Tuesday, December 28, 2010

365 Project

On the train the other day, my friend A mentioned seeing a cool photo challenge called 365 Project. I've heard about this before, but felt that this was the right time for me to participate. The idea is that you take a picture every day for a year to catalog your life. I've decided to start on the first of the year and I hope this will give me the boost to use my camera more. Learn more. Shoot more. Let go and enjoy more.

Starting this project will also give me some blogging content... well, at least more frequent posts. It's funny how it took all of perhaps 5 seconds to be completely in love with the idea of taking a photo EVERY day, but I'm still challenged with how to date and title the pictures.

For example:




Day 1: 365: 010111

Day 1: 365: Jan 1, 2011

Day 1 - Title Name: 365

Day 1:365 - Title Name

I've got so many options that it leaves me wondering what would be the best one? the right one? This shouldn't be a hard decision, but what if I pick one and come around to the 200th photo I despise it.

So far the last one is my favorite... lets see... if I were to flash forward to Day 204... it would look like this:

Day 204:365 - Flower

Or maybe...

Day 204/365: Flower

Am I going crazy about this or what? Don't even get me started on the list of themes I should be coming up with. sigh.

All in all I'm kinda excited. Me and my camera each day... and guess where I'll be going on the first day of my 365 project?? The Annual New Years Day Fold Sale... what a way to start the new year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finished Projects of 2010


1. Snicket, 2. Geoffrey, 3. Am-Kamin, 4. Beaumont, 5. Cedar Leaf, 6. Ireland Hills, 7. Every Way Wrap, 8. Kauni/a>, 9. French Press Slippers, 10. Coraline, 11. Feather Weight, 12. Ravelympics 2010

Here is a sample mosaic of the my finished knits from 2010. Looking at these totally brings me back. Unfortunately this doesn't show all the work I did on unfinished objects, like the on going Faery Ring jacket or the newest Laminaria which is blocking.

I guess having a fresh finished object to ring in the year makes starting the year kinda sweet.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It must be a sign.

I've been chugging along on my Laminaria. Just in love.

I'm almost finished with the first edge chart and things look fine. Then I notice a significant mistake and rip out about 4 rows back to the life-line. No problem that is what they are there for.


Why is it that while I'm working that row that is on the lifeline I see a stitch start to ladder down. What the hell! Some how the stitch stayed in place while I ripped out to the life-line but got loose moments before I got there to re-knit.

It's a sign that I need to make slippers for Miss Mac for Christmas.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Adventures

The holidays haven't fully begun in our house until the trip to see Santa. This was a little stressful for Miss Mac, as she wasn't sure what to say to Santa.

This leads me to the big question. When do I break the news about the Jolly O'Fella? With Eric it was during the summer he turned 8. He didn't seem to broken up about it, but I know with her it's going to be a big deal. She has been talking about him everyday and has plans of sleeping on the couch in hopes of catching a glimpse.



I even asked Eric about how he took the news and he's response was.. "I had my suspicions. BUT, wait a little bit to tell Mackenzie. She wont take it well."


The spirit of Santa goes on for another year then...


We have a artificial tree that we assemble every year, but this time my husband talked me into buying a real tree. So, with family in tow we headed to a local roadside seller.


Tied and strapped we headed home.


Shortly after having put up and trim the tree... It fell over. Don't you love the fact that Eric is laying on the floor eating popcorn while watching TV. Nice. I told him we should do some action shots of him being attached by the tree. With a slight shake of the head, no. Not going to happen Mom.


Mac was a little concerned... I told her we'll be shooting the Holiday Pictures with the tree on the couch. She didn't like that idea one bit.


With all the ornaments and lights taken off, Eric then became a Treehugger. Hahaha.


Everything back on the tree again...


Finally all ready for the family holiday photo... maybe;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FO: Hills of Ireland


Pattern: Bermuda Scarf by Ilga Leja

Yarn: 1 skeins Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in the EK colorway

Needles: US 5 circular needle

Started: October 29, 2010

Finished: November 27, 2010


The only modification I made with the pattern was using a smaller needle. I love my signature needle and figured that I could get away with using it for a scarf. It has left my scarf on bit on the smaller side.


