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'