Thursday, December 27, 2007
Pattern: Heroes Illusion Scarf by Grad School Knitter
Yarn: Lamb's Pride, light grey and black (don't have the ball bands with the color names in front of me)
The symbol that shows up is from the tv show, Heroes, and means "God send." It shows up in all sorts of places in the show. This scarf is going to be a Christmas present for a friend that I am going to see this weekend. If he doesn't like it, I know a lot of other fans of the show who might like it.
I had never done any illusion knitting before this scarf. It is really fun! I liked tipping the scarf towards and away from me to see the pattern emerge. I probably spent almost as much time doing that as I did knitting it! :)
Pattern: Ice Queen from Knitty
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Steel Grey (I think)
I finished the Ice Queen that I was working on. I did an interesting "interpretation" of a picot binding. Next time, I am going to read the directions more carefully and I will actually block it. It was a fun and quick pattern that was great for Christmas present knitting. I am going to have to make one for myself (with beads!) soon. I'm glad that the recipient likes it.
And finally, here is a picture of Lily from Christmas morning. She "loved" her handkerchief.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I took the dog/horse treats out to the barn yesterday so I could have some test subjects. Let me tell you, they were very well received. The horses were giving me pitiful faces when they realized that there were no more treats coming. The dogs were salivating. Patches is a Great Dane. Great Danes don't like to exert themselves. I was holding the treats a little higher than elbow height when I was walking the dogs back to the pen. Patches was prancing next to me (usually he picks his way along) and making little jumps to try to get the treats. Aggie raced to the pen to sit down so she could get her treat as soon as possible. I definitely won't have to worry about the animals not liking the treats.
On to other holiday stuff! My mom really likes when we have guests around the holidays. That means that she is able to get them to do Christmas-y stuff like getting a tree, decorating cookies and making gingerbread houses. It is a lot harder to get Dad and me to do that kind of stuff. Anyway, here is the gingerbread house that my Japanese cousin, his girlfriend and I made on Wednesday night. Isn't it cute?
The wreath on the roof is adorable!
I've rebelled from Christmas gift knitting and decided to spin instead. I finished up the green roving from a local farm. The twist isn't set on it yet but I have to wait until we have a fire going in the woodburning stove. The yarn would never dry in our house otherwise. I'm pretty happy with the final result.
Then I started looking around in my roving stash to try to find something else to spin. (Sidenote: The roving stash seems to have grown since the last time I looked. Hmmmmm . . . .) What should I find but 8 oz of Louet roving called Violets. So I started to spin it up last night.
This stuff is pencil roving and is a lot of fun to spin. I'm amazed how quickly it is spinning up. This morning, I finished spinning 4 oz. of it before I went to work.
When I ply it, this yarn is probably going to be a fingering weight and is the most consistent thickness that I have done. I think it is the pencil roving.
I'm thinking the yarn might be perfect for a Clapotis or that new pattern, Jeanie. But, if I do Jeanie, that means getting another 8 oz of the roving because a) I would need 1350 yds for it b)I won't have enough yardage with the 8 oz I have now and c) Louet doesn't sell this roving in 4 oz balls. But then that means that I will have an additional 4 oz that I probably won't use for the pattern. Though I could use it for something else. Clapotis, however, needs 820 yds. Hmmmmm. We'll have to see once I get it all spun and plied. I apparently really want to do something with dropped stitches with this yarn.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I thought I would ply the roving I spun up the other day but all of my time was consumed by the treats. I wound the bobbin into a centre pull ball yesterday because I needed the bobbin and, for some reason, I really like plying off of a centre pull ball that I can hold in my hand. I'm strange, I know. This spinning attempt is really exciting for me because it should be a fingering weight (albeit a heavy fingering almost a sport weight) yarn. It is the finest and most consistently fine single that I have done so far.
Worked a little bit on a Christmas gift last night. I got the one that only needed the border finished yesterday during my break. The other isn't really a Christmas gift but might be if the person likes it. If not, I know two, make that three, other people who would like it. It is an illusion or shadow knitting design on a scarf. The pattern is really going fast and I like the way it is turning out. I thought I hated making scarves but it turns out it just needs to be more interesting than garter stitch or some other simple stitch pattern. Illusion knitting is the perfect solution.
And now, because I need a picture of some sort . . . .
(I love Picnik)
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I've also been on the search for dog/horse treat recipes. I call them dog/horse treats because the dogs will eat anything that the horses eat (and probably vice versa!). A few years ago, I made these horse treats with oatmeal, molassas, apple, and carrot in it and the horses and dogs LOVED them. Definitely the mugging-you-for-treats kind of love. It really amused me to feed the horses treats that were in the shape of dog bones. I thought that a batch of dog/horse treats would be a perfect gift for my friends who don't want "stuff" this year. They are trying to keep down the amount of stuff around the house and only want items that can be consumed. The only problem is that I couldn't find the recipe. No idea where I even found it because it wasn't in any of my cookbooks, even the Pony Club one. After much searching of the internet, I found a recipe called "Easier Horse Cookies" that seems to fit the bill. I'll have to make a batch tonight or tomorrow and wrap them up.
I have some exciting news! My friend is going to be making niddy noddies in his spare time. He has already arranged with Kim to sell some in her shop and I might be setting up an etsy shop for him. His niddy noddies are made out of cottonwood and are super light. For a non-spinner, non-knitter, non-fiber person, he is really getting into it! I'll post some pictures of his finished products soon.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Java was exceedingly suspicious of me. He definitely thought I might ride him when I was out taking pictures. Capone (second picture) could care less. He had his entire head shoved into the middle of the hay bale.
I've sent off the majority of Christmas presents to friends and family. Aren't these dishcloths pretty? Now what do they remind me of? Hmmmmm . . . .
I haven't been spinning much recently. (Note to self: return wheel to rightful owner and get myself one.) All of my free time has been eaten up by making Christmas presents and work. On Wednesday, I went to the spinning guild meeting and started spinning up a storm again. My friend's mom gave me a lovely bag full of wool roving (as well as some llama that I haven't had a chance to play with yet) and I've made some real progress with spinning it up. I've been trying to get a heavier weight with it and it seems to be going pretty well. I then decided to spin up some of the other roving that I had around the house. I think that, once I ply this, it will be about fingering weight. I've been a lot more consistent with this batch.
I made the cat a little felted ball out of some of the roving. She usually loses interest in things after 5 seconds but it seems to hold her attention for a whole 10 or 15 seconds! Wow, impressive huh?
I think she is showing off for our house guests. My family just isn't interesting enough apparently.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Madge from Knitty has been finished for a while now but this was the first chance I've had to take a picture. I took some of the hat actually on my head but those where so wildly amusing that I deleted them immediately!
I'm so proud of my first handspun project! I can truly say that I've made everything about this hat (except for designing it but whatever). *Sigh* I can remember when it was just a ball of roving. It's grown up so much ;)
I finished the beaded lace shawl and can't wait to block it. But that will have to wait until after Christmas . . .
I was going along so well on my Christmas knitting and then the new Knitty came out. It's like the catnip of the Internet knitting world. People flock to the site and start talking about how much they love it (or hate it). Most everyone's progress is halted for at least a few hours while the new patterns are being scoped out. I, like most people, fell in love with Jeanie and Ice Queen. Ice Queen was at least like a Christmas present that I was already going to make so I allowed myself to start on that one.
I've made it without beads even though the beads are so lovely. It just wouldn't be practical for the gift. I can't wait to make my own (preferably in green or blue) with the beads. The Kid Silk Haze is so light and ethereal.
Christmas knitting has been going well even with all of the distractions. I created a spreadsheet (yes, I am a dork, why do you ask?) for everyone for whom I am giving gifts. On it there are categories for what the gift is, if it has been completed and if it has been sent. A good portion of the gifts have been completed and, tomorrow, will be sent out as well. This amount of smugness shouldn't be allowed because something will come back to me and bite me in the ass. It is inevitable :)
Oh, and I forgot to say that, yes, I did get my paper done. It wasn't the most inspiring piece of work that I've ever done. I really liked the topic but just couldn't work myself up to writing it. Oh, well. Just have to finish the take-home final (easiest test ever) and this semester will be over. One more to go . . .
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
If a person were like our OPAC she would have constant bed-hair and mismatching garments of clothing, and ask you specific questions in a language you don't quite understand. She would answer you in really long sentences, and often say things that have nothing to do with the subject. She's our friend for a while until she decides to burst into crying fits or ignore you completely. She would give you nothing, only point in various directions as an indicator of where things might be.
Electronic Resource By Any Other Name
The subject is a fascinating one and has so much information out there about it. See, the paper is supposed to be a "library trends" paper, discussing a trend that is changing the library world. I'm writing about the library catalog and how they should evolve using Web 2.0 tools. Those of you who remember my little catalog rant will understand why I am interested in this subject. I cannot, however, bring myself to concentrate on anything at the moment and really don't want to be reading any professional literature of any sort. Problem is that this paper is due on Thursday so I really can't put it off for much longer. Stupid school. Messing with my knitting time.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In knitting news, I started my cousin's gift on Sunday, finished half of it, didn't work on it at all yesterday, worked on it this morning and am almost 75% through it (not counting all of the finishing). I love small projects!
In sewing news, I'm planning on making cloth shopping bags for Christmas presents. This morning I realized that I am an idiot and that I sewed the wrong pieces together and that is why they didn't look right. So after I finish homework tonight I will pick all of them apart and fix them. Next time I am paying closer attention!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
The week before Thanksgiving, Mom, Dad and I spent our free time frantically cleaning to get ready for our holiday guests. In addition, Mom made as much food ahead of time as it was humanly possible. Because one of my cousins is staying in my room, that meant it desperately needed to be cleaned. I have to confess that the last time it was clean was when I got back from England in August. I've just been throwing stuff in there then shutting the door really quickly. Well, last week I finally cleaned. Went through tons of junk mail, folded the clean laundry again and put it away, dusted, vacuumed, stacked the yarn and roving in the corner, hid all of the WIP bags (my ravelry page lies, I have so many more WIPs than I thought) so it wouldn't scare people, moved my desk around, put in the bed for my cousin and then contemplated cleaning off the aforementioned desk. As I was cleaning, I found a birthday present for a friend. Her birthday was in July. Hmmmmm.
So I packed that gift up, some things I had gotten for her in England, and her Christmas gift. While I was at it, I packed up Christmas gifts for another friend. Then yesterday Dad was running to the post office to mail another package so I gave mine to him. Ha! The day after Thanksgiving and I already have 2 presents sent out. I feel so smug that someone should really slap me.
Anyway, back to Thanksgiving. My aunt, uncle and two cousins (along with their dog) came to Ohio for the holiday. It's been tons of fun having everyone here. We've been playing board games and Wii games every night. Dad really got into the Cow Racing game. I took my cousins out to the barn yesterday and we rode the horses. Care was on Bo, Drew on Java, and I rode Capone. Java really looks thrilled when he is getting ridden. Callie hung out at the barn and waited patiently for everyone to get back.
We had a really good Thanksgiving dinner. We ate at 6 pm because another relative and her husband couldn't make it before 5. It was a very full house with all of the family and friends! Mom and Aunt Judy really pulled out all of the stops with the food production. Tons of Red Hot Apples, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc. etc. I think we have more desserts than people. Soooooo many wonderful pies. I bought 2 (pumpkin and sweet potato) pies from a friend's husband. The sweet potato is absolutely wonderful.
In knitting news (non-Christmas presents), I started a Forest Canopy Shawl out of acrylic yarn that I found while cleaning my room. Seriously, I have no idea where this yarn came from. It just appeared in the one stash basket. There were 2 1/2 balls of it so I had enough for a very good sized shawl. Also in the clean-up, I found another Forest Canopy Shawl (that is what inspired the making of the second) made from acrylic which was the first shawl and first lace project that I had made. This shawl was a practice shawl so I could get used to the pattern and making lace before I made the pattern out of mohair. I just never blocked the acrylic shawl because there was a mistake in it and because, later when I knew something about lace, I really didn't like the finished project. As we all know, acrylic doesn't block well. So I did a bad thing and took both of these Forest Canopies out to the ironing board. Then I ironed the suckers and killed the acrylic so it would stay open. I actually managed to make the mistake mostly disappear in the blocking. That shawl might become a Christmas present if I start running out of time.
How does it sneak up every year?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Which Discworld Character are you like (with pics)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax
You are Granny Weatherwax! The most powerful witch on the Disc! You often use headology rather than actual spells, and are a very good witch, despite the fact that you sometimes wish you were a bad one. You play a mean game of Cripple Mr. Onion, and have a very powerful stare. By the way, you should really get that broom fixed!
Esmerelda (Granny) Weatherwax
Lord Havelock Vetinari
Gytha (Nanny) Ogg
Commander Samuel Vimes
Cohen The Barbarian
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
The show is hysterical, Jim Dale (narrator of the Harry Potter books) narrates it, and the private detective knits. He has made himself a very nice sweater vest and some very fetching gun cosies. Seriously, watch this show. I'm going to miss it tonight for the spinning guild meeting, though. So I'll have to watch it later. Just keep your fingers crossed that the writer's strike ends soon because there won't be any new episodes after Thanksgiving. I don't know if I will be able to stand that!
