knitty


With the weather getting warmer and my mind wandering towards non-fiber crafts, I haven’t been updating as much. I have been pretty busy though. I thought I’d do a big photo post today.

Please forgive the quality of the pictures – I took them in the back room and the light in here is really terrible. I’ve learned my lesson with these lol; I’ll continue to take them in the dining room where there’s a lot more natural light.

central park hoodie body

I didn’t have enough room to spread it all out, but the back, both fronts and what I’ve started on one sleeve are all there. I haven’t been working on it as much as I was (I’d probably be done with it by now!) but I haven’t thrown it in a drawer and forgotten about it yet. This is good!

I’ve mainly been journaling the past week or so and have a whole bunch of pictures of different pages.

why not anyways

The first page. I’ve had this large sketchbook for a few years now and because it was pricey and I never think my work is good enough, I’ve held off on using it for anything. This was pretty much just a page to get the ball rolling and to tell myself firmly that it didn’t matter what it looked like, as long as I was stretching my creativity and enjoying it.

I was browsing craftster awhile back and came across a large thread on journaling. I snagged a LOT of the ideas from the thread and added a few of my own to start this journal. It’s interesting enough (ie: NOT just writing about my day) that I may keep with it. Adding some artistic elements to it will help as well I’m sure.

media happenstance 1

media happenstance 2

Media/happenstance pages. These pages are where I log what I’ve read, played, watched and listened to each day. I love this because I’m able to go back and see how my music tastes change from day to day and movies and books that I’ve watched/read that I enjoyed.

word of the day 1

word of the day 2

Word of the day pages to brush up on my language skills. Yes, I really did use the word bird-dog in a sentence yesterday!

a directory of beautiful things

A directory of everyday beautiful things.

today i feel

A quick blurb about how I’m feeling each day.

dreams

A dreams page that I’ve yet to fill out. I actually remember one I had last night so I’ll have to write it down.

weather

A weather page to record the temperature and wind activity.

i am

A page on who I consider myself to be.

quotes

Random quotes I like and find inspirational.

what i learned today

I learn something new every day, now I can write them down so I can appreciate the small things I take for granted.

Here’s a few of the artsy pages I’ve done. Nothing terribly great yet, but I’m expanding.

unsent letters

An unsent letter page. Good therapy and maybe one day I can re-read the letter in the little pocket and see if anything’s changed.

briar rose

I have this old children’s book of Sleeping Beauty that I absolutely love. The pictures are beautiful so I used one of them and a small passage from the book for a page. You can’t see it in the picture, but I embellished the picture with silver and gold, and some deeper colors for her make up and the Prince’s eyes.

tea and sympathy

I named this one Tea & Sympathy. It’s mixed media with acrylic paints, gesso, vellum stickers, paper doilies, artists chalk and an old print from a book. A little bit of everything really.

When the weather gets hotter I tend to leave my blogs to collect dust. I might not update regularly, but I will definitely still be around! I need to remember that just because I’m not updating as frequently I still need to visit my friends though. So if you haven’t seen me for awhile, I’ll be by soon!

Oh! I almost forgot! The new Knitty is out – go check it out! You can click the link on my sidebar.

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Happy belated Easter/Ostara/Spring Equinox to any who celebrate! Not having kids, we don’t really do baskets or egg hunts or any of that fun stuff, but I decided to dye some eggs last minute yesterday. They’re colorful, cheery and make me happy!

easter eggs

Nothing special, just plain old liquid food dye, but they turned out pretty. I used some neon food dye for the first time and granted, upped the amount of dye/vinegar ratio in the water, but I was very pleased with how vibrant they turned out. They were even prettier before I dumped them back into the carton for storage.

While shopping for egg stuff I came across these adorable monkey containers:

monkeys

They only stand about 3″ tall or so and I thought they’d be perfect for my bentos! I figured I could use them for dips, yogurt, fruit/veggies, etc. They’re so cute and they’re really easy to clean since there’s not too sharp of corners or crevices inside. I love cute stuff ūüėÄ

On Friday, I decided that I wanted a new book to read. I’d written a list of a few books I’d heard about recently that I wanted to try to find. Of course, I left the list at home and didn’t remember any of the titles or authors so I fell to my standby–craft books! I decided that I wanted to find a book on miniatures that delved a little more in to information on scale and covered several topics. I was super excited when I stumbled across this book:

miniatures book

It covers a lot of history on miniatures and is full of pictures. They’re black and white, but still impressive! There’s a whole spread on Queen Mary’s “doll house”, and I only put that in quotes because I think it goes so beyond just being a doll house. It’s a true work of art. Besides all of the rooms being hooked up to light and water, every piece was painstakingly made to scale over a three year period by experts who studied the original pieces in the mansion. Absolutely breathtaking.

