Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Crafting

As per the usual on this blog, Happy Belated Holidays! I hope you and your loved ones had a very Merry Christmas.

A few years ago, I wanted to give only gifts I'd handmade myself for Christmas. It was a lot of fun, and well received, but I didn't want to spend another Christmas Eve up late, sewing a tail on a stuffed lion...Last year, I cut back significantly on the handmade gifts, and I didn't have a specific plan for this year. But looking back, it turns out that I made quite a few!

I sent my Grandma and Aunt Beth these cute little cabled ornaments. They're from the Holiday '08 interweave - available free on Knitting Daily. They just took a few hours - Aunt Beth's is made of Moda Dea Washable Wool (left over from the February Lady Sweater) and Grandma's is out of leftover Malabrigo worsted. It turned out great, but the stitch definition was hard to capture in photo.
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Uncle Steve got a knit hat - he wasn't here this year, so no modeled shots - but he says it fits! Pattern is "Hat fit for a Boyfriend." I used Paton's Shetland Tweed Chunky, and cast on 80 stitches instead of 100 to make up for the bigger gauge. I also made it a little longer, as Uncle Steve has a larger head and really thick hair. It only took a few hours over 2 evenings - very quick!

Emily got socks! I made her some for her HS graduation that got shrunk in the dryer, and she's been begging for more ever since. These are 3x1 rib, done toe-up on magic loop. They're made of Heart & Sole, which is surprisingly nice.
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My 17 year old brother, David, got a book and a fingerless glove. Yep, just one! It seemed a little small, so I wanted him to try it on before I made the second one. Thankfully, it fit just right - I'll be casting on for glove 2 soon.I made a fleece Mets blanket for Aaron - due to a backorder fiasco, I was once again making his gift on Christmas Eve. However, it was done in plenty of time for me to be home for the evening...now if I could just get the orange fuzz off my couch! I don't have any pictures of this, but it turned out nicely.

Lastly, I made some necklaces for my Mom. I gave some to Em for her birthday, and Mom loved them....so I made her a few of her own. It's been awhile since I've done much beading, but she seemed to really like them.

Well, that's it for my Christmas crafts! Now I return to my regularly scheduled selfish knitting. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sock the Vote*

* I know, I know...forgive the cheesy title!

Today was the last day for early voting here in NC, so I thought I'd try to save myself from standing in line after work on Tuesday and do my civic duty today. Generally, I don't want to talk politics on this blog, but let me just say - PLEASE VOTE! This is a very important election, and it's been interesting to watch this traditionally red state become such a battleground - we've had lots of visits from the candidates here. It's really a privilege to participate...get out there and vote!

So I made some coffee, threw a sock in progress, my i-pod, and a grocery list in my purse and headed off to one of the more out of the way library branches, where I thought I could get in and out in an hour or two.....I should have known it wouldn't go quite so quickly when I had to park nearly half a mile away.

Well, FOUR and a half hours, 5 podcasts, a very hungry stomach, and almost an entire sock later I was back in the car. That's right - I knit almost an entire sock while standing up, in line outside today. These socks have gone very quickly - admittedly, they are dk weight, so a 52-stitch sock with generous row gauge goes much faster than a standard fingering weight sock.
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The yarn in Mirasol Hacho, which I picked up at Knit Picky a few weeks ago. I know the color sort of looks like clown barf, but I'm oddly attracted to it - plus, the yarn is sooo soft and squishy - perfect for winter house socks. (It's also a great price - less than $9 for 5o grams.) I started the first sock last Saturday in the car on the way to SAFF (post on that coming soon!) and finished it up on Thursday evening. Last night I knit up through the toe increases on sock 2, then put it aside. I tossed it in the bag this morning, figuring a mindless stockinette-in-the-round project would be good for waiting in line and I could get some work done on the foot of the sock without needing to think about the heel or anything.... haha - Somehow I was able to remember how many stitches I needed for my gusset and heel turn, and by the time I made it into the voting booth I was halfway to the cuff! The photo below is the most color-accurate of the three.

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(Note the matching project bag! I bought these fat quarters a while ago to make a sock bag, and I knew it needed to house these socks. I love it!)

I'm babysitting tonight, and the kids should be in bed when I get there, so this sock should be done tonight - now that my fingers have had a rest. I don't think I've finished a pair of socks in a week since I was a nanny, with much more knitting time. Oh, those were the days....

Sunday, October 19, 2008

um, is this thing still on?

When I posted that picture of my unpacked living room, I never anticipated that it would be front and center for nearly 3 months! Thankfully, my living room hasn't actually stayed unpacked this whole time.

