Friday, June 30, 2006

when it rains it pours ....

more goodies in the mail!

i have been seriously showered with gifts lately! all i can say is thank you !

i have made one quilt, thus far, in my lifetime. it took me 8 years. most of that time it was stashed in a bag. when i decided to finish it, it went so quickly. i could had kicked myself for putting it off for so long.

i have been tinkering with the idea of making another quilt. what first got me the bug was checking out all the pretty things that jan over at be*mused has been piecing.

and during one of my & corbett's virtual long distance conversations, we got to talking about denyse schmidt. her book has been on my amazon wish list for some time now. and wouldn't you know, that i got a box today with her book (and it's autographed !!!)(it says, "to denise from denyse" !) and a fat bag of scraps! WHOOO HOOOO !

OH! what to make first?! there are lots of smaller projects included in the book, such as coasters, an oven mitt, and some super cute slippers. i want to make something with the scraps first. i think i need to spend my weekend in my sewing room .....

thank you corbett ! thank you denyse !

Thursday, June 29, 2006

i am a (blessed &) lucky yarn girl

as we all know, i am on a yarn diet. i am probably one of the few dieters that has gained weight vs. losing weight. but, it is quite wonderful.

first up, i am in cahoots (how ever does someone spell that?!) with a knitterly queen that sent me a special package with some sock yarn! i adore sock yarn ... simply adore sock yarn! and this sock yarn ... it has BAMBOOOOO in it! it's 45% bamboo, plus wool and all the other sock yarn stuff. i didn't realize that until i read the label. i just observed its opulence. it glows. it's almost pearlescent.

bamboo ?!

and it loves me ... i swatched it on some available needles, but i think i need to go down to a crystal palace size 1 vs. an addi size 1. it's simply lovely!

what else came my way this week? some kolibri ....

kolibri twins

the shades didn't translate well in photography, and post-production, but these shades are turquoise and emerald, ... destined to be something crocheted and farm-like. madame rrrrrrrita read between the lines, and answered the call.

if that wasn't enough, a madame angelheart showered me with some knitterly gifts today!

gifts from angelheart

the gift bag included knitterly notecards with envelopes, a 1 litre water bottle, and ...... SOCK YARN !!!!

G O A L !!!!

... that's my tribute to the world cup. when i traveled in south america, way toooo long ago, ... all i can say is that when a small, third world country is participating in such an event, every radio and television in that country is tuned in ... and when something great happens, the shouts of GOAL and the sounds of firecrackers popping all over the city just ignite the air! VIVA BOLIVA !

.... anyhoo, i digress .... it has been raining here in the south, and it has been raining especially hard here. and, i am NOT complaining! here's a little close up of what the art is on the note cards ...

note to santa

now ... for the icarus shawl winner ! may i present .... ?


... misti alpaca lace wt, in color #8105, a pearly gray la gran baby alpaca 2 ply, at 437 yds/50g. this should, technically, take only 2 balls! but, of course, i have a third ball on stand-by. now, this is where things get fuzzy in terms of the yarn diet. i went through my stash. i even ripped out a partially knitted shawl in lorna's laces. i swatch the charcoal merino. i was dissatisfied. i have a gift certificate to my LYS. i had no exceptions. i treated myself with money already spent (by someone else) on the yarn to knit the shawl of my dreams !!!!!

and perhaps i am cursed. perhaps my shawl is cursed ... perhaps i was chatting with customers, answering the phone, and doing other things while transitioning from one repeat to another ... but, i got off pattern somewhere ... and i'm frogging. it's okay though. i will be more careful from here on out. i'm almost to the mistake too.


let's just say, i'm in love again ......

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

and another ....


this particular pattern stitch is a yarn guzzler. it is reversible though. this is something i started in the wee hours this morning, and just finished tonight. i think i need to take a break from crocheting cotton. it's made my hands and arms a bit sore.

that's just fine, because i did settle on which yarn i will use for my icarus shawl ... perhaps i'll post that tomorrow.

nighty night.

*pseudo-commitment ...

sometimes i can't sleep ... as was the case this morning. i stopped fighting it and finally got up at 4am. i had lots on my mind, including yarn and knitting (duh!). i have been craving a shawl to knit, thinking it could be my mindless knitting project. we all know, lots of little stitches in lace isn't exactly mindless. but, i think this shawl can sort of fit the bill ... it's icarus from the summer issue of interweave. it seems to have a good bit of mindless knitting until the end. i'm hoping my ksh is appropriate for the shawl. i would had swatched it already this morning if i had some size 3 bamboo circs. though i do have a key to my LYS (employee), i didn't think it would be cool to be found by security in my pj's and headlamp in the predawn hours.

in the meantime, i will keep crocheting cotton ... waiting to get my hands on those needles!

*pseudo ... or should i use my lorna's laces helen's lace ?!

i drive myself crazy sometimes.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

crocheting on a rainy day .....

catherine wheel

chevron waves


is it cheating if you were gifted yarn? though i'm on this diet, some lovely yarn just happened to fall into my hands ....

gifted provence

on the fly, i did a favor for a friend ... and in return, she passed on some of her stash cotton yarns ... it's all provence! i can't wait to make a colored holstein with these yarns!

i already started playing with it yesterday, and crocheted this ....

catherine wheel topflappen

the design is called the catherine wheel and i followed the instructions and chart in my harmony guide's _300 crochet stitches_, volume 6. there are two books in this series for crochet, so be sure to get both volume 6 & 7 if this is your kind of thing. these books are essentially stitch treasuries for crocheters.

detail of catherine wheel

i'm probably going to add some kind of border to the square and call it a washcloth.

i also knitted a couple of dishcloths for my LYS yesterday. these little dishcloths are from leisure art's _garden dishcloths to knit_. i knit my two samples with tahki's cotton classic and size 6 short clover bamboo needles. each cloth only weighs about 20g, so i clearly got two out of one hank of yarn with some leftovers. mine ended up being about 7" square.

garden dishcloths

in other news, my head has just been in a cloud lately, and that's why i have not worked on any of my larger projects ... such as the crocheted dress or aran blankie, or even socks. my attention has dwindled to wee projects such as potholders and dishcloths. if i start to feel any more distressed, i just might resort to crocheting chains!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

more topflappen !

flickr mosaic

these are mom's creations. she doesn't maintain a blog, so i told her i would post her pictures here ... exclusive publishing rights!

yesterday, on the phone (we live 3 hrs. apart), she told me she would trade all three of my chickens for her holstein. the nerve of her !

i will crochet my own cow, thank you very much !

... but i don't have any white cotton ... unless i unravel a sweater that's been going nowhere for about 10 years. hmmmm ....

just for scale reference, the cow is about the size of a sheet of paper. i think her name is bessie, and her friend the chicken is bruce. bessie is a hotpad. (mom doesn't find her inspiration for names in the bottom of a glass ....)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

dreaming of lace ...

i think i should let ms. pinky have exclusive bragging rights, in showing off her finished peacock feathers shawl, but i beat her to it! and besides, she came to see me today, and asked me to take a picture ... we took a picture with her camera too. oh! let me just say it is lovely. i was even allowed to wrap it around me and parade around! you'll just have to check over at her blog for all the details. i'm like the "aunt". i get to hug and kiss, and give it back. how did she know i began my day with lace and shawl fantasies?

this morning, i spent some time going through my pattern collection. i paged through books, my patterns, and even surfed the net for a bit. i was feeling quite discouraged, because there seems to be a trend of knitting lace wt. yarns on larger needles. call me picky, but i want the lace to be the combination of decreases with yo's, not the knitted fabric on larger needles! seeing pinky's shawl renewed my faith in saying , "screw that!" so, i'm going to knit mine with needles appropriate for the wt. of yarn, vs. what the pattern recommends. also, i've not been a big fan of triangular shawls, but, when it's big enough, it covers the arms well enough. the short triangle shawls i've seen pretty much leave your arms cold and point a big arrow at your butt.

the yarn pictured above is madil's super due merino. pinky and i each purchased a super-duper hank of this yarn at vermont sheep & wool last october, for only $10/hank. it's 100% virgin wool and has a whopping 1531 yds in 100 g. mine is a pretty shade of charcoal. the label also says lavable in lavatrice and irrestringibile. does that mean it's superwash?! or that it's irresistable and i can wash it in my lavatrice?!

Friday, June 23, 2006

a growing family ....

mojito, cosmo & margarita

... margarita was born today. she looks just like her brothers, mojito & cosmo ... i think it's because they hatched from the same kolibri egg. there's still a bit of this yellow kolibri leftover ... a little bit from each of the three balls i worked with. i may be able to squeeze out one more chicken. i figure if i run out, i will just finish it with some double stranded embroidery floss.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

what's better than one chicken ?

mojito & cosmo

two chickens !

meet mojito & cosmo. though both were crocheted totally sober, i wouldn't believe it with all the mistakes i made along the way. the mistakes were corrected, but i've put in enough time to have 4 chickens instead of 2. i still have some of this yellow kolibri, so i will continue to make chickens until i run out. i did run out of the the red though ... but it's only double stranded dmc embroidery floss, cheap and not hard to find locally. don't they look like good friends ?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

monkey see, monkey do ....

mom had a little of crochet project appreciation, and since she's not on a yarn diet, she had a hall pass to go to the crafty stores and purchase her own book and yarn .....

and she's making the cow !!! though incomplete, it's totally cute !

is it for me?! please!?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

i know something you don't know ....

the details about this fellow are over here

i told myself that today would be a non-knitty day. it turns out all the fantastic progress i recently made on my cabled blankie has a mistake in the large cable. i'm going to drop those stitches and rework that section, but, in the meantime ... i feel i have some not-so-good-knitting-mojo, so i'm doing other things instead.

... like crocheting and sewing and cooking.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

progressing on cables

i had a lovely knitting date with my friend, beth, at a local coffee house this morning. she was tackling her first pair of socks, and i brought along my endless cabled blankie. i think i only knitted about 15 rows, but, in the land of double stranded wool over multiple sections of cables, that was quite a lot of progress ... and, mistake free! here is the wider panel up against a narrow panel. i'm only about 1/2 way through one of the wide panels.

yesterday, i had coupon for miguel's just burning a hole in my wallet ... so i found a photo album for my knitting pictures. this album holds 200 4x6 photos, and has a little space for notes ... knitting notes.

knitting photo journal

i just wanted to create a hardcopy of my blog, so to speak, at least visually. also, it will be a great tool for when i go back and knit a 2nd of something i've knitted before, as i can reference my notes on needles, yarn and gauge.

Friday, June 16, 2006

shoulda' known better ....

there is an understanding that often, whatever is knitted at knitnight on thursdays, gets ripped on fridays ....

something is amiss

the twisted cables on the right are obviously wrong and messy, but there's something about the diamond that i haven't decided about yet. the challenging thing about this pattern is the individual repeats are all different. the one i need to actually count rows on is the diamond pattern. but, i didn't .... oops.

but, i did finish something else, flawlessly ....

finished regia socks!

and they match ! and that was not my intention ... it just worked out that way.

*upon further inspection, there is something definitely wrong. i flipped the knitting over to check out the backside, and it was much easier to count the rows ... and i came up with different numbers for the current diamond motif vs. all the other diamond motifs. so, to the frogpond later today ....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

i was good! read about it here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

crap! i just realized my first blogiversary was a week ago ! i'll have to think up some fibertastic way to celebrate ... a way to celebrate that won't violate my yarn diet.
socks collage 2

i still haven't finished my chameleon sock toe, but i did start something new. i don't know how old this sock yarn is, because i got it 2nd hand. it really hasn't been a part of my stash for long. the yarn is socka's cotton color, a blend of cotton (duh!), superwash wool, and my favorite word polyamide. the second ball of yarn still has a partially knitted sock leg attached to it. the first knitter of this yarn knitted the fabric much looser, and it's riddled with mistakes. this knitter is knitting with size zero inox dpns, so far with no mistakes (well, i tinked my mistakes), in a 2x2 rib with twisted stitches.

so, on the left is my knitting, and on the right ... someone else's.

blanket collage 2

this has been in progress since summer of 2000 ! eeeks ! it's always interesting to see old projects. when i unpacked the blanket this morning, i found the needles on it still. but, what's worse than that? i had stopped in the middle of a row !

this is the beautiful aran heirloom blanket from interweave knits summer 2000 issue. the yarn is classic elite's waterspun, long discontinued. the pattern calls for a whopping 64 skeins, which i got on a super saving sale ... but still, that's A LOT of yarn! the blanket is knitted in panels. there are three narrow panels, and two wide panels. then, you sew the thing together and work the borders. i have knitted 2 small panels, and am about 1/3 of the way through one of the wide panels. it only took me a few minutes to figure out where i was in the chart, and i knitted a few more rows this morning.

it is not my goal to finish this before labor day, in the name of summer of stash, but it is my goal to continuously work on it until it is finished ... hopefully before winter.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

first of all, many thanks to all the nice compliments on my orange crush crocheted shawl! now that it is completed, it has led me in two different, yet related, directions ... another crochet project (the dress), and another motif project (the fishes)....

be sure to move mouse over photo

it was mom's birthday last saturday, so i went home to entertain her with my usual wine drinking, knitting and crocheting. i made these socks not so long ago, and decided they would be better off on her feet than mine. so, i'm going to have to knit another pair for myself, from my other koigu i got in maryland.

i'm not having much luck with socks these days though ... i still haven't finished the toe of my 2nd chameleon sock, and i think my elfine lace socks might need to have been knitted with a larger needle! and i'm on the ankle!

but, on a positive note, i have progress to share on my crocheted dress ....

bodice pieces complete

those pieces are for the bodice. the backs are on the left, and fronts on the right. the fronts have shaping, thus don't lie flat on the table. there are four pieces as well, but they're overlapped as they will be sewn together. here's where i'll stall a little, as the next steps involve some sewing together, gathering, and crocheting over elastic. i have already purchased my fabric to sew the under dress, or slip, for the finished dress.

and if anyone is wondering, this is silly stash ! it's soooo old ! i think i purchased it in the early 90's. so, it's safe to say the yarn diet is going well.

also, representing some very old stash ... the fishes ....


the orange was purchased new a few weeks ago, but all the other shades of cotton classic are from the late 90's. it was suppose to be a knitted dress ....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

tah dah !

orange crush serape

i love it! i don't have a clue as to what i will wear with it. i finished this last night, and at midnight had it stretched across the ironing board, blasting the ferengi with steam.

the shawl is from vogue's on the go series _crocheted scarves_ book. i made the shawl in the yarn called for in the pattern, and though the book said 9 balls of grace, i only used 8. but, i almost used up every little bit of those 8 balls.

what's next in crochetlandia ? ... perhaps a crocheted dress?!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

i finished! i finished! pictures tomorrow of orange crush !

Friday, June 02, 2006


i knitted about 4 1/2" of elfine lace sock tonight ... and tried it on ... and it fits !

i also made my first posting to the summer of stash KAL.
toe mess

this is what my elfine lace socks looked like before they both were frogged. one sock was perfect, with the exception of being knitted with the wrong size needle, and the other was on the right size needle with the wrong toe! i have restarted, again, and am finally on track. i am using the crazy eight cast on, and added 6 extra rounds of plain knitting so the lace doesn't start ontop of my toes.

i seem to have had some troubles with toes lately. i still haven't finished my chameleon socks because i keep making the foot too long or too short. the toe has been frogged once already, and i think i will have to frog it again. why is such a seasoned sock knitter having so many problems? it's because of the short row heel. it's a new heel for me, and i haven't quite figured out my measurements from the back of the heel to where i should begin my toe.

stalled toe

ostrich plume lace

i swatched my brooks farm's riatta the other day on some size 10 turbos. i knitted the swatch 2 repeats wide x 32 rows, and ended up with a swatch the size of a washcloth. i blocked it on the ironing board with lots of pins and my steam iron. this yarn was suppose to be a clapotis, but i think it's going to be an ostrich plume lace shawl instead.

my yarn diet is going well. but that's probably because i'm home visiting my mom and there's not a proper yarnshop within an hour's drive. whew !

Thursday, June 01, 2006

a blast from the past !

swatchy swatch

i almost fell off the wagon today. it's soooo hard to be good ! but i was good. i resisted. i was strong ! what's this? it's a little 4"x4" crocheted swatch of the main stitch pattern for a crocheted dress designed by mari lynn patrick in the nashua pattern book occasion. the dress has a crossed over bodice, sleeveless, with an empire waist and a-line skirt. lovely ! the dress is crocheted with nashua's june. and i love june. i swatched june. june is perfect! and that's why and how i almost fell off the wagon. but, i kept my commitment to my pledge.

what will i be using? this is very OLD stash. it's welcomme's le soie et lin, purchased many many years ago from a closing yarnshop, for 50 cents a ball (it retailed, way back at the end of the 80's or 1990, for $3.75/ball. it's a 50/50 blend of silk and linen, dk wt, and 165 yds. i have about 13 balls of this stuff! ... more than enough for a dress.

everything else? no, i have not finished my crocheted orange wrappety wrap wrap wrap (say that really fast and it makes sense), nor have i finished my chameleon socks or elphine lace socks, or anything else for that matter! feeling feisty? maybe .... it must be the (yarn) diet.