Saturday, December 30, 2006

Multidirectional Scarf Progress

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The night I wanted to start working on the scarf I discovered to my horror that the yarn was in hanks. That’s right I’ve had this yarn for weeks, I’ve fondled it, I’ve taken pornography pictures of it, but I still some how missed that the yarn was in hanks. Don’t ask me how, because I don’t know. Maybe I was just in denial. So instead of knitting I got to learn how to make a center pull ball. While I was doing it I felt like it was taking forever and that it was extremely boring. Once I was done I didn’t think the process was all that bad and I was kind of proud of my first ball of yarn.

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Here is a picture showing what it looks when in the middle of a short row. I would have loved to see a picture like this when I first tried the pattern because the short rows really confused me for a bit. I mean really what a crazy foreign idea to turn and knit row two when I’ve not even knitted all the stitches on my needle for row one. I was very very suspicious about it at first, so suspicious I actually checked other copies of the pattern.

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I am really loving how it looks and how quickly it is knitting up with the bulky yarn.

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While I was working on the scarf yesterday the cats were napping in a near by sunbeam. I'm a sucker for pictures of them snuggling together, I really can't help it.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years Eve! I'll be back New Years day with a bit of review, plans for the new year, and a picture or two.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sock Yarn Pr0n

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Lang Yarn's
Jawoll Jacquard
Color: 82.0155 (I wish it had a name)

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Color card I found for it

As an odd little tidbit I will share that this yarn was given to me by an ex-boyfriend current friend. I was pretty surprised because we haven't exchanged gifts for over four years. I think he did pretty darn good for a non-knitting boy. He had the nice ladies at the store help him find the sock yarn and tell him how much to get.

I now need to learn to knit in the round and decide what sock pattern to use!

On Saturday I'll post multidirectional scarf progress pictures

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Finished Gifts

I had a fun and hectic holiday/birthday. I am now in possession of three new pretty yarns that were given to me as presents. I also have a gift card to a craft store for an unknown amount so we'll see where that leads!

I finished the last of the three Irish Hiking Scarves so all three are now with their new owners. I managed to get a shot of the three scarves together before they went their separate ways.
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I also got a picture of D's quilt before I gave it to him.
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He liked it. It is warm and snuggly and I may just steal it back from him.

After finishing the last Irish Hiking Scarf I suddenly found myself with nothing to knit. I had left the yarn for Mom's birthday scarf at home so I decided to practice the multi directional scarf pattern with some scrap yarn. I'm glad I did because I ran into a few problems. I fixed most of them but I'm still having trouble with the last triangle, one side ends up slanted. I'll have to try it again.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cookie Overload

It started out innocently enough. D and I were going to make cookies and fudge to give to friends. The first evening of baking we even had friends over and they helped us decorate our first batch of sugar cookies. They also helped us eat some of our first batch of fudge. The next day things got a bit crazy.

The whole mess right after we finished decorating the last of them. There are layers upon layers of cookies here.
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You can even see our classy wine bottle rolling pins in the back ground!

Stacks of Cookies:
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The one heart cookie sitting alone was made and decorated just for me.

Sky view:
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Isn't my cyclopse ginger bread boy cute?

When we counted there were over 150 cookies, and we'd already given some away.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Yarn and Cuteness

Well I just finished up my last final for the semester and now it is time to post some yarn pr0n before I go take a much needed nap!

Today's Wool of the Andes is a bulky weight and the color is Storm.
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This will one day soon become a multi-directional scarf for my mom, who has been very clear in her want of a grey scarf. Her reasoning for wanting a grey scarf? Because it matches her hair. Is anyone else as amused as I am with this reasoning?

I call this the "omg pet meee!" stretch.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pictures at last

I was hoping to make a post with pictures yesterday but I failed in my attempt due to technical issues. All issues have been cleared up and I now present you with some pictures.

