Wednesday, December 06, 2006

For lack of a better title. . . Post #70!!!

Yes, it's true! I haven't posted in almost a month because I'm a bad, bad blogger. But, good news -- I'm getting close to my 100th post! Super exciting. Sort of. Okay, not really at all. Work with me here!

I've been crafting up a storm in anticipation of the pending holiday doom, and am proud to say that I *think* I might actually have all of my gifts finished in time for giving. No Hanukkah sweaters in April this year! The worst part of it is that I can't post most of what I'm working on, as the intended recipients are probably reading!

First, gifts for me. . . Textured Knits and Vintage Knits, both filled with WIMs for next year. All for me, me, me! Of the two, Vintage Knits is by far my favorite. The designs are beautiful, and of the 30 included I would actually make 27. Not bad, not bad! I'm especially excited about all of the bobbles and girly, flowery sweaters. Textured Knits is also very good, but the patterns aren't quite as inviting. The one pictured on the cover is one of the best. What it really has going for it is that I can imagine all of the knits in multiple yarns, and it'll be a great book for de-stashing a little.

Hannah's gifts are also finished (yes, you're getting something besides money this year!), and include a groovy hat with matching mittens, all striped using the jogless jog method. It keeps the rounds nicely lined up, but does create an oh-so-slightlynoticeable diagonal impression. You can see what I mean in the hat, but the mittens are clean side up. Now, lest you demand to know why I'm revealing these gifts so far in advance, it's because she already knows they're coming (okay, the hat was a surprise. SURPRISE!)The mittens were requested many months ago, and are finally finished and ready for wearing. The Necessary Details are as follows:
Pattern: Easy Striped Mittens Flier from Knit Simple
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Pear and Celery Heathers
Needles: Sizes 5 and 6 double points
Time: Each mitten took a day, the hat two days. Plus frogging! Gotta make those stripes perfect!

My entrelac scarf is also finally finished, received by Jessica, and post-able in all of its glory! I really loved working on it, and am really pleased with how it turned out. I decided to go ahead and block the scarf so that it would lie a little flatter and look wider, and it did just what I'd hoped for. Admire it here! Just to review, I totally stole the idea from the ever talented AJ. The pattern is Knitty's Danica, and the yarn Patons Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Earth. It didn't take more than about 2 weeks of working on it between other projects, and the pattern was incredibly easy to remember. If you've been contemplating entrelac, just try it! Jen's mom did!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Great AZ Tour. . . aka Blogifying Dad!

This has been one busy week! It began on Friday the 10th, when Jen and I took a day trip (read: ALL DAY trip) to Sedona for photos and fibers. We had a great time, despite the insane traffic. Check it out:
Big, cool-looking rocks. . .
in what's considered to be a "Big Park." Insightful, no?

We had a great time hiking around and enjoying a little picnic we'd packed. . . but the real fun began when we hit Knit 1 Bead 2, an awesome little shop in Jerome. The yarns are organized by color, which makes for an overwhelming (in the best way!) shopping experience! I did a little damage to the checkbook with 2 skeins of Koigu, 1 skein of Cascade 220, and the newest issue of Interweave.

Dad came into town on Sunday, and Monday afternoon we were off on another trek -- this time out to Prescott, home to dozens of antique shops and the historic Palace Saloon. Doc Holiday and the Earp brothers used to eat, drink, and play cards there -- so we thought we'd eat there, too. Awesome burgers and rootbeer! The scenery was gorgeous, but keep an eye out for those killer snakes and bugs!



Project updates will follow shortly!

Monday, November 06, 2006

WIP Week!


Firt thing's first. . . I finally finished Hannah's Shedir hat, a WIP for the last few months. I just could not get motivated to finish this project! The cables were time consuming and fickly, and I'm still not happy with the way my stitches look. Hopefully a little pinning and steaming will do the trick! It should be on its way to Potsdam shortly.


I've also been working away at the Danica scarf in between calls at work. Paton's SWS yarn is absolutely perfect for this! The colors divide into blocks beautifully, and everyone seems to really like it. I want it to be a bit flatter, so it'll probably end up under the steam, too. Lots and lots of finishing to do. . . and Chanukkah is only five weeks away!


