Saturday, December 20, 2008


Well, things are much better at my house, but I won't gloat as too many friends are STILL without power. I have many thankyou's to give out tho, to all the wonderful friends who offered help in the comments and also in e-mail. You guys are amazing! When leaving Gloucester, I got a small generator from my father to hook up to the furnace so Jim could have a better time heating the house fo rthe pipes and kitties,upbut exhaustion took it's toll and he had "issues" hooking it up and waited 'til the next day for help. A good friend came by the next day (Tuesday) to assess the situation and they managed to work out the electrics. Then, the fabulous blogless KellyR contacted me after the last post with an offer of a HUGE generator that she and her hubs brought up that was able to power nearly the entire house, so the kids and I came home Tuesday night. Internet and cable were intermittent, but who cares! We had heat and lights. No laundry, tho, so I spent the entire night at my sis-in-laws (she is away on vacation) doing laundry, dozing off on the couch between buzzers. Power was (of course) restored to our house Thursday morning and we have since returned the generator to Kelly in case we have more outages in the area since we now have a snow storm, with a nasty Nor'easter on its way on Sunday evening. The kids have not had school all week, and Monday and Tuesday are doubtful. We are slated to host Christmas dinner here at my house, but that is somewhat in jeapardy as my mom doesn't want to travel in the snow predicted for Christmas day. Such is life in New England. I also think I may bodily remove my friends and her children from their home if she does not get heat within the next few days. ENOUGH!
Good news? (Other than that I have electricity!) Jacob seems to be over his bout of ickiness. No pain for over a week now and we seems to be "in the clear." My Christmas shopping is nearly done (as is my bank account...ugh) and Christmas knitting is flying along, being left with little else to do. Both hats for my niece and nephew were completed and already gifted, my MIL's mitts are done -- even blocked with thumbs! -- the larger Kauni poncho for other niece #1 is done, and the oncho for the 2 year old is under way. Fair Isle stocking #1 1/2 done and moving along quite quickly. I'm debating casting on for the MArs scarf for my FIL I've swatched and feel I can get gauge with some nice stash yarn (although I don't like having to figure gauge in 2x2 rib. How much should you stretch it out?) but I just don't know if it can be done by Christmas eve. I'm going to cast on today and see how far I get and determine from there. I'll try to get caught up on pics soon, although I was a dork and forgot to photo the nephew's flame hat before he ran off to Ireland with it. Hopefully, he won't loose it on the plane and I can snap a modeled pic when he returns.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things are not going well.

And I'm not talking about the Christmas knitting -- that is moving along surprisingly well. Life, on the other hand, is throwing us far too many curve balls. Firatly, we have been dealing with some minor/major gastrointestinal issues with my poor little boy. Not an uncommon problem, apparently, but it has occupied many days of doctors appointments, ER runs, x-rays and days home from school and activities while we, umm, try to "clear up" the problem and keep his pain at bay. While in the midst of this, NH was hit with a major ice storm and my town is sadly one of the worst hit, with 95% of the town losing power on Thursday, with 60% still out as of Monday morning. The kids, dogs, and I have been vagabonds living on the good graces of friends and family since Friday while hubby does what he can (safely) to keep our pipes (and cats and rabbit) from freezing running a small propane heater at monitored intervals. He has been sleeping in a 47-55 degree house. LAst night while watching the news I saw footage of a National Guardsman warnigna Derry woman that it may be as long as 2 weeks before power is restored. Enough is enough! I am going to do my best to convince him to drain the pipes while I find temporary homes for the animals.
As one I'm sure can imagine, this also means a stand-still with dyeing. I'm very frustrated as I have a large order I had planned to get out the door by Christmas. At this point, I'm just hoping to be home by then.
Sorry for the downer post, but we can use all the good thoughts you can send our way. My heart goes out to all those WITHOUT a warm bed to sleep in.

Monday, November 17, 2008

In the works

Oh my. My queue and work basket overfloweth. I am actually in the mood for making gifts, and am trying to capitalize on that urge. As it is for most everyone, money is tight, but I actually have many folks in my life whom I deem knit-worthy and I like them to know I think of them. That being said, I am nearly done with mitts started last year (the year of the fingerless mitt -- arg!) for my sis-in-law,

and have to re-start some made for my mom-in-law. I could not for the life of me figure out why the mitts I had nearly completed for her last year -- in the amazingly fantastic Acker's Acres Bunny Blend, bought in Maine -- were so darned tight. I had knit these mitts (my own Smocked Gauntlets -- see sidebar) 3 other times with no problem. Then I discovered that what I thought were size 3 dpns were 2s. Doh. So, they will be for Rachel, whenever I get to the finishing. I am debating using some lovely hand-spun for MIL instead, and perhaps a different pattern this time.
I am also working ponchos for my "nieces" in Kauni EQ on size 8s to make them nice and airy. The girls and their brother live in the Dominican Republic, which makes for difficult gift knitting! My cousin (their mother -- yes, that technically makes the kids my cousins, too, but we don't play that has told me that the oldest girl still LOVES the poncho I crocheted her years ago before I knew better about yarn and anything, and that they could both use something lightweight for the cool mornings before school. And what little girl can resist a rainbow?

I've adopted the basic guidelines for the Very Harlot poncho and am throwing a few eyelet rows in for interest.
For my nephew, a Pokemon fan, I'll be picking up the hook again to make him a Pikachu doll, and am nearly done with a Mew for Rachel. I messed up the head, as it should have been in the round, but it will still work.

I'll know better for Noah's.

A scarf for hubby is in the works and nearly half done. I am making him the simple One Row Scarf (again from the Yarn Harlot). (Sorry -- no pic, but it is a very pretty green.) This poor scarf was started and ripped 4 times (in luscious Pear Tree merino) before settling on this design. I had really wanted to make him something super special, but I have little patience for scarves and needed this to be something completely mindless and painless so I could knit it at karate with out a chart to fuss with. My goal is to get this sucker done before the first real snow fall.

Then there are the hats. I have some gorgeous Kathmandu Queensland Aran in a tweedy dark charcoal to make a Gretel for my little sis (I want another one of these for myself!) and I am searching for a pattern to make another niece a hat and mitten set. I want them to have horses on them. (Off to Ravelry!!) I am also going to get working on new hats for my kiddos, a purple Cheetah Beret for Rachel and a hat of my own design for Jacob -- a Bakugan hat. Anyone with a school aged boy has probably heard of these toys, impossible to find in stores right now, and the latest obsession. I have taken one of Jacob's favorite "characters" (Fear Ripper) and charted out a reasonable facsimile, tested a swatch and am nearly good to go. I just need to pop into the yarn shop and pick up the preferred yarn in the right colors -- Debbie Bliss Rialto (nice and soft for the boy) -- and get moving. If it works out well, my young nephew here in the states will get one as well.
In the meantime, I whipped up a few slippers for the kids. They were just big socks, really, and took very little time at all.

Stashbusting for both, I used 3 strands of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes on size 10 needles for Jacob's (but am wishing I had used 2 strands of blue with the yellow and left out the sickly green) and for Rachel I used just over 2 balls of Patons Bella on US 10 1/2 dpns. Both were a cast-on of 24 stitches and then just a standard heel-flap sock from there. Nice, thick, and squishy.
In closing, I was going to say "that's it" but, well, this just may be a bit of an ambitious list, no? Oh well, no pressure. Christmas is only 35 days away. (And let's not forget that I do have to work. gulp.)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Although I don't often discuss them here, my home is rather happily and warmly filled with company of the soft and furry kind. As I type, I am flanked on either side by my sleeping dogs, and two -- nope, make that three -- of the four family cats are lounging about in sight. The kitties love to "help" with my knitting by keeping my lap warm while I work at night or "guarding" the finished bits of sweater that they may find lying about by, well, lying about on them.
My darling BooBoo, the eldest of our brood, but who will forever be "my baby" as I bottle-fed and weaned him myself, has an interesting quirk. He loves shiny things. I have learned to hide my earrings and other bits of portable sparklies when removed as he has been known to steal these from my nightstand and bring them to the smooth kitchen floor for some hockey-type fun. We found quite an array under the refrigerator when we moved from our last house.
And then there is his protege, Bella, who once, as a 5 month old kitten, bit the earring straight off my ear and swallowed it, earning her a $700 trip to the ER to scope it out.
Given their history, it is a complete wonder that I sat dumbfounded staring at the blocking pieces of my Drops jacket, pins all scattered and askew.
The had been perfectly pinned.