This past weekend I got together with a friend who shares my appreciation for little kid crafts. We had a lot of fun creating cards out of construction and origami paper.
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I like the flower card and the heart card the best. I've already given D the heart card because he needed some cheering up. Some of the Christmas cards will find themselves attached to Christmas presents this year.

Mom's scarf is coming along and I am feeling pretty good about my ability to get it finished by Friday so that I can start the next one on Saturday.
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And last but not least, the kittens:
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They look so sweet and innocent when they are sleeping, but don't let that fool you!

Monday, December 11, 2006

I'm back and knitting away

Today I was going to take some pictures and go ahead and make a real post to this blog. I got out my camera turned it on and got the red blinking battery light of death. Sadly I don't have enough fresh batteries to power my camera so there will be no pictures today. Tomorrow though I shall make a real post with pictures! And there WILL be new pr0n on Friday.

Anyway so this week is finals week so my whole week will consist of studying and knitting with the occasional test thrown in. This is a good thing because I desperately need to study and I desperately need to knit. I didn't knit at all for the month of November so you can imagine the state my Christmas knitting is in.

To try and make up for my lack of knitting I've been knitting up a storm. My mom's scarf went from maybe a foot to over half done in the course of just a few sittings. I want to have it done by this Friday or earlier so I can get moving on my SIL's scarf and hopefully have it done by Christmas. Then my mom’s birthday is right around the corner so I'll need to quickly start and finish her birthday scarf. Luckily her birthday scarf is in bulky yarn so it should knit up quickly.

After all those presents are done I am making Sheldon the turtle for a friend as a belated Christmas present and my ex boyfriend current good friend wants a scarf to keep him warm.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Yarn pr0n at last!

I'm so sorry for the lack of pr0n recently. Life has been a bit crazy hectic around here and knitting and internet went on the back burner and it just slipped my mind. It’s been rains and clouds lately and I wasn't able to get a new pr0n picture to turn out so I'm pulling up one of my old ones.

I'm using Wool of the Andes in amber which was my very first pr0n picture ever. This is also the yarn I used for my Dad's Irish Hiking Scarf which I finally finished!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mario brothers go to the vet

Mario and Luigi went on a trip to the vet today for their yearly check up.

Mario is a little over 11 pounds
Luigi is a little over 10 pounds

Both have been declared perfectly healthy and in great physical shape.

The vet did much cooing over how handsome and sweet they are. She said she HAD to get pictures of them and put quite a bit of work into trying to capture a picture of Mario who wasn't cooperating. He just isn't a ham like Luigi, who promptly posed for her.

I haven't done much knitting lately. I've barely worked on my Dad's IHS at all. I really need to get back on it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

pr0n day at last!

The sun has been hiding behind clouds and rain drops this week. I was worried it would be difficult to get a good yarn pr0n picture, but it worked out just fine.

This is wool of the andes in hollyberry.
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Yesterday the boyfriend had to get his wisdom teeth removed and he needed someone to take him because he wasn't allowed to drive afterwards. I took him to the appointment and sat in the waiting room knitting. Suddenly the lady working the front desk asked about my knitting. I came over and showed it to her, and she was very impressed. She couldn't believe I taught myself. I told her knitting really wasn't that difficult and that I learned from free online videos. She was absolutely fascinated so I gave her the web address for Knitting Help. She decided to go ahead and check the site out right away instead of waiting until she got home. I warned her that knitting was addicting but I think my warning came too late. hehe

The IHS has reached the original suggested pattern length of 55 inches, and it definitely needs to be longer. I was hoping that once I actually reached that length it would magically be “long enough”, but that wasn’t the case. I'll just keep working on it until it looks done.

ETA: I'm sorry about this being posted so late today. Blogger has been being a brat and wouldn't publish my post. Gah

Monday, October 16, 2006

Trial by fire

As a new knitter I have found the most scary thing is to make a mistake that you don't know how to fix yet. In the past week I've run into several problems that I've had to fix. The first two really stressed me out, but over all I guess it was good for my growth as a knitter.

