Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm In!


It is official, I'm a member of the 2008 Rockin' Sock Club. I know it's a lot of money but hopefully part of it will be my birthday present from my mom (keep your fingers crossed). I'm very excited I can't wait to get the packages and the new colors, but the thing that pushed me over the edge to sign-up was the designers, I can't wait!

I don't know if I will have time to knit them because I have procrastinated on my thesis (it would be great if it could just start/write itself) but I know I can stash them away and have something to look forward to when I'm finished, what a treat that will be.

I was nervous that I wasn't going to get in since I waited until the 6th to send in my paperwork but it looked like more than a few people did not renew their membership.

I can't wait to get the first package in the mail, mail-carriers watch out of Socks that Rock addicts!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A HUGE Stash Enhancement!

For a very long time I was very good about not adding to the stash . . . but it seems that I might have caught the YarnHarlot's falling down and standing back up with purchased yarn, but in my defense I have been planning this for a while, and I purchased over a long period of time, it's my own sock yarn tasting.

This whole thing started with the acquisition of Vesper Sock Yarn, as previously stated I had been stalking this yarn for over a year and finally the correct planetary alignment took place (i.e. there was yarn when I checked her site) and so I bought me a skein. Then I was looking into investing in a sock yarn club the idea of getting yarn and a pattern in the mail was intoxicating. But I didn't want to invest that much money into something I had never tried (my justification techniques are amazing) and there were "brands" out there that I had wanted to try.

First up Socks that Rock lightweight in colorway Lucy, this is not new yarn but I wanted to make a pair of socks out of this for my mom for her birthday at the end of the month, and we used to have a cat that looked a lot like Lucy so I know she will love the colorway. IMG_0208

Second, Socks that Rock lightweight in colorway Dixie Chick, not something I would normally pick but as ItShe says it's good to go outside your "safety zone". I love how bright the colors are. IMG_0225

Third, Koigu KPPPM in colorway Eggplant Berry #527, I chose this to make me a pair of CookieA Monkey Socks with a picot edge, can't wait to cast-on. IMG_0218

Fourth, Red Rocks Fiber Works, in colorway Two Tickets, found this at Knitting in La Jolla, it was at the time exclusive to two or three shops in the country, I love her colorways and would love to get more. IMG_0217

Fifth, Scout' Swag in colorway Zulu Knitty, which I have coveted ever since it was made, love the colors. IMG_0224

Sixth, Yarn Pirate in colorway Culture Club, I'm a child of the 80's and this brings me right back to the days of jelly shoes and Garbage Pail Kids. This colorway is so bright I gotta wear shades, no seriously look at the pink it's so bright it reflecting off the beige chair, all on its own. IMG_0228

So after all this stash enhancement, I'm so excited I have such great yarns to choose from for the next few sock patterns, but what I think I really want is to be a member of the Rock'n Sock Club, by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, because frankly I have always been in love with their yarn and the 4 designers that have signed on this year might just push me over the edge. Stay Tuned!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Get Out the Broom!

So that last time I posted the Sox were going to the World Series, we won on Wednesday and Thursday then it was off to Colorado for the Red Sox and off to Vegas for 6 days for Big A and me. First and foremost 6 days in Vegas went surprisingly well, we were there for SEMA (a huge car event) and it was nice to see people from all over the country from Big A's car club. Thankfully we did not spend a lot of time gambling, we went shopping, we went bowling (both hotels we stayed in had bowling alleys), ate a lot and hung out at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino bar. But for game 4 all of our friends indulged us by hunkering down for 4 hours to watch what we hoped was going to be the last game of the World Series (and thankfully it was, although it would have been so great to win it at home you take a win whenever you get it). I had started this sock the day before the Series and knitted on it a little bit for game 1 and 2, and not at all in game 3 (I was bowling) but kicked it into high gear for game 4. So here is my very lucky sock World Series Sweeping Sock:

It was the first time I had done color stranding in a sock (I didn't really love it, but it was cool) and the first time I did an afterthought heel (thanks to ItShe who told me how to do it). I think it came out to look a lot like the Boston Red Sox sock. I have started the second sock, and I have to start the pair that I'm making for my mother's birthday, I think they will be Jaywalkers with a picot edge.

