Posted in Cooking, Current Projects

Starlight, SG Shawl, New Project, and The Best Thing Ever

This week has flown by. At first it seemed like one of those weeks that was totally dragging, then yesterday it felt like Friday (disappointingly it wasn’t), and now it’s Thursday and I’m wondering where the week went! Every day this week I intended to blog, but something always got in the way and I’m already getting that “I have so much to update on” feeling that makes me not want to blog. Anyhow, I have some progress to show you on two projects, a new one I started, and the most awesome thing ever that arrived in the mail yesterday.

This past weekend I spent as much time as I could working on the Secret Garden Shawl. It paid off because I’m now done with clue 4 and two rows into clue 5. I’m using a 29″ circular for this and now that I’ve increased to 760-some stitches, they’re kind of crowded on there. I don’t have a bigger circular, nor do I want to get one. It’s working well enough, it ‘s just a lot of work to move the stitches around because there’s so many now.

Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 4
Close up of just the portion that is clue 4.

Secret Garden Shawl
The whole shawl.

The shawl has been put aside for now, though. After I did a few rows of clue 5, I set it aside to work on Starlight. This past weekend I got to the point where I was a few rows away from binding off the left front, but I set it aside (can’t remember why). Tuesday I picked it up again and finished the last few rows and now the left front is done.

Starlight: Left Front
Left Front, done!

After that was finished, I cast on for the right front. Figured I’d better get it going right away so I don’t lose momentum! As of last night, I only have a few more cables to do before starting on the 1×1 ribbing.

Starlight: Right Front
Right Front

Starlight: Almost a Sweater
All the pieces together.

Being able to see so much progress has helped to keep me motivated. If I keep working at the pace I have been these last few days, I think this will be done before September is over!

The new project I started this weekend is a pair of iPhone Mitts with last month’s Vesper sock club shipment “Summer Breeze (Makes Me Feel Fine).” Pretty simple pattern and thanks to the bright, fun, stripey colors of the yarn, I don’t really mind all that 2×2 ribbing.

iPhone Mitts
iPhone Mitts

And now… drumroll please… the most awesome thing ever arrived at my house yesterday and it is…

238/365: My Whirley Pop & I

A Whirley Pop!!

Well, I think it’s awesome and if you love popcorn, you will, too! I’ve been having the worst craving ever for popcorn for a long time now. Matt has forbidden microwave popcorn in the house and I can’t really say I blame him. It’s okay, but definitely not my favorite thing. Movie theater popcorn, though, is on my list of “Best Foods Ever” and when he told me about how Dognose on Shack News is always talking about how awesome popcorn is from a Whirley Pop and that it’s the only kind of popcorn he would agree to eating, I had to get one. Dognose was kind enough to put up a Popcorn FAQ. I ordered everything he listed and in 2 days (yesterday) it was on my doorstep.

Whirley Pop, the Whole Thing
Two samples of popcorn, buttery topping, popcorn salt,
Flavacol Brand theater popcorn salt, popping oil, and the Whirley Pop.

After dinner settled, I had to try it out. I followed the instructions in the booklet and started by seasoning the pan. After it cooled and the burner on our electric stove was heated, I put in the oil and popcorn and got to work.

Cooking Popcorn
“Here we go!”

Is it popping yet?
“How’s it looking in there?”

LOOK! The first kernel popped!
“LOOK! The first one popped!”

It’s popping!

(Okay, I give up, I can’t get the video to center!)

Delicious Popcorn
Popcorn is done and all the delicious toppings are on it.

And our thoughts on it?

Om nom nom nom!
OM NOM NOM NOM!!

It’s just like the stuff you get at the movie theater! Really good stuff. I can’t wait to make more! 🙂

PS You can see more pictures of the Whirly Pop over in the Flickr set.

