Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another happy photo...

As usual for things at the moment, I am pressed for time and darn near pulling out my hair on this test knitting project but I will invoke the zen principles and take a breath and be happy with my universe (I am one with the universe. I am one with the universe.). At any rate, I will blog more about progress and knitting and happy things soon. I promise. Until then, I will show you a photo of some new additions to my knitting library.
New knitting books

This photo reminds me that I really need to do some shorty book reviews. I have finished one book and nearly completed another book (both fiction) and read through the above books and I have things to say about them. Also, I got my invite to Ravelry and I'm using every ounce of self-restraint I have to stop from spending all my time on there and cataloging everything. But I have too much crap to do right now so no Ravelry for me at the moment. I promise I will not let it distract from my super-interesting (HA) blogging. Thanks for hangin' in there, my friends.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

I am now...

halfway done, exactly, with the proofreading project and I am in exactly the same place with my test knitting project as I was before I frogged it due to gauge issues. I present to you a picture of yarn from Emily B.'s etsy shop that I am in love with:
Emily B.'s yarny goodness
The one on the left, Handful of Orchids, and the one in the middle, name unremembered, are destined to become luxuriously beautiful socks for me and someone else who wants pretty pink socks. I have to go back to proofreading and knitting. More later. :)
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Friday, July 20, 2007

I have stuff to tell you...

....I'm just uber-lazy right now and I'm trying to make up for lost time on my test knitting thing so I'm not blogging at the moment. You are currently missing out on photos of beautiful yarn, other yarn I need help deciding what to do with, a sweater that I want to make but the pattern is in French, photos of cats, and a brief discussion of a book and a movie I finished and watched recently, respectively. I will blog tomorrow after I finish waist shaping and proofreading a manuscript (I'm halfway through, almost, the proofreading). Please bear with me and wish me fingers that knit like the wind. By the way, I've read some of the worst similes and metaphors lately that I almost want to suspend my own poetic license for a while. I hope y'all are well. Thanks for you patience.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cursed by my own hubris

So being the good little test knitter that I'm trying to be, I decided to check my gauge on the test knitting project. I did a gauge swatch before I started (see? good little test knitter) and I was spot on. There was much rejoicing. I'm now five inches (FIVE INCHES) into the garment and thought, well missy, you are rocketing through this so why don't you just check yer gauge (evidently I address myself like a grizzled 1860s prospector (double points to anyone who can name that pop culture reference))? I've read all the stuff about gauge changing in big projects so I thought I'd check. Well, I checked and I'm off....way off. Ugh. So now I'm ripping out five inches of my project. Riiiiippppp! I will be going up a needle size and reknitting for the rest of the knit. That's what I get for thinking so highly of my knitting. HA! Did I mention this will be my third go at this because I want it to be as close to perfect as possible? Well, it is and I'm still trying. More progress (or lack thereof) later as now I must go rip. By the way, i-cord cast-on curls up like crazy but I've been assured that blocking will remedy this. Back to ripping and then knitting.
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Knitting, yarn, art, and happiness pie

Hi y'all. I have many things to report but I'll probably forget half of them so stay tuned for further blogging in the future. The Summer Stash Swap is well underway and swappers are sending packages to one another daily. I love it!! Everyone participating is so conscientious and thoughtful. I'm definitely doing this again next year. I'm still beside myself with joy with the yarn I got up in Pittsburgh and, to top it all off, I received the yarn I ordered from the Three Peas Shoppette on Etsy when I got back into town. I haven't had a minute to photograph it yet but I will regale y'all with photos of this beautiful yarn as soon as possible. It's lovingly hand-dyed by the fabulous Emily B. and I feel like I got it for a steal. How could you go wrong?

