Arm Warmers are done!!

I finished the arm warmers last night and put them in the mail today. Here they are as the pair and with one modeled by me (it's really hard to take a picture of your own hand...). The color is more true on the closeup...

Arm Warmers, finishedArm Warmers: Close Up

The Specs:
Finished: 2/27/2007
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft yarn in light gray; worsted weight
Needles: Size 5 US
Pattern: Voodoo wrist warmers, cast on 48
Variations: Knit 9.5 inches before doing the buttonhole; used an 8-stitch buttonhole; knit 1.5 inches after the buttonhole

Hopefully the Daughter will receive them quickly. She is coming home on the 9th for Spring break, but I really want her to have these ASAP.

Next up is
Calorimetry. I started that yesterday and will finish it before I tackle the leg warmers.

Tuesday, Tuesday...

I forgot to mention another Stitches purchase—a Sweaterkits kit for the Silk Waves Shawl. There are no pictures yet because these kits come packaged in acrylic bags that don't photograph well. Take my word for it: it's gorgeous. The yarns are hand-painted silk and silk chenille in purples and blues (my colors!).

When I got into work yesterday, my February installment of Scout's Indie Swag was waiting for me. (
It's a little pinker than I would normally pick for myself, but the purples make up for it.)

Scout's Indie Swag: Feb
I actually knit in last week, too.
  • One completed Peekaboo Mitten in a silk and cotton yarn. I will make the other mitten eventually, but just not now. I'm trying to decide between a chocolate brown yarn and a black yarn to use for my daughter's Peekaboos...she wants more neutral colors for her outerwear.

    Right Peekaboo Mitten
  • The arm warmers are almost done! I have an inch or so to go!

    Arm Warmers

When I finish the arm warmers, I think I'll make the Daughter a Calorimetry from the current Knitty issue. I have a Simply Soft Shadows yarn in black, brown, and white (Opal Twist) that I think she'll like.

Stitches West: I went...I saw....I bought...

...and bought...and bought! I met some fellow knitters, took a couple of great classes, and just had a great time!

Here is my haul from Blue Moon Needle Arts--it represents the majority of my purchases.

Blue Moon purchases
  • The yarn in the front is all Socks That Rock, Lightweight:January One, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Midsummer Night, Lucy, Mist, Smokey Blue, and Obsidian.
  • Rio in Pebble Beach and the Faux-bius pattern for it.
  • Bambu in Dark Horse and the Bambuzzled pattern for it.
  • Blue Moon Sock Blockers and above it a moon knitting marker (sorry, it didn't photograph very well).
Here are the rest of my yarn and knitting purchases.

Other yarn purchases
  • Big patterns: Leg Warmers from Oat Couture, Cookie A's Mona, Flicker, and Thelonius sock patterns, and Everywhere Wrap from Hemp for Knitting.
  • Kits: Spa and Bath Trio and Shop Till You Drop Bag from Hemp for Knitting
  • Books: Favorite Socks from Interweave and Dominknitrix (signed!)
  • Two skeins of Sea Silk and the Storm Water Shawl pattern from Handmaiden Yarn
  • Two skeins of Louet Gems for the Thelonius pattern; above them are fresh water pearl stitch markers from Zero
And finally, the class materials from the Spinning For Knitting class I took from Merike Saarniit and my spinning purchases--Coral Reef merino-tencel on the left and Evergreen merino on the right, both from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks.

Spinning materials
Now, I have been trying to learn how to spin (on my own) for the last year. Nothing I "made" looked remotely like yarn and I was frustrated. After the first hour of class, we had spun and plied our first yarn. And, surprise! It actually looked like yarn, rather than a globby mess or strands of roving twisted on itself. Here's a close-up:

Beginning yarn
  • The brown and white yarn (Coopworth wool) on the left is the first yarn we made in class.
  • The multicolored yarn (Romney wool) in the center is the second yarn we made.
  • On the spindle is a Tussah silk yarn that we started.
  • On the right is a rust yarn (wool type unknown) that I made today, just to keep in practice.
Now, I need a lot more practice to produce an even single, but I now feel like that's possible. Thank you, Merike!

Tomorrow, it's back to work. It's been nice to have a break and enjoy my craftiness, but now I need to pay for these purchases! However, I do have a few crafty things to look forward to. In some weird serendipity, I expect to get my first 2007 installment of the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club, the second installment of Scout's Indie Swag Club, and the next installment of Sundara's Petals Collection! The universe is being very good to me this month!

no time for Eye Candy Friday...

...I have a few things to do before heading off to the Stitches marketplace. However there will be pictures of the new stash later!

Quick recap of yesterday: My class was great and I learned a lot about yarn weights and things to consider when knitting garments. I feel better prepared now to tackle my first sweater.

