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Grab your knitting needles and come relax with me.
Monday, December 31, 2007

It is FINISHED!!!!! and on to new things.

Yes, I do think that the number of exclamation marks are quite necessary. The Adamas Shawl is finished! I finished it on Saturday, blocked it, snapped a few pics, and now I am ignoring it while it quietly tells me--YOU NEED TO WEAVE IN THE ENDS!

It took me over 4 hours to cast off and 2 hours to block it with my new dressing wires. Most of the time was spent arranging the beads just right.

Here's pictures of the blocking.

Adamas Blocking

Adamas BlockingAdamas BlockingAdamas BlockingAdamas Blocking

The final product!

Beaded Adamas Shawl Beaded Adamas

Beaded Adamas - Detail 1Beaded Adamas - Detail 2


As soon as I finished the knitting bunny tackled me and cut his way in line and I started knitting the Celtic Tote from Interweave Knits Winter 2007.



It's also on Ravelry as well--all the specs and the hordes that have begun knitting this up. Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I am knitting it using the same yarn as KnitMongrel. I love the way the bag looks old in these colours. I was tempted to knit it in red, but I like these neutral shades.


Patons - Merino; NaturalPatons - Merino; Chestnut Brown


I bought the yarn using my Michael's gift card that Jamey got me for Christmas. They are having a 30% off yarn sale this week. If you care to peruse my flickr yarn set, you'll see the haul. I got yarn for more Lorelei hats and a cardiganette for me as well.

I spent hours last night winding the yarn for my Swallowtail Shawl from Interweave Knits Fall 2006, designed by Evelyn A. Clark. It was horrifyingly annoying and I am getting a swift! I can wind it myself--but trying to use my arm and knee as a swift was getting on my last nerve. Didn't help that the yarn had three breaks! In any case, I was able to cast on and complete the first chart this morning. I need to snap a picture of it for Ravelry and of course for your benefit beloved reader.

I need to finish the Swallowtail asap--I've heard of people knitting this up in a week or two. So that'll get my full attention, as it is a gift. Maybe someday I'll actually knit a shawl for me. I plan to knit on the Celtic Tote when I need a good travel project.

Oh shoot--I still need to start the socks for my niece. Heck I need to finish the gauge swatch and finish up the numbers for the design. Knitting bunnies may be cute and irresistible, but they sure are rascally.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Still Not Finished

So I am still knitting on the Adamas. I got zero knitting time before, during and after Christmas. Poot! But I am on the last patterned row. I am so close I can TASTE it.

Christmas Eve I also got my dressing wires, so I can start blocking with ease. If I manage to finish it today, I'll block it tomorrow morning, so it'll be dry before bed time.

I shouldn't use if because it WILL be done today. (Even though laundry is calling my name...poot)

Now that I am almost done, I am mentally rubbing my hands together in antipation of the next project. The Swallowtail Shawl! everyone says it can be finished in two weeks. Let's see. And perhaps even finishing up a Lorelei Hat while I am at it.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Knitting Booty

Mostly I bought myself knitting booty for Christmas. But two people bought be awesome knitting tools: Jamey bought me a gift card to Michaels (money is surely a tool in any knitters bag...) and Leah bought me the coolest bag for notions: a zipper bag. At first I thought it was a bag made up of a bunch of zippers, but no it's ONE zipper sewn in a spiral. It's so cool...and it's red...even better.





Isn't that SO neat!! I love it!

I bought myself: a dressing wire kit and the Bee Field's Shawl kit from Wooly Wonka Fibers. I got the Tupelo Gold colorway...oh it's going to be beautiful! Well actually my Mom gave me some Christmas money, so technically she got them for me. (I just realised I may need size 5 needles...I have gotten hooked on my uber expensive Addi Turbo lace in size 4! But KP Options are just as fabu and a fraction of the price. It's just convincing J. I need more needles.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Slow Going

I am averaging two rows a day on the edging of the Adamas. Not good. It's harder to see the colour variations in the beads (I don't want all the same colours to clump up together) at night...so I have been knitting the beaded row during the day and by the time I finish that row and do the purled row night has fallen and I can't see the beads as well...that and all the Christmas stuff going on.

Last night I made a HUGE batch of sweet potatoe casserole, made bread, cleaned up and then did some last minute Christmas shopping for my brother. See, I knew he was coming for Christmas, but it didn't really sink in that he was going to be here for Christmas and that he needed more gifts and a stocking. I still have cookies to bake...even though I went to the grocery store last night, I totally forgot that we needed baking soda but I did get the honey! (We've been needing honey for weeks and I kept forgetting to pick some up at the store.)

Speaking of honey, I started a bee group on Ravelry. I'm excited that I've gotten a good sized member ship so quickly. I'm looking forward to sharing the bee love and find new bee inspired knit patterns (and learn more about apiarists).

