Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Lesson Learned

This, people, is why you must not only knit a swatch, but WASH IT.



Look closely (click for bigger). The red color speckles are running. Grr.

This was supposed to be a gift for a baby due any second. Unacceptable.

Next life: dishcloth. A plain ugly one. No cute ball-band goodness for you! (Stupid yarn.)

The pattern is the "Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono" from Mason-Dixon Knitting. And it is not only Heartbreakingly Cute, but also Super Fast, Really Easy, and CHEAP.

Also heartbreaking with the running dyes.

Thankfully, I went on a booty kick a while back so I have a stash of booties on hand for emergency gifts. ("Booty kick" - heh.) But still. I really wanted to make this baby a sweater. Rats.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

FOto Friday - August 24, 2007

Knit Picks

This aforementioned Knit Picks order arrived last Friday.


I purchased Lace Style, and two books by Elizabeth Zimmerman: Knitting Without Tears and Knitting Workshop.

Somehow, on my first order, I managed not to buy any books, even though the book sale was the whole reason I went over to Knit Picks in the first place. So, of course, when I realized that the book sale was about to end, I had to rush over there and grab some books. And more sock yarn, apparently.

Alert Readers (and/or Knit Picks Junkies) may notice Peacock in the front - didn't I buy that color already? Well, yes, dears, I did. But see, this is different. It's Special. The regular Peacock is rather bright. Girl liked it, so it will be socks for her. When I saw the Peacock "special dye lot", it looked more muted, so I snapped up two balls of the special dye lot as well. I am so glad I did, because I really like it.

Confession

I also really like the Lily Pad "special," the sock yarn on the right, as you saw yesterday. But I lied. That relationship is moving way faster than I let on. In fact...


Uh, yeah. That's a finished sock. In five days. Granted, it's a finished sock for a 6-year-old, but still. In fact, the swatch pic I posted? Faked. Well, not really faked. It is an actual swatch, after all. But I knit the swatch yesterday while I was reading blogs, then took a picture and posted it. The sock was already finished.

This pair will be a welcome replacement for this:

Ah, yes, the blue Cascade socks for Boy1. Toe-up in elastic cotton yarn. Just. Not. Working. To be frogged.

(Both Lily Pad and Peacock are now sold out in the special edition. Sorry. There are 5 other Special colors tho - Tuscon, Shale, Riverbed, Meadow, and Tuscany. I love them alllllllll. Especially Meadow. Hmm.)

Stash pic: LOLcat style:

I HAS A ADDIKSHUN.


Fullish balls in... top row - Warm Brown, Hot Purple, Jewels; middle row - Hot Blue, Rosewood, Cherry Swirl; bottom row - Citrus Fruits (2), Soft Teal.

That's the current state of my Sugar 'n' Cream collection. And I know I have a solid yellow and a solid white floating around the stash somewhere. How can I resist when it's on sale for $1/ball?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Love

You're going somewhere with friends. A party, perhaps. You might meet someone special. Or you might not. But the potential is there, the anticipation, the nerves.

Yep, I placed another Knit Picks order last week.

You see some new faces across the room. One, in particular, catches your eye.



Your eyes meet.

It's green. And blue. Son 1's favorite colors.


Right away, you know this is someone Special.

Knit Picks had an early batch of Essential Multi go wonky on the color, so it was on sale as a "special" dye lot.

You work up the nerve to head over there. Before you know it, you're deep in conversation about Life, The Universe, And Everything.

My gauge with KPE = 9 spi; son1's foot is 6.5 inches around = 58.5 stitches; subtract 10% for negative ease = 52.7; round # of stitiches to be divisible by 4 = 52.>

They say something that doesn't sit quite right.

52 divided by 4 = 13. 13? So I'd have to... ? And then I'd have to...?

You decide to overlook it for now and find out more.

Cast on 52 stitches.

The conversation continues deep into the night. Finally, sadly, it is time to part. Will it happen?

(Will it be good?)

*SWATCH*


Mmm. It's good. Sure, things could go wrong. You know in your head that a good kiss isn't a perfect indicator of a good relationship, but for now?

This could be the start of something beautiful.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

More Handmade Toys - Free Knit Pattern Alert!

Today on Knitting Daily, Sandi talks about her beloved stuffed purple cow, Cowie, that she had growing up. I'm sure we all had a favorite soft toy when we were kids, and many of us still have ours! (Yes, me too.)

I love this quote from Sandi: "Knit a toy for a child, and maybe someday they'll be all grownup like me, digging through their basement searching for the one denizen of Toyland who really mattered to them their whole life long."

(You're not alone, Sandi. You're not alone.)

Knitting Daily has a free pattern for knitted animals - bear, kitty, or bunny. And a crocheted Lamb, too!

Here's a couple more free patterns for toys from Knitty.com:

Gattino
Kate

(Yeah, they're both cats. It's probably a knitter thing.)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Well, ok, but does he knit?

Westley / The Dread Pirate Roberts

Which Princess Bride Character are You?


(More like, "Drop your dpn." I'm pretty good at that, actually.)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Handmade Toys

I'd like you to meet some friends of mine:


L to R: Serafina, Blue Wetty, Toasty

After reading angry chicken's post yesterday about handmade toys, I remembered these guys I made with the kids about a year ago.


Blue Wetty wanted to be sure you could see his cute little tail.

The ideas and names came from Stupid Sock Creatures: Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks by John Murphy. In our house, we call them "silly sock monsters." If you are making these with young kids, you might want to preview the book before letting them look. If I remember correctly, the book's Toasty sports a cigarette!


No smoking in our house! Toasty has kicked the habit.

They were easy to make with basic hand-sewing skills. Even Girl, who was 7 or 8 at the time and hadn't sewn before, was able to help sew up Serafina's arms.



These are great little projects because:

1) They are environmentally friendly - you can use lightly-worn mismatched socks and old buttons, and hand-sew the toys.

2) They are a fun project to do with kids (after previewing the book) - kids can pick out which ones they want to do, and which socks to use, and your more coordinated kids can cut and sew the pieces.

3) They help declutter (well, kinda) by getting socks out of the lost sock bin (but into the toy bin).

4) They encourage creativity, yours and the kids'. The books has basic how-to guidelines, but the combinations are endless. Plus kids can, and probably will, do something like this:


Serafina shows her girly side.

Friday, August 17, 2007

FOto Friday - August 17, 2007

Thanks for your patience during the recent hiatus and technical difficulties. Yesterday, I plugged my camera into the USB port and it loaded right up. My printer works now, too. So who knows. (Digital gremlins?) On to the FOtos!

Sockapalooza 4!!

The socks:

Note the excellent fit and stupendous stripiness. I love stripes. Not shown: the toasty warmness.

The treats:

Clockwise, from top left: Zen Party trail mix by Archer Farms. Envelope from cute enclosed card (oops, no photo). Supercute yarn-printed emery board from Knitters Mercantile in Columbus, Ohio. Three samples of Soak. Ohio State University coasters.

The coasters, hmm. Well, I live about 30 minutes from the University of Michigan, sworn enemy of Ohio State. We have a little saying:

Oh how I hate
Ohio State

Yes, we are nothing if not clever here in Michigan. However, in honor of fabulous knitter Lola, we used the Ohio State coasters until the kids decided they made excellent mass-onslaught mini-frisbees.

The amazing Zen Party matchiness:

I love that the socks and the snack mix matched! I don't know if that was planned or not. But I love it. (Did I mention the love? I did? Ok then.)


What I Did On My Summer Vacation, or, Two Things Michigan Should be Known for Besides Amazingly Clever Rhyming Couplets Disparaging Rival Universities:

This bridge (more impressive when clicked):


The Mackinac Bridge (say MAK-in-aw) connects Michigan's two penninsulas (penninsulae?). It is 5 miles long, and is the longest bridge in the Western Hemisphere, 3rd longest in the world. The road level at midspan is 200 feet above the surface of the water. The water depth at that point is 295 feet. (Something you don't really want to think about while you're driving over it within recent memory of the events in Minneapolis.) Happy 50th Anniversary, Mackinac Bridge!

Lighthouses:

This is the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, one of Michigan's many, MANY lighthouses. If you like lighthouses, this is the state for you. Very helpful when your landlocked sock pal loves lighthouses!


Ball Band Madness

Cocoa and Country Stripes. I like the purple one better, after all:


Used the leftovers from the first Nettie bag, plus the end of Country Stripes:


The top one, I was trying to be clever (you know us Michigan people and clever), so I held both yarns together while casting on and binding off. I hate it. I'll use it anyway. I made both of these in one week. For me, that's pretty fast.


Not So Fast

Ok, Nettie should not take this long to knit. I am stuck on the base garter stitch section. It's not hard, not at all. Just sloggy. A decent TV night should take care of it, if I just do it.


Sadly, I took this photo before I left, and it doesn't look much different now. Please don't tell Dreamy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yarnival!

This post - edits in italics.

Woot! I am published! Cara from january one is the host of this month's edition of Yarnival!, and one of my multiple submissions was selected as a lucky participant!

Not seeing the link on her site? Scroll down. More. Keep going. More, more more. There - see the next section under diy? (either "falalalala" or "fofofofo") The last paragraph in that section starts, "Socks, socks, SOCKS!" And that's where I am.

