Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Squaring the Hem

I knit the bottom of one panel, and have started to square the hem. Now the dark purple bits are disappearing with the black Boise, and the red, pink, and burgundy bits are popping out against the black. The black Boise is also not as soft or furry as compared with the Red. The colors just shine in the sun.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ravelry - I'm in!

Woohoo! - I logged onto Ravelry this evening, uploaded 2 projects and joined 3 groups. I'm going to love being on this website. I can already tell.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shapely Symmetry Sheath started Saturday

Having finished the Long-stitch Wrap, I set my sights on a new project - The Shapely Symmetry Sheath. I started this on Saturday. The yarn on the left is Interlacements' Toasty Toes (100% superwash merino) in Reds Plus colorway (Red, Fuchsia, Burgundy, Purple, Black) - 8oz skein is 560 yds. The plain red is Karabella Boise (50% wool-50% cashmere), 50g ball is 163 yds - from my stash!

The Sheath pattern calles for Art Yarns merion, and uses 4 skeins of Art Yarns 2-ply Cashmere yarn ($50 per skein - yikes!) . As luxurious as the AY cashmere probably is - I didn't want to invest $300+ to make this dress. Luckily for me, I found Boise in my stash that was a closeout from a couple of LYS. Since the Boise yarn is DK weight, instead of 2-ply, I hoped I could also get away with using less yarn. It's possible because the pattern knits to a certain length, rather than number of rows. I would get to the length quicker than the yarn used in the pattern. I was able to get Row Gauge 34 rows per 4" on US 8, while getting an extra stitch - 18 st per 4" along the base of the triangle. Since the triangle base runs along the height of the garment, it won't adjust it that much. The height of my triangle measure 8.25" on the needle, and 9" off. It's 15 garter ridges repeated (between the Merino and the Boise). It's pretty springy together so I think it will expand nicely at my bust and hips without straining.

What's interesting with this yarn is that as I knit with it (from the outside), it turned from a smooth round little ball, into this cute flower-like shape (from the top, and under-side) :

The two triingles face each other point-to-point at the waist:

Here's the fourth triangle looking lively:

...and this was the cute little bit of Boise left over (after 4 triangles were completed). Just 3g left of 50g (about 10 yds) - Phew!

Next phase, I'll unite the red striped triangles with the Toasty Toes and Karabella Boise in Black.
Also checked on my Ravelry. In the last month, I now have only about 1000 people ahead of me, instead of behind me - spooky.

You signed up on September 8, 2007
You are #31816 on the list.
1154 people are ahead of you in line.
13380 people are behind you in line.
67% of the list has been invited so far

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ta Da! Finished the Long-stitch wrap

Here is the front:

Here is the back:

This cutie was on my door jamb last night hiding from the rain - unfortunately, had to use my flash to take the pic at all, and that chased him away...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival

I went to Oregon Flock and Fiber yesterday and oooh, that place is sooo dangerous. The drive was fine - about 70F when I arrived in Canby, found a parking place, and stepped into the 4-H building. First stop was Blue Moon Fiber Arts - I just love their colors. Found a gorgeous skein of kidmo-silk in laceweight in my color - a magenta/beet root red colorway called "Backstabber".

Next picked up some crocheted scrubbies for pots/pans. I haven't had much luck making them myself, but they are very handy to have on hand.

Much of the same as last time I went - lots of fiber for spinning, and knitting. Interlacements was there again and what beautiful colorways! Also, stopped by Hokulani Farms to look at their cashmere yarn. Just $25 for a skein of fine laceweight yarn - 450 yds. The owner designs her own patterns, and most take only 1 or 2 skeins. Where can you get a cashmere scarf for only $25 ? She had a fabulous collection of bold colors. My color ? Dahlia.

Sudan Farms was there and offering lamb kebabs. I had two - they were soooo good. Yum!

Village Spinners & Knitters was there from California - huge selection of books but not much yarn. I did find a special Addi needle that has a US 6 knitting needle on one side, and a size C crochet hook on the other. What a find!

Progress on the Drop-stitch Wrap: Completed the one front triangle, finished the 2nd rectangle on the other side of the wrap, and have just started the second front triangle (decreases). It still feels luxurious.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ravelry and progress...

Checked my Ravelry status today...wish I'd found the list earlier.

Found you!
You signed up on September 8, 2007
You are #31816 on the list.
17888 people are ahead of you in line.
1804 people are behind you in line.
40% of the list has been invited so far

I finished knitting the panel, and started on the front triangle. Need to take a pic and post..'til later.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

interesting discoveries

Unpacked my 6ft bookshelf, into 3 file boxes, prepped one more box to bring to Powell's and sorted by German silk-painting books for donation. Now I'm using the shelf to sort the other clutter. I filled another box with cardstock and fancy paper and friend David brought it down to my garage, along with 3 boxes of books. Sorted through 3 more boxes of old (2003, and 2001) receipts; and found some even older from 1999 from Germany and Singapore. More for shredding - 2 bags; and 2 more for recycling.

