I had previously failed to mention, someone that my dad and my boss's husband works with owns a lamb. Boss's husband mentioned to him that I knit and now spin my own yarn. He offered, through BH, the wool of said lamb after shearing in the sping, free of charge.

I am very excited about this. Buying wool carders will be expensive, but I think it will be an interesting and fun and educational experience. I intend to play around with some dyes as well.

Yesterday, after all this had been arranged and agreed upon, I learned that before now, HE THREW THE WOOL AWAY!!!!
He didn't know what to do with it, and actually threw it in the trash!!! I about fell over dead.
Absolutely unbeliveable.


Posting from work again

So of course, there will be no pictures. I'm terribly sorry.
I finished 1 pr of comfy socks for an xmas gift. one more to go.
I finished my skelly hat. Mostly. I have to sew the face on. Now I just look like a ghost.
I think I said I finished the hemlock blanket, and I love it!! I forgot to put the lace edging on though :( Seeing as how I've started carrying it around like a blankie when home, probably there will be more in my future.
I've started on a baby dragon from a Bernat baby booklet from walmart. The yarn is crappy acrylic, but as an infant is going to be drooling and chewing all over it, Probably that's for the best. (Yes I am a yarn snob, and yes I know and freely admit it). This project was pressed upon my by my mother for an expectant mother who is past her due date and still hasn't given birth. No pressure to be done in a timely fashion here at all. No way. Her father in law lives down the street from us.

That is all for now.
Over and out.


Hopital times again

Sorry for the lack of postage. Once again my grandfather is in the hospital, and I'm staying with my grandmother. This time I'm not taking off work, as my mom can care for her during the day. I am most assuredly knitting. I finished the pink and yellow roving, and plied and washed it. I am about 9 rows away from finishing my hemlock rings blanket. 9 very very very long rows. I'm about half done my jack skellington hat, which I started 3 days ago. I've begun spinning some lovely green merino yarn, for which I had to learn how to short draft, because the long draft was absolutely sucking for it. And to top it all off, I've ordered yarn for 2 more sweaters, a hat for an Xmas present, and lots of socks. My little online SEX are costing me a lot of money.



Here Again.

Once again I find myself at the end of several projects, and stalling to finish them. Individually it would only take about 15 to 20 minutes, or less than an hour for some others, to finish them up, but I just can't get around to it. If I were reading a book and I was near the end I would hurry up and try to finish it, because I want to know what happens, how it ends. I'm not sure why this doesn't translate in to knitting. I do want to see the finished product, and they weigh on me, like they know I'm neglecting them. So this weekend I have a list. The fat cat needs to be cut out and assembled. The Bobble purse needs to be sewn up and I need to cut and and insert the lining. The voodoo doll needs to be embroidered so I can stuff it and sew it up. I tried the needle felting thing, but it didn't work out as well as I had hoped. Embroidery is the way to go.

Hopefully I will have pictures of FOs for you this weekend.

In other interesting news, I dreamed last night that I was spinning very fine silk singles on a large spinning wheel. I was wearing an old-timey dress, and had an assistant. I knew in the dream I was spinning the singles to weave my death shroud with. Apparently I was expecting to die soon. It all seems vaguely Penelope like, in that it was going to take quite a while to spin enough singles to weave a shroud with.


Look at me!! I'm networking!!!

As a very special belated birthday present, Ravelry notified me last night that I was accepted. Since then I've been very busy exploring and setting up my profile stuff. I have a feeling its going to be much more organized than my attempted list making here. It's super awesome, and if you haven't put your name on the waiting list yet, you should. This place is going to blow the internet out of the water, Chuck Norris style. :-D

Also, I let my friend Katie make me a facebook. Hell just froze over. And I explained to her that Ravelry is like a facebook for knitters, she wasn't terrible enthused, but patiently sat through my explanations and demonstrations. I love that girl. :) She tries to understand, or at least pretends to.

And as promised I finally charged my camera and photographed some stuff. I'm not sure if I've been super productive and didn't know it, or just really bad at keeping my camera charged.

Here is my handspun--

Thats right. That nasty blue/orange combination of handspun I made, has been knitted up. I felt obligated to make something with it, since its my first handspun and all, and I already had plans for the next two I spun.

An earwarmer is about the only thing I had enough yardage to make, since I spun it so bulky. It is very warm though. And I did wear it in public, so I guess it isn't that bad.

This is my second ever skein of yarn that I've spun. As you can see it's much improved. The yarn is much thinner, and the Plies are actually sticking together, unlike the above yarn, whose plies came appart whenever I knit into a stitch. Also, I adore the natural grey. The white below I spun today at work. I mentioned that I was learning and they didn't understand how it worked from my decription (its kind of self explanitory, but I guess they were expecting it to be more involved and difficult) so I brought my drop spindle and the next ball of roving in to show them how its done. With the white and the grey I'm thinking I should have enough for mittens, perhaps inspired by my new book Scottish Highland Knits.

IF you'll kindly notice, I did in fact snap that picture in the midst of blogging. Thats how badly I suck at photo documenation.

I also ordered some yarn from ebay. The Blue Goose Glen in TN sent me some lovely vanilla and mint (seperately, not together) merino yarn that I won in the ebay bid. I believe they have an online store as well as an ebay store. It's lovely soft and came well packaged.



Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me!! Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeee, happy birthday to me!!!