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Home Stretch

I am on row two of the beading on Adamas--row 5 on the edging, for those following along. It's going a bit slow (with my blogging at all--LOL) between adding the beads and attempting to knit while a certain cat camps out on my lap. But I really can't complain too much, Gina is keeping my lap warm. (I really ought to upload a piccie of her...)

I am neglecting holiday preparation to finish this shawl. I am soclose to the finish line--it's 2 am and I am not even a mite tired.

I am wondering two things about the beads: I chose a slightly variegated mix of beads and when do I stop beading? I am wondering if I should plan the colour lay out more, go totally random, or sorta plan and make sure I am not stacking the blues or purples together. As to when to stop--most of the beads are matte but i have a few that are super shiny and lavender. I want to save those till the very end. But do I stop beading before the bind off--or include the beads in my bind off?? I have 2 full more rows before I need to worry about that--but I like to have it finalised so I can stop obsessing.

HA me stop obsessing--yeah right.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting Time!

Quiet deserted museum with lot's of interactive kid friendly features? What do you call that? I call it prime knitting time!! I am about to start the edging of the Adamas shawl--can you hear that i am nearly DONE!! AHAHAHA! My first lace shawl and it should be in time for Christmas, can't say the same for the other one that I was planning as a Christmas gift.

I thought I was being so clever, starting the shawl in the summer--so I would have plenty of time. Oh well... Maybe someday I'll get this Christmas knitting thing right.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The dreaded "R" word

Resolutions!! Ack run RUN!

Dawn, the trouble maker is ruining my post Christmas frivolity, making me make goals. Ick. LOL.

Ahem.

Here Goes...TA DUM!

Birdy's 2008 Knitting Resolutions




1. Finish more projects than I start
2. Get published in Knitty or MagKnits (I'll worry about CK or IK later)
3. Get rid of some of the knitting bunnies that are feasting on my skull
4. Balance knitting and domestic work
5. Design a triangular shawl
6. Dye more yarn!!
7. Finish the Mystery Stole 3
8. Get some help for my KAL addiction

Hmmm, that's all I can think off for now. But it's early, now isn't it?

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Yarn Pr0n

The day after my birthday I got my Knit Picks order...and naughty me forget to share.

I ordered this lace weight for a stole I have floating around my brain.

Knit Picks Gossamer - Emerald

I've been lusting after this yarn for some time now.

This yarn will be for some pansy wrist warmers.

Knit Picks Ambrosia - Mint

Knit Picks Ambroisa - Lavender

Knit Picks Suri Alpaca - Wildflower

I am planning on making two pairs...obviously one in purple and one in green. I want to make it for myself, but I should sell them like a good entrepreneur.

This is for Lorelei's cardigan.

Knit Picks Shine Sport - Crocus

The design itself is not all the way realised, but all I know is that Lori needs a cute cardi and I am planning some sort of raglan.

I didn't take pictures of the sock yarn I bought. I got some undyed yarn for Brenda's gifty--which of course has now found a loving home as green. The two other balls of sock yarn are soon very soon to be made into socks for Lori and my niece.

Now, I just need to find the time to actually knit this all up.

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The Final Stretch

I am still working on the Adamas Shawl. I am almost finished with row 2 of the very very last repeat. It was supposed to be done last week--oops. Bad bad Birdy...no cookie for me. I should have been finished this week...and it's seriously pushed my small amount of Christmas knitting back. I have a week and some change to finish another shawl and some toddler socks.

My Secret Santa gift was well received--Brenda loved the yarn. She has pictures on her blog (scroll down a tiny bit). I will eventually someday (as soon as I can find the camera cable and upload the pics) get the images of the dyeing process on the blog.

Sorry I've been MIA--I blame PMS and nice overdose of U2.

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Friday, December 7, 2007

Experimentation

I am about to descend into madness! Oops too late the dye has already been cast!

I just dyed my first hank of yarn...with Kool-Aid! Lemon-Lime to be exact. And then, then I am planning on sprinkling the grape crystals on the green dyed yarn.

See when I try something new--I just don't follow the path well worn--not for Birdwell! Birdwell walks the road less travelled!

For those in the know--I dropped the dry fingering weight wool directly into the kool-aid mixture (4 packets and about 8 cups of water). I want a mottled effect of this process. I used the stove top method--got the yarn-filled mixture to just before the boiling point and it is now resting as we speak, covered. The water is nearly clear.

Yarn dying


The plan in a bout thirty minutes is to drain and rinse in water of the same temp of the yarn (or risk felting!!!) Then on a length of saran wrap I will place the yarn and then start flicking crystals at in a random fashion. Here's to it actually working out like I see it in my head.

(Insert beautifully flecked hank of yarn)

Then I'll zap it in the microwave for a few minutes OR I'll steam it.


