Monday, October 30, 2006's Monday again

Well, that weekend went fast! Did not get as much sleep as I needed and I'm still acting like a ping pong ball when it comes to my projects.

I did manage to sort some things out in my sewing room and get started on a Christmas present. I also looked at my soap supplies and figured out what I needed there.

I worked on the Hydrangea socks and got them back to a state where I can start knitting them together again:

Hydrangea sock progress
I think I may copy an idea from another Petals Collection KAL member and make these cuffs shorter than the 6 inches the pattern calls for. I'm at about 4.5 inches now...I think I'll stop at 5 inches, too, and then work the heel.

I also worked on the shawl. I'm at about 40 rows with this one and I really like the way it looks. Here's a picture of the Sangria shawl so far, and a detail picture of the patterning:

Sangria Shawl detail SAngria Shawl

I was hoping to finish a pair of socks this month, but it's just not going to happen. It will be tough to finish stuff for myself in the next couple of months because of the Holidays, but I'll just keep plugging along!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Eye Candy Friday: Autumn leaves

Some beautiful autumn leaves...

Autumn Leaves

This tree is in our front yard - all its leaves are turning into this wonderful red-orange color.

On tap for this weekend, first SLEEP!! I have not been sleeping well. I've gotten more and more tired as the week has progessed - I need to recharge my battery! Then maybe I'll have the energy to do some knitting or quilting!

Monday, October 23, 2006

One alpaca scarf

It's purple and it's soft and it's done!

Purple Alpaca Scarf
Misti Alpaca Bulky yarn in violet (RJ1800), 1 skein
size 15 needles
C/O 15, K3 P3 all rows

I used this pattern on the Ohm shawl I made for my friend Jane and really love how it works up differently depending on how many stitches you cast on. So after a few experiments with other patterns that used too much yarn, I decided to use this pattern again. It makes a decent length scarf, perfect for wearing with a coat or jacket.

As for the other things I was supposed to work on this weekend...well, let's sum it up in three words:
shock, frustration, ennui

Shock: I took my car in to be serviced. It should have been routine...a tune up and replace a burned out brake light. It wasn't. There was grit in the power steering fluid and brake fluid reservoirs--they needed to be flushed. $$ on top of the $ for the tune up. One of the hydraulic seals on the brakes was leaking and had to be replaced. More $$ on top of $$ and $. Cr@p!! @#$!

Frustration plus ennui: I worked some on the hydrangea socks, but found a problem with one of the two socks--somehow I shifted the pattern over by one stitch. I had to pull it off the needles and frog it back to the point where I made the error. Then, I unknitted a couple of rows to make sure I knew where I was in the pattern and had the right number of stitches on each needles. Finally I could go forward again and did a couple of rows, before I totally got bored with it.

Just plain ennui: Next, I tried knitting on the shawl, even though I said I wasn't going to work on it. Did a couple of rows on that, and got bored with that.

More ennui: Looked at my fabric...could not get motivated to work on any of the quilty things either.

Maybe next weekend will be better.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A rose for Eye Candy Friday...

...this is the last rose in our yard.

Last Rose
I'm noticing a red theme here...the red rose, Sundara's yummy Fall Foliage yarn, and the Wild Cherry yarn I'm using for the Sangria shawl. While red won't replace my favorite purples or teals, it is one of my preferred colors.

Up this weekend, catching up on some errands, like getting my car tuned and going to the grocery store. I also need to look at my soap supplies and figure out what I need. It's getting to be that time again! I have a few new soaps I want to try, so I need to check my essential oil inventory.

I also want to finish knitting the purple alpaca scarf - I'll do that while I'm waiting for my car tomorrow. Since I am seriously behind on my sock knitting, I need to concentrate on that after the scarf and put the Sangria shawl aside. I love how the shawl is shaping up, but the fine yarn requires a lot of concentration!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October Petals Collection arrived!!

...and it is fabulous!! I just love the colors and the sock pattern is very pretty. It's called "Fall Foliage" and here's a look at the yarn:

Sundara's Fall Foliage
(I have a picture of the package contents, but Blogger is not cooperating!) Here's a picture of the package in all its wonderful richness:

Petlas Collection - October
Sundara, you create most wonderful colors! This is another hit!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Stash enhancement weekend...

...I went; I saw; I bought!!

First off, I went to the ribbon cutting for Purlescence Yarns. What a great new store! It is bright and cheerful, with a "living room" area in the center that is very inviting.

I made a beeline for the Blue Moon yarns, as did a lot of people. Can you
say heaven?? It was so hard to resist! Here's what I ended up with, yarn-wise:

At the top, Heaven in Burmese Ruby by The Yarn Place. Left to right, Blue Moon Fiber Arts: Sock Candy in Purple Rain, Socks that Rock in Beryl, Atomic #6, Carbon Dating, and something pretty (I'll have to get the name when I get home) Bleeding Heart; and Claudia's Hand Painted yarn in Chocolate Cherry. I bought two each of the Sock Candy and the Chocolate Cherry. I also bought a couple of sock patterns, a shawl pattern, an orange Chibi, and the Interweave Knitting holiday issue.

I was actually looking for a pair of size 9 straight needles that were more pointy than the ones I had at home. Since the shop carried the brand of needles I already had at home, I decided to spread the love around.

