Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Amazing .....

.... what you can accomplish when you quit playing computer games! LOL

I was hoping to finish the Flower Child Tee before Paul and I spent that long weekend in a cabin (with no cell service so work couldn't reach us ... yay!!), but I decided to work on other things instead. True to my word to Amanda, I took it with me and finished it up during the vacation. I've worn it twice now and love it!

I also took the Cabled Top with me and did a lot of work on it. I pulled it back out yesterday during the True Blood season 2 marathon and put the finishing touches on it. Can't wait til the weather cools a bit so I can wear it.

Before we left, I finished up Jenn's Seashell Tote and promptly filled it up with all the stuff she keeps leaving in the bathrooms. Yes, I did mean that to be plural. The girl fills up both bathrooms with all her hair stuff.

So, what is it that I really don't need? New patterns you say? Well, yes. And, I did purchase several books and magazines in the past couple of weeks. More yarn? Ummmm, yeah, and you guessed it, I bought quite a bit during my LYS's recent sale. Another project on the needles? Yep, you guessed it! And since I didn't need another project on the needles, I cast on 2!!

A couple of knitting buds are doing the Yarn Forward Mystery Blanket, so I decided to knit it along with them. I started my first square this weekend when we met up for some knitting and socializing time. I finished this one tonight, and am ready to cast on another one. I'm a bit worried that I didn't buy enough yarn, but hopefully it's just that the first square I did takes more yarn than some of the others since it's cabled.

The other project I cast on is Valentina from "The Lenpur Linen Collection". Lenpur Linen was one of the yarns that was on sale, so I couldn't pass it up. I have to be careful because it can be a bit splitty, but I love the way it feels when knit up. This cardigan will be very drapey and soft.

I've also been working quite a bit on the scarf for my stepdad's birthday. Just under 1/2 done with it. Hopefully I can keep up doing a few repeats of the cable pattern each day and not lose interest in it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I'm not the invisible woman .....

I just play one on the internet sometimes :-) Sorry to those of you who sent me e-mails or posted wondering where I was and if I was okay. I got a bit too wrapped up in that silly computer game and let all my crafting languish.

This weekend though, I took a break from the game to do my fantasy football drafts and crafting has overtaken my life once again.

A few things to show, but not a lot of progress on any of them. That should change in the next couple of weeks.

Tonight I finished up seaming all those pieces to create the front and back of Flower Child. I am bound and determined to have this one finished by Thursday night so I can take it on the weekend getaway Paul and I have planned.

Some progress (though you won't be able to tell unless you compare this photo with the last one I posted) on Mary Tudor. I was planning to bring this on our weekend, but I might leave it til the weather cools a bit more in the evenings. Not a fun thing to knit something of this magnitude made out of wool that brushes against your legs when you're wearing shorts!

A couple of weekends during my blogging hiatus, I met a friend for some away from home knitting and socializing time. On one of these meetups, we both purchased the yarn and pattern to make Cabled Top by Debbie Bliss. The yarn (Pure Cotton) is a dream to work with, and the pattern is quick to knit and addicting. I've finished the back, and am about 1/3 done with the front. This may be one of the projects I take this weekend. Would be nice to have a couple of things finished up so I don't feel like such a knitting lollygagger.

This weekend was one of the meetups with my friend Amanda. Before meeting her, I stopped by one of my LYS's to get the yarn to make the scarf I promised my mother I would make for my stepdad for his birthday. The cable pattern is reversible and was easy to memorize. The yarn (Mountain Colors Mountain Goat) is a wool/mohair blend. The resulting scarf will be soft, squishy, lightweight, and very warm.

Anybody else have a daughter who enjoys leaving her hair appliances/makeup/you name it laying around in the bathroom? I promised my daughter that I would make her a tote to cart her things around in if she promised to quit leaving said things to mess up my bathroom. I decided on crochet instead of knit since I got in a crochet mood. This is the bottom of the Seashell Tote from the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of Interweave Crochet. This took no time to complete, so I'm hoping the tote will be finished by next week.

