Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sorry, No Pics. Just a Mini Rant.

I lost my knitting mojo, you think possibly you could help me find it?

It all started right before Xmas when I finished those socks. You know, the ones I was making for my cousin from the Socks That Rocks yarn that she picked out at Rhinebeck. By the way I gave them to her for Xmas and she loved them but I’ll save the picture for another post. Anyhoo, that project seemed to be my crutch. Socks are my crutch project. I never realized how much of a process knitter that I am but whenever I need something to keep my hands busy, I usually reach for the flavor of the month project which is usually a sock. These last couple of days with nothing to knit has been driving me crazy. I mean I literally sometimes catch my fingers “going thought the motions” even though there are no needles in my hand. It’s spooky.

I used to believe that I was the “finished product” type of knitter. I enjoy speedy projects that give me quick results like hats, mittens, socks, basically all accessories. Maybe that’s why I’ve been a little tepid to try a full fledge sweater. It’s like that ingrain fear that most new knitters feel towards cables. That’s how I feel about sweaters. There’s nothing holding me back but yet and still I keep on implying these self imposed road blocks stopping me from just casting on the doggone thing and get it over with. I figure if I write it down then maybe it’ll give me more motivation to get crackin.

If you can’t tell already, I’m a little frustrated. Like I said in the beginning, I lost my knitting mojo. I’m almost positive that it’s not gone for good but it’s irking the hell out of me. What has led me to believe that my mojo’s gone awol is due to the fact that I cannot get gauge to save my life and everything I try to cast on for comes out very wonky. Case in point, I tried to cast on for a pair of fair isle mittens that I charted from Hello Yarns Pattern. I swatched for two hours straight and I couldn’t get gauge with the yarn weight called for and needles ranging from 5US to 8US. So I flung the whole thing across the room put it to the side and tried to start something else. I thought that maybe I should try something easier so the next day I tried to cast on a scarf for the red scarf project using some stash worsted weight yarn. For some reason, out of all the 8 stitch dictionaries that I own, I couldn’t find one stitch that I wanted to use for the scarf. I had 4 false starts before I flung that across the room put it to the side also.

The next day, I figured that what I needed was some inspiration, so with gift card in hand, I headed over to Barnes & Nobles and picked up this book. I wanted to try her toe up sock patterns so badly that I could taste it. I just knew that this was the project for me. As soon as I got home, I decided on using up some Koigu that I had in my stash for the longest. Now you have to understand that in this book, the toe up patterns are for 12 stitch repeat patterns so you can only cast on for a gauge of 8sts or 5sts per inch. Because of the yarn, my goal was 8 stitches/inch. So first I tried with 3’s. Fabric to loose. So I went down to 2’s. Still too loose. Then I had to search for a good 30 minutes for my size 1 addi turbos which had mysteriously fell out of my regular needle bin and into one of my yarn bins. Made a swatch and got a gauge of 7.5 sts/inch. Now I really don’t remember if I have size 0 addi turbos because I’m a majic loop type of gal so I had to break out the dreaded dpns (the horror). So I casted on and I just knew I was going to get gauge. Well guess what? Still freakin 7.5 sts to the freakin inch. (ugh). So around 11:45 last night , I finally surrendered and figured that my mojo must be lost and hopefully it’ll soon find it’s way back home.

In the meantime, I’ve decided to work on all my wayward projects that have just been sitting there all patient like. So right now I’m working on my handspun socks that I’m not too crazy about. But hey, I’ll knit on anything right now so long as I don’t have to ride the trains staring off into space or trying to read over my neighbors shoulder.

By the way, congratulations to Rosi G for scoring some of my handspun. Since I only got all of 3 comments, I’m going to send La Bean and Del some handspun also. Hope you guys had a wonderful Holiday and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm still here, thanks for asking

Where does the time go,……really? Let’s get right to business shall we.

I’ve been spinning and carding rather sporadically as of late. If I had to categorize it, I’d say more like spinning binges where I spin like mad for hours on end, then won’t even look sideways at my wheel for a couple of days. My handcarders seem to be getting all the action, might be time to upgrade soon. I’ve been trying to send subliminal messages to my sweetie by whispering “Pat Green Drum Carder” in his ear while he sleeps. I’ll let you know if it worked after Christmas.

Mini digression: here's a quick conversation I had with my sweetie this evening

Me: Sweetie look what my friend gave me today as an early birthday gift!

{shows him skein of socks that rock in the Beryl colorway, just gawwwwwwwjus)

Dear Honey (DH): Do you really need more sock yarn? ……….I can’t believe that I know that this is sock yarn. Woman, what have you done to me?

Needles to say I busted out laughing and he proceeds to walk away. Probably chalking it up to just another silly knitter quirk. Gotta love it.

Moving right along. Remember the Romney that I was spinning for the Twisted Knitter dye-spin-knit along? Well I spun it from the dyed rolags but I’m not crazy about it.. I have my mind set on socks whether the yarn likes it or not. Capricorns are pretty stubborn ya know? So here’s the start of one short row toe sock.. They’ll probably be footies based on the small yardage. I love magic looping toe up socks two at a time because you can just knit til you run out.

