Thursday, February 28, 2008

St. Patty's Contest!

I'm having my first comments contest!

Leave me a comment with either how you celebrate St. Patrick's Day or your craziest St. Patrick's Day story or both! The contest will end March 17th at midnight (so, I guess it's technically March 18th). Shawn and I will pick our top 2 favorites and they will get prizes!

The top winner will get:



4 ounces of handdyed Merino roving in the Seaweed colorway. This was dyed by Gale Evans, a local fiber artist in Atlanta (Gale's Art). If you are a non-spinner, this is a great roving to learn with or I can spin it for you! If I am to spin it for you, just let me know when I email you about winning.

Top winner will also get 8 handmade stitch markers with a St. Patty's Day theme. These markers are similar to the ones seen in this post. Materials are all top quality... silver, pewter, swarovski pearls and crystal, stone, etc.

Second place winner will get 8 St. Patty's Day-themed handmade stitch markers.

Please leave a way to contact you in your comment (email, blog, etc.). Linking to my contest on you blog will get you an extra entry, as will referring someone here! Just let me know in the comment if you linked to me or if you were sent by someone.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Contest to check out...

KnitWonPurlTwo has a comments contest! A wonderful prize of 9 balls of Filatura di Crosa #501 Tweed. Beautiful yarn. Leave a comment to enter and send some anti-winter doldrums cheer!

Yarn!

The cotton yarn finally dried.


This was done in Kelly Green. I tied it up to leave some white/lighter places. The flash washed it out a little bit... it's actually a more vibrant green color with lighter areas throughout. Very pretty! I'm calling it Lucky You. It will be used for my swap.


This is Ocea. The picture actually shows the true color pretty well. Again, I tied it off to leave some variation in color. This skein is available for 3.50 plus shipping. It is a little over 100 yards.


Planet. The colors show pretty well. I really like how this one came out. This skein is available for 3.50 plus shipping and is a little over 100 yards.


I just couldn't get the colors to show up well in the pictures on Acid. It is actually green, blue, pearl grey, and brown. The colors are lighter, but not nearly as light and washed out as the picture show. This will also be used for the swap.

Bumblebee Fields

I finished the singles and got a bobbin's worth plied. It's drying right now.


I think it turned out very well. This is about 168 yards and I still have at least this much left to ply. I do have less of the black singles, so will take the extra purple/yellow singles and ply it to use for heels/toes. If there's enough I'll Navajo ply it. If not, then just two ply.
I got the rest of the Log Cabin singles ready for plying and will get to that tomorrow.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dyeing fun!

I dyed some cotton yarn today! I bought some Rit dye about a month ago and finally used it today. I have 2 cones of Peaches & Creme cotton, one in ecru and that is ecru with dark tan/brown. The dye was pearl gray, teal, and kelly green. It's all drying now, so I'll have pics probably tomorrow. I did 4 skeins, each that's a little over 100 yards. Two will be used for the washcloth swap.

Yesterday I knit more on the Everlasting Bagstopper (almost finished with the red Hempathy), the Mochi snake, and my Side Step Socks. I'm now on the leg for them. The pattern isn't as showy as I thought it would be, but is nice anyway. I also spun a little over half of the Bumblebee Fields roving I have (wool/mohair blend). It's beautiful! These will definitely be socks. One ply is the black and the other is the yellow and purple. I love it.

Now I'm off to spin more (want to finish the sock yarn and ply the rest of Log Cabin) and will probably either knit more on the socks or the bag (sorry, but the snake is boring) or will wind more yarn.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Stitch Markers

Shawn and I went to Cumming, Ga, today to celebrate the weekend and 2 Korean exams we did well in this morning. CiCi's to eat (he gets to eat free... they have a great military discount!) and then too Best Buy to use up the 30.00 Reward Bucks my mom gave us. We wanted to get something for our future house, but nothing is under 30.00. So, the next best thing: Season One of Mind of Mencia. We love him. Also got a 15.00 gift card to iTunes. I had to pay 7.00 extra for it.

We couldn't leave Cumming without going to Michael's! Shawn and I looked at beads. I got some fake pearls to use play around with. Tuesday we went to Only Ewe and Cotton Too in Alpharetta. It was a wonderful store and I found the yarn for my Clapotis wedding wrap (Silky Wool)! I'll be using it with a strand of a sparkly string stuff that I'll be threading the pearls on. Real pearls don't have a large enough hole, but the fake ones do and look like real ones. And they're cheaper. Here is the Silky Wool:

The flash washed the color out some. It's actually a darker red. Very pretty. Shawn wasn't so sure about it at first, saying it wasn't "shiny enough." He wanted pure silk, but the color just isn't right because it doesn't take deep colors well. Once the store wound it into a ball he started changing his mind. It's funny how different yarn can look in the skein versus the ball. Only Ewe has another store within it, The Bead Bug.... it's a lovely bead store (I'm a beader also, so it's perfect!). I got a cute silver bunny charm and some silver head pins.

I also got some green star-shaped stone beads at Michaels. I used some to make St. Patrick's Day stitch markers to be included in the washcloth swap I'm in. I used the stone beads, Swarovski crystal and pearls, Czech glass, and sterling silver.

Here is the stitch marker I made for myself:

This is sterling silver and Swarovski pearl.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Log Cabin

Here is the Log Cabin my SP sent in the first package... I ended up spinning it into a worsted yarn. I still have a little bit more to ply; this is just what I could get onto one bobbin. Beautiful yarn! It is around 115 yards. I'm not quite sure what it's destined to become, so for now it is just going to be loved on and fondled. I'm thinking this yarn wants to be felted, though, so maybe a small bag? I want it to be something that I use often, so we'll just have to see...

I'm almost finished with the cuff on the Side Step socks. I still can't get over that Ja Woll's colors! I toyed with the idea of just doing the socks in stockinette to preserve the striping, but decided to stick with the pattern. It mixes up the colors a little to make it interesting, but still shows the colors well.

Pictures!

Zoo Girl has struck again! My SP is wonderful. Look at what she sent me this time...

A Tom Clancy book, a box calender with animal comics (which I had to resist buying whenever I went to the bookstore... my SP is a mindreader!), Valentine heart candy, a tin of chocolates, a milk chocolate bar (which, as you can see in the pic, I broke into as soon as I saw it!), the cutest singing card ("Who let the dogs out?"), and....


A Knit Picks kit! It is the Entrelac bag one. I can't wait to get started on this. I need to get a few other gifts finished first, but this is next on the list! Here is a better pic of the finished bag:



My row counter came in. It isn't exact, but Shawn and I were able to figure out the percentage of its accuracy. It gets about 91% of the actual length. With minimal math I can get a close number to the real amount. Better than not have a clue about it at all! I hope to get a scale soon so I can have another method to figure it out with to be a little more accurate.



And here are the WIPS:


Side Step Socks on size 2 circs using the Ja Woll my SP sent in the first package. I love this yarn! It's gorgeous and feels so nice.

The Mochimochi Land Snake for Arthur. Coming along so nicely and the yarn (Tree Tree Tree, handspun) is perfect for a toy snake. I think I'll do the mouse in Arakis.


The base of the Everlasting Bagstopper for my instructor. This is a fun and easy knit. I'm really enjoying it and will probably make one for myself after making a small dent in my queue.

I've been winding sooo many balls of yarn. I have a lot still in the skein. I look at it, want to knit with it, but can't because it's not wound. So, last night I got out the winder and new counter gadget and wound away. Got through the Happy Feet, lavender Araucania Ranco, all the Cherry Tree Hill from the contest I won, and the Ja Woll.

I joined a swap on Swap-Bot. It's 2 dishcloths sent to your partner. I need to get started on them. They have to be sent out on March 10... plenty of time, but it's nice to have things finished early! I will be sending a St. Patrick's Day themed surprise with them!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine's Day, FOs, and WIPs

I had a wonderful Valentine's Day with Shawn. I did have a criminal law exam, but that went well (I hope, at least). After that, Shawn brought me my gift and I gave him what was left of his. I got him a nice card, a 15.00 gift card to iTunes, and dinner to a Japanese restaurant. But he got all but the card early. I am just too impatient to wait to give gifts to people! He loved the card (and the other stuff, though I did feel like I didn't have anything for him). He got me the perfect gift. No card since he gets me cards randomly throughout the year. He got me a nice leather photo album for pictures of us! No pics in it as he doesn't have any, but I fixed that soon enough. Though, in our 15 months together, we only have about 4 pictures of us together and 4 pictures from our engagement party (2 of those are of the cake). The front of the album has a place for a smaller picture. Shawn printed out some of the lyrics to our song (My Best Friend by Weezer). So sweet! He then took me out to a Japanese dinner and we went to the outlet mall where he got me a Fossil watch (he'd been wanting to get me a watch for the longest time) for 25.00 (can you believe it?) and I got him a Fossil wallet (for 10.00! Gotta love the outlets...), something I'd been wanting to get him. We went to the movies and saw Jumper, which was pretty good.

