Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hump Day!

First things first, my very good friend Amanda, has started her own blog! She is an artist extraordinary! She does embroidery, needlepoint, knitting and sewing to name a few! Also, she is finishing her Ph.D. in geology this fall, so go give her a pat on the back and say hello!!

Oh, and if you haven't voted in the final contest yet, you have one last chance! Please go to the Puuurfect Kitty contest to vote for Soma in the finals! Yahoo! I hope she wins!

As for some knitting news, I bought more yarn! (No, I did really knit... I finished my Secret Project for my SP5 pal)! I gave into the Wavy Skirt due to how gorgeous her skirt came out! I love it! However, I am not a pink person, so I decided to go with these blues, a banana yellow, and jungle green. So, can anyone guess what the main color is going to be out of these 5 colors?! I do have to give credit to her for helping me decide....

I also wanted to post these too! I made them a while ago and found the pictures today. I made the set of kitty ones for Blossom and the diner set for Kirsten (don't those fit her blog!?).

As for the next few days, bear with me... I am going to be making the long trek down to NJ and Long Island for a family wedding! Scott and I are heading down to his dad's house tomorrow afternoon to hang out there for a couple of days before Saturday's affair. Then, Sunday I get to meet her, before we head back up to Boston! On Monday, I might even get to hang out with her too! Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will try to write from NJ on Friday!

Monday, June 27, 2005

I'm Sorry Mr. Blankie!

This is the first project I am called it quits on and I am having a hard time dealing with it! I feel bad... like I should be apologizing to Mr. Blankie! "I'm so sorry... I just couldn't work on you... you were making me not enjoy knitting and I feel like I made too many mistakes on you! I know you will become something beautiful in the near future and I apologize that you will no longer be titled the Big Bad Baby Blanket. Please forgive me!"

And so I frogged. I threw in the towel. The problem was:
1. I made too many small mistakes that I didn't go back and correct.
2. I didn't have a deadline (which is hard for baby projects).
3. I wasn't necessarily knitting this for a specific person.
4. It's been sitting there for over a year... and I just can't deal with it!

I love this pattern, and know I will use it again. I am actually thinking that this yarn will be great to make some hat/bootie sets for the Preemie Project. I might even attempt a much smaller baby blanket for that project as well! We'll see. Bye bye Mr. Blankie....

Saturday, June 25, 2005

My First Sweater Baby, Yeah!

Of course, the best way to celebrate the hottest day of the year so far (we might reach 100 degrees here in Boston today) is to finish a wool sweater! Well, alpaca and silk :). Here is the debut of my first sweater, the Hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I used Knit Picks Andean Silk in Lettuce and size 7 needles. Overall, I am happy with it and can't be too mad with the fact that its too big. I have large boobs and usually overestimate my size. I think that the second size would have been perfect (but I sort of did an inbetween 2nd and 3rd size)!

The final measurements are: 19.5 inches across bottom, 17 inches waist, 39 inch chest circumference, 24 inches from bottom edge to neckline, 20.5 inches from wrist to underarm.

I also made a few other modifications including an additional inch on the length of the waist area to accomodate the fact that I hate things that are too short. Lesson, should have left as is, it was a bit too long. I also added an extra inch to each sleeve. Lesson, thank god I did! I have long arms and the changes I made came out pefect! Also, what's with this sweater showing bra lines on everyone!? Mine came out fine... On wait, no, thats because I have those huge broad swimmer shoulders and have no need to worry about that!

Outdoor pictures:

Indoor pictures:

Okay, okay, I know you want to see it on! Well, its not a good picture, but okay. Here is me being totally psycho and putting on a heavy sweater and jeans while its 94 degrees out (look what I do for knitting and my readers... its all about the sacrifices!) Mind you, the odd look on my face is due to the fact that I am about to pass out :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Words To Live By...

