Friday, August 31, 2007

Fall Into Autumn Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

1. Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been doing it?

I do both. I leaned to knit last September and crochet last October and have been at least knitting on an almost daily basis since then.

2. Have you made dischloths before? Do you use them yourself, give them as gifts, or both?


3. What's your favorite cotton to make cloths from? What cotton would you like to try that you haven't before ?

I usually use Lily Sugar N' Cream. I would like to try Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton, Rowan Handknit Cotton DK Yarn or Rowan 4-Ply Cotton.

4. If you knit, do you prefer circular or straight needles? For all, do you prefer wooden, metal, or plastic needles?

I prefer straight needles when doing cloths. Usually 9" since most cloths are approximately 8"-9" those work well.

5. What are your favorite colors? Any colors you don't like much?

My favorite colors are green and purple. I like pretty much anything for dishcloth yarn and I also like variegated yarns.

6. What do you like best about Autumn?

Crisp, clean air. The leaves changing color. The cooler temperatures. Apple Cider. Hot Chocolate. Autumn is my favorite season.

7. Pies: Pumpkin? Apple? Pecan? All of em? or No Thanks!

I love pecan pie! I think that is my all time favorite. Now if there was pie around, no matter what kind I would surely indulge in a slice :o)

8. When you were a kid, were you the one who couldn't wait to get started with school , or the one who overslept on the 1st day?

I overslept on the first day ... however I am an excellent part time college student, so I love to learn and take classes, just didn't care much for it when I *had* to go and it wasn't my choice!

9. Do you celebrate Halloween? (The real key here guys is especially knowing if you have an aversion to the holiday or little goodies/decorations associated with it, given the timeframe of the swap)

Let's just clear this one up - Halloween is my all time FAVORITE holiday of the year!!!!

10. If you had to choose just 3 edible 'goodies' to eat for a full year, what 3 would you choose?

Chocolate, strawberries and white cheddar cheez-its.

11. Do you have any pets? Kids? Husbands who seem like kids? ;)

I have three cats and a dog, no children other than the furry kind and a boyfriend who's been around for over 8 years ... both of us could qualify as children at times, LOL!!

12. If you were to describe a particular yarn that shares traits of your personality, what would it be and why?

Oh my this is a hard one. I would have to pick handpainted merino wool. This yarn is usually wound pretty tight (which I am at times) - but the colors are so varied and spontaneously innovative ... which I can also be at times. This kind of yarn is also pleasing to the eye and lacks any particular pattern which makes me happy to use it.

13. Do you use your cloths mostly for dishcloths, or as facecloths?

Usually dishcloths, but I do love lacey designs for face cloths and spa accessories.

14. Favorite Fall Holiday: Halloween or Thanksgiving and why? (Feel free to share another fall memory if you do not celebrate either of these holidays)

Halloween - see #9 :o) I love to go to Salem in October and visit all of the shops and museums. My birthday is also in October, so this is usually where I pick to go ... and its my day so every one has to do what I say (as far as where we go and what we eat that is), LOL!!!

15. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should know about?

Nope. On the other hand I love coffee and tea - flavored varieties for both :o)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hogwart's Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?


2. List your favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length. Or would you prefer circulars?

Depends on yarn and scarf pattern. I prefer bamboo or other wood needles.

3. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

I prefer 9" for scarf projects. Usually straight needles.

4. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

Doesn't matter much, I am leaning towards Blue and Bronze.

5. Do you have any allergies?


6. If you are swapping scarves - what is your desired length for the pattern? This will help your partner find the pattern that is just right for you and buy yarn accordingly.

Around 60" in length. I prefer skinnier scarves to really wide ones. I like to do lace-like or cable designs.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To Do List & Upcoming Swaps

Re-prioritizing my knitting to do list. I have a few swaps to knit for and by the way did anyone notice its almost September?!?! I have little progress on my Christmas list of things to knit! So I am going to put some WIPs into UFO status so that I can finish up some things that have deadlines!!


1) Fingerless Gloves (1 to go) want to finish by Columbus Day Weekend
2) Annette’s Socks – for a co-worker – she bought the yarn so I don’t want to hang on to these for too long
3) Dishcloth – for Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange due 10/31
4) Bag – for Hogwart’s Sock/Scarf Kit Exchange (need partner before I can pick out yarn) due 10/31
5) Pumpkin Hat for Anthony (want to complete for Fall wearing)
6) Daisy Hat for Briannalise (want to finish for this winter)

On Hold until the above are finished:

1) Jaywalker Socks
2) Art Yarns Toe Up Socks
3) Tank Top (yeah like it was going to be finished this summer anyway!!)
4) Reversible Cable Scarf (for boyfriend, would like to complete for this winter)
5) Drawstring Bag – was just for fun
6) Alpaca and Matrix Scarf – also for fun
7) A Cardigan for Arwen (for myself so I can finish this whenever)
8) Bookmark for Diane for xmas
9) Sweater for Anthony size 1 year need to complete by February
10) Socks, socks and more socks to use up some yarn

I will also be taking two classes this Fall so that will add another two projects to the ASAP list, LOL! I am taking a Magic Loop sock class in September (have plenty of yarn on hand to choose from) and a Harry Potter Knits class in October that I think I will be knitting the Quidditch Sweater from Charmed Knits. I will have to buy yarn for the sweater, but it should only be about $30.

I have one package ready to go to my Secret Pal 11 Partner. I just have to wrap up some items and protect with bubble wrap. I think I will be sending it out next week and that will take care of the September package. I already know what I am going to send for the October package (which is good since I have two other swaps due in October to worry about). So that leaves November, but I have plenty of time to figure that out and get to know my partner a bit better :o)

I have the pattern for the bag I want to make for the Hogwart's Sock/Scarf Kit Swap 3 picked out. I just need to wait for sign-ups to end and get my parnter information so that I know what colors I need to get for yarn. Then I can also start working on that package.

I have a dishcloth pattern picked out to make for the Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange swap and yarn on hand. And I also think I found a cool place to get some of the other stuff for this package once I have my pal and know what to get.

Phew! That's it on my knitting to do list at the moment!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Fall into Autumn Dishcloth Exchange

This was a super fun exchange for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Exchange and now there is a new one - Fall into Atumn Dishcloth Exchange!! There is still time to sign up. Sign ups begin Sept. 1st and end Sept. 8th so hurry up!!!

Click the image above or here to visit the blog for the swap and get more information.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dirty Fingers ....

Dirty Fingers are a good thing here, LOL!! I am finally getting into stamping again. When I discovered knitting and that it can be done anywhere at any time and that it is a CLEAN pasttime, I put my rubber stamping passions on the back burner.

But as with all groups and swaps there comes motivation! Sept. 5th is the next Stamp Club meeting and the challenge was to take someone else's stamp, do something with it and bring the card and stamp back to that person at the next meeting.

Usually we use a stamp that we bought and never used, just kept it in our stash or a stamp that we tried to use, but couldn't quite get to work with anything.

I think I did OK by this stamp :o) I am wondering though if it was in the basket becuase it is really HARD to get the eyes to stamp clearly, if at all. I found this out quickly and finally got a good impression after a few tries.

I was also a good girl and started my Christmas cards today. I got six stamped out. I still need one more paper for the cards though that I will have to order when I have money, but that will not impede me from stamping, just putting them together. I think I had planned on thirty this year. I do not usually send handmade ones to everyone on my list - usually just those people I know will really appreciate the handcrafting and hardwork that went into them. Some people still get store bought ones!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Virtual Vacation Package Received!!

I received my Virtual Vacation Package today from Sunne. The package came from one of my ideal places to visit - Colorado. The box arrived packed full of all kinds of good stuff!!

Inside I found a package of Jolly Ranchers (which is truly one of my favorite hard candies), travel brochures and maps of the Denver / Boulder Colorado area, a menu from Illegal Pete's Diner (which sounds like somewhere I would so enjoy eating at!!).

There were also some vintage South Western souvenirs (the cattle skulls already have a wall picked out for hanging, we have a lot of native american decorations around here and these look like they will fit in just fine), salsa of course - which will be thoroughly enjoyed once I pick up some tortilla chips ... we are out of them at the moment - something we usually have on hand!

I had some feline assistance opening the package! There was also a package of lovely handmade potpourri sachets - rose, lavender and lemon grass scented, a coin purse in suothwestern motif, some nice drawstring bags (perfect for knitting projects).

And the yarn!!! 2 skeins of 2nd time Cotton by Knit One Crochet Too - which by the way I have so wanted to try out, and the color is super! And 2 skeins of fantastic tvyarn in the most awesome colors - named "Medium" from White Oak Studio - also comes with a matching stitch marker!

There were also handmade stitch markers, which are so cool! Southwestern theme of cowboy hat and boots. Also, skull and crossbones - awesome! And the butterflies are so pretty - I love them.

Thank you Sunne for this super fantastic package of goodies and for taking me on a virtual vacation of your home state! I definitely want to visit Colorado in person in the future - even moreso now that you've shared some of it with me :o)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Completely Unstoppable ...

A Cardigan for Arwen
design by Kate Gilbert

OK so my self imposed "yarn diet" isn't exactly working, LOL!! I really wanted to make "A Cardigan for Arwen" since the moment I saw it in Interweave Knits Winter 2006 issue.

I am a HUGE Lord of the Rings Fan and even went to see the exhibition in Boston at the Museum of Science a few years ago when all of the costumes were on display ... how could I not make this sweater?!?!

Well the yarn called for in the pattern costs over $100. Not an option for me. So I have been bouncing around different options for this and was going to settle for a nice quality acrylic. However, at Jo Ann Fabrics today I found 100% wool, close to the look of the called for yarn on sale marked down from $5.99 / 87 yd ball to $2.37 per ball!!! So I bought more than enough yardage for this project and was so excited I cast on for it today. The total cost of the yarn ended up being about $40 and I had to buy needles too, so another $10 or so, but still much less than what was called for. I am hoping this yarn ends up having the same drape and wear. I did knit up a few gauge swatches and the yarn felt LOVELY against my skin and the stitch definition seemed to look very nice. I am hoping it looks well when I do the cables.

So somehow I have added yet another project to the long list of WIPs!

I also signed up for some classes at my LYS this Fall. One is on the Magic Loop Sock method which will be in September ... there should be NO REASON why I buy new yarn for this, I have EIGHT ... count 'em .... EIGHT skeins of sock yarn here that I can use in my stash.

I also signed up for Charmed Knits, we can pick any project from the book and knit that. I am contemplating the Quidditch Sweater or Hermione's Knitting Bag. There are just so many options. Again the main thing is cost. I think the Quidditch Sweater will be the winner because it'll only be about $35 in yarn. The last class will be on Halloween - my favorite holiday!

I am about half way through Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and have ordered Deathly Hallows so I think I will be done once it arrives. I am hoping to finish before the Hogwart's Sock Kit Swap so that I can participate in the trivia!! Also don't want to hear any spoilers before I finish reading the books!

Updated WIP List:

  • Fingerless Gloves (1 to go - started)

  • Jaywalker Socks

  • Annette's Socks (one toe completed)

  • Hufflepuff Socks (on hold until other socks are done)

  • Art Yarns Toe Up Socks (one toe completed)

  • Tank Top

  • Reversible Cable Scarf

  • Drawstring Bag

  • Mandy's Candy Bag - DONE

  • Alpaca & Matrix Scarf

  • Dishcloth
  • A Cardigan for Arwen
  • Pumpkin Hat for Anthony size 6 mo (need to start asap)
  • Daisy Hat for Briannelise (need to start asap)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Endings and Beginnings ...

I finished Mandy's Candy Bag today. This was super fun to knit. When I saw the pattern on NH Knitting Mama's blog I knew this yarn was in my stash and was PERFECT for this project.

I am not sure what I am going to do with this one, but I like it a lot and I might just keep it for myself to store small knitting notions.

I am almost finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I saw the movie last month and this is the first book in the series I have read. With the last book hitting shelves I decided to start here and read books 5 and 6 so that I can read 7 with everyone else. I am hoping that I get through them all before hearing any information that spoils the story for me.

I have cheated on my yarn diet :o( I placed an order with Knit Picks to get some things for a swap pal and could not resist ordering another item or two to get over the minimum required for free shipping. So I have purchased 4 skeins of sock weight yarn yesterday. Also the other day I was at the yarn store purchasing some yarn for a swap (which doesn't count against my yarn diet) and had to get some cotton yarn for a hat for the daughter of a woman I work with ... hey if its not for me does it count against my yarn diet?!?! LOL!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Swaps, swaps and more swaps!

This is the package I sent to my spoilee for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth swap. I had fun making the dishcloth (and soon after cast on another for myself which has turned into a UFO) and stitch markers and soap bag. It was fun to put this package together!

This is the package that is en route to my Virtual Vacation Swap Partner (anonymous). I really had fun putting this package together and trying to come up with unique ways to identify my home state ... and getting it to fit into a box, LOL! I made the "Red Sox" bookmark and I also made stitch markers with shell, starfish and sand dollar charms.

I recently signed up for Secret Pal 11, Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap 3 and The Stitch Marker Exchange. I am anxiously waiting for those to get underway.

I recently watched Pathfinder ... ah hem ... I mean Rambo: Indian vs. Viking, LOL! I love Karl Urban so watching him half clad in his Indian get up was enough to hold my attention throughout the entire movie and the cinematography was execllent, but totally lacking in any thought provoking story.

The Messengers I liked a lot, very good for scare factor and "making you jump out of your skin" while watching it. The story was good and had a pretty good explanation, the ending however was a little weird and left me with some questions as to why the characters would stay where they were (don't want to spoil it for anyone).

It is still hot here in New England, but the humidity has dissapeared so that it is bearable and maybe even "nice" ... ok so I don't think high 80s is nice, I prefer 60s myself.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cool Breezes ...

Its starting to feel like less of an oppressing summer humidity out there. Fall is my favorite time of year and I cannot wait for the crisp cool breezes to start blowing. Then comes winter, which I do not care for ... but let's not think about that yet!

Today I finished one of the pair of fingerless gloves I am making. I had a few more rounds of the hand, then I finished up the thumb, wove in all the ends and viola!

Now I have to cast on for its mate.

I have learned in the past that binding off with a needle one size larger than the ones for the project make life so much easier :o) That worked well for this project as well, except I used the same needles to bind off the thumb figuring that should be a little more snug and that worked out well too.

I am working on finishing up UFOs before starting new projects - mainly because I am running out of room to store these things and its harder to keep up with the pattern and where I left off when I have so many going at the same time. So here's another list of current WIPs:

  • Fingerless Gloves (1 to go)
  • Jaywalker Socks
  • Annette's Socks
  • Hufflepuff Socks
  • Art Yarns Toe Up Socks
  • Tank Top
  • Reversible Cable Scarf
  • Drawstring Bag
  • Mandy's Candy Bag
  • Alpaca & Matrix Scarf
  • Dishcloth

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Quetionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love sock yarn - and buy a lot of it myself, so I am totally open to other types of yarn as well to broaden my horizon :o) I like merino wool, alpaca, silk blends and cotton blends or mercerized cotton. I do not care so much for mohair or yarns that are really fuzzy, ribbon and eyelash yarns. I do however enjoy novelty and carry along type yarns. I also enjoy odd yarns, like a yarn with a scent infused in it or aloe added to it.

Some yarns I would like to try that I haven't yet: hemp, bamboo and linen.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I currently use the Ziplock Plastic Bag Storage System, LOL! Not fancy, but it works. I keep my crochet hooks in a small plastic case. I keep a list on my computer of what needles I own.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I have been knitting since September of 2006. My boyfriend's mother taught me and I picked it up right away and have been a knitting maniac ever since. I would consider myself to be intermediate, I am comfortable with shaping, increases, decreases, cables, socks, hats and I'll try anything.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes - which I just updated the order of the books on the list (I am currently reading a sci-fi series and I put the list in order for the series to be consecutive) and order of want for the knitting books on there.

This defaults to added by date, which is not correct for my "order of wants" - choose "Sort by Priority" and click GO to see them in order :o)

My Wish List

5. What's your favorite scent?

I love mint and coconut. I prefer fruit scents over flowery or musky.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Oh yes! I love chocolate. My favorites are kit kat, chunky bars, snickers, rollos, twix, m&ms ... ok so anything with chocolate :o)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I do not spin. I like cross stitch and needlepoint and rubber stamping.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

My computer can play MP3s. My favorites are usually heavy metal like Megadeth or Pantera, for easy listening I like the Beatles, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd. I also enjoy Celtic music and new age meditation / relaxation type music.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

I really like a lot of colors (I buy a lot of hand painted variegated yarns that involve many colors). My usual preferences are purple, blue, green, gray. If I had to dislike anything it would be orange, red and yellow.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my boyfriend and my 3 cats and dog ... Ok so one cat adopted my BF when he moved in, LOL!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

I wear scarves only.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I love to knit small quick projects, socks, hats, bags, gloves.

13. What are you knitting right now?

Are you kidding ... I'll need a whole page for that, LOL! It doesn't help that I just cast on 3 more projects within the last two days. Here goes: an afghan, 4 pairs of socks, fingerless gloves, a reversible cable scarf, a decorative scarf (Bernat Matrix & alpaca held together), a small drawstring bag, and even smaller drawstring bag, a tank top and a dishcloth.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Depends on the project. I own more circular than straight at the moment, so if I needed any it would be straight. I prefer bamboo or other woods.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?


17. How old is your oldest UFO?

September 2006. It is an afghan that I started when I learned how to knit. I have every intention of finishing it ... just not in this summer heat!

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?

Dragons and wizards.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I have subscriptions to Creative Knitting and Crochet Today! I usually pick up Knit It! and Easy Crochet when I see things in there that I like. I am also very fond of Interweave Knits. There are a few books I want on my list.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I have tried Fair Isle (very small test piece) and would like to actually learn how to do that with more than two colors and for a larger piece. I would also like to learn socks on two circulars and the Magic Loop Method to see if I prefer one of those over the 4-5 DPN method. I am also interested in learning to knit lace.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes. 9 1/2" long and 8" circumference.

23. When is your birthday?

October 29th.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

I am on the waiting list.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mandy's Candy Bag Contest

I love knitting drawstring bags and found this contest on line for a super cute one. Check it out: Mandy's Candy Bag.

I'll be casting on for it very soon! Contest ends September 3rd.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Dog Days of Summer - Beat the Heat

When it is really hot out on the weekends and I cannot get motivated to do anything at home, I go to my LYS and sit in the air conditioning with a bunch of other knitters and knit, and walk around, and check out magazines and patterns, and knit, and talk to the other ladies, and knit! Usually I stop on the way and pick up an ice cold, double brewed Dunkin' Donuts Ice Tea with sugar and lemon to sip on.

That's what I've been doing this summer to beat the heat :o)

Recent Finishes

A finish! This hat I started back in April I think when I saw it in the Spring/Summer issue of Knit It! magazine. It was just too cute to pass up. I made this for my friend's daughter who will be three this October. The yarn is Saucy by Reynolds.

This is definitely a pattern I would make again and again in different colors!

Here is a top view of the daisy.

Garfield is being kind enough to model again since I do not have a head this small in my household :o)

This is a soap bag I made for the Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap. The yarn is Saucy Sport by Reynolds. The pattern was also in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Knit It! magazine. This was a really fun project to make!

I did have one mishap, when I was making it I was watching TV and somehow lost 2 stitches (I either didn't do enough yarn overs or I did too many k2tog. However, I noticed that I was short stitches after we lost power (must've been a brown out).

So I was going to put it aside until the next day when I could really see what I was doing to rip and recover, but then I thought ... you have no power ... what the heck else are you going to do?!?! So with the aid of a flashlight (aren't they for knitting in the dark, not for emergencies right??) I ripped out a few rows to find a row where I had the correct number of stitches and started back up again ... still in the dark, LOL!

Once done I brought it to my LYS where the lovely Maryanne helped me to seam it up nicely and finish it off with the drawstring cord.

That is TWO down and THREE more to go before I can buy more yarn!

I am going to list my UFOs / "On the Needles" list here, but not include photos at the moment ... too many to post, LOL!

  • Toe Up Socks for Anette
  • Jaywalker Socks
  • Art Yarns Toe Up Socks
  • Reversible Cable Scarf
  • Alpaca & Matrix Scarf
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Drawstring Bag
  • Tank Top
  • Afghan (will pick up again in Fall)
  • Cat Dishcloth