Monday, November 4, 2013
As I stated in my previous post, October is the anniversary of Nerd Wars for me. It has involuntarily become a tradition for me to celebrate this fact by making a pot holder each October. It was my first ever submission to Nerd Wars, two years ago and these crazy pot holders keep popping up. So my first project this round was a pot holder:
I used left over cotton scraps from dishcloths. I have a little basket I put these leftovers in, once it gets full, I make one of these pot holders. The pattern is: Double Thick Potholder. I've used the pattern many times. Its very simple and make a very thick and durable pot holder. I submitted this one to the Zoo challenge. The orange and blue looked like the markings that some lizards have.
The next projects I completed were some WIPs. I finished Jeweled Cowl II. I ran out of yarn, so its shorter than the pattern states.
I was able to complete 46 beaded rows. The yarn is Malabrigo Lace in the color Bobby Blue. I used 8/0 seed beads from Fire Mountain Gems. I love the beads, they are silver lined Delicas. They all fit on my crochet hook and I only found one broken one out of the three vials I had. I still have some left over. My cast on edge was too tight so it doesn't roll like it should. I'm hoping Kelly wont notice it. I haven't been able to give it to her yet, she is still out of work. Her recovery is having more complications. She is still in immense pain. I decided to make an attempt at finishing up some more projects that were just hanging out.
I finished the larger pair of Baby Sandal Socks, although I don't know if they fit or not. Raelynn has been under the weather lately. The finishing took me less than a half hour so I had to find something to add to that to meet the two hour requirement. So I whipped up a quick dishcloth:
Dishcloths usually take me 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the pattern. So those three projects went into the WIP challenge. I used the cowl to answer the challenge and that one was also my Unity Project. In honor of Halloween being in October we decided to pay homage to a scary or creepy element of Stargate. The cowl is approximately the same color that John Sheppard's skin turns when he starts to mutate into an Iratus bug like creature.
John is on the left, he has some great creepy mutations going on here.
My last project was for the LARPing challenge and sadly I was only able to get it half done. I am however very proud of what I did accomplish. I finally knit up the knuck pattern I had started the prelim on exactly a year ago.
The first one fits the Hubbs! I'm sort of using the pattern: Koigu Fingerless Gloves. I'm modifying this pattern so much though, that my plan is to write up what I've done in a pattern of my own. I did this first one based only on measurements I made and the swatch I did with the yarn. I've never made fingers on gloves before so that was totally winged. I'm still so amazed they fit. These are a birthday gift for the Hubbs, now I just have to finish the second one, based off my notes. The yarn I'm using is Cascade 220 Fingering. Its got a nice hand to it, and it should be warmish. I sort of wish now I had gotten something that is machine washable, but oh well. So that was it for submissions. I did have a project all picked out for the atmosphere challenge but I ran out of time.
I also acquired some stash last month. Some was for a commission, that I still need to start and the rest is for me and Christmas presents, maybe, if I ever get to it.
I also bought:
So on to my personal life change. Its not that dramatic or anything. I've been watching my weight slowly clime by a few pounds each year so I decided to do something about it before I become overweight or start to have medical problems. I did some research and I have started Paleo. Its been about two weeks and I've felt so much better. I did go off it this past weekend, since I went home to the farm and took a friend with me. I don't expect my parents or my friends to adhere to my diet plan. I'm finding it difficult to eat out at restaurants. Paleo is grain free, potato and legume free. It is super hard to find something at a restaurant without either bread or potatoes. I am doing a lot more cooking and it takes me longer to eat on my break at work, all that chewing adds up. But I feel so much better on Paleo, its worth it. I've found some good websites that have recipes and encouragement. I've even lost a few pounds already. I recommend this plan to anyone who is having digestive issues, it has alleviated most of mine already and Paleo is gluten free. After just two weeks I can now tell if I get some gluten in my diet, it makes me cramp right up. So despite my fall off the wagon this weekend I will be going right back on, and keeping up with this one as best I can. All the fresh vegetables and fruits cost more than crappy food, which is just not right in my opinion, so getting used to the financial side of this change is sort of throwing the Hubbs off, at this point. I'm hoping he'll embrace it and join me. (He needs to do something...). More to follow in this for sure. I need to go make my dinner for tonight actually. I also need to pick out a project since I'm at an impasse on my current one. Do I get more yarn or frog what I have and go to plan B?