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Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Sewing

Button-Up Neck Warmer and Liesl FO’s and a New Sweater

It’s time for “FO Fiday!” I have two finished objects to share this week. This week has been rather hectic and I planned to show one of these earlier in the week and the other one yesterday/today, but sometimes time just gets away from me. Anyhow, on with the FO’s!

Pattern: Button-Up Neck Warmer from Spring 2009 Spin-Off (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: July 29, 2009
Completed: August 16, 2009
Yarn: My second skein of handspun, from Zarzuela’s Fibers in Emerald City (I used about 105 of my 210 yards)
Needles: US 8 bamboo circular
Notes: This was a pretty fast and easy knit. Well, it was fast when I actually worked on it! I had about half of it done already when I picked it back up on August 16th and was able to finish it that day. This is soft and squishy and it will definitely keep me warm this winter! I absolutely love it and can’t wait to work with more of my handspun in the future.

Button-Up Neck Warmer Unbuttoned
Un-buttoned

Button-Up Neck Warmer Buttoned
Buttoned

230/365: Button-Up Neck Warmer
Me, wearing it! 🙂

Pattern: Liesl by Ysolda Teague (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: August 6, 2009
Completed: August 15, 2009
Yarn: Just over 3 skeins of Louet Worsted in Eggplant
Needles: US 10.5 bamboo circulars
Notes: This was a pretty fast and easy knit. The one thing I changed was garter stitch borders. I added 4 rows of garter stitch to the collar, the bottom of the sweater, and the sleeves. Since the button band was in garter stitch, I wanted to keep that element throughout the sweater edges and I’m glad I decided to do that. I did the lower neckline, though I initially started with the higher one. I’m glad I ended up ripping back and changing that. I also started with the 44″ size, but it just seemed like it was going to end up too small and after reading pattern notes in Ravelry, I went up to the 46″ size. I’m really glad I did! I really don’t think it would have fit otherwise. Overall, I’m really pleased with how it turned out and I already have plans to make a second one! 🙂

232/365: Liesl
It’s done! It fits! I love it!

Liesl Sweater - Back
Back

Liesl Sweater - Left Side
Left Side

Liesl Sweater - Right Side
Right Side

On Tuesday, I did a swatch for the Vine Yoke cardigan because it was still calling me. I thought “Oh, I’ll just do a swatch.” If you’re anything like me, you know how that goes. First it’s just the swatch, then it’s “Oh, I’ll just knit an inch or two, then put it aside.” The next thing you know, you can’t stop and don’t want to put it down! Wednesday I cast on for this sweater and brought it to the Reds baseball game with me. By the time I got home, I had knit 5 or so inches on it! I’ve been working on it almost non-stop since. The yarn feels fantastic when knitting with it and even softer after it’s washed. I think this is another sweater that’s going to get quite a bit of wear!

Vine Yoke Cardigan
Vine Yoke Cardigan progress.

So far there’s been two things I’ve changed: the button holes and how many of them I have. The pattern says to work the button holes 9 times on the button band row. That would have left me with 2 to 3 inches just sort of “hanging” at the bottom. I decided to add an additional button hole and it think that works out well. The way the button holes were supposed to be worked confused me to no end, so I changed it to bind off 3 stitches (sl 1, sl 1, psso, sl 1, psso, sl 1, psso), backwards loop cast on 4 stitches, knit 1, psso (the stitch passed over is the last backwards loop cast on stitch) then continued to the next button hole. This worked out to about the same results as what the pattern said to do without all the turning and fussing and confusion.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really glad it’s Friday. Anything fun going on for you this weekend? I’m ready for a weekend of not doing a whole lot since we have no plans for this weekend at all and for once I’m keeping it that way! Tonight we’re going to dinner with Matt’s family for his brother’s birthday. Should be fun! I think this weekend will be spent relaxing, knitting, maybe a little bit of housework, probably playing more Viva Pinata on the Xbox 360 (for me, Matt will probably spend time playing one Infamous on PS3), and some quality time with our new surround sound system that was set up earlier this week. Have a good weekend, everyone! 🙂

Posted in Current Projects

Blocking, Buttons, Stripes, and Sweaters

Look at what’s blocking!

