Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I imported what I could easily figure out here, but I'll be leaving this blog up indefinitely. Please come visit the new diggs and help me figure out where to hang the art and put the furniture!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
"Um... no..." I replied with some shame.
"Why not?!" with much indignation.
So, without further ado, here's her first knitted sock, in all its glory. Have I mentioned how much I love this yarn with this pattern?
Has anyone else noticed that Ravelry likes to crop photos, even if you use the little drag and drop thingee? That's why the sock isn't any bigger in that photo. I'm trying to figure out what the right size for Ravelry might be.
For the unJayed out there, here's a close-up. It's a very simple pattern. Row one is knit all the way around, and row two repeats on each of the four needles (assuming dpns). The colors are a little deeper and darker in person, but you know the drill with me and my lack of photography skills.
The mate is coming right along. They won't match, because I have no idea where in the skein that thinnish pink band (at top of sock #1) happens. In the second sock, it's an EVEN THINNER band, of the likes not seen in sock #1, more like the very narrow pink band in the foot of sock #1. So, I decided not to even try to match 'em up. The colors are the same dye lot, and she'll wear them with jeans and clogs most of the time, so...
Also, don't forget Anne's contest ends on the 15th! I'm glad I didn't have time to enter before we left for the beach, because this pattern is going to be one of mine, even though I know Anne isn't likely to suddenly take up socks any time soon.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
As the cold of winter approaches, do you change the projects you work on? Do you work on gifts for others or do you continue working on projects for yourself?
You mean other than socks?! I'm supposed to be doing some lace and other holiday knitting, but there are November/early December birthdays that require some knitting too. I'm not working on anything for me right now, and the goal is to not knit for myself until after the holiday knits AND my Pay it Forward knits are complete. As this was my first calendar year of knitting, I did find myself picking non-wool, smaller items in the heat of summer, save socks of course.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Then, there's the coffee swap. I actually *DO* have some coffee here at the beach, thanks much. It's in a bottle, in the refrigerator, with Starbucks on the label, but that counts right?? There's a topic of the week, and you know I'm a team player and a contest junkie, so:
When did you first start drinking coffee? What age were you? Was it about the caffeine, or do you love the taste and smell? Tell us how your passion began!
Firstly, I'd hardly call it a passion. That's the cold, hard truth. Tea is a passion, but I'm learning to like coffee. LIKE. Just enough to think it's fun to be in a swap.
My start with coffee had me gagging and spitting. Not pretty. That's pretty much how I reacted until one of the other female firefighters ground some for me. I don't recall the first flavor - hazelnut? - but once I learned that I didn't loathe ALL coffee, I very slowly began testing the waters. So for the sake of the contest, let's say I was in my 20s before I was able to actually swallow a sip of coffee.
I've always loved the smell of coffee though.
And no, Mugsy isn't sure about the waves. He likes the little ones that lap at the shore best, thanks.
Maybe knitting content will happen in the next post.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Hmmm... Makes me think my upcoming contest will be tied to a cause of some sort too. Stay tuned for the knitting anniversary contest with a cause to be announced later this month!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Okay, it's too small. We were pretty sure our boy needed a large, but there were none to be found in the costumes we liked. The extra large looked huge. (Note to self: Mugsy ain't skin 'n bones.) So, it wasn't comfortable, and the head piece fit not at all, really. That didn't stop my mother inlaw (let's call her MJ since everyone else has some sort of name) and Pop from TRYING to cram Mugsy's thick neck and swelled head into the bit o' fabric.
It COULD have been a cute costume. See the potential?!
We did have one "treater." It's hard to even threaten a trick or treat when you're about a pound and move from one human's hands to another. Abby's sweater fits perfectly! I'm tickled pink, as I had to really fudge the pattern to attempt to make it small enough for the bitty gal. The fact that she moves comfortably in this sweater makes me happier than you can imagine. There's room for a bit of growth, but a slightly larger wool version in self-striping sock yarn is in my queue.
Pattern - Dandy Dog Sweaters, Mocked Cable by Fiber Trends
Needles - size 6 straights, size 5 dpns
Yarn - TLC Baby in White Sparkle
Modifications - Too many to list. Everything was shorter.
An exceptionally quick knit, and truly, probably the most gratifying yet. Abby is content, her owners are stupid-happy, enough so that they brought her up to our house (gee, a whopping 1/2 mile away!) for me to see.
Now, back to packing. The laptops are going, as is the never-ending Tofutsie sock (I love this yarn and pattern, and I hate that it keeps getting shuffled aside!), Fred's Yarn for the Knight's sock, and a certain blue alpaca lace. MJ's birthday socks might go too, because I plan on lots of down time, which means lots of knitting. Transit to and from alone will afford me 8 hours of knitting!
PS - If I settle on a yarn for the cabled headband, that's going too.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
So, since I'm finally realizing November is RIGHT HERE and that means Thanksgiving and a confirmed visit from Anne (coming for two Thanksgivings in a row makes it a sustainable tradition, right?), I'll share some of my favorite photos from my favorite holiday.
That's my all-time favorite photo of Pop. It captures his best personality. There's also a very cranky, demanding old man personae, but you don't care to meet that one.
My apologies to my vegan pals, but that's about the only way I like turkey. The Knight and Dae (aka: my father inlaw) can deep-fry a turkey with the best of 'em. The Knight is the resident carver, but here, one of the ladies preps it for the carving.
I'm really excited about the stack of pumpkin recipes Gaylen sent me too. Pumpkin is a food group in our house, for the next few months anyway. They'll be going to the beach with us. I'm really hoping the Knight will adore my version of the beach. We've always done the beach his way, which is to say, Myrtle Beach. Myrtle's okay, but when I think beach, I think Outer Banks, and I'm looking forward to having a house to call our own, and having Mugsy with us. Cutting the travel time almost in half won't hurt either.
I'm thinking it's about contest time again too. Keep your eyes open; Thanksgiving will mark my one-year of knitting anniversary, and I'm certainly thankful for all that knitting has brought to my life, especially my friendships with so many of you.
Now that I've bored you too, we'll call this post done.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Yarn: Ella Rae Amity. I liked it well enough for this project, but it doesn't drape well enough for anything other than blankies and snuggles. It felt good enough sliding through my fingers, but it's got that acrylic "fuzz" thing going on. There were knotted joins in both skeins, which again, for a snuggle Mugsy is going to dig and scratch in is fine, but I definitely wouldn't be pleased if I was using it for a sweater for me, which was the reason I wanted to try this yarn.
Needles: The trust KP Options with the metal tips this time, because Anne warned that I'd need to scratch and dig a bit on those P3 combos. I don't think I split more than a couple of stitches, and they were easily fixed.
Then, I cast on several times, with three different yarns, for little neighbor Abby's first coat. It's a Fiber Trends pattern, done with a sport weight yarn instead of worsted, so it should be small enough to fit the wee lass. Of course, the great thing about knitting for little ones is be they human or canine, I'm about halfway on the back portion now. (Not in this photo, but we had a brief DSL not working episode.) It's very girly, and I wouldn't want to wear this stuff next to my skin - the flecks of color are rather coarse - but I think Abby will enjoy it.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Firstly, I must apologize to my friend. The bag did look better when it left here, but the photo on Anne's blog just turns my stomach. Pout. I hope she knows I honestly wouldn't have sent her such a train wreck of a bag, and I hope her Bag Lady skills will allow her to restore it to something more akin to what left here. Obviously, my concerns about it still being damp within somewhere were well-founded.
We'll start at the end and work our way back. There's the finished product, which pleases me more than I thought it would. This is the Plymouth blah blah pattern, and let me be clear; I CANNOT recommend this pattern to anyone. Awful ain't the word. There are errors in the chart and no errata to be found, although I think I was able to figure out how to make the assorted cables mirror each other, within the rows and top to bottom.
The little pop of green at the top? Yeah, well, pictured on the pattern photo, but NOT written into the pattern, so I kinda' guessed, and made the green wider than I really wanted it, but it's all good. The straps? Um, yeah. I made them THREE times as long as the pattern called for. Who on earth does a 35 row strap on a felted bag?! Also, a bag this size really should be done in a bulky yarn or two strands of worsted, and I'll know better in the future, not that I'll do this pattern again. No way. I hope Anne finds it acceptable and can use it to store yarn in or something, but it's not even worth trying to modify for future use.
Yarn: Patons Wool. Six balls of dark grey, and two balls of bottle green, with the last ball of each barely getting used. I did have to buy an extra ball of the grey, as the pattern called for five, and I have this annoying habit of knitting VERY loosely for felted projects. Loved the way this felted up, with more heft than I would have predicted, but DANG this stuff sheds. In desperation, I did run it through the dryer on no heat for a few minutes, which helped tremendously. I also ran one of those shaver muh-bobs over it.
Needles: Knitpicks Options, in both metal and the sweet Harmonys. My knitting did tighten up some with the Harmonys, and I'm liking those very much. Size #10.5, 32 inch circs.
Pattern: Plymouth Celtic Felted Tote, #P635
New skills: You can't see it in the final product, but I will likely take the time (and it is laborious) to do an i-cord bind-off on all my felted bags in the future. Great little trick, that.
This is also my first cabled project, and I enjoyed cables, but not the way this pattern was written. The bottoms and tops of the diamonds were sloppy, and I don't know that I did anything wrong. (Really don't like this pattern, just in case you missed that.) I'm looking forward to doing a cabled headband and other cables very soon.
I also had to do an infinite amount of seaming. Each corner and each cable, inside and out, had to be drawn together to give it that little bit of texture. I like it, and had the bag not felted from 34"x 24" to 17" x 13" , I think it would have shown up a bit better.
The handles were a neat trick. Each one is two straps, with different yarn-over patterns, so that they easily weave together. The end result is beautiful, I think, and it makes a solid, double-thick handle for this still very large tote.
This monster was truly a labor of love, and I'm sorry to tell any future felted bag pals that I don't think you should count on a tote. I enjoy smaller bags a lot more. Mugsy was kinda' hoping it would be his new bed, and had it not felted better than expected, that was a serious possibility. Some orthopedic foam shoved in there with the top stitched shut, and he would have had labor-intensive dog bed.
Also, can anyone tell me why most of my bags have such a floppy, stretched-out top? We didn't tug on this one much at all, except to widen it at the center, where the cable drew in so much, but all of my felted bags have this ruffly top, to some degree.
The promised how big is it really shot. Folks, I'm 5'3" if that helps you wrap your mind around how big this was prior to felting.
Anners, I wish it had turned out more like the photo on the pattern, and I hope again you can restore it to what it looked like when it left here. Pout.