Friday, June 29, 2007

I need some help!

So, I need to order some books on Amazon for my step-dad's birthday in July. However, my subtotal is just shy of the $25 you need to get free shipping, so I figured that while I was at it, I'd buy myself a birthday present as well and pick up another knitting book.

However, I don't know what to get! Help!

I'm up for knitting just about anything, so any book with interesting patterns will do. Just to help you out, my book collection currently includes:
  1. Stitch n' Bitch
  2. Mason Dixon Knitting
  3. The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits
  4. The Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics
  5. Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns
  6. Knitting Vintage Socks
  7. Sensational Knitted Socks
Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More Charity Knitting.

(Ed. note: I swear I'm working on my camera issues.)

Here's some scarves that I knitted during my blogging vacay back in the fall & spring. They're all going back home to my church's Warm Embrace ministry. Tennessee doesn't get too cold, but something handknit goes a long way to warming the heart.

The first is Lion Brand Jiffy. I used dusty pink and alternated with the k1, p1 rows and knit rows. It makes a nice fabric, but I don't like the rolling. I originally bought it to match my cute gray wool coat that the boyfriend bought me for Christmas (yay!!), but I didn't like the color in the end. It reminds me too much of the mauve that my childhood room was draped it. Eck. I have some more of this leftover. If it doesn't become a square, then it might be knitted up into a hat. We'll see.

The second is Lion Brand Homespun. It's more of the leftovers of a baby blanket that I knit without blogging about. Oops. Since you can't see a whole lot of stitch definition, I just used garter stitch. This was my "car project" for about a month, so I needed something fast, easy & on big needles.

I've already blogged about the third scarf and my feelings about fun fur-esque yarns. It's best to move on.

The 4th & 5th scarves are made with Sensations Angel Hair. I know it's cheap acrylic, but I love knitting with that yarn. It's so freaking soft & cushy. And cheap. The pink one was inspired by the Republic Scarf, but I didn't add the button. I picked the wrong yarn for it. A button wouldn't have looked good. The second is called "Berry" and is more of an orangey color. It looks very fall-ish. I used a basket weave pattern with each box being 5 x 5 stitches.

However, I think I'm going to retire soon from acrylic yarns. They were good when I first started knitting because I had know idea what I was doing & it was best to waste less money when something wasn't really wearable in the end. But now, my finished objects are actually presentable, so I think I'm going to use up what is in my stash & start investing in better yarns. Goodbye Joann's! I'll miss you and your 40% off coupons. However, I think the hole in my heart can be filled with Threadbear.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

I was tagged.

I got tagged by Jen on a Birthday meme, but when I went to wikipedia to look for all the fun, exciting things that happened on my birthday - there were none. Although I think July 10th is a day to be celebrated - it is clearly a boring day in world history. Another interesting note - it always rains where ever I am on my birthday, even if just for a few moments. I used to find it annoying, now I just find it comforting.

So, rather than bore you with unexciting events in world history, I'll send you to a pattern that is SUPER exciting. Nicole has designed a fabulous (and free!) pattern for a pair of socks that are to die for. You must go look at them. In my opinion, they rival many of the "must knit" socks that are on everyone's lists.

Charity knitting.

During my first year in law school, I really did knit a little - but I did go on a 9 month hiatus from blogging. I don't really have an excuse. I just kinda forgot to document things.

So, today I was having one of those weird "I-can't-sit-down-I-must-clean-everything
-in-sight" moments. I happened upon all the things in my charity knitting pile, so I thought that I would take a picture of a few of them.

The top row are teen-adult hats. The black/gray one is made of Lion Brand Wool Ease. The middle is of Red Heart in Ocean (don't judge! you know you have some in your stash too!). This hat matches the second knitted thing I ever made. The last one is Yarn Bee Luscious. It's leftover yarn from this scarf.

