Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Back to our regularly crafty programming....

it was a sock....

It was a sock. Or at least the toe of a sock. And then I decided... I do not like this yarn. I am very sad about this realization. I love the colors - the blue and brown are perfect together. But despite the fact that it is supposed to be sock yarn, this yarn is not right for socks. It's too thick. I was working on a simple toe-up. I did the recommended increases and got to a point where I realized it was going to be too big-because the yarn is too thick for socks. So back to the stash it has been sent. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. Maybe just suck it up and make THICK socks with it.... But not now.

I cast on for my second Pomatomus instead. I've been inspired by Dipsy who just finished a pretty pair. I don't know why I've let this languish for so long - I LOVE my first Pomatomus. It's time for a complete set!

I've also developed a new craft obsession. BEADS. It started innocently enough - I wanted stitch markers. Pretty beaded stitch markers. So I went a little crazy and made about two dozen of them. (I didn't take any pictures of them...)

Then I decided I could make earrings too.

Then today, I made a necklace. I saw a Mandy Moore movie a while back (How to Deal)
(Yes, I watched a Mandy Moore movie, I admit it!) In the movie, she wore a very long red beaded necklace with mahjong tiles on the ends of it. (I just found a picture of her wearing it HERE.) She had it on in pretty much every scene, but she wore it different ways every time. I have been obsessing about this necklace. I really liked it and wanted one of my own. I did a few internet searches and had no luck. So I finally made it myself. It's just a really long straight strand of red beads with bigger black and white beads at the ends. I couldn't find mahjong tiles that I liked so I used glass beads instead.

Here are a few pictures of my chest. Just what you always wanted to see!
I will probably still be on the lookout for decent mahjong tiles. I figure if I find some I like, I can easily take the glass beads off the ends and replace them. But I'm pretty happy with the way it is now. I wore it to the theatre tonight and got lots of compliments.

I just realized I forgot to blog about another knitting project. I had started a dinosaur over the weekend. Mr. Stegs, to be exact. (link opens a pdf file.) For some stupid reason, I knit the entire head and body in horrible Red Heart acrylic. I HATE it. It is stiff and yucky and I'm throwing it out. The pattern is really easy and I really want a Mr Stegs, so I will try again with real yarn soon. And I will be getting rid of all traces of Red Heart acrylic that are currently in my home. I had kept it deliberately to make toys with it, but it's just too awful. I think Mr. Stegs will be reknit with Caron Simply Soft or maybe with some Cascade 220 I have in my stash.

But first... finish the damn pomatomus!!!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day
(warning - no knitting content!)

reflecting pool

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend. Mine was heaven. I have been off from work since Friday. Such a nice treat considering I am about to enter HELL month. Saturday, I took myself out to breakfast (a frequent Saturday morning occurrence.) and then went to Savage Mill to wander around for a while. Then I went home and was a complete slug for the rest of the day. I watched many episodes of LOST on (I can't remember if it was Lolly's Kris or Laura's Shmoo who told me that ABC was running episodes online, but many thanks to whoever it was!) That show is totally addicting and totally frustrating!

Sunday was an amazing day. Scott and I spent the entire day wandering around the mall in DC. Completely by chance, we got to see Rolling Thunder. It was amazing. Thousands of motorcycles demonstrating for veterans, POW's and MIA's.
Rolling Thunder
rolling thunder
Gotta say... Got a little choked up by it. Just the sheer number of people involved was staggering. (The Washington Post says there were "tens of thousands" of motorcycles) The bikes just kept coming and coming. For HOURS. And wherever you were on the mall, you could hear the low roar of the engines - "rolling thunder" is exactly what it sounded like.

After watching the bikes for awhile, we headed to the National Botanical Gardens. I had never been there before. It was very cool! So many spectacular flowers and plants.
Botanical Gardens
I went a little crazy with the flower pictures, but can you blame me? Made me really wish I had a decent camera.

We then headed down to the American History Museum, which was our reason for coming to DC in the first place. We wanted to see the Muppet exhibit. It was a little disappointing because it was very small. Only four or five display cases. But it was still fun.
The Swedish Chef

I was very excited because they had Emmet Otter and his Mom.
Emmett Otter and his Mom
Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas is one of my favorite Muppet movies. How cute are they??

