Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tuesday News

First off, check out the Puuurfect Kitty Contest, hosted by Cara, to vote for my little Kali! Soma isn't up yet, but will probably be in next weeks contest.

The latest addition to my knitting basket is the Azkaban Scarf for all you Harry Potter fans out there. I think this scarf is going to be great for my 10 year old cousin! If you are interested in seeing how this scarf is going to look, check out this blogger who is getting close to being finished (she helped me pick out yarn for mine!). I really like the changes that were made to the scarf for the next few movies. The colors are more deep and the striping is toned down a bit.

In other news, I attempted to bike on Memorial Day, but got a flat tire and then didn't have enough time to go. I did, however, sport these new socks yestuday! Thanks to Claudia for posting the link to Team Estrogen and these great cycling sheep socks!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Memorial Day News

As promised, here is what I purchased on Saturday at MSWF (a few things I can't post, due to the whole SP5 stealth-like situation). The yarn below was my favorite thing I found and is the softest Alpaca EVER! Its by Colour Spectrum Yarns (never heard of them before) and this huge skein is a 600 yd. sport weight yarn in Stormy Skies. I fell in love with it at first site and am going to make something wonderful for either Scott or I with this. I was actually shocked too at how cheap it was and wished they had more than the natural colors available. Wouldn't this look awesome in various shades of blues or greens?!I also bought some Maple Sugar, some incredible honey and some hand salve stuff that is supposedly great for knitters.

As far as the knitting, I have been working on the Hourglass sweater and am pretty far already (I am getting close to the first increase). I worked up a lot of this in the car on our way out to Cummington and while we were watching a movie last night. I screwed up the first decrease row...I forgot to do the decrease at the half-way marker, so if you look really closely, you can see a double decrease on the one side. I didn't actually realize I did this until 10 rounds later, so there was no going back for me. I figure that since this is my first sweater, I am allowed to make mistakes!

In other news, I am super excited about SP5! I can't wait to send out a present for my secret pal... but am also super curious to find out who has me! I know, I know... I got a long way to go for that one! Oh, and I FINALLY posted my Amazon Wish List on my blog under Favorite Links just in case anyone is curious! Hope everyone is having a relaxing and beautiful Memorial day weekend.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

All Smiles

I had an incredible day today... and a long one! After our emissions test (yes, I am now an official registered Massachusetts driver... but am sad that I had to get rid of my CO plates) we were off to Cummington, MA for the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. It was an incredible sight as you can see below and I was totally blown away by all the fabulous yarns, spinning supplies, general knititng supplies and the animals! The sheep were all super cute and even posed for a few pictures. There were lots of vendors, not as many as I was expecting, but enough to keep me busy for a few hours. Believe it or not, I only walked away with a few purchases (pictures are coming tomorrow).

After the fair, Scott and I headed into Northampton, MA and then to our hiking location near Mt. Tom. We did a short 3-4 mile, fairly easy hike, which was nice since I think we were so sick of all the rain and were just so happy to be outside! We headed back to Boston tonight and just gorged on some sushi... So, all in all, a great day! And to make it even better, I still have two days off of work!

Friday, May 27, 2005

Froggy Day

I started this sock last night and this is what I ended up with... Could it be a wristband??? Tempting, but no. After a brief frogging episode, I ended up with a lovely pile of yarn and the same Trekking Yarn I started with. I was obsessed with this yarn, when I saw a few other people using it, but am not as happy with how it knits up in terms of the colorway. Don't get me wrong, I love the colors, I just don't like the twist as much as I though I was going to.

The reason why I frogged this was that the cast on edge was way to loose. I used size 1US for this, but am going to try casting on with a 1 and moving to a 2 to keep it a bit more even overall. I highly recommend The Knitter for Trekking and other nice yarns. They have free shipping and have super nice customer service. I emailed back and forth with Judy about yarn, stock and, of course, Boulder since that is where they are based and that is where I am from!