The baby hats are on the bottom row. The first two are in Caron Simply Soft in Orchid, the 3rd in Lion Brand Homespun. (It's leftovers from a baby blanket that I knit & gifted before I took a picture!) The 4th is another Caron Simply Soft in Iris, and the last two are some unknown fuzzy baby yarn that I got on sale for $1. I love using all my little balls of leftovers to make baby hats. You don't need too much, and it always looks so super-cute at the end.

The black/gray one has a funny story. I made it for the boyfriend for his Easter basket. It was the leftovers from a scarf that I had made him last winter. He loves to wear beanies, so I thought that he might enjoy a handknit one. Of course I waited to make it until the day before. After I was finished, I tried it on and it fit me perfectly. Perfectly! It was then that I realized I'd have to make another one. The boyfriend has a HUGE head. I mean HUGE. We have the same hat that we wear to Notre Dame games - mine is in Medium, but a small & a half would probably fit better, while his is an XL & an XL and a half would probably fit. So.. I had to stay up three hours to knit him another one so that the Easter Bunny could deliver one that fit. He loved his perfectly-fitting hat in the end - and the too-small one ended up in the charity pile to keep someone's (much smaller) head warm next winter.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Big Bad Baby Blanket

I'm kinda in a finished objects drought at the moment. I've been working on my socks, and although I have one finished, I don't want to post it until I have its mate. I think it would be too easy to leave it on the needles and start another one at that point.

So, I thought I'd post a picture of something that I finished during my 9 month hiatus from blogging. I started and completed almost 90% of this blanket during Christmas break at home, and couldn't make myself complete the last 20 rows of seed stitch for the longest time. It's a great finished project, but those last rows are just murder to me for some reason.

It's the Big Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch n' Bitch. Since I started this project in my hometown, I was stuck with the selection from Wal-Mart. I used Bernet Baby Coordinates in pink. It's a really nice color although the pictures don't look that way. However, I'm mailing my camera off for repair today, so I should be back to taking decent pictures soon! The cell phone camera just don't quite do the trick.

Final Specs:
Pattern: Big Bad Baby Blanket (already purchased)
Needles: Size 9 Clover circs
Time: 1.5 weeks of real knitting, 3 months of sitting around wondering why it wouldn't knit itself
Cost: Maybe $12-15? (I'm a little unsure at this point)

Friday, June 15, 2007

One amazing afternoon.

Well, so much for trying to not buy yarn. In the past week, I've really just caved. I have zero willpower, but I do have skeins of beautiful yarn to play with.

After a great day at my internship, I decided that I would swing by Threadbear, on my way home. I've heard about this store from a zillion people, many of whom don't even live in the state! All I can say is wow. The store is huge. It's easily the size of the grocery stores in my hometown. Every yarn you could possibly imagine is there. I walked in and my jaw literally dropped. I had looked around on their website and thought it looked really cool, but nothing prepared me for what I saw on the inside. Plus, the employees and owners were absolutely amazing and truly helpful. It's a nice change of pace from what other knitters have been experiencing lately.

I wanted everything, but controlled myself enough to only buy two skeins. It's Colinette Jitterbug in Jay and Lagoon. It's gorgeous, bright colors and oh so soft.

And.. I'm going again next week.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yarn Sadness.

Destash is closing. People, why couldn't you have just followed the rules?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Baby Blanket with Racing Stripes.

I finished my diagonal baby blanket this weekend. I just have to weave in the ends and I can add one more thing to my "complete" pile.

Even with the whole issue with my yarns being different colors in the same dye lot, I still like the result. It's like my blanket has racing stripes or something. Ha! All three skeins that I used are different colors (the label lies!), but luckily the first and the third are close enough in shading that it looks like I planned the mistake.

Finished Specs:

Diagonal Baby Blanket Pattern - Free
Size 11 Circulars - already purchased
3 Skeins Lionbrand Homespun (Fuschia) - on sale for $6 total
Total Time - about 10 days of knitting during my breaks at work and between classes

Updated Summer Knitting Goals:

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jumping on the Sock Bandwagon.

