Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! If you haven't read today's post by the Yarn Harlot you should. There are a million reasons to give. And hopefully there will be one million dollars of generosity to celebrate in 2009. I gave, please give even if it's a dollar, everything helps (click banner below to help).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Holidazed Indeed!

I finished these a few days ago, but with the stormy weather we've been having I didn't have enough sun light to take a decent picture. However this morning there was some sun so I took a picture of my new socks Holidazed by Anne Hanson. It was the last installment of the 2008 Rockin' Sock Club (and the first on the club I have knit) the colorway is called Muddy Autumn Rainbow (I love it!).


And I also signed up for the 2009 club, the designers for next year's club sealed the deal for me.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Come Early

While my friend JD was here on a visit we went up to Cedros Avenue Design District in The City of Solana Beach. It was a great time, there was all the shopping, all the galleries and there was even a farmer's market. We got some really fresh fruit and a great loaf of bread, roasted garlic and goat cheese, from Bread and Cie. Of course we had to shop at Leaping Lotus and I found these, Janice was nice enough to get them for me as part of my Christmas present. Needless to say there is no finer pair of slippers for a knitter that loves wool. Thanks JD you rock!


Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Won the (Wollmeise) Lottery!!!

If I don't write about this now I may never get to it and since it's half way over I thought I better get to it. I'm a very proud member of the very first Wollmeise sock club. There was a lottery and I signed up thinking that I wouldn't get in (don't do very well with lottery style things) but I was very excited to receive my invoice for the sock club. The details are these, there are four shipments each with it's own theme, in each shipment there are two different skeins of yarn, one pattern, and a few goodies. The yarn and the pattern will be available to the general public in a year (just like STR).

The first shipment came in September the theme was home land (Bavaria for Wollmeise) the colors and pattern was perfect for me. There is something about purple and green that I love more than words can express. The first skein of yarn is called Hollerstaud'n, which is elderberry bush.


The second skein of yarn is called Buxkranzl (box wreath), very green with it slight hint of brown. I think that I might have to make a forest canopy shawl with this yarn. It reminds me of the forests of New England.


The pattern that came with the yarn is called I Mog Di it was created by the wonderful Bockstark Knits (if you don't read her blog you should). I love the pattern and love the colorway too. I can't wait to cast on.

The "little extra in our first shipment was not little at all, it was a pair of sock needles from Holz & Stein. Words cannot begin to describe how lovely these needles are. They are made from wood that is used to make cellos I think the ones that I got were made of kingwood. An amazing present for sure. There was also a piece of candy marzipan coated in dark chocolate, not surprising there is no picture of it.


The second shipment just hit my door about 3 hours ago. This shipment's theme is childhood's dreams. The first skein is called Jultomte which I think might be Swedish version of Santa Claus.


The second skein is called Saami, it is called this because of the Sámi people (formerly known as the Lapps) are the indigenous people of northern Europe.
If I'm not mistaken the colors of the skein are a reflection of the colors and hues of the clothing of the Sámi people.


The pattern for this shipment is wonderful, it is called lille bror (little brother) and was created by Yarnissima (I love her patterns and kits). It's great and and I can't wait to make the Saami in this pattern.

In this shipment the little surprise was a small ball of worsted weight yarn with a tiny glass stitch marker I think that it's a pine tree with a red star. There was also I tiny metal cookie cutter (mine was a Christmas tree). It was great to unwind and find something lovely and now a have a little bit of worsted weight to make mini-mittens for my Christmas Tree. There was also a tiny package of Haribo gummie Christmas packages very cute indeed.

So I think that is it, we are half way through the club year and I wish it could go on forever! Thank you Wollmeise I love each and every package, skein, surprise and colorway.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

With a Little Help From My Friend

There has been a whole lot of crafting going on in the last few weeks. First of all I finished my Hemlock Ring Blanket (made famous by Brooklyn Tweed). This pattern was originally a pattern for a doily but made on 10 1/2 needles and with Cascade Ecological Wool (which I HIGHLY recommend, 478 yards for 15 bucks, in many lovely natural shades of wool). I choose the colorway Latte (used 2.5 skeins), and I love the way it turned out. Here is a picture of the blanket on a queen size air bed. IMG_3689

And here is a close up of the center and one of the feather and fan sections. IMG_3694
A big thank you to ItShe for letting me block this at her house on the extra bed (we don't have the room to block it at my house and we don't have an extra bed either). The wonderful things that knitting friends will do for you. She even set of multiple fans in the room to help circulate the air. Thanks ItShe you rock!