Until later, Happy Crafting!
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Okay this thing is supposed to be about projects and yarn acquisition; so here goes. Since its break time I haven't done much. The seasons are changing and the weather is getting colder, so I've also been "nesting" for the entire month of September. (Which has freaked out the Hubbs, ha!) I had intended to participate in the blog hop which ended on the 19th. I totally forgot, oops. I did finally finish the second oven mitt in the set I was paid to make, oh, a year and a half ago... Thank goodness I have forgiving friends. So here it is: Sorry It Took So Long
Last weekend I went home, as it was Lowville's Ninth Annual Cream Cheese Festival. I've been wanting to get up there for quite a few years, but it never seemed to work out. This year Kraft was attempting to break the world record for largest ever Cheese Cake. They invited celebrity Chef Duff Goldman to help. Well, they did it! Lowville, NY is now the holder of the record for a 6,900 lb. Cheese Cake. I really wanted to see the unveiling but right at 12:15 we had a torrential down pour and nasty gusts of wind. Several vendor tends blew over. I was under a tent eating BBQ chicken at the time, so I didn't get wet. I had seen the line for the cheese cake earlier when I did a quick walk around. So when the rain tapered off I made a bee line back to my car. I had other plans that day. My uncle told me the next day he stood in line for an hour to get a piece of the cheese cake. He got there about the same time I did. There will always be next year.
So what were my other plans that day? Yarn shopping! My Aunt took me to Old Forge for the day. The Old Forge Hardware Store has a yarn shop in the back. I know, it sounds goofy and it is, but its a half way decent yarn shop. Unfortunately there are no yarn shops near Lowville. Old Forge is about an hour away, Syracuse is an hour and 20 minutes or so. The closest is The Handmaiden Boutique in Adams (45 minutes) but she only carries Cascade. Old Forge is inside the Adirondack State Park, which is just beautiful, and is a tourist town. The Hardware store is a huge tourist souvenir shop essentially. It has everything, books, pottery, utensils, candles, furniture, yarn and there is an actual hardware section. The yarn shop part has a pretty good selection of yarns. Dale of Norway, Cascade, Mirasol, Noro, Araucania, Sublime, Debbie Bliss, James C. Brett... There were a couple brands of sock yarn I had never seen before. They had lots of pattern books too. Since its a tourist town, all the shops close down over the winter, I think that's why I found this:
Yes folks that Noro Cash Iroha. Its been discontinued for at least a year now if not longer. They had quite a bit of it, in several colors. I picked up two of those and this:
Araucania Huasco I decided to splurge since this is souvenir yarn. I found a shawl pattern I think this will work with. The Noro is probably going to be a scarf with a lace pattern to it. The silk and cashmere make it grow like crazy, from the comments I've read. After the yarn shop we went to Montezuma Winery's shop. The actual winery is down on Seneca lake (in New York's Finger Lake region, where amazing wine is produced.) I had no idea Montezuma had a shop in Old Forge so of course I had to go. I picked up a bottle of Cranberry Bog and a bottle of the 2012 Riesling. I've already consumed the Riesling. It was very good, sweet, floral and fruity. I've had Cranberry Bog before, I hope to save that one for Thanksgiving, maybe.
