Wednesday, January 31, 2007

sew simple

I have been having a little fun today making these little pouches - demo'd by splityarn over here. They are so simple, and I just love the little snap. No what do I do with all of these little pouches? Well, I'm enjoying admiring them for now - but I am thinking I can replace my crappy old business card holder for starters...I learned that I should try to slow down and sew a bit more straight - I have a bit of a lead foot on my machine pedal. But those litle snaps are so darling! Just in case, splityarn sells them in her etsy shop.

I also got a new book today after being inspired by wee wonderfuls japanese influences. The book is not "readable" per se, but the pictures are pretty clear. I just love the little details - how fun. Just a little feel good crafting. There was one with Hello Kitty, maybe next time.

I am also inspired by Scout today as she finished her Calorimetry from Knitty. It looks so cool - great for walking. Plus she gave me some helpful hints, many people are finding they cannot get gauge. My hair is pretty short but I am trying hard to grow it out a few inches...if I can just squeak out enough yarn from Scout that I had used for my Fetchings...that is the question. 'specially since I've had to make a spare mitt, I think I left one at the movie theater - *sigh.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Can I write it off as a "charitable gift"?

Yep, I donated my class fee to Annie Modesitt today. I could not bring myself to make the long drive to Illinois with the snow flying, just couldn't. There was a still a spot or two open in the knit jewelry class so I didn't have to guilt over denying someone else the opportunity. I spent the morning at work looking out the window while thinking up creative excuses about why not to drive - other than I just hate driving in bad weather. Think of the money I'd save not shopping at Wool and Company? - a fabulous knitting store with such cool gifts, the gas, the the time to drive - 4 hours round trip. I have learned a valuable lesson - not to sign up for classes 100 miles away in January - clever, huh? So my book, it goeth unsigned by Ms. Modesitt. I have no knit baubles. And I may have to shop at Wool and Co. with dark glasses in the future - but the day was not a total bust either. My friend and I put together an impromptu lunch and movie date near home - The Departed - if you haven't seen it - you should. I was satisfied with my decision to chicken out and stay close to home. All was not lost... And now I am home in a peaceful house for a couple of hours before the troops roll in. Maybe a nap? Oh, gosh, in spite of welching on my class, could the day get much better?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A new thread...

First, do you just hate computers sometimes? You have a whole post done, a whole report, an especially thoughtful e-mail - whatever - and's gone?

Anyways, I got some yummy fabric yesterday. I have been jonesing to sew since I found splityarn - she has some incredible tutorials. I want to try the coin purse and the needle case that starts as an old book. I got some snaps for the change purses - since I think the closure just makes the prpject so simple and clean. I love fabric like I love yarn, it is like meditation to hang out between the rows of bolts - like the closest to yoga I've been in a bit. I started a softie knitting needle case before my pilgrimage, I just need to find a closure and sew down some elastic to pin the needles in there better. Then I have to give it away, because you know... But again, I adore the fabric.

I haven't deserted knitting or anything - I think I am still just avoiding seaming that damn sweater. I have kept on with the Diamond Patch mittens, once I figured those little squares out, they were a little addictive...if not a little tedious - slow going.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Aren't they just "fetching"?

I wrapped up my 2nd Fetching last night - I love it. I love Scout's yarn, it is so thick and cozy...and purple! Thank you so much Scout this treat! You rock! And I just love this pattern. I really would encourage any cable junkies to try cabling without a cable needle, it made the mitties fly! And I'm thinking this scarf could be really fun too...anyone else think Grumperina is amazing?

Now I have cast on some mitered squares from the Diamond Patch mittens in Yarn Pirate punkin' head - love the yarn, not so quick to fall in love with this pattern. I need to embrace futzing for this I think. Typically I am a futzer - love to get crafty, love little details - but ew, this stop and start could go on forever - I may need to come up for air on this one. And, I'm not sure how much I will wear the finished product, the mitts are really unique but how warm? Am I just making excuses? It's kind of like when you pick up a book that you're sure you should like, and you just can't get into it? To be revisited:) I think I am just avoiding seaming my Noro sweater - it's blocked and ready - but I'm chicken, chicken.

On another note Lady Knitterly, I'm piqued by your fun little challenge left graciously in my comments. We aught to get together on a project, I just love innocent competition (and I wouldn't even mind losing just to send you a little something fun) - I have Marrakesh superwash - gorgeous greens - I was kid of thinking I might do a small Lace Leaf Shawl with it because the yardarge is so generous...but then I was also wondering how a Backyard Leaves scarf might look, since I gave my Cashoft one away to my very deserving mom. Hmmm. Let's talk - I'm thinking a skein of Fearless Fiber could be good bettin' booty?!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yikes that was scary...

