Friday, July 27, 2007

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

Since I have been rummaging through my stash these past couple of weeks, last night I found the ambition to actually organize ALL of my stash and catalogue exactly what I have. I have so many project ideas running through my head and I definitely wanted to know what I could use out of my stash before heading to the store. It truly is amazing when one decides to take on this task because you find all kinds of goodies that you may have forgotten that you had bought way back when. For example, I found a couple hanks of Manos del Uruguay that I know I bought a couple of years ago for a specific project. Now, I can use it for something totally different! When I got home late this afternnon I finished up writing out what I have and now all I have to do is transfer it to my computer so I can assign the yarn to specific projects. I am very organized so having this electronic list will help me in the long run so I get through my stash. That way, once I clear out some of the stash I can have fun shopping for some new goodies!

Speaking of buying new goodies...I had placed an order through Blue Moon Fiber Arts a week or so ago for Socks That Rock yarn. Kim had given me this recommendation and after receiving my order I can not wait to knit with this yarn. The colorways are so rich looking and the yarn is soooo soft!! The picture really doesn't give this yarn justice. One thing that is great about this yarn is that you get 360 yards per skein for a great price! I had a very hard time deciding what colorways to get. I settled on starting with Mustang Sally and Lucy In the Sky. I eventually wany to get the colorway Tide Pool. I spotted it the other day while I was browsing during some downtime at work. I can see this colorway made into Monkey socks.

But the yarn purchasing didn't stop there. Yesterday after work Kim and I headed over to Seaport Yarn (Kim calls it one of her "Yarn Crack Houses"). The last time I was here I ran in & out for some circular needles. I didn't have the $$$ to purchase yarn at the time so I didn't want to drool over yarn I couldn't adopt and take home with me. However, yesterday was a different story! I felt like I was in heaven when I entered the sock yarn room. Ahhhhh, look at the Jitterbug...look at the Lorna Laces....Oooohhhhh the Cherry Tree Hill. I selected and compared, put back and reselected until I had what I needed. I was a very good girl though. I walked out of the store adopting 1 lonely sock yarn by Cherry Tree Hill. The colorway is Contemporary Garden and when I spotted it, I was feeling the Monkey bug biting me. When I expressed my desire to Kim of what to do with this yarn she confirmed that it would look very pretty as a pair of Monkeys.

I have made great progress with my second Falling In Love Sock. Between Wednesday and Thursday I was able to finish the gusset/flap heel and completed 2 pattern repeats on the cuff. This is now my third Falling In Love sock, so I feel this one is moving along nicely. I only have another 50 rounds to do and this pair will be complete. Ooooo, then here comes a Monkey.

Lastly, while organizing my stash and unfinished objects, I came across the very first sock the I ever knitted. Notice I didn't say socks. Yes, that is right. I only ever finished 1 sock. Why you may ask? Well I think it was because when I tried on the sock, it was big on my foot and I got discouraged about completing the second one. Now after looking at the sock at least 3 years later, I realize the knitting of the sock was actually well done. I even did the heel and toe in a different color. I once again tried on the sock, and while it didn't suddenly shrink when it was hibernating for the past 3 years, I didn't think it was as huge on my foot as I remembered. It definitely isn't a sock to wear in shoes, but it could possibly become a sock that I would wear around the apartment when it's chilly outside. So, I am now thinking that I may actually complete the 2nd sock after all this time. It can't remain as a lonely lost sock. Hmmmm, maybe I could find a recipient for this sock that would fill it out better than I do. We'll see.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lunch Time Knitting

Is there really a better way to spend your lunch break other than knitting?!?! I think not! Kim, my new knitting friend, and I spent our sunny day lunch break together outside my office building chatting, knitting and of course observing all the people around us. For instance, today we tried to decide if this older gentleman was wearing a toupee or not. Once we saw the back of his head the decision was a yes!
This was our second time being able to knit at lunch and of course this time I remembered to bring my camera. I really love the socks that Kim is knitting now. It's a basic pattern but the fun is seeing how the self-patterning yarn works up. It's always a surprise because you never know what you will get.

I finally started the second sock on my blue Falling In Love socks. I actually started it on the Long Island Railroad train on Sunday when I was heading out to Amityville. I met a very nice man (could have been my grandfather) who was fascinated with my knitting. He told me it was wonderful to see someone creating something with their hands. By the time I got to my stop I had almost completed the toe. Later that afternoon I picked my sock back up because I was excited to start te cable/lace pattern. I was quickly disappointed though. Somewhere in my knitting I was short 1 increase. I thought, no problemo, I back off of few rounds and fix it. Well, a couple of rounds turned out to be about eight before I realized my missing increase was in round 6. Mind you I was already on round 20 when I noticed the issue. I immediately ripped the whole sock off the needles and started over. I now think back about how this error could have occurred, ya know because we all are "error" free in our knitting, and I remember the grandpa sitting across from me. I must have lost track of what I was doing while I was mesmerizing him with my knitting. In the end I am back on track with the sock. I am currently on round 26 of 35, then I start my increase on the gussett/heel flap.

As for my Felted Sheep Tote, I have made alot of progress. Last night I finished the body of tote and began the first side pocket. I have about 6 more rows to complete on the pocket and then I will start the other end pocket. I am definitely going to have enough yarn to also knit the side pockets onto the tote too! I am really excited about this project knitting up fast. It will be ready to go in my suitcase next week.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

One Project Completed, Another One Started

Miss Ruffles is complete! I tried to finish it last night, and almost did, but around 10:30pm my eyes were telling me it was time for bed. So after I did my Saturday morning chores I was able to sit down and complete the last few rows of yarn that I had left to knit. I even didn't procrastinate about weaving in the ends!

I absolutley love this scarf! The colors are some of my favorites. When I try on the scarf it is definitely long enough to wrap around my neck a couple of times. I wasn't sure if I would be able to because I didn't use the total yardage of yarn required to complete. The pattern called for a total of 432 yards. I only had two skeins of the Moda Dea which totaled 328 yards.

While I enjoy the warm summer weather, I look forward to the fall when I can sport my new scarf. I am very excited to have one completed knitting project under my blog!

So what is next? Well I couldn't wait to start another project. While I was doing the dreaded task of laundry this morning, I started The Sheep Tote (minus the sheep). Once again I shopped in my stash store to see what yarn I could use for this project. I am using one of my favorite felting yarns - Lamb's Pride Worsted; Color M-65 Sapphire. I had exactly two skeins leftover from another tote project to knit up the small version of this tote.

My utimate goal is to finish this tote within the next two weeks. I want to take it home with me so I can felt it along with my other tote in my sis's washing machine. After only working on it for a few hours today, I have made some considerable progress. I am on round 30 of 48 then, I start the top edge of the tote. After that, I will only have the pockets and strap left to do. Hmmmm maybe I could have it done by next weekend???? We'll see. I'm off to knit knit knit.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mission Accomplished?

Last week my sister Mary Beth asked me to stop by The Yarn Co. and pick up some angora yarn for her before I came to visit in August. This is one of the yarn stores I took her to visit when see spent a week with me this past April. At the time she didn't buy anything but she did remember about the yarn. Now a project has come up for her to knit and she sent me out to get the yarn. I said sure, no problemo!

Before I headed out for my errands today I gave her a quick ring to see how much she wanted to spend on this lovely angora yarn. From my web research it could go anywhere from $10 all the way up to $45 and I know the $45 yarn was out of the question. We agreed on the dollar amount to spend on it but then all of a sudden a new shopping request came out of the blue. MB asked me to also purchase her 2 hanks of Manos del Uruguay....I pick the color! She said that when she saw the yarn she couldn't choose from all the color choices and told me to pick for her. Wow! Now I have a new mission. Pick out a yarn color that she will use to either knit slippers or a purse or a ...oh who knows what?!?! Just anything that takes 2 hanks.

So now, as I enter The Yarn Co, I keep the mission assigned to me in the forefront of my mind. I don't want to get distracted with looking at the yarn for my own projects. I keep telling myself, "I wouldn't even be in here if Mary Beth didn't need you to go. Be strong." I dutifully find the angora yarn and was left to the task of picking a color. This one was easy. Valeria di Roma in Hot pink. She's knitting baby booties for a girlfriend who is expecting. I could have picked out the basic pale pink, but when I saw the hot pink it was saying "Yes! I want to be made into little booties!"

With one task down, I then head over to the Manos yarn. Look at all the pretty pretty pretty colors. Oh which shall I choose. Since her and I have similiar tastes I figure this will be no problem. I pick a color. But then, I ask myself "Would she like the solid Manos as I have picked out or would she like one of the mutli colors?" So I put back my first pick and choose one of the multis.

Satisfied with my pick, I decide to stroll around the store looking for yarn for some of my Christmas projects. This of course leads me to adding 3 skeins of yarn to my basket for myself. I have to tell you that I did very good because I only bought for one gift right now. I could have purchsed 3 more skeins for a second gift but I decided against it because I can always go back and get it after I finish the first gift.

With my basket ready to head towards purchasing I look down at the Manos yarn I picked out. I am now thinking that mabe I should have picked out one of the other multi color yarns instead. So I mosey back over to the huge Manos table, put back the hanks I had in my hand, and began to ponder the choices again. Standing at this table for another 10 minutes I say to myself, "Now wonder she wants me to make the choice for her. She couldn't decide and now I can't decide." I finally made the deicision and picked out a hank that contained several colors that I know she likes. Manos del Uruguay #109 was the winner!!!!

So Mary Beth, I hope you approve of what I bought!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Secret Pal 11

After reading about Secret Pal 10 on Kim's blog I decided to see if there was going to be another one. I really liked the idea behind it and it seemed Kim really enjoyed it just from reading her blog entries. Her secret pal, Yvonne was awesome and gave her an incredible gift in the end. I was thinking that this was another great way to connect with other crafty knitters out in blogland and have a little fun with it too!

So Kim, tell me, was the experience as great as I think it was? Will you do it again? I really want to sign up for Secret Pal 11, but I read today that if you are a new blogger you have to have at least 10 posts on your website by July 30th. I don't think that will be a problem for me since this is now post #8. I'm looking forward to being able to join the 250 people who have already signed up.

Miss Ruffles Update!

While I was sweating in the train station this afternoon waiting patiently for my train to whisk me home, I made more progress on Miss Ruffles! By the time I got on the train and landed at home base I finished the first skein of yarn. I am now ready to work-in my second and last skein. Woo Hoo! I predict Miss Ruffles will be complete sometime next week. That means I will be able to start another new project! Right?!?!?! Miss Shameka is so kindly balling three skeins of yarn for me tonight, and yes it is even yarn from my stash for two new projects, so I will be able to start something new this weekend.

BTW, Kim (from Yarny Old Kim), Shameka and I met up for our first mini lunch time knitting group on Tuesday. While I knew I was meeting up with Kim, Shameka didn't so she wasn't prepared with her knitting project. Next time she will be though, right Shameka? Anyway, it was really cool to hang out with Kim and be able to get to know each other a little better while knitting. The next sunny day we'll have to meet up at our spot again! Hmmm, I wonder which Monkey sock Kim will be knitting?!?!?! I also forgot to bring my camera with me so next time I'll snap a pic of our little group and post a pic.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Using My Stash for Miss Ruffles

My mother has made it (actually she's made two - one for me, the other for herself). My sister Mary Beth has made it. Even my niece Tori has made it. Now it is my turn!

This scarf pattern is called Ruffles and is by Amanda Blair Brown. What is so unique about this pattern is that it utilizes short rows to get the yarn to ruffle around itself. When I first saw the scarf I was like "Whoa. Is it difficult?". Once I saw the pattern I knew it was a piece of cake. This is definitely a mindless knitting project. I have been alternating working on this with my other ongoing projects because sometimes when I'm on the train I want to knit without really thinking. Plus, I got some really strange looks the other day when I pulled out my cable needle for working on my socks. It's amazing to see other people so amazed at what you are doing.

Anyway, when I decided to start this project the other week I immediately went to my stash to see what yarn purchases were awaiting for me. Several years ago I had bought the yarn that I am using. It originally was meant to be turned into arm warmers, but it never happened. Probably because I made my arm warmers previously out of Koigu that I absolutely love.

The yarn that I am using is Moda Dea Sassy Stripes. Everyone else who has made this scarf in my family has used a solid yarn or one that is evenly heathered in two colors. But, I on the other hand had to be different and try out a self striping yarn. The yarn is heathered and sometimes you'll get just a spot of red in the pink or white and in others a nice bulk of it. I don't think I would like it as much if it were just a regular striping yarn with no "texture".

As of today I am about 35% done with Miss Ruffles!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Falling In Love Socks All Over Again

I enjoyed knitting the Falling In Love Sock so much that I immediately proceeded to start it all over again in another color. This sock was going to be a gift ('s a surprise) but unfortunately something happened in the sizing of the length. The only difference from this sock and the pink one is the yarn. Different brand, but same gauge. Even though I increased the length in the foot before I started the Gusset/Flap heel, it still didn't turn out to be length it was suppose to be. After having a discussion with my sister Mary Beth, we decided that if I had used size 2 needles instead of size 1, I would have gotten the length I wanted because of the yarn I used. So, this sock fits me perfectly! Maybe it was destined to be mine in the end anyway?!?!? (BTW, I will be knitting this sock again for the intended giftee. But Shhhhh, remember it's a surprise)

For this sock I used Knit Picks Memories 100% Merino Wool yarn in Yukon. At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like the "perfect" striping of this yarn. When I started to see the lace/cable pattern I immediately decided I did indeed like the effect. I personally love how the striping goes from vertical to horizontal up the foot on the underside through the heel. If you look at the picture really close you can see the heart pattern going up the sock. Thus the name of the sock, Falling In Love!

Now I've got to start the second sock!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Felted Tote Bag - Ready to Go

So I am wondering why the heck it took me two years to finish this bag?!?!?! I spent an hour and a half this afternoon finishing the second strap and grafting in all the yarn ends. That's all it took! I guess procrastination was my biggest problem when I left this bag unfinished. But that doesn't matter anymore because it is one step closer to being completely done and ready for use.

So MB, thanks in advance for letting me utilize your washing machine when I come home in August. You know you are the felting pro!

This is now my sixth tote bag and I feel I can knit this pattern in my sleep. I think I need to move on to another pattern now. What shall I tackle next? Hmmmm....Suggestions anyone?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Felted Tote Bag - Almost Complete!

Several Christmas' ago I decided to knit alot of my gifts. The one item I felt all the ladies in my family would love was the Felted Tote Bag by Two Old Bags. In a total of 3-4 months I ended up knitting, and felting, four of these bags (plus I knitted myself one while I was home visiting over Christmas for a total of five). Each one was unique in that I chose to use a different color and brand of yarn for each bag. I used Manos del Uruguay, Cascade 220, Lions Pride Worsted and I know there was a fourth but it is totally escaping my mind right now. Anyway, what was totally cool about doing a different yarn for each was seeing how each one felted. The winner of the best felting yarn was definitely the Lions Pride Worsted. My sister and I were amazed how easily this yarn felted in comparision to the others.

After some time had passed I set my sights upon knitting another one of these bags for a close friend as a surprise. Unfortunately my friend got ahold of the pattern and decided to knit one for herself in the colors she wanted (hers was really cool because she decided to use multiple color yarns to stripe the bag making it really unique). So I decided not give this bag to her anymore. I would do something else.

So to this day the bag is about 90% complete. I am half way through knitting the first strap. Well I am hear to tell you that this bag will be unfinished no more! There really is no excuse since it is sooooooooo close to being done. Besides, if I finish it before I go visit my sister in three weeks I can felt it in her washing machine, instead of risking it at the laundry mat (which by the way I did for the very first bag I completed) I really couldn't have my sister felt her own Christmas present, right?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Falling In Love Socks - 1st Pair!

About two years ago I decided I was going to knit my first pair of socks. I was very excited to take on this new challenge. I eagerly found a "simple" pattern, purchased my yarn and double pointed needles and sat down one afternoon to embark on this new knitting adventure. Lo' and behold, to this day I only have one sock done. While the sock was completed and looked good, it was so baggy on my foot (even despite making it fit the length of my foot properly), I became discouraged with knitting socks.

Now, I have literally "Fallen In Love" with knitting socks again. For the past few months I had been watching my knitty buddy Shameka knit these beautiful socks. What intrigued me the most was that they are knitted "toe-up". I loved the fact that you could really try on this sock as you knitted it (and in my mind, get a perfect fit). At the end of May I had confided in Shameka that I was interested in purchasing the Colinette Jitterbug yarn that she was using for her socks but in the color Fire. This is when I told her I was going to make the "Falling In Love" Socks too. She offered to go by Seaport Yarn and pick up the yarn for me. What I didn't expect was that she gave the yarn to me as a gift for my college graduation. She even surprised me with it by posting it on her knitting blog. I was so excited I couldn't wait to begin!

It only took me three weeks to complete both socks! I love them and really can't wait for the cooler weather to come so I can enjoy wearing them all the time. I've already started working on a second pair now in a different color.

So now I'm just waiting on my dear Shameka to finish her first pair!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm Up and Blogging!

After a few months of totally enjoying a very close friend's knitting blog, I was asked when I was going to start mine. This was something that I had been contemplating but didn't know when I would actually sit down and create it. Now that I have started, I am loving it. I hope to make this a place where everyone can keep up with my happenings. Particularly with my creative endeavors. I hope to post some of my knitting projects soon. I'm also a scrapbooker so this is where I'll also be posting my latest creations.