Thursday, February 28, 2008

Okay I Really Can't Make Up My Mind

I've had a few great names given to me both here and on but really I can't pick a name so help me out. You can vote as many times as you want but please don't stuff the ballot.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Name That Hat

Here's the deal I created a cabled hat pattern. I want to share it with you all but I have no name for it. I will post some pics below and leave a comment with a suggestions for the pattern name. Please help me my brain has turned to mush and I love this pattern so. If I pick your name you get an acknowledgement and I'll make you a set of some custom stitch markers (who doesn't like free presents!)
The hat in the snow
The hat on my head (I'm watching you...)

Monday, February 25, 2008

I May Have a Problem

I think I might be addicted to fiber and yarn. I realized this after dropping almost a hundred bucks at In Sheep's Clothing a wonderful store in Torrington CT (near my parents country home.) This was the same store I had purchase my loom at last weekend so if I add my two purchases together plus the 125 I spent replacing the drive wheel of my majacraft I have spent almost 500 dollars on fiber related things this month.....

Please wait a moment while I rest my head on the desk so I don't pass out

Okay, I'm back. I think this spending means I have to go on another yarn diet. For some reason I suck at food diets but yarn diets allow me to rediscover all the wonderfulness that is hidden in the stash monster. I think I'll diet for a month and see how that goes. This diet should give me incentive to start (and um, finish) all the projects I currently have yarn for.

I cast on another pair of socks out of my handspun this weekend. Its my sock pattern as seen in the side bar over to your right.
Now you may ask why do I keep casting on socks? I've stated before that I don't really like knitting socks, but knitted socks are so nice to wear and well, everyone else likes to knit socks I feel like an anomaly for not knitting them. What can I say I guess I'm a follower.

Sock one is done, but I left this project in CT. I think I have an overwhelming desire to leave UFO's wherever I go, like some demented knitting obsessed Hansel and Gretel dropping bread crumbs to find their way home. I have UFO's at my mothers apartment, my parents weekend home, in my purse, in the glove compartment of my car and one at my sisters place which I'm sure she has thrown out.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Woolly Wonders

First the FO I've been keeping you waiting on
Pattern: Urchin
Yarn: Handspun from KnittyDirtyGirl received in a swap
Needles: US 10
Notes: I made the large size to use up most of the yarn but I probably should have made the medium since the FO is slightly too big for my noggin. This is a great one skein project and it really shows off the wonderful qualities of handspun yarn
Sorry for the wonky pic, it's hard trying to photograph the back of your own head.

I then used the left overs to knit one for one of my Blythe Dolls (warning creepy doll pic ahead) I also changed her eye chips so no more pink or orange eyes.

Then I broke out the loom (I'm loving weaving its so nice to do in front of the TV cause it doesn't require half the attention knitting does.) I searched through the stash monster and came up with two balls of Ella Rae Classic wool. I warped for a plaid weave, I'm kind of making shit up as I go along, I'm not sure if I'm doing anything "right" but I am having fun and that's what counts!
It has tons of errors but it was a good learning experience and I think I got a pretty cute pillow out of it
Please note that the weave isn't lumpy the pillow is. I didn't have a pillow form so I just stuffed the pillow cover full of poly fill.

Since the wheel's still broken I haven't been able to spin, but I have been carding like a mad woman. I even broke out the spindle but I remembered how damn long it takes to spindle yarn. I'm still spindling but I'll probably be done with the yarn next May.
Here's some pretty batts to distract you. (Psst, I hear they're for sale at the etsy but don't tell anyone, I wouldn't want a stampede....)
Wool Top and Cotswold Locks
BFL & Soy Silk
Cotton, Bamboo, Wool Top, Mohair and Soy Silk

This post is approved by Dessie who is happy to announce that spell check is fixed

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back in black

Three day weekends are awesome. An extra day to rest and craft, but somehow I can't help feeling like they still aren't long enough. I'm 27 now, super old : P (old enough to be married with children if you ask my grandma, who still hasn't forgiven me for not making this happen sooner.)
You know you're getting old when you get excited about a vacuum cleaner as a present. My old one died from all the yarn, fiber and bits of thread I made it consume and the new one is a kick ass hover upright bagless. I know this should some how equal a clean house but I assure you it won't.

I bought myself an Ashford Riggid Heddle Loom as a birthday prezzie to me and look at what I made yesterday
The warp is Noro Kureon and the weft is some fuzzy Alpalite which is only 82 yards a skein. This is what I love about weaving, it took one Noro and less then one Alpalite to make an entire scarf which means a woven scarf uses like a thousand percent less materials and I can now use my orphan skeins to make things that are usfull. Not that a mug cozy is useless but lets be honest it kind of is...

Here's a few more shots of Dessie's new sweater. These were taken with my new camera, another birthday present a Canon Powershot that kicks the crap outta my old camera (which is 7 years old, and it's served me well)

I added some toggle buttons to make it look more professional

And I tried to knit the shopping tunic but I had the wrong sized yarn, which didn't stop me from knitting it but it did stop it from fitting me. I'd show pics but they are way to embarassing (even for me someone with little shame)

I have an FO to share but I'll save it for later in the week. Here's a hint, lets see if you can guess what it is.

Friday, February 15, 2008

They Say It's Your Birthday

It's my birthday too yeah!!
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time.

My birthday is this weekend. I'll be running away to CT to spend some time with the family so they can harrass me about when I'm getitng married and producing little people to carry on my gene code.

But enough about me. How about some yarn?
I call it "Aquamore" it's 390 yards 2ply fingering weight 1.7oz spun from the roving I combed up in a prior post
Then I gave one of my blythe dolls a hair cut and perm, (if big eyed creepy dolls scare you don't read any further!)
She's wearing a mini version of Twinkle's Shopping Tunic from Big City Knits that I knit up for a blythe swap. I'm going to knit the big version for myself this weekend.

Happy friday everone, kick back relax and enjoy the extra day on monday!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

FO for the Puppy

Happy Valentines Day all, I don't celebrate (I know all single people say that but I didn't celebrate when I was hooked up either) but I won't hold it against you if you do.

I finished the sweater for the puppy. I need to buy buttons, but I'm using large beads until I do
(Crappy cell phone pic, I'll post better pics later on)
Pattern: Warm and Wooly from "Doggy Knits"
Yarn: I skein Berrocco Foliage and 1 Skein Lambs Pride Bulky
Needles: US 10 & US 11
Notes: I modified this pattern a bit, first by adding stripes and second by increasing the ribbing on both the bottom (1 inch) and the top (2 inches) I think the yarn requirements are off because the pattern said I would need 3 balls at 140 yards but I used only 2 balls and had lots and lots of yarn left over. This was a quick knit, I cast on Tuesday night and cast off last night around 10PM. Dessie is not the biggest fan of sweaters but she hates the cold even more so she has to deal. I would reccomend this pattern to anyone who is sick of tiny stitches and fiddle patterns, straight forward simple and well written I loved knitting this.

I'm still clicking spell check, but at least I know nothing's gonna happen!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Well That Was Interesting

It seems the best way to direct traffic to my site is to insult something openly and with as many curse words as possible. I'm over it, hat attack was like a bad breakup that comes out of nowhere and leaves you feeling more angry then sad. Moving on.

I went to SNB last night at the Merchant and someone was knitting those SNUGGs I've been coveting. What's super awesome is that she's gonna lend me the pattern so I don't have to buy it, because really who just buys a pattern? If I was gonaa buy the pattern I'd buy the kit, and then some yarn to keep it company, and then before you know it the stash monster is larger then ever. I have no FO's today and no pretty pictures, no wait, I'm lying I have some sock yarn to show off.
These are in my "almost solid" series. These yarns are perfect for cable and lace socks because you don't want all your hard work getting lost in lovely colors that distract from the stitch details.
"Eat Your Greens"
"Hearts Aflame"
Copy of P1010011-6
Hearts Aflame was dyed using a shibori method. First I skeined up the yarn, then I tied it off in several locations with a cut up plastic bag to resist the dye. Then the yarn took a trip to the dye pot and soaked up some maroon. Next I lifted the skein out and removed the ties, the yarn then went back in the dye pot in a yellow brown. the result is light shifts in the color that creates a cool illusion but doesn't distract from stitches that deserve the spot light. As usual these can be found on my etsy.

