Sunday, April 27, 2008

Happiness & A Contest...

Pursuit of Fiber is having a contest in celebration of her birthday... it's on what makes you happy! Head over there and enter and tell her I sent you! You have until May 3rd!

Here is a little of what makes me happy...

Black Jack. Someone dumped her in my yard when I was 9. She and I are best buddies. She would wait for me at the end of the driveway to get off the bus every afternoon and if I didn't (went to a friend's house, etc), she would pout and refuse to eat until I came home. She's my baby girl. She is about 16 years old now and still going strong. She makes me happy.


Gideon! He's my Daschund/Chihuahua mix boy. I got him from the pound April 1, 2002. My brother says he's my April Fool's Day joke... haha, not funny. I love him. He's a pretty laid back guy and is such a cutie. He makes me happy.

Grand Champion Crazzy H's Outlaw. He's my baby. Born in my rabbitry March 14, 2001. He was my first homebred purebred Netherland Dwarf, my first homebred show quality rabbit, and my second Grand Champion rabbit (his son, Crazzy H's Bazooka Joe, was my first). He's had a bunch of babies and many went on to be loving pets and wonderful show rabbits. Outlaw makes me happy.
Horses! I love my horses. I got my first one when I was 11. She was too much horse for a beginner, but I think I'm a better rider for it. Pictured here are Rowdy (Quarter Horse gelding at the fence on the left; Acorn's father), Moses (mule colt at the fence on the right), Fame (grade mare, head sticking out of Rowdy's side on the left; she is Moses' mother), Winchester (Arabian/Spotted Saddle Horse mare, head sticking out over Rowdy's hindquarters; Acorn's mother), and Acorn (half Quarter Horse, half Arab/SSH mare, trying to nose her way between Rowdy and Moses). We still have and will always have Rowdy, Winchester, and Acorn. Fame now lives at the neighbor's across the street and Moses is a loving pet for a nice old farmer a county over. The horses definitely make me happy.
This is a three-in-one happiness picture... Standard Poodles, breeding animals, and puppies! This is Black Beautiful Bonnie (Bonnie for short), one of our female Standard Poodles. She's such a sweet female. She had these puppies April 19th... A large litter of nine! I love Standard Poodles. I love breeding animals (dogs, horses, goats, rabbits, mice, rats, etc.). I love puppies. But, who doesn't? All these things make me happy.

Shawn! My wonderful fiance makes me happy. This is us not too long after we got engaged (which was July 5, 2007). He's such an amazing person... smart, motivated, a soldier, holds similar views as me (politically, etc), and is strong and true to his beliefs, promises, etc. Shawn really is the perfect person for me and I can't wait to finally get married. I can't describe how happy Shawn makes me.
Knitting! Of course it makes me happy! This is a picture of a random piece of knitting (the Mochi snake and mouse for my brother's birthday back in March). Yes, that is my engagement ring being used as a stitch marker. It was all I had available at the time and nothing can stop my knitting! It was car knitting and I put it down only after having my ring fall between the center console and the seat and a lot of stressing, digging, and contorting my hand into ways I didn't think possible to get the ring back safely on my finger (where it should have stayed to begin with, I know). Knitting makes me so happy.

This is a small list of things that make me the happiest. Other things include: animals in general (particularly dogs, horses, rabbits, rats/mice, alligators, and hippos), my family (Ok, they actually make me really happy and should be pictured, but I don't have a good one for the blog), reading, spinning, weaving, gardening, and farm life (one of my top sources of happiness).

Ummm.....


Ok, right. I'm a believer that people will knit anything and put the pattern up somewhere, hoping that someone is as bored/crazy/whatever as they are. This is from Berroco. Who would knit this? Maybe as some odd gag gift? Even then, stick to the extra large bra or over the hill stuff. It's funnier and doesn't waste precious yarn. At least the pattern is free.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I won a contest!

I was one of the winners in Having A Hissyknit's contest on the strange and unusual! Not sure what I'll be getting other than it's yarn (yay!).

I finally finished my Chicken Wire Socks and am now working on Mad Color Weave with the Happy Feet. I really like the pattern and the yarn is perfect for it.

