Saturday, July 28, 2007

Frantic Knitting

Oh, no! It is happening again! I am busy -- crazy busy -- and it is showing in my knitting. It is a sickness. The symptoms? Startitis, and extreme frogging.
So what am I knitting? Still crawling through the re-knit of clue one on the Mystery Stole. I haven't touched this in over a week now since I have been either working on the studio or with the kids, and I CAN'T knit that with the monsters around. Travel knitting has been Clapotis (I got to the first dropped stitch! woohoo!)
and this little shrug for my Baby Girl in Knit Picks Suri Alpaca, that I cast on as a result of having to go through my stash to move it into the studio.

I bought enough of this yarn ages ago to make a sweater from the first Stitch and Bitch book, but my taste and knitting style has changed so much since then that I have decided to re-purpose the yarn. I'll probably over-dye whatever is left (which will be a lot) and knit the girl another cardi.
I have also been working on a very quick little stealth project that I will reveal at a later date, but it has actually caused me to pick up a crochet hook again. I forgot how fast crochet could be! Very nice when you need some instant gratification, but I still don't think my poor wrist could handle much of it.
I also HAD to start my Bar Harbor bag. I bought some Wisdom Poems in the hope of making the multi-colored Noro-type version, but there are not enough color shifts and the repeats are small, so my bag will likely look more like this one as I won't be seperating out the colors, but with the stitch definition of the Bar Harbor.

I'll probably cast on for another in the style of the Blue Bar Harbor bag in Knit Pics WOA as I have a TON of that in the stash, I just don't know which colors I want to do yet.
A little note on the Wisdom Poems (purchased here -- she has all the colors!) -- I LOVE working with this yarn. It is so soft and gentle on the hands when knitting, and makes a lovely fabric. A knitting friend commented, when she saw my Booga Bag in progress, that I was nuts to be felting with it -- it needed to be a sweater! And I wholeheartedly agree. It definitely will be. As for felting, man! does it felt fast! Nice sturdy fabric, but watch out! One pass through the washing machine gave me a clutch rather than a Booga bag! I never stopped to check it since the Noro bag took 4 passes through the machine. As it is, the bag was perfect for this...

As far as items frogged, I had a cabled sweater of my own simple design I began for the girl about 2 years ago -- back done, and front 1/2 done, and that is now in pretty little balls of Lion Kool Wool waiting for a new purpose.
I do like this yarn, although it is a bit splitty. I was knitting it on size eights, but it will make a better fabric with 9s or 10s I think. I may make a little cardi like this for me with it.
I also ripped a pair of Jaywalkers -- 2 on one circ needle -- that were only 1/2 done the leg. I was using a gorgeous color of Seacoast Handpaint, but the yarn is so thin, it made the knitting so tedious -- 11 stitched to the inch -- and I was certain I would wear through the heels in about 2 wearings. I'll re-use it for a nice lacy scarf.
And then of course there are the 20 balls of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in almost the same color that were partially destined to make this, the Seed Stitch from Hell cardi. I hate knitting it, and she has forgotten she ever asked for it so it is coming out! DONE.
I really want to get something started for the Boy too, but not sure which yet. I have some local wool -- Walpole Wool -- from a small farm in Walpole MA that I got to make a Portuguese Fisherman's sweater for my handsome little man (we are Portuguese, after all) so there is that or a multi color sweater in blue, green, and yellow Lion Wool. He loves yellow -- must have yellow. I'll probably also get a few mittens started for camp knitting for the next trip. I don't want to get caught without having done any this year, and the new Knit Simple has a fantastic chart on knitting mittens for all sizes from different weight yarns. Excellent. Of course, I bought the mag because of this...


Monday, July 23, 2007

A place to call my own...

I am happily typing from Sereknity's new base of operations -- my home studio! I have been puttering around in here for two days now, slowly setting up and just standing around, admiring. I cried when hubby wrote this...

isn't that sad? I am just so happy to have "arrived" -- (I have to dye about 200 skeins in the next few weeks for orders and Revival! YIKES!). It feels so real now. A real business. ME. My yarn, my colors, (my responsibility!!). My space. WOW. Well, me and the bunny, anyway.

The other girls seem to approve as well...

They have been hanging out in here a lot, but Bella better not get used to those boxes -- they'll be chalk-full in no time.
So you wanna see more?? OKAY!!

Got a bit of work done today -- a little lace re-skeining.
This is on it's way to Cayli...

And these will be posted to Etsy tonight...

This will, if I can ever get a good color shot...

The color is more of a blue-violet. The purple in it is almost luminescent, and the varigation is so subtle. LOVE it.
I can't wait to wake up and go to work! How cool is that????

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sereknity in Action

Blogless Kendra's Wristers

Not much dyeing going on here. A few batts have been cranked, and a few rows knit, but other than that no direct fibery goodness. BUT, today I move into the studio!! YAY! From there, I will have 3 large wholesale orders to fill, plus preparation for the upcoming Revival, so there won't be a ton of action for you, my pretty readers, in the Etsy shop, save the random skein or two (I do have some zephyr laceweight to re-skein and list...mmmm).
In the meantime, I thought I would share some links of Sereknity yarns in their knitted glory. I love searching other blogs for FO's in Sereknity, since I hardly have time to knit any myself.
Some socks...
Watermelon here and here
Ericka's Pixie Dust Socks
Caroline's Deep Blue Sea
Gina's Tipsy Socks in Pretty in Punk
Jackie's Monkey's in Rock Lobster ... OMG -- I love these!!
Lora's Witchy's and Belladonna's and her mom's Breakfast at Tiffany's

Nichole's footies in Triple Scoop
and Blogless Kendra's footies in Shiraz.

Blogless Amanda also knit the most wonderful pair of socks in Black Forest Fudge, but the pic she sent didn't come through, so I have to hunt one down. SO AWESOME.
Also, few non-sock items...
A Crocheted Scarf from Gigi in Blue Hawaii
Amanda's Opera Scarf in Breakfast at Tiffany's
and Nichole's Smocked Gauntlets (free pattern in the side bar!) in Rock Lobster.

Studio Pics tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yeah, baby!!

This is Gracie! Over the weekend, we went to her christening -- hubby and I had the incredible honor of being her godparents -- but didn't get much one-on-one time, so the kids and I trekked on over to Chez Cuz's house for some quality time. My Baby Girl apparently has a bit of a talent with the camera, too (and a talent for revealing mommy's cleavage...) as she was the photographer here.

What a cutie! And such a good and happy baby. No interest in crawling yet, but she loves to hold your fingers and bounce, bounce, bounce. I forgot the little jitterbug dance they do at that age -- you know, the one where they tighten one leg like a steel bar and tap the other one in rapid non-rhythm? LOVE THAT. I don't think there is anything this kid does that isn't cute. I did finish her Sunflower Dress by the christening, but I had to take it home for some minor alterations. I took the wing-it approach to knitting the top as my row gauge was 1/2 what it called for, so I worked the shaping as I saw fit and didn't even check the pattern to see which side went where and totally missed that I should have had a button hole. The fish buttons I had bought were too big, so I chose some cute little Angel beads that I had in the stash and sewed those on, fastening both sides of the dress closed. Well, couple that with a slightly non-forgiving cost-off and it barely squeaks over her head. I have the dress at home and have pulled the beads off. I'll attach snaps on the inside and either re-use the Angel beads or continue my search for buttons. I won't be seeing them for a few more weeks as my Cuz and the babe are going to the Dominican Republic to go house hunting. (She is looking for something big enough for a family of guests -- yay!)
In the meantime, here are a few shots of my little man's teddy bear modeling the dress (pic #2 shows the color better, but the flash is just so harsh).

The Boy was horrified that I degraded his oh-so-masculine bear so, but I did explain it was for Grace, so he let it go -- just barely.
The kids spent the night there so I got to go off and see the Newburyport spinners. What a lovely and welcoming group! The gathered at the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury, MA on this particular night and I had such a great time. This is the location of the upcoming Fiber Revival on August 18th (seen at Julia's blog), and I've been invited to be a vendor -- squeee! SO YOU HAVE TO COME. lol Seriously, tho, some of the workshops/classes look fantastic, and it is a gorgeous place (right next to an Alpaca Farm!), and there will be so many other wonderful spinners, knitters, weavers, and fiber folk of all walks, kinds, and levels, what could be better? I can't wait. I may have to see who I can rope into helping at the table so I can take a class or two. I'll have preview shots of fiber and yarns that I'll be offering there in the upcoming days and weeks, too, if you need any more convincing. I spent the day the other day cranking out some batts, and I must say -- YUM. AND I finally got in my new wool/bamboo sock yarn that will probably make it's debut there. mmmhmmm
Studio is almost done -- just gotta get hubby to put up the counters and shelves. I CAN'T WAIT! I may not even have to be embarrassed about my house anymore! Pics and mystery shawl update tomorrow...(now go to Moth Heaven and check out the Revival stuff -- seriously -- go -- you know you want to!)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Fun w/ Yarn and Fiber at the TKGA

How fortunate am I to live in this wonderful world of fibery New England goodness? No more than 20 minutes from my from door the TKGA Knit and Crochet show was held this weekend. I made a quick run through of the show yesterday to bring Cyndi of the Yarn and Fiber Company a boat load of product -- sock and lace yarns, batts, roving, bags, and orifice hooks -- and resolved to spend the ENTIRE day there today. I had the pleasure of running into the fabulous Julia and fellow-equally-fabulous-spinner Kelly while there, and we happened to arrive at the booth at the same moment as the designer of the Bar Harbor Bag. I think she was a bit overwhelmed at the way we -- ok, I -- gushed. (Seriously, tho, it isn't often that we see something truly unique in the knitting world anymore. Sure, there is a great deal of beauty out there, for certain, but this is so different.
I returned today and promptly discovered Cheryl, visited once again w/ Cyndi, and ran off to do some browsing. I did my part to enable both Jackie and Cheryl in the purchase of the famous Mermaid Jacket by Helen Falkenberg, or some other lovely design (check out Gina's blog for pics -- seriously -- this jacket was made for Jackie). These girl showed far too much restraint tho, and I don't know what I am going to do with them. sigh. Why won't they let me live vicariously through their purchases? Seriously. As for myself, restraint was my middle name. In my whorl-wind tour through the market on Friday, I made one small purchase of a bag of Plymouth Bella Colour
for Rusted Root, and today's fascination left me prowling The Habu booth, fondling EVERY swatch. What amazing fantastic incredible and surprising yarns! I wanted one of everything! I satisfied myself with these cones...

the deep purple is stainless steel and wool, and the smoke is steel and silk. STEEL AND SILK PEOPLE! Is there anything cooler than this? My dear Nora has had me dreaming of this for quite a while and I am so thrilled to finally get to play with some. (btw -- say a prayer and send her some good thoughts. She could use them right now.)
And that was it folks! What a good girl am I! The rest of the day was spent lunching, chatting and even spinning. I camped out in the Yarn and Fiber Co. booth as a living display and spun up some Sereknity superwash merino roving while schmoozing and answering questions. See how much I got done?

Now, for those wondering, this is the current state of my Mystery Stole...

Thank goodness Melanie will take a break to allow folks to read the new Harry Potter so I can get somewhat caught up. Let us never speak of this again. (I love my puppy, I love my puppy, I love my puppy...)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

WTF Wednesday

I have just been a blogging fool lately, now haven't I? Well, I wish I could post my fix to the MS3 shawl, but I thought I would block it on the needles first so I could see better. Lace in it's -inprogress state tends to be a bit murky asnyway, but add to that the unbalanced twist of a single spun yarn and it is pretty tough. So, when I reached for my bag to retrieve the't...there. AAAARRRRGGGGGG!!!! I had taken it out of my bag at my sis-in-law's when I took the kids for a swim, and didn't put it back! So, no knitting brilliance to show you today. (What a dumbass.)
Loathe to leave you, my beautiful readers, with negative vibe, however, I give you the cutest puppy on the planet. Seriously. Remember Chewie?

As I said in my last post, we have decided to adopt him. (I went back in the archives and found this. The intense resolve is really remarkable.) I totally caved. Man, he is an awesome puppy! And he loves me. :) What else was a girl to do?? The above pic was 9 weeks ago. This is him now.

Ain't he a cutie?
The only way to get the little booger to sit still long enough for any kind of photo shot is with a good chewy treat. Feet and hats were included for size reference! (Notice the paint splotches on my feet -- got primer, paint, and 1/2 the floor done yesterday, and hubby got rockin' on the ceiling. SQUEE!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Irony and Truth in blogging

So, this morning I awoke thrilled to discover that after 7 hours, being awake with my early rising daughter and not having yet gone out, my little puppy had not had any accidents. Yay, Chewie! (Yes, crazy as we are, we have decided the pup stays with us. He is just too sweet.) So after putting him out, grabbing some coffe, and letting the happy-to-see-mommy little pup back in, I gathered my MS3 shawl and sat down to relax and knit a few rows. I was pondering the idea of a life line. Is this truly necessary? I mean, after all, the stole is knit entirely row by row, and when I get to the end of a row, if my stitch count is off, I just tink back until I find the mistake, which I have done successfully a few times. No big. I couldn't see any need to rip back row after row. And then I saw my little pup, starting so lovingly from the end of the couch.
"Hi, baby."
"Yip!" (unusual, he rarely barks?)
"What puppy?"
And that is when it happened -- he leaped across the couch, over the sleeping Ta-shi, onto my lap and off again, dragging with him my stole, which was in the middle of a row! Oh, the carnage!
I now have this

and will try to determine where in the chart this has dropped to, and re-knit just this section. It only looks to be about 3 or 4 rows, so wish me lick. (And Murphy, you can feel free to move on now. Your job is done here.)
Now for true confession time. I have been lamenting the state of my house for some time. It is embarrassing. Horrifying. And, quite frankly, debilitating. THIS is my "work area" more commonly known as a dining room.