I finished one side of my knitting needles knitting purse last night, but I have to go buy size 15 wooden needles. I thought I had a pair, but they're plastic. My big wooden ones are size 17. I've decided to line the purse in this purple plaid fabric I bought in the hopes of making a skirt. (I can barely sew. My Mom-mom was teaching me before she got Parkinson's). I'm pretty sure I bought more fabric than I actually needed, so I think I can still get a skirt out of it.

And now off to work.


Swimmin' in da Pond

The frog pond that is. I screwed up all my courage and frogged those projects that have been haunting me. The mermaid scarf that I will never finish because I can't find the yarn. The bellocq stockings that I couldn't concentrate on and therefore lost interest. I'm still working up to the barely started shawl. I had hoped to salvage it, but to tink back a row of alpaca lace weight x-hundred stitches around just wasn't happening. I gave it an honest try, tinked maybe 10 stitches, and gave up in frustration. Maybe next week I'll rip it out entirely and re-appropriate the yarn. I bought the lovely lovely and super educational book Victorian Lace Today, and I adored it. There are more than a few projects I'd like to try. But not all at once. The newly reclaimed sock and shawl yarn will go towards a new shawl. Even though I haven't finished blocking the MS3 yet, due to lack of proper blocking supplies. I have no pins and wires. Its fine for sweaters and scarves and hats, but Not so OK for lace.

I have no picture (I have to recharge my camera again) but I knit a make-it-up-as-you-go-along hat for my Pop-pop, who is having chemotherapy tomorrow afternoon. Mom requested that I make him one to keep his head warm when all his hair falls out. A fair assessment would reveal that he really doesn't have that much hair to begin with, but I made him a hat anyway out of leftover yarn from my harry potter upperclassman scarf. I had some very light grey and some dark blue leftover (I did ravenclaw colors), so I made the base the light grey with a stripe of dark blue every 4th row. Its a simple 2x2 rib that I cabled, but the stripes overpower the cable so much you don't really notice it, except as a bit of added texture. It looks nice though, and its wool so his head will stay warm.

In a frenzy of Internet shopping- these things come and go-- I have ordered an ass-load of yarn that now and will continue to exceed my current storage limits. I'm gonna have to get creative. I don't want to hide the yarn, so I'm thinking some wicker baskets from Walmart nailed to the wall will make nice display and storage. I ordered yarn for a blanket designed by Brooklyn Tweed, a blogger I recently discovered, and whose knitting I absolutely adore. The Hemlock blanket and the Red Light Special hat are his and my yarn has arrived and is waiting. IN that order I also got yarn for a bobble purse and the long awaited felting needle. Now I need some foam to support the 3-D form while I felt it. I"m so close to finishing it and yet so far.
Then, because I'm now plying my second ounce of yarn (the grey) and I only have 2 oz left, I got panicky and ordered some merino roving off e-bay. Then knit picks had a sale. Lord save me, I bought several more skeins of lace weight, and that Highland knits book I've been coveting. Both of those orders are en route to my house.

I should be swimming in projects by now but I neglected to think about needles. I'm using a size smaller for the purse, since the dimensions aren't so important so long as they match on both sides. But some other projects may be on hold for a while. What I really need is a Knitpicks Options needle set. Then I'd never not have the right size. . . . . .



I've only been mildly productive this week. I finished mom's scarf. It looks like this:
The stitch pattern is from Vouge Stitchionary, the name is something descriptive like diagonal rib or something. I did 3 repeats all the way down the scarf. Because its a traveling stitch it gave the ends a nice finish all by themselves, nothing you could or should put fringe on (thank god). Instead I opted to do a single crochet rib all the way around the edge in a contrasting color. The yarns are the same I used for her pumpkin hat, except for the green trim. Her hat has a two tone green stem, so it still matches enough to count. Before I blocked it (I don't have any pictures) it was a curly scrunchy mess. Once again the magic of blocking took place and made the scarf flat and beautiful.

Please observe mom in her ensemble for this years DE Punkin Chunkin.

Sorry the picture's dark. Probably I should have turned the light on first. We are cave dwellers here. With the eerie glow of the computer, she looks all set for Halloween. Don't tell her I said that ;)

OH, and if you were curious, I recently ordered some yarn from Nistock farms in NY. It was a starter kit for beginners complete with what I think is an ounce of four different yarns, a drop spindle and an instruction book. I wouldn't have been able to figure it out from their pamphlet, but I had bought the weekend before a book from Barnes and noble called Spin to Knit. Lovely book, lots of instructive step by step pictures, and good instructions. With these tools I became a spinner. :)
I had been thinking about it for a while, but by buying the book I committed myself to the task. Fibre followed soon after.
It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but halfway through the first skein I kind of knew what I was doing. I chose the color I liked least to start with, so I didn't mind so much if I screwed it up. Its a blend of orange and blue I'm not crazy over. The yarn is very thick and thin and I haven't gauged it yet but I'm pretty sure its quite bulky.
Here it is while its drying in the sun:

I was going to show you a picture of it all skeined up in my center pull ball. The first one i've made on my shiny new nostpine I made from a piece of driftwood I got from the river. Already small and smooth yes? Almost no work to make it yarn safe. Its 11 1/2 inches long. I really liked the natural looking wood ones I saw online, but I couldn't justify paying 15$ for one when I could pick a stick up out of the backyard and make one myself. So I did. (Technically the river is not my backyard, but lets not split hairs here).