Then three friends decided to have babies in the last 3 months (must have been a cold winter in Boston last year). So in order to celebrate their arrivals I made initial painted fabric silhouettes and ones-ies. The instructions for the silhouettes are here, from Martha Stewart of course. I have made over a dozen of these and have loved them all. Here are the basic steps, you get a canvas, get fabric staple to frame, paint it with decoupage glue, then let dry and then paint on it. Here is an example of one I made last week: IMG_3687

Another Martha Stewart craft that I made was the appliqued onesies found here these are also really cute. here is a picture of one of the 8 I made: IMG_3675

My good friend JD who I met in college came to town to soak up some sunshine and take a break from law school. Not only did she learn how to knit, but was so good at knitting she started (and half way finished) a wonderful scarf made out of Rio de la Plata in a nice celery green kettle dyed (half off might I add). She took to it immediately, a natural knitter I tell ya. She was also looking for a really nice winter hat while she was here (in San Diego) needless to say she couldn't find one so I made her one, here is a picture of the hat IMG_3655
I have one last thing, I actually cast-on my first pair of socks from the Socks that Rock sock club fro the year. Very exciting, love the color and the pattern. Pictures later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wollmeise is in das haus!

Now that ItShe and Grape (finally) have their birthday presents, it's time to unleash the parade of Wollmesie that has made it's way all the way from Germany to my house. There is nothing more I say about the Wollmeise that hasn't already been said, the colors are amazing, the intensity, the saturation, and the combination of colors are beautiful.

Let me say that I stalked and stalked and stalked and was finally rewarded. I don't want to tell you how may hours and how many times I tried, but let's say it was totally worth it, partly due to the fact that I could gift some to ItShe and Grape. I have had the extreme good luck of snagging some Wollmeise twice from The Wollmeise herself.

The first shipment was August 8, 2008. I had done my "homework" and found out that in order to get the most out of the higher shipping cost from Germany (which is exactly what Germany charges the Wollmeise) you should either order 2 skeins (for the small envelope) or 5 skeins (for the larger envelope). The thing about the updates are if you don't figure out what you want quickly you yarn can be bought out from under you by another fan of Wollmeise. I wanted to get 5 skeins so I spent some time on the website and found the colors I wanted for Grape, ItShe and myself and stalked. I got the skein I wanted for each of them.

Grape got Poison No. 5 (dark intensity) here is a picture of it:

ItShe got Rhabarber (light intensity):

I got Am kalten Polar (medium), Lowenzahn (dark), Miss May(medium):

The next time I caught the update on August 22 by pure luck I wanted more than a few skeins of Versuchskaninchen 1 (medium), and I happen to stubble across some 5 skeins of it. Here is a picture:

There is one more thing, I signed up for the lottery for the privilege of getting to be part of the first Wollmeise sock club, and the lottery gods were smiling on me, I got in, I'll show you later.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When Last We Left This Blog

I had just came back from a Mediterranean cruise, it was wonderful and it seems like lifetimes ago, seriously. It was a fabulous time there is no way to sum it up, but I look over 1700 pictures if that gives you a clue.

So much has happened this summer but let's get to the knitting. First the FO's. The last thing on this blog was the Rivendell Socks from The Eclectic Sole (great book). It was a great pattern and the little rings were something I had never done before. They have been done for a while, here is a picture: IMG_3457

The next FO is my Italian Jaywalkers, I started these on the cruise ship and finished them on the ship. They are great an always remind me of darting in and out of traffic in Rome (which was crazy). Andiamo! IMG_3462

The next FO is my pair of Lite Brite Crusoe socks. Normally I knit a pattern the way that it is written but this time I change the top (I like ribbing on the top of my sock) and thankfully I looked up the pattern on Ravelry and saw that people were having sizing issues so I increased it to 60 stitches (the pattern calls for 48 stitches for the larger size). I really love the yarn, it's by Perchance to Knit in colorway Vintage and I (heart) it big time, I love the bold and different shades of familiar colors. Here it is: IMG_3621

That picture is really dark here is a better picture of the yarn: IMG_3396 That's a much better picture.