Problem number one:
I got the bright idea to put my knitting down in the middle of a row and ignore it for over 15 minutes. In the past I have always finished a row before setting down whatever I was working on. Later I picked it up and started knitting again only to realize my stitches looked horribly wrong. Oh no!

Did stitches jump off my needle while I was gone?
Are these those twisted stitches I've heard about?

I fiddled with it for about ten minutes tinking back and re knitting only to reproduce the same problem every time. In my panic I just wasn't thinking straight so I took over cooking dinner so that I'd have to think about something else for awhile. In the middle of cooking I realized what I had done.

I had forgotten if I was on a right or wrong side and had turned my work in the middle of a row.

Lesson learned: Whatever needle has the yarn tail hanging off of it is the one that goes in your right hand.

Problem number two:
While talking with friends and knitting I got distracted and threw in a random cable twist much too early. I tried to tink back but dropped stitches right at the twist, and they slipped away before I could catch them. I know there are directions for picking up dropped stitches, but I didn’t have a crochet hook.

I rashly yanked my needle out before I remembered my fear of frogging and needle reinsertion. This resulted in panic. I had visions of the whole scarf unraveling before my eyes. I rushed to a computer so I could watch a video on needle reinsertion that can be found at Knitting Help. It took me several tries but I finally got my needle reinserted.

Then I had to watch the video on twisted stitches, so I could tell if mine were twisted or not. Every single knit stitch was twisted, so as I knit I had to un twist them.

Lesson learned: How to reinsert and recognize twisted stitches.

Problem three:
There was a messed up bit of yarn in one of my skeins, it was less than a centimeter long. I just kept on knitting and it ended up at the back of the work, so I decided not to mess with it. Later it worked its self to the front of the work and it was a very obvious eye sore. I had to rip out several rows to get to it.

Now what to do about this bit of yarn? I was close to the end of my skein, but there were still a few rows left after the messed up bit. With only that small amount left it seemed silly to use the knit in join I have been using, but I didn't want to waste the yarn.

I tried felted join the first time I was going to have to add new skein to my IHS and it failed miserably. It looked nice but when I tugged on the yarn it snapped. I tried it again this time fraying the ends at least an inch and I rubbed it between my palms for longer. I noticed the yarn looked a bit more thin in the join area than else where so I was a bit worried, but I tugged really hard on it a few times and there was no snapping. Now I just need to decide if I want to trust it or not. It feels a bit risky to me because of that first felted join experience.

Lesson learned: Don't trust the messed up bit of yarn to stay at the back of your work. Save yourself some time and cut it out now.

HIS Progress: Today is my projected finishing day. I don’t think it is quite long enough yet. I’m a little bit behind schedule, but even if I wasn’t I still think it would be too short. We’ll see when I get there I guess.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yarn pr0n and kitten cuteness

Nature Spun worsted weight wool in the color Nordic Blue
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Napping kittens
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It has grown

The irish hiking scarf is progressing nicely. I love how it looks with the leaves. It is such a wonderful match with all the fall foliage that is beginning to show up here in Kentucky.

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I'm on my third skein of yarn, and am only one twist behind! I hope to fix that today. ;)

I've also been working on adding the beads and fringe to my niece’s scarf, and I'll get pictures of that when its done. I think the beads look really cute.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pr0n - Does Size Really Matter?

Well it matters to this big cone of Mystery Yarn!
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I inherited this big cone of yarn from my mom, who for some unknown reason bought it at goodwill several years ago. I have no clue what type of yarn it is or where it originally came from, even google has failed me. The inside sticker reads:

Trio Manufacturing Inc

And now its time for his close up!
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Monday, October 02, 2006

A blue work weekend

I hope every ones weekend went well! I had an enjoyable one that consisted of visiting a winery for a wine tasting and lunch, cute socks, and much crafting.