Monday, October 22, 2007

We are going to the World Series!

I will say that the Sox love to give you a hell of an ending, and the entire time the ALCS was going on I was knitting my Rocky Horror Picture Sock Show to distract me from throwing things at my TV. I tend to get very involved in watching the Sox play and this entire series gave me an ulcer (and I still have some from 2004) my stomach can't really take a World Series (nerves and stomach be damned, bring it on Colorado!)

So last night after watching the Sox and the Tribe battle it out in a very good game 7 (sorry Tribe, if it was anyone but the Sox I would have been pulling for you). I finished my sock 2 hours after the Sox won the American League Pennant. I really can't tell you much about it, actually I don't remember knitting most of it at all, the top of the first sock I remember and the middle of heel flap and turning the heel of the second one, but really I don't remember much of anything else because the game was on. I'm sorta nervous about playing the Rockies, they have a combined ERA of 2.08 . . . yes 2.08. Well hopefully Beckett will get us off to a good start come Wednesday.

Here are some pictures of the finished sock:

And in honor of the Sox going to the World Series I'm making pair of Red Sox out of Louet Gem because (being the good baseball fan that I am) I know that I knitted a pair of socks in the last series and we won so I have to knit a pair of socks this time too (supersition has its place, I don't want to make the Baseball Gods angry).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's that Wally? You want to see my sock?

This post is in honor of the Red Sox play-of game tonight at 7pm (EST), go Sox!

For those in the know you will recognize the celebrity posing with the two socks, for those that don't know this is Wally the Green Monster. Wally the Green Monsta (properly pronounced with a Boston accent) is posing with his new friends Lefty and Righty, who are mascot versions of the famous Boston Red Sox. And as a knitter and a sock knitter you gotta to love a team that has mascots that are socks, really it couldn't be better.

So here is my version of the picture above, this is my Wally the Green Monster only available from the Boston Build-a-Bear location (loving made for me by my friend and shipped across the country to me in the original box, you have to love that) with my Rocky Horror Picture Sock Show (in progress).

And I will close with a quote from Bull Durham "Hit 'em where they ain't boys!" GO SOX!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Stitch This!

But in a slightly different way, ever since I have finished my Cables and Os I needed a bit of a knitting break, trust me after working 7+ hours a day for 4 days straight you'd need a break too. So this is what I have been stitching on, handmade pillowcases with hand embroidered messages for each recipient. I love to personalize gifts and this is no exception, each one will have a personalized message for the person that it will be given to, Christmas isn't that far away. The first one was going to be for me as practice to see it I was any good at it and to see if I liked freestyle embroidery (as opposed to cross-stitch, which I know I don't like, no offense to those that do, more power to you!). I knew I wanted to make it car-themed since oh so many of our car events start before 6 am and I always bring my pillow so I can attempt to catch a bit more sleep. So I found old-school pin stripping flames fabric at JoAnn's and decided it would say "Dreaming of more Horsepower" since the main focus has always been more horsepower. I was excited to start a new craft and told Big A all about it, after I explained it he said "I want one!", so the pillow became his and I had to find something else for me. Here is his:

And so I found new-school "fire" fabric for me and I came up with "Dreaming of a 6.4 liter Challenger" and this is how it came out:

So after a little practice I think I have a basic understanding of what to do. I want to add different kinds of stitches to my repertoire, but hopefully it will all work out. And it's so much faster than knitting, amazing what happens when you don't have to make the fabric. There are many more "dreaming" pillowcases to come, perhaps it will be the first in the series.

And on the knitting front, since my skein of Vesper Sock Yarn is here I might have to cast on for another pair of Jaywalkers. I know there are a ton of other things in my queue, but I just need a fix before I tackle Big A's sweater for the final time (damn that sweater). I knew that if I could ever get my hand on some Vesper that Jaywalkers were what I wanted to make with them since the stripe would be awesome. The colorway is Strange Little Mama, but it always reminds me of Rocky Horror (which I have always loved, and love to see "live") so that's what I'm calling them The Rocky Horror Picture Sock Show.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

(Photo Credit Suzanne Camarata)

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary, and this is what Big A got me! I'm so excited I asked for a nice camera but I wanted a small one that I could take with me without adding a lot of bulk or weight, and as always he did a super good job. Big A is really good at shopping for electronics and since he knows all about photography and cameras it was a match made in heaven.

I love it, it's so small and light, here is picture of it next to my Lantern Moon Sheep Tape Measure for scale (since most knitters know how big the tape measure is). It's great and it has a really big screen, and it's so slim. Now I won't have to take the big gigantic, super expensive, single lens reflex digital camera (that Big A got for his Doctorate graduation, which I'm always afraid I will break). I can't wait to take it to Wicked so I can take pictures of ItShe and I this weekend.

I have been stalking a certain sock yarn for over a year now, and this week I finally had the correct planetary alignment. I have been checking this website for over a year and I'm always 2 or 3 days late and there is never any left, but on Tuesday I finally got me a skein and it came in the mail today. Here it is, Vesper Sock Yarn, in Strange Little Mama, I love all her colorways, check it out here.

I few last pictures, here is one with the camera and my cupcake pincushion from Betz White. and one last picture of our wedding cake, I wish I was in Boston so I could got buy a slice (it was from Konditor Meister in Braintree) it was delicious as it was gorgeous!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Finished Cables and Os

Pattern: Cables and Os, by Brooke Snow, No Sheep for You

Yarn: Queensland Collection Cotolino in Fuchsia

Yardage: About 1500

Needles: Knit Picks Options US size 2 and 4

Estimated Time: 6 months

Notes: I shortened the ribbing on the sleeves by an inch but besides that I did exactly what the pattern said

Finally! I loved this sweater pattern and I loved the yarn and I'm still not sick of it, but I didn't know if I was ever going to finish this sweater in time to wear it to Wicked next weekend, but I finished it a week early! I really enjoyed this sweater it was a very good pattern and the finished sweater it really cute.

I didn't change much of anything, all I did was shorten the ribbing on the sleeves by an inch. The only thing that I would say to anyone that is knitting this currently is when you count stitches make sure that if you are on a yarn over row that you don't count the yarn overs (it might be very obvious to some but hints never hurt).

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cancer Benefit, Yarn, A Piece of Home and LUSH-iousness

Last weekend Big A and I went up to L.A. for a very cool car event called Cruise 'n for a Cure, it's the biggest one day car show and every single cent (no money is taken for administration fees) from the entry fee ($40 a car, and there were over 3,500 cars this year), the gate fees ($12 a person), and the t-shirt sales go to the UCLA Jonsson Conprehensive Cancer Center. We had a great time there were about 50 cars from Big A's car group so it was nice to see everyone, but I wished the weather would have been dryer.

And since we were in L.A. I (successfully) tried to get Big A to take me to Wildfiber in Santa Monica. It's one of my favorite yarn shops to visit (it was my second time) here is what it looks like (click to make bigger) The next time I go I would love to stay a while and knit. Wildfiber use to be owned by Mel Clark (author of Knit2) but she has sold it and move back to New Zealand. The store was just as wonderful as I remembered, light, lovely, and I love the way that the store is laid out. I saw on their website that they were carrying Socks that Rock I wanted to see what they had and was planning on picking up a several skeins. The knitting gods did not shine upon me, they only had medium weight, and I was looking for lightweight. So in order to appease the sock yarn craving I got this.
It's Ranco Multy by Araucania, it was hand-dyed in Chile and it really reminds me of Monet's Waterlilies, you can't see the green to well in the pictures but it's very similar to the painting, I'm glad I picked it up.

When you miss Boston there are a few places around town that you can go to to get your fix and one of them is Sonny McLean's in Santa Monica. If you are an ex-pat the minute you walk in you know exactly what this place is about; it's dark, there are multiply levels to the place, there is a no-frills attitude (wires hanging all over the place), there is a good sturdy bar that runs the length from front to back, the bathroom is old and has a strange tiny useless extra room with a small mirror (at least the women's did), there are pictures and references to all Boston Sports teams, and they served DUNKIN' DONUTS coffee (swear). It was a little slice of home, and the food was great Big A had fish and chips (of course) and I had a big bowl of clam chowdah it was one of the best I ever tasted. And of course the most prized possession of the day this
it's a t-shirt that's the front and the back says could it be any better?