Starting the tote really gave me the crochet itch, so I flipped through the magazine and found another pattern to start (like I really needed another project going!). I grabbed some yarn in the appropriate weight in my stash and worked up the top portion of the back of Bustier Top. The yarn looks white in the photo, but it's actually a soft sage green. It's fairly neutral so I hope to get a lot of wear out of this vest this fall. Of course, the project will have to keep my interest long enough for me to finish it!

So, that's what I've been doing the past .... has it really been more than 2 months?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Long Time No Post

Looks like I slacked off on posting again, oops!

It hasn't been for lack of progress, even though progress has been a bit slow these past couple of weeks. With Paul out of town, I got back into a computer game that he got bored with. It's been almost a year since I played Guild Wars and I missed my characters. I started a couple new ones too, but now I've got the itch to do some knitting again.

Flower Child is turning out to be a pretty quick knit .... when I actually knit on it that is. Three of the five front pieces is complete, and tonight I should finish the second of the five back pieces. Crazy to make a tshirt with 10 pieces eh? But I love the way it's turning out!

A fairly good closeup of what the center front will look like.

Not as much progress on Scheherazade, but there was a bit. Hopefully next time it's chosen by the spreadsheet I won't be distracted by a computer game!

I finally got around to taking a couple of photos of the buffet and china cabinet I brought back from my Gramma's house. It's a bit of a tight squeeze in the dining room now, but I really like them. We just need to get a new piece of glass for the china cabinet door. The tablecloth is one of the hand embroidered ones she made. Since I'm the only one with a big enough table to use them on, I brought them all back to my house and I love changing them each week. Woe to he who drips food on them and stains them, for he shall not live long!

I finished up my two felted projects during my blogging hiatus too. I think the Viktoria bag turned out really cute.

And, I'm loving my felted clog slippers. My daughter says they reminder her of Grinch shoes and they crack her up. I'm thinking that is a hint that she wants some. Maybe I'll get some neon green and orange and make her a pair for Christmas.

I didn't even let the spreadsheet choose a new project last week. Sad, since that should mean more progress on Scheherazade, but such is life. This week's project chosen is Mermaid 3. Let's hope I have more to show for this week's knitting than the past 2 weeks.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

More Spring Cleaning in the WIP list this week. The super duper spreadsheet picked out a sweater I haven't touched in a year, and I just wasn't feeling it. After taking a good look at the photo of the sweater, I decided that it wouldn't look right on me and frogged it. The yarn is destined to become something else, and my WIP list is a bit shorter now.

I mentioned in my last post that I was going out of town last week to help move my grandmother to Ohio to live with my mother. She's all moved in now and settling in well. Since my mother's house is fully furnished, and I wasn't about to let my grandmother's nice antiques go to auction and be sold for next to nothing, I brought a few of them back with me. Her buffet and china cabinet are now in my dining room, and one of the dressers is now being used by my stepson. Hopefully some photos of those later this week.

Since we were going to be working most of the day, and I didn't want to drag any big projects with me, I started a couple of small, quick to knit projects for the trip.

The first night we were there I finished up a scarf using Prism Wild Stuff.

And the night we got back, I finished up all but the felting on a pair of clog slippers. I had plenty of the mulberry color left, so I picked up another contrasting color and plan to make a pair for my Gramma.

I picked a bit at a Ruca Multy scarf, and will work on this during my lunch hours this week.

After I frogged the sweater last night, the spreadsheet picked out a crochet bag I had started last summer. This afternoon, while watching a movie, I finished all the pieces. Tomorrow night I will sew them together and felt it. Finished photos later this week.

Remember the cute as a button kittens we found in our garage? We thought mama cat had run off with them, but I think she just found a spot behind some things stored in the garage to hid them, because Paul spied them on Friday.

Any time I peek through the garage window they scurry behind boxes, but a couple of them are getting used to me.

I was able to snap a quick photo of a couple of them tonight. They are all fluffy as can be and I am dying to get my hands on them.

Of the 6 that were cuddled up on the chair cushion, I've spied 5 of them. The black one with the white belly hasn't been seen yet. Hopefully, as I do some decluttering of the garage I find him. All of them are scared of humans, drat it all. I was hoping to get them used to us when they were still young, so it wouldn't be so difficult to get them to a shelter. If I can't get them to tolerate me being around, a shelter won't take them, so I'll definitely be like my mom and have neutered wild cats wandering around my yard.

There should be a lot of knitting progress the next few weeks. Paul had to go on a 3 week business trip, so my evenings are free to knit to my heart's content.

Monday, May 18, 2009

WIP Spring Cleaning

Friday evening I finished up the base needlefelting on the Ravenna Satchel, then misted it with water and ironed it to set the roving. Since it was still damp, I couldn't move on to the embellishments, but I think I got quite a bit done for a week's worth of work. It is now dry and sitting back down in the craft room awaiting its next turn to be worked on.

Also on Friday evening I finished up the knitting on the Silky Wool Vest. Now all it needs is some buttons. Still haven't found the right ones, but once I do, I'll probably finish this up and not make it wait until next rotation.

Only having 2 projects upstairs made for much more progress than I usually think I get for a week's worth of crafting. I think I'm going to like this new process.

I did a bit of Spring Cleaning this weekend. Spring Cleaning the WIP list that is. I took a good look at what I had on the list of projects, and found several that I really wasn't interested in completing anymore. Those 4 have been removed and frogged. The yarn is now awaiting new projects that it wants to become. I'm now down to 16 projects on the list.

The spreadsheet chose 2 new projects for me to work on Friday night. One of them was the Turnberry Cardigan (one of the projects I found when freezing yarn). The pattern wasn't quite turning out the way the photo looked and I found I wasn't that crazy about it, so found something else in my queue for it to become.

It decided it wanted to be granny squares, attached together on the last round. This is the Gladiolus Vest from Interweave Crochet Summer 2008.

I'd say I finished up about 1/3 of it this weekend, so it very well may be finished up before it needs to be put back in the craft room.

The Koigu Kimono Jacket was also chosen, and there has been a fair amount of progress on it so far. I finished the first strip last night, and began the second tonight. I'm hoping that I can have the second finished and attached by the end of the week.

Next weekend we go to St. Louis to help move my Gramma back to Columbus to live with my Mom. Not sure I'm going to let the spreadsheet pick out projects for that trip. With my luck, it will choose something like the Mary Tudor Cardigan, which requires reading a chart and a gazillion balls of yarn LOL. I picked up some yarn to make myself some felted slippers, and may cast those on and knit them up on the trip.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Questions answered, and this week's projects

A couple of readers asked what pattern I used for the orange Cap Sleeve Top. It is called Cap Sleeve Top, by Robin Melanson, and can be found in "Nashua Handknits: Creative Focus Silk". There are a couple of other really cute patterns in the booklet that I want to try too. The Creative Focus Silk yarn was really nice to work with, but I would definitely suggest blunt tip needles instead of the pointy ones I used. I had to pay attention so I didn't split the yarn.

The two projects I am working on this week will be very close to being finished, if not actually finished, by the end of the week.

The Silky Wool Vest is such a quick knit, and it's fairly mindless so perfect for watching TV. I need a total of 16 inches after the division before casting off, and I managed to add 4 1/2 inches last night. Finding enough buttons in the right size and color might prove to be difficult though. I've already discovered that the fabric stores around me no longer carry the button loop tape I'm supposed to use (the kind used for all those teeny tiny pearl buttons down the back of wedding dresses), so I decided to skip that and just sew the buttons through both layers of knitting to finish the vest. Problem is I need about 28 teeny tiny buttons (about the size used for baby clothing) and I can't seem to find more than about 16 at the fabric stores. I may need to ask them if they can order them for me.

I got a bit disheartened last Fall with the Ravenna Satchel. I had a bit of a felting issue. Not too long ago, I decided to try using roving to needlefelt over the motifs on the intarsia piece to see if that would fill in all the icky parts.

