Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Winter Solstice Celebration and a happy annual rotation to you!

For Christmas this year, I got some super nifty stuff. My sister bought me Mr. Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful, Elizabeth Zimmerman Knitter's Almanac and Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute. Lots of cute stuff in there to make. And yeah, I must have been the LAST Knitter on Earth without the Knitter's Almanac in my library.

Teenuh got me a super cute Loopy Ewe Needle felting sheep kit that I can't wait to do. It looks so cute! It is wearing socks! She and I will hopefully do ours together.

My mother purchased 2 books for me, at the TKGA in Oakland a couple of months ago which I finally got for Christmas. Barbara Walker's Third book of charted knitting desings and a tiny spiral bound book on how to make any sweater into a top down seamless sweater.

I also picked out this super yummy lace weight silk, approximately half a pound making 800 or so yards and Mom bought that for me too. This was from the Solvang based The Village Spinning and Weaving Store, which was where I picked up that giant cone of red silk at Stitches. I buy all this fantastic silk and sea silk, etc and then I won't commit to using it. I am like Golem. I would hide in a cave rolling about in all of my "Precious" in the dark, never using it and never allowing anyone else to use it. I have to get over that and start knitting stuff out of it. I have 2 skeins of Claudia, 3 skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk, at least 3 more skeins of pure silk. Plus all of those amazing little skeins from Redfish. I think there is something wrong with me. Perhpas I should make it my New Year's resolution to use up more of my Precious regardless of how special it is, I know I can always buy more right!?

Also along lines of addiction. I made 2 more tiny, tiny sweaters. I sent one along with my mom to Hawaii to my grandparents. My grandma has probably already sealed it up in plastic and set it out in one of her many plastic "display" cases. Also I have finally turned the heel on the second sock of my Embossed leaves sock. So I am basically in the home stretch. As long as tragedy stays away it will be done soon and I can get back to cranking out that Madeira Stole. Mmm, that makes me want to go to Cheesecake Factory.

Ah, duh, also added to my stash about 2 weeks ago were somethings that I couldn't post about because it was a dead giveaway to what Teenuh was getting for Winter Solstice day. I orderd some yarn from the Netherlands. It took 3 weeks to arrive. The skein prices were so very reasonable, until you add on the international shipping rates.... The glory is the marvelous excuse I used to justify an order was that some was to be given as a gift. Thanks Teenuh, haha! I have 2 skeins of Kauni in the Rainbow EQ colorway. Hideously bright orange on the outside, beautifully rainbowliscious on the inside. I also have 2 colors of Kauni's sister yarn, beautiful color graduating, Evilla Art yarn. This is made in the same factory and has the same style of slow color graduations. One large skein of A-31 a warm fall colored rainbow of magenta, olive green, orange and dark purple and two smaller skeins of this blue-brown one, A-8. Reminiscent of that sock pixie color way I said look like Mud spilling into beautiful ocean water that I thought was so ugly. Funny how a little desire can change an opinion.I am ITCHING to knit some of this up. Discipline. Self-control. We'll see.

Friday, December 21, 2007

I've got the fevah!

I cranked out another Minutia (#6) yesterday. I used Knitpicks bare merino laceweight and size 00 needles. It was SO super tiny and cute. It was about an inch and a half tall and about 2 and half inches wide. I took this picture from an odd angle trying to minimize the flashback from the shiny plastic measuring board and minimize the washout. I worked the cables reversed on the back side so the cables point in the same direction, not up one side and down the other side as written. It was very hard to pick up stitches for the neck and I only crocheted one row around instead of the 3 the pattern called for. The sleeves were about 1-1/4 inches wide before folding them over. I made them wider to allow for the seams and ease of turning.

At this very moment I am convincing myself not to start another one. It was a quick 2 hours of work. I seamed it up and sent it to school today. I am now wanting to make another one (or 10) to keep for myself, because the blue one I made went to school on the front of my son's teacher's gift and this one was gifted to a friend of mine as well. I enslaved my husband to make me a couple of hangers (he has a good attention for fine details) and he made me 2 perfect little hangers in 2 sizes. He may yet become my hanger making slave....