I loved the pattern so much because it's great to break up pooling in hand dyed yarn, I decided to make my best friend Lindsay a pair for her birthday and to celebrate her running the Chicago Marathon. She is awesome, she finished in 4 hours and 38 mins, this is truly a feat I cannot even imagine. That same night she got engaged, very exciting. So I found the perfect yarn for her, it's called Lower Wacker Drive by Yarnzombie Gaslight Dyeworks. Lower Wacker Drive is a famous street in Chicago and it's a very important part of the movie Blues Brothers (which has a special place in Lindsay's heart) so it was perfect for her. Here are the socks: IMG_3613

The last FO is the Katarina Sweater from cocoknits, it was a great knit, fast, wonderful and lovely, the problem is I don't have a half decent photo of it. I have to get someone to take a photo of me wearing it so you can see it better, and it's black so the hope of me taking a good picture without me wearing it is hopeless. But here is the least crappy of them all: IMG_3620

O.K. so that I think that's it for FO, I have two projects on the needles right now, but I will save that for another day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When This is Your View from Your Cabin Why Come Home?

Seriously, why would you come home? Well there are a few reasons; one I ran out of Euros (damn that conversion rate), two I missed my husband, and three . . . well there isn't a three. Did you look at the picture?

Well there was a good bit of shopping, but I don't want to post pictures before the people I shopped for get their goodies. But there was yarn, food, and lots of postcards. My favorite place was Venice (pictured above), and the food remarkable, the house wine even better, and having gelato once if not twice a day is the way to go, trust me.

I finished my Jaywalker pair of Italian flag colored socks, and started the France/Croatia socks, so at least I got some knitting in there. Pictures to follow.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane . . .

. . . in 30 hours I will be in Rome! I'm taking 4 pairs of sock yarn with me on my trip. What's that? Yeah I know it's WAY too many projects, but I bought my 6 skeins of Regia Nation Colors sock yarn more than 8 months ago and I plan to take the yarn my vacation so it can soak up the air in each country, so when I come back home and knit it I know it took the trip with me (silly I know but it will make me smile).

So I have red and orange for Barcelona, Spain. I have red, white and green for Rome, Naples, Venice, Florence, Pisa and Sicily. And I have red white and blue for both Cannes, France and Dubrovnik, Croatia. It's all the same yarn basically (wide stripes of color not my favorite but it works so well) so in order to break it up I'm bring I'll Call You from Politically Incorrect (really such a treat, I can't wait to cast on).

So Ciao I'll return July 11!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Love At First Sight

You know it when it happens, you see it and know that you are falling hard. This is what happened to me when I saw Politically Incorrect Yarns and Fibers website. The yarns and fibers are dyed by a super talented woman named Chris whose colors are nothing short of amazing. The intensity of her color are striking and the color combinations are truly beautiful. Sometimes with hand-dyed yarn you get parts that sometimes do not take up dye and you get some white through. But this yarn is fully saturated color with intense color and brightness, no muddiness at all. Here is a picture of the first skein that I ordered, the colorway is called "I'll Call You" gorgeous right? On the website "I'll Call You" was only available in a DK weight but I convo'ed Chris and asked it I could have it 400 yards of fingering to make socks out of and she generously agreed to dye it for me. Seriously go get yourself some of this NOW, before it ends up like Twisted Fiber Arts (how I long for the Etsy days gone by).

There were also a ton of extra goodies that came along with the wonderful yarn; two cards of the picture that is one the yarn label (the Mona Lisa with "funny glasses" with knitting in hand), a personal card from Chris, a pencil, a small spiral notebook, and lovely stitch markers. See?
super nice of her to send all the extra goodies.

So if course when I saw how wonderful this yarn truly is the moment I was done looking at it I went back and ordered to more skeins in "He's Just Not That Into You" and It's All About the O", I love the names she has for her colorways.

