Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Plants, A Wool Gathering, and Projects

Last week I wasn't in my office at all. We had a storm come through (remnants of Ike) on Sunday and somewhere in the ballpark of 600,000 people were without power. We lost power at the apartment around 2 pm on Sunday and didn't get it back until Tuesday around 7 pm. There are still about 8,000 people without power in the area, so I'm thankful that we at least have power back, but we don't yet have our own internet back. We lost a whole fridge worth of food because the power was out for so long, but on the upside of that we cleaned the whole thing out and only have food we will actually eat in there now! See? Not all bad ;o)

Anyhow, I wasn't in my actual office for a week because there was no power until late Wednesday, so we were working from the main building downtown on Tuesday and Wednesday since I'm fortunate enough to work for a department that can't be down for long. I was out on Thursday and Friday because I had to have a little procedure done on Thursday (I'm fine – it wasn't that bad and everything went well). I was worried about Toby, Angela and Dwight (my plants) and when I came in yesterday Toby and Dwight looked okay, but Angela was a bit droopy. She's apparently pretty high maintenance! Didn't take long for her to perk back up, though. A lady I work with was kind enough to water my plants when I was out. She found Angela very droopy and was worried she might die, so she watered her for me and she kept checking on her to make sure she was coming back to life. I'm grateful she was kind enough to take care of them while I was out! I think I do need to repot all of them, though. They're growing rather quickly!

Not that long ago I posted about a raffle Robin was having for supporting her friend who's doing the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Well… I won a skein of Wollmiese from her! I had actually forgotten about the contest and was just happy I was able to support a great cause. Then Robin contacted me and let me know I won! She even delivered it in person at knit night! It was, of course, passed around so everyone could see, but I made sure to keep my eyes on some of the folks that admitted they wanted to steal it ;o)

Wollmiese

There was some talk on Plurk and Ravelry recently about Sundara's yarn clubs. I have been wanting to get a hold of some Sundara yarn for a long time, but kept missing out on shop updates and folks on Ravelry who had skeins of Sundara sock yarn listed as for sale or trade only wanted to trade for another colorway. I was seriously considering joining one of the sock yarn clubs, but wanted to be able to see the yarn in person before committing to it. About two weeks ago now, I posted in the Sundara Yarn Love group on Ravelry and someone was willing to sell me a skein (actually, I sold a skein of yarn in my stash and used that money to get this, so it was more like a trade). I was open to any colors at all figuring I could trade/sell the skein if I didn't like the colors in person. On September 10th a skein of Sundara sock yarn in Pine Over Gold arrived in my mailbox:

Sundara yarn

The colors really are that vibrant in person. It's shiny and beautiful, but the twist and thickness of the yarn reminded me a lot of Louet Gems except more shiny. I'm always undecided about green for me. It's really pretty yarn, but just wasn't for me, so I sold it on Ravelry and then used that money to buy a skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Farmhouse (another "trade"!), which arrived this past Saturday:

STR Lightweight Farmhouse

I have never been disappointed with STR and I love these colors. I've wanted a skein of Farmhouse for a while now, but I never want to spend the money to order from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Ravelry gave me the opportunity to get a yarn I want yet again! I really do love Ravelry – can you tell?

Last Thursday, after my doctor's appointment, we stopped by Joseph-Beth Booksellers because I wanted to see if they had any new knitting magazines. They did have some new ones and had the one I was looking for:

New Debbie Bliss Magazine

The new Debby Bliss magazine! I like a lot of the patterns in it and can't decide what I want to make first. It's definitely worth checking out this magazine – it's packed with great patterns and interesting articles.

Saturday Matt and I went to A Wool Gathering in Yellow Springs, OH. We got there a little late in the day because we took our time getting ready and getting there. It was nice to be rushing around to get ready and get there since we weren't on any real schedule. I think we got there around 1 pm. First we went through the tents to get an overview of what was there. There were two booths that had angora bunnies for sale and I kept asking if I could take one home with me. While I really want one, I know that it'd be best to wait until we're living in a house to have one (or more). They were so adorable and soft! There was even a little baby that was so tiny and about 6 months old.