Ahah! My patience is rewarded. Here is my skein of bulky complimentary colored yarn. My first handmade yarn ever!!! How exciting. I had a hard time choosing what yarn to spin next. There was white and grey undyed, and a lovely pink/yellow combination I find very appealing and spring like. I'm saving that one for last, when I've really got this spinning thing down. I chose the grey next, and Its spinning so much more nicely than the dyed yarn did. I don't think its entirely the improvement of my own skill. The grey yarn sticks to itself better, and is less fuzzy. I can spin it much thinner, and may be able to get at the very thinnest a sport weight once I ply it. Ooh, I chose the easiest plying method-- spinning the single into a center pull ball, then attaching both ends to the spindle to make it ply. Then I had to re ball it. I was going to try Andean plying, but I couldn't figure out how to wrap it around my hand (written instructions were a bit cumbersome) and not cut off my circulation in the process. It probably didn't help that I was watching scary movies on sci-fi at the same time.

One last picture, then its time to watch Moonlight, my new favorite TV show.



Denial is a Good Thing

I've had a very productive day today. Much cleaning and finishing was done.

First of all, I finished my cactus sweater, finally its blocked. And my denial served me well. Because. . . it fits.

TA DA!!!! I finished it just in time for it to be 80 degrees in October. Freak weather. . . We'll pay for it later in February, when we all get snowed in for 3 weeks and worry that we might run out of stash before the roads clear enough for us to order more yarn. ( My stash is not as developed as other peoples, I have a small budget, which I continually blow).

At any rate, as you can see, blocking did not help the insufficent lengths of strands in the back, and consequently the sweater pulls. I'm hoping no one notices.

I also finished my pumpkin hat, and my stuffed pumpkin. Both are very cute.

So I feel very accomplished today overall, but also in my knitting. I ordered more stuff from knit picks, and I won't feel so bad about starting a new project now that I've got these other ones completely finished. In my order is a needle felter thingie, so I can get to work on my voodoo doll.
Mom's pumpin scarf is progressing quickly. I ended up picking a travelling rib stitch that has yarnovers and makes a diagonal. Its interesting to look at, and even though its a two row repeat, its not so boring as other things I had considered so I'm happy with it. TV knitting. I also decided to do a crochet stitch border around the edges to help stablize it and keep it from curling up. (I'm still gonna block it. Not stupid. . . no). Oh, and the sc will be a contrasting green color. I tried it out around the bottom to see how it would look and its quite nice.
Next time, My Adventures in Spinning Land.


Almost FO's

I took the poll that Knitting Daily put out in today' s email. I was shocked to find that technically I had 9 UFOs lurking about my room. Two of them-- My sweater and my MS3 are finished being knit, but I still have to block them to make them wearable. I have a pair of socks and a shawl that need worked on. The mermaid scarf I can't finish because I cant find the yarn- it was a skein of cheap-o acrylic that a friend gave me, and I ran out before I could finish. I may end up ripping it out and stashing the yarn somewhere. Also doomed are the Belloq stockings- the ones for my sister that I lost interest in. I can't bring myself to rip it out. I'd actually like to give it another try. . . some other time.
My felted pumpkin is also languishing- I've finally felted it, but I haven't gotten around to stuffing it yet. This photo is pre-felting. For my voodoo doll below, I need a felting needle.It's going to be really cute. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I'm entering it into the piecework contest. Right now I need to stuff it and embroider it, though if I can get away with using plies of yarn instead of wool fiber for the embellishments, that's what I'm going to try. I'm going to felt it all over to take the stretch out of the knitting, and make a more solid fabric for the pins to stick through. I'm afraid the stuffing will distort the figure if I try to pack in enough to make it pretty solid if I don't.
I'll have photos of the finished pumpkin hat tomorrow (the one thing I did finish, all I had to do was weave in a end). I'm currently working on mom's pumpkin scarf, I had thought to put little pumpkins on it, but I'm still devising my method. I may take the easy route out and make it an x by 1 rib with some kind of fun fur edging to make her happy. ( I know I know, but she bought it for me and I have to use the crap up somehow. Damn you Ollies, Damn you!!!)
I haven't counted, but I believe that makes 9. I'm going to count now. Yeah. I need to get busy. And try really hard not to order yarn for all those projects I'm dying to cast on for. Some of them I can actually knit from stash. . . .


Sweater Woes

Ha ha! I got the title in and forgot to type the post. Whoops. That's a prime example of ADD right there.

At any rate, my sweater is progressing rapidly. I'm nearly finished. I have one row of decreases, and after that, I have to do the collar and sew up the armpits. That's it.
Please note that the knitted blanket is not one that I made, I bought it at a church yard sale for a sickeningly low price. I have knit that pattern before though, with M1 instead of Yo's in a pair of socks I made for my grandmother. The blue and brown one I crocheted for myself last summer in about two days.
Even though I"m making good progress on the sweater there are a couple things I don't like. I'm still having gauge issues. I think I can get away with just enough yarn to finish the sweater. Despite this fact, the sweater fits snugly, instead of very loosely, as in the photo on my previous post. Everything I have is either too small or too big. I think my size changes inversely in proportion to the size I intend to make. The sweater is not so tight that I can't wear it, it just doesn't fit like in the picture. I suspect I may have knit the wrong size.

Sorry it's sideways, I don't feel like fixing it. You get the idea.

My other problem is that even though I got good results knitting back and forth on my swatch, Knitting in the round with lots and lots of stitches scrunched up on the needle made for bad bad puckering on the bottom half of the design. I'm deluding myself into thinking that it'll block out. Laugh if you must. I'm going to try anyway.