It snowed yesterday, the heavens must have heard my lament about such a snowless winter. Beautful white flakes covered the surfaces of Jersey City making everything look clean and bright. I love how snow reflects the light at night giving everything a dreamy halo and turning the sky lavender. Dessie loves snow too, but hates the rock salt that people use to get rid of snow. It cuts into her little paws and she had a freak out during our walk. I literally had to carry her like a child back to the apartment and then wash her paws because they had started to bleed. There must be something better then rock salt, which aside from hurting dogs, ruins cars and kills trees. I felt so bad for her I cast on a sweater from "Doggy Knits" a book that no one seems to know about. I'll post pics when it's finished which should be tonight. Until then....hat attack can still kiss my ass (I'm over it I swear)

Spell check as usual isn't working, why even have the button anymore? It just tortures me to know that my illiteracy could be fixed with a click but no. I think it's pavlovian at this point that I keep clicking away hoping something will happen even though the better part of me knows nothing will.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hat Attack Can Kiss My Ass

This post will probably draw ire from those who take an opposing view point but I don't care. I signed up for Hat Attack and read all of the directions carefully. Hat Attack is like Sock Wars for people who don't like to knit socks, and though I do knit socks, I don't really like knitting them. I signed up eager because I'm a quick knitter and I like knitting hats. I also figured I could stash bust a bit for this. Well I got the pattern dug out a yarn and 5 hours later I had my hat. I packed it up and sent it FedEx. Well here's where my ass gets chapped, I was supposed to knit it right handed for it to be up to code. And if I didn't knit it right handed well then I should have thought like a right handed knitter (which would be difficult since I'm fucking LEFT HANDED) and crossed the cables the other way. But see the directions say you have to follow the pattern exactly, and if I follow the pattern exactly and I knit like a left handed person then my cables will cross the wrong way. No note was made for lefty's to knit the cables reversed, no indications that the cables had to face left the only thing the patten said was mis-crossed cables wouldn't work. Well my cables are not mis-crossed it just so happend that I like 10% of the population do things with my left hand. So all in all Hat Attack can kiss my left hand loving ass!
Here's the hat in all it's mis-crossed glory
Knit out of Patons SWS

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fiber Friday

A few musing before I get down to business. Has anyone out there seen the "Little bit of Luck" commercials the New York Lottery is airing and putting up in the subways? That creepy little guy with the big head an bad hairline gives me the heebie jeebies and makes me not want to play the lottery, he makes me want to check under the bed to make sure he's not hiding down there.

I'm kind of upset that Mitt Romney dropped out of the race, he was making such a good case for why another Republican shouldn't be president. The Daily Show ripped him a new one last night and I laughed so hard I choked on my peppermint tea.

Okay enough personal ramblings on to the crafty goodies.

First I have some yarns to share
This was spun for Marisal on Ravelry as part of a trade for a Boye Needlemaster set
410 yards dk weight 6oz wool top

And this one is 400 yards 1.7oz (!!!) laceweight wool bamboo blend.
This fiber was purchased at Rhinebeck on the cheap but it appears to have been dyed so poorly. When I put the skein in the water to set the twist it bled so much that my sink got stained pink. I'm going to try to heat set the dye with citric acid when I get home.

Now heres a blending tutorial for wool combs (I love my combs and I hope this helps others who use combs)
I'm blending a 50/50 mix of Coopworth and Kid Mohair. Both fibers have equal staple lengths, when blending with combs its best to have fibers with similar staples because otherwise the longer fiber will comb out leaving the short fiber behind.
First I load the Coopworth
Then I layer some Kid Mohair on top
P1010013-6 Then I repeat these two steps
ending with Kid Mohair
I spritz the fiber with a solution of water and conditioner. Just a teaspoon of conditioner to 2 cups water. I do this to eliminate static and to prevent fly aways. You can see my spritzer in the corner of the photos above.
Then I start combing, I like to do three passes, this picture is after two passes
After three passes I give the fiber a little tug to losen it up a bit
Then I take my diz and start to pull a Roving
Here's my roving all pulled out
Remember to leave a little bit of fiber on your comb when pulling the roving, this end fiber is usually considered "throwaway" but I card it up to make crazy blended batts.
I like to spin my combed roving with in 24 hours of when it was combed. I find it starts to loose it's loft and the fibers stick together (like a commercially prepped top) if I wait too long.
Look at these beautiful balls of roving waiting to be spun
I like using this prep for lace weight and sock yarns. This blend is currently being spun into a lovely two ply laceweight for a shawl.