I collect socks and haven't owned a plain white pair for about six years now. I will soon own a pair of plain white knee highs, but I have decided they won't count. Knee highs aren't exactly plain, right? Anyway when I got home to Louisville I discovered my mom got me these cool socks:
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Much of my crafting didn't involve knitting, but instead a rag or fringe quilt that I'm making for my boyfriend D. Its a nice little activity I can do with my mom who is a long time sewer. Later this year she wants to try knitting again, and we are both going to make a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. This weekend I got all the pieces for the quilt sandwiched together with their X's sewn onto them. I can start piecing them together next time I work on it.
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The redish fabric at the top has clusters of little drawn stars, like kids would draw them. It is a very fun fabric and makes me happy every time I see it. He is going to be an elementary school teacher so I think it fits in well. ;)

I worked a little on my basket weave scarf and did some thinking about it. I'm not happy with it as it is. It has a lot of air space between the stitches, and its just not a nicely knit as the things I'm doing now. I also think it might be a bit too wide. Here is what it looked like:
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I ripped it all out this weekend and I'm going to restart it and use size 7 needles rather than the size 8.

My Dad's IHS is moving along nicely. I am on schedule so far! I had to start a new skein this weekend - my first time ever having to do this. The idea of having to was a bit intimidating but it went well. My Sister in law saw it and loved it, and wants one too. She said she'd like hers to be in grey or black, to match her new winter coat.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Yarn Pr0n!

Well I loved the idea of the yarn pr0n web ring, but I was sure I'd never be a member. I was sure I wouldn't be able to take good pr0n pictures, but then I tried and I think I did pretty well! So here it is, my first ever yarn pr0n staring Wool of the Andes in Amber.

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Look at that color, and those little fuzzies!

There are many reasons you shouldn't leave your kitchen cabinets open. This is just one of them:

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IHS Progress: I'm one twist a head of schedule! Which is good. I'm going home this weekend and its not exactly easy to work on your Dad's Christmas present when you're in the same house with him and expected to socialize.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nineteen days

I was feeling worried last night that I wouldn't be able to finish my Dad's scarf in time for Christmas, and consequently wouldn't even get my moms started! So I did some thinking. What if I did a little bit each day? Even on my most busy days I should be able to find time to do at least two twists. I did some measuring and calculations and discovered if I do two twists a day I can have the scarf finished in 19 days! I am such a dork.

Estimated finishing day for Dad's IHS: October 16th

How about some kittens? Here is a picture of Luigi snoozing on the couch:
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He is such a cutie pie! It almost makes up for him being a humongous brat. Almost.

I recently bought a bunch of new toys at the pet store for the kittens after realizing that all their toys had mysteriously disappeared. Where do cat toys disappear too? They'd been amusing themselves with stolen water bottle tops. They chase them around, and hide them in things. One morning I found a collection of them floating in the water bowl like little toy boats. Today one of them was in my left shoe. I wonder what odd place I will find one next.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

No boyfriend sweaters here - just an IHS progress report

I promised my boyfriend that I would never ever do this to him. He was very appreciative, I assure you.

Irish Hiking Scarf:
I finally got some work done on my Dad's Irish Hiking Scarf (IHS). The scarf is currently a little over 7 inches long and I'm a few rows past the sixth twist. I really love this scarf, every time I look at it I just can't help but feel amazed. It is such an awesome pattern.

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So far I have really enjoyed knitting presents for other people, rather than for myself. It just feels good to make something for someone else. As much as I love this scarf, I feel no urge to keep it for myself. It will make me happy to give it to my dad, I hope he loves it as much as I do.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Stitch Counters

My mom bought me this cute little clear plastic zip bag that contains lots of little useful tools like stitch markers and needle point toppers. One tool it contained was a stitch counter.

I don't find the prospect of having to use a stitch counter enjoyable. They seem like a cumbersome thing to me. Make a stitch or two, stop, put down the needles and mark the stitch counter. How would you get a rhythm going if you have to constantly put down your needles? How is that enjoyable? Maybe if I do a complicated pattern one day I'll understand - but then if a pattern is so complicated that I need one I'd probably find the pattern just as unpleasant as a stitch counter.

