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Joanna [userpic]

LOTS of Knitting

May 27th, 2008 (09:43 pm)

It's been a while since I've posted. I've been busy with... well... lots and lots of knitting. I've completed TWO test knits for SWTC. They were both a lot of fun and I hope to do a third here soon.

The first was their Tofu Tee. It uses 5 balls of their TOFUtsies yarn held double stranded and multiple colors that fade in and out of one another. The pattern itself is ingenious and I'll definitely be knitting it again. The colors, however, not my fav. It was still pretty cool... and the color changes kept it interesting :) Steve Leard was kind enough to model it for me.

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Mom wants one, but in a solid color. I'll probably use the khaki colored Savoy I have and was going to use for a sweater for me, but no longer feel the desire to make. Maybe I'll overdye it when I'm done knitting it. I'm not sure if she'll like the khaki.

Anyway, the next test knit was a little felted bag. I wasn't supposed to felt it and it needed buttons sewn on but this is what it ended up looking like:

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It uses SWTC's Karaoke yarn, very similar to SWS. I'd say the Karaoke is a bit more splitty and maybe a little thinner but still a nice yarn. I really don't like making bobbles, and they didn't mail me enough beads to make the bag as written up in the pattern so I modified. That's why the beading looks a little off.

I've also been fiddling away on other crap. I finished another string bag for my friend Lisa's birthday, yet to be gifted.

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I finished a little stuffed sheep I had started from a kit I bought MONTHS ago, if not a year. It only needed the i-cord legs and face knit.

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I also started my Clapotis from that Ellyn Cooper I posted in my last entry or so. Its coming along nicely and is about halfway done, maybe a little over. I really like how the yarn is knitting up and how it feels. No pictures for now :)

Here's to hoping I'm a little more regular with my updates!

Joanna [userpic]

Dyeing and Test Knits

April 27th, 2008 (09:15 pm)

I've done quite a bit of dyeing lately. I wanted to hold off on posting pictures because I dyed some for my cousin as a gift for her getting a new job. I'm super proud of her! Anyway, I specially dyed some for her in pinks and purples, her favorites. There are a bunch of other random batches I've done too.

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This was some Paton's SWS that I overdyed for a swap package. I used RIT in Royal Blue. They actually turned out really nicely. Some of the skeins are a little more marbled than others but besides that I'm quite happy.

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These were the two gift skeins for my cousin. I used some RIT in Rose and then a combo of RIT Royal Blue and Scarlet for the little hints of purple. Paton's SWS as the base.

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This was the test skein I tested on before getting the pink ones. The red obviously came out REALLY red. I actually kind of like it, which is surprising considering I'm usually not a huge fan of red. Paton's SWS in Scarlet and Rose

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This was a skein of Manos-ish type yarn that I received from the Karma Yarn Swap group. I over dyed it using RIT Teal and Royal Blue. I'm REALLY happy with how this one turned out. The Royal Blue in the skein is really really pretty, and gem like. I can't even really explain it.

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These are a some skeins of Lion Brand Cotton Ease I over dyed. The red/white/blue ones didn't quite turn out how I liked. The red was supposed to be more of a purple. Either way I'm pretty happy with how the dye took. I sent them to an old swap partner as an extra goody after the swap had ended :) Hopefully she'll get them this week sometime. The other was snatched up this Saturday at Knotty Knitters. I have no clue who grabbed it though... haha

Last but NOT least... I dyed my Denise Needles that I received from Ayana from the KYS board. I'm loving them, too. I used Royal Blue RIT (liquid) and just soaked them for several hours, nuked them. That's about it. I didn't use vinegar and the dye seems pretty set. It hasn't come off and I've used several sizes since dyeing.

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I'm really happy with these needles. I'm considering throwing my Boye's on the KYS boards at some point but I'm still using them occasionally and the 2s are lent out along with the... 6s? Maybe. My cousin has one set as well.