I also order a skein of Rio de la Plata from The Loopy Ewe, I'll show you when it gets here. I also ordered a skein of Red Sox Red in sock yarn from the Marta Vineyard Fiber Farms (of which I'm a shareholder). Needless to say there has been some online shopping going on lately.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Rivendell Sock Progress

I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan but I really like this pattern. I pre-ordered the book and there are 3 other patterns I can't wait to cast on. I love the rings at the top of the sock (Janel Laidman calls them clusters) they were a bit of a problem for me, but once I understood how they are formed I got the hang of it. The chart is easy to read and I like the way it's turning out. I saw this pattern when Yarn Harlot finished them for her friend Denny in a lovely purple color (eggplant). I purchased J.Knits yarn in colorway Boston. It is very similar in tone and depth that the Harlot's yarn was, but I don't know if it's showing the pattern very well. The other thing is the yarn in places is splitty. I think this might be the kind of project that is a bit difficult to photograph well, sort of like my Koolhaas hat. The texture isn't easy to capture but I can tell you in person the pattern is a little more clear. Just like my Cables and O sweater I LOVE the twisted stitch they look so great.

Here is a close-up picture:

I'm done with both charts and with the heel so it's pretty much decreases, the twisted stitch pattern and the toe. Oh yeah and then doing it all over again for the second sock, but the dreaded SSS hasn't been a huge problem for me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A WIP . . . nope make that a FO!

It was a WIP for a very short amount of time, about 20 hours maybe. This is my new Koolhaas hat, the pattern is by the very creative Brooklyn Tweed. The pattern was inspired by the architecture of Rem Koolhaas. For those that aren't familiar Koolhaas a Dutch architect, architectural theorist, urbanist and "Professor in Practice of Architecture and Urban Design" at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. This picture is a picture of Seattle's Central Library this space is what inspired Brooklyn Tweed's pattern:
I would say it's a great reflection of that space.

The pattern requires a lot of 1 stitch cables and since I have wanted to learn cabling without a cable needle I thought this project would be a great time to learn since it was a small project and the yarn was easy to tink/rip. There are a few ways to cable without a cable needle but I liked Grumperina's the best, the pictures were clear the directions solid and it was nice to see that it just wasn't shifting the stitches. After the first repeat I was off and running, the pattern was really nice, it was easy to follow and once you knew what it looked like you could easily follow without much looking at the pattern.

I dropped a needle size instead of knitting with 6 and 8 I knitted with 5 and 7, I wanted a bit of a heavier fabric and reading what people said on Ravelry (thank goodness for Rave) dropping a needle size with worsted seemed to be a good idea. The yarn I used was part of my wonderful Christmas present from ItShe from last year. It's merino and 30% possum, yup possum, the yarn is wonderful perfect for the hat and I only needed 1 skein (so I still have 1 left), the color is great and I can't wait to wear it in Beantown when the weather gets cold.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tuscany Finito!

Here is a close-up:

My Tuscany for my mom is finally finished. I think I have figure out a little something about lace and I. I like it sort of. I know very decisive. I like the initial excitement of learning the pattern and seeing how it forms, but I don't really like all the repeat, but I do love the end blocking (really love it). So I think I might have to move to more complicated lace projects. Things that change panel by panel maybe. I love the look of the all the shawls that Guilty Pleasure knits perhaps in the near future I can tackle the Print O' Wave Shawl by Eunny Jang.

The details of the project are I used 2 a skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk (not cheap but well worth it) and my new Addi Turbo Lace Circular in size 5. The shawl will be a thank you present for my mom for taking me on a cruise to the Mediterranean. I knew I wanted to use the Handmaiden Seasilk because it is made out of sea cell (cruise on the ocean seaweed connection) and I chose the color Capri because we will be traveling close to the island of Capri and my mom really likes the color blue so it worked out well. The shawl is 75' x 55' so it's a nice size.

But anyways this is the last WIP I had, how is that you ask you had Big A's long over due sweater and the Twisted Flower Sock by Cookie A. O.K. I didn't have enough yarn to finish the first sweater that I started (which was within the first 6 months I learned to knit). Which leads me to the next problem I found the once "challenging" pattern super boring. So I told him I would attempt to knit him Na Crag by Alice Starmore (you know I love him now) we have been together for 11 years (married for 4) so I think I'm well outside of the sweater curse.

