Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bear and Socks and Fiber... oh my!

I had this post almost ready to go out about a week ago, when suddenly our DSL wasn't working... it took 5 days to get it back and then another day to make sure everything was working again, so finally, here's the post!

My husband has a co-worker who recently had a child (well, he's the father, so he didn't *have* the child, but yeah...) so my sweet husband asked if I'd be willing to make a bear for them.

Then of course another co-worker saw the bear and asked if I'd make one for him to give away, so we coordinated and got more colors...

At this point the second bear is actually done and photos will be in the next post!

I also finished the stripe-y socks!

My husband now has a pair of tall warm winter socks (and he actually wore them while it was still really cold).

He did say that the shaping started a bit late, so it's a bit tight right before the increases start.

...and the ribbing still had too many stitches in it (didn't decrease enough), so it stretches a bit big - we're trying to decide if it's worth fixing or if we'll just keep it in mind if (when?) I make another pair sometime before next winter. Since we keep the house so cool during the winter these were definitely appreciated!

...and completely unrelated...

While shopping for a swap I'm participating in I saw this roving in an etsy shop and loved the colors! So... this came to my house and gets to stay :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

My fiber-y stash and Ravelry

At the end of January my husband decided that he needed to take stock of his yarn. So we set up some white posterboard, a couple of good lights, and used our newish camera to take pictures of all of his yarn. Of course, while he was setting it up (with his yarn sitting calmly off to the side) I brought my yarn into the other end of the kitchen and quietly piled it up. The spinning fiber snuck in also.

My husband of course was able to get his yarn uploaded into ravelry that night. My stash on the other hand.... I ended up entering it mostly in an all day marathon a week or so later. I entered everything. 8 grams of raccoon fiber? into the database it went. 3 big bags of alpaca fiber? Weighed and recorded. Lots of scraps of Lopi yarn? Ummm... maybe entered it all together, but with all the information I have. I really want to forward these scraps onto others (already mailed off two envelopes to people on ravelry who needed just a bit more of something I had) or I want to use these up in a productive way. I figured I had to enter every single bit - or toss them, because if I don't know what's there, then there is no way I'll ever use it.

So everything is up there... and now, for those of you who have no clue what ravelry is, and therefore couldn't follow those links... go sign up. wait a couple of days. ...and then you will know. Ravelry is about knitting and crocheting. It has forums to find people to talk to, places to record the projects you have finished (or those that you will never finish). It has databases of patterns and yarns for you to browse through... and of course, you can keep track of other people's projects that you like... or those you plan to make.

After putting up my stash I decided to go through my queue. I know that many people use their queues in different ways... I personally use it to keep track of those projects that I would really like to make. Perhaps I won't cast on in the exact order that they are listed, but when it makes it to the queue it means I really do plan to make these and usually already have the yarn on hand. Of course, there are already 12 patterns there. So I guess I know what I'll be doing for a while... (of course, I'm not locked into any of these, but there are reasons that they made it to the queue)

Now that my fiber is all listed, and my queue is set up, I really am excited about some of my future projects... of course, I still enjoy my current ones.. I just wish they were a lot shorter :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Part of my Christmas presents from my husband was a slipper kit. It came with slipper bottoms and a gift card to my LYS so I could knit myself up a pair of felted clog slippers (cuz I made a pair for him and he loves them so much).

So I finished up a couple of projects and then went to the LYS and picked up some Cascade 220, and then a little while later I whipped them up.

I then felted them and tried them for a while

I then decided I needed to felt them a tiny bit more, and then, true to his word, he sewed the bottoms on for me (knitting my own slippers - okay... sewing them on - ulgh). I've now been walking around with warm feet... just to make new ones for the girls (well, maybe in the fall... and the boy will need a pair by then too)

Scooting and Rocking (Videos)

As you have seen, I rarely put my kids up on the blog (first because this is a craft blog, and second, for their privacy) but I've had a number of requests to see these videos of Mr Little Tomato... We'll see if this works.

The first is of him moving across the room. He now will crawl (on his stomach) if we put him down that way, but he used to scream and cry and then put his head down and just wait for us to sit him up, so this is the way he learned to move around from his preferred sitting position.