  • The MAN socks are officially now the me socks. I finished one (fantastic, by the way) and it fit me perfectly which meant that there was no way it was going to fit over Travis' foot. I'll be finishing the matching sock so I have a pair and starting a pair of socks for Travis once again. This time, they will be toe-up socks. Photos of my single sock and progress on the second sock are forthcoming.
  • My first Knit Picks test knitting item is going along quite well. They sent me yarn and a pattern and I commenced to knitting. There is a lot (A LOT) of intarsia involved so I'm sharpening my intarsia skills. I'm using their "Wool of the Andes," which is 100% Peruvian wool. It's very even and quite springy with a wonderful bounce to it. It lends to beautiful stitch definition and, on US size 8 needles, it knits up into a nice, drapey fabric, not too dense or stiff. I'll take a progress shot of that so y'all can check it out.
  • I whipped out three dishcloths (using the Woven stitch) while on vacation. I used a baby cotton that I had in my stash and I am just as pleased with the results from using it as I was using the Peaches and Cream brand available at Sprawl-mart. On a side note, I did grab two balls of Peaches and Cream cotton from Sprawl-mart when I was on vacation. They had a vibrant red variegated one that I couldn't pass up because it would go perfectly in my mama's kitchen. I think I'm hooked on dishcloths and that particular stitch pattern rocks. I make them as follows: CO an even number of stitches (I use 44). Knit in seed stitch (aka moss stitch, depending where you are) for four rows. Row five: Knit first four stitches in seed stitch pattern then start the woven stitch (knit second stitch on the needle without removing it, then knit the first stitch on the needle and slide both stitches off the needle. repeat to last four stitches.). Knit in woven stitch to the last four stitches. Knit last four stitches in seed stitch pattern. On the purl side of the cloth, for the woven stitch, purl the second stitch on the needle without sliding it off the needle, then purl the first stitch on the needle and slide both off the needle. Repeat to last four stitches. Knit to within four rows of the desired length. Knit last four rows in seed stitch border. BO in seed stitch pattern. The seed stitch border helps to stabilize the whole thing so it doesn't roll all around.
  • On a random, non-knitting side note, we saw this owl: This one looks like my cat, Penelope. at the Carnegie museum in Pittsburgh. It reminded us of our cat, Penelope. I though I would share it with you.
  • Knit Picks customer service rocks. If you have any problem at all with your order, call them and they will make it right. They are awesome. (and I'm not just saying that because I "work" for them.)
Partaking in culture:
  • I promised some good photos from the Carnegie museum and here are a few of my favorite things from there. Most of my photos are more like reference photos so I'm just sharing the highlights here. This particular photo appealed to my macabre sense of humor. Hahahaha. What a funny way to display a bird. It just struck me as a really odd way to display a bird. Quite funny though. hehehe
  • They had an Egyptian exhibit there and I saw this: Egyptian drop spindle. Very cool. It's a drop spindle! How freakin' cool is that? I had no idea the drop spindle hailed from that far back in time. I was pleasantly surprised.
  • This is a beautiful Chinese vase that had inspiring colors. Beautiful Chinese vase that inspired me. I loved the combinations and the contrast in the colors. If you look closely at the photo (or click it to see it bigger), you can see Travis in the background equally as captivated by a piece of art. We had such a wonderful museum visit...both of us are big art buffs and, by the time we left, we had heads full of art and beauty.
  • Who doesn't love a big Buddha? I love a big Buddha.
So, for the moment, that's all I've got. I have some fantastic photos of the outdoor cats in TN that hung out with me while I finished my book. I'll get them off my camera on to you so you can bask in their ridiculous cuteness. I'll also be taking lotsa photos of yarn and other delicious things so I'll see you soon, bloglings and blogettes. I hope you are having a wonderful day.
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Monday, July 09, 2007

Wherein I briefly discuss travel and talk extensively about yarn

Hello all! I just got back from a wonderful trip up to Pittsburgh with Travis and his mama to go to their family reunion. We hung out with the family, went to the reunion (where I worked on the MAN sock), and Hurrah! went yarn shopping. We had to wake up early a lot, which 'bout near killed us but we survived...albeit with much grumpiness and protests. We are not early morning folk. We are late night evening folk. I was outside in the sun for an entire day and actually got a bit of a sunburn (the first time in at least a year). And we saw this: Good Ole McDonald's
pulling into our hotel room, which was close to a McDonalds. Funny funny.