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless." by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Mt. Wilson in Tellluride, CO.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

General Randomness

I never posted this late last week, but my yarn came in the mail for my Fiber Trends Field of Flowers shawl! I ordered 3 skeins of Alpaca Cloud in Sunlight (this was the same yarn I bought for Branching Out, but in Moss). At first I was a bit dissapointed with the color because it is more beige than yellow, but in the light, a nice pale yellow glow appears! Note: I don't think there is a chance in hell I am going to have time to make this for the July 2nd wedding! Sometimes I just come up with these crazy ideas.

And, as you can also tell, I am finally going to become a Magic Loop gal! I am totally blown away at how fast many of you knit socks, especially you! Hopefully I will have time to practice this on our journey to Long Island next weekend (where, yay, I am going to get a chance to meet Dani!

In other news, head over to the Puuurfect Kitty Contest and vote for my little Soma in the semi-finals round! Here are some cutie pictures of her just to stimulate!

And, just for the record, here are some MUCH better pictures of my "Earth Day" yarn. Yesterday's pictures were taken after the sun went behind the trees and it really dampened the colors. So, here are some pretty accurate pics. If you really want it, head over to ebay and check it out! Proceeds are going towards yarn for the Preemie Project!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Walking on Sunshine

Thank you, thank you SP5! You rock! Of course with today being Monday, I was in a sulking mood when I got home from work. Then, I saw a package, and low and behold, I was walking on sunshine! Look at what I got....

She sent me a beautiful card, a new, stylish tape measure, a Little Miss Sunshine book (I used to collect these when I was little), the knitting journal I wanted, and this beautiful, sock yarn by Done Roving in the color "Gulf of Maine"! The colors of this yarn are so me, its unbelievable. Notice the similarity to the yarn I dyed down below!

Speaking of that yarn I dyed over the weekend, here it is! I am calling this colorway "Earth Day" since the colors totally remind me of oceans and forests. This yarn is self-striping, though the stripes are subtle due to the numerous shades of green. I was going to list the recipe for this, but I used way to many packets and flavors of Kool-Aid and I fear that it may bore you all (if you want to know, email me)! This yarn is 100% merino and is somewhere around 400 yards. If you are interested in purchasing this yarn, its going to be listed on ebay tonight!

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, here is the recipe for "Earth Day". Also note that I originally had 4 colors, which is what I am going to give you... However, one jar cracked and the Mint Green and the Grass green ran together in the pot (I was using the pot water as my 4th color).

Forest Green:
5 packets Wild Watermelon Kiwi (green) and 1/3 of a packet Grape.
Sky Blue: 4 Ice Blue Raspberry (blue), 1/3 packet Pina Pineapple (light orange), a few sprinkles of Grape, and 1/3 packet of Lemonade (yellow).
Mint Green: 5 Arctic Green Apple (mint green), few sprinkes of Grape.
Grass Green: 3 Wild Watermelon Kiwi (green), sprinke of Grape, sprinkle of Lemonade, 1/3 packet of Ice Blue Raspberry (blue).

And last but not least, the almost finished hourglass! I am having issues photographing this sweater and the sun was setting on me tonight... but, there it is! I have done 4 decreases on the yoke and they are taking FOREVER (300 stitches around). At least each decrease knocks off 8 stitches, so it will go alot faster as I go. I am hoping to finish this over the weekend.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Oh Happy Day!

I was so surprised yesterday to open up my mailbox and find a little present from Catherine from Knitt'in Around! Look at what she sent me - and for no reason either! Catherine--- thank you from the bottom of my heart... you really made my day. Those beads are so beatiful (my favorite colors even) and I love the little knitting charm! You better bet that these are going to get alot of use! The only home-made ones I have are from Amy, so this will be a great addition to my knitting toolbox!

And, congratulations Johanna! She is the new, proud owner of my first attempt at Kool-Aid dying. I am calling this color scheme Sesame Street! I knit up a little bit just to see what the stripes looked like and I was pretty happy with the color variation. I think it would made some great socks, or as Johanna suggested, a baby sweater!