Blocking!
Button-Up Neck Warmer and Liesl, blocking.

I hadn’t planned on blocking either of these yesterday, but I got home before Matt and had some time to myself, so I washed and blocked the Button-Up Neck Warmer and Liesl. I also got some great buttons yesterday at Banasch’s. I think I might be slightly obsessed with wooden buttons. I can’t help it! They call to me and I want to put them on every project I make lately.

Buttons
Pretty wooden buttons.

I’ll leave you guessing which buttons are going to which projects for now. You’ll see soon enough! 🙂

I was feeling rather bored with most of my knitting projects last night, so I brought out my Open Flame sock, pulled out the cast off, ripped back the ribbing, cut out the extra stripes so I could line it up with the current strip of the skein, and started knitting the leg longer. I thought that I’d like the shorter leg, but I just didn’t. I tried to convince myself it was fine and even started the second sock. I knew, deep down, that I wouldn’t be happy with it, though. It got set aside because of that until yesterday. I absolutely LOVE Vesper yarn and the stripes. Probably my favorite sock yarn for plain socks. I want to do something different at some point, but I just love watching the stripes take shape as I knit around and around and around and… 🙂

Open Flame Sock 1
Back on the needles, Open Flame stockinette sock.

I have to admit that some of the pictures I take and post here aren’t from my regular point and shoot camera. Many of them, like the one above, have come from my iPhone 3Gs. It actually has a great camera and I’ve taken some good pictures with it. This one is probably my favorite. So crisp and clear as if I’d taken it with my camera using the macro setting. I love having a camera with me at any given time and it’s great that this one takes such good pictures! Anyhow… I just wanted to share that since I’ve been rather impressed by it.

Have you seen the new issue of Twist Collective that came out yesterday? There’s a lot of great patterns in there as always, but the one that has captured my attention is the Vine Yoke Cardigan by Ysolda Teague. It’s knit side to side, in one piece, and comes in a wide range of sizes. I haven’t knit a sweater in this manner before, but something I have wanted to try. I just haven’t seen any patterns knit this way that have called to me like this one is! I had to restrain myself from winding yarn and starting it yesterday. I plan on using Brooks Farm Mas-Acero (55% wool, 30% Silk, 15% viscose) that I have in my stash. I was thinking of doing the February Lady Sweater with it, but my interest in knitting that has dwindled. Eventually I’m sure I will, just not right now.

In my stash, I have enough yarn to make at least 4 sweaters: Climbing Vines Pullover, another Liesl, Little Birds Cardigan, and Vine Yoke cardigan. Did you know those last three are all by Ysolda Teague? Totally not intentional, just so happens I seem to love most of the patterns she’s done! This year seems to be all about sweaters for me. I suppose after almost 2 years of being obsessed with socks, I’m not totally surprised that I’d move to something else at some point. Not to say that I’ll stop knitting socks (really, I doubt that will EVER happen!), but right now I’m all about knitting sweaters and I’m pretty inclined to give into that feeling. 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of thing to knit? What patterns are calling to you this time of year? I’d love to know!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Life

How to: PVC Niddy Noddy, Grill, and Project Updates

This weekend I made myself a niddy noddy for under $2! I’ve been needing one for a while now, but I didn’t really want to spend a whole lot of money on one right now. I looked up some instructions on what I’d need to make a PVC one. It seemed simple enough, so when we were at Lowe’s this weekend, I picked up what I needed to make one. Directions said to get a 4 to 5 foot 1/2″ PVC pipe, but they were out in the 5 foot size and I didn’t want over 6 feet of pipe that I didn’t need, so I got a 5 foot 3/4″ pipe instead. There was a pipe cutting station, so I went over and waited for someone to cut my PVC pipe. The guy came over and said “This is only for metal pipes *grumble grumble*” and took my pipe. I was confused and ready to take it back and find whatever tool I needed to cut it, but he went and got some tool and cut it for me anyhow. I had him cut one 18″ piece and four 6″ pieces, which left an additional 19″ piece I have no idea what I’ll do with. After that I found two “T” pieces that fit the pipe. The pipe was $1.23 and the “T” pieces were $0.33 each for a total of $1.89 to make the niddy noddy!