A guy came by today and bought my Adirondack rocker and chair; so, that's dealt with. I wasn't looking forward to moving those. The umbrella and stand are still available. Hopefully, someone will need one before fall is over.

Still lots of crafts to sort through. Some interesting discoveries today - found an old Dava Bead Purchase card to add to my collection - getting closer to that $100; found a bag of feet for my sewing machine (yay! I've been looking for this for a long time) AND found a library book that I've had for a long time that is due back this month.

Also, found 2 new groups on yahoo while looking for places to sell the previous crafts I loved. One is a new group starting a Portland Knitting Guild in NE Portland. I joined up; seems no further than the Tigard Knitting Guild. The second group is a group of Portland Knitters that blog...interesting. As I do more sorting and packing to ready for my move, i'll probably blog more about me than about my knitting...we'll see, I hope to keep making time for the knitting.

Work on the wrap has temporarily stalled. I knit about 7 or 8" of the first panel on the right (shown previously partially worked). The pattern says to go for 14", and I have about 7" or 8" which seems enough to go around my shoulder. I'm not sure whether to continue going and make it droopy...since it's my first one, but I'd hate to try to rip it back if it's too big. Close Knit's knit night is tomorrow, so i'm planning to go back and see if someone else there knows if I just have skinny arms, or if I'm not measuring in the right place. It's hard to hold up the wrap to myself in the mirror and measure at the same time.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Thursday's progress...

This wrap is really addictive - last night I stayed up late again to knit a few more rows.

Since last post, I complete the height of the back (13"), and put the left stitches on a holder. Now, I'm knitting the panel on the right side, which will fold over my shoulder to the front. I am really loving this yarn. It is soooo soft, and the colors are so inspiring as I form the knitting stitches.

Today, I had a busy day - I really drove all over town.
My street was being sealed, so I had to move my car to another part of the neighborhood last night, then had a nice walk to my car this morning.

I met some friends for dim sum downtown (whoa -Fong Chong is getting expensive!). Then, went to the post office, the bank, and to Powell's warehouse to see if I could sell some more books. I'm really trying to lighten my load as I have been "collecting" craft books for a while now and the value of those just drops like a stone. The lady at the warehouse was really nice and bought several of my books - I brought 3 file boxes in and 2 came out. Yay!

After that, I went to the library (another haunt) to pick up holds. Last-minute Knitted Gifts is a book that was on hold for me; and one I've never purchased. Some pretty simple patterns in there, but interesting all the same. Also, looking at "Knitted Accessories" by Claire Crompton.

After the library, I headed home - my car needed an oil change really badly (I mean really), but Hwy 217 was backed up, so I went to costco to pick up my new "emerald green" contacts - the first ones were called "cry blue" and had me almost in tears, they were so clear, I couldn't identify them in the case! These ones are much better.

Next to Goodwill to drop off a small toaster oven that had been rattling around in my car all day. Then, I really did make it to a different Jiffy Lube for the oil change - they were so quick, I barely made it through a row of knitting on my wrap! and they had a special sign out - so I saved $8. Sweet.

Finally came home about 6:15pm; the barriers were removed, and I have a new ashphalted street - black, but dull (not sticky, which is a good thing!)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So Inspiring!

Last night I went to Close Knit for a class with Iris Schreier and her new book "Lacy Little Knits":

In just a short 2 hours, we learned how to make this long stitch wrap -made a swatch, and started with our real yarn...

The teal turned out better than expected. Here is the before and after:

I think I had maybe 3 inches done by the end of class, then came home and knit for a couple of hours. The yarn is called Silk Rhapsody - it's hand painted silk & mohair. It is soooooo luxuriously soft to knit with, that it knits up very easily and quickly. I'm zooming along with my addis, and after this, i'll probably be spoiled for yarn.

I was a little worried about that mint color in the skein itself, but it balances the brightness of the teal and the darkness of the brown nicely. In this picture, it looks almost white. I've so fallen in love with this yarn!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Germany Trip

Finally downloaded the pics from my short trip to Germany at the beginning of August. I arrived on a Wednesday and left on Saturday. Just a quick trip for an interview (unfortunately, I didn't get the job). Here are 2 pics taken from the castle in Burghausen (SE Germany)in Bavaria of the Altstadt (old town):

Now for the rolling countryside...it was a bit misty that day.

Next to the museum at the end of the Burg. The ceiling beams had these cool carvings on them:

There was also this cool looking table and chair set:

and a beautiful tapestry:

Also, more stairs leading to a deck at the top. What a spectacular view!

This picture was taken standing on the roof, looking back at the rooftops along the length of the Burghausen castle.

Then, looking down on the town and the River Inn.

There were a series of metal sculptures near to the museum in the Burg.
This was one of them. Both man and mutt are marking their territory.

This was the second one I saw.

A view of the town again, walking back towards the entrance. This is the view from Burghausen, Germany looking to Austria.

The next two pictures were taken from the Austrian side of the river which you can get to in 5 mins from walking/driving across the small bridge that leads out of the Altstadt (old town).

The first is looking back up at the castle.
The viewpoint where I took the rolling hillside pictures is located at the far left hand corner of this picture - you can just make out the small railing.

The second shows the Altstadt from the austrian side of the river.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Current Project

Started another project - another Branching Out scarf using Elsbeth Lavold's Angora - in green - from my stash! I already knit one ball, and I've started the second. I love forming the leaf lace pattern as I go. The yarn is an olive green color.

Feeling lighter already...

I went to Powell's today and sold some used books - 1 box of 3 for $36 cash. sweet; and I'm feeling lighter too...This on top of a few sold on Friday for $25.00.

Now I can definitely afford to take the Iris Schreier class at Close Knit on Tuesday. We're making a Long Stitch Wrap from her new book "Little Lace Knits". The class is $80 and includes 2 skeins of her Art Yarns' Silk Rhapsody (ohhhh, this stuff is luxurious!), and her new book ($19.95). What a deal! I went in Friday and picked up the book and the yarn - yum! It's a bit hard to see here, but the skeins are primarily teal, dark brown, chestnut brown, and a light green mint color. The mint is not really me, but the teal and dark brown are definitely my colors.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Space pjs

Finished these pjs in June - Palmer-Pletsch beginning sewing Level 3

The light blue fabric with the stars was originally planned for a baby blanket. Didn't have enough fabric to place the sleeves, so I added the band of space blue to coordinate with the pj bottoms. After I added the band, I decided to add it to the rest of the top.

-even made my own fabric covered buttons for the very first time - what fun!

Here's a close-up of the sleeve band:

Friday, June 15, 2007

These June days...

Well, I started off June in a flurry of frenzy- frantic activity getting ready for my vacation to Dallas, Texas. The weather was wonderfully warm all the week before - unusally so, for Portland; and a couple of days had weird blustery weather and gray skies. I left Thursday afternoon, and embarked on my adventure.

I had pre-checked in the night before, and I flew through the security checkpoint. Friday I arrived and met my friend at the airport. The air was thick and humid, and hot. Like Singapore. It was nice, like coming home. Checked out the downtown Denton area - a small university town. I discovered waffle fries - thick fries cut in a criss-cross shape. Oh, they are soo good with ketchup.

Friday morning - went to pick up my car at the Budget rental place. The guy upgraded me to Mercury Mariner - a small SUV, really boxy, and bright red. I was apparently the first person to request a 5spd in his 3 yrs of renting..needless to say, all they had were automatics. In no time, I was zooming around town. Went into Dallas proper - those texans sure drive crazy. Luckily, I was up high enough to see over the whole highway, and anticipate the crazy actions ahead of time. Lots of people not signaling, and cutting into my lane, also a bus that just stopped in the lane and tried to cut in 8 cars ahead of me.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Last day of May

phew - the month flew by. I haven't had much time to knit, and went to my 2nd week of the Palmer-Pletsch sewing III class, making a set of pajamas. The top is a light blue flannel with tiny stars on it.

It was originally destined for a baby blanket with a minky back. Now, it's on its way to a collar pj top. The pj bottom is a dark blue flannel with a repeating print of a little blonde guy in a spaceship. It appealed to me. Here's the little guy here...

We laid out and cut the fabric the first class - very relaxing. Class 2- made markings, and cut out the interfacing at the second class. Homework is to sew the inseam and crotch of the pants and get ready for the collar next week.

-haven't progressed much on the knitting, but I have a knit night tonight, so we'll see.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Frog Tree Merino Scarf

I started this scarf on Tuesday from Holiday Knits, using Frog Tree 100% Merino.

The yarn is delectably soft, and has a very interesting striping pattern.
The main color (MC) is charcoal and the contrast color is periwinkle (CC).

The scarf is knit in 2 x 2 rib, in an alternate striping pattern created by *k2, p2 across the row then sliding the work down the cable (like for an i-cord) to bring the second color (mc) across with the same patterning. With the working yarn both at the same edge, the work can then be turned.

The yarn is very very soft, but knit in the rib, it has started to fuzz up a bit. I'm not sure I like the look, but it's very soft, and it was quick to knit a few inches. The picture with the hat is from the pattern book, and was done with a brown yarn, but I think I like the charcoal much better.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Yes! - I have a cool new bag

Here's the inside - there are 2 pockets in there:

My Guild had a yarn sale on Thursday evening; and one of the members let me TRADE my yarn for her hand-sewn bag. How cool is that! I love the southwest colors, and it didn't cost me any $ out of pocket, so I'm ecstatic. I transferred my gear to it and used it already on Friday.

Since I couldn't decide which bag I really wanted, I traded her another couple of skeins for this bag with the Chinese house on the side.

I love them both. Though I can sew now, I don't think I could sew a bag for $10.00.

black friday

I've updated the sale page with some key sales for Black Friday. I'm not doing a lot of yarn buying these days, so these are the on...