Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Oldest yarn post for SP 10

Hi there :) My SP 10 moderator is running a contest where we have to post about our oldest yarn. Here's mine :) It's the cone of green stuff on the left!

This is yarn I've had since college, when I took a loom weaving and tapestry weaving class. Gosh, I LOVED that class. I used some of that cone to make a really itchy woven scarf, lol. I haven't done a thing with it in...oh...14 years :


Monday, April 23, 2007

Ode to presents

Twas a bleak dreary Monday in my world. My boss had already brought me to tears and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. The candy I bought the night before to sustain me through a long day at work was stale and hard and unappetizing. It was my son's 5th birthday and I wasn't there to celebrate it with him.

Everything looked really dismal.

Then, my friend the post man came. In his arms, he had two packages with my name on them! One was BIG and one was small. I opened the small one first. EARRINGS! Earrings from my Secret Pal 10 upstream pal in Canada! They're silver earrings of a partial sweater with knitting needles working away on the collar :D I put them in right away and felt just a little bit better.

Directing my attention to the large box, I got out the box cutter and dug in. There were an assortment of wrapped goodies inside! *squeal* Opening them one by one, I found....

* A sweet card from my Knitter's Treat Exchange pal, Heide :D
* Not one, but TWO magazines: Knit N' Style (which I just drooled over the sweater on the front cover earlier this morning!) and Creative Knitting (which I adore, but never got a subscription to!)
* A HUGE bag of delicious swedish fish...yum! AND a big bag of of my favorite candies besides swedish fish. At this point, I had to bring over a co-worker because we spent a whole day last week opening up 30 lbs of smarties and packing them loose into pill bottles for a marketing promotion this week at a trade show. We both got a hoot out of the smarties bag and I shared some with her :) No one gets to share the swedish fish :P

* An exfoliating hydro towel for scrubbing your back in the shower. I don't know how to she knew, but I LOVE those things :) I have such an itchy back, it loves a good scrub down now and then :)

* A Stella Mare Italian Orange soy candle, which smells delicious enough to eat, a bar of In the Pink grapefruit and lemongrass organic bar soap, which I really do want to eat...I keep bending under my desk to sniff the soap :D and a tube of sparkling grapefruit body moisture cream :D

* Yarn GALORE! TWO skeins of Elizabeth Lavold silky wool in a rusty color, which I already have two skeins of, so now I have four and I can make something SUPER amazing out of it :) One skein of some delicious natural creamy colored alpaca that says "Courtesy of Dulae," so very super soft and it smells like a yummy soap :) One mystery skein of what I would guess to be wool sock yarn in this great orange and lime green and purple colorway :) So much fun, I can't wait to knit it up! and finally, one skein og Fearless Fibers 100% merino sock yarn in a gorgeous colorway called desert flower. It's creams and browns and rusty reds and mossy dusty green. Amazing, delicious yarn all....I want to lay it out and roll around in it :)

One would think that was enough, right? MORE than enough. But she also included a little wrapped toy for my son! It's actually his 5th birthday TODAY, so it's perfect timing :)

Thank you soooooooo much, both my Secret Pal 10 upstream pal and Heide, my Knitter's Treat exchange pal :)

You've really turned a frown (and more than a few tears) into a smile today :) I love my gifts and I am so grateful for being so wonderfully spoiled :P

Pictures will come in a day or two, once I get the stuff in front of my camera :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Recent developments

First of all...I am just ECSTATIC to announce that this baby is alll.......MINE!

I bit the bullet and bought her at the last guild meeting :D It's the Ashford Traditional wheel I've been renting from my friend since January...such a wonderful machine :D

Even though it's been in my house since Jan, I haven't owned it until now.... I feel like a new mother *proud spinning wheel gleam*

Happy happy joy joy dance of spinning wheel love :D

Wanna see some of the stuff I've spun on her?