I'm trying to find one of the Gifts in a Jar books, the one with the one dish meals. Because I don't really want to buy it, I wanted to see if the library had a copy first. So I search by the title "Gifts in a Jar" because that is the title of the entire series, every book starts with those 4 words. I discovered that we only have 1 book and it is for making cookies. OK, fine. I do some more searching around (Subject Browse, Cookery: See Also Home Economics; Subject Browse, Gifts; Author searches). (By the way, these books are listed under one corporate author on one site and a completely different one on other sites.) I find after numerous searches and looks at bibliographic records that there are 2 more books in the Gifts in a Jar series in the library catalog. Do these books start with the title "Gifts in a Jar"? NO, of course not! That would be simple! I have no idea where the titles that are in the catalog actually came from because they aren't listed in the bibliographic information on any other website! Is the book that starts with the title "Gifts in a Jar" listed under the series "Gifts in a Jar"? NO! Does this make sense to anyone?! My eye is seriously twitching now.
Oh, and the 2 books? Neither of them were the one dish meals. All that work for nothing. I'm going to half.com. OK, my rant is over.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I can't wait till after Christmas to show you my plans for 4 of them. Let's just say that I have impressed even myself with the creativity with this one.
Another garter stitch project is baby bibs. I'm going to my cousin's baby shower this weekend so I'm racing to get 2 bibs done by then.
Making this one took 3 hours last night. I've now woven in the ends but still need to sew Velcro on to the tabs. The second bib should take no time at all, too.
In other news, I bought a drop spindle! I've been watching this etsy seller for a while and then they got chummed on Lime and Violet's Daily Chum. Well, I couldn't let there be a chance of them selling out of spindles, could I?
I haven't had time to play with it yet because I got sick and my coordination skills went bye bye. Can't wait though! And when I unpacked it, guess who had to "help" me with the tissue paper. I don't even know where she came from. Suddenly it was **poof** cat in the middle of the tissue paper. So helpful.
In other roving news, I couldn't resist this bag. No idea what the content is or the colorway. All I know is that it is from Louet. Oh, and that Kim is a crack dealer.
OOOOOO, pretty colors.
Anyways, while I was sick, I did a lot of garter stitch projects but I will show you those pictures in another post. I didn't do any spinning because that was just too much to think about.
Week before last, however, I did a lot of spinning. My friend's mom sent me some nice wool roving and I spun it up as quickly as I could. I'm getting much happier with my consistency. There are far fewer uneven spots in this yarn. It came out to be 350 yards worth. What should I do with it now? I really like the tweedy effect of the two colors plied together.
I won a contest on Romancing the Yarn in the middle of October. I finally sat down and took a picture of the sock yarn. How did Barbara know which colors I would love? :) Thanks!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Lily decided to "help" me take pictures outside. She never really takes an interest in my yarn or projects. The roving, however, is a different story. I think that the smell intrigues her.
AND look what came in the mail on Friday! Yea! A box full of etsy purchases!
The seller even included a bar of handmade soap! Yum, mango spice.
Here are some more gratuitous cat pictures. She was just enjoying the sunlight so much. I kept throwing acorns to her and she would play with them for her standard 5 seconds. (Five seconds is the maximum length of time that the cat will play and no longer. This ADD behaviour doesn't help much when she is trying to catch mice.)
I have been knitting some though the spinning is taking up much of my time. I cast aside all of the other projects that are OTN and started up another one. Have you seen the Mermaid Fingerless Gloves? They are a variation of the Pomatomus socks. I've decided to knit 2 pairs for friends for Christmas. In order to force myself to finish them, I'm knitting 2 at a time but both of them in different colors. This way, when I finish these 2, I'll be forced to continue to work on the other 2 so the pairs will match. Does that make sense?
They are much further along than in this picture. I'm almost ready to start the thumb increases.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
It went from that to this. . .
. . . then this . . .
. . . and finally to this!
I should have waited to post this until I had started and then finished a project with the yarn. Then the picture sequence would have been complete! :) I'm planning to make a hat, Madge, from KnittySpin with the Cherry Tree Hill yarn but am not sure what to do with the undyed.
The first skein (98 yards) of the colored that I made was much thinner than the second. With the second one (86 yards), I was deliberately trying to make it heavier than fingering weight but the yarn turned out all bobbly and uneven. That will probably be the one I make the hat out of because the pattern embraces the bobbly-ness. I made a third skein with the rest of the Cherry Tree Hill roving which ended up being about 46 yards and much closer in thickness as the first one. The only problem with all of this spinning? I'm out of roving again. Hmm, that stuff from yesterday will hopefully come soon!