Saturday, July 29, 2006

Is it me??

....or is lace a BITCH to block?? The tips of my fingers are numb from inserting and removing pins. I guess you just have to suck it up and realize that you need to put a bazillion of them in there and not try to cut corners. Oh Well. Ene is done and is blocking.
Now on to baby things. There are 5 people who are expecting in my life and most of them close to the end! You would think with all of this blatant fertility around me, I wouldn't have the problems I do but whatever!!! So I need to spend some time today experimenting with super quick baby gifts. I may even *gasp* crochet, because it's 100 times faster than knitting and for babies it's cute. I may even try a crochet version of the baby kimono...I'll let you know what I come up with. If anyone has any suggestions for a baby gift using chunky yarn (other than a blanket), please let me know.

Oh and lest you think that my kitty up there only has a penchant for knitting needles, she also LOVES McD0nalds's French Fries! Proof:

Hope you're all staying cool!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Favorite Color Swap

I've recently signed up for the Favorite Color Swap. Below is my questionnaire. I just love these swaps, they do so much to improve your mood.

1. What are your top three favorite colors?
Pink (especially raspberry)

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?
Knitting, crocheting, making decorative things

3. What products do you really covet?
Covet is quite the strong word. If you mean what kinds of things make me drool these days...Nice yarn, particularly sock or baby yarn. Chocolate.

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?
Reading, listening to my ipod, going to the beach

5. Is there anything you collect?
Beachy stuff (crabs, starfish, shells)

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?
Cancer the crab. Not sure of the chinese symbol.

7.What are your favorite
……scents/smells? Desserty smells or tropical smells
…types of music and/or bands? 90's music; adult alternative
…authors? Stephen King, love horror/sci-fi/fantasy books.
…animals? Crabs, fish, ducks (beachy animals)
…places to shop? Yarn/craft, home stores, nautical stores
…season? SUMMER
…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies? any yarn
…candies or goodies? anything & everything!! love it all!

8. Do you have any wish lists?

9. Are you allergic to anything?

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
Two tonkinese cats

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy.
I am especially interested to receive things that have some meaning from the person who gives them, things they like that I may not know about, or things from their part of the world. I like these swaps not only to get goodies, but to meet others and learn new things.

We are adopting internationally and are starting to buy things for a new baby. I am crafty in general, I like to make decorative things I see for sale in stores, so I'm always looking for crafty bits to use. Our home is decorated very beachy like. Anything goes really!

Monday, July 17, 2006

My stash is officially born

It was a very good birthday. I woke up early and went to the beach by myself. We live about 10 minutes from Jones Beach, which is one of the reasons I love living here. At 8am, the crowds hadn't started, especially since it was pretty hazy out. I parked my butt away from the lifeguard stands and about 10 feet from the edge of the surf. I spent the morning jamming to my ipod, breathing in sea air and learning magic loop. Of course, being someone who never does anything the easy way, I didn't start out with a magic loop pattern, but converted one from Knit Socks! as I learned. Fortunately I picked it up much quicker than I thought I would. I think that was mostly because I had originally learned with dpns, and then tried two circs. So by the time I tried this I was familiar with sock construction. I have to say that I LOVE IT! The best part is that there are no jogs between dpns, and no clanking of 2 circs. Plus, the addis (thanks again SP) are so smooth that I am sailing through this sock. I would show you a pic but this is another pair of my project socks that will be gifted.

After the beach I went to a going out of business sale at a LYS. I have only been in this store once before and didn't care for the owner. I guess no one else did either. She was still snotty when I went in (owners like that wonder why we all buy on the net). I picked myself up some birthday presents, all at 50% off! And I may go back before they close for good. Here's the loot, mostly Debbie Bliss, which I've never knit with before (too pricey for baby stuff normally):

After that, my mom was running a neighborhood barbecue so I helped her with was a beautiful day and it was great to sit outside and eat good summer food. Yesterday my family had another barbecue especially for my birthday. I got no yarn related gifts from my family though...weird. Well, my brother gave me a gift certificate to Michael's which doesn't really count (good for books at least), and at work I got a gift certificate to a spa, and not that I'm not appreciative, but I work right next door to Seaport Yarns, and I'm not sure why they didn't go there! But I also got some more goodies in the mail, so yes, I continued to pretend they were sent especially for my birthday.