Not an extra pin in site.

BOOBOO. From now on, the kitties get locked out of the room when anything is blocking.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I've been productive

Although I have been silent, I have been productive. Very productive. In fact, I have two sweaters to show you!
The first is from Cecily Glowick and labeled in Cast On Magazine in the Nov 2007-Jan 2008 issue as the Irresistable Sweater, but on Ravelry is listed as Cable and Lace Pullover. No matter what it is called, the sweater is fantastic. It was a super quick knit, too! I worked this one up in 15 days. 15! I used a yarn, Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra (mmmm...merino silky goodness. I am obsessed with this combo), that knit up to a larger gauge and didn't want to drop needle sizes and sacrifice the fabric quality, so I did a little math (yes, me and math -- who woulda thunk it?) and knit the smallest size in the round, eliminating the stitches allowed by the pattern for seaming. As I always do, I also added a few inches in the body for length. The only other alteration I made was to drop to an even lower needle size for the final few rows of the neckline to bring it in more, as I am still contemplating the addition of buttons. Without, I can still wear the sweater very comfortably (with a top underneath, which is a given anyway, considering the openness of the lace in the body. I'm not that daring, nor would anyone want me to be! I do wish I had made the body a tad less fitting, but am going to block it a bit more aggressively with the next washing. Or do some sit-ups.

The other sweater, also knit in an insanely short amount of time (for me, anyway) being done in just 20 days, was the ever popular Drops Jacket #103-1. I have worn this non-stop since I have knit it as my fall jacket, as it has been cool, but not cold, here in the northeast thus far this fall. I pushed this up in the queue, even tho I have swatched (and shopped) for a few other sweaters, as I really, really wanted to get to wear it for the fall. Taking the lead from my lovely friend Jackie, I worked this one up in a lovely red Lopi purchased at the JCA Warehouse sale (I got the Silkroad here, too) for pennies on the skein. I think the whole sweater cost me about $12, before buttons. This sweater had no business fitting me at all, frankly, as I was a very naughty knitter and didn't swatch a bit with a yarn I knew would not get gauge. I knew Jackie had come in between the worsted gauge and the bulky gauge for her jacket, and blocked pretty aggressively, so I went up a needle size and knit a bigger size in the pattern (Jackie and I have somewhat similar size requirements up top, although I'm sure my butt would eclipse hers!), figureing if it was too big, I could felt it down a bit -- not a bad thing for a jacket. Well, no need. The darn thing fits me freakishly well. The pictures are terrible, but I did once again add length and stuck with the 3/4 length sleeves, as that is part of the styling I fell for in the original. I picked up buttons for the sweater from Jenny the Potter while at Rhinebeck and they are just perfect. (She was a doll, too!) I finally got the hang of seaming, I do believe, and I was glad to try it out on this project (although I did knit the sleeves in the round, to make them go along quicker) and I am glad for it. I have Jaali in my immediate queue and really want the seams on that one to look just right.

