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Grab your knitting needles and come relax with me.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nervous Wreck!

Sometimes being a knitting designer is just plain wearying. Especially when I am constantly doubting my ability to count.

Someone just bought my Tulip Blanket (Thank You!!) and because I just read an post on Ravelry about how some folks just plain HATE, DETEST, and HAVE NO RESPECT FOR those patterns that have errors in them--especially when they pay for the pattern.

Way to play into my latent (okay sometimes not so latent) insecurities!

So now I am convinced the Tulip Blanket is full of errors and makes no sense. However, at the state I am in now if I try to "fix it" I may just create an error where none exists.

Some body talk me down!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Of Socks and Super Secret Scarves

One of the gals at my cabin in WHIBSIB snapped a picture of me in my socks.

Wearing my Neverending Socks


Ain't they cute!

I have already broke into the yarn I bought at Yarnivore. I am making two filmy mohair wraps/scarves. The blue yarn is goign to be a straight garter stitch. I don't have enough progress yet (I keep tear out) to show a picture of it, but since the Apsen has bit of silver fuzz running through it at odd intervals it should produce a fun pattern. The Kid Mohair, brownish/purplish yarn I bought is coming together in a really pretty scarf---but it's a new Birdy's Knits pattern. I am not sure if I will offer it for straight sale or enter it into the many contests/publications at my finger tips. So for a while, it'll be a Super Secret Scarf....no pictures. Just lot's of torturous hints.

I have knitted enough orange into Mic's Tiger Socks to make them actually look like tiger stripes--Mic is very pleased. "Tigers! Raaaaooor!!" But only a few more rows--not enough to take a new picture--give me a few more inches.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Back From WHIBSIB

Man I had so much fun and I didn't wanted to come back so soon. Apparently, Mic thought I was never coming back. Poor kid.



Lot's of hilarity ensued!

Here's the super cute Alpacas and sculpture garden from Old Oaks Ranch in Wimberly. I especially loved the bears sculpture and the mice and books sculpture.



Jamey made a bunch of stitch markers for me to sell to my fellow knitters (I am a terrible enabler)...he was very surprised how few I brought back. He didn't realise how special his dual use stitch markers are.

I also finished my Neverending Socks! See that little bit of yarn that was ALL the yarn I had left--including the yarn ends I wove in.

Neverending Socks


I finished them an hour before we went out for the day on Saturday. I even stayed up to 2 am trying to finish them. I had to stop three rows from bind of because I kept seeing things and I found out that I can't count past 1.45 am. It was such a fun high to finally finally be done with these socks. I didn't manage to take pictures of them on me, but I will pluck some pictures that my friends took.

One of the girls made me a sweet, beautiful market bag for making all the WHIBSIB badges. AND gifted me a Pooh Bear dressed up as a bee. I feel loved!

Bee Market Bag Pooh Bee bearBee Market bag


I also bought some yarn...of course! At Old Oaks Ranch I bought some beautiful Claudia Handpainted Silk lace weight. Ooo I have plans for this pretty little hank (ha! little it's 1100 yards!!).

Claudia Handpainted Silk-Green


It's so incredibly soft.

We decided to go west from Wimberly on the way home and stopped at Blanco for lunch. Yummy yummy HUGE plates.

We stopped at Yarnivore before we reluctantly agreed it was time to go home and end our Yarny Adventure. I bought some alpaca sport weight for Skinny Lacey scarves for the shop. And for some reason although I am allergic, I bought some mohair for some filmy scarves--also for the shop.

Glimmer RedGlimmer PurpleFeza AspenFeza Kid Mohair


And since I finished my socks, I started Micci's tiger socks.

Tiger socks- a beginning


These were started minutes after I finished the Neverending Socks--on Saturday morning.

This weekend was a nice recharge and a great affirmation amongst friends.

NOTE: It did rain, QUITE a bit...but only at night when no one was out and about. So it (the buying of the super cute polka dotted umbrella) worked--sort of.

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Off to WHIBSIB



It's forecast to rain this weekend...so I bought a new umbrella. Hopefully NOW it won't rain. In any case--it's got a super cute pattern.

I am all packed up, I think. Now I need to make brownies and do some tidying up. I also need to make sure Mic's soccer stuff is in plain sight.

I plan to do a lot of knitting and picture taking. So hopefully I'll have lots to show and tell this next week. (The sock still isn't finished yet--but it'll get done)

Enjoy your weekend and I leave you with one of my favourite wild flowers. It's always amazing to me the beauty and delicacy of this flower when its stem and leaves are so thorny and intimidating. Before our lawn was mowed, we had two in our yard.

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Not AGAIN!!



