Thursday, May 31, 2007

The beach, some knitting and a giveaway!

amazingly beautiful day

It was a perfect long weekend. I spent HOURS just sitting on the beach. I read, I knit, I slept, I got charbroiled. Excellent! Check out that sky - soooo blue and no clouds. I so did NOT want to come home. I just love it there.

Things near my sister's house had changed a bit since my last visit.
Summer marsh/Winter marsh

The picture on the right was taken in early April. The picture on the left was taken this past weekend. Look how crazy green everything is now! And chock full of wildlife too. I saw tons of birds, a turtle, a snake, a deer and lots of frogs. Sitting on the balcony with this view was just as pleasant as sitting on the beach.

Of course there was knitting. What else is a girl supposed to do with all that delicious free time? Last week, I started another Jaywalker. I wanted something mindless and easy to work on.

I'm using the Lorna's Laces that I got the last time I went to the beach. This is the first time I have ever used size 0 needles to make a sock. I gotta say... it's killing me. It's just so sloooow. But I tried it on larger needles, and it just wasn't working for me. The size 0's seem to work best with this yarn. And since I don't currently own a size 0 circular, I decided to forego my normal magic loop and use dpns. Despite the slowness, I really like how this yarn is working up. It's even pretty on the inside too!
Jaywalker guts
Hopefully I will stay motivated through to the second sock!

I suppose I should mention that the Obsidian socks have been frogged and the yarn sent back to the stash. They just weren't making me happy. I know exactly what I want to do, but I was having problems with the execution. So, for now, it is once again, a ball of yarn!

I also put in some time with my Doubled Bordered Scarf. This isn't the best picture, but it does show some progress.
Double Bordered Scarf progress
I'm ready to be done with this. I think it's going to be really pretty when I'm done, but I'm kinda bored with it.

Before I left for the beach, I got caught by the toy knitting bug again....
ladybug mosaic
bug... get it! hahahahah! (I'm a dork, I know!)

It's another pattern from the Crafty Alien booklet. I am just loving these patterns. They are so quick to knit. The pattern calls for the ladybug to have legs, but I decided not to add them. I kinda like it this way. I used some leftover Selkirk from the Arwen sweater and some Nature Spun I had in my stash. The Selkirk didn't felt so well. I don't like that you can still see the stitches. But the Nature Spun felted perfectly. I also chose not to embroider on the knots. I embroidered the line down the back and thought it was pretty tedious. So, I just needle felted the spots on. I used the scraps of Nature Spun leftover after the knitting was done. The eyes are also needle felted.

I'm sure I will be making the bee pretty soon. I'm going to need more shelf space in my room for all these toys!

So.... a little giveaway!

I was recently contacted by someone from Mira Books and asked to review the newest Debbie Macomber book here on my blog. Coincidentally, my housemate had just finished telling me about these books. It's a series of fiction books about a knitting shop and how knitting brought different women together. I read the second book, A Good Yarn, while I was at the beach. It was perfect beach reading and I must say, I enjoyed it.

Well, today, I received a package containing not one but TWO copies of the newest book in the series, Back on Blossom Street.
Free to good home!
Well, my good fortune is your good fortune. I will have a random drawing and give this book away. Leave me a comment between now and hmmm... let's say Monday, June 4th. All commenters will be entered into the drawing.

Bring on the comments!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Finished Baby Sweater

baby sweater

Little Chuckles Cardigan from Simply Knitting Magazine
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Taupe and Lake
Needles: Knitpicks Options Circulars US4
Model: LL Bear

Back of baby sweater

I still need to track down some good buttons for this, but for the most part - it is finished! I love love love the Cotton Ease, and I really want a sweater for ME out of it. The pattern... well, the pattern was pretty irksome.

Problems.... the stitch count on the sleeves and the body did not match up. Jolene seamed the sweater for me (THANKS JOLENE!) and had to do some finagling to get everything to fit correctly into place. She did a great job. I'm sure if I had attempted it, there would be a very lumpy sweater on display right now. There was also issue with the ribbing not matching up at the seams. Instead of K2P2 ribbing, at the seams there are four purl rows together, so it's more like K2P4K2P2 ribbing. I was also irritated when I went to knit on the button bands. The instructions say to knit four rows, but the pictures of the sweater in the magazine clearly show eight rows. I knit six rows.

But all in all, it's a pretty cute sweater. And it was fairly quick to knit up. I'm a little concerned that the unborn baby this is destined for will be too big to wear it. The last baby these people gave birth to came out the size of your average linebacker. He was gigantic and still is - 2 years later. Hopefully baby brother will come out an appropriate baby size! Or atleast LL Bear sized!