Twisted Flower was frogged a while back, I liked the pattern and the yarn but after Tuscany I'm giving lace a break for a while, I will get back to it, but since I frogged it it's not a WIP.

So of course this means that I don't have any, that's right no WIP's !!! Yippie! That is until 2 seconds after I publish this post, I have 2 projects I want to start.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

And We're Back

So sorry it has been a long long time since I have blogged, where should I start? Well I think the best place would be a short re-cap. Let's see there wasn't much of any knitting getting done around the end of the semester (that almost killed me). But I'm finally done with my course work (I won't have homework for the rest of my life!) and now it's on to my thesis in earnest, honest. There was a bit of knitting but no finishing, but now I'm proud to announce that there have been six finished projects since I last posted and 3 were finished in the last 3 days.

Let the FO parade begin!
First FO: Jelly Bean socks, so this is such a sad story, I started these socks somewhere around 2002/3? We moved from Boston to San Diego and I shoved them in with non-knitting and had totally forgotten about them. I recently found them and finished them.

Second FO: Nutkins, fun pattern with a mock cable and knit up in one of my favorite sock yarns Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino in colorway Martha's Vineyard. The sock pattern was interesting because it was my first sock with no decreases. It has a interesting heel and toe (you use the same pattern for both) and you don't decrease the sock pattern (good I guess for patterns you don't want to mess up with decreases.

Third FO: Amy's Comforting Jail House Rock Socks, my friend Amy from college (who is a cancer survivor) dad was battling cancer. I knew I couldn't fix it or make it better but I knew I could knit her something. I decided on socks in my regular "vanilla pattern", she has size ten feet, so you know I love her. The yarn is Socks that Rock in Jail House Rock, she is a HUGE Elvis fan.

Fourth FO: Red Sox Socks, these were started last season when the Sox won the World Series, I decided to start the other sock when the season started this year in hopes that the good luck from last season wears off on this season. Color stranding on the top (so not my thing) with an after thought heel that ItShe helped me with via email.

Fifth FO: Branching Out Scarf, this will be a thank you present for my Auntie Bonnie for all the hard work she has put into planning our summer European vacation. The pattern wasn't too difficult (when I paid attention), would be a good beginner lace pattern, and it was nice to have a purl row every other row. The yarn was really nice Lorna's Laces Sport Multi, in colorway Tuscany (perfect for our trip).

Sixth FO: Baby Bolero for my co-worker's baby that is due in two weeks. Luckily I had a skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton in orchid because they don't know if it is a boy or girl. I decided to do the little heart pattern. I casted on and completely finished it (I sewed it together and even blocked it) all in the same day.

So I went from having 5 WIP to only 1, my mom's Tuscany Shawl, which I worked on last night even after starting and finishing the bolero. I can't wait to be done with it, I started with one repeat and now I'm up to 26.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Happy 1st Birthday Ravelry! Last night ItShe, Grape and I celebrated at the Grove in North Park.

It is such an important day, and something of great importance needs something special to celebrate with, so I made these:

. . . is there anything better than knitting, cupcakes and Ravelry? I don't think so!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Stitches West 2008: Part I

I will warn you this post is long the yarn pictures are towards the end.

First off, I was so excited to be going to Stitches West with ItShe. I was even more excited when Big A said that I could go and take some classes (super wonderful husband, that man deserves a sweater). So ItShe and I decided on some classes (more on that later) did our homework, packed our bags and headed to the airport at 4:45 am, yes before the sun rises.

We got to the airport (it was still dark) and through security without incident (not unlike Hawaii), and sat at the gate until they called our flight and our seating order-thingy (gotta love Southwest). Our flight was maybe 1/3 full so everyone could have an entire isle to themselves, we taxied for what seemed forever, I swear we were in Orange County before we took off. Finally the plane took off and we landed in San Jose about an hour and a half later.

