Grab your knitting needles and come relax with me.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Knockin' Them Out
Finished Christmas gift number two!
I finished it last night and whipped up a scarf, so the Elly Phant wouldn't go naked.
It was a fun project and the pattern, written by the glorious Ysolda Teague was awesomely clear. And so, I started the next toy on my list, Sophie (Rav Link). But this time: Sofeh the Kitteh-per the request of my little niece I.
This weekend after finishing the shawl, I got to work another present, slippers for Granny. And as clear as Ysolda's pattern is; this pattern is as muddy. But luckily its a simple pattern, just written very obtusely. It's to be felted and seamed...so excuse the blobbiness of it.
So I only have one more Christmas knit to put on the needles. And one more project I MUST have done by Dec 1. Eeek. Luckily the slippers ought to be fast, and hopefully the toys will be fast too, now that I have knitted Elly.
I am feeling less overwhelmed today. I now think it IS conceivable to accomplish all the knitting I set for myself this month and the next--EVEN with NaNoWriMo.
Yesterday I finished Granny's Shawl.
Anne helped me crochet the top stablising border, while I tried to perform lace surgery on her Tussah Silk leaf wrap.
Lesson to all knitters knitting with silk, especially Tussah Silk: life lines! I could not for the life of me fix the mistake in Anne's project. The silk was too sticky and too inflexible to ladder down and repair. Because of the stickiness, Anne didn't realise that she didn't catch a stitch...until 10 rows or so. And then it just exploded.
So I left her to tink it back.
I have started the felted slippers that are also for Granny. Slipper one is half done and it's only taken me less than an hour! See there is LIGHT!! I also am nearly done with Elly Phant! I just need to graft one ear and knit the second!!
The Shawl, you'll want particulars.
Pattern: Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl (Rav Page and my Ravelry Project Page). Yarn: Marble Chunky, a little under two skeins. Needles: US size 13 Denise Interchangeables. Finished Size: Fits a size 65 inch woman. Modifications: Some. I didn't garter stitch the center double row of eyelets.
I got a clue last night and decided that I have a macro function on my camera for a reason. So I re-took the shawl pictures.
These show the true colour...it begins off a light greeen and start to transition to white/pale yellow to peach to pink to lavender, to blue and then back to green. I am excited to see how this yarn continues to play out!
This question has been rolling around my head this week. I feel that perhaps, once again, I have over committed myself. I have less than two months...less than one and a half months till Dec. 1. I have at least one super secret project that MUST be done by then. And on the needles I have actively committed: 6 projects--no back that up 8. (Dude, counting that out just made me cringe.) 5 Christmas presents due by the second week of November. That 1 super secret project due Dec 1. Another Super Secret Project that I want to get enough done to show off at Kid N Ewe. And then there's the new one: a lace design I am doing for my LYS new lace weight wool (I think it actually might be cobweb).
I am freaking out...a little bit...a lot. If knitting was the ONLY thing on my plate, I wouldn't be hyper-ventilating. I also need to clean for the holiday/in-law visit. And keep up with homeschooling-now that kids are all healthy again, school is in session!!
I definitely suffer from over confidence (but my friends, you know that about me already) and I kinda think all of this is doable. Yeah, I totally have a warped sense of time. I might have to spend the extra money and ship some of the Christmas presents instead of trying to kill myself.
So wanna see what I have been killing myself with???
Here's the newest Birdy's Knits design, I am kinda winging it. I have an out line of the pattern in my head, but I am filing in the gaps as I go. In a few inches, I'll enlarge the leafy pattern...
Or is it a flower?
I whipped it out at our October Potluck (dress up--so fun, I went as Victoria from Twilight) and I got a round of oohs and aahhs. That's hopeful. It's a dead easy pattern, easily memorised.
I am almost done with Elly Phant. One arm and two ears and I am done.
The second arm though is giving me fits. I tried three times and tore it out there times. So I put it aside and worked on something else. Sometimes in knitting you need a breather...taking a step back before you do something you regret. lol.
It's also giving my finger tips a break. Rapid k2tog on a tight gauge is rough on my fingers.
Did I mention I also plan to partipate in NaNoWriMo in November? Yeah, I am certifiable.
All the fun of this weekend wiped me out! I am just getting the photos edited and my thoughts collected.
My best friend, Phisto, was in town so we could go to the U2 concert in Dallas, and Yarn Crawl just happened to take place a few days before the concert. Her stash is quite sad and I thought it needed some bulking up. Mwhahaha.
The Yarn Crawl started on Friday and A., Phisto, the kids and I headed up to Fredericksburg to start the the trawling. Stonehill Yarn was awesome!
It has some very nice yarns and the owners where very very pleasant. The store itself felt very homey and inviting. Although none of the yarns screamed out BUY me, well maybe I heard a whimper, but I was on a BUDGET! Grin.
This is outside Stonehill where I got some pics of Phisto's AWESOME coat.
Next up was The Tinsmith's Wife in Comfort.
This was my favourite store. I have been hearing AWESOME things about it since it opened a year ago, but hadn't the chance to go. We were greeted very enthusiastically by the owners husband, as soon as we stepped inside. The walls were LINED with yarn, all the way up to the ceiling. There were MANY yarns I craved: a milk fiber yarn was especially tempting. They also carried Handmaiden Sea Silk. Want/Pant! But this is what I fell for and brought home to my stash.
Guess which one came home with me? The deep dark gorgeous red has now found a loving home at Casa Birdy. It's so gorgeous!! Lookie!!
Just luscious! It's also incredibly soft. It's String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn, called Caper Sock in the colourway Black Cherry. Personally I would have called it True Blood, but I am obsessed that way. ;-)
Next (I didn't take my camera out any more till Sunday), after a small detour we went to Boerne, first to Rosewood Yarns and then to Ewe and Eye. Rosewood was very nice, the kids coloured while we inhaled yarn fumes and molested the fibers. Ewe and Eye was a delightful place full of awesome toys AND yarn. Both were awesome. I found some beautiful mystery laceweight, in a lovely yellow gold.
In reality it's a darker gold. Light was weird and I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes during my photo shoot.
Then we went home. And rested.
On Saturday, after I took Mic to the clinic. Poor kid came down with a nasty ear infection (I had thought it was a sinus infection). Then I picked up Phisto and off we went to the San Antonio Yarn stores. I scored an awesome deal to knit a store sample from my own pattern (more tomorrow!) at Yarnivore, using this delicate yarn, Elegant Yarns, Daphne.
I also finally got to really meet and chat with one of the other employees at Yarnivore, Julia. So sweet and I had an awesome time gabbing with her while Phisto prowled the aisles.
Next we were off to Yarn Barn, which thankfully we got there in the nick of time...well 5 nicks past, but they still let us in. Yarn Barn is as awesome as always and after making out with the Handmaiden Sea Silk for a few minutes, I picked up some more Blue Sky Cotton for a Christmas knitting present.
Then Home, more rest! For tomorrow is Dallas!!
We decided to hit some yarn shops along I-35 in Austin as we headed up to Dallas for the U2 concert.
First was The Knitting Nest, love this place...Stacy is awesome! Once again I fell under the sway of the malabrigo. BUT this time it was the sock yarn. Malabrigo SO had my number. I loved the squishy softness of it, but I was able to walk away, but then THEN, I felt the store sample. Dude! DUDES!! The softness and the drapiness. Was intoxicating. So this went home with me:
I want to roll around nude in this stuff...so soft. Yes yes get a room...
Next Hill Country Weavers--otherwise known as Yarn Heaven. I always forget to document this store. How the yarn lines the walls and jumps out of you from the ceiling, bins, and walls. I have a friend, who is tragically allergic to wool, can't stand more than a few minutes because of the wool fibers in the AIR!!! So much yarn! Also by this time I finally learned something about Phisto. Sparkly yarns are her favourite and her temptress. Every store we went to she zeroed in on the bright and shiny. It was no different here. But it wasn't till the next store, that I truly understood.
So next, and lastly, Guage (I finally remembered again I had a camera).
And this THIS is what I understood:
I blame the blurriness and the shakiness on that damn seducing sparkly yarn!
Gauge was nice, very boutiquey (new word alert!), but not enough laceweight or silk. But that's just me and my needs. ;-)
Whew and then we drove to Dallas! Had an extraordinary time...but that's for another blog and another post.
The participants in the Yarn Crawl got loot and a bag to put it into!
It was all very awesome and impressive. I unfortunately forgot to turn in my passport, so a chance at the AWESOME prizes is gone for me. But good luck to everyone else that had a brain!
Here's is the loot I bought. I think I was very restrained.
It's October and so begins in earnest the Christmas Knitting. I had originally decided NOT to knit for Christmas, because I wanted to focus on designing and creating new patterns. For me it's always hard to resist the pull to knit for others, especially when I see the need and or the joy that it would give others. So I am knitting Granny a shawl and slippers, and my niece, M. a elephant. Well I can't not knit for my other niece and nephew, so I am knitting them a kitty and a hedge hog. But really that's it! (Maybe a bunny for Lori if I have time...excuse me Lorelei-she told me she doesn't like being called Lori.)
So on Friday I started knitting the elephant, which I named on Rav: Elly Phant. Grin. She's lavender and I bought some yarn to make a coordinating scarf and maybe a boy for her head.
The pattern is one of Ysolda's brilliant toy patterns. I can't promote her enough--I am a huge fan. Although, this is the first time I have bought any of her patterns really just busy with other knitting (or trying to knit) my stuff.
Today I finished the head and am now picking up stitches for the body (LOVE LOVE how this toy is constructed all in the round, no seaming!). I did it twice, the second time (when I realised it wasn't square and a bit too forward) I used the Birdy's Knits stitch markers to mark the corners where I need to pick up stitches.
These are the stitches picked up...making sure the little "bumps" from picking up are INSIDE the square.
I think I've mentioned it before, but I am going to alter her Sophie the bunny pattern to make a Kitty for I. I talked with Brandy (I.'s mom) and she told me that N. (her nephew and mine) would like a hedgehog. He also loves blue. I have the perfect blue yarn for a toy, but I was wondering: would a blue hedgehog be weird? Too weird for a nearly 5 year old. Nope, duh, not when there's a Sonic the Hedgehog busting out all over.
Great huh? I might see about buying a contrasting shade of blue (either lighter or darker) for the hedgehog (pattern page). What do you think? Stick with the one colour of blue I have or try for two tone??? (Leave me a comment please-Yarn Crawl is this weekend, so I have the opportunity then to buy the yarn).
Granny's Shawl is nearly done (put on another burner since I am so hot to trot with Elly Phant). I am knitting a few more rows to make sure it'll be super cuddly for her this winter. Then afterwards I'll start her slippers.
On other knitting news: my Super Secret projects are zipping along...as fast as I can zip anyway. And so far I am very happy with all three. I just wish I had extra arms to knit everything I want to knit.
This picture filled blog post was brought to you by at least 15 mosquito bites. What I do for my readers... ;-)