Well, this is the magenta/pink and brown wool I spun and plied last week. It's kinda itchy, but it's a good hearty skein :)

The dark brown single is much darker in real life :)

Then, at my latest guild meeting, where I wrote the check to buy my new baby, I started spinning some misc. grey wool I got for free and had processed at the Fiber mill I sent stuff to back in September :) It is an utter dream to spin and I've been being very consciously trying to spin a thin, even single and...I've been succeeding! This grey stuff is around 32 WPI!!!!!

Finally, I wanted to share a picture of an amazing yarn I recently discovered!

You all know what an alpaca whore I am.... Well, this yarn is softer than most (but not all) of the alpaca yarn I have in my stash. What is it made out of, you ask? Well, believe it or not, it's NYLON and ACRYLIC! Not a natural fiber in site, and yet it's just...SCRUMPTIOUS! It has really great yardage for the price, as well! It's 205 yards for $5 for solids and $6 for varigated skeins :) I bought 6 skeins of this colorway and I'm going to make a fabulous wrap out of it :D Sooooooooooooo soft. Really, I kid you not. SOFT. SOFT. SOFT.

Oh! I also have Secret Pal 10 goodies to brag about! Last weekend, I got a pattern in my email that my faaabulous pal bought me! Then, today at work, I got an envelope with some sock needle protectors (so adorable!) and a gorgeous sheep broach. THANK YOU, amazing secret pal! I'm having so much fun being spoiled by you!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yay for SP 10!!!

I got my first little goodie from my Secret Pal 10 Secret Pal :D

She's going to be sending me one huge package at the end, with lots of litlte bits and bobs during the course of the event, because she lives in another country and doing it this was will be cheaper for her :)

I got a lovely card and a handsewn really pretty tissue cover for those little packages of purse tissues :D


*happy dance*

We now interrupt this program...

...for this mint commercial :P

These mints are my new favorite all-time mints :)

They're not too strong...they're not too sweet. They have a good burst of mintiness, as well as a nice creaminess in the center...well, it's a hard center, but it tastes...creamy :)

Added bonus: They're AMAZING for calming my stomach if it's being upset :D

Medicine and minty breath all in one, how can you not love them? I think i need to buy a case of them online! Maybe later when I get my expense check :P

Spin happy

I'm in such a jolly mood today :)

Last night, I got to spin for two hours!!!! I spun up a whole ball of mauve/pink/coral roving I got back from the processing place (I wound the roving into large balls a bit smaller than my head when I got it back.) and then I plyed it with some dark brown mill ends fiber I spun last week :D

I have this awesome pink/mauve and brown 2-ply yarn sitting on two bobbins on my couch! I can't wait to put it on my niddy noddy and set the twist tonight, then maybe I can knit with it this weekend :D

*happy I got to spin smile*

Pictures of it soon, I promise!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

FOs, WIPs, WPI and toddler drawings :D

Howdy :) Aren't we just a bunch of acronym-lovers *giggle*

Haven't posted in awhile, other than yarn porn, so I thought I'd share what I've been up to lately :)

I have one finished item, a lace dishcloth made out of some King Tut electric blue cotton I was gifted. It's not blocked yet, but it is still pretty :D It's not for anything or anyone...the yarn just scremed out to me to be a lace dishcloth, so who was I not to obey?

I currently have three different projects I'm working on in my VERY limited knitting time.

My never-ending brown blob. When I very first cast on, it was going to be a shrug. But it quickly turned into a lap blanket, because I cast on too many stitches and didn't have enough of the brown yarn I wanted to make the shrug out of, lol. It's sooooooooooo soooooooooooooooooooo soft and warm and I can't wait till it's done and I can plop it on my lap when it's a bit chilly at night :D

Incidentally, I'm sure there is a way not to get that line of one yarn mixed up in the new yarn chunk...but I don't know how... (illustrated on teh picture with an arrow). Does anyone have a link to tell me how to avoid that in the future?

