Friday, December 25, 2009

merry, merry

I hope everybody who celebrates it has a wonderful Christmas.

as for me, I got my gift a week early:





Thomas William was born after 30 hours of labor at 9:17 AM on December 18, 2