Posted in Current Projects

What I’m working on…

I feel like I haven’t been knitting a whole lot, but when I stopped to look at the projects I’ve been working on most, I’m surprised to see how far along I am. Yesterday I started The Bag from No Sheep For You. CraftyMands gave me 4 skeins of Hempathy for my birthday (which is Tuesday) and I immediately cast this on. I really love the two colors together and think it’s going to turn out great!

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I’ve also been working on Wisp. I’m on repeat 17 already! It’s getting quite long and the pattern says to do 17 repeats, but I’m going to make this into a wrap/scarf instead and use up all the Kid Silk Haze I have. I really like how it’s coming out and at the rate I’m going, I’ll be done in no time.

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I’ve been working on my Noro Cardigan off and on. Today I tried it on and I only have a few more inches before I’m done with the body! I thought I had much further to go, but like Wisp, it’s moving right along.

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Soctoberfest is nearly upon us and I have no socks on the needles right now! I’m thinking I’m going to knit up a pair of socks from my leftover sock yarns. I have enough to make a sock out of each left over bit, so I figure this should work out good if I do the toe, heel, and cuff in a different color. It’s something I haven’t done before, but have been meaning to. No better time than now!

I’m having dinner with my family tonight to celebrate my birthday. I don’t know where we’re going, yet, but I’m sure it will be good. I don’t get to go out with them all together, including Nick and Nathaniel, that often, so that in itself is a perfect birthday gift!

Hope everyone’s having a good weekend :o)

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Posted in Knit Ramblings

All knitting all the time?

I’ve been reading different fourms on Ravel-crack… er, I mean Ravelry about blogs, knit-blogging, and knitting blogs people read and the reasons why they read those particular blogs over others.  A few people have said they like a certain blog because it’s not just knitting content all the time and you get to know the person beyond the knitting.  This made me think about my own knitting blog.  I guess I always figured "all knitting, all the time" was the way to go because I have a personal blog elsewhere that I keep "Friends Only" becaue there are things that I write about that I really wouldn’t want hanging out there for all the world to see.  I’ve heard horror stories about employers finding out about your blog and then getting fired over it, so I suppose I’m just cautious.

If you blog about knitting/crafting, what are your thoughts on the matter?  What about my blog here?  Do you want more than just knitting content?

I appreciate any responses and will take any suggestions into consideration :o)

Posted in Completed Projects

A quick FO report – Foliage

I think I just needed to finish something instead of ripping it out or feeling like I’ll never be done.  Problem solved!

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Pattern: Foliage
Started: Sept. 25, 2007
Completed: Sept. 26, 2007
Yarn: Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Superwash
Needles: US 7 bamboo 16" circular and DPN’s for body of hat, US 4 bamboo 16" circular for ribbing
Notes: This was a pretty quick knit. I think I worked on it a total of 3 hours. If I were to knit this again, I’d go down a needle size as it turned out a little big. I like that for me because I don’t wear many hats and when I do, I don’t want them to mess up my hair, so a little loose is good. Overall I’m happy with how it turned out.

Here’s some more photos…

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Posted in Knit Ramblings

Goodies in the mail!

It’s just a week of frogging here! As I was knitting my Fall Socks today, I was really thinking they were kind of small. I tried them on and sure enough, they are just too tight. I should have kept with the 64 stitches I started with and not gone down to 58. I had already turned the heel and it seems as though I did that just slightly too soon as well. Only one thing could be done – it had to be frogged. Did I mention that this is the 3rd time this yarn has been frogged? Yup. It’s my cursed sock yarn. I’m determined, though, because I LOVE the colors, so I will try again, this time with 64 stitches.

When I got home today, there was a package waiting for me! I was really excited about it. Earlier in the week, P-la said she was going to send me this really nifty organizer for my knitting things as she had an extra one and I had mentioned on my blog that I liked it and had been looking for something similar and not finding anything. I was surprised by the size of the box since I had expected something small, but I eagerly opened it to find this:

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*squeeeee*

She sent me the really cool organizer along with a skein of Twisted Fiber Art, DK/Sport Weigh in the colorway Mayhem. I have really been into oranges lately and I love the oranges, yellows and greyish purpleish colors of it! I love these colors and I’m already thinking of what to make with it. When I opened the organizer, I found a tape measure and some stitch markers.

