Friday, December 29, 2006
I completed my Christmas knitting in the nick of time. The stocking came out quite well. I am happy enough that I am in the process of writing up the pattern. As well as knitting up another sample because my notes aren’t worth crap. I know what I did, but couldn’t tell you how many inches long the leg or the foot is. These details might be important. I’m sure most knitters would appreciate it more specific information than knit until it is long enough.
But, after all of the holiday knitting, I am finally working on something for myself.
This is the Rowan Magpie that I bought on the cheap during a clearance sale at my LYS. Sadly, it is discontinued. I am finding that it snags easily, but I love the way it knits up. The pattern is my own and it will be a snug vest to wear over a button down shirt. I am planning a deep v-neck. I am surprised at the mileage I am getting from the Magpie.
I have added a button the the "It's not a Gift" KAL to sidebar. What a treat to do something for me...
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Friday, December 15, 2006
I didn't do it. When pressed, he said that he did it at school and that the teacher didn't see him because he was being sneaky.
Good thing he was already due for a haircut!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Then I found this baby. Yeah, it is vintage, but I figure that it has to be better than what I currently have and besides, this is coming out of the money I earned at the craft fair. I had pretty much forgotten that I had placed a bid on it until I got home tonight. I was surprised to find out that I was still the high bidder, even with the ridiculously low bid I put in. Ever since, I have been hovering, waiting to see if I would get out bid. Which I didn't. Yea! A swift for $33.00 including shipping!
The fair-isle Christmas stocking is proceeding. I forgot how nice Cascade 220 can be to work with. I have been using either the Knit Picks or Elann versions, which I find to be scratchier. I will probably publish this pattern for sale once the holidays are over and I can convert my cryptic notes into a full-fledged pattern.
I haven't had a chance to takes pics of it in progress yet...
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Holiday Craft Fair was a huge success for my family. My mom and sister each made about $1200. Not a bad deal! I made $164, which pales in comparison, but is what I had hoped to make, so I am very happy.
I have decided to get a business license so that I can do this again next year and not worry about paying the sales tax through my mom. Besides, then the yarn that I purchase is tax free. BONUS!
I have been doing knitting, but haven't taken any pictures lately. Once I get further into the swing of life, I will post them.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Because of the icky personal stuff, which I won't burden you with, my folks came to help for a few days. I priced and labeled the items I have for sale at the craft fair. I think I ended up with about 18 items. Not as many as I would have liked, but better than none. If all goes well, I should sell a couple of hundred dollars worth of stuff. Mom will take care of the sales tax and I told her to take a bit more to cover her income taxes. So, my hope is that I will come away with at least$150 after all is said and done.
Next year, I want dishcloths. Cheap and easy, no long term project commitment.
I have also been working on a hat and am depending on response, I am thinking of selling the pattern. Pictures will come once it is completed.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I love the colors and can't wait to have such a pretty way to organize my dpns.
At long last, the new hire at work will be starting on Monday, just a week before the first of two huge tradeshows in the month of November. Stress is my name, crackin' up is my game.
I have a few new finished pieces for the craft fair and will snap some pictures before they get sent off.
I have also been designing a hat that was originally intended for sale, but I have fallen in love with it. I may try to sell it to The Garter Belt... If that doesn't work, then maybe knitty.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
However, one of the nicest women I know is. S and her husband are expecting their first and I am ENthralled with the baby kimono from MDK. What a fun and easy knit. That is until I try it.
As always, I am not capable of knitting anything as written. ANYTHING. Hello, compulsive need to "improve" any given pattern, NOT a good tendency.
It says to knit in either garter or st stitch. Um, won't it roll without some sort of boarder if it is in st stitch? In a stroke of genius, I decided to add a garter stitch boarder to the bottom hems. Easy enough to do. I did a few rows less on the sleeves so I can pick up and knit an equal number of rows of garter at the cuffs, because planning ahead is a good thing. I knit across the row and took into account the change in the sleeve length and managed to center the 20 stitches to be bound off for the back of the neck.
Then it hit me. I hadn't added a garter stitch boarder. This too would roll like crazy and drive me nuts. I tinked back the bound off stitches plus 3 more on each side. I then dropped those 26 stitches for four rows and knit it back up in garter stitch.
I am knitting this in KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Snapdragon, a truly bubblegum pink. I love how soft the yarn is, but it has gotten a bit of a fuzzy halo just from handling. This might just pill like crazy. On the other hand, it is for a newborn and they generally only wear something a couple of times before they outgrow it!
