, and parked it next to me. She wore this beautiful sweater that she had handknit, and which everyone fawned over, and whose pattern I have since bought and added to my queue. It's #396. It was around that time that I made a mistake and someone asked me how long I'd been spinning. I looked at my invisible watch and answered sarcastically, "how long have we been sitting here?" They were shocked not because of my quality of work, but because starting to spin is such a momentous occasion for a person, much like knitting is.
It was an overall successful night. I got some tidbits of advice without feeling that I pushed someone into a free lesson, which I wanted to avoid doing (the drop-spinning teacher was there). My new friend with the wheel let me try hers, but it was too overwhelming at the time. I'll try again at MDSW.
* ~~ * ~~ *
I have been inspired all month by craftzine's Make Space for Crafting theme. I decided to embark on the brilliant idea to use one of those cylindrical wine bottle gift boxes to hold my spindle and fiber. I thought Michael's would be a great place to look since I saw them there before and thought, "why the h e double hockeysticks would I ever need that?" Well now I do. I went there on Saturday morning, passing the Christmas merchandise in those metal cage bins outside; crap that they were practically paying people to take home. I circled the store 4 times trying to find those dang wine gift boxes and none could be found. I thought looking near the 1000 shoebox photo boxes would have been a good idea. Nope.
I remembered a Christmas item I had seen outside. An ugly wine giftbox that had a plush reindeer head glued on, as well as arms. I hurried outside and saw that they were only 49 cents! Jackpot! I grabbed two.
Here is a picture of the transformation from wretched to chic:
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Fun 1: I have been on Team Conan from the beginning and thanks to Vickie Howell's blog (via Craftzine) I can show my pride:
Fun 2: Also via Craftzine, I made my own gummy candy yesterday! This tutorial is from Skip To My Lou and requires only a small box of your favorite jello, 2 packets of plain gelatin, 1/3 cup of water, and candy molds:I will definitely leave my core gummy candy needs up to the masters, but this was fun, easy and cheap.
Fun 3: This will be a long-term fun project. In reading my new book, Respect the Spindle, I have been revisiting my small group of spinning and roving related crafting stuff that I have picked up from MDSW the past two years (which were my first two years). With knitting as my main passion I have ignored my spinning, a dynamic which I hope to be resolved with Abby's new book. I realized with help a few weeks ago that the yarn I had started spinning (on my $4 CD drop spindle) was in fact felting wool and not intended to be spun. This plus cheap spindle plus not really knowing what I was doing has produced the following--Ladies and gentlemen, I present what I will now refer to as "before":
My first and absolute only attempt at spinning. It's beautiful and totally unworkable at the same time. I will always keep it around, just like my first crochet project; the measly skein isn't enough to knit anything, really.
So at this point I'm reading the book, and have a new spindle and roving ready for when i am brave enough to start. Meanwhile, I am finally getting to some needlefelting that I bought from Thistletown Alpacas last year at MDSW, and am thinking up what I will use the rest of my needle-felting wool for now that I will not spin it.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Background story: I have a Blackberry Storm (not bc I can afford it. i happened to stumble upon it when a family member partook in a buy one get one free sale)
Complete with a picture of my mom's cat taking a self-timeout.
So to help lighten up my purse I transferred the information from my Moleskine datebook into my Blackberry and stowed the obselete paper product away. The Blackberry calendar was ok but there was something about the moleskine that just drew me to Amazon.com to buy it for this year and undo my act of technology addiction manifestation. And finally it arrived!
I outfitted it with a Knitty sticker for a personal yet sleek touch.
Ahh...feels like home.
Friday, January 8, 2010
It is in a new strip mall off of Georgia perpendicular to the road. The parking lot is a little tight. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the subtle industrial feel; buffed cement floor, high ceilings. They also have the Expedit bookcase (comme moi) to organize all their yarn on. They just have a few more than I do. There were a handful of women sitting and knitting at the large table in the middle of the room. I think one person was a vendor. They were welcoming yet not too in-your-face, which was great (I'm saying this because a post on Ravelry said there were too many employees or something).
But of course the best part was the merchandise. Only about 10% had I seen before. All the rest were yarns and even brands that I had never heard of in a wide price range. I bought a beautiful skein of alpaca/wool superwash sock yarn from the Alpaca Yarn Company for $11 which comes with extra coordinating yarn for the heel and toe (called Paca-Peds), and when I want exquisite luxurious yarn for a special project I'll remember their wide array of Jade Sapphire brand yarn. Here were my purchases:
Said sock yarn in purples on top, 2 skeins of Classic Elite Jill Eaton 100% extra fine superwash merino, and a cotton tote with their cute logo. It's only $10 but is discounted depending on how much you buy. I got out with three skeins miraculously under the discount threshold, but I put out the ten bucks for the bag.
Great customer service, great selection, great location. I will be going back. And my credit card whines.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Step one: Fan out the ends of the yarn you want to attach together.
This is a single ply but you can of course use it with muli-ply as well.
Step two: spit into your hand and put one of the ends right in the pool of spit. You heard me right. About 1/8 to 1/4 a teaspoon of spit should do. Don't do too much or it will be just wet and floppy and won't really work. If you mess up, you can just cut off that one or two inches and try again.