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I sure was spoiled! I had actually been feeling kinda bad about recent swaps (and not having received anything at all yet) and this really made my day. Thank you so much P-la!!

Here’s my kit all filled up and organized:

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I just love it!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Sometimes you have to let it go

As it turns out, I was living in Knitter’s Denial about the bag I was knitting.  I should have figured it out the first time I made the attempt and it was very floppy, but NO.  I did what a knitter in denial does – I went down a few needle sizes and kept on going with a different plan in mind.  Turns out it is STILL too floppy (shocker, I know).  After living in denial about it for months, I decided to give it up and frogg it last night.  Turns out that while I can knit with alpaca just fine, it’s not suited for next to skin wear for me because it makes me itchy.  That’s why I frogged the mini-sweater I made with it last year.  I thought about a scarf because it’s so soft and lovely, but it would make me itch just like the alpaca/silk blend Irish Hiking Scarf I made, so that was a no-no as well.  Not much I can do with it unless I make something to gift to someone, but no one I know would really want a pink scarf except my sister and I think she’d be itched by it, too, so that wouldn’t work.  This yarn that seemed to be taunting me just has to go.  So, I decided to see if I could swap it for something else and I have already had an offer – yay!  Soon it will be off to a good home of someone who will knit it into something beautiful, I’m sure :o)

This means one thing off my needles!  Surprisingly, this make me feel a lot better.  Sometimes it’s good to get into the "If you don’t love it, frogg it" state of mind.  I don’t want to knit things I don’t really like how it’s turning out and have it end up in the "pile of knitted things I won’t use."  Yes, I do have such a pile…. doesn’t every knitter?  I’m thinking I need a basket for such things because while the actual items turned out great, I don’t find myself using them, but still like to show them off and maybe find someone who WILL use them.

The most exciting news of the week, though, came yesterday!  I got a new washer delivered!!  We ordered it at the end of last month with the funds Nick’s parents gave us to get one.  It took a while to get it in and delivered, but it was delivered yesterday and is working perfectly.  A little back history here: when we moved the movers cracked the tub of my washer.  All of the stuff in the house along with all my stuff that was in storage when we moved here was shipped under Nick’s name.  He never filed a claim for the washer (I couldn’t do it, the move wasn’t in my name), so we ended up not getting any money from the movers, despite the fact it was their fault and it was insured, and had to buy a new one on our own.  Washers aren’t cheap, so it took a while to get one.  I am very excited about not having to go to the laundry mat any longer and also about the fact that I can now felt things again!  I have some various skeins of Patons Classic Wool that I will knit into something to felt.  I’m considering a felted bag of many colors so that it’s all used up.  We’ll see what I decide.

I have been working on my top-down raglan cardigan and I’d say I’m about half way done.  It’s become my "knit at home" project and the socks I’m working on are my "travel with me everywhere" project.

No pictures this post, but I will share some later today or this weekend of all the things I’ve been working on.  Happy Friday!

Posted in Fiber Events

A Wool Gathering

Saturday turned out to be a perfect day for A Wool Gathering.  The day couldn’t have been better. It was sunny and slightly cool and just… beautiful! The drive up was fantastic, even though we got slightly detoured and took the scenic route. I was able to wear my Rogue and received a number of compliments on it, which of course always makes me feel really great. I enjoyed about every single booth there as well as all the animals. I even got to have pumpkin ice cream (we were at a diary farm!), which was very tasty. I found some places that I will be visiting sometime in the near future because they aren’t all that far from me.

There were only a few things that I purchased while I was there. I bought some hand-dyed 100% hemp yarn (600 yards worth for $10), 4 skeins of Jojoland Fingering Weight Wool (880 yards, $12), and a really nice bag made by a Guatemala fair-trade company (for only $25!). I’m happy with my purchases and proud of myself for not going crazy with all the fiber and yarn there. I found some really nice things, but I passed them up because they weren’t things that called to me super strongly. I was able to see some yarns that I hadn’t before and now I know what they are like and feel more confident about buying them online when I find that right colorway. I learned quite a bit about spinning wheels and now have a much better idea of what I’m looking for and what that price range will be. All in all, I had a really good time!