  • Since we left from Florida, I have nearly completed one MAN sock. I did quite a lot of knitting at the reunion, which was really nice (both the reunion and the knitting). However, working with tiny needles all day long made my hand go numb for about an hour later that night and my arm ached the next day. I think I built some new knitting muscles in my arm. The sock is coming along well but I think, just like my other attempts at doing so, that this MAN sock is going to fit me better than Travis. Ah, well. I just get a new pair of socks and get to take another whack at it with the MAN socks.
  • Before we left Florida, I got struck by the small project bug and decided to knit up the chenille washcloth from Weekend Knitting. I wound up some Colinnette (sp?) cotton chenille in colorway Jewel into a delicious yarn cake: Mmmm...yarn cake and proceeded to knit up the largest washcloth in the world with it. It is a giant flower (and no, I didn't check my gauge because I figured, hey, it's a washcloth for me so I don't really care) and it's more of a towel than a washcloth. Funny pictures of Travis modeling it for me will be forthcoming.
  • Travis, his mama, and I went to a fabulous yarn shop in Pittsburgh, Dyed in the Wool, where Kelley and Carol turned out to be the yarn devils of Dyed in the Wool. They work there and they helped me load up on beautiful yarn by waving it around in my face while I shopped and by being extra helpful. Travis accompanied me and encouraged me to go a little crazy since I've been so good on my yarn diet plus he bought me the yarn as an anniversary present. *Happy Sigh* He's so sweet. And I made out like a bandit. They were having a sale on Debbie Bliss (among others) and Elsbeth Lavold. Yarn cache 07.09.07 I got three skeins of silver and black Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, one skein of Helen's Lace by Lorna's Laces in pewter, two skeins each of Elsbeth Lavold Silky Cashmere in camel, ruby, and cream, one skein each of two different colorways of SWTC Tofutsies, one skein each of Kollage ??? sock yarn in cream and butterscotch, one skein of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in pewter, and three balls of Lacey Lambs in dark grey and grey heather. All I can say is mmmmmm......yarn. I'm sooooo excited *squeals with joy* I haven't gotten this much yarn or new yarn at all really since September 2006. Since then, I have really gotten more into designing and branching out in my knitting abilities and willingness to try more difficult projects, like lace shawls and designing socks, sweaters, and accessories so it was a great opportunity to get my hands on some fresh yarn. I didn't have any laceweight yarn and I can't wait to give it a try and attempt to produce one of those amazing wing-like shawls that I drool over regularly. A little close-up photo of some of the yarny goodness. Close-up #1 I'm in knitting heaven. And there is a bit of yarn p0rn for y'all.
Partaking in Culture:
  • We've only really been partaking of the culture of a different city these past few days. We've been partaking of the culture of good family and being in good company. It was truly wonderful. We had lots of wonderful discussion with grandparents and interesting family members. We had many good meals amongst great company and had the chance to represent the third generation of family present. We went to the Carnegie Art Museum in Pittsburgh and saw amazing art (more on that later. I took photos!). It was a wonderful trip and a beautiful cultural experience.
Well, dear bloglings and blogettes, I am going to leave you now, because it is late and I want to knit just a bit. I hope y'all had a wonderful 4th of July and have had a beautiful weekend. I'll be back soon with some great photos from the art museum and a bit more on Pittsburgh as well as some sock progress photos. Thanks for checking in. :)
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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wherein I show photos of knitting and discuss other things...