First, since I officially deemed my SIL unworthy of a homemade gift, I needed to find a home for all that Patons. Then I remembered a very good thing: the Knitty boards.

For the Patons I got 8 balls of cotton from Leslie (no blog!) and the satisfaction of knowing that the shitzu yarn found a loving home. More kimonos to be made, and I even got blue to try to even out the karma from the pink kimono already made, not to mention some karma free gender neutral beige mix. The pink yarn is Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint that I swapped with Sharon for some Shimmer in a color I had alot of. Both were quick and pleasant swaps..knitters are just the nicest people!

Speaking of very nice knitters,
Anonyknits graciously sent me some sock yarn leftovers for my knitting project. She was so generous, just look at the great stuff that came. I can't wait to make little precious socks from all of it! Holy cow I think there's actual Koigu & Lorna's Laces in there...I've never knit with those. (Seeing a pattern here? I am very that I got pretty good using Knitpicks, I think I can start justifying the use of some more expensive yarns).

And what to knit with all of this sock yarn? My SP has the answer to that (and everything else!). She got me a wonderful copy of Friendly Socks which is signed by all the authors and came with a beautiful stitch marker. I can't wait to delve into this gem! What a unique gift, and this one actually arrived ON my birthday!

It's been a great birthday weekend, alot of it due to lots of great yarn acquirements. With this and all the great stuff from my SP, I think I officially have a real stash now! I feel like I'm an actual official knitter!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hey You!


Okay now that got your attention, didn’t it? Well sorry, no free yarn, but I had to find some way to get all you SP8 participants to stay here for more than 2 seconds (my secret squirrel counter thingie tells me many of you come but seldom stay long). I guess you are scanning the blog to see if I’m your SP? Chances are I’m not. But hey, stick around! There’s knitting here! And witty banter! And, and ….cat pictures!

Okay fine, go…but at least leave me a comment? If you do, I promise I’ll come read your blog too..and who doesn’t want more blog readers, right?

Well if you’ve stuck around this long, let me show you some yarny goodness. Did I mention my super fantastic SP sent me a ball winder?? I am so excited. Not only because I can whip up neat little yarn cakes in record time, but because I no longer have to BEG my husband to PLEASE just sit STILL for 10 minutes and HOLD this (no not like that, like THIS) so I can wind (stop moving!) up this (let up some slack!) yarn!! Sheesh! And here is some evidence of my winding prowess:

This yarn is my further attempt into the world of dyeing. I used Wilton Cake dye this time (on Patons Classic Wool), but apparently I didn’t get the memo on how some of the colors are unstable and break, particularly violet. If you can possibly believe it, these two balls came from playing around with only Violet and Moss Green. I found out too late that applying straight vinegar to some parts made the dark purple finally stick. I think the result is quite nice, although now I'm not sure what to do with these single skeins. Someone recommended the Sophia bag, which is a great idea! I was thinking some kind of small baby sweater, but I wonder if the worsted wool would be too heavy/itchy?

And, why am I so obnoxiously cheery you ask? It's my BIRTHDAY! Well, Saturday technically, but I've been celebrating all week with some very excellent packages. And Ah, technically they weren't sent for my birthday, but let's just pretend. First up:My latest SP package was (as usual) filled with awesome goodies (sorry for the crappy picture, it's non stop rain here). I got not one but TWO fibertrend patterns for felted clogs (child & adult), plus 4 skeins of lambs pride and two pair of addi's. Gotta love it when the SP gets you all the ingredients for a fun project, especially one I've been meaning to try! Also included was some great sock yarn. Two balls of Regia in nice denimy colors (has bamboo! very soft!) and a pretty Opal. If I can just get caught up on the gifts I'm making, I can actually get started on stuff for me! My SP is great, and I can't wait to find out who she is. Since we trade novel length emails every other day, it would be nice to at least know her name!! Apart from the great gifts, it has been so great to make a new friend.

Okay, enough gushing....Next up:

Debbie, A fellow adoption blogger, knew I was a knitter and convinced her Grandma to clean out her closet! When she emailed me and told me she was sending "a box", I never dreamed of this! She is awesome!! Lot's of great baby yarn here, very excited. (Debbie, just say when and knitted baby garments are yours darling). But look at those CONES. The pink on the left is unmarked, but it appears to be a gazillion yards of acrylic fingering. The pink satin and blue pearl on the right are about 4800 yards each! I assume this is machine knitting yarn, it's all acrylic from Kraemer Textiles. Not sure what the heck to do with all of this! I think maybe I could make a cobweb lacey something. Or I read somewhere that I can double (or triple) this up for heavier weight yarn. My SP suggested a solid afghan using different textured squares - a definite possibility... Any other suggestions out there? Has anyone actually hand knitted with machine yarn out there?

Well if you're still here, thanks!! Dont' forget to leave a comment (can a girl at least get a Birthday shout out??) so I can visit you and see what yarny fabulousness you've been up to!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Knitted Gifties

Why does it always seem that when I am ready to sit down and knit something for myself, a new slew of birthdays, births and other events come along and I feel compelled to knit everyone gifts? I always do this to myself and I never have enough time. The latest crisis is a gift for my aunt who is turning 70 this Saturday. I didn't know it was such a milestone birthday until several days ago. Now this aunt knows I'm a knitter and not giving her a home made gift would be an insult. So I rummage through the stash and the books, and I came up with Ene's Scarf from Scarf Style using the left over yarn from the Leaf Lace Shawl. I was hesitant to start another lace project after the monotony of the last one, but I am actually really liking this pattern. Here is what I have so far: I think the biggest difference is that with this shawl, you cast on a large number of stitches, and then decrease as you go along. This gives you the sense that you are actually accomplishing something! Also, the charts are extremely clear and easy to follow, and the repeats are easy to memorize. I am so confident with this pattern, you'll notice I am doing lace on Addi's! I won't be done by Saturday, so I plan to give her a card with a little snippet of yarn giving her a glimpse of the surprise to come (hopefully) soon after.

I finished the baby kimono.... freaking cute I now want to make one in every color sugar n' cream comes in. For the ties, I just took a double strand of the yarn and twisted it on itself. Much quicker than sewing in ribbon or making i-cord. I already started another one (I always like to have a portable project) in Butter Creme Ombre. I love the changes in colors. As for my SIL's gift, I am definitely ditching the wrap. Any ideas on what to do with 2 skeins of Paton's Divine? Think anyone will swap for this stuff? I am not sure if I am going to make her anything after all. She was a complete jerk last weekend and doesn't deserve anything. My MIL cooked a huge meal because friends of ours were coming over to help them with some estate planning. These are the friends who were integral in getting us hooked up with the orphanage in Colombia. Being italian, the woman cooked for an army, despite the fact that she has a seriously bad back. My SIL, who needed to come over and sign some papers, calls 15 minutes before we were supposed to eat and says "When are they coming over because I'm going out to dinner you know". My in-laws were floored that she wasn't eating with us. But you know, they didn't say one word to her. Wierd family. My mother would have screamed at me and insisted I eat there since she spent all day cooking (not that I would have been so rude to begin with). So now I'm supposed to knit for her?? Oh and I remembered that for my last birthday, she got me a cat figurine that was sitting on a purple base (reasoning: because I like cats and I like purple). First of all, I like MY cats, and that's pretty much where it ends. I don't have many knick knacks around the house, but the ones I have are NOT cats. Second of all, yes I like purple (but pink is my favorite color), but there is not one drop of purple anywhere in my house so where exactly would I put it? And third of all, did you think I was so stupid to not realize that IT IS A HALLOWEEN DECORATION??? My birthday is in July, so let's just guess how much she paid for that baby, huh?? Man I wish I could find that thing so I could show you how awful...