This little puppy is soon to be ripped out, but I promised Jen that I'd take a photo of him first. He is my first official fair isle experience, so it's only right to document him -- in all his imperfection! Being the overly-worrisome knitter that I am, I pulled waaaay too tightly on the first few rows and puckered the fabric. I also completely forgot to make the armholes! This is supposed to be a dog sweater!


Happy thoughts, happy thoughts. . . Jen brought back mucho yarn from home! Thanks, Jen! I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ooh, cool!


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
72
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Yes, I am that crazy!

In keeping with my recent cable fetish, I made Daisy a sweater. Why would she need a sweater in Arizona, you ask? Because my dog shivers when the temperature drops below 70. Seriously. Oh, and because she's really, really cute in it!
The Necessary Details:
Pattern: Knit Simple Fall 2006, "Fit for a King(Charles Spaniel)"
Yarn: Red Heart in Burgundy, 1 skein
Needles: Sz. 8 straights and dpns
Time: Umm. . . 10 days?
Modifications: Many! This sweater is about 50% larger than the one in the pattern. Daisy only weighs 23 pounds, but she's built like a horse! I cast on 74 sts and then fudged from there, adding about two inches to the overall length and width.

Can I just say that I love KnitSimple? The patterns are very well written, and the mailing time is great -- I was able to finish two full patterns before the winter issue arrived yesterday! In other news, I'm checking out new blogs (love AJ's!) and picking up new techniques and yarns. I'm shamelessly copying her gorgeous entrelac scarf, as it would be a PERFECT gift for at least two people on my list this year!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Published!

Hooray, my copy of the 2007 Crochet-Pattern-a-Day Calendar has arrived! My City Girl Cap is featured from January 2-4! Thank you, Annie! It looks great! Check it out below:

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Birthday Bashes and Needle Cases. . .

So it doesn't quite rhyme. . . but they are related! This month is full of birthdays, namely Jen's, John's, and John's! In honor of Jen's quarter-century celebration, I whipped up my second knitting needle case ever. Admire it here!
All rolled up. . .

Beginning to open up. . .

Security flap to keep everything in place. . .

Ultimate Knitting Needle Case!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Holiday knitting continued

I recently began working on Abby's christmas sweater, done in green just like her brother's. The yarn is Plymouth's Royal Bamboo, a gift from Jen. It's super smooth and has a pretty sheen, but will probably need to be blocked quite a bit before piecing everything together -- note the roly-poly edges! The pattern is from Rowan Babies, the Daydream sweater (model in pink). The book is full of lots of cute patterns, and the directions are really simple! Of course, my copy is from the library. . . but I've seriously considered buying it! So many patterns, so little time.

I've been organizing my knitting books and magazines lately, and came across last year's holiday issue of Vogue Knitting. The issue featured the winners of a scarf designing competition in support of breast cancer research, sans patterns. How frustrating! I'm trying to chart out my favorite ones, but it's a little slow-going thanks to the artsy, completely un-helpful photography. Has anyone else tried making a scarf inspired by these? If so, I can't find you on google!!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Squares, squares, squares


This year's square swap has seemed neverending. . . yet it's almost over! I finally sent out September and October this past Friday, to Paula and Robin from Crochetville. Enjoy, ladies!

In other news, I'm moving along on John's afghan (this is neighbor John, not fiance John. . . there are too many Johns in my life!) and should have it done by the holidays. John-Michael's (see what I mean? Another John!) afghan is also progressing, but a bit more slowly as it's too big to cart around with me. So many gifts to finish, so little time!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Holiday Projects!

The first of many is finally finished. . . completely, totally, utterly finished! No more ends to weave in, no blocking to be done! What is it, you ask? A sweater for Nathan, Johnny's 4 year old nephew! I started working on it a little less than a month ago, right after receiving the fall issue of KnitSimple (Vogue's version of Knitting for Dummies, I guess you could call it!) I'm proud to say that I actually managed to complete a project from it before the next issue arrived -- I'm still waiting on that next issue, in fact! How often does that happen?! I think I might press my luck and try to knit a sweater for Daisy from it, too. Is that asking too much? (image is clickable!)

The Necessary Details:
Pattern: Vogue KnitSimple Fall 2006, "Boy's Sweater" Size 6
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, Green #45, 2 1/4 skeins
Needles: Sz 8 and Sz 9 16" circs, cable needle
Time: 4 weeks, working on and off

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mail Call!

