Sunday, August 28, 2011

So close!

Hi everyone! First of all I just want to say that I hope all my my New England area readers are staying safe during all this awful weather we've been having. If you've battened down the hatches and stockpiled your bottled water and candles it makes for a good time to knit! Always optomistic right? Anyways I thought I should update you guys on my S.S.S. progress. I really have been knitting! I swear it!

     See! I'm almost done with my first pair! I'm kind of on a deadline with these though, since they will be flying across the country with JB next week. The first sock got finished on Tuesday or Wednesday 2 weeks ago and I waited until last Sunday to start the second one. I used every last inch of the yarn divided for the first sock so I'm getting nervous as I get towards the end. I should have exactly enough if my cats didn't secretly rip a chunk off and hide it while I wasn't looking. Simba and Snooks have been known to do that. They also like to chew my skeins in half. I'll be knitting along happily, thinking I have one big ball of yarn and then all of a sudden there is like 3 inches on a piece that was blending into the rest of the ball! Oh no! Who likes to piece together 50 million scraps of the same yarn in just one project? Not me.
     I'm going to try and do those blueberry waffle socks next, but I can't guarentee I will love that pattern for my cobblestone varegated yarn. We'll see how that goes. I'm still working on those 2 shawls and my adirondack socks during the week. They are really going much slower than I expected, but will eventually get done. I promise.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sock 1

The alpaca socks I began for Super Sock Sunday are coming right along. While JB has been interrupting my "Say Yes To The Dress" addiction with football, I've been diligently knitting these socks. He is flying to Seattle in September for a big fishing trip and I'm knitting like crazy to get these socks done before he leaves. The fruits of my labor are beginning to show. I finished the first of the socks last night. I ran into some difficulties yesterday afternoon though. I got about an inch up the cuff of the sock when I realized I was just not going to have enough yarn to complete my project. I bought the yarn  over a year ago in Manhattan at Purl Soho and there was just no way I was ever going to find the same yarn in the right color ever again. One trip to my LYS and I had a solution. its a chunky baby alpaca yarn in a darker almost black gray. I got a little creative and worked the color change in so that I doesn't look like I just ran out of yarn.

Check out the pre-blocking Fisherman's socks.

The new darker yarn worked very well and it looks almost as though I meant to do it all the long! I'm excited to get started on the next one and get these finished! These will be perfect for a chilly romp in the icy mountain streams of Seattle, Washington in September.
But who can go to the yarn store and only buy 1 skein of yarn? Obviously not me. I found some wonderful yarn that was just screaming to become a part of Super Sock Sundays. And I also found some other yarn that was pretty pretty but I have no plans for it at the moment. It will get used eventually! Since my yarn stash has been severely depleted over the last couple months JB has given me permission to buy a FEW more skeins.

This is the Cobblestone sock yarn. Its this gorgeous mix of greens and yellows and oranges. I can't wait to make this into socks next week! You can see Simba peeking out from behind my leopard print couch! Hes been enjoying my pink craft corner just as much as I have.

My second last purchase was the Lion Brand Amazing yarn. Its variegated so beautifully but I have no idea what I'm going to make with it.

On another topic, I've been reading The Yarnarian's blog where she has been on a sewing kick for weeks (months?). Shes made the cutest quilts and doll clothing ever and I'm jealous. Really really jealous. She posted a picture of "The Farmer's Wife Quilt" that she's making, and I just couldn't stand it anymore. I had to make one of my own. I took a trip to a local fabric store and with her picture on my phone and went to picking out fabric of my own.

And this is what I came back with! Its not exactly the same colors she used, but I think they have the same feel. The white has little silver sparkles embedded in the fabric. The color scheme is subtle and quaint but the sparkles give it a little bit of flare that is reminiscent of me.

I've only got a few hours today before work, but I'm going to try to piece together a few blocks of this quilt. Maybe I'll just get it all cut out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

S.S.S. Kick Off!

     Yesterday was the first day of the 201l Super Sock Sunday KAL! I bet your wondering, "but you did all that work on your craft room yesterday! How could you have done any sock knitting? Glitter paint is time consuming!" Well my friends, you would be right. Glitter paint is indeed time consuming. And my white cubey shelf thing took me and my construction impaired self hours to assemble. However! I did fit some S.S.S. knitting in there! I'm so proud of myself! What excellent time management!

For the first gameday sock I'm doing sort of an original pattern. Sort of. Its more of a mash up between several different patterns in order to meet the needs of the wearer. JB is going on a fishing trip to Seattle, WA in about 2 weeks and has been begging for a pair of fishing socks for months. I'm using a natural gray shade of baby alpaca chunky yarn by Cascade Yarns in a toe up sock pattern. JB wants to wear these under his waders and needed a thick, warm sock. When I showed him patterns he noticed that most did not have a flat or unpatterned toe that came up far enough on the sock. Apparently his boots have a seam or something across the foot about 2.5 inches back from the toe that would make ribbing or a raised pattern there uncomfortable.

You can find my pattern here. Fisherman Socks Pattern

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Completed Craft Room!

Today was the first full day off I've had in a while and I seriously took advantage of it! I FINISHED, 100% completed, totally done my craft room!

I painted the walls Hollyhock Pink by Martha Stewart and then used her Pink Luster sparkle paint on top. Now a corner of my house is bright and happy, sparkle pink!  I'm so excited and I love it to pieces!

Its done! Yay! I can't wait to start classes now! I'm gonna be able to sit at my cool ironing board desk and do my homework or work on my quilt or do my scrapbooking! I like to knit while I'm all cozied up on the couch, but everything else is meant for deskwork!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Super Sock Sunday 2011

     Another football season is rolling around and my Sunday's will soon be filled with football parties and game day potlucks at friend's houses. I've never been a huge fan of football, but JB is and we tend to do lots of entertaining this time of year. I can get into the spirit of it all pretty easily but it helps if I've got some knitting to get excited about too. For the last 2 years socks have been the perfect game day project. They are small and easy to carry, only need about 1 ball of yarn, and don't require a lot of counting and complicated pattern stitches. Start a few top down socks on small circs and you're well on your way to participating in Super Sock Sunday! The rules are simple. You can knit along with me or choose your own pattern. Super Sock Sunday 2011 will start August 14th and continue every Sunday through the end of the football season at the conclusion of the Super Bowl. Usually I knit Sunday nights with out fail because JB always has the game on, but if the Steelers play during the week JB and I and often a few friends are cheering them on (and knitting up the heel flap of my latest sock). Its quite a productive way to keep yourself busy. Cheer on your team and add some warm, fuzzy socks to your drawer.

Here is my queue for Super Sock Sunday 2011. There is no particular time line for finishing each project. Just get as many as you can done before the Super Bowl. I try to stay away from a lot of colorwork with my selections so I don't have to drag around too many balls of yarn with me.

1. Blueberry Waffle Socks
By: Sandy Turner
You can find the pattern for free here. It is also available from Ravelry.
I knit these socks every year and they are always my favorite. This year they are at the top of the list.
2. Hello Sunshine Socks
By: Faili
The free pattern is available here. 
These are another easy to knit sock that comes out really cute.
3. Mr. Pitt's Socks
By: Kaitlyn Wong
The pattern can be found here.
These are great guy socks. JB will love them and maybe even not pester me about knitting instead of watching the game while I make these.
4. Little Arrow Socks
By: Susan Brugger
You can grab the pattern here fore free.
Thats a pretty good start! I'm gonna try and wrap up both of my shawls this month too! Its time to finish some of these projects!
Send me a comment if you want to knit along with me! You will be entered into all the August giveaways!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

"Dear Knits" Needle Envelope

Since I got my sewing machine in December I havn't posted much about it. The last needle roll up I made was getting a little tattered and didn't even come close to holding all my needles. It's time for a new one. With this new design I had some things to consider. I needed something sturdy that I can tote around with me me. I use more circular needles and DPNs than anything else, the last organizer was really only meant for straight needles. I have a few favorite needles that get used all the time so I don't really need to bring all my needles with me all the time. My least favorite thing about the wrap I made last time were the pockets. You would get all your needles snuggled in with the wrap laying flat and then when you rolled it up, you had to do it just right or the taller needles would flop out the side. This time, I decided a wrap just wasn't for me. This is what I came up with.

