Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not so awesome.

Well, so much for updating this blog!

Perhaps you should just catch me on Ravelry...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

An International Treasure.

If you haven't seen it, please watch this video, in which Cat Bordhi gives us all helpful hints on how to knit while in motion.

I would say the woman might be a little crazy for knitting up in a tree, but her explanations while doing so were clear, concise, and made all kinds of sense.

Is her behavior a little out of the ordinary? Sure. Is she happy? 100%. You better believe it.

Here's the point in this blog post where I should apologize for not blogging for so long...but I'm not going to do that. What I am going to do is just get right back into it.

This blog might get a face lift and maybe a new title to reflect who I am now instead of who I was 2 years ago (simply a sock knitter vs. a knitter/crocheter/spinner/designer). So. Be watching for that, as well. I'll also interrupt the fiber arts discussion with the random you had grown to love.

Up next - a tour of the rental car I had last week, that made me yearn for a sweet new ride. Oh, boy!

Monday, June 29, 2009

I declare.

I declare - this is the best thing ever.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

And Now, I Bring You Crochet

Well, it's official - I have yet ANOTHER hobby. Well, to be fair, it's really an extension of the hobby I already have had (knitting). My friends, I have discovered crochet, and I'm now not ashamed to admit that I think I am in love.

Here's the thing with crochet. I was formerly a knitting snob...you know the type - the kind that can't find any appreciation for crochet, mainly because they've never tried it and don't really want to learn anything new (hell, learning to knit was hard enough), or they keep seeing patterns for clothing made using granny squares, and everyone knows granny squares are supposed to be ugly (but they secretly kind of like them). Anyway, I was one of those snobs that thought only knitting was beautiful, and I had no use for another craft, since I never had enough time to knit everything I wanted to knit.

Well, so now I work at a yarn shop, and it's a good thing to know how to crochet, since I would say there are AT LEAST as many crocheters that come into the store as knitters (maybe more), and you know, they'd probably like to ask me questions. Well, not probably - they do want to ask me lots of questions, and I didn't ever have a way to answer them. The thing is, I didn't really realize there were so many crocheters coming into the store until I, too, learned how to crochet. It seems that some of these crocheters are almost ashamed to admit that they choose to crochet, and they keep this fact hidden, as if they are not usually welcomed into "knitting shops". I am here to say that this must change - immediately!!!! There are SO many creative possibilities that exist in crochet.

Nancy taught a bunch of us that work at the shop to crochet in November, and it was, for whatever reason, not easy for me at first. First of all, I couldn't get used to holding the yarn in my left hand, since when I knit, I hold the yarn in my right hand and throw the yarn, using my left hand only to hold a needle. I just couldn't get comfortable and couldn't get a grip on the yarn, and barely learned the mechanics during our lesson. I kept trying to wrap the yarn in the wrong direction around the hook. I couldn't keep up. I felt like a moron. I went home that night and was determined to figure the damned thing out, and I did. All I really wanted to do was make some adorable amigurumi, and I made that happen.

So, I messed around with crochet for a while, with much expense to my sock knitting, and, well, all other knitting in general. I started two of these blankets. Then, I saw a beautiful scarf in a catalog. I figured I had practiced enough, and could probably make my own. Then, I came across this book. It's pretty hard to resist. The cover is bright and exciting, and the book is arranged with motifs by size - hexagons, circles, triangles, and wild and crazy shapes. It turns out that Motif #30 was a pretty close match to the hexagon in the scarf I wanted to replicate. We had also seen a surge of interest in crochet at the shop and had lots of people take the Beginning Crochet classes, so I decided that maybe we should teach a series on motifs, with my hexagon scarf being the class project. So, I started my scarf in November, and finally completed it at the end of January. It seemed to have taken forever, but it really didn't take too terribly long. Here are some shots for you:

(Ravelry link)

As you can see, I'm pretty proud of this thing. I know it's not the most complex of ideas, and I pretty much copied an idea I found in a catalog, but I still think I did a pretty great job, even if I do say so. I used a size E hook and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in way too many colors, which turned out to be a great option since all of the colors in the line look great with one another (I believe Mission Falls and Berroco yarns are made to do that, as well).

I am also beyond excited that the author of the book, Edie Eckman, will be visiting the store in March for a "Tips & Tricks" workshop and a book signing. Edie is not only a crocheter, but is also a sock knitter who has written many sock leaflets that I already own! I am hoping to learn a lot.

I'm not sure where my crochet adventure will take me next. I'd like to try some freeform - it seems like a pretty easy avenue in which to explore my creativity. I saw this purse and was definitely inspired. Sometimes, in knitting, I feel like I have to follow a pattern and have a hard time deviating sometimes. Maybe crochet will make that easier for me.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things I love.

1. The fact that I just finished my first truly successful sweater project:

Thanks to my co-workers/buddies Sandra and Bobbe, I finally learned how to seam correctly. I also learned how to figure out how to make a sweater really fit. These things are HUGE - and kind of, um, important to know if you're going to be making sweaters. Anyways. I used 11 skeins of Koigu Kersti, which is very fabulous. Highly recommended. Raveled here.

