Monday, July 30, 2007

Puttin' on the Breaks!

I have one completed sock!! That's too big for my foot, LOL!! I followed the pattern without checking it later on towards the heel and it came out about 1/2" too long in the foot. Oh well, learning experience!

I will be starting the mate this week and will try washing them to see if they shrink a bit.

I gave myself a new rule that I must complete 5 - FIVE - UFOs before I am allowed to purchase more yarn. I have 4 sock yarns on hand, 3 yarns for scarves, a few skeins for tank tops, 2 skeins for gloves. This doesn't take into account the yarns that are attached to current projects!!! So I will not allow myself to purchase any more yarn until I have completed 5 projects. I can start new projects, but only if the yarn is from my stash.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Another Day at the Yarn Store!

I went to the yarn store today and figured I would NOT bring any knitting and that way I would not spend the entire day there again - hey 5 hours isn't an entire day right!?!?! Well instead I ended up looking through magazines and found this awesome tank top and I purchased some yarn and needles (and stitch markers) to make it. I think I am going to LOVE the finished tank though, so its OK, LOL!!!

I was planning on getting yarn for a sweater, but they didn't have enough on hand, so the money went to this instead. So the sweater will have to wait. Hopefully I finish this before the summer is over so that I can actually wear it this year! The yarn is Tartelette by Knit One Crochet Too. It is a ribbon yarn, but it is fairly easy to work with, a little slow going to make sure that the yarn doesn't split over the needles, but this tank is in Stockinette Stitch so its not complicated.

So next time that I go to the yarn store on a Saturday, I will bring something to knit!!!

Here is more progress on what I am now referring to as my "Hufflepuff Socks" - this is the yarn I received in the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap in Hufflepuff yellow and black. The pattern is coming out nicely and I think its going to look really cool with this yarn!

Thursday is the make up class for my toe up socks. I have been working on that sock as well and hope to get one finished by the class and start on the other one.

This yarn is Meditation by Skacel and its so nice to work with. It smells so good and the colors are very pretty. This will be a small drawstring bag once complete. Just a *for fun* project :o)

I am trying to think of other things that this yarn could be made with. It smells lovely, but I don't think I would want to make any kind of apparel out of it. It would definitely make good scented satchels!!

This is a soap bag that I am making and hope its done in time to send off for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap. Also hope the bar of soap fits in it, LOL!! I purchased birch needles to try with this pattern and they are very nice and light weight.

Friday, July 27, 2007

More Sock Fun!

I started the socks from the yarn and pattern that I received in the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap 2. I am loving this pattern, I have a few more rows done since this photo and it is coming out nicely.

I also received a surprise in the mail yesterday, Blue Sky Alpaca Needles in a collectible tin. This was from Prefect Lia for finding the snitch for our house in the last round of Quidditch!

Of course since I needed EIGHT stitch markers for this pattern I decided to make some matching ones. I think they go nicely with the yarn too!

I am still working on my socks from the toe up sock class and will have the last class next week. I hope to finish up the first sock and be able to start the second. I should have tried it on more when I was making it or measure my foot because we made the patterns based on shoe size. I said 8 because that's what my sneakers are, but I'm probably more a 7 1/2 because that's what all my loafers and sandles are. I found that following the pattern I ended up with socks that are about 1/2" too long in the foot. So in the future I will make sure to make the sock foot 7 1/2 inches before the toe or heel turnings (that are usually 2" in a pattern). LEARNING EXPERIENCE, LOL!!! I am going to try and wash the socks and see if they will shrink a bit when I am done.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Hogwart's Sock Kit Packages!

I received my package from my swap partner Jennifer. The bag is just fantastic! The fabric is so soft and squishy and the colors are awesome. Here is a photo of it open (there is a pocket on each side) and inside there's a coordinating fabric with sheep on it! In addition to the bag, I received sock yarn in my Hufflepuff house colors! I just couldn't wait to get the camera out and I started the socks already from the pattern I received. I also received Bryspun needles that I have wanted to try (and did, they were not the size for me to get the guage for this pattern, but I will find something in the future to use them for!)

I also received some really cool pens with charms on the tops, magnetic note paper with the days of the week on it, a sheep tape measure (I've always wanted one of those!!), stitch markers in my house colors and Exploding Bon Bons!
Thank you Jennifer! I love everything!!!

This is the package that I sent to my swap partner Tasha. I had so much fun making up the pakcage for her! She was in Slytherin and I love green myself so I had a lot of fun with this one. I made stitch markers and a beaded bookmark. I sewed the bag in tapestry fabric and then I got some edible goodies and some Harry Potter goodies to throw in there as well.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

So many projects, so little time :o)

Well although it is not complete yet, it is a whole hat, LOL!! I started this back in April or May '07. This is for my friend's daughter who will be 3 years old in October. The size is 2-4 so I am hoping she'll get a lot of use out of it before she outgrows it.

All that is left is to make the petals and sew them on and there will be an upsidedown daisy at the top :o) Garfield was nice enough to model for me so that I could photograph the hat as it looks better like this than trying to photograph it flat.

I went to the yarn store today and hung out for a bit. There is "Knitting Needle Aerobics" on Saturdays from 10am-12pm (or until whenever it seems). It is just a gathering so people can bring their projects and carve out some time to get things done. I have wanted to go but didn't know anyone. I knew the woman who is teaching the sock class was working today so I went to check it out. I think I will go again. It was nice to sit with other knitters and talk and knit and talk and knit. Funny how we talk, then get involved in our knitting and its silent, then we start talking again.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Toe Up Sock Progress and Stash Accumulation!

Here is an update on my toe up sock. I had the second class last night and turned the heel. Now I can work the leg. The instructor suggested for our first sock, working the leg in stockinette and then doing a small portion of ribbing at the very top to prevent rolling. She suggested that for future socks we can try and tackle ribbing or patterns on the leg and I agree that's a good idea :o)

This yarn is fantastic too! It is Trekking XXL and as I am knitting I find I don't want to put it down because I can't wait to see what colors are coming up next!

As we all know we can't help but increase our stash even though we have so many unfinished projects or yarn already on hand for projects. I recently got an order from Knit Picks.

I was concerned with buying yarn online, colors on the web are not real life sometimes, you cannot touch it to see if you would like to work with it, etc. But I am pleasantly surprised with Knit Picks yarns. The Essentials is so soft. I bought 2 skeins in Pine to make Green Man Socks and two skeins in Dusk to make socks on two circular needles (also purchased the needles). Then I got two hanks of 100% Merino Wool because it was on clearance and the color was nice! The prices at Knit Picks are excellent and the service and delivery excellent as well.

At my LYS I picked up a skein of Smooshy in "Ruby River" by Dream in Color. The color just called to me and the yarn was so soft and yummy. I think once I finish my toe up socks, I will try another pair with the Smooshy yarn. And lastly I got 3 balls of Meditation by Skacel - the yarn is infused with lavender and smells so good. I saw a pattern in an old issue of Creative Knitting Magazine for a small drawstring bag that I am going to use the Meditation yarn to make.

Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Exchange

I received my package from my spoiler today, Priscilla. The outside of the box smelled lovely before I even got it open, LOL!

The yarn is "Elite Cotton" by Lily. The color is really pretty, this photo doesn't do it justice. When I got the package I started to unwrap the enclosed dishcloth and stopped so I could take a photo of how beautifully it was wrapped in ribbon.

Inside is the delicious smelling soap - lavender and the bar is HUGE! Also enclosed was some latte mix, chocolates, strawberry bath salt, 2 dishcloth patterns (which I love) and some tags that I can attach to gifts that I knit.

Thank you Priscilla!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Update on Swaps!

Yay! The dishcloth for my spoilee for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap is done!!! This is an anonymous swap, so my spoilee doesn't know this is for them!

I love this pattern, it can be found online here. It is super easy and quick, but attention does need to be paid to the cat pattern to make sure it comes out looking like a kitty :o)

I found the snitch for Hufflepuff for the second round of Quidditch for the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap 2. There will also be a third swap this fall! Check out the blog for details!!

I finished the handmade bag, stitch markers and found a great pattern. Then I made another goodie for my swapee. I also got some edible goodies and some HP stuff. Now I am just waiting for the yarn and needles to arrive to me and then I can send it to Owl Post! This was a really fun swap!!

For the Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap I have many ideas of things to get for my swapee after reading that person's blog :o) I have a list of things I want to get on my travels through my state and will be doing that this summer.

I signed up for the Secret Pal 11 swap this fall! Check out the blog for more info.

I found some cool charms online that I am going to order for the Stitch Marker Exchange.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Summertime Fun & Socks

Yesterday my BF and I went to The Butterfly Place near where we live. This time we brought the camera! The first time we went we weren't sure what it was like so we didn't bring one. Now we know better, LOL!

Also, this time I think we went later in the year, this time in summer, last time in spring and there were a lot more butterflies to see at this time of year.

It is quite hot and humid in there for the butterflies, so we usually only stay and hour or so. I didn't check the time, but I think we were in there for an hour and a half this time.

Some of the butterflies are so large, when they fly by you instinctively duck ... looks like a bird is flying at your head!!

Its also amazing to see all of the different people that enjoy coming to see the butterfiles, kids, elderly, disabled, middle-aged and young people, everyone seems to enjoy this habitat.

There is also a koi pond with some very large koi! And this time there was also a parakeet and a lizard.

There are also the resident (what we think are) partridges. They are the cutest little things. There were only three last time that I remember and this time there were several. They run around the sanctuary space loose, but have some areas that are off limit to people that they can get into if they want to get away from visitors. Here are two of them by their feed.

After out visit to the butterfly place we stopped off at the local bead shop that I have never been to before. While it is small and expensive (there were some beads that I could easily find for a lot less at a chain store) they did have some exotic things and some cool charms. I made these stitch markers when I got home. With a butterfly of course, LOL!

I think I will be sending them off to my Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap partner :o) I made them large enough to accomodate size 7-9 needles which are the usual for dishcloth weight cotton yarn. This swap is anonymous, so this is not giving away anything :o)

I am also almost done with my dishcloth that I am sending, I have about 12 rows left. Then I need to order the yummy soap I found and get some other goodies and this package will be ready to go!

I made some more progress on my toe up sock. I was hoping to have the 8" completed by the next class so that I can begin working on the heel, but not sure if I will get that far. There are a few people struggling, so I won't be behind anyway, we are all working at our own pace.

I finished mending the loose seam on the bag for the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap so the bag is complete! I also found the perfect pattern for my swap partner. As soon as I get the yarn and needles I ordered this package will be ready for Owl Post!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Socks from the Toe Up!

I signed up for a Toe Up Sock class at my local yarn store. I was excited to see the teacher was a woman who did the shop tour I took last month, she's very nice (I'm sure they all are, but I like her very much). We students picked out our yarn and needles and then the store provided us custom sock patterns using the Sock Wizard software so that we would be making socks that would fit our own feet.

I picked out this yarn called Trekking XXL . It is 75% wool and 25% nylon. I just loved the colors, they were bright and funky.

In class we started with a provisional cast on, which was cool because I have never done that and wanted to learn how. This also creates a sock with no seam at the front of the toes. Then we continued with the toe, which you can see I have finished here and then taken off the provisional cast on waste yarn and picked up the stitches to continue knitting in the round.

I am going to continue to knit this until class next Wednesday, but she told us to stop at the heel if we get that far by then so that we can do it in class.

I also picked out 5" needles for this, which I have not used before. I love them for socks! I find that the 7" needles get in the way and cause me to pull at the stitches and stretch them out, not so with the shorter needles.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The heat is on!

Its heating up out there in New England :o) Although, when its not hot and humid enough for us to be out there gasping for air ... its pouring rain and thunder and lightening, LOL!! The weather-people haven't gotten any predictions right so far for this week either :o)

Swap progress!

For the Hogwart's Sock Swap I have completed the bag, one line of stitching just needs a little reinforcement and then that is done. I was thinking of embellishing it some more too. I also have a handmade goodie for my spoilee as well. In addition to some yum yums I have waiting here, I am waiting for the yarn and needles I ordered and then this package will be ready for Owl Post!

For the Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap I just recently ordered some yarn for myself, but I think it will go to my spoilee because the colors and type are what that person wants! I now have to go in search of goodies indicative of my location and home place to send along and I also want to get some nice yummy treats too.

For the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap I have started the dishcloth for my spoilee and got 10 out of 60 rows completed thus far. I already picked up the yarn for my spoilee the other day while I was out. Now I just have to find some edible goodies and soap to send along in the package :o)

I am also participating in The Stitch Marker Exchange this Fall and have been playing around with some beads trying to come up with some nice combinations.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

DDoSDE Scavenger Hunt!

Someone who crochets
Heather A.

Someone who's never made a dishcloth before
Amanda P.

Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for less than 2 years
Patty W.

Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for more than 5 years

Someone who is from a non-US country

Wednesday, July 4, 2007