A Sheepish Little Blog.

Wool and whimsy in the frozen North.

Some more FOs, and a reading spree May 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:04 pm
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Sorry for the radio silence- this job hunt has taken some interesting turns and I’ve been sort of caught up in it. Michael’s offered me the job, but I ended up not accepting because they hadn’t been honest with me about how many hours I’d get- plus I realized that it would be smarter for me to just go back to working a full time desk job to pay off my student loans, and THEN think about school.

Anyway, I’ve been busy aside from the job hunt, with knitting and reading. Also my family’s third craft retreat was last weekend, so that was lovely.

First, here’s the full finished pair of Violin Socks.

The picture of the violin cables down the front is in the previous entry, below. These were knit on size US 1.5 needles with Malabrigo Sock.

Second, here’s my niece’s birthday present (if you know my niece and see this, please take care she doesn’t see! I do want it to be a surprise for her birthday). It’s Sprite in size 3-4T, knit on size 3 and 6 needles, in Knitpicks Cotlin and Comfy (in Lantana and Honeydew, respectively).

My last recent FO is my favorite by far. Celaeno, in Yarn Pig (colorway Midnight Sky, and this isn’t a commercially available yarn- I got it in a swap with the dyer) on size US 5 needles.

I NEED to get better photos. The yarn isn’t straight black, it has a lot of dark blue in it, and the beads are a gorgeous silver-lined turquoise. I adore this thing.

In reading news, I’m back into fiction! I don’t know what sparked it, but the day I finished a pretty awful true-crime thing called Needle Work, I got the urge to start reading The Book of Lost Things. A few hours later, I’d finished it and had a new favorite book. It’s amazing. The next day, I read The Graveyard Book (also really really good) and started World War Z. Today I read Thunderstruck, which I didn’t really care for, and tomorrow I’m going back to the library to get more! I’m so happy that I’m finally back into reading fiction that I’ve been neglecting my poor knitting, a bit. Ah well, I’m sure I’ll balance the two eventually.

 

April at last April 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 12:42 am
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That means Spring is well and truly on the way. It also means I can stop waiting for the next Nerd Wars challenges and freakin’ cast ON, already.

Things of note this week:

  • I went out to 3 Kittens Needle Arts with my sister to use the gift card she and her husband gave me for my birthday. I got these:

Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Magenta (apparently because that’s what color the water turns when you dye yarn purple) and

two skeins of Lush angora/merino in a gorgeous dark forest green.  (before anyone says it, yes, I know it sheds. It’s angora. DUH, it sheds.)

  • My video podcast was mentioned on several other video podcasts, and has gotten over 100 views on all three episodes now.
  • The CPAAG Action Auction for Japan started today (well, besides the flash auctions that went on over the week- this was the real, all day long start of the auction, which goes until Sunday at 10:30 EDT) and my offering, a custom shawl in any color and pattern, sold for $175! I had the winner donate the money to Doctors Without Borders, and she’s going to get back to me later this weekend or next week about her choice of pattern and yarn.
  • The Nerd Wars challenges were indeed posted and are FRIGGIN’ HARD. I’m not sure what I’ll do for most of them, but at least a couple will be pretty easy- one is to do something to help Japan (yeah, got that in the bag, see above) and one is to make something relating to pi, which is convenient because I just started a pair of Froot Loop socks. No photos yet- I’m tired and need to go to bed- but I’ll post some later this week. At the rate these socks are going, I’ll probably even show a finished sock later this week!

 

 

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.

 

2 down, 9 to go February 1, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 11:45 am
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I finished my Abyssal shawlette yesterday, and pulled it off of the blocking board this morning. It came out lovely and squishy and soft, but a little bit small. If I were less bored with it, I would’ve made it a bit bigger by adding a few garter stitch rows at the time, but as it was I just wanted to be done.

There it is, plus bonus cat. It’s a bit dark- the camera wouldn’t pick it up any other way, and the other photos I took didn’t have accurate color- but here’s a closeup.

And just for posterity, here’s a photo during blocking, so you can see the whole thing.

I also wore my Aeolian to the Guthrie Theater tonight, where we saw The Winter’s Tale. It was very good, though it’s a strange play to start with.

I have to say, I like wearing shawls. I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off, but since almost all of my shirts are plain, neutral colored cotton shirts of some variety, shawls work well with my wardrobe. They add an extra layer of shoulder-warmth that is pretty nice, as well. I guess it’s good that I’m planning to make at least 9 more this year, huh?

While I’m here, why don’t I review this yarn…

Plymouth Earth Ecco Cashmere, 100% cashmere, laceweight. 354yd per 50g ball.

Rating: ●●●●●

This is the first time I’ve used this yarn. I used the color “101”, undyed natural.

Pros:

  • Extraordinarily soft. Light as a feather. Squishable and warm.
  • Comes in a variety of natural tones as well as a few dyed colors.
  • For cashmere, it’s not hugely expensive.
  • Blocks beautifully.

Cons:

  • Sure, it’s not that pricey for pure cashmere, but it’s still $30 for 354 yards of laceweight.
  • On a tip from Ravelry, I weighed my ball of yarn after winding. Like the person who left the tip, my ball was only 45 grams. That is a loss of nearly 40 yards.

On the whole, this yarn is wonderful to work with and gives a gorgeous finished product. Unfortunately, it’s still prohibitively expensive and you don’t always even get all of the yardage you paid for. I would love to work with this yarn again (especially in other colors- tan’s not my favorite) but only if it was a gift. I can’t see spending that much on more for myself without using some form of gift certificate. On the other hand, it would make an amazing and decadent gift for someone you love.

 

 

Weekends need to be longer April 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 9:51 pm
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That didn’t feel like two days. No way. Even though I stayed up late both Friday and Saturday night, and didn’t sleep in much, I still feel like I was shafted at least 8 hours of weekend.

Short as it was, today was nice. Cory and I made waffles for breakfast, and then I made bread. Around 12:30, Janelle and I went to my mom’s for tea and crafting. We had a nice time, and I worked a bit on 3 different projects– my baudelaires, my shawl (yep, I did 2 whole rows! GASP), and a spinning project. My mom knit a bit on the baby sweater she’s making, and also worked on a needlepoint project, and Janelle worked on some cross-stitch. It certainly geared me up for this coming weekend, when I get to spend 3 whole days crafting with my family! I have high hopes that I’ll get a lot done. By Sunday evening, I would like to:

* finish the baudelaire socks

* get 15 more rows done on the Aeolian shawl (would bring me within 10 rows of done, I believe)

* start and get well into (if not finish) at least 1 wheel spinning project

* get at least half done with the BFL spindle project I have on my Kundert

* start a new pair of socks

* work at least a little on one cross stitch and/or embroidery project (yes, did you even know that I did cross stitch and embroidery? I have, in the past anyway)

Yes, I’m aware this list is a little bit… optimistic. But I have to start somewhere. I won’t feel bad if I don’t get all of this done- heck, I might decide I just want a break and slowly work on some plain socks or something, and that would be just fine. But it’s good to have some ideas.

I made aloo gobi again for dinner tonight. I’ve got the recipe just about perfected now, and it is really, really good. We had it with fresh bread, and then Janelle played the Sims while I got a bit farther in LoZ: the Phantom Hourglass.

Incidentally, the podcast is now up to 87 downloads! Very exciting- can’t believe we’re already almost to 100.

 

Not quite. April 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:32 pm
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I intended to finish my first Baudelaire sock tonight, to show the blog, and maybe even start the second one.

However, a headache that has haunted me from the moment I woke up (and is still raging as I type) has prevented me from doing much other than listening to podcasts and whining.

I did manage to make dinner, though. I made fried rice for the first time. It was pretty good- I just made rice, let it cool while I stir-fried broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms, scrambled a couple of eggs into it, and threw the rice in. I cooked that for a while with some garlic, soy sauce, and rice seasoning vinegar. I was pleased. I’d heard that if you didn’t use day-old rice, it would be a gloppy mess, but that was not the case at all.

In any case, I’m about 5 rows of ribbing from being done with baudelaire #1. Hopefully I’ll be smart and cast on #2 right away, but who knows. I might get distracted.

For those who’ve been wondering… no, I have not worked on my Aeolian shawl in quite a while. First, I started the swap socks; then, I got very sick and couldn’t knit at all; then after I finished the swap socks, work got hectic, and since then I just haven’t had the head for complex knitting. There were several days this week where I didn’t knit at all, which did not help my mood (already poor from work) very much at all. Luckily, tomorrow should be slow at work and all of my bosses are out of the office. I plan to knit, watch youtube, and watch only my queue. Helping with other peoples’ work is for days that are not Friday.

 

Nupp Nupp Nupp March 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — knitbytes @ 8:39 pm
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It is rather fun to say, you must admit.

I finished chart 3 of the Desert Rose Shawl today (Aeolian, if you haven’t been paying attention) and the last row includes “nupps” (pronounced noops). A nupp is essentially a stitch increased to several stitches in one, and then all are purled together in the next row. These nupps are made with 7 stitches, so on the purl row you purl 7 together. It is, I must say, FAR easier than I expected, but that’s been true of almost all knitting manoeuvers I’ve attempted.

Here’s the transition chart, complete with nupps.

Transition chart section

Here’s a closeup of a nupp.

Nupp!

It’s still gorgeous and I’m still in love with it.

In other news, I joined a group effort today in the CPaAG Group (don’t ask if you don’t know) on Ravelry in which people who like to knit socks can knit them for someone who does not like to knit socks but wants some, in exchange for something the sockless one can do. It’s called “Who Wants Socks?”. I am partnered with an art-yarn spinner and weaver, so this should be great fun! I’m not yet sure what yarn I’ll use, nor what pattern, though she likes the look of Leyburns a lot. We’ll have to see what I come up with.

(PS! I changed my username on Ravelry from Pinfish to Beeca. I needed a change. Thought I’d let y’all know.)