A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

Don’t blame me July 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:59 pm
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…if Janelle gets heat stroke. I warned her that if I made her hat in the summer she’d wear it all the time and get horribly overheated, and I was right.

Happy hat

At least she likes it, eh? Anyway, this is my own design, using handspun wool/possum and teal mystery wool. It has wee elephant buttons on the straps, too.


Regarding my spinning project, I did not get 2/3 done with the singles… instead, I finished them.

Sangria singles!

All three bobbins done (and each weighing in at exactly 1.3oz)! My sudden speed was due to two things. First, practice does in fact make perfect. My technique is improving– a LOT– and my speed has gone way up. All I have to do now is ply, which I’m hoping to do tomorrow between making dinner and podcasting. The second assist to my productivity? I discovered Netflix Instant Play, and they have Mythbusters.

Yes, I did of course already know this phenomenon exists. Lots of people I know have Netflix, and use instant play frequently. However I was under the mistaken impression that the $8.99/month plan was for 1 dvd per month, not one at a time with unlimited dvds per month. That plan I had thought was much more expensive. As soon as I found out, I ordered, because guess what else they have?

Over two HUNDRED MST3K videos. I am a happy, happy geek.


You are success! July 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:31 pm
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I had an extremely productive and successful weekend.

First of all, this weekend was the Minneapolis “ZineFest”, a zine selling and trading show where my friends Autumn and Tiffany had a table. (click here if you don’t know what a zine is, or here if you want more info) In exchange for sitting with them today and keeping company/helping sell, I got to put my etsy things (crochet cupcakes, Disgruntled Pocket Critters, and cupcake pins) on their table to sell. I came into Zinefest with a $20 bill; I walked out with $25 cash and all of this.

Zines and stuffI think I made out pretty well. My favorite purchase is the book on the very bottom, titled “Make your Place; Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills”. It has a wealth of info on making bath and body products, home cleaning products, and even gardening.

During the fest, I worked on a sock I can’t show photos of as I’ll hopefully be publishing the design later. Yesterday, however, I completed Janelle’s hat- the one that I spun up both that possum/wool blend and the teal wool for. I won’t show a full photo yet as I don’t yet have the buttons (you’ll understand what I mean once I have them), but here is a closeup of the colorwork.


This hat’s my own design, but in general shape it’s very similar to my Animal Cracker Hat pattern.

My favorite accomplishment this weekend- particularly since it only took me a few hours, the fastest spinning project I’ve done yet- is this yarn.

Soffffttttt4 ounces of bamboo superwash, colorway Frosted Garden, from “Dyeing for Colour” on Etsy. Spun into soft worsted weight singles. Seriously this stuff is so freaking soft.

I’m very, very proud of myself. I’ve never spun low-twist singles successfully before. Admittedly there were a couple of places spun too loosely that broke, but I spliced them back together and all is well. I didn’t count yardage but I’d say at least 200 yards.

Scale shot


Zzzzzzzz May 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:27 pm
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Late one tonight. It’s already 11:22 (note: I am normally in bed by 11 at the latest) and I am just now blogging. We recorded episode 7 of Knitscape tonight, and with the long recording, editing, finding music, uploading, and now starting a Ravelry group, I didn’t realize how late it was getting. But dang I’m tired!

Janelle and I did not, as we thought we would, go to the WWII reenactment/ceremony today, as we found out it wasn’t free, so instead we drove around for a few hours. It was nice to wander around a bit, and see parts of the city I’m not familiar with. We tried to go to Minnehaha Falls, but the park was overrun, so we ended up popping by my brother’s place to say hi and then heading home. Didn’t get much done besides the podcast, but at least it was a nice relaxing day.

Alright, I’m off to bed. Nodding off as I type, here. G’night.


So I lied May 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:50 pm
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No, I didn’t lie about today being full or interesting… just that this would be a long entry to make up for yesterday’s. I’ll list everything I did today, and I think you’ll understand why I just need to go to bed and post photos and details tomorrow.

  • I got up at 8:30 with a headache, ate breakfast, showered, and took some medicine.
  • A few hours later Janelle picked me up and we went to lunch and then to my cousin’s garage sale in Anoka, where I picked up some books, shelves, and other random things (including 4 stuffed peeps, for a swap I’m in later this year).
  • After that, we went to the Como Zoo and Conservatory, and saw the Japanese Gardens. I have photos from this that will be up on Flickr sometime Sunday.
  • We got done there around 2:30 and went to Jamba Juice for a drink, then stopped by Lake Johanna to sit in the sun for a while, but it was pretty cold and windy so we didn’t stay long.
  • Then we went to the mall, where I got some shirts, stickers, and sunglasses. Janelle also got some shirts.
  • At 6 we met my mom and Cory for dinner at Khan’s Mongolian Barbecue, and ate tons of food.
  • After that we went back to my place and watched The Emperor’s New Groove.
  • Around 9 we went to Autumn and Tiffany’s place for a Cosmic Wii Bowling tournament. It was “sponsored” by Sierra Mist, meaning they got a group photo of us with their product and gave out cases of the new grapefruit version.

So, you see, I’m very very very tired right now and I think I need to go to bed rather than filling in more details. I’ll post some photos tomorrow, promise.


Free April 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 10:10 pm
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I finished the swap socks at exactly 11am this morning.

socks done

They fit me nicely, though they’re a little bit hard to pull over my heel. Hopefully it won’t be a problem. It’s just that the leg pattern itself is not stretchy at all, but if you scrunch it up and pull it on that way, it works just fine.

In any case, they’re done. These socks were a strange journey… one of those projects you start out liking just fine, and something snaps in the middle of it and suddenly the project is the bane of your existance and you want nothing more than to either be done with it, or hurl it onto a burning pyre.

To sum up what I think of the two at once magic loop technique:


  • Having both socks done at once is the most obvious benefit, and is wonderful. It made the project feel much faster.
  • There’s no guesstimating  when it comes to length– since you knit them at the same time, both socks are identical in both foot and leg length, as well as pattern repeat numbers.
  • No forgetting what you did from one sock to the next- if you altered that gusset on the first one, you’ll have also done it on the second. No need for pattern notes unless you plan to knit the same pattern again.
  • You can try on the socks as you go, assuming they’re for you, or someone with the same size of feet as you have.
  • Because you’re using a long circular needle, you don’t have to worry about unwieldy dpns or dropping/losing a needle.


  • If you screw up on anything major, you don’t just have to pull it out once… you have to pull it out on both socks. This is big, for me, but not a deal-breaker. It just means I have to do what I’ve learned time and time again to do, yet still ignore… LISTEN TO MY GUT. If the gut says the socks are too short, rip out the gusset and add more to the foot! The gut is almost always right!
  • Progress can seem slow at times since you’re alternating from one sock to the other. However, when you hit that heel and realize you’re half done- not with one sock, but with the PAIR- you’ll see how much faster it can seem.

I will most definitely be using this technique a lot. I finished the socks in about half of my normal time, even with the four days of no knitting due to the flu! Normally I hit a wall about 1/3 into my second sock where I’m dead sick of it and just want to be done… I put the socks down and it takes at least an extra week. With these, since I didn’t hit the dead sick of it stage until I was already into the leg on both socks, I didn’t hit the wall. I jumped over it and ran on to the finish line, because I could see it from where I was standing.

After I finished the socks, I pretty much abandoned knitting for the rest of the day. My hands needed a rest anyway, and Janelle needed company while she did homework. I’m not really sure what I’ll work on next. I may wake up tomorrow knowing what I want to do, but I have so many things going right now I don’t know where to start, plus I have that new sock book calling my name with siren song. We’ll have to see how long I can resist. I already have a skein of Malabrigo sock wound into two equal balls…


Second Verse, same as the first March 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 7:02 pm
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Yep- today was pretty much exactly the same as yesterday, except that I’m sicker today. Cory went to watch the rest of the Dune series with Chris, and Janelle came over here to veg and play FFIX.

I knit some more on the socks,

Better color this time(that color is nearly accurate)

and made some stitch markers. These are specifically for the socks above, and there are actually five but two are already in use:

Amber markers

And these are some just for fun, made with beads Janelle found for me.

Wood markers

And now, back to sneezing on the sofa.


*gasp* Pictures?! March 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:24 pm
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I remembered to take photos today- plus I actually have something to take photos of.

Janelle came over today, and we spent most of the day in the living room- her on the ps2 replaying FFIX, and me knitting.


My sock yarn for the sock swap I’m in came in the mail today, and I cast on- I’m doing toe-up Monkey socks, two at once using magic loop. I love this technique!

Los Monos LocosI cannot get an accurate color on this yarn in photos. The green isn’t THAT bright, and the pink is more vivid, but my camera doesn’t seem to understand that. Ah well, it’s very pretty and VERY soft. It’s this yarn– merino cashmere nylon. Great stuff.

Also, since I didn’t share this before- Autumn and Tiffany gave me a birthday present last weekend that is just awesome– an elephant tea set and tray!

Elephant!Really cute, and a good sized pot for 2-3 people. Thanks guys!