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I am thinking that I need to do up a couple of lacy type scarves from some more of the blue alpaca. It is a light sportweight so, a lace pattern will knit up fairly quickly (I hope). I might just have to make a set for myself.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Anyway, this is what I did this weekend. I am pretty happy with the results even if it took 2 trips through the dyepot. This yarn sucks up dye like crazy. The first trip through ended up looking like the very first batch I did even though I added significantly more dye to the pot. Instead of just using Kool-aide, I also picked up some Wiltons, burgandy, but needed to add more Kool-aide because it wasn't dark enough.
This will be for the soles of the felted clogs.
I have started yet another hat for the stinkin' fair as well as another garter stitch scarf. This time I decided that I would knit the length of the scarf so it is only about 10-15 rows instead of 753 soul-sucking rows. Hopefully the pooling won't look stupid. No pic of this yet as it is all scrunched up on the needle and doesn't look like much yet.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I guess I taught myself. I bought some cheap acrylic and knit a generic pair of socks from "Handspun Homeknit". Mostly, the first socks I knit were oversized Christmas stocking for my nieces, nephews and Caleb.
What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? They were ripped out immediately because who in their right mind would want acrylic socks.
What would you have done differently? I wouldn't have done anything differently because it taught me all of the different techniques without ruining expensive sock yarn.
What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I don't know that I have a strong preference. It depends on the recipient of the socks. Koigu is fun to knit as it is so sproingy. I also like Schaffer's Lola but it seems to pill a bit more than I would like. The commercial production yarns also have their place. They aren't quite as soft, but they wear well and some of the patterning on them makes for nice generic socks.
Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I always do my socks on DPNs, but am waiting for some longer circs from Knitpicks to try Magic Loop. I don't crochet unless forced and can't imagine that walking on the little lumps that crochet creates would be comfortable.
Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) I like the magic of making a heel flap, particularly the ability to try out different stitches like eye of partridge. But there is magic in short rows as well. I need to improve my technique on picking up stitches before I will be happy with them I've done both and like the look better of short rows but find that the flap is easier for me to knit.
How many pairs have you made? Not all that many. I have 2 pairs, 2 pairs for my mom, a pair for my sister, a pair for my dad and a total of 6 Christmas stockings. So, 6 pairs (plus one on the needles now) and 6 stockings, the equivalent of 9 pairs total
For work, we have a huge trade show in Orlando in November and I am planning it. We are taking key customers to a fancy schmancy dinner at Wolfgang Puck's and yesterday, I was invited. I don't really want to go, I just want a piece of the dessert. One of my favorite colleagues from work is also going and I would really rather hang out with her.
On to knitting news. I started a pair of the Fibertrends Felted Clogs. These are made from Fleisher's Big Spice. This is a yarn that I acquired from the my neighbor Marie's daughters recently. Actually, I got a bunch of yarn from the estate, but some of it was rotten (the fibers are dried and break very easily) so they got tossed. The pattern calls for 2 strands of worsted held together, and the Fleisher's is a bulky yarn so I am using just one strand. I overdyed the yarn with kool-aide for the body of it, but I don't really like the look of the slippers in just one color, so I am thinking of trying to find some Wilton's so I can experiment with a darker color for the outer sole.
This is such a clever pattern. As I was knitting the inner sole, I had no idea of how the shaping would look, but it is great use of short-rows. And it is super fast. I got about half of one done in just one evening.
I also have another hat going for the craft fair. This is from some Regia Crazy Stripe 6 fatig. I got it ages ago because it was on clearance. But, I could never bring myself to make socks from it. It was just too wild for me. I got a bit inspired and decided that it would make a decent hat to sell. I am not using a pattern. I cast on 140 stitches and did a K3P1 rib. Nothing fancy. The down side to a hat in sock yarn is that it takes forever to make any vertical progress. But I love these stripes in a hat.
Hopefully, today the needles I ordered from Knitpicks will arrive. The gremlins in my house have taken all of my US 3 needles. The only one I can find is a 29" Susan Bates which just won't work for a hat. Honestly, how does that happen. I don't have them in any WIP and am pretty anal about putting the needles away when I am done with them because I don't want Caleb to break them accidentally or get hurt by them.