I have an exciting day tomorrow... I am venturing out to the the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair! Check out this for more information!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

A New Day

Last night I finally swatched and casted on for my hourglass sweater! I have been putting it off the last week or so until I finished a few other projects. My swatch came out a bit short at 3.8in x 4.0in. All in all, I figured out that by doing the 41 inch size, I would end up with a size just shy of 39. This is totally fine by me, because I probably don't need the full 41 inch size. I figure that if I do need that extra inch or two, I can fix that with some blocking. So, I think I have the sizing problem solved and am going to be making a new and improved sweater that (achem, hopefully) fits me well. I am still a bit nervous about it being too big around the waist, but I defintely don't want something too tight either. More news to come on this one!

In other news, I finished my first pair of baby booties for the Preemie Project over the weekend. They were super easy, though I did make a mistake in my first one (it turned into a kitty toy). I am working on a matching hat too! I hope to make at least a few sets of these in various colors over the next month or so..

P.S. Sorry about the not so good windowsill pictures, but if any of you are in Boston, you know what I am talking about. There is no way in hell I am stepping outside in the freezing cold, wind, and rain to take knitting pictures. It would all blow away! Poor tomato plants out back...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Day In Pictures

I didn't want to do much writing today, but a few of you wanted some descriptions to these pictures! It is weird seeing myself in my blog, but probably useful since now you can all see who you are talking to (I really do wonder the same about some of you)! The top one is from this past weekend and is a picture of the new bag and I taking a stroll in Smithville, NJ. The next two are of Scott and I from some recent weddings (one in CO, one in AZ). The last ones are from some camping trips through Southern Colorado and New Mexico (the first is at the Sand Dunes in CO, the second is from Mesa Verde). Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

SP5 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? I do prefer higher quality yarn, but I think there is a time and a place for acrylic!

2. Do you spin? Crochet? Nope, but spinning does sound tempting.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) Smoke is hard for me to tolerate, but I am fine with everything else!

4. How long have you been knitting? About a year and a half.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? I do have an Amazon wishlist but never got around to posting it on my blog!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) Hmm, that is hard! I don't like anything too strong in terms of bath products, but I really like vanilla or fruity scented candles.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Unfortunately, yes! I have an immense sweet tooth for chocolate (dark), anything with peanut butter or mint, and anything with sugar that comes out of an oven.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? I was really into beading for a long time, and would like to get back into it. I do some embroidery and cross-stitch. I am also an obsessive baker and cook lots too!

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I am rock/classic rock type gal. Some of my favorite bands are: Big Head Todd and the Mosters, U2, Tom Petty, Stones, Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Glen Phillips (the list could go on and on)!

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite color is blue, but I am a big fan of any cool color combination. I love yarns with blends of various shades of blues/greens. I am really not a big red/pink person.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I have two 10 month old kittens and a boyfriend of almost 6 years!

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) I am thinking about getting my Ph.D. soon in Aquatic Ecology so that I can become a professor and do research, which is one of my dreams. My totally far-fetched dream would be to move someplace exotic, open up an incredible bakery or yarn store, have horses and be able to travel tons.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? Hmm... Some of my favorite brands are Manos, Koigu, Rowan and Farmhouse. I really love anything with a beautiful colorway!

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I am really not into knitting with eyelash yarns.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? I have been obsessed with bags and socks lately, and am just starting to knit my first sweater. I am hoping to get into some home decor type projects soon too!

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I would have to say bags. Though I love knitting lace scarfs.

17. What are you knitting right now? As of today, I only have some baby items going for the preemie project and the never-ending baby blanket (which I DID work on yesturday). I am going to start my sweater in the next day or two and probably another pair of socks!

18. What do you think about ponchos? I did knit one last fall, but it was a gift. I am not big on them myself and probably won't knit one again.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Either works for me. It just depends on the project.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? Either bamboo or aluminum. I don't like how plastic needles stick.