We also went to a sort of knick knack shop, I wasn't to interested 'til I got to the back. They have antiques too! I found a Boye 11 crochet hook and size 3 knitting needles. I think the needles are Susan Bates. They look like my moms so I know they aren't super old, but they are a size I don't have. The shop had a basement filled with even more stuff. Glassware, Pyrex, appliances, flour tins, glass milk bottles, sifters. Oh, it was great. I inherited my nostalgia from both my Grandmothers. I also grew up in an old turn of the century house, so yea, I love old musty shiny things. After that place we went to The Country Cottage, its a candy/chocolate shop. We got fudge and chocolates. So good. My two favorites were the chocolate walnut fudge and the salted caramels. They make the caramels with dark chocolate and they had the perfect amount of salt. They had other commercial candy there and they make their own donuts, but they were already out of the donuts. After we finished shopping we hunted down a place to eat. The first place, Sisters Bistro, was pretty much all reserved, so we decided to go elsewhere. One of the waiters there recommended Five Corners Café as it was good and similar to that place. So we checked it out. It was Amazing! It was really small, maybe only 10 or 12 tables, but everything was made to order ,from scratch. We both got the roasted chicken with butternut squash gratin and escarole. There was a cranberry puree around the chicken too. Amazing! Did I mention that yet? I thought the pricing was really good too. They also had a wine and beer selection. I went with a glass of Graff Riesling. Very good, I like the Montezuma just a tad better, but overall it was a really great day. It had started raining back when we were in Montezuma and it got crappier on the way home, but eventually we made it back. So, if you ever make it to Old Forge, get some yarn, wine and chocolate and have lunch or dinner at Five Corners Café. I think I may have to make it an annual trip.
September has flown by. Nerd Wars starts back up tomorrow at midnight. I have a dissertation planned for this tourney and a commission coming up so I plan to be busy for this one. More FOs will be forthcoming and therefore new blog posts. Until Later, Happy Crafting!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
The Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride made it go quick. I finished it today in one sitting. Finally, after nine or so years of living in this apartment, we got lawn chairs for the balcony. I spent my afternoon out there with the cats. It was the perfect temperature and the balcony is high enough off the ground that the cats stay put. Well almost, Mongo jumped down once, but he didn't really like where he ended up.
Mongo enjoying all the new smells.
Jack chilling under the air conditioner.
Now that I'm done with Nerd Wars knitting, I should be working on that list of things I should get done for other people. I know me though, too well, and I'm probably going to start a little pocket bag thing that I just queued the other day. It gets lined with fabric once its done and I have yet to do that sooo....
Until Later, Happy Crafting!
Thursday, August 22, 2013
She/he very much enjoyed being scratched behind the ear.
The Alpacas had just been fed, so they ignored me, but it was great to see them up close. I was tempted to ask what is done with the fiber after they shear them. I also thought it would have been nice to have demonstrators there spinning or at least a mention that these were yarn producing animals. There is a petting zoo Old MacDonald's Farm nearby so maybe all that sort of thing happens there. I remember there being more farm animals in years past, not sure why there aren't as many now. I also picked up a souvenir bag from the gift shop, it will be great to use as a project bag.
I found out on Tuesday there is a Blog Hop happening right now. I found out through a blogger friend of mine, who is also my Nerd Wars Team Co-Captain. It started August 19th and runs through September 19th. I have decided to join. The object is to finish up some WIPS within that time period and read some new blogs. Tournament 8 will be done soon and I always seem to have some things lying around that need to be completed. I'll compile a tentative list. The first three are projects that other people have asked me to make them and I have, rather rudely. not completed yet.
Out of the Oven (Oven Mitt)
Cables & Garter Cardi (My failed dissertation from T7)
I'm sure this list will grow. I have some other projects lined up as well. If you would like to join this blog hop the info can be found here: Blog Hub.
I did get some knitting done on this vacation. I finished up the shawl before I left since I was giving it to my Mother in Law on the vacation. Here is the glamour shot of that:
Brain Wave right before I left. I did the finishing work on vacation. Here she is finished:
I really enjoyed this one and I have about half a skein each of the Mini Mochi left over. I think I'm going to do another but with the colors opposite. I have to say, it was really fun to knit with both hands. I think now that I've had a hat worth of practice, I may try knitting continental with just the one stand to change it up every now and then.
I did a quick project with some of the left-over Cascade Heritage Silk I used for the Cassis Shawlette.
Showsy Toes Baby Sandal Socks. They were relatively quick, but sort of fiddly and there winds up being four ends to weave in. They are cute though, so I suppose its worth it. They barely took any yarn at all. I should probably make another pair or two for all the babies who were born over the summer to my co-workers.
I started another hat today. This will be my last project for T8. The pattern is: Snappy Hat. I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in the color "Aztec". The pattern has been in my queue since March of 2011! Its fast and fun, I really enjoy cables. I think I'm already halfway through the hat. After knitting one lace weight project and three fingering weight projects this month this bulky yarn feels like rope. Its nice to see some progress after only 10 minutes. Sadly. I don't have pictures of it yet, since I just started it earlier today.