So, I took a somewhat unintentional blog break for the summer...and part of fall. (whoops!) I thought about blogging quite often, but my words never made it to the keyboard. I've been thinking about the purpose this blog serves, and how I want to continue with it.

I originally started this blog to keep track of knitting projects, specifically...maybe the occasional sewing project or two. I liked the idea of a log of some sorts, and being able to share my work with the online knitting community. And then Ravelry came along, and it does everything I wanted! So the posts here dropped off....Not to mention, most of my readers (um, if there are any left!) know me in person and live locally, and they already know everything I would blog about. I've been finding too, that the things that I want to blog about are more personal, and I've considered how much of 'me' do I want online....where someone from work/neighbors/church/family/whatever might stumble across. Even though that wouldn't be a huge issue. At the same time, there are one or two out of town friends that know about the blog, and I like the idea of keeping in touch this way.

But lately, I've been reading more blogs than ever - thanks to Google Reader recommendations! (I can't get most blogs at work, but I CAN get Google Reader - lifesaver!) And I'm realizing that the blogs I enjoy the most are about more than simply their craft of choice, but also about them. I like the feeling of connecting with people in a little bit different/maybe more personal way than I can on Ravelry......or I am just incredibly nosy - which is true! I like "meeting" people that enjoy the same things as me, and I like to contribute to that.

So, all that to say, blah, blah, blah.....is that I am not abandoning this blog. It might change a little. There will definitely still be knitting, but there might be more other crafts, or thrifting, or book reviews or cooking, or whatever! These are things I want to do, but I also know I'm not the type to be able to maintain more than one blog, so it all has to go here. Hopefully someone will still want to read it! I'm not making any promises about super-frequent posts or anything, but I think if I can get back in the habit it'll pick up. I'm thinking about doing 101 in 1001, beginning in January, and I want to document that somewhere.

Anyway - I have been doing tons of knitting since my last post. There will be FO posts soon-ish, but everything is up on my Rav page.....So here a little peek of what's been happening since July. I:
- finished 4 pairs of socks
- knit a grocery bag
- knit a perfect pi shawl
- finished 2 sweaters!
- participated in 3 different swaps on Rav
- modeled in a "knit-wear" fashion show at the Pink Ribbon Talks!
- watched all 4 seasons of The Scott Speedman Show...aka: Felicity (I <3 Netflix)
- read several books
- learned to use my tool-box (replaced my dryer cord, with no fire or electrocution!)
- made a breakfast casserole overnight in my slow cooker
- registered to VOTE
- went to the beach with 2 girls from work
- re-joined the Y
- have continued to go to work everyday, while trying to not think about this (remind me why I work in banking?)



So....I should have some posts up relatively soon with finished objects and whatnot. Until then, I dug out some pre-blog sewing projects to show off. I made this bag a few years ago, and then pulled it out when I went to the beach a few weeks ago. I made it out of fabric from wal.mart, and used a cheap-o black shower curtain to line it. I was soo proud of it - I drafted the pattern myself and I love the little applique bikini - I traced a picture I found online onto fabric, and machine appliqu├ęd it on.

beach bag beach bag detail

soo, if you made it this far - thanks! more soon-ish (promise!) Sorry if this showed up 5 times in your feed reader - blogger has crazy format/font problems!

Monday, July 21, 2008

And it begins...

Sorry for the recent blog silence! When it comes down to knitting or blogging....I'd rather knit. And I'm also dealing with this :I started the move into the new apartment over the weekend....and there is a lot to do. So, I haven't done a ton of knitting anyway during the past week - though I do have quite a backlog of FO's to show off.

So, here a quickie: I finished these socks back in June, but never got around to posting them here. They're Marisol Hacho dk - they went super fast, and are sooo soft and squishy - toe up, magic loop. More details and pics on the rav page (this picture shows the most accurate color).
I also have two have done pairs of socks....One stockinette sock in CTH Supersock DK, and a Reversi in Louet Gems. Both pairs are on the second sock now.

If you're still reading this, thanks! I will attempt a regular post schedule again sometime!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Eye Candy

Life has let up for a brief moment - soon I'll try to actually blog and get caught up. Life has been insane, but I've been knitting like crazy.

So, here's what I've been playing with lately.....


- a finished Forget me Not shawl
- a nearly done Perfect Pie (Miss Bab's - chocolate roses)
- the February Lady Sweater (Moda Dea Washable wool in Raspberry)
- Reversi sock 2
- new phone! LG Black Cherry Chocolate :)
- Wild Cherry M&M's.....mmmmm

(you don't sense a theme here, do you?)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Whew!

That was a close one.

