Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiber Friday - Blue Face Leicester

This is one of my favorite stashed yarns. I think it is the color that I really like the best. There is just something soothing about the colors to me. The yarn is Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester Aran. It is 100% wool and the skein weighs in at a hefty 250 grams. It is about 375 meters. The color is called Cloud Burst.

I've got two skeins of this color stashed away. When I bought it, there were only two skeins available or I probably would have bought more. I like the colors that much. I really don't know what I would do with more... I don't really like heavy wool sweaters. But I've got two skeins and that should be plenty to work with. There is no point in hording yarn or being greedy. Well to be honest, I don't really believe that; I'm just making the best of the situation at hand.

Two skeins will be enough to make a nice scarf and maybe a hat though. I haven't picked a pattern yet. Although I'm leaning to the Manitou Passage Scarf from Jen over at 144 Inches of I-Cord. I like the idea of the reversible cables so that the back and front are the same. I like the idea of a two sided scarf. I'll take a looks through my stitch dictionary before deciding though. Anyone have a favorite scarf pattern that looks the same on both sides?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Project Update and Meme Catch Up

My Kureyon tea pot cozy is ready to be thrown into the wash for felting. Hopefully I'll be able to get this little project finished this weekend. The cozy in the pattern has little buttons sewn all around, so I'll probably try and dig some buttons up for this too. Now, I'm just hoping it fits one of the pots after felting.

I've also been tagged for two memes recently. So I'm catching up with that too.

Eusebius tagged my with a List 4 Meme.

4 jobs I have had in my life
cookie decorator at mall cookie shop
clothing sales person
monitoring people on house arrest (by phone and computer)
wine bar hostess

These were all jobs I had in high school and college. I now dwell full time in cubical world in front of a computer monitor.

4 films I can watch again and again
Disney Cartoon movies from my childhood
Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Wizard of Oz
Usual Suspects

I like re watching movies - it means I can knit more and pay less attention to the screen.

4 places I have lived
North Carolina
New Mexico

Most of the time I live in either Indiana or North Carolina. The other two places almost don't even count.

4 TV series I watch
The Office
Top Chef
Boston Legal
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

4 places I have been on holiday
British Virgin Islands

4 things I do every time I am on the net
Check e-mail
Check bloglines
Read the front page of CNN
Check Flickr

4 things I would NOT eat for anything in the world
Any type of organ meat (yuck!)

I can't think of too much, I'll try almost anything once.

4 places I would love to be right now
Galapagos Islands

I'd love to be on vacation anywhere I haven't been yet been. A coworker went on a trip to the Galapagos Islands and had such a good time - I'd love to go. Where else can you see blue footed boobies?

Zonda tagged me with the Birthday Meme.

The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday.

My birthday is September 7, so here we go:

3 Events:

1927 - The first fully electronic Television system is achieved by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.
1979 - The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network (ESPN) makes its debut.
1998 - Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were students at Stanford University

I tried to pick some of the events that weren't too depressing and directly effect me now. I think the TV and Google items are obvious and anyone with a husband can probably guess the significance of ESPN.

2 Births:
1860 - Grandma Moses, American painter (d. 1961)
1936 - Buddy Holly, American singer (d. 1959)

1 Holiday:
Brazil - Independence day (from Portugal, 1822).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Blanket Binge

I now realize I may have an abnormal fixation with knitted blankets. I've started another blanket. This one is going to be a log cabin style throw using Socks That Rock heavy weight from blue Moon Fiber Arts. I've seen several different versions of these crop up in blog land and I decided I wanted to knit one for myself.

The biggest decision I figured would be choosing the colors I wanted to use. As you might guess from seeing a lot of the things I knit and a lot of the yarn I buy, I like a lot of color. I think a blanket is the perfect place to use colors you like but may be a little too obnoxious for everyday garments.

I generally use a blanket to curl up with when I'm cold or not feeling well. I figure that is a perfect time for a little shot of color. So I picked three colors of Socks that Rock in the heavy weight variety to use for my blanket. Starting with the center square, I'm using the Lemongrass color, then moving on the Knitty Rocks (pink, red, and green), and Thistle (purple, blue, and green).

I'm sure these colors aren't' for everyone, but it is only a blanket. I really like the colors, but I have this thought in my mind of someone seeing it years from now and wondering what in the hell was I thinking when I picked these colors. Just like when you see some of those awful color choices people made in the 70's. At worst it can always be stored in a closet when it isn't being used. But for now, I am happy knitting with the colors.

