Thursday, June 28, 2007

Winners and Not So Winning FO

First things first: The contest is over, I drew twice (cuz it was so much fun!) using a tiny random number program my husband slapped together for me (no, it didn't make him the winner every time). The winners are:

My sister Carmen (blogless)



It was fun to hear from people, and I'm now on my way through the next 100 posts, keep commenting! :)

No new knitting today, just your daily dose of older projects...

My first sweater (red heart - dark blue with bright bits - cables in front):

And another early sweater (red heart - green, garter stripes):

I think by this point I had forsaken red heart and moved on to woolease, one for my then boyfriend (now husband):

..and one for me, with zipper :)

I don't really ever wear the red heart ones (unless I'm sick and mucky and cold), but we both still wear the woolease ones every once in a while.

For SSAL #2, I had some silk I wanted to sample... I've never spun 100% silk before, wow was that different. #2 was focused on andean plying, and following her directions it worked! (for those who don't spin, andean plying is a way of plying together a small amount by wrapping it a certain way on your hand so it doesn't tangle as you ply using both ends.)

I have a bunch more of that silk, now I just have to decide what I want to do with it, now that I know the feel it has to it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Catchup and a Bit of Knitting

I realized I never posted the haul from Webs from a couple of weeks ago:

There's two cones of Webs 2/14 AlpacaSilk (my husband has plans for a big shawl for me), some pink tofutsies for the girls, some hand-dyed sock yarn (they had a sample sock in the store in that colorway), my new yarn meter, another cookie a sock pattern (my husband's favorite of hers), and a clog-slipper pattern and soles for my husband (happy fathers day, now I just need to make them by the end of summer, right?)

Progress on the shawl for my younger daughter - not much actual progress in inches, but I did attach the second ball finally and started working on it again.

I easily came back to the pattern (6 row repeat, only 3 different rows) after the moth shawl, it only took a couple rows to refind my rhythm.

And for today's installment of old FO, the teddy bears:

Both are from Debbie Bliss patterns, I'd have to look it up to find all the page numbers in the different books (as I have a couple).... The pink one's bunny costume comes off completely - and my older daughter *usually* loves it. The one with the blue clothing belongs to my younger daughter and doesn't wear it's hat and slippers normally. I think I made these back in 2004? Enjoy!

(don't forget the contest, it ends late tonight, east coast US time - winners tomorrow!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


As I bask in the glow of finishing a big project before the (somewhat self imposed) deadline I've been reading through all the comments for the contest. Thank you for all the compliments - I've replied to everyone who left an email address, but for those few who didn't, so I couldn't - Thank you so much! I've loved hearing what everyone's favorite item is... I realize that the list on the sidebar only has things made this year (and the blog only goes back to november of last year) so there's not too many to choose from.

Since I can't seem to work for too long on any of my current projects (I need a couple of days to get over the obsessive knitting - as does my family), I thought I'd take some pictures of some of my older finished items. I'll spread the photos out over the next several days, hopefully by the time I'm done showing you those, I'll have some more knitting and spinning to show you.

I have a bunch of pictures, but as I'm sorting them out, you just get one tonight. Mystery Stole 3 is starting soon, and as it has a bead option I thought I'd show the one beaded knitting I have done:

A little hand bag for my SIL, done with two different thicknesses of knit-crosheen held together, some nice beads, and a bit of patience. I did the beading with a tiny (size 13 maybe?) crochet hook onto just one of the strands. I designed it myself and then fit it with a lining and zipper. I made this back in 2003 (maybe?).

I haven't purchased any beads for MS3, and I don't know if I will - as I like beading, but my taste for it depends on the project - and since I can't see this one, I think I might not - but I could always change my mind....

More pictures tomorrow!
...and some crafty-progress soon - don't forget to enter the contest - one more day left!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wing of the Moth Blocked

Being blocked:

It measured 36" down the middle and 82" across the top. I didn't block it too severely, I could have easily gotten it a bit bigger. I started on the living room floor (on the two big towels) and then moved it to the bed after it was pinned and dried a bit. There's a lot more circulation in there. I left it there for several hours (showing it off to my mother and my neighbor), and then when it was dry I unpinned it.

Afterwards, it only sprung back a bit, but I didn't remeasure. I just like how it came out.

You can go through the blog and get all the details, but I'll try to recap. I had 4oz Superwash Colonial Wool from Ashabee's Creations. The color was called 'I've got the Blues' and 2 oz (and then bought another 2 oz) of White Angora from Copper Moose (who shipped SO fast). I spun them up and plied them together. I ended up with just over 1000 yards. I chose to use the Wing o' the Moth shawl pattern from KnitSpot. I knit on US 3 (Bamboo Circulars from Clober).