PVC
Niddy noddy pieces, pre-assembly.

I got home and pieced it all together, which hardly took any time at all. There’s no need to glue anything in place since you want it to be able to twist. It’s easy to assemble or disassemble for storage. I still need to sandpaper the ends, but I need to find some sandpaper first (we probably have some, I just haven’t looked). Pretty easy project and cheap, too!

226/365: Niddy Noddy
Niddy noddy, assembled.

We really went to Lowe’s to look at and possibly buy a grill. We did manage to find one we liked in our price range. We got it home, but weren’t able to put it together right away because we had a birthday party to go to. After that, Matt’s brother came over and they put the grill together. The instructions said it would take 50 minutes, but it took 3 hours. I don’t know how anyone could have put the thing together in 50 minutes!

227/365: New Grill
Matt and his brother putting the grill together.

By the time it was put together, it was dark out and we found that we didn’t have a metal spatula to use the grill with! Instead of making the burgers on the grill, we ended up making them in the kitchen. The next morning, though, we made breakfast on the grill: turkey bacon, eggs (in a skillet on the side burner), and toast. It was pretty good! For lunch/early dinner, we invited Karen and Than over and made salmon, thyme marinated asparagus, and wild rice. I think it turned out pretty good!

228/365: Grilling!
Matt making lunch.

Saturday, while at the birthday party, I finished Liesl. I don’t have pictures yet. I still need to get some buttons and block it. I love how it turned out, though! I’m already itching to make another one. 🙂

I was all jazzed that I finished something and pulled out my Button Up Neck Warmer hoping I could finish that, too. Sunday, I did! I need to wash and block it and add buttons, but I love how it turned out. It’s going to be nice and warm this winter!

Button Up Neck Warmer
Button-Up Neck Warmer, finished!

Looks like I’ll have two FO’s to show you a little later this week! 🙂

Since I finished Liesl, I’ve brought Starlight back out. I have 2 months before Rhinebeck and my goal is to get this done by then! Think I can do it? I’m nearly to the arm shaping of the first front piece, then I have to knit the other front piece and the sleeves.

Starlight
Starlight

Still working on the 4th clue for the Secret Garden shawl. I have 2 more repeats before I move on to clue 5 (final clue), which will make the shawl jump from about 400 stitches now to almost 800! If I think that each row takes a while now, I’m a little scared to see how long THOSE rows will take!

Another week and almost through August. I can hardly believe it. This year has really flown by, but it’s been a good one. This week will probably be slightly busy. Tonight my sister is coming over to hang out and Wednesday night Matt and I are going to a Reds baseball game (which means no knit night this week). I think Friday we’re having dinner with Matt’s family. This weekend, as far as I can remember, we don’t have anything going on. Just house stuff. We’ll be moving things around since we’re getting a surround sound system and we’ll probably do some housewarming/birthday party planning since we’ve finally decided on a date for that! I can’t believe we haven’t done it and that the date we picked is kind of far from now, but I think it will be a lot of fun since we’re also planning to combine our October birthdays with it. Time files when you’re having fun! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects

Hey Teach FO and Upcoming Projects

It’s “FO Friday!” Well today it is. 🙂 I finally have some pictures to share of Hey Teach!

Hey Teach - Complete
“Yay! It’s done! It fits!”

