March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know, technically St. Patrick’s Day was yesterday…
…which can only mean one thing! I turn 21 today 😀 I’m also officially on “Spring Break”, and today’s weather definitely speaks towards SPRINGGG. I’m so, so glad to be done with snow.
I’m even more glad to have a respite from school, too. I only had two midterms, which went smoothly, and not too many projects due, but I’ve become hugely busy over the past few weeks. I’ve started volunteering at a local museum, had a small “might need surgery” scare, will be helping make buttons for Walk for Choice, and of course have been knitting up a storm. Oh, I also started spinning.
Isn’t my first wheel-spun yarn just beautiful? I think most people would be discouraged by something so messy, curly and uneven, but I love it. I think it has character. And, I’m never going to use it. Unfortunately I can’t afford a wheel right now, not to mention I don’t have the space, so I’ve taken up spindling for the time being. My first spindle-spun isn’t as curly as my wheel-spun:
It definitely still has character, though.

Speaking of character, there have been a few more monsters in the house!
This big boy is Hugo (“who-go”) the Couch Potato Monster. He’s the perfect size for hugging and acting as a temporary pillow, but right now he keeps me company if I’m watching a movie or TV show.
Then there’s this classy little fellow, Sammy (Sammie) the Sock Monster. His braces give him a lisp, so it sounds more like “Schammie” when he talks. He asks me for a “schecond schock” all the time, which I do need to get around to doing.
The lovely Mrs. Danger is the one to credit for the patterns. Her publishing company recently held a contest for her monsters, and surprisingly enough, Hugo won! I’ll have a Danger-made monster in my house within the next few days.

Though I consider my inability to relax non-existent, I spent more than enough at my LYS (thanks to my birthday discount) to keep me pretty occupied during the week. I even got a Nook to store some of my PDF patterns to make it even easier to take them with me, but for now I’ve just been playing a lot of Crossword on it…


Oh Holy Cupcakes

February 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Has there been snow!
There is snow on top of snow with some ice mixed with the snow, all over snow. With snow. Snow drifts and piles are taller than me! Wait, that’s not saying much, because I am tiny.
That also means there has been knitting. Boy, has there been knitting.
Is this not the most adorable monster ever? The pattern is Penelope courtesy of the amazing Rebecca Danger who has quickly become my hero over the past few weeks. In fact, the title is thanks to her, from her new book (which I have two copies of). I’m already working on one of her new patterns, actually.
All-Day Beret
This was a free pattern I yoinked from Debbie Stoller back in October at Stitches East. I use her Bamboo Ewe yarn as well. The biggest downside? I resized the pattern, so now the hat is too small to fit on my head comfortably. I still love the yarn and the pattern was nice and simple.
Yep, I drank the Clapotis Kool-Aid! I wanted it done for Christmas for my mom and finished it in time for her birthday instead, which is in a little over a week. I also changed the panels from stockinette to seed stitch:
which helped the scarf lay flat as I worked on it, but it still benefit from a block when it was done. I couldn’t get any pictures of the washed and blocked object, but I found a handsome model in the meantime…
I definitely need to make one for myself, it’s just a matter of being able to afford the yarn (if I can even figure out what yarn I want to use!)
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s school. With the weather it hasn’t been demanding, as this is my first full week of classes (but my third week overall). My schedule isn’t terribly complicated either, so hooray!
Then there’s also my hands. They’re being fickle, annoying, painful little appendages. My elbow, back and shoulder have been sore, which is nothing new, but now my left leg has been getting sore and painful which makes me wobble when I walk on bad days. Three of the fingers on my left hand have also been swelling, which I’ve been told are caused by overuse. I can only knit a few rows before they start to feel stiff and need ice or to be wrapped up like a velociraptor, and it’s hard to hold a knitting needle with two fingers.
The good news is, though, that I’ll hopefully have a better idea as to what’s causing my discomfort. As I sit here, I have a little piece of gauze and medical tape on my arm from a blood test I had this morning to make sure I’m not suffering from some kind of deficiency. As long as I can keep knitting I’m happy!

Dear ArtYarns…

January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dear ArtYarns,
Your Supermerino is a smooshy, warm, smooth, soft and spongy yarn to work with, and it’s the kind that I’d love to throw into a huge box and live in for the rest of my life. Even so, all of the buttery-smooth goodness could not have overcome the two hours of frustration I endured from trying to untangle a good chunk of it. I did not mind having to re-wind my ball, courtesy of my brand new ball winder, but I could have done without the blinding and increasingly confusing color changes that made the tangling and knotting even worse.

Ms. Okay-it-isn’t-your-fault-I-should-invest-in-a-real-swift-already

As it is Wednesday, it should be a habit by now to show my WiPs for Wip-wuh. I even have some to show off, and with good reason! Say hello to my front yard:

The only thing that’s missing is the several feet of ice that are now on top of all of the snow. That may or may not be a gross exaggeration.

I did finish the armwarmers I quickly mentioned at the end of a previous post!
I made some errors, as expected, but they still get the job done. I need to make MORE! NOW!!

Now, on the other end of the spectrum?
My Multidirectional Scarf has gone back in time and is now in the yarn phase. The pattern is a great, quick, mindless pattern to follow, but the end scarf would have been much too long and thick for me to wear on a regular basis. The two separate colorways I got also don’t go as well together as I thought they would, and as such, will be two different scarves now.

I will have finished objects next time I can get around to posting, I promise. School starts next week but my schedule is a little lighter than last semester so I still have some breathing room. There are also a few things I’d like to take care of that include this blog – mostly putting my domain to good use as a portfolio, among others. I shall see! 🙂

Twenty Eleven

January 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wait what? It’s a new year already? Did I miss the memo?
Of course, everybody spends their holidays in their own way and hopefully everybody out there had safe and wonderful holidays 🙂 Mine went well, though relatively uneventful, which was entirely my choice. I saw family, friends I hadn’t seen in years, met some new people, but most of all have had time to organize things and get projects done! We also got a ton of snow which was another good excuse to stay in, just check out these awesome icicles:

That isn’t to say that I’ve actually finished anything, but this is the first year in a few years that I’ve actually made resolutions, the first of which is to finish any residual projects before starting anything new. That includes the scarf for myself, armwarmers, the Rebecca Danger monster-in-progress, the All-Day Beret and my mom’s clapotis. Speaking of her clapotis, I ended up abandoning the idea of using my huge stash of cotton and decided to go buy some Artyarns Supermerino to use instead, which is an amazing, colorful, smooshy, soft yarn to work with. I also modified the pattern which seems to show off the color in an interesting way:

Hopefully in my next entry I’ll be close to finished and will be able to outline the changes I’ve made, since I can’t list everything here.
Part of my christmas gift was a collection of hamburger charms, which also means I’ve been making some fancy-schmancy stitch markers as well. They’re kind of ridiculous but also pretty awesome:

I made some crochet ones as well, but they’re pretty boring compared to the beaded ones for knitting.

Which reminds me, I realize that I originally started keeping a blog with the intention of seeing both crochet and knitting since I consider myself proficient in both, but I’ve found that crochet as of late has been aggravating my joints more than knitting does on average 😦 maybe it was my lack of physical therapy appointments but it makes amigurumi very annoying to complete.


December 24, 2010 § Leave a comment

I know, I know, it’s supposed to be WiP Wednesday, not Friday. I intended to make a post on Wednesday but I have little to no sense of what day of the week it is. I’ve also had a massive head cold and no voice for about a week, but finally got over the “oh man remember when I could breathe through my nose? good times” phase.
First! The grandpa neck-warmer has since been handed over and is now in Florida 🙂 he loved the idea of a neck-warmer instead of a scarf, though I think I made the button-hole a little too big. When I went to visit, I ended up talking to his girlfriend about knitting and told her all about interchangeable needles, while she showed me an afghan she made and told me about several yarn stores in the area that I haven’t been to yet…but I’ll have to now!

Anyway, following my previous WiPW as a guide…

My Multidirectional Scarf has been coming along great – the size 9s make the process go much faster and it’s much less dense than on the size 6. I’ve already finished my first color (Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Edgewater) and am onto my second (Andersonville) so hopefully it’ll be done while, uh, it’s still cold out.

Technically this is a super secret gift, oh my! Back when I went to Stitches East I got a TON of Araucania Pomaire, an aran weight 100% hand-dyed pima cotton. My mom kept hinting that she likes the color, so I’m making her a Clapotis for Christmas. I’m nowhere near done, which she knows, and I already know that I’m going to be making another one in the future. From what I understand, the finished scarf/shawl looks amazing when blocked, and since cotton has no memory, it’s hard for it to keep its shape. I don’t have experience with blocking cotton so I don’t know how true that is, but worst case I have to go get a different yarn and make another. (oh woe is me!)

Everything else on my last WiP post is essentially in hibernation, especially the shrug and the OFA Red Scarf. I didn’t make the deadline for the latter, and the former’s just one of those things I need to be in the right “mood” to want to work on.
Also, two projects aren’t pictured here: a Penelope (by Rebecca Danger) in Cascade 220 and a pair of armwarmers in Malabrigo Rios. Both have taught me two important things:
1. Rios is SO, SO SMOOSHY. It’s also very knotty, no pun intended, and winding it was a little frustrating, but so worth it.
2. I absolutely need to Magic Loop everything that I can. I’m so glad I finally conquered that technique and I can see why people say it’s so addictive.

I suppose that’s enough for now, I’m feeling kinda chilly and should start thinking about dinner. I hope everybody has a fantastic and safe holiday! 😀

hehfrengdo everybody look at the snow in their yaaaard

December 11, 2010 § 1 Comment

I’m not a fan of Family Guy, but unfortunately every time I hear “Sleigh Ride” (which is everywhere) it always comes to mind. Pretty sure I don’t know the actual words, either!
Since it is December now, that means a few things: snow, school ending, and “if I hear any more Christmas music I will lose my mind”. It also means a lot of this:

Though that isn’t very dependent on the weather.
Naturally around now a lot of people say that they’re really busy with finishing school and Christmas presents and such. I’ve definitely been keeping busy, in both good and bad ways. My aunt has had me babysit my 5 year old cousin on a fairly regular basis, which is an adventure in its own way. I’ve also – fingers crossed – managed to get a part-time job! After three years of being jobless it’s a relief to say that I can say I’m somewhat employed. Naturally, this also means plenty of yarn money 😀
School, though, has become its own monster in several ways, for reasons that I’d rather not divulge here. And, even though I love everything that’s been keeping me busy the last few weeks, going from “way too much free time” to “what’s free time?” is a little stressful, and when I get stressed I try to keep my mind distracted by knitting or otherwise. Thankfully that means I actually finished something!

This was mentioned several times already, as a “grandpa scarf”, but after further research I found that a neckwarmer suits him more than a full length scarf. Cascade Eco Alpaca + red wood buttons from my LYS + a wonderful, quick pattern * a week’s time = this soft, squishy, warm, luxurious neckwarmer. The recipient is leaving for Florida in a little over a week and will be gone for a few months, so I’m glad that doubling up the yarn made it something really quick to knit.
Unfortunately, my OFA red scarf probably won’t make the deadline, even though I’ve since restarted it and gone for a supposedly quicker idea, but I still have a long way to go. It’s given me a good opportunity to try combination knitting, though, which has intrigued me for a while. My left arm has started going the same route as my right, which is to say that moving my fingers makes my forearm tense up and hurt (a LOT), on top of both of my shoulders hurting and my right arm just being a pain. I blamed English-style purling for the annoyance and so far Combination has felt like much less strain. Plus, it just looks cool 😛


November 24, 2010 § 9 Comments

It’s Wednesday! That means it’s WiP Wednesday / WiPW / Whipwuh!

This is the scarf pictured a few weeks ago, only it’s much tinier. I didn’t realize that I screwed up the direction and the idea that it would straighten out was wrong 😦 so, I had to frog all of it and ended up restarting on larger needles.

It doesn’t look like anything now, but it’s going to be a stuffed animals. I don’t really want to say what exactly it’s going to be quite yet, but the colors should give it away.

Started swatching for my All Day Beret.

My “grandpa scarf” hasn’t moved much. I’m using Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s pattern which is really easy…I’m just lazy.

This scarf…oh, this scarf. Let me tell you about this scarf. I’m making this for the OFA Red Scarf Project, using the Palindrome pattern, in Cascade’s Eco+ wool. I started on size 10 needles and used the single cast-on method, which looked pretty awful with the pattern. Then I messed up the cable pattern…frogged it. Started again, same cast-on, made it to two cable repeats, but it looked too loose. Frogged it. Used long-tail cast-on, still looked too loose. Frogged it.
Then I got my needles and decided it would be better with a smaller needle size. Started on a size 8, long-tail cast on, perfect! By two cable repeats I realized it was too narrow. Frogged it. Casted on 12 extra stitches, same cast-on, and I’ve made it to three cable repeats. So far, so good, except for one tiny issue. My size 8 needles don’t fit on the cable properly, where one side is too loose and the other has an unsightly gap. Rather than turn green and start smashing things, I emailed Knit Picks and now there’s a replacement size 8 set in the mail. I’m only a little worried about reaching the deadline, 3 weeks feels like plenty of time as long as there aren’t any more issues.

If the toy wasn’t enough to prove that I’m still crocheting, then there’s this, the Madison Shrug. I spent a few weeks swatching and now I’m still finishing the first sleeve. So far so good, I love the yarn I’m using (Spa by Naturally Caron)…just lazy as always. 😀

That’s it for now – have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

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