I finished the socks! I gave them to my mom.

And I started on 2 more things, Arty's Mochimochi land snake and mouse and the Everlasting Bagstopper for my enviro sci instructor. Pics to come soon. I will cast on for some socks tomorrow (Side Step Socks pattern in the lovely Ja Woll from my SP).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My socks are coming along!

I'm not sure if I mentioned my goal of one sock a week... If not, here it is now. I plan on knitting at least one sock a week from now on. I started last week. In January I got 3 socks knitted (my first pair and one Monkey) and last week I got the second Monkey finished.

Here is this week's progress:

The ones I started Friday during Antje's class. I have about an inch and a half left on the foot and then the toe. I love this method! But, to be fair to the dpns, I love them too. I hope to cast on (using the Antje method) for Side Step Socks using the Ja Woll my SP sent me. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow. I will also be casting on for the Everlasting Bagstopper.

Other knitting goals:

-Knit the Mochimochi Land toy of a snake eating a mouse. I bought the pattern a while back... it's sooo cute! If you think a mouse being devoured by a snake is cute. But, seriously, the snake does eat the mouse and they both have toupees (is that spelled right?). This is going to be for Arthur's birthday (DBrother). If I don't finish in time I'll whip up a frog prince toy instead. Another pattern I bought recently. Very cute.

-Finish Wisp! I'm getting tired of it. It's in the way and I keep treating it like it's so fragile it'll tear apart if I breathe on it the wrong way.

-Get started on a wrap using the Malabrigo Lace I have (2 skeins). I'm using an easy flame pattern, which I found a scarf pattern for (I'll just make it larger).

-Knit me a hat. I found a very cute pattern that has a big button. That's the button I bought today at Magical Threads. I'll be using the Hebride's Overture I spun up.

Enough for now. I have an exam tomorrow and I really need to study (but blogging and knitting are so much fun.... No! Must Study! Grades are more important, or so they say...).

I'm hating myself...

... but loving my new yarn and goodies!

I have never believed in yarn diets. Ever. Why deny yourself something so vital to your existence? But, I decided to go on one last Friday after Antje's class. I spent well over 100.00 (I'm a college student, remember? I don't have an extra 100.00! A quarter is precious to me!) at Cast-on Cottage. I love Cast-on Cottage. But my goodies were certainly worth it and I wouldn't do it differently if I could.

However, I decided NO MORE YARN (especially sock yarn!) until I had used up a lot of what's already in my stash.

Yeah, well, that yarn diet lasted all of 4 days. A trip to Magical Threads, here in Dahlonega, to get ribbon for the Everlasting Bagstopper (for my enviro science instructor) and take a look at thread to reinforce socks (look with the intention of possibly buying). They didn't have the ribbon or the thread. I did get some that might work for reinforcing socks, we'll see. Since I was there, I figured I would take a look around the yarn shop. I did need a new pair of size 10 24" circs for the bag... Ok, blinders on, I would run in and grab the needles and run out again before I had the chance to stand in awe of the yarn. Did it work? Well, what do you think?

I grabbed the needles. No problem there. I stopped by the other accessory wall just to take a peek. Oooo... a pretty button that would go perfectly with the hat I'd been meaning to make using Hebride's Overture. Ok, it's only 2.00, so I'll get it while I'm here. Who knows when I'll find something like it or better? Oh yeah, I have a single, lonely skein of Regia sock yarn that needs a matching friend so that I can actually make socks with it. Uh, what color was it? And the lot number? I looked around and think I found the right color. But what lot? Oh well, that skein will end up being baby booties or something. I actually started toward the door without yarn, but saw this:


Sockotta and in a pretty colorway! I tried resisting, but I knew it was futile anyway and gave in after about 13 seconds of mentally fighting with myself over it. It has found a good home with me.

So, I'm now back to my original thoughts on yarn diets. Why do it? Especially when I know it will end in failure? It could have been much worse (I could have gone back to CoC or gotten on Etsy), or so I keep telling myself. Shawn just shook his head when he saw my bag.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New toy coming soon!

I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new "yardage counter!" It's a Shakespeare fishing line measurer from Bass Pro Shop. I've been needing one and finally ordered one. I hope it comes in this week. I have a lot of handspun I want to get the yardage on so I can start selling some and to know for myself on any that I keep!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

And the Monkeys are finished!