At Full Thread Ahead, I looked for the knitting needles. I didn't find any sharper ones, but I did find some silk lace yarn from Cherry Tree Hill that was 30% off - this is the Life's a Beach colorway:

Life's a Beach

So off I went to the next store, Uncommon Threads. I found a pair of Inox needles that weren't necessarily more pointy, but the slickness of the needles might make up for the pointiness. I bought those and a magazine.

On Sunday, I made my pilgrimage to Pacific International Quilt Festival. I loved the quilt exhibit. My favorite was the Innovative First Place winner: Primordial Sea by Judy Coates Perez. Unfortunately, my camera decided to act up, so I didn't get a picture of it. Hopefully, they will upload pictures of the winners at the Quilt Fest site soon.

My biggest purchases were at the 1/4-inch Publishing booth. I love Jane Tenorio-Coscarelli's patterns and now she has a fabric line. I bought a panel and some coordinating fabrics in her Latin serenade line:

All in all, I had a fun time increasing both my knitting and quilting stashes. Now I just have to get busy!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Somewhat Eye Candy Friday...

...Wow! Friday snuck up on me! So I was stuck going through the archives to find eye candy. Not much of a selection, but there's always kitty pictures!!

Here is Miss Sombra posing with two of my afghans.

Sombra's Tail of 2 Afghans
As for the actual knitting part of the content, I decided that the
alpaca scarf needed to become a different scarf with better ends. So I started redoing that last night. I cast on 15 and I'm using a simple K3P3 on size 13 needles. So far I'm happy with it.

This weekend will be very busy. On Saturday, I'm going to the grand opening of a new yarn store, Purlescence Yarns in Sunnyvale. I'm very happy about having a yarn shop so close to home that stocks my favorite yarns. Not that it means that I'll stop going to all the other yarn stores I frequent! They each carry at least one yarn that I can't find elsewhere, so I can spread the love (and $$) around!

On Sunday, I'm going to Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I love this show - they have beautiful quilts on display and great vendors. I usually don't buy a lot of fabric at these shows, but I love seeing the new quilting tools and gadgets, and some usually find their way home with me! That night we're going to dinner at my in-laws house.

Intermixed with all of this are all the usual mundane, non-crafty tasks that have to get done. You know, a maid service would be really nice...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Yes! We had knitting this weekend...

...I finished the knitting part of the Kitty Pi bed, but haven't felted it yet. Laundry had a higher priority, so the washer didn't come free until too late last night. Here is the completed bed before felting...felted picture to come later this week.

Kitty Pi - before felting
I also worked a little on the Hydrangea socks:

Hydrangea 10/10

I probably would have made a whole lot more progress on the socks, if I hadn't been distracted by that Wild Cherry yarn and the Sangria pattern. So you know what I just had to do...

Sangria - 10 rows
Yup! First I had to wind the yard. (2400 yards takes a while to wind!) Then, I started knitting it. And then I started again...and again...and... I probably started it 5 times before I got control of this very thin yarn! The pattern recommends using metal needles for this shawl, but when you only have a few stitches on the needle and you're not used to the thinness of the yarn, those metal needles have a nasty habit of sliding out!

I finally gave up on the metal needles and started again with some Crystal Palace bamboo needles. That did the trick! I got about 5 rows into it and then switched to the metal needles. Ultimately, I think I'd like to use Knit Picks needles for this shawl because they are more "pointy" and would make the K3tog easier. But, I'm good for now...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Today's Eye Candy Friday is brought to you by...

...Cherry Tree Hill and Full Thread Ahead.

Wild Cherry Lace Yarn

This is Cherry Tree Hill's Merino Lace in Wild Cherry. I bought it at Full Thread Ahead's customer appreciation sale on Wednesday (the sale ends tonight at 10pm, if you're interested!) I also bought the "Lavish Lace" book because I fell in love with the Sangria shawl pattern. Wild Cherry may become this shawl...I haven't quite decided yet.

Not much on the knitting front this week. I've done a little on the Hydrangea socks, but nothing picture-worthy. However, I am making progress on the Kitty Pi bed, so here's a picture.

Kitty Pi Bed
Looks like a giant beret, right? LOL! So far the cats aren't too interested in it, but we'll see what happens once I felt it.

On tap this weekend, finish Kitty Pi and make progress on my socks. (Oh yeah, and find the coffee table under a bunch of magazines...)

Monday, October 02, 2006

September recap (such as it is)...

...I still can't believe it's October. While I'm more "well" than "sick," this sinus headache has got to go! I started feeling better yesterday and actually got a little knitting done. Mostly, it was a lost weekend...

The recap:
  • Calla Lily socks from the Petals Collection
  • Knit2 prototype knitting bag (red, black and white)
  • Knit2 bag in copper, black and blue
  • More stitch markers
  • Purple alpaca scarf
    Well, kind of. I'm not happy with either end of the scarf. The lace pattern is fine, but the ends don't match and I don't think I can "block" them to match each other -- one's sort of scalloped and the other is squared off. And I don't have enough yarn for fringe to disguise the differences even if I could block them to look more alike. Sounds like it's off to the frog pond for me. Hmph!
Worked on:
  • Hydrangea socks
  • Kitty Pi bed
  • Paint it Black quilt (for me!)
  • Central Air socks using Peaseblossom yarn
  • Alpaca scarf (see "Finished" above)
Oh, well.

Eye Candy Friday...

...and I'm looking forward to the weekend! This week we harvested plums from one of our trees: Corncockles have sprouted up all o...