Thursday, January 27

had i only known sooner

the yarn i ordered online arrived so quickly! it was a box full of wonderful things that made me feel all better! first was the delicious, i'll take 3 scoops please, debbie bliss silk alpaca

this yarn is a great deal over at wool needlework discounter. my mom requested a scarf recently. she picked this out at a lys a few weeks back (ok i kinda nudged her towards the alpaca silk because i had been drooling over it and wanted to find an excuse to order it). the night it arrived i sat on my couch for a couple of hours debating what pattern to knit the scarf. I went from a k1,p1 rib to a broken rib. nothing felt right. i put it aside for the night. the next day i was talking to another knitter and i made a comment that it seemed like the perfect yarn for a cable pattern. of course, that wasn't an option because i didn't know how to cable and didn't think i was ready. 5 minutes later i was convinced i could do it.

i went home, pulled out scarf style and found the perfect pattern (vintage velvet). i cast on immediately. had i only known sooner how EASY cabling is i don't think i would have put it off for so long. i am loving it.

my much anticipated box also contained 12 lovely skeins of kureyon in color 150. it isn't quite enough for the whole entrelac stole in scarf style, but it is a good start.

i'll share one more of my recent online purchases.

pink! thermos! cherry blossoms! this was too adorable for me to resist. do i have much use for it? probably not. but i will love it anyways.

this weekend is a getaway with the girls. we are going to a "mountain retreat" in leavenworth. hopefully they will have some snow. it will be a cozy weekend, there are no tvs in the rooms. there are 4 of us going and 3 out of the 4 knit. my other girlfriend left a message this evening asking if i would bring needles for her. she wants to learn. yeah! it should be a relaxing time, and i think it will be a great occassion to use the new thermos (hot chocolate anyone?).

i have to point something out. today i was at michaels looking for a cable needle. i happened across a yarn by bernat called bling bling (not to be confused with berroco bling bling - how the heck are there 2 yarns named bling bling, what a horrible name!). ummm so the thing is, it is IDENTICAL to the knit one, crochet too jam yarn. IDENTICAL, they had the exact colorway i just did my ruffle scarf in. it was half the price too. WHAT? HUH? how does this happen? did knit one, crochet too sell their yarn to bernat? is this common in the yarn world? anyways, i just had to mention that, it was just so weird.

alrighty, i joined sp4 so below is for the benefit of my secret pal, but feel free to read it if you want to know more about me :)

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high- a nd/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you? i think so. i can't imagine ever buying red heart. lion brand is ok, but i had some and didn't enjoy knitting with it.

2. Do you spin? Crochet? no and no

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.) no, but i don't like the smell of smoke

4. How long have you been knitting? 1 year, 1 month

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

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) i like bakery scents, sweet scents, like vanilla, orange, lemon etc. dislike floral or musky scents.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? very much so!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? umm, honestly, i have had many hobbies, but right now knitting is all consuming

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? yes to the mp3s. i am a big fan of the postal service, cake, death cab for cutie, modest mouse, the decemberists, sarah mclachlan and many 90's alternative bands (after all i am from seattle).

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? i am a big pastel person. pink and green are my favorite colors. i also love the pink/brown, blue/brown and green/brown combinations.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? single with no pets.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know) to finally start my own business, to enjoy it and be able to make a living from it.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? noro kureyon or silk garden, rowan big wool, cascade 220, koigu and manos del uruguay.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? acrylic.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s? accessories. i am not into the whole sweater thing yet.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? wraps, scarfs, fingerless gloves, felted bags, etc.

17. What are you knitting right now? a scarf and a stole

18. What do you think about ponchos? i think the trend is over.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? circular. i have never knit with straights. although i do use double pointed needles for socks etc. i haven't learned how to do it with two circulars yet.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? i use my denise set mostly, but do love bamboo. i don't like aluminum.

21. Are you a sock knitter? i am now, i have just finished my first pair and it was enjoyable.

22. How did you learn to knit? the stitch n bitch book and a very talented co-worker

23. How old is your oldest UFO? 8 months

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird? don't really have a favorite character, but i am definately a cat person.

25. What is your favorite holiday? christmas

26. Is there anything that you collect? nice ribbon, paris stuff and vintage knitting needles in pastel colors.

Monday, January 24

bad knitting karma

this is the 3rd ball of yarn that i have managed to turn into a tangled web of frustration.

in the last 2 days. seriously - what is wrong? did i offend the knitting gods? first the thing that is not to be mentioned, then the near mistake jam scarf and now i can't even wind a ball of yarn correctly. to top it off i missed the delivery of my large yarn order from the mail person today. it requires delivery confirmation:( tomorrow i have to get up before the truck leaves the post office to retrieve it. otherwise they will attempt to deliver it again (i won't be home). i would insert a picture of me throwing a tantrum here but that wouldn't be very ladylike. (by the way the above yarn is cascade fiesta. i don't have a plan for it yet)

apparently my martha vibe is also fading (only a month and a half to go until we get her back!). i really messed up some french cookies i was trying to make (inspiration from super eggplant). they tasted ok, but they can only be considered successful if they look nice too. it was quite a mess. the lesson? don't be lazy and use a silpat instead of parchment paper. it is so not the same thing. but a tip - brown paper bags can be substituted for parchment paper in a pinch (i didn't have that either).

ok enough grumbles. i have been meaning to post my very lovely felted cabbage rose. eventually i will get around to starting the flower basket bag. this was a practice run for the flowers using a totally different pattern. it just needs a pin backing and it will be added to my growing pile of flower pins.

in an effort to reverse this bad knitting spell i cast on for another pair of the fingerless gloves from "last minute knitted gifts." this pair is for me and is using a strand of kureyon and mohair to match the scarf i did a month or so ago. wish me luck!

Sunday, January 23

never to be mentioned again

alrighty. first things first. you will never again see a picture of my first sweater on this blog. it is sad. i got it all together (minus the collar) and ugh. it is way too big, heavy and awkward. bummer. at least it was a quick knit, but still!

ok, some good knitting news. i managed to knit my bias ruffle scarf out of the jam yarn. i love it. it too was almost a failure. but i managed to save it somehow. it ended up way too long (it was knit lengthwise). i had to cut it. that is right, CUT it. yikes!! i managed to sew it up though and it seems like it will hold ok. i apologize, apparently i forgot how to take pictures. this scarf needed to be modeled, not displayed, to see how it turned out. i haven't quite mastered taking pictures of myself yet. they turned out awful, but at least you get the idea, it is a twisty thing.

slightly better close-up

this past week was spent making many purchases. it started with a horrible old knitting bear toy made in japan. i found it on ebay for like five bucks. you wind it up and the bear actually knits. it is funny! i don't know what possessed me to buy it, but it was a 2 a.m. purchase on a sleepless night.

i had visions of a craft room with a corner devoted to knitting (in my non-existent condo that i can't purchase because i don't really have a job). i thought i would do a cute shelf with some vintage knitting items for decor. so then i purchased these

i love the colors of the old knitting needles. they were all in pairs too, so even though i am pretty much a denise only girl, i may find myself knitting on straights someday for the fun of it.

i am also expecting a delivery of noro this week for my entrelac stole. can't wait for that! i may have also placed an order for the ipod shuffle, some books from barnes and noble and a silly thermos that is too cute for words. i don't know what came over me! i love to shop. seriously. i have a sign in my bedroom that says "will work for handbags" and another that says "girls just want to have funds."

OH! DH is on, gotta run. have a little more to post, so will update tomorrow or the next day. i will be training a gal from texas this week in her hotel room. odd. i trained her this last summer for 5 weeks though so i know her. she is a knitter so maybe we will find some time to talk shop. hope y'all had a good weekend.

Sunday, January 16

week of wintery mix

there was a lot of knitting this past week. with all sorts of strange weather (i believe it is referred to as wintery mix), i kept inside a lot. probably too much, but i got a lot accomplished. i listened to the garden state soundtrack during most of my knitting time. it is excellent!

first was a simple little scarf for myself. this didn't take too long, but i knit it along with the dreaded first sweater. to date, this is what it looks like

it has been sitting just like that on my floor for several days. i have no idea how to finish it. it needs blocking and a collar. oh and a zipper too. i'm not going to go on about my first sweater experience. it was ok. not bad. but i did feel guilty knitting anything else until this was complete. it was a fast knit on big needles. i doubt it will fit all that well, but that was a big part of why i chose a very shapeless pattern. it is really going to be more of jacket too because it is such big yarn. this weekend i meet with my knotty knitters group and will be asking for the help of one of our very experienced knitters to put it together. will i knit a sweater again? that remains to be seen. it isn't on my list of 'to knit' at this point.

this is though. my friend and i went on a search for the yarn today with no luck. hopefully in the next week i can come up with it. for my pocketbook's sake it won't be made out of the yarn the pattern calls for. and i may switch up the colors, but we'll see. i guess it depends on my choices. i have a bit of an addiction to handbags. this will help make up for the fact that i have banned myself from buying any kate spades this spring. if i used the yarn it called for, it would cost as much as a kate though!

i bought myself scarf style awhile back and have yet to knit anything from it. this weekend i did a test swatch for the stole and fell in love with entrelac.

i think kureyon works really well. i haven't decided on a colorway (may do multiple). i'll have to order it from wool needlework discounter to keep it an affordable project. i imagine this will take some time, but i think the color changes and pattern will keep me interested.

clapotis is definately on my list. just waiting for the yarn to be back in stock (color 34). I thought i had some in my stash, but it was a different color. similar, but not as dark. i wasn't fond of it for myself so i cast on a multi directional scarf for my friend pat.

i will see her thursday and i don't think i will have any trouble finishing it by then.

i went to a lot of yarn stores this week too. i made it up to everett to a shop called great yarns. i received a gift certificate for christmas and used it on some koigu. i had a hard time capturing the color, but it has a lot of purples and greens.

i also joined secret pals 4 this week!

Sunday, January 9

blogging with a view

the only weather i look forward to in the winter is snow. we don't get it often in seattle, but the last 2 mornings i have woken up to a blanket of white.

i live in a convergence zone. this means that if there is a chance of snow around the city, i am most likely to get it. i then get to make happy little friends like these (who happens to be wearing a very expensive rowan big wool scarf - hey we don't get snow often, so my snowpeople gotta have style)

i spent the day knitting and looking out the sliding door at the scene above. my efforts paid off and the result was a bright spot in the day.

my first socks! they are a lot of fun and look great with my pink kicks

the pattern came from martha. the pattern was ok, not great, but hey they look like socks so that says something. and it doesn't stop me from idolizing her :)

the rest of the afternoon was spent pondering over a new stash of yarn that came from a lys my friend and i stopped by yesterday in downtown seattle. what luck, they just happened to be having 20% off all yarn. and i scored some debbie bliss cotton dk at 50% off for a few spring hats. in my favorite colors of course.

lovely! i also picked up 2 balls of jam. i have a ruffled scarf in mind for this yarn. i am sure it will be cast on at some point this week.

now that the socks are done (my only real new year's resolution) i have a quick scarf on the needles. and if you can believe it, my first sweater. i don't want to jinx it so i won't be posting about the sweater until i get further into it. it isn't anything fancy, and it uses fairly cheap yarn. this way if i hate it or it doesn't turn out, i didn't spend a fortune. i have been VERY hesitant to do a sweater.

i needed a few more balls of yarn for the sweater so i popped over to michael's yesterday. i wanted to take a little drive in the snow (well what was left, which wasn't much). so i jumped in holly (that's my mini coop) and made it there very safely. besides yarn, i found another crafty project to occupy my time

these will come together as a belt - not sure how yet, but they will!

some resumes will be going out tomorrow. sadly the working from home bit is up in a month or so. i need to get back to reality. hopefully it won't be too hard to find something. keep your fiingers crossed, i haven't ever really had to seek a job out - so am terribly inexperienced in this area.

Sunday, January 2

2 0 0 5

happy new year everyone! i have been busy knitting away. i even spent time on new year's eve knitting, surprise, surprise. i was trying to knock out a scarf for my friend. i am seeing him tonight (going to see polar express at the imax theater!). for some reason i felt like it had to be done by this evening. the pattern was from last minute knitted gifts, but beware, the pattern printed in the book is sooo not right. good thing i hopped online to check out the book corrections as soon as i noticed it looked nothing like the picture. i used a lot of cascade 220 and manos this holiday season for gifts so this scarf is a bit of a remnants scarf. i think the colors look great together though.

it is actually very long, a great scarf to bundle around your neck. the next few days are supposed to be chilly so i think it will get use straight away!

my new year's goal was to start my first pair of socks. i bought the yarn a few months ago off the wonderful wool needleswork discounter site. talk about bargains! i cast on around midnight last night. i worked on it for a bit and then started up again this morning. the yarn is nearly fluorescent. i wasn't expecting it to be so bright, but i still like it.

heading into january i feel the need to knit scarves like crazy. i love accessorizing and scarves are the perfect way to do so this time of year. i just can't seem to get enough of them. good thing they are a quick knit. i have a feeling a lot of my stash will be depleted in the next month or so if i keep knitting them at this rate.

i managed to meet up with my girly friends friday morning for breakfast to finally exchange gifts. although they each received a knitted gift from me, i only have the scarf to show for now. the scarf reminds me of that brach's nougat candy. you know, the white one with the red, orange and yellow jelly dots in it? it was soo soft that i may have to make one for myself.

now we just need some snow!!