Friday, December 12, 2008

Holy cow - it's been a while and Hello, Sekrit Santa!

So long in fact, I can barely remember how to do this!

I have lots of knitting projects to update, but mostly I'm doing that via my project page on Ravelry these days. And, um...yeah. That's a bit behind too...

The main reason for this post is to post info for my Sekrit Swap pal. :)

1. State your name and favorite holiday song.
Winter Wonderland

2. What is your favorite color?
Except when it's blue.
Or purple.
Sometimes it's brown.
And I really find myself liking grey right now (wtf is up with that? i bet a therapist would love that progression...)

3. Do you have any special holiday traditions?
Every year, we get a new 'special ornament.' This year, DS decided that the little foam ornament he received from his dance instructor qualified. Gotta love kids!

4. What is your favorite holiday memory?
The year my dad got a new pair of water skis & we went water skiing Christmas day.

5. Any allergies we should know about?

6. What crafts do you do - knit, crochet, spin, dye, bead, quilt, etc.?
Knit, sorta spin, sorta crochet. The beads have been put on hiatus due to their lack of ease of portability, lol.

7. Any sorts of fibers you particularly love or hate or are dying to work with?
The experts say you are supposed to have a diet rich in fiber, right? And that your diet should be varied. So, there ya go. I like 'em all.

8. What weight of yarn do you prefer?
Now see, that's a sticky one. I used to swear I would never knit lace. And now I have more laceweight that I ever imagined myself owning (it's not a lot, mind you, compared to some, but the fact that I actually own it and, moreover, have intentionally purchased it for myself, could quite possibly be one of the signs of the apocalypse...).

Going by my stash, you'd think I preferred worsted. But lately I have been leaning more in the direction of DK or sport weight. It's that whole "balance of the universe" thing. Probably.

9. What are your favorite knitting accessories? (i.e.: stitch markers, row counters…)
I love my stitch markers. Mostly I love that if I need more, I can make more ;-) I would love my scissors, needle gauge and tape measure too, if I could ever find them when I needed them...

10. Do you subscribe to any crafty magazines?

11. What do you collect aside from fiber-related things?
I'm guessing dust bunnies don't count? Cellulite? Wrinkles? Spam? Yeah, I didn't think so. Then nothing, really.

12. Favorite candy, chocolate (dark, white, or milk), tea, coffee, other treats?
Dark chocolate, hands down.

13. Do you enjoy handmade soap and body products?
Erm, I'm not a "body products" kinda gal...

14. What is your favorite winter sport/past time?
Snuggling under the covers with a good book.

15. What is your favorite holiday movie?
A Charlie Brown Christmas

16. What is your favorite: flavor, flower, letter, number, film, artist, scent?
Flavor: Chocolate. With raspberries for good measure.
Flower: Texas wildflowers
Letter: "Dear AMG: Congratulations on winning..."
Oh. Not what you meant? OK. Um...Q. I think that's the funnest letter in the alphabet.
Film: To Have or Have Not
Artist: Klee
Scent: Fresh coffee (preferably wafting from the mug being handed to me as I wake well after the sun has risen. Shaddup, a girl can dream, can't she?)

17. Anything we should *not* get for you?
See #13 above. Add "candles."

18. Do you have a blog and or wishlist that are not linked on Ravelry or listed in the GoogleDoc?
Dude, you are reading my blog. And I haven't updated my amazon wishlist in like, forevah.

19. Anything special you would like your partner to know?
I'm just tickled to be associated with the awesome Rav helpers - you are all faboo!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

o hai

Long time no post. Like, a LONG time. I'm really not that lazy.
*insert pause for insane laughter*

So, let's revisit a few of those resolutions I made way back about 6 months ago....

1. Finish the sock I started. Then decide if I really, really, really care enough to do it again.
Well, it didn't *exactly* happen. Something went bazonkers after the heel turn and damnifino what it was. I wasn't all that in love with the stupid pattern anyway. OK, let's say I was infatuated with it to begin with, then reality stepped in. And then the poor sock got shoved aside for other things, I couldn't find my notes and a needle came out and well, that was pretty much it for the sock.

And then I decided I wasn't EVER going to knit socks, they hate me and I have to stop buying pretty sock yarn. And THEN I gave away all but about 2 pair's worth of sock yarn. (you know where this is going, right?)OK, I have a really really good excuse. REALLY.

My excuse is that I read the Yarn Harlot's blog way too damn much. And that Lorna's Laces sock yarn kept whispering to me every time it got a chance, just daring me to cast on. And then I had a 2 week stretch of a split shift, working 4-8pm every day from home with nothing better to do that sit on the couch and knit while watching Law & Order re-runs, waiting for the phone to ring. There ya go. A pair of socks. By me. I know! Hey! Is that Four Horsemen riding up?