The book is a little on the old side, (Copyright is 1975) so there are a few supplies that are no longer available, BUT, there are things comparable out there and I’m sure I could hunt some of it down if I decide to make anything from the book. They have a chapter on woodworking, one on textiles and even a chapter on how to make scale pieces from found objects. Awesome! I was even more excited about picking it up when I found out that it was a used book and the price was only $8.50 ($8.99? One of the two) The other miniature book I’d had my eyes on was smaller, had less information (though it was in color) and they wanted $25 for it. Score!

To go along with all that miniature talk, I thought I’d flash a picture of a work in progress:

mini wip

I’m not going to say what it is, just that it’s made out of a ping-pong ball and that it’s really effing hard to divide a half sphere in to even pieces! Hopefully I’ll have the piece that has yet to be revealed finished by the end of the week so people can figure out what the hell it’s supposed to be!

Finally, some knitting content…

I’ve been using a lot of my spare time the past few days knitting. It’s starting to get warmer, so why am I breaking out the wool?! I mean, once it starts getting hot around these parts, that’s it…it’s frickin’ hot and we don’t get much in the way of cool days until usually the end of October. Well…it’s because I got bit by the shawl bug. That’s right…this giant bug made out of lacy wool swooped down and smacked me with a load of stitch markers and told me I must knit a shawl. To please the shawl bug I got out some of my prettiest recycled wool and cast on not one, but TWO new shawls.

cozy wip

This one is called Cozy, from Knitty. I’ve been looking at this pattern for about three years now but there was something that I didn’t really love about it. Then I saw one that a lady on ravelry had made and I fell in love with it. The pictures on Knitty’s site just do not do the pattern justice. This is a rectangular stole. It calls to cast on 85 stitches, but I cast on 115 because I wanted it longer. I think once I finish it and block it out that it’ll be really big and it’ll open up the pattern well.

The second one is called Kiri (Link is to a .pdf file). It’s a triangular shawl with a leaf repeat and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. I can do lace pieces with charts, but unless I’m completely focused I screw them up every time. This pattern has the option to knit the shawl using a chart or written instructions – I chose to use the written! I’ve decided that all lacy patterns look like caca until you’re finished with them and can block them. Once the piece is spread out you can really see the details.

kiri wip

Okay, I think I’d better go before I post so many pictures it takes a year for my page to load. I didn’t do any bento preparation this weekend so today’s lunch will be thrown together last minute.

Happy Monday!

Well…hopefully it’s happy lol.

My plans of spending the entire weekend working on my Oblique went completely out the window.¬† I’m not sure why, but it seems I’m incapable of working on something for myself when I have even one other project in the works for someone else.¬† Seeing as how I’ve got three or four Christmas projects going, my intricate and lacy cardi for myself sat lonely and ignored.¬†

Hmmphhh.

I’ve found a new (to me) favorite dishcloth to knit.¬† The ballband dishcloth is interesting, fun to work on, beautiful when finished and there’s no end of color combinations to use to make it look different every time.¬† Why hadn’t I bothered trying it before?!

How cool looking is that?!¬† I’m sure I’m probably one of the last people with internet access and knitting knowledge to make one of these.¬† Well, unless you have something against dishcloths.¬† I know I’m rambling, but I really love this pattern.¬† I just kind of watch in awe as the pattern starts to show as I’m working on it.¬† I have plans to make a BUNCH of these for myself when the holidays are over.¬† Any that I make before that are going to family and friends.

I’m about halfway into the second mitten for my mother in law.¬† I’ve always loved the Corazon mittens from Knitty.¬† I started a pair for myself last year and¬†only made it through the first one.¬† It looked for a while like that was the fate of these mittens as well, but I started the second on Saturday.¬† I think the pattern may be cursed for me because I had to rip it out three times before I got five rounds in to the strand work!¬† The first time I didn’t change to larger needles, the second time I started the color work before I did the increase round and the third time I jumped ahead in the charted pattern.¬† Ugh!¬† I hate ripping stuff out, and if they’d been for me I’d probably have just tossed them across the room and left them there.

I’ve got about 10 rows of my husbands Transformers toque to go.¬† I worked on it last night while watching Teaching Mrs. Tingle.¬† Sigh…Katie Holmes used to be SO adorable.¬† Now she looks all zombified.¬† Anyways….I’m still debating whether I want to line the toque or not.¬† Paul runs super hot so I don’t know if stranded (=thick) and double thick is such a good idea.¬†

Meh.  Enough about the knitting.

