A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

I’m a podcaster, take two March 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 7:54 pm

I got a webcam for my birthday (thanks mom!) and decided to bite the bullet and get back into podcasting- but video this time.

Here’s the link to the podcast blog, and I’ll post here with a link every time I upload a new episode. It’s a geek podcast with a section on video games, but also just has a section on what I’m making, so it should be pretty accessible despite the geek content, heh! (Even if you don’t want to watch, click over to look at the header- I had a lot of fun with it.)


Beecozy March 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:46 am
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A couple of weeks ago, my friend Janelle asked me to make a tea cozy for her difficult-to-fit Beehouse 22oz teapot. She wanted houndstooth patterning, the spout and handle free, and none of that frou-frou bobble/pompom/flower junk you see on a lot of teapot patterns. There was nothing (seriously, nothing) in the Ravelry database that matched those criteria and still fit a 22oz Beehouse pot, so I made something up.

Beecozy pattern (my own), handspun wool and handspun wool/possum blend, size US 7 needles and an H crochet hook

The hole for the spout is a large buttonhole, and it is held on by three button/loop closures.

I was pleased with how it came out. It just so happened that yesterday morning, my mom was looking for a pattern for a tea cozy for this same style of pot, and asked me to write up the pattern. So I did. Here it is. I’m also adding it to Ravelry. Let me know if anything looks strange- as I’m offering it free, I didn’t get it test knit.


Free at last March 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 12:09 am
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The Alice Mittens are DONE.

I finished them yesterday afternoon, but they needed blocking and the buttons sewn on, so officially they got finished this morning.

Alice in Wonderland Mittens by Jennifer Lang, size US 2 needles, Artyarns Ultramerino in black, Regia Silk 4-ply in silver, linings in Knitpicks Gloss Lace in fiesta (red)

To be honest, for a while after finishing them I didn’t want to look at them. I was so sick of this project that all I could feel was immense relief that I was DONE.

But the more I look at them, the more I love them.

After finishing those, I realized that it was March 9th and I hadn’t finished a single thing that I could turn in for Nerd Wars (well, I made pieces for something, but I haven’t actually done the… event… yet, so I can’t turn that in) so I whipped up a quick little toy. One of the challenges was “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb” and the parameters were to either make, from your team’s fandom, an animal or something with lion and lamb like qualities. I chose the latter and made a creature from Earthbound (Mother 2 in Japan) known as a Foppy.

Monster Chunks by Rebecca Danger, size US 5 needles, Järbo Garn Raggi Solids in red

I think he’s very cute. He’s only about two inches tall and maybe two and a half inches wide, and took maybe 45 minutes tops.

In non-knitting news, my birthday party was last Saturday, and my birthday itself on Monday! I had a wonderful party and an even better birthday. The big exciting news is that on my birthday, I finally went and took (and aced) my driver’s permit exam. I never learned to drive as a teen and since I became an adult haven’t needed to learn, but I decided that at 25 years old it was finally time. I’ve done the “slow-circles-in-a-parking-lot” thing twice now, and this weekend we’re going to go find a long stretch of empty country road to tool around on. It’s harder than it should be because our car is a manual transmission, but I think I’ll get it eventually.

Here are some photos from the party!

The chocolate layer cake and pecan pie I baked for the party

The guests, minus myself (behind the camera), my husband, and my brother (both off buying pizzas). From left to right that’s Kiah, my sister Kristen and my nephew Elliot, Nicole, Nick and Marie, Kate’s face, and Janelle’s legs and torso

The best photo of my husband ever taken

Nicole and I tentatively trying pieces of a bacon/maple cupcake my sister brought- it was actually pretty ok

And I’d share our bananagrams silliness with you, but I didn’t get any clear photos of word selections that DIDN’T involve parts of the anatomy or swears. My friends are an interesting bunch! In any case, it was the best party I’ve had in a long, long time.

Here’s to 25!


Fruity! March 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:00 pm
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The new Nerd Wars challenges went up at midnight March 1st, and while I’m not sure I’ll get to all of them, I dove right in on a couple of them. One of them, called “Polytechs”, is geared toward combining two crafts. One had to be knitting, crochet, spinning, or weaving, but the other could be any craft you like. I chose to try dyeing wool with Kool-Aid. I’d never dyed anything but my hair before, so I was a little nervous about how it would go, but it worked very nicely.

Here’s what this stuff looked like beforehand. It’s sort of yellowish- this is actually wool from the fleece I bought at Shepherd’s Harvest two years ago. I ended up deciding it was too big a job and sold it to a friend, who very kindly sent me back about 5 ounces, washed and combed.

And here it is after microwave-dyeing with two packets of Black Cherry, two packets of Grape, one packet of Berry Blue, and one packet of Blue Raspberry Lemonade.

I ended up fitting a bit less than 3 oz into my dye pot. The nice thing about dyeing with food color, like kool-aid, is that you don’t need a special pot to dye in, as it’s safe to use around dishes you normally cook in or eat off of. Also, the kool-aid contains acid, so you don’t even need to add vinegar to “fix” the dye. It’s already permanent and colorfast.

The downside, however, is that it smells… well… fruity. Fake fruity. Not terrible, just fake fruity.

Note- the blue is my leader, it’s just old cotton yarn, not part of the spinning fiber. It’s spinning up extremely fine.  The reason for this is also the reason I can’t spin much at a time… the person who combed this fiber for me left a certain amount of lanolin, or “sheep grease”, in the fiber because she prefers to spin “in the grease”. The lanolin helps the fiber grip itself, so it’s easier to spin a very fine single. Unfortunately, I let it sit in a bag a bit too long and the “grease” is now more like… “sticker residue”. It’s sticky. It’s still obviously lanolin, because it does absorb into skin rather than needing to be washed off, but it’s still sticky while I spin the wool.

I’m sure it’ll be lovely when I’m done, though. I’m still trying to decide whether to chain-ply or two-ply it.

As for my knitting, I’ve gotten past the thumb gusset on the second outer Alice mitten.

It’s oddly mind-numbing while still being too complicated to multi-task through, so I’m not enjoying it much, but it is getting closer to done.

I started a pair of boring 2×2 rib socks for Cory, but those will have to go on hold for a few days while I seam up a leviathan of a blanket for a group blanket project on Ravelry. I don’t know what possessed me to volunteer to seam, but I’m going to do it anyway! We’ll see how long it takes. I’m hoping only a day or two.


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.