Baby Sweater

I got a little crafty this afternoon and made myself a little project bag.
a little sock bag
My seams are wonky and my attempt at making a reversible bag didn't work so well, but it's perfectly functional. It currently contains a jaywalker sock in progress that I started this morning. I have knitting ADD again. (again? still?) I started another baby sweater yesterday, I started a sock today, I seriously want to cast on for either another felted bug or a different pair of socks, and I'm still working on my double bordered lace scarf. I can't seem to stick to one project right now.

I'm heading to the beach Sunday afternoon for a few days of sun and relaxation. I'm sure there will be plenty of knitting going on there! I hope you all have a great holiday weekend. Remember your sunscreen!

I leave you with this picture I took the other day and meant to share here.

We had a crazy little storm here last weekend that produced this amazing rainbow. Sadly I didn't have my camera with me so this was taken with my cell phone. In person, the colors in the rainbow were so amazingly vibrant. And I could see the entire rainbow from end to end. It was breathtaking. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but there was a second fainter rainbow. Soooo pretty!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


First I saw this. Which led me to this. And that led me to this. So, of course I had to buy this.

Then, I made this!

I can't tell you how much I love this bug. It was so fun to make and I think it came out so well! I may need to knit more of them, in different colors. It hardly took me any time at all to whip this up. The felting was a little tedious, but somehow also rewarding when it came out so well.

I made a few changes to the pattern after reading Grace's blog post about her ant. The pattern calls for the head of the ant to be huge. But I liked how Grace's looked better, so I swapped the butt and the head. I also put bent paperclips into the legs to make them a little sturdier. I made the antennae a little longer than the pattern called for. One of them also seems a little thicker than the other. So I may have cast on one too many stitches for one of them!

The eyes are needle felted on, using a bit of fiber from one of the needle felting kits I purchased at MDS&W. The needle felting tool actually turned out to be quite handy. After I hand felted the knitted pieces, there were a few little holes here and there. I used scraps of yarn and the needle felting tool to fill them in. It worked perfectly.

Felted Ant

I suppose I should mention that the yarn was some leftover Cascade 220 that I had in my stash.

I'm not quite sure why I'm obsessed with making knitted toys, but I am! I think I may need to make the bee next. I am also loving the lobster. I may have to get that pattern too!

My latest baby sweater is almost done. Many thanks to Jolene, who very kindly sewed all the seams for me last night at knitting group! She's the best! I finished the button bands and the collar this evening at work, but there is still a few ends to be sewn in and I need to find buttons for it. I shall reserve pictures of it until it is finished. Besides, I want to gripe about the pattern in a full post!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, May 21, 2007

All the cool kids are doing it

To distract you from the fact that I am feeling too lazy to take pictures of knitted objects at the moment, I will respond to the Meme that Minty tagged me with last week. There have been a few variations of this particular one popping up all over blogland lately, but I have been tagged with the 7 Random Facts meme.

1. I am the youngest of 5 children. I am very much the baby of the family, in both good and excessively irritating ways! My eldest brother died 12 years ago and I still miss him so much it hurts. He was 16 years older than me and always swore that he raised me from birth.

2. I don't like seafood. Apparently, many people see this as a character flaw. But really, if it resides primarily in water, I don't want to eat it. A few years ago, I tried crab, lobster, salmon and scallops - just to see if it was perhaps a childhood dislike that I had outgrown, but NO, I still do not like seafood. Even the smell makes me queasy.

3. I have 9 surgical scars on my body. Let's just say I'm a little accident prone and I no longer have an appendix.

4. Pretty much every day of my life, I fantasize about moving out west someday. I love mountains.

5. I am terminally late. I think it is a genetic flaw. At my grandmother's funeral, my uncle gave the eulogy. The first thing he said was "Well, I guess we were all wrong, she wasn't late to her own funeral." So I just see it as a matter of DNA and not a personal problem! The only time I am not late is when I am travelling somewhere by airplane. In that case, I want to get to the airport the ridiculously early.

6. Despite my love of The Poodle, I am really a cat person. I think I could become a crazy cat lady very easily. But my housemates disapprove of the felines, so I have a poodle instead.

7. I am completely grossed out by crickets. Especially the really icky brown ones. The hopping freaks me out. But I'm not grossed out by grasshoppers and their hopping. I know, it's strange.

Random enough?? So, I tag Jolene, Jen and Diane.

I have FO's to show, but like I said... too lazy!


Tuesday, May 15, 2007



Sometimes, you just need to knit yourself a yellow Triceratops. Just for fun.


Free pattern from Xtreme Knitting (opens a pdf)
Yarn: some random crappy acrylic I had in my stash
Started: Sunday, May 13, 2007
Finished: Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last year, I made myself a Mr. Stegs.
Mr. Stegs

I decided he needed a friend!
Happy Dinosaurs

These are great patterns. So easy and quick. Instant gratification! It was also a great way to practice my newly honed seaming skills. Here's Mr. Stegs seam circa August 2006:
Bad seam!

Yeah, I had no idea what I was doing last year! I honestly thought this didn't look too bad. Now I think it looks like he had horrible open heart surgery! But check this out:
Good seam!
Oh yeah! Soooo much better! Jolene even thought I had knit it in the round. I've got mad seaming skills now!
attack of the dinosaurs!

I'm suffering from major project ADD. I can't seem to stick to one project. I just keep casting on. Last night I started this:
start of  Little Chuckles cardigan
It's a cutey cute baby sweater from Simply Knitting magazine. In keeping with my recent blue and brown obsession, the body of the sweater will be... brown and then the arms will be... blue! This will be for a friend's boy baby who will be arriving in June. Then I will need to make another baby item for a girl baby arriving in July. That will probably be a lacy Elizabeth Zimmerman baby sweater like the one Sarah made.

Gotta say... I'm really surprised how much I am liking the Cotton Ease. I kind of want to make a sweater for ME out of it. I think it would make a great summer cardigan or hoodie. It is something I am definitely contemplating!

I'm still chugging away on my Seasilk scarf too.
double border scarf progress

I can't wait to block this. I'm really curious to see how big it is going to turn out. I love how soft and drapey the Seasilk is.

I have kind of stalled on my STR Obsidian socks. But they're still taking up space in my knitting bag and I do pull them out and knit a row here and there.
No progress here!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Bleh. That's how I've been feeling the past few days. Bleh. I swear I am suffering from Post MDS&W Depression. I had been looking forward to it for so long, I had such a good time, the weather was gorgeous, I got some great yarn, I finished my Arwen...

And now? Bleh.

My general "bleh-ness" has not prevented me from knitting however. I finished Arwen, and I had new yarn to play with, so I have not one, but two new projects on the needles.
STR socks
STR sock
Some socks in my new STR. I'm playing with some design ideas. We shall see what happens! But that yarn sure is pretty, no?

And because I was feeling guilty about buying more Seasilk when I have 2 unused skeins of it in my stash, I cast on for a scarf with the new skein.
Diamond Border Scarf
It's a "Double-bordered scarf with diamond borders adapted from Weldon's, 1904" from Victorian Lace Today. (Page 104, to be exact!) The one in the book is very dainty and lofty looking. I think the Seasilk makes it look very bold and geometric. I kinda like it. The pattern calls for slightly more yardage than the Seasilk has, but since it's a scarf, I'm hoping I can fudge on the length a bit. Knitting the pattern is pretty easy(and fast!) Reading the chart is a little tricky. Thank God for Post-its is all I have to say!

Oh and there's a stupid typo in the pattern. The rows are numbered 12, 14, 18, 16, 20...
That's seems like a pretty stupid mistake. Can we not count people? Fortunately rows 18 and 16 were both knit rows, so it doesn't affect the pattern.

I had a HUGE accident with this Seasilk yesterday. I somehow managed to create the biggest tangled mess you have ever seen. It took me about three hours to untangle it. I was so upset! This shit is expensive and I wasn't about to give up on it. But with determination and a whole lot of swearing, I got it untangled. I seriously love this yarn. It is just so gorgeous! The color in the picture is pretty true - especially on the ball. It reminds me of new pennies. I'm already perusing other patterns for my other two skeins.

I realized this afternoon that I never blogged about an FO from about a week ago. I finished the Waving Lace Socks.
Waving Lace Socks

I'm really disappointed with these socks. I don't know if you can tell from the picture but the socks are two different shades of green. It's a very slight difference, but it's noticible enough to annoy me. I thought maybe I had accidentally bought two dye lots, but no - they were the same.
Also, they don't fit well. One of them came out bigger than the other - which I find really odd since I used the same needles and didn't alter the pattern at all. But neither of them fit very well. I do like the waving lace, but that's about it!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

May I present...