I think that's it for knitting news. I may be "teaching" a class at Yarn Cupboard soon. There was some demand for a beaded knitting class after all the ooohs and aaahhhs generated from my Jeweled Cowl at the Jephson Estate. More details later. At this point all I know is I'm already slated to knit three more of them.
Until Later, Happy Crafting!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Sunday, August 11, 2013
A 2013 Toyota Corolla S Special Edition. The color is "Hot Lava". That's the FJ beside it. So we should be set on cars for a least a decade now, in theory.
There was a massive heat wave in July, so I didn't do much in the line of complex knitting in that time. I did complete a few dishcloths for the round two challenges. I had been wanting to get my stash back up to par. (I have a game plan for Christmas this year.) Here's a quick run through, nothing new or fancy.
Near the end of the round the heat finally subsided and I started a new endeavor. It's a checkmark for my list of goals this year. Beaded knitting! I started it on the 21st of July and came really really close to finishing it for round two, but alas close only counts for partial points. It is done now. The pictures don't do it justice, its been really overcast lately and I got at this too late today but anywhoo:
The pattern is: Jeweled Cowl. The yarn is Malabrigo Lace in the colorway Paris Nights. The colors are darker in real life. Its more of a dark blueish purple with lilac highlights. There are beads all throughout the lace section. I tried many angles, the camera just doesn't pick up the beads. This was my first experience with Mal Lace. I loved it! Its 2-ply and just a tad felted. Its amazingly soft and drapes really nicely.
I've been able to enjoy my knitting socially recently. On Sunday July 28th I attended a fundraiser knitting luncheon at a historic estate out in Cazenovia. It's an annual event and I very much plan to attend next year as well. I was attempting to finish my cowl by midnight that day so I didn't get pictures. The estate was built in the late 1800s and it overlooks a lake, its not as grand as Downton Abby, but it felt a bit like that. Last weekend after a family gathering of my Mom's side of the family, I spent the evening with my paternal grandmother. She still knits, so we spent our time working on projects and watching Lawrence Welk. It was wonderful! That's it for now, I have a hat planned as my next project and I'm eager to start it. More fingering weight and its colorwork.
Until later, Happy Crafting!
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Back in May I was working on a dishcloth and dish towel set for my MIL. I finished all the knitting on those before Nerd Wars started in June. I have a picture of the dish towel. I took the picture before I wove in the ends. I just did that today, now I just neen to attach a button and I have to locate my sewing needle for that. (The heads on tapestry needles are too big to fit through button holes, I have this problem every time I need to put a button on something...) The towel is huge, but its a towel so I think thats a good thing. The matching dishcloths are also large, so I think in the long run it will work out okay. The pattern is: Mitered Ballband Hanging Towel. The top portion is knit with two strands of yarn held together so its very thick and strong. I really like the effect of holding the striping yarn together, the colors mixed up really well.
I'll be attaching a tourquise button to this. I dont need to get it all done 'til August, but I've been on a cleaning streak since yesterday. I want to get my craft table cleaned off, it looks like a hurricane struck in there.
Back on June 1st I was able to do some solar dyeing. That weekend was quite hot and sunny so I figured it would be a good time to try. Solor dyeing is awesome! Its basically set it and forget it. Here are the two finished skeins:
I think I've figured out what I'm making with both of these. I hope to use the green and yellow one this month yet, if there is still time.
So, on to Nerd Wars. I've posted to two challenges as of today and I'm halfway through a third project. First up, for the Encyclopedia challenge; Birthday, I made a baby hat inspired by my birthday flower, the gladiola. My mother and I used to keep gladiolus, when I was still at home to help with all the planting and then digging up the bulbs and storing them. (Glads are sort of a pain in the bum...) I chose my favorite color of glads to use for the yarn inspiration. It's not right on, but I was limited to about three colorways. Here's the hat:
I really love this pattern, its a top down, which I've never done before for hats. Its got spiraling eyelets on the top, then and eyelet row for the ribbon/I-cord and a frilly edging. So cute! The pattern is: Lacy Baby/Toddler Hat. I used Bernat Jacquards in the Petunia colorway. The colors are more purple than the original glads, but the frilly edging is what I was really trying to mimic. (I've already been scored so they must have agreed with me.)