21. Are you a sock knitter? Now I am!

22. How did you learn to knit? I taught myself using an online tutorial!

23. How old is your oldest UFO? About a year, but I promise I will finish it soon! I set a deadline for myself over this weekend!

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? Hmm. My favorite cartoon of all time is Tom and Jerry. My favorite animals are black bears, turtles and cats.

25. What is your favorite holiday? I am Jewish and my boyfriend is Christian, so we celebrate everything. I would have to say either Haloween, Christmas or Passover.

26. Is there anything that you collect? I am attempting to collect BearFoots stuff, but only have a few things. I collect yarn for sure!

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? None! But I have bought IK a few times.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on? I really want to read The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Two Is Better Than One

Its kind of sad, but I feel the same sense of accomplishment that I felt when I finished my Master's thesis (ok, maybe on a smaller scale)! I never knew that a pair of socks would have this effect on me. I do understand the second sock syndrome now and how hard it really is to push through and finish (especially when you aren't thrilled with the sizing of the first)! These socks were made using the Classic Socks by Yankee Knitter pattern and Fortissima Cotton color 742 (almost two skeins). I used size 1US double pointed needles and adjusted the pattern some (I started with 68 stitches instead of 64 which was the largest size). Some things I learned from these socks are:

1. Don't assume that because it is small, it is easy and will be a quick knit.
2. I understand the benefits of the Magic Loop method.
3. Always cast on the second sock right when you finish the first.
4. Don't be dissapointed when you knit 30 rounds and only come up with two inches.
5. Remember that I have wider feet than the average Joe... take this into account in the future.

Anyhow, I am glad these two socks are done. I have four new skeins of sock yarn that I am just dying to knit with, though I am not sure I am quite ready to cast on another pair yet. I need to find a better pattern, one that is a bit more detailed than this Yankee sock pattern, but simple enough to use with stripey yarn (is stripey even a word??? I like to make up words!). If anyone has any pattern suggestions, I am all ears! I have some great pictures from our trip to Smithville in NJ yesturday, but will post tomorrow. I even (by request from Whispering Pine) have some pictures modeling my new bag!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

On the Road Again...

Last night, Scott and I made the 5 hour trek through a moderate amount of traffic to visit his dad in Avon By the Sea, NJ. Its great because his dad lives a block from the ocean, so it always feels like a mini-vacation. The only problem is when warm weather comes, people swarm the beaches here and it turns into absolute chaos. This whole East Coast, beach, traffic thing is fairly new to me being from Colorado. I realized once I moved out here, that I had no idea what true traffic was! Anyways, this morning, we took a little stroll down on the boardwalk and took a few pictures!

On another note, thank you to all of you who posted comments about my Aran Pocketbook. For some reason, blogger is showing them as anonymous and I am not sure who left the comments. Since I like to respond to all my comment post, I feel bad that this happened and just want to say I truely appreciate your input!

I am just finishing up my blue socks and will post another FO tomorrow! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Aran Pocketbook Debut

The bag is done and I had a great time sewing the whole thing together! I think its really interesting how the strap also forms the sides of the bag. I think I will use this alot seeing as though the bag can handle the weight of my normal everyday pocketbook items. And now for the stats:

Reynolds Lopi yarn in color #0085, knit on size 8 needles. The pattern is from Bags, A Knitters Dozen, and designed by Edie Eckman. I used 1/4 yard of fabric for the lining and a cool button from my LYS!

The only thing I am not thrilled about is the lining. I love the fabric, but its just not sewn in great. I think I made it a bit big, so it doesn't lie completely flat inside the bag unless there are things in it. I also decided to line the flap which made it a bit more complicated. I used a beige thread, which I think looks nice. So, does anybody have any suggestions for how to tack this lining down into the bottom corners? I tried to sew it down last night, but it didn't work to well.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I Love Lettuce

I really love this yarn that came in the mail today from Knit Picks! Nothing like coming home from a crappy day of work to find this on your doorstep... I am super excited to start the hourglass sweater with this yarn, but am going to hold out until the weekend so I can finish up my Aran Pocketbook and my Classic Socks. I also need to get a new set of needles. This is my first official sweater, so bear with me through this one!

