Thursday, April 28

my own patch of lawn!

living in an apartment i don't have any lawn to call my own. well until now!



isn't it cute? i am not sold on the flowers i knit, but for now they work. and the fun fur is actually very soft. i can see a lot of uses for this little rug. maybe it will end up in front of my kitchen sink, or next to my bed, or in front of my patio sliding door...i haven't quite decided.

details:
yarn: 1 skein of red heart sport in limeade
4 skeins of lion brand fun fur in lime
small amount of cotton for flowers (or whatever you prefer)
width: 17" height: 13"
total cost: about $19

with 1 strand of the red heart and 2 strands of the fun fur, cast on 50 stitches. knit every row until piece measures desired height or until you run out of yarn and bind off. fyi - i still had about 1/2 skein of the fun fur left.

i did try knitting this with just 1 strand of fun fur and the acrylic but it wasn't as plush. the flowers i just knit up with no particular pattern and used mini pom-poms for the centers.

now i tried to get really creative and "mow" the word welcome into my rug. it didn't work. i was bummed. but just in case you are interested i actually made a template by printing out the letter W on cardstock. i cut out the letter and taped it to my sample swatch. then, i tried to pull as much of the fun fur up into the template as possible. just cut all that fun fur down that is sticking up inside the W. the problem? the fun fur isn't quite thick enough to hold the detail of the letter. oh well.

Tuesday, April 26

may i introduce lady eleanor

i looked back through my blog entries to see when i started lady eleanor. it looks like it was probably the beginning of february, as the yarn arrived near the end of january. i am pleased with how quickly it knit up. the original plan was for this to be a side project, with hopes of completion by the end of summer. however, i found myself picking it up more than i thought i would. it was often the only thing i would knit for days.

in looking back i can see why. i love entrelac. i especially love entrelac + kureyon, or any yarn, for that matter, that self stripes. it was always interesting to see how the colors would manage to fill just one square before starting the next with a new color. and it was really relaxing. i tend to knit for the finished product. i love making something, and often i rush to finish. this project made me believe in the popular saying "knitting is the new yoga."



details:
lady eleanor stole from scarf style
start date: early february 2005
finish date: april 25, 2005
length: 70 inches (not including fringe) width: 18 inches
yarn: noro kureyon
main color: 150, 8 skeins
alternate color 1: 91, 2 skeins
alternate color 2: 138, 2 skeins



i have four skeins of color 150 left. i wasn't too happy with it because it wasn't that colorful (the reason i introduced 2 other colors) so i may be listing them on ebay. if anyone has any interest in trading for them, i would be open to that.

and now, just as i have finished, woolneedlework.com received some terrific new noro kureyon colors. i am in love with 154 and 164. they are so cheap and quick (the lady eleanor yarn came from them), i really am fighting the urge to order! someone please enable me :)

hopefully by tomorrow i will have my "grass" rug all finished up. it didn't take long to knit, but coming up with the perfect flowers has been difficult.

Monday, April 25

finished

this weekend i finished knitting 3 of my projects. leaving only 2 that haven't been completed. it feels so great to know that i can cast on soon for new stuff!! don't you love planning your next project? i think mine will be some gift items (with mother's day and friends with babies on the way i need to get busy).

so today i will share the first one. it is the nantasket basket. i used cascade 220 in a deep pink, brown and heathery light brown. it was fun to knit because i learned a few new things. this pattern uses a nifty ridge at the bottom where you pick up stitches several rows down, i-cord bind off and double i-cord for the handle. i also think this pattern is very well written. there are so many patterns out there that just leave too much to the imagination for my taste. this was not one of them. oh and it was pretty quick to knit too!



this was hard to take a picture of. my camera (a canon elph) tends to make things really red. so i did my best to correct it. isn't it cute? i knit it a bit taller than the specifications. i can see many of these in my future. :)

now i also finished knitting the entrelac stole (oh thank god!) and the 'grass' rug. you will have to wait on those pics though. although they are complete in the knitting sense, they still need details like fringe and flowers. the stole fringe will hopefully get done today. the grass rug is really quite cool. i will post exactly what i used to knit it so if you want to make one you can. i tried to find the pic on the rebecca magazine site of their version with no luck. mine doesn't resemble it much from what i remember. i debated using silk or fabric flowers on it, but i am think that knitted flowers will be best.

last week i also cast on for a market bag from the 2005 knitting pattern a day calendar. i had a lot of issues with the yarn overs not matching up (it was knit in the round). and the bottom was not round like i want. so do any of you know where i can find a pattern for a knit version of a bag like this?



with the lovely weather the past few days, i spent a lot of time at my parents knitting in their backyard. there is no where like that to hang out in my apartment complex. i don't mind going over there, then i get to play with the kitties!