The other place I got Big A to take me was LUSH. I fell in love with LUSH when I lived in Boston. It is a company that makes handmade cosmetics (not make-up, but more lotion/soap/shampoo etc) with a lot of organic/and or natural ingredients. This is a blurb from their website "We hand-make our cosmetics in UK, Italy, Canada, South America and Japan, in our own production facilities, so that every product available in our shops or sent to you by mail is as fresh as it can possibly be because fresh products work better and use fewer preservatives. Our aim is to have the youngest, freshest products in the history of cosmetics." They never do any animals testing and they sell their products, both in store and web, with as little packaging as possible. I love all of their products and the company's philosophy and mission, good all around!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I HEART Ravelry!

I just got my Ravelry invitation yesterday, I was so excited, and for those who haven't gotten it yet don't worry it's totally worth the wait, and they are getting through the list. I know I wasn't one of the first ones, and I'm sure that there are many people who have said how wonderful the site it, but I would like to say that it is SO wonderful. It is also a sense of "hometown pride" because the two very caring and wonderful people, and one super-cute Boston Terrier (my alma mater's mascot) of Ravelry are based in Charlestown, MA! And since I'm an alumna of Boston University and lived in Beantown for 11 years and are hopefully moving back next year, I'm so proud! As soon as I saw the background in one of the pictures of the aforementioned super-cute dog I told my husband "that looks like a Boston apartment" and I was correct.

M first 24 hours with Ravelry has been awesome, I have added a few finished projects and transfered all my pictures from Photobucket to Flickr (which was a pain). One of things I really liked was adding all my books to virtual library, so now I know what I have an I can keep track of what I want (I can hear Borders thanking me now). But with all good things comes the (not really) bad, there is a place on Ravelry that is dedicated to keeping track of your Stash, that's right I said the "S" word. I have never ever taken out my entire stash and cataloged it, never. I know that my stash has grown over the years (I have been knitting for about 7 years now) both from an increase from starving college student income (I could only ever afford 1 skein) and because my interests in different kinds of knitting has expanded as my skills have gotten better. But today my friends not only did I take a picture of my ENTIRE stash in one place, but I took a picture of each and every ball of yarn in the stash so I can add each one to my little heavenly slice of Ravelry.

I know that for every knitter out there, there is a different kind of stash, and I believe that no one is right or wrong (and I know that this is a hotly debated topic). I do however strongly believe that you should "own it". I have always believed in honesty, if you are going to be a bitch, should should know it and own it. I may not always get along with every person but I respect them if they own it. So this is my "own it" moment. Here is the picture of my stash:

Now I don't know where everyone stands on the Stash topic, but there is mine . . . out in the open for everyone to see (and yes that is a corner of alpaca), and I'm owning it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Grape!

You know how sometimes a hand-knitted piece finds its rightful recipient? I don't know if it has ever happened to anyone else but I have knitted this pattern a few times now and every time I think I'm making it for me but then someone else puts it on and it looks so fabulous on them you know that its found the person it should belong to. The first one of these I was knitting I really loved the yarn but it wasn't the best color for me. Then while I was finishing it ItShe put it on and she was jokingly thanking me for the time and effort I put into it, but as soon as I saw it on her I knew it should be hers. And then it happened again, I was working on the second one at the Stitch 'n Pitch in San Diego and Grape saw it and was so in love with the color of it, she was asking what the pattern was and that she loved it. Well I knew that she should have it for her birthday, and if I do say so it looks super fabulous on her as well, there is a picture of her in it on her blog here. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAPE!

Here is a picture of it:

And here is the information:

Pattern: Monet's Water Garden Shawl/Scarf
Yarn: Trendsetter Tonalita
Yardarge: 400 (4 balls)
Needles: Size 10
Estimated Time: 3 months (but in actual time a week or so)
Pattern Changes: None
Notes: It was a quick and simple knit with a nice effect due to the drop stitches.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Cables and Os Progress!