I started spinning in late May, and finished by June 18. I started knitting on Monday evening, and then knit straight (taking Wednesday off, just knitting that evening) and then I finished last night (Sunday) and washed and blocked it today!

Just as a quick note, it started with 5 stitches and the last row had 497 stitches. It had 204 rows if I added correctly. It was fun to work on and I am SO excited that it's done!

Don't forget to enter my contest (before Wednesday midnight - US east coast time) to win some yarny-crafty goodness!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Update on Moth Shawl

I finished! its unblocked state - measured 61 across and 32 inches down the center - blocking will hopefully be done tomorrow!
[EDIT]: I have 114 yards (7/8 ounce) left - wow I used the right needles, eh?

And since these have been patiently waiting in my basket for some ends-weaving-in since mid-week (sorry, I was obviously busy knitting.... and yes, he could have finished them, but we were in a waiting game and I will enable my husband to knit in any way possible - such as finishing stuff that he dislikes to do... whatever it takes to get socks made for me) here are the most recent socks that my sweet sweet husband made for me.

Tofutsies, US1 and US0, Priscilla's Dream Sock pattern, nice and snug on my feet.

Very comfy! :) I plan on wearing them tomorrow.

Don't forget to leave a comment for the contest!

100th Post Contest

Ok, here's the deal... I'm still knitting on the shawl. I am on row 12 (out of 17) of the edging, and then I will be done. I think I will be fine - which completely amazes me, that I knit this whole thing since Monday evening. I will have time to block it and I'm no longer saying "if it comes out nicely" although that is still in the back of my head - I really am planning to give it away. It will be nice to be done (although I am still enjoying the knitting, not hating it yet). I am looking forward to knitting something else with my own homespun yarn soon (not right away though).

I will return to knitting and try to get some nice pictures of it before I gift it but after I block it.... I noticed, however, that this is my 100th post. I know that's not that many, but it sounds pretty cool to me, so it's time for my first ever contest. (...and yes, I do just love comments, but I also want to mark this number in some way!) All you have to do is comment between now and Wednesday (june 27th) midnight (east coast usa time) and I will randomly select a winner. Please include your email in the comment (such as lucybw at gmail dot com) and the only other thing you have to include is your favorite post or FO or WIP (that's finished object and work in progress translated for my sister) that I've done on this blog. The winner will receive a nice crafty/yarny surprise package in the mail - those related to me are eligible, except for my sweet husband, who has all the yarn he needs right now (except for some solid sock yarn, of course - socks... socks!)

So, enjoy.. discuss amoungst yourselves, and enter!

note: as this is my first contest, if I get only two entries, they both win! ...more than two, I randomly draw! :) lol

Thursday, June 21, 2007

No picture post

Thanks for the compliments on the shawl... I have now knit monday evening, tuesday day, wednesday evening, and thursday day. I managed to finish the first chart of the shawl and the transition and have now started the second chart. I've got less than 61 rows in total... of course, I'm up to over 350 stitches per row...

I've been knitting a lot - and on only this one project. When this is done it will be nice to take a break for a couple of days... but I am still enjoying it for now - especially now that I figured out the reading the second chart (the pattern has both chart and text - I followed the first chart, but the second one is a bit more complex, I had to follow a couple of rows of text before jumping to the chart)

I'll take some pictures mid-day tomorrow, but it's hard to see, as it can't really stretch out on the long needles any more. I have a nice small deflated pile of yarn, but I am still working on the first skein of home-spun wool/angora.

Oh right, I never said what pattern I am working with... that would be wing of the moth. I didn't realize it until I had already made my decision, but I was reading Wendy's blog back when she made it, and Cara is currently making one also (go down to the bottom of that post). Pretty, eh?

btw, I am not just speeding through this for my health, I do maybe have plans for it (if it looks nice enough when it's done, otherwise I'll just keep it) which involve it being done next week.... so, back to knitting

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No post tonight

Why no real post tonight?

This was started last night - I think I had 24 pattern rows done last night (and the 20 set up rows). I am now done with pattern row 70 (it's 8 repeating rows - done 15 times total).

...this was written quickly during an ice cream break... returning to knitting...

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Toy and New Yarn

I got a new toy over the weekend...

of course, the yarn on there is left over from a pair of socks my husband made for me... we figured that with the amount left, he'll just need to make me some short (summer?) socks with the next skein and he'd be able to maybe squeeze two pair out of each tofutsies skein.

isn't it pretty?

I thanked my husband (he specifically looked for it and asked about it during our trip to webs this weekend... more on that tomorrow perhaps.)

I swatched for the mysterystole3 project. The bottom is on US3, the top is on US4. There's about a 1/2 inch difference in widths.