I’ve been thinking about the Jojoland that I purchased.

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Originally I thought this was more of a rose color, but apparently because of the red tent, I wasn’t seeing it correctly. It’s okay, though, because I still really like the purple color it actually is. I had planned on making a pair of the Clessidra socks which require about 880 yards of fingering weight yarn for a pair. This seemed like an awful lot of yarn for a pair of knee socks considering I have smallish feet, but I didn’t want to not have enough and at $3/each, I figured I could get the extra. Now, looking through Ravelry, I’m seeing that most people only used about 660 yards (give or take) for a pair. That would leave me with a whole extra one, which would mean yet another single skein in my stash that I have no clue what to do with. So I’m re-thinking the plan. I really like the color and there’s something I haven’t made yet that I would have enough yarn for: Clapotis.

I realize that I may be the last knitter to make this, but I just hadn’t found the right yarn for the project. I attempted the pattern before, but it was when I was an inexperienced knitter and thought that I can substitute any yarn for any pattern and knew nothing of this thing called gauge or yarn weights. I used Sugar ‘n Cream cotton. It didn’t work out – it was entirely too thick and I didn’t like it that much, so it was frogged. I think this yarn would be a good choice, though, and I have enough yarn for it.

Of course, I’m trying not to start new projects right now. I have one that I will be starting very soon, but aside from that one, I’m trying to clear the WIPs I have. This includes two sweaters, a shawl, a pair of socks (which is a given now), a scarf/shawl (Wisp), another scarf, a bag and a blanket. I think it’s the shawl that’s nagging at me because I started it forever ago. I have been working on the bag, but the cable rows are daunting just like they are on Starlight. I think the bag is my new "priority" because I know that if I actually work in it, it’d be done in no time.

There’s still a zillion things I want to knit right this second, but I’m determined to get some things done before casting on all those "new" projects I’m dying to make. So far, it’s working out pretty good. We shall see how long that last, though!

Posted in Completed Projects

FO – Toe-Up Ankle Socks

The toe-up socks are done!

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Pattern: Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula
Started: Sept. 1, 2007
Completed: Sept. 13, 2007
Yarn: Tricot Treat Merino Superwash
Needles: US 0 Susan Bates metal DPN’s
Notes: I’ve only ever done one toe-up sock and I didn’t like it at all. I stayed away from socks for a while after that. Then, one day, I tried top down socks and I fell in LOVE with them and I decided that it must have been the construction I didn’t like at first. Well, after giving it a second chance, I am all about the toe-up socks! I just keep thinking about how I won’t have 1/4 of the yarn left when I’m done any more (I have small feet). I’m already trying to decide which toe-up pattern I’m going to do next!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Swaps

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but I’m going to be stepping away from swapping after this last swap I’m a part of. While I have had some fun participating in swaps, it’s honestly too much for me to continue to do. I get really stressed over sending something that’s really great and some of the swaps I’ve done have just left me feeling… well, like I put in way more effort than the person I swapped with. At times people have not paid attention to my preferences, sent very late, and not communicated at all. I’m a very understanding person and if you tell me that life got in the way and you’re going to be late, I will totally understand and it will be fine with me. But if you don’t tell me, then I worry and agonize over not knowing what’s going on.

Don’t get me wrong, here. I have had some really great swap partners! Sockapalooza, Sock-ret Pal, Tea Swap, and Lace Swap ring bells here (there are probably more I’m forgetting here – sorry if I am!). Those have been great experiences for me. However, the ones I’m waiting to finish up right now haven’t been the best experience for me on the receiving end. I’ve done my part, sent my package and yet people have not communicated with me letting me know WTF is going on from their end (or even letting me know they’ve received). I am just really bummed by this recent turn of things, when I had been enjoying myself. I don’t think that I could be involved in another swap that turns out like that, which means I don’t want to take a chance that it will. I’m tired of being disappointed and it also drains a lot of my energy which is already limited. I just wanted to "vent" about it because it’s been bugging me lately. I’m sure I will participate in swaps again, but I need a big break from the whole thing first and then I will be a little more selective of the ones I do decide to join.