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A warm sense of accomplishment with hands still attatched!

As a result of constant and rapid knitting, the super scarf for DS's teacher has been completed. It is blocked and drying on the living room floor! Woo hoo! Finsihed it at Starbucks knit night. It looks fantastic and was easily blocked without much stretching to the exact size I wanted it. 7 inches wide by 58 inches long (okay it turned out 2 inches longer than I planned. Sheesh).
I am fairly certain I will NEVER make anything in Frog Tree Dark Grey Charcoal ever again. It was SO hard to see the stitches it was like going blind the whole time, and I don't even have problems seeing in a dimly lit room or semi darkness.
I can only imagine the torture that other more visually challenged persons must face with this. Here is a close up, you can vaguely see the chevron design. It is perfectly subtle for a conservative and professional man such is DS's teacher. I hope that he will enjoy it.

And to celebrate its completion I also made a little Minutia, #12. From left overs of my Regia Kaffe Fassett socks. With a little pulling and cutting of the leftovers of the 2 balls of yarn I had, I have perfectly matching fronts and backs, as well as sleeves. Most satisfying. It was hilarious that I made a tiny 2.5" tall sweater and had 12 ends to weave in. I don't have any wire to make the amazingly cute hangers so I will have to run to the store tomorrow. Darn another reason to shop... Just as a side bar, I have to say I can't compete with Melissa's rapid production of Minutia. She is a tiny sweater machine! Each one, a tiny marvel of knitting perfection!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Did you ever knit until you thought your hands would fall off and you would go blind? I changed my mind on the Teacher's scarf design for the 4th time ripped back the 9 inches of scarf I already had knit and cast on again. This was Friday night. I then realized I had 6 days to complete, block and wrap said scarf for delivery at school Friday morning. Um. Minor panic ensued. I now have 24 inches of scarf, I figure I am probably 2/3 of the way there. I am not sure. How long do they make men's scarves?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I am back on track again. I think.

My mysteriously lost Knitpicks order was reordered and finally shipped to me and I can FINALLY resume work on my embossed leaves sock. Somehow the gauge or yarn is different on the second sock and it was pooling so, so badly and you all know how obsessed I am with my socks matching. So Melissa, suggested I reduce by a couple of stitches and I decreased by 2 stitches. Miraculously the pooling disappeared, with just 2 stitches. Amazing. I am just hoping it doesn't return when I have to add the 2 stitches back in up at the ankle.

I took advantage of Commuknity's 20% of sale and purchased 4 skeins of Frog Tree Sport weight Alpaca in dark grey. This is already on the needles, becoming a scarf for DS's teacher. I am having a difficult time generating a pattern that shows up. The yarn has lots of lighter gray hairs waving out of it and it really obscures the stitch definition. I had a nice, reversible, manly pattern worked out in just knit and purl. But when I applied it to the yarn, the design was completely indiscernible, even after I had worked up 8 inches! Ugh! So I ripped it back and have been experimenting. I think I am going to stick with a 2 cable pattern with the cables running up the sides and garter stitch border. The lack of definition frustrates me though and makes me feel like I am going slightly blind. I tried a reversible cable scarf I found on the internet but it pulls in so much I would have to make the scarf like 80 stitches wide to have a reasonable width (about 8 inches wide) and imagine how much yarn that would use!

Also purchased at Commuknity was another skein of Claudia Handpainted Silk Lace in this fantabulous peacock color way. It is SO bright and beautiful and was purchased spontaneously, who could pass it was so lovely and 20% off. In the hopes that I will someday compelte the Ice Queen wimple, I purchased a ball of Kid Silk Night in Starlight. It is already has a little sparkle it it and it will look nice with some clear beads with metallic centers that I bought last week. Since I am now working on 3 projects I will have to finish up at least 2 (particularly the gift scarf!) before I cast on for that. Also spontaneously purchased was this ball of Melody that was up by the register. Damn tricky last minute buys. But look how pretty it is!!