So far, so good.

A close up photo of the area that I've done the needle felting on. I still need to go back over it again to make sure that any fuzzies at the edges get felted into the center, but I think it looks a heck of a lot better than before needle felting.


Part of the felting problem I had is that the yarn I used, while gorgeous just knit up, left really long fuzzies that wound up felting themselves into portions of the project where they didn't belong. Although sometimes a tweedy look is what you're looking for, background color in blobs in the center of the flowers just wasn't cutting it for me.

I could not find roving in the exact colors I used, but I came fairly close on most of them, and will use the leftover yarn from knitting the project to do the outlining and other embellishments on the bag. So far the needlefelting is going pretty quickly. I might have to wait until this project gets another turn to get it all sewn together and add the handles and hardware, but at least some pretty good progress is happening to a Basket O Shame project :o)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Changing the plan of attack

Attack of the never ending (and ever growing) WIP list that is. While stuffing stash yarn into freezer bags for their "time out" in the freezer, I came across 2 more crochet projects that I forgot about and had to add them to the list. On top of that, I got a bit bored with Paul's sweater, and bought a kit from a friend who is doing some destashing, and cast that project on Saturday. Ugggggggg - at this rate, I'll never get to the bottom of that list!

At least I've discovered that whatever project the spreadsheet picks out for me keeps my attention for about a week before I get bored with it. And, sometimes bringing up a different project from the craftroom appeases my urge to start something new. (Quit laughing, I said sometimes.) For instance, Friday night I was really wanting to dig around in the stash for some yummy yarn and cast on something bright and shiny and new. Instead, I spied the Sipalu bag that I lost interest in last Fall, and decided to bring it up. Yesterday, when I put it away again, I had knit all but the top border and handles. Another weekend and the knitting will be done and it will be ready to block and line.

So, I've decided to change my plan of attack. Instead of making myself finish the project the spreadsheet picks out for me, I will let it pick 2 projects for me to work on for a week. Unless I am completely enchanted by a project, I won't work on the same thing 2 weeks in a row. I'm going to try very hard not to cast something new on until I've finished at least 2, but preferrably 3 projects from my current WIP list. Hopefully, this new tact will have me completing some projects and not casting on so many new ones.

I took a break from the knitting for awhile this weekend and finished up a dress I had cut out last weekend. I'm fairly pleased with it, and will make another. I will change the pattern some though. The photo did not in any way, shape, or form show the cartoon model's boobs sticking out. The neckline on this thing falls just below my nipples, so I had to wear a cami under it. Next time, I will raise the neckline and probably bring the shoulders in some so bra straps don't show.

Although I have been casting on new projects regularly, I have been finishing some of them. This one was knit up in record time. 6 days from cast on to worn to work. I also wore it when I met my friend at our LYS to buy that kit from her, and while there wound up selling the last pattern book for this top to one customer, and the yarn to knit it to another. I absolutely adore this top. It's not too casual to wear to work, but casual enough to be paired with jeans and tennies for the weekend.

That kit I purchased? If you read Vogue Knitting, you may remember the Koigu jacket from the anniversary issue. 'A' bought it, then let it sit for over a year. Her hubby really wanted her to sell it and pay off some of the credit card lol. I started it while sitting at the LYS with her for some knitting and socializing time. Worked on it a bit Saturday night, but it is somewhat fiddly with all those little triangles. Not bored with the project by any stretch, but 37 skeins of Koigu in my bedroom along with the other 6 or 7 projects I had once again dragged upstairs was a bit much. The spreadsheet did not pick this project for me to work on this week, so I put it away to await its turn.

Friday night I finished up the felted pond turtle I started in September or October. Another project off the WIP list! She turned out rather cute once I needlefelted some outlining on her shell.

A photo of side 2 of the Sipalu bag. Already picked up all the stitches for the top border band, so when the spreadsheet picks this out, it will be all ready for some fair isle goodness.

No photos of this week's projects yet, but in a few days I will post some. The spreadsheet picked out the Silky Wool Vest and Ravenna Satchel 1.