I finally finished Monkey. Love the pattern, but boy am I glad to be finished with it. I did the second sock (on my left foot in the pic) on different needles than the first (first in Susan Bates metals, second in Knitpicks Harmony (wood)) because I lost the metals between socks. Soooo.... the left is a touch larger than the right. That's Ok, though, as it's not too bad. These will be going in the wash today so I can wear them tomorrow. I don't have any sock blockers, so they won't be all pretty and defined any time soon. I told Shawn about my need and he'll be making me some some day.
Still working on the Antje socks. I'm really starting to love this method of sock knitting! It's so much faster and no Single Sock Syndrome (which I suffer from, as most sock knitters do!).
Today I will probably cast on for some baby booties. It's a good way to get rid of left over sock yarn (I'm very tired of looking at this Sockotta! I need to use it up).

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Some pictures...

This is what's currently on the wheel. I had spun the singles over Christmas break and it has sat there all sad while I decided what to do with it. I'm plying it. What I had originally planned on. I should always go with my first instincts. If you don't remember it, it is Arakis, a wool blend, purchased from Electric Sheep on etsy.com. I call it my cantalope yarn because that's what it reminds me of. This will probably be used for a felted project, though I'm not sure.

Next in line to be plied. This is the roving from my SP10 upstream, Log Cabin, BFL (my absolute favorite!). I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Yes, Mr. Roar is in the background for moral support. I still have some more fiber to spin up. Should it be socks? They would be gorgeous. Still not sure what to do with it yet, but will have to see! I need the perfect pattern.
And, my girl Pepper. She's my bearded dragon. A lovely orange, yellow, and purple (more purple with every shed!) female. She's very friendly. Pepper will be a year old this summer. She's in her sleepy time currently and will be fully awake again by the end of the month or so.
My love! This is Squishy. He was born in my rattery (when I was still breeding) and was sired by one of my favorite rats I ever had, Hamlet. Squish is such a love. He knows his name, comes when called (unless he's being a brat!), and knows the sound of a plastic wrapper means treat time! I LOVE this rat. He's my buddy. It's really funny because he hated Shawn at first. He got jealous!!! He would nip Shawn (and he never bites... he licks when he's mad. It's so cute), pee all over his stuff (homework, clothes, etc), and even tried to destroy his Valentine's Day card from last year). Now they're better friends, but Squish still loves his moma the most. He will be 2 on October 10.
And the newest addition to the menagerie.... Peaches! She's a double rex (nothing but a peach-fuzz coat) dumbo. I'm guessing Siamese in color due to the pink eyes and the darker nose and tail base. She's still pretty young, probably around 2 months old. I got her from a pet store in Hiram when Shawn had drill last weekend. She's going to be a girlfriend for Squishy. He's getting a little older and I want a son from him while he can still breed (all their babies will have curly hair!). Peaches is very active and sweet, but still needs more handling and work to get to where she seeks out human contact. We'll get there, though.

And for some knitting updates....

I'm *almost* finished with the second Monkey. I hate it. It's taking forever. I only have about 3 pattern repeats and the toe left before I'm finished with it. I can't wait.

I took a class last night at Cast-on Cottage in Roswell, Ga. It was my first knitting class and it was wonderful! It was taught by Antje Gillingham and was on her book, Knitting Circles Around Socks (knitting 2 socks at the same time on 2 circs). I got the book for Christmas from Moma and had never opened it until last night. The class was well-taught and the method pretty simple once you understand all the moving around. On the needles I have the cuffs and one row of the leg of some lounge socks in Cascade 220 (these are mostly just practice socks). Antje is very nice and signed our books. I'm not sure which method I prefer more (circs or dpns) as both have upsides and downsides. I think I will just use both and have several socks otn at once!

While at CoC I also bought some yarn (obviously! I can't go there without getting something!) and needles (circs size 2 and 5, 16" and 24" in each and size 1 dpns).


Here is the Cascade 220 and the cuffs (and 1 round of the leg) of the around the house socks I'm working on. The yarn is in the Heathers collection and is a nice turquoisey blue. These socks will just be simple stockinette.

Plymouth Yarn Co. Happy Feet. I have 2 skeins of it. Very soft and very pretty! And, the best part, the PRICE. Only 6.00 per skein. Can't beat that for the quality.

More Araucania! Solids in a very nice lavender color. Not sure what pattern to use for it... I was thinking maybe Sydney. We'll have to see.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Contest

Check out this contest... leave a comment (extra entries for sending people and for posting on your blog) about where you saw the contest and win great prizes! A VERY good prize... I won't tell you, you'll have to go and see for yourself!