It didn't come out like I saw it in my head. It began to look muddy right away--so I quickly rinsed the hank off. The green dye job looks beautiful--nice colour variation. However--there is a spot where the hank was tied rather tightly that didn't dye at all. I am not sure if I want to try dying just that one spot or leave it...

Wool Drying- Spot


Okay...I decided to try spot dying. I just couldn't stand that white spot. I have Wilton's Cake dye--so I googled the technique at found Pie Knits blog. Armed with a dropper, I set to fixing that white spot and various other pale spots that seemed out of place. I set it in the microwave for 2 minutes. It's resting right now. Then I'll zap it for another 2 minutes. Ya know--those first two minutes were a dozy--I was terrified it would catch fire or something.

I guess I can officially call this yarn--hand painted. Now I just need to come up with a colorway name.


Wool drying


Then set it to dry in the bathroom!


Birdy's Knits - Breath of Zephyr

Birdy's Knits - Breath of ZephyrBirdy's Knits - Breath of Zephyr


Ta DA!! I am calling the colorway Breath of Zephyrs. It's from Antonio Vivaldi's Spring Sonnet written for The Four Seasons: Spring. I may try to replicate this dye job--it's so pretty.

Yes, I will add pictures. I just want to upload all the pictures at one time.

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's Quiet...Too Quiet...

I've been busy decorating for Christmas and frantically knitting on the Adamas...and having a birthday. Yea me I'm 30!!

I got lot's of yarny goodness. Jamey gave me some cash to blow at the Yarn Barn. I bought the following.

Jitterbug - Lobster Claw

Jitterbug - Marble

Skacel Merino - light violet


I have been salivating over that red sock yarn for months. The lace weight too--but I would pet and spend minutes fondling that sock yarn. The creamy sock yarn caught my attention--and I had been trying to decide between it and the red (Lobster Pinch!). Jamey saw my--um--predicament and carried it to the counter for me and gave me a wink, "You owe me for this one."

Smirk.

When we got home yesterday from Day Two of my Birthday Extravaganza, my Knit picks order was sitting in the mail box--MORE yarny goodness. I got a ton so if you really want some yarn pr0n go to my Flickr page or my Ravelry page.

In other yarn related news--just in time for my Birthday Extravaganza, Knitty Winter 2007 is out!! I love Jeanie, Square Cake, and Sally the Eco Fairy. I am definitely VERY impressed with this issue.

Oh and before I forget: let me introduce to you some one you will see a lot on this blog. Betty!!!

Betty!!


It's my new dress form my Momma got me for my birthday. It's great for modeling my designs AND when I tread into the dastardly waters of sweater design--I'll have some real life measurements to go by--instead of my skinny self.

Sigh--I spent WAY too much time today taking photos and organizing my new yarn stash when I was supposed to be knitting on the shawl, but I think my mood such as it was (major FEP mood) better suited for computer time and not delicate lace time.

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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Stash Enchancing

I ordered myself some yarn from Knit Picks, taking advabtage of their ongoing yarn clearance. Got some sock yarn for Christmas gifts (makinf toddler socks--shouldn't take too long right?), lace weight for a new stole, and some cashmere blend and suri alpaca for high end Pansy wristwarmers, and some cotton (Shine Sport) for a sweater for Lorelei.

I also got my birthday gift from my momma: a dress form. I am naming her Betty. It'll be great for posing and constructing sweaters (some day when I grow the balls). I haen't taken Betty out of the box yet...after all my birthday is still two days away.

I am also trying my hand at yarn dying...THAT will be interesting.

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One more repeat!!

Edit: Erm, yeah disregard "one" and replace that with "two". Remember this designer can not count.

Woohoo!! I have one more repeat to go on the Adamas Shawl. Then the edging and then I am DONE!!

Just in ttime to gift.

I've been so looking forward to this edging. I've been planning on adding beads for a while. I am a tad worried about the weight of the beads, but I am als planning on adding a life line. (Gasp! Birdy uses a lifeline--say it isn't so!!)

What's funny is that I am still on the first hank of 440 yard of laceweight...it's supposed to use two hanks...and some have used three. Hm, we shall see in a day or so.

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Errata: Samara Scarf

In the section named Second Lattice row 7 ought to read:

row 7: sl1p, p1, k1, (yo, k2tog) 4 times, yo, k1, yo, (ssk, yo)twice, k1, p1, k1

It has been fixed in the PDF, but if you purchased the scarf prior to April 2, 2008 this errata applies to you.

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In the first tail row five, it ought to read:

row 5: sl1p, p1, k1, purl ‘til three stitches remain, k1, p1, k1

This applies to patterns purchased prior to April 15, 2008. It has been updated in the shop as of today.

Thank you Alice for pointing this out!

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