The Market Preview...what can I say? I made a beeline for the Blue Moon booth and did serious damage right off the top!! Then I went across the aisle to the Bay Area Knit Co-op booth and bought a couple of Cookie's sock patterns. I bought some Seasilk yarn at Full Thread Ahead and a shawl kit from the Mendocino yarn shop. All in all, it was a great night!

Off to plan my attack for today!

ready...set...STITCHES!

...classes start today, followed by the market preview for students tonight. I've really been looking forward to this.

But, before I go, here are a few pictures. First up, the semi-travel case I made over the weekend.

Closed:

Travel Case - Open
Open:

Travel Case - open
And just for posterity, the arm warmers for the Daughter:

Voodoo Arm Warmers
I haven't made any progress since the last report, but this project is going with me to Stitches and I'll work on it during my down time.

I have my knitting bag packed and my shopping list made...I'm ready to go! See you there!

Holiday Monday...

...Yay! I'm busy, but it's a crafty-busy and I like it!

I've got a sewing project to finish up -- making a travel case of sorts for the "basics" stuff I need to take to my Stitches classes. I still need to make a little bag for my spindle, but that won't take very long.

Then, it's back to knitting. I finished the first Voodoo arm warmer and cast on for the second. I had a little problem with the thumb opening; it was too tight. Not only do I have long fingers, but I have a big thumb. (Blessed with large bones, what can I tell you?!) Since my daughter's hands are a mirror image of mine, I had to change the 6-stitch buttonhole opening to an 8-stitch opening. It's still snug, but not tight.

I'm on the thumb portion of the first Peekaboo mitten, which means I'm nearly done with the first one. I think I mentioned that this yarn was working up a little "floppy"...well, I've decided that I'm not going to do the second mitten with this yarn right now. Instead, I'm going to make the mittens in a yarn that is a little more elastic and more washable. Since these are for the Daughter and she really needs the mittens right now, I'll make them in a cotton-acrylic blend or a 100% acrylic yarn. Later, I'll go back to the cotton-silk yarn and finish the second mitten for myself.

Yeah, there are no pictures right now. I didn't think that a half-baked travel case or one arm warmer would be too thrilling to look at right now. Later in the week, I'll post some pictures. And you'll definitely see some pictures of any stash I acquire at Stitches!

Eye Candy Friday...choices, choices...

I had three pictures that I really liked this week and I couldn't choose just one! So you get all three...hope that makes up for the lack of any crafty pictures!

First up: Another look at the gorgeous orchid plant my husband gave me:

Orchid
This picture shows the clouds at the end of the storms--that's the roof of my house. Note the clouds reflected in the window.

Reflection
After taking the above picture, I turned around and saw this:

Clouds
I'm looking forward to the three day weekend and then Stitches West next week. I'm taking two classes: Mastering Yarn Substitution and Spinning for Knitting. I'm taking an extra day off just to chill and get mentally ready for Stitches, so I'm only working ONE day next week. (YAY!)

We'll see how much actually blog next week!

oh, now I remember why I put it aside...

..."C is for Kitty Cat," that is. I put it aside because of the the fussy quarter stitches in some of the motifs. That and the fact that is all ecru on khaki Cashel, makes it difficult for me to work on it for more than a couple of hours. I mean, ecru is only a stone's throw away from white...everyone should know by now just how much I hate stitching in white! While I love the overall look of the finished project (and I love Sweetheart Tree stuff, in general), I'm giving this one a rest.

I'm switching my lunchtime project to a Shepherd's Bush needle roll that I have in the stash. The Violet Roll has some nice purples and a variety of stitches. I've made lots of their needle rolls and they stitch up fairly quickly.

On the knitting front, I'm working away on the Daughter's arm warmers. OK, I realize that some may turn up their noses at acrylic yarn, but I really love the way the Simply Soft yarn is working up! K2 P2 gets a little boring after a while, but at least the result looks and feels great!

a floral Valentine...

...from my one-and-only.

Valentine

It always amazes me when my husband takes the time to personally deliver his Valentine's presents to the office. He knows that my co-workers will give him a bad time, but he does it anyway.

He doesn't restrict his presents to an occasion -- sometimes I get flowers or chocolates for no apparent reason, other than he was thinking of me. (Awwww!) He's a keeper!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

all about knitting...

...at least, that's what it feels like. I spent a lot of my weekend either knitting, or doing knitting related things.

I decided that the brown yarn (
RYC's Luxury Cotton) I was using for the arm warmers was a little floppy--it just wasn't going to be snug enough for long arm warmers. However, not wanting to waste the time I'd put in so far, I turned it into a mitten. Not just any mitten...the Peekaboo mittens from this month's MagKnits. I think these were a great alternative to the flip-top mittens -- for one thing, they are a lot faster to knit!

Here's where I am so far:

Peekaboo
The opening is on the palm-side of the mitten. You can't see it very well in this picture because the yarn is dark, but here's a close-up:Close Up
The only problem I've had so far is that the finger portion above the opening is not long enough. I have long fingers and so does my daughter -- I had to unknit the decreases because my fingers weren't covered. I'm now adding at least 4 more rows before doing the decreases again. Otherwise, the pattern is pretty straight-forward.