I think that is all for today, but i have so many more things to tell you! I may space them out over the next few days, but no promises. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mad skillz

So, my needle arts mania has found some far and wide applications this year, and apparently has set me up a notch or two in the opinion of my children, or at least my son. After many a stuffed-animal surgery to repair split seams, my son definitely sees me as his go-to-gal when something -- especially that of the soft and flexible variety -- has come undone. Is it odd that I felt a trifle of pride when he brought home a hacky-sack from a friend at Cub Scout camp that was in need of repair? His friend was forlorn over the unraveling of said sack and Jacob piped up that his mom could fix it (queue the hero music). Cursory examination proved it to be crochet so I got out my tiniest hook and some coned cotton weaving thread (no, I don't weave, but I was a mad cone-yarn stasher for a while. Don't ask.) and went to work.

Not bad, eh?
Then there was the trampoline. The beloved trampoline. The well worn and time tested trampoline. Sadly, the precious injury-preventing net is getting old and brittle and has given way to quite a few holes that just get bigger and BIGGER. Gaping is a word that comes to mind. Stash diving once again to turn up some old black wool/cotton blend and hook in hand, the holes (one about 6 feet long) were summarily repaired. Who knew a little crochet could save kids from a few potential broken bones, and my pocketbook from the price of a new net?

And I get to be super mom. Life is good.
In other wonderful, happy business news, Sereknity Yarns are now live at The Loopy Ewe! YAY! And I also got word that Sereknity was also selected as a vendor at Spa Knit and Spin 2009. Again, YAY! Hope to see you all there.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm a very. very. bad girl.

Ummm...I recall last post mentioning that I had slightly fallen off the no-yarn-buying wagon and was mostly resisting casting on new projects. Remember that? Yeah, not so much, anymore.
First, I went to the JCA warehouse sale in Townsend, MA. And may I say, considering the offerings, I showed amazing -- AMAZING -- restraint. AND I went in with a list! No willy nilly stashing for me! Well, not totally willy nilly. I got two bags of Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra in a gorgeous brown to make the Irresistible cables sweater by Cecily Glowick from Cast On Nov2007/Jan2008 (listed on Ravelry as Cable and Lace Pullover) that I have been dying to knit, and just waiting for the perfect yarn (I can't believe no on else on Ravelry has knit this!); 2 bags of Adrienne Vitadini Natasha in a pale, pale celery that will either be Wisteria or Sunrise Circle Jacket, a bag of Fragrance in the most be-a-utiful teal that may become Slanted Neck Pullover (yeah, Kate is kinda my go-to-gal, her and Norah G.!), and lastly 4 kit bags of Lopi that had 3 skeins each for $7 that I will use to make the Drops Jacket 103-1. Yes, I went with my list of projects and yarn requirements. But, well, Sunrise, Wisteria, and the Slanted neck weren't on it - but they are in my queue!
And even tho I have cast on my sleeves for Eastlake (this is for knitting at the shop), and Jacob's sweater (easy, mindless karate and soccer knitting, getting close to the divide for the sleeves), and I have started Jim's scarf in an abbreviated version of Kinetic (this one is kicking my ass for no good reason. Time out!), and I have numerous mittens and such to finish from LAST year, I cast on my cable and lace sweater.

I am almost at the point of starting the yoked ribbing, which means putting the rest on hold while I knit the sleeves. I'm debating a provisional cast on for the sleeve openings, and knitting them down, but we'll see. That decision will be made tonight, as I only have one more cable repeat to go. I LOVE this sweater, the pattern, the yarn -- everything. I have made a few minor modifications and am hoping I have judged my gauge properly. The Silk Road Ultra knits up to 12 stitches over 4" on size 10.5US needles and I decided to run with that rather than try to get gauge on smaller needles so as not to sacrifice the feel of the fabric. I am knitting in the round, rather than flat, eliminated 2 edge stitches each side on both the front and back since there will be no seams and am knitting the smallest size. If my math and gauge -- and estimation of what size I truly am -- are all on target, I'll be happily wearing this sweater by next week. YAY!
Now to go sit in the corner for being so bad. But I'm taking my knitting with me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Phyllo finished!

