Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sifting the Stash

I hope ya'll didn't come here expecting a finished knit, cause it ain't happening! Instead of just sitting down and picking up those previously mentioned projects, something new landed on the needles.

This is quickly becoming Scoop in the Gedifra Wellness I got for a steal a few months ago. So far I love working with the yarn; it's soft and squishy. It does split easily so I had to switch to my Susan Bates which have a nice blunt tip and scoop the stitches perfectly.

I can make no promises as to when I'll return to the other sweaters. Probably when I'm bored with this one. I refuse to have more than three sweaters on the needles at a time, so eventually one of them will get finished.

I also came to the conclusion that it's a good thing no one has answered my desperate plea for coupon codes to Kpixie. See, Keri asked that her readers do a little stash flashing. I had already pulled out a few tubs in anticipation of a organization of sorts and thought why not. Lords, I scared myself! I only took two pictures and had to stop.

This is most of the sock yarn and below is most of the sweater projects.

I've also have enough for three adult sweaters hidden somewhere within the other four bins. Within those are the random single skeins, the lace yarns, the handspun and enough for quite a few kids sized sweaters. Yikes! Time to get those needles flying.

Confronted with this, I made a promise to myself that 1.) I must finish what's on the needles and 2.) start another sweater with some of the stash before I'm allowed to order anymore. Boy, this going to be hard. I really, really want to knit this:

I got the pattern last week and have been on a search for an acceptable substitute. There's no way I can spend that much on one sweater! So, in the meantime, I'll knit with what I have and watch the knitalong to see what other people have success with.

Any guess until how long I can be faithful?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Help! Please!

Does anyone know the current coupon for Kpixie? I saw one a bit ago, but forgot to write it down. Duh. I'd really appreciate it!

Monday, August 28, 2006

I'm Working On It

I've been having a hard time focusing on any of my current projects lately. I'll pick up one and knit on it for a day and then shift my attention to another for another. Although this means there is progress on each, it feels like none is being made. The three that are getting the most are the Manly Sweater (still!), Hero, and Embossed Leaves.

I think that part of the problem is that I received my fall magazines two weeks ago. I just love this issue of Interweave Knits! There is so much that I want to make: Gatsby Girl, Equinox, Swallowtail Shawl, Coral Crossing, Weekend Pullover and the Sienna Cardigan. Then there some great socks in Vogue. Of course, there aren't any appropriate yarns in my stash for any of them. Another shopping spree? No, I need to be good. I've got yarn for seven sweaters so I really need to work with some of those first.

Another thing I'm stressing about is Christmas. Yikes, it's coming up fast this year. Pretty much everyone on my list will be getting a pair of socks this year. I figure that I love making socks, but have plenty of pairs. So the next best thing is to introduce everyone to the joy of handknit socks.

As much as I love these, they will be given away.

Things are going well here. We've settled into a new routine and are taking things a day at a time. Royd has internet in his room so we can IM whenever he has time, which is really nice. He's already been given a tentative R&R date of January and that gives all of us something to look forward to.

Well, it's time to start moving and get cleaning! Have a great week!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Evolution of a Spinner

When I bought my wheel I had opted to buy the complete package that is offered with the Lendrum. This set up gave me room to grow by including a fast flyer and a bulky head. I'd used the bulky head for plying but hadn't needed to use the fast flyer for anything. I'd been able to get the yarn to the desired twist without requiring faster ratios.

Recently I became enamored with the long draw in an attempt to speed up my knitting. I found an ebay seller carrying Spinning for Softness and Speed and ordered it. Though, the technique described in the book is a little bit different than a traditional long draw, I read through it and applied some of the basic principles. One of te first things I noticed that I needed the fast flyer and may need to invest in the very fast flyer.

My first attempt. Meh.

Progressively as I spun it became easier and better. Only direction to go is towards success! Next I pulled out some merino/mohair that I had gotten a few months ago. I figured this was a good roving to continue practicing long draw since I really didn't like the colors in the roving. The picture I had bought from showed beautiful, soft muted colors, what I got where garish and loud.

Not only were the colors pissing me off, but the roving had been felted in the process. Drafting was a complete nightmare despite predrafting to the point of the roving nearly falling apart. What to do, what to do. I pulled out the hand cards that I had just received in the mail last week and got to work. I seperated the colors out and put the blue, yellow and green in pile and the purple, gold and orange in another. After a about an hour I had these fluffy, gorgeous rolags from the first color group.

The spinning? Wonderful!!! Long draw is made for carded fiber. Granted, I still need practice, but it just keeps getting better. I guess it's a good thing I have a fleece on it's way.

In the interest of full disclosure, I've been bad. Royd's last week here and first week gone I was a bit depressed about the whole thing. So, I did a little internet shopping. Let me tell ya, Paypal is evil! No reaching for your wallet to make you think for another minute about what you're doing.

there's more on the way...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

For Now

It's been pretty overcast and I can't get good pictures so this will have to do...

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cd's
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Finished Frenzy

I've got alot to show you, both knitting and spinning. For today, I'll stick to the knitting to keep it more manageable. As the title suggests, I finished a few things.

I bought the yarn for this hat last winter when Reilly wanted a new one. I kinda waited to cast on until it was way too warm and kinda tossed everything aside. Of course, the needles were snatched and then the yarn was a mess. Only thing to do was to start over. I didn't use a pattern per se, I kinda used the idea of a skull cap I had made for Royd before. I was way too lazy to go find the pattern, so the top's a bit wonky. He loves it, so that's all that matters!

Pattern: Here There Be Dragons

Yarn: Knitpicks Memories, Geranium

What can I say? Great pattern, I didn't change a thing. Oh, except I used my usual no-wrap method instead of the short rows suggested. For whatever reason, Nancy Bush's method gives me holes no matter what I do. The yarn is nice and soft and finally out of the stash. I've tried to use it several times and never liked what the yarn was doing. This pattern made great use of the pooling and broke it up. Below is a much better representation of the color. For some reason the color combination confuses the heck out of my camera!

Long time readers may recall that I went through a bit of a lace obsession last summer. (Very temporary. My lifestyle just doesn't do lace well.) Well, I've had one project that needed to blocked, I just never got around to it. I mean, why block it if it's never going to get worn? Well, I need it for tomorrow. Someone's getting married!!!

Pattern: Snowdrop Shawl

Yarn: JaggerSpun

Another great pattern. Not too challenging, but with enough interest to keep me knitting. Nevermind that the edging took foreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeever. Blocking didn't go as well as it could have. I ran out of room on the carpet and little ones were getting tired of me saying "one more minute!" I think that I need to invest in a set of blocking wires so that when I do have things to block, it goes much nicer.

My, it's huge!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

And It Begins...

Have any idea how hard it was to get a picture with all of them facing (somewhat) the camera and no one screaming? Horrible.

Well, Royd left us Sunday for another year. We said our goodbyes on Saturday night and sent him off. We did have a chance to go see him one more time on Sunday morning, but Royd asked me not to bring the kids up. He just thought it would be easier on everybody.

So far we're doing okay. Reilly understands that he's gone, but still keeps asking for him. I think it'll take awhile before he really comprehends the full depth of what's going on.

There isn't much to say except that I'm glad it's finally here and we can get it over and done with. I'll be back later this week with some knitting and spinning content!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Random Life

** We didn't get to go on vacation as planned. Here's the rundown of why. First we all got sick. Just when we were feeling better, all the boys came down with hand-foot-mouth disease. Since Marc's mouth hurt, he wasn't eating very well. I got a blocked duct that lead to mastitis. Ouch! The antibiotics I'm on killed everything and now Marc and I both have thrush. Oy. I cannot wait until I don't have administer medication.

Thankfully, we still got to see my in-laws since they headed up here instead. Plus Royd didn't have to miss out on time with his dad.

** I finished another pair of socks for a belated birthday

Yarn: Regia Strato

Pattern: top down on 64 stitches, band heel and round toe

** I started another pair for myself

Here There Be Dragons

** Thanks to some cooler weather the past few days, I've been working on the Manly Sweater again. Two sleeves down and now onto the enormous body.

** Remember Picovoli? Well, I lost about ten pounds since then and it's too big! Yay for a skinnier me. Boo for all that work.

** I've got two babies to knit for that are due in December. The great news is that they're both girls and I can finally knit something cute and pretty.

** Royd should be gone by next week. We're just waiting. It stinks.

That's it for now. Sorry about the choppy post. I've got screaming children here and can't think straight.