I restarted the arm warmers in Caron's Simply Soft yarn in a light gray:


Arm Warmer startI really like how this yarn is working up in this pattern I'm still using the Voodoo wrist warmer pattern, just making it longer.

In the knitting-related area, I updated my stash database with all of my recent yarn purchases. This is in preparation for shopping at Stitches West -- while I certainly don't mind having lots of yarn in my stash, I'd rather not buy duplicates!

It's still Friday here...

...almost too late for Eye Candy Friday! Here's the wonderful sun face that is hanging in my courtyard. (Thanks, Jane!)

Sun Face
Too much work to do much blogging right now...I'll catch you on the weekend!

Welcome home, little Saturn...

My car is home! It's been in the shop for over a week. because they found that there was more damage than they originally thought. But, it's fixed now! I have a trunk that closes and a bumper that doesn't have holes punched in it. It was a great feeling to turn in the rental car and drive my car home...all is right with my world again! Happy Dance!!

On the knitting front, I mailed the red hat to the daughter today. Next, I need to finish her arm warmers.

On the stitching front, I'm working on the "C is for Kitty-cat" cross stitch piece at lunchtime. I'm rotating the Seahorses needlepoint pillow with the knitting projects at home.

Slow progress on all, but at least there's progress!

Monday, Monday...

Weekends just fly by. Before you know it, you're back to work and wondering where the weekend went...

Super Bowl Sundays are usually shopping days for me. I don't like football (or most sports, for that matter), so I take the opportunity to go to shop when there are few people in the stores.

I hit the Super, SUPER Yarn Sunday Sale at Purlescence and picked up some cashmere yarn and a few other goodies. I also petted the Blue Moon yarns, but managed to resist buying any this time around.

The husband and I went mattress shopping and found a set we both liked. Our old set is way past its prime and overdue for replacement. I'm hoping this new set will eliminate the lower back aches that have been waking me up every night.

I finished the red hat for our daughter. It seems appropriate that I finished it yesterday -- her birthday. Here it is on my favorite model, Teddy:


Put on Your Red Hat
The "full" view:

Red Hat
The Specs:
Finished: 2/4/2007
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft yarn in Red; worsted weight
Needles: Size 10.5 US
Pattern: Yarn doubled; cast on 60; 4 inches of k2 p2 ribbing; stockinette; based on Cold Weather Hat

After I finished the hat, I immediately started a pair of Voodoo wrist warmers in RYC's Luxury Cotton. I'm going to make them in the larger size and a bit longer than the pattern calls for...we'll see how it goes!

Not much of an Eye Candy Friday...

...but what can I say? This week has been seriously busy at work, leaving me mentally exhausted by the end of the day. I'm lucky I remembered it was Friday! So here you go:

Birds Feeding
This is a picture of the birds feeding in our backyard, around 8am. I love watching the birds flit between the three feeders and so do our cats! It's kitty TV!

On the knitting front, our daughter requested a few knitted things to help her through the winter in Baltimore. She asked for a red hat, another pair of arm warmers, and a pair of leg warmers. I'm on the lookout for non-animal fiber yarns in a neutral colors for the arm and leg warmers. I found a nice red acrylic (I know, I know...) yarn for the hat and started that last night. I'm doubling up the yarn and using a simple garter stitch pattern with a little ribbing just so I can finish it quickly.

So it's looking like I'll be knitting this weekend. We'll see what happens to my other UFOs!

January 2007 Recap

It's hard to believe that January is done already! So here's my first recap of the year.

Finished:
  • Alpaca Scarf in burgundy (knitting)
  • Birdhouse needleroll (cross stitch)
  • Flip Flop Days (cross stitch)
  • Pea Pod scissor fob (cross stitch)
  • Snow Fall needleroll (cross stitch)
  • Witches Brew pillow (cross stitch)

Worked on:
  • Just Nan 2002 Christmas ornament (cross stitch)
  • Sangria shawl (knitting)
  • Seahorses pillow (needlepoint)

In progress, but didn't work on:
  • C is for Kitty Cat (cross stitch)
  • Flip-top mittens (knitting)
  • Hydrangea socks (knitting)
  • Peacock Majesty by Just Nan (cross stitch)
  • Queen Mermaid (cross stitch)
  • Twinkletoes slippers (knitting)

Started:
  • Nothing!!
Now there's something you don't see every month: I didn't start anything! However, every time I turned around, I found a UFO that I didn't know I had. Case in point: I'd forgotten about the "C is for Kitty Cat" project I'd started last year. So that needs to go into the rotation.

All in all a very productive month. It feels good to have that many UFOs done, but I need to whittle down the list even more!

WIP-it Wednesday...

...and a photo of my new toy. A year or so ago, my Mom mentioned that she had an old Singer sewing machine. She said it wasn't very bi...