Step three: Lay the other end on top and sort of intermingle the strands. Then rub the bunch between your palms really fast. Some heat will be generated. This is essentially felting the two strands together.
Step four: Tug lightly on the two ends to make sure they are secure. Tada! Encorporating your new non-knot into your knitted fabric will secure it even more.
I used the method when making this cowl today. It is with my favorite yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky. It is so very thick and squishy.
And no, this wasn't on my list. But it knit up so fast! I discovered another trick today while knitting this: when changing colors in seed stitch, knit the first row of the new color plain instead of in seed stitch and continue with the pattern on the next row. This will make the color change cleaner.
On a different note, since last May , I have been looking for a good starter book on drop spindling. Needless to say, I became interested in spinning while attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and therefore have the two basic supplies, but the difficulty of the craft has led to the spindles and roving gathering dust amongst my knitting stuff. I still am interested in picking up the skill and have had my eye out for a good book to get me started (I can't take a class at my LYS mentioned below because it happens to interfere with an obligation).
While at a Sit n Stitch at A Tangled Skein last night, I found the hand spinning book of my dreams: Respect the Spindle. I love that it not only tells you about how to spin on a drop spindle, but goes over the history, science, best practices, and more. I learned while reading it in my bath this morning that the author first learned to spin at 5 while growing up in rural Peru, where it was as expected to be a skill as being able tie one's shoes. I noticed that the book is by my favorite crafting publisher, Interweave. They really do come up with great stuff.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
I finished knitting the French Press Slippers... One WIP off the list.
I knit everything during Little Miss Sunshine and the Price is Right:
To be honest, I did go to the first commercial break into Law and Order SVU. You know, the one after that one shocking scene. But then I was done. Gimme a break, I had to frog one piece and knit it over.
Then the next 1 hour and 45 minutes was spent seaming and creating a pile of ends post weave-in:
Tada!Now they just need a little quality time with some jeans in the washing machine. Which will have to wait until I make it over to mom's in the near future.
So now that I'm riding the productive wave I think I will start my next project. Don't be mad... it is not currently on my list! BUT it is a great stash buster and works up fast. Since I have 3 other identical skeins, I might just make it some brothers and sisters...
Monday, January 4, 2010
So I will present my resolutions then explain. Ahem:
1. Exercise at least 3 times a week
2. Bake something at least once a week
4. Blog at least once a week
Ok, time to explain
1. I am too poor to enroll in another exercise class. Cardio ballet was fun and all. Ever since they came out with Fluidity I've been yearning for cardio ballet. Then tada it ended up in the Montgomery County Recreation Class guide. It was fun for abo
2. I discovered this year about myself that I love baking and don't really like cooking savory items. Something about following a recipe and watching ingredients completely turn into something else. Probably why I like knitting so much...
3. "Consume" to me means to use up all the crap I have around my home that's usable. Crafting items that I've hoarded (including yarn), pantry items, which will also assist in resolution #2, and above all else...all those dang body products. I've actually gotten through most of my BBW items. I worked there for 7 years and bought way too much. But I have accumulated more from other places now that I wouldn't be considered a traitor shopping somewhere else. I want to get rid of crap because if this year is anything like the last 2, I will move. And I will not move excess crap again.
4. Well there's nothing to say about this. I just want to blog more regularly. Like once a week. Two reasons I have been procrastination central about blogging is that it takes time away from crafting and that loading pictures is a pain in the ass. Let's see if it still is.
You might have noticed something related to #3. I did not resolve to knit more. Although it is always a goal of mine to complete my neverending WIPs, I don't want to make knitting a chore. Maybe I'm bitter from just finishing a Christmas season, (I'm even still knitting a Christmas gift for my mom about 1.5 years late from when my knitting group did it as a KAL). But I am part of a group on Ravelry called LOTSAFOS10 where you list every WIP less than 50% done.
Here is my list, minus the things that are almost done such as
Panel Jacket in Classic Elite Classic Silk ~ 60% done
Socktopus in Random Stash Yarn ~ 80% done
Diamonds and Shells Alpaca Scarf in Blue Sky Alpacas Royal ~ 75% done
After-Dark Robe in mystery cotton from stash ~ 80% done
- French Press Felted Slippers in Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool ~ 15% done
- Sam in mystery stash yarn ~ 25%
- Grove in Patons Classic Wool Merino ~ 50%
- Transitioning Gloves in Patons Kroy Socks ~ 50%
- Clapotis in Arucania Atacama ~35%
- Jeanie in Knit Picks Stroll ~ 15% ~ This is my Mount Everest
- February Lady Sweater in Patons Classic Wool Merino ~ 15%
- Easy Ripple Afghan in Caron Simply Soft ~ 20%
In the Queue:
- Another Drop Stitch Lap Blanket in Noro Iro
- Sideways Grande Cloche in Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande
- Citron in Malabrigo Yarn Lace
- Central Park Hoodie in Cascade 220 Heathers Superwash
- Hope Hat in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
- Another Noro Striped Scarf in Noro Silk Garden
- Petal Halter in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
- Another Go Go Garter Stitch Scarf in Lion Brand Hometown USA
- Crafty Earrings in Aunt Lydia’s Fashion Crochet Thread size 3
Ok, that's all for today. I'd say Happy Knitting like a usually do, but... I feel it's overdone and I've seen it on some other blogs. So.. See you next time, I guess! :)