Oh and ps- I really, really hate the way blogger deals with inserting photos. What a pita.

2. Pick a pattern for a shawl/wrap to go with the 4 balls of Misti laceweight alpaca my mom gave me.
Nada. But I have a more interesting Ravelry queue.
3. Start knitting #2
See above.
4. Begin and finish the Tiger Eye scarf
See #2 again. I actually bought some loverly golden laceweight for this and cast on. Then realized the pattern called for fingering or sport weight. I swapped the laceweight for something else and bought a different yarn - isn't that purdy?

5. Find a pattern/idea for my 1075 yards of Malabrigo worsted in Vaa
Shaddup. I'm still looking.

6. Begin knitting #5
*lalalalalalalalala* I can't heaaaaarrrr you!
7. Get rid of all the yarn in my stash I have no intention of using for anything
The fact that it only got done this past weekend matters not at all.

8. Go with my gut and frog the damn pinwheel sweater already. Because I'm not liking how it fits, and the one sleeve that is about 3/4 done is too tight.
Done. And I have used some of the yarn (a mere pittance of it, granted) on some hats.

Friday, December 14, 2007

2008 Knitting Resolutions

So, Texaspurlgirl has challenged us for our 2008 Knitting Resolutions.


1. Knit
2. Knit some more
3. Try not to overdo spending on pretty yarn I know I have no use for.
4. Try really hard not to laugh at #3

OK, for reals:

1. Finish the sock I started. Then decide if I really, really, really care enough to do it again.
2. Pick a pattern for a shawl/wrap to go with the 4 balls of Misti laceweight alpaca my mom gave me.
3. Start knitting #2
4. Begin and finish the Tiger Eye scarf
5. Find a pattern/idea for my 1075 yards of Malabrigo worsted in Vaa
6. Begin knitting #5
7. Get rid of all the yarn in my stash I have no intention of using for anything
8. Go with my gut and frog the damn pinwheel sweater already. Because I'm not liking how it fits, and the one sleeve that is about 3/4 done is too tight.

I dunno about you, but I do believe #7 is going to be the hardest...

I have no intention whatsoever of doing them in numerical order.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Felted Mitered Square Potholder

Or "How I Spent My Thanksgiving Weekend"

I had a blast - taught my sister-in-law how to knit & happily spent most of Friday & all day Saturday knitting.

It took a few tries to get the proportions right, but I finally hit on a nice little recipe for a felted mitered square potholder.

Yarn: Any feltable worsted weight yarn. We used Cascade 220 in several colors

Needles: US 10.5/6.5 mm

Gauge: Not all that important, but we got something close to 8 sts/inch

Other stuff: Stitch Marker, Darning Needle

Cast on 32, place marker, cast on 32 more - 64 sts total.

Row 1: Knit to 2 sts before marker, SSK, slip marker, K2TOG, Knit to end
Row 2: Knit all sts

Reapeat rows 1 & 2 until you have 4 sts left on needle, then:
SSK, remove marker, K2TOG (you should have 2 sts remaining now), turn

Remove needle, pull yarn thru remaining stitch & you're done! Well, except for the weaving in of ends & the felting....

Here are some of the stripe patterns I used:

pattern 1:
  • Color A - 6 rows
  • Color B - 4 rows
  • Color C - 2 rows
  • repeat from aboce
pattern 2:

  • Color A - 7 rows
  • Color B - 5 rows
  • Color C - 3 rows
  • Repeat from above (note: you are changing colors on odd-numbered rows & will get the color change line. Which is fine. I like it. Some don't. You *have* been warned, don't bitch at me, m'kay?)
pattern 3:

  • Color A: 8 rows
  • Color B: 4 rows
  • Color C: 6 rows
  • Color A: 4 rows
  • Color B: 6 rows
  • Color C: 8 rows
  • Repeat and/or vary how you will till you run out of rows (And no, I have no idea how many rows there are. I are layzee like that.)
pattern 4 (second pic below)
  • Color A - 4 rows
  • Color B - 6 rows
  • Color C - 2 rows
  • Color A - 8 rows
  • Color B - 4 rows
  • Color C - 6 rows
  • Color A - 2 rows
  • Color B - 4 rows
  • Color C - 2 rows
  • Color A - 4 rows
  • Color B - 6 Rows
  • Color C - 4 rows
  • Color A - 2 rows
  • Color B - 2 rows
  • Color C - 2 rows (? I am just guessing based on the pic. I didn't write this one down....)
I made several potholders, varying the way I striped it - but you don't have to stripe it at all, it works just fine in one color.