Finished Arwen Cardigan

A Cardigan for Arwen
Interweave Knits Winter 2006
Started March 14, 2007
Finished May 6, 2007
Yarn: Ram Wool Selkirk in Red. Approximately 6 skeins.
Needles: Knitpicks Options size US7 and US8
Mods: I added 2" to the length
Note to Minty.... Photo shoot took place at the National Arboretum.

Cardigan for Arwen
Arwen cable
Arwen at the Arboretum

I'm so happy it's DONE!! And, I am proud to say that I seamed it myself. I was tempted to send it off to Jolene for finishing, but I decided I'd better learn how to do it on my own. So Jolene kindly gave me a quick lesson. I think I did pretty well! (Good teacher!)

I wasn't loving it when I first finished it. The arms were too tight. But some hardcore blocking took care of that problem, and now I'm quite happy with it. I wore it on Sunday to Sheep and Wool and was quite comfortable in it. And I got a lot of compliments from total strangers which is nice too!

Diane thinks she is the last blogger to post about S&W, but really, I think it is me!

What can I say that hasn't already been said? It was truly fabulous. Great friends, amazing yarns, cute fuzzy animals... It was perfection. Both days were so spectacular weather wise. And Sunday was even cool enough for me to wear Arwen all day.

Saturday morning, I had all the girls (and one very brave man - Jody's husband) over for a pre-fest breakfast. After filling up on coffee and bagels, we headed off to the fairgrounds. (Sorry we left you in the bathroom Jen!!!) I didn't get very far through the gates before my wallet sprung a leak.

Here's the 2007 haul!
The MDS&W Haul

Apparently, I was on a brown and blue kick. I didn't even realize it until I got home. In the picture, we have...
Handmaiden Seasilk
Blue Moon STR in Obsidian
Tess Supersock
Louet Gems
Persimmon Tree Farm

I love each and every skein. It's all gorgeous. The STR has already been cast on for socks (trying to come up with my own design.)

The Seasilk was a definite cave in my resolve. I spied in on Saturday and fondled it for many minutes until I finally convinced myself I didn't need it. I already have two skeins of Seasilk in the stash. I didn't need more. Well, I ended up thinking about it all night long. So on Sunday I decided if it was still there, I would get it. When I got to the booth, it was the last skein of Seasilk they had, in the exact color I wanted. I HAD to get it! Really! It is so gorgeous!

In addition to the yarn, I also got two needle felting kits and Folk Knitting in Estonia, which I had wanted for a while.

I ran into a few blogger friends including Minty and Gryphon (and her gorgeous baby girl!) and went to the Blogger meet up for a bit. I had a great time wandering around with everyone, but I crashed pretty early. (I had been up since 6 a.m. which is completely unheard of in my theatre life.) So, I went home and crawled in bed.

Sunday, I woke up bright and early. I finished seaming and blocking Arwen and then headed back to the fair. I met up with the girls again and hung out on the hill and knit for awhile.
The girls

Then I wandered off to make sure I hadn't missed anything to spend my money on. I stumbled on one of my favorite festival events... The Shepherds Lead Contest. It is basically a sheep fashion show. It's all these little kids that are dressed in handmade wool garments and they are leading around their pet sheep - who are dressed to match!!! So ridiculous and so cute!
Sheep Fashion Show

This was my favorite...
Sheep Fashion Show

In case anyone is interested for next year - Adults can enter too! And, you don't have to own a sheep - you can borrow one!!

Soon after, I hooked up with Amie. She had to pick up a wheel that she had repaired. The guy told her to test it out before she took it home. And instantaneously, she drew a crowd.
Amie spinning

After her one woman spinning show, there may have been some ice cream and then we went and picked up some prize winners from the Skein and Garment Competition.

Amie's Sockness Monsters
Amie won a blue ribbon!

Jolene's socks
And Jolene won a blue ribbon too!

Hooray for Jolene and Amie!!! (And to Jolene I say... I told you so!!)

And then we were done. I went home a very happy and very tired girl. It was a perfect weekend. See you next year!!!
Fuzzy bunnyLlama llama Duck!
Angora goatSheepy
AlpacaSleepy Sheepy

Monday, May 07, 2007

So Freakin' Tired!

I have so much to blog about, and I have just been too exhausted to do it. So, hopefully I can appease you until tomorrow with a few pictures. And then perhaps I will be awake enough to give you the full write up!



Oh and by the way...
Arwen is finished!


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Spreading the word!

blogger meetup

Thanks Olga for the cool graphic!