Wednesday, October 26, 2011

{WIP} Mitt #2

Nothing too exciting to show this week - just reading mitt #2 which I finally cast on and knit up to the last row of the lace knit section.  I know I've said it before, but knitting with this yarn makes me smile :)

The first mitt used up so little yarn :)

For more great WIPS :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award 2.0

A big thank you to Emma over at her blog Knit One, Stitch One, Save One? for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award. I've been following her blog for quite some time, and it was such a pleasure and honor to see that she had selected me as one of the blogs.  My friend Kim had also awarded me this same award right when I started my blog, and I never got around to doing this. I am very honored to have received this award twice.

The rules for this are:
  1. Thank the person who awarded it to you and link to their blog
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this one to 15 newly discovered or new to you blogs.
Now, here are seven things you might not know about me:
  1.  I have studied Japanese for two years in High School and have been to Japan twice.  It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever gotten to do.  I love Japanese culture, and can still speak, write and read it - while I am not fluent, I would love to be one day and would also love to go back to Japan.
  2. I am a huge fan of YA literature...I'm a huge fan of the Twilight Saga, Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, etc.  I usually hit up the YA section of the book store and library first.  I do enjoy "adult" books too - but, quite frankly, YA is sometimes just plain better.  
  3. I want to be a crafty person...I love the idea of sewing, scrap booking, jewelry making, quilting etc...but unless I have a pattern to follow I have a lot of trouble with coming up with things on my own...I'm too much of a perfectionist, so for example, a single scrap book page took me 4 hours once.
  4. I am a Whovian.  When home sick with a stomach bug two years ago, I discovered Doctor Who on BBC America and I have been hooked ever since.  In fact, last winter Doctor Who was a category at trivia one night and my team and I answered the unasked following questions in the previous answer.  For example: What does Doctor Who do? He travels through time and space in the TARDIS. What does he travel in? The TARDIS which stands for Time and Relevant Dimensions in Space. What does TARDIS mean? *head thump*
  5. I love ghost stories but hate haunted houses.  I will gladly and willingly go on any ghost tour, and have a huge collection of ghost stories. But I hate, hate, hate things that jump out and go boo.  I scream, cry, and act rather pathetic when I have been dragged into a haunted house.  I even bit my friend Sadie when she dragged me into one in Salem.  It was accidental, I was hiding behind her shoulder, screamed and comped down.  I keep hoping some day I will have a ghostly encounter of my own.
  6. I am a TV junkie. I watch A LOT of TV.  Our DVR is constantly yelling at us to clear up space.  I really enjoy crime dramas such as Criminal Minds, Law & Order, CSI, Bones etc....and then worry about people coming in and killing us in the middle of the night.
  7. I used to be addicted to Facebook games. I played them all - Mousehunt (how I met the lovely Kim), Fish Wrangler, Farmville, etc and was pretty much glued to facebook.  Mother's Day weekend, I quit cold turkey...and haven't regretted it since :) Now I have more time for knitting, reading and watching TV - all at the same time.
Now, here are 15 blogs I enjoy a lot and think you might enjoy as well.  It was hard to choose just 15, because I follow so many great blogs (check my full profile for more!) Some are newly discovered, and some I have been reading for quite some time:
  • The Bloggess - this has absolutely NOTHING to do with knitting or crafting, but oh my...I laugh my butt off every single post. I often read posts out loud to Nate, and he thinks her husband Victor is a saint.
  • A Surprise Every Time - A pretty amusing blog where the author posts cute owls of the week that she crochets.
  • Autumn Geisha - A very talented knitter...I look at her FOs and wish my knitting looked as pretty
  • Comic Who - a ridiculously cute Doctor Who comic....Doctor Who meets manga...absolutely adorable.
  •  Lucky You, Lucky Me - A really nice little blog..I like the way this blogger writes.
  • Misadventures in Craft - I really enjoy Natalie's blog, and I love her projects. 
  • Simply Notable - A mother/daughter blog full of crafty goodness. I really enjoy this one, and I like how prettily it is set up.
  • The Ramblings of a Knitting Goddess - Grace cracks me up :) A very talented, young knitter who is also a Whovian.  
  • {A 1/4 to} - I have learned some interesting things from this blog, and it's very pretty to look at :) 
  • Tinktop tap - I love the little stories she makes up about her amigurumis
  • Rip It Good - The host of Squee Sundays...I love her blog :) I also love the cute designs
  • Urban Mouse to a Country House - Julie's blog is one of the first knitting blogs I ever started following, and I love her sense of humor.
  • Knitting in Beantown - Another blog I've been following for some time. 
  • It's Geek to Me - I just started following this one, and she has some awesome FOs but more importantly she has Nathan Fillion on her banner
  • My Grandmotherly Ways- I can so relate

    {Squee} Stitches East

    Lots of knitters
    When I first started knitting - no, when I first became hooked on knitting, somehow I learned about Stitches. I think it was around the time that my friend Christy went to Stitches West, and I thought "Stitches? What's that?"  Thanks to the Powers That Be Called Google, I discovered Stitches East.  And I planned on going.  Now, granted, as I mentioned I think in one of the very few posts of this blog, I didn't know if knitting would be a lasting craft.  Nate thought I'd start one project, not finish it and just give up.  9 months later, I'm still going strong - and my desire to go to Stitches hadn't waned.  

    Fast forward to August, and I'm out in Western Mass babysitting Nate's parent's pets, and my wonderful, amazing, lovely friend Jackie texted me and asked if I knew about Stitches.  And thus, a plan was made for the two of us to go.  And we both have been like little kids counting down the days until Christmas up until yesterday.  
    Pins make me giggle
    Stitches was an amazing experience.  It was...different.  It definitely was not what I was expecting.  See, when I think convention/expo I think of things like ComiCon....and I was picturing this convention center swarming with rabid knitters.  Don't get me wrong, there were A LOT of people - but there was no shenanigans. And it was generally quiet for a place packed with people.  And there was A LOT of yarn.  LOTS AND LOTS OF YARN.  But, that WAS expected :) 

    Jackie & I with some of our loot
    Let me rewind a bit, to later in August - my friend Angela sent me a link to a website that showed cute earrings of mini yarn balls and knitting needles.  I told Jackie that we should buy them...and she said "Forget 'finding' them - I will make us some!" and she did. And they are super cute, and so many people complimented us on them. It was really funny :) I also got complimented on my Saroyan which made me a happy camper.

    Jackie looking for yarn
    Back to the yarn - yarnyarnyarnyarn.  Oh. My.  The marketplace was probably my biggest misconception - somehow I figured there would be amazing sales (it could have been the wishful hoping of my unemployed mind) and there wasn't really...there were some good deals, and some amazing hand dyed booths, but nothing super cheap.  It was also like going to Webs in Northampton for the first time - very overwhelming...I didn't go with a pattern to find yarn for, so I think that helped me from going nuts. I also had a mission to find a friend cable needles like the ones I have by Lantern Moon, and I couldn't find anything other than the plastic Clover that was a bit of a bummer.

    Jackie had mentioned that last year, her first Stitches, the vendors had a lot of free patterns so we went armed with folders to put all of our patterns...and there just wasn't any.  I got a few from the Red Heart booth.

    Not too shabby
    As for loot - which is the reason I'm sure most of you are reading this - I actually behaved myself.  I had about $180 that I saved, and probably only spent about $70-$80.  I picked up  Volume 1 of Knit Princess by Allison Sarnoff and Melody Moore which Allison signed for me; a skein of String Theory's Merino DK in the Garnet Colorway which will grow up to become a Christmas present for someone I think; a skein of Forbidden Woolery's Gluttony in the Irish Sea colorway which might grow up to be a fun hat for ME; a small bottle of Eucalan; a bumper sticker which will probably be used in my cubicle that reads 'I Knit So I Don't Kill People'; a cute little W.P.I. gauge by Girl on the Rocks;  some cute, simple stitch markers with matching tin AND a larger tin for notions by Miss Purl; and lastly, some fun buttons for my knitting bag which read 'Rippit! Rippit!', 'Caution: Bad Attitude Pointy Sticks', 'I was a nice girl before I started all this knitting' and 'My gauge is fine 'til the third glass of wine'. 

    Jackie and some of her yarn goodies
    It was a great day and a fun experience that I was able to share with one of my dearest friends. I know I've complained about being unemployed, but if not for losing my job I probably wouldn't have tried knitting and if I didn't try knitting I probably wouldn't have met Jackie....and for that I am very grateful to my evil former employer.  Jackie has been such an amazing friend to me, and I appreciate her so much and was so happy I could spend the day with her at Stitches. And her kiddo, Kendall, is pretty darn cute too!

    I ALMOST bought one
    Pretty fiber
    Scarecrows with yarn
    Kendall being cute

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Round and Round Baby Hat Pattern

    At the moment, I feel like a little kid the night before Christmas...I am so giddy about going to Stitches tomorrow with Jackie...*bouncybouncybouncy*

    So, what happened with this hat is that I had a very specific hat in mind, but was having trouble finding a pattern that matched, so I wound up winging it. Here is the Ravelry Link.

    In case anyone (Julie, I speaking to you :P) wanted to know the pattern, it's pretty much this:

    Using DK yarn such as Simplicity by Hikoo by Skacel and size 6 needles:

    CO 56 stitches, and join in the round (careful not to twist the stitches)

    Knit 6 rounds of garter stitch

    Stockinette stitch for 6 rounds
    Garter Stitch for 4 Rounds (starting with a purl row)

    Continue last two steps until hat measures 4.5" (or 5" if you would like fold brim like I did)

    Begin decreases:
    K6, K2togeher around
    Knit 2 rounds
    K5, K2together around
    Knit 2 rounds
    K4, K2together around
    Knit 1 round
    K3, K2together around
    Knit 1 round
    K2, K2together around
    Knit 1 round
    K1, K2together around
    Knit 1 round
    K2together around

    End hat

    Top with topper of choice :) (Pom Pom, Umbilical cord, etc)

    And THAT ladies (and gentlemen? do I have any Y chromosomes following me?) is the hat I "designed".  

    If anyone wants to test knit it or knits it and discovers and error, please let me know.

    {FO} Look ma! No pattern!

    Remember the baby hat I was knitting a week or so ago? Well, I finished it :) Overall, I am pleased with how it came out.  

    Overall I'm happy with it :)
    I did run into a few um, complications, but they were easily fixed. For example, I was planning on starting my decreases at 4.5", but, apparently I had an issue reading a tape measurer and started them more at like 5" which made for a big baby hat! But, I just folded the bottom and it worked out.  And then I couldn't figure out how I wanted to top the hat...I thought about the Marley topper from Susan B. Anderson, but wasn't loving how it was looking, and I only had the pink went with a big ol' pompom.  And then the colors....I love the vibrancy of it, BUT, I was hoping the striping would be skinnier and that there wouldn't be such a large chunk of yellow (not my favorite color). 

    I also finished the first mitt from Wednesday, so as an added bonus:

    I love this!

    I am off to Stitches tomorrow, so expect a super special Squee Sunday :)

    Round and Round Baby Hat Project Details:
    Pattern: I made it up :)
    Yarn: Simplicity by Skacel in Margaritaville
    Needles: US 6
    Gifty: Baby Girl Wilson


    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Happy News

    I interrupt today's knitting to share a very important announcement....I was offered the Boston job and I will be going back to work sometime in November :) :) :) 


    OK...resume knitting and/or crocheting :)

    {WIP} Reading Mitts

    Here I am with another pair of fingerless gloves ^_^ 

    I decided to go with the pattern for Susie's Reading Mitts paired with the Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock Yarn in Tea Party...and I'm not sure what I'm loving more: the yarn, the pattern, or the yarn and pattern paired!  I know I've said it before...but Sunshine Yarns is simply amazing. They make my heart smile.
    Despite it being fingering weight, I've got a lot done since Sunday! I also figured out how to tink with K2Togs...which I'm quite proud of myself for not dropping any stitches. There was a lot of muttered curses though.  And Nate might have shot me some concerned looks. But, all in all, it wasn't as bad as I thought....and I tinked for the fun of it apparently, because the mistake I thought I made, yeah, didn't make it. But that's OK! I now know how to tink k2togs :)
    The colors are really more jewel toned
    I can't wait to see how these will come out once they are finished and I fold over the hem so the picot edge shows. The picture doesn't do these justice...granted, I took it at almost midnight on Monday. I think these will turn out to be a great gift!

    I also signed up for a mini/ornament swap over in the Danger Crafts Ravelry group which I'm pretty stoked about. Christmas is my favorite holiday, and I can't wait to start knitting for my partner. I won't post anything more than sneaks until mid-December after my swap partner gets her package.

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    {Squee} Yarn, Yarn, and More Yarn

    My preciousssssss.....
    I need to get my bum in gear and start Christmas knitting...and the above is a step in the right direction! I finally caked two skeins - and tried to cake a third, but as you can see by the ball shape it was having NONE of the swift.

    The light khacki colored alpaca is what will eventually become a scarf for's just a trial trying to find a pattern and I have no clue how much yardage I really have....and I picked these skeins up at an alpaca farm in Maine, so if I need more....well, let's find a patter first THEN figure out what will happen if I need more yarn.

    The colorful yarn is Sunshine Yarns Classic Sock yarn in Tea Party.  This was a mystery skein I had purchased through a grab bag sale...and I think it's going to grow up to become Susie's Reading Mitts for Nate's mom. Maybe. We'll see. I'm still trying to find the perfect pattern for Janet.  

    It's nice to actually be able to pull yarn from my stash, and not go out and purchase yarn...which I've done a lot.  But...since knitting I've grown a bit of a yarn addiction as I'm sure you can all relate...and I'm afraid if I don't start using some of my stash yarn....I will forget what I have and not use a really awesome yarn.  And, with Stitches less than a week away....eeeeek!

    So, today's Squee Sunday is about my love of yarn, and the feeling of triumph to pull something out of the I can make room for more.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    The Countdown to Stitches East

    A week from today, me and my knitting friend Jackie will be hitting up Hartford for Stitches East.  I cannot even begin to tell you how very excited I am - literally have been counting down the days since August 1st when we made the plans.  I have been a good girl, and placing some monies away in my Super Monkey piggy bank for the sole purpose of budgeting myself while there...and I'm pretty sure Nate will be unhappy if I can't make my half of rent for November, but have a lot of yarn instead.  

    We didn't sign up for any of the classes, but rather I am looking forward to the marketplace and shwag. My knitting bag has a ton of little pins I've picked up from various places. I have a Rhody Yarn Crawl pin, and a Keep Calm Carry Yarn pin from Slipped Stitch Studios. I'm hoping to add to this collection :) 

    Some of the booths I'm especially excited for:
    • The Concession Stand 
      • I am a person driven by my it's best that I check this out early and load up on fries to fuel me.
    • Halos of Hope
      • I'm HOPING to make up a hat to donate....but realistically, I'm not sure if I will be able to :( So, I'm hoping to be able to drop off something and if not, make a donation
    • String Theory Yarn
      • I fell in love with their yarn on my camping trip up to Bar Harbor, and I'm sad I didn't pick up any
    • Knit Princess
      • A Knitting Comic Book!!!!!!!!
    • Della Q
      • I am beginning to need a pretty needle case for my fixed circular needles
    • Decadent Fibers
      • From my friend Kari's hometown and their hand dyed yarns are pretty


    Friday, October 14, 2011

    {FO} Westeros

    I did it! I conquered my fear of a thumb gusset and made my first pair of gloves.  I was so honored that Jackie asked me to test knit for her, and this has been a great learning experience. 
    One Down

    I definitely had some second glove syndrome going on...I didn't knit as fast as I did on the first one, but it was very satisfying to complete the whole shebang. 
    Matching set

    And Nate likes them, a lot so win there! Now, I need to come up with a scarf for his mystery alpaca.  

    I will post a link to the pattern once it is fully written up.  

    Westeros Test Knit Pattern Details:
    Pattern: Westeros by Jackie Jaquette
    Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease (I think)
    Needles: US 5
    Gifty: Nate

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    {WIP} Baby Hats are Cute Like Baby Kittens

    So tiny!
    I started....frogged...started...frogged and started the baby hat for Keith and Sharon's unborn daughter.  It's been an adventure, and I'm kind of winging the pattern.  Needless to say...72 stitches cast on is way too big. 56 stitches seems to be working just fine, though.  I really want this hat to be a good newborn hat, and hoping that Baby Girl W. isn't born very big, it should work out.  

    I'm making up a garter ridge baby hat as I go along, and I'm trying to decide if I want to do an umbilical cord style top or a dome and add either a crocheted flower or some other embellishment.  We'll see...I really need to increase my pace so I can start getting to work on some Christmas presents.

    The Westeros glove is almost I'm hoping to have that done for FO Friday. I've got some P3togs looming that I'm trying to procrastinate on.

    I also just wanted to say hi to all the new readers who have found me :) Thank you so much for commenting on my posts! It means a lot to me. 

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    {Squee} Anita the Alien(ito) & Apples

    Another alien for the horde:

    My friend Jackie asked me to knit her one out of this yarn, and I have go to say that this is my favorite alien so far!  I knit this one on size 2 needles, and she came out about the same size as George the Alien.  I'm thinking this little cutie will be known as Anita the Alien(ito)*.

    Failed Self-taken Photo
    Today, Nate and I went on an autumnal date (which is very Squee worthy!) :) We drove out to Little Compton to check out some of their orchards, but sadly we did not find any real good apples. When Hurricane Irene rolled through a month ago, it somehow damaged the the first orchard we went to, there were apples on the trees (and a lot on the ground)...but they were expensive so we didn't get too many. We then moved on to the next orchard which ironically had its annual Apple Fest going on.  This orchard was very sad....almost ALL the apples were on the ground, and those on the branches were rotting.  It will probably be a good apple cider season, but apples...not so much.  Still, it was nice to go out on this beautiful day!

    Lots of fallen, rotting apples :(
    Sad face :(

    *I recently read one of the Skippyjon Jones books to Jackie's 4 year old it seems fitting :)

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    FO: Cables a go-go!

    I am really proud of this week's finished object.  I have a lot of mental hang ups, apparently, when it comes to knitting - some things just plain scare me. Thumb gussets? Shudder.  Cables? Twitch.  Heel flaps? Eek!!!

    I've had quite a few people tell me that the lace edge I did on the baby blanket of seed stitch doom was a lot more frightening than a simple cable, and that I really had nothing at all to fear.  With a quick, deep breath I decided to plunge into the unknown...and dig out my cable needles.
    Nate's cousin Keith and his wife Sharon are expecting their first baby in November, and we were unable to make it down to Florida for the baby I decided to knit something up and send their way - and conquer my cable fear. It took me a while to decide on what I wanted to do, and in the end I decided on a bib and a hat.  I finished the bib this week, and now need to figure out which hat pattern I want to go with.
    Like any new cable knitter, I decided to try my hand at the Modern Cabled Baby Bib over on Ravelry....even though it had seed stitch. God, I'm a glutton for punishment LOL.  And...the cable wasn't scary at all! In fact, it was really, really, really, really, ridiculously easy.  The only thing I had trouble figuring out was whether or not to knit the stitches off the cable needle or put them back on the left knitting needle and try it that way.  I did it both ways, and I think I like slipping them back onto the regular needle.
    I followed some modifications I found on Ravelry for the button hole.  My sewing skills are....pretty non-existent, but I think I got the button on pretty good.  Button shopping is hard! 

    I also treated myself to a pair of Knit Picks Harmony fixed circular needles :) And knit this project with them.  Overall, I liked them! It was my first time ever using a 16" cord, and I wasn't a huge fan of the short needles but got used to them after awhile.  While I still prefer my Addis, I did enjoy these and will probably definitely order some more - they are very pretty!  The cord was a little more flexible then Addis too, which was nice...because sometimes my Addi cords crimp and get in the way of things.

    This post is brought to you in part by FO Fridays and the letter C:

    Tangerine Cabled Baby Bib Project Details:
    Pattern: Modern Cabled Baby Bib by Andrea Pomerantz
    Yarn: Lily and Cream in Tangerine
    Needles: US 8
    Gifty: Baby Girl Wilson

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    WIP Wednesday: Fits like a glove!

    Thumb set up...almost ready for the top ribbing
    I am almost done with the first glove! I just need to work the thumb, and then one down, one to go.  This knit up quickly, and Nate really likes it.  It is fun helping Jackie out with her pattern...and it is fun stepping outside of my comfort zone.  Can't wait to show it off as a finished object :) And as soon as Jackie releases the pattern I'll post a link for it.  I really like how the ribbing looks when the knits are done through the back loop.  Usually I hate ribbing but this kept it interesting....granted as soon as I switched over to normal knitting, I had to remind myself not to do it through the back loop.
    Fits Nate like a glove!

    I also have a finished object that I'm going to show off on Friday for FO Friday, which I'm looking forward to jumping in on.

    So, I had a job interview in Boston this past Friday.  Fingers are crossed....I think it went well, and I'm really excited about getting back to work.  Here's hoping!

    AND .... it's almost time for Stitches East! Anyone else going?