I think I just got strong armed into changing my blog over to the new Blogger - that was a little scary. But everything looks the same, or maybe better - so - whew, I made it.

I worked up a Fetching mitt yesterday - my KMKS kit ignited some more mitten love. Goodness, it just flew off the needles. I knit it in some yarn Scout J just gave me because I was loving on it. When the sun comes out I need to get a picture! And I tried cabling without a cable needle, I happened to catch Annie Modesitt demonstrating it on a tivo'd Knitty Gritty after I read over at Susan B. Anderson's blog (yes, the Itty Bitty Hats author) it was on (thank you susie!) and then Grumperina has a great tutorial here. Wow, I may never wrestle a cable needle again. Really, try it.

And did I mention I am learning how to knit with wire with Ms. Modesitt on Monday? I'm positively giddy! Only wish I would have known she was coming to WI before I signed up to drive 2 hours to IL...oh, anything for knitting! And an afternoon off of work doesn't hurt any.

I think I am going to try the Lace Leaf Shawl following my last post - so that means I will have to head out to my LYS this weekend and get the pattern - oh darn, kick dirt, what a drag...giggle!


Saturday, January 20, 2007

I got my mitt kit!!

Today my mitt kit came - it is always so wonderful to open the mailbox and have it crammed full with some knitful goodness! My partner Cassandra, send me a wonderful bunch of things to make the Fetching mitts - I kind of love making these, so it will be right up my alley to make some more!! Great yarn choices too!! Also needles and a cable needle to make them up, a candy bar to give me sustenance while I knit, spiced cider packets and a handmade handled tote bag. Strange enough my friend Gramknits gave me a cider packet to try yesterday since I love it so much! Now I have a whole box to covet! Thank you pal! And to Scout J and Beverly for putting it all together.

I also put together my last Secret Pal 9 package today - a collection of things for my pal to try knitting socks. Isn't this little sock darling?

I had to get some of these teeny blockers from the Loopy Ewe after Yarn Pirate blogged about them. Clever! This little socky knit up in front of Grey's Anatomy - seriously. If only real socks were so quick!

Lastly, I got some Yarn Ahoy lace weight yarn - in "pumpkin curry" doesn't that sound delicious? It makes me imagine a warm salt glazed pottery bowl of soup. Now to narrow my shawl choices, Ene from Scarf Style, Casino from Knitspot or the Lace Leaf Shawl from Fiber Trends - the latter looks fairly simple with the repetitive repeat and I have this leaf fetish...Any votes?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Knit Mitt Kit Swappin' Serendipity

I'm so jealous at all of the amazing packages I have seen people showing off! How great to see such thoughtful goodie bags! Then, there's the weirdest little happy accident - the pal I was asking blogland for mitten pattern opinions on...was reading my blog. *gulp* How small is this world? :) The best part is she had enough restraint to stop looking when she thought I could be talking about her surprises...what a girl! I would so be sneaking peeks! Christine has been a treat to meet! Here's a shout out to you in case you are brave enough to look!!:)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Serial inspiration

I have found myself inspired by bloggers again and again since I've joined this fabulous community. Molly Bee inspired me to look again in my Kraft Foods magazine. What a fabulous magazine - if you don't get this freebie - you really should. I am making the Easy Lasagna right now and hope to make the Chunky Chocolate-Jam Bars as soon as my husband can get here with the jam. The recipes are so darn easy peasy - if you have a family - or not - everyone I know talks about these recipes - most recently of course was Molly.

The Knitting Bandit was kind enough to leave me a comment which caused me to wander over to her site. She had a picture of some gorgeous Yarn Ahoy Yarn in a colorway I have in my favorites - which inspired me to look again at Yarn Ahoy and snap up some pumpkin curry silky lace weight yarn. I purchased this yarn to start another shawl - more wonderful challenging frustrating lace - I was thinking Ene from Scarf Style, but then I meandered over to the Knitspot and saw the incredible designs she has created. So now I am thinking possibly the Japanese Feather Stole or maybe the Casino shawl. Oh heck, I ordered them both.

I try to keep up with Runagogo, 100 miles by April 1st...I try to run and walk but now I want to keep myself in the game with the Runagogo group - so I am inspired yet again to try crank out more mileage.

And I just like to peek at Lolly's blog to see what she is up to and learned about the Bejeweled Knit a long - $2.25 for the pattern with a big chunk of that going towards a good cause.

Sometimes I just like to go here and here and here, oh...and here to see pretty things and inspiring photographs.