Well I hope this helps you use your combs for interesting blends. I love to experiment with all types of fibers to see what works best.

And fyi spell check still doesn't work.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

No Excuses About It!

Here's the FO I mentioned earlier in the week. I sat down in front of Law & Order last night (that show has gotten so much better since they brought in Jeremy Sisto, whom I have a major crush on, its good TV again) and wove in the ends to this sweater. I am proud of this because it's the first "sweater" project I've finished, it's not a shrug, it has full sleeves, and it isn't cropped so there for it's the first "sweater." I never finish large objects and this one took me less then a month so color me impressed.

Pattern: Excuses from Magknits December 2007
Yarn: Ella Rae Classic (bought on sale for 2.99 a skein) 3 skiens and a mystery ladder yarn of DK weight less then 1/2 skein.
Needles: US 7 for body and US 9 for trim
Notes: The pattern gives directions for eyelets and a tie to be woven through the band under the chest, but I left those extras off because I thought it would be too busy and I'm not using the sari ribbon yarn which makes more sense as a tie. I knit the small size and used considerably less yarn then called for, I now have two lonley skeins of this yarn to add to the stash monster, so all things considered at 2.99 a ball this sweater cost me 9 bucks plus shipping! I love this FO and wore it to work today, where many people complimented it not knowing it was handmade. The seamless raglan construction is brilliant.
Copy of P1010008-1
Dessie for some reason likes to be in these type of shots (I swear I don't do this on purpose)
I'm posting this even though my butt looks lumpy (I assure you it isn't....Well maybe just a little.)
My moody shot, okay I'll be honest I had a brain fart and forgot not to take a picture with light behind the subject.

And I added a new Combed top to the etsy it's an 85/15 Wool/Mohair blend with a killer black stripe running through it. Check out the first colorway "Acid Trip"

Spell check still isn't working, I'm going to buy a dictionary on the way home!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


There is a crack in my drive wheel of my Little Gem. A crack that runs along the rounded edge, and sadly I think the wheel is past warranty. I can't seem to find replacement drive wheels anywhere, I've looked high and low and even contacted the good folks at Majacraft to see what they suggest. The first suggestion was to use wood glue and C clamps to try and repair the crack. I'm going to give that a go cause honestly, am I gonna break it more? If that doesn't work I'll cry and whine and throw a tantrum (it seemed to get me things when I was a child) and if that doesn't work I'll suck it up and try harder to find a replacement wheel. This hasn't stopped me from spinning and I realize that I've been ignoring Louie the Louet. I may sell him because I don't use him any more and I'm not thinking I will unless the Majacraft is beyond repair. To sooth my mind I dyed some roving
And then I pulled out this kid Mohair
and this Coopworth
and started combing them together using the Indigo hound combs. The staple length is about the same so it's blending nicely. I load the combs in alternating layers then give a light spritz of water and dog conditioner to kill the static and comb three times. Then I pull a nice roving. I started spinning it into a very fine laceweight to make a 2ply for the Flower basket shawl from IK Fall 2004. I know you're probably thinkng that I already have two lace projects I'm ignoring but reasoning falls on deaf ears.
I finished the "Excuses" and I love it. The sweater blocked out beautifully and all I have to do is weave in the ends and take pictures but I'm still not feeling so great and I'm super lazy so that will have to wait for a later time.

I leave you with this pic of me taking out some "broken spinning wheel" agression on old crappy knitting needles.

P.S. Dear blogger,
Fix your stupid effing spellcheck option. I hate when people know I'm less intelligent then I clame claime claim to be!