I finished my sweater and I am in love. I don't know whether I love my sweater or Norah more. Genius! But, you all knew that. I wanted a more fitted sweater than the original pictured version (the pattern is from Norah's inspiring book, Knitting Nature) so I knit the smallest size (I am a 38 inch bust) and the resulting sweater has just the look I was going for. It skims the body very nicely without being either tight or baggy. It also came out to be the perfect length for me. I normally add an inch or two to everything I knit to elongate my rather short waist, but I only added about 1/2 of an inch on this knit. I did knit it in the round, and fretted greatly over the front shaping, wondering why Norah would want a decrease across the bust (it isn't actually -- it was just under the bust and does create a nice shape). I decided to trust the master and go with it -- so glad I did) and if my mods for doing this in the round were done properly, but it came out just right in the end. What a quick and easy knit. I did knit the arm sections first and am so very glad I did. Once done with the very long and mindless portion of stockinette for hte body, I had only to join the sleeves and begin the yoke -- I think if I had to knit the sleeves after the body, I may have severely stalled out.
So, here it is -- photos courtesy of DonnaH -- thank you!

I used just under 10 balls of Cascade Pima Tencel -- 10 balls! I had greatly feared running out, and had 3 shipped to me by a wonderful Raveler in Canada who had the same dye lot, but turns out I needn't have feared. I do love this yarn, tho, and will certainly find a use for the remaining three. Perhaps a shrug for Rachel. She likes purple. My only critique of he yarn is that it does shed -- a lot. But, I haven't washed it yet (bad knitter) and I'm hopping the first wash will solve a lot of that.
finishing a sweater always leads me to a grand mal case of startitis, and while I have SOMEWHAT resisted the call of the needles, my queue (and stash) have grown. I did cast on a sweater jacket for Jacob out of some Lion Wool that has been languishing in the stash for this purpose.

Jacob LOVES yellow, so when I saw this wool, and the Jacob-approved companion colors, on clearance at my local W-big-you-know-who-store, I grabbed it. My search for the perfect pattern to fit the insanity in my head cannot be found, so I'll be designing this one myself. Nothing earth shattering, really -- a top-down raglan zip-hoodie, but the differences will be in the details. I may want to submit it somewhere if I am happy with the results, so pictures will be scarce.
Also cast on was the incredibly gorgeous Eastlake sweater from Norah's Norah Gaughan Vol. 3 in the very un-original (for this knitter) choice of yarn and color as that of the original pictured sweater.
I NEVER do that. But, well, Norah knows best, and the marriage of design, fiber, and color just couldn't be beat. HAD to have. I am knitting the sleeves first onthis one as well, as much to be as swatches as anything, but I do like getting the sleeves out of the way. (I did some swatching already, so fear not, but I'll double check after washing the sleeves, I appear to be right on pre-washing, and that is just where I want to be for this one, given the size I am knitting). I bought all at the Yarn and Fiber Co and that will be my in-store knitting. I really had a hard time deciding whether or not to cast this on first or Alison Green Will's Jaali from Twist (for which I have the MOST scrumptious Stacy Charles Dynasty in an amazing wine color, purchased at Sit N' Knit in CT), but Eastlake won out for now, but I have a feeling I just might end up with the two going at once. Of course, I also have that scarf I need to knit for the hubby...and we won't discuss the socks.
In other news, there has been a major update over at the etsy shop -- and I stil have more and yarn to list, so be sure to check it out! I do have multiple quantities of most items, so be sure to PM me if you need more for your project.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Knits...

So, yes, there has in fact been some knitting. I decided to jump in on the Ravelympics/WIPs Wrestling as a push to finish the interminable Hip in Hemp skirt for Rachel. I promised her it would be done for the first day of school, and it is! Here she is, very reluctantly modeling it pre-blocking.

