Friday, July 27, 2007

Knitting away the blues...

So, it's been a lousy week at work. The usual story, really. Boss gives girl a hassle, girl wants to stab boss's eyes out with sharp pointy objects, girl actually has sharp pointy objects (ie:Weapons of choice=knitting needles), but girl doesn't want to ruin her lovely bamboo needles with her boss's possibly nasty, disease-infested blood so girl is forced to sit and suffer. Thank God that I work the night shift because that meant that I could knit off some of my steam,which really is probably the only thing that saved me from walking out of my job the next morning screaming and missing a few patches of hair! But enough about work. I went to knit nite on both Wednesday and Thursday this past week (yes, I needed that much time to de-stress) and naturally had a blast. I was good too, only buying a skein of yarn to knit up a quick pair of fingerless gloves for my Bro-in-law for Xmas and yet another cable needle seeing as I lost the set of three that I'd bought the time before. It was a lot of fun though, and I met some really nice ladies on Thursday. I even managed to capture the elusive Eva on film. See?

There she is! Granted I had to do it at the end of the night when I could catch her by surprise, but I still managed it. Here's another moment from Knit Nite.

That would be one of my knitting partners in crime, SIL Allison. Isn't that lace panel pretty? She's knitting the cardigan for her mom for some reason or another and well, I think the lady'll love it though Allison seems to have some doubts about it.

I did manage to pick out a bunch of yarn that I want to buy next week though (after I get paid of course! ;) ), and already have projects in mind, but currently the yarn I most covet is Plymouth Yarn's Royal Llama Silk. It has such a soft velvety texture that I'm really going to have to make that my first purchase of my next stash enhancement expedition. I've mentioned before I've been knitting like crazy! I started on the Fetching pattern a couple of days ago, finished one glove and then started working on the second on Thursday night.

It was both my first cabled project and my first glove-ish / fingerless mitt and all in all I think it came out pretty good. I did something funky with the thumb, but I'm not sure what so hopefully I don't make the same mistake on the second one. So far, I only have a little bit done because well, after knitting up a storm I took a break to sit in my air-conditioned room and basically be lazy, but here's the beginnings of the second one.

My SIL Pam suggested I knit it up in Plymouth's Encore, so I took her at her word and sure enough, the finished glove is soft and warm without being overbearingly so. I think the next pair I knit for myself however might have to be in some of that Royal Llama Silk, I love that stuff that much! Maybe as a splurge before the Xmas season gets fully under way, who knows?

I'm one of those knitters that actually likes having more than one project going at the same time so after I got bored with knitting the Fetching pattern, I picked up a copy of Interweave Knits and started a pair of the Motorcycle Chica gloves. So far I've only gotten as far as the first twenty-eight rows because then the pattern calls for something a bit confusing to me so I have to figure it out. I'll probably get it eventually I just don't get what they mean by backward-loop CO stitches over the 'gap'. What gap are they talking about? I have no frickin' clue.I also started the Branching Out scarf pattern in some of Lion Brand's Microspun (Leaf Color). I was surprised that this yarn is really very nice to work with, feeling kind of like Plymouth's Royal Bamboo (if you've ever worked with it, you'd know it's super soft, super silky and tends to split pretty damn easily if you're not careful but it's generally worth the trouble just to be wearing something made of it). I was going to use some lace-weight stuff that I bought off of knit-picks but the yarn was too thin, I thought, to properly show stitch definition and that's what I wanted to have was some definition. Anyway, here's a couple of pics.

I think it'll drape nicely when it's blocked and stuff. :)

Okay, it's too hot in this room so I think I'm about to head back up to the aforementioned air-conditioned room. But before I go, I just wanted to say thank you to Knittymuggins for allowing me to join in on the fun of the Sexy Knitter's Club! I can't wait to get started in on the next KAL! Now, if only I could figure out how to put stuff in my side bar so I can have that nifty little button provided on the site displayed ever-so-proudly! :) Anyway, now I'm serious! Too hot to knit, which actually makes me kind of sad...thank goodness for AC!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

By the sweat of my hands.

Okay, so here's the first post on the new blog, which is actually the last post that was on my old blog. If that makes any sense. If it doesn't, well I can promise that I'll try to make it all make good, honest sense from here on in. I really didn't post all that often before but I swear I will definitely do so more often...especially since I, techno genius that I am (NOT) finally figured out how to transfer the damned pictures from my digital camera to my computer. Yay me. Took me long enough. However, much to my disappointment, it looked like somebody actually went through and deleted all sorts of other pictures so I'll have to start at the middle rather than the beginning. Oh well, there have been worse things. :)

Anyway, I guess I'll start by showing off my pride and very first ever pair of socks. They're not perfect (I kinda screwed up on the kitchener weaving on the toe of one of 'em) but I love them anyway. The stripes don't really match up either...which kind of sucks. Why nobody ever told me to waste some yarn after finishing the first sock so I could match the stripes I'll never know, but well, consider it a learning experience that resulted in some toasty foot wear that I'll wear to death simply because I made them all by myself. YAY me!