What the HECK is that, I bet you're Well, it's another brown blob. It's short row practice using some of my handspun that's a bit too thick and a bit too scratchy for anything else. It will be a rat stuffed with catnip for my partner's cats when it's done :D It's so much fun knitting with my own yarn! I definately didn't put enough twist in the ply, I can see that by knitting it...and I'm finding it has...dandruff...when I knit with it. What's that from? Little crinkly brown bits fall off in a pile on my lap as I knit. It's odd. Reminds me of over-processed crunchy human hair. Is it a sympton of the fiber or my spinning, do you think?

Finally.....the sock. ARGH! Why are socks so damn hard for me? This is the first time I've been stymied by something in knitting and it pisses me off. A new friend *waves at Lori* sent me a really detailed sock pattern, so I should be better with my next one!

At least my stitches are REALLY neat and even....huh *proud even stitch smile* It's some Knit Picks yarn...alpaca and wool and maybe some silk in there? I can't remember offhand which yarn it is...but it is scrumptious :D

This is after about 10 attempts to cast on and having to rip out after two rows. I switched up in needle and yarn sizes and did a regular increase toe, rather than a short row toe that was just haunting me. I mysteriously got two holes in the beginning, after my magic cast on for the toe. Then, at some point, I obviously put my knitting down and when I came back, I started knitting the other way around...because my very tippy toe is opposite purl/knit from the rest of the sock. Rather than rip it out, I decided I liked the look of a defined toe area and I'm just learning anyway, so I just plugged on.

My foot is larger than the pattern I'm using, so I just kept increasing on the toe until it fit over my toe area. Then, I started knitting the body of the sock. Um. Guess I increased a bit too much, LOL. The black outline is my foot inside the massively too wide sock :D It's sort of like my sock has wings :D

I'm gonna keep persevering on this one, though, until I get to the I can practice a heel before I rip it all out and start over with a sock that actually might FIT and not have quite so many mistakes :)

Hey, it's handy for holding the yarn while I'm not knitting on it, at least :D

Well, there you have it :) What has been occupying my time of late on the needles. There are so many things that I want to make next, I am stymied by the decision!

I also wanted to share some fiber yumminess I have going on in my home :)

Here's some of my latest spinning...brown sheep mill ends dark brown wool that I've been spinning up like mad. I have over a pound of the stuff, lol. I've been spoiled by alpaca, however, and it just seems rough and hard in the singles. Ah well :) I'm still gonna spin and ply it :)

I do looooovveeee spinning on the wheel, though *happy dance*

Speaking of alpaca....

my fantabulous spin to knit downstream swap pal *waves again at Lori *giggle* * sent me a super duper surprise package the other day! She wanted to thank me for the yarn I sent her, so she went to a local alpaca farm and got some fiber for me :) She told me the name of the alpaca it came from....Gertrude, I think? Something like that, I can't remember right now...and I just can't WAIT to spin it up :) It's washed and vm-free, but it's just loose in the bag, not carded. I've never spun like that, so I'm excited to try it out...and I mean, heck. It's alpaca, how can it not come out deliciously?

Since I cleaned up and organized and re-decorated my bedroom over the weekend, I decided to get new curtains. Oh gosh, I LOVE the ones I ended up buying...they make such a difference in the done-ness of the room. I feel like a grown-up with a real bedroom...not just a renter with some thrown together space I sleep in :D

It's good to feel like a grown-up sometimes :D :D

I know, I know...I still have to iron them...but I wanted to put them up and make sure I like them before I ironed them because I HATE, that will happen this weekend :D

I also wanted to share a drawing my little tater tot did last night :) It's him and me outside in the sun with a blue sky :) It was a surprise present for me! I just LOVE my puffy hair and long legs, lol. He may not be a Picasso, but nothing like a litle kid drawing to make this mommy's heart go all mushy *swoon*

Okay, I think I've overwhelmed you all enough for now :)