Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Just Can't Keep My Hands Still

Whew, what a crafty coupla weeks this has been. I’ve been really busy. So let’s get right into it, shall we?

On the Knitting Front

I’ve been stitching and I’ve been bitchin…really. One of my New Years resolutions was to start using some of the patterns out of the many knitting books that I own. Last week I actually used two patterns and they both came from Stitch & Bitch books.

One of my co-workers got transferred to Cali so I whipped up this purse the night before her going away party (Did I ever tell you how much of a procrastiknitter I am?) She’s in love with the color pink so I used the hand dyed yarn from my last post. The pattern was really easy and I kinda freestyled the flower on the front. I lined it with a playful cotton fabric but you’ll have to take my word for it. I would show you a picture but when I showed it to Judy at my last meetup, she said it looked like something I can’t mention here because my little cousin may be reading this (Hi Jamilla!). By the way this pattern is out of the Happy Hooker book and it’s the In Bloom clutch.

The next pattern I kinda remixed. I realized a couple of days before the Yarn Harlots Representin book signing at FIT that I didn’t have anything knitted to wear. So the night before the event (see? Procrastiknitter!) I whipped up this headband. It’s basically the Belt de Jour pattern from Stitch and Bitch Nation. I ended up crocheting around it and added ties. It looks kinda shabby because I’ve been wearing the mess out of it.

Speaking of representing, here are some pictures from the event. I spent most of the day hanging out with Tawana then afterwards went to eat with the watchamacallits (Rosi, Necia, Jeanine, Sherrin, and Marva). I also got to meet Nikki and I saw my peeps Nancy, Maribel and Claudia.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the event.

Guido and I representin’

The watchamacallits representin in BBQ’s.

Oh shoot, I almost forgot. There is cause to do the happy dance… I finally finished my Fuego Socks (and the crowd roars ). I am in complete love with them. As soon as I weaved in all the ends, I put them on my feet and I swear I heard harps and a choir.

I knit them one at a time and I think I might start doing my socks this way from now on. The reason is that by the time I finished the first one, I had the pattern memorized so the second one went rather quickly. I could just knit & knit with out stopping to look at the chart. And it also seems to go so much faster. I did take a little break in between socks but the SSS bug didn’t get me. I really enjoyed knitting these but I think next time I won’t use a size 0 needle. Thanks Rosi!

Sew, What’s New?

Yup, I’ve been sewing a little. Another one of my coworkers had a birthday before she went on vacation so I told her that I would have something handmade for her when she got back. Of course she was out for two weeks and I started her project the Sunday before she returned to work. I decided to try my hand at a wallet because I had some fat quarters that I wanted to use up. I scoured Crackster…er, um sorry, I meant Craftster to find a wallet tutorial that looked pretty easy and I found this one. So here’s how mine turned out.

Please don’t laugh, I know it’s kinda lopsided but at least the fabrics pretty. When I gave it to her she really liked it and I guess that’s all that matters.

I plan on sewing a couple of sock project bags soon with this fabric I picked up at The City Quilter during the Representin’ day. I love that place and their fat quarters are addictive. I can never leave that store with just one.

Look What I Can Do

So I was walking downtown and I passed by a beading store. Of course I had to go in. Somehow I left the store with all these beads and I have no recollection of buying anything. I have no idea how that happened. Here’s me attempting to make some stitch markers. I’m not planning on selling them or anything but I think it’d be cool to keep them as a collection or give them as gifts. I really like making them but I’m still trying to get that bending and shaping the metal part thing down. I have yet to get the perfect loop but it gives me something to look forward to.

My World Is Spinning

I saved the best for last. I have a new best friend and her name is Vicky.

I got a new wheel (yay). Quick question for all you multiple wheel owners, is it just me or do people expect you to get rid of your old wheel just because you have a new one? What’s wrong with having more than one wheel? I love them both for different reasons. My Victoria will never replace my Traditional and my Traditional will never replace my Victoria kowhatimsayin?

Anyhoo, she spins like a dream. It took me a while to figure out how to put the wheel cap thingie on and to adjust the tension just right but once I got it going I was in spin city. Right now on the bobbin is some Cheviot fleece that I washed and am now carding as I go. I plan on filling this whole bobbin then the other and plying them together. I’m spinning this fleece woolen using long the long draw method (can you tell I just learned that from my new spinning book). It is coming out so soft and this was my first time trying out cheviot wool.

Remember that purple/red/green roving that I dyed from my last post? Well here it is all spun up.

2.5 ounces of Merino Roving dyed with Wiltons

Navajo plied

175 yards, 16 to 24 wpi, approx fingering weight

This was the first thing I spun on Vicky Irsabo. All the singles fit on one bobbin and so did the yarn after I plied it. Based on Tamara’s suggestion, I navajo plied it. I have no idea what I’ll make with it but we’ll see what happens when inspiration hits.