John and I received the most wonderful surprise in the mail today -- our first official wedding present! Sue and Julie (my two favorite Crochetvillers) got together to make us an afghan in our wedding colors. It arrived wrapped in really pretty dove paper, with a cute "Just Married" card.

Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness! We absolutely love it!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Socks, Blankets, and More - Oh My!

Now that Hannah's birthday has come and gone,
I can safely post information about her fabulous present. I decided to combine my first sock project with my first cabling project (you know, for efficiency and because I'm crazy), and discovered this great, free pattern online. I'm a terrible person. . . I can't find the web address right now! Give me time, people! Anyhow, long story short, they came out great!
Pattern:Somewhere on the internet. . .
Yarn:Cascade 220 (100% wool) in Celery Heathers
Needles:Sizes 3 and 5 dpns
Time:Less than three weeks. . . Jen, do you remember?
A Gift For:Hannah, my little sister

I've also finished the second of Oni's baby blankets (shh, it's a secret!), in reverse rainbow colors. Admire it below:


What's on the plate now? My mom's holiday gift, which is ridiculously complicated, along with a whole slew of other projects. The best part about my job is that I think I might actually be able to get *most* of these gifts made in time! Luckily for me, I've also got Tempe Yarn & Fiber to keep me on track and stitching along after I've gotten home.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Updates, updates! Read all about it!

The first baby blanket is officially finished, with the second well underway (see second photo!) I'm not sure I like the reverse rainbow as much as the regular one, but I'll wait until it's finished to see how it looks. These blankets have gone insanely fast, using this basic pattern with some corrections. I've also posted a listing on etsy, to see if there's any interest for them! The babies aren't due for a while, and these work up so quickly that I'd love to make a few more. . . especially considering the insanely complicated knitting projects I'm contemplating for the holidays!

I've also completed my first real bit of spinning (yikes!), and it looks a little sad. . . but I'm hopeful. Jen assures me that I'm doing great, and since she CAN spin, I'm inclined to believe her! I've signed up for a class at her shop, Tempe Yarn and Fiber, set to begin next week. Wish me luck!
Last but certainly not least. . . a teaser trailer of Hannah's birthday gift! Whatever could it be??? Knitting updates to follow!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Star Baby Blankies

With my mom's afghan *almost* finished, I've begun working on Oni's baby blankets. She's having twins this fall, and doesn't want to know the sex of the babies, so I opted for rainbow star 'ghans. Here's a shot of the first, halfway finished. The second one will be done with the colors reversed, so the twins will have similar but not identical gifts. The pattern works up insanely quickly, making this a great project for work. It's been a hit with just about everyone, too! I'm hoping she'll like them just as much! In other news, I've finally begun winding up the gigantic skeins of yarn I bought last Christmas at WEBS yarn factory, thanks to Jen and her lovely winder. I'll post photos of the many, many yarn cakes as soon as they're finished.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I'm still here, I swear!

I've been working, working, working, and I'm glad to say I LOVE it! I've also been crocheting, yes, it's true! And not updating! My sincerest apologies. Here is a shot of my most current work, a gift for ::cough cough:: my mom ::cough cough:: that I accidentally told her was coming. Whoops! This is the only color/pattern combo that she's ever liked straight out of the book, so here's hoping she still likes it! The pattern is from Vanna's Favorite Crocheted Gifts, the yarn is (of course) the gorgeous papaya Simply Soft that Julie sent way back when. The pattern calls for a discontinued shade of LB wool-ease, so that was a no go! Does anyone know if there's any stock to the rumor that Simply Soft pills after washing? I hope not!

In other news, John has been promoted to full manager at his theatre, and we've been seeing far too many movies. If you're looking for a good film, but NOT a good laugh, see The BreakUp -- it's wonderful, but definitely not the romantic comedy it's advertised to be! We've also upgraded our apartment with a new shelf from IKEA, soon to be filled with yarn, books, and video games. For the moment though, it's acting as a kitty lookout. Poor Ra is less than thrilled that we've added a dog to the menagerie.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me (and Leslie!)

Today I'm 22, and it's also Hannah's friend Leslie's birthday. Her gift is finished, and sitting on the kitchen table until payday (sorry Leslie!) Here's a preview to help make up for it:



I've also finished a couple more sets of magnets, for sale up in Potsdam. Cute, no?



