A blog about fibre, wine, and all things cozy.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Froggin' A Blog

So this is a lot like frogging a project that you've been really excited about working on.  You've put your love, sweat, and tears into it and then you realize that it just doesn't fit right.  So you have to start again.  And that's what's happened here.  I'm starting again or really continuing some place new.

Blogger been a great stepping stone for me and I am very happy to have found it.  But it's time to move into a bigger house, so to speak.  So I say good-bye here and hope to say hello to you at my new address.  It's the same blog time.  Different blog channel.

You can find me over here at http://whendidibecomeaknitter.wordpress.com

I look forward to see you all there.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

There's Red Everywhere!

This weeks red and orange.

This one is from my friend.  She's looking out for red & orange now too.

These two are from my Huband

And finally a few from me.
Definitely one of my favourite red things!                                                                                                         

I realize there's no knitting in this one, but Blogger has been misbehaving for some of us yet again and when I should have been taking photos, I was trying to figure out how to login.  The good news, my hubby did some fancy things with the computer and now my login button seems to work again!!!
I'm going to sneak in one more red entry for the month and I'll put tons of red wool in that one ;)

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's About the Finishing

 I go through phases with my knitting. Sometimes it's all about the "starting." I see things and must cast them on. During those time I show very little self control and cast on as much as I want. (This is usually followed shortly after by me realizing that I have too many things in the needles and then I have to try to sort that out.)

But sometimes, it's about the finishing. I love these phases. My focus seems to be stronger and I can look at pretty things and think "when I am finished project X, I can cast on that pretty thing." Thankfully and happily I am in the mood to finish things. It's also a long weekend here, which is helping with the finishing of things.

First is the Boneyard for my Grandmother for Christmas. It's not blocked yet, but will be by the end of the day. I am so happy to have it finished and it is slightly different then the one that I made for myself. (Watch for comparison photos after the blocking is finished.) It has left my right wrist a shade tender so it's off to the lighter WIPS for me.

That brings me to the washcloths. I am happy to say that they clearly did their job and distracted me long enough to finish the knitting on my Urbana. (Still no blocking done yet, but this week for sure.) And now, they want to be finished. I am currently working on the 7th of the 14 that I am making. And probably by the time I am ready to post this the first Tardis will be complete.

First is finished!
I am hoping to have all these projects blocked and photographed by Friday, so check out the FO Friday post to see what I accomplish. It's so very good to have goals.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday (Almost)

So it's almost a Finished Object Friday.   I say almost because there is blocking and edging that need to be done still, but the knitting is finished and I just can't wait to show it off.

I present to you a knitting complete Urbana!!!!!!

It's so big that I couldn't fit it in the picture.  I'm not sure how long it is yet.  I will measure it after I am done blocking it.  That will have to wait until tomorrow as we are having friends up tonight and the only space that is large enough for me to block it in is the living room and I don't want people to have to step over it!  The original pattern called for a key hole which I omitted due to the size of the finished object.  But, the knitting is finally finished and I am very happy with it.  
Better photos to follow after the blocking is complete.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Project Spectrum Red

I stumbled upon a group over on Ravelry called Project Spectrum.  It's a group that has dedicated each month to a different colour.  I loved this concept instantly.  Really, what fibre person doesn't love colour? I decided I had to play along.  This months colours are Red & Orange.
So off I went and since I am incapable of being separated from my phone, it means I always have my camera with me.  I didn't think much of the whole thing as I left, but very quickly after walking out of my house I realized that the idea of looking for colour was having a huge impact on me.  I was seeing red and orange everywhere!  I was seeing colour everywhere!  I mean really seeing it.  I had to stop myself from taking pictures every 10 seconds.  I think that as many of us do, we become so familiar with our regular surroundings that we stop noticing just how pretty and interesting they are.  But not yesterday.
So, here are a few of the things I snapped yesterday.

These are oranges!

And not leave the knitting completely out of this post

This last one isn't from yesterday, but I had to include it.

This was a lot of fun and I have already set up files on my computer for the rest of the colours.  I am dedicating Thursdays to colour.  Next week there's more red and orange coming your way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday May 18th

So there is some exciting news in the WIP front. First, my Urbana has finally reached the point where I am finishing rows in a reasonable amount of time! I am thrilled. And I am not ashamed to admit that on Monday, when I realized that I still had 60 rows of decreasing to do before I could bind off, I just about burst into tears. For a brief moment, I prayed for the wrap to spontaneously combust into a ball of wooly fire or that somehow a plague of lace weight eating locusts would magically appear and eat the accursed thing right out of my hands. ANYTHING so that I would be finished with it. Of coarse the only thing I could do was just keep on knitting, (and knitting and knitting.) So that's what I did and wonder of wonders, I may be able to finish the knitting this afternoon. I am so happy to have today off work and the afternoon slated for knitting with my BFF and Little J, (who really tries to help us while we knit.) But there has been progress of the best sort and I am becoming a happy knitter again. This is all I have left to deal with!!

Also, The Year Of Projects challenge is starting to take shape. We have our own group now called Come Blog A-long on Ravelry. Come check us out. It's got a lot more attention then I thought it would. I'm amazed that other people think that it's a good idea. More updates about that as things take shape. I have my projects picked. But as always I think I've overestimated what I'm capable of and will have to remove a few things. (Or I may just continue on in my fibre induced madness and try to do them all.) Either way, it will be an interesting challenge.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept It

I decided on Thursday what I needed in my knitting life was a distraction from my ongoing and seemingly never-ending projects. The Astrick is still sitting in the naughty chair for being such a misbehaved piece of knitting and the Urbana has sadly not finished itself while I wasn't looking. Both socks still need their mates and I want to have all of this and a second Boneyard finished before July 1st and the Blog a-long starts. But, the mojo wasn't there and when it's gone, you need to find a way to get it back. So that was my mission on Thursday. Find my mojo. And I did.

I was reading another blog, which sadly I can't link to right now. (I am still waiting for comments to reappear after the little temper tantrum that Blogger had last week and I'm not sure whose blog it was that I was reading at the time but I do know that they had left a comment on my WIP Wednesday post.) And there, in the blog post, I saw washcloths. Really cute washcloths. I have a dishcloth pattern that I make. But these were different and cute and would be an excellent addition to Christmas gifts especially if I asked my friend to give my a few bars of soap. (She makes her own bars of soap in her kitchen, it's amazing) So it was decided on the spot. My mojo wasn't lost, it was just hanging out with the washcloths.

This pleased me for a number of reasons. First, more Christmas Knitting. YAY! (You can tell it's still very early in the process since I am making these to be additions to other gifts and not the whole gifts themselves.) Next, stash knitting (and even better) cotton stash knitting. And finally, fast easy knitting that will act as a palate cleanser and let me get back to my other projects. So off to Ravelry I ran to get some patterns.

But here's the thing. I'm me. And me being me means that I am not making two or three or even five washcloths as my distractions. Those numbers are way to small. I'm making fourteen. That's right, fourteen. When completed there will be 5 Dragonfly cloths, (those are already finished,)

 4 coffee cup cloths. (One down three to go.) 

3 flamingos, and 2 Tardis cloths. (What would the plural of Tardis be anyway? Tardii? Tardises?) 

That will be a set of three for my mom, my mother in law, and my sister in law. Also for the first time I am making a gift for the work staff exchange. Each set will also have a bar or two of soap and I will be down a few balls of the dreaded cotton. The Tardis washcloths are for us. (Just finished the second season and cried like a baby when Rose was left standing on the beach.)

But that's it. That's may palate cleanser. Some might argue that's a whole meal, but what can I say. It's where the mojo took me. And clearly it's working since I'm thinking I will finish typing this and maybe knit a few rows on the Urbana. And if it was your blog that had the washcloths on it. Thanks for the inspiration.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIP Wednesdays an update.

Three of my ongoing WIPS have been receiving love this week.
First, one Lenore is finished. As always, when I get through the lace cuff, the rest flies off the needles and it becomes a fast and even slightly boring knit. I am going to wait until the weekend to cast on the next one so I don't have a whole day at work and a trip to the gym to contend with while I'm trying to cast on something that I find personally very challenging.
The spinning is going well and I have completed 1/2 of the roving in this colourway. I'm starting to fill the second bobbin and I'm hoping to start plying next week.