Next order of business. I'm doing a test knit for SWTC. I'm really enjoying it so far. I cast on on the 25th of this month and I have roughly a month to finish, though I'd like to get through it as quickly as possible. I'm plugging right along now. The pattern is linked on Ravelry and appears to even be available for sale, which confuses me. But anyway, it's knit using 5 different colors of TOFUtsies (a sock yarn) and then the colors are gradually changed. It's knit from side to side, so the stripes are vertical. It's a really interesting way to construct a top. I've already made one VERY stupid mistake. I felt really dumb after realizing what I had done. The pattern said to knit the first and last four stitches of every row. Well. I knit the first ONE stitch, and then the last FOUR. I felt pretty dumb after I cast on for the body and then realized what I had done. I've fixed it since then, but had done a lot of knitting before realizing so I didn't go back and fix it. I don't think it'll be noticeable because its the seam under the arm. These are my colors of TOFUtsies:

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And here's a work in progress shot from a couple days ago:

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I'm a couple inches into the body now. I like the pattern so far. The only thing I don't like is... the colors. The so bold and so bright and there's so MANY of them that I couldn't see myself wearing this garment. What I DO like about it though is how the colors appear to fade in and out of one another. Also, this would be a GREAT kids knit. The yarn is SO soft, and because its a sock yarn its superwash which translates to easily cared for. These bright colors would be great on a toddler. I may even consider a BSJ out of this stuff at some point. I dunno though, it may be a little expensive. Maybe scrapes :)

Joanna [userpic]

The MOST Expensive Yarn

April 21st, 2008 (06:29 pm)

I want to post some more swaps and things before I post the yarn I've dyed. Still waiting to see someone to gift them some of the skeins I dyed before I do that entry though.

This past week I made the most expensive single skein of yarn purchase since I've been knitting. It's not even linked on Rav for whatever reason. I'm not bold enough to start the link of it myself... besides my picture is crappy. Anyway, it's Ellyn Cooper's Yarn Sonnets. The yarn is called Carrera (660 yards of 50 silk/ 50 merino) and its in the Spice Grove colorway. I was immediately drawn to it. I wanted to spoil myself some last week because I had been sick and had a (good) dentist appointment on Wednesday. Don't tell anyone I said it was good though, especially my mother. But still... it was the dentist. I should get some yarn. I had recently decided to knit myself a Clapotis. I know.... I know... everyone and their grandmother already has. The truth is I thought it was ugly. Ugly as sin, initially. It grew on me. Very slowly. I saw a girl wearing one at the Homespun Yarn Party that she had made in some fingering weight yarn and it was the perfect size, the colors looked great on her... and that's when I knew I was going to knit one. A couple other girls got the bug as well so we're kind of doing it in a group. I'm really happy with how it's turning out so far. I've done 3 of the 6 increase sets in the pattern. The colors look amazing knit up and it's incredibly soft. I know it will be quite drapey as well. No pictures of the project yet but I did take some crappy pictures of the skein.

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Oh yeah. It was 57 and some change. I got it from the wonderful Crazy for Ewe in Leonardtown, MD. I actually realized after getting it home that I already have some Ellyn Cooper to make some sock or something else with in the same color way :) Its also fingering weight, can't remember the exact type of yarn though. Its in my stash on Rav if anyone cares.

I've also gotten a couple more swap packages in, both mentioned from the last entry. My Favorite Color 3 package was pretty much the most amazing thing ever. It was filled with items from Holland, Norway, Germany, and I'm pretty sure Switzerland.

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The yarn is Wollmeise Fluffy. My friend Matt said the colorway is called Stormy Night or something along those lines. I'm REALLY looking forward to knitting it up into something really soft. It was the biggest pain in the ass in the WORLD to wind that bitch into a cake though. GOOD GOD. The yarn was so slippery, which was really surprising, that after it got to a certain point it just kinda wanted to wobble off the winder. Then I got a knot in it. I'm pretty much the least graceful person on the planet. Its all caked now though, and sitting in time out next to the ball winder. I also got some really, really amazing smelling LUSH bath product. I used the soap the other day in the shower, but not the bath bomb yet. I'm going to use it tonight (because I desperately need a bath... pretty sure I have strep again. Again because I just had it in December). Seriously looking forward to it. Its actually made my whole apartment smell amazing... just sitting on the side of the tub and sink.