Oh yeah baby! Here is what my Cables and Os looked like a month and 3 days ago:
and since it was 288 stitches for each row it was still a mighty fine accomplishment. And as the Yarn Harlot says it is amazing how much knitting you can get accomplished if you work on a single project. It's so intoxicating I might try to keep the WIP's down to only one or two things (we'll see). So here is a picture of the sweater now:

Yes that is the back, the left front, and the right front all together in one piece, one fabulously finished piece. I wished I would have paid more attention to the twisted stitches because there are a few that are over twisted and a few that are not twisted, and since some of the ones that are not twisted are on the finished button hole band it's a bit annoying. But I'm trying to embrace the fact that this a hand-made article of clothing are there will be imperfections (I was just hoping that they would have been on the back were I can't see them). But I really feel a great sense of accomplishment that I have the entire body of the sweater done. Now all that is left is two sleeves, one button band, and a neck band and I will be done. I would love to get the sweater done so I can wear it when we see Wicked October 6th, hopefully grad-school work won't get in the way to much. Keep your fingers crossed!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Divide and Conquer (I hope)

There is good news and bad news, the bad news is there hasn't been a lick of sewing accomplished since the last sewing update post. The good news is there has been a heck of a lot of knitting going on despite the hot weather (thank goodness for A/C). There has been a good bit of progress made since the last time I posted a picture of the wonderful Cable and O's sweater on the KAL for No Sheep for you. The last picture I had 4 repeats finished I felt pretty accomplished, 288 stitches per row is no small undertaking. I have finished 14 inches of the body, and the left front and I have made some progress on the right front (pictures in the next post I promise). This is the first time that I have knit the fronts and backs together, and I have to say that it took a lot of time and effort to knit the body and the two fronts together but once you divide the thing flies. Not to mention the fact that there will be little seaming since it's only the sleeves. There is however a button band, which isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it has to be done. Needless to say I haven't been working on anything else, you don't get this kind of progress knitting on 4 things at once. It's been a bit of a bummer not being able to switch off for variety but what I have lacked in choices I have made up for in progress. This is the first time in about 5 years I haven't had a sock on the needles either, scary but true.

On an academic note, this is the first day of the last year of school for me, I have pretty much gone to school continuously since I was 5 (there have been a few breaks but none were more than 6 months). I can't wait to be done, I have three more classes and my thesis and then I'm done. I would be freaking out but in the last two weeks everything has come together I have my thesis committee and my thesis topic so I really can't complain. Hopefully I will have time to get some knitting in too, but this next year is heavy on travel (can you believe it, finally) so hopefully I will get to do both!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Everything Rolled into One Weekend

This weekend was chock-o-block full of hobby related things. First the fiber hunt we got an email from one of our favorite LYS Common Thread that they were having a yarn sale (yippie). So ItShe and I got on the train and went up to Encinitas to met Grape at the shop for the sale. We had to get the lay of land since some things were moved around do to the sale. The back room was filled with about 10 laundry baskets filled of fiber that was 30% off, some very nice stuff. I think that ItShe got some nice yarn to make leg warmer-ish thing with. If nothing in the back caught your eye not to worry your entire purchase was going to be on sale. Once you decided what you wanted you picked a balloon and inside each balloon was a tiny piece of paper that told you what your discount was (from 10% -50%). I will say that there were some serious discussion and very laborious decision making was involved for all. I was really proud of us that we took so much time to make sure we were getting things with a purpose not just because it was "on sale". And the big yarn news of the day was something that I think ItShe will tell you all about, let's just say it kicked the Koigu door WIDE open.

I decided to get two different things: the first thing was Austermann Step a sock yarn with aloe and jojoba in the yarn, and the second one was Cascade Quatro. The Step will be socks, I don't have a pattern in mind but I'm sure I will find one, if not my "vanilla pattern" with do just fine. The Quatro which was a really good deal, will be knee high socks, don't have a pattern either, but I will find one, the yarn is 4 ply: melon, green, magenta, and purple. I have been attracted to this yarn for over a year and never knew what I would do with it, but knee-highs are perfect.

Then the three of us went to the E Street Cafe to knit and grab a beverage, until the 5:15 train, we got on the train, got back to town and headed to my house so ItShe could change clothes for the movie. We had made plans with friends to go see Funny Face at Cinema Under The Stars it was going to be such a good time. Yes it would have been a great time if only they hadn't sold out of tickets 5 minutes before we got there. Super huge bummer!