We also had to stop at the America on the Move exhibit. Scott did some of the lighting install for this exhibit. So we had to walk around so he could point at lights and say "That lamp is out, that unit isn't focused correctly, that pattern rotator isn't working."

I also had to prove what a rebel I am.
Don't Touch!

We then walked down to the World War II Memorial. (past Rolling Thunder again) I had never been there either, and I figured Memorial Day weekend would be a perfect time to visit. It was really moving and beautiful. Many people had left pictures, mementos, stories and flowers along the walls. It made the whole experience more personal.
WWII Memorial

We had originally intended to go find lunch/dinner at this point, but as we headed back to the mall, we happened to pass the S. Dillon Ripley Center. Neither of us had ever heard of it. There was a huge banner hanging in front that said "Amazon Voyage: Vicious Fishes and Other Riches"
We decided to check it out.
fish mural
What a surprise! It was a very fun exhibit in this strange little building. AND, it was remarkably not crowded. (I don't think anyone else has ever heard of this place either!) The exhibit was very hands on and kid friendly. And since Scott and I tend to act like overgrown 5 year olds, it was perfect for us!
Scary picture of Scott in a fish tank. Ok... so I made him do it... I couldn't get him to put on the fish costumes they had to try on.

We finally went and got some food at the fabulous Teaism that Lolly introduced me to a few weeks ago. So delicious! I wish I had bought some cookies while I was there. They have these amazing salted oatmeal raisin cookies. But lunch/dinner was yummy.

Finally we decided we were completely exhausted and it was time to head home. And since this is a knitting blog, I suppose I should mention that yes - I did do a little knitting on the subway. And of course, I did not take any pictures of that!

A much appreciated wonderful day! It's always fun to play tourist in DC - so close by and so much to do.

Friday, May 26, 2006



Veronica Chicken
Pattern: The body is Knitty's Kate. Everything else I made up myself.
Yarn: The body is Caron's Simply Soft (a nice acrylic in my opinion), legs, beak, and comb are made from evil Red Heart, and the feathers are Cascade 220. It was a nice stash denting project.
Needles: I did the entire thing on Clover Takumi Bamboo DPNS size 7

I had seen a stuffed chicken toy in a yarn shop a few months ago and loved it. So, I decided to make my own. It only bears a slight resemblence to the original, but I think Veronica is quite a sexy chick.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Chicken legs

hee hee hee!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My First Lace
finished, blocked, pretty!

Yay! I'm done!
Pattern: Flower Basket Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2004
Yarn : Knit Picks Paint Your Own dyed by ME
Needles: Brittany size 7
Mods: The pattern called for double stranded lace weight. I used single stranded.

Comments: I love this. I'm so impressed with myself that I managed a lace shawl and that the yarn was hand dyed by me. I wish I had done a couple more pattern repeats and made it bigger. It's very small. But I think it was a great way to get my feet wet in lace knitting.

Here it is blocking

And here's a picture that I played with the exposure setting on my photo program. I thought it looked kinda cool

So now what? Yeah, I've been asking myself that all day. I still need to make mates for my hippo sock and my elfine sock. Not motivated. I'm actually feeling a bit of a sock slump. I'm just not really interested in knitting socks right now. I know, it's just shocking, isn't it?

This morning, I ripped up what I had done on Calla, save the ribbing. I knew I couldn't live with the mistakes I had made. (By the way, I think I can safely say - there are NO mistakes on my FBS. I ripped back and corrected every mistake I made. I'm proud of that fact!) So, I kept the ribbing and I will eventually start over.

As I'm sitting here typing, I remembered the long forgotten chicken I started. Maybe I'll work on that a bit. I would really like to finish it. After working on the lace, I really want something mindless to work on. Making a bunch of acrylic chicken feathers may just fit the bill!

I really enjoyed working on the lace. I actually had a semi-monogamous relationship with it. I really haven't worked on much else (except for a sock I cast on at the wine fest, and have quickly abandoned.) in the past week. I just bought A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson and I have a skein of blue lace weight (dyed by me). So there will be another lace project someday. I'm thinking Christmas present for my sister. Speaking of my sister... Her birthday is next month and I want to make her a pair of socks. I'm kind of planning on using the Hill Country Yarn that's been in my stash for a while now. It will be a good Project Spectrum knit for June and it's superwash which I think will be a good choice for my sister.