Thursday, April 21

whoa.

fyi, this has the potential to be a very long post. let's see shall we?

first up. i found a good use for fun fur. seriously! you doubt me? well take a looksie at the swatch below.



i am about 1/2 way done with a small rug. i knit it with fun fur and matching cheapie acrylic (which you can't really see, i added it for strength). when it is done i will add a few knitted flowers in the 'grass' and it will be my own personal chunk of lawn. i was inspired by the last issue of rebecca home (they had a round rug with the same idea). i am not much for the whimsical decorating style, but for some reason i really dig this.

i also am about 1/2 way done with the fantastic nantasket basket. i bought this pattern from susan over at i am knitting as fast as i can. she is also creator of the popular branching out scarf in the latest knitty. i am working mine in brown and pink of course! i should have a progress pic soon. all i can say is that the little ridge on the bottom is just such a nifty knitting experience.

and the entrelac stole? well it is a mere 6 rows from being completed! yippy! now the fringe will be the challenging part. hopefully it will go smoooothly.

and what is this?



yep. the flower basket bag. and you know what? that is the SECOND side! man i am sooo close! i just pray that the decreasing gods are with me on this one :)

the weather here has been pretty darn nice. i often forget how a little sunshine can cheer me right up. well that and a new handbag.



ohh and some new flip-flops (pictured with some matching yarn, this is a knitting blog after all!)



i couldn't resist. it has been awhile since i bought a coach handbag. with green being so popular right now and my favorite color i had to have it. and for those who have the awful habit of collecting handbags as well, you should know that ebay is your friend. next spring when the bag is just not so much 'cute' as it is 'done that' well you list it on ebay and recoup some of your $$. works like a charm. and then you just go buy more bags! yah!

this week was an excellent mail week. not only did my ebay yarn arrive but i got a giftie from my secret pal! this one was spectacular. i got some great cotton yarn, some lovely simmering snaps and these



old school needles in my fav colors! thanks so much secret pal, i was delighted!!!!

so as you can see, i have been very productive lately (you can imagine how messy my apartment is from neglect!). i am looking forward to finishing up these projects and starting some new ones. i have bought several new knitting books over the last couple weeks and so my mind is full of ideas!

Monday, April 18

sunny monday

i know i said i wouldn't be doing another cabled dish cloth, but i lied. this time i did one that only had 1 row of cables in the pattern repeat. the last one every stitch was being cabled in some direction or another several rows out of the repeat. doesn't this remind you of spumoni ice cream? yum!



i have committed myself to knitting a few rows of the entrelac stole each day with the hopes it will be completed by month's end. i'll keep you posted as i near the finish. it is so much fun to knit this. and after trying it wrapped over my shoulders last night, i decided it wasn't too heavy. i think it is going to be a-okay.

i did do some stash enhancement over the weekend. a lot of which wasn't for my stash, but for my secret pal. i am getting my final package ready to send out and picked up several interesting yarns to ship her way. i just have to add a few tasty treats before sending it off. i also purchased yarn for myself at a spring fair (the big one is held in september). like most state fairs, they have a section devoted to spinning, sheep, yarn, roving etc. it wasn't excellent, but i did pick up something.



isn't it pretty? it has two colors twisted together and is very bright. it was a strange combination of wool (i can't recall now). it may end up being another version of the clapotis. we'll see. it is one of those yarns that is just so pretty wound up i am not sure i need to knit it. maybe it can just stay on display in a lovely bowl or something.

last week i was lucky enough to come across some of the new amy butler fabric. i had to pick some up for more bags.



i also have been putting together a series of knitting themed personalized notecards. i am not sure what i am going to do with them yet, but have been doing some illustrations on the computer. if i eventually get on the RAOK ring maybe i can use them as gifties. we'll see.

Wednesday, April 13

day in review

wanna see who i met today?

I have removed this area due to some weird google searches in regards to the image i had posted. i have noticed my blog coming up in searches with things linked to foodtv etc and it makes me kinda uncomfortable :)

so tonight i settled in for some good knitting time during my fav wednesday show alias. then the cable went out. boo! how dare it! i missed an episode full of vaughn. that just isn't fair. i heart vaughn. the cable conveniently came back just after 10. what was a girl who planned a nightful of tv and knitting to do? well i popped in this silly movie. i didn't get to see vaughn but colin firth is just as good i think.

so it is back to the entrelac stole. i took it to the knitting meetup last night and was motivated to keep plugging away at it. i had a discussion with megan about how i was going to wear this thing. i mean it is wide, big and heavy. she offered up that it would be a good wrap to wear on the cool seattle summer evenings. i think it will be perfect for that. so i am back to work on it. here is a picture to show you the length. i still have about 1/3 to go on it.



i am really going to concentrate on getting this done. it is going to be brilliant!

so today i also received an interesting envelope in the mail. it was hand addressed and it was from my local yarn shop. huh? i mean they normally send out postcards etc with the standard computer generated labels. but hand addressed? what could it be? the suspense was killing me. it was a 15% off my next purchase coupon. arghh! they must know i am a sucker. i can't pass that up. especially since i need some more of the perfect yarn i bought there.



isnt' it lovely? the top one is blue and brown. yeah! i have no idea what i am using it for or why i need more, but a discount is a discount.

now it is late and i will leave you with one more link to an mp3 of one of my fav songs. if you have seen any of the recent hallmark commercials ( i think it is a mother's day commercial) you may recognize the song. more notably it has been in some tv shows and in the movie 50 first dates i believe (which is where i recognized it from). somewhere over the rainbow/what a wonderful world by israel kamakawiwo‘ole. at least i am pretty sure it was the one in 50 first dates. it is such a pretty version. enjoy it :)

Tuesday, April 12

cloths and cookies

i have been on the search for the perfect sugar cookie recipe for awhile. i have made two different recipes in the past few days to use up some soon to be expired eggs and butter. the first one (pictured here), not so good, although they looked cute. the second batch, which i made last night, was from the martha stewart christmas cookbook. they were so yummy. you see, the key for me is, they shouldn't taste like shortbread. so many sugar cookies end up too crisp and too shortbready (i know that isn't a word, but you get what i mean). this recipe was for cut out cookies, but i did them as drop cookies. this one will be added to my expanding list of 'good' recipes.



not too much knitting has been happening here. some time back i started making dishcloths when I was in between projects or as a way to take a break from a major project (in this case the entrelac stole and the flower basket bag). i am on my third one now. i have to say that cabling a dishcloth seems like a waste of time and energy, but i will persevere.



no, i don't normally keep them hung on a fake clothesline for decoration. just trying to make the shot a bit more interesting! here is an up close with the cable cloth in progress



i bought some sale yarn this last week and decided to post it on ebay (rowan cotton braid and jaeger celeste). i listed it for what i paid as well as ebay/paypal fees. the deals aren't great, but they aren't full price either. if they don't sell, i will just keep them for myself :) now the real treasure was some noro cotton kureyon i came across! i believe it to be very discontinued and almost as much of a treasure as the pink chibi :) but i decided to list it on ebay as well. i did keep one ball for myself (a different color than the ebay listing). i don't want to advertise my ebay listings here (because seriously the rowan and jaeger isn't that great of a deal), but if you want to see the infamous cotton kureyon i am sure you know how to find it on ebay :)

tonight is my meetup knitting group, yeah!

p.s. i joined the bead it stitch marker swap, see the link in my sidebar. what a great idea! i have been making lots of polymer clay stitch markers lately so this seemed right up my alley!

Thursday, April 7

the stash.

well i took some pictures of my stash. they aren't superb, but they give you an idea. hopefully the page won't take forever to load, i didn't do a lot to compress it. sneak peek...



click here to see more. the first picture is good yarn, the second is cheap yarn :) not that impressive, but i am working on it.

did you see the new knitty is up? what do you guys think? i didn't see anything that jumped out at me. still searching for the perfect sweater pattern. tonight i actually started frogging the first one i made a few months back. i needed to do something simple while i was teaching my friend aimee to knit! she did sooo well! and she is already hooked, yeah! seriously, she even picked up on the knitting backwards to fix mistakes (although she made only one and has really even tension). i was impressed. i hope she keeps it up.