Someone on the ms3 group had asked about this yarn (Webs 2/14 Alpaca Silk) - it's very loosely plied in general, and so the first bit (that has had a chance to loosen) I found a bit splitty - but within the first row or two that wasn't a problem any more - and I love the way it's working up! I'm trying to decide which I like more... there isn't a way to increase width in the pattern, and I'd prefer to size of the wider one (6 1/2 for the swatch, plan on three times that). I think I like the look of the smaller one a bit more though... I'll have to let that settle in my mind over the next week and a half until the first clue comes out.

...during that time I will be quite busy knitting. The yarn is done:

It comes in at just over 1000 yards, so that means I have lots of choices for the shawl. Every time I think I've made a choice I become wishy-woshy about it, but I do need to make my pattern selection soon and start knitting.

I also reached the half way mark on the shawl for my younger daugther - well, not half way, that doesn't include the edging. ...but I have two skeins of the yarn for the center panel, and I finished knitting one of them.

I probably won't be able to do the number of repeats specified in the melon shawl pattern (VLT), but I'm happy with the length at half-way, so I'll just need to figure out how to fudge the edging ...math... I'll delay that for a while... at least until I'm closer to being done knitting.

Julie, and others, have asked about the spindolyn. I am very happy with mine - and yes, I do have a couple of tips. I recommend watching the video to see it used by someone who knows what they are doing. I usually sit on my chair and hold the spindolyn between my legs about halfway to my knees. I have to make sure the spindolyn is upright while spinning, and then I like it at a slight angle as I spin the yarn on (this might have to do with the chair I'm sitting on). It's a bit tricky at the beginning, and then again as it is full... similar to a drop spindle. It is not as fast as my wheel of course, but is much faster than my spindles. I do a fairly short draw and can spin pretty fine on it... you just need to make sure the yarn has enough twist so it will hold together...

Hopefully that's somewhat helpful, feel free to ask any more specific questions. I'm not an expert by any means, but I did spin all the angora on it.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

No knitting here....

As I said earlier, the blue wool is done...

the white angora is being spun...

Not much has been accomplished today on my crafts though because I went to a cannery today to can for long term food storage...

(I did knit in the car since I wasn't driving, but I now have to undo about 6 rows of the current VLT shawl, won't take too long, and I still made progress today, just not as much as I thought)

...but while I was gone, the mail arrived!

now I just need to swatch for MS3, so I'll know what needle size to use.

Of course, if you need a new project, you can try the sidewinders. I plan to sometime.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Conversations not with myself

I do have progress - I've spun the blue wool, and I am spinning the white angora. I have several more inches on the shawl for my younger daughter. So yeah, progress all around... but today I had a short road trip with my mom - we went to a post office and a yarn store. During the drive many things came up that I need to give her more information on, so here is what I spent half my day thinking and talking about:

...but since that doesn't give her the information she needs...

Dulaan - you can see some good pictures here and here. It's wrapping up for the year...

...but, while we're waiting to hear what next year's goal is, you can always donate (nice little blue button on the left side) to help cover the shipping costs. The trip to the post office today mailed off a grand total of 86 items (I made a small number and collected many more from my mother and another prolific knitter - we're all glad that keeping our hands busy helps others)

We then continued down the road for a while and ended up at one of my LYS. She purchased some lace weight for the Mystery Stole 3 Knit-A-Long (I'm such a bad influence) done by Melanie. The group closes in early July - so join up now if you want to knit a beautiful stole over the summer.

She also purchased some sock yarn and wanted to know where to find some great sock patterns from Wendy - check out the patterns at the top of the page, and the detailed sock pattern a bit lower down.

We discussed different toe-up patterns... Here's at least one cast on. After casting on, you can either do a short-row toe or a more traditional increase toe.

One more link before I move on to the pics of my purchases... I mentioned LibriVox. One of the other blogs I read mentioned it a while back, but I can't remember who. They take books that are in the public domain and provide audiobooks for them. My daughter is in a kids book club and we ran out of time to sit and read it together this week, so she "read" the first half of Wind in the Willows by listening and following along. I've downloaded a couple of chapters of Pride and Prejudice to listen to while knitting or spinning. Take a look!

So yes, I bought some stuff today at the LYS....

That's two sock patterns by Cookie A, a shawl pattern, and two skeins of KPPPM that should go nicely with this...

I'm hoping the yarn that I have will do the middle of the shawl, and then the new yarn will be for the edging... I'm kindof making it up as I go (not the pattern, it's from VLT.. just making up the yarn requirements - since it's for a 3 year old, but I want it to grow with her).

I will now go back to the spinning and knitting... as soon as the girls are in bed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stash Flash

To finish off SP10, I figured I should post my stash... so yesterday, while my girls had a nap, I took pictures of all of my yarn:

First, my actual workbasket. It holds my current WIP. This sits next to my chair and is usually pretty neat. In the middle of a big project (or several small ones) it might explode a bit all over the place though.

I normally don't buy yarn unless it's for a project. Sometimes I will buy yarn and not start it right away, and then with my swaps lately I have a bit of a back log. Most of what is in my stash is remains from old projects. Whether it's a full ball or a tiny scrap - most of my stash is stored in here:

I did actually take pictures of groups of yarn. If you are interested in seeing it, I started organizing all those pictures in flickr. Here's a small sampling though:

I received the next bag from my sister in law (christmas?) just in time for it to store my spun yarns. Most of them are found on this blog, but they are also included in the flickr stash.

My lopi (both left over and remains)

and then fully displayed

My fiber stash (allowing for the big bag of brown alpaca, the smaller big bag of dark brown/black wool, and the big bag of free old white-ish wool I can play with dyeing and techniques - which are not shown)

Of course, you have to add in my latest swap package and the yarn I just bought for baby blankets and bears (fully viewable on the flickr stash)

SP10 finale

Over the weekend I found out that my last swap package was on its way to me... I didn't expect it to arrive on monday!

In the card, Chelle explained that she's legally blind and the reason she was gone in the middle of the swap is she was at guide dog school! So although she is allergic to chocolate (sob!), animal yarns (sob!) and allergic to dogs and cats (ditto - me too!), she was getting her first guide dog.

The yarns are Cascade 220 (color 2435), indigo moon -so squishy! (lot 243- forest green) and some Koigu KPPPM (P820226). They are all SO nice :) and of course, my daughters tried to swipe the chocolate already, but it is mine!

Thank you SO much Chelle! Maylee (her dog) is such a cutie! I hope you keep reading and commenting.. awesome swap!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Not another FO yet

Progress is being made on the Dulaan hat, the SockYarn Melon Shawl, and the Pirate Sock. I also went through my shawl yarn I had spun up and plied it a bit tighter (paying more attention as I plied). Pictures next time perhaps. Nothing is quite done yet...

I also wanted to send people over to Claudia's MS page where she is trying to raise money, and reward people by drawing prizes... If you donate there you can also check out Cara's June 7 post and email two others who are raffling off prizes.

There was also an announcement today about the beginning of Mystery Stole 3. I've been staring at some of Melanie's other patterns for a while now... trying to get up my nerve to buy one and start it. With the Mystery Stole group she will be releasing the information bit by bit (almost) every week over the summer, and slowly it will come together. I've been looking at different yarn... I'm thinking of this - in fawn perhaps (she suggested white or black... or cream or gray) - seeing I only need 1200 yards, that would be plenty. ..and then I have to decide if I want to use beads or not... and what kind.. if I decide to do that option. She's closing sign-ups July 6th, so if you're interested, sign up soon!

Hopefully I'll have something finished (or close to finished) soon...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Project Bunny

I finished the felted bunny. Last night, while in spindlers chat, I sewed up the stuffing hole, and sewed on eyes and a nose/mouth, and attached a little pompom tail.

My older daughter was still awake, and she wanted to carry the little bunny in to her sister - so I quickly snapped the pictures and we placed it in her sleeping embrace. She was very pleased this morning to see it, and hugged it all day, before placing it on her bed with super monkey and the blue fish and her teddy bear.... (and mommy realized the toy craze needs to end).

I also finished this pretty yarn for a shawl:

I think I might need to send it through the wheel one more time - the ply is a bit loose... but I can do that. I also ordered another bit of angora from the copper moose, so I can spin up the rest of the blue wool, and have more angora to ply it with. I currently have that one skein - about 590 yards. I used a little over half of the blue wool, and 2 oz of angora - so I should end up with almost (not quite) double that.

And of course, since I finished those things, the project bunny brought me new projects to start...

Recovered (frogged) knit picks sock yarn. Two held together, with a US 7 right now - hat for dulaan... I need to mail the boxes off soon, maybe next week.

And other sock yarn from knit picks... My younger daughter wants a shawl. Her older sister already has one and she suffers from 'me-too'ism. I figured with two balls of this yarn (to be further identified later) I could make a decent size shawl for her. The pattern is the melon shawl from Victorian Lace Today, although I'm not sure I'll do the edging that is part of the pattern.

She is so excited when I told her I was finally working on a shawl for her... tonight she made her father hand it to me (I was sitting away from my basket) and once I held it up and showed her again she looked at me and told me to 'knit mommy! knit my shawl!' after I gave her a look she added a 'please'. This one might take a while, as the blue and white shawl will get priority again as soon as the angora comes in the mail (I ordered last night, and already got a tracking number this morning).

Last night, while watching The Painted Veil (strange movie, not bad, but strange) I also ripped back a bit in the pirate sock, and started knitting back up again with 8 less stitches going around. Instead of a slow spiral it now is just a stripe-y jumble - hooray! I am slowly moving back to the knitting - I'm sure the spinning will pick up again next week :)