Thursday, August 17, 2006

Startitis (who's surprised?)

After some serious stashing at Stitches Midwest (maybe 3 or 4 shopping bags on the floor and some more lovely kits winging their way Chicago-ward from Habu, Webs, a California store with cheap baby alpaca, and Black Water Abbey...I'll photograph the pile I have now so you can all gawk at my lack of self-control)...I need to start something right. NOW. Something that I can finish fast and therefore use to justify the number of future projects sitting on the living room floor (because there's no more room under the beds or in the extra dresser).

Thusly I have cast on for a bulky quick cardigan. I'm using lovely Classic Elite Marl La, a 100% wool yarn that's basically 4 strands of yarn held together, not plied, and each strand is a different complementary color. I'm using "Crazy Copper" #8527. Here's a close-up from Royal Yarns:

I'll use the Weekend Neck Down Jacket pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple (it's #0234 and available on Elann for a mere $4).

So for now I leave it up to you to picture me with size 17 circs completely full of gigantic stitches and not even to the widest part of the pattern...I think I'm building muscle.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Reviveth thouself, blog!

Much time and knitting has gone by. I have decided that fact should not stop me from blogging, which I have gotten strong urges to do for the past few weeks.

Though I wasn't working from late April until the end of July, and therefore had lots of free time, I didn't feel like blogging. I did plan a wedding and then get married in it (how convenient!), and I did knit quite a bit. Check out the sidebar for a sampling of FOs. I also finished a couple Secret Items for a friend (for Xmas) and a camo dog sweater for a lovely neighbor Shih Tzu. Photos to come ASAP.

In that time, I went to Maryland Sheep & Wool with my mom and good friend Bekah, and also went to Stitches Midwest with my mom (and took two classes with her). It was my second annual trip to each fest. Otherwise I didn't stash much, which is pretty good for me -- only a couple of skeins on sale here and there from Mosaic Yarn Studio and Arcadia.

This Saturday is the stash swap and yarn adventure at Arcadia. However, emphasis on SWAP. I really need to destash, period, especially considering all the great stuff I got in the last few months. The new finds really do trump the old stuff in many ways. I guess I'll use the stash swap as a warm-up to a full-fledged sale/giveaway.

When I update regularly for a while, I may do a little blog contest with yarny prizes. I still can't bear to destash any books or patterns, but honestly those don't bug me in the way oodles of yarn does.

A warm-up photo until I get back to the home computer (Banana Nut is her name):

Eli the cat in a too-small shoebox.
Photo courtesy of brother-in-law pro photog. Yay David!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Nonstop action!

Knitting? Not really.

It's all work and wedding around here!

I haven't even finished the failed Olympic knitting yet. Seriously! What the heck.

Soon it will be more knitting, because I quit my job. No new one lined up yet, but I have big plans and a strong desire for an income and benefits (mmmm health insurance).

My mission: Get over my funk this weekend with my lovely knitting friend, Hannah (back from Spain - yay!). Do some knitting and send out some resumes. Photos of fun and knitting to come on Monday!

Monday, February 20, 2006

What's happening, Clappy?

For the Knitting Olympics, I'm chugging along on a Clapotis. As promised yesterday, here are some progress photos, featuring lovely cats getting in the %$#@! way...

I'm doing the version as called for in the pattern, with the option to add more straight rows if I have time (the only downside to doing this for the Olympics: I may just decide to fudge and go with the pattern even though I want it to be longer...must weigh the options responsibly). Right now I'm about to drop the ninth ladder (9th repeat of the 13 called for, and still almost a week to go. Not bad!)

I'm using up to two 500 yd hanks of Brooks Farm Harmony (mohair/wool/silk blend) in a beautiful "spring flame" colorway. (Thanks to Rikeesha for the comment comparing my Clappy to the Olympic flame!)

(Click to enlarge)

I think this accurately shows the colors: from yellow to orange to pink to purple, with some muted browns mixed about.

This photo was taken today on the back of my sunny overstuffed chair. I also endeavored to photo my Clappy in the window, on the cat's window seat. Bad idea.

Eli got veeerrrry curious and the Clappy had to be moved posthaste. No permanent damage was done, though he did get a couple claws in. I should have foreseen this from yesterday's behavior from...

...Margot. I didn't get a shot of her in the act of making bread* out of Clappy, but when she finished with that she sat DOWN. on. it. When Margot sits, there's no point trying to move her. I eventually pried her off and wisely moved Clappy to the other side of me.

But it's all worth it. Behold La Clapotis burning like the Olympic flame!

Feel your jealousy sear your soul! Sing, "How much is that Clappy in the window?" PRICELESS! Bwa haha haha!

I'm better now.

* Making bread: kitty kneading, and with these fully-loaded kitties that means claws out!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

What happened so far in '06

1. January 5: Long-time lovely boyfriend proposed! I accepted.

2. January 6-7, and onward: Called family and friends to share the good news.

3. January 7-present: Knit quite a bit.* Did lots of wedding planning. Told more friends about my blog, yet didn't update it. Some friends commented on heavy knitting content (heehee, sorry, it is what it is!).

4. February 10: Began Knitting Olympics by casting on for Clapotis. Better late than never to get on that bandwagon, eh? (And yes, I am part of Team Clapotis! Go go fellow knitters!)

4. Today: Checked alternate email address (used to be my main one) and realized the Midwest Knitters webring was gonna boot me if I didn't get this blogging show on the road!