Keep in mind that when you are making stripes, if you only change color on RS (or WS) rows, you will have all your ends to weave in on one side. Which will make your fabric just a titch thicker on that side. Alternating the sides you change colors on will spread out ends on both sides, but you get the "color change stripe" as seen here:

cascade potholder

Here's a pre-felted potholder with all the color changes made on a RS row:

cascade potholder2

And, finally, here is a rather wobbly one (the first attempt, actually) where all the color changes were done on a RS row - this is a picture of it after felting and some rather pathetic attempts at "blocking". Which reminds me of another caveat: Try to make your stripes at least 4 rows wide. This one had alternating stripes of 4 rows and 2 rows. Those 2 row stripes are a bitch to weave in later. And there are a LOT of them....And I blame them for the wobbliness.

cascade potholder felted RS

It kinda looks more like a Christmas tree in that picture, doesn't it... I wish I could get better pictures, but they are all at SIL's house.

except the one I had on my needles when I left that I will finish as soon as I finish all these damn Xmas gift clogs I am making...

Oh, yeah. More mind losing

I know, I know - two posts in one day. The Apocalypse must be right around the corner.

But I would be remiss on the subject of mind losing if I failed to note my purchase of this book:
Creating Original Hand Knitted Lace by Margaret Stove. (scroll down on that page to see it).



It is all David Reidy's fault, he of the Sticks & String podcast. He did a podcast & had an interview with Margaret Stove and I, foolish I, listened to it, fell in love with the thought of designing my own lace and well, next thing you know, I own a copy of the book.

Will wonders never cease.

PS - many hugs and lots of chocolate to bunnysquirrel for fixing my blog so it wasn't so skinny anymore. You rock.

Just keep spinning...

What? AMG? Have you lost your freaking mind?

Yes, yes, I do believe I have!

Because not only did I learn how to spin at the Kid n Ewe for my birthday (Nov, 9 - make a note!), I just got my very own custom painted spindle from Spinsanity!

Feast your eyes:


Here, look some more:


I am in total lurve with my new spindle.

And, luckily enough, I have a buttload of roving to use on it!

As I mentioned, I was at Kid n Ewe for my birthday (thank you, dear sweet husband, for indulging a whim....) and after falling HARD for some Brooks Farm Acero for an as-yet unplanned shawl (I got 2...)

I signed up for a 2 hour Beginning Spindling class. And, marvel of marvels, 2 hours later, I totally understood the concept. I wasn't able to execute it all that well, but I sure as hell knew how it was supposed to work and I even had very brief moments when it did work. Of course, at one point, I was over heard to yell (yeah, overheard by a LOT of people) to my spindle and it's newly detatched roving that "YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!"

At which point they - spindle and roving - simply laughed maniacally and said "PROVE IT!"

Which I eventually did:

on the swift

on the spindle

Now, these are just singles. I have yet to ply a damn thing. It took a while for me to get the courage up to even take it off the spindle & put it on the swift and even longer after that to wind it off the swift.

Aren't the colors pretty? I bought the first braid at Kid n Ewe from Lone Start Arts and then, when I realized how much I truly loved it, I bought another braid from her store in the same colorway.

I am soooooooo sunk.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sekrit Santa Stuff

Holy crap, I haven't updated this thing for a while.

And now I am doing it in a totally selfserving way - because I'm in a Sekrit Santa Swap and it is not fair, really - I'm not doing this for me! - to not post my favorite colors and all the cack that I am greedy for this year....

So, without further ado:

  • Color - good. Love jewel tones. And for some reason, I have been enamoured of misty greys lately.
  • Fiber - good. I just learned how to spin, so some pretty BFL roving would be welcome. Because, you know, the llama ball and the other roving currently on its way to me will *not* last a lifetime.
  • Fiber - good. Mmmmmmmmmmmalabriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigo is always a good choice. Or really, damn near any yarn. Except...see the next one...
  • Fiber - bad: Sock yarn. Me and socks are not getting along so well. And the sock yarn in my stash is getting restless. Let's not add more & increase the pressure....
  • Books - good. My Wish List
  • Chocolate - good. Dark chocolate - best. Chocolate w/coconut, not so much...
  • Xmas cack - good. I am a sucker for Xmas...stuff. Shaddup.
There, I hope that helps you, Sweet Sekrit Santa!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Mystery Project & Pattern Rant

No, really.

OK, so I spent all day July 4 sitting on the couch, watching Law & Order re-runs and making...the mystery thingy(ies?) that I can't talk about. Literally ALL.DAY. I've got a bit of a cold & planted myself there, took over the remote and glared at the menfolk till they left for the movies. Have I mentioned how much I love DVR & pausing television? I never ran out of episodes. All. Day. Long. Even managed to see a few I've never seen before - yay!

I ended up using nearly 4 balls of Knit Picks Merino Style from my stash. Which I wasn't sure I'd ever find a project for. Yay. Granted, nearly half of it was in swatching & experimentation, STILL! I managed to spend an entire day knitting and have something cool in the end. Except I can't talk about it because I was making {thatwhichcannotbenamed} for my swap partner. Once
{thatwhichcannotbenamed} is in her hands, I will post pix and a pattern.