I’ve been wanting to bake cookies for a couple of weeks now.¬† I had Paul pick up brown sugar, chocolate chips, extra sugar and flour, more eggs.¬† Now I kinda have to! (Well, that’s my excuse anyways)¬† The first cookies I HAVE to make are Snickerdoodles.¬† Paul loves them to death and always complains that I never make them often enough.¬† There’s a very very large batch in the works. (I could take ’em or leave ’em!)¬† I’m also going to do chocolate chip, oatmeal, meringues (maybe) and I’m probably going to teach my mother in law how to make sugar cookies.

Anyone have any favorite cookie recipes to share with me?¬† I’m feeling a little bored with the classics, but I’m rarely adventurous enough to go looking for recipes of cookies that I’ve never tried before.¬† So help me out!¬†

I’ve been feeling really listless the past few days.¬† I had a stomach ache from hell yesterday and didn’t realize it was from the highly acidic oranges I’ve been eating until my husband mentioned it.¬† Won’t be having any more of those!

I’m not working on any specific projects right now.¬† I started Oblique from Knitty but I need full concentration for it.¬† There’s five panels of different stitches on the back so I have to really pay attention.¬† Not really happening right now.¬† I started a scrappy afghan, just long strips of stockinette in random colors from my stash, broken up by a few rows of black in between.¬† It’s a good project for watching tv or surfing the net.¬† The Corazon mittens for my mother in law are still at the halfway mark.¬† I’ve heard of second-sock-syndrome, but mittens?¬† I guess it still applies.¬† The Transformers Toque for Paul has been languishing for a couple of days.¬† Oh, which reminds me…

Paul and I went to the Salvation Army on Friday.¬† We like to go in there to browse from time to time because it’s one of the biggest thrift stores in our area and there’s always neat little kitschy things there.¬† I found two 16 inch circulars for $1.25.¬† Why am I so thrilled?¬† Because around here you don’t find circulars that small unless you pay a pretty price at The Spinster.¬† I found them in size 2 and 3, which are what I like using the most for hats so that made me very happy.¬† I also found a Gap wool sweater in white/cream for $2.00 and there’s now about a pound or so of yarn sitting in cakes, waiting to be dyed.¬† I also found a copy of the Nanny Diaries, which I’ve been wanting to read but not pay full price for.¬† I’m about halfway through it and it’s pretty good!

Since I’m just jumping from topic to topic, I’ll keep going.¬† Well, sort of… I learned about recycling (or reclaiming) sweaters a couple of years ago.¬† There’s a lot of amazing fibers out there, but unless you’ve got a large budget it’s not always practical or affordable to spend $200 on enough yarn for a sweater.¬† I’d heard about recycling sweater yarn on a forum and decided to use my google-foo to find out more.¬† This is a good site to explain how to do it.¬† I like to stick to mainly worsted weight sweaters, single color, the larger the better.¬† The Gap sweater I found was the perfect recycling project because of a few things.¬†

1.  100% Lambswool

2.  No serged seams.

3.  Worsted weight

4.  A color I liked/was dyeable

5.  Single color

It was a raglan, so I got four large balls with no breaks.¬† Good seams make unravelling SO easy.¬† Just start on the end where the seam would have been finished in the factory, snip the crochet-looking chain and if you’re lucky you can “unzip” it all the way down with no breaks.¬† Once you have your pieces seperated, unravel the bind-off edge and just start pulling.¬† I use my ball winder and once the entire piece is wound, I pull the end out and re-ball it.¬† I do this because when I first ball it straight from the sweater piece it can be pretty tight.¬† You don’t want to leave your yarn in such a stressed state because it can pull it out of shape and cause gauge problems later on.

One of these days I’d like to make my own tutorial with lots of pictures.¬† I kind of want to do it now, but I know I’d get halfway through all the pictures and give up.¬† I’m that discombobulated.¬† Yucky.

I’m just going to go play around on Ravelry, drink my nut toffee coffee and hope that I’ve waved this fog away enough to get some housecleaning done later this morning.

It’s been quiet around here.

A lot of times when I finish a large project I can’t seem to get back in the flow right away.¬† There’s a flurry of pattern searches and ideas and a lot of times I start little things just to leave them abandoned.¬† I’m not sure why that is except that maybe I’m still in WORK mode and it takes a while to power down.¬† Great.¬† My mind is like an old Tandy computer.¬† Ha…remember those?¬† We have one sitting in our garage.

