Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year !!!

Happy New Year Peoples !!!
I'm still at home....
In theory I'm going out tonight, but I'm just slothful enough it might never happen.

I just got my bestest New Year's present ever.
It's in your line of sight at this very moment.
Can you find it?

Drop me an email before midnight on 1+2+3 (which is, in standard date notation, 1/3/06) telling me what my New Year's present was and who made it for me. There will be a prize. If you get it right, I'll put your name into a hat for the random selection of who gets the prize. If there's only one right answer, you get the prize.

Legalese: Only one prize will be awarded. Play as many times as you like. Only the first correct answer from each entrant will be included in the prize selection process. People who live in my house cannot play. People directly invloved in the production of this feature and their families cannot play. Puppies cannot type. The drawing will be done from a hat, I will not use a mixing bowl. Email should be sent to onmyneedles at yahoo dot com.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas !!!

I hope that everyone has had a wonderful Christmas with much love and joy.
Ours is wrapping up (it's well past my bedtime) and a lovely day was had by all (though it didn't quite wrap up soon enough to completely avoid me snapping at a couple of my loved ones. I hope they forgive me)
Tomorrow will be an early one, hopefully with some knitting.

My favorite present of the day: A loom.

Don't get quite so excited. It's a cute little thing in an antique box and it weaves either 4x4 or 2x4 squares. (I know my geometry and have a problem with the concept of a 2x4 square, but apparently the editors of the instruction sheet did not have any such compunctions.)

And... It's "the only hand loom with heddle action."

Apparently there were two nifty looms in my grandmother's house, but only enough pieces to make one complete loom. I'm slightly suprised that there was a nifty old loomish thing. I'm not at all suprised that out of two boxes, there was one complete loom.

Friday, December 23, 2005

CandyCane Hat

(cross-posted to Handknit Holidays-along)

I'm mid-way through knitting a candy-cane hat from Handknit Holidays and have just started the decreases. My stripes were tracking nicely around the hat in a clockwise manner and it seems to me that with the beginning of the decreases they've reversed directions.
I don't have a picture of it and I don't have the hat here to fix that lack.
Has anyone whose done one of these noticed this oddity? Could someone post a top down view of the hat so I can see if I'm doing it wrong?
Thanks everyone.

(As a side note, this was my very first fair isle project and while I can't say I enjoyed every minute of it, it was loads of fun and I've purchased the yarn to make a flower bag or two)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Many Bits of Spinning...

I've been doing a fair bit of spinning since Peacock and I started attending the NWRSA meetings. We've joined Area 2010 which meets up in Snohomish once a month. It's been so nice to be able to pack up the spinning wheel and spend an afternoon surrounded by people who understand.

Actually I did quite a bit of my Fiber Exchange spinning at meetings.

I also spun my second 4 ounce batch of fiber from Bountiful at the meetings. I believe the color was storm clouds, one that they don't have any more of. It's gorgeous.. in fact, Peacock has been threatening to steal it since I finished the singles.

She didn't manage to steal it before I plied it onto itself, and it's still in my posession, but I have no idea how long that will last. I think it averages a DK weight, between sock and worsted weight... Here again I'm thinking a shawl as a finished project...

Now for some spinning things that may never have a finished project associated with them, all of which were spun up quite some time ago. Sample skeins, all of them spun on a drop spindle. (though, at this point I have absolutely no clue which spindle I used for which skein)

From the top down:
- The black at the top is some spectacular alpaca from a vendor whose name I've forgotten (I could tell you where to find them in the vendor's hall, not that that helps much now) at Oregon Flock and Fiber.
- The pale beige silk and the orange wool at the bottom, are both samples from Royale Hare. A friend of the dyer was at the Rennaisance Faire with samples taking orders. The silk was a dream to spin, it drafted perfectly and seemed to be gone in no time at all. The wool was nice, not something I'd necessarily go out of my way to purchase, it's a little too coarse for shawls or hats, but it spun easily and would be an excellent choice for a beginner that needed something with a bit of grip to it.
- The blueish/brownish fascinating color in the middle is a mix of blue and yellow silk (or soy silk, I forget) and camel down. It was spun at Renn Faire. I got it most of a year ago out of a Round Robin box.

More skeins that will likely never be part of a finished project. Even worse, each of these spent more than a year on the spindle waiting to be plied!.. I need to work on my distractibility or I'm going to be buried in partially finished (or is that barely started) projects.

- The two red ones are an Ashland Bay wool/silk blend from Weaving Works. I have a fair bit of it in a variety of colors.
- The blueish-green and red and grey one in the middle is more Ashland Bay fiber, this time just merino, and here again, I have quite a bit of it in various colors somewhere in my stash.
- The brownish one off to the side is moorit shetland
- The purple one at the bottom is an overtwisted and overplied sample from Lorna's Laces Roving purchased eons ago in Santa Cruz, CA.

- Here is the larger skein and roving from Lorna's Laces. I got a much better amount of twist in this second skein. I really enjoy the color progressions that come out of this roving. The fiber is a bit coarser than I'd like for hats or gloves, but I think it would be fine for socks. Now if only I could manage to spin four ounces of the stuff to sock weight and I'd be able to knit some purple handspun stripey socks.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Pair of Sock IV

Here is the long awaited photograph of the sock and its girlfriend.
As you may have been able to deduce from the link, I finished them in August. I probably waited a month or two to sew the ends in, and then took their portrait during the whirlwind of photography that occurred after I was pissy for a day in early November.
And so, here they are, ends sewn in, posing together for the very first time.

They have not yet been worn. It's too cold to wear short little socks, even short little wool socks. I expect they will be very popular come spring. And they are cute.

Ooh, they were also quite lovely to knit. The yarn is Sock Landscape from KnitPicks in the color Morning Glory. The yarn seemed softer than Regia's, but was not as wonderful to work with as Koigu's KPPM or Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. It was a tad splitty, but not extremely so. All in all, I say for the price, it's darn good yarn. This seems to be an opinion I share with the folks over at Knitters Review.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

SET - Finished, Sent, and Received (eons ago)

I have an outdated object to brag about.

My sock exchange thingy socks were finished quite some time ago... like early October.
A month later, Snooze posted a wonderfully ebullient post about the socks when she received them in early November.
I forgot to post about them for more than a month after that. Which is to say, until now.

These socks were a wonderfully quick to knit out of Noro's Kureyon, from the toe up with a pattern on the leg of my own devising. It most closely resembles a basket weave, though it's different than most I've found labeled as such in the stitch-dictionaries.

It's very simple.
Just two rows k2p2 rib, two rows stockinette, two rows p2k2 rib, two rows stockinette.
Repeat ad nauseum.

This stitch pattern appears to be an obsession because I'm using it on almost everything I design myself lately, case in point, my lovely green wristies. I hope I get over it before I do something truly unfortunate.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

More Packages... or SET Received Reprise

Earlier this month, I think the week before my speech final was due, I received another package. This one was from Kim, my SET knitter. It was a soft envelope, so I assumed that there was noting in it but knitting. I was wrong, but more on that later...
Boo !!!

Eeep !!!
After she sent me the embryonic handpuppets, she kindly insisted on knitting something else for me, so she could ensure that I'd had a good experience with the sock exchange thingy.
After much banter, it was decided that she would knit me a scarf using some yarn that I'd had in my stash for years. The yarn in question was alpaca from the Australian Yarn Company, I think the colors were 986 and 987.
When I sent her the yarn, I sent her a copy of Sally Melville's pattern from Scarf Style, the triangle with tails, as a jumping off point. Having not knit the pattern myself, I cannot say if she followed the pattern exactly.

What I got back from her was a lovely scarf in garter stitch where the two colors of yarn were striped every couple of rows. I'd sent her two balls of the darker color and one of the lighter color, so I think there were 2 rows dark to every 1 row light. There was a crochet chain all the way around it which gives the edges a stability that I am unaccustomed to in a scarf. It drapes perfectly around my shoulders and will be being added to my RennFaire garb as a shoulder warmer since I have nothing currently that fills that position. Now I just need to find a pin or some such to hold it closed... ooh, I already have some penanular brooches from an SCA event a few years back.

And now, enough with the talk, here's the scarf...

The lovely thing you see in the picture is a cup and saucer with butterflies on them. They're gorgeous! I'm astounded that Kim was willing to send them through the post without an exoskeleton of some sort, in other words, a box, but they got here in one piece (thank goodness) and I adore both them and the scarf.


I've been a busy Bethieee and not posting (or knitting) as often as I would like.
(Are we noticing a pattern here?)

But a while ago, shortly after Thanksgiving, I got a box.

Peacock told me I had a box from Mia while I was at work and was kind enough not to open it before I got home, so I got to do it.
Guess what I found inside...

Hiding under the brownies were some fantastic chocolate chocolate chip cookies, some brown fudge and some fascinating white fudge with cranberries (?) and nuts.

We ate some of them right away...
My appologies for the picture, the brownies really were excellent, it's just really hard to get a decent picture of someone eating something.

And this is the current state of the tin.
No I will not tell you when it originally got this way.
Suffice it to say, it took longer than a wink and not nearly as long as it should have.
What can I say, they were yummy...

Friday, December 16, 2005

There are days like that...

Some days you just don't want to get out of bed.
Some days you want to find a small, defensible space to curl up in.
Some days you need a big comfy blanket.
Some days you just can't cope without a silly hat.
Some days a nap makes things All Better.

This has been one of those weeks.

(entry shamelessly stolen from Peacock... hey, it's my picture)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Ripping Out My Knitting

We've been cleaning lately.
I've been working on my twill scarf so I can get it off the loom.
I've also been going through some of my work in progress buckets and pulling out things that I know I will never finish.
On the list of things that have been un-knit are a half-finished sock and two different sweaters in the same reddish/purplish Cascade Sierra. The sweaters got pulled because they were worked from yarn purchased for one project and I was not at all sure I'd have been able to finish them.

The picture is actually pulling a scarf that Peacock knit out of a strand of varegaited wool and black fun fur.

It looked really pretty, but it was less than a yard long. So I pulled it out and Peacock and I separated out the two strands with our ballwinders and get to start over with something else.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Secret Pal 6 Package 3

My Secret Pal is wonderful!!!
This one was full of green stuff. Everything in the box was green (for varying definitions of green)

There was a fun fur tube scarf (you know those strange knit things that you can wear as a scarf, a miniskirt, or a tube top, or, if you're really tiny, a very small dress) and a matched pair of socks and mittens in a very, very pale green.

There were an assortment of pattern leaflets and knitting notions, all of them either green or with green packaging. A sampling of knitting needles, straight, dpn and circular, one each and a couple different types of needle end caps.

And there was Yarn!!! 2 balls of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky, one ball of Caron Bliss, 2 balls of Patons Classic Wool, and one ball of Peru DK.

I'm really looking forward to trying out the Peru DK. It feels fabulously soft and I've never seen it before. (Oh, Secret Pal, will you tell me from whence it came?)

This box was so much fun to open and find all the fabluous suprises inside it. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you !!!
I can't wait to find out who you are... just a few more days.