Hallo! The Summer Stash Swap is now officially underway. I'm so excited. I have finally decided what I'm putting in the box and I'm building up other things as I go along. More on that before, during, and after the swap has ended. Feel free to check out the swap blog and get updates there.
Since the 4th of July is tomorrow, things have been pretty slow around here. The tattoo shop was busy busy busy on Sunday (when I was at home) and dead on Monday (when I was there). I stayed home again today because I was super grouchy (thanks to lack of sleep) and when I get sleepy and grouchy, I'm like a baby so I cry too. It's not pretty. At any rate, I've been hanging out today, knitting and dreaming up more projects. Here's what I've got

  • Here is the unfelted cosmetic's case: Cosmetic Case Reverse - Pre-felting Cosmetic Case - Pre-felting One side and the other side. It took three brutal rounds in the washing machine on hot with a couple of towels (that are now REALLY clean) before it started to look felted. I'm not big on felting so I don't know how I feel about it yet. I'm hoping it will look better after it has some flowers needle felted on it and has a zipper. Think happy thoughts for my homely little bag. I've decided I'm not big on felting.
  • The "Gentlemen's Fancy Socks" from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush are coming along quite well. Gentlemen's Fancy Sock Progress I like them much better than my previous attempts at MAN socks. Here is a close-up: Gentlemen's Fancy Sock Progress Close-up If they don't fit Travis (because he has big feet and big feet = big socks), then my papa is getting some hand-knit socks for Christmas and I'll give Travis' socks another go. I just ordered some yarn from Knit Picks and I'm eager to try that out so maybe that yarn will get made into MAN socks.
  • The baby socks are finished! Finished Baby Socks I cast on 32 stitches, divided them onto three needles, started a 2x2 rib and never looked back. The cat, Poogar, refused to be seen in the socks again. For your viewing pleasure, I've provided a close-up: Close-up of Finished Baby Sock I think I'm going to try and do some toe-up socks because I'm about sick of having 20 or 30 yards of sock yarn floating around the house. Anyway. I really like how they turned out and I'm hoping our friends' baby has long skinny feet, like the cat.
  • Speaking of tiny amounts of leftover yarn, I have roughly three yards of Alchemy Bamboo leftover from making the Chevron Scarf from LMKG. I used one skein each of Alchemy's Silk and Bamboo in colorway Sonoma Sunset. It was heaven to work with and it came out beautifully. I'll probably end up giving it away, as is my wont. Poogar was helping me in this photo: LMKG Chevron Stitch Scarf and here is a close-up: Close-up of Chevron Stitch Scarf The colors are not so "WOW, that is bright" as they are on the photo. Bad indoor lighting can be directly thanked for that. I had to use a flash for the photo. For those of you considering the chevron stitch but thinking that it will be time consuming or difficult, just do it. This scarf only took me a couple of days, intermittently, and it measures a little over five feet long and about eight inches wide. I used size 8 US needles, instead of the size 6s the pattern calls for because I wanted something a little more open and breezy. I will knit this scarf again, without a doubt. I'm thinking of using some Fiesta La Luz, in silverado, I have in my stash along with some soon to be purchased La Luz in obsidian for the next one. Knitting with silk is amazing. I highly recommend it.
Partaking in Culture:
  • May I reiterate how great Big Love is? This season is fantastic and I love it. If you haven't watched it and have no real strong opinions about polygamists, then rent the first season and watch it.
  • I watched Down By Law, with Tom Waits, today. It had its droll moments but overall it was dry and rather unimaginative. Unless you really really like Tom Waits, I do not recommend it. It came highly recommended via Netflix, especially for people with my rental history (read: strange films) but I should know better by now than to pay attention to all that, what with The Testament of Dr. Mabuse debacle.
  • I'm nearing the end of Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk (of Fight Club fame) and it's a good one. His books are such a fast read I almost feel like they, along with Bret Easton Ellis' books, are a guilty pleasure. Both writers are fast, visceral, and sensory so it's easy to make the connection, I suppose. Reading this book has derailed my progress on The Mysteries of New Orleans but I'm pretending like I haven't noticed that so please have the good sense to not point it out, thank you very much. :)
I hope y'all are having a beautiful day. I'm off to go empty the litter box (yum) and make the kittens happy by feeding them treats. I may even knit up a cat toy or two in an effort to distract them while Travis and I are out of town. I will be taking photographs like a woman possessed while we are out of town so y'all can have fun with me. Thanks for tuning in, dear bloglings and blogettes.
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