Lastly is my Urbana. Cognitively, I know that I am making progress on this. I have moved from the increase to the decrease section and I am using the second ball of "When I Bit Him." I can see these things happening right before my eyes, and yet I am convinced that no real progress I being made. Somehow, this particular project is warping the time and space continuum, breaking the laws of physics, and many of Einstein's Laws of Relativity. I pick this project up and somehow, magically, time stands still. I knit, I religiously decrease on each row, and yet I swear that each row is not taking any less time then they did 5 days ago. I am really beginning to believe that this is a life long knitting project and one day when I'm too old and sore and jaded to continue, I will have to find a much younger knitter who still has the stamina and vigor of youth to finish tackling this thing. Forget heirloom knitting, this is generational knitting. I am sticking with it and am hoping that one day soon I will have a finished Urbana to show you. Just don't hold your breath. I'm not.  ;)

So what WIP is currently going on forever in your world?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blog Through a Book

Last year the owners of my favourite LYS, The Purple Purl, decided to knit through a book.  Being the owners of a store, they had lots of books to pick from and an unlimited supply of materials.  Their journey has inspired me, and I thought why not give it a go too.
But, let's be honest, things are always more fun with your friends, so I posted about it on Ravelry.  And a little to my surprise, there are other knitters/crocheters who seem to think this is a good idea!  
So we tossed some ideas around and decided that a whole book might be a little too intimidating both time/project wise and financially for most of us.  But what are knitters if not adaptable? So with some modifications, here's a year of knitting and blogging together or for simplicity sake, "Blog Through a Book."

How to pick your patterns: 
There are a few options here, pick one:
Pick some or all of the patterns from one book or magazine. 
Create a collection of patterns that you assemble from Rav or any source (one person suggested the top 10 patterns on Rav.) Basically, make your own book.
Pick a number of patterns from your Queue. 
Maybe you want to finish all of your WIPS, and using them as your Blog Through a Book list will be the last push you need to finish them off and get your needles back.

There is no minimum/maximum number of patterns (if you want to try to do a whole book, go for it.)
*This does not mean you are committing to only knit/crochet these patterns for the next year.  This is about goal setting* (I will have to  try to balance my choices with Christmas Knitting.)
What we will be doing: 

On July 1/2011 (or something close to that) post all the patterns you’ve picked on your blog.
Every Monday after that we can post about the progress/frustration/insanity related to committing to a certain number of projects and a public timeline.
You can post on the Raverly thread and I am going to scurry off and see if I can add a "Mr. Linky" widget to my blog for us.

Please keep in mind that this is supposed to be fun.  There really are no set rules other then posting your pattern choices on July 1st.  We are here to be each other's cheering squads!! This is not a competition with each other.  You need to pick a number of patterns that is a challenge for you personally and there is no need to explain or justify your final number.  This is meant as a way to knit, blog, share, and build a community while engaging in a personal challenge.

Currently, I am waiting not too patiently for Mr Linky to send me my confirmation code.  Once I get that I will add it to this post so people can start signing up.  For now, check out the Ravelry thread

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Comments broken

Let's see if this works.  There was something wrong with my last post and comments were not be accepted.  It looks like it was a problem with blogger that has been fixed.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to post on my WIP Wednesday posting about my FO Friday post :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finished Object Fridays!

It's my first ever FO Friday and I have not one but two Finished Objects for sharing.

The first is the Age of Brass and Steam Shawl that I made for my Husband's Nan for Christmas this year.  (Yes, I do start my Christmas Knitting this early.  It allows me to enjoy some of it before my head attempts to explode in December.)  It's 7 1/2 skeins of Mirasol Yarn Hacho.  The original pattern was for something much smaller but this is an incredibly easy project to adapt to a larger finished size. 

It was a lovely easy knit and turned out much larger then I expected it to.  I know she'll love it and since I find both grandmothers to be a little bit of a challenge to knit for, I am thrilled to have this finished.

I even found this great shawl pin at the Frolic last weekend.  I hadn't actually been looking for a pin for the shawl but it was perfect and had to come home with me.

The second is the cowl that I test knit for my friend.  A few patterns have already been sold and it will be up on Rav soon.  It's slightly challenging in spots, but it you are willing to stick it out, (it's less then 60 rounds in total,) the final result is worth the effort.  So, for your viewing pleasure, the cowl.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesdays

The spinning bug has finally bit me again!  The colours in the photos isn't great, but right now I am working on turning this
Into this

I have to finish this before I can move onto anything that I bought at the Frolic last weekend.  It may be a really good thing that I only have three bobbins!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Knitters Paradise

I am very lucky to live in a city that hosts a major knitting event once a year.  The market place is huge and there are lots of great classes that you can take.  I didn't take any classes, but I did get up very early on Saturday to pick up my friend and head over to the Frolic.  When we got there this is what we saw.