Once again--I face the dilemma--I may not have enough yarn left!!!

Bhat! Each Neverending Sock is made with ONE skein of Lorna's Laces. And somehow it seems I may not have enough yarn left to finish the second sock.

I may be overly paranoid. I have two rows left before I start the 2x2 ribbing. It's been so long since I finished the first sock that I don't remember how much yarn I had left at this point in the first sock. I desperately want to wear these socks at WHIBSIB (tomorrow! Woot!!). And it WOULD be nice that they match--esp. since I plan on showcasing the length of these socks by wearing a cute short skirt.

(It's late tonight--tomorrow I'll put up a picture of my problem. AND I will also write a quick post before I leave for WHIBSIB!! Woot!)

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2 More Days

I so totally and completely need this weekend away from my kids. WHIBSIB is going to be such a sweet vacation. The kids have been driving me nuts today. Doesn't help that I am feverishly trying to finish the Neverending Sock in time for WHIBSIB.

I was up very late last night painting more badges--that also doesn't help my mood. But it will be SO worth it--no more forgetting names and being placed in awkward situations. Grin.

In any case--I am one more repeat away and an inch of ribbing away from being DONE with the sock--after a year...I am almost done. Of course this is making me think of the NEXT sock. Either Mic's tiger socks or a sock made from this Tofusies.

SWTC TOFUsies - Pink


Mic's socks are easy peasy I can start right away, the tofusies are going to be made with Cat Bordhi's new sock-tecture and will incorporate lace in the arch increases. Yeah, Mic's socks are next--but I reserve the right to start the tofusies while I am still working on the Tiger socks--which will be completely stockinette---eewwww.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Swiffer Cloth


There's lot's things we can do to help conserve our resources. REUSE!

Now more than ever we throw away things we used to just re-use. We are encouraged to buy containers for left overs that we can just toss in the garbage. We are told how easy (and cleaner) it is to throw away our dusters, mop heads, toilet brushes, and kitchen cloths. But where do they end up? It's certainly does not disappear or end up in some mystical place far from us. Stop tossing and start re-using. My Swiffer Cloths can be washed and sanitized after use. Use an old sock to dust. And really how dirty can your toilet brush be after you have just soaked it in cleaner??

On my list of things to knit is this, Everlasting Bagstopper--a reusable shopping bag.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Sheepish

Three days till WHIBSIB!! (Knitting Retreat for Texan female knitters) No kids, pets, husbands! Just knitting and friends! Can not wait. I came up with a great idea to make name badges--I am doing it really because I am so horrible with names--the fact that'll help everyone else is an added benefit. Grin.

So here is what I did yesterday--I knitted a bit...I have three more repeats on the sock.



I am about half way done. I love how the sheep are turning out.

Unfortunately nothing will be done tonight (well maybe another layer of varnish), because I decided that TODAY I was going to get on my hands and knees and scrub all the nasty spots out of my living room carpet. Folks, I am embarrassed to admit that my carpet is more dirty/sticky spots than blue carpet. Now my arms are incredibly sore. I am not sure if I have the strength to knit on aforementioned sock. However, my carpet looks so much better.

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Socks and Badges

I was on the couch most of yesterday and I really want to continue to sit on the couch today as well. My allergies are kicking my butt. My head is horribly stuffed, ick. I did knit a bit on my sock--I am feeling better today so I am up to more knitting than I was yesterday.

Neverending Sock-the second


I have a little more than 4 repeats to go--and they are twelve row repeats, then of course the cuff. Here's a comparison pic of both socks.

The Neverending Sock


See, almost finished. I really want them done so I can wear them at WHIBSIB. Speaking of which, here's a pic of some of the name badges I have been working on for the retreat.

WHIBSIB Badges


All the sheep needs is the hardware and the dog still needs detail work. I bought the rest of the badges and string and such. I have a lot more to paint, but it goes fast. The plan is to drill a wee hole in the wood and then attach jump rings and the string satin cord through the rings. And voila a use-able keep sake. I made myself a bee...of course.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Back from the Dead

Neverending Sock


I am finally knitting on my sock again. Presenting the Neverending Sock!! And it's not because I am knitting tights as it has been suggested. I call them neverending because it took me forever to finish the first sock and it has taken longer than forever to finish up the second sock. Not to mention this socks go up for forever. Grin.

Neverending Sock progress


Funny enough in this snap shot of my first sock, I am just about in the same right no in the second sock. Perhaps when the sun rises today, I'll take a picture of the second sock for a little show and tell. (Yes it is almost 5 am here an I have been up since 4 am--blasted allergies and stupid brain)

I managed to work on the sock intermittently yesterday, while helping Anne get ready for her trip and having the kids spend some time at the library/soccer pictures.