In other news, the 'ville is closed for maintenance today and everyone seems to be going through serious withdrawal. I wish I had the time to spend on there to share in their feelings! This semester has been a completely ridiculous time sucker though, and my WIP list is seriously weak. I have far too many projects in mind, and this summer is going to be used to make up for some lost time. Besides a few baby blankets and a birthday gift for my mom, "first" up on the list is a knitted sweater for the little demon:


Yes, she really fell asleep like that! How embarassing!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Meet Daisy!

Daisy is an 11 week-old Basenji, and one of my all-time favorite birthday presents! Yay for a new dog and sewing machine! Two of my favorite things :) Yarn has a new nemesis. . . and she's cute as a button.


In knitting news, there is a new yarn shop in Tempe -- Tempe Yarn and Fiber -- and they offer spinning classes at reasonable prices. Sooo excited! I picked up a couple of skeins of Cascade 220 in Celery Heather for a future Hannah gift, although just what it will be remains unknown. . . and with my track record, ungifted for at least six more months! I can't wait for summer!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Happy Chanukkah, Hannah!

I've finished Hannah's Chanukkah Hoodie, just in time for my birthday. Yes, you read that correctly -- her holiday gift is just now finished, in April, in time for MY birthday. Better badly timed than never!







The pattern was only written in women's medium, so I took it down a hook size and crocheted a little tighter than normal. I'm hoping that makes it a rough x-small! Instead of the recommmended 6 balls of Bernat Softee Chunky, I used 5. And yes, it's zippered! Hallelujah!

Pattern: Family Circle Easy Crochet, Fall/Winter 2005
Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky, 5 balls cream
Hook: Size J
Time: Dec. 8, 2005 - Apr. 8, 2006, with a flurry of activity Apr. 7-8!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Pattern Correction

Please note that there is an error on Row 78 of my Bobbling Along Tote. The correct directions are as follows:

Row 78: Ch 1, turn. Sc in first sc, **FPDC around FPDC, sc in next sc, double FPDC around double FPDC, sc in next 2 sc, popcorn in next sc, sc in next 2 sc, double FPDC around double FPDC, sc in next sc, FPDC around FPDC,** sc in next 3 sc, FPDC around FPDC, sc in next sc, double FPDC around double FPDC, sc in next sc, ch 3, sc in next sc, double FPDC around double FPDC, sc in next sc, FPDC around FPDC, sc in next 3 sc, rep ** to ** once, sc in last sc.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Times are a changin'

I've decided to shake things up a little, and recently accepted a position at American Express here in Phoenix. You know what that means. . . a hiatus from art history! I'm really rethinking my choice of graduate programs, and making some money in the meantime seems like the best decision. Plus, John will be able to take some time off from working to finish up school, which will make both of us a bit more relaxed! Oh, and one added bonus -- there's a Michael's right across the road from my new office. Score!

It looks like my blog header may be changing very soon, as I'll be heading down to the DMV (here in the southwest it's the MVD. . . strangeness) to trade in my New Yorker license for a genuine Arizona Desert one. I can't believe how cheap they are -- my New York renewal put me out half a paycheck back in college, and here it's $5! Insanity!

And yes, I'm crocheting this evening and watching Law and Order (at its new time -- dum dum). Project updates to follow!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bags and Squares Galore!

Now that I'm back from spring break, I thought I'd update my blog with loads of photos -- the best kind of updating, right? My mom's aran tote is almost finished, and she chose a great Celtic button closure. I'm still working on getting the lining material, but my *new early birthday sewing machine* will certainly help with that! I've lined two bags by hand this month, and it's SO NOT FUN. Vera Bradley has a great
new pattern (Java Blue) that would match perfectly, so I figure I'll get a couple of napkins, chop them up, and work them into a groovy lining. I'm also working on a pink aran tote, this one in Lion Brand wool-ease. The heathered yarn makes the pattern disappear a little, but I think the finished effect will be great. Also finished are the Booga Bag and my March swap square, sent out to Jimmie Lu this afternoon. The tote took a few trips through the washer (luckily, the washer at home doesn't require
quarters), and I think it's achieved just the right "feltiness." The square is my usual pattern, following instructions written by a fellow Crochetviller. This time I steamed it
to the precise measurements, and I really like the results. I hope she will too! Last but not least,I've begun an album for my 63 More Menagerie afghan. In three months, I've completed two whole squares. So many projects, so little time!