Covered in green paint

I just realized that it had been two weeks since my last post, and close to three since my last knitting-related post. I wish I could blame it on being really busy, but I think it’s just been sheer laziness. Well, I have been emptying the catch-all room (formerly the computer room/office/library) and preparing to paint it and make it into the kids’ room, but that’s been done in spurts and certainly hasn’t been so much work as to make me fall off the face of the earth for so long. We’re painting the room today and hopefully I’ll be able to get the bunkbed brought in and put together tomorrow. I’m still going to have to track down mattresses for it, I’m thinking Ikea might be the easiest. I’m not 100% sure it’ll be the cheapest and/or best option, though… I guess I should make some phone calls in the morning. The plus on the Ikea mattresses is that they come all rolled up, so they’d fit in my minivan. I can’t argue with the convenience of that.

On to the knitting content!

I finished the BFF Socks (the website is still down?!) on Friday or Saturday, I think it was. It was a great pattern to knit – easy enough to not need the pattern but interesting enough to keep me from losing my mind. I know they’ll be well-received!

BFF Socks by Cookie A., knit in Shepherd Sock – Mixed Berries colorway

I’ve also started a Baby Surprise Jacket – my first one. I checked out The Opinionated Knitter from the library and I think it will definitely be going on my wish list – I am enjoying just reading through it. My cousin is having a little girl in December and when I showed her this yarn she made some very positive noises:

Handspun wool, ~600 yards, 8.35 oz (both skeins combined) click for closeup

I finished this yarn ages ago with the plan to make a sweater for Arlo, but I thought it’d be very nice for a baby sweater – I love bright bold colors on babies. I cast on on Sunday, goofed up to the point where I had to completely rip it out, and then started over again. It’s been going strong since then, thankfully!

I’ve just started the increases here (closeup)

I am really enjoying how this yarn is knitting up. At first it wasn’t really pleasing me, as I’d been hoping to see *all* of the colors in the yarn, but that’s just not going to show up in garter stitch. Right now it really reminds me of the recycled sari silk yarn – I think it’s that red that does it for me.

I also have a sock going, surprisingly enough not from Sensational Knitted Socks. However, it is another Cookie A. pattern – this time it’s Baudelaire. I’m really enjoying the pattern, but the yarn leaves a bit to be desired. I’m using Universal Yarns Pace, which is a wool/nylon blend. The yarn seems to be of good quality, but this particular color is scratchier than anything I’ve ever felt. The other colors are nice, it seems, but this one – I love the color, so I’m hoping it softens up considerably with washing. If not, I guess I’ll wear them anyhow. FWIW, Borealis has this stuff on clearance now – they’ve found a solid-colored sock yarn they like better (Opal, I think), so they’re making room.

I’m sorry for the poor quality of the picture, the light this morning left a lot to be desired.

Alright, I think it’s time to go shower and wash the green paint out of my hair. But first, I want to tell you that I got a package in the mail today and (time and small children permitting) I will be posting a contest tomorrow. Holly gave me a great idea for a contest, so I’m really excited to get this started!

Yeah, baby!

The spinning wheel sold in less than 12 hours yesterday! I thought I was reaching a little far with my Buy It Now price, but now I wonder if I could’ve pushed it higher. I shipped it off today and learned that I hadn’t put the shipping & handling estimate nearly high enough. *But* I did sell the wheel for a fair bit more than I paid for it, so that makes it a little less painful.

To celebrate, I went and had a cup of coffee at J&S while listening to Lime & Violet and knitting on my orange sock. Heh. I am planning to buy a nice carrying bag for Suzie with a portion of the proceeds of the sale, but the rest is going back into savings, since that’s where the money for Suzie came from. Ah, the joys of responsibility. I would love to buy a Pat Green Triple Picker, but I don’t think I could really justify that. I mean, I probably *could*, but I’m not going to try. At least not now ;-) – I might have to pull that card back out next year this year (WTF, did I forget that it’s 2007 already?) if I have an accident at Shepherd’s Harvest.

Thank you for all the comments on the roving I dyed! I started spinning up the Cotton Candy last night at spinning group and it’s better than I could’ve hoped – before I mentioned that it was inspired by cotton candy, someone said that that was what it looked like. Yeah! I’m not 100% sure I like spinning merino, it’s a little too spongy for me, but the colors are incredible. Maybe I’ll dye up the rest of this stuff and sell it to finance something more fun to spin – maybe some BFL or something. Anybody want to buy some roving? Hehehe. I refuse to get sucked into it as much as Scout has, though. Though it *is* fun… No. I like knitting, spinning, and dyeing too much to make it my job.

In addition to selling the Louet, I sent a friendly Freecycler off with two huge bags of acrylic yarn today. There was another box up there but I didn’t have enough hands (or time) to bring it down. I’m going to see if she can come get it, though – she’s making cage blankets for animals at the humane society and possibly another project, I forget. It’s nice to have that stuff out of here and on the road to a more useful existance. I’m also in negotiations to trade my other extra wheel for some upgrades to ye olde blog here. Probably nothing fancy, just some new colors and maybe a new header, we’ll see.

And as for that Peace Fleece sweater – back to the drawing board yet again. For some reason it keeps coming out way too big in the bust despite only having 2″ of ease and having the armholes at the right place. I guess maybe I just need to go for *no* or negative ease in the bust – might as well showcase the boobs a *little*, though I’ll need to get new bras if I wanna do that. I should probably avoid showcasing them in their current home just slightly north of my navel. Of course by the time I get back in the saddle on that, it’ll have warmed up from our current painfully cold temperatures. I’ve been very thankful for my ugly but still warm felted clogs, as well as for my fleece sweatshirts and flannel pants. And blankets. Lots of blankets. Oh yeah, and the fact that we co-sleep – it’s nice to go to bed and have your bed already pre-warmed for you.

Speaking of that pre-warmed bed, I think maybe I should go lie down in it. I am pooped.

Hello?

Once again, I’ve been lax in my posting. Sorry about that.

The knitting has been pretty unproductive around here, lots of ripping once again. But I did manage to get a decent picture of the Gentleman Socks (or at least one of them!):

Gentleman Socks pattern by Designedly Kristi, in Trekking XXL color 109.

I finally bit the bullet and took a stab at handpainting roving – I bought 2# of merino roving a few weeks ago with the intention of dyeing it and needed to justify the purchase ;-) Plus the theme of our spinning guild’s meeting tonight is merino, and I thought I should have something ready to take if I go.

Cotton Candy and Tequila Sunrise, respectively

I used Cushing’s dyes and the techniques from the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook, a book I’ve had for years but haven’t really taken the time to read. It was a lot of fun and easier than I’d expected. For once I managed to avoid dyeing my hands strange colors (the gloves only work if you use them!) and wearing a dust mask while mixing dyes kept me from seeing crazy colors when I blew my nose. I’m thinking about what colors I want to do next. I’m thinking about a “C’mon Spring” type of colorway – greens, a touch of yellow, maybe a little brown for the mud? Also a maple leaf colorway I’ve had in mind for a long time – think of maple leaves as they’re changing colors in the fall. So many possibilities!

I also finally got around to listing my Louet S90 on ebay today. I hope it sells! It’ll be nice to have one less thing around the house, for sure!

Not knitting, but…

Sewing!

My friend’s baby shower was yesterday and since I didn’t have enough lead time on the shower to knit something, I carved out some time in the sewing room and came up with this:

I hate to say this, but it’s causing a little bit of babylust.

I used the New Conceptions Baby Essentials pattern in size 0-3 months. I LOVE this pattern – it goes together so quickly and it’s very cute! The stripe fabric is a cotton/poly (I think) blend and the black is hemp/cotton jersey. I love the hemp jersey, it’s such a comfortable thing to wear!

Also made this:

Warm and snuggly for a Minnesota winter

Ducky flannel on one side and snuggly soft velour on the other. Very snuggly indeed.

And now, I hear fussing over the baby monitor. My break is over.

Peektures

Bear with me – I’m reorganizing my photo gallery and some images may not display properly. I hope to have everything back together shortly!

Found the camera cable! It was in the camera bag *blush* Whoops. So here are some pictures… obviously a fancy new camera doesn’t automatically imbue me with talent for taking good pictures.

This is the bag I made for my Secret Pal. Again, it’s denim for the outer (had a big chunk of that in my stash and there’s still quite a bit left. There may be a denim bag for *me* in the future.

The inside of the bag. I LOVE this fabric! If it’s not clear enough, those are knitting needles and the occasional crochet hook. I got it at Hancock Fabrics and they had a few other prints in this line – yarn, stockinette stitch, reverse stockinette, needles AND yarn. Very cool.

And my finally completed Socka Spiral Rib socks. I love them! I just wish the one on my right foot had those great bright orange stripes, too. Guess I’ll have to track down some more and try again! :D

I’m in the process of binding off 982734 stitches for the Flower Basket Shawl. I’m hoping to get it washed and blocked while Arlo is napping. Hopefully he’ll cooperate with that plan!

I’ve got a small child trying to climb under my shirt here… I think maybe he wants me to get off the computer and nurse him. Stinker.

Long time no…

Long time no blah blog, I guess. I’ve been busier trying to get the house into some semblance of order (it’s not working), sewing an outfit for the wedding reception we went to (pictures to come once it’s ironed), and traveling to Pittsburgh for said wedding reception. I packed a couple socks to work on on the trip – I finally found sock #1 of my looks-like-Trekking-but-is-really-Socka spiral rib socks and finished up sock #2 in the airport shuttle to go home. Also made some progress on sock #1 of a toe-up pair in Meilenweit (I think) self-striping yarn.

I may have completed the last pattern repeat on the Flower Basket Shawl – I’m taking a break from putting it on waste yarn to check the size. Hopefully it’s big enough and I can get the edging done, block it, and send it off. I’d love to have it warming a wonderful person and helping her fight her illness, rather than sitting uselessly in a basket in my house. Here’s hoping… And it is indeed big enough! Hooray! Hopefully Grace will be asleep shortly and DH and I will find something to watch on tv so I can get my knit on.

I’ve got pictures of the bag I made for my SP8 to share, too, but of course the camera cable is AWOL. I got a new camera, so you think I’d maybe have smartened up and designated a cable-storage place, but noooo. Of course not. Maybe if I got off my duff and cleaned…

I’ll get on looking for that and maybe I’ll have some pictures to share with you in the morning. Just wanted to let you know that I’m still here!

Yup, still here.

No, I didn’t get washed away by the spectacular storms yesterday. I just have been busy cleaning, decluttering, and removing $%@&*! wallpaper from my bathroom walls in preparation for a remodeling project. Fun.

But I have been knitting, and sewing a little. KSKS is over and my partner has received her package, so it’s safe to post it now.

Outside view

Under the flap – lots of pockets

Inside, with swag

Details: I used denim for the outside and a fabric from my collection of Japanese prints for the inner. It was fun to have a project to use it on – I’ve been hoarding the fabric for years. I interfaced both the outer and inner with Decor Bond, available from your handy dandy local fabric shop. There’s a zippered pocket inside, plus some pockets similar to the ones shown on the front (under the flap). I used a magnetic snap closure as well. This is my own pattern, if you can call it a pattern – I just figured out the finished dimensions I wanted, did some figuring, and went from there. I only goofed up a few times, heh.

And there’s been knitting, too:

I had to test-knit the pattern I sent to my KSKS pal, after all!

Those are the Japanese Feather Lace socks. I love them! I used Koigu in a vivid lime green and it was absolutely the perfect yarn for this pattern. I’m looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear them!

I had to try them on, of course. They fit like a dream!

I’ve also been working on the Flower Basket Shawl in some sportweight alpaca that’s been waiting around for the perfect pattern. I have an acquaintance who’s going through radiation treatment for lung cancer that’s spread to her liver and brain, it’s so sad. There’s not a lot I can do for her, but I’m knitting all my love and healing thoughts into this shawl. I’m on pattern repeat #13 of 14 or 16, depending on how it looks when I get to 14 and how my yarn supply is. I’m *hoping* to finish it this weekend, but with a trip to the MN State Fair planned for Sunday, I don’t know if I can manage it. We’ll see.

It’s beautiful and so soft. No picture can do it justice. I just hope it helps her to feel better. If anyone’s inclined to pray, light a candle, whatever, her name is Patsy.

I’d better get off the computer and get the kids dressed and out of here before they kill each other.

SP8 Goodies! Plus other assorted ramblings

I received my package a few days ago, but I’ve been a terrible Secret Pal and haven’t yet blogged about it. I’ll go line up for my flogging in a bit…

My secret pal is pretty swell! She sent me a July 4th-themed package!

SP8 package

A red, white, & blue beach ball, matching Uncle Sam rubber duckies for the beasties, a US flag pen, some stickers, and red, white, and blue sock yarn! One of my favorite brands, too!

I decided I had to do this tonight as I’m about to rip into the sock yarn. I’m not finished with my second spiral rib sock, but I can’t find the first one to make sure I make the cuff the same length. I don’t know where it could’ve gone off to – it’s not under the couch or my chair or in one of the 92367 bags of assorted knitting stuff formerly hanging on the dining room chairs. Dangit, I knew I shouldn’t have cleaned!

In other news, we have a new family member. Meet Wally:

Wally

His official name is Wally the Six-Legged Tako, but since we’re pretty informal here he goes by Wally or Wally the Octopus. Nevermind the six-legged business (that’s all that would fit)… I think he turned out pretty great. He was for Arlo, but Arlo isn’t exactly into playing with stuffed critters that are smaller than him (he prefers to play with a large stuffed leopard and a 4′ long snake from IKEA), so Grace has claimed it. I designed him myself and have a little proofing to do on the pattern. I’ll put it up if there’s interest.

I’ve been suffereng from a bit of disinterest in stuff lately. I can’t be bothered to get out the spinning wheel though I’m in the middle of plying some great apple-green wool. I can’t be bothered to finish sorting and washing my giant fleece. I can’t find the dang spiral rib sock so I can finish its mate. I had to rip out the cotton tank dress I’d started for Grace because I don’t remember what I did on the first two straps and I wasn’t able to figure it out by looking at the fabric (take notes next time, dummy!). I’ve neared the top of the second chopper liner for my grandpa, but I want to have him try the first one on before I finish the second one. I already need to fix the thumb on #1 but I don’t want to have to fix more than I have to.

Obviously, the answer to all this is to start more projects. I dyed yarn for a secret baby gift for a friend, I’ll be working on that project this weekend. I also got the pattern for a Mother Bear Project bear, thanks to Chris. It looks simple enough and will be a good use for the bins full of acrylic yarn I have taking up space in the attic (the bears need to be washable). Add that to the weekend’s list. Plus, I have to start a sock! Must always have socks in progress. Right?

Goodness, it’s late. I suppose maybe if I got some sleep I wouldn’t be so apathetic about it all. Maybe?

I’m hooked

And yes, that would be a terrible pun.

The other day, Julie made a post about amigurumi and posted a link to a crocheted cat (Amineko) that she was working on. I thought “Oh, that’s cute! I should bookmark that for the future.” Then my friend Helen linked me to Avocadolite Farm‘s Farm Hustle game (WARNING: THIS GAME IS EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE). Once I tore myself away from the game, I found their albums of farm members and ex-farm members. OMG the cute! That was it – I had to make some amigurumi.

I went back to that link that Julie posted, grabbed some acrylic yarn from the attic, and found a crochet hook. A couple evenings, a couple naptimes, and here’s what I have:

Amineko

He still needs his eyes, nose, and mouth, as well as a name. Grace claimed him immediately after I trimmed the last yarn tail, but if I let her name him we’d have another baby named Arlo. Cute, yes, but there are already 293762 babies named Arlo in this house.

Does anyone have another suggestion?

He’s upstairs now, snuggled up to Grace. She loves him!

Grace and the new kitty

Just keep going

I needed to replace some of the yarn I pitched last night (and needed to de-stress a little!), so I started spinning my $2 Romney. I found a box of wool at the Textile Center of MN Garage Sale in 2004. It was labelled “Washed Romney Fleece, $10″. I thought it was a good price, so I grabbed it. When I was checking out, the checkout person saw a different label, on the other side of the box – “Washed Romney Fleece, $2″. So she charged me $2 for it! It sat and sat and sat, waiting patiently for my attention. I finally got to it this weekend.

$2 Romney

Here’s the box. It was a bit more full originally – I’d already carded one or two batts’ worth of wool at this point.

Carding

Carding. That’s a Pat Greene Deb’s Deluxe, I believe. Love it! The wool carded up like a dream – minimal teasing needed to fluff it out, little to no second cuts or vegetable matter. So nice! A bit of dust that made me all sneezy, but not too bad.

Spinning

This is what I spun up last night. I think that’s about 1.5 batts’ worth of wool. Looks like it’ll be about a light worsted weight once it’s plied. The bright white blob there is Mimi, investigating the bobbins. The spinning wheel lives in a spot inaccessible to cats and kids, so when it comes out everyone’s fascinated.

I’ve been doing some knitting, too. No progress pictures since there’s not much to see, but here’s a picture of what I’m making:

Ladybird Booties

The Ladybird Bootees from ZoĆ« Mellor’s 50 Baby Bootees to Knit. So cute, hopefully I’ve got the right gauge this time. I had to rip out my work from yesterday, so that would be why there are no progress pictures.

Speaking of knitting, I should go do some.

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