I also received a swap package from the Four Seasons Spring Swap I did. I've decided I definitely won't be signing up for the other seasons but this one was fun. My partner sent me a lot of really great yarns to try.

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Some TOFUtsies, which I already have but really love the idea of. I picked out a pattern for the color SHE sent me instead of the stuff I already own :) Its a SWTC pattern. I probably won't start till summer time but I'm ready. She also sent me some Natural Silk Aran. It looks kind of tweedy, which I really like... but of course it feels like silk. Really nice stuff. Its probably going to turn into a hat for MYSELF. Last, and probably my favorite, was some Berrocco Nostalgia. Its in green, of course. But kind of a variegated green and its got a shiny strand plied in with the yarn. It'll look fantastic knit up into a scarf. A couple other fun things too... Amelia got some toys, I got a cute new mug to add to my collection. However, my creepy Abe Lincoln mug I got in Virginia last year on my road trip will probably forever remain my favorite. I also got some really pretty stitch markers. Great package.

Last little bit I'll mention, sans pictures for now, is my order from OnePlanetFiber. I don't know if the mail lady knew it was yarn? But she actually walked it up to my apartment. They never bring packages to your apartment, the USPS that is. They normally write you a little letter in the mailbox and make you come to the belly of hell to retrieve it from the College Park post office. This is why I ship pretty much everything to my parents house. But this was yarn I'm going to give to someone. I'm really happy with the packaging, the customer service, all of it. I put a button in my info, so if any of you plan on ordering anything from there or just want to go check them out use my button! They also gave me a 10% off coupon for my next order over 50$ which definitely isn't hard to do.

Now it's time for the bath and loud music... because that's how I roll.

Joanna [userpic]

Swap Till You Effin' Drop

April 13th, 2008 (04:45 pm)

I've been doing swaps lately, and I absolutely LOVE them. I've made a lot of friends through it. My first swap partner (who sent to me) talks to me regularly and I now participate in the swaps that she hosts :) I wanted to post some pictures of the stuff I've sent and received. There are two more on their way to me... and in typical Joanna fashion I've signed up for a couple more to come in the next couple of months... two of which I'm THOROUGHLY looking forward to. One is a Mystery Themed Swap, meaning your partner will come up with a theme for your package and everything inside will be based on whatever that theme is. The next one I'm excited for is with the New Project Swap group on Rav and this swap's package must contain stuff that relates to where you live. I live in Maryland and go to UMD, so I have some good ideas already. If my partner likes lighter weighted yarns... I already know what I'm going to buy. We haven't been assigned partners yet, though.

Anyway, on to goodies! First I'll post stuff from the Earth Day Swap I participated in on Rav. My partner was Cate or Knitfitt on Rav. This is probably one of the BEST swap packages I've ever received. It was filled with things I've been wanting or would really appreciate.

 



The bracelets are one of my favorite parts about the entire package. I loved the tote and can't wait to knit something up with the Balance O-Wool. I briefly considered trying to obtain more to make a top but then realized how much that would cost. Instead I'll work with what I have and go with a nice scarf for next year :) Another really cool part of the package was the fact that Cate bought me a share in a sheep from the Heifer Foundation. Such a good cause and a really interesting idea for this package. 

Next, on to the package I made. I'm going to steal the pictures that Teri took :)





That Cotsoy is deliciously soft. I bought some for myself that day too... but in green of course :) I picked out the Manos Stria because its another yarn I love, mostly because of the marbled look it has after you knit it up. This is because of the way its dyed (kettle). I also included a cut up t-shirt to make a t-shirt bath mat. I'm making one of my own now and gave her a picture of what mine looked like and some other cool ones I saw on Rav. Also... some candles, and MK hand stuff that my mother LIVES by. Last but definitely not least I baked some Oatmeal Carmelitas for her (and also the Homespun Yarn Party) and included the recipes. Delicious. 