We quickly regrouped decided to have sushi at San Sai (hand roll combo) and go back to my house and watch Shawn of the Dead. It's one of ItShe's favorite movies, and I can see why, it was the same people that made Hot Fuzz. I loved it and even though we didn't get to see Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire and ItShe's perfect outfit for the movie I think we recovered well.

Then it was off to bed for me because I had to be ready to roll at 5:30 am to go to cars and coffee in Irvine. Now most of the time car weekends and yarn weekends aren't the same but this weekend Big A had to work and I wanted to see the new Dodge Challenger (and take picture so he could see it too) so his friend R said that he would take me to Irvine to see it.

And here it is . . . I'm in love!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Made with Love (OR when you have friends this crafty do you really need Martha?)

So we had a few friends over to the house this past Saturday for dinner (sorry I didn't take pictures of the food, I meant to I just forgot) it was a wonderful opportunity to have people over to try out the two new batches of home brew that the boys had made a few weeks before (in case you are wondering it was a batch of peach wheat and IPA that was made with rye, so we call it a rye-PA). The reason why I tell you this is because the wonderfully crafty ItShe gifted a super wonderful apron to me.

What's that you say . . . oh sure it's cute and yes she did a GREAT job on sewing it together, see the pocket matches up and everything.

But look closer . . . yes what you thought was plain bandanna material is much more subversive.

Yes it has skulls, and not just any skulls but skulls and crossbones with barbed wire squares, to cool huh?

She's crafty that one, very impressive and one of the best parts is that the bottom polka dotted portion is very ruffle-y when you put it on (something you can't see from the photo).

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Where has the summer gone?

No seriously . . . I have always had this theory that once the 4th of July comes around the summer is almost over. And (not) surprisingly this has happened again this summer. So much has happened since I (sadly) started blogging and didn't keep up with it, part of the problem is that I don't have a cute little easy to use digital camera that I can just take pictures with and since I myself love blogs with pictures I feel some how that my blogging cant' go up until I have pictures. I think I will have to break down sometime and buy a point and shoot pocket sized camera so I can have more pictures.

I will try to bring this blog up to speed with "how I spent my summer vacation" type posting for all crafty adventures. First I finally got the Bernina (yes I'm talking sewing) that I so kindly inherited cleaned (it really needed it) and once I got it back I wanted to use it. So I while on a tutorial hunt I found this Box Bag Tutorial, I made one and I was hooked. Which meant of course I could use what little fabric stash I had to make everyone a bag. If you believed that last sentence you don't really know me very well, this one event put the sewing gods in motion and I ended up increasing my fabric stash 4 fold (embarrassing, but worth it) and of course I had to get all the tools one would need to sew, this buying frenzy went on for about a month, but now I have everything I need (a-huh sure).

So ItShe had a wonderful suggestion that we take a (free, gotta love Continuing Education) sewing class this summer, it was for two Saturdays in June and we were suppose to "sew a simple sun dress" (try saying that 10 times, trust me we did). I wanted to start with something a bit more my speed so I made a skirt (sorry forgot to take a picture of it). After trying to decipher "sewing speak" (i.e. the pattern) I needed a bit of help from the teacher and asked her a few questions and I was on my way. When it comes to knitting I almost always follow the rules and understand what a pattern is asking me to do and why, with sewing I had NO idea, it was like magic, I'm not kidding. I would read the 2 sentence direction a million times and then try to do what it said, I didn't know why or how but it worked, amazing. However I had to Google for a zipper tutorial (thank goodness for the internet) it was a bit tricky (and a bit wonky) but I got the basic idea now. The fabric was from Jo-Ann's, it was 50% off and it's a Cape Cod in the summer type skirt, thank you to ItShe for the suggestion to use green ribbon (you rock!).

Up next . . . why yes that's another skirt but it's in a super wonderful and eye-catching Amy Butler fabric (thank you Beverly's).It's a half circle skirt, lots of fabric for the breeze to catch ask ItShe she made a summer-y blueberry skirt from the same pattern (although she finished hers) I hope to have mine done soon for the simple fact that the sewing machine's summer home has been my dinning room table and I would like to have the use of the table back (i.e. there are people coming over for dinner this Saturday).