Like everyone else out in blogland, I LURVE them, the super pointy tips, the smooth joins, the flexible cables. I bought a couple of longer lengths to try magic loop for socks. I have never tried socks that way before. I am not a huge fan of 2 circs for socks because I invariably end up knitting onto the wrong needle. I have a feeling that eventually I may just end up purchasing the knitpicks set because some of the larger needles I have are old Susan Bates that I got before I learned much about needle construction. They just don't feel comfortable in my hands any longer. This definitely goes on my wish list.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Last night was knit night at Starbucks and Eric is finally on a rotation that allows me to go again, YEA! So, I was enjoying a raucous evening with my friends and catching up on all of the local news. BTW, I found out that the 80-something year old owner of my LYS has a boy-toy. Go Shirley.
At around 8 pm, a gentleman (this term is used extremely loosely) carrying a large stack of file folders came in and sat down near our area. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue at all. It is a public space after all. He then started making phone calls. Again, not what I would do, but not a huge issue.
Then we heard what he was saying. "Arthur, this is Dr. X calling with your test results. It is what I thought, the x-ray shows that you have arthritis in your back." I was horrified. He proceeded to call several patients with lab results and then did dictation. I could not believe what I was hearing.
More than one time, he got up, presumably to use the restroom or refill his drink, and left the charts unattended.
The worst part is this is not the first time it has happened, it is just the first time I witnessed it first-hand. While I did not catch his name clearly and was not ballsy enough to ask him outright, I did get the plate number off the vehicle he was driving.
Today I called the state to see how I should proceed with filing a complaint of some kind as this is a clear violation of HIPAA.
I cannot imagine what would allow this man to think that his behavior was acceptable.
Monday, October 02, 2006
First, while I can hold my liquor, I get a raging hangover from even just half a bottle of the new tropical drink inspired coolers. Not very pretty.
Second, I should not knit on the shawl when I am overtired. Again, not very pretty.
Third, it is important to look at one's work from all angles when using a hand paint to ensure you don't get funky pooling. This might not be the best choice of yarns when overtired.
The side in the top picture is actually greener than that.
Forth, a new winter coat for a soon-to-be-four year old that is substantial enough to withstand a Wisconsin winter costs an arm and a leg.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
10 knitterly things about me.
- I have never knit a sweater in pieces and seamed it together successfully. The tank took a dive and will live again as Sizzle, but, in my mind, this still doesn't count as it doesn't have set-in sleeves. I am totally a "in the round" kind of girl.
- I adore cables. They are the best knitting feat out there. They look wildly complicated, yet aren't that hard to produce well. Lots of bang for very little buck.
- I am totally a process knitter. See number one. The finished object must be perfect (or nearly so), but I tend to give away much more than I keep. The pieces hold very little sentimental attachment for me.
- A quick look in my knitting basket reveals that I have knitting ADD. I have waaaaay to many projects on the needles at any given time. I am trying to correct this, but my sucess rate is pretty low.
- I have recently developed a sizable fetish for sock yarn. I love the colors and the fact that you can throw them in the wash. Now, I just need more time to knit all those socks.
- As my blogroll demonstrates, I spend entirely too much time trolling the web for interesting blogs. I love the feeling of camaraderie that develops between people who in all likelihood will never meet. Some are a bit like watching a soap opera, others have the potential to inspire me to greatness. But, the best in my opinion are those that show me that even great knitters are humbled by the lowly act of wrapping string around a stick.
- Deep in my soul, there is a burning, red-hot need to become a spinner. The entire journey from fleece to garment enthralls me. The choice of breed,
processing the fleece(okay, not so much this part), spinning (my hands just seem to know what to do when I am at a wheel), dyeing, knitting. All of it is so interesting and challenging. The control over what is produced is intriguing.
- Intellectually, I have no fear of steeking. But the thought of doing it makes me weep.
- Like all true addicts, I eschew sleeping for a few more rows.
The other night was the perfect example. After getting home at 10:15 from my knitting group, I decided that I was in the right state of mind to figure out where the missing stitch was
n't, on the peacock shawl. I had spent over
an hour looking for the damn thing the night before and was resigned to the fact that I was probably going to have to tink almost 400 stitches over 3 rows.
Then, a light bulb moment. The error was in the second to last repeat on the row. I could count the stitches from the edge backwards. Lo and behold, there it was
n't, a missing yarn over. I felt so good about finishing that row that I decided to do the next row which was a purl row. That only took 15 minutes. Then, I HAD to knit the next row because it was the last row of chart 3 and the pattern was pretty easy. By then it was 11:30 and past my bedtime.
- Rarely do I knit a pattern exactly as written. I always make some sort of change. Like most knitters, I tend not to keep meticulous notes on what I did. This ups the difficulty on say a pair of highly patterned socks or sweaters.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Then, I cast on for Sizzle.
I strung beads for Odessa.
Another felted hat was started using the yarn from the WI Sheep and Wool Festival.
And I built this. As usual, I made a few changes. I used a lazy susan base that I got at Home Depot along with the other supplies. The most expensive part was the drill bit for the holes. It has taken a bit of tweaking because the notches have to be about perfect for the lazy susan to spin properly. (Ask me how I know this.) The original pattern calls for using 1 x 2's and in retrospect, I should not have changed that to 2x2's. It is too heavy and causes too much tension in the wound ball of yarn. When I have some more time, I will probably try making the arms again so it isn't so heavy.
During the week, this got finished as well.
All in all, quite busy.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
(Joe, Randy is taking Dan's spot in service.)
At home, meh, things are just, meh. As in, I can't get up the energy to even do the most basic tidying so it looks like a bomb exploded. (Vaguely reminiscent of my desk actually) I hate it like this, but with Caleb still not sleeping through the night, I am exhausted.
In knitting news, last night I was able to go to a Brewer's game (we got clobbered) in the company suite with a variety of co-workers. The food was great and I got almost all of the body of the stork hat knit. Again, it is just a beanie, so no picture, but this is the yarn. Sorry for the crappy link, but it is the only one I could find with color 115. I am LOVING this colorway and wish that I had been able to pick up more than one. Once it is completed, I will post a picture.
I have ripped out the lace scarf yet again because I wasn't liking how it turned out. I'm really wishing that I had access to another stitch dictionary.
And I joined Socktoberfest, because I need an excuse to knit more socks!
Saturday, September 16, 2006
- The washer got fixed and it wasn't due to felting.
- The hat got felted.
- 2 skeins for Knitpicks Bare in worsted got dyed with Kool-Aid.
- Caleb is feeling better and went to his best friend's birthday party today.
- I think I found the stitch pattern for the laceweight I bought recently.
On the other hand I have a horrible feeling of ennui and can't seem to shake it. I am hating my job. In fact, I dusted off my resume tonight. I haven't posted it online because that would be temping the fates entirely too much, but I did send it out to a couple of places. I also saw that there is still an opening in another department in my company that I might be able to take. I am going to see HR about it on Monday. I am beyond pissed that it has taken 4 months to post the vacancy in our department and even though my boss has gotten several pre-qualified resumes she hasn't set up any interviews. I don't have it in me to take on the additional job responsibilities. I can't. I won't work that many additional hours to complete the tasks at hand.
I feel as if I am being set up to fail. I go to ask questions and she doesn't have the time to talk to me. Yet, I can tell she disapproves that things aren't happening as she would like. I am in over my head and want out. I truly feel like taking this position in the company was one of the worst moves I have ever made. While I have made some new friends, it has not been worth the stress. I can't continue to feel like this and make my family take the toll. While I realize that there are very few knitting jobs out there that can pay the bills, I desperately want to chuck it all in to do what makes me happy.
It doesn't help that I can't lean on Eric as he is completely wrapped up in what he needs to do. However, my best friend called and it was so nice to be able to unload all of it to her. I miss her desperately.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I cast on again for the Pomatomus socks. I just love the design but an struggling with the gauge. Actually, that isn't true. I'm struggling with my cankles.
I decided to go up a needle size to see how it looks. This yarn and this pattern together really need to be knit on a US 1.5 (2.5mm) but it ends up a smidge too tight on me. The socks look fabulous until I put them on. I won't describe it, wouldn't want to sear any one's eyes. It probably won't look the best, but if they fit I will be happy, because no one, I mean no one will get my first pair of Koigu socks as a gift. I love this yarn in all of its purply goodness.
While in the hospital on Monday, I worked on this hat for the craft fair and I have decided that I MUST get my hands on some more of this yarn because it is the absolute best. I am endlessly fascinated with the color variation. Yes, I realize this is a commercial yarn, not hand crafted, but it rocks. I can so see a kid's sweater done in this. What a twee little sweater. Have a friend having a baby. must. get. more. yarn. Baby bolero from One Skein, or MDK...
The ball band on this says 3.5-4 and I knit the cap up on a US3. Dense as hell, but it should make it warmer. I never understand knitted caps that are knit loosely. The wind whips right through them and defeats the purpose of covering your head.
How do you organize your yarn? As I said, most of mine is in the drawers, but then, there are all the WIP in the baskets next to the couch. This area is in a sad state, because I have a bit of a problem with startitis, but never really finish a lot of the projects.
- Purple Cotton Fleece tank - headed for the frog pond, destined to become Sizzle, I purchased the pattern already and just need to frog.
- Lace scarf from recycled mohair - this is from the shawl I had given to my grandmother, one of my first knitting projects. I will most likely pull this off the needles and try another variation on the same lace. This has sat for nearly a year.
- Pomatomus socks
- Stork Cap - you haven't seen this yet. Nothing fancy, just a beanie for the craft fair
- Felted Hat - just need felting, which requires a functioning washer
- Chenille scarf in broken rib to match the cap. While I love the look of the pattern, it is killing me to knit it. Mind-numbingly boring. Oddly, I don't find plain stockinette in the round to be boring at all. The vagaries of a simple mind never fail to amaze me.
- Peacock Feathers shawl in Merino Oro
My intention is to finish a few more items (I need to get to a multiple of ten to print off the labels) for the craft fair and then I will start working on cleaning up the WIP pile. A lot of these will be sold, but they don't take much concentration and so get left for riding in the car or watching TV.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I managed to stay away except for a the Fiber Trends pattern for Felted Clogs which will be a Christmas gift for some family.
I did manage to score some great hand paints. Not too much to break the budget. I got 2 huge hanks of worsted weight. Estimated yardage is approximately 450 yards each. Get this. They were only $10 each. (That would be the great big honking hanks in front and underneath.)
On second thought, anyone have a suggestion for a lace scarf done in lace-weight?
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Not to beg, but I am curious to see if I can email people back on the new blogger comments...
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Eric has started a new rotation and while overall the hours sound like they will be better (pre-rounding at 7 versus 5:30 am), the call days are definitely worse. Today he is in the pediatric ER until 10 p.m. Blech.
I have not worked much on the shawl in a futile, desperate, pathetic attempt to get a few more pieces done for the craft show. I am realizing that it is much closer than it should be. Mostly I will be doing hats. I love the felted ones and they are great stashbusters for me. This one was done from the same wool as Eric's hat and the red left over from a Christmas stocking.
Hopefully this will off set the guilt of several recent online purchases. Destash is quickly becoming my worst nightmare, or at least my bank account's.
On Saturday, I made my first purchase from Knitpicks. Yes, I realize that I am the last knitter alive to do so. I decided to try my hand at kool-aide dyeing again. The last one was so successful and I always need inexpensive wool for the felted hats. I also needed a needle and even with several balls of wool, the cost of the entire order with shipping was under 20 bucks. A decent needle would have cost at least $15 at my lys. Here's hoping it is a decent buy. Have a happy and safe Labor Day to all of those here in the U.S. We are really going all out by having Caleb's best friend over for the afternoon. (Yes, this is a bald faced attempt to keep him occupied while Eric is gone all day, thank you very much.)
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I've noticed a few small errors, but nothing that I am willing to rip back for. Time to let my inner zen shine through. I am using lifelines because I am freaking paranoid about having to start over because I drop a stitch. For some reason, I did not wig out about doing my first true lace project with cobweb weight black yarn.
Speaking of yarn, I am completely amazed that I have knit this much and only used 12 grams of yarn. I have another whole hank of this stuff. We'll have to see what becomes of it. I can't imagine wearing many shawls, but they are so lovely and really test my mind (not to mention my ability to refrain from profanities).
I knit up the first hat from the clearance yarn. It is cute and simple. I plan to make a matching scarf for it using a broken rib pattern. It should be cute. I do love the sherbet-y color of this one.
On a completely different topic, I found the following blog entry on the top 10 ways to create angry employees. Tell me you haven't experienced at least a couple of them!
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
It would also seem that my other favorite game has become, "what is the most creative punishment for a 3 year old that isn't cruel and won't land me in jail". Caleb had developed a sassy attitude that rivals most teenagers. Sunday's outburst netted him a 30 minute timeout in his room. Tonight, he was in bed a full 45 minutes early. Give me the terrible two's any day.
Nothing new on the knitting front. I am still working on the shawl and have put the tank into a temporary time out. I picked up some yarn on clearance at Joann's last week to knit up into simple hats and scarf sets to sell at the craft fair. I got the orange, blue and purple. Someone explain to me why I keep buying more yarn at Joann's if I don't like their selection?