My final issue is that the size needle I used for the sleeves and hem was probably a little too small. I"m going to use a larger size for the neckline. I certainly hope my next sweater turns out better.

And just for kicks, here are my purple comfy socks again, I love these things. The photo is much better this time. Please disregard the awkward ridge in the middle. I'm wearing a pair of ankle socks underneath. :)


Here's Progress

I've gotten a massive amount of work done on my cactus blossom sweater this past week. I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with miles of stockinette in the round and size 9 needles. Regardless, I have the body done up to the point where I have to join the sleeves, one sleeve done, and the second sleeve just past the color work.
This is what it looks like as of yesterday:

Click on the image to make it bigger.
As you can see, Its not too bad for my first real attempt at two- color knitting.I used the same yarn called for in the pattern (usually I don't, but this was within budget) with the exception of the Boku, of which I chose a different color.

I also added an inch to the tops of the sleeves, I'm long limbed, and I like to have my sleeves over my hands. It looks like the sweater has long sleeves already, I'm just covering my bases.

If you recall I started out with a swatch in a completely unrelated pattern just to practice with.

I used left over yarn from my cinchy hats and a free pattern from the net to try out different techniques to see what works best for me. It turns out that all of them were really awkward for me so I've ended up just dropping the yarn I'm not working with to the back and picking up the next one. It's undeniably slower than other techniques but it feels more comfortable, and I can keep the best tension that way.

Please notice the lovely Bella Lugosi to your left.

Also notice the mirror image phenomena of my left handed knitting.

See how it got reversed??? That was entirely unintentional. Kinda cool, but not if you want your sweater to come out a certain way. Fortunately, the pattern on the cactus sweater is symmetrical, so I don't have to worry about trying to follow the charts backwards or anything.

Since I had to go up a needle size, and I think my gauge is still a little tight I'm worried that I may have to order an extra skein of yarn. Given the unseasonably warm weather, I won't order any unless I'm absolutely sure I need it. Not that I mind having an extra skein or two lying around but its not emergency sweater weather yet, and I can work on another couple projects in the interim.

I have to finish my pumpkin, its now felted, but it needs to be stuffed, and I have no stuffing. Also in need of stuffing is my secret project voodoo doll, which I've designed myself, and intend to submit to the Interweave Piecework Pincushion Contest. They seem like a bunch of straight laced people, so perhaps they won't appreciate it as much as I do, but if it doesn't make the cut, I'm thinking about submitting it to Knitty. At any rate, it's going to be pretty awesome.

I also have to make before the end of October, a pumpkin hat for myself ( I made 3 in January for my mom and her two friends, after we attended Punkin Chunkin in DE the previous Nov.) And of course, my mom the Libra wants a pumpkin scarf to match. Lucky me. I'll probably be designing that one as well.

And finally, the piece de resistance: I bought a really awesome bag to tote around my knitting in for only a dollar at a church yard sale.
I'm not a pink person, but a Dollar!!!! It's lightweight, and lined, and it has two different shades of grey to balance out the pink. I'm quite pleased.



I seem to have a backlog of photos due to my camera's recent indisposition (it needed to be charged) and my own lack of energy (never got around to charging it). Well I charged it last night, and found I had used up all my memory anyway. I freed up some space, and here's what I've got to show ya.

First: Vacation Knitting. I finished the summertime tunic a week after I came back from vacation.

On the left you see it in progress, while I was in progress I believe on the way home.

Here it is today, as I attempt to model it in what may be my blurriest photo yet. I apologize for this and all future blurriness. I need to start tinkering with the f-stops or something.

Next I believe are socks.

First are the would be gift socks I made and ended up giving to mom. In the middle you see the detail on the foot. Very nice, stretchy, easy to memorize. Only one skein of the Knit Picks essential was needed ( I used a test dye lot they had on special sale because the colors weren't bright enough), and enough was left over in the one skein that I think I can make a pair for me and my larger feet.

On the right in the super-dark picture are my comfy socks. they are both comfy and warm. I used Knit Picks (again) Cadena In Heath. I'll try to get a better picture later. you can actually see my rug better than the socks. I've got to work on my photography skills.

My many hats, or a hat of a different color, or Erin and her technicolored hats:

These are the cinchy hats, I made two. The first one, I got a little carried away with color. The second one is the hat I had intended to make, to match both my coat and my harry potter scarf. I used Lion Brand wool for felting. They look cool, and the second one fits much better than the first one. The first one I started over because my co-worker Em scared me into thinking it was going to be too small. She was wrong. With the bigger needles it turned out too big. The second one I knitted on the called for size, and got a perfect fit.
Once again, the first hat was too big, but this time it was due to my mis-reading of the pattern. It's still wearable, it just slides down over my eyes a bit. The second (technically the third) hat I knitted exactly right. What you don't see pictured is a hat in blues and browns and blacks that I made for above mentioned co-worker. I used Patons soy wool stripes for these, because of the long color repeats. I knit this pattern 3 different ways (the second hat for my coworker I knit on a needle one size smaller to accommodate for my misreading of directions. It was as I was doing the finishing rows that I realized my mistake and cast on for the third one) and no way could I keep the yarn yardage within one skein (these babys are $6/skein), and always ended up using just a little bit of the second skein. you have no idea how annoying that is. I love these hats, and I love this pattern. Three hats will probably not be the end of it. The pattern is easy to knit, and it looks super complicated. They look designer. I love this. I may currently be experiencing a hat obsession.
Please allow me to take a break and do a second post later about my current project. It's super. This post is loooong and its gonna take forever to load. Sorry this is so picture heavy. I'll try to be a better blogger.