Here are the cloths I sent to my partner in my Flower Dishcloth Swap (swap-bot):


This was supposed to be knit in the round, but I found a modification online for it to be knitted flat and seamed. I love this cloth! It's sooo cute and was great for helping to bust into my scraps on handdyed cotton. This knit up so quickly and was really fun. The seaming wasn't bad at all (only one... the petals are kept with live stitches and the center is knit picking those up).

The Mother's Day Rose Cloth. This was a fun knit as well and the pattern is gorgeous. The designer really has talent. I didn't do the seed stitch border, but did garter stitch instead (less tedious). I knit it up on US 4 needles and not the 5 the pattern calls for (I couldn't find mine).

I hope my partner likes them!

Other knitting news... I'm still working on the Andes Bag. I haven't been so good about working on it. I'm almost finished with the bottom part and will begin the base soon. I'll post pics once I'm finished with the knitting and another pic after it's been felted. I've become obsessed with bag knitting and am adding bags to my queue on Ravelry everyday.

I've cast on for a scarf using Party (a shiny ribbon yarn) in Oranges-Cherries (can you guess what colors?). It's the Easy Drop Stitch Scarf pattern. It's a great pattern, but this is the tackiest thing I've knitted. Hands down. It's the yarn, 100%... how classy can you get with orange and red shiny ribbon yarn knit on size 10 needles? This is definitely going to my 10 year old cousin as a gift. I have some of the same yarn in Celery and that will go to her 8 year old sister. Cute scarf, but best suited for a younger, hipper girl! I'll get pics up soon.

Finals are just about over. I have my last one at 1030 today (Criminal Procedures). Not too worried over it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Socks

I'm just about finished with the second Chicken Wire Sock... almost to the toe decreases. I ended up frogging the Bowtie Butterflies... I had forgotten about the Sockotta I bought a few months ago! It's the perfect color for it and will be great for summer (with the cotton content!). The Happy Feet is being used for Mad Color Weave socks. I'm only 5 rows in on the cuff (which is pretty interesting... not the standard 1x1 or 2x2 rib), but I think these will turn out very nice. I'm going with the smallest size in the pattern (CO 58) and was a bit worried about fit, but I think it will do just fine.

I've been pattern searching on Ravelry. Haven't done that in a while. I think my queue has about doubled in size! I can't help but keep adding to my queue anything that remotely interests me. Never mind that fact that there's no way I would have gotten anywhere near finishing even half of what was already on it! There are some very nice bag and sock patterns I'm wanting to try out.

The Andes Bag is on a short break until I finish the C. Wire Sock. I need to get that sock finished! It's been a wip for quite a while now. I'll probably work on the Andes Bag tomorrow... I have 2 or 3 bottom entrelac triangles to go before moving on to the base. Then it's felting. I'm a little nervous about it. I've heard some people have had the colors bleed into the white and have had uneven felting. I'll be watching it close!

I finished up one cloth for my flowers swap on Swap-Bot. It's so cute! Shaped like a flower. It's entirely my handdyed and it was great for making a dent in my scraps (those petals). I'll add a picture tomorrow. I'll be casting on tomorrow or Monday for the second cloth for the swap... a pretty pattern with a rose.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Chicken Wire Socks & Bowtie Butterflies

I finally finished sock number one of the Snickets Socks. I'm calling them my Chicken Wire Socks because that's what it looks like! I love them. The pattern is so neat... I'm a farm girl, remember? I love my chickens, so these are right on for my liking:

Aren't they neat? So pretty and I love the yarn also. Not superwash, but I'm more comfortable handwashing my handknits anyway. I am up to the heel flap on the second sock and will be working away on those.

I started a new pair of socks Saturday... Flutter-by. I'm calling them my Bowtie Butterfly Socks. The yarn (which I love, by the way) is Plymouth Happy Feet... I love the color, but it's a bit dark for this pattern. It doesn't look too much like butterlies. More like bowties. Or, I guess they could be moths. The pattern is wonderful and just what I look for in a sock pattern... quick and easy to remember. The yarn is so so so nice. Very shiny, soft, and great to work with. I'll definitely be getting more! It's very affordable, also.

Still working on my Andes Bag. I am about halfway through the bottom triangles on the entrelac part. A great pattern that I recommend to anyone looking for something fun and quick!

Tomorrow is Honors Day, so there are no day classes (haha all you night class people!). Shawn and I are meeting up for breakfast and then are picking up a friend to go to Gainesville where we'll be meeting her husband for lunch. The guy is actually who we met through (a mutual friend) and he'll be graduating/commissioning this May, so we'll probably never see him again after this semester. We're treating he and his wife to lunch (Mexican... yum!). After that I have to get allergy shots and then we're heading to Dawsonville to get the Santa Fe's tires rotated/balanced and to go to the bike (as in motorcycle) store to look at helmets. Shawn is getting a new bike this summer (gas prices too high for a car right now), so he's all excited and is looking around at equipment for it. I actually bought a jacket a few weeks ago... a tiny stain on one shoulder make it half price! A steal at 75.00. It's pink and white. I like it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

More dyeing fun...

I had a lot of free time today, so I spent it dyeing. I dug through the stash and was able to come up with 3 balls of wool suitable for dyeing... the Cascade 220 I had tea-dyed (2 balls) and the leftover Patons Classic Merino in Natural Mix (from my Twiggy Tweed bag). I have a lot more of the Patons in that colorway, but am saving it for my felted messenger bag (in queue... as soon as I finish the Andes Bag and get it designed!). I also dyed up 2 100 yard skeins of cotton. I'm still learning about all this dyeing stuff... I ended up steaming the wool after it dyed and I was very happy with the colors and lack of bleeding when rinsing. The cotton, on the other hand, turned out much worse than when I did it the other day.
This was dyed using Paas Easter egg dyes (purple, teal, and denim). I call it Lagoon. It turned out close to the way I wanted. This was the tea-dyed Cascade 220.

I love this! It's Sunset. More of the Cascade 220 that was tea-dyed. This is exactly what I wanted... I used yellow, orange, and red tablets.


This is Rose Garden. It was the Natural Mix Patons. Not quite what I had in mind, but it's Ok. Not my favorite, though. I was running low on the red (leftover from Sunset, I didn't want to use another tablet for it), so it's not as deep as I wanted. But I do like it while not like at the same time.

Cotton.... I had mixed the leftover yellow and orange dyes from Sunset and let some cotton soak for a long time. I even let it steam for at least 30 minutes (not sure if it would work... it didn't). Just about all of it rinsed out. All that's left is a slight peachy color. I'm calling it Barely Peach. Pretty, but too light for my liking. It's more peach than what the picture shows.

And this is my favorite cotton I've dyed so far...

I had tried using the leftover green from Rose Garden and it all rinsed out. Completely. I searched for some of the leftover Rit from a few months ago. Couldn't find it. So I raided the kitchen. I had a little pure cranberry juice left (healthy for you, but golly, it's tough to down). Diluted it in water and added the cotton. I love the results! The pic doesn't show the true color well... it's actually a little more lively.

Still working on Snickets. I'm about halfway through the foot on one and am ready to do the heel flap on the other. The Andes Bag is coming along great! I have 3 rectangles to go on the entrelac part, then it's the bottom triangles and the bottom half and base of the bag. Then felting. I'm a little nervous about it, but it should go well (I'm afraid of color bleeding into the white and of the felting skewing it up).

Monday, April 7, 2008

You Know What?

I forgot to blog about my latest contest win! I won the knitting goals contest from Skeins Her Way! I'm getting a bag of Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton (a yummy dyed organic cotton) and patterns to go with it! Colors... the very generous Ali asked about colors and I told her to surprise me... I said I liked olive, turquoise, deep reds, and purples. I'm so excited! Some of those patterns are supercute, too, like the Fitted Tank, which I'll likely end up knitting (depends on exactly what color I get). She's also sending the pattern for Kid's Kimono and maybe the Flower Headband and Girl's Sundress as well. Even though I don't have kids, I have friends that do and I will someday, so I love to knit baby/children's items. I knit them up and figure that I'll oneday have a baby of that gender and it will at some point be that size, so it goes in the hope chest until then. Or until someone I know finds out they have a little one on the way (which seems to be happening a lot lately). Grab it, get a cute bag, and tada! A nice gift for the mommy-to-be.

More updates and Squishy

This was a great weekend for me. Shawn was over, working on his paper (he had a 10-pager due today in Intro to Law Enforcement on the use of force). I knit. Friday I finished the Om cloth, Saturday I worked away at Snickets, and yesterday I worked on my Andes Bag. I need more weekend with nothing to do! This coming weekend I'll be at Shawn's (he has drill) and should be able to get some good knitting done then.

Here's the Om cloth (in Meditation):




I do realize that it's upside down. I wasn't thinking when I took the pic and am too lazy to edit. But there you go.


And an update on Snickets... I have stopped knitting on both socks and am just going at it one-at-a-time now. It's a pain to keep going back and forth with them.



Here's my latest WIP:



The Entrelac Tote (by Melanie Smith) from Knit Picks. Remember, the surprise from my SP? I started on it yesterday and I love it! It's a fun knit and isn't difficult. Two things I really enjoy... entrelac and bags. Yes, entrelac can get to be a pain, but it's still fun in small doses. I love the colorwork on this (I call it my Andes Bag)... I have always tried to avoid colorwork of any type (I know, it's not hard) and this is making me come to love it.



As for Squishy... He got a bath yesterday. He used to get them pretty regularly (maybe every other month), but he hasn't had one in about a year. He gets really dirty, too... So, I put him in the tub while I was getting everything together, thinking he would be safe there. I come back in to find him jumping over and over, trying to get on the edge of the tub. He would get his front end up, but there's nothing to grab a hold of, so sliding down he went. Over and over and over. He's a persistent thing, that's for sure. Then came the dreaded bath. I always put him on a towel and use a soft toothbrush to scrub the shampoo in (this time it was Head & Shoulders), then I rinse him in the sink. Oh my gosh, you'd think I was murdering him. He takes the scrubbing fine, but putting him in the water... he started screaming. Not just the normal annoyed squeak, but a all-out scream. It was over soon enough and he got a muffin for being a good boy.... or, so that he wouldn't hate his moma.


Here are some pics of my handsome:

That's an empty cone from Peaches & Creme... he chewed some of the bottom, but mainly uses it to stick his head in when he sleeps. It's so cute!

Doing what he does best... begging for food.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Easter Yarn! and Snickets

I dyed dyed dyed yesterday afternoon. 3 skeins of cotton (what was left on my cone, 300 yards exactly!) for dishcloth swaps...



Here are all 3 skeins drying. 'Meditation' (yellow), 'Coral' (pinkish), and 'Violets' (purple). Here is Violets up close:

I used only purple tablets, but half ended up purple and half ended up blue! I let it set in there for a good while and I was able to get the color a little more even, with it purpley with bluish throughout. There is still a definite purple half and blue half, but I love it anyway! I double checked to make sure it was all purple tablets and it was. This will be used for my flower dishcloth swap on Swap-Bot (a cute design with flowers growing out of the ground).

The Meditation is going to be used for my swap partner I have now. She loves yoga and I'm making a cloth with the Om symbol on it. I thought yellow would be the most appropriate color, as it is the color of Buddhist monks!

The Coral skein is going for the flower cloth swap. I was able to find a pretty rose pattern. The color is a little more shocking than I thought it would be, but it's gorgeous nonetheless.


Here's a current pic of the Snickets socks. I gave up on using the pattern... it's very wrong! It's easy enough to figure out what comes next, so I'm going at it patternless. My first repeat was using the pattern and you can see what happened. The other repeats are without the pattern and it looks so much better! I really like these socks and they are going to fit perfectly.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Themed Dishcloth Swap on Swap-Bot!

I've started a monthly swap for themed dishcloths. Each person has one partner. 2 handknit cotton dishcloths will be sent to that partner on the specified send date.

There will be a different theme each month. This month is flowers. Any flower... be creative! However, please make it an actual flower (as in a blooming plant). Not just a plant. That rules out oakleaves, trees, etc.

I have the rules and more info on the swap page. Go check it out!

Themed Dishcloth Swap: Flowers!

Some updates

I'm addicted to Swap-Bot. I've done one dishcloth swap and it was great! I'm now signed up for another and have one cloth finished. I'll be dyeing the yarn for the second cloth tonight.


Which brings me to the Easter egg dyes I got! I had a lot of fun with my other dyeing (the limited amount that I've done) and was eager to do more. Walmart has all their Easter stuff at 75% off right now... I got 18 boxes of Easter egg dyeing kits for 4.04. Can't beat that! 4 boxes of the Paas with 9 colors and 14 boxes of the offbrand with 6 colors.


Here's the cloth I finished for the swap (in my handdyed Ocea):


The picture doesn't show the vibrancy of color well, unfortunately.