In the past few days, I've started to piece together my schedule for June. Basically, it sucks big time. I'm opening two shows in one month. On top of that stress, my housemate is having surgery on June 6, and my father is having major surgery on June 12. Fortunately, my Dad's surgery is on a week that I will not be in tech. I think I would lose my mind if I had to tech a show and deal with my father being in the hospital. I tell ya... Having elderly parents SUCKS.

On a happier note...
I had a great weekend. I went to Wine in the Woods on Saturday. The weather was GORGEOUS. Sunny and cool. Perfect for hanging out and drinking wine. Many, many, many other people had the same idea
Wine in the Woods

It was PACKED. I've been going to Wine in the Woods for many years, and I swear this was the most crowded I have ever seen it. Near the food and wine tents, you just could barely move. I did get to spend a little time with my pals Lolly and Laura. We knitted a bit in between wine tastings!

I would like to highly recommend Elk Run's sangria. It was sooo good. My friends and I polished off two bottles of the stuff. Sadly, when we went back for more, they were sold out. It was popular!
Remains of the Day

Saturday, May 20, 2006


I know I'm not the only one feeling it... a huge case of the blahs. What is the deal? Is it the cold yucky weather? Is it the change of season? What?

I just feel yucky. Blah, tired, lethargic, lazy. I know there's been discussion about people losing their knitting mojo, but I'm not having a problem with knitting. (Though, oddly, I haven't knit any sock items all week.) I have been working on my Flower Basket Shawl dilegently. I'm even patiently ripping out my mistakes without losing my mind. But overall, I feel yucky.

Yesterday, I had two nice treats. Erin called and invited me to go to the Farm with her, the Cowboy, Jolene and her two cutie girls, Samantha and Erika. I have lived just down the road from Clark's, but I had never been there before. Sooo cute. I love a good petting farm! The baby goats were so adorable and not much bigger than The Poodle. I was sad that I didn't have my camera with me. The kids had a blast.

The second treat was a treat to myself. I went to Lynn's Day Spa and had a massage and a facial. There have been some stressful things going on in my life, and I was really feeling the need for a little escape. When I win the lottery, there will be a personal masseuse on my full time staff. I will live on my alpaca farm with my angora bunnies and baby goats and get massages whenever I want them.

Despite the farm fun and the spa trip, I am still feeling yucky.

I was productive today though. I sent out my Dye-O-Rama yarn to my swap pal. I think it's safe to post a picture since the swap is a secret one. I can't imagine that my pal reads my blog. And if she does... Don't look at the picture!
Yarn for my Dye-O-Rama pal

It's one of the skeins I did in the dyeing class. Blues, purples, browns, tans, pinks, greens... kind of a big mishmash of color. I'm interested to see what happens when it is knit up. Hopefully my pal will send me pictures.

I also sent out my Project Spectrum postcard today. I wont post it here, but it is on my flicker account if you wanna take a look. Again... if you are my swap pal and you are reading this - NO PEEKING!

Tomorrow I will be attending Wine in The Woods. Perhaps many glasses of wine will make me feel better! I will be bringing a chair and hanging out with friends near the band. If you happen to be there, come say hi! I will the girl in the pink chair, knitting of course. Speaking of which... I have to come up with some small knitting project (read: sock) to bring with me. I may actually cast on something new though I really need to make mates for several lonely socks. I need something simple and mindless that I can work on while drinking large quantities of wine and not worry about messing them up.

Grumpy old me is going to bed now!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mindless fun

I stumbled on this over at Flicker. It's kinda cool! Check it out!

The Jumping Project

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Happy Monday

I had a really nice day yesterday. Always a good way to start a week! I had a kid show in the morning. Then I went over to Lolly's house for lunch. We had AMAZING Indian food for lunch. It was sooo yummy - made for us by her wonderful husband. I'm always impressed with people who can cook, since I am so inadequate at it! Sooo good. Then we spent the rainy afternoon watching Munich, eating cookies (also good, also made by her husband!), and of course - knitting! Lolly is so sweet and I loved spending the day with her! (And her dogs are very cute!)