What happened to the other projects, you ask?


Still not motivated to knit on the F&F scarf. I really do need to ramp that up. The Ballet Camisole is coming along ...OK, I suppose. I found that I goofed the pattern - knit an extra row in between increase rows (and the decrease rows as well). I would very much like to blame that on the pattern. But, I suppose I can only blame me.


Look, I'm not stupid and I can read. So, yes, I should have understood

Increase as set on every foll 6th round 6 times more

to mean "Knit the increase round, then knit straight for 5 rounds, then repeat 6 times". But why in hell can't the damned pattern say so??? Seriously, is it that fucking hard? But I just saw the number 6 twice, so when I jotted into my notebook that I carry with my knitting, this is what I wrote:

* k2, m1, k to 2 sts before marker, m1, k4, m1, k to last 2 sts, m1, k2
k 6 rounds
* repeat 1
k 6 rounds
* repeat 2
k 6 rounds
* repeat 3
k 6 rounds
* repeat 4
k 6 rounds
* repeat 5
k 6 rounds
* repeat 6

So, I have an extra fucking row going, don't I? Which - thankfully - doesn't seem to be a problem, because I am kinda long waisted BUT it has totally fucked with my head and it freaking pisses me off. Because now I don't know Why bother writing a pattern if you aren't going to write it clearly. As in, "clearly enough so that even newbie idiots like me can't goof it up."

/end rant

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Slogging along & Dallas SNB & an FO

I haven't been updating much as, well, there ain't much to tell. I've got 3 "big" projects going and there's not much more to say about them till they are done.

What I'm really happy about is that I found a SNB that I don't have to trek to N. Dallas to get to - yay! Stitch n Bitch Dallas meets on the 2nd & 4th Sunday and I went this past weekend and really enjoyed it - the ladies were nice, lots of interesting projects and just all around loverly afternoon. I got so much progress made on my tank, I had to stop & do something else because I (stupidly) didn't have my pattern and I wasn't sure what was next!

But I do have a few pics of the updates:

Pinwheel Sweater:

Yay - I figured out the loopy bindoff and am now on the sleeves. Actually, I think this is technically in hibernation, as I don't think I've worked on it for at least 2 weeks. I'm Magic Looping the sleeves and it feels awkward - I don't know why. It's like there are too many sts (60 altogether, I think) or the points are too long or the moon isn't properly aligned, I dunno. I tried putting it on a shorter cable, but then there aren't enough sts, so whatever. I will probably get back to it this fall, when it makes more sense to have a lap full of wool...

Feather & Fan Scarf:
I finally made it past the middle! Yay! I think I'm about 20 rows into the 2nd ball of yarn. Woo hoo!

I try, really I do, to work on this when I know I will have at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted knitting time - because that's how long it takes me to do a pattern repeat.

I tried making progress on this at the SNB last Sunday, but by the time I started working on it, I think my hands were just done and I kept fumbling the YO's. Still, it's on the downhill side now and I can see that it might just possibly be finished come fall...

Ballet Camisole

I love this! I've been working on it almost exclusively (sorry, F&F!) and, given my aversion to all things cotton yarn related, I am thrilled with how it's turning out! I'm a bit further along now than this picture shows - I'm about to begin the bust shaping increases and before I do that, I want to play around with another swatch so I can figure out just how to increase without getting a damn hole. The loverly Sybermom's Yarn Hores have made suggestions on where to stick it, lol, and I'll be giving that a try later today (I'm blogging from work - woo hoo!)

I added about 6 rows to the waist, as I want this thing to *really* go past my waistband & I tend to be long-waisted. I've put it on a 60" cable now (gotta love those Options needles!) and have tried it on and it.fits.perfectly! I'm beyond thrilled - this is the first fitted garment I've tried and so far, IT FITS! I'm not overly thrilled with my left-leaning decreases, but what the hell - IT FITS! (to my waist anyway - the really tricky fit part is coming up, I know.) I am putting in lifelines now, so that if the increases go wonky, I will be able to rip back without *too* much pain.

Finally, a FO - the Kitty Pi bed. I don't have a post-felt picture yet. Actually, I think I need to felt it some more as it's gotten rather floppy.

See those cute little buggers? As far as I can tell, they haven't actually slept in the bed. They have pounced on it and fought over it, but sleeping? Not so much. Sigh.

I really like the way this turned out - I used odds & ends from my stash & worked with two different colors held together; when I ran out of one color, I just added another. Unfelted, well, it looks rather fugly, but all felted up, it turned out pretty nice! Once I re-wash & block it, I'll get some pics up.