Pattern: Hey Teach (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 29, 2009
Completed: July 31, 2009
Yarn: Just over 4 skeins of Cascade Sierra (80% cotton/20% wool)
Needles: US 6 bamboo circ
Notes: I knit this twice. First time it was way too big. Second time it came out just the right size. I get some gaping in between the buttons, so I think I’ll sew on some snaps to keep it closed. I thought about ripping out the button band and adding more buttons, but I don’t think I’d like the way it looks with additional buttons. The fit is great and I’m really pleased with the overall results!

Hey Teach - Back
Back

Hey Teach - Front
Closer look at the front

I finished thins about 2 weeks ago now. The button band was kind of wonky, though, so I wanted to re-block it before I took pictures. I’m glad I did! Looks much better now and I was able to add a little more length to it by re-blocking.

I have to give thanks to Matt, who’s been my knitting photographer whenever I finish things (especially sweaters). He’s a sweetie and I’m glad he’s patient enough to take as many pictures as I ask him to. 🙂

225/365: My Photographer
Thanks, Matt!

This week new yarn and beads arrived. I don’t have pictures of all of it yet, but I wanted to share the yarn and beads for the next two shawls I’ll be working on.

Marine Heather & Teal Beads
Knit Picks Palette in Marine Heather with teal beads
for the Shipwreck Shawl

Huckleberry Heather & Purple Beads
Knit Picks Palette in Huckleberry Heather with purple beads
for the Aeolian Shawl

I realized today that it’s been over a month since I last finished a pair of socks! I’ve been distracted with spinning, shawls, and sweaters lately. I’m sure I’ll get back to socks soon enough, but I’ve really been enjoying all the other things I’ve been working on. I finished the body on Liesl last night so there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be showing off another FO soon! Have a good weekend everyone! 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Zypher Needles, All Spun Up SAL, & Knitting while Reading

Have you seen the new Zypher Acrylic needles from Knit Picks? Recently a few in my knitting group got together and did a big Knit Picks order (yay free shipping!) and Karen got a set of US 4 tips since she already has the nickel-plated interchangeable set and we were both interested in trying them out. I’d heard a lot of good things before trying them. Last night I got to try them and I have to say that I’m not a fan at all. The best way that I can describe them is that they feel squeaky in my hands and sticky. I was knitting with Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn and while it felt quite soft in the skein and knitted up, it felt awful to knit with on the Zypher needles. The yarn actually felt like Red Heart while knitting it on these needles (not that there’s anything wrong with Red Heart and I use it myself, but if the yarn isn’t Red Heart and is a soft wool sock yarn, it shouldn’t feel like that while knitting). I was rather disappointed by them. In fact, there were a lot of us at knit night that tried them and everyone was saying the same thing: they’re sticky, they squeek, and this lovely soft wool feels like Red Heart when you knit with these needles. After having a chance to knit with them, I don’t think I’ll be buying a set for myself. I still want a set of the nickel-plated interchangeable, though!

Earlier this week, I received my All Spun Up Spin-a-long fiber for August and September. It’s 50% merino/25%silk/25%bamboo and feels really soft. I can’t wait to start spinning it! When you order, you don’t know the color, so I knew I was taking my chances when I ordered 8 oz worth. I’ve received some beautiful rovings from her Etsy shop, so I felt pretty sure that whatever the colors ended up being, I’d probably like them. I surely wasn’t disapointed. Not normally colors I’d pick first for myself, but very pretty.

223/365: Spinning Along
All Spun Up SAL Fiber, close up

Merino/Silk/Bamboo
I think the color is closer to the previous picture, but here’s both 4 oz rovings.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I do something that some knitters might think is crazy: I knit and read at the same time. I haven’t really admitted this publicly because I’ve heard knitters who also like to read say that they’d never do both at the same time. If I have a simple project, I’m able to prop the book open and read while knitting. Right now I’m reading My Life in France by Julia Child.

224/365: Knitting and Reading
I admit it: I read AND knit… yes, at the same time!