112g of yarn used up, 1 gram left over! Forget Me Not is off the needles and ready for blocking...FO pics coming soon to a blog post near you :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday WIPS

It's been a rainy Sunday, and I've spent most of it on the couch nursing a sore throat. Which isn't getting my laundry done, but it is making a dent in my knitting.....so, quick update:

Forget me Not: Nearly done! All that's left is the edging. This photo doesn't really do justice to the size, color or lace - but it will make the "after" that much more lovely.Reversi Socks: I'm don't think I've blogged these. Since this photo was taken, I've made a bit more progress. These have been fun to work on, and the yarn is lovely.
Stormy Socks: I started these last Thursday during the tornado. I needed something I didn't need to think about - which came in handy when my power went out. I finished the first one Wednesday and am in the gusset increases on the second.
Back to couch for me...hopefully I can kick this cold before work tomorrow!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! My own mother doesn't read this blog, but I hope the day is wonderful for the rest of you Moms out there.
This might be one tattoo my Mom will actually like!

Pattern: Winged Heart Tattoo, by AnnyPurls (also available as a free Rav download).
Yarn: leftover Malabrigo from my Foliage hat, and Wool Ease for the ribbon. I used black embroidery floss for the "Mom." I made it without wings, due to time constraints and no white feltable wool on hand.
Time: just a few hours! Knit up during SNL last night, and stitched together this morning. Stuffed with leftover poly-fill from some project earlier.

More pics on my Ravelry page here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Finally Finished!

Finished - 2 at a time socks! I actually finished these a week ago, and just haven't had a chance to blog them....Our local NBC affiliate has overridden the series finale (!) of Scrubs due to the crazy weather happening nearby, so I thought I'd post while I watch the news. Things here are fine, no rain, even, but tornado warnings abound in surrounding counties.

Anyway! I knit these toe up (WendyKnits toe-up gusset heel sock) at the same time - magic loop. I am now addicted to magic loop. It seems to go faster to me, and I love not having to keep track of 5 needles! Both at once is slow going - I'm not sure I'll do it often, but maybe on occasion. I also love this pattern. I'm not big on short row heels, and I adore this gusseted heel. It fits my foot very well. I think I made the foot on this just the teeniest bit too long, but nothing i can't live with. The construction of the socks lends itself well to knitting 2 at a time.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Wildfoote - Luxury handpaints. While I wouldn't quite classify it a luxury, I hear it holds up well - I hope so. I didn't love the yarn, and probably won't use it again. It's splitty and feels a little coarse to knit with. However, it feels fine on the foot, and will hopefully soften up more in the wash.
I've got another sock on the needles, and my forget me not shawl is about 75% done....I should make good progress this weekend. I've been running myself ragged lately and am looking forward to some quiet time this weekend.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May Day

I took a teeny break from knitting last weekend to do some sewing. Sewing involves so much set-up, that I go a while and forget how much I love to do it. But I had the urge last weekend and stopped by Sew Original while I was out running errands. I picked up some fun springy fabrics (on sale!) for the Piping and Striping tote by U-handblog. I came across this tutorial sometime last week, and when I saw these fabrics I knew these would be perfect. The fabric is by Benartex, in the City Girl collection. I cut the pieces out while watching The Goblet of Fire on Saturday evening, and did all the sewing Sunday afternoon. (It really isn't wrinkly and crooked - but I love it so much I've been using it all week!)
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I am super happy with the way it came out. It's a great size. I have some more fabric that I may make another one with. I think I'd give it a boxed bottom next time, instead of the curved one, for a little more room - but I love the way this turned out. I'm really happy with the chevron striping. Cutting the fabric on the bias makes it stretchy, and a little harder to match up - but I got it on the second try :)

There may be more sewing on the blog soon - I have a half done wedding gift for a couple that's having their first anniversary in less than a month. (How did it get to be May already?!)

Knitwise - I've been concentrating on the socks lately. I started the cuff ribbing last night, and these should be an FO by the time Grey's Anatomy is done tonight. It's about time!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Catch Up

Well, it's been quite a week since I last posted. Things, as usual, were a bit crazy, but I had a chance to relax this weekend.

My birthday was Friday, and I was able to take off early from work to have lunch with my Mom, which is always nice. I spent the evening with my dear friends Dee Dee, Kristen, Melinda and Gena. We celebrated with Mexican food and Margaritas - how can you go wrong there - and a surprise tequila shot, complete with singing and a large sombrero. We headed to the movies from there - we saw Baby Mama and it was really fun. Thanks girls!

I spent a very lazy Saturday with Freaks and Geeks marathon and my knitting, and later some quality sewing machine time - pictures of that coming soon. Sunday gave me a little more sewing time, and dinner with my 2 best friends from high school.