Many, many talented writers and knitters are featured. Please go check their blogs too. There's some great stuff out there (but you knew that already).

P.S. - Sorry, I am such a bad host! If you came over here from january one, thank you! Please have a long look around. I hope you find something you like and come back to visit often. Please also stop by my other blog: Make-A-Bag, which is dedicated to DIY reusable shopping bags. Thanks again!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

One For Steph

You are not alone in your struggle...

okeh-so-there-wuz-this-squirrel-right.jpg

(Not that she reads my blog, but I thought it might be a tad creepy leaving it in her comments.)

What Kind of Knitter Are You?







What Kind of Knitter Are You?




You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!




Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Quick update

I'll be out of town for a few days, so it will be quiet here for probably the next week.

Of course, going out of town and having no time to play means my Ravelry invite showed up in the inbox this morning! (Woo hoo!)

AND, I can now reveal my Sock Pal, since she received her socks! Yay, I am so glad they fit and she likes them... and they arrived safely!

Oh, and I have had no time to mess with the computer stuff (I think my USB port got unplugged), so still no pictures of my socks here. But you can see them at Lola's blog. She put lots of fun stuff in the box; I will get my pictures up as soon as I can when I get back.

See ya!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Happy Dance

Guess what I got in the mail today? Guess! Guess! Guess!

(No, not my Ravely invite. Still 178 ahead of me. Soon!)

My socks!! Already! I am so geeked. My secret knitter is "Lola" from Two Black Sheep. Here is a link to the socks' life story so far.

They fit great! They are warm! They look very well knit! (Toe-up on circulars with short row heels! I will never have another pair knit like this!) Stockinette on the instep and a 3x3 rib on the cuff. The colorway is Pistacio from Cider Moon, and I love how they snuck a little pink and purple in there. The color went into a stripe effect on the cuff - perfect.

(ACK! Arguing with peripherals again. Pictures to follow.)

Thank you, Lola!

(Ok, I gotta take them off. It's 85 degrees in the kitchen at 9pm. Ugh.)

Friday, August 3, 2007

FOto Friday - 8/3/07

Mini Sock:
I wanted to try one, but couldn't find a free pattern. So I just used the Yarn Harlot's general sock rules* to make a bitty one. It's not great, but this went in my pal's Sockapalooza package, which is...

...sent!
We have the finished socks on DIY sock blockers, the sock pattern (which will be published here once I know she has her package), a mini calendar on a topic I know she likes, some of the extra yarn in case of "shortage" or future holes, and the mini sock. I added a bunch of Michigan postcards, and the socks are wrapped in mad caterpillar's lovely official Sockapalooza 4 sock band, which you can download in PDF form from her site.

Stripey Goodness:
This is a Ball-Band Warshrag from Mason-Dixon Knitting made from Lily Sugar 'n Cream Stripes in Country Stripes and original in Hot Purple. Once I got going, I was afraid this would look too Easter-y, but I like how it turned out. Then, I was afraid to use it (too purty), but when it is wet, the colors deepen and it is really beautiful. (The yarn is beautiful, not my knitting. In fact, there is a major mistake on the topmost slip-stitch section, which I left since it was for my use anyway. Click to make it bigger.) I originally wanted to use a chocolate brown instead of the purple, but couldn't find any at that store and couldn't wait to start until I did. I think it would have looked more sophisticated in brown. Maybe for another day...

In order to put my money where my mouth is with the Make-A-Bag-Along blog, I picked up the second Nettie again. I got a lot done last night (the mesh sections knit up SUPER fast), but forgot to take a picture today.

This coming week, I'll be working on finishing Nettie and some other WIPs. Boy1 has been quite patient with his slow-going toe-up socks, and I'd like to finish my Chevron Lace pair before I start something new.

*Support your local bookstore, kids!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Fake Plastic Friends Can Be a Good Thing

I've been outted - hooray!

Beth from Fake Plastic Fish has a recent post about the reusable bag bandwagon, and provides some excellent food for thought.

And she mentions the new project I hinted about a couple days ago: the Make-A-Bag-Along! This is a new blog where people can get ideas and patterns for homemade reusable shopping bags, and will probably expand into ideas on being more green in general.

I am really excited about this project. If anyone wants to submit project patterns, photos, or guest blogs, contact me at makeabag at yahoo dot com. Guest submissions will receive full credit, of course.

A very small Bill Watterson Tribute (miss ya, Bill!)

Wishful thinking: I really wish Bill Watterson would come out of retirement." The man does not even have a web site.

128286765975696591heyhobbswa.jpg

And this one is pretty awesome: "Calvin and Hobbes"

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Babs Quote of the Month - August 2007


"Hello, Ginger. Back from holiday?"

(Apparently, Babs was on holiday herself during July.)