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Friday, April 2, 2010

Le Sigh

Once again I must apologise for being a bad blogger. Between, not having a camera, STILL knitting on the border of my meditation rug and technical website concerns, blogging has been difficult and secondary.

Right now I have stitch pattern books laid open around me. I am having a hard time finding my muse for this new project. While the yarn is beautiful, it hasn't really sung to me yet. I've started carrying it around with me, trying to spark something. I just need a little spark, something to fan to flame.

I have also been working (still) on the mediation rug. I have roughly two feet of border left to knit. It's the longest two feet in the history. It seems like i have been knitting these last two feet FOREVER. It's daunting and frustrating. Never mind that...I don;t know if my Pi calculations were off or what but the mediation rug is shaped more like a bowl that a flat circle. I am desperately hoping that blocking will smooth it all out.

I am also bummed by all the techy stuff going on with my websites. I have still found no resolution to the domain name debacle for my Birdwell Productions website. It's so disheartening: I have had this domain for ten years and it looks like because of shaddy business practises of the domain register (dnbuy.com) I am losing it. So I think I have decided to try to combine knitting blog and personal blog onto one. I am not sure if I'll still have tag functionality when I move the blogs to a new content manager (blogger will not support FTP or own domain hosting as of May 1-and i am a control freak over content management). But I will work out something. I have been working with webs design and architecture for over 12 years I will figure something out. Grin. I just need to remind myself that I can DO THIS!

In any case it is Spring and I am happy. Easter is soon...true mark of SPRING! and rebirth. I feel like I am waking up after my grey winter sleepiness. Although, I have to admit the allergies from the fornicating trees have been acting like a sleeping potion.

Allons-y!

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Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year, New Knitter

Like Anne Shirley says: It's a brand new day with no mistakes. I am one of those annoying types that sets goals (not resolutions) for myself for the coming year. Since this is a knitting blog, well then: I get to share my knitting goals and plans for this year.

I decided to lay off going after submissions. I thought the deadlines would help, but they just made me feel panicky (and cranky) and began to stifle my creativity. I am not saying I am NOT going to submit anything, if a deadline happens to fall in line with a complete project, then I'll mosey it on over, but no more chasing. I want to concentrate releasing patterns here at my shop for all of you lovelies (and of course on my family--they are young and need me to be more present).

I also need to finish up some UFOs that are so near completion that it's ridiculous that they are still UFOs. Bad knitter, no cookie!

My rusty Ribbon Lace Scarf has like a few more rows and it's done. Purple slippers need to be seamed.

Lace Ribbon ScarfGrandma's Slippers for Lorelei


Then there's the UFOs that are halfway done. My Knitting Bunnies are excellent at knocking UFOs out of queue. I'm figuring that I won't let myself start any more outside projects (outside meaning Other Designers (OD) work), until I finish those UFOs.

Celtic ToteMiss B's Stockings


Because I really want to start Citron from the latest issue of Knitty. I figure having one or two OD projects would be very restful from any sort of decision making when I am working out the Knitting Bunnies.

I also need to work on a few of my older BK projects: one of which needs to be finished by June for the arrival of my brand new niece or nephew.

Snow Flurries ProgressTwisted Scarves


The purple one is done, need to finish the red one. The other two socks are still in time out. My brain hasn't had the time to work out the wibbley wobbley sockie wockie problems.

I also have a few very OLD projects from when I first started knitting that I really ought to finish--almost forgot about those. Nice easy mindless projects...sometimes lately I have needed the easy and mindless. This year my brain felt very overtaxed. And from my current state of mind...it ain't gonna get better.

Also less submission less Super Secret Projects: so the tantalizing teasing will be lessened. Grin.

I also need to conquer the big near unravel of 2007.

Stop Gap!


One more thing before I go knit some more. The kids LOVED the knitted toys (Yay!) and someone wants a shawl like Granny's Shawl, but in pink. Grin.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

One Last Thing

Here I was deliriously happy that I can knit FOR MYSELF, exclusively...and then I go and decide to through one last knit project for Lorelei.

My mom made these for Lorelei ages ago...they finally fit, BUT we can only find one.

slippers


They are adorable, so I decided to re-engineer some, in purple. Going at my pace they'll be done...someday. Grin.

MY slipper


I have also been working on other things...I finally finished that old orenburg swatch. It grew...I had wanted to mount it in a shadow box, but it's a foot wide. It'll make a nice dresser topper.

swatchy goodness


swatchy goodness


swatchy goodness


Originally I knitted this swatch as a teaching aide and to help in constructing my Lorelei scarf...but I fell in love with the pattern of this swatch so I decided to go ahead and make a tradition orenburg scarf--with a bit of estonia tossed in for flavour.

Lilac Blooms scarf


Of course I only just started, but hopefully it'll knit up fast.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

ALL DONE!!!

Whew! After 4 hours of sleep I finally finished the last knitted Christmas present!!

Heggie Hog


Isn't he SO cute. He's also incredibly soft. Which is awesome on the finished product, but HELL on knitting hands and wrists. I used a worsted weight cotton, at a tight guage with lot's of k2togs and k3togs. Because I was on a time crunch there was no rest...I had to work thru the pain. Yes, knitting sometimes involves PAIN. Burning, throbbing P-A-I-N!

Heggie Hog


But he's so cute!! And yes I will make another one ALL_FOR_ME! Not sure if I'll try alpaca or cotton. ;-)

In any case, I am just knitting for ME now. Glorious lace knitting, no throbbing, no burning.

Heggie and Gina


Pattern: Smith by Ysolda.
Yarn: Blue Sky Cotton.
Needles: US size 5 and 7.
Alterations: none...I even used suggested yarn.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Kitteh Is Done and a How-To!

One down one to go!

Kitteh Sofee


Lorelei is chomping at the bit for her own knitted stuffy (although sometimes she wants dolly clothes). I am thinking of making her the actual bunny.

As you know I altered the Sophie the Bunny pattern into a kitty, I thought it might be helpful to let y'all know how I made the cat ears, iffen you want to do the same. Grin.

kitty ears


Cat ears instructions.
pick up 16 sts as shown.
knit 2 rounds,
round 3: ssk, k4, k2tog, reapeat.
round 4: knit all
round 5: ssk, k2, k2tog, repeat.
round 6: knit all
round 7: ssk, k2tog, repeat
row 8: k2tog(2)
round 9: k2tog, then break yarn and thread yarn thru loop.

Repeat for the second ear. I also made a garter stitch scarf and boots.

I also included these same instructions on my Ravelry Project Page.

I already started knitting on the hedgehog and so far, LOT'S of fun.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Belated, like always

So I took a bunch of knitting pictures, edited them, and uploaded them to flickr. Then I promptly forgot to blog about them--I think somewhere in my rattled brain, I thought I did. Well obviously I didn't. Oopsie.

My kitty is half done, NOW, but I only have pictures of a wee kitteh head.

Sofeh Kitteh


I should be a good knit blogger and take updated pictures tomorrow. Should. We'll see how it goes: I have cleaning to do and Micci's soccer game. But not in that order. Hee hee.

Progress is going well (even though it is number three on my list of current Designs in Progress [DIP]) on the lace shawl that is yet to be named. I am still working in the shoulder area, so the pattern is the same. I am toying with spreading out the motif so it become separate blocks of lace instead one big lacey piece. Anyway, onto the knit pr0n!

New Shawl

New Shawl

New Shawl

More Lace

More lace


Nice huh. This yarn is really nice, Daphne by Elegant Yarns and I am using a US size 2 circ. I am still in cream, can't wait for peach and pink!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knockin' Them Out

Finished Christmas gift number two!

Elly Phant


I finished it last night and whipped up a scarf, so the Elly Phant wouldn't go naked.

Elly Phant


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.

Kitteh Sophie-the beginning


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.

Slippers?


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.

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not So Crazy

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.

Granny's Comfort Shawl


Woot!

Anne helped me crochet the top stablising border, while I tried to perform lace surgery on her Tussah Silk leaf wrap.

Anne's Mess


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.

Granny's Comfort Shawl


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.

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Biting Off More Than I Can Chew?

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).

Dude.

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!!

Duuuuuuuude.

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...

Not So Secret Project


Or is it a flower?

Not So Secret Project


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.

Ellie Phant


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.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Christmas Knitting!

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.

Elly Phant's 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.

Marks for the pick ups


These are the stitches picked up...making sure the little "bumps" from picking up are INSIDE the square.

Pick Up sitcks!


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.

Blue Sky Cotton


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... ;-)

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