So, I guess you might be here for the knitting, huh? Let's see...My CPH has been on a temporary break - I'm about 2/3 way done with both sleeves, but it's been so warm, I just haven't had the urge to knit on a big woolly sweater. I spend a good deal of yesterday working on my Wildfoote socks. I'm loving doing them both at one, and I turned both heels yesterday. I'd like to finish them up this week - I won a copy of MeanGirl's new Reversi sock pattern in her blog contest and I can't wait to start them! I've had them in my queue since she first posted them, so I was super excited to win.

So, the weather has me casting aside my sweater, but I couldn't help casting on for new lace! Last Sunday I cast on for Evelyn Clark's latest shawl pattern - Forget Me Not. I battled with tangly yarn for nearly 3 hours, but I finally won and it's been behaving nicely ever since. I'm using the Sanguine Gryphon's Little Traveller that I got at SAFF - it's sock weight, so it's knitting up quickly.
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I'm trying out these Bryspun circs for the first time. Gena gave them to me to try out a while back. I like the tips, but I can't decide if I like them. They're a little grabby, which will be perfect for when I do something with my SeaSilk, but I don't really need the extra grab with this yarn. The join is a little chunky, which doesn't help. I'll give them a little more time - this just might not be the project for these. Anyone else tried them?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

FO: Swallowtail

I adore this shawl. It was a fun, quick knit - and the yarn was delightful. It's the Swallowtail Shawl (IK Fall'06 - also available as a free PDF from Knitting Daily - limited time only!) by Evelyn A. Clark. The pattern is well written and simple. Easy enough to memorize, but still not boring. I loved the nupps - I made a conscious effort to knit them loosely, and I didn't have any p5otg problems.

The only negative is the size - it's pretty tiny. A lot of people added repeats to make it larger and a little more wearable. I had only 50g of yarn and wasn't sure if I'd have enough to make necessary
increases. I probably would have though - I had almost 15 grams left over!





I used Malabrigo lace in the Intenso colorway. It was absolutely perfect. I loved knitting with it, and it blocked so nicely. I used size 5 Addi Lace needles.




I had hoped to wear this last night - Kristen, Gena and GP, and I went to see Jekyll and Hyde at our local community theater. Melinda worked on the costume crew, and it was very fun to see her handiwork! As it turned out, an old high school friend of mine was on the cast as well a girl from my church. However, the weather was cold and rainy - not ideal for freshly blocked lace! It was nicer today, and my friend Laurie helped me out with a photo shoot this afternoon.

I love it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Simply Red

The ballerina slippers are done! Although they took me 4 months (!) to get done - it was actually a pretty quick project. I casted on in January, but each slipper took just 2-3 evenings...it's just that there was space in between. And then it was 3 weeks before I felted, and one or two more before the finishing touches.

All in all, I'm quite pleased. The Paton Soy Wool felts incredibly, and feels really good on my feet. It took a while to get them both felted to the same size - the right one is a teeny bit bigger, but I can live with it. They're really comfortable...

To continue with the red weekend theme, I've been working on my Swallowtail. Only 2 rows left before the bind-off - it should be blocking tonight! I've spent a good deal of the weekend fighting a cold on the couch with my knitting and having a John from Cincinnati marathon. All 3 discs came in my netflix this weekend...I pretty much have absolutely no idea what's going on - I think this show requires too much thinking for me, or something.

It's back to the couch for me...I'm itching to get my shawl bound off!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Before I was a knitter, I did a lot of sewing. I still love to sew, but it's been taking a back seat lately, for a number of reasons. But I miss it - and I have tons of fabric that needs using up! My hands were bothering me a little last week, so I thought I'd take a few days off from knitting and use up some fat quarters I had laying around. A girl can always use a new project bag! A tutorial for the zippered bag can be found here, by Kelly of Drago(knit)fly. I just threw together the drawstring pouch.And peeking out of the first bag are some socks! I haven't had socks on the needles for a few weeks, but I needed a more mindless project for a movie at a friends house last weekend. I'm attempting two at time, in Brown Sheep Wildfoote - we'll see how long they both stay on the same needle!

Once my hands were back to normal (man, spending 8+ hours at a computer all day takes a toll!) I attacked the fronts of my CPH. I finished the back last weekend - it was too long, so I ripped back past the armhole decreases and redid. Over the last week and half I got both front pieces up to where I needed to start armhole shaping, and then finished those up this weekend. I've been knitting along and watching reruns of The Office....I can't wait for new episodes! (The pieces aren't blocked yet, but they are all the same height, despite what the picture may be trying to tell you!)
Yesterday I met up with Gena and Kristen for a few hours of knitting, and my hands and eyes needed a break from grey stockinette and cables. So I cast on for a Swallowtail Shawl with some Malabrigo laceweight that been sitting on my coffee table for a few weeks...calling my name just a little louder every day! It's not a very big shawl, but I think it'll be perfect over a white summer top.