And of course as soon as I saw my first dye attempt out the door, I had to make more! This time I found a few shades of green and was planning on having four different colors: a dark green, grass green, mint green, and sky blue. However, during the dying process the glass jar with the mint green color (which was great I might add) ran into the grass green color and I ended up with two similar greens, a dark green and a sky blue. I think it still looks pretty neat though :) I'll post more about the formulas I used and the dried yarn tomorrow!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

To Dye For

I am chalking my first dying experience as a loss. I didn't concentrate enough on technique and the exact colors I wanted and came up with something I am not too thrilled with in the end. But, it was fun and I know things that I am going to change for next time... Notice I say next time!!

First off, I used Diana's technique for self-striping yarn in that I wound a really long hank using chairs spread about 14 feet apart. I tied off three sections and soaked in water for about 30 minutes. In terms of hand-painting the stripes, I used Knitty's guide and sort of just dipped each section into the dye. I put the entire hank in a steamer over hot water and let it steam for about 40 minutes. Periodically, I redipped the yarn. I also made a tin foil contraption to keep the color sections seperate in the steamer (note that this didn't work perfectly). I didn't use the jars like Diana did since I didn't have any lying around. The colors I chose for dye job number 1 were orange, yellow and blue... and, yes, I did get orange, yellow, and purple! For the orange I used 3 Orange and 1 Cherry; the yellow I used 3 Lemonade; and the blue I used 3 Raspberry Blue and 1 Grape (the grape is where it went all wrong).

As you can see from the pictures below, my orange was neon and my blue was purple. It actually looks kind of like a Paper Source bag if you know what I mean!

So, I decided to re-dye. Dye job number two involved a second soak and the use of jars that I acually realized I had at work (duh, I am a scientist)! This technique worked much better and I highly recommend it to anyone that is trying to create self-striping yarn. All you need to do is put the sections in the appropriate colors and put all the jars in one hot water bath until the water in the jars is cloudy or clear!

For this dye I used 3 Cherry packets for the orange section, 3 lemonade packets to brighten up the yellow, and 2 Raspberry Reaction and 3 Changing Cherry for the purple. So, I ended up with these distorted primary colors in the end....

If anyone has made it through this long post and is interested in creating some socks with this yarn, let me know! It is going to the first person who emails me for it! I think it would make some cute socks for a little kid :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Trip to Maine

Sorry for the lame title to this post, but I just wanted to post some pictures from this past Sunday in Maine! It had been a long time since either of us visited this beautiful state, so we made the short journey up to York where we lounged around the town, ate candy at Goldenrod's Candy Store and at York's Best eating lobster rolls. It was a good day... I even spotted a tiny little yarn store along the way. I have an eagle eye for that sort of thing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Two for Tuesday

This weekend I managed to start on both sleeves for my hourglass sweater. As of now, I am up to the 12.5" mark on both! I am really happy that I bought a second circular to start the other one, because now when I am done with the sleeves, I am almost there (none of this going back to work the other one crap). On Sunday night, I did have a little "incident" with sleeve #1... I left the sleeve on my bed for about five minutes to run out to the kitchen, and sure enough Soma was on top of it when I returned! Nooo!!! I grabbed the sleeve away to find a few pulls in it! I fixed the pulls as best I could and just sulked a bit. I always tell myself never to leave my knitting out, and it was my fault for leaving it right next to her on the bed. I just wish the act of knitting wasn't so tempting to kitties sometimes. I swear that they have this internal radar that lets them know the proximity of a new project and the exact GPS location of its existence!

And in more exciting news, I learned how to crochet yesturday! Well, I did learn how to do the basic stitch (or loop?) with yarn, but then I started out on beads. I went from a large crochet hook to a tiny one (size 11/12 if anyone cares) in a matter of minutes. I am still super slow and am trying to get the hang of it, but here it is... the beginnings of a crocheted rope bracelet.

Oh, and since I know some of you have been organizing your yarn stash recently, here are a few pictures of my attempt at organization...The large clear, plastic bin is from The Container Store and is being used to store leftovers and yarn I am not planning on using in a while (this one is now in our "storage closet" in the extra bedroom). The other (achem post office) bin is being used for yarn that I am using or yarn that I plan to use in the near future (and this one is readily accessible). Yes, yes, I am anal, but I found that my yarn was spreading in to all rooms of the house!