I was quite restrained with my purchases. Honestly, I didn't feel much like buying yarn. Creatively Dyed Yarns had some absolutely beautiful yarns and rovings. I had a hard time picking one out to take home with me! Matt helped me pick one and I brought this home:

Creatively Dyed Sock Yarn

One thing that I really wanted to get while I there was a shawl pin. Knitting Notions was there again this year and I bought this beautiful bloodwood shawl pin:

Shawl Pin

I love it! It goes great with my Clapotis, as you can see, and I think it will be great with Juno Regina, too.

There was TONS of fiber. I was really tempted to buy some, but I refrained since I only have a drop spindle right now that's really hard for me to use (hurts on my shoulders a bit). I spent a lot of time talking about spinning wheels with Matt (there were a lot there) and he kept telling me that we could totally build one for much cheaper than what they're sold for. At first I was pretty skeptical, but the more we looked at them, the more I was convinced we could make one and I started getting excited about the idea of finally having a wheel! When we got home, we looked up some information on building a wheel and I think I have some good thoughts, ideas, and references to go off of. I'm waiting on a book from the library before moving forward with it. I'm really excited about it, though, and plan on documenting it here, hopefully helping others to build a wheel themselves! Stay tuned!

I've been moving right along with my Pomatomus sock and have been working on it while watching tv. I've turned the heel and I'm now working on the gusset. Here's my progress so far:

Pomatomus Sock #2 Update

Juno Regina is coming right along, too. I've had some issues with the pattern, but it ended up being my own fault for having an extra stitch or not really getting what the pattern wants me to do. That happens to me sometimes, nothing to do with the actual pattern – it's pretty clear, but my mind is not sometimes! I think I capture the colors pretty good here:

Juno Progress

I have found that amigurumi is a LOT of fun to make! I'm working on the Grim Reaper from the book Creepy Cute Crochet:

Grim Reaper

The picture shows the start of the body, but I've actually completed the little guy! Well, I completed the crochet part and sewing him all together, but he still needs eyes, a mouth and a scythe. Today Matt called me to tell me an idea he had about a little girl design he thought I should create. I have some ideas about how to make it, but I'll have to think on it a bit more. I thought it was so fantastic that he called me with an idea like that! It made me smile :o)

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Posted in Completed Projects

Yarn Harlot and Clapotis FO

The Yarn Harlot came to Lexington, Kentucky on April 5th, so Crafty Mands, Matt and I made the trek down to Lexington to see her. I had a lot of fun, and just like last year, Stephaine was great! I’m looking forward to reading the new book.

Matt was kind enough to be our "paparazzo" for the day and took some lovely photos.


Event sign


Waiting to get books signed

Me and Amanda – "OMG! Yarn Harlot!!"

Me and the Yarn Harlot
Me and the Yarn Harlot

If you noticed, I did wear my Clapotis that day – it was the first day I’d actually worn it out anywhere. I received a number of compliments and questions about it, which made me quite happy! Since I have some decent photos of Clapoits finally, here’s the FO run down:

Pattern: Clapotis
Started: December 21, 2007
Completed: February 12, 2008
Yarn: Noro Lily Multi
Needles: US 8 bamboo straights
Notes: No notes, really. I followed the pattern and made no modifications. I love how it came out – it has great drape to it. I’m glad I didn’t try and block it because it would have lost so much if I did. I find it to be fairly light considering it’s a cotton/silk blend yarn, but it does keep me warm enough when wearing it and doesn’t feel like it’s weighing me down at all. Now I just need a shawl pin so I can wear it more!

I still need to do FO reports on my mom’s Nine-to-Five socks and my Grandma’s shawl. So much life stuff has been going on that I just haven’t had time to block the shawl or take photos of anything.