Over the weekend we got a new freezer.¬† It’s not a huge one, I think it’s 15.5 cubic feet.¬† It’s perfect for the two of us.¬† Now I can finally start buying things on sale and stocking up.¬† We’ve only had our little above fridge freezer for the past several years and there’s just so much it will hold.¬† I’m looking forward to being a little more frugal now and times when I want to bake bread I won’t feel it’s a waste to do just one loaf, I can make several and freeze them.

I also used a pressure cooker for the first time.¬† I won’t lie…I was scared!¬† My mom bought herself a new one and gave me the one she’s had since I was little.¬† It’s in perfect working order but I kept expecting it to explode!¬† I went online to edumacate myself and read about all these pressure cookers blowing up.¬† My curiosity won though and I made Roast Chicken Genovese.¬† I pretty much hovered over the stove the entire time it was cooking but everything was fine.¬† I’m so glad I tried it though because it was wonderful!¬† Half and hour and I had a chicken that was falling off the bone; you can’t go wrong!¬† I’m looking forward to using it often.

I did start and finish a few projects over the weekend.  I belong to a dishcloth a week group on ravelry and was able to make a dishcloth just in time for last week and one that just started yesterday.

    

The one on the¬†left is a palm tree cloth, the one¬†on the right is called “DW”.¬† You can get the patterns by clicking on the pictures.¬† The palm tree one is a .doc though, so unless you have Microsoft Office it won’t open.

I never used to get the appeal of knit or crocheted dishcloths but I love them now.¬† They wash up wonderfully, the textures help scrub and they’re pretty to look at and fun to make.¬† My friend Jen in Nebraska loved the ones I sent her a couple of years ago so I thought I would make up several and send them to her for a Christmas/birthday gift in December.¬† With the dishcloth a week group it keeps me motivated and I get others handing me patterns to try!¬† Win/Win ūüėÄ

I started a pair of Corazon mittens for my mother in law.¬† I don’t know that she’ll use them to be honest, but I couldn’t think of anything else to make her!¬† She doesn’t wear sweaters, I gave her a throw blanket last year, so if anything, at least she’ll ooh and ahh about the fair isle.

I’m almost finished with the first mitten, but this is the most recent picture I’ve taken.¬† They’re just beautiful and I’ve learned to love doing strand work by making these.¬† I started a pair for myself last year but only finished the first glove…these have re-interested me in the pattern and I hope to finish a pair for myself as well.

What IS that?!

Why, they’re the fingers to Knitty’s Knucks!

I mentioned in another post that my hubbin’ needed some gloves for the upcoming winter.¬† He drives a forklift outside on and off through the day.¬† It’s not cold yet, but I figured I’d get a jump on it so he didn’t have to remind me in a month.

 Specs:

Pattern: Knucks, from Knitty by Pamela Grossman

Yarn: Lion Wool in Cadet Blue

Needles: Size 4 dpns

Time: October 7-October 9 (on and off)

Alterations:¬† The pattern calls for dk weight yarn.¬† Lion Wool is technically considered a worsted weight, but it really felt like more of a dk/light worsted.¬† The fabric created with the size four needles wasn’t too stiff so I decided to go with it.¬† Since my hubbin’ has really large hands it worked out perfectly because the yarn wound up being¬†just a tiny over¬†gauge.

A close up, just because I love the way the picture came out:

Next up on the needles?¬† The Hedgerow Coat from Interweave Knits Fall 2007.¬† My friends birthday is coming up in early November and I had her pick out a pattern she liked from half a dozen of the latest issues.¬† I hope I’m able to get it done before the 5th of November!

I finished Knitty’s Heart on Monday and got it blocked yesterday.

Specs:

Pattern: Heart by Stephannie Roy for Knitty’s Breast Cancer Awareness mini-issue¬†(pdf file)

Yarn: vintage Sears & Roebuck Italian mohair in Rose Pink, 2 40g. balls

Needles: Denise Interchangeable size 15

Time: 5 1/2 hours over 09-12-07 to 09-17-07

Mods: I changed the yarn and did 22 repeats instead of 20 so I wouldn’t have tiny amounts of leftovers.

I really liked making this scarf.¬† Normally I’m just not a scarf person but I’ve been eyeing this pattern for awhile and decided to give it a try.¬† I’ve had 8 balls of this vintage mohair sitting in my stash for about three years and decided it was time to start using it up.¬†

As for the pattern, it was easy, quick and fun!¬† It only took five and a half hours spread over a five day period and the pattern was easily memorized.¬† I would seriously consider making this scarf again.¬† The only thing I would change is instead of doing a three-needle bind-off I would graft the stitches so I wouldn’t have an obvious seam.¬† I didn’t think it would show because of the fuzziness of the yarn, but after doing it I could see it does.¬† I didn’t feel like picking it apart though, so there you are.

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