I’m not very familiar with Julia Child, but I’ve been meaning to get to know her for some time. When I was at Costco last weekend, I saw this book there and decided there’s no time like now! I’ve been reading this book and knitting Liesl at lunch this week.

Speaking of Liesl, I don’t have an updated picture, but it’s nearly done! I probably have another inch or to until I’m at the bottom, then I’ll knit the sleeves. I haven’t really decided on the length of the sleeves. I was thinking short sleeves, but I’m leaning toward 3/4 length now. It all depends on how much yarn I have. I think I should have enough for 3/4 sleeves since I haven’t even started on the 4th skein yet and it’s unlikely I’ll need to before I finish the body. Liesl has been the only project I’ve done much work on this week. I’m just really enjoying knitting it and even have plans to make a second one after this!

I still need to work on the Secret Garden Shawl. The final clue comes out tomorrow and I’m still working on clue #4! Ah well, I’ll get to it eventually, right? 😉

Posted in Current Projects

Buried in WIPs, Liesl, and Ishbel Shawl

Ever get the feeling like you’re buried in WIPs?

222/365: Buried in WIPs
Buried in my WIPs

I had that feeling this weekend when I realized all the projects I have on the needles right now. Currently I have (in no particular order):

– Starlight sweater
– Liesl sweater
– Socks
– Toe-up stripey socks
– Nanner socks
– Button-Up Neck Warmer
– Ishbel shawl
– Secret Garden shawl
– Malabrigo scarf

That’s NINE projects in the works! 3 pairs of socks, 2 sweaters, 2 shawls, a neck warmer and a scarf. The Malabrigo scarf is a long term project. It’s a garter stitch scarf that I work on whenever I feel like it. Just something to work on when I just want to knit without thinking. The Nanner socks are likely to get frogged as I’ve lost all desire to finish them, but I’m letting them hang around to see if the desire to knit them comes back. The rest, I’m pretty actively working on. After realizing how many projects I had going on I’m feeling a bit like I’ve got too much, so I’ve moved a few things into “hibernating” status until other things get finished.

Starlight, stripey socks, Nanner socks, and the Malabrigo scarf are all hibernating until I get it’s equal done. Liesl gets finished and I’ll start back on Starlight. Socks get finished and I’ll go back to stripey socks or Nanner socks. Button-Up Neck Warmer gets finished and Malabrigo scarf gets worked on. There are very few times that I felt like I had a lot of things on the needles and needed a plan to get it back under control. I think that I’d like to keep my amount of projects down to three. A number that wouldn’t bother me, make me feel like I have too much going on, and enough variety to always have something I want to work on. That’s just me, though. Everyone is different and you might be someone who likes to work on one thing at a time or 10 things at a time. As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing, that’s the most important thing! 🙂

Even though I had 7 projects on the needles, I started 2 new ones last week. I mentioned in my last post that I started Liesl and it’s moving right along. I’m probably about halfway done with the body and have already split off the sleeves. This has turned out to be a pretty quick knit after a rocky start that involved a lot of frogging. I didn’t like the neckline the way I initially worked it, so I ripped it out and did the lower neckline (did the high neckline when I first started) and I like it a lot better.

Liesl - Arms Split
Liesl Progress

The other project I started last week was Ishbel. I started this on Friday. I think I might have been in a “I’m bored with these projects, I need something new!” mood last week. This is a pretty easy knit so far. Great for watching TV or knitting in the car (or while going through Costco while your significant other pushes the cart). I’m really loving the yarn!

Ishbel
Ishbel Shawl in The Yarn Bearer’s Uber Sock “Blood & Gore” colorway (Sock Club shipment)

Karen decided to do this shawl, too, since she recently ripped out a sock and wanted something else to do with it besides another sock. She was having a little trouble getting started and I was having a difficult time trying to explain it in words, so I did up a little diagram in MS Paint to help her out. I remember the first time I did a shawl in this manner, it took me a few hours to figure it out back when I really didn’t know any knitters yet. Some things are just difficult to visualize! I thought this might help others, so I’ll share it here. (Please excuse my not-so-great MS Paint skills.)