I have two skeins of each color and the plan is to continue knitting around in one big log cabin square until the yarn runs out. I don't know if you can tell from what is already knit, but I'm placing the colors so they swirl around the blanket. I'm not planning on speeding through this project; I think it might take awhile. I plan to keep it next to my TV chair for when I need some mindless garter stitch knitting.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hip to be Square

I have a large basket that I use to store all yarn leftovers that I deem worth keeping. Things end up in the basket based on one or two criteria. The first criteria is the quantity left over. If there is enough yarn left after a project is completed to work into another project - into the basket it goes. The second criteria is simple - if I think the yarn is special in some way, I save the leftovers.

I noticed that the most common yarn in the leftovers basket were small balls of sock yarn. Most of the leftover balls aren't big enough to make one project - but if put them together I knew I'd be on to something. The only thing is that I wanted to keep it simple.

I figured a blanket of some type out of the scraps would be a reasonable idea. So I knit up some simple squares. The squares in the picture are all blocked to be 7 inches square. The nice thing is that they didn't take very much yarn at all and they were quick to knit.

The bottom two squares are from leftover Opal yarn and each square weighs about 12 grams. I've still got enough leftovers of those colors for another square each. The top left square is Koigu KPPPM and took 16 grams of yarn to complete. The center square is Socks That Rock medium weight and weighs in at a hefty 26 grams.

I'm just not sure I like the large squares. I originally thought about making squares in a much smaller size so the blanket would be similar to a postage square/charm quilt. If I ever do opt for that idea, I'll knit strips of garter ridge squares so that there is much less seaming.

Whatever I end up doing, sock yarn is will definitely make a light weight blanket. I'll wait until I get a blanket's worth of squares before I decide on how to put them together. I'm thinking that the heavier weight squares might need to be put into a separate blanket. Maybe I'll just do a small lap sized blanket with the large squares and then start a blanket based on my original idea.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fiber Friday - Mmmm Cashmere!

This is the most extravagant yarn I have in my stash. I really like the color, Anya's Garden and it is one of the softest things I own. I love just picking it up and holding it every once and awhile. It is 2-ply Mongolian Cashmere from Jade Sapphire. The skein is 55 grams and approximately 400 yards and I have two!

The yarn is hand wash only, but I can't imagine knitting anything with it that would require much more cleaning than that. The softness and weigh of this cashmere seems to just lend itself to being knit up into a soft delicately handled item.

The problem is I have no idea what to knit. I bought this on impulse while I was on a trip for work. I haven't knit anything with it yet because I'm waiting for the right pattern. I really want to knit something I'll use.

In the end, I'll probably try and find a rectangular shawl pattern that I can knit with 800 yards. Maybe I'll just go through a stitch dictionary and pick a pattern. Any suggestions for a pattern or a specific stitch? I'm open to ideas!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lizard Ridge Complete!

It is finally finished! I completed the edging this weekend. It feels so good to have this project complete. I think it is the largest most involved knitting project I've done (and completed) to date. I'm very happy with the final results.

When I started this project last year, I assumed that it would take a long time to finish. It did take awhile to finish, but I've had other projects languish on my needles for a much longer time period. So I am pleasantly surprised and satisfied with the working time for this project.

The seams turned out okay. It is the main skill I hope to improve on with later projects. This is the first project I've finished that required seaming and wasn't felted. You can see in the photo above a few places where the purple Cascade I used for the seaming shows.

I had also never knit a short row before this project. After 24 afghan squares made up of short rows, I am now confident I can knit short rows in other projects. Other than getting the hang of that, the pattern was really simple. In fact after a square or two, you don't really have to look at the pattern at all.

I deviated from the pattern only with the border portion. I decided that a crocheted edge wasn't going to work for me for a couple of reasons. One - I don't crochet and two - it is a knitted blanket and it seems like it should have a knitted edge. So I added a 3 stitch applied i-cord border around the outside edge. I was able to get that done in one day and it took a lot less yarn than I ever thought it would. I used a turquoise color Cascade 220. I still have over half of the skein left.

I love the idea of knitting blankets and afghans and I love Noro Kureyon. Although I must say, I do think this is the only blanket I'll knit out of Kureyon. I did wash all the squares before seaming and they did get a little softer, but it still doesn't seam like something you want to cozy up with next to bare skin.

I've decide not to line the backside of the blanket either. Somehow that just doesn't seem the right thing to do. So I've found a nice place to display the blanket. I can enjoy looking at it and if you have tougher skin than me, you'll always be welcome to wrap up with it.