I had done some research before and figured out that we could take the bus and light rail to get to our hotel. It cost us $1.75 so we didn't have to rent a car or pay for a $25 cab ride (more money for yarn). We got to our hotel and checked in at 9:15. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, it was a very nice hotel but the best part was that it was attached to the convention center. We dropped our bags and went to the Opening Ceremony program. The program was all about socks (one of our favorite things!) Cat Bordi, Lucy Neatby and Sandi Rosner all spoke. It was very interesting, Cat talked about her new architectures and how they differ from all other socks. Lucy talked about her first very cool and colorful sock and how she thinks about color. And Sandi talked about an entralac technique with self-striping sock yarn.

Then we had a luncheon, the food was actually good for hotel food (hummus and pita, Greek chicken skewers and a very good multi-grain rice nut mixture). Then off to our first class Don't Fear Lace with Debbie Radtke. The first part of class was how to read a chart, which we knew, but she went over an edging technique that was very nice and useful. It was very helpful for me to see the technique in person. When it comes to knitting I do much better if I can see it in motion.

Class ended at 4:30, then it was off to the Ravelry party. It was so cool to finally find some knitters our age that didn't have a tapestry bag with cats on it (not that there is anything wrong with it). We stayed there for a bit (it was super cool to see Casey and Jess) and then back up to the room to drop off stuff and get "ready to rumble" I mean shop. The market opened at 7 and we had 3 hours to shop.

ItShe and I knew that we wanted something to eat so we decided to grab some sushi to go so we could stand in line for the Market. Let's just say the sushi was good, it wasn't super expensive but it took forever considering that not one piece of it had to be cooked (over 40 mins of waiting). Once we got our food it was off to stand in line behind 150 people that were already there. While we waited in line the group in front of us started to chat with us. They were from the OC and we got to chatting but we were interrupted by the Market opening.

Now I knew I wanted all the Ravelry swag a girl could ask for, and I also knew that I wanted a Passport, they were only giving out a certain number per day and I wanted one. So that's the first booth I hit, I grab ItShe and I a passport and then bought a bag, a Bob head pin (I LOVE IT!). Here is a picture

Here is the picture of my Ravelry Passport and Bob Sticker

After the Ravelry bag was secured and Passport in hand we went shopping. It might have been the best fiber shopping opportunity that I have EVER had! There were over 250 vendors there there were a lot of things to see but I never felt overwhelmed just underfunded (hahaha). ItShe had a great idea of only getting things that we couldn't get on line or could never find (that ItShe is so smart) or just had to have. We also thought that doing most of the shopping Thursday night when there was far less people there was the way to go (and it was). So with map in hand we were off shopping.

We weren't allowed to bring cameras into the Market (sorry no pictures) but here is what I bought on Thursday night.

First up the bag I have had my eyes on for some time, it's the Knitter's Satchel by Jordana Paige, I bought her very first black bag she offered (at the time it was the only one) and I loved it and have been looking for another one of her bags since. I really like that snap closure and the pockets and all the stuff I can put in it.

Second Interlacements Tiny Toes, the same people that make Toasty Toes:

Third Shibui sock yarn 100% super soft merino in color Jewel which the website describes as Mulberry, Wisteria, Emerald and Wasabi (love the wasabi!).

Fourth KnitWhits Jewel Sock Kit, love the way this sock looks, and the yarn in the kit is Louet (which I love) I need to take a Fairisle class before I start this kit. The lady who owns KnitWhits was at the booth she was very nice and all her designs were wonderful. ItShe got a couple of things from there too, check them out.
Blogger: Cupcake's Crafty Adventures - Create Post

Fifth is some Claudia Handpainted fingering in Midnight. I kept seeing this yarn and picking it up over and over again, I must have picked it up at least 5 times and the price was good so I bought it.

Sixth Brooks Farms Primero which is 100% Kid Mohair, love it, so soft and very cool colorway (which I have no idea what it is, it wasn't on the label and there were only two skeins).

That was the shopping that we did in 2 hours and 55 mins (we had 5 mins to spare) not bad huh? After the market ItShe and I needed a glass of wine and some late night snacks (calamari and a crab cake). We were hanging out in the hotel lobby and the OC crew that we had met earlier was there too. So we hung out and chatted with them and knitted and drank until about 12:30, and then headed up to bed.