Monday, April 30, 2007

and so it begins...

there is a hole in my mind....

sorry, back out of babylon5 mode now.

Actually, there is a hole in my mind, it's the part that deals with the fact that I already have many projects on the needles. It's also that part that deals with the fact that I have many projects in various stages of planning. So instead of working more on those many projects today (although I did work on ribbing for my husband's sock 1 today, and will probably work on the current baby blanket during heroes tonight), I did a gauge check for my next new project.

That was from the smaller (somewhat more consistant) skein, which I measured at about 113 yards. One of those was done on my knitpicks US 1 and the other was on US 0. I'm not sure which one I like more, so they are sitting there until I decide. Since the other skein was 533 yards, ... I took 8 oz and turned it into 646 yards of 2 ply. I will have to check a swatch and make sure it washes nicely as it is a superwash/nylon blend.

Of course, this weekend as the huge skein dried, it somehow managed to get tangled so I couldn't put it back on the swift. So I spent quite a while untangling and winding up all those yards. Today I finished and then took the hand wound ball and made a nice yarn pie on the winder. Here's both sides of the pie, the colors are nicely shown between the two sides.

I really am almost done with the first sock for my husband - only a couple more inches of ribbing. I'll probably be casting on the second one within the next day or so. I also need to start the spinning for his before I forget the feel of this blend.


Anne, who said: "Ooh, very pretty! I get so jealous of all you spinners, but have so much knitting to do that I just fight the urge!!"

Anne, my budget, or lack there of, is one reason why I spin, at least that's why I tell myself, and since my husband reads this blog that's my story and I'm sticking to it. The other big reason is the control I feel over my choice of yarn now. Take these sock yarns, I ordered them custom dyed, and am spinning them up, and now I get to knit with the yarn I wanted. Of course there is a learning curve where you end up with yarn you don't like, which you either felt or work into projects, and the yarn still costs money.... but, it's so much fun :) so yes, continue to fight the urge so there will be more for us ;)

and to my secret pal, I can't wait to find out all this information during the reveal :) and I will keep tempting you with various yarns and knitting projects, maybe throw in a couple of old finished objects. You will succumb and knit even when you don't have time for it... especially when you don't have time for it, as that's when you need to the most!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Oldest Yarn and Newest Yarn

The latest contest for Swap10 is to dive into your stash and come up with the oldest yarn. This was actually hard for me as I have a fairly small stash and a fair amount of lopi on top of the bucket. Usually when I buy yarn I do something with it... so almost all of my stash has been opened and used somewhat. The yarn on the left is the exception to that. I bought it cuz it was pretty and then haven't actually used it yet. It's about a year old I would guess, which isn't that old, but I think it's the oldest non-opened yarn in my stash (my husband has a bit of yarn that would tie or slightly beat it I think)

The yarn on the right however, is the oldest yarn still in my stash. It's left over from my first pair of socks...

Which are kind of sad, as they are very simple (no heel) and square toe. This was probably early to mid 90s, and it was my first attempt at knitting with small (US 2?) needles and I loved the colors. I have no clue what yarn it is, and I would do things SO differently now, oh well... I still do wear these every once in a while, as they are great colors and are very very warm.

Now on to my newest yarn:

I finished spinning my sock yarn.

I had a huge skein and a small skein - the picture is of the small one, which i don't know how many yards it is right now, but the huge one is 533 yards. I'll measure the wpi once both are dry (which is why there's no picture of the huge skein). It looks like it will work for socks though. I'll take a short break before I start spinning my husband's color.

I'm still working on the ribbing (toe-up, remember... almost done) of the first sock for my husband, I'll probably cast on the second soon, and maybe even start another project sometime. ...I've got a few that are calling me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

nice weather

With weather in the 70s over the weekend much work was done outside. raking.... digging.... cleaning... lots of flowers blooming and trees budding. very exciting.

I also managed to turn the heel on the socks I'm making for my sweet husband, and he finished his pair for me (I just need to kitchner and weave in ends). I've also been spinning and spinning the pretty colors for my sock yarn. I'm almost done and ready to ply - then I'll have good pictures to share. I'm still working on another baby blanket, and of course, my lace scarf sits patiently to have a couple rows done every once in a while.

The fact that it was rainy today and is supposed to continue that way through part of the weekend should help my knitting and spinning.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bear done

I had to stay up a little late to make sure this got finished for the baby shower today.... of course, that's my fault for not doing it any time over the past two weeks (since the blanket's been done). And just so we don't have to go back to find the matching blanket:


Thank you Anne. I'm not sure if this adds to your KnitToyEnvy. :) I primarily use two books for all my knit toys... Debbie Bliss and the-one-that-I'm-used-for-the-pig-and-monkey-that-I-don't-remember-what-it's-called

And a thank you also to Tammy... I think the cape makes the whole monkey experience better, as he now flies to the rescue (as my daughter points out).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monkey Appendaged

The monkey has been appendaged!

