Monday, February 26, 2007

Pictures of the Omens

Alrighty... now I have some pictures that go along with my previous post.

First we have a picture of the magic scarf:

You make this by doing a normal plain stitch (I did a tube of knitting) for about 1/3 of the final length you want the scarf, then you bind off every other one (dropped the stitches you don't bind off), and then you pull and drop all those stitches. I let my girls help me pull. This is just plain red heart yarn, like I said, I just wanted to try it after reading all those knitting books.

Next we have a picture of the singles of the blue/green yarn that appeared last post:

I dyed it when it was still single, and then plied it up. I think it came out nice.

Then the mystery item (in pictures):

Can you tell I'm a bit proud? I got thin (for me) consistent yarn on the wheel. Then dyed it as singles. It took a little while for the color to grow on me. I thought the singles were pretty ugly after they dried, and I was a bit worried, but after plying it... I think it came out cute! Then I used one of the Elizabethan scarf patterns (same leaflet but different pattern than my lace scarf, and bigger - US 7 instead of US 0) Comments?

I also got something in the mail today....

...more fun!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Omens of things to come

So is it a bad sign if I read the three yarn harlot books, and then start making things that she mentioned (ie. the magic scarf) ...I even had to go to the internet to find a pattern for it. Pictures of that and other finished projects next time.

I think it's also a bad sign that I was reading the book by WendyKnits and actually knitting at the same time. (One row following the lace chart, reading while purling back).

Another bad sign? I started a whole new project. Yeah, I still have a bunch of things planned, and yes I need to do up a teddy bear for my other new nephew (born sometime next week), and yeah, I am just down to my lace scarf on the needles.... but umm, I was trying to think of a present for a person, and the normal girlie stuff seemed lame, and I have a bunch of wool on the wheel that was consistently thin... so I finished it, dyed it, plied it, and am now knitting it. Unfortunately the dye didn't set all the way (I'll fix it before I give it to her - I will have to make sure the finished product sets in the microwave without felting) but that means my hands are turning a slight shade of pink as I knit it. What is it? What colors are involved (other than something that turns my hands slightly pink)? When will I go back to other planned projects? ...and show you the cool pig pattern I found for my older daughter?? umm... maybe I'll have pictures for next time! :)

Previous Project List:
fuzzy hats - one left, already started -mailed off
4 bears, 2 blankets - one bear and a bear and blanket are done
lace scarf - still working
felted rabbit -not started
use spun yarn - done
skirts - some cut out, still have at least 4 more to sew
handkerchiefs - not started

not on the list:
I-cord rug for my niece - finished (no picture yet)
mystery handspun gift - in progress
oh yeah, I also spun and dyed a bit (50 yards?) of alpaca, it's now bright pink/orange

Current Projects:
2 bears, 1 baby blanket
lace scarf
felted rabbit
mystery handspun gift
pink and purple pig
something for my younger daughter (shawl?)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Another week disappeared into the every day routine....
So, since last Wednesday when I posted last:

I got a box of yarn from Annie:

for free! yes, good yarn, fun colors, for free... it was so exciting to get that box and open it up!

Then... hmmm... My daughter wanted to dye some wool and somehow have me make her a yarn pig. The pattern arrived today, but the yarn spent the week getting made:

The green with a tinge of blue was on my drop spindle, so I experimented with dyeing that, as these were done with food coloring and citric acid, and then i ran out, so i used some vinegar too. I'm thinking of plying that to see how the colors work.

I also cleaned some of my black/brown fleece:

I worked up some I-cord for a rug for my niece. This also worked well, as I was teaching someone to knit, so I have them start some, figured that they'd never forget how to knit after doing 10-12 yards of I-cord. I am currently sewing this up - hopefully a picture when it's done (soon)

I also mailed off the hats to Kate one is made by my mom, one is made by my sister... the rest were made by me.

And then I started a shawl for my older daughter (well, for either one really...) since I had some yarn I had bought for teddy bears, but didn't work out quite like I thought it would. I used the same pattern I bought for my bamboo shawl. The yarn makes a pretty shawl though, and it's washable and dryable, so the girls will *share* it until I get something made for the younger daughter

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A matching bear

Finished the bear which matches this blanket. I actually soaked the blanket and stretched it a little bigger (gained 2 inches each way I think). They are now ready to travel to the new nephew!

Home-spun and Yarn-swap

I finally did something for myself with yarn I had spun - all orange and yellow and brown and white (home-dyed too)... and i used the spin to knit yarn swap yarn too!

felted into:

Monday, February 12, 2007

The rest of the stories

Aside from my tale of woe (deserving its own post), last week was an exciting craft week...