We got in line and within about ten minutes, this is what was behind us.
Turns out that the people who were suppose to show up at 7 A.M. to allow the vendors into the building didn't show up until 8 so there was some last minute scrambling happening.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful morning and being knitters we all queued up nicely and waited until we were let in.  The good part was the delay gave us all a chance to find each other before heading in.

The best part was our friend Kim (aka IndigoDragonFly) was the first stall  by the main doors.  Needless to say we spent a lot of time just hanging out and chatting and any time we got separated from each other, we would eventually make our way back to Kim and she babysat us until we were all back together
This is Kim or as I call her my yarn dealer.  These are the goodies she brought me. The three blue ones are Tardis and the left includes yarn from both her Buffy and Firefly collections.  "Bored Now," (an Willow reference,) is one of my favourite yarns from her ever.  ("When I Bit Him" still wins.)

This was not the end of my falling off of the wagon.  Okay, I did not merely fall.  I did a full on face plant into the soft, cushy, bags of roving along the way and came out with this

And this

Clearly this means that I have to start spinning a lot more again.  I did sneak in a hour on the weekend, so I'm off to a good start.
And  really, when your free fall from grace is already this bad, why not add a few more things to the mix. Some Tosh and some Kiogu may have thrown themselves into my bag before I could stop them.

Eventually, when my wallet was empty, (I did do one really smart thing and left the debit and visa at home,) and my head was floating from all the pretty things I had seen, my friend and I went back to the car, made a wrong turn, drove in a big circle, and eventually returned to our respective home with out new found goodies. I know what I'm doing with everything expect the Tosh. (It was so pretty and red and named Tart.  How I was suppose to resist it's woolly siren call?!) So keep your eyes peeled for updates.  But now, it's off to make a cup and tea and spend more time at my current wheel.

Hope everyone else had a lovely fibre filled weekend too.  Cheers

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lovely Lenore

Let me introduce you to Lenore. My pair of Lenores are my favourite socks ever. I would wear these socks everyday if I could. But that would be a little gross for both the socks and my feet. So I don't. But I do wear them, and the other day and it struck me that at some point Lenore would get old and tired and wear out. That even though I could darn them, which I will do, I will eventually not have them anymore. This is unacceptable, and I realized that the best way to extend the life of my beloved socks was to have more than one pair.

So off to the stash I went.  Unsurprisingly, a skein of yarn did throw itself at me shouting "Here I am! I going to be the pair of Lenores you seek." and I knew it was right, and that it would make a pair of these socks perfectly. Out came the ball winder and swift and pattern. Voila, I was ready to go.

And here's where the problems begin. When these socks are on my feet I love them. When they are on the needles? The bane of my existence. Just to make it perfectly clear, it is not the pattern. The Yarn Harlot was able to produce a lovely, easy to read document that will in fact (when followed correctly) produce a wonderful pair of socks. Apparently I just became partly brain dead when it comes to making these socks. My first pair took me over a year and on at least one occasion had me looking at my husband and saying "I do actually know how to knit, right?" before flinging the socks across the room and bursting into tears. And here's why:

Mistakes I have made while knitting these socks:
  • cast on the wrong size.
  • cast on the right size with the wrong needles. 
  • cast on the right size with the right needles and then changed to the wrong size half way through the lace pattern.
  • completely changing  the lace pattern, making up new one as I went along.
  • skipped entire sections of the lace pattern resulting in a completely incorrect sock.
A keen knitter will note that all of these things have happened before working on the actual leg.  But all of these things happened with the first pair.  And really, I have many more knitting projects under my belt and I shouldn't have the same problems again, right? WRONG!  I have made all the same mistakes again and have probably come up with a few new ones.  Frustrating would not even begin to describe the knitting process behind making these socks.  But I am stubborn and after three false starts, this is where I am in my second pair.

But, they are on the needles and hopefully they will go much better this time around.  And the knowledge that I will love them when they are finished is what's keeping me going.
I have no idea why this pattern causes me such grief.  I can do everything that it calls for and in a different pattern I wouldn't have the same problems.  So my goal is to take less then a year to make this pair.  And to not throw them across the room while I do so.