I stayed up way too late Monday night and finished the monkey, and then made the cape on Tuesday, Super Monkey has been loved for over a whole day now.

The pattern is in the same book that the pig I made was in.

And even though I should be working on a bear (or two) I was starting to feel spinning withdrawal, so...

I'm spinning my My pretty sock yarn!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Swap arrived!

Yeah, so I got my swap10 package today in the mail - YAY!!

Up closer :)

The first picture are the things marked for my birthday - the chocolate bar was kept hidden until after the girls went to bed tonight... all mine :)

The second picture has some bamboo needles and two TUFOtsies (numbers #719 and #720)

The third picture has a cool sock kit (yarn I'll have to try to dye - maybe?), a note, and a retractable tape measure (THANK YOU! I actually didn't have one that retracts yet)

As today is patriots day in massachusetts I wasn't expecting mail (I forgot that it's only a state holiday) so I was surprised and excited when it arrived. Thank you - Thank you!!! I'm working on finishing up all the sewing on my monkey before I let myself start something new... now I'll have to decide between all the projects I had planned and all the wonderful new things :) - Hopefully I'll have a picture of the finished monkey tomorrow...

Speaking of finished objects....

Yes, you maybe already saw this here, but I just recently added the zipper and button (and button band). I now consider it done, although I might wash it once more - the bag shouldn't felt further, but the button band might a bit. I like it though, it fits my phone, keys, wallet, and a sock in progress - perfect size!

As far as comments go, I won stitch markers from tammy's dulaan contest! Yay! Thank you Tammy!
And a huge thank you to the yarn geisha!

...oh yeah, I did actually start another baby blanket - and i need to work on a bear this week for a gift, so no new projects OTHER than those until I finish something

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A tale of two projects

Thinking over this post for Swap10 that we've been asked to do (our favorite and/or our hideous monster project) has been interesting. I've been trying to think through all the crafting I've done - there's a lot of years of yarn there.... So I think my least favorite would be something that I finished, but immediately frogged. During college I found a pattern for a plug-in-the-numbers design your own top-down raglan. I thought this was a great idea. It probably was, but I choose to work it in two strands of woolease, knit pretty densely. It was a monster - took tons of yarn, was very boxy, and of course, could have stood on its own. Almost as soon as it was finished I started unraveling it. I used that pretty pale green woolease for many things since then and I think it's finally gone. I have no pictures of the sweater, although I will look around for anything that has the green yarn in it.

Unfortunately I also have no pictures (at the moment) for my favorite item. A couple of years ago I was trying to work through some of my small amounts of yarn. It was fall. I designed a poncho pattern for my daughter and used some of the pretty scrap. As she wore it (and now her sister wears it) I have gotten tons of compliments on it... and of course I like how it looks too! As it is lovely (cough) winter weather again here, I can't find it at the moment - I will try to find it within the next couple of days and post the picture.

A runner up to favorite is my bamboo shawl. This is also the same pattern I used to make a shawl for my older daughter (at the bottom of this post. I had spun the bamboo on my wheel and while I think I could do a better job now, it was pretty nice. It's very soft and warm, and a little unusual.

Tomorrow's post will be very picture heavy (my husband's knit picks order, my current projects, and some finishing touches to a couple of items). I'd do it tonight, but I'm just too tired....

Robyn who said: I will see you at Webs! I'm coming!

-we will have to figure out a meeting spot or some sort!! Looking forward to it. :)

Tammy who said: ...And...Happy Birthday girl!

-Thank you for the birthday wishes! and I will make sure to have a great time listening to the yarn harlot :) hope you get to see her sometime too!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

BPB (Birthday Picture Bonanza)

I have better pictures of some things and also some pictures of fibery birthday things, but first I'll start with mail call:

From my swap pal. I promptly ignored dishes and laundry and sat down to read the first couple of pages. Unfortunately I had to put it down to help the girls and to knit a bit. I'm planning to go see her at Webs at the end of May (already registered), so I really look forward to reading more. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

and then...

this box sat in the corner until my husband got home. Earlier this week we put a quick order in at knitpicks. As most of the order was for him, I figured it could wait until he could open it. Pictures tomorrow perhaps.

For my birthday I got many fun things, but as far as fibery goes:

A PVC Niddy-Noddy (actually two of them), so I can put the yarn up and wash them while on the niddy-noddy.

...and my husband brought me to Critations. I picked out some brown and some white alpaca roving.

Some more birthday goodness:

basement reorganization so I can sew and we can have family unity (something for everyone to do)

the hancock fabric by my house is being closed so everything is marked down. These are for a new quilt. The one currently on our bed is getting frayed.