So that’s all for now. I’ve got some crafty stuff to get in to. I’ll leave you with a pic of some of my recent library additions. See ya on the knit side.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hello, It's me again (pic heavy)

Well, well, well, so we meet again. Um, where did February go? I think I slept through it or something because I can’t believe it’s time to “spring forward” already. Sheesh. Anyhoo, I’ve been doing some knitting and spinning and joined a couple of swaps so let’s just jump right into the fiber escapade, K.

On The Knitting Front.

Here’s how far I’ve gotten on my Dream sweater.

I’m right up to the armhole decreases on the back(again). Quick story. When I got to the armhole the first time, I figured that since I didn’t have gauge, that I couldn’t use the decreases that were written for the pattern. Keep in mind, that not once did I refer to my little notebook that has all my notes about this project. So I thought it a good idea to refer to my Knitters Handy Book of Patterns book and just use the decreases they had for my stitch count and gauge. So I went merrily along doing all the armhole decreases written in the knitter handy pattern book. So after I finish doing all the decreases and about an inch more of the armhole something tells me to look at the pattern and see how the two compare. So my pattern says for the back to CO 108 stitches. I look at my little notebook to see how many I casted on……108 stitches. Noooooooooo. I had gauge all along. I just frogged the armholes yesterday so I can follow the decreases in the pattern. Once I’m done with the back I may start a sleeve just to break up the monotony a little.

I finally finished a project for the Twisted Knitters KAL.I wanted to make socks but things almost always never go as planned so I made mittens. Peekaboo mittens actually.

Remember this yarn. I didn’t think I had enough yarn for a pair of socks so I planned on making fingerless gloves. I used my trusty two at a time, magic loop, pulling from both ends of the ball method to knit these up. Once I got to my knuckles, I realized that I may have enough for mittens so I inserted a provisional row on one side so I could open it up later to make peekaboo mittens like the ones on Magknits. Once I’d finished the mittens and the thumb, I only had enough yarn to crochet around the finger opening. That’s why it looks so craptastic. That’s the story, morning glory.

The other day, Mr DJ tells me that my little ones (J) hat is too bulky for him and that he needs a skully. Of course I chime right in with “I’ll make him one, what color do you want?” J tells me he wants red, so Mama makes it red and everyone’s happy!

And finally, I started my other Fuego sock but that may have to be put on hold because I have another pair of sock to make for one of my swaps.

We Be Spinning

And dyeing! First some fiber pron. I just ordered this roving from Franquemont Fibers after reading about it on Theresa's blog. All I can say is “Mmmmmmmm, yummy” Here’s a picture but of course it doesn’t do it any justice. I spun a little up and it is so dreamy. Thanks, Abby.

Specs: Luxury Batts dyed in the Easter colorway: Merino/Silk/Mohair/Nylon blend.

I’ve playing around with different dyeing techniques. I’m not crazy about the results but I don’t hate it either. They’re just…different.

Here is some Patons Wool that I dyed using Wiltons. I think I used burgundy and Orange. I may use this yarn to replace some socks that Mr DJ felted in the wash.

I haphazardly threw these colors together to dye this Correidale roving. I was trying out the steam dyeing process in the oven so I didn’t really care about what colors I was putting together. I may spin this up all barberpoley, if I ever decide to spin it up that is.

Here’s my current spinning project which I am absolutely in love with. I dyed the roving using Jacquard Acid dyes. The roving is mill ends from the Sheep Shed Studio in dark grays. I didn’t weigh it before I dyed it but I’ll definitely make sure to do so after its spun. The singles right now are at about 32 WPI and I’m planning on Navajo plying it for socks. I’m determined to knit some socks with my handspun if you can’t already tell.

Just for kicks, I spun this small skein of yarn from some roving Necia gave me. I think it’s Wenslydale from Lisa Souza. I don’t’ know, you’ll have to ask her but I really just wanted to practice my Navajo Plying.


Well, as I said I joined two swaps. Well actually one of them I started just because.

I joined the sock swap for my Meetup group, Sit n Knit. Believe it or not, but of all the 6 miles of sock yarn I have in my stash (seen here) I didn’t have anything that qualified for what my partner wanted so I took a quick trip to Seaport Yarns to pick up some Louet Gems. This project will have to be kept hush-hush because I’m not sure if she reads my blog. I’ll post a pic once they’ve been swaped.

The second swap I created on swap-bot. I don’t know about other knitters/spinners out there but I keep little sample skeins of yarn in my purse sometimes. K, I’m lying, all the time. I’m not afraid to admit it, I like to pet yarn. There I said it. I thought it’d be a good idea to start collecting those little keychain yarn thingies like the ones that Blue Moon included as part of their sock club (no, I didn’t join and I’m hella jealous of all of you who have). The details of the swap can be seen here.

I think I’ve said all that I need to say. Till next time kiddies.

Craft on!