OH! i forgot to mention, yesterday i picked up yarn harlot's book. it is sooo great, and a bargain at $9.95. it is scary how i can relate to nearly every page. i do hope she comes to seattle, i would love to get my copy signed.

still not back to a normal sleeping pattern and i forgot to pick up sleeping pills today. oh well, at least tonight the pope's funeral will be on. i intend to watch that. i come from a polish family and the pope's passing has made me want to get to know more about our family history. maybe even travel to poland someday. it is tough finding information, most of our connections on that side of the family are lost. but you never know what i may be able to come up with now that we have the great internet at our fingertips!

Tuesday, April 5

cursed.

sigh. the sweater curse has hit me again. that is right, i have secretly been working on another sweater. and you know what? it didn't turn out either. the sleeves are enormous. it is INSANE. what is wrong with me? i have been knitting for a year and a half. i should be able to put a simple sweater together. and i mean simple. stupid pattern. that's it. i am blaming it on the pattern. dang knit.1. i hate you. and all your ugly, weird lion brand crapness. seriously. what was i thinking?

it is really beginning to bug me that i can't be successful at a sweater. and it seems to be the sleeves that are a curse. hmm. good thing i used really cheap yarn again so as to not waste my money. the next sweater i make will cost loads of money. that way maybe i will break the curse. and i won't use green yarn. green yarn is part of the curse too.

(insert scream here) i am tightly wound these days (the sweater situation is not helping). my job will most likely be ending by this time next month. i have no future prospects. and in june, well in june i turn 30. there is a very real chance that on my 30th birthday i could be jobless, homeless and boyfriendless. hah! take that bridget jones!! :) now, i am not soliciting for kind words here. this situation is in my control (except the turning 30 bit). i am just choosing not to do anything about it. i am waiting (as procrastinators do) to hit that wall of "oh crap!" and start acting on it because i am completely afraid. for my sake, i hope that day comes soon! i would like to turn 30 with things slightly more settled and maybe a new sweater. ;)

p.s. if you have any good EASY patterns for a "first" sweater will you let me know? i was thinking the sweater from last minute knitted gifts, but have no idea what to classify as east these days. drop me an email at:
amy_aATcomcastDOTnet

Monday, April 4

rain, rain go away

i could use a sunny day. maybe the sun will peek out later this afternoon. after all, i can't very well wear these if it is pouring out. and i really want to wear them! drat.

i did some shopping (as you can see) and knitting this weekend. i did a little stash enhancement on friday. i will post pics of it when i give you a looksie at my stash (i am saving it for a day when i have no other pics to share). let's just say there was some rowan, some ggh and some manos involved. i didn't have major plans for any of it, i was just in a cotton mood.

that night i decided to cast on for the newsboy hat in snb nation. i picked up the book a couple weeks ago and that pattern was the main reason (and it was cheap at costco). so i am not that happy though with the way it turned out. as my friend denise said, something just isn't quite right. take a peek yourself



i used araucania nature wool chunky in color 114. what do you think? it might have to be frogged. we'll see. i don't want to waste the yarn if i won't wear it. i apologize too for the stupid head shots when i do hats, it is me in my bathroom mirror :)

by the way, this



is a pattern using the worsted version of the nature wool yarn that i am in love with. it comes from transitions by cornelia tuttle hamilton. when i was in leavenworth with my girlfriends my friend showed me this at a lys. i didn't buy the book so i don't have the pattern (i wasn't in love with anything else). does the stitch look familiar to anyone? i may have to buy the book.

follow ups..

the mini clapotis was knit following the instructions on the pattern for making it more narrow or more wide. i knit until is was about 9" wide and then did 18 of the base rows (it calls for 12). This took about 390 yards of the alchemy yarn in all.

the handpainted yarn comes from ebay seller id 100purewool. i haven't received it yet but i'll give a review when i do.

Friday, April 1

holy batman!

ok, go check this out from zibibbo is good. she created a flash your stash day! how exciting! i love seeing what other people have hidden away. her stash alone is enough to make me think, i have nothing! i need to buy more! :)