Project Info
Pattern: Lizard Ridge by Laura Aylor from
Yarn: Noro Kureyon - 24 different colors (I do have leftovers from each skein)
Cascade 220 for seaming and edging
Needles: addi TURBO -US# 8 (5.0mm)
Finished Dimensions: 42" wide / 63" long
Pattern Modifications: I didn't add a crocheted border, instead I used a 3 stitch applied i-cord edging; I used US #9 needles for the edging
Start Date: November 11, 2006
Finish Date: June 17, 2007

Friday, June 15, 2007

Fiber Friday - Noro Sakura

Sorry for the post delay, but hopefully you will like this week's selection. It is Noro Sakura. Each skein is 36% rayon, 28% polyester, 18% nylon, 11% silk, and 7% lambs wool. The skein weighs 40 grams and is about 133 meters. This is called color #2.

You may remember that I made a dream swatch with a pink color of Sakura. This blue is going to become Monica's Sakura -Cherry Blossom Shawl. You can see it on the sidebar of her blog. I just need to sit down and get it started at some point. She knit a triangular shawl, but I may adjust the pattern to be a rectangle.

This yarn reminds me of the hair wraps we used to do in high school and college. We'd take small sections of hair and use embroidery floss to wrap the hair all the way down. The wraps looked most like the sections of yarn that have solid colors back to back. I do like the yarn and look forward to starting the shawl.

I'm also hoping to work on the Lizard Ridge border this weekend. But I've put myself in a holding pattern. I've been toying with using something other than a crochet border. I've thought about a few rows of stockinette stitch boarder all around that will roll a little and resemble i-cord. The other option I'm considering is actually doing an applied i-cord border around the outside edges.

The only thing that has stopped me so far is I have no idea how much yardage the i-cord would take and I only have one skein of the cascade in the color I'm considering. I guess I could just try it and see. I could weight the skein and then do some of the border and evaluate. Seems like a lot to avoid learning a little crochet!

Thanks to all that have said they like my new banner - did you notice that it changes? Hit refresh and see!

Fiber Friday is Delayed

Fiber Friday will appear here later today. Some silly blogger (me) forgot to bring the memory stick with all the yarn photos to the office today. I'll get the post up as soon as I get home.

Sorry for the delay!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Weekend Work

It sounds like a lot of people ventured out with their knitting for Knit in Public Day; I did not. While I did venture out for some grocery shopping, I didn't venture out of the house with my knitting at all this weekend. I sat in my knitting chair most of the weekend working on various projects and watching television.

I did make progress on a couple of different projects, but don't have anything completed yet to share with you. I made the most progress on my Lizard Ridge afghan. All the squares are blocked so I laid them all out and spent time on trying to make sure I had an arrangement that I would like. Once I had all the squares arranged, I tried to make sure that all the ridges were properly lined up so I could begin the seaming.

I'm finished with seaming up all the squares. It would have gone a little faster, except I discovered that the pattern on a few of the squares I sewed together did not line up correctly. So, I spent some time taking out a few seams and redoing the work. So now I'm on to the crochet border.

This step will require a little reading on my part and some practice. I've decided to use some Cascade 200 I had in my stash for the border. It is a nice bright turquoise blue color that actually is in several of the squares. I think it will work well and won't require a purchase.

Sherman, my faithful partner in seeking out a cool comfortable spot for a hot summer afternoon did not waver. He remained close by all weekend. What a good boy.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Fiber Friday - A Rockin' Blanket

This is Socks That Rock heavyweight in the Knitty Rocks color. It is 100% super wash merino and the skein weighs in at 7 ounces and is about 350 yards. This is in reserve for a small lap sized blanket.

I've wanted to make a small blanket with sock yarn for a long time and watching Carrie finish hers was the last straw. I have to have my own Rockin' Blanket. I'm going to knit a log cabin style blanket with three different colors of STR heavyweight.

The blanket colors will be Knitty Rocks, the other two colors will lemon grass and thistle. The lemon grass color is a variegated yellow and green; it is similar in color to the yellowish green in the Knitty Rocks. Thistle also has the same yellowish green color and a blue/purple color.

The colors will probably make the thing look like an electric kool-aid acid explosion. But I'm drawn to the colors, so we'll see how it turns out. At worst, it is only a blanket and can always keep a kitty or puppy comfy around here.

I have two skeins of each color and I'll just keep knitting until I run out of yarn. I'm hoping to start this soon, probably after I finish Wicked. I have been working on Wicked. I have to finish a bit more on the body and then knit the sleeves.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Teapot Cover

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about my lack of focus and showed a random little project I had just started. The project is going to be my first knitted cozy.

I actually collected teapots for a very short time when I had my first home. I had a couple odd shelves in that kitchen that needed something, so I begin picking up teapots from yard sales and flea markets. As a result, I now have a small box of teapots in the attic. I decided I might as well get one out of the box and knit a cozy.

