A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

Stashbloom February 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:39 pm
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Nothing else around here is blooming yet (we’ve gotten another foot and a half of snow in the last week. What a leadup to my birthday) but my stash has certainly seen some growth recently! I’ve been updating my ravelry stash page this week, plus I took a trip over to The Yarnery to donate a pair of mittens and fell madly in love with some yarn and had to have it. Here’s a collage:

Top row: Knitpicks Palette in Black, 6 balls; Lion Brand Hometown USA in Savannah Sage, 11 balls (I really loathe this stuff, but it’s for a blanket for my grandma who needs something easy to wash)

2nd to top: Knitpicks Aloft in Pennyroyal (their new yarn, it’s like Kidsilk Haze but half the cost), three balls; Madelinetosh Lace in Tart, 1 skein

3rd to top: Fleece Artist in a pale purple, 1 skein; Knitpicks Shadow Tonal in Deep Waters, 3 skeins

Bottom row: 4oz Shetland in Ruby (I call it Plumberry, it is NOT ruby); 4 oz merino/silk in Black Pearl (I call it Silvered Lilacs, it is neither black nor pearl); both from Picperfic on Etsy

The only one of these that has a project set in stone is the Hometown USA. I’m going to make the Autumn Leaves Afghan for, as I said above, my grandmother.  I’m pretty sure the black Palette will be a Shipwreck Shawl, but I might end up using some Shadow for that and using the black for something else.  I have so, so, so many shawls and shawlettes I want to make, and I want to start them all NOW!! But I can’t, because a. I want to get credit for these things in HPKCHC or Nerd Wars, and b. I’m supposed to be working on the *&^^$$@# Alice mittens and some boring socks for my husband.

(the *&^^$$@# Alice mittens, by the by, look like this currently.

Let it not be said that I’m ignoring them. I just am dead sick of them, that’s all.)

I may cast on a shawl on March 1, anyway, as a birthday present to myself, and just work on the mitten as my videocast watching project. I mind it less when I have knitting videocasts to watch, but there is usually only one episode every other day or so. There are many more videocasts about knitting than there were a month ago, but there aren’t hundreds or anything. I added a list on the sidebar there —-> if any of you want to watch some.

Speaking of which, Liz from Needle Bound is having a project bag giveaway, so if you like awesome sewn project bags, go watch and leave a comment to enter!

 

Done done done February 22, 2011

That’s the thing about having a week where you work on lots of things, but finish nothing. Soon after, a bunch of things get finished.

But before I show you finished things, here is something gorgeous- my Christmas present from Nicole.

It’s handspun wool/silk and I love it. It’s so unlike most of the yarn I’ve spun- bouncy and squishy and full of interest and character.

There’s 310 yards there, thick and thin, and I need to decide what to make from it. Maybe Moody Kerchief.

Okay, now for the FO parade.

First up, my ice cream/cake socks (the picot edge just makes them look like layer cake with lots of frosting to me).

No pattern, Knitpicks Felici Self-Striping in Neapolitan, size US 2 needles

I like the process of the afterthought heel, but as I feared they are a little tight to get on. I’m hoping they relax a bit with washing. The picot bindoff is nice and stretchy, though.

Next up, my mom’s felted slippers. She bought me the pattern in exchange for a pair.

French Press Felted Slippers, Patons Classic Wool in grey, size US 15 needles

It’s hard to tell, but the buttons are navy blue. I made the 7/8 size because I have slightly larger feet than my mom and the 9/10 size is too big for me. These fit me ever so slightly snugly when I took them out of the washer, so hopefully they’ll fit mom fine.

Last, a wee pair of toddler mittens I made for a charity auction that a friend of a friend on Ravelry is holding to benefit a little boy’s adoption by his aunt and uncle.

Several patterns, Classic Elite Bazic wool in purple and Knitpicks CotLin in Creme Brulee, size US 5 and 7 needles

I couldn’t help thinking that these look awfully small, but I have so little experience with toddlers that I really don’t know. I cobbled together a few different toddler mitten patterns to make these, and the crowns are intarsia-in-the-round (not as hard as you’d think, just kind of fiddly) of my own design with pink plastic beads knit right into the fabric. I’m very pleased with them, and I’m really hoping they raise a good sum at the auction.

I also made a little phone cozy for Cory’s new Droid (the FIRST THING he did after opening it and activating it was ask me to make him a phone cozy. Gotta love that man!) but I forgot to take a photo last night and he took it to work with him today. I’ll try to get a picture tonight.

Unfortunately, this means that after I donate an old pair of mittens that I only wore once to a local charity tonight, I’ve got six days of February remaining but no Nerd Wars challenges left. I could do something else small for the Harry Potter House Cup, I suppose, but it almost seems a waste not to get March Nerd Wars credit, since I have two big fat projects planned for March. Maybe I’ll cast on that Moody Kerchief anyway.

 

A week of no FOs February 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:52 am
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I worked on a lot of projects this week. Really, I did. I spent most of every day knitting, but somehow nothing got finished.

There were the Alice mittens:

One down, the other not even cast on yet (I needed a break, I knit this one in three days).

There were my ice cream cake/Double Scoop socks:

I’m on the leg of these. 12 of 17 stripes done. You may be wondering where the heel is. Well, do you see the little dot of black on each sock? That’s a line of waste yarn going across the back, and when the whole leg and cuff are done, I’m going to pick up those stitches and do an afterthought heel. That way the stripes stay the same up the leg. Neat, huh?

And then there were my mom’s French Press slippers:

Which are actually completely done but I haven’t felted them yet. I’m planning to do that tomorrow. I did a size smaller than I made for mine, even though we have very similarly sized feet, because my slippers came out too big.

So you see why I haven’t posted. I thought I could get ONE of these things done, but it just didn’t happen. I do have to get the socks and slippers done before the end of the month, though, for Nerd Wars/HPKCHC.

 

Then again, maybe not February 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:39 pm
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I’m still not entirely sure why I changed my mind and continued working on the Alice mittens, but I did. I discovered in the process that a. I do have enough yarn, it’s just a strange skein shape and felt very flat, but weighing it convinced me that there’s plenty, and b. it fits- well, it’s big, but only a little bit, and with the lining that’s a good thing. I spent all of yesterday and today on this project and I’m past the thumb gusset on the lining.

 

I do plan on taking a break once this one mitten is done. I have to have the other one finished by end of March, but it’s barely mid-February yet, so I have time. Besides, I want to work on these.

I’m calling these my double scoop socks, because the colors are spot on for neapolitan ice cream. It’s Felici self-striping in sport weight from Knitpicks, so they should work up quickly. I’m just doing simple stockinette toe-ups. I might do a picot bind-off, because the eye-searing strawberry pink isn’t girly enough for me apparently. Go big or go home, right?

 

Mixed Emotions February 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 7:13 pm
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The bad:

I’m going to have to frog my Alice in Wonderland mittens. Not only am I hopelessly behind on the OWL deadline system (50% complete by end of Feb, done by end of March, I only have 3 inches of the first outer mitten done) but I’m fairly sure I’m going to run out of yarn. It’s old yarn, so I highly doubt I’d be able to find more. I might not frog yet, in case I decide to see how far my yarn will go, but I’m dropping the whole thing as an OWL.

I feel bad about it, but I just didn’t give this project enough attention in the 1.5 months since I proposed my OWL. They’re beautiful, but they take constant attention with no distractions, a lot of fiddling, and with the lining are just a huge, huge amount of tiny little stitches. And frankly, I would rather knit some neapolitan ice cream colored socks right now. Both projects are for me, so I’m choosing to knit what I want to knit.

The good:

I finished my Traveling Woman shawl (aka Alien Sky, aka Space Traveling Woman) and it’s gorgeous. I really adore it. I still have to decide who it’s for, but it’s sure pretty to look at.

I used most of a skein of Dream in Color Starry, unknown colorway (but I think it’s Midnight Derby), and a few dozen AB-coated glass beads in size 6/0. The sparkle of the silver (it’s real silver, apparently) is very difficult to photograph… these pictures don’t give you a clear idea of how sparkly the shawl is. It really feels like a sky full of stars, and somehow manages to be extremely shiny without being tacky or “blinged-out” at all.

I feel like I should make a “the ugly” joke here, but I have nothing ugly to show you, so I won’t.

 

Three News and a Blue February 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:04 pm
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A lot has happened in the past few days! So much that my knitting has kind of stalled, a bit. I’m making steady progress, it’s just much slower than normal.

First, on Friday, Cory tried to go and take a shower. “Tried” is the operative word, here, because there was no hot water. He went downstairs to check the water heater and it was leaking all over the laundry room floor. The maintenance man came within an hour, but basically said “we’ll call someone to come out on Monday” and left again. We were stuck with cold water only all weekend, but today, as promised, a different maintenance man came and replaced the old water heater, so now we have a brand new one. It works great and I cannot wait to take a nice hot shower!

On Saturday, Cory went with his dad to look at a few cars. He ended up finding a nice little 1997 Mazda Protege for $1900, in good condition (the struts need work, but Cory’s dad can do that in the spring) and with only 132000 miles on it. It’s a cute little car, and we’re so excited to be able to go places whenever we want to again! Meet Sheila (I named her, Cory refuses to name cars, but he insists on naming computers, so I say the car gets a name!)

Also this weekend, I decided that it was close enough to my birthday to finally attempt to sell my camera and upgrade. It sold the day I posted the ad on Ravelry, so I also sold my hand cards that I’d only used once. Those sold today. This evening after a lot of research, we popped over to Best Buy and I got THIS.

It’s a Fujifilm Finepix S2700HD (yes, it shoots HD video). It was on sale! I seriously love this thing. You can manually set the aperture and shutter speed if you want to, and it has a really good flash and takes perfect color photos even in dim or yellow light. See this?

With my old camera, this would have been a blurry, grainy blob. It’s just the yellowish overhead light of my computer room, no flash, night setting. Sure, it’s dark, but so was the room! The color is spot on and the focus is perfect. Here is a photo with flash.

I’m thrilled with this camera. Seriously, just thrilled.

Also, you may note that the above photos were the “blue” mentioned in the title. I’m into the final chart of the Traveling Woman shawl. It’s a beautiful, simple, easily memorized pattern, and if it weren’t for all the excitement of the last few days, it would be long done by now. I’m hoping to finish tomorrow.

One final note- my camera needs a name. Any ideas?

 

tssssssssssssssssssssssss February 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 12:47 am
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This morning, after I had my breakfast, I decided to sit down and crank out the creeper toy my husband has been asking me to make him for months.  For those who do not play Minecraft, creepers look like this.

They’re terrifying because they don’t make any noise, so you can’t hear if they’re nearby; they don’t burn in daylight like some of the other enemies in the game, so they can sneak up on you anywhere; and if they get close enough to you, they hiss loudly and then explode. One exploding creeper can kill you if you aren’t careful, so they’re an annoying and frightening enemy. However, they can also be pretty hilarious, so Cory wanted one. He picked out the yarn a while ago, so all I had to do was come up with a pattern and whip one up.

12 hours and several attempts later, I finally finished a creeper I’m happy with.

Minicreeper is about 4 or 5 inches tall, and I crocheted it using a size E hook.

I think it came out rather well. It now lives on one of Cory’s speakers, and he loves it, so it’s a win, I think. I also turned it in for Nerd Wars under the team spirit challenge.

Speaking of Nerd Wars, I’m about 1/3 done with my second project… my Traveling Woman shawlette, made with Dream in Color Starry. I call it my Space Traveling Woman, because it really looks like a starry night sky. I’m making this for the scientific challenge, the theme of which is Nebula. This is my inspiration image.

And here’s the shawl so far.

The color is a little off, there- it’s a bit darker than that in real life- but you can see how it’s blue and purpleish and sparkly. I have some pinky-purple AB-coated beads that will go on the lace section, as well.