The second challenge I've submitted to is the Discovery; Kelper challenge. This project is also in conjunction with the Finglerless Glove Fanatics group's June KAL. We were to craft an obscure pattern. Including mine, there are 4 projects listed for Twisted Trellis Fingerless Gloves.
Its a good little pattern. The trellis pattern is made by twisting stitches either left or right. Its a bit fiddly at first but very easy to catch on to. One mitt is shorter that the other. I think I may have done only two repeats of the pattern before the thumb on the second one. Or I did four repeats on the first one. I'm not sure, but its actually not that noticable. The only modification I made was to do the 1X1 ribbing on the cuffs and the fingers as twisted rib. I knit the first one almost exclusively at a Knit In Public (KIP) event at Yarn Cupboard on WWKIP day. I was chit-chatting so there is no telling what I did to that first mitt. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool. I only have a small bit left now.
As I stated earlier my third project is only half done. I'm making socks! They will be for the Nerdology; Alternative Transportation challenge. Human feet will be my non-fossil fuel powered vehicle. I'm making ankle socks since those are the type I prefer anyway and that style takes less yarn. The pattern is An Anklet a Day. Here is the one I've gotten done. It fits me too!
The yarn is Patons Kroy Socks Stripes. Its acutally sock weight yarn. The pattern calls for US2s and the ball band from the yarn calls for US3s. I went with 3s since my gauge is always tight. Like I said this one fits so, US3s were the correct choice. I chose a vanilla pattern for this yarn because of the stripes. I love how this one turned out. I also learned a new cast on. I used the twisted german cast on. Its a long tail cast on that ends up in a very streatchy first row. Its perfect, its streatches out well, but also bounces back like elastic, so it will hold up the cuff when I'm wearing these socks. Its seriously a great cast on, I dont know why I didnt learn it sooner. I'll be using this for everything with a brim or cuff or anything that needs to streatch a bit. It makes for a nice looking edge too.
Thats it for knitting news. In personal news, the hubbs and I bought a brand new vehicle last week. We test drove it on Saturday and picked it up Monday, so we havent even had it a week yet. Its a 2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser. Its one of those off road sort of SUV things that acts like a truck but drives like a car. So far we both love it. I thought it would take longer for me to get used to. Its higher up but for all intents and purposes is a car. I've even been able to back into parking spaces with no issues. This is the first new vehicle we've bought. Its always been used cars up 'til now. It was somewhat of an event in our household. That was the good news, the sort of murphy's law news is this. The very next day (Tuesday), less than 24 hours later, the car we kept died. Grumble grumble, mumble mumble. There will be more news on this subject later, and pictures. All I have right now are some cell phone pictures of the new FJ. Thats it for now. I'll have more news soon. I have the socks to finish and I'm trying to catch up with the finishing work. Once it gets hot outside like this I get antsy and my craft room has been bugging me for a few weeks now. I dont like this much clutter. Until later, Happy Crafting!
Update: I forgot one of my May projects. Oh no! I finally knit up some of my own hand-dyed yarn. Its great seeing it go from hank to cake to finished item. The pattern is Twistygoo.
It was a fast project, I got it done in one day. I want to say it was only a two or three row pattern. I cant remember though since it was a month ago... I think it would be good to wear durring blizzards. It is very highly visable with all the orange. Okay now I should be done.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
I just realized its been exactly a month since I last posted. I didnt drop off the face of the Earth or anything, I've just been busy. A new post will be forthcoming. I need to take pictures of some things. Today is June 22. Its been exactly 10 years since my graduation from High School. I'm feeling old today.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The two orange skeins and the purple skein are new. The orange and purple spotty skein is that muddy one, now touched up. I used straight grape to make some purple spots, the blue is a perk of the heating process. It is much more in tune with the May KAL: Spots. That skein was handpainted. The orange and purple skeins are kettle dyed. Kettle dyeing is another dyeing technique. The dye and the heat are applied at the same time. In my case it all happened in a pot on the stove. Kettle dyeing can also be done with a crock pot. I did the purple one first. It is a mixture of Kool-Aid flavors added to a decent amount of water. I used my large pasta pot and added 7 cups of water. The yarn was completely submersed. This is why the color is more or less uniform. The two orange skeins were done separately but with the same three Kool-Aid flavors. I changed the amount of water in the pot for these two. I put the yarn in first then poured the mixed up dye over the skeins in concentrated areas. The colors mixed together in the pot with more water so that skein has minimal variegation. For my third skein I put very little water in the pot to begin with so when I poured in the dye there would still be a limited amount of liquid. With less liquid the yarn keep the dye colors sequestered so the last skein has much more distinction between the three colors. All in all I think it was a successful session. I'm learning slowly that less is more with dyeing.
As I said earlier I dyed some more yarn last night. I was trying to get a lighter purple. It didn't go so well. I ended up using five packets of Kool-Aid and the last of the made up Grape. It wound up nearly the same color as the one pictured. I did get a variegated effect because I let the yarn sink into the pot on its own. Once the yarn was heating I jumped into the Internet and learned some things about getting purple with Kool-Aid. Basically its tricky since Kool-Aid red is Red40 and it tends to make things muddy. In hind sight I should have used less of the made up dye, saved the rest for later, to make a lighter color. The part of the yarn that sank into the dyebath last is a really pretty light purple. I may keep experimenting with purple now that I found a great site with formula's. I sort of see this Kool-Aid purple thing as a challenge now, I shall defeat thee Red40!
Enough blathering about what I could'a, should'a, would'a done differently. I was able to finish one project recently. (I aggravated the pinched nerve in my neck last week, so I've refrained from knitting for an entire week now. Gah!) So, before all that happened I finished the two Wishy Washy Fishy Tawashi.
There is some embroidery I can do to make the eyes stand out more, but I'm pleased with them as is. I hope the recipient likes them as much as I do. I had been working on a Mitered Ballband Hanging Towel diligently up until the pinched nerve. I have one repeat left of the pattern before I switch back to the main color to do that solid garter top section. Sadly I don't have progress pictures yet.
There was a really great sale at my favorite yarn shop Sheep Thrills! Yarn Company. Beth wants to make room for the new yarns coming in so she put a huge list of yarns up for sale at 40% off. Of course I had to take advantage of that!
I picked up four skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama. Yes, more Baby Llama. I got three whites so I can dye them if I so choose. The other three are Sublime Yarns; Extrafine Merino Wool DK and Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I've never used these before, but the yardage was decent and they're super soft. After the discount the Baby Llamas were under $5 and the Sublimes were all under $6. I scored Cashmere for under $6! The sale will continue 'til the end of May. I would love to go back and get some more.
That's everything I've been up to lately. Its been getting into the 80s here, so summer has officially arrived. I'm excited to start knitting up the yarn I've been dyeing. I finally dyed through that first skein of Fisherman's Wool. Until later, Happy Crafting!
Friday, May 10, 2013
The pattern is Peridot. I used Jack as my tie in since he states on numerous occasions that peridot is his favorite color. Peridot is also the birthstone for August which is what originally drew to this pattern. (My birthday is in August.) The pattern in the cuff and fingers is berry stitch. It ends up looking very pretty, its a fiddly stitch though. You increase and decrease every other stitch and then purl in between those rows so its actually very open. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool, its a DK weight 50/50 cotton wool blend. The colorway is Peridot too. These turned out snug on me and I have small hands. If I do them again, and I probably will since I still have half the skein left over, I'm going to add at least a pattern repeat. The gauge is already pretty loose so I wont change needle sizes. (The pattern calls for worsted weight.) I put these, along with a dishcloth, into the WIP challenge. I also used them for the April Fingerless Glove Fanatic's KAL. I was on a green kick last month, I think because it was the very beginning of spring and the tree leaves are this color when they bud.
Speaking of a month off... I've been working on a combo of projects here in May. I need to do some end weaving but I've already finished two dishcloths and two tawashi. Tawashi are Japanese style pot scrubbers. I don't have pictures yet of those, but I assure you they are super cute. I do however have pictures of the dishcloths: