Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Topic 2

So here's this week's topic:

Here in Atlanta, it's finally cooling down, and beginning to truly seem like fall. I sit now with windows open, and the air is cooler than usual, and trees are beginning to change. For me, cool mornings, crisp evenings, and trees in red, gold and orange glory are the very best parts of Fall - What are your favorite parts of fall? How do you know it's truly arrived where you are?

I live in north east PA. Which is truly a shame since I love water and warm weather. But this area is drop dead gorgeous in the fall. I live in one of the areas that people come to see the fall color. And it's already starting to look like a stellar year for color. Usually, the first two weeks of Oct are the best color weeks. Trees are just starting to turn, so I'm not sure about next week - but by the second week of Oct, it should be grand. I really do love the fall colors here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No time and it will only get worse.

We are home for about 36 hours. We had a show in Michigan this past weekend. Took down all our stuff, had dinner and left MI about 8:30 pm. Slept near the Ohio/PA border (got there about 1:30 - 2:00), got back up about 6:30 and made it home. I've been to the sawmill, exchanged the printer we bought while in MI (defective). And I think that's almost all I've done. We leave Wed for VA. Not much time and tons to be done.

I'll try to get up my topics for the dishcloth swap over the next few days though. My spoiler sent me a wonderful e-card - thanks!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Knit One, Tink Two

I had the most fun knitting EZ's baby surprise jacket. It was done so quickly and the brain that came up with this is absolutely amazing.

I am not having as much luck/fun with the adult version of the Feb Baby Sweater. On the camera (not within arm's reach and too tired to get up) is a picture from over a week ago of my Feb Lady Sweater. While I have knit on the thing, it isn't any different than the picture I'll eventually post. I zipped right along, put it on waste yarn and realized that I needed to rip out some of the garter stitch yoke. Did that, zipping along through the lace pattern. Realized that after the first repeat, I was supposed to separate the arms. Ripped. I have now reknit the first lace repeat at least three times. It's not a complicated lace pattern. I even did three repeats of it in my gauge swatch. I have no idea. I'd knit three rows and take out two. But today, I have successfully managed to knit one full lace repeat and have started to separate the sleeve stitches.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

All Hallows Eve swap weekly topic

I've joined the All Hallows Eve dishcloth swap. I've joined Anne's dishcloth swaps before and it's always fun. It's seasonally themed and this time it's Halloween! I've already got ideas running around in my head about the dishcloths. And Halloween goodies are a blast! Our weekly topic for this first week is to visit other people's blogs and post a link to their blog.

The swap isn't huge in the scheme of things. Which actually makes it a lot of fun. The small group and the weekly topics really help us get to know each other. On Alaina's blog I saw that my dish rag tag team is back in first place! Whoohoo! Which also means that Alaina is also in DRT. It's amazing how much fun knitting dishrags can be!

Amber has posted a books meme. We seem to have read a lot of the same books. Plus there's the whole Pumpkin Spice Latte love going on - boy can I agree with her on that!

And I am not going to link to everyone, but Michelle is a refugee from Hurricane Ike. Everyone wish her and her family a quick return to normal.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Halloween Dish cloth swap questionnaire

Knotting Yarn
1. Do you knit or crochet? For how long?
I do both. I learned to crochet and knit about the pre-teen years.

2. What sort of needles or hooks do you enjoy using the most? Are there some you've been dying to try out and haven't?

Almost all of my needles are addi turbos. I do have some dpns in bamboo, birch, and some of the Knit Picks dpns. I like the bamboo, dislike the birch (bends too easily) and so far like the Knit Picks. I'd like to try some of the Knit Picks circs, which are a cheaper alternative to the addi lace needles.

3. What kind of projects do you most enjoy? Small things you can take with you, or
big complex ones that are just gorgeous when they're done?

I actually like both! I almost always have a travelling project. But I do like a project that isn't always mindless.

4. List one pattern for a dishcloth that you love to make, or just tell us about one you've made or received that you loved.

I think I have two "default" dishcloth patterns! The Ball-Band dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting is really easy and has great texture. I also really like the Four Corners dishcloth pattern from 1870 Pearl. I'll try to remember to find links later.

5. What are your 'must have' notions? Are there any notions you need or can never have enough of? Any that might make you cry if you owned more?

I love notions! I am also a quilter. And I just love all the gadgets that make our craft easier.

Petting Yarn
6. What are your favorite yarns to work with? Any you hate or are allergic to?

Mohair makes me itch. I haven't tried any of the Kidsilk Haze that everyone talks about, so I don't know if that would have the same problem. I was given a scarf that is a very soft wool/mohair blend - and it still makes me itchy. I love natural fibers. I'm working on a shawl in an alpaca yarn that is yummy.

7. What colors do you like to use in projects? Any we'd never catch on your needles?

You'll never see a solid pink in my house! I like pink in combination with other colors, just not by itself - all that pink is too much for me!

8. Any cottons you'd like to try you can't find by you, or just haven't gotten around to getting?

All of my cotton yarn comes from the local "big box stores" - I have an A.C. Moore, Michael's and JoAnn's. A yarn shop has opened about 30-45 mins away, but I haven't had a chance to find her yet.

Halloween, Fall, and General Stuff
9. Do you like to use bar soap or shower gel more? What kinds of scents do you love? What kind do you hate?

Every since I found Got Soap, I've been a bar soap person. I like light floral scents, but not food scents. Food scents just tend to make me hungry.

10. What's more 'Halloweeny' - Ghosts, Pumpkins, or Witches?


11. What's your favorite Treat to get? Sweet or Salty? Anything you're allergic to or just hate?

My problem is that I like them all! Sweet, salty, crunchy, chewey are all good. I love dark chocolate, nuts, caramels, you name it!

12. What was your favorite Halloween Costume as a kid? As an adult??

The only costume I remember as a kid was one year I was Tweety Bird!

13. Are you on Ravelry? What's your ID?

Yes, I'm on Rav as knitflea.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dyeing for Friday

Hmm...seems to be a very lame day of the week thing going on around here! Struck my funny bone. I recently bought some Wilton's frosting gels (or whatever they're properly called) to experiment with dyeing. It just so happened that I had two skeins of cream lace weight in the bin. I decided that I wanted teal and set to playing. I first put the skeins in the microwave with teal Wilton's. But it didn't come out quite right. Instead of a solid teal, I had white parts. And Wilton's dyes are known to separate, so I had some green starting to show. Made up more teal dye, spread the skeins around in the crock pot and checked on it about two hours later. And while there wasn't any more white, I was getting green areas. So I mixed up some royal blue and poured that in. But I didn't take the yarn out first, I just poured in the new dye. It was amazing to watch the yarn suck up the royal blue! I ended up with purple areas! And while I don't have two identical skeins, I am happy with how they turned out. But if I need more than 350 yards, I'll have to alternate skeins.

This is the dry yarn prior to reskeining. The purple blotches are really noticable!

But this is the yarn wound into skeins. The subtle variations really don't show in the picture. And I really like the yarn!

This didn't turn out how I expected....but I sure will be trying this again!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

FOs on Thur

I don't know what I'll write about on Friday, but does a finished object really have to wait?? I said earlier that I had finished my Spring Forward socks. After knitting these, I can understand why people say they have made this pattern over and over. It is a well written pattern and an easy, attractive knit. Not an inspired photo, but I shot it when I had 2 seconds - it shows, but the deed is done.

I made a few modifications:
knit toe up using Judy's magic cast on
used size 0 needles
short row heel on half the stitches, decreased to 11 before increasing
tubular bind off

The twisted ribbing was a nuisance to knit, but looks wonderful. The twisted stitch provides such definition. Tubular bind off isn't the right bind off for twisted ribbing though. I had the dickens of a time getting the bind off right. The second sock wasn't any easier either! But I can see how this is a very handy skill to have in one's knitting basket.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WIP Wednesday

I get to do a WIP Wed! It's been awhile. And the last couple of days, when I went to put up a post, I couldn't get a stable connection. But here goes!

My mitered square blanket is moving along. It's really fun to work on. Each little square is a celebrated FO. Thank goodness for the ravelry Blankie Mania group. There is no way I'd ever have enough yarn for this. The group has constant swaps and the yarn has all been wonderful. I have it here folded in halves on the couch - side 1:

and side 2:

The Waving Lace scarf is moving right along at warp speed. The socks that rock yarn is just as yummy as everyone says. I'll do a light block when it's finished. I'm debating whether I should wind off enough yarn to knit a square for the blanket. I need to make up my mind really quick!

I'll do a gentle block once it's finished. I like the way the colors move across the scarf:

This scarf has been a surprisingly fast knit. I haven't ever felt like it was dragging on and on. But then, I did cast on last Thurs. I've volunteered to make a bag for someone in the Starbucks and Yarn swap who had a partner that flaked. Apparently, there was a lot of people who didn't follow through on their commitment. So the scarf may be set down for a bit while I quickly make a bag.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Apparently, if I were a camera cord recently home from an extended trip....I would be in the car waiting for the next trip! Camera cord found under the passenger seat in the huge van we use for travel. Found just in time too. The battery was *this* close to being totally dead.

I finished a pair of Spring Forward socks (pattern from knitty, but I'm time crunched so not doing links) that almost flew off the needles. I think I got the whole pair finished in about a week. I know sock #2 was cast on Fri and finished on Tue. There were no all day knitting marathons in there either.

They're recovering from a dunk and dry blocking, so no pics yet. But I do have some dyeing pictures! I received this yarn (among other wonderful goodies) from my Starbucks and Yarn swap partner. But the colors just didn't work for me.

So I decided to overdye it. Actually several times. And ended up with this skein:

The first picture doesn't show it well, but the yarn sorta went red, white, purple, white, red, etc....And all that white bothered me while the red and purple not so much. I overdyed with a lot of blue with a touch of green. I have no idea how either yarn would have looked knit up, but I have higher expectations of the over dyed yarn.

Off to work...I have a bunch of it staring me in the face as I type. No good, better get to it.

Friday, September 5, 2008


It's a self-induced blech so I don't even get sympathy. I LOVE to read. And my weekly sit-n-knit group meets at Barnes & Noble. Instead of a coffee, I treated myself to a book from the bargain table last night. Came home and stayed up way too late reading. Killer headache today. My left eyeball feels swollen.

I started some lace scarf (pattern from Knitty) name escapes me right now - last night from one of the skeins of green STR.

Camera charging cord still missing. Where would you be if you were a camera cord and weren't in the usual place???

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What to knit next?

After I had so much stolen, I was gifted by some amazing strangers with a wealth of yarn. It's all sock weight (which is what was stolen). I probably own more fingering yarn now than ever before. And I'm not sure what to knit next! I've been doing pattern searches on Ravelry. There is an advanced pattern search and as much as I love knitting socks, I've entered "not socks" as a filter. And there are tons of stunning patterns. But with one exception, I only have a sock's equivalent of each yarn.

See that yarn about 11 o'clock that is pink, brown, and white? Usually not my colors at all. But I love that yarn! I'd really like to find a pattern besides Jaywalkers to knit with the 420 yards that would really show off the colors. Nothing against Jaywalkers - I like the pattern and am not adverse to knitting it again, but I'd like to come up with something else.

And the ShiBui knits yarn next to it? I'm thinking of using that to knit a cowl for my cousin for Christmas. I really enjoyed the stitch pattern in the Spring Forward socks and think the zig zag would be great in a cowl.

The stunning pink and tan yarn at 7 o'clock? It really needs to be a shawl. A lot of time lace and variegated yarns fight each other. But the color changes are subtle.

The blue & white yarn that looks like your favorite blue jeans will become a pair of socks I'm sure. I have two skeins of the green STR (prewound at 2 o'clock). Scarf and fingerless mitts? I have four colors that don't go together of STR - in two weights so no Charlotte's Web there. Hmmm....I'm totally lost about which patterns to use. While the reason has been monetary, it is no wonder I usually don't have a stash!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Let's see if I can keep this up!

During the entire Summer of Socks, I didn't not knit a single sock. Although I did get two free patterns. So last week, I grabbed one of my RSC kit yarns.

I'm not usually wild about pastel yarns. And while this yarn is pastel, I liked the pictures of the finished socks that I saw. So I decided to try out one of the free patterns from SoS. Wendy Johnson donated a free pattern, so off I went.

And I didn't like it! I felt like the pattern (while easy and interesting) wasn't the right one for the yarn. So I ripped out (except the toe) and decided to knit a pair of Spring Forward socks from Knitty. And it was too big! So I frogged again, started over, and these socks just flew off the needles!

I decided to do these toe up, and for the first time, I used Judy's Magic Cast on - genius! This is a fantastic pattern. Also for the first time, I used a Tubular Bind-Off - and of course, that's fantastic for toe up socks. Except for the bind off, I have both socks finished in less than a week's time. Finished sock pictures coming when the missing camera charger shows up.