The friday before (Feb 2) I washed a bunch of wool and taught part of a home-schooling family about wool - cleaning, carding, spinning, dyeing.

I then started the blanket for the baby shower. Along with that yarn I had picked up some for a future baby blanket, and four skeins of this:

just because it was cheap and pretty :)

Then on monday I got an exciting box in the mail...

That's almost all my spinning, the gray/brown was attached with a tiny bit of spinning when it arrived, but that was so much fun. The only other drop spindle I have is a big bottom whirl, so a top whirl, lace weight spindle was a blast to work with.

I then spent some time finishing up the spinning and plying this:

and then my sweet sweet husband knew that I was looking into getting my own hand cards (I was currently borrowing my mom's, and my sister who lives at home and helps us out all the time was hoping to get a turn on those ones). He stopped at a LYS on his way home from work and brought me a present

happy early valentines day to me! (which is only fitting, as he got his valentines day present early also)

I then spent the rest of the week spinning and working on the baby blanket and bear.

After spinning so nicely on that new spindle, I looked at the spinning wheel I am using (also my mom's), and knew there was something wrong with that, so I ordered an ashford maintenance kit. Of course, I couldn't order just that, so I got 4 oz of camel at the same time (saves on shipping, right?). That arrived on Saturday, so Sunday afternoon my sweet sweet husband took that little kit and fixed up the spinning wheel, tightening everything up and replacing a number of things... it now works so nicely! Pictures of that next time perhaps.

I also have my spin to knit swap ready to go... just need to pack and ship it. Pictures of everything I sent out sometime in the next week or two perhaps, or maybe just a link to her blog, if she pics and posts it nicely :)

A tale of woe

More than a year ago, probably more than a year and a half ago, I got this pattern (the green one)... I worked on it for a while, I stopped for a while. I picked it up again and couldn't figure out where I was, so I frogged it and started over. I went further than I had before, I did a Christmas present scarf (Christmas 2005 of course) out of worsted weight yarn with one of the other patterns (the white one). Then, since it was put away and there was another baby explosion (lots of blankets and bears to make) it had a home in my "port-a-pocket" deep in my basket. I would think about it every once in a while, and then I would finish and start other projects. I even took it out a couple times, put it in the queue, and then something else would get priority, and it would be buried again.

With the beginning of the new year I figured I should take it out and FINISH it. Just do it, since it is my only knitting UFO that keeps hanging around. So I took it out, and I set aside other things that I wanted to get done because, after all, I do love the feel of this scarf, and I do want it finished.
...and the yarn kept breaking.

This is knit picks Alpaca cloud that was recommended, even in the moss color because I loved the way that color looked...
...and the yarn kept breaking.
Finally, I gave up. I was not looking forward to weaving all of these ends in, and I knew if this kept up I wouldn't finish - forget the fact that I was worried this damaged section would just spontaneously fall apart after I was done with the scarf. So I keep digging into the ball and I finally found the end of that section. I then used my ball winder to wind up all the good yarn. I saved aside the other yarn, if I decide it is needed for the scarf maybe I'll re-spin it or something...
I think I figured out what it was. It was stored in my "port-a-pocket" which is not the softed of materials. I think it was just rubbed raw, as this yarn is a very thin delicate two-ply, and once I got past all the yarn that was on the outer most layer of the ball (rubbing against the canvas bag), it was fine again. I am now storing it in a ziplock to protect against rubbing.
This was a week or two ago. It's taken me this long to feel ok about it, and I spent part of my morning weaving in all those ends (and saving one spot that did start to un-ravel). Just as I finished, I did a couple more rows and it broke again. I have now even made sure those ends were woven in. I'm beginning to believe that this scarf just should not be. ...but I will keep going for a bit longer and keep my eyes open for any other signs of trouble. Right now it is going well (many more rows later) and the whole scarf seems safe and somewhat sturdy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Finished - with time to spare!

front and back

well, at least I have a couple of hours to spare!

Either people are starting to slow down, or they are just really good at hiding pregnancies - I know of only two people right now that expecting - and they are may and july, so I got some time before I have to get started on that stuff. :) I just need to finish two more bears (blankets already done for those gifts) and then make sure all gifts and charity knitting are ready to travel!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

secret pal 10 answers

I figured I should get these answered and posted at some point sooner rather than later to make sure I don't forget. These are the questions for the secret pal 10 swap... This is only the second swap I'm being a part of, but the first one has been fun.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I like most yarns - I've done lace weight, I've done super bulky - it really depends on what I am using it for... I'm not really into *art* yarns that have things spun into them, but I've worked with a lot of different fibers and haven't disliked any of them!

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Plastic zip-locks in a drawer and the ones I'm using are in my wicker basket. It works for me right now because I've labeled all the bags with both US and metric measurements

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I'd consider myself advanced, I've done almost every technique I've heard of, and there are a couple left I'm about to try :) and I feel pretty free making my own patterns (although not my own lace patterns yet) I've been knitting since I was umm.. early teenager. My mom taught me to knit (along with many other skills) I made a sweater and an afghan and then put it on hold for a while, coming back to it as my then boyfriend (future husband) thought it might be fun to learn.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, I have an amazon wish list, I'll have to check on that and make sure it's current...

5. What's your favorite scent?

Umm... clean light scents? I like fruit/flowers, but nothing too heavy.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I love chocolate! most any kinds of it in almost any candy... Nothing coffee or liquor flavored, and no teas.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I spin, knit, crochet, net, dye (with food dyes), sew somewhat, and a tiny bit of scrapbook and stamping.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I am very technology-friendly. Music... umm... pop/rock... some instrumental/inspirational

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I like natural colors.. a lot of my clothes and such are blues and greens. I don't have any problem with any colors, depends on the blend of colors involved.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I have a husband and two girls who aren't in school yet. We have fish as I am allergic to dogs and cats. My girls love to help out whenever I let them with my crafty hobbies.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves, hats... well, it has to be cold enough for me to deal with my hair and a hat, but I do wear them - ponchos... I have made them for my girls, but never for myself, I do have a couple of shawls that I wear, haven't thought about a poncho for me.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I knit a lot of baby stuff, as I know a lot of people who have growing families. So I like to try out new patterns and styles on different baby blankets (and little bear sweaters that go on my debbie bliss bear). My favorite things to knit are just anything new...

13. What are you knitting right now?

Another baby blanket (just finished the matching bear), and a lace scarf, and I'm about to start a (felted?) bag - of my own pattern - so it isn't started yet... and a couple of fun fur hats for boston. I also just got a new spindle - lace weight, so I'm enjoying playing with that whenever I can.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Circular or double pointed - I try to give away any straights I find in my drawer, don't really care what they are made of as long as they are sharp and the circulars are flexible.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I do own a table top swift that I love, and a ball winder that my girls insist they get to use every time it's out.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Umm, my oldest UFO is a quilt top from high school - I think I even know where it is... My oldest knitting UFO is the lace scarf from umm, about a year and a half ago? I am in the process of resurrecting it in between projects and trying to finish it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?

something that isn't craft related? not really... I read and work with my girls and cook and craft and clean. I'm home during the day with them. Don't really collect things though.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I have an interweave knits subscription and I also pick up spin off when I see it. I just got back into spinning recently, and I'm loving trying out new spindles and new fibers, I have tiny amounts of angora and alpaca and camel and such... I've worked with bamboo in the past and different kinds of wool. Nothing I'm really dying to get, although I would love to try to spin some silk or something else I haven't tried...

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I want to do a little brioche, there's a neat sock pattern in the newest interweave knits that has a brioche ribbing - will probably be my next sock project. shrug.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am a sock knitter, but not much of one as I don't know my foot measurements right off.. 8 1/4 around and about 9 inches long - I love to do either a figure-8 or short row toe and then short row (auto) heel.

23. When is your birthday?

April 8, I'll be turning 26

No-picture realization

Hey, I finally realized why I don't have a more regular posting schedule - I like to post with pictures of things, as that's what I like to look at on blogs, and I don't like to sit down at the computer and process pictures and write blog entries when the desk is a mess. The rest of the house can be clean, but the desk is usually the last thing I clean. When it is clean then I love to sit down and do creative things on the computer - when it isn't clean then I feel guilty sitting at it and don't feel creative at all....

In my next post I'll have to show what I got in the mail yesterday - very exciting order from ebay... and then I ordered another box today!

previous project list:
finish spinning yarn for yarn swap (pictures sometime in February) - DONE, just need to take pictures and mail off
work on that lace scarf - I did actually work on it - long story for another blog entry, still in progress
maybe some more fuzzy hats if I find more fur yarn - some done
2 more baby blankets and 4 more bears - in progress
my felted rabbit - still planned, not started
Spin up that dyed yarn to use with my yarn swap yarn - dyed and spun, thicker than i wanted, still planning to use it though
4 more skirts - still sitting there, got one cut out!
and some handkerchiefs - not started

Current Projects:
fuzzy hats - one left, already started
4 bears, 2 blankets - one of each is in progress
lace scarf
felted rabbit
use spun yarn