I just got small steamer that I can use solely for dyeing so I really want to start experimenting with my dyes again. I dyed a little sample skein I spun with Wiltons just to see what I would get. To tell you the truth, I really don’t remember which combination of colors I used but here are my results.

I forgot to take a picture of it while it was all skeined and pretty. I started knitting a tissue cover out of it yesterday while I was in the Laundromat. I planned on gifting it to one of my coworkers but it’ll have to wait until after Xmas.

As far as knitting goes, I finally finished my Cuzins Socks That Rock.. I ended up putting a little design on the leg because the stockinette felt like torture. I’ll take a pic once I’ve gifted them. I don’t want to ruin the surprised for her.

I’m almost done with my son’s vest. I’m just waiting for my next meeting with my knit a long buddy blogless Sherrin so we can finish our vests together. She’s doing hers in a chunky burgundy yarn and it is just fabulous (as she would say). I’ll post a pic of hers too if she lets me. I’m so proud of her and her take charge type of attitude when it comes to knitting. Just a little while ago she was a beginner and she’s moving up the ranks rather swiftly. Anyhoo, here’s a pic of my almost finished one, modeled by mister mini GQ himself.
Well that’s it for now. Oh wait, I did say something about a contest last post right? I’ll make it a simple one because I really can’t think of anything clever enough right now. Since my birthday is on Monday I’ll give the 2nd and 5th commenter to wish me a happy birthday a skein of my handspun. Before you get all excited, I’ve been ranging around 40 to 60 yards per spin cycle (I like that term, don’t be surprised if it pops again from time to time). But hey, free yarn is free yarn. Here’s what you’ll have to choose from:

The second gets first pic and the 5th gets the next. Sounds fair enough?

Before I forget, Chloe asked about the pullover baby sweater that I knit recently. Well I knit it from hem to hem starting with the back. Then I casted on for the sleeves. Once they were done, I casted those sleeve stitches off and proceeded down the front all the way to the hem. Sewed up the sides and I was basically done. Here’s a crude diagram so you can get a better picture of what I’m talking about.

If I get a chance, I’ll write a pattern for it and post it here.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanzaa


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wow! 3 posts in one month...I'm on a roll

Well not really but I like to give myself little pats on the back every now and then. I'm a "half full" type of girl if you can't already tell. I've been pretty busy on the crafty homefront but I just recently realized that running a household takes a a lot of work. I mean dayum, can I get a day off?

Fair warning, I'm about to digress so if you came hear for the WIP eye candy, then skip this part.
Just to give you some backgound, before this apartment, I lived with my dad. The only space I had to worry about was my room and that's it. I mean I cooked when I felt like it (which was hardly ever), never bought groceries, rarely did dishes, I mean all I had to do was take care of my son, make sure my space was clean and that we had clean clothes to wear. Now I realize the prices we pay for space and privacy. I could go on and on about the many realizations I've learned the hard way moving out on my own so I'll just make a list of the following entities that can kiss my black ass (you know I must be mad cause I don't even curse like that):
#1-Con Edison - Thank you for sending me a bill for close to a G then telling me I had to read my own damn meter in order to fix your mistake. Don't you pay people to ride around and do this sorta stuff?

#2-Time Warner - Thank you for not correcting my address no matter how many times I call to fix it. I really do enjoy staying on hold and getting transfered to your customer service line about 3 times each call. Let's not even mention the two times it took your tech guys to actually hook me up and still forgot one of my products. It would still be nice to receive a bill even though you've charged me twice already.

#3-Pathmark- Thank you for your long express lines and for people who don't know how to use the self check out machines. Thank you for stocking something for one week, gettin me all in love with it, then never have it in your stores ever again.

#4-Taino Laundrymat - Even though you are pretty close to my apartment, I would still like to thank you for having a change machine but still make me walk all the way to the corner bodega to get singles. Thank you for making your machines so hard to figure out that I'm guaranteed to over pay by at least by 3 dollars each visit. Thank you for only having 5 chairs in the whole place and a public bathroom that doubles as a janitors closet. In case you didn't know, 4 year olds are guaranteed to use the bathroom at least 3 times while out in public.

Sorry, my father spoiled me. I'm really missing his washing machine, and his microwave, and his cable with all the movie channels, and his fridge stocked with food.(sigh) Thank god he lives right across the street so I can stop by everyday and go shoping in his kitchen. But for some reason, he doesn't stock as much groceries as he used to.

So I been knittin a little. It's been kinda scatter brained knitting. You know, knit a little on this, knit a little on that. I do have one FO. During the beginning of last week, it got kinda nippy outside and I realized I didnt' have a hat for this year yet. I just finished up a scarf using some homespun (Lionbrand, tryin to clear out the acrylic stash) in mistake rib. I dont' like for things to to be too matchy matchy, so here's my almost matching hat and scarf set.
my first ubiquitous bathroom mirror shot

The hat is roughly based on the tam pattern in the book The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns. I use the term roughly because my gauge was 3 sts/inch and their pattern starts t 4 so I had to fudge the numbers a bit. I needed it to be big enough to cover my ears and fit my 'fro when I have my hair out. I'll cast on for mittens next.

I've currently only got two things on the needles right now. I started a vest for my son using some acrylic I got for my birthday last year from my boss. I usually spread the word early around this time of year. Wanna get me a gift? Can't go wrong with yarn. Plus wool itches him as he likes to say. So here's the back and I cast on for the front already.

The border is the 2X2 Rib with Travelling Cables from the Knitting on the Edge book. I want her new book so badly but we're not even going to get into it right now.

Next are my cuzins STR Fairground socks. All this stockinnette work is driving me bananas but it does work up quickly. I think by the time I get to the leg stitches Ima throw a pattern up in that mug. Nothin too fancy as to mess with the varegation, but I don't know how much more straight stitch I can take.

My next project will most likely be a vest for my sweetheart. Those Aquarius' always like the fancy stuff. I don't know why I even asked, but he's always complaining about how I don't knit stuff for the family so I asked what he perfered. Of course he wants an Argyle sweater (sheesh). I had to smooth talk him into a vest and maybe a two color argyle pattern that I can do in fair isle. I've tried intarsia and we aint neva been friends. I also tried to convince him to try navy and grey or off white but nooooo. He wants blue and orange like Syracuse colors. And of course it has to be wool. I'm hoping that they have something I can work with at the Smileys sale this week. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I've been spinning but I'd like to post solely on that so you'll get an update next time. By the way, my birthdays next month so we're celebrating the whole month of December here at Chez Harlem Purls. Be on the look out for crafty quizzes and fibery giveaways. Woo Hoo.

Happy Knittin.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Guess what I found? My sanity perhaps

You guessed it, my batterie charger! I guess it heard from aroud the way that I was talking smack so it finally decided to pop up so I could stop bitchin. It was hiding out in one of my WIP project bags. That shows you how long its been since I picked up one of my WIP (more like UFO's). I actually pulled it out to block a toddler vest and poncho that I finished like two months ago (yes I don't mind telling on myself).

Now that I have my camera, here goes the parade of pictures. I just wanted to warn you that this post will be entirely of spinning, so if you don't like spinning or looking at pretty yarn....I suggest you seek mental help.

Ever since I got my wheel, I have become overly obssessed with spinning. I love making yarn. The only problem is that once I make the yarn I become so attached to it that I don't want to give it up. Case in point, here is a picture of all the yarn that I've made since learning how to spin. My son insisted on agreed to help me with this photo shoot. Here's a close up of the yarn Here are some of my favorites And my absolute favorite spun from a Grafton Fibers Batt that I got from my SSF Carine

Does this seem like a lot of yarn? I don't know, I may be a bit biased but this doesn't seem like that much to me but it does seem like a lot for me to have not knit anything out of (yes I know I contradicted myself but this is my blog and I can do that). It's just been nagging me a bit that after all this spinning that I've done, I only have two projects to show for it. Not to mention that the two projects that I did both used less that 30 yards of yarn. I love to knit so I don't know what my problem is.

Actually I do know what my problem is, I just can't let go. When I finish spinning the yarn I just want to admire it. I want to throw it on my bed and roll around in it naked like Demi Moore did in Indecent Proposal. I'm emotionally attached to all the yarn that I spin, big and small. I have this irational thought that once I knit it into something that all of the qualities I admired it for will somehow be gone forever. My rational side knows that this is not true but for some reason I still feel that way. But all hope is not lost, I'm planning on weaning myself off of my handspun stingieness by spinning yarn with specific projects in mind. That leads me to my next project.

I recently the twisted knitters blog. It was only fitting because I don't think I would have wanted to learn to spin if I hadn't purchased the book. When I first got the book, I thummed through it and immediately thought "I wanna make that". It pushed my urge to spin more and more everyday until finally I got a kit on ebay and the rest is history.

Let me take you through the process of my twisted socks.

First I weighed out 3.75 ounces of Romney Fleece along with .25 ounces of Mohair to blend. Then I carded it up into rolags (21 to be exact). I dyed 7 of them in three different batches using the stovetop method and Aljo acid dyes. I think I've spun about half of them. Here's how it looks spun up as thin as I can. Guess who just learned how to use the close up feature on her digital camera?

It was ME!(lol) I was planning on Navajo plying the singles to keep the stripes but I don't think I'll have enough for a pair of socks if I three ply it so two ply it is. I like how the colors came out and I can't wait to finish spinning it up. The rolags got a tiny bit felted while I was dyeing so I have to smack em up against the wall to make them draft smoother. I wish I knew what all the term meant so I could tell you what method I'm using to spin these (I could look it up but I can be lazy like that sometimes). How about if I just explain it, I hold the rolag close to my body and the twist is a bit ahead of the drafting zone. When I'm pinching the twist, I draft towards the orifice so I'm basically moving my right hand front and back and my left hand is stationary. If it's going really smoothly then I let the twist travel a little into the rolag and I gently grab the yarn that's already twisted near the orifice and drag it in that way. I hope that's understandable. Sorry for the really long post but I had to spread some spinning love. Hey maybe next time I'll do a whole post about sewing. We'll see.

By the way, Cuzin E aka Suga, I started your project but without those measurements, I'm at a stalemate. You know what to do. I also have some fiber for my favorite babysitter to spin. Luv yall.

Happy Knittin


Monday, November 13, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

Well if your looking for excuses, I gots plenty of them. I like to talk so I'm going to try and make a long story short. The root of my bad bloggerness (made up word) all stems from my camera. Actually, the batteries to my camera to be specific. As most of you already know, digital cameras eat batteries like pacman eats goblins so that led me to invest in rechargeable batteries. I'm lying, actually my dad bought them for me (thanks dad). Anyhoo, I slowly but surely lost all the batteries. First I lost two, then during the move, I lost the other two. So for a while I had a charger but no batteries. I was in denial for a looooong time thinking that the lost batteries would magically appear but I had to finally come back to reality. I didn't wanna do it, but I had to take is as a loss and buy some new rechargeable batteries at ten bucks a pop, good lawd! Now all this time, the charger has been sitting right in my face mocking me like "ah-ha you can't take no pictures, cause you aint got no batteries". So guess what happens next....Ima tell you what happened, I get home with my new batteries, and the freakin charger is nowhere to be found. Where the hell did it go? I really think that the battery charger had it out for me from the get go. Arrrrgggghhhhhh. In conclusion, the reason why I haven't blogged is due to the fact that I didn't have any pictures to show off display my work.

Now if you actually read through all of that, congratulations you deserve a treat. Here's some eye candy for ya

Date Started: November 5th
Date Finished: November 10th
Yarn: Nashua Yarn Wooly Stripes in Pastel, 2 & a half balls
Needles: Size 6 Denise Needles ( I had to first find them then dust them off)
*Note: Sweater has not been blocked as of yet because I'm a lazy knitter like that*

This is a newborn sweater set that I made for one of my coworkers' daughter. She's like family to me and her daughter is having her first child so I wanted to make her something special. I kinda remixed the pattern if you could call it that. At my last Sit N' Knit meeting, one of the ladies (sorry I don't remember your name but you had a wonderful accent) just finished knitting a baby sweater with a seed stich band. IT looked really easy. She said that she made a couple of them already and she loved the pattern.You basically cast on the back then add on for the sleeves, then bind off the sleeves and do the fronts and that's it. Of course I asked for the pattern and she told me it was the 5 hour baby sweater pattern that was floating around the net. So of course as soon as I got home I googled my butt off looking for this pattern and I couldn't find it done the way she did it. So I finally said F it and looked up the chest and sleeve measurements I wanted and did the math and viola. Hers had an open front like a cardigan, but I wanted to keep the self striping yarn in pattern. I winged the neckhole but I know for a fact that babies have big heads so I put a large opening for the shoulder button band. I feel kinda bad because the yarn is 100% wool and new parents have better stuff to do than wash their handknits. But I just couldn't resist. This yarn is so freaking soft you just want to rub it on your cheek all day long like a blankie (maybe thats just me).

It's getting kinda late and I think I've talked enough for now so stay tuned. I've got lots more stuff to talk about. Next post will definately have a lot of spinning content. I joined the twisted knitters and I've already carded and dyed the wool so now I'm spinning it up for some socks. I luv knitting socks. I used to dance when I was a bit younger which put a hurtin on my toesies. I think I've neglected them for so long, they deserve some Koigu and STR every once in a while dontcha think?

Let me leave you with a picture of a scarf that I'm working on for my son. His winter coat is orange and black so I'm trying to do a tiger striped, double knit scarf.I couldn't find a tiger stripe pattern in all the fifty million knitting books I have so I'm making it up as I go along using fibonacci numbers. I'm thinking about ditching it and starting from scratch with just one side black and one side orange. I don't know if it has the "feel" of a tiger. So give me your opinion and let me know if think this scarf embodies the "feeling" of a tiger.

Happy knitting yall!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Jumping on the Fiber Bandwagon

I saw a couple of posts around the blogosphere claiming to "Flash Your Fiber Stash", Well alrighty then, here you go.

For some reason, I thought I had a lot more fiber than this. I'm not going to list every single item, but most of the undyed stuff is corriedale and merino. Let's just say it's all wool. Now on to the fleece.

I scored the Romney (grey) and Border Leicester (black) locs at Rhinebeck. The other two honey colord fiber is Mohair which I got to card with the Romney to spin for some socks. The white in the mesh bag is some grease wool (Merino) that I scored a while ago. Dag, I got a lot of work on my hands.

Happy Knittin'

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I made it with 3 hours to spare!

Woo Hoo. I just finished my socktoberfest socks, and here they are.

I made these beauties for my signifigant other because he said that I never make anything for him. I have no idea what he's talking about cause I just made him a scarf this past February (which he lost on NJ Transit no less). Anyhoo, we have to keep our boo's happy, don't we? I'm sorry, I'm going off on a tangent here, it's just that I missed blogging, for real (insert part about trying to be a better blogger, yada yada yada). So here are the specs:

Name: Atmos socks

Pattern: Made up by your truly based on the Organ Pipes stitch pattern in the first Treasury of Knitting Patterns book by Barbara Walker.

Yarn: Lane Borgosesia by Zegna Baruffa - Hilton Print color #5. This is 100% merino wool yarn that I picked up from the Joan Vass sale earlier this year. I wish they had 'pet-o-vision' so you could feel how soft this is. It's like butta.

Date Started: October 1st

Date Finished: October 31st

Looky, looky, it took me exactly a month to make these socks. Ususally it doesn't take me that long but I knitted a beret in between there somewhere and of course Rhinebeck. I wont bore you with my Rhinebeck story, I'm sure you've read about the happenings all around the blogosphere. To put it shortly, I had a great time hanging out with my family and my friends and of course, I was sick but frontin' like I wasn't. Next year, I'm going to start taking airborne a week before I have anything remotely fun planned that involves knitting and fiber. I'll post pics of my haul as soon as I find my battery recharger so stay tuned.

I've been spinning like a mad woman and I'll post pics of some of my handspun yarn soon. It's just that I'm too impatient to sit there and actually fill a bobbin up. I think the most I've spun would be 96 yards from roving that I received from my Spinning/Roving swap pal (you can see pictures of what I got on her blog because of course I haven't gotten around to taking any pictures.) I'm also planning on trekking my journey in acid dyes for anyone who's interested. I also need to get crackin on that sweater knit along. Do you think there's any way that someone can add like 4 more hours to the day? Do you know how much more crafty stuff I would get accomplished in that time? 28 seems like a nice round number... or better yet, just round it off to like a 30 hour day.

I'm rambling now and I think I'm becoming delerious from the lack of sleep (damn that spinning wheel and the 4 pounds of fleece in my closet). So let me get to bed.

Oh, before I forget, if you like short stories please stop over at my girl Cathy's blog. There is no knitting content but my girl is very talented. She wrote a three part short story that just blew my mind. Just a warning, this story is only for the grown and sexy.

Happy Knittin'

Friday, October 20, 2006

My Poor Excuse For A Proper Post

Because of the move, I currently have no internet access at home so I can't really blog the way I want to. I've been spinning like crazy on my wheel but sorry guys, no pictures. I'm also really pissed right now because I'm going to Rhinebeck tomorrow and guess what.....I'm getting that little tickle in my throat again. I cannot even explain to you the level of pissedness that I am experiencing right now. I'm going to try and fight this thing with all of my being and hopefully I'll be able to enjoy myself tomorrow. So if you see me, make sure you say hi but keep your distance just in case.

So, here's my poor excuse for a post just because everybody else is doing it. Ciao.

1. FIRST NAME? Chante

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Here's the story I was told:
My parents were sitting at my Nana's house trying to think up a name for me if I was a girl. My cousin Todd who was acting on the show 3-2-1 Contact (who remembers that show from PBS Hmmm?) at the time had a huge crush on this girl from the Mickey Mouse Club and her name was Chante Yvette. So he suggested they name me that and they did (Thanks Todd)!

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Yesterday. I came to a very sad part of this book I'm reading. It hit too close to home.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I like my print but I don't like my script.


6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yup, but I think I would have to tell me to "shut up, you talk to much" every once in a while.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This one right here.

8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes but I wish my ENT doctor would just yank em out already. Geez.


10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Captain Crunch (yeah, I like the crunch)

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I think I may be the only person who actually does untie their shoes before taking them off.


13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Actually, My favorite Ice cream right now is from the Cold Stone Creamery and I always get Cake Batter Ice Cream with Strawberries, Bananas and Crushed Graham Cracker Pie Crust mixed in (Heaven I tell ya)

14. SHOE SIZE? 8 1/2

15. RED OR PINK? Definately Red ( I hate Pink)

16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I procrastinate way too much.

17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Brother. He moved upstate but I'll be lucky if I see him once a year.

18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? Whatever floats your boat.

19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Navy pants, Black top, black shoes.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A half of blueberry muffin.



23. FAVORITE SMELL? Ya'll will prolly think this is disgusting but it's actually when my Mom used to cook her famouse pig tails and lima beans.



26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Sure do.

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Green Tea (from a Japanese Sushi Bar)

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Are ya ready for some Football!

29. EYE COLOR? dark brown.

30. HAT SIZE? Who knows





36. HUGS OR KISSES? Nice Warm Hugs.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Banana Pudding Paula Dean style with the Chessmen instead of vanilla cookies.

40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Chocolate Covered Forbidden Fruit by Trista Russell

41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Plain blue.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? The whole ABC line up Ugly Betty, Greys and 6 Degrees.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? My son's giggle.



46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Can't think of any right now.


48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from Tawanna's blog.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Lets play catch up, shall we?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. I'm late. As you may already know, I attended this years New York Knit & Crochet Out held in Union square. Here's my journey in pictures.

First off, while riding the 6 to get to this event I started to feel a little tickle in my throat. I've had problems before with my tonsils so I know the warning signs of getting sick. At that point I could've went back home and drug myself up so that I could've avoid getting the full brunt of whatever germs were attacking my body. But you know what, I waited all year for this even and dagnammit I had plans. I wasn't about to let a little tonsilitis get in my way!

I sat down for a spell to knit a little, then I decided to take a stroll. Then I hear a voice that says "Excuse me but are you Harlem Purls?". I looked up to see my fellow sistah friend Divine Ladi (yay). Of course we chatted for a bit before I started wandering again.

Here she is pictured in the green shirt along side DramaQueen. What a small world. These two happen to be close buddies of my secret sistah swap pal Kellz.

After that I ran into Tawana at the fashion show, then we met up with Necia, Jeanine, Rosie, Kim and Marva. I couldn't really chat with them like a wanted because I was busy teaching someone how to knit but you know how it is when us knitters get together.I tracked down Lily Chin and got a pic with her. See?

Then they all went off to join the Sit N Knit group while I went off to the knitting tent to teach.

By this time my throat is killing me but I refuse to pay it any mind. Like I told you, I had plans! So I closed down the knit out then proceeded to Knitty City to meet none other than the Yarn Harlot. I asked one teensy little question and she called me a trouble maker. Moi? *devilish grin*

When we first sat down I spotted someone in the crowd who looked familiar. I started staring at her trying to place her face. The conversation kinda went like this:

Me: I know you!

Her: O.K.

Me: You have a blog right?

Her: Uh Huh.

Me: Your a Sistah Friend?

Her: Yes.

Me: Don't tell me the name of your blog....Don't tell me....OK tell me.

Her: A Knitter in Queens.

Here we are pictured with Sahara. Sahara was rocking that dress also.

So that was my day. I felt sick as a dog by the time I left to go home but it was all worth it. On my walk home I saw this on a wall and it evocked all types of emotions in me. My mom passed away on October 17th 2002 so I want to dedicate this picture to her.

Happy knitting.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Viva La Socktoberfest

If you look reeeeeeeally closely, you can see part of yankee stadium in the background. Those fans are really really loud!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Nuthin much

That's usually my answer when people ask what I've been up to. I haven't really done anything crafty because I'm in the process of moving and it's really been stressin me out. Needless to say I'm a person who's easily stressed so I'm like in hyper drive right now.

I'de like to share some good news,I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.....just kiddin, my wheel is finally in working order. Yay for me! It took forever for my ashford maintenance kit to get here but I'm so glad that I ordered it (thanks Bon). So once I got it, I oiled that sucka up, attached the tension thingamabob and replaced the doohicky that attaches the treadle to the long bar that turns the wheel. After that it was purring like a kitten (and not making that irritating squeaky noise). My first endeavers were a horrid mess. It was just like the first time I drop spindled. My coordination was so off and I wasn't use to how fast you have to ply. I ended up with a thick and thin, over spun mess. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of it. But my second effort was a little better and here's a picture of that. Not too shabby for a newbie huh?
Here are some yarns I've spun since then. My favorite is the purple yarn. I spun that from a batt that I was gifted by my SSF pal by grafton fibers. I like spinning batts because I just broke a big chunk and didn't have to pre draft. It reminds me of spinning from the fold, kinda.

Speaking of spinning here is a pic of a spindle that I'm planning on posting on ebay. It's about 2.3 ounces and 12inches long. I tested it and it spun well. I carried it all day in my purse just to make sure that none of the rhinestones fell off (I'm pretty rough on my purses, I broke a strap on two different purses in two weeks time). I would love to hear any comments- you love it, you hate it, what were you thinking, you know stuff like that.

I'm still merrily knitting along on my Swallowtail Shawl. I almost abandoned the project the first time I had to purl 5 tog but thanks to Bronxie, I've decided to go ahead and finish it. If you look closely, you will notice, that like an idiot, the colors do not match. I ran out of yarn and was in such a rush, I just grabbed a hank from my stash that resembled what I was previously using without checking in natural light. I didn't realize my boo boo until I had competed a full pattern repeat. Those who know me, know that I'll wear it proudly regardless.

My next project on display is the toddler sweater that I was working on. Guess what, my sweater has majically transformed into a vest. Of course I can't find any yarn to match that color brown, and I don't have the ball band from the original yarn. So my sweater is now a vest. I just have to do the edging on the armholes, add a little belt and block it. Hopefully the recipient will like it anyway. I'll keep you posted.

Here are my Baudelairs all done. I got tired of doing all those yarnovers and triple decreases so I just did my ribbing and called it a day. These too are a gift so I will get pictures of them on an actual foot once I give them to her (she doesn't read my blog so I'm not worried about ruining the surprise).

That's all folks. I don't expect to work on much else because I have a lot of packing to do. Hopefully I'll see a bunch of you at the Knit Out this weekend in Union Square. Actually I'll be volunteering to teach knitting there so if you see me, come over and say "Hi". Shoot, I always forget something I wanted to say, guess what? I'm certified Baybeeeee!

Happy Knitting.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Spin Roving Swap Questionaire

I know I probably mispelled the title but here goes

1) How long have you been spinning?
For about 2 months

2) Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?
I would say that I'm about Intermediate on my spindle but I have yet to conquer the wheel

3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?
Mostly spindles but hopefully by the time this swap is over, I'll be spinning like crazy on my new wheel

4) What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?
My drop spindles vary from lace weight to hunka chunka. I own about 5+ and only one of them is a low whorl. I just purchased an Ashford Traditional Wheel (see below) that I haven't started spinnign on yet.

5) What type of fibers have you spun with before?
I'm horrible at identifying fibers but I've spun corriedale, BFL, silk(which I wasn't too crazy about), angora, merino (I have tons of it), merino/tencel blend, merino/firestar blend and variouse other unidentifyable wool fibers.

6) What fibers do you prefer to spin with?
Merino & BFL but I would love to try any other types of wool

7) What fibers do you dislike?
Hairy ones like the angora and silk

8) Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?
No preference because if it's natural I'll prolly dye it anyway

9) Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?
No preference but I have a lot of Merino so something different would be nice

10) What are you favorite colors?
I like green but I'm game for most neutral colors

11) What colors do you dislike?
Pink (can't stand it)

12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it? (pattern clarification here)
I'm in sock knitting mode but I plan on gearing up for Winter with lotsa hats, mittens and neckwarmers

13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?
Nothing really. I'm waiting for my wheel to get in working order. Right now I spin small sample skeins to destress sometimes

14) Do you have a wishlist?

15) What are your other favorite hobbies?
Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing

16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)

17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?
USPS, but it really doesn't matter

Additional Questions:
1. Do you subscribe to any fiber-related magazines? If so, which ones, and for how long have you received the magazines?
No, I currently do not subscribe to any fiber related magazines. I bought my first issue of spin-off from the newstand.

2. Do you have any spinning-related books? If so, which ones?
Currently the only books I own that relate to spinning are related to dyeing roving. I own Color in Spinning by Menz and Hands on Dyeing. I also own the Twisted Sister Sock knitting Workbook which got me wanting to spin in the first place.

I hope this helps and thanks Secret Pal for reminding me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

I'm Spoiled

Yup. I admit it, I'm spoiled.

Truth be told, when the Secret Sistah Friend Exchange ended in August and I hadn't received anything, I gave up all hope and thought that I wasn't getting anything (awwwww). But don't cry for me Argentina, I finally received my package and once I received it I forgot all about the wait. My SSF came through and spoiled me beyond any measure. She sent me so much stuff that I couldn't even fit it all in the same picture. She went above and beyond any of my expectaions and I just want to give Carine mad props (and I apologize for cursing you out in my head, can you ever forgive me?). I am sending you a small thank you gift by snail mail so be on the lookout this upcoming week.

Now on to the goodies.
My package contained 2 skeins of Seasilk (yes seasilk!), two skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Silk and a pair of size ten needles from Knit One, Crochet Two. I would have been happy with just one skein of Seasilk but let alone two. That just made my day.

To satisfy my spinning fix, I received two bats of roving from Grafton Fibers. You will not believe how incredibly soft and airy this wool is. You know I spun a sample skein as soon as I opened the box.

For the greedy monster in me, my package also contaned two (yes two) boxes of Godiva Chocolates. Pay no attention to the open plastic wrapper in the background. I would've taken a picture of the chocolates inside but let's just say, no one wants to see a picture of an empty box.

And lastly, I received two packages of Stash tea in Jamaican Butter Rum and Cherry Almond with a tea infuser included (I didn't have one already, thanks). My pal must have been in my head because I was just thinking that I want to cut out the starbucks for a little while and switch to tea. So this package came right on time.

So as you can see my pal spoiled me silly and I cannot thank her enough.

As far as the knitting goes, it's been kinda slow. I have one more row before I start the ribbing for the cuff on the Baudelairs but basically there is little progress. The next picture I post of them will be when they're an FO.

I joined the Swallowtail Shawl Knit A Long hosted by our Sistah Friend Bronxie. I'm knitting this in Koigu on size 4's (I think). I'm going to be bold and not use a life line. I've only had two close calls but I was able to find the error quickly and compensate for it. So here's my progress so far.

One of my other WIP's is a toddler sweater. Below is a picture of the back only but I actually have completed the front right and left also. I am using the cardigan pattern from the Knitters Handy Book of Patterns book and I am using a lace chart from one of my stitch dictionaries (please don't ask me which one cause I can't remember. I always translate most of my lace patterns into chart form on graph paper anyway). I would love to finish the sleeves for this but of course I've run out of yarn. I was using the Caron one pound acrylic. Since most acrylic yarns like that don't have a definitive dye lot, I went back to the store I got it from to get some more. Well guess what. They haven't restocked the Caron One Pound yet and they didn't have my color. To make a long story short, I got the Caron Natura thinking it would be close to the same color and it doesn't match. Sheesh. Well I bet the knitting goddess is sitting up there with that "I told you so" look on her face right now. So now I'm trying to decide if I want to turn this sweater into a vest or try and track down that Caron One Pound. I'll keep you posted.

Other than that, I haven't really been up to anything crafty lately. I haven't sewed anything since my last post, beleive it not. Nothing's inspired me as of lately to sew. Oh well. The one thing I did do this past week is make my own spindles. Here are two that I made. After I do a bunch of research, and perfect the look, I'm going to post them for sale on ebay so wish me luck you guys. Hopefully next time I'll have more yarn porn and FO's.


How could I forget. Lookie what I got (Don't hate). You can read the whole story behind it here because I'm kinda tired right now. Lata.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

{Insert your own post title here}

Yup, I'm too lazy right now to think of a cooky post title. Who cares anyway cause all I really care about are the pictures right? Well here's what I've been up to.

In knitting news:

One of my oldest WIP's is finally a FO. I guess dragging it out from it's hiding place motivated me to actually finish it. I don't even know why I put it off for so long. I still have to block it but hopefully it won't take me as long to do so.

I revisited my roots by crocheting this hobo bag. As you can see, I still have to seam it up. I'm going to donate it to my Purls of Hope charity project at work. The yarn was gifted to me by Yarn Hippie and it's the new simply soft shadow stripes yarn by caron. Of course I fudged the pattern all up. Somehow I failed to notice the last word of every line (turn). I didn't realize this until I was about 80 percent done so there's a big ugly seam up the back but I'm OK with it. I don't rip my work until all other options have been exhausted.

My Baudelairs are coming along beautifully. I was a little apprehensive about the reverse heel flap but it wasn't that bad. I think I like it better than the top down heel flap. So I just have to do the leg and I'm done.

In spinning news:

I've joined a spinning roving swap. You can either swap roving or if your new to spinning or want to learn, swap spinning kits. See details here.

Here's what I have sitting on the spindles right now.

From left to right, on the bottom whorl is some dark grey roving that I tried to over dye. I'm not too pleased with the results but I just wanted to see how it spins up. In the middle is some grey roving that reflects a smallportion of my pound that I got from the Sheep Shed Studio. I've been working on it for over a week now and I'm tryingto spin up enough to break the 100 yard mark once plyed. The last spindle holds some corriedale that I dyed a while ago. I'm just trying to spin it up so I can make some room to justify dyeing some more roving.

Speaking of dying roving, I just dyed some roving last night. There was an interesting thread on crafster for last weeks Fiber Friday that spoke of the Wilton dye method. Pixiefarts posted the most vibrant yarn that was dyed using Wilton dyes and it was pretty hard to fathom because most of us have never gotten those results. Well of course I had to try it myself and here are my results.

I used royal blue, kelly green and burgundy. It came out a little more blue than I wanted it too but I like how psychadelic the colors are.

Here is a skein of two ply wool that I spun up last night. I am so proud of this skein that I may keep it as a momento for sentimental reasons. What's so special about it you may ask. Beleive it or not but that yarn originally looked like this:

I was at the farmers market down in Union Square last weekend and a vendor was selling handspun merino yarn. Since spinning I haven't purchased any yarn but I just wanted to take a look and see what he had. I was about to leave when something caught my eye. There was a bucket full of raw wool labeled "Grease Wool" down near the bottom of the tent. I quickly purchased a half of a pound before I could talk myself out of it. During this past week, I washed a small portion of it, and carded it while I spun it up. I'm on a tight budget so I didn't want to spend fifty plus bucks on some hand carders so I got a couple of dog brushed from pet land for under fifteen bucks. Yes it takes longer but I'm cheap (enough said). I also added in some firestar while I was carding although you can't really see it in the picture. It was a long process but I am so proud of my little handspun skein!

In sewing news:

Bags, bags and more bags. Yup, I love sewing bags. I think all the bags you see below were made using fat quartes that I purchased from my new favorite shop the City Quilter. They're like 4 blocks from my job and I love their selection. Of course I had to join Necia's Fat Quarter Swap. Check out her blog under "more ish" for details.

Here's my new everyday tote (green of course). I think I may try to make a messenger bag this weekend.

Following are some pictures of some wrist bags that I made. I used a pattern from this book. The green one is currently beeing used to hold my Baudelairs. It's wonderful for on the train because you don't have to worry about pulling anything out of your purse and your yarn is out of the way.

And look, A zipper Woo Hoo!

I made this bag as a gift for my friends neice in CT. I like the lining but it was a mutha to cut and sew. It kept on slippin and slidin all over the place.

This is the most recent bag I made. I gave this to my boss for her birthday. Don't you just love the ribbon strap and the button. I freestyled the pattern also.

Well that's all folks. I was just notified of some relatives and friends who have buns in the oven so expect to see some baby knitting in the future. Also, I think it's about time I get started on the winter knitting, you know hats, scarves, gloves. I also plan on trying to sew my own coat this winter but I'm not 100 percent sure if I'm going to be able to do it.

Happy craftin yall!

Oh, by the way, sorry I didn't have any pictures from our Barbecue but like a dodo I left my camera home. I want to give the biggest props to Sahara and thank everyone who attended. Thanks for making it an event to remember.