29 June 2006

It pays to take chances

I got my prize for being one of the winners in Glampyre's contest in the mail. First, I am so impressed at how quickly she got everything out to me. I was hoping for a skein of pretty yarn and instead got all these goodies.

I know, the group shot doesn't really do these items justice. So for your viewing pleasure, here are some close-ups where you can fully appreciate the beauty. The yarn is handpainted bamboo from Pureknits in gorgeous reds, violets, and fushias. (Despite the natural light and the brown tissue paper for contrast, the picture still looks a little too purple and doesn't really show the degree of variation in color.)

How awesome are these buttons from Earthenwood Studio? Obviously, I need to find some wonderful knit top that will be worthy of these babies. (The little black bag was part of the packaging-too cute!)

Handmade stitch markers (3 pairs) from Glampyre herself--aren't they great? I know that the photo doesn't do them justice especially since they are still in the plastic but I was afraid they would blow away or fall into the pool (that would be very bad). These are my very first handmade stitch markers ever. (Can you tell that I am muy impressed?)

The tank top was the first article of clothing I ever sat down to really plan out. I've made original designs for crochet blankets (that's right, I've dabbled with the hook) but never a garment. Just goes to show that taking a chance can really pay off in yarn. (What did you think I was going to say?)

25 June 2006


OK, I know I've been slacking on my blogging. Here's what has been going on:

My MIL *lurved* my shrug and has requested one of her very own. She said it would be perfect for the doctor's office where its always cold. I would have just given her the one I made but it was a little too big on her. She wants the same color and smaller bell sleeves. Guess there'll be more stockinette in my blogging future. (She has also "suggested" that I make one for my niece with matching legwarmers.)

I finally went back and ripped out the shaping that I did wrong the first time for hubby's sweater. Below is a pic if the finished back. I have cast on for the front piece so I don't lose momentum.

I've been working on the Alene camisole. I should be done with shaping later today. I will block and seam the two pieces sometime this week. I'm thinking of doing the lace bottom in the round because I don't think I'll wear it as much if it is open all the way down the front. My only concern would be if this somehow makes the lace pattern look weird. I guess I'll just have to try and see.

And finally, I was the third place winner in Glampyre's design contest. How awesome is that?! (Please don't hold my lack of artistic skill against me.)

Definitely shiny.

ETA: It looks like Glampyre will be working on putting out the winning patterns over the course of the upcoming year. When I know more, I'll let you guys know.

16 June 2006

Some people juggle baby geese*

First, I want to thank my One Skein SP for sending me a very pretty ball of alpaca yarn. I have never knit with alpaca before but I have heard many wonderful things about it. I'm thinking it will eventually be a scarf or something along those lines. Thank you again, KitchenChick!

My passionate affair with the shrug has ended. It is done. I finished the seaming and weaving in the ends yesterday. It fits OK, its my first shrug ever so it may just be that I should have seamed up the sleeves a little higher so it fits more snugly. I'm thinking it may be a good movie theater accessory since I always get cold at the movies. Below is a picture of the shrug on a chair with the lovely alpaca from my SP.

I missed the part where I was supposed to do one purl row at the beginning to help prevent some of the curling. However, I did the measurements for me taking the curling into account so it falls right at my wrists where it should be. Although I'm not a fan of the finishing, I do appreciate the neatness of the mattress stitch. See the close-up below, I even managed to match up the increases/decreases.

We're having guests this weekend so there may not be much progress on the knitting front but it should be fun.

*I've been watching the Firefly series again--that show was so great.

12 June 2006

Having dogs is not like having kids
*warning: no real knitting content today

My little sister was in town visiting for a family function (a quinceanera for one of our cousins). It was really good to see her but in some ways it was weird. She kept asking if hubby and I were going to have kids. I think she was trying to understand why we're not currently planning on it. She is 19 and has all these big plans for the future that include her first real boyfriend. When I was 19, I definitely had not imagined that I would be where I am today so I understand that my idea of fulfillment does not match hers. I'm guessing that she is parroting my mom's concerns as well since my mom often makes comments like the dogs are just like kids. (I reserve the right to change my mind but as of today, not going to happen.) Since we have two dogs, she was saying that she figured having kids was similar--you have to look out for their welfare and they are dependent on you. Now, I have heard many people say that having dogs is like having kids or a trial-run for having kids. This is strictly my opinion, but I'm thinking having kids is at least 10 times harder than having dogs. I have helped take care of my siblings and various other children throughout my life which is exactly why I don't think I want any of my own. The gut-wrenching emotions I have when I know that one of my brothers is hurting or that my sister is going down a path that will only bring her heartache are so hard that I cannot imagine how much worse it would be if they were my kids. My dogs on the other hand, need to be fed, walked, and played with. They give me immense pleasure and can be a huge pain but nothing like the sacrifices that you have to make for a child.

Now, to amuse you and get off my soap box, here is a fine example of what it means to own a dog. Our first dog, Genny, is afraid of many things, plastic bags snapping, any sudden movements (like something getting knocked over by her tail), and thunder among others. As you may know, tropical storm Alberto is moving through Florida and we are getting a ton of rain and thunder. Genny goes into panic mode and wants to hide anywhere near me. So, we're in my room (where Genny's crate is located, where there is a dog bed, and there is a coffee table that she fits under) and thunder starts. With all the options open to her, where does she go? She decides to hop into the laundry basket with *clean* laundry in it. I, of course, get mad and yell at her to get out. Now, I know better than to try to pull her out because that will only frighten her more. So what does she do? She pees on the laundry because she is scared by more thunder and my yelling. She finally hops out of the laundry basket and immediately comes to me and lays on my feet/under the coffee table. Although I'm still mad at this point, what can you do? She works strictly by instinct when she's scared. Of course, if this had been a kid, the baby would have had diapers to prevent my having to run the load all over again.

Just so you don't walk away without anything knitting-related, here is some yarn for your viewing pleasure:

Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace on sale at 50% off at Patternworks in Turquoise and Pewter:

(Actually, I need to return the Pewter one because it is faded on the ends to a more purplish color making my solid yarn look variegated when I put it on the swift.)

Rowan's All Seasons Cotton in the discontinued colors Purr, Dusky, and Peaches from Jannette's Rare Yarns:

I know, I need to stop buying yarn. I was never this bad when I only bought yarn at the LYS. Now that all my yarn shopping is over the internet, I can't seem to stop myself from buying all the "good deals".

06 June 2006

The whims of a knitter can be so fickle

Apparently, I have problems reading and following directions. I will go back and rip out the 7 rows on hubby's sweater, knit the setup row I overlooked, and be along my merry way. However, I became obsessed with this before I could go back to fix my mistake:

Any guesses? Rows and rows of stockinette...can it be a scarf? a swatch gone wrong?

No, I have become obsessed with making this shrug for me. Of course, its been consistently over 80 degrees (pretty close to 90 degrees actually) for a while and there is no hope that I will even need this until November. Somehow all this information and logic has not slowed down my need to finish this shrug. For those of you wondering, the white string just shows where the decreases ended so that I can be sure that the two sleeves match when I'm done. Of course, if I had been smart, I would have done this in the round and avoided all the seaming later but I think you know the ugly truth, purposely diverging from a written pattern frightens me. (For those of you thinking I was going to admit to being less than smart, well, that may be true as well.)

I can't even begin to explain what motivates my knitting hunger...it just is. After a few more days of endless stockinette, some painful seaming, it should be back to our regularly scheduled knitting (maybe).

02 June 2006

Tentative progress

OK, I've been chugging along on the back of the Leo sweater for hubby. Sadly, ribbing on size 4 needles moves slowly so its never very exciting for blogging. However, I was bound and determined to finish the back before the weekend so I could justify adding another project to the needles.

What's stopping me? I don't know what to do next. I have followed the instructions but I have never done a sweater in pieces before. The only sweater I have finished was done in the round and the other sweater is still in the UFO pile so I don't understand what this means:

"Reattach yarn and work left shoulder to match right shoulder..."

Below are pics of what I have so far.

The view of all the stitches on some waste yarn:

A close-up of the bound off stitches on the right hand side:

So, where am I supposed to reattach the yarn? Am I supposed to pick up the bound off stitches? Since I can't picture how this next step is supposed to work, I don't know how to proceed.

Never mind, the wonderful knitters at Knitty Coffeeshop pointed out that I missed the instructions right before the shoulder shaping where I should have bound off some stitches for the neckband and should only have been working on the last 35 stitches or so. Guess its a good thing I have all that experience ripping out knitting since I need to frog the last 7 rows.