Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Stinkin' Mercury Retrograde

I tried to post today before going to my SnB group, but alas Mercury was in retrograde... check it out here... It basically says that it will end up messing communications, travel, appointments, mail and the www into a general snarlup! Which totally explains my error on posting earlier and all the issues with stink Mercury. Hold on to your shorts, it looks like it will hit the high note on March 8th and not let up till the 28th...oy.

I will post my recent update’s really just me complaining and ranting, you know.. the usual.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

What Fun We Had!

I don’t know if I could fully explain the Great Saturday adventure. I wish I had taken pictures, because what a day it was. On the morning of Saturday February 24, five fiber crazed woman crammed into a car and drove 2hours out towards Rockford to a town called Marengo, IL. There isn’t much around, but what they do have is so worth seeing. We reached The Fold by 11am where Toni is the owner and embarked into a store so warm and welcoming. The fiber fumes took over our minds and bodies and we all got lost among the bins, tables, shelves and cubbies...merino, silk, cashmere, and who could forget the buffalo?

After two hours of fiber fix, we where in search of food to fill the bellies. Toni recommended a shop in town called Flatlanders. It’s only a few minutes away from the yarn shop and we found a parking spot right out front. All the store fronts have that old world feel and you could almost imagine horses and buggies riding down the main street. We entered and where greeted by a gray-haired man who called us the naughty knitters. I looked at him and was like...”How’d you know?” ...”Oh, you guys just look the type” I looked at the gals and we all just about died right there. That Toni called ahead to warn the man that 5 crazed fiber fumed woman where headed his way! Hilarious!!!! and talk about a find. The yummy sandwiches totally hit the spot and will be a great reason to go back;)

So, I’m sure your curious to see what I got...right?

Toni talked me thru some spinning tools that I was happy to discover. I got these...

These objects will help me work on the yarn I’m creating without stressing out my hands and arms. Haven’t quite figured out how to work the Lazy Kate yet, but how hard could it be, right?

I then got some roving...

I told Toni, to get me a “hats” worth... I have no clue what I’m doing...I then ask her, would I need a full pound? And without skipping a beat and with her smart wit, she replies with “Do you want to wear a hat that weights a pound?” I just about lost a lung that afternoon, between the squeals of delights and bountiful laughs from everyone’s discoveries.

I fell in love with this Ambrosia yarn that is alpaca, silk and cashmere ...

And casted-on Sunday for a lace socks inspired by the pattern in Socks, Socks, Socks book. Of course I had to change up the pattern a little, but that wouldn’t be me if I didn’t.

I also picked this up..

Which is Classic Elite Bazic Wool that I’ve started to swatch for the Central Park Hoodie. Who knows, I might just join the KAL (knit-a-long) but I’m just not sure about these twists the yarn has...would it work for showing off the great cables?

I have so many projects going on right now...I’m also still working hard on the Alpaca Pullover...Here is a current look...

Oh, what joy....till next time;)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still Going At It!

So.... the gals all thought it would be just fine. Yes, the length of my gorgeous alpaca pullover will be long, but that’s the design and I should keep I am. It was just me being the worry me. The body is half done and I don't think I'll have any problems with yarn shortage. I’m hoping to reach the left sleeve come next week....I really shouldn’t put my self on a time frame, but I like to think ahead about when I need to start other projects.

Here is a close up of the back panel's coming along just beautifully, I'm in awe.

One last thing...I need everyone to give good weather vibes for Saturday. It seems that we might have a storm watch for the weekend and what a bummer for our long waited trip out to The Fold. Stay away stinky storm!! We need our fiber fix!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Scarf Update...

So, you know i had to rip it out right? Oh, is an update so far...

I changed the pattern slightly to a *K1, K1 through back loop, P1* repeat 4 times and end with a K1. The pattern looks simpler and it's definitely more narrow...which means I'll get more length out these small balls. The length of this first ball is 14 inch long and roughly 3 inch wide. Yes it will be a short scarf...or maybe just a headband? Still fun and it keeps my brain off the sweater of doom.

Somthing New

If you wondering about that damn sweater, forget it. I can't talk about hurts to much. The gals will give me some advice tonight at our weekly SnB. So, for now I've moved on to something else.

The pattern is from Stephanie's scarf pattern she made it with her own homespun what a great way to knit up my own homespun...but alas, I don't have enough. The picture only shows 9 inches of a 4 stitch repeat on size 6 US needles. I've frogged it 3x so far and I think I'll do it over again. Who cares right? I'm not knitting this for some award, I'm knitting this for the sheer pleasure of knitting my gross designer yarn.

Till next time...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Growing!

I'm past the point where I had ripped it out back in November...and I now have a sinking feeling that my gauge is off again. Why do I do this to myself, I'm so happy and content on knitting away at any old thing, until it comes to the point where I say to myself ...maybe I should have done some math first.

Oy! So...what is the problem you say? Here it is...the nature of the pattern is to drop a stitch. This drop creates a half inch increase on the final length of the the over all sweater. Stay with me now... while we venture into math-hell. The piece measures 19 inches from neck the front panel bottom. There are 14 places where a drop is going to happen and increase 7 in the over all final sweater to come to 26 inches. Hello folks! The sweater will reach to that thick part of my thigh. Can I cry now? Or will alpaca felt...boohoo.

You can see with the photo that the sweater is tucked under but I wasn’t concerned with actually shows the full 14 places where a drop stitch happens, so this photo has a slight curl but no extra inches tucked under....oh how I hate gauge. Gauge is evil I tell you, pure evil.

So...any suggestions? Do I continue and just make a really long sweater with over looming thought of yarn shortage or do I go about knitting this damn thing in denial?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lets Take a Spin

I’m just going to have to apologies for not posting over the weekend, but it was filled with Marti-Gras celebrations and a deep house cleaning on Sunday. The hurricanes were awesome but I’m not exactly fond of cleaning. I get into these modes where the dust bunny that’s been eyeing me from the corner of the living room needs to die. It’s amazing what you find in these deep cleaning explorations, and most of it went into the trash. Gosh, if I hadn’t missed that thing-o-bob in how long?? Then I wont miss it ever!! But...we’ll move on and talk about cooler things like my new found love...Spinning.

I was first introduced by a friend named Vic from our SnB (who has sadly moved to NY) ..she turned me on with her drop spindle. I then attended a demonstration at the Stitches Salon in Downtown Chicago, where some ladies from the Windy City Knitting Guild taught and enabled the fiber fans into obsessed fiber lovers. And now since attending the Salon, I’ve spun practically every piece of roving in the stash. I did find among the stash some roving I had no clue I had and I’ve already started to spin that too...okay time for pictures.

This is the sample roving that was handed out to the attendees. It was very rough and hard to spin, but the gals say that it's good "starter" roving. Gets you used to separating the sections and drafting the bits on to your spindle. But do you see the big spotty sections vs the thin sections...they tried to comfort me by saying "it's designer yarn, most people would pay top dollar"...sure, you hear my sarcasm?

Here is some more yarn I've made and started a swatch to see some gauge. I'm appx. that each ball is 50g (used the kitchen scale) so that doesn't leave me with many options when it comes to finished knits...maybe a skinny scarf? a simple hat? any suggestions?

And here is the roving that I located at the bottom of the stash was purchased at Kool Knits during there going-out-of business sale. It's very similar to the green/orange roving from above, so I'm assuming it's also a merino type wool.

Can't wait for it will involve a yarn & roving car pool with the SnB gals. Hey! Have you guys made your list yet?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Where does the time go?

Okay, first off...let me say. It's February 16th already!!! What happened to the time, the year, talk about slipping away. I’m going to apologies now for the lack of structure of this entry. I have lots to say, but really don’t know where to, I’m going to ramble a bit. You don’t mind do you? Of course not....

First off...Happy Belated Valentine’s Day. I was in a funk and didn’t want to post. Having to go to the GuyNee can do that to you. All is well so far;) - Hubby did well and got me flowers and Ferraro Rocher chocolate heart...

Here is my DH with his valentine gift...don’t worry, he never smiles for the camera.

He claims that it’s scratchy but that can’t be’s made of acrylic not wool! So, I’ll just wash it through several loads of laundry to get it just right.

Yes, we got snow...and the kids love it. E lost a shoe in a deep drift and that brought many found memories of childhood back. M is not tall enough to really enjoy this much snow...she basicity eats the stuff.

Here is where I’m at with the Alpaca Lace Pullover. I love this yarn and am enjoying knitting it in everyway.

This shows the start of the neckline and before you know it’ll be done and keeping me cozy. I’ve been really busy spinning some merino wool and just love being able to do it...but alas that’s for another day. Perhaps this weekend I’ll post more about it. But, till next time folks...happy knitting and spinning too!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Out of Timeout

Getting to work was interesting...

The first snow day in years and the kids are loving it. I wish I could have a snow day:(

I'm drunk off the Tequila Sunrise and here a few pictures to satisfy your yarn p0rn.

I did these socks on two circular Addie Turbos US size 1 and in toe-up short-row heel. I was getting 8 stitches to the inch, but noticed that I was loose once I got into the main foot. I decrease a couple of stitches and loving the snug fit. No changes on the St St besides doing a K2P2 rib on the cuff for about 2 inches.

I love how each sock is coming out different and each unique, gotta love handpainted yarns.

And guess what came out of timeout? Yes, the Alpaca Lace Pullover from Interweave's Spring 2006 issue. It was hard having to frog an project so far in, but it was for the best...then, knitting became a little more important. I studied and read my knitting and have picked up the pattern without to much difficulty. I’m loving the softness of the alpaca and I’m hoping this will go super fast since I’m really only knitting the body and left sleeve.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Time for First's

First off a quick update on the Tequila Sunrise socks...

I'm at the point where I'll start some rib....Becca there almost done!!!

My DH scarf just needs the ends woven in and I'll post a picture, hopefully with him wearing it. It's funky and a quick was nice to have something mindless after dealing with the fair isle hat.

Today was an awesome day and let me tell you why...even thought it was cold and not just any cold, but bitter and need to look at beach pictures to even mental stay warm kinda cold. I ventured out to Stitches Salon in Chicago. If you haven't gone, please make a day of it or even an hour if you can. The ladies there are warm and friendly...hang up your coat and pull up a chair (and if it's crowded they have more chairs in the back to pull out). I took the train downtown and knitted on my that!! I sat down next to Joyce from a Stitch 'n Bitch group out of Logan Square - Shout Out to all you Chicago SnB's!! We got chummy and had a ball learning to spin. I brought my Kundert and some roveing I bought a while back and look what happend...

My first Handspun yarn...isn't it just the cutest thing you ever saw...

I feel like a new a I just gave birth to my first child...we'll not quite, but it's close. It was hard, then easy, then question here, got answer there and before you know first baby skein.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Wool Bullies

Oh, my gosh...this had me to attention to the "knitted" dishcloth.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Day Dreams...

I have been going through this past week in a daze. Sickness hasn't taken me out completely, just makes me weak around 3:24 in a urgent need of shuteye. The socks are quite liquored up right now and on their way to getting on my feet and off the dang needles. Hubby’s scarf is nearing it’s completion ... What do you think?

It’s pattern is all random and spontaneous. I let my mood dictate the next length of color and with the yarn running out, I’ll most likely have this done by tomorrow. I love fast projects, don’t you? I suggested to hubby that we dine out on Wednesday, but alas his thoughts of long waits and overly priced food has given me no room for argument. I think I’ll present him with the scarf early in the a.m., leave work a tad early to make some dinner at home (which is yet to be determined) and graciously exit out to my SnB you think he’ll mind? I think not. How could he if his belly is full, his neck warm and loving phrases from a valentine card in his hand.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Some Wicked Tequila

Just popping in to show my progress...I've been under the weather and HOPE I'll be okay for tomorrow's SnB night. My illness hasn't stopped my knitting progress, just slowed me down a bit with all the drinking of liquids.

Ignore the background of mess in my office...much stress always leads to stacks of papers. And you truly know it's be hellish if your stack is taller then your sight of vision.

I've also be listening to the audio book Wicked by Gregory Maguire and I'm sooooooo hooked!!!! I totally have go see this play. Maybe that will be me and hubbie's anniversary gift?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Not Like I Don't Have Anything Else To Do...

Which is why I haven't really talked much about my spinning and this is why:

Can't say it looks like yarn, although I love the colors. I'm not good, but that's not stopping me!!! Like all things worth doing, you must try and try again to do well. There are plans to go to a Spinning Demonstration in Chicago and hopefully with have tons of questions. I figured if I've playied with it long enough, I'll get all the "Don't-s" out of the way;)

The spindle I picked up is a Kundert and the store I purchased it from The Fold and a lovely time was had. Toni was the shop owner who blessed me with a test The ride is just under 2 hours and there are already plans set for a Feb 24 fiber quest with the SnB gals.

Oh, and of course I wouldn't be me if I didn't have another project in the mix...I'm sure hubby wont read the blog, and if he is...stop now! Below is my valentine gift:

A simple moss seed stitch scarf done in gray, navy blue and black...I'll spread some strips every now and again. I'll knit till I either run out of yarn or Feb 14th...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tequila Sunrise

Hit me baby! It's the only thing keeping me warm on this frigid Chicago evening. The temp is 18 degrees but with the wind chill it's closer to 8. Look at what I've been chosen to take part in...

Gosh, it's a lovey thing. Becca is creating her own brand of hand painted yarns - now before you go clicking the link to her site. Understand It's still in the development stage, but when it's up I'll let ya'll know. So, Stay Tuned. I've been given the opportunity to knit a pair of socks out of one of the colorways - Tequila Sunrise.

I've wound my yarn cake and the Picaso Bull is sniffing my prize....

and I did a test swatch...ooooh, look at how the colors just drift from one shade to another.

I'm knitting these toe-up on 2 circ's - my fav way to what I do. The only thing is that I haven't decided if I want to put any other design element on them...nothing to crazy like lace, but something subtle. Time to wander the internet and see if anything strikes me. Unless anyone has a suggestion?