What am I currently working on? Well, the sock I started with the Lorna’s Laces was ripped out because the fabric was just too lose for me, so I started another sock with different yarn and US 00 needles (I was using US 0’s for the Lorna’s Laces socks). I love the fabric I’m getting with the US 00’s, so that may be my new standard for socks. I’ve decided that I will not knit any more socks I can’t wear (they hurt my feet if the fabric is too loosely knit) and if that means I have to use US 00’s or US 000’s, then I’ll do it. It’s worth the better end result. So, I have those socks on the needles and I’ve been working on the Lady Eleanor stole. Mostly been working on the socks, though. Socks seem to be my favorite project these days, though I’m sure that has something to do with the fact that I only seem to be knitting on-the-go lately and socks are a great portable project. I’ll post photos of my new sock (already turned the heel and almost to the toe – started them last Friday) and an in-progress photo of where I am with the Lady Eleanor stole soon.

Posted in Knit Ramblings

Mini update

The shawl is done! Well, the knitting anyhow. I completed it on Sunday and even wove in all the ends. Only thing I need to do now is block it. I have three skeins of yarn left and I haven’t yet decided what to make with it. I think I’ll let it sit in the stash until it "speaks" to me.

The Yarn Harlot event was great on Saturday. I had a lot of fun and Stephanie was funny as always! I’ll post more about that soon. (Jessi – I did get you a copy of the book signed! I’ll send it out soon.)

I’m still contemplating what project I want to work on next. I do have a sock I’m working on, but I need a project that’s good for working on primarily when I’m home. I have my Starlight sweater, Lady Eleanor stole, a scarf, and The Bag (from No Sheep for You). None really thrill me at the moment, but perhaps I will work on the Lady Eleanor stole as my "home" project as that was what I was working on before I started the shawl. Decisions, decisions!

Posted in Current Projects

Shawl progress, new socks, and seeing the Yarn Harlot!

I’m getting close to being done with the shawl. I have maybe 8 to 10 more rows before I bind off, but these rows are looooooonnnng. I don’t eve know how many stitches, but it takes me 30 mins to do MAYBE 3 rows. It’s crazy. I have to concentrate on it every other row so I don’t mess up the lace pattern, so it’s not really a great "mindless knitting" project nor is it a good portable project. I mean, just look at how big it’s become!

IMG00010

I don’t have any great portable projects on the needles right now. I take that back. I do have one project that might qualify as portable, but it’s a scarf and being that it’s spring and moving into summer, it doesn’t feel right to me to be knitting a scarf. Maybe if it was a lacy scarf it’d be alright, but it’s not. I can’t seem to get myself to knit warm weather gear in the spring and summer months! Anyhow, I generally always have a pair of socks on the needles as my go-to portable project, but I put myself on a cast-on ban while I was working on the shawl in hopes I would get it done really quickly by not working on anything else. That’s not working out so great, though, because of the long rows I have now. I haven’t had time to sit and really work on it, only get a row (or a few stitches!) done here or there. The other projects I have on the needles aren’t portable at all and require quite a bit of attention that I haven’t been able to give recently.

Since tomorrow we are going to go see the Yarn Harlot in Lexington, I thought it’d be good to have a fairly mindless portable project to take with me. Socks! So, yesterday I cast on a pair of socks out of the Lorna’s Laces that Crafty Mands gave me.

IMG00006

The color is pretty accurate in the photo despite the not-great cell phone photo. I’m using the Glib Sock pattern (sorry it’s a Ravelry link – it’s only available through a Ravelry download!). I did add an extra stitch repeat, which was a little tricky to do, but I’m glad I decided to add more stitches because I think it would have been a little too tight otherwise. Maybe eventually if it stops being crappy out with all the rain we’ve been getting here, I can actually take some decent Clapotis photos and actually post about it! Still waiting to get a photo of the socks I finished for my mom, but I think sun would do them the most justice in a photo, so that’s on the eventually list for now, too.

~~~~~

YARN HARLOT TOMORROW!!! (Can you tell I’m excited?!)

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.

HPIM3997

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!