In a free moment, some days I have more than others, it is great to catch up with knitters, to see what they are up to, ranting about or just...knitting. I often have to keep a notepad handy to keep track of all of the new ideas and thoughts about the craft, or whatever you girls are talking about. And dang, what a inspiring group you are! Thank you!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Booga and the Wii

I finished my Booga Bag for my KSKM pal - I hope she likes it - I just love this colorway:)I have some mittens felted for myself in it. Gosh, have you ever worn felted mittens? They sure are warm. I did not get the Hermione pattern mailed to me in time - it is somewhere enroute - so I had to get the PDF pattern e-mailed to me - so paid twice for the same pattern - but I wanted to include it in her package and the mail deadline is Tuesday - whew, that was close. And now I have an original pattern for myself too!!

Well, I was over at Booga J's blog checking out the Booga Bag pattern and I was reading about how she is a gadget queen and had the Wii gaming system. Then we played it at my brother-in-law and sister's last night - I confess, I am a bit of a gadget junkie. So between my lack of objection and my husband's reasoning - we got ourselves a Nintendo Wii today - wiiii - literally. My rational is this - it is a video game you have to move to use - you have to move. I think this is a selling point when I look at the sedentary generations coming up - including my 6-year-old's. So maybe we won't just veg out, but move around. We bowled, boxed, played tennis and baseball - we worked up a sweat, removed layers - this is good. All in our living room.

I did miss my mark this week for Runagogo mileage, only clocked 5.4 with a goal of 9 - soooo tomorrow I am planning to start the week off with 3 miles to get off on a better foot, no pun intended.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Swallowtail...done at long last

Ah, deep breath, she is done. I bound off the last stitch on Thursday night and blocked her last night. I really like the end product despite that at one point I said (yes, out loud) that "I'm going to finish this and then burn it!" I struggled through the last 16 row repeat, I tinked and toiled - yet I never could figure out one last nagging mistake. So there is a mistake that really, only I can see, but you know? Right? I just know that fellow knitters can empathize with this helpless feeling.

As my first "more serious lace project", I know I should be more thrilled (rather than relieved) - and really, if I look at it with a stranger's eyes - it's fabulous. My photos are hardly representative of the rich grape color, maybe somewhere in the middle - my husband who is a computer color guru tried to correct it but even he said "I just can't get a deep enough purple". It is "Port" by Yarntini - a true feast for the eyes. I think I need to be more flexible with my perfectionstic ways and love my projects more - they deserve more pride than I give them - because I just know I will feel like a superstar wearing it about town, maybe I just need that validation or something - I mean, afterall, non-knitter's can't do this! I am really, really so lucky!

And if I were so disappointed would I already be stalking other sites, books and IK magazines for my next lace project? My next lace yarn? Hmmm...I think I am just so damn stubborn!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

and I tinked...and I tinked...and I tinked some more...

And so the Swalltail Shawl goes...I have meditatively tinked over 1000 stitches - which really is only about 4 rows near the end of the pattern, and thankfully half of those were plain ole purl stitches. Never so glad to meet a purl stitch before. The valuable lesson is "use lifelines", use them liberally, use them more than you think you should. See I had been using them until I past the "hard part"! ugh. Frustrating to screw up once you think you are past the hard part - but this was a great lesson. And the yarn is Port by Yarntini - can't wait to get this shawl finished to truly illustrate the rich and delicious color. It has been a pleasure. By week's end perhaps? Or better yet, I don't think I'll talk about it until I am done. No more self-fulfilling prophecies here.

I did felt my Booga today and people, I love it - I should keep it:) I really like my KMKS pal though, we have written a bit of e-mail - she is totally worth the cute factor of this bag combined with the mitten pattern/ yarn shopping dilemmas! She is a fellow sock knitter with loads of enthusiam. I hope she loves this darling bag 1/2 as much as me. I'll post pictures once it is off the shoe box and actually a little purse. The best part was I knit from my stash - woo hoo!! But will I have to get more Noro #95 for my own Booga? I read today that BoogaJ plans to create a pattern for a larger Booga - I'll be stalking for that - it could be like cuteness x 10! (i'm a sucker)

Lastly, my reward for tinking my ass off...I got some new yarn from Fearless Fiber after reading about it at Toward the Blue Pennisula's blog. She was right - the yarn is awesome - the In the Pink worsted is destined to be a Bejeweled I'll be winding that later. Like how I gave myself a reward for tinking my screw up? Gotta love it

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Nothing like plain jane stockinette to renew faith...