I've always wanted to knit the felted tea cozy from the little book entitled Vogue Knitting on the Go: Felting. It is a book I bought when I first started knitting and fell in love with felted items. The cozy is on the cover.

I never thought I could actually knit it before because of the short row shaping. Now I have knit several things that had short rows and wrapping and turning - so all is good. I grabbed a couple skeins of Kureyon and started my cozy.

I'm not sure yet which teapot this cozy will cover. I'm sure I've got a teapot that will work. But I've also thought of modifying the pattern a little so it would work for the orange teapot in the photo. My idea would be to go ahead and seam up the cozy then pick up and knit rounds along the bottom to lengthen the whole thing.

I'm almost done knitting the pattern as written. I just need to decide what to do and get a little more finished so I can felt the thing, sew on some buttons, and add another finished object to my list.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Stepping Stones

Last year when my family came for a visit, my mom brought some materials to make stained glass stepping stones for the my garden. The stones were a huge hit. When I went to visit her this spring, she had cut glass for several more stones. We wrapped and packages all the cut pieces of glass and shipped it to my house so I could add cement and turn the pieces into more stepping stones.

I've got two sizes of hard plastic molds to make the stones. One mold is a 16" round mold and the other is smaller and shaped like a brick. So I can make one stone of each size at a time.

So far, I've gotten two stones of each size finished. I think I have about 10-12 more round stones to finish and 3-4 brick sized stones.

It's going to take a while to get them all made, but I'll share them as I get them finished. There will be a lot of these stepping stones in my yard. It is a good thing that our yard is large.

Since I made the stones pictured here, I've decided that I like the grey cement better than the white. The cement itself is white and the grey color comes from adding a colorant. The white stones seem a little more artificial or something to me.

I make these stones outside because the cement can be a bit messy. Sherman loves to help us when we are working outside. He will stay with us all day when the weather is cool. But as the weather heats up, Sherman struggles to stay cool outside. He is not built for hot weather. Here are a couple pictures of Sherman trying to beat the heat with a cool drink of water.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blocking Time

I'd like to thank everyone that left a comment with suggestions on creating a blocking board.

Based on the suggestions, I went looking for either cork board squares or some of those exercise mats that fit together like puzzle pieces.

I only went to one store, Wal-Mart, so I didn't do much comparison shopping I was really into getting something quick that would work.

I found the cork squares in the office section. Each piece of cork was a 12 inch square. Each package had 4 pieces and was just under $6.

I looked in the sport-camping section and didn't see any of those little modular mats that I thought looked pretty neat. I liked the idea of being able to move the pieces around to custom shape the board layout for each project. But, they didn't have any of those.

I did see several yoga mats and thought about one of those for a second, but those were all over ten dollars. I really didn't want to spend a lot of money, so I ended up buying a camping mat. It is a blue blue foam material that is about a 1/2 thick and about 20" wide and 74" long.

You could easily cut it into smaller pieces, but this one sits nicely on my kitchen island. The nice thing is that it was just under $6 and I can roll it up and stick it in the laundry room. I thought it might hold up a little longer than the cork. The cork wasn't as thick as the foam.

I stuck masking tape on the mat in the shape and size I wanted the lizard ridge squares to be and started blocking. The pattern suggesting steam blocking, but I decided to use a little wool wash and soak. I'm able to block five squares at a time and I should have them all blocked in a another day. Then I'll have to decide on a layout. I hope to get some of that done this weekend. Then it's onto seaming.

Oh, I've been playing around with my blog template just a little. So if you drop by and something doesn't look right let me know - I'll try and fix it.

Fiber Friday - More Koigu Please

This is more souvenir yarn from my trip home to Indianapolis. It is Koigu KPPPM in color number P111. And just because I always post the yarn specs, each 50 gram skein is 100% merino wool and approximately 175 yards. I think those details might be more interesting of helpful if the yarn is unfamiliar.

I bought this yarn because of the bright colors. I'm always drawn to fun colors like these. I got enough of this color to knit some type of scarf/shawl type thing. I wear a lot of black and neutral colors so I thought this would add a nice punch of color to my wardrobe.

I really have enjoyed wearing the shawls and scarfs I've already completed, so another one seems like a good idea. They can be complicated or as easy as you like. Plus gauge and fit won't totally wreck a project. I just need to wind up a ball and try a few stitch patterns to see what kind of gauge I get. That will let me estimate how large of a project I can make.

In the meantime, I've been knitting a bit on Wicked and some of the other projects I've got going while watching TV in the evening. But really, I'm just biding my time until I decide what project to cast on for next.