It took me while, but once I dedicated myself to the project, the stitch pattern eventually became intuitive and my only real complaint is that the designer has the knitter both starting a lace row AND changing colors in the same row. Not Good. This may for some very messy joins. I was also dreading weaving in all the ends (which ended up to not be so bad at all, and I used the joining to fix some of the nasty gaps in the lace where I joined) until, 3/4 of the way through, wonderful Kate showed me the proper way to weave in ends as I go. Oh, Kate, where have you been all my life? I had to devise my own method of picking up the floated strand on the next row so it didn't hang in the middle of a lace eyelet, but it worked well, and I didn't have to deal with those ends in the end. My advice, tho, would be to knit a row when joining the new color, and then start the lace pattern. Or use Kauni. Wouldn't this skirt be great in Kauni EQ? I also ran a few yards short on the yellow in the last yellow stripe, but one nice jogless join with the subsequent purple, and no-one can see the difference. (and of course, it is in the back!)
As for the Ravelympics, I had bound off the skirt on Friday and let it sit thinking I had plenty of time -- 'til Sunday! -- to finish weaving and blocking, totally oblivious to the time difference. DRAT! But no matter, it is finished. And we won't discuss the socks I hoped to get to as well. Won't. Discuss.
Other "accomplishments" have been the beginning of yet MORE socks (born of a desperate need to try out my own colorways) and the beginning of the Phyllo Yoke Pullover by Norah Gaughan (goddess). The socks are Aquarium colorway on the left in Perfect, and Eye of Jupiter colorway on the right, in Classica.

The Phyllo is being knit in the most gorgeous of plum/eggplant purples in the lovely Cascade Pima Tencel. I bought this yarn originally in the Webs warehouse the fist time I went to see the Harlot talk. Unfortunately, my memory betrayed me as I blithely cast-on thinking I had 20 balls of the stuff. Nope, 10. AHH! Ravelry and a lovely Canadian knitter to the rescue. I found a lovely knitter who was willing to sell me her 3 balls of the same color and dye lot! I should have more than enough now.
As for the socks, the Aquarium socks were cast on simply to see how the dye method worked out, but will likely be for Jacob, provided they fit. They are a bit loose in the leg, but by the time they are done they will likely fit just fine. ;) The Eye of Jupiter socks were talked about here and, well, I didn't like them and did frog, settling instead on a cuff using the Crusoe pattern from Knitty.

I like them much better now, and am determined to maximize the yarn by knitting well into the leg. Sadly, I get really, really bored knitting 2 at a time -- why is that? -- so they haven't been touched for a while. Now that we'll be back in a routine with the kids school and activities, tho, I'll make these my karate/waiting room knitting.
I'll be working steadily on the Phyllo for now, tho. I have sooo many gorgeous patterns in my queue that I want NOW and have promised hubby we will hve a scarf this winter (bought the yarn, too!) and now that I have finished Rachel's skirt I owe Jacob a sweater and ...and...and... well, you get the picture.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My summer, in pictures...

...So, just what has kept me away all summer?

(This last picture and more is now winging it's wat to the Loopy Ewe! Yippee!)
So, yeah, been a little busy -- and loving it! A good deal of this yarn and fiber will soon be making it's way to the etsy shop and as well. Now that the kids are heading back to school, I can work in earnest on the web-site. More on that soon!
Hope you all had as great a summer as I did!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Talkin' 'bout my girl...(and yarn. Always yarn)

I'm squeezing in post between activities and e-mails and orders -- aren't you happy? Stay tuned for the fibery goodness, but first you must suffer through the cuteness of the kiddos...mwoohaha! Yesterday was one of the happiest of all happy little girl's birthday. sigh. I love that kid. She turned nine, and a lovely little nine year old she is. As luck would have it, it is spirit week at her school and yesterday was "Hollywood Day" so my little star got to dress up as, what else? A Cheetah Girl. The before picture, attempting to convince her silken bone-stright hair to do something else...

and the next morn, resplendent in all her Cheetah-licious glory...

(Little brother is sporting a quickly sewn/thrown together Luke Skywalker, Jedi, costume.) She fairly squeed when I produced eye shadow for her to wear. She's such a girl! This weekend, after her first-but-certainly-not-last play performance, she'll have her family party along with her little cousin, and then next weekend, the house will be invaded by 4 other lovely little girls for a slumber party. Wish me luck!
On the fiber front, I have resurrected the Hip in Hemp skirt, and am enjoying it this time around, and it is now the main project of choice.

I have found that the length will be a bit lacking for the size 8 (hmmm...she is nine now...ooops) but she is quite thin, so I am just adding repeats to match the size ten in length. I do hope I have enough yarn. Blogless DonnaD had suggested I switch to Addi lace needles as the M1 left and right stitches, and knitting through the back loops were driving me crazy with this yarn (lovely stuff, but not forgiving like wool). What a difference! I have to say a miss a bit of the slickness of the regular Addi's as the yarn does really stick to the lace needle finish, but it was likewise slipping off too readily with the regular turbos, and the points FAR outweigh the stickiness issue. I wonder if Knit Picks Options would be the perfect choice for this project? One of these days, I will get a set and find out. I am even considering knitting another one of these skirts out of a skein of Kauni EQ (the rainbow colorway) that I have in the stash for the Girl for the winter, and the best part with that will be NO ENDS. I am going to have quite a few ends to weave in at this point.
I've been dyeing quite a bit for upcoming wholesale orders and took the opportunity to try out a new base yarn I think I will be carrying -- a 60% seacell, 40% silk lace/lt.fingering weight yarn (700yrds to 4 oz. -- what do you think? lace? fingering? hmmm) I was skeptical as to how it would take the acid dyes, but I am rather pleased so far! It does take color less deepy than wool (esp. superwash) as I expected, but there is no fading and bleeding and it DID TAKE. I stuck a little bitty skein (less than an ounce) in with a pot of Black Pearl, and then knit it up into a little Perdita Bluebell bracelet. The grays and blacks came out lovely, but the blue in the colorway doesn't show up well, but that could just be where it was in the pot. (I have another skeinlet that I hand-painted today, so I'll see how those colors take. ETA -- it is drying but looks great! no bleeding, not a bit of color in the rinse -- yay!) To knit with though, this yarn is just lovely and so soft when blocked! I can certainly see making a full shawl of this. I will order some to have dyed and ready for Revival this summer. Really, really great stuff. (Horrible, horrible picture). I used swarovski crystals for my Perdita instead of seed beads. Love those crystals.

Lastly, I frogged the RPM cuffs of the Eye of Jupiter socks and instead started Bellatrix (designed by the late and very, very great MommaMonkey, Gigi Silva).

And I screwed them up. I didn't knit enough plain rows between pattern rows and the resulting sock will be all loose and bunchy at the ankles. So, they will be frogged again. I do like how the drop stitch pattern plays with the colors, tho, so I may continue with this stitch, but perhaps put 4 knit rows between pattern rows instead of the called for 3. I'll do the dirty deed tonight, I think, if I don't make it to knit night. (Another Brownie meeting. We've been so darn busy lately that I just haven't had the energy to go back out once I've gotten home.) Unless, of course, I do go and Laurin is there...I just might have to let her pull out a few rows. She really, really loves frogs. lol

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Popping in

Well, it's been a while, and I can't say it won't be another while before I post again. (a little note -- I did attend NH Sheep and Wool and just want to say OMG, I had a fantastic time seeing everyone! I was there from about 11 to 5, and saw so many wonderful people -- some major surprises, too, in the form of old friends from my home town -- I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW THEY WERE KNITTERS! Let alone spinners! yay for hometown girls! I confess I browsed lots and shopped little, as I need to be good. This is a recovery year for us. And I took no photos -- bad blogger! but you all know I love you!) This is the crazy, crazy time of year for me. SOOO many year end activities for the kids -- cub scouts cookouts, girl scout outings and ceremonies (I'm her leader -- yikes), soccer, the ever present karate classes and graduations, a play, BIRTHDAYS (apparently there were a lot of little girls born in the spring of 1999, and not only does my Ladybug know them all, but she is one), and, and, phew! I'm out of breath already. This also is the time of year when the wholesale orders come in in earnest, plus I will have my own booths and store to stock, so yeah. I may be silent from time to time! I can't wait for camp. I am in a rush to get everything done before we leave for a two week respite once school is out. And you can bet the wheel, some choice fibers, and a few select knitting projects will be packed along.
I did finish the boob sweater, and it is quite cute, but as today is set to hit 80 degreess, I am thinking it will be put away 'til Fall. I did crank out some very quick little socklettes for the Girl a few weeks ago, and try as I might to convince her that they were just too big around and I should finish them for me and make her a different pair, she just wasn't having it. Smart kid. (This yarn is crazy nice.) I used a remnant skein that had been dyed in the Maui Sunset colorway and cast them on mostly as a sample to see how the hand-painted technique would stand up to different stitch patterns. I just don't have enough pictures of my yarns to show.