Aside from that (and to leave this post on a positive note), I have been knitting a lot this week. I’ve turned the heel of sock number two of the ankle socks I’m working on. They will no doubt be done today. The top-down raglan has seen progress and I’ve split off the arms and am working on the body. It’s going a lot faster now that there aren’t a zillion stitches per row! The sister scarf is about half way done and I think I may be able to be done with it by her birthday. There are other things on the needles, of course, but these are the projects that have been sitting by my knitting chair and are getting the most work. I’ll post pictures soon (probably tonight).

I’m looking forward to A Wool Gathering this weekend and most especially to trying out some spinning wheels! I’m sure there will be lots of fibery goodness to report back on :o)

Have a good day everyone!

Posted in Knit Ramblings

I love The Loopy Ewe

The Loopy Ewe is going to make me broke.  Seriously.

Over the weekend, I purchased some Louet Gems fingering weight to make a pair of Eunny’s Endpaper Mitts.  Since I was already ordering, I decided I couldn’t live without Lorna’s Laces in Mt. Creek.  I can get away with buying only one skein of sock yarn because I have small feet and can get a decent sized sock out of that ~ 200 or so yards that come from a 50g skein of sock yarn.  If I order two, I always have way too much left over.  I made my purchase and quickly navigated away from the site (and any other online shops) so I didn’t buy any more.  I’ve been doing okay on the yarn buying and keeping the spending to a minimum, but some days I just want some retail therapy and I cave and get a little something.  I’m sure some of this is because I have a lot of big projects on the needles which is making me feel like I’ll never finish anything any time soon, so I buy yarn and somehow this makes it better.

Anyhow, today was the Sneak Up over at The Loopy Ewe.  I’m thankful that I missed some of it and a lot of stuff is already gone, but now I’m finding MORE things I like!  I want to buy a bunch of stuff now.  I’m being very good, though, since this weekend is A Wool Gathering and I know that if I spend now, I will have nothing to spend this Saturday and I will be very sad if I can’t get the "one thing I can’t live without", should I find such an item.

I should be getting the goodies in the mail any day, though, so I’ll have that little fix before the weekend. 

Hopefully I can get some of these projects off the needles soon.  I have a pair of socks that are almost done, I want to get that scarf done this week (maybe), and the top-down raglan has seen 3 skeins worth of progress this past weekend.  Come on, FOs!

Posted in Sewing

Placemats

A while ago, I bought some fabric to make a set of placemats.  We have a table with a white tablecloth, but it has plastic over it because we have a 14 year old boy who makes a lot of messes.  The downside to having plastic on the table is that your plate sticks to it (I hate that!).  Placemats were something that was needed.  I had every intention of making them right away, but I was rather frazzled at the time of purchase and sat the fabric in my craft room and forgot about it.  My plate has been sticking and bothering me, so I decided that this weekend I will finally get these done.

When I looked into my craft room, I realized that I had to do some cleaning up so that I could actually use my sewing machine.  It had become a pile of knitting projects, yarn and needles all over the sewing table.  I think this was also something that kept me from getting them done.  It wasn’t just ready to use.  I cleaned everything up and put things where they belonged (yay! I can find things now!).  The sewing space was ready to use.  I was even armed with a recent Amazon.com purchase: Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.  I had been seeing this book around the net lately and figured I’d give it a try.  I don’t have any sewing books and this was getting some good reviews, so I got it.  So far I’m really enjoying it! 

Here I am, ready to go:

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I purchased a cheapy placemat from Walmart that was in the shape I wanted to use as a template.  It worked quite well and in about an hour and a half or so, I had these:

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Four pepper placemats!  I’m really happy with how they turned out.  It took a yard of fabric and a yard of this stuff that has a plastic sort of feel to the back and felt on the other side.  The backing stuff gave some padding because of the felt. 

Here’s a close up of the front and one of the back:

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I have some more sewing projects in mind, but have some other crafty things that need to be completed first.  You could be seeing some more Leetle Bags soon, though!  I think I have fabric to make at least 4 right now and I would REALLY love one for my sock-in-progress that I always seem to have now.