I assumed my stitch counter would sit in the little plastic bag unused, until I had a brilliant idea: I can use it to count rows! Now that to me is useful, and because I'm already having to turn my work it doesn't create a break in my rhythm. It is certainly easier than tracking what row I'm on with a piece of paper and a pencil, which is what I was doing. Now tracking when the next twist will be done in my Irish Hiking Scarf is a cinch!

Irish Hiking Scarf progress: I haven't gotten much further than I was on my last post. I am now just a few rows past the third twist. School and social life keep getting in my way.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Began Irish Hiking Scarf

For my Fathers Christmas present I decided to make him an Irish Hiking Scarf. I showed my Mom the pattern to enlist her help in selecting a yarn color for him and she demanded that I make one for her as well. We picked out Amber in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, and it arrived in my mail box last week. The yarn is nice and soft, and the color is interesting.

I started the scarf tonight and I just love it! Cables are a bit awkward to do at first, but very easy over all. The pattern is easy to follow, and once you get started you don’t need it at all. You can tell exactly what you need to do just looking at the stitches – except for the first and last two which are always knit. All you have to keep track of is when to do the twist.

Progress: I am over halfway to the third twist. I made one mistake on my first twist row but after inspection I realized it was only visible from the wrong side. It took a lot of will power, but I didn’t go back and fix it. Why fix a mistake that’s not even visible?

Maybe I’ll join the Irish Hiking Scarf Knit-a-long

Characters Part 2: The Kittens

Oh yes the Kittens. My babies.

On September 24th 2005 I went to a Shamrock Foundation adoption day with the intention of adopting an adult cat.

When I got there the cat that I had been interested in originally wasn’t there, but there were plenty of cats needing a home so I looked around. There were many sweet cats, but none of them really seemed to be my perfect match. I kept skipping over two brothers who were about six months old because I only wanted one cat, and I really was planning on adopting an adult.

I finally gave in and picked up each brother one at a time. The first one was slightly larger and so snuggly he just purred and purred. The second one was very friendly but he wasn’t interested in snuggling. He kept wiggling around in my arms attempting to look at everything near by, he struck me as inquisitive and playful. I loved them both. They both came home with me that day.

They were born on April 5th, 2005 and originally named Myron and Melton. I couldn’t keep straight which one was suppose to be Myron and which one was suppose to be Melton, so I picked new names for them. In all my dorky glory I named the slightly larger one Mario and the other one Luigi.

To this day Mario and Luigi hold true to the personalities they showed when I picked them up. Mario is laid back and calm, and if you pick him up he’ll snuggle and purr. Luigi is much more active and inquisitive; if you pick him up he squirms around so he can see his world from this new vantage point. Together they make a great team, and they spend many hours playing together.

Mario is almost all white with a bit of orange/tan markings on his face, and one very small marking just under his shoulder blades.
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Luigi has spots!
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Their eyes match their markings in color, and both have tabby tails.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Characters Part 1: The knitter

In the past I have tried to learn to knit or crochet several times, only to give up after a few days of working at it. I found crochet to be fairly simple and relaxing, but it quickly hurt my wrists. Knitting was more complicated, I just couldn’t seem to grasp it. I could knit and purl, but I was always fighting with the yarn. Wrapping the yarn around the needle felt awkward, and trying to switch between knit and purl was even worse.

Then one day it all changed. I was browsing the internet and saw a link to Knitting Help, the site contained free videos. “Maybe videos will help me understand!” I thought to myself.

Those videos did more than help me understand, they opened up a whole new world to me. Continental knitting. In the past I had only found clear instructions for English knitting. Continental knitting was a perfect fit for me and suddenly all the awkwardness was gone. I knit away practicing my stitches on purple acrylic yarn. First just knits, then just purls, then stockinette, ribbing and seed stitch. I had a blast with it and decided it was time to buy yarn for my first scarf! Before I even got close to finishing that first scarf I started a second for my niece. My niece’s scarf is much closer to being done than mine. ;)