I cast on for my first sock this weekend. I've seen so many gorgeous patterns online lately that I just couldn't resist. Plus, it seems like the best colorways are in sock yarns! You don't believe me? I present you evidence here and here.

For my first sock endeavor, I decided on the Beginner's Lightweight Socks. I got the pattern at my LYS this weekend, and waited 0.3 seconds between getting home and casting on for them.

I'm using Trekking XXL in blues/teal and size 2 needles. So far, so good. I'm used to using bigger needles (size 6 is usually the smallest I go), so doing this feels almost like knitting with toothpicks. I picked a darker color hoping that it might hide some of my mistakes a bit better. That has the potential of being really faulty logic, but that's a discovery for another day.

(And no! That knitting is not being photographed on the desk I use at my internship. Not at all! Because knitting while I should be working is bad. Bad, I say!)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Major frustration on the homefront.

Crap. My "use up my stash" project is not going well. I decided to make the diagonal baby blanket with some Lion Brand Homespun that I bought for $2 a skein. I wanted a simple project that I could tote around, and you don't get anymore simple that miles of garter stitch. The color is fuschia, which I like, but the freaking shades don't match, even thought they supposedly have the same dye lots! I got to the halfway spot and switched skeins when I realized the problem. Argh.

It's just a little bit of difference, but I can really see it. I'm debating finishing it up anyway and just letting it have its little idiosyncrasies, but I can't decide. Hmm..

And to think I was really excited about making a baby blanket that wasn't pastel. That's what I get for trying to be nontraditional.

Update: I decided to keep trekking. Now it looks like I have a nice stripe running down the middle.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

One week in, and I'm already out.

I just fell off the wagon. In a moment of weakness known as DeStash, I purchased yarn.

But, can you blame me - look at this stuff?! It's those gorgeous blues and browns that seem to be all over the place this summer.

I'm really going to be good for while, I promise. Well, that is until Sarah comes to town. I've already planned that week into the summer budget. But other than that - no yarn buying. I promise. Cross my heart.

Update: Just for those who want to know, this yarn is from Sunshine Yarns originally. They have an Etsy shop where you can buy the yarn. They don't have any more in the Tundra colorway like I have, but it probably doesn't hurt to request it. Sunshine Yarns looks to be a one woman show (and what a show it is!), and she had posted online a few months ago that she was planning to make some more of it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

It's a small world after all.

I love blogs. The coolest thing has happened. Laura, the amazing woman who started the Rebuilding Greensburg project left me a comment. I know, I know.. it doesn't excite others in the same way, but it made me feel special. So, I decided that I'd knit up a few blocks this afternoon. Here you go! I'm up to 16 now.

(I really have to get my camera fixed so that I'm not using my camera phone anymore.)

So, it turns out that Laura will be in Michigan later this summer to meet up with some friends, so it's likely that I'm going to be able to hand deliver all my blocks. She was also telling me about some great knitters and a yarn store in the area that I should visit. (I love that someone from KANSAS tells me about great yarn stores in the middle of Michigan!)

My friend Sarah is coming to town later this month, and I'm pretty excited to have someone to go yarn petting with. Turns out, even she's heard of this great yarn store, and she lives outside of Chicago. I better get to knitting. If I can get a lot of this stuff marked off my list, then I can actually buy some yarn! Yay!

Updated Summer Knitting Goals:

Friday, June 01, 2007

Mark one thing off the list..

I finished a scarf with horrible yarn. Horrible. But, if I were a 9 year old girl, I can see why this would make me feel like a princess. During exams, my mom sent me a care package that had all kinds of goodies, including some Bernat Disco. I've never been a big fan of those fuzzy scarves, but I don't think she sent it for me to make a present for myself, so I knit it up while watching TV tonight on plain garter stitch on size 15 needles. So, even though I hated the yarn, I get to mark something off my list, I'm down two skeins of yarn, and I'm one step closer to my goal!

Updated Summer Knitting List: