Monday, July 31, 2006

"Spinning, spiraling machine...You spin and spiral in my head " - Blues Traveler

Yesterday was a lazy afternoon, but after lunch I got bored and took a quick jaunt up to Midnight Sun Fiber Arts to see what was new there. Chris had not yet unpacked her new shipment, but pulled open the boxes while I was there for a sneak peek. :)

I also drooled, sighed and wistfully admired all the spinning wheels set up in the back for demos. A new wheel is at the top of my wish list, well, just below "pay off all our debt". See how that is an oxymoron? Ah well, when the right wheel comes along, it will all work out right? I mean that is how I got my first wheel - just being in the right place at the right time.

Chris asked me how my weaving was going and I was embarrassed to tell her that I put my loom in it's fancy new bag a few months ago and it's still sitting in there part way through a project.

Is my blog name making more sense to you now? LOL

I love to learn new things and have so many projects going on at one time and just don't have enough time to devote to them all. Would it be totally insane to "schedule" which projects I can work on when....let's see Sunday for the Mystery Stole KAL, Monday for the Clapotis, Tuesday a free for all, Wednesday for weaving, Thursday for misc knitting, Friday for handspinning and Saturday open for something new!

I'm finishing up a work project, then I'll got pull out my loom as a visual reminder "WORK ON THIS PROJECT". (It supposedly will be a shawl, but that will require me to make a second piece just like the current one, so it may turn out to be a short table runner...snort).

So, what project do YOU have languishing somewhere in a bag?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

FO: Knit for a Cure Stole

Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
It's done -- finally. After a restart, ripping out the end, finishing it and then reripping out the end to rebind off -- it's done!! I love how it turned out and would like to make another, but not right now. I'm sick to death of k1, YO, Ktog, K1, YO, K2tog....

Yesterday I had a nice day sitting around YarnArts when I should have been at home working on the backyard gardens. However, it was much cooler sitting around a table yapping and knitting. Maxwell, my brindle boxer boy, had a nice time laying under the table napping as well. Maxwell has become quite the knitty dog. He attending the Denver Knitting Guild meeting with me last week where he showed off his ability to completely ignore having a hand spindle dropped on his head.

Speaking of the Guild, I joined last week after my second meeting. Everyone there is so nice, helpful and willing to share! Last week's speaker was from 'Spin Off' magazine and gave each of us a simple drop spindle (of falling on Maxwell's head fame) and a poof of roving -- it reminded me how much I like to spin and resparked my interest in looking for a new wheel. Dirk promised to take me up to Shuttle, Spindles and Skeins (or whatever order the name SHOULD be in..) in Boulder to take a look at some different wheels. Unfortunately, I just can't afford the wheel I would love to have, so I am willing to get something else until I hit the lottery!

I'm still work on the Clapotis and am 1/2 way through the center section. I *adore* the yarn and can't wait to see the project when it's all done.

Also, still plugging away at the Mystery Stole KAL. I am still on the first 1/2 of clue 2 and put in another few rows this mornings. I'd love to whip right through this, but that's just not going to happen. I can't knit this pattern quickly and don't want to risk making a tragic mistake because I'm impatient.

Dirk is working until close tonight, so I'll have plenty of "couch time" for the Mystery Stole!

Friday, July 28, 2006

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer. You are through those knitting growing pains and feeling more adventurous. You can follow a standard pattern if it's not too complicated and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've started to experiment with different fibers and you might be eyeing a book with a cool technique you've never tried. Perhaps you prefer to stick to other people's patterns but you are trying to challenge yourself more. Regardless of your preference, you are continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as well you should since your non-knitting friends are probably dropping some serious hints, these days.
Take this quiz!

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Itty Bitty House Elf Sock

Itty Bitty House Elf Sock
Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
I finished up the second side of Clue 1 last night and started with 2 rows of clue at the top. The black thread is a lifeline for the start/stop of each clue as a 'just in case'

The only thing I don't like is the "stripes" being caused by my stitch markers -- I have no idea if this will work itself out in the blocking process as I have never blocked anything or worked with lace -- anyone have any suggestions?

Mystery Stole Clue 1 done on both sides!

I finished up the second side of Clue 1 last night and started with 2 rows of clue at the top. The black thread is a lifeline for the start/stop of each clue as a 'just in case'

The only thing I don't like is the "stripes" being caused by my stitch markers -- I have no idea if this will work itself out in the blocking process as I have never blocked anything or worked with lace -- anyone have any suggestions?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mystery Stole Clue 1 first half -- DONE!

I have been stressing out at the thought of pulling the provisional cast on and catching the live stitches for the second half of clue 1 -- apparently for no reason.

Using the second circular I first grabbed 5-6 stitches UNDER the crochet cast on BEFORE pulling the waste yarn out, then grabbed another 5-6 stitches and so on. Doing it in bits like this let me see if I missed picking up a stitch and everything was just fine.

My plan for this evening is to sit on the couch and start the second half of clue 1.

(the black thread at the top of the photo is my last lifeline. I plan to put another one in on the last row of clue 1 and also on the stitches picked up at the bottom for the second half. The lifelines are the greatest stress reliever! In the first 50 rows I did have to rip back about 3 rows when I missed a stitch and in trying to fix it make it worse, but thanks to my little lifeline, I ripped out 3 rows and went on my merry way

This pattern has been easy to read (thank you Melanie!) and I adore the recycled yarn I got from Dawn at Twice Sheered Sheep.

So my verdict so far on lace knitting is that I'm enjoying it can't wait to see the finished stole!

Birthday Socks - DONE!

Birthday Socks - DONE!
Birthday Socks - DONE!,
originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.

The socks from hell are done. Actually once I got the hang of the fair isle color changes of the flames on the first sock, they were a breeze. I'm excited that they are also done a full 7 days before the birthday they are a gift for.

Now, I want to cast on another pair of socks, but have 3 other projects to complete first.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Sit and Knit in Parker, Colorado

Reminder to all that the the Friday Night "Sit and Knit" events are back in gear at YarnArts in their GORGEOUS new store! Knitters usually start trickling in around 5 or 6 PM and stay until 8 PM or until we get kicked out of the store. :)

Can you tell how much I look forward to this weekly event?

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mystery Stole KAL Clue 1 - first 10 rows

So, I've worked the first 10 rows of my first lace project, which is also my first stole, first KAL and first mystery pattern.

Using yarn this little is tough -- and when I took a break to switch to socks, the sock yarn seemed H-U-G-E! LOL

So, far the pattern is extremely easy to read, not be confused with easy to complete. I'm a bit nervous about ripping out the provisional cast on (the yellow yarn) to pick up the live stitches and go in the opposite direction. Oh, well, I'll fall off that bridge when I get to it, right?

Part of me wonders if I should pull the cast on off sooner than later, so if I screw it up I'm not so far that it won't kill me to have to rip everything out.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Who's got the Clap?

Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
Since it seems like every knitter on the internet has made a Clapotis, I jumped on the bandwagon and started one this week using some yarn that I purchased at the Estes Park Wool Market last month. Dang, it takes a lot of stitch markers, but so far has been fairly easy to read the pattern and works up pretty fast.

I love the colorway of the yarn and it's so soft! I can't wait to get this finished up so I can wear it while I eat croissants outside some trendy cafe.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Knit for a Cure Stole and a Small Rant

Knit for a Cure Stole
Originally uploaded by BoxerPixie.
I am working on a "Knit for the Cure" stole project. Click here for more information about the project. I picked up the yarn and pattern from a local Parker store for myself and a friend. We both started it at the same time and about the same time realized that there is NO way we were going to have enough of the yarn to get to the required 60". So, we called the person we got the pattern from and she told me she thought she might have the same issue and would try to find out what we needed to do.

In the meantime, I called a Denver yarn shop who is also participating in the event to get their opinion -- and got some snotty woman on the phone who snapped at me "Well, did you check your GAUGE?". I told the pattern didn't have a gauge specified on the sheet I got and I thought it was odd that 2 other people were having the same issue. Again, she told me in her best "I'm OBVIOUSLY a better knitter than you" voice, that I HAD to be doing it wrong and that there was MORE than enough yarn to get to the required 22 inches wide by 60 inches long. So, I hung up feeling like a complete nob.

I stomped upstairs and measured my project -- it's 19" wide unblocked. Hand stretching it I can get it barely to 22", which means I should have GOBS of yarn left. Which I don't.

Here's what I don't get....why did the woman have to be so snotty? Would it have killed her to be polite and helpful? I just don't get the snotty yarn store bitch attitude? I would NEVER get that attitude at my LYS -- YarnArts of Parker who are some of the most helpful and friendly people.

You can be damn sure what store will NEVER see a cent of money from me or a recommendation to shop there and I will share my view of them with anyone who asks if I've ever been there.

Small rant over.

07/10/06 EDIT: The pattern we were given was wrong resulting in the smaller size. I have had to frog out the whole thing and start over...sigh...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Birthday Socks

Recently I taught myself how to make socks and it's turned into a minor obession. They are small, easy to tote around and something I can USE!

My husband loves anything with flames, so I started searching for a pattern for some socks for him and was thrilled to find Melanie's pattern on her blog.

So, off I trotted to the LYS to get some appropriate yarn (Dale of Norway Baby Ull as recommened in the pattern). I have not yet tried making socks on DPN, so I made these on circulars. However, this was also my first foray into "fair isle" type color changes. (sigh) In theory it all sounded so easy. I ripped out the cuff more times than I care to think about, but in the end it all turned out well. (And I am so grateful to everyone on the Socknitters Yahoo list, Melanie (the pattern writer), the ladies at The Lambshoppe, the Denver Knitting Guild and random online strangers for answering my million questions!) The pattern called for the flames on the foot as well, but I since I was knitting these with size 3, they were already a bit too bulky, so I went with stripes on the foot instead.

My solution to the flame portion being too tight due to the color changes was to switch up to ONE 16" size 5 circulars. This eliminated the ladders and stretched out the cuff's stranding to a equal tension. Ideally, I would have loved to have 12" circular, but I just cut off the ends of the size 5's to make it a bit shorter. Sometimes there have to be sacrifices.

(I also made a short row heel instead of the gusset one in the pattern because I'm a knitting retard and couldn't figure out how to translate the instructions for DPN to 2 circs and was so frustrated with the whole ripping the sock out 6 times adventure it had been thus far)

I have cast on for the second sock and have most of the black at the cuff completed and hope that the next sock goes as quickly as the first one, once I got my 'sock groove' on.

I've become a knitting nut....

I am also a online journal maniac, so it only seems appropriate to start a Fiber Journal where I can post my UFO and FO photos!

More to come!