Math is a Four Letter Word

It really is. I hate math, and it looks like, with the help of a couple of my knitting books, I'm going to have to do some calculations in order to get a sweater that fits with a needle size too small. My cactus sweater calls for size 8 circs, and a gauge of 16 sts to 24 rows for a 4x4 swatch. I got 20 sts to 24. Need I say more. I don't have a size 9 circ, nor do I ever recall having seen on in the stores. PLus, (with an extra PL) I like the way the fabric knits up at 20 sts. I'm afraid if I do find a needle and go up a size, I won't like the resulting fabric.

My hypothesized solution is to calculate how many sts I will have for a 40" sweater, as opposed to what is called for, and compare it to the next size smaller. If I'm getting an extra stitch per inch of fabric, it may be possible to still use the size 8's following the directions for a size smaller, and still get a sweater that fits. Please tell me that makes sense. I wish I had someone grounded in the real world to propose my theory to, and whom could straighten me out a bit. I have a feeling I"m going to have to learn by trial and error, as usual.

Actually, now that I think about it, if I have more sts, shouldn't I follow directions for a bigger size, with the result of the size I actually need???
Oh God....



I forgot to mention an interesting phenomenon when I spoke about my lovely little swatch. As an unforeseen consequence of my left-handedness, when I knit the swatch following the chart as usual, I ended up with a mirror image of what I was supposed to be making (some kind of flower). I find this quite fascinating. Obviously, knitting a swatch was a good idea, I'm going to have to follow the chart from left to right, instead of right to left if I want an exact copy of what I'm supposed to be knitting if its not a symmetrical design. The only other instance of my lefty ways affecting my knitting is M1L and M1R. I have to switch those, because the lean in the wrong directions. weird huh.

I also would like to note that my MS3 is partially blocked now. I say partially because I ran out of pins and direct sunlight when I started blocking it before. I have since bought more pins, but haven't had the time to finish the job. Blocking is kind of a chore I think. At least the wing part looks pretty now. I have to remember to buy the pattern before Melanie takes it down, I want to knit the double winged version in a different color. :)

So far my self discipline has been holding up. I'm finished the gussets on the second sock, maybe I'll finish it by Monday, so I can start my sweater. I anticipate needing a break during the long stretches of stockinette, so I can work on my comfy socks as well. they'll go quickly.

And I think I've finally found a solution to my paragraph problem!! Apparently blogger doesn't like the tab button. Double enter seems to seperate paragraphs just fine though.


In Which I Increase Procrastination Via Productivity

Wellll........ I've been making some progress in some things, and making absolutely none in others, and trying very hard not to cast on right away 3 more projects before I at least finish a couple more. Let me Explain.
I've completed my swatch for the sweater. Mind you, I picked a completely random pattern off the net, which has nothing to do with my soon to be sweater. It was good practice though, and I think I've worked out a method of color knitting that works for me. It's still pretty awkward, but I'm quite impressed with the results -- its not perfect by any stretch of the imagination (and I have a pretty good one) but if you hold it back and pointedly ignore the twisted stitches and all the ones with weird orientations, it looks like a something, and there really aren't any puckers in the fabric (honest!!) though in a couple places it was a little puffy, before I blocked it. Blocking helped a LOT. Even in the worsted weight wool, I got away with floats as long as six stitches without ill effect, and really as long as the fabric lies flat and there aren't any holes I'm happy. I am by no means a perfectionist. The swatch is a nice size, so I'm thinking about incorporating it into some future project. A patchwork purse or something. A blanket might be cool. Or really warm, as its wool. Squares are about all my ADD can handle blanket-wise, endless repetitive knitting has a tendency to get put away for long stretches. . .
If you can't tell, I'm really exited about learning two color knitting. As far as my pumpkin goes, I've got the knitting part done, while reading blogs on the computer. I haven't gotten around to felting it yet. I haven't even been able to do my laundry. :( The washing machine is a hot item in this house, since everyone does they're own laundry.
I got the second gift sock started, only to find out her shoe size is a 9. I wear a ( and it doesn't fit my foot, so I can't send her the socks. Bummer. Big time. But my knitting will not be in vain!! If socks are too small I can always always give them to my mom. She has small feet, and always welcomes socks with heels near her own, and not all the way up her ankle. The waving lace sock is languishing unfinished still. If anyone receives a pair of ankle socks from me please know its a total kop-out. Probably I tried to knit something nicer, longer, prettier, but either I got a Severe case of Second Sock Syndrome (waving lace socks for mom), or I got frustrated with the pattern (bellocq stockings for my sister, who insisted on knee highs), or I procrastinated, then didn't have enough time to knit a longer pair of socks (gift socks). Ankle socks are faster and I believe will probably be more often worn anyway.
At this point, I need to mail off the sock soon, so I'm going to kop-out even more and just buy her a nice pair. That takes the urgency off finishing this pair too (mom will have two half-pairs of socks for Xmas at this rate) so I can s tart on my sweater (I really really want to) and my comfy socks, the needles for which just arrived in the mail. They're the new ones from knitpicks, and they smell of paste. I hope the smell doesn't rub off on my sock. I'll have to block them with febreeze.