Aha Guilty! I did not confess all of my recent purchases. I also bought, last Saturday at Purlesence 2 colors of Panda Cotton and 2 skeins of the humorously named Panda Silk (a whole 5% silk in there!) which I think I will probably make into another swallowtail shawl with beads like the Harlot did.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Blog, what's that!?

Whoops. I suppose I have been careless in my attempts to blog. No posts for 2 weeks. Good Grief. Well, the new camera is out of the box and snapping pictures. It took the best picture of my black dog that I have EVER been able to take (and it should!) I have started and finished a pink hat and sweater for Angelika's baby. Who is scheduled to be born Dec 26 (scheduled c-section). The hat is just a circular generic hat with a 2 stitch cable alternated with 2 purl stitches. The sweater is the collar only version of Diane Soucy's Easy Baby Cardigan. I made all of the edges with the same cable pattern from the booties and cap, including the collar. I worked up very fast, it is seamless so it was a total breeze. You work from the top down, starting at the collar top (or hood if you are making the hooded version) and work down increasing raglan style until you reach the arm pits at which point you pull off the sleeve stitches onto a holder then continue working to the bottom. Then pick up the stitches from the holder, lift a few stitches from the pits and work in the round until you reach the bottom of the sleeve. Weave in ends and tada! You have a sweater. Now off to work on those triplet sweaters....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy Holidays and more duh!

Thanksgiving was swell. For the first time in years it didn't rain in Oregon while we were there. It was however, down right cold, hovering in the teens and night and maxing out in the low 40s in the daytime. I will take cold over rain any day!

I thought for sure, I would come home and find my Knitpicks order sitting on my doorstep. I didn't. I was, um, surprised? I logged in to see when it was shipped and instead of being shipped, it was not being!! As in, someone magically between placing the order and processing the order, it magically disappeared. Now I am going to have to check my credit card statement and see if it got charged twice. After a nice conversation with the woman on the phone my new order will be shipping (who knows when, but it will be shipping for sure) and I will continue waiting for my order to arrive....

Madeira Stole is now at the 4th chart and about 8 inches long. But you cannot see pictures! Why you may ask! Because I somehow managed to BREAK! my camera. At DD's birthday party at the mall (Blush, lunch and Enchanted - What a cute movie!) I snapped a picture then put the camera away. Got it out after the movie and the camera was broken. The lens won't focus. It vibrates and makes a weird noise and takes a blurry picture. This is tragic and fantastic at the same time. Now my Christmas present is a lovely Nikon D40x. Lucky me. Needless to say it will be the ONLY present I am getting this year (and maybe well into next year and past my birthday as well...).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Man am I dumb!

I lost 2 of my size 2.5 dpns. Now I can't finish my sock. I placed an order and now I am waiting for it..... As an overreaction I bought 2 sets... Silly. So for the time being I am working on my Lynn Curry Madeira Stole. This is the picture from her website. Terrilynn Needle Arts.
This pattern makes me think of little old school houses for some reason... I have cast on and I am about 3 inches in. It is in sport weigh Alpace in black, just like the photo. I bought it as a kit from her at the Bay Area Knitting Co-Op booth at Stitches West. Next week I'll have WAY more time to work on it.

BTW, terrifying news on the triplet front, 3 boys!!! Plus she already has 1 son.... man oh, man oh, man oh man!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I thought this was going to be fun.....

I'm fully involved in co-chairing the book fair. Not having a good time working with my co-chair. We are not getting along. I have lots of time consuming things to do... here is my progress on the embossed leaves socks: 1 sock finished. This sock is awesome, for some magical trick it plays on the eye causes my HUGE foot to look smaller! I think I may make all of my socks with alternately colored toes and heels...I at this point in time have not cast on for the next sock yet. Hopefully, I will get that sock started tomorrow. Looks like I'll be sitting out in the rain for at least an hour watching DS's 3rd Jamboree game, so no knitting then. But alas, we have Monday off and what sounds better than to sleep in and then hide out in the house knitting all day!? So I guess I didn't realize this post posted dated Sunday, which is the day of the Jamboree game not Monday... Ha ha. That evil, midnight turns into another day scam....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Rubber baby buggy bumpers.

I was totally thinking, no one I know is ever going to have anymore kids. It seemed sure that all of my friends are past that now (except one and we are just patiently waiting and hoping for some special day) and it'll just be waiting until our kids have kids... What a foolish person I am... So all of a sudden I know 3 people expecting a total of 5 babies (and I'll give you a clue 2 of them are only expecting 1). So how could I miss the opportunity to knit tiny garments!! You KNOW I can't. Here is experimental cap #1 in self striping Bernat Baby Coordinates

Then super tiny experimental cap #2, cabled with matching booties. It is really preemie sized when I was shooting for newborn size, whoops! 2 of the babies are girls. The other 3 are as yet a mystery. So I was trying to make the pink hat in newborn size. I'll just save it and see if any of the triplets is going to be a girl (they will most surely be preemies) and if not it will go to a tiny head over at Good Sam's NICU. I have also make a more masculine version in blue with alternating rows of cable and knit stitches.
Still working on those embossed leaves socks...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stash enhancement, sewing and some knitting content....

Seems like I disappeared from the face of the blogging world. I was quite busy working on this:

Yes, I totally made her wear her knee pads, I tried to figure out how to put her helmet on with her hat as well. DD, picked this out for herself from the sewing pattern books about 3 months ago, the stuff they have in the stores is never anything that she wants to be. I had a very difficult time finding the black and white check. All the fabrics were purchased and cut out about 3 weeks ago. So what do I do? I procrastinate until the day before it needs to be done and stay up all night to finish it. It had lots of pieces and took longer to assemble than I thought it was going to. Whoops. Here she is with Ninja DS, he likes store bought costumes, luckily. They are on their way to a Halloween party. She is taller than he is with her skates on.

So I couldn't resist and I ordered from the Loopy Ewe. What I was really after was the Pretty as a Peacock Shawl by Jae Koscierzynski, I have been stalking this pattern on Ravelry since the first time I saw it. The gal finally made a pattern and is selling it. Quite nice. The Loopy Ewe was one of a few places selling it online and well, since I already had $10 worth in the cart, I needed to get just $65 more and I'd be in the free shipping... spend and save, right!? So just a few dollars later and this is what I had....

Resembling Koigu, quite a bit is Shibui Knits Sock. It is 100% Superwash Merino. Soft and springy!Seaoast Handpainted Yarn in Jewels. This yarn is a super soft 60% Merino wool, 30% bamboo and 10% Nylon. Soft.
The most expensive of my spend and save plan was this Schaefer Heather. The colorway is called Storm at Sea. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Mmmmm. It is wonderfully soft 55% Merino 30% silk and 15% Nylon. It has a nice sheen to it. It is safe to say this is ANOTHER ball of Schaefer Sock yarn that will NEVER become a pair of socks. This color is almost exactly the same as this... and this ... the only difference is there is less gray. I guess I must like that color scheme...

I dorked out and in ALL my picture taking I forgot to photograph my Embossed Leaves Maizy socks. Sock #1 has already turned the heel and is working up the ankle, slowly. I've got a lot of other time consuming stuff going on that keeps me from having a lot of time to knit, unfortunately. I think the book fair can plan itself, right!? Knitting, is WAY more important.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Busy, busy, busy!!!!

Yikes, I have been a busy bee. Little time for knitting, I am experiencing some knitting DT's. But all the sewing I have been doing is kind of making up for it. Alas, Halloween draws nearer and as it does I become an insane, costume-sewing machine. Somehow I got into this thing of sewing my DD's costume every year. Each year she picks some bizarre costume and I am forced to make it. It started when she was almost 2, DS went as Mike Wazowski (Monster's Inc) so she went as Boo, that costume wasn't too bad, a big fleece shirt and some fleece leggings (to be warm of course) 2 pony tails and it was good to go. The next year, was Snow white (not too hard, just kind of a lot of pieces), followed by the Little Mermaid (got some awesome scaly looking, shiny, green material for the tail) then last year's Princess Leia (with hand sewn fake buns). This year? A roller skating 50's style car hop, of course! It only has about a thousand pieces to sew together, yet manages to be a fairly skimpy (not inappropriate age wise, but rather, weather wise) outfit. Short sleeves, short skirt... Well, she'll have hat on, so at least her head will be warm! Then of course, I am making my Halloween costume, which needs to be completed by Wednesday night, for our Halloween Costume Bunco. No stress, no stress.

