Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mission accomplished

Last night I finished TJay's scarf and then turned to learning this sock thing. Yay!
Bucky rolled in a ball in front of TJays scarf.
Everything round is starting to look like big balls of yarn...
.
I had an episode of Knitty Gritty on the DVR that featured ConnieA showing how to knit these gorgeous lacy socks from the toe up. That woman is the queen of socks!! You can see her yummy socks at http://www.knitanon.com/blog/
I'm not going to attempt the lacy part yet, but I think I like the toe up thing. She cast on onto two dpns with a figure-eight and that was really easy... (okay -- that's not quite accurate -- I had to back up the recording 2 or three {six} times) but I got it! Then you k2, m1, knit to the next-to-last one, m1 and k1. Turn and repeat. Then, (and this was srsly tricky for me) you divide your (now) 20 stitches onto 4 needles. Actually it was a nice transition. I liked that I didn't have to juggle 5 needles from the very start. After that you just knit all the way around one row, then do another row with the increases and repeat that however many time. It was fun and I actually have something that is recognizable as the toe of a sock. Way cool!!

My first toe!!

I think I'm going to love knitting socks.

:D

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Today, I have a plan

I need to finish this for Tjay...
So I can continue with my 'learning sock'...
And start reading this
My most awesome present from Buck the dog
(in preparation for that little online sock yarn binge I went on last week)
Along with finishing the Twisted Sister book and Sensational Socks...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Yummy package

I just got my first order from The Loopy Ewe. http://www.theloopyewe.com/
I ordered it Thursday and it was here when I woke up this morning. It some lovely Lorna's Laces sport weight yarn. 400 yards of scrumptious! It is so very beautiful.

'Vera'

And they sent a couple of samples to tempt me (like that's so hard to do...) and 3 nifty little needle inventory cards. I just love lagniappe. :)
I'm going to put on my gnome hat and do a needle inventory!

Friday, January 16, 2009

I should have stuck with knitting today

I tried felting (fulling) the GIANT hat today.
I started in the kitchen sink -- hot water, a little soap, agitation.
Nothing.
Did it again.
Nothing again.
Decided to try the washing machine. Threw it in a pillowcase and tossed it in the washer.

5 minutes...nothing.
10 minutes---YIKES!!!!
Before felting it reached my shoulder -- it almost reached my armpits, for cryin' out loud!
It was THAT big!
Now it doesn't even reach my ears. :(
I had to really yank on it to get it over any part of my head...


Look, I'm a garden gnome! Ackkk!


Alex got a good laugh out of it when she picked up Buck.
She said it looks like a dunce cap.
Also that I could fill it with felted fruit and use it as a cornucopia.
Or put a handle on it an make a really ugly-shaped purse.
Or cut it up into smaller purses -- I have some of this yarn left to make felted handles...
Sigh...

On a happier note, here's Dexter the Dark Defender at the Duck

-8 F

It's a very pretty day.
Sparkly snow, sunshine, bright blue sky...
When I woke up today it was Minus. 8. Degrees. At 10 in the morning.
Screw it. Pretty is over-rated.
I'm not leaving the house.
If you need me -- I'll be knittig -- or spinning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Knitting

Inspired by all the great knitty blogs, I tackled something besides a scarf. Everyone got scarves for the holidays, even three dogs. Many, many scarves. Time to move on, be brave, reach for the stars! Or at least smaller needles...for a hat!
I have socks on the needles too, since I've been buying all this awesome sock yarn, I figured I should actually learn to knit socks. I got the Twisted Sisters sock book and fell in love with all the beautiful socks. They all look so snuggly!

This colorway is called sand and sea. I'm knitting my first hat. A really fun, long hat that will flop over and hang to my shoulder with a pom-pom on the end. (OMG -- it's a gnome hat!)The pattern confused me, because it said I could use any yarn and any needles. Just figure out your gauge and there's a chart that tells you how many to cast on. Really, I think I needed less options than that...

Here's the fabric after blocking (another first for me)


While the hat was drying, I started a scarf for TJay with this crazy-thick yarn. Only 4 WPI!