These were made in Plymouth Sockotta yarn, and well, I can't think of the color I used right off the top of my head but needless to say it was fun to work with. It was great to see all those stripes just pop up like 'magic' and well, I just LOVED it when I got the heel. It was awesome to watch it pucker up and become an actual, you know, heel. The pattern I used was by the Plymouth Yarn Design Studio and was #1090 Lace Mock Cable Sock. It was honestly a fun first sock pattern to play with, because it wasn't just miles of knit, knit, and more knit thanks to the lace work on the leg. Here's a close-up of it. Well...sorta. :)

It's not as hard as it looks so I definitely suggest anybody give it a try. I mean, it probably wasn't the best choice for my FIRST SOCKS ever, but it definitely helped me get over my second sock syndrome that's for sure! :)

Okay, onto the next thing. I wanted to try my hand at felting, but didn't know where to start so I went to my YS of choice, Eva's Yarn Shop, and found this fantastic ruffled purse to knit up and after I was assured it'd knit up quickly I bought a couple of skeins of the yarn and the needles to knit it with and went to work. I don't have a picture of this first one that I knit only because I gave it to someone before I thought to even snap a picture. However, it was so much fun to knit that I figured, why not? I'll knit up another one. So, here it is.

I knit this Romantic Ruffles Handbag using Kraemer Yarns' Mauch Chunky in 'Sandstone' and I used some eyelash yarn for accent in the ruffle, which is why it's so fluffy. All in all the yarn felts up really nice, but I find that to get a decent enough effect I had to wash it in the machine twice just because I thought that the fabric was still too, I dunno, floppy. Still, it was an easy enough project and I enjoyed knitting it. I can't really remember what kind of eyelash yarn I used, but it was nice just tough to untangle sometimes. All I can recall about it is that it's 100% nylon and super soft, unlike Lion Brand's Fun Fur, which I find is like running threads of pure plastic through your fingers. It's completely pleasant to work with, but because it's so incredibly soft and silky it slides off of needles easily so I recommend using wooden needles with it. I'll have to go back to Eva's (Big tragedy there!) and find out what brand it is and then come back here and add it in as an edit or something.

Anyway, so I have half a skein of that eyelash yarn left over from the purse so I figured I'd knit up a quick and simple lace scarflet (so-called because it's only 10 stitches wide and is probably not going to be all that long). Just a little floof to tie around your neck to decorate an outfit or something. It's still a WIP and all, but I tried to take a couple of pictures to really capture the intricate looking pattern that's accomplished in a relatively easy manner (if you discount starting the damned thing of course!) , but I don't think I managed it. Still, I tried and I'm going to show the pictures to you anyway because well, I took 'em so damn it you have to look and that's that. Here they are.

If you want to make the scarf just do the following: CO an even amount of stitches (10 or 12 works best) onto size 17 needles. K1, YO, K2tog, all the way down to the last ONE, and then knit the last one. Do that until it's long enough and then BO in pattern. Simple enough, right? It works best with really delicate mohair but you can do it with almost anything.

Also, I just thought I'd say that I LOVE my stitch markers. I got so sick of looking everywhere for a decent set of markers that weren't too plain looking that I decided to make my own. I just didn't know how but with the help of MIL and SIL(Mother in Law and Sis-in-law) I think I've figured out a great way to do it. Here's my little loves!

Aren't they pretty? I love the fact that not only are they rainbow but they also represent the colors of each chakra! I think for a first attempt at making stitch markers they aren't half bad! All right, I'm running out of things to say so finally, here are some pics of my crafy family!


Don't mess with her foos, she got a Guinness and she knows how to use it! See?

The Wife

She works hard to help support my habit. Muahahaa!

Allison, SIL # 1

Crafty chica extraordinaire and support system in those frog-it or trash it crisises. You know the ones I'm talking about.

Pam, SIL #2

Yes, she's as crazy as she looks and twice that much. But she can outknit just about anybody I know. The girl's deadly with two needles and some red yarn (has to be blood. >:)~ ) Check out her blog!

Steve, Nephew #1

Awww...he's such a cute little native boy! He's in his regalia for the Mashpee pow wow that just recently passed by.

Timmy, Nephew #2

Yep, he's in regalia too. See that mischeivous smile? That's because he's thinking of world domination. Dominating the world makes. Timmy. Happy.

David, Nephew #3

Don't let those angelic looks fool you, this boy is trouble with a capital TROUBLE!

Zoe, Stepniece

Isn't she sweet? She's a gorgeous little girl who loves cats, and pretty sparkly things and she's learning to KNIT! Her mama trains her right!

Anyway, I'm off I think, probably to start working on my next project or maybe some more stitch markers. :) Before I go though is anyone knitting this?because I was wondering what kind of yarn to knit it in. I was thinking about using this yarn in Embers for it. I think I have enough in my stash. Any other suggestions?

All right, time to end this off right!

A nice peaceful sunset at whatever time in the morning it is! Let me just remind you that and then we'll really call it a day!