I have kinda outgrown the space, don't you think? So I am working on this...

Wet sanded the plaster yesterday, will prime and paint today, then lay the peel and stick floor. Hubby will be finishing the electrics and then put up the accoustic tile ceiling. (Normally,not my first choice, but they are cheap and quick, and it is only a workroom.) Lilah will reside in the far left corner (where all the junk is right now); the oil tank will be blocked by a room divider. This wall,

will be lined w/ shelves;
this will be the sewing area

a long counter will line the left hand wall and in the center will be a long thin island.

My kids are already in monster-mode and it is only 8:30. Not sure how well that bodes for getting work done today. Hmmm...maybe I'll put them to work! Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Oh my goodness, this MS3 stole thing is quite addicting. My progress is small, but I am happy with it. I made the rash decision to skip swatching and just jump in and knit, as I was already running behind. I figured that is I wasn't happy with the result, I could rip and reknit. But I am. AND I havent made any mistakes yet! I get so excited when I get to the end of a row and my stitch count is correct. PHEW. I actually have a confession. This is my first "real" bit of lace. In fact, I certainly wouldn't call myself an experienced knitter, but I am certainly an adventurous one. I once read that the only difference between a beginner and an experienced knitter is one knows HOW to fix her/his mistakes. THAT is something I have had to learn and learn well! lol I did knit Embossed Leaves socks, and the Party Lace scarf from Magknits (well, I guess that is "real" lace, but it was only a 4 row lace repeat!), so I may be in over my head here, but I don't tend to do things on a small scale. Shocker, I know. A bit of an overacheiver. (If only I was where housework was concerned!)
Here is the first pic, not quite through the first chart...

I had planned to use the purple beads from the last post, but didn't have a crochet hook small enough (fyi -- if you are going to use size 8 beads, you need a sz 12 crochet hook or smaller. Mine is a 10.) At 9:15pm, I knew I wouldn't make it to the nearest craft store for new beads IF the had any I liked and IF they had the right size and/or crochet hook, and I wanted to start NOW. So I went to ye olde bead stash (thank you, stitchmarker business) and found a great mix of triangular blue beads that I had purchased "just because". I had enough to start, but not sure I have enough for the finished project, so I went to the local bead store today -- Le Beaderie -- and picked up more, and then some! (The gals at Le Beaderie rock -- they are so super friendly, and one of the owners, Cheryl, is also an avid knitter.) I grabbed some gold iris seed beads for Ericka just in case (and they were even kind enough to COUNT them for me! 325 in the bag -- score!). They are pictured here next to my beads.

I also raided the 50% off bin and made off with this loot...

I feel some new sock and scarf patterns coming on! (..again, with the little upstart knitter getting a big head...)
I spent quite a few hours clearing out the studio space today, and the goal is to be in it by next weekend, as I'll have a house full of my girlscouts and all of their parents. And, umm, well, right now, no one could fit in, let alone walk through, my living area. The whole yarn-thing has kinda taken over. I'll snap some pics, but I'll have to show them another day, when I am able to laugh about it. Maybe in about 10 years.

Friday, July 06, 2007

It's not my fault...

Seriously. I had no intentions of starting new projects -- the WIPs and queue overfloweth, there are great quantities of yarn to be dyed, fiber to be carded, listings to write, and a studio to finish. I had finished a sweater! What a good girl -- check that off the list. And then, I get THIS e-mail from she-who-will-not-be-named-but-is-the-lackey-NAY!-high-priestess- of-the-yarn-goddess-herself (and you know who you are -- ehem, cough, Amy), and I quoth "I'm so busy all the time, knitting and spinning is my relaxing outlet. If I want to start something new, I will dangit. I'll finish the others eventually but why force myself when I work so hard already. Knitting should be for joy, not because you 'should finish it'."
HERE HERE! (Enabler!)
And so I started Clapotis.

The yarn had been spun, laying about in it's exquisite loveliness, taunting me, whispering sweet "knit me"s whenever I walked by. Fiend. I take no responsibility.
And then there was MS3. For that I blame Cheryl. Mentioning the lovely black alpaca I am anxious to spin and knit into something lacy, she suggested I sign up for MS3 "to get the pattern, anyway. You don't have to start it." O, foolish mortal that I am! How is it that I am surrounded by these Sirens of fiber temptation? I am entirely powerless.

(First 2oz. batch spun at 32wpi, single ply,270yards Sally Fenn Alpaca in natural black, with irridescent plum and gold beads. yum.)
*****Thank you everyone for your wonderful outpourings of support for my last post. Yes, my baby, Jason, is HOME from war, safe, where I can hug him and spoil him as much as he deserves. I hope to have some great pics of him and the kids soon as he may come stay with us this weekend.*****

Monday, July 02, 2007