KAL alonging

10/17/2010

After yesterday’s first session of the KAL (correction: out of 4 not 5) we were given directions for the cuff and leg. The cast on she chose was a new skill for me: the i-cord cast on. In this pic you can see it in the beginning stages (bottom) and after a few inches of the leg (top) which is knit in basketweave stitch. The i-cord looks a little big in comparison to the leg, but she assures us that it will all be ok. See, the i-cord is not connected to itself. The latter end is waiting on waste yarn for a mystery step. There will be a snap which we are told will tidy things up, along with blocking the basketweave I presume.

In this pic I am casting on for the second sock so I can do two-at-a-time. We have three weeks until the next session when it is time for the heel. By then I plan to have 4 inches of leg done on each.

I love this yarn: Arucania Nature Wool. It is a 3-ply wool dyed in monochromatic olive green. It’s rustic but not itchy, and warm. And proceeds support Chilean artisanship. How appropriate (and unintended).


Mystery KAL time

10/16/2010

Headed to Cloverhill Yarn Shop for a mystery sock knitalong!


FALLing back in love with knitting.

10/09/2010

This week I realized that while usually at this time of year when the temperature changes and my inbox is swarmed with emails about new Fall yarns I have ani intense itching to knit, I was not very much in the knitting spirit. I told this to a new “friend” who suggested that maybe that’s an opportunity to develop a new hobby. “Stop KNITTING? No way!” I responded. So today I went with my mom to a semi-far-away LYS–Cloverhill Yarns in Catonsville. The trip gave me the rejuvenation I craved.

I signed up for a mystery sock KAL which starts next week and is free as long as you buy the materials there. Unfortunately one of the sessions conflicts with the Rally to Restore Sanity, but I’ll figure those logistics out later. The owner, Jolene, designed the sock which is knit with a worsted (I’m using Arucania Nature Wool) on size 3’s, which will make a nice think and warm sock to lounge around in.
I picked up the Halloween colorway of my fave sock yarn–Wullenstudio–named, “Monster Mash.” I saw a sample knit of Ann Norling’s Basic Mittens and ordered the pattern from the store. Lastly I caved in and bought a replacement for my still lost Berroco Norah Gaughan Collection Vol 2 so I can finish this darned tee I am almost done knitting. Now it is certain that I will find the original.

Car knitting--a Cookie A design with Spirit Trail Fiber Works. Almost done!

Car knitting–a Cookie A design with Spirit Trail Fiber Works. Almost done!

Bedore going in, I said, “ok mom, I’m not allowed to buy sock yarn.”


Crafty Bastardly Fun

10/02/2010

I finally went to Crafty Bastards, an annual indie craft festival in the DC area, after a couple years of missing it. There was a huge turnout this year, probably because Jay McCarroll (winner of season 1 of project runway)had a booth. I saw him from like 10 feet away which was moderately exciting.

CB has a eco-friendly liberal theme to it. I saw a t-shirt with a print of Obama kicking a zombie’s ass. Many of the art and craft objects made are from reused items but that doesn’t mean they look cheap. I rarely could say, “oh I could make that” like I say at some booths at other craft festivals. The stuff I saw today was magnificent and inspiring. The median age of these 200-some crafters is probably 30.

Etsy had more of a presence than I saw the first time I went. Etsy is an online marketplace that only sells handmade items. At their booth they recognized that festivalgoers were probably crafters too, so they set up a table of materials for us to play with. I embroidered objects onto felt to make a flower among wisps of grass, the typical 3rd grade girl drawing. I used felt, embroidery floss, a button, 3 beads made of fabric wrapped around a plastic tube, and pink duct tape.

I also picked up 2 kits from Hello Craft for hair ties and clips, and a make-your-own mini bunting kit from Etsy. You can see the rest of my purchases below.

Now, time for a nap!

I made this at the etsy.com craft table.

I made this at the etsy.com craft table.

Two kits I bought from Hello Craft

Two kits I bought from Hello Craft

Some metal and shrinky-dink jewelry I bought from BaltimoreCraft

Some metal and shrinky-dink jewelry I bought from BaltimoreCraft

I'm excited to make this mini-bunting.

I’m excited to make this mini-bunting.

I got postcards, a little book and two buttons which read: “talk nerdy to me” and “knitta please.”


Yarn Crawl

07/11/2010
This weekend I did one of my favorite things: hang out at yarn shops and knit.
On Saturday I went with my mom to A Tangled Skein. I spent time talking to Jennifer, who works there and who used to attend my Tuesday knitting group at Adega Wine Cellars. We talked about old friends and new knitting trends. It was just us three until about 2pm when a swarm of people came in, some who were new knitters and had never been to that LYS before. As I heard them sigh and gasp happily over the large and diverse selection of yarns, I remembered myself doing the same thing the first time I had walked into the store. I sat there knitting my Aramis top and spinning some crappy roving I am trying to finish up. I enjoyed talking to the newbies (one was Happystrings on Ravelry) and giving tips on good projects that are easy but will add new skills (comme le Multidirectional scarf). That night while seeing an excellent production of Evita at RMT, I made loads of progress on some socks:
On Sunday I did my now routine of going to The Yarn Spot to spin on my new best friend, the SpinOlution Echo. I had wonderful conversation with the ladies there and was super productive- I plied like a pro, finished spinning the crappy roving, and finished my socks, which are currently blocking on my new fave knitting tool, wire sock blockers.
Here is the yarn I just finished. It’s really soft and you can’t tell here but the colors remind me of a mermaid.
Here are some purchases from this weekend:

Flexible lace blocking wires, another skein of Malabrigo lace because it’s just awesome, a lace shawl pattern, two skeins of Rock Creek Yarn sock yarn in Cherry Blossom for the lace shawl (to add to another skein I already bought), and Norah Gaugan’s 7th Berocco book. I also (finally) got Lily Chin’s Knitting Tips and Tricks and picked up a new needle gauge which Jennifer said is the best.
When I got home just now I plied and skeined the crappy yarn, which turns out to not be so crappy after all.
Now I just have to “set in the twist” of these two newly plied skeins, which I don’t know how to do yet and which will apparently marry the two plies. It’s the same in concept to blocking. Just makes everything more even and stable.
The most awesomest thing about this weekend was what was going on on Ravelry. They asked the users to help classify all 166,000 patterns by type and attributes (design elements, construction, etc) to make searching easier and more standardized. And for every pattern you either classify or double check you get entered to win one of 17 amazing prizes. Not cool, not awesome, but totally amazing prizes. Of course there were those people who only were doing it for the prizes, but for the most part people were really putting thought into it. Reading the threads about the massive project I finally realized why librarians have to go to graduate school. I classified 240 patterns; while I am crossing my fingers and toes that I will win something, my OCD and appreciation for Ravelry got me to this number. It feels good that I can classify some of these lonely patterns from a rare book that I happen to own.
Anyway, I obviously had a good weekend and I hope you did too!

Updates

07/10/2010

I love how my Citron turned out. I titled it “Lavande” in ravelry. Five points goes to whoever can figure out why.
It took me five minutes to come up with a solution for showing off the striped translucency of this shawlette while also having to hold the camera. Let’s just say that my bendiness came in handy.

I also finished (a while ago actually) this sock made from a soft soft soft sock yarn in a colorway named “Harry Potter.”Due to the pooling that occurred, I decided to stop at one sock and use the remainder of the yarn to make a moderately complicatedly patterned so as to break up the pooling. I will definitely/try to not start any new projects though until I decrease the number of wips!


Back-to-the-Knitting Weekend

06/26/2010

Every time I go into Firefox the first thing I see is that I have 99 blog posts. Well, here’s #100 for ya. The 99th post was on March 28th. Funny, I took over my new position on April 5th and have been running around Montgomery County and in my head ever since. This week I have been talking (to myself) about getting back into knitting because 1) I have many many WIPS 2) I have been working too much after getting home from said work and 3) knitting is goshdarn relaxing. There have been several new elements in my quest to get me back into knitting.

First, I started delving into more podscasts. In addition to Stash and Burn, I now listen to The Knitting Show. I love it! It features a brother and sister who live 2000 miles apart and who are both avid knitters. I have a celebrity crush on the guy, Peter. I love both of their midwestern accents. They sound like fun people who I’d want to be friends with in real life, much like the Stash and Burn girlies.

Second, I went to Knit and Stitch = Bliss today and just loved their new makeover. I am a pretty loyal person in general, but when it comes to knitting stores, I am not monogamous. I go to several in the Maryland suburbs of DC depending where I am at the time: Knit and Stitch, A Tangled Skein, and the Yarnspot. (I also love going to yarn stores out of my normal stomping ground just to see what they’re like. and WEBS. I love WEBS.)

Third, well I am currently evaluating my UFO’s to try and whittle them down. That didn’t stop me from buying yarn today though, thanks to AC Moore and Knit and Stitch:

New Debbie Stoller 100% wool yarn on sale 2/$7. I think I will make a gradual color-changing scarf:

And Plymouth Jeanee Cotton/Acrylic on sale for $3 each! Summer tops are in their future:


And this is what I have been working on recently: the Citron quasi-shawl from Knitty:


I am using Malabrigo Lace in hollyhock. This looks a little dusty-rose-ish but it is more of a lilac color. I am currently on the final section which is over 500 stitches wide!

To see my other UFO’s I have added updated pics to Ravelry which can be seen in the righthand column. I have also been working on non-knitting craft projects… yes that’s right. Actually to be precise, I did find the pattern in a crochet magazine but had already half-way planned this kind of a project. Here it is:

I cut up old t-shirts and sweatshirts from college, originally planning to sew them together into throw blankets. Then in this crochet magazine I get (from which I usually don’t like any projects) they suggested crocheting the squares together. I got a 1/4″ hole punch for the edges and then crocheted a foundation row using the holes, then I will either crochet or seam the squares together. For the sweatshirts the fleece on the wrong side will add comfort. For the t-shirts, the pattern calls for ironing on fusible interfacing with stitch direction/ stretchability running perpendicular for stability, then crocheting two t-shirts wrong sides together, so there is never a wrong side showing on the final product. I will update you on my progress.

So that’s where I am. I hope it is not too long before I write to you all again.


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