The next package was from the Knitter's Holiday Swap group on Rav. Hosted by BumbleBeas (my first swap partner!). Its a really cool idea for a swap, unlike most others. Basically the package you make includes items you already own... so yarn from your own stash and other stuff. You can only spend up to 5 dollars on extras and that isn't even really encouraged. Anyway, both my sender and the person to receive my package was the same in this swap and it wasn't a secret swap. My partner was Sandra or Knit2Chic. She really out did herself... the box I recieved was PACKED with stuff.



Pretty much everything already has a project planned. I've really been wanting to try the LB Ruffles. I've seen some cute scarves made with it and now just need to find THE pattern for this ball. The Blizzard will likely turn into a cabled hat. The snack recipe she included sounds delicious too. Its a fruit pizza with sugar cookie dough as the crust... I'm kind of drooling now thinking about making it this week... Not pictured here is the handmade wash cloth she sent me. It was GREEN! with a shamrock on it, and is already being put to good use :)

Last but not least is a package I put together for the Four Seasons Swap on Rav. I haven't received my package yet, but that's fine as the dealine isn't till June? I think. I put mine together realitvely quick... but most of my packages get done quickly. Again stealing pictures that my partner took :)



I sent this package to Gail or KnitKNerd. I included some Paton's SWS that I overdyed with some Royal Blue Rit. It turned out great, I think. Some of the skeins were a little more marbled than others, but I really liked the look. I included them for the Hemlock Ring, and I think using the lighter skeins towards the center and gradually moving out to the more solid, darker skeins would look really cool. I loved knitting that blanket so I wanted her to give it a go with some really nice, pretty yarn :) However, none of that is springy :) A wool/soy BLANKET in the spring. Ha... so I included some Hempathy to make a cute little string bag (or whatever she wants) as well. Some chocolate and some yummy Tazo teas. BumbleBeas got me hooked on this stuff with my first swap package. I even kept the little plastic bags she sent mine in so I could used them to resend stuff in my own packages. Cadbury dark chocolate. Yum. The card was one I recieved when I bought my pencil earrings on Etsy. I think the seller was jenmaestre. Its kind of insane what that girl can do with colored pencils... And last but not least a stitch dictionary. This dictionary isn't your average knitting dictionary though. It also includes info about other cratfs like crochet, sewing, etc. which will come in handy when finishing projects :)

Another post soon with all of the yarn I've been dyeing. And trust me... there's a lot. I also dyed my set of Denise Needles. They turned out VERY cool. 



PS - I fucking MEGA LOTAHE Livejournal. I was about two sentences away from being finished this entry then LJ fucking ATE IT. GONE. FOREVER. REDO. So stupid.

Joanna [userpic]

Lots of Finished Projects

April 12th, 2008 (01:05 pm)

I should really update more often. I have a couple of entries I need/want to make and don't want to put them all in one post. I have some swap packages I want to talk about. I also have some dyeing and sweater recycling adventures to share :)

So I finished several projects lately, and just didn't post them. First is a double knit washcloth I knit over spring break. I mostly wanted to try double knitting again, because I'm awful at it. My sides look really crappy. And my purls and knits on the same row are tensioned differently.



 

It also doesn't help that the bunny looks a little sad. I couldn't get his whiskers to do what I wanted. Anyway, I really liked the cotton I used for this. It isn't even really kitchen cotton. Much softer than kitchen cotton. I still have a lot left, too. No idea what it will turn into. I think it was called Cotton 8, which is discountinued. The pattern was my own. Used gauge to make it roughly 4 by 4 inches and then used some graph paper to make up the design. I may not  be able to double knit, but I can write the patterns :)

Next is a hat I made for my friend Mandy. I made it using Kollage's Cornucopia. Really interesting yarn. I probably won't knit with it again. I don't like the way it feels once its knit up. Also, it turned my plastic needles blue... or should I say "Island Sea". What kind of colorway name is that anyway? Its kind of like a little knitted tube instead of yarn. The crappy part was that it wasn't splitty, but your needle would occasionally catch the middle of the tube. Very odd. I used the same Mary Jane's Pith Hat pattern as before.





I liked my green one better. I also should've gone up a needle size for the ribbing. A skosh too tight.

Last, but not least, another string bag made from Sugar N Creme kitchen cotton. I made it in purple. I bought different dye lots like the dumb dumb I am, not that you can really tell or that it really matters for this project. I'm pretty happy with it. Happier than with the first string bag. The yarn I used on the first one was super cool but the variations within the yarn make the bag look a little... hmm. I dunno. Ghetto. This one should hold up nicely though. 





This was made for a lady I work with. She's a purple freak. She said it'll make a great beach bag. 

Anyway... I think I'm going to spend the afternoon dyeing some more and doing whatever around the apartment. Such an exciting Saturday afternoon.

Joanna [userpic]

Lots of Yarn = New Storage Syetem

March 31st, 2008 (09:47 pm)

Lots of fibery news for you folks. I have a finished project to show you guys! I knit two bibs for my boss. It started as a blanket… which I decided wasn’t worth it. I’d have to knit two for it to be a decent gift (he had twins). I tried hats, then fucked up the decreases and ripped it out. The yarn just kind of waited till I decided what to do with it. I recently bought Mason-Dixon Knitting after seeing at least three patterns I wanted to make out of it. I also love the blog.

I used some Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in a lime green color. Its actually really soft and squishy. I have enough in a grey color to make a top at some point. The pattern is pretty simple and you can figure out how to make it yourself if you’ve been knitting longer than a week. I embroidered their first initial on the lower left hand corner (Quinlan and Connor) with some turquoise Sugar N’ Creme. I’m pretty happy with the finished project.

 

Yesterday was a TON of fun. I went to the Homespun Yarn Party. A couple of local dyers and spinners set up an event where they could all come together and sell their own products in person (instead of through Etsy or a local yarn shop).


Before going to the party I met up with four girls I had met off of Ravelry. One is the mod of the Karma Yarn Swap group, RetroGradeSonnet (Sam), SophistaKnit (Ayana – a KYS member who I first got close to when I realized she lived nearby), _____ (Eliza – also a KYS member). CorporateMonkey (Shannon – was initially friends with A and Liza). All of which were really awesome girls. I’m hoping to hang out with them again on Saturday when they go to their knit night, Knotty Knitters.


I came away with QUITE the haul. I came away with two skeins of Twilight Sock Yarn from StormMoonKnits, one skein of handspun and a hand dyed roving/drop spindle kit from Woolarina, one skein of ____ (a sock weight yarn, superwash, with 2% real silver included in the yarn… it really sparkles… may turn into a pretty wrap) from Fall Into Ewe, one skein of sock yarn from C*EYE*BER Fibers (looks like a sunset to me but the colorway is awesomely named Papa’s Motorcycle… which I *think* is a colorway the dyer designed specifically for her friend, Insubordaknit who was supposed to vend at the party but had a prior engagement). On the end is a skein of Malabrigo Lace Weight. It might be my favorite yarn purchase yesterday (we went to A Tangled Skein and grabbed some lunch before going to the party which is where I picked up the lace). That or the chunky handspun from Woolarina.



In other news… storage drawers are on sale at Target. Everyone should go buy some. Why? Because this is what your wonderful yarn closet COULD look like:



Everything is in its drawer with a small picture, basically a print screen of my Rav stash page, on the front to show me whats in where. Sooo much nicer than the giant fabric lined basket and yarn shop bags it had been chillin’ in. I tried to organize them all by type, mostly. Sometimes single balls got stuck where they’d fit or if I had no clue what I could pair them with they just got tossed in. I kept the lined basket and its now on the shelf with my books holding all the yarn that belongs with projects I’m working on or projects I hope to start soon. It’s a good system :)

And now, dudes… the yarn diet till Maryland Sheep and Wool begins… Next time expect another finished project or two and some swap package pictures :)

Joanna [userpic]

Ribbed Lace Bolero

March 24th, 2008 (01:32 am)

I have another FO! I really need to take some better pictures but that won't happen for a while, because let's face it... I'm lazy sometimes. Especially lately. The pattern was really simple, Ribbed Lace Bolero. The only part I found to be poorly written was the line where you transition from lace to the ribbing using cabling. The yarn I used was a DREAM. I used Plymouth Royal Llama Silk. It was weird... it was plied but very loosely so it may as well of been a single ply. It split really easily, but not when I was knitting with it. Very interesting stuff. It was a charcoaly color with flecks of white in it (color 1002 on the color card at yarndex).









I'm pretty happy with it. I wore it to Easter today. I got a couple compliments. I think I made it a skosh big, which is made worse by the fact that the yarn is relaxing and stretching out some. I think after a nice wash it'll tighten up a little again. At least that is my hope.

I also tried making my own stitch markers this week. They turned out pretty nice. Of course I have a shitty camera so I can't even properly photograph them. I'm hoping to get a better one for my birthday this year or something. Maybe I'll save up over the summer.



They were included in a swap package I'm putting together. Its all set to be mailed out but I'm trying to ration my moola so I've waited to send it out. I'll probably do that with the 7, yes 7, karma packages I have to send out this week.

The only other project I've really been working on this week besides the bolero is a wash cloth. Its my own pattern. I suck major ass at double knitting, so I thought I'd try it on a smaller scale to see if I could maybe fix that. Wrong-o. I still suck. My tension is weird. You knit 1 purl 1 and alternate your colors to get the reverse side. Basically... all my knits on one row will be a different tension than the purls resulting in a weird ass looking wash cloth. its still kind of cute... and someone who didn't suck could make it work.





I also should've fixed his whiskers... he looks sad. He looked freaky with them as an X though. Hmmm. Oh well. He looks MUCH cuter and more friendly now that he has his ears. I'm actually only about 5 rows away from having it all done. Maybe I'll finish that up before I go to bed.
I'm hoping to finish up the blue cotton string bag soon and I really need to work on Mandy's hat so I can start on another one or two for myself :)

Joanna [userpic]

Learning Curve

March 17th, 2008 (12:46 am)

I didn't do TOO much knitting this past week. I cast on for the Ribbed Lace Bolero using the llama silk I got a couple weekends ago. I have a feeling it's going to turn out great. I'm not too far along yet, but hope to get it finished by the end of this week. I also cast on tonight for a washcloth. I have some bubblegum pink and some white cotton. Its really, really soft. I decided the pink was a good enough easter color, so I'm going to try my hand at some double knitting again. The first time I tried it was the Uncle Argyle Scarf. I basically stopped working on that because I was slow and I wasn't  happy with how the edges look. You're supposed to t wist the yarns together at the end of the row but I'm basically slow and can't ever seem to realize if I've twisted once, or what. So I try to over compensate. Either way... edges look like shit. Still not happy with how this wash cloth is turning out but I'm going to blog along hoping the cotton shrinks up a little after a few washes making the cloth a little more dense. My tension is also way messed up. Every other right is tight then lose depending on if it was the row that side was the knit or purl side. When I do the knit side those stitches are loose. Nooo idea how to fix this besides practice. I'm about 8 seconds from giving up on double knitting all together. We'll see. The reason I'm trying the whole thing again is there is a girl named Karoline who works at The Celtic Knot. She's ridiculously good at the technique and whips out double knit projects like there's no tomorrow. It really is a simple technique. I can't stand when I can't get a knitting technique.

I've been swapping a lot lately, especially on the Karma Yarn Swap group. I think I've mentioned it some before, but basically the concept is you offer up the yarn you no longer need/want/whatever for free. You pay the shipping and send them to whoever claims them and offers up some of their own. I got EIGHT packages in the mail on Friday. Not all were Karma packages but six were. Look at the haul:



3 balls of Knit Picks Palette - 2 in ivy and 2 in a really bright green, 4 balls of Knit Picks Shine Sport in Crocus, an almost full ball of Araucania Nature Wool in green (my favorite) and the sender threw in some St. Patrick's Day green horns and a hank of some Araucania Pomaire, 3 skeins of Cotton 8 - 2 in pink and 1 in white (what I'm using on the dishcloth), 1 ball of more than 1000 yards of lace weight tencel in a ridiculously pretty colorway called "After Dark" and the sender tossed in some handmade stitch markers, 2 greenish balls of Star cotton (already got a ball a couple weekends ago to try, so I wanted to add to that first green ball).

That other stuff in the picture is roving I won from a blog give away (package number 7). Its freakin' BEAUTIFUL. I'm going to either learn to spin or take some advice and use it to make something thrummed. I've been wanting to try thrummed mittens for a while. Its getting warm out, though. Might have to wait till next season.

The last package was from the Longing for Spring Swap I participated in. My partner had received her package and I think she liked it. The package I received was AMAZING.



She gave me a mug to add to my collection, some dark chocolate, some nail polish to replace the Sally Hansen I've already basically killed, some nice smelling soap, some gardening stickers, a pattern for socks (two at once), a really cool letter/walk through of her back yard and garden, a little card, and most importantly the yarn. 6 balls of GREEN COTTON. My favorite color and fiber. On top of that... this yarn is older than I am. I thought that was really cool. That she's had this yarn for such a long time. I'm not sure if she's had it that long but she's definitely had it for quite a while. Parting with such nice stuff was a really nice gesture. She knew that green and cotton are two of my favs. I was feeling really good about knitting in general after this. All of the people I've met and all of the things I've done so far.

It really is amazing.

Annnnd now I'm done being lame.

Joanna [userpic]

Sweater and Dyeing

March 9th, 2008 (03:21 pm)

I don't  have too much to really upset on but I never did post pictures of my first real sweater. I'm using Dark Horse Yarns Fantasy. Its a really soft acrylic. I don't like many acrylics after almost two years of knitting but this one is craaazy soft. Its a salmony color and I hope it looks good when its finished. The pattern I'm using is for the Poet's Pullover. The author of the pattern commented on my project on Ravelry and let me know I could message her if I had any questions. Ravelry is such a cool thing. I'm not too far along yet, only about 4 or 5 inches of ribbing, which I am definitely going to try on soon. I think I'm going to make mine a little longer than the pattern calls for. I like my sweaters to fit over the top of my hips.



I'd like to work on it more soon but with all the other stuff going on I haven't had too much time to touch it lately. It isn't that I'm bored with it already I just really haven't had time after taking that one class and then with all the smaller things I've had going on. Soon, though.

I tried my hand at dyeing some yarn this weekend. I used a tutorial from a knitting blog I just recently started reading which can be found here. I took some pictures with the cell phone because I didn't have my digital camera with me. I may take some more soon. I just used some basic white merino wool (100%), wound it into skeins and then followed the tutorial. I'm not sure how the same technique will work on cotton but I'm going to try it soon. I have the stuff left to do so.



The middle one was some wool I picked up from the karma swap group on Ravelry. I like the yarn but it didn't suck up the dye as nicely as the other skeins.







I'm pretty happy with how they turned out for the most part. The blue and purple and the green/blue/yellow are my favorites. I already have them wound up into balls. I'm not sure what this yarn will turn into... at all.

Right now I'm focusing on a couple of really small projects, namely nipple pasties. Yeah. How do you feel about that? :) I need them done by tomorrow because they need to get mailed out. I'll try and post pictures when I can't, but not before my two partners receive them so look forward to that coming soon :)

Joanna [userpic]

String Bag and Leap Year Sales

March 1st, 2008 (11:10 pm)


These yarn shop leap year sales are killing me. Fiberworks had one on Friday and it was 29% off of EVERYTHING IN THE STORE. I woke up 'early'... like 10:30. Got to the shop around 11? 11:30. It was packed. Usually its me and the owner talking. Walking around. Whatever. There were probably 15 people shopping when I was there. It was a mess. It especially wasn't fun when I had to explain that I wanted to exchange a ball of some Bazic Wool that was left over from Amaya's baby surprise jacket (the notes I used to make the Jacket). I made it in some pink and they had a really pretty blue I wanted to pick up for a Calorimetry or something small. It's only 65 yards. Still. I didn't want the pink. Not on a red head. I just felt really awkward explaining to the people working the register, not the owner who normally does, that it was left over and I didn't have a receipt. I'm such an awkward person.

I walked away with some really nice stuff though. I picked up some yarn for my next swap partner.... to be revealed at a later date :) Also got myself some silky llama and baby llama (All about the llama. What whatttt?!). About 500 yards of the silky llama, hopefully enough for a shrug? I may end up having to go back, but I really don't want to. And I have no idea what the baby llama will end up as. Its a really pretty charcoal color. More like a dark gray with some flecks of white. It looks almost tweedy. I'm in love.



I also left with some weird textured Classic Elite Star cotton. I kind of want to make myself a circular washcloth out of it. Cotton is quickly becoming one of my favorite fibers.

Crazy for Ewe was also having a sale. Ellen sent me a message on Ravelry, even, to let me know that they had the yarn I wanted in stock (after posting to the Crazy for Ewe group on Rav) and that if I printed her message and gave it to one of of the people working I could receive the 15% off on that yarn as well. Very cool. She also recognized me from the site.... probably because I have the best Ravatar EVER.

Anyway, at Crazy for Ewe I picked up some amazing cotton. Blue Sky Alpaca, which I had heard about all over the place lately but hadn't ever seen (or touched) I didn't even know what brand it was till I wound it at home later. It was so soft in the shop that I had to have it. I also got some Malabrigo which I've never bought before. You think I would have as it's pretty popular in the knitting community.... and now I know why. I haven't worked with it yet but it feel amazing... and the color ALMOST turns me on. Several other colors look edible (if that makes sense). They're GORGOUS. I don't think I could ever bring myself to felt that stuff. Its too amazing for words and definitely a new favorite.






Its closer to the darker color towards the bottom right of the picture. I was drawn to BOTH these yarns as soon as I walked in the shop. The Blue Sky dyed cotton is what you see as soon as you walk in the door on the cube shelves right there in front of you.

I promised pictures of a string bag, so pictures you shall receive.





It was a really quick knit (obviously). You can see when the yarn was still in ball form a couple of posts ago. I loved the yarn... mostly because it was so unique and I'm the only person on Ravelry who has it stashed and has used it in a project (although I know for a fact that my swap partner who sent it to me also owns some). I also love hearing about yarn made from cool, new, renewable fibers lately. Corn, milk? (seriously) and the nettle plant too. It was a little rough on the hands, especially when the project was in its infancy.



Those are size 4's. I'm also really awkward on DPNs, not that I mind them. They're what I use for my small diameter knitting. The yarn also spun back on itself, like it wanted to become plied. This was a REAL pain in the ass. It caused the yarn to break once and I was always untwisting and holding the project by the working yarn to let it untwist (which led to dropped stitches on two occasions). After switching to the 10.5 circulars it got much easier but I still kind of suck and messed up the second row of the turkish stitch. You can't tell. I also didn't use the fancy mcfancy pants cast on. I just did my regular ol' long tail and then divided evenly. The cast on called for is Emily Ocker's circular cast on. It was also said to work well when I made my Hemlock Ring, but I also ignored it on that pattern and everything worked out for me.

I'm hoping to get that lacy scarf I showed off last post done very soon so I can post an entry about it. I've decided who it's going to and it needs to be done by Mother's Day for a very important woman in my life who isn't my mother. My mom already has more of my hand knits than anyone else, including myself. Looks like I'll also get to do some baby knitting soon for some very close friends. Excited!

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