This second video is of him on the rocking horse that one of his grandpa's made for older sister (when she was just a bit bigger than he is now). He can't quite get on it by himself yet, but when someone puts him on it we get rewarded with huge grins ...usually. Even though he can't get on, he can almost always get off of it without help when he's done.

Hope you enjoyed the rare pics of one of the kids!

Monday, March 09, 2009

A little lace

Remember this?

Well, I finally finished spinning it (squishing the last yards on it).

As I tried to unwind it I got a tangled mess for a while and had to just keep winding it onto the niddy-noddy. Luckily my girls were playing quietly and my boy was napping. I finally finished and gave it a rough washing. Hot water, cold water, flinging it around, whacking it against the tub. I'm sure I 'lost' several yards this way, but I am not so worried about it falling apart. This is the first time I've planned to work and knit with singles. Then I set it aside on a door knob (with tile floor) to dry.

As I wound the yarn into a ball (and then used the ball winder to make it easier to use) I could feel the felted yarn strands being pulled apart. I couldn't wait and as soon as I knew I had enough (just over 2 oz, 483 yards - at least I hope that's enough!) I cast on for the swallowtail shawl.

This first picture is blurry, but shows the color so well....

...and this second picture is washed out, but you can really see the pattern forming.

It's coming along slowly, as I do still have two tall socks and a small sweater I'm working on... and my husband added a project to the current pile for me to do as quick as I can.... but I did bring it to my daughter's birthday day-out (she turned 7 and brought a friend roller-skating and out to dinner instead of having a birthday party) and I went from row 30 to row 48 (out of 84 for the first chart) while listening to really loud music at the skating rink. It will be slow but steady hopefully. It is so much fun to knit with yarn I spun myself... I think I've done it over a handful of times now and it is still a blast!

(My husband is finishing my slippers right now... post on that soon!!)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

oh right...

Before I forget, I still need some people to craft for... go down a couple posts and sign up. Blog-less people are now allowed I guess, but they still need to pay it forward somehow! (and let me know how they do, as I can't just stalk their blogs) I'll take two more people (as I will of course make something for my husband... although after these stripey socks it might take awhile before the next project for him) :)

Just a note: the items you pay forward need to be made by you, but don't have to be fibery, they can be anything made by you for someone else.

Warmer Winters

Well, although you've already seen this red hat when it was first finished I was delinquent about everything else I made for Warmer Winters this year...

When my mother started this program in our area she had some yarn that had been given to her to be used, so I snagged three skeins for me to use. I figured Christmas knitting was done and I could whip some stuff up...

There was this hat and cowl

...and this hat and cowl...

...this yarn I had got for 'Lily' to make something - instead she asked me to make something with it to donate - but not a cowl... she doesn't like those... so I made a small pocket scarf!

(graciously modeled by my friend's daughter, as mine are both giants) This picture was taken at our local library, which has a weekly knitting group we've been going to. It is held right after our ice skating class, and is during the day, so it's all homeschoolers or older adults, which has just been lovely. The girls knit for a bit and then find their books for the week and talk with their friends while I get to (usually) sit and knit and talk since Mr Little Tomato likes to be awake during skating and sleep for most of the library time. While I really enjoyed other groups I've been to this one really seems to suit my life and schedule!

I also made this little hat out of leftovers.

oh, and I also really have another skein - 'Curly' took it and is knitting a simple hat (round and round) with it. As Warmer Winters will take items year-round I'm patiently waiting for her to finish it.

Back before Christmas (just after sending the package off to Missouri with some family presents) I started a hat for a friend. We had decided to barter (my knitting skills for her photography skills... now that everyone's almost well I'll have to schedule that with her soon). She chose this hat off of ravelry and I (very willingly) ordered some Japanese craft books. Details are on ravelry, but it was rather fun actually decoding the directions... especially as I hadn't ever crocheted from a chart before.

Reactions were good and I think she liked it.

I've also finished spinninng this yarn (shots of pretty yarn later) and have already started knitting with it.

I realized I like to have two or three projects going at once and while at the moment my slippers aren't completely done, the knitting of them is. The only other project I had going (before starting this new lace) was the stripey socks - and although there are two of them, each a big project, it's not quite the same as having a variety of things to work on...