Finally my "simple sun dress" it is a Duro Olowu inspired pattern from Butterick. I loved the fabric, bought three yards of it and didn't know what do to with it when I came across the pattern I asked ItShe if she thought it would be flattering (perhaps the most difficult thing to do is pick the best pattern for your body) we discussed, and I bought it. The fabric is once again from Beverly's and ItShe was kind enough to help again with the contrasting fabric color choice (I swear I wouldn't know what I would do without her). The only thing I have left to do is the bottom of the skirt . . . dreaded bottom of the skirt . . . let's just say it's been this way for about 3 weeks now. I just have to bite the bullet and finish it. You see part of the problem is I have no idea how, the directions are in sewing speak, but since I'm a very rouge sewer I will probably end up figuring something out myself that may not be the correct way but hopefully (fingers crossed) it will look fine.

Since this summer was consumed by a lot of sewing there hasn't been that much in the way of knitting, however I did barely manage to finish my Jaywalker socks, kitchener-ed and ends woven in, truly loved the pattern and I want to make another pair with Fire on the Mountain from Socks that Rock (I know it's bright and crazy but the pattern with this colorway is amazing).

However just because there has been little knitting doesn't mean that there hasn't been yarn purchasing, how does that work you ask, I'm an addict and I can't be stopped (at least that's the honest answer). So there has been 4 purchases; Malabrigo lace weight yarn, Handmaiden Seasilk, Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro in color 60 which is a teal, and Trekking XXL. Most of the yarn purchases were very budget minded, except for the Seasilk which is for my Mom.

What will I do with all this you ask? Well first the Malabrigo lace weight yarn . . . let's just say that I read some reviews and wanted to see for myself how super/so/amazingly/out of this world soft this lace weight yarn was. I happened to have a little bit of time so I decided to drive to a beach side knitting store I had never been to, they had Malabrigo but only in worsted . . . or so I thought, at the last second I saw out of the corner of my eye two skeins of lace weight in a natural color. I reached to take the skein off the hook on the wall, and all I can say is those people who kept going on and on were exactly right, this stuff was crazy soft. Not wanting lace weight in white, I was on an all out hunt, I called EVERY local yarn store that was suppose to have it according to the distribution page on their web site, no one had it and some hadn't even heard of the brand. Then I called all the local yarn stored I knew of and they didn't have it either (or they didn't have the colors I wanted) but tried to convince me that they had lace weight yarn that was just as nice, and they might have, but I wanted the Malabrigo. So I started to call yarn shops in the OC, no luck either so I decided after exhausting all the "local" shops I would try the internet, I found one shop that had the colors I wanted, Surf for me and Lettuce for ItShe. I ordered it went on vacation, camping on the beach for 4 days and when I returned it was there in my mailbox waiting for me. Little did I know that we both had surprises for each other in the same week, I gave her fiber and she gave me this shirt, to cute huh?
She came up with it all by herself, just for me, I'm so proud of her and I feel so privileged to wear it. And I did at the Stitch and Pitch at Pet Co. Park, the Padres got shelled but it was great fun to hang out with Grape and ItShe we all had on t-shirts that ItShe made.

Second on the list is Handmadien SeaSilk, slightly out of my budget, but it's for my mom, the colorway is called Capri (it's perfect!). The yarn is very cool is it 30% Seacell and 70% silk. What is Seacell, glad you asked the Handmaiden website says
Seacell is a cellulose based fibre made from seaweed. That’s right – seaweed! It is highly breathable and very soft. When worn, your skin’s natural moisture will release magnesium, calcium and vitamin E contained within the seaweed. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to protect the skin. Amazing.

I'm making the Tuscany shawl from Amy R. Singer's No Sheep for you (which ItShe got me for my birthday), the pattern is beautiful and I think it will be a good introduction to "lace" and it will be the first triangular shawl, and who doesn't love Knitty and Amy for that matter.

Third is Ornaghi Filati Merino Oro (and that concludes the Italian portion of the show) this is a WAY in the future project (I need to spend some serious time with my husband's sweater and my Cable and O's) but I wanted to get the yarn just in case it won't be available when I want to start the project and for about $20 including shipping for 1375 yards (yes that's right 1375 yards) of lace weight merino I couldn't (wasn't going to) let it pass me by. I plan to make the Print O the Wave Stole by the ingenious Eunny Jang. I love this pattern, I love the yarn, but the needles are becoming a bit of a problem for me, she says to use 00's. Sure o.k. 00's not a problem in 47" lenght, got it! Yeah the problem is places have 0's or 000's but not 00's and if they do they do not have the correct length so to the web I will go, but since I'm not starting it any time soon it's doesn't seem to be such a huge deal, I will continue to look.