Ah a simple Booga Bag - the humanity. I decided to go kind of mindless and felt the Booga up for my KMKS partner. I am using Noro Kureyon in #95 like the original pattern - I love the bright colors, the greens and pinks. 20 more rows and then 6 feet of i-cord. It is to restore my knitting spirit after having an alleged faux pas on my Swallowtail. Once I wrap up the Booga I'll be ready to re-look at the shawl and figure it out. Luckily there is a more less plain knit and purl row between the last Swallowtail repeat where I have gone awry - so if all else fails, I can just tink back a couple of rows to that fresh start. "Aint no mountain high enough....aint no river wide enough..." (Please don't let me be eating those words...)

If you are up for a little feel good knitting of your own...check out Lolly's Blog and check out the Bejeweled Scarf Knitalong. The scarf was created by Lisa Shobana (author of Yarnplay), she is selling the pattern for $2.25 with $1.75 going to benefit The Dulaan Project. You can buy the simple but elegant pattern over at Lisa's Blog. If you buy it be sure to grab a button from Lolly to say "I am paying it forward!" Good stuff knitters!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Premature jubilee! Oops!

I was altogether too excited about finishing the Swallowtail Shawl...something is up in the final I must look at it with fresh eyes tonight and try to figure it out. Now why didn't I put in a lifeline before the last pattern repeat? Hmmm, seems kind of ironic doesn't it? Lesson learned. Ah, but I am not claiming defeat just yet - just a time out. :) Really, I like lace and the challenge of it all. It is amazing to start seeing the pattern develop and start "reading" the knitting. Then there is that pesky dropped stitch, or misreading the to figure out where I turned the corner. And I thought the dreaded nupps were going to be the end of me - seems kind of funny now!!

On a better note I knocked off 2.7 miles today towards my goal. Accentuate the positive!! wee!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2007 off to a running start...literally.

I try to avoid making resolutions. I just feel that they invite bad karma - for me, they seem to set me up to fail. It's a great idea in theory - the beginning of the year is a good time to turn over new leaves, excercize more, eat better, start saving - but why January 1? I say go for the goal whenever you get the notion. I'm more inspired if I just decide when, rather than feel pressure (self imposed or whatever). but then I was surfing...

Check out this site - it's a blog - set up in part by knitster Scout J. - challeging people to run - or more technically move - 100 miles by April Fool's Day. I'm a somewhat fairweather runner - but I walk regularly - so combining both I should be able to meet the goal. So kind of a ready made resolution. I hope to run the Susan B. Komen 5k in May, so this could be a good motivater - I'll keep you posted. I have a "nike thingamajig" that tracks your mileage through the Apple iPod Nano. What a cool little invention, if you have a nano, you should have this thing. It does all kinds of fancy things to help moivate - like you can choose a "power song", if your butt is dragging you can go to this song to pump you up. I like to power up with Renegades of Funk. So if the mood strikes you - sign up to get moving:)

On a totally separate vein - I also got a sweet little treat the day after Christmas I haven't had time to really appreciate until now - I joined Sundara's Petal Collection sock club and got the first installment. The yarn is inspired by the Lenten Rose, a flower I have never seen but it is beautiful. The package was so inviting, an elegant postcard of the flower, the lovely skein and a pattern just for sock club members. I have also joined the Rockin' Socks club - yipes, I have bit off more than I can chew per usual. I think my yarn budget is shot for 2007. I'm just so darn curious about sock yarn. I am weak.

**I should be wrapping up my Swallowtail Shawl tonight, the nupps haven't been nearly as hideous as I anticipated - thankfully. I am 20 rows from the end....granted 20 loooong rows, but I see blocking in my near future. Can't wait to share this with you.

Monday, January 01, 2007

I nupp'ed and lived to tell about it...

I just did my first several rows of the Swallowtail Shawl repeat with the dreaded nupps - purl 5 together, 5 stitches which you k1,yo,k1,yo,k1 in the same stitch the previous row...hard to weasel your needles into those yarnovers...impossible for the yarnovers not to pull tight. I "googled" suggestions and came upon some great advice, in theory, here. I used some of her advice but all of her inspiration - check out her Swallowtail - if that would not have motivated me to brave the nupps...what would have? I ended up using a crochet hook, transferring my 5 stitches carefully onto the crochet hook, then I pulled the working yarn through. I think I held my breath on each one, turned on every light in the house and sat hunched over at the breakfast bar - no TV, no nothing. I thought I would pass out when I used my Denise needles (just to go a size smaller and I was thinking maybe they'd be pointier) and the join nearly came apart mid row, gulp. Hats off to those who like those Denises - but count me out. But as a back-up I have a lifeline threaded...just in case. I'm not typically terribly careful or detail oriented. I like to go fast, be the first done - I have been asked "where's the fire" since middle school because I walk so fast - so I need to muster all of my patience...ah, the satisfaction.

So now, merely 3 rows into this repeat, I need to go lie down and rejuvenate for the next rows tomorrow. Tough work being a knitter.