2. Kmart. I say it all the time, I know, but I really love it. Here are some things I found there yesterday:

Totally cute, no? Reminds me of some of the projects I would like to attempt in
this book.

Martha Stewart approved amigurumi for your Christmas tree!! I have long adored her Sugarplum line, but this gave me a great gift idea - I can do this! Tiny Yarn Animals here I come!

3. Hungry-girl.com's daily e-mails. If you're on Weight Watchers, sign up to get them right now. Very, very helpful. Oh, by the way, I've lost 35 pounds since May. Holy crap!

4. As a follow-up to #3, these:

Only 2 Points!!!

5. Also as a follow-up to #2, I can't help it - I kind of love crochet:

I started
one of these using mostly Cascade 220. It's pretty fun.

6. Navajo plying:

I'd say this is in between a sport and DK weight - spun from some Lorna's Lace top in Tickled Pink. Supposedly, the navajo ply is not good for socks, due to the join, but whatever. I think it looks real pretty.

7. Jake's new paint job:

That's his 1968 Impala, with fresh paint. It's very shiny, and fun to ride in.

8. Our new patio:

Jake finished this about a month ago - and he made the planter boxes, too. He can stay. I love him.

9. The final harvest from our garden:

Yes!! Sweet potatoes!! They were pretty delicious.

That's it for now.


Friday, August 08, 2008

So far behind!

Well, everyone, it seems that I've neglected this blog - I mean, I haven't done it on purpose, exactly. It just happened. Maybe it's because it's now my job to update this blog (click to see a ridiculous picture of ME modeling a sweater).

Regardless, there's just TOO much to update, so I'll be choosy. I've been knitting a lot. And spinning a lot. I have start-itis. In a big way. Anyways. Here's a shot of my new knitting room in the house. Wait. Did I tell you that Jake and I moved into a new house in June? I probably didn't. You should probably see a shot of that first:

I am absolutely in love with this place. It's exactly what I wanted - a funky ranch on the east side of town. Of course, Jake and his gigantic Dodge Ram have done a little bit of landscaping since this shot was taken:

So, now I have a proper knitting room:

Good grief. That is a lot of yarn.

Also, since our house has a decently-sized backyard, I now can grow tomatoes:

That's been a lot of fun. My little sister also got married this summer:

It was a really, really fun and beautiful wedding.

I've also taken up crochet:

Yep, that's my first finished crochet project. Details on Ravelry, of course.

I've been on a cowl kick lately, and have many more single socks to share...next time. :)


Monday, May 26, 2008

Spinning and Knitting up a Storm (alternate title: "What Else is New?")

Well, ever since I've learned this spinning thing, I've been spinning up an absolute STORM. Here are some shots of what I've done since I last posted - in order of what I spun first to last:

I'd tell you what all we have here, but I'm not sure that's so important (except for the middle one, which was spun from the fiber I mentioned in my previous post). I think the only real thing you can take from this is that I'm getting significantly better at this each time, even if I do say so myself.

I've also been doing a lot of knitting, although I've felt very unproductive as far as that's concerned lately. I don't think I've even finished a pair of socks yet this year...but that's OK. I'm spinning a bunch and making non-sock shop models, and loving my job, so it's all good.

I also designed my first pattern, which I have named Quinn, after the MTV show, Daria, which is, in my opinion a '90s classic. Here's a picture:

I promise it looks better in person. It's just a simple flappy purse made using NORO Daria. I want to make myself a much larger one, at some point.

Just so you don't think the sky has fallen, here are some shots of my current sock projects:

(Pattern: Socks for Veronik, Yarn: STR Lightweight, 24 Karat)

(Pattern: Lacy Pillars from the Loopy Ewe, Yarn: The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes, Maya)

(Pattern: my own, for a toe-up/magic loop class I'll be teaching at the Haus in July, Yarn: Sheep 3 from Sheep Shop - LOVE IT)

That's 'bout it for now...I mean, there's more, but I'm off to eat corn and steak for Memorial Day. Of course, I can only have a little bit, since I started Weight Watchers 5 weeks ago (down 14.4 pounds...WOOOHOO!) - more on that later.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Knitting. And spinning. And cats.

I've been very busy lately!! First up, I finished a sock:

You know it's a single. Now, moving on...the pattern I used is Groovy Socks from SockPixie. I highly recommend it! There's one lacy pattern row, and then one plain knit row. It's very easy to remember, and has lots of stretch. I used Colinette Jitterbug in the new Oyster Blush colorway. I love me some Jitterbug. I also love the new sock blocker I got from Knitting Notions:

Hello, gorgeous, no??! I may need one more. ;)

I've also been spinning some more, and have been getting a lot better:

Here's one more shot:

I used hand dyed merino roving from All Spun Up (Leah - click it. I dare you.). This was very easy to spin, and I'm sure I'll be purchasing more lovelies from Kristin. I'm going to attempt knitting socks on size 3s with this (or maybe size 4s), as I think most of it is sport or heavy fingering weight. I'm sure I could figure this out with a WPI tool, but I don't have one of those (yet).