I did the cuff in a regular ribbing to start on 64 stitches (sz 1.5 needles) and then went into 2 repeats of the Monkey pattern.

I was so happy at how well it still showed the pattern and there was no crazy flashing -- something I don't always mind, but I know a lot of knitter's go crazy about. (Sock #2 is done, and looks exactly the same, so I didn't bother her for another photo shoot.) I then did an Eye-of-partridge heel and half way down the foot reduced to 60 stitches, then knit on to the toe, all stockinette. I am pleased, and so was The Girl.

Yes, it pooled around the heel and gussets, but again I don't mind and it is to be expected, quite frankly, when you have SO many more stitches in that area. The best way to avoid this, if it bothers the knitter, is to throw in an afterthought heel, so as not to interrupt the stitch count and flow. (More on this later.) The yarn is my Shimmer bamboo blend and it, Perfect, and Satin are all dyed on the same length skein, although each will prob knit to a different gauge. Classica and Good Harbor come pre-skeined in smaller circumferences. The circumference on which the sequence is painted plays into the patterning, as does gauge and stitch pattern, so there is always a bit of mystery. Any three, four, or five knitters could pick up the same skein I used, cast on the same number of stitches on the same needles, and get different results based on their tension. To me, that is the fun of it all!
I've also bee working away on my Eye of Jupiter socks and decided to go toe-up, 2 at a time, 64 stitch circumference on 1's in a stockinette foot with the cuff to be decided later. I have thrown waste yarn in these for an after-thought heel. (see? no pooling interruption.)

I was anxious to get into some patterning on the cuff and I really, really don't like a short-row heel (read as "I suck at it") so this is a great option for me, with, of course, the added bonus that if I wear out the heel, I can just rip it out and replace it! I'll get photos of the process of putting the heel in, but it is easy-peasy. I finally landed on the patterning from RPM for the cuff, but i have to say I'm not loving it. I'm slogging along for now, but slowly, since I'm not sure if I want to change. The knitting and the look just aren't really doing it for me. Stinks to be fickle.
I did update the shop a bit on Saturday, and have a few more things to list today -- including some special orders -- so I think I'm gonna bring the puter outside to my front porch and hang out with my puppies in the fresh air while I work. Yeah, I may be busy, but this life has it's perks.

Friday, May 09, 2008

I'm so steeking excited...

I cut my first steeks! I'm so thrilled with this technique and am so glad I gave it a whirl. And you know what, I think I might actually like this little sweater. It definitely says, "Hey, look at me! I have boobs!"

(Holy crap is this a bad picture, but you get the idea.)
Thankfully, it becomes a bit more tame when worn over a nice button down shirt, as I intend it to be worn.
Here are a few picks of the big moment, after sewing the edges with the sewing machine.

I have yet to pick up the stitches for the ribbing around the armholes, but the neckline is complete. Then, I need to figure the best way to finish the messy insides, (crochet?) but they are secure, and, hey, I've been known not to weave in ends and just tuck them in, so who knows? It isn't really about being lazy,just impatient. I want to wear what I've done!
The other reason for my great excitement is that the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival is TOMORROW! I can't wait, and will be searching for you all there! Yippee!
Do you think someone had too much coffee this morning?