When I got home, I had a few nice mailbox items. My Project Spectrum postcard from Maryse arrived. We were both worried that it had been lost in the mail. She had mailed it April 29 and I just got it yesterday. Stupid snail mail! But, it was worth the wait.
PS Postcard Swap from April
So cute! She did all the stitching by hand. Good yellows and oranges for April!

I also received this in the mail:
Knitting Nature
If you haven't seen this book, I highly recommend you go look for it immediately. It is beautiful. I've been lusting after it since Lolly shared her copy with me a week or so ago. I'm not sure what project I'm going to tackle yet, but there is plenty to choose from. I ordered the book from Gotta say - I am impressed. The book was only $17.93 and shipping on all orders is $2.95. I ordered it Friday and had it Monday. Cheap and fast. (Just how I like my men! hee hee hee! Kidding....!)

Last night was knitting group - always fun. We had a few new people join the fray last night. I hope we didn't terrify them! There was spinning instruction going on during the meeting. Amie was giving Erin some helpful hints. Here's Erin (aka - Mama E) practicing with her drop spindle in the middle of Panera.
Erin spinning in PaneraMama E mastering the drop spindle

I forgot to bring my spindle with me, so I am still a mess with my spinning. I have to remember for next time!

Also at knitting group, Erin(Mama E) brought a big bag of her amazing yarn. I bought this beauty:
Pistachio Chip
Pistachio Chip hand dyed by Mama E.
Isn't it gorgeous??? I love love love it. I already have plans for it. And of course those plans involve socks! Go check out the Mama's shop. Her yarn is beautiful and soft and lovely. And she's way cool! She's got some beautiful colorways available right now, including one named after ME! Check her out!

At knitting group, I managed to finish a sock. I have one lonely Elfine done.
One done!
I had every intention of casting on for the second one during my kid show this morning, but I got distracted by this..

obligatory window shot of flower basket shawl

I really want to finish this and get it blocked. It's my first lace and I dyed the yarn, so I can't wait to see what the finished product will look like.

Well, The Poodle is getting impatient with me to take her out, so I'm off. Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Lazy Saturday

I have a sad story to share, but I'll save it for the end of the post.

I'm having a lazy Saturday. I had plans to be productive today, but it just didn't happen. I took myself out to breakfast(a Saturday morning tradition) and then spent most of the day knitting. I've been working on the Flower Basket Shawl.

Here's my progress:
flower basket progress
I'm pretty happy with it so far. I'm dying to see it blocked! I would also like to thank Laura for helping me with the pattern. That's been a nice bonus to meeting all these new knitting friends - I have helplines I can call when I have a problem! Being new to this lace thing, I was having issue with reading the chart. But with Laura's help, I know what I'm doing now.

I meant to take the chart to the theatre with me last night to xerox it and make it BIGGER. But I forgot. So this is my alternate solution
pattern reading
The joy of a PDF file is that you can enlarge it... A lot! I have it magnified up to 200% and with the help of some post-it notes stuck to my monitor, I can SEE! So, I spent the afternoon listening to Podcasts on my computer and knitting.

This evening I watched part of season one of Grey's Anatomy on DVD. Since I work nights, I never watch prime time television. So, I'm always really behind on all the good shows. Thank goodness for DVD's! I had never seen Grey's Anatomy before, but had heard good things about it. Well, let me tell you... Any show that begins a season with Patrick Dempsey laying bare ass naked on the floor is OK by me. Umm... hello HOTTIE! Yeah, really liking it so far. Just keep showing Patrick Dempsey a lot! Needless to say, there was no knitting accomplished during my Patrick Dempsey fest.

Sad Story

I went out to run a quick errand this afternoon. As I left my development, I happened to notice a bunny lying in the gutter on the side of the road. She was up on her front legs trying to drag herself - her back legs weren't moving. Obviously hit by a car. I had no idea what to do. I made a bunch of phone calls and finally talked to my friend Heather who is an "Animal Person."

Heather convinced me to take the bunny to the Emergency Vet Clinic. So, I wrapped this pathetic ball of fluff in a sweater, put her in a milk crate and took her to the vet. She was so sad. She just laid in the milk crate, completely helpless - just staring at me. But, she was calm.

The news at the vet was not good. Her back was broken and they had to euthanize her. Poor Heather was really upset when I told her. She had offered to pay if they could have done anything to save the bunny, but it was hopeless. Heather has a really good heart.

I know I did the right thing and at the very least, she didn't have to suffer any longer. But I know I'm going to have that memory of those brown bunny eyes burned into my brain for a very long time.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Too Many Projects!!!

What's this condition called? Start-itis? Project ADD? Second Sock Syndrome? I keep starting things and not finishing them. It's just pathetic.

Exhibit A
not done yet
Elfine's Socks. This is still the first sock. Haven't touched it in a week.

Exhibit B
Calla languishing
Saddy languishing Calla. Haven't touched this in a week either. I'm bothered by the many mistakes I know are present in this item. I am trying hard not to frog it and start over. I know I could just make this the back and no one will see the mistakes, but I will know they are there....

Exhibit C
sock in progress
I just had to try out some of the sock yarn I dyed last week. I really can't decide how I feel about this. I really am not pleased with how the colors are pooling. Someone at the theatre saw me working on this tonight and said she really liked it. And she didn't know that I had dyed it myself, so I consider that an unbiased opinion. But I'm really not loving it. I'm not using a pattern for this.. just kinda making it up as I go along. Toe-up, magic loop... I am trying an afterthought heel for the first time. (you might be able to see the pale yellow/green stripe near the top - that's the waste yarn where the heel will go.) And I'm kinda playing with alternating K's and P's for the cuff.

And Exhibit D
first lace
It doesn't look like much, but hopefully one day it will grow up to be the Flower Basket Shawl. It's Laura's fault. I blame her. She brought this to knitting group the other night. Isn't it beautiful? I sooo wanted to try it. So far, I've ripped and restarted 4 times. The pattern calls for double stranding the laceweight, and I'm only single stranding it. I may need rip AGAIN and double strand, but I kind of wanna work on it a bit more and see how it will look with just one strand. And again - dyed by me laceweight, had to try it!

cocoa blue
I love how this turned out. It's much browner and less yellow in real life.

I'm also deliriously happy with how this turned out...
walking on the moon
I'm calling the colorway "Walking on the Moon." I have no definite plans for it yet, but I'm thinking if I can tackle my first lace with the flower basket, then this may turn into a lace xmas gift for my sister.

I still have three skeins from my dyeing class that are hanging on hangers on the back of my bathroom door. I haven't re-skeined or ball-wound them yet because I'm convinced I will want to start yet another project when I see them re-wound.

Besides this mountain of projects I have going, I can hear my Koigu calling me....Knit me! Knit me! Not to mention the other yarns I got at S&W, the Lorna's Laces from Heather, the Trekking I bought for April Project Spectrum, the Hill Country yarn I've had forever...

And I can't even discuss this lonely object:
lonely potomooose

I think maybe I need to grow another set of hands...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Sheep
peek a baaa!

The Wool
wall o' yarn

The Friends
Erin, Lolly and a sheep

The Loot
The loot
(Click on the pics above for more pics. Just a word of warning - I took WAY too many pictures of sheep!)

This is the third time I've tried to compose this post. I'm still overwhelmed. All the wonderful things you've heard about MDS&W - It's all TRUE!!!!!

It was amazing. I had such a truly wonderful weekend. I loved it all. I'm still sad that it's over.
The thing is - yes, the yarn and fiber and all things knitting were truly spectacular, but the thing I really enjoyed the most was the incredible sense of community I felt there. I felt like I belonged there. I got to hang out with all of my very cool knitting friends. I met many many new cool knitting friends. Everyone there was so happy and kind. The vendors, the crowd, heck - even the damn sheep were so friendly and welcoming.

I was elated by silly little things -
Walking into the Main Exhibition Hall (the first time, the second time, the third time....)
Watching a sheep get shorn
Finding Koigu on the second day when I thought it was all gone
Alpacas - ohmygod sooooo cute! I want one! Anyone wanna give me $30,000 to buy an alpaca?
Angora bunnies - again, sooo cute and I sooo want one.
Feeling sheep breath on my fingers
Petting miles and miles of gorgeous yarn and fiber
Kettle Korn
Watching the sheep dogs
Being a part of the HUGE group of knit bloggers that gathered on Saturday afternoon
Hanging out with all my knitting friends(priceless)
Stumbling on a very bizarre "fashion show" featuring people and sheep that were dressed alike
Having a sheep nudge me when I stopped petting him - reminded me of my poodle wanting attention
Knit Bloggers Ball
Buying my first drop spindle

It kills me that I have lived not 15 miles from the Sheep and Wool Festival for 13+ years and this was the FIRST time I have ever been there! I didn't even know it existed before this year!
How many more days till it comes back???

Between the festival and my yarn dying, I have lots of projects going right now. I will have to post on that at a later date though 'cause I'm tired.

On a side note...
For those who have asked, The Poodle seems to be doing better. She was bouncy and happy and back to herself this morning. She's still having some digestive issues, but she's definitely doing better. I'm hoping for more improvement tomorrow.

Still dreaming about Alpaca.....

Friday, May 05, 2006

I picked up my yarn today!

dyed by me!

Click on the picture to see lots more pictures!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Dyeing Class

Ok, I've had some sleep, my feet don't feel like lead bricks anymore... I can write a little more about this class.

I should preface this by saying I had a good time. BUT...

I was a little disappointed. I really don't feel like the class was worth what I paid for it. My disappointment started very early in the day when we were locked out of the building and had to wait for someone to let us in. Then, we spent a very long time setting everything up. I really felt that since I was paying money for this, everything should have been set up long before we got there. I mean really - I was lifting 400 pound tables (that shit was HEAVY!) and carrying stuff out of the instructor's car. The class was supposed to start at 9, but I think with the getting locked out and the set up, we didn't start doing anything until 10.

Then the class itself....
I don't feel like I learned anything. I felt like the instructor said "here's the dye, have at it." and that was it. She talked about different kinds of dye, she gave us a bunch of handouts that she downloaded off the internet (I could have done that at home), she showed us how to mix some of the citric acid presoak stuff, and I mixed some dye - but again, I could have read all that on the internet. I wanted her to show us different dyeing techniques, I wanted to see how to use a warping board, I wanted to make self striping yarn on purpose instead of by accident - there was none of that. It was "here's a paint brush, go paint your yarn." Then she wandered around the room and said "oh pretty colors" a lot.

I enjoyed painting my yarn, I enjoyed meeting new people, but I don't feel like I learned anything.

Oh... and where is my yarn? She still has it. She called and said to pick it up today, then she called and said pick it up tomorrow. So, I am picking it up tomorrow. I'm a little worried because I know that some of my dye leaked. (Another complaint - they said to bring a roll of paper towels. They should have said bring several rolls of paper towels. I ran out very quickly - so I did not do a good job of getting rid of excess dye.) So, I'm not sure if there is going to be blue dye all over my yarn or not. Hopefully the other packs of yarn were wrapped well enough to keep out the leaks.

Ok... enough complaining!

Sheep and Wool is in 2 days! Hoorah!!!! Actually, in 15 minutes I can say "Sheep and Wool is TOMORROW!!!"

I have been knitting a bit.


I'm plugging along on Calla. I hadn't worked on it in a few days, but went back to it at work this evening. There are soooo many mistakes on this little band of yarn. So, I think this will be the back! If it's in the back, I won't be able to see where messed up, right? I'm learning though... I am writing myself little notes to remind myself where I am in the pattern so I'm not confused when I pick it up again. That's one of my big problems with any knitting I do - I forget where I am a lot!

Oh course I've also got a sock on the needles...
PS socks Sorry for the blurry pictures. This is Elfine sock in my fabu Lime Fire Colorway from Spunky Eclectic.

I love how the stripes look on the back. (the sole)
stripey goodness There has been some contemplation about ripping these out and just doing a plain old toe up sock with no lacy pattern. Can't decide. I am open for suggestions and opinions.

Hey! Guess what!!!
Sheep and Wool is TOMORROW!!!

Morty and his crazy eyes.
Morty is waiting for us!!!