I was a little on the fence about whether or not to purchase another skein and just add more to this scarf, but I've reached that point where I'm done and moving on to something else.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Intro to Laminaria

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. I was on vacation for the whole week and I have to say it's the best time to do it. Gets you in gear to handle the remainder of the year and the long bout of cold months to come.

The family was in town for a quick visit and it was perfect, yet not long enough. Is it ever? Then the cooking began and much was consumed. It was then on Friday... the infamous Black Friday where I had no obligations, no commitments and enjoyed a lazy day of knitting in my pajamas. sigh.

It was on that day that I ripped the Citron out and cast on for Laminaria. I was hooked. Even more because I'm using my Signature needles which work this lace like nobodies business!


The pattern is fun and kinda addicting. Lace is really a big ball of bla while your knitting it, but if you stretch it out a bit you can see those cool star shapes.


I'm all kinds of excited about this.

In other knitting news I bound off for the Hills of Ireland and I think I need more yarn. I'm going to block the heck out of it and see where to go from there.

Monday, November 15, 2010

FO: Every Way Wrap


Pattern: Every Way Wrap by Okmin Park

Yarn: 7 skeins Aussi Worsted - Oasis Yarn

Needles: US 7 circular needle

Started: January 10, 2010

Finished: September 14, 2010


The day I finished this was very memorable. It was my birthday and my refrigerator had just died. I spent hours trying to save what little food I had and threw away tons of condiments that no one person should conceivably have on hand. At least the day ended on a bright note with this beautiful wrap.


I did modify this a little as my gauge was a little off. The pattern is adjustable in that way to accommodate chest differences, so it wasn't really a stretch.

I did notice that about half way through the wrap I hadn't done the little 2-stitch cable twist on the outside border. I then figured if I hadn't noticed in all this time, it really didn't matter in the end.

There was a bit of a lag with on getting this project posted... really it was me trying to find the right shawl pin. It's not easy finding the right one. Do I go for metal, wood, bone. sigh. In the end the best value and design was a rosewood pin from Pattern Works. Hey... and you know what? I can use this as a sword in a pinch;)


Monday, November 08, 2010

A Love Letter from Miss Mac

Sunday night I was sitting on the couch and Miss Mac was writing words in a spiraled notebook. She has always liked to draw, but now she likes to write things to go with her pictures. I starting thinking of all those cute back and forth letters we would write as kids, so I asked her if she was writing me a love letter.

She giggled and I told her to bring me the notebook. I then started with one sentence and let her read it on her own. Without skipping a beat she started writing right under mine. Yet mid way she stopped and erased it. Then began again. After a bit of time, she handed it back and to my surprise she at first was going to copy the sentence I wrote then decided to create a dialog instead.

Here is how it went:


She has trouble with some of the words, but that didn't stop her from wanting to conversation to keep going. At one point she wanted to spell horse, but didn't know how. In a hushed whisper she asked me "I want to spell a word, but I don't want you to read it yet." That just about killed me.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Heading to the Rolling Hills of Ireland

The pattern might be called Bermuda Scarf, but I'm dubbing this project the Rolling Hills of Ireland.

The night that I cast-on for the Kauni Shawl at Stitches Midwest, I knew I had to go back to that booth and pick out another colorway. This one in particular caught my eye. Those greens.. oh yeah baby, talk about sensory overload.


The scarf is designed in such a way that you sway back and forth with short rows and eyelets to create this wave effect.

FO: Kauni Magic Shawl


Pattern: Oakland Shawl by Sally Brandl

Yarn: 2 skeins Kauni (EP & EZ colorways)

Needles: US 5 circular needle

Started: August 20, 2010

Finished: October 13, 2010

I was enchanted when I spotted this shawl at Stitches Midwest this past August. I bought the yarn right there and headed over to the Signature booth to buy a circular needle. I was determined to cast-on that night!


The pattern is very easy but the main attraction for this project is the yarn. The colors fade from one to the other in this slow cycle that it leaves you wondering how the next set of colors will play off of each other.


The yarn is rustic, rich with color and just pure magic.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Loss for Words

Do you realize how hard it is to be a knitwear designer and a blogger at the same time? It seems for me it's nearly impossible. I think, Oh I want to talk about... no can't talk about that one. Hummmm, how about, nope. Not that one either. sigh.

I want to blog and I'm trying to come up with a plan to keep up with it while venture out and design too.

My latest non-designing project is the Citron. Since I've finished two other projects. Don't start. I plan to blog those very soon. I hope. I've picked up the Citron and started away and then realized that I don't remember which repeat I was on and I think I made a critical mistake. Some how I ended up with 25 more stitches then what the pattern claims I should have.

You see this is where I say to my self. Hey Self, you have a mistake, you know you do. Are you going to rip back to the life line and start again?

But the big question isn't if I should rip back, it's more Do you even what to knit this damn thing anyway. To be honest, I'm a bit bored with it. Plus, my urges these days are leaning towards warm woollies verses lacy-airy-don't-help-keep-you-warm things.


So fellow reader, do I rip back to life line and mark the pattern so I remember where to jump start when I do want to knit this thing, or rip it all together and plan to use the yarn a more intricate pattern?


In other news, Miss Mac has successfully picked a pumpkin and looking forward to this weekends activities where she plans to go trick-or-treating as Queen Victoria.

Our home has also changed in dynamics recently with my Father-In-Law living with us. His medical issues have been of such that he needs to be near someone at all times and our house fits best for him. Family takes care of family and we wouldn't have it any other way, but to say this puts a bit of stress onto our daily lives is an understatement. Thank goodness I have my knitting;)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The new word for Magic is Kauni

When I said I was going to use all the Kauni I could to get the wrap done. I wasn't kidding.


This is all that is left of the two 150g balls of Kauni. I was seriously cutting it close with the bind off. phew.


Kauni is just pure magic. I've tossed the wrap into a lovely lavender soak and it's blocking away on the guest bed. It is much larger after blocking. So much so that it could easily be considered lab blanket size. I. Love. It.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's Finally Fall

This weather makes me want to knit sweaters, hats, scarfs in preparation of the winter that is approaching.

Fall is my favorite time of year. The morning air is crisp and the leaves crunch under your feet. The smell of burning wood just sweeps those childhood memories back and it puts a smile on my face.

It is officially fall, but the last two days it's be unseasonable HOT. It irritates me to think I'm getting jipped out of my fall weather. It's not suppose to be 88 degrees outside!! It's suppose to be 72. I want my 72 G** Damn it!!


The Kauni Magic Shawl is growing at a tremendous rate. One row takes approximately 40 min and I like to think of my self as a fast knitter, yet this shawl is super slow right now.

My Every Way Wrap is done and blocked. I need buttons and a shawl pin to wear it like I want. It's been a great item to toss over my shoulders when taking Miss Mac to the bus stop in the mornings. I am now on the hunt and I think getting one of these shawl sticks just might do the trick.

Is your knitting mojo picking up because of the cooler weather? Do you have any projects in mind?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Is The Doctor In?

For some time now I've been having an itch. NO! Not the kind you need ointment for or even the one that requires you to put on that ridiculous open ended gown. There really is no flattering way to wear it, is there.

Anywhoooo, getting off track. I'm talking about that little tickle that calls on you. I've been feeling the spinning itch. I haven't spun in over a year and it's quite sad really. I love it.

Why did you stop?, you ask. Well it's kind of a lame reason. I don't have a proper chair. I know your all What?? but my issue was with the long bouts of time spent in one position at the wheel. The couch was too soft with no support. Dinning room chair was too hard which dug into my thigh after an hour of sitting. I ultimately stopped spinning because I just couldn't get enough done and be comfortable doing it. Kinda defeats the purpose of that zen like zone you go into when spinning.

Over the holiday weekend I couldn't take it any longer. I pulled out my Lendrum and dusted him off. Once I had all my supplies needed I then thought the easiest chair to move into the living room would be the computer chair. The casters make moving it easy enough and then I thought, Hey the seat is adjustable. I raised it up as high as it would go and would you believe I spun practically all weekend long.

This was my first attempts. Of what I'm not sure. I was just happy to be back at the wheel again. It turned out to be more fingering to DK weight which results in a thick and thin feel.

I then wanted to test myself on trying a thicker weight yarn. I was trying to correct the consistency and not have a thick and thin, but didn't feel my grove until I was practically done with last of my single.

For now this method of taking small amounts to get comfortable with the techniques and methods is helping. Ultimately I'd love to spin up enough for a sweater, but I still need more practice at the wheel before I head down that road.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Testing Fate

The past two times that I blogged an update on the Every Way Wrap, I noticed a mistake. I would proudly take pictures and be amazed that it's coming along so quickly. Then while I review my posts I notice a wrongly crossed cable. Not far down really, just 4-6 rows, but enough to set me back 2 days.

I had these thoughts that I wasn't going to blog about this damn thing until I was done. I'm cursed. Or at least the wrap is cursed. Well, this is no way to blog a knitting life, so I'm living on the edge and testing fate.


The wrap has grown some since my last update... 20 inches to be exact. I've checked and rechecked my cables and things seem to be okay.

Do you want to see it all stretched out...


There you go. That's 47 inches of Every Way Wrap goody-ness. It has reached the annoying stage where it's bulky and a bit cumbersome. It wont be too long now. The full length will be 59 inches and 7 inches of that will be ribbing. I'm hoping to get more completed this holiday weekend. My Labor Day will be a Labor of Love. Cookie and Kisses!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FO: French Press Felted Slippers


Pattern: French Press Felted Slippers by Melynda Bernardi

Yarn: 2 skein Cascade 220 Wool in Lime Green

Needles: US 15 circular needle

Started: August 13, 2010

Finished: August 15, 2010

This project was on and off the needles so fast I didn't have time to do any work-in-progress posts. I started the project out of hopes to have something to wear to the Friday Night Pajama Party at Stitches Midwest. The PJ's you see in the photo are my newly acquired awesome Peace Frog pajamas that I got special just for the occasion. I didn't win a prize for wacky pj's but that's okay;)

While in the market on Friday I also lucked out and found the perfect buttons to go with the slippers, phew!


Overall I loved the quickness of the pattern and it was easy to follow. I did however run into a few hiccups that would make me do adjustments for future pairs.

I would go up a size on my next pair. On average I wear a 7.5 - 8 shoe, so I figured going with the 7-8 pattern size would work. Yet, when I started the felting process the wool wasn't reacting like I hoped. The overall fabric was still showing the lines from the rows and the seam was not coming together. I think if I doubled yarn for seaming that would take care of that issue. Ultimately I ended up reinforcing the seam edge for stability.

During the felting I kept putting it in for longer and longer hoping it would fix its self and the lines would go away… but I had to stop because they were becoming way to small.

Also the top flap should have different sizes instead of being one size for all slippers. The finished piece was a bit small or perhaps I have wide feet?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Falling Down at the Kauni Booth

We arrived at Stitches Midwest early Friday morning and were able to get checked-in first thing. We then made our way down to the market for which I had no plans besides buying buttons for a particular project. Discovering that the Ruhama's booth had Kauni yarn was just magical.

Yeah, it's crunchy yarn, but I kinda dig it. It's rustic and the colors, OH-MY-GOD, the colors!! So when I saw the Oakland Shawl hanging as a display I knew that I had Fallen and fallen hard.


The one that smacked me silly was the golden brown orange yummy one. I was then hitting a brick wall. What other color to mix it with. That is when a lovey lady attending the booth came over and helped me. She showed me this trick to seeing visually if the colors would give me the look I wanted. They have sample swatches that show off the full spectrum of colors. It's a little hard to see all the depth these balls have. You take the sample strip and start twisting it with another sample. Before long your seeing the magic happen. The colors blend and pop and BAM. You've then picked your next color and are heading to the check out.


I was so excited to get going on this project that when I made my way by the Signature booth it sealed the deal. I cast-on that afternoon and was happy to bring something pretty easy to the Pajama Party that night in the hotel lobby.

Side note: Vodka Fresca's in pineapple and coconut drinking glasses is killer fun!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stitches 2010

Where do I even begin?

I suppose showing you the loot might give you some insight.


It doesn't look like much, but I didn't intend on buy much this weekend. It was more about being in the moment verses seeing my wallet burst into flames.

What you see (starting in the top middle) with the Knit Happy mug and Shepherds Wool from the Knitting Today booth. I picked up the travelers mug last year and wanted to add to my collection. The Shepherds wool will be for the Thermis neck-warmer pattern.

Next in the pile is the KnitWhits Mini Yarn Skeins, Opal mini Harry Potter skeins from the Sit 'n Knit booth and a hand full of Holiday Yarns bits. These are all going towards my leftover yarn blanket. It was fun finding all these little bits through out the market.

The remaining items are where I fell down hard, but I liked it. The Ruhama's booth was carrying Kauni, which is a very unique yarn that produces amazing color. You might have seen this sweater done by the Yarn Harlot. Stunning really. Well, I fell in love with the Oakland Shawl pattern you see in the middle of the photo buried under the goodies. I wanted to cast-on so bad that I bought a Signature circular needle to start my project right there!! Oh those needles are so awesome.

So? How many more days until Stitches 2011??

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just Keep Knitting...


The Every Way Wrap is still going... and going...


The wrap has reached 27 inches in length so far and only 32 more inches to go. What's even more exciting is that I've knit 10 inches since my last post. Not bad. So if I continue at this pace I'll be done in about 3 and a half weeks.


This spider (whom I've dubbed Harry) has been hanging out my window for the past week. Some moments in time when I'm feeling a bit silly, I picture him attacking the buildings. Chicago better watch out, because Harry is not just your average spider;)

Oh, yeah... I can't forget to also mention that this time next week I'll be kickin' it at Stitches Midwest. Time to printout the project list, find my lanyard because it's about that time!!

Monday, August 09, 2010

FO: Coraline


Pattern: Coraline by Ysolda

Yarn: 7.5 skein Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool

Needles: US 5 circular needle

Started: June 1, 2010

Finished: August 6, 2010


Adjustments: The pattern calls for knitting the length to a certain numbers of rows. I found that my row gauge was quite different then what is called for in the pattern. I added 40 rows to accommodate the difference. Very happy with the results.


I had intended on having 5 buttons, but when I found these they really looked better with just 3. It would have been to overcrowded if I put them all on. The process of making button loops using embroidery floss was a new technique for me.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Do You Think I Like Green?

I don't know what comes over me, but every time I see this color I just about loose all sanity.


Lime Green has my number and Citron is the pattern. I couldn't resist the 1000 yards of Cashmere Lace that I picked up at Midwest Fiber & Folk a few weeks ago.

That brown yarn you see is a life-line... even in this simple pattern I'm not taking any chances. If your wondering how I got the pattern to print that way... well my darlings, I design the pages for myself. I don't like how the pages printout from the browser, so I download all the critical information and design a printout. Funny how the pattern project is also in green.


I've also pulled out the Every Way Wrap from my knitting basket. I don't recall why I stopped working on this, but seeing a sample at the Fiber Festival made me remember. It was quite funny looking at the sample hanging in one of the booths going, "Wow, this pattern is cool! I wonder if they have... oh-hells-no!" doh! So out of the basket it comes and into my knitting bag. At least it's not lime green... other wise I think people might talk about me. Yet, maybe they already are?;)

I had a brief conversation with a gentlemen as we were waiting for the train to pull into the station. He made a comment about my Knifty Red bag... "Knifty Red, huh.. shouldn't the bag be red." I'm thinking to myself, no, not really. I then commented that the bag doesn't need to be red as I'm red enough. He gave me a strange look. I wonder why? hahahaha!

Count down begins... 14 days until Stitches! Woot!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Another Gift for the Tooth Fairy

Miss Mac has lost another tooth. When I told her that she'll need to put the tooth under her pillow, she then tells me "I want a donut." I told her we don't have any donuts in the house. She said "No, the tooth fairy will bring me one." I just about died.