It's a good thing I'm getting better at this whole spinning thing, since I was just gifted some of this:

Isn't it beautiful??!! That's superwash wool from Daily Fibers, hand dyed and gifted to me from blogless Jan and Leah - AND IT'S MY OWN COLORWAY! Yep - the "Erin" colorway. And honestly, it's the colors I would have picked for my own colorway, too. I adore it. After I spin one more batch, I'll be spinning this right up. I want to wait until I'm just a bit better. ;)

Also, the shop has got me making another sweater. I am loving knitting it!!! I might have crossed over back to the dark side of knitting other things besides socks. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted. HA. I'm knitting a simple t-shirt from a Sirdar book using the new Noro Matsuri:

The yarn is mostly cotton, with a tiny bit of wool in it, and the colors RULE. Once again, highly recommended.

That's about all I've got for now, except for this adorable sight:

That's Jake entertaining Fluffy with my new laptop (!!). This is pretty much a nightly occurrence.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Adventures in SPINNING!

Yes, that's right. Spinning! And I love it. I officially have another hobby.

I started spinning Monday night, and didn't really stop until Wednesday evening (of course, I work during the day and didn't spin except for in the evenings). I couldn't get enough. I think I was so proud of myself that I could actually produce something decent that I couldn't stop.

Anyway, here are some shots of my first batch (Corriedale pencil roving from Crown Mountain Farms - a very generous gift from Leah):

(spun singles - notice the one on the right is much better...I spun that second!)

(after plying)

(the finished product!)

(a lil' swatch)

It was so much fun that I stayed up late into the night starting another batch. Here's what came out of that:

I wish I could tell you how many yards of this and how many ounces it is, and how many wraps per inch, etc., but I'm just not that good yet. I love this stuff, though - it's Sakina Needles BFL in the Alpaca Dales colorway, and was very easy to spin. I may have ordered some more.

Lastly, I spun some Tussah Silk, which I really don't think I was ready for, but here's what I ended up with:

It's pretty horrid, but I couldn't resist - it was St. Patrick's Day.
In other news, I've taken a slight vacation from sock knitting, because I was working on a model for the shop:

This is Laura from Mission Falls' pattern book for 1824 Cotton called The Illustrator. It was a super easy knit, and I think it only took me two weeks of evening knitting. I think I was able to knit it so fast because I'm so used to knitting about a zillion tiny stitches for just one sock. Anyways, since I knit this and it was a success, you might be seeing more than socks on here for a little while at least. I am still knitting socks, though - albeit very slowly:

...just some plain ol' toe-ups using Araucania Ranco Multy - this yarn rocks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

KCPSA (Knitting Community Public Service Announcement)

The new Knitty is up! There are a couple of really cool sock patterns...

Happy Tuesday,

They're back...

FYI, Journey's now has clear Chucks again. I know they were sold out for a while, but it looks like they're now back in stock!

I'll say that I wore the pair I bought for a solid month, and they now have tears on the inner sides. Most of the canvas Chucks I have owned have split from the rubber at the same spot, but the plastic is just not as flexible as the fabric.

So, should I be a dope and buy another pair while they're still available?

Monday, March 03, 2008

San Fran.!

I'm a very lucky lady. For Christmas, Jake got me a trip to San Francisco. So, two weeks ago, I finally cashed in. I hadn't really ever been to California, unless you count being dropped into L.A. for a day to visit USC when I thought I might go there for college (I don't count that). We were gone for five days, and had a fantastic time. You can see all of the pictures from our trip on flickr. I would have blogged about it sooner, but I was down with the flu pretty much all of last week. Talk about hell. Anyways.

I got plenty of yarn time in during out trip. We did a TON of walking, and thankfully for me, the two yarn shops I visited were in parts of the city we planned on exploring! We went to ImagiKnit first. Here is a shot of their magificent wall of sock yarn:

The ceilings are super high, and the yarn goes, well, up to the ceiling! Here's another shot of me having a moment with some Alchemy:

The shop staff was very friendly and mostly all male that day! What a rarity. The guy in the picture at the checkout counter had just been to Stitches West the night before and showed me and another shopper his badass haul. I was pretty jealous of the skeins of silk he had scored that were dyed gray somehow with charcoal. I walked away from the shop with a few skeins of very brightly colored sock yarn and some Claudia Handpainted Yarns Fingering Silk 55 in the John B colorway:

I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but it sure is pretty. Oh heck - you and I both know I'll be making socks.

Next up, we went to Artfibers:

As you can see, Artfibers is very much downtown in San Fran.. Here's a peek inside the store:

And another:

Now, I'd never seen anything like this. I believe that Artfibers spins and dyes all of these yarns themselves, which is pretty spectacular. I got one cone of Quipu (baby alpaca):

And one cone of Valparaiso (baby alpaca and merino):

I'm not sure you'll be able to see the marvelous colors from these pictures, but I'll just say that I cannot wait to cast on with this stuff. I'm thinking lace is in order.

That's all the yarny I have as far as San Francisco goes, but in other news, my first few days at the Haus have been great! I think I am really going to love this gig. Over the weekend, we were lucky enough to have Jackie E from Heartstrings with us to teach a toe-up sock class and a lace class. Her patterns are killer. Check 'em out!