So, some more about my Clapotis: I'm using Brooks Farm Harmony (55% mohair, 22.5% silk, 22.5% wool) in an orange/pink/tan/purple blend. Very springy! And as my friend pointed out, very reminiscient of the Olympic flame. Accidental poet, that's me! I have 1,000 yards of this stuff, but I won't use it all. I'm more than halfway through and I haven't even finished one of the 500 yard skeins.

Winding this yarn is wild! I wind half of one skein onto a ball winder and then just leave the rest of the skein dangling from the outside thread. (And I spit-felt ends together when I run into knots, or when the cats chew the yarn apart. Damn cats.)

Come back tomorrow for Clapotis photos! (Maybe tonight, if the lighting isn't as sucky as I think it is...)

* All of the updates I should've made will come in time. This includes photos of FOs like my fuchsia cabled hat, my tightly-knit alpaca helmet, and details on UFOs in progress like Kepler, the Softy scarf, and the "when-will-I-finish-this" girly poncho.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Tagged by the fug

While blogsurfing, I happened upon JenLa's blog -- and the meme got me: create the ugliest Yahoo! Avatar possible.

The two she came up with sort of use up all the good fugly ideas. I went for Le Strange:

Drunken Zoologist Partaaaay!

It's hard to see her facial expression, which is called "Special" by the avatar program. And you can only barely see the red spidey hanging over the polar bear. That is in honor of Bonne Marie's spidey hat! (While you're there, check out her wacked-out American girl avatar.)

Knitting content, you say? Er, embarrassingly enough, I started another project. A hat from Interweave Knits' winter '05/'06 "cover your ears" hat project. I already hat two skeins of Misti Baby Alpaca Chunky, and I did NOT have a really warm handknit hat that wasn't itchy, so it has begun. Three rows, but still! This will be super-toasty due to its really tight gauge (4 sts/1" on size 7 needles) considering the weight of the yarn and its roomy earflaps. Download the free PDF of 7 hat patterns at Interweave Knits online.

Update at 3:00: Arrrgh, I just remembered another UFO to add to my sidebar: the girly poncho! My friend's daughter needs her recycled silk poncho-fabulous ASAP. I can't believe I forgot about it. (Just need to block, seam, and fringe -- before she grows out of the darn thing!)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hanging new curtains

That's what I've been doing, bloggily. Thanks to the Knitter's Review Forum and the inimitable Kim, I finally found a good way to monitor my knitting progress! It's in the sidebar. Do you like how the green in-progress color matches the blog background? Me, too. And the finished object color is a pretty yellow. That's what I mean by hanging new curtains -- just a little redecoratin'. A big thanks to Indigirl for posting this information on her website in the first place! Brava.

(Note: I normally use too many parentheticals, in my opinion. As an experiment, I'm switching to italics for this post. Just to see if it annoys me less! I'm a parenthetical thinker/speaker/blogger by nature...As is usual with parentheticals, feel free to skip the italicized stuff if you're in a hurry! Hee.)

Edit: As of now I can't get the progress images to fill up with color. I can see it when I preview my blog but not after I save it. Any and all tips are welcome! Thanks again, Kim! She realized I coded the color wrong. Darn you, HTML and your sneaky ways!

As you can see from the new progress bar, I am down to three projects right now which doesn't include the soon-to-be-frogged, barely-begun Banff, and the remnants of an ill-begotten idea to knit a non-feltable fun fur purse monstrosity -- which I would frog but I don't want the yarn anyway. I finished the Loopy Pillow from Stitch n Bitch Nation and Xmas-gifted it to my Gramma. Pictures to come soon! I would put it as a 100% completion on my progress bar but there's no good shape for a pillow...yet. I may find a way.

On the Kepler see knitalong page here with a link to the free pattern, I have knit the two cabled sleeve bands and begun the first hip band. Not sure if that's worth 20% but I sure feel like it should be. It's in Rowanspun Aran, in an earthy orange called Autumn. Have I mentioned how much I love Cucumberpatch's UK yarn store on eBay? Got this at a deep discount with free shipping.

The swirl cap is a pattern from Vogue Knitting On the Go Caps & Hats. I've been attracted to it for a long time and can now actually make it, what with my new abilities to cable and read cable charts. It's in fuchsia Rowan Cashsoft DK -- drool. Yay for Arcadia!

NOW after typing that I realize the Rowan whore I am this season. Yay! Not to mention the recent stash acquisitions due to discontinued Polar and Rowanspun (I got DK). And I have a few colors of Kid Classic that stare at me whenever I peek at them in their drawer. I did get to use a bit for the trim on my Ladybug Shrug, at least.

Well, the scarf for my boyfriend's aunt and my friend, Lell, is in Berroco Softy, in a dark muted green. Not really a less expensive yarn than Rowan, but I got it in sale sale sale at the Webs booth at Stitches Midwest this summer. The Softy is true to its name. A tip: this yarn, with its occasional fluffyfluffs along a nylon strand, really doesn't look good in either garter stitch or stockinette. I'm using a suggested broken rib pattern, and it looks tons better. A new discovery. Not that I plan on becoming a novelty yarn expert or nothing. Yeesh. This scarf is really almost done, but I only put 80% because I have to attach FRINGE. Lell, let it be known I love ya!

Photos of FOs, WIPs, and stash acquisitions from across the country to come! Still waiting on yarn packages to arrive. And three hundred hugs to my boyfriend's dad for insuring that yarn package. He even insured it for the right amount! Seriously, bless him. How many non-fiber addicts do you think could correctly assess the worth of handpainted yarn?! Though now he knows how much I really can drop on really tasty wool.

Off to bed. Shouldn't have had that latte at 5:30!