Wish me luck!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

April Wrap Up, May Wind Up

April was a pretty productive month for me. I finished 5 projects, 4 of which were Basket O' Shame projects! Never mind that I started several new projects lol.

I got a little carried away and had about 6 projects out of the craft room to work on, but this past weekend I rectified that. I now have only 3 projects available to work on while I watch TV.

One of the 3 that made its way back to the craft room is Salvia. I did make some progress on it, and it will be the next projects I work on when I finish something.

I pulled out the Pond Turtle that I started last year and have finished all except the final piece. Pretty sure I'll have this one finished up this week.

Progress has been made on Paul's Islander pullover too. This is one of those projects that just doesn't photograph well indoors with flash. Hopefully we'll have some sunshine this weekend so I can get better photos of the beautiful color of this yarn.

Confession time: I was a bad girl and cast on a new project. I saw this top in my LYS' window and couldn't resist buying the pattern and yarn for it. In my defense, I did wait a full week before giving in to the temptation of starting it. I cast on Friday night and last night I started on the 4th of 5 balls of yarn. This thing is practically knitting itself!!

I'm down to 20 projects on the needles now. Still sounds ridiculous, and I'd like to be under 10 by the end of the year. As long as I can resist all those tempting new projects that are begging to be cast on I just might make my goal.

Basket O' Shame ProjectsNon Basket O' Shame Projects
Flying Carpet SocksYesterday Once More
Mermaid JacketFilet Dragon Throw
Merging Colors BoleroEmily's Gloves
Felted Pond TurtleJenn's Gloves
Sipalu BagRose Wrap Shell
Moorish Stripe SocksSweetie Pie Cami
Roped ShellSanta Fe Shawl
Mary Tudor CardiganBellydance Halter
Lace Knee HighsSolo
Asymetrical JacketSackboy
Ravenna Satchel 1Salvia
Ravenna Satchel 2Silky Wool Vest
Islander PulloverCap Sleeve Top
Zarah Pullover
Bamboo Socks
Scheherazade Shawl

Kitten update: Mama cat must have gotten spooked because she moved her little brood elsewhere. We've seen her a couple of times roaming around the neighborhood, but no sign of the little ones yet. I'm still going to try to catch them and take them to a shelter if I see them. Last thing we need is 6 more strays running around!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Look what Paul found in our garage yesterday. Aren't they cute?

He was rummaging around trying to get the lawnmower out, when he heard a commotion. He saw a cat scurry across the garage and hide behind some boxes stored in there. Then he saw the kittens and called me out to see them. Their eyes are still closed so they aren't very old. So adorable. Mama is a feral cat living in our neighborhood. When I came out to the garage to see, she took off across the street and I was hoping she'd come back if we stayed away. We got her some food and left it out in the garage then left them all alone. We didn't see her all day yesterday, but this morning Paul saw her. She's been in the garage all day today with her little ones. As long as all we do is peer at them through the window and not make any quick moves, she tolerates us. Once the kittens are old enough, we'll take them to a local shelter that won't put them down, and see if we can't trap Mama and have her neutered. There are several feral cats in our neighborhood. Looks like I'm going to be a crazy cat lady like my mom lol.

This afternoon I finished up sackboy. I think I'm going to knit him a hat too, but that will have to wait for another day. Now I only have 2 of the newly cast on projects left on the needles.

Last night I pulled out the Silky Wool Vest and finished the first of three balls of yarn. This shouldn't take too much longer to finish since it's a cropped vest. Hopefully by the end of the month.

I'm only a couple rows shy of finishing the bodice of the Yesterday Once More top. Tomorrow night at my crochet group I'll begin the pleated bottom border.

This afternoon while Paul and I watched a couple of movies I worked on the felted Pond Turtle I started for myself last summer. Ran out of yarn .... ugggggg. Since It's felted I'm not too worried about the dye lots matching perfectly, so a trip to JoAnn's to get another ball of Bernat felting wool is in order sometime this week.