Well, in the midst of all this sewing goodness, we had a little soccer tournament in which my team ROCKED!!! Yes they did! Won 2 games (1-0, 2-0), tied 1 (1-1)and went into the championship game against a team that spanked us last time we played them (like 4 to 0, ouch!). We unfortunately lost, but the girls played so well, the other team only scored 1 point and it was a total fluke point, because the girl kicked it out of my goalie's hands (boo, bad call on the ref's part). Which put us in second place for the final standings!! It was excellent, but tiring. Not that I had to play any of the 4 games, but I pace up and down the side lines and yell at the top of my lungs. I pretty much felt like I lived at those soccer fields this weekend. I am lucky to have such a great team of girls!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bag of lies is finished!

It is beautiful, but sadly, it is RIDICULOUSLY short. I have tried contacting Deanna, of Deanna's vintage styles. But she doesn't respond. So if you happen to come across an attractive package of beaded scarves at a knit show and think you'd like to have it, and the package says "Deanna's Vintage styels, email fax 1.313.640.8683" on the label. Turn away! Don't buy it! It will be ridiculously short with significantly less yardage than the package says and you will never get a response from the seller when you contact her! Turn away, RUN away, and make sure you take your friend, entranced as she is with the beads, along with you and tell everyone you know! Heck you can even start now! She is an older woman, short and heavy set, blondish brown hair and glasses. She has a rough voice. Now you will know her when you see her!

Here it is, in all its tiny, finished glory: I have included the girls in the lower photo so you can see just how short this is! It barely goes past the boobs!

Friday, October 05, 2007

I totally forgot to post some things! I got my swap stitch markers in the mail on Thursday! They are SO cute! I love the giant eyelashes on the star. I did not mean to ignore my fantastic partner, Brenda Flowers. Thank you Brenda!

Also in the mail, I got my latest installment of the the Shawl club kits. This is the Diamonds and Flowers Shawl, by Earth Heart Designs. The yarn is Heather wool, columbine blue, which is quite purpley I never listed my 2 prior kids in the stash on Ravelry, because I was not sure what brand the yarn is. I have asked and it is Jagger Spun, Heather.

Also I FINALLY got the new correct, Sock Pixie yarn. Here is it on the left next to its ugly stepsister Badlydyedlot on the right. The color is Poppy. The new skein is super gorgeous and it feels fantastic, I am looking forward to knitting with it. Thank you Sock Pixie!
Kaffe Fasset Chevron socks are finished. I finished them up last night after I got home at 10:30pm. I was a little wired up from drinking a caffeinated Diet Coke (and my husband was snoring like a 3 foot chain saw) so I watched a couple of my recorded CSI (and CSI NY) episodes and finished the sock up. They are a perfect match and I am as pleased as punch about that.

The "bag of lies" scarf as I have referred to it, is now 1/2 way finished, I reached the half way point on Wednesday night. Sorry no pics, it didn't occur to me for some reason to take a picture of it as I was working on it. It is quite short and (blogless) Melissa has suggest it become an ascot *smirk*! Teenuh finally received the new sock Pixie yarn and she took pictures of it! It looks SO yummy great! I can hardly wait to get my paws on it!!! Forget this weekend Tennuh, I'm coming over now!

Monday, October 01, 2007

A Bag of LIES!