I call it the "Dear Knits" Needle Envelope. Its a prototype and I think I'll make a more quality version this weekend, but I am very happy with the design. For this one I played around with different seam allowances and styles, a little bit of decorative stitching and some different quilting ideas.

The "envelope" will close securely with velcro in the finished version. The button is pureley decorative, sewn on with some fancy silver thread.

Here is the envelope unfolded. There are 8 pockets for DPNs, and 4 pockets for circular needles.  Some changes I will be making include the height of the pockets. They should be deep enough so that you cannot see the average DPN sticking over the top. The back circular needle pockets are shorter than the front ones so that you can easily store and find smaller lengths (8-16 inch).

The whole envelope is padded with extra stiff batting and all the seams (with the exception of the decorative edging) are double stitched for durability. This design seems to be really sturdy. The way I have been carrying it around is to close it up and fold it in half. I think I may put snaps on the back to accommodate that. The finished product will also have the Knit Spiffy logo on the little ribbon tag at the top. They should be up on etsy some time next week.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Catch Up

So it's been a little while since I last updated everyone on my projects. I thought today would be a wonderful time to do just that!

We'll start with the Knitting Like Crazy Knit Along Shawl. I started it what seems like forever ago and am nearing the finish line! I literally have like 15 rows to go. With all that's been going on this summer all of my projects have been coming along at a snails pace. Wednesday I got stopped halfway through a row (this basically killed me) so now the whole thing is in a jumbled mess. Its not REALLY a mess but i sure looks like one. At least I had time to mark where on the pattern I stopped. The whole shawl looks really tiny on the needles but I've been playing around with the fabric as I've been making it and found it to be very stretchy. I think once I get it blocked it will more than double it's current size. I can't wait to finish it. I haven't decided if I'll keep it or give it away yet but I'm super looking forward to freeing up those wonderful Signature Needle Arts circs and starting another lacey shawl. They are TONS of fun to knit.

This picture does the shawl no justice. The Color is off and it just looks messy. I really debated just not putting it up, but I wanted you to see that I have actually made a little teeny bit of progress! Besides, you'll get to see the whole thing when it is done in all of its green lacey splendor.

Well what about the Vernal Equinox shawl, you ask. We haven't seen that in a while! Well it seems like whenever I sit down to knit 15 minuets goes by and something comes up. For example, last night, I had just pulled out my needles and the VE shawl and two rows were knit, I was just beginning the 3rd and Simba threw up all over the kitchen floor (gross.) :( so knitting went away and I got to cleaning. Then after I cleaned up the kitchen JB got home and was groaning about dinner. Dinner made and then I thought I would have the rest of the evening to work on this shawl. That fantasy was quickly interrupted with a phone call from my mother, and then an e-mail from my best friend and then packing my lunch for the next day. Before I knew it, midnight had rolled around. Lately it seems I've been getting most of my knitting done at work. Probably because its heavily air conditioned there (almost chilly actually!) and working with yarn is pleasant. At home, our little air conditioner could run all day long and there is no guarantee it will be any cooler inside than it is out. In fact some days its actually hotter in the house than it is outside! The VE shawl is shaping up to be a large project. Its gotten to the point that I can no longer keep it in my purse all day long, dragging it from place to place. The VE shawl as of the middle of July has been banished to the strictly at home knitting pile. Because of this I don't have it with me to take a picture of it now. I'll make an effort to post an update for it this weekend.

Lets have a chat about my yarn stash. If you recall a few months ago I posted in regards to the reprimand JB gave me over my yarn. "You are forbidden from bringing another inch of yarn home until you have used most of what you have!" And I promised I wouldn't buy any more until I used up a good portion of my stash. So, as promised I have been knitting away all summer with yarn from the pile. I made a whole pile of dishcloths which used up all but 2 of my Sugar n' Cream balls. I'm more than half way done with the VE shawl (There were 4 skeins of yellow for that, I'm on the 3rd now). I'm so close to finishing the Knitting Like Crazy KAL shawl that I can taste it! Those 2 skeins of lace baby alpaca are just about gone. I have also started crocheting that giant granny square baby blanket which has knocked out 3 skeins of Lion Brand's classic cotton. And last but not least, a crocheted lap top cover which I finished months ago but still haven't found the right button for. Some day I'll find it and post pictures. With all of that, a big portion of my stash has been eradicated. I was so proud of myself for sticking to it when suddenly.....disaster struck. I got the sock bug and I found a pattern I just couldn't live with out.

Stitch Nation's Adirondack Slipper Sock. They are beautifully knit and have a leather sole at the bottom sewn on. I can just picture myself wearing these to class on an October morning with some heavy tights and a big soft hoody. Right then and there I knew these were meant to be mine. So, since I couldn't help myself I went to A.C. Moore (where I had a coupon for $10 off a purchase!) and bought the supplies. 4 skeins of Stitch Nation's Full o' Sheep in Passionfruit, Thyme, Clementine, and Aquamarine.

Note that that pattern actually called for Hazelnut (a darker green than I used for the cuff) but A.C. Moore was out of the color. So I substituted! I figured I would just use Thyme for the cuff and substitute the Thyme in the pattern with Aquamarine. There isn't a whole lot of it used anyways! While I was knitting the ribbed cuff I was happy with my decision. However....

In the midst of moping about because of this color situation my focus drifted to another on going project. Re-doing my craft room! I'm not sure "re-do" is the right word for it. I really didn't have a craft room before (and frankly the word room is an exaggeration too. Its more like a corner.) just a pile of craft stuff in my sunroom and supplies all over the house. Several weeks ago I resolved to make an official craft space in my sunroom with a desk and shelves and the whole deal. I was able to justify this to JB by explaining that it would double as an area to do my school work and I would get all my crafty stuff off the floor. Since then I have cleaned the sunroom top to bottom and rounded up all my crafty stuff and began the search for the perfect storage pieces. Up to yesterday I had found a chair. Its a cute chair! I painted it white and reupholstered the seat with some pretty fabric. The whole thing cost me under $10. Yesterday however I stumbled across the perfect desk. I wanted something unconventional and unique, but also sturdy, cheap, and functional. An antique wood ironing board actually found me at the thrift store yesterday. It was hanging folded up on the wall and I was about to walk right past it. As I was passing the stars aligned and the universe sang and this ironing board opened up and bumped me in the head. I pulled it off the wall, stood it up and fell in love. Its made out of natural oak, no stain or paint to be found.

Me: "What a perfect desk you will make!"
Ironing Board: "Why thank you, you can take me home now."
Shop Keeper: $10 please.
Me: "Woot!"
Ironing Board: "I will also fit in your tiny car."
Shop Keeper: "Thank you!"

So maybe I exaggerated that a little. The ironing board really did speak to me, metaphorically though.

(Note: I did not take this picture. But this is exactly what my ironing board looks like)

I'm thinking about painting the legs white, but I haven't committed to the decision yet. It's still in my car right now, I dawdled around all yesterday evening and just haven't gotten around to putting it up. My next mission will be to find a shelving unit with cubbies or something similar. The room is a disaster right now, so I won't post anything until I'm done with it.

I'm crazy excited about this ironing board. I can't seem to find any store that carries the Hazelnut color in Full o' Sheep and I'm nearing the end of my stash busting journey. It's been a good week.