Am I the only one?  Does anyone else have a pattern that they love to hate while knitting, but knit anyway because the finished work is just so satisfying?

And the Winner is

First I would like to thank everyone who took the time to pop over and read my blog and comment.  I have to admit I was a little blown away by the page views that entry received in such a short time!  Anyway, I know that what your really interested in is the winner.  My random number generator, aka my husband, called out number 17 from the sofa when I asked him for a number between 1 and 25.  So that mean the winner is Productofloveliness!!!!  Congrats and I'll send you a message on Rav for all your details.

As for everyone else, check back over the summer.  I have a feeling that there may be more chances to win then.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Look how Different We Are!!!!

Yummy beer tasting
My bff and I have a lot in common. We both like the same kind of movies and the same food, (expect for tomatoes, which she hates and I love. Whenever we eat out this works out in my favour.) We love good wine and beer.  When we introduce ourselves to new people we tell them "we like to keep things simple" because we share the same name.  

And most importantly, we both love to knit.
She is my knitting Guru. Without her enabling tendencies encouragement I never would have picked up the needles as an adult and would have more money in the bank less wonderful knitted objects.  On occasion we have even been known to knit the same projects, sometimes at the same time.  But that is where the similarities end.  What we envision in our heads makes our final products very different.

Take our Multnomahs ; same project, same number of stitches. Two very different yarns created two very different wraps.
She went for a much bulkier yarn producing something super cozy and warm and I chose a Dk silk blend making something my BFF calls "classy" .

The same thing has happened with our Urbanas.  Having our own mini knit-a-long, we each cast our projects on and again two different yarns are producing two different final products.  This time at least we are both using Indigodragonfly yarn.  She                            picked a slightly heavier weight and mine is in lace.
By the time that we are both finished, the same project is going to look very different.

Only our Boneyards have come out very similar.  This time we both had almost the same weight and we made two final products that do actually resemble each other.

I think that it's fascinating that even within a pattern there is room for so much diversity and creativity.  It also goes to prove that yarn selection is really important for making the final product look the way you want it to.  And if my BFF reads this, ('cause I know she will ,) love you and keep giving me those tomatoes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday, April 20

It's been a bit of a schizophrenic week of knitting.  I can't seem to stay focused on anything for too long.  I blame the Asterick.  I've hit a little stumbling block  in the directions.  I honestly don't know what direction to be knitting in.   I think the directions are telling me to turn, and knit back to the start of the wing, and then wrap those stitches again.  But, I'm not certain and I would rather stop knitting it for a day or two then deal with the ramifications of messing it up.  Fortunately my BFF has made it already and warned me that this was coming.  It's going to be a quick question and answer and then I'll be off to the races again.  With that in mind, the main body of the shawlette is finished and the first wing is in it's final section so I'm not complaining too much.
Updated from this morning: Problem was worse then I first thought and I had to rip out the enter wing back to the main body.  Good news, the directions make a whole lot more sense now, though there was a serious amount of grumbling on my part while I frogged back.  Bolix!!!!

I also ended up casting on Urbana by Stephen West.  I hadn't planned to do this right now, but I need at least one mindless projects on the needles and my BFF is casting on her's and we thought that it would be fun to have a little mini knit-a-long.  The colour way is "When I Bit Him, I Could Hear the Ocean."  It's a Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote from Drusilla.  However, unlike Dru, this yarn looks stunning in the sunlight. (Maybe there will be sunlight here again one day and I can take pictures then.)

Sadly the sock is still just a sock.  I finally, feel the urge to cast on the second sock.  This is good since it is not uncommon for a sock in my basket to be without it's mate for a long, long time.  I have located the cast on I used for the first sock and should be able to do that soon.

I long time WIP also saw some love last night.  Didn't get too far, but further than I was.

And now, I am adding a new cowl to the mix.  I agreed to test knit for my BFF and my reward is this lovely skein of yarn in "Edward Discovers that Wood Chippers Make Great Juicers."  Apparently, I am also modelling the final cowl.  I get to keep the cowl when it's finished and I love the colourway.  

It's a good thing I have a four day weekend coming up. I clearly need all the knitting time that I can get.  And, if any of you have felt the urge to cast on a Stephen West pattern please feel free to join in the unofficial mini knit a-long.