Beautiful fabric I couldn't resist (especially since there was only that much of it). ...and fabric for handkerchiefs.

I did finish sewing the two skirts I had previously cut out, so these are the last of the fabric for skirts for the girls. of course, I then have dress material and some material for me too.

While I was at the fabric store I picked up a zipper and button to finish off my bag. I just need to knit up a swatch with a button hole and felt it first.

Some better pictures of the items from last post.

...and finally, some Dulaan items. Most of these were knit by my mother, but I will be weaving in ends on both her items and mine, and then mailing them off sometime relatively soon. There will probably be a couple more items before mailing day, but there's 16 there tammy. :)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just a flesh wound

Yeah, so in the great spirit of Monty Python- I'm not dead yet...

I have another nasty cold, along with various other physical ailments, but I am surviving, getting proper medical attention, and lots of sleep. I just kindof haven't been up to changing the batteries in the camera, or in blogging. Let's hope the corner has been rounded yet again.

I have finished the ripple baby blanket! Of course, I totaled up the people who are expected that I am planning to knit for and have a grand total in the side column of 4 bears (and 3 more blankets), but that's okay, because most of them are MONTHS away....

I managed to spin the wool blend from Criations (the roving that looks braided). Sorry for the bad picture - old batteries, new ones tomorrow.

It turned into a nice 3-ply, which I can't find the yardage written anywhere, so I'll have to remeasure it sometime. ...about 9 or 10 wpi. nice and soft :)

I also finished all four monkey appendages. Well, I am working on the tail still, does that qualify as an appendage? I'll just finish that up and then work on fingers, toes, face, and ummm... that might be it? No pictures yet....


...I won something!

One of the other blogs I read (one of the mommy ones rather than one of the many many crafty ones) spotlights a mom business every month and gives away a nice prize. These arrived very quickly and are SO comfy. My almost three year old has a thing for my shoes, and she's already deemed these very worthy of walking around in.

I've also got many wonderful birthday things to show off, and some more sewing done, but no pictures yet. So hopefully another post soon - with better pictures!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I decided to spin some more wool to ply with the rest of the camel...

I only have two spindles (well, three i guess... the one shown here, the spindolyn, and a one i've *borrowed* from my mother). It took about two VERY full spindles to have enough to ply with the camel, but it is now done!

Of course, I finished plying it last night just after midnight, and had to wait until this morning to measure and skein it. It's just over 300 yards, and the wpi varies from 18 to slightly over 20. It's getting washed right now, probably another picture after it's dry.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Promised Pictures

First we have my order from Leah at Yarn or a Tale, custom dyed sock fiber - superwash merino blended with 20% nylon :) I had given her very vague instructions for dyeing, and they came out great. I also like the small samples she threw in. When these get spun up I'm planning for socks, one pair for me, and one for my husband - can you guess which dye job is for which?

I have also moved along with my husband's sock. I'm in the straight knit-away part, but I'm getting close to the part where he has to try it on every couple of rows, to make sure I start the heel at the right time (maybe that's why second socks are faster for me to make, I have exact measurements in front of me in the form of the first sock).

I'm almost done with the baby blanket - sorry for the bad picture - i've actually got another stripe or two that you can't see... three more color stripes and I'll be binding off and weaving in ends!

And then we have my camel yarn. I had 1/2 lb of camel fiber to spin up and last time I tried it just wasn't working.... well, over the weekend I got the wheel going and it worked. I spun it all up, and then let it sit for a little while, trying to decide whether I should ply it with itself or wool of a lighter color, or a darker color... I had some of my all purpose white(ish) wool already spun, so I plied it with that.

I still have some camel left, so now I have to either spin up more white wool, or break yarn and ply it with something different.... we'll see.

Comment time:

My Swap10 Pal left a message suggesting different patterns in Victorian Lace Today. She also suggested:
"...have your wee ones pick a page number out of a hat or something! Good luck and keep us up-to-date with your choice."

My current favorites are: pages 68 and 32. I also love the Alpine Knit scarf that Wendy has been making. ...but every time I look through the book I find more favorites, so I don't think I'll be deciding until I actually have the yarn and needles in hand and start. (So I need to finish a couple of projects quickly now!!)

My pal also sent me a very cute April Fools Card - Thank you! :)

and Anne said:
"LOL. Something just made me chuckle at reading "done with a monkey appendage" haha. I look forward to seeing a full monkey sometime! "

Me too. It's SO easy knitting, and I think that's why it's taking me so long, as I keep falling asleep whenever I work on it. I think I have about 140 rows of 20 stitch stockinette left, and then a tail. of course, at that point it should be very quick to finish, as all the other pieces look interesting (read that as they involve shaping) and short.

etsy shop

I just spent a few minutes setting up an etsy shop for me. There are currently no items up, but that should change over the next couple of days.

There should also be another post later today, with pictures of current projects!