Saturday, May 31, 2008

Secret Pal 12

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Anything Araucania or Blue Sky Alpacas, Happy Feet, wool, alpaca, cotton (dishcloth and garment-quality), Euroflax, Cascade 220 (superwash and non), Hempathy, other people's handspun. I don't care much for 100% mohair (blends are fine) and I wouldn't expect to get cheap acrylics in a secret pal swap. I love all weights of yarn, but have little use for cobweb or super chunky stuff. I generally work with fingering through worsted, but do have uses for heavy worsted/chunky from time to time. I love all yarn. Not real interested in novelty yarn other than some fun fur (*gasp!*) that I could use for FiberTrends animal patterns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Those in use are floating around my knitting bag. Those not in use are in a storage container. I would love a better system!

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I learned the basics when I was probably around 10, but never really did much at all and forgot it. I relearned knit and purl fall 2006 summer and really got serious in September or October 2007. I am self-taught, using what I could find on the internet to guide me. I'd say I'm advanced intermediate... never been something I couldn't do or figure out really fast.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Amazon: www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/25L58CQ30GG2Y
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/favorite_listings_public.php?user_id=5289927

5. What's your favorite scent?
Grapefruit, lemon, lime, coconut, coconut lime, lavender; for candles and the like it's pumpkin spice, vanilla, and the above mentioned smells. I don't like really sweet and fruity stuff (cotton candy-ish, gummy bear, etc) and fresh stuff (shower fresh, fresh rain, linen, etc).

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
Who doesn't? I love chocolate (dark, though milk is also wonderful), especially with "stuff" in it, like coffee beans, cacao nibs, truffle (cappuccino! chocolate! any!), nuts, cranberry, etc. I've been wanting to try the kind with some spicy to it. I also love Take 5 or anything that combines salty with sweet. Other likes are black licorice (am I the only one?), Butterfinger, Three Muskateers, lemon-flavored, and anything with chocolate, peanut butter, or caramel.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I enjoy woodburning, soapmaking, lotion and lip balm making, rigid heddle loom weaving, cross stitching, dyeing yarn/fiber (with natural dyes, though I'd love to try commercial stuff), fiber prep/drum carding, spinning, beading, and I enjoy papercrafts (though I'm not a real scrapbooker; I like making cards, stamping, etc).

I do spin and have an Ashford Traditional. I love it! I've been spinning since I was 16 (5 years now), when I got my wheel for my birthday. It's what resparked my interest in knitting... I had to do something with all that pretty yarn, right? I love to spin, but don't really like to spin mohair (no use for it as a yarn) or plant fibers other than bamboo.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD).
My favorite is 90's Alternative! Like Wheezer, Eagle Eye Cherry, Third Eye Blind, etc. I also really love Country... Shania Twain, Brad Paisley, George Strait, etc. I do not like rap (unless it's like Beastie Boys or old Will Smith (too funny!)) and hip hop is just bearable in small quantities. Some rock is Ok and I like old timey mountain music somewhat (think the O' Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack). I have an iPod Nano.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
Favorites are olive and turquoise. I also love reds (deep, like ruby or crimson), any green, gold (not as a metal or main color, more as an accent), earth tones, fall colors, and purple is nice right now (though not a lasting fave). I like brights for some accessories, but tend to stick to more toned down colors and jewel tones for clothing and main things I use everyday. I'm trying to get out of my earth tone for clothes rut and getting things that are more jewel toned/bright.

I do not like pastels, baby blue, and baby pink by themselves. With other colors, they are Ok. I do not like neons either.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I am engaged and live with roommates at school and my parents at home. Shawn and I are getting married May 7, 2010 (tentatively).

Pets... my personal pets are: Black Jack (16 yo female mutt), Gideon (10 yo Daschund/Chihuahua mix male), Johnny Cash (9 month old Standard Poodle male), Pepper (1 yo female Bearded Dragon), Freddi (albino African Clawed Frog), Holyfield (male Betta), Squishy (1.5 yo male rat... my baby when it comes to the rats), Salty (7 month old female rat), Small Ears (3 yo male rat), Markus (2 yo male rat), Rowdy (8 yo Quarter Horse gelding), Winchester (13 yo Arabian/Spotted Saddle Horse mix mare), Acorn (4 yo daughter to Rowdy and Winchester), Gabriel (2 yo pygmy mix wether (goat)), Tobasco (4 yo potbelly pig), Outlaw (7 yo Netherland Dwarf male (rabbit)), Snoopy (2 yo Netherland Dwarf female). Salty had 14 little ones, by Squishy, June 1... I will be keeping 1 male, Smoochy.

The other pets (not my personal ones) are: Twiggy, Bonnie, Lady, Blacky, Annie, & Su-ni (Standard Poodles), Josie (JRT mix female), Aigo (Rat Terrier/Shih Tzu male), Kaiser (German Shepherd male), Eunny, Uno, & Mike ("Meeka") (Yorkies), Partner (Lab male), chickens, koi pond, kitchen goldfish

We breed Standard Poodles and Yorkies. I just recently got out of breeding and showing Netherland Dwarf rabbits and also recently got out of breeding show quality fancy rats and mice.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Of these, scarves and mittens only. I look silly in hats and ponchos, though I would like a hat (they work, what can I say?).

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Bags (felted and non), baby items (quick and cute), socks (it's a love-hate thing), toys.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Actively knitting The Sweater Bag (Patons Classic Merino), Basketweave Socks (Plymouth Happy Feet), and the Baby Kimono from Mason Dixon (Lily Sugar'N Cream Twists). On a short hibernation is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf (my handspun merino in Hebride's Overture colorway), the Mossy Jacket (Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton, need to get more yarn in a different color), Saartje's Baby Booties (leftover Sockotta, need to do the second one).

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
It'd be a sin for a knitter/crafter not to.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I used to say straights, but now it's circs and dpns. Circs are so versatile. Bamboo! I want to eventually get an entire set in bamboo... right now it's an assortment of what I could find, what was given to me, etc.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a winder and my swift is named Shawn... my fiance! I'd love to get a swift or the plans to make one.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
Wisp. I started it probably around October or November of last year and was going strong, but it's BORING! Can't bring myself to finish it or frog it.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. I know, not a crafty one, but I love the food and family. I guess my favorite crafty holiday would be Christmas... friends, family, food, presents, excitement, cold weather, and lots of necessary knitting!

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Besides yarn, needles, and notions? Yes... I collect Breyer Horses, clasp trinket box things (Limoges, though not necessary that brand, but that kind of box), actually, any small box thing, piggy banks of any type (not necessarily pigs, though I love those), small animal figurines (especially Wade!), anything with hippos/rabbits/rats/mice/Poodles (standards in particular)/German Shepherds/Boxers, and I love stationary stuff (notecards, pens, notebooks, etc).

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Books - refer to my Amazon.com wishlist, but I love anything Tom Clancy (already have Cardinal in the Kremlin, Patriot Games, Rainbow Six), having to do with the Holocaust (historical fiction and nonfiction), Agatha Christie (have Ten Little Indians/And Then There Were None), and I love knitting/spinning/weaving books! I've been wanting to try Jodi Picoult.
Yarns - My yarn experience is pretty limited (no real LYS... must travel and can't do that often). I would love to try out Tofutsies, Noro (any), Yarn Love, Dream in Color, Rowan, Fleece Artist, Cotton Fleece, Malabrigo (heavier than laceweight), Manos del Uruguay, any neat handspun/handdyed yarn. I've also never worked with 100% silk or bamboo, but those are pricier things and I'd rather have something more reasonable and a lot of it than a small amount of something really expensive. I have a bad habit of buying a single skein or maybe two... never enough to do a real big project. So, anything, really, is good by me and I'd love enough to finish up a project!
Needles - Circs: Sizes 1, 1.5, 3, 4, 7 DPNs: Sizes 1.5, 3, 4, 7 <---in particular, though I would never refuse dpns or circs of any size!
Notions - needle stopper things (to keep work from sliding off), large-hole beads
Patterns - those cute animals from FiberTrends, Mochimochi Land (I have the sleepy snake/mischevious mouse one), Wicked, Glee, Tree Jacket, and Rusted Root from Zephyr Style
Magazines - I have a subscription to Spin Off. I love Interweave Knits, but haven't really found any other knitting mag that I think is worth buying (though my exposure is limited).

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Colorwork... I've always been intimidated and have only done some basic stuff. I'd like to learn intarsia and fair isle.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, though I have been focusing on other things lately (but I always have a pair in progress). I wear a size 6.5 shoe. From heel to bottom of big toe it's 7.5 inches and the same for just above the ankle. I prefer taller socks (not no-shows or ankle socks) for handknitted.

23. When is your birthday?
May 8... just had the "big" 21.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
SpinKnitUp

25. Likes/Dislikes?
Likes - hippos, dogs (Standard Poodle, German Shepherd, Boxer), aligators/crocodiles, horses, dinosaurs, training dogs, training/working horses, tea (any, though really like Chai, green with jasmine, and peppermint), coffee, reading, history (American Revolution & Holocaust), rabbits, rats/mice, farm things, any neat sciencey things (tadpole kit, ant farm, sea monkeys, etc).
Dislikes - animal rights (ASPCA, PETA, Human Society, House Rabbit Society, ELF, ALF, etc), cats (love barn kitties, just not the pet variety), novelty yarn, things relating to witchcraft/new age stuff

26. Allergies?
All trees, grasses, and weeds, dust, all melons, peas, oranges, strawberries, bananas, raw/fresh carrots.
I am on several medications that keep symptoms under control for the most part, so don't worry if something you send comes into contact with grass or something, or is somehow tied in to grass. Just don't roll it around in pollen :-)
I can deal with flavors of my allergic things, but it can't have any of the actual food or oils of that food in it. Melon and bananas are the worst... smelling it makes my throat itch and start to swell. Grapefruit is Ok, just no oranges!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sweater Bag

I love this bag! It's a nice knit... pretty easy, but the cables keep it interesting. I'm holding Patons Classic Merino held double on US 10 circulars. I'm modifying the pattern some. It says to do a total of 4 pattern repeats, but I think only 3 are needed (we'll see when I reach that point). I'm also not finishing it like the pattern says (basically it's sewn up in thirds, making a bag that is double thickness throughout). I'll be sewing it up in thirds, but not seaming the bottom seam, making a second pocket. Also will be doing an i-cord strap instead of going back and seaming it later. This is my first time doing cables without a needle and it's sooo easy! Much less tedious. I shy away from cables (especially after the chicken wire socks) and this is bringing me back to them.

I haven't knit at all on my socks! Sad, isn't it? Just not as much fun as the bag. I'll try to get at least through the heels this week... Though I'm not sure it'll happen. I start my internship tomorrow and it's going to be 44 hour workweeks, with crazy hours (it seems that this is going to be a way to see who can deal with the job, hours, and stress... kind of like basic training for management :-). I'm expected to "be able to work mornings, afternoons, nights, overnights, weekends, and holidays." Don't think I'll have too much knitting time, but I can probably sneak some in on lunch breaks and after work.

Some pictures:


Here is Eunny, one of our Yorkies, wearing a handknit sweater my mom made today. She did a few test sweaters and has finally perfected her pattern. It's a cute turtleneck and fits great.

And here is Black Cat. He's the tom that walked up a few years ago and never left. I love him, but he can be ornery (I just love the grumpiness!I love barn cats. Don't care too much for the pet variety, though). He lost most his tail somehow and had mouth cancer when he came (got that taken care of... thank goodness I worked at the clinic then!). He likes being petted, but also will just give you a quick swat at times for no reason. He will be sitting there and just calmly walk over, swipe his nails across your exposed leg, then just walk off. Keeps us in line :-) He's around 11 years old or so.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Not A Whole Lot Going On

There's not too much news today. It was a pretty uneventful, but relaxing day. I layed out and read more of The Friday Night Knitting Club.... it's really good! I highly recommend it. It's one of those perfect kinds of book: easy (but not too easy), interesting, can't put it down. I love it.

I knit some on the Basketweave Socks. Boring, but getting there. I also cast on for a messenger bag. I won't be felting it like I had planned... I found a pattern for a Sweater Bag from Lionbrand Yarn. I like it enough. I am using Patons Classic Merino doubled up on US 10 circs. So far so good, but I'm only a few inches in. I may lightly hand felt it; I'm really worried about it stretching with the weight of all my books and stuff.

Here's the Snoopy cloth.


And some more pics...

A singing frog thing in one of the gardens.


The cow pasture right next to our house. It makes me think of Africa, with that lone stand of trees in the middle.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Summers

I have realized that I won't have a summer off for a very long time, if ever. Why didn't I enjoy it more when I was younger and summers were all about lazying around, Six Flags season passes, swimming pools, fishing in the cow pond, and horseback riding all day? I guess that's part of growing up, but I hate it!

2006 was the last "off" summer I had. I use quotation marks because I had to work all summer (but it was my vet tech job, which I loved). Not really taking the summer off, but it's more off than it has been lately. I've done 2 summers of classes (all summer long) and this summer I'm doing my internship. Now, I'm very excited and thankful for it (it means, hopefully, a great career and way to afford the lifestyle that Shawn and I want), but it is going to be tough. Long hours and a lot of work. Then I graduate this time next year, putting me working full time. I know I'm just being whiney; everyone has to work and do things they'd rather not be doing for their summers. But I'm just at the point where I'm realizing that this is it. I'm going to make this summer the best that I can. Work hard and spend my free time doing things I enjoy, not just wasting it by sleeping in all the time... I'm going to read, knit, spin, weave, get Acorn fully broke (she's green right now), get Johnny Cash and Twiggy trained up, spend time with Shawn... things that I really want to do.

Anyway, I finished the Snoopy cloth last night and it's so cute! I'm sure my swap partner will love it. That package is going out tomorrow. I'm still working on my socks, almost finished with the legs. I'll cast on for something new tonight, I think. I did manage to get a felted fish dog toy knit up today for a pet swap I'm in. It's really cute, in my handspun Arakis. I'll get some pics up tomorrow.

No pictures for tonight, but I'll post several tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Knitting in the dark

We had awful storms last night (again) and the power went out at about 9:30 or so. Moma was mid-meal, I was just about to start baking some dog cookies and sit down to my book and knitting. We got out the lanterns, flashlights, and anything else that generates light. Moma kept eating, Daddy read, and I got to knit (no book and no cookies, though).

I got more finished on my Basketweave Socks, but quickly got bored with that. Out came some cotton to work on my Snoopy cloth. It's rather large, but I think it will be very nice. We'll see. I don't really have to see what I'm doing for the socks, but I had to follow the pattern for the cloth. It wasn't too bad knitting in the dark... we were hanging lanterns everywhere to get enough light.

Moma has been working on a jacket for herself and is just about finished with the body, ready to work on the sleeves. She's doing a simple top-down raglan (her first time working it in one piece... needless to say, she's hooked on it!), but it's in a discontinued yarn (Patons Diana). I found the same colorway, but different dye lot, on eBay. All she really needs to do is the sleeves, so they may be off a little, but at least both sleeves will match. I'll post pics once she's finished.

We went out today to get dog food and stopped by the Michael's next to Petsmart (we don't normally buy dog food there, but it's on sale). 10 bags of feed, so we're good for a month or so. Anyway, Michael's is having a sale on Sugar n Creme twist cotton... certain colors are only a dollar per ball! I picked up 6 balls (can't afford more right now). 2 each of green, peach, and purple. Very pretty. Haven't yet worked with the Twist, but I'm sure I'll like it. Moma got some Bernat Satin for dog sweaters. She's going to make a few to put up on our new pet supply website (Crazzy H Pet Designs). Little jerseys in cream and pink and cream and blue and a red basic dog sweater.

Moma keeps these metal animals and insects about the gardens and they are just too cute!

Some pretty purple flowers in the garden.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Basketweave

I'm a little bit further in on the socks with the Happy Feet... this time it's going to work! I did a twisted stitch 1x1 rib and then started on a basketweave pattern. I wasn't intending on it, but it happened and I'm quite happy with it. 56 stitch cast on, about a inch or so of the ribbing, then the basketweave of 7 stitches per k/p and 7 roounds before the switch.

Here I am on them... I'll be doing the switch on the next round.



Not too much to blog about today, so that's about it. Here are some pics for you...


Some flowers from the garden.


Bonnie's pup... not the same one from the post a while back (this is the sister). Isn't she just the sweetest thing? We were keeping her, but decided that if someone wants her we'll let her go. If not, then she's ours, all ours! Such a sweet puppy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Transformers

I made a dishcloth for my swap partner on Swap-Bot last night (for the swap I'm hosting). The theme is cartoons/characters/anime/whatever fits here. I decided to make a Transformers cloth (it's an Autobot) and a Snoopy cloth (will get started on that one tonight.

I really liked this pattern. I usually get bored with cloths (so why do I keep making them? why do I host a monthly swap for 2 cloths?), but this one was really fun. I think because it is symmetrical. I really like symmetry and it made the knitting interesting, but easy. It's knit up in my handdyed Really Teal. I hope my partner likes it. I will be knitting Snoopy in storebought Sugar n Creme yellow yarn (I didn't dye up more solids like I should have). I think as an added gift I'll send a skein of my handdyed to her (I think Cotton Candy).

I get to see Shawn this coming Sunday! Moma and I are meeting him, his mom, and probably his sister at the Carrollton Flea Market. It's supposed to be the biggest one in the southeast, or Georgia, or something like that. I don't care.... I'm just glad to see my sweetie! I haven't seen him since my birthday (Ok, it was only 11 days ago, but I'm used to seeing him daily). Oh, and speaking of 11, does anyone else feel like a certain number follows them? I see 11 EVERYWHERE... I look at the clock and it's something:11 or 11:something. Shawn and I started dating on November 11th (11/11), He's the 11th person on my cell phone's contact list, starting from the bottom (how I call him... press 'up' 11 times). And many more examples I won't bore you with. I kept thinking that maybe I just notice 11 more, but I actually counted it versus all other numbers and I really do run into it more. And back to this Sunday, Moma will be taking Jake (he's going to Oregon the 30th to be a hearing ear dog for a really nice lady) and I will be taking Johnny Cash, my big baby. Jessi, Shawn's sister, will probably bring Raven... all three dogs are from the same litter! A little family reunion of sorts.


Here are some pictures for you...


The usual view of the weaned pen from the garden. It's a half-acre yard in the front yard that touches the garden. We keep Partner, the Lab, and weaned pups here. Also whichever dogs are in training at the time. At the fence is Twiggy (right), Johnny Cash (left, sticking head over fence, looking down), Danny (left of Johhny), Lucy (left and behind Danny, walking toward the fence), and Partner is in the upper left corner.


Some Gerber Daisies in the garden. They are so pretty and are such easy keepers.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Summer Reading, Swaps

I think I may be in too many swaps this summer! Not really, but I am in quite a few...
Summer of Yarn Love Swap
Secret Pal Twelve
my monthly dishcloth swaps on Swap-Bot
and a few others on Swap-Bot... stitchmarkers, pets, etc.
oh, and the one on Knittyboard that is forming (the idea is there, but nothing definite yet). It's a simple one package swap, kind of like a mini vacation for your downstream (goodies from where you live, a simple knitting project, etc)

No more swaps for me this summer! I'm only able to do this many because I'll be working at my new job (yay!) and will have some extra cash (well, can't really say extra, but enough that I can pay for horse feed, hay, gas, and to put a tiny little bit back while doing these swaps).

A lot of bloggers have their summer reading lists up, so I thought I might do the same. I love reading and used to do it a lot. Since starting college I haven't really read that much. It's not because reading for class leaves little time/turns me off to reading in general... I just haven't really done it. I've decided to get back into reading. I have read halfway through several books in the past four years, but have only finished a few. I'm really bad about reading several books at once, going back and forth between them. I'm not doing that this summer (though I have already a little bit, but I'm stopping as of today).

Here's what's on my list, in order:

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Kate Jacobs) - I'm a few chapters in on this one and it's really good. Moma picked it up for me Friday at the bookstore in town. I'm really enjoying this book. I heard that there's a movie coming out early June with Julia Roberts as Georgia, the main character, which is great as I love her and she's mentioned in the book and she's a knitter in real life...
Atonement (Ian McEwan) - I saw the movie this past semester and it was pretty good. Not the best thing, but I'm sure the book is a lot better. I've started on it and am a few chapters in, but am not picking it up again until I finish the Knit Club book. I like it so far and it's pretty in line with the movie, so we'll see.
Rainbow Six (Tom Clancy) - I've read over half of this, but that was last summer. It's such a good book. I am going to start from the beginning as I can't really remember exactly what's happening where I left off. I love Clancy's stuff.
The Man in the Iron Mask (Alexandre Dumas) - Saw the movie with DiCaprio and liked it enough to get the book. I'm sure it's better than the movie.
The Cardinal in the Kremlin (Tom Clancy) - Another Clancy novel. His stuff is so good. Got this book in the SP10 swap.
The Chronicles of Narnia (C. S. Lewis) - Started this one a while back, but didn't get too far into it. I'm sure I'll love it.
The Truth Machine (James Halperin) - I got halfway through about 6 years ago (if not more) and really enjoyed it. I'll be starting it over from the beginning.
The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien) - I have all the books in one. Another one I've started (a million years ago), but didn't get past the description of the door in the Hobbit. Will start it from the beginning.

And, if by some miracle, I get through all those this summer and need more to read, I'll be working on Seabiscuit (another I've started), The Horse Whisperer (started), more Tom Clancy, and probably some Agatha Christie (easy and interesting reads).

Knitting news... I did frog the socks. I'm now working on a pair that will probably be stockinette stitch (sometimes you just have to go back to the basics to work through your problems) and I'm sure (almost) that these will fit. Cast on 56 st, US 2 circs.

Pictures for you:

A view of the roundpen and part of the front yard. The pen is in the front pasture.



These flowers are climbing the trellis that forms a walkunder at the entrance gate of the garden. Birds often build their nests and raise their young on top of this.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Some Updates

Socks kill me. I love to knit socks, but can't ever seem to get a pair finished. I've knit exactly 4 pairs of socks. I've started to knit around 20 pairs. I can't get the size right most of the time. I ended up frogging the Mad Color Weave socks. Not motivated enough to finish them if there isn't a specific recipient. So I started on a pair out of the Knitting Circles Around Socks (Antje Gillingham). Cast on 60 stitches and use size 1, 2, or 3 needles for size differences. I figure I'm a medium, so I use size 2 (and it's the only size circs I have for sock knitting). I get a few inches in and they seem to be big. I know that looks can be deceiving with the 2 circs (my socks tend to look larger than they are), but I tried them on and they do seem pretty big. Should I keep going? Or start over, casting on fewer stitches? Or give up on the pattern and move on to something different? Knit a gauge swatch, you say? Never.

I'm thinking of casting on for another pair of Monkey, using the handspun from my upstream in Knitty's SP10 round. We'll see.

Here is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf in my handspun (Hebride's Overture, merino). I really like how it's coming out. I'm making it for my dad's birthday, which was May 14th (he got a half-finished scarf and a promise to finish it).

This is the tackiest scarf in the world I haven't been working on. The pic makes it look a lot worse than it is, but it's still pretty bad. I think my cousin will like it, though.


The Mossy Jacket for the kids-to-be. Since this pic I've finished the sleeves. I just have to do the button band and other trimming, but need to get to a yarn store first. I'm going to do it in a creamy color. I bought orange buttons for it. I LOVE this!!! So much fun, easy, and so quick.


Another something for the kids-to-be. A bootie (Saartje's Baby Booties) using leftover Sockotta from my Monkey socks. This was also a cute and fun knit. I need to get other one of knit up, though.


Some of my dyeing from this weekend:


This is Cotton Candy. Cotton yarn, about 100 yards. This is a pic of it drying... it doesn't really show the colors. Light blue and purpley-pink.


Cloud Watching, cotton, ~100 yards. I really like how this came out.


Really Teal, cotton, ~100 yards. A basic deep teal color.


Mostly Mauve, merino (1 skein of Patons Classic Merino in Natural Mix). This is a neat purpley mauve color with some of the original color showing through in places. The Cotton Candy was dyed with the exact same batch this one was... pretty interesting to see how the different fibers take dye.


Here's my latest spinning project. It's the South African Fine in Romance from Sereknity (from Christmas). I spun it up in a nice DK weight singles. This is a picture of it drying.


I've decided to take from many others' blogs and do a picture-a-day thing. These pics are just from around the house or from what I see during the day. These two are from the garden (where most of the pics will probably be coming from for a while... everything's in bloom!):


The chicken lantern that hangs near the pond.

This is a flower near the entrance of the garden. It has petals on one half only.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Swaps!

Below is my questionaire for the Summer of Yarn Love Swap. Signups are NOW, so get over there! It should be a lot of fun.

There are three packages to be sent over 3 months (June, July, and August). There is a 30.00 minimum per package (like-new yarn from your stash can go toward that 30.00 minimum). I can't wait for this swap to start... I love buying goodies for secret pals and I love to get mail (and fibery goodness!).

I'll also be participating in the SP12 swap. There are two groups... a 30.00 group and a 60.00 group. Those are the minimum purchase amounts over the three month period (10.00 a month or 20.00 a month). I'm not sure which group I'll be in yet... the other swap is a bit more expensive. I'll likely do the 60.00 swap anyway, though, as I can't imagine limiting myself to only 10.00 per package. The months for this one are July, August, and September. Signups aren't up yet, but the deadline is the 30th. There are contests involved in this swap.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Swap Questions

Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft?
I knit and have been at it seriously since fall 2007. I can crochet a little, but just the basics. I am definitely a knitter and not a crocheter.

Do you spin? What type of spinning?
Yes! I've been spinning since I was 16 (5 years now). I have an Ashford Traditional and love it. I love spinning my own yarn for projects... it just makes it really special. I also have a drum carder, but haven't had the chance to really do much with it yet.

What are your favorite yarns/fibers? What are your least favorite yarns/fibers?
Favorites: Specific Yarns: Plymouth Happy Feet, just about anything Araucania or Blue Sky Alpacas, Euroflax, Hempathy, Patons Classic Merino, Cascade 220 (superwash and non)
Non-Specific Yarns: worsted and DK wool yarn (superwash and non), sock yarns (superwash or non), cotton yarns (dishcloth and garment), blends of different fibers, alpaca, other people's handspun (really there isn't too much that I don't like!)
Fibers (for spinning): wool, angora, alpaca, llama

Dislikes: Yarn - though I love all yarn, I wouldn't really want to get something like Red Heart or other cheap acrylics in a secret pal swap, I also don't care much for novelty yarns or mohair (blended is fine, but not alone)
Fibers (for spinning) - don't have much use for mohair, cotton, or other plant fibers (bamboo is Ok)

What are your favorite colors? What are your least favorite colors?
Favorites: olive green and turquoise or my favorites. I also like reds (especially dark reds and ruby), any shade of green, earth tones/fall colors, gold (not as a metal, though), purple (though it's not a lasting favorite, more of a phase color for me right now). I like bright colors for things like socks, cloths, and some accessories, but in general for clothing I keep things more toned down with earth and jewel tones. I like solids, semi-solids, variegateds, and striping... though I tend to like the solids/semi-solids a little more. For spinning I like just about everything other than the below colors, solid and non!

Dislikes: I like all color, though don't much care for baby pink and baby blue (or any pastel, really) by themselves (with other colors it's Ok). No neons/florescents for me (can be Ok if with more subdued colors, like in a print or something).

Are there any yarns/brands that you are dying to work with but never have?
Noro (any!), Tofutsies, Yarn Love, Dream in Color, Rowan, Cotton Fleece, Fleece Artist, Malabrigo (heavier than lace weight), and any neat handdyed and/or handspun yarns. My yarn experience is pretty limited, so I pretty much want to try everything! I would also like to try some 100% silk and bamboo. I've also never worked with any of the tweedy yarns (they're gorgeous!).

I'm usually bad about buying one or two skeins of something with no real project in mind, so never really have enough of anything for larger projects. So, even some of the less expensive stuff is great as long as there's enough of it!

Spinning Fiber-wise... I've always wanted to try out some of Crown Mountain Farms stuff.

What is/are your favorite types of projects to knit/crochet?

I love to knit bags (felted and non), socks, and right now I'm big on baby items because they are so quick and cute! I'm saving them for when I have kids one day (a long time from now). I also like knitting stuff for the animals (jackets, blankets, etc) and toys (Mochimochi Land and others).

What are you currently working on? Anything you plan to work on this summer?
WIPs: Mossy Jacket (baby, Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton), Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf (my handspun merino), Easy Drop Stitch Scarf (Party), Saartje's Baby Booties (scraps of Sockotta from Monkey socks), Sweater Bag (Patons Classic Merino Wool), a pair of socks (Happy Feet).

In Queue for this summer: Flutterby socks (Sockotta), No-Purl Monkey socks (handspun merino/tencel), Cables & Bits (for Eunny, acrylic), Booga Bag (probably my hanspun, though not sure yet), some baby items (cotton, wool, etc), Leaf Raglan (Knit Picks CotLin)... like I'll actually finish all this! But, who knows, I might...

What is your favorite FO?
I'm not sure. I really like my Andes Bag (a few posts down). I also like the Mochimochi Land Sleepy Snake & Mischevious Mouse and a current WIP, the Mossy Jacket.

What is your oldest UFO?
That would be my Wisp. I started it and got a good ways in, but can't bring myself to finish it.

Are there any techniques that you want to learn?
Fair Isle. I'm kind of intimidated by it, though I don't think it would be that difficult. Actually, any sort of "real" colorwork.

Are you on Ravlery? What's your ID?
I'm SpinKnitUp there.

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yep, I knit socks. My leg circumference, just above the ankle, is 7.5 inches. Foot length is 7.5 inches from back foot to bottom of big toe. I wear a size 6.5 shoe. I like high socks (not ankle/no-show socks, but not knee socks either) for handknits.

Do you collect anything?
Other than yarn, fiber, and needles?! I love any sort of piggy bank (not necessarily pigs, though I love those!), Breyer horses, trinket boxes (any, but Limoges-style in particular), small animal figurines (especially Wade), anything with hippos/Poodles (standards in particular)/German Shepherds/Boxers/rabbits/mice/rats, and I love stationary stuff (notecards, pens, etc).

Do you have a yarn winder and/or swift?
I have a ball winder and my swift is named Shawn (my fiance!). I'm wanting to get a swift sometime or the plans to make one (Shawn would appreciate this more than me, I think! ;-)

Do you love sweets? What are your favorites?
Yes... my favorites are: black licorice, turtles, dark chocolate (though milk is yummy as well! I like chocolate with stuff in it... almonds, toffee, truffle, coffee beans, etc), Butterfinger, Take 5 (yum! One of my top faves). Anything with chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, caramel, coffee... I also really like cinnamon candies, lemon flavored stuff, and anything that combines sweet with salty (like Take 5).

What are your favorite scents?
I like grapefruit, lavender, lemon, lime, and coconut (and coconut-lime!). I like scents that aren't too sweet and fruity, but aren't too fresh either. For things like candles, I like vanilla, pumpkin spice, and the above-listed scents. I'm not too picky, but really don't like sickingly sweet scents (cotton candy-ish), orange, and fresh rain/linen/shower fresh type stuff.

Where do you keep your needles/hooks?
Those in use/will be in use soon are floating around in my knitting bag. Those not in use are kept in a rubbermaid storage container. I really need to get a better system than digging through the box, hoping I find what I need!

Do you have a wishlist (Amazon, Etsy, etc?)
Yes... Amazon can be found at www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/25L58CQ30GG2Y. Good used books preferred!
Etsy favorites at http://www.etsy.com/favorite_listings_public.php?user_id=5289927.

Having a birthday this summer?
Just had my 21st on May 8.

Are you allergic to anything??? Please let your pal know!
Ah, allergies.
No known fiber allergies or allergies to dogs, cats, etc.
Foodwise... oranges of any type, melon of any type, bananas, strawberries (this one is weird. I can't eat a fresh strawberry, but can eat it when it's in something (not fresh)), raw/fresh carrots (can't imagine why someone would send that, though!), peas. I can do grapefruit and flavors of my allergice things are fine as long as none of the actual fruit or oils are in it. Melon is the worst... smelling it makes my throat itch and swell...
Other... all grasses, trees, weeds, dust.
Symptoms are kept under control for the most part with meds and shots, so don't worry that something you're sending may have come into contact with dust or grass, etc, or be worried that something you want to send has some sort of plant tied into it. I won't be affected... just don't roll the stuff around in pollen before sending it! :-)

A little more info that might be helpful...
I'm a college student in north Georgia, majoring in history and minoring in criminal justice. I graduate May 2009. I'm doing an internship this summer with Walgreens for retail management and plan on working as an assistant manager upon graduating. I am engaged to Shawn, who is a helicopter mechanic in the National Guard. He is majoring and minoring in the same subjects as I and will graduate in 2010. He will be commissioning as a 2nd Lt.

I live on a small hobby farm and have horses, dogs, barn cats, goat, pig, chickens, rabbits, fish, lizard, ant farm, and rats. I bred and showed rabbits for several years before college. I also bred show quality rats and mice and other small rodents. We currently breed and train Standard Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers, though have several other pet dogs. I love animals and farm life. Most the animals are mine and my idea.

Hobbies include: spinning, knitting, fiber prep, rigid heddle loom weaving, training dogs, training/working horses, woodburning, cross stitching, soapmaking, and dyeing yarn (really like natural dyeing, though will use stuff like Easter egg dyes, etc).

A few likes: tea (any type, but especially green tea with jasmine and peppermint tea; please refer to allergy info!), coffee, neat "sciencey" things like ant farms, sea monkeys, tadpole kits, etc, cooking (I don't do it much, but it is fun and I like neat cookbooks), reading (just about anything from mystery to Tom Clancy to books that have movies made from them... I've been wanting to read a Jodi Picoult book, but haven't yet), hippos, aligators/crocodiles, dogs (St. Poodle, Boxer, German Shepherd), horses, rabbits, dinosaurs, rats and mice, farm things (tractors, barns, etc)

A few dislikes: animal rights (Animals Don't Have Rights, Only People Do... Support Animal Welfare, Not Rights), ASPCA, PETA, Humane Society, ALF, ELF, etc, stuff relating to witchcraft, gold as a metal (for fabrics, yarns, etc it's Ok), novelty yarns, 100% mohair, spindle spinning (I prefer wheel spinning), scrapbooking (no time, space, or money for it), cat stuff (I like my barn cats, but not really cats as pets, so nothing with cats on it or something like that for me... I must be the only knitter that doesn't like cats :-)

A few wants/needs: needle stopper things (to keep work from sliding off needles in bag), needles (circs & dpns... any material, though bamboo is my favorite), beads with large holes for knitting with, any of those cute animal patterns from FiberTrends, Mochimochi Land patterns (not the sleepy snake one, I have it)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Finally 21 and a Job Interview!

So, my birthday was yesterday. I'm now 21 years old.

It was a pretty good day... I got up early and Shawn and I went to pay my car tag sticker thing. Well, Shawn paid for it. I'm poor right now. Then we ran a few errands for my mom. Back at home, we fed the animals and then Shawn's mom and youngest sister (Jessi) came over. We ate (vegetarian hamburgers, pasta salad, and tator tots). Then the cake... Shawn had made me a cake (I didn't know what kind or anything, just that he was making me one) and I made me an ice cream cake (ice cream sandwiches and cool whip). I liked Shawn's cake better... it was french vanilla cake with whipped vanilla icing, gel icing that said 'Happy 21st Birthday Timiae' and he drew balloons on it, and sprinkles. I loved it! Very professional looking also. I really liked the gel icing and sprinkles. Just before meeting me he made a girl he liked a birthday cake with "gemmies" on it (that's Yankee for sprinkles). She didn't appreciate the cake, didn't eat it, and left it out on the table for a week untouched so it went bad (I don't like her... how can she be mean to my baby?). So I definitely wanted "gemmies" on my cake!

Shawn went home with his family yesterday. I'll probably see him sometime in June. He's getting his motorcycle at the end of this month (if everything goes as planned). He'll be working with his Nat'l Guard unit all summer.

I had a job interview this morning and I got it!!! I'm doing a retail management internship this summer with Walgreens. My interview couldn't have gone better and they offered me the job right there. It's a paid internship and it's good money (very welcomed!). I start the 28th.

Knitting news...

I made one baby bootie using leftover yarn from my Monkey socks (fair isle Sockotta). It's the Saartje pattern. Too cute!!! I love it. The other will be made sometime this weekend.

I am working on the Mossy Jacket (baby jacket by f. pea). I'm using the Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton I won in the Skeins Her Way contest. It's just precious and such a quick and fun knit.

Bad news on the Mad Color Weave socks... they are too small for me! So, they will be gifted to someone who can wear them (a child, I guess, as I don't know anyone my age with a smaller foot (I'm a 6.5 shoe size)). Or I'll save them for when I have young'ns of my own one day.

The tacky scarf is still going along, though I haven't really given it much attention this week.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Andes Bag Is Finished!


Yay! I finished this on the 4th (Sunday). I put it in the wash and then forgot about it. By the time I remembered it had gone through the entire cycle, at some point having come out of the pillow case (it got untied). But it's perfect! There isn't bleeding of colors (the pic kind of looks like it, but it isn't) and it felted so evenly. I love it so much! It's my new knitting bag (my old one is for queued stuff and this one is for current WIPs).

I am going pretty good on the Mad Color Weave socks, working on the heel flap of the first sock. I really like the pattern. It's simple to remember and do, but does require attention and I'm not getting bored with it.
The tackiest scarf ever is still in the works. I hate working on it, but need to finish up. I'm sick of looking at the yarn and want it gone.

I think I'll cast on for a new bag today or tomorrow. Will have to go through the queue to see which.

Oh, Shawn and I did very well at school this past semester! We both got good grades and both our gpas improved.

That's about it for now. I'll leave you with this:

This is one of Bonnie's babies. She was born April 19th and is an apricot Standard Poodle. Cute girl, huh?


Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Significant Other Meme

Tagged by Having A Hissyknit!

Where did you meet? We met at school (we both go to NGCSU)... it was one night at chow and my roommate and I were eating. A mutual friend (to my roomie, Shawn, and me) came up to sit with us and Shawn was with him. He sat right across from me. I kept looking at him (Ok, I was interested right off) and he noticed. That would have been it, but I ran into him again nearly every day after that.
How long did you date? We started officially "going out" (how lame does that sound?) 11/11/06. We got engaged 07/05/07. Not married yet, but the tentative date is 05/07/10.
How old is he? He is 23.
Who eats more? He does.
Who said “I love you” first? Well, I actually said it first, but it wasn't real (I wasn't being mean, just silly and he knew it). For real... I can't remember who actually said it first, but it was pretty much at the same time.
Who is taller? Definitely Shawn. He's about 6'2" and I'm 5'2". His family is giganto and my family is short (my mom is Korean, so it's not my fault).
Who sings better? Shawn, hands down.
Who is smarter? It depends on what it is. He knows more about mechanical stuff and I know more about other things. We're about equal on book smarts and learning (except he's good at math and I'm not). Street smarts... I think he is.
Whose temper is worse? It depends on what it is (like I'm perfectly fine in traffic and it kills him), but in general I think my temper quicker and it's lasting (I hold grudges).
Who does the laundry? We don't live together, but we do laundry together in his barracks. He does laundry more often than I do (I wait until I have nothing to wear to do the laundry).
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Don't live together, so we don't sleep together.
Who pays the bills? Right now it's Shawn because I'm poor. Once we're married, it will be both (joint account, none of the his-and-mine).
Who cooks dinner? He cooks more than I do.
Who drives when you are together? Shawn. Boys should drive when there's a female.
Who is more stubborn? Overall, me, though it depends on what we're talking about.
Who kissed whom first? I did. It went wrong, but was cute anyway.
Who is the first to admit to being wrong? It depends on who was actually wrong... Neither of us will admit to wrongs that we feel we didn't do.
Whose parents do you see the most? It's about even.
Who proposed? Shawn did. I would never.
What’s his best physical attribute? His flat stomach and his cute cowlick.
Who has more friends? Shawn. I have no friends but him and his friends. I am antisocial and feel like a bunch of close friends are just too much work.
What are you most proud of him for? His helicopter stuff and military service. He is qualified to work on two types of helicopters and was best in his class at his last training thing.
Who has more siblings? He does. I have one brother. He has a brother and two sisters.
Who wears the pants in the family? We're both pretty good about considering the other in decisions, etc. Usually when it comes to decisions he gives me choices and I pick from there (because I can't make an independent decision for anything).