I hope you have all had a very happy Easter! One of my best friends from childhood was in town and we got to spend a few hours together Friday night - and we ran into Renee - hi! I got to spend some time with my family for Easter dinner last night, and then today I drove my little sister back to school. She's back to her dorm, and I'm in for the evening now...Just enough time for another episode of The Office and a little more knitting :)



Sunday, March 9, 2008

blog-iversary!

Hello! So, again, it's been some time - Life has been crazy lately, but I do have lots to share. But first -I was looking for an old post, and realized that it was one year ago today that I started this little blog! I know that the posting has been sparse lately, but hopefully there are still a few of you reading :) I love reading your blogs, and it makes my day that there are people that actually read this thing! I have really grown a lot as a knitter over the last year, and it's fun to be able to look back at it.

First up - I finished the Southwestern Socks (by Wendyknits) a few weeks ago. They went really quick! I finished them while in Georgia a few weekends ago with my Grandma. These are my first finished toe-ups, done Magic Loop. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersocke DK in Indian Summer. I also learned the Sewn-Bindoff, which is super simple and nice and stretchy. These socks have a gusset, rather than a short row heel, and I love it!
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I'm still on the sleeves of the Gathered Pullover, but no new pictures.

I started the Lelah Top with some Pima Silk last week. The lace on the bottom is knit on size 10.5 needles, and it's just flying along! I think it'll be a great summer top.
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So, last Saturday, Kristen, Gena, Melinda and I all started our Central Park Hoodies! I am using Valley Yarns Amhearst in Charcoal and it is wonderful! I'm ready to start the shoulder shaping on the back. It's going pretty quick and I can't wait to be able to wear it. I somehow reversed the center cables, but I'm ok with that - in fact, I think I like it even better.
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Well, that's all for tonight - I've gotta get working on those shoulders!

Monday, February 18, 2008

weekend knitting

I have overcome the knot - and I now have matching socks, down to the last stripe! Anal retentive much? The yarn on the other end of the knot was going in the wrong direction, so it was a little more frustrating than it should have been. But now I have two delightfully matching socks! I did them magic loop, and I really found it enjoyable, and easier to transport than the dpns. The yarn is Berocco Sox, done over 64 stitches on size 1 addis.











In WIP land lies the Gathered Pullover. I've started with the sleeves, done two at a time on Magic Loop. My hope is that by doing the sleeves first, I won't avoid them later! Since this picture was taken, they've grown by a few inches. This is the first time I've done 2 at time like this - the first inch was a little frustrating and tangly, but as they've grown it gotten much easier.
I also cast on a new sock - Southwestern Socks by Wendy of wendyknits. I'm doing them in CTH Supersock DK, Indian Summer. It has a very cool reverse heel flap - it's fits quite nicely. Since the photo, I've finished sock 1, but have yet to cast on for sock 2. I've been able to have a super lazy long weekend, which has been really nice - I've been super stressed lately...my car is on it's deathbed, a dentist appt...basically, anything that could possibly cost me any money....ugh.

But today I could enjoy a day off - yay, bank holidays! - with a friend from High School...And yesterday I got to chill out with Kristen and some delicious Indian food, followed by some knitting and the best hot chocolate ever! I'm in now, for a quiet night of knitting and October Road....just what I need.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Knots...

...plauging knitters worldwide.


See these lovely, matching, self striping socks? They are quite nice, if I do say so myself. I really like the way they striped up - sometimes when the heel flap hits, it throws off the stripe - like when I did these socks. I was merrily knitting along this this weekend, when something got in my way.
Don't see it?


It's knot - one that's out to disrupt my carefully planned sock! There are clearly 2 different colors on the ends of that knot. And they are not in order...urgh. This is not the first time this sock has tried to pull one over on me. There was a huge tangly mess within minutes of attemptin to start them - had it not been for Jo, these socks would be lucky to be this far along. We overcame that, and I will do this.

The sock and I have had a chat, and it seems it didn't spend enough time in the stash. I just pulled it out, and casted on all willy-nilly. (Apparently the other yarn was giving it a hard time, "we've been here longer, you're gonna be so lonely without us"....blah, blah, blah....)

The sock and I are having some down time tonight, but we'll be back together soon.