I have been sold a bag of lies. I have never met something so "easy" that was so damn hard to do! Working on the beaded scarf kit, I decide to use my yardage meter to neatly divide the skein of ribbon yarn in two. First I wound the entire skein onto a bobbin while measuring it. What the hell!? The card says 200 yds. My meter says more like 145 yds!? I'm thinking, the meter must be goofy, so I carefully measure out about 20 yds with a tape and then run it through, and surprise, surprise the meter is working properly. So I wind the yarn back across onto a second cardboard bobbin I cut out. OMG! The fucking skein is still 55 yds short of what the label says!?? How can that be?? What a rip off!! It is a good thing I am not making something big that I bought skeins based on the amount of yardage I need. Jesus. I am still pissed though.

Now that I am all mad about that. I go on to "easily stringing the pre-strung beads onto the yarn." Ugh!!! It was a fucking nightmare. Just to do 1/2 of the skein of yarn with the 6 strands of beads, I swear that the frigging string untied no less than 12 times and broke no less than 20 times!!! It was a nightmare. The string (or even the yarn!) would break and beads would to FLYING off of the string and onto the couch, the floor, the secret place where all lost things go.... Btw, if you have to remove every bead that won't slide easily over the bump, I think you would not have any beads left. But the really bad ones could not easily be removed by "untying and removing the bad bad." No, no, no, no, no! You have to nearly dump the entire lot of beads on the ground, so instead I got out my pliers and began CRUSHING the beads off the string. Crunch, pop! *bead shrapnel flew through the air....* Then I got up, picked up all the loose beads and corraled them inside of a plastic box. . So I have all the beads in the box and DUH! I tip the friggin' thing over and spend the next 35 minutes or so picking up the beads!! This project has been SO frustrating. And I am realizing that I get to do that ALL over again when I made the other half!!!

Here is my progress at present. Sliding the beads along the length of the skein is a pretty big pain in the butt. I think it might be a better plan to slide 2 strings of beads onto the terminal end of the yarn so that you didn't have to slide all the ends beads along 70 yds of yarn. At least it looks good, right?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Oakland TKCGA show.

Yeah, so it isn't Stitches, but you can go up and do it in half a day and get some stuff and have a good time. I went up with my best pal Teenuh, her MIL (in town visiting) and my mom. We parked for free out on the street. Strolled into the lobby about half an hour before opening, busted out our coupons and bought our tickets, only to be pleasantly surprised with GOODY bags!! Woo Hoo! They were apparently the goody bags for the people who preregistered for classes, which they had left over and were giving them out to all the early arrivals. We got a big bag from Red Heart that had an assortment of balls inside, (there was only 1 of these inside, but my mom gave me hers, citing that she would never use it.)There (and she traded me another ball not pictured for her matching ball of this washable wool) as well as a fabulous large black tote from Lion Brand Yarn that had 3 balls of hot pink Wool Ease and a pair of lion size 6 plastic needles inside, as well as a coordinating scarf pattern. Sweet! Everyone loves free, even if it isn't your favorite yarn on Earth, damnit! It's free!

So then we waited a bit, met some friendly ladies out in the lobby. Finally we got to go inside. The Village Knitting and Spinning Store was there from Solvang, CA they have the BEST selection of knitting books (never cheap!) with hard to find American selections as well as some really awesome German books. Of course I am such an idiot, I always buy books early on then have to carry them around until my shoulder feels as it will fall off. Well, actually my Mom came along and she bought them for me for Christmas so I had to carry them all day, but can't use them until after Christmas. We meandered around and I picked up some fabulous yarns.... Zephyr wool silk from Terylynn Needle arts
A beaded scarf kit, with Interlacements yarn and beads.
Then my very last purchase was this Silk Crack, as I have been referring to it. It is a soft, shiny beautiful, ultrafine silk yarn. It cost me an arm and a leg and some of my dignity, but I got it anyway. It is too marvelous for words, in my favorite peacock colors!! I could just sleep with this in my hands... Now this is something like 5,400+ yds. But I plan on holding 3 strands together at a time to accomplish what it is I want to accomplish, effectively cutting my yardage to 1/3 of that to 1,800 yards. Yippee. The booth people had made a beautiful sock out of this, with a size 000 needle, not in my future plans at all!!!