As I mentioned prior, I am up at an obscene hour. Due to allergies, but mostly an over active brain. Last night I stumbled upon a thread in a forum on Ravelry asking folks if they have ever ordered from Birdy's Knits. It was posted 14 days ago and hasn't received any replies. So I replied to the poster directly and (hopefully) reassured them and explained that I am a new shop--so I haven't had a ton of orders--esp orders that require shipping, most of my business has been free downloads (with a few paid orders--thank you !!! you know who you are!). I also took the extra step of emailing some Rav mates and asking them, if they felt comfortable, to respond to the thread reassuring the poster that a third party thinks I am trustworthy and a maker of valuable goods. THEN I emailed folks on my yahoo email list (all friends as well) and asked if they would write some product reviews for me. Now I am worried that I over stepped or have been perceived as over stepping...does this make sense? What do y'all think? I really want this business to at least support my yarn habit (and or enable me to finally buy my OWN copies of the Barbara Walker Treasuries 1-4), but I also hope (as does Jamey) that Birdy's Knits can someday support our family.

One can hope.

I also am afraid (because I do worried a lot) how I will handle negative attention on Ravelry and on here. I do want to be popular, but with that comes also the "haters." And of course that prays upon my feelings of inadequacy: down deep a little voice says that I am nothing special and all I do is derivative works. I know the internet can really tear people up.

Okay enough rambling at 5 am.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Finished: Onward HO!

I finished hand sewing Anne's Garter for her. Took me about one and a half days to complete the weaving in of ribbons, sewing the bias tape to the back, sewing the garter ends together and making and attaching the decoration.

Garter ProgressGarter Progress

I am quite proud of all that hand stitching. And I really like how the finished garter came out.

Took the Garter Outside

I just hope everyone ELSE likes it.

Now that Lorelei's socks are done (and the garter), I have more "free" time. Ha! Mostly I am knitting for the shop right now.

I started knitting the Samara again. I am trying out a different (and cheaper) yarn. Paton's SWS: it has the exact fiber content, but a bit thicker. I tried using the same needle size I used for the first one (which was knitted in Rowan Tapestry).

Samara

"Tried" is the opperative word here. I wasn't happy with the density of thefabric (and neither was Wendy)--so I decided to go up to a size 10. I haven't progressed far enough to show you a decent picture, because...

Tulip Blanket

I started knitting something else. I found some really cute yarn (read ON SALE) to knit a new Lacey Tulip Blanket (link to pattern page)! The plan is to sell it at my little B&M shop. The color is a nice gender neutral fun baby colour. It bumped the Samara since it's more likely to sell now than a scarf (babies are always being born and soon it'll be 90 here in San Antonio). I am hoping that this will be a quick knit, but I won't hold my breath. I "bragged" that I would finish Lorelei's socks in a week--and it took 2 months.

The knitting bunnies are still gnawing on grey matter. Sigh--it's like a twitch--it's really aggravating me. BUT, I can't do much about it. I tend to design on the fly. But to appease these bunnies I might need to do some serious sketching instead.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Errata: Samara Scarf

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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Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend Hilarity

Saturday we had our monthly knitting meet up/pot luck.



And really, although there was wine available, I did not imbibe. That's just me all the time. LOL

We had lot's of fun. And lot's of great food! Leah made some awesome Cuban dishes. She made a great rice pudding and if I didn't have texture issues I would have eaten the entire bowl.

I also finished Lorelei's socks. Finally! It was supposed to take me a week or two. But no-it took me two MONTHS!! Sigh, I think sometimes I knit so slow, I actually knit backwards.

Purple Heart Socks


Lorelei loves them! She told me she wanted to wear them forever-day and night.

MY socks!!


She almost wore them all day (which would have meant I wasn't going to be able to show them off at my knitting group), but when she went to put on her running shoes-they wouldn't fit in the sneaker. They are brand new Disney Princess sneakers she got this past week. Princess trumps Mommy's homemade socks. So she settled for thinner socks.

I had lot's of fun making them--I am almost tempted to make myself some--but really, I want to do something different!! Maybe in a few projects. I have lined up a test knitter and I expect the pattern to be released early summer. Fingers crossed.

This weekend I also finally started work on painting the name badges for WHIBSIB. I am making them out of those thin wooden shapes you can get at the craft store. So far the sheep look awesome--the other's well we're working on that.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Back Track

Okay, sorry for all the cricket chirping here at Birdy's Knits. My Father in Law arrived Wednesday and so the preceeding days were consumed by last minute cleaning.

I added pics to my prior post--here's some more of the shop.

My Booth's Sign


Here's a close up of my cool sign, courtesy of Jamey. He liked the look of wooden shapes to my more elegant (yet sparkley) bee and flower stickers.

My Booth-Patterns


Here's a close up of my pattern display.

We have a bit of bare space underneath this shelf. I still need to finish knitting up some swiffer cloths for sale. I also am knitting up a few of my own patterns for sale. Busy busy bee. I do WISH I could knit faster. I still have knitting bunnies that I want to create. Can I do both? Argh!

Anyhoo--I am casting off on Lori's second heart sock!! Yip Yip! I am finalising the pattern for my test knitter (which reminds me I need to email her). Pictures tomorrow! Hopefully.

I also have my monthly knitting group meeting tomorrow. So I should have pictures from that on Sunday or Monday...and of course stories.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Busy Busy Bee

My Booth!


We set up our new brick and morter "shop" today (it's a wee booth-a wall really-at a local popular craft mall). I wish I had pictures for you (I did take bunches--I am very proud), but Jamey needed the camera for Final Four happenings (really how is a dumb sporting event more important than my blog!). To be fair it is his camera. But when I see him next and tackle down for the camera (which may be tomorrow evening)--I'll add pics to this here post.

My Booth-a side view


I also finally finished knitting the garter for Anne. I blocked it and starched it and Anne approves. Then we both realised Anne's fingers weren't going to be up for the Anne sewing involved. So I'll be putting it together as well. Give me a cookie!

Garter Knitted Up


Lorelei's second sock is coming along well...4 more repeats to go.

This week is going to be very busy. My FIL is coming into town and once again the house is a mess (busy working elsewhere--ignoring it completely), so gotta clean up. I have neglected the badges for WHIBSIB and all of a sudden I have just two weeks or so really to finish them up. YIKES! Then there's the knitting bunnies. Seriously they are stressing me out. I have all these new ideas, but I still need to reknit some old ideas for the shop. I just want to do it all--that's my problem.

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The Colors!

One of the many reasons I love Ravelry is all the new things I am exposed to.

I found KnitLab today. He has created some beautiful colorwork patterns. My two favourites are Scandinavian (the top left blue one) and Concertina (esp. the bottom left purple one).

Recently a knitting bunny turned into two colours on me and I really want to knit some two color socks (in red and tan) with a celtic motif (knots, medallions, and such). But WHEN shall I have the time? I've got knitting bunnies chewing on my brains and a shop (mine) demanding I knit things up.

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

Back on Track

I guess all I needed was a break from Lorelei's heart sock.

One sock finished


There was no mistake. I had just miscounted. Simple as that. So I am back to the sock and hopefully poor Lorelei will have socks on her feet.

Oh and I got a neat suggestion for a name for the sock, "Love Me Tender." Interesting. Any one else? Remember: Who ever gives me the name of the sock that I love will get this sock pattern for free. (It'll be sized from toddler to adult). Although it will be a while till the adult sizes are ready...not a while, maybe more like a month.

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Onward, Ho!

I finished the garter last night. And I blocked it and starched it just now.

I appeased some Knitting Bunnies yesterday as well...unfortunately nothing came out of it. The pattern itself is beautiful in my minds eye, but the yarn just didn't work with it. I even tried it on two different needle sizes.

Drops Alpaca



This yarn, Alpaca Drops from Garn Studio, is just odd. It "says" it's sport weight. But it's seems to me a fingering weight --a light one at that. Even the recommended needle size 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm (1-4 US size)is tiny. But it's has a bout 190 yards to a 50 gram ball--which says it's a heavier weight--is it the alpaca, is it heavier?

In any case it's not doing what I want it to do.

I am not sure if I am going back to the silk or if I am going to forge on with Lori's sock. My head and neck are feeling weird--so I am also tempted to just veg and watch Torchwood.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dreary Dreary



I's been all around yucky since this weekend. And I am not knitting as much as I like. I feel like I am knitting so slow I am knitting backwards. I don't feel Like I have made progress on anything!

WHIBSIB (awesome Knitting Retreat I go on every spring) is coming up (24 days!!) and I can NOT wait. I am hoping I can get my Neverending Socks finished. 'Course that means I need to finish the garter and Lori's socks first. I have 5 more repeats on the garter to go. Lori's socks are in time out--once again I doubt my ability to count and reason. But I have been working on the Neverending socks for so long--they ought to be finished. They are actually my first pair of socks that I started...but some how they will end up being the third I complete (4th if you count baby booties).

I've got pics--give me a few hours and you'll see some. Edited to Add: yeah it's a lame picture of the dreary sky--no knitting.

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