My Andean Silk Yarn that showed up today

A close-up of this fabulous lettuce colored yarn

Since I made another trip to Allendale Farm this past weekend for some soil, I picked up a few other things. Introducing orange cherry, sweet red, and large yellow tomato plants in my new yellow metal planter and a pretty picture of Ms. Geranium sitting atop the table...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Aran Update

The Aran pocketbook is making good progress due the the Reynolds Lopi yarn I am using. I love Lopi and I like the color, I am just a bit dissapointed in the appearance of the cables. The center cable looks nice, but some of the other cabling blends in. I am not sure why, since this is my first time with cables. All I know, is that they should be more apparent on lighter colors. Either way, the bag is going to look really good when blocked and put together. Today, I went to the fabric store because I decided I wanted to line the inside of the bag. I picked out two different fabrics since I couldn't decide which one I liked more! I also have this stellar button I found at Black Sheep Knitting Company last week. So, which fabric should I use?!!??!

In other news, I volunteered for the Preemie Project. This is a volunteer group that is organized/run/managed by Laura and focuses on donating knit hats/booties/blankets to preemie babies at the University of Iowa Hopitals and Clinics in Iowa City, IA. If you have the desire to knit up a few baby items (which go really quick since they are absolutely tiny!) and want to help, go check out the project homepage!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Yay for Baking!

My cousin is hosting a small shower today and asked me to make the desserts. There is a Canadian seashore theme, hence the boats and lighthouses! I had a lot of fun doing them and had to cut all the cookies out by hand since I had no cookie cutters in those shapes. The other bar cookies are Nanaimo bars, a supposedly famous Canadian bar cookie. Those damn things are rich! Canadians must have a high tolerance for sugar with all that maple syrup up there.. Don't they just chug the stuff?!

I think the shower will be a success... My cousin has made tons of cute things and she is making Maple leaf-shaped personal size pizzas. I promise I will post some knitting tomorrow!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A Day of Yarn

Today, is a good day because I bought lots of new yarn. I am at this awkward point in my knitting, because I have finished most of the projects I was working on and am excited to start some new ones.... (Though a bit anxious at having to choose only a few). My first purchase of the day was on Knit Picks. I purchased this in 23510 lettuce for my Hourglass sweater. Yes, I finally bought yarn and gave up the Cash Iroha hunt! I was really stuck on doing the sweater in the orange iroha but was completely sold on this yarn and color though (not to mention the price).

My second yarn purchase was at my favorite LYS, Black Sheep Knitting Company. After the present I received from Dani yesturday, how could I resist NOT making anything out of my new book?! So, I decided, after a long, hard thought, to make the Aran Pocketbook. I love the Lopi yarn I picked out (this nice soft brown color) and am proud of the fact I am finally putting my foot down and making something with cables. I have been avoiding cables like the plague for some reason?!

Off to work on my new project!

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

All Smiles

Days like today, I realize how many wonderful people there are in this world. I find that in times when I need it most, someone, whether it be a great friend, or a new friend, is there for me in one way or another. And, with that said, its also time for one of my favorite quotes... "In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy." So, thank you Dani for my wonderful surprise that showed up in the mail today. I am truely grateful!

Now, since that was a bit mushy, I get to play show and tell with my surprise package! Dani sent me this lovely basket for yarnage and anything else my heart desires. Kali thanks you too as you can tell by the picture below! I am also the proud new owner of this and some gorgeous Gedifra Fashion Trend Stripe yarn in the blues! This yarn is something I have never seen before and look foward to making something fabulous for myself for the winter.

As for tonight, I am a bit busy, but hope to get in some sock knitting later on. Hope everyone is having a good week!