The gauge? One and a half stitches per inch... (think this will go fast?)

Then I sewed up the seam in my hat. It may fit the Incredible Hulk...sigh.

Okay -- at least it's wool.
I guess I can wash it in hot water and make a felted hat...
Bummer.

Snow -- lots of snow

Got about a foot of snow. Really pretty dry fluffy snow. I went for a hour long walk with Buck and Alex. It was so hushed and peaceful.


See those people? They are playing football. No -- I'm sorry, I don't know why.

With Buck, in the park, looking for squirrels.

The feeder TJay built

Where I stood Saturday, after that walk.
My small salute to Fiber Artysta. :)

Yarn and spinning

The finished yarns from the dye session. Top left is sock yarn that Alex did in fall colors, top right is sun conure colors and the bottom skein is colored after a Michigan sunset that I did a painting of several years ago. Northern Michigan seriously has the most beautiful sunsets -- I think it's because the air is so clear and clean. I forgot to take a pic of Dee's yarn before she took it upstairs to dry. It was really pretty too.

All dry and fluffy

The finished roving is soooo much prettier that this picture.

TJay showed Dee how to use the lathe and they made another drop spindle for her to take back to school after break.

Schllllooopppp!
That would be the sound of Dee getting sucked in.
Brand new knitter.
Spinning her own yarn.
YES!!!
Mwuhhahaha!

First try at dyeing yarn

Dee came down to dye some yarn with me. She just took up learning to knit and I feel it's my duty to feed her interest and encourage her to be just as obsessed as I am...
Hey, what are friends for?

Culinary Colors dyes from the French Creek yarn shop. Pack of 10 colors with foodie names. Nutmeg, strawberry, blueberry, lime, tangerine, lemon, grape...broccoli (!?!)

One eighth of a teaspoon + a half cup of water + a teaspoon of vinegar.

Soaked the yarn for a couple of hours and laid it on Saran Wrap to start playing. Dee wore an old shirt and it actually stayed that white the whole evening...

This was dyed the colors of Biscuit, my sun conure,

Biscuit

Wrap and nuke for 5 minutes (Irish beer optional, but a totally good idea)

Fresh out of the microwave -- one hot, steamy yarn sausage -- Yum! :P

The hanks after rinsing, hanging in the shower

Also dyed some roving for spinning

And some silk throwster's waste

And some silk hankies

My first spindle

After going to French Creek and seeing spinning on person, I was dying to try it! But being married to a woodworker, I couldn't bring myself to pay $40 for a dollar's worth of wood...

Tjay built this for me from drawings I made...in about 20 minutes

My first try at spinning! It worked beautifully!!

Cyber Fiber

My second piece for Cyber Fiber -- first one never got there.
Crisp Point postcard

This was for the EPU challenge, but I missed the call for the pics. Schloss Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, with a woven background to represent the Bavarian flag. I did an image transfer for the castle and that was new for me. Lots of fun.

Organized my little knitting yarn stash. (which used to fit in that little white tote on the far right..)

Just pictures

My little felted Hedgehog -- I think it's a German thing...
The feeder TJay built for Mom

Gratuitous cute Buck pic

Knitting with Dee at Alex's

Another cute Buck pic

Fiber Heaven...

My friend Dee took me to Avon Lake while she was home from school. I have parrots. Five parrots. This store and I were meant to be together. It's in a huge barn. The first floor is all quilty stuff and fabric and upstairs is a little bit of yarn heaven. Srsly! And even more awesomeness is across the way from this most awesome place -- French Creek Yarn and Spinning. Dee was almost embarrassed when I started drooling -- it was THAT cool.

Sweet!

I would have happily bought almost everything in the store -- especially upstairs. This sock yarn was most beautious.

Couldn't resist these these big chunky yarns and some to try dyeing.

I had to have this...cause the Yarn Harlot says you can't have too many tape measures. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it. (you poke it in the eye to reel in the tape -- cool)

http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

And from French Creek....