The shawl starts out by casting on 3 stitches, knitting a few rows in garter stitch, then picking up stitches along the side edge and cast on edge. I’ve seen a number of shawls start this way. Can you visualize how that should look? I sure couldn’t the first time I tried and I kept thinking I was going something wrong. Here’s what you’ll be doing, in graphics:

Ishbel - Casting on
This is what it will look like when you’re ready to pick up the stitches on the side edge and cast on edge.

Hopefully that helps if you ever need to start a project in this manner. 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Designing, Neck Warmer, Spinning, and New Projects

Not long ago, I came across the Knitting Purls/Knit-a-While Cuff-Down Smack-Down. Right away I knew I wanted to design something. Didn’t take long for me to start having some ideas. I wound up some yarn and kept it near my desk as a reminder. I let the ideas simmer in the background until yesterday when I finally charted up the pattern I had in my head.

216/365: Designing
Lorna’s Laces in Old Rose

Tuesday I cast on and knit the cuff of the sock and Wednesday I began the pattern. I’ve done a little over one chart repeat so far and I like how it’s turning out!

My Sock Design

What do you think of it? I’m already trying to think up names. Plenty of time to decide on that, though.

I’ve been working on my Button Up neck warmer, too. It’s moving right along and it’s been growing pretty quickly when I actually work on it.

Neck Warmer
Guessing that I’m about 1/3 of the way done.

After a few days of not spinning, I started the second bobbin of the Scarlet Macaw fiber last night.

Spin Spin Spin

Didn’t do a whole lot, but that’s because something new was calling me. I decided I wanted to knit Liesl and I had 4 skeins of Louet Gems worsted in my stash without a project in mind. I love the color of the Louet Gems and I’ve been wanting to make this sweater for a while, so yesterday it was all I could think about after I’d decided I wanted to make it. I knit a swatch and while it was blocking, I went ahead and cast on.

Liesl
Louet Gems worsted in Eggplant (the color is fairly accurate in the photo)

Might have been a dangerous thing to do, but this morning I found that my swatch was dry and the gauge was perfect. I’m using US 10.5 needles, so it’s going pretty quickly. Few more rows and I’m already to the sleeves!

Yesterday I received the August shipment from The Yarn Bearer’s Sock Club. This is the Nightmares Club and this month’s theme was Blood & Gore. It’s semi-solid red and I love it! Another project I’ve been looking at is the Ishbel shawl, so immediately I thought this would be perfect for it. I have 500 yards to work with, which should give me a decent sized shawl.

218/365: Sock Yarn, Yarn Bearer (August)
The Yarn Bearer’s Uber Sock, Blood & Gore

As if I didn’t have enough projects going on or ones that I’m planning, I’ve also ordered yarn for the Little Birds cardigan, the Shipwreck shawl, and the Aeolian shawl! I also have beads coming for the two shawls. What about socks? Ummm… but I am knitting socks! See the ones above? I’m still knitting socks. I don’t think that will ever change, but I knit other stuff sometimes, too 😉

The weekend is nearly upon us! It’s been a busy week. Tomorrow I’m going to head down to MainStrasse in the afternoon for the World’s Longest Yardsale with some knitter friends. I’ll probably be looking for shelving or other furniture for our house. Should be fun! It will probably be hot, too, since it’s supposed to get up to 90 degrees tomorrow, which hasn’t happened since JUNE! It’s been a fairly cool and rainy summer this year. Any fun plans this weekend?

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Busy (Fun) Weekend, FO, Spinning, & Lace

I feel like I have a lot to share today. Yesterday, for some reason, I didn’t feel like I did. I think part of it was that I don’t have good pictures of something I recently finished (I’ll get to that), so I was going to wait to blog until I had a decent picture. If I do that, though, I know what will happen. I’ll wait and wait, then have so much I want to update on that the post will be insanely long and I’ll put it off. Life isn’t perfect, pictures aren’t perfect, so on we go! 🙂

Last week, my TLE Anniversary Kit arrived. I don’t know if I’ll use the pattern with this yarn, but I do like both. The colors of the yarn are even better in person then they were on the website. Sometimes, pictures just don’t do something justice! The kit came with 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces, a TLE mug, sock pattern, and tape measure.

TLE's Anniversary Kit
TLE Anniversary Kit

This weekend felt a little busy, but not in the “running around everywhere” busy way that it had been feeling. It was busy in a “let’s get all this stuff done around the house and have people over” way. On Saturday, we got up fairly early and Matt mowed the lawn.

213/365: Mowing
Matt mowing the lawn.

I was the “helper” that got to sit and knit until he needed me to clear some branches that he didn’t want to mow over and sweep the grass off the sidewalk and driveway. It worked out well and didn’t seem to take too long to do. After that we spent some time setting up the rest of the game systems, unpacking boxes, and moving some stuff to the basement. Saturday evening we went to dinner with my family for my dad’s birthday (his birthday was Friday). We went to a Mexican restaurant and it was yummy. I swear I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life and be fine with it! Sunday we were up fairly early again and finished unpacking and moving stuff around. We set up the shelf in the kitchen Saturday night, so I finally filled that with the rest of our kitchen stuff that doesn’t fit in the cabinets. Very glad that’s done with! I think seeing all the boxes around was getting me down a bit. It’s so nice to not see these piles of boxes everywhere anymore.

Sunday afternoon, we had invited a bunch of people over for a potluck/game thing. Karen, Than, Sarah S., Jessy, Brian, and Alita were able to make it and Lisa stopped by briefly and got the grand tour of the house. We ate good food and played Trivial Pursuit and Rock Band. I forgot to take pictures while everyone was there, though! I didn’t think about it until later, after Jessy, Brian and Sarah S. had left. I did get a picture of Karen, Than, Alita and Matt playing Rock Band, though! We’ll definitely need to do something like this again. It was a lot of fun!

214/365:Get Together!
Left to right: Karen on vocals, Matt on drums, Alita on bass, and Than on guitar

On to my most exciting knitting news… Friday, I finished Hey Teach! I took a picture with my iPhone, but since it was kind of dark, it didn’t come out too great. It’s done, it’s done, it’s DONE!! Once I get some better pictures I’ll do a full FO report with commentary. The good news is that it fits me and I really like it. 🙂

212/365: Hey Teach, DONE!!
Proof Hey Teach is DONE.

Last night I finished up the first bobbin of the Scarlet Macaw I’m spinning up. I probably have over half of it left to go, but I really like how it’s turning out.

One Bobbin Done!
One bobbin done!

I also finished up one repeat of the lace chart of Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl.

One Chart Rep of Clue #4
Secret Garden Shawl

The next and final clue doesn’t come out until next Friday (August 14th), so I have some time to finish it up. Since this will be done soon, I’m already thinking about what lace I’ll knit next. Thanks to Karen, I’ve been reminded of two shawl patterns I want to do: Shipwreck and Aeolian. Since I was already planning on ordering new yarn for the Little Birds Cardigan from Knit Picks (going to use Palette), I decided that I want to use Palette for both of these. I love all the colors Palette now comes in! I don’t think I would have thought to use it initially, but then I saw a few people had used it for Shipwreck. When I looked at the colors, I just knew the color I wanted to do it in: Marine Heather. I’ve picked out beads for both from Fire Mountain Gems. I love having knitter friends so that we can do combined orders for things like this and get discounts! 🙂

Today, it’s rainy out. It makes me wish I could just stay home and knit! Hope your week is off to a good start. I’m still trying to remember that it’s August now! (Can you even believe it??)