Thursday, August 30, 2007

it may look like cat barf but it's yarn

Last Monday at knitting group, Adrian from Hello Yarn was kind enough to haul her cute little traveling spinning wheel all the way on the subway so that she could show me how to spin. She patently explained all of the logistics about drafting and what my hands should be doing and about staple length and so on while I practiced treadling, and then she put some fiber in my hot little hands and every bit of knowledge I gleaned went right out the window while I tried to treadle, draft and get the yarn on the bobbin all at the same time. Needless to say that didn't really go swimmingly, but I managed to make something that looked vaguely like yarn, yarn-like at least.

first attempt at wheel spinning

I continue to be proud of my tiny yarn-like crazy twisty kinky yarn even though when I was soaking it in the sink to try and relax some of the extreme over twisting, Elliott pointed out that it looked like Cena the cat barfed in the sink.

full body cena


Friday, August 24, 2007

squares squared

I'm really enjoying these lazy hazy days of August. Because I have a flexible work schedule I've been able to fit in a bunch of bike rides and a lot of outdoor time. But don't you be thinking I've been slacking on the knitting! Slow and steady makes the mitered square blanket. Here is where she stood last weekend - all the squares were finally finished:

all squares finished!

And this week I've been slowly working my way through seaming all the square together. Isn't this much better?

almost all the seaming is done

mitered squares detail

I still need to seam the two sections together, but my plan it to knit the boders on the top and bottom first, so I'm not wrangling the full blanket on my lap until I have to. I ordered some more knitpicks options needles and the 60" cord to make the border, so now I have to way until they show up in the mail. I'm thinking garter stitch border of random stripes of color to use up as much cotton as possible.

And I've also been knitting some monkeys for me when I tire of the endless seaming:

green monkeys in progress

happy weekend - go enjoy that last bit of summer.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

look what I finished!

I've got a whole pile of almost finished lying around, if you know what I mean, and I finally whipped out the sewing needle last night to put the final touches on this sweater.

bella ella yoke sweater front

bella ella yoke detail

bella ella button detail

bella ella embroidered label

bella ella embroidered label detail

bella ella yoke sweater
pattern: my own
size: 24" diameter, should fit a 2 year old
yarn: Cascade 220 superwash colors: 7628 / 9061 / 9416
needles: 8's and 5's
extras: hand embroidered label, grosgrain ribbon woven through yoke

I'm pretty pleased with this design. I wanted to make a sweater for my friends' daughter who is quite the fashion plate, and who likes colors other than pink. It took a bit of scheming to figure where to put in some short rows to raise up the back of the neck without interrupting the striping pattern or making the yoke design look off balance. I finally decided to add an extra stripe in the main body on the back before the yoke - you can see it here:

bella ella yoke sweater back

I was hoping to make a sweater for a girl who is turning one, but clearly I don't understand kid sizing, as unfortunately I ended up with a sweater much larger than she is now, probably something she can wear next year as a two year old. Back to the drawing board!


Friday, August 10, 2007

I got my socks and I got memed!

Look what I got in the mail today! Could it be?

sockapalooza package

sockapalooza fun package

sockapalooza socks are here!

You bet your pants it is! My socks came in from my sockapalooza 4 secret pal. Well, now not so secret, as she revealed her secret identity. They are from Jennifer over at carolinacrafts. Isn't she an amazing knitter? I am so lucky to be the recipient of these socks! She knit me a gorgeous pair of Monkeys out of Socks that Rock Silkie in the Midsummer Night colorway. You can't imagine how soft and wonderful these socks feel. And not only that she enclosed a bunch of fun treats, a sheepy tape measure, some yummy wool wash, a beautiful little sock knitting bag and even extra yarn for repairs. Thanks Jennifer!

And the fun just doesn't stop there people. I also got memed by Tomoko the goods maker for the random 8. I've never been tagged before so I'm a little woozy from all the excitement. So here are eight completely random bits of info about me:

1) All of my relatives came from Poland three generations ago. In some strange smug way I enjoy being 100% Polish, but let's face it, I'm really just as American as everyone else. I just like having a secret purebred past in my back pocket.

2) I like lots of candy, all candy, especially black salty licorice, but I can't stand butterscotch. at all.

3) I breath through my mouth when I sleep even if I fall asleep with my mouth closed, just ask my dentist.

4) When I was in college, my work study assignment was to monitor the computer lab. Essentially I just had to take student's ID cards and assign them to a computer. So I had three hours to do what ever I wanted, which either consisted of my getting high score on Tetris or making complicated origami forms, like eggplants or seashells and giving them to the most stressed out looking students.

5) Because I grew up in Michigan and regularly visited all of the great lakes, which look like oceans but are freshwater, I still can't believe the ocean is salty. Whenever I go the the ocean I have to taste the water and make sure it's really salty.

6) Speaking of salt, I love salt, a lot. Not just on food, but even on its own. And anything briny like pickles, olives, pickled vegetables, capers, caperberries, I think you get the idea.

7) When I was little I used to go to Frank's nursery and craft store and buy plants that looked like they were on their last legs, take them home and try to save them. I definitely have a green thumb.

8) I'm a big fan of parrots and feel a lot of connection with them in the same way some people are dog people. I like their sense of humor and the fact that often they look like they are smiling. There are some great parrots out there.

All done! Now I get to tag a few people. Let's see, how about

Brent at Defiant Hope
Elliott at Becoming Fire

Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

more knitting than posting apparently...

I realized that I had a backlog of photos on my camera for blog postings, but I had never gotten around to taking them off and actually creating a post. Hmmm. I guess I had a case of the Julys. Luckily, it's August now and way too hot to actually go outside, so I'll give you the knitting progress.

fushia february sweater

fushia february sweater label

So when I was little, like 8 years old or so, I decided that I really wanted to be a grandmother. But I didn't want to be a mom. Nothing against my mother or any of your fine mothers, but being a fun loving, gleefully spoiling, poker playing grandma really appealed to me. Probably because my grandma Lucille was one of the most excellent women around. (Almost as cool as you mom! That's probably where you got it from!) I spent many a fine summer vacation visiting grandma and grandpa in Detroit. The daily routine consisted of me sleeping in until 10:30ish, breakfast, watching Price is Right, a daily trip to the mall where I often scored a little treat and a frozen coke from Kresge five and dime, a drive on Lake Shore Drive in Grosse Point to see the freighters, playing poker with grandma and usually losing, dinner, ice cream, watching TV with snacks as late as I wanted to stay up. Repeat. You can see the appeal - yes?

Flash forward many many years. A few months after I married Elliott, we found out that his son from his first marriage, Tristan, was expecting his first child. And yes, that made me a grandma by proxy.

That was a few years ago, and now Tristan and his wife Monica are expecting a girl in the next month or so. And that makes me a 36-year old grandma with my childhood wish fulfilled. So these grandchildren need knitted goods! Bring out the pointy sticks. I decided to go with the classic and I knit another Elizabeth Zimmerman baby sweater from Knitter's Almanac.

specs for the curious:

pattern: February baby sweater in Knitter's Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman

yarn: RYC Cashsoft Baby DK

needles: addi naturals circular 5's

gauge: about 5 sts to 1 inch

extras: hand-embroidered label

And I've also been plugging away at the mitered square blanket. I really want to have it done! Finished! Finito. Here is a somewhat up to date progress shot:

mitered square progress

Any grandmother stories out there?