The fourth and final of the current stash enhancement (I like the way that sounds) is Trekking XXL in color # 100, when I first met ItShe she was working on a pair of socks that she named watermelon socks because the colors were very watermelon-esq, I LOVED them and the yarn was so nice and ever since I have been looking for some Trekking of my own that was brighter and not so manly in color. I finally found some at Knitting in La Jolla and I bought it without even thinking about it.

I think that's about it, or that's all I can think of for the moment. More blogging later (I mean sooner than later).

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Yes I know that the world doesn't really need another knitting blog but I thought that I would use my blog much like my friend ItSheKnits and her friend Grape use their blogs, to keep tract of project progress. Plus I thought that it would be a nice place to me to keep all of my crafty things together in one place, and now is the perfect time to start this blog since I'm on summer vacation from graduate school. I don't really expect anyone to read this except me, it is sort of my craft journal . . . I can't get the picture of Dougie Houser, M.D. out of my head either, the Sports Guy unintentional comedy scale on this one does not escape me either.

So let's see . . . what I'm I working on right now? There are a few projects (as always) the first one is a pair of socks, Jaywalkers to be exact, knit on size 0, with Socks that Rock in Chapman Springs. Oh it sounds wonderful but it was a bit of a rough start. A little background about this project I always swatch (except when the size doesn't really matter like a scarf or a wrap) I had done some research to see what other people were saying about the compatibility of the pattern and Socks that Rock (which I LOVE). The word was that no one was having any issues, I was so excited (remember this later) that I casted on for a swatch, I swatched and I was waaaay off, so I dropped a needle size and I was really close (think about a half stitch)I was still a little nervous (you never know when that half stitch will come back to bite you) but I cast on and I was off. Then about 2 inches into it I convince myself that the sock will be too small, so I take it off the needles, rip it, and start again with the bigger needles, then I cast on again. Then about 1.5 inches into the new (read third try) sock I realize that it's WAY to big . . . sigh . . . try again (yes it's the fourth try). I went back to the smaller needles with the same yarn, cast on again and knit. The entire time I'm knitting I'm trying to figure out why I had to drop a needle size and the sock is knitting up really heavy and thick, not that that's bad it was just a bit perplexing, but I was getting into a rhythm so I wasn't really concerned but it was still bothering me. Days later ItShe and I were knitting in her office at lunch and she asked me what size needles I was knitting on, I said 1, she looked at me and ever so kindly said to me " I don't think those are 1's" of course they are 1's don't be silly I've been knitting these for almost a week, ItShe sort of shook her head and said "seriously I don't think so, here check them" she hands me a needle gauge and . . . . . what do you know they are zero's. Zero's! What the hell . . . how did that happen, of well they were fitting fine so I wasn't terribly worried, weeks later I realized that I was knitting with the medium weight . . . now it all makes sense, I had to drop a needle size because the yarn wasn't the right weight and why is that? Because I was going to cast on for Monkey Socks by CookieA with that yarn and then it wasn't the right color for the pattern and I was so excited to cast on for Jaywalkers and didn't switch the weight of the yarn because I was blinded by the Walkers.

The second thing on the needles is from No Sheep for You by the wonderful, talented and super funny Amy R. Singer of The book is wonderful, informational, and intersting (ItShe got it for me as part of my birthday present) the moment I saw Cable and O's I knew I had to make it. I love cables, any type, and I love non-crew neck sweaters but the problem is I don't normally like to knit with cotton. I ordered the yarn, Queensland Cotolino in the same pink that the pattern calls for and I must say even though it is cotton and linen I love it (picture from, from Interweave Press)

The third thing will have to wait for another day because the story is rather long and I have gone on long enough. I will try to post pictures I soon as I can but ItShe and her DH and me and my DH are going camping over the long weekend and we are leaving tomorrow (read lots of time in the wilderness to knit!)