Prep- work

In preparation for the cactus sweater, I've decided to cast on and do a practice swatch or two to practice two-color knitting, since I've never really done it before. I've been doing some research on different methods of holding yarn, and wrapping the floats and things like that, and it all kind of makes sense, but with out me trying it first, and with no one here to show me how to do it, I really won't know what I'm doing until I do it. It's also been kind of confusing reading the instructions- left hand this and right hand that, since I'm a left-handed knitter I have to keep reversing the directions in my head, and I'm still not really sure if I'm a continental knitter or an English style knitter. I hold both the working yarn and the working needle in my left hand (that's your right) if anyone wants to clear that up for me. Even just having someone show me how they do it right handed would make learning a new technique easier, I could see how they do it and translate it to lefty style. Unfortunately, I don't have a local knitting group, and I don't know anyone else who knits. So the moral of the story I guess is "Practice makes perfect".
I have the yarn ordered for the sweater and I'm halfway through work on a felted pumpkin for the fall season festivities, using leftover yarn from my cinchy hats. The pumpkin pattern I found on Knitty, it's written by Jordana Paige. I've only ever felted once before (intentionally that is, I lost a beautiful merino sweater I had bought to a serious lack of good judgement), incidentally also a pattern from Knitty- the Fuzzyfeet felted slippers, which, with a little fiddling, ended up fitting pretty OK. I wear them quite often in the cooler months. They're about to come out of storage.
I'm still waiting on needles for the comfy socks, they should be here soon. They're the new colorful wood ones from Knit picks. I hope they're as good as advertised.
I almost forgot to mention, after much deliberation I decided (but not on an empty stomach) to not pad the padded footlets, after I had already padded most of the heel. This involved much frogging and seperating and wrapping of yarn, and then much re-knitting. It was too fiddly for something I wanted to knit up quickly for someone else, and while I'm sure they're great walking around in stocking feet, I'm not sure how they would wear in shoes, and I want the recipient to be able to wear them however she likes. I have a portion of the foot to do and the toe of the first sock then I can start the other. I 'm hoping to get two footlets out of one skein. If that's the case, I'll make a pair for myself from the second. If not, well I've been intending to make a pair of mismatched socks ever since I saw the Charmed Knits book. ^-^



To Grandmother's house we go

So sorry!!! Life has gotten in the way. I've very definitely been knitting, and I've been trying to keep my personal life out of my blog, but I feel some explanation should be given. The Internet has finally been fixed at my house, but from last Sunday to this Tuesday I've been staying with my grandmother, who has Parkinson's, while my grandfather was in the hospital. They are both doing well now.
In the time I spent at her house, I finished my shawl, knit most of another short row hat for myself, knit two cinchy hats, finished the sheepy cross stitch, and made some forward progress on my mom's waving lace sock. (I'm suffering from some Serious Second Sock Syndrome, I've been "working" on those things all summer. I'm not even finished the first repeat.
I've also ordered yarn for the comfy socks from Knitting Daily, plan on ordering yarn for the Cactus Blossom sweater in Knitscene, and have started a pair of Padded Footlets for a kind of chain-mail sock exchange my sister mailed to me. Those are easier and take precedence over the waving lace socks. The principle is pretty cool. The recipient of the letter should buy a pair of socks for the person in the number one slot and mail it to them. (There are two slots) (I'm obviously knitting mine) I should then make 6 photocopies of the copy in my letter, put my name in the number two spot ( the number one slot is filled with the name of the person who mailed me the letter) and mail the letters off to six people I think will be interested. Theoretically, I should mail out one pair of socks, and in return, eventually recieve six pairs.
I live for socks. Having six random people buy "funky cool" socks for me sounds fucking awesome. I know that the numerone spot person is my sister's friend so I can gauge her taste a little. she sent Sasha one letter sasha mails someone else socks. sasha sends me a letter. I send friend socks. I mail letter, sasha gets socks. exct. kind of confusing but cool.



I'd show you my finished summertime tunic, and my completed short row hat, but as I've moved back to my parent's house, and the internet is down there, it may be a little difficult.



I finished the first short row hat the other day. . . yes, the First. My co-worker Em has requested one, and since she's a dear friend, and she sadly claims to only have one ill-fitting black hat from Walmart, I'm happy to oblige. One bad hat is a sorry state of affairs, and I cannot allow it. She's picked out her yarn and I'll make hers next. With the yarn I used, the hat turned out slightly too big, not unwearable, but it falls down over my eyes a lot. (I've been wearing it at work because its freezing ass cold there). So I'm going to try it this time on size 6 needles. Hopefully this will have the added benefit of only needing to buy one skein of the 6$ yarn. I only used a tiny bit of the second skein on the first hat. I bought two more skeins, each a different color to make two more hats for myself. I like the pattern that much. It's quick, looks very impressive, but is actually quite easy. The process is fascinating. I don't usually knit a pattern twice. At least not in a row. The last time I did, was maybe more than a year ago, when I made the nautilus toy from Knitty. I love those things. I made two. In different yarns. Then I couldn't be bothered with more. They're great stash busters though, and kids love them. I think they're great. . . but I'm a Big Kid, so there you have it. I also bought yarn for the cinchy hat found in the back of the last Knitscene. Brown blue and cream, with a dark blue ribbon with white contrasting stitching down the middle. For those I bought Lion Brand Felting Wool. I think that's what its called. Its got the brown paper label on it that says "felting", they're fairly new. I've been thinking about the hat since I saw it, and I'm looking forward to knitting it. It shall soon be the season.


As the Seasons Change

I've finished the summer time tunic. The ribbon I had bought for it ended up being too short by a long shot, and I had to go buy more. I like the new ribbon much better anyway. I don't know what I'll use the other ribbon for, I'm sure I'll find something eventually.
I started the short row hat by Veronik Avery, and I love it. I had a few false starts ( I was tired and not reading the directions properly) last night, but I've been working on it all day at work and I hope to finish it tonight. I'm using Patons SWS, which is 70% wool and the rest soy. It has an interesting texture to it. The color repeats may be slightly longer than those in the original hat in the photograph, but its close, the pseudo-entrelac really shows off the color gradation quite nicely.
MS3 remains unfinished for now. I don't have any space with the packing up to work on it.
I'm desperately avoiding working on the damned Christmas stockings, and I really need to start, the clock is ticking faster and faster. I can tell already I"ll never be able to knit based on sale of completed items, at least not if other people dictate to me what I must knit. I need to get my ass moving on the designing thing.



I've been totally slacking on this blogging thing. I got back from vacation (where it rained a lot, we got 3 out of 5 beach days, two of which were overcast) and realized that I had just under two weeks to pack up everything I own and move out. Since I need my dad and his truck, and these two weeks are the two busiest weeks of the year for him at work, matters have become complicated. I have a lot of boxes sitting in my room right now, and lots more to pack.
I ended up taking the MS3 home with me, I worked on it a little, then had to put it on a waste string because I needed the needle for my summer tunic project. I ended up taking the socks and hat projects, as well, but left the MS3 at home. Mindless knitting is definitely the way to go at the beach. The 1x1 rib took forever, but once I got past things started moving more quickly. I'm nearly done, I'm working on the final inch of the back, then I need to complete the front few inches and I'm done. I have some lovely ribbons I picked out at Michael's for a dollar each, I'll have to decide which goes best.


Vacation Knitting

I'm going on vacation starting Thursday, and I 've started a new project to take along to the beach with me. I can't work on the MS3 because I need a flat surface to lay out the chart and the beach will seriously interfere with my knitting. So I've decided to keep it simple and work on some mindless knitting that I won't need to look at a pattern much for and won't have to worry about sand and such. I ordered Camilla from elann.com and have the first 3 inches or so of the Summertime Tunic from Interweave started. I have the pattern printed out and put in a plastic sheath (the ones that snap into your binders) so it won't get wet. The name is perfect and it's super super simple. I'm taking the MS3 with me to the campsite, I think I can work on it there. And when it comes time to do the 1x1 ribbing on the tunic, I'll need the size 4 needles from the MS3 to do it. I've already put some waste yarn in my bag so I don't forget ;)
I've also got the Short Row Hat from interweave all set up to go too, but I don't know if I'm taking it with me or not. the Soy/Wool blend will be too warm to work with during the day, but may be OK for the evening when its too dark to work on the MS3.

Is it just me or am I way over thinking this????


A Swift Arrives!!

My swift came in the mail today. Actually it came in the mail a few days ago, but to my parent's address, so I didn't get it until today. I haven't tried it out yet, but I'll let you know how it goes. So far it spins nicely, and the wood is smooth, if a little unfinished, meaning, its not stained or polished. The holes for the pegs are a little rough too, but I can take sandpaper to those and stain it myself. for a quarter of the price of other swifts I've seen, and solid handcrafted oak I'm really not complaining at all. It arrived in good condition. Now it's time to play!!


Other than knittning

I'm all set for the next clue to come out for the MS3 tomorrow, and I'm really excited about it. Melanie will reveal the theme along with the clue, and supposedly something interesting is going to happen with it. I got the last 12 rows done today, since I haven't worked on it in a couple days. I haven't been feeling 100%, and one of my co workers has corralled all of us into trying cross stitch. I felt slightly obligated to at least try, since she tried some knitting a while back, so I was brave enough to try a small counted one. (you work off a blank canvas). Generally I find the effect rather painterly, It reminds me of pointillism, especially since its done with a needle, Ha! (bad joke. I promise to curb the impulse). Emily (my co-worker) does the really big complicated looking ones, and I don't think I have the patience for one of those. It's OK, but Knitting is truly my calling. I'll finish the small one, but I don't plan on making anymore. She didn't stick with the knitting either, so it's all square. ;)


Swiftly, My Friend

I finally bit the bullet and bought a swift today. I'm thoroughly tired of having to wrap the yarn hanks around my knees to wind the yarn into crappy looking balls. Its not very comfortable. and if I could get a better angle on the yarn winding, and it went much more smoothly than it does, my yarn balls would look much prettier. I'm really not that interested in buying a ball winder at this point. I kind of like winding it by hand, its like smelling the cookies before you get to eat them. (Also I saw something called a nostepine on the bellwether website which looks pretty interesting.) I looked at a lot of swifts at a lot of different places, and they're all pretty expensive, more than I can afford, anyway. So as a last resort I went to e-bay and found a lovely oak one for 23$. It looks well made and the shipping wasn't extortion, like it so often is on these sites. I have plenty of skeins to try it out on when it gets here, I'll let you know ;)


Of Wool and Turtles

I've been very productive this weekend. I had a lot of stuff on my list of things to do and accomplished most of them, with a lot of knitting done in between as well. I'm almost finished clue 4 of the MS3 and its looking really good. Thank you Melanie, for designing such a wonderful piece of art for all of us to work on together. I'm having a blast. Because I chose to elongate the shawl I had to do a repeat, which I finally finished. All I can see now is this :

I've practically got the repeat memorized, at this point I really only need to look at the chart for the border and to get me started at the beginnning of the row. It makes the knitting go much faster.

This is what I've got done so far:

And my turtle Torpedo (she's damn speedy) has been helping me, although honestly, she doesn't do much.

Unfortunately, I was unable to go to the meeting today, becuase the lady I was going to ride with, her car broke down. Luckily it will be fixed tomorrow, and wasn't as bad as she had originally feared. Hopefully next week we'll make it. And congraduations to her on her new niece :)


I've made good progress on my MS3 this week, much more than expected actually, since the last couple weeks I've only really been able to work on it on the weekend. I'm a little apprehensive about putting in the lifeline, but after a little research, it sounds straight forward, so it should be pretty easy. *gets up to put the lifeline yarn in her bag before she forgets and doesn't have it when she needs it* I'll post some pictures next time, hopefully this clue will be near completion by then, since I'm lengthening it. MS3 is the only knitting I've been working on, so I may start the other half of mom's pair of socks soon, just for a break.
Hopefully, if everything works out OK, I'll be able to meet some of the other MS3-ers in the area tomorrow and knit in company. I'm really the only knitter I know, being mostly self taught, and I'm sure I do Weird Things with my knitting that other people don't. (For one, I'm left handed, so to many other people I will appear to be knitting backwards).

In regards to the recent release of the HP book, I enjoyed it immensely, even though the first half kind of dragged on ( OH! We're hiding out in the woods and don't know what to do!) The body count at the end was high, which I appreciated, if only for its realism. Not all the Good Guys are going to survive. Murphy's Law dictates.


**By tomorrow I mean Sunday. Obviously I'm disoriented.


I didn't get my harry potter book until this morning, I was away this weekend while the book arrived at my house. I'm already one third of the way through it. I know a lot of people are rushing through it and may have finished already, but I kind of want to savor the experience of reading the last book. I also received in the mail today Charmed Knits, a book full of harry potter related patterns, along with Vouge knitting's stitchionaries 1 and 3. No, I don't have number two yet. Give me time. I really like that most of the patterns in Charmed Kits are designed for Big Kids as well as chronologically young. I probably won't be knitting a wand cozy or a wizarding cloak, but the Invisibility shawl is lovely and the sweaters can be knit in just about any size.

My MS3 is moving along, though not rapidly. I'm relatively caught up, I'm on the current clue, but since I've decided to elongate it, as per optional instruction, its going to take me twice as long to finish. On the other hand, I'm infamous for being two steps behind so it wouldn't be anything new. I also completed the first sock in the waving lace pattern. Unfortunately when i tried it on to see how much farther I needed to knit the foot, my suspicions were confirmed, the sock is knit on a gauge too tight to fit on my leg comfortably. its a struggle to get on and off. I probably should have knit a gauge swatch. Duh. If I had used a size bigger needle, it would not only have been easier for my long fingers to handle, but the sock would have fit. My solution was to make the foot shorter than I would require and re- designate them to my mom. She has small feet and is always appreciative of socks that actually fit. I'm bloody brilliant.


Motivate me!

I'm having some trouble with my waving lace socks. The pattern is easy enough to memorize, and the sock is lovely, but I guess I'm feeling a little unmotivated. I really hate having unfinished projects lying around, they haunt me, and I'm sure I'll definately finish the first sock, but I'm anticipating a serious bout of second sock syndrome. This is not usually a problem for me. The mermaid scarf, which is actually technically crocheted, is also on indefinate hold. The yarn (some acryllic stuff from michaels or whatever) was given to me by a friend, and I didn't have enough to finish it, so untill I find more of the same yarn, it remains unfinished.

OOh! the yarn I ordered from sundara is officially on it's way! I'm really excited.
I apologize for the blurriness and lack of lighting.
I'll do better next time ;P


Note to self: despite my best efforts, MS3 is not TV knitting.
Last night I was perusing the Internet as usual, actually looking for some cheap yarn that I can start designing with, and ended up at http://sundarayarn.typepad.com/sundara_yarn/ (I've got to learn how to make those nifty links w/o the web address things, you know, the ones that look like "sundara yarns"). That was a fatal mistake. I ended up buying a skein of sock yarn and a skein of worsted weight, neither of which was cheap. At All. But they were soooooo gorgeous! I dont even like pink, but I was almost literally drooling over the Tuscan Rose over Lemon. She has some of the most beautiful and unusual color combinations i've ever seen, and they're all hand painted. I'm really looking forward to getting them in the mail :)



HI! Welcome to my shiny new blog:) I will warn you in advance, I am highly unlikey to post on a regular basis. That being said, Iwill most certainly do my best to do so. Having just this past May graduated from University, I find myself at loose ends with the world, as most pirates surely do. I have a BA in ceramics, fat lot of good that will do me. There is no job market for ceramics. So my other love will hold me in good stead, as there is in fact a gallery local to my parent's house which is interested in my knitting. My knitting, which I learned in my own free time, away from university, with no instruction ( and thereby free). Go figure. I correct myself-- It would stand me in good stead if I could actually bring myself to knit items for the gallery in question. WHO the hell wants to knit Christmas Stockings in July?!?!?!?!?! I've been busying myself with socks (stocking-like, right? right. ) for meself and family, and have joined the MS3 group, the knitting of which gives me immense joy. Lace is perfect for summer, and the beading!! OOOH the shinies. I've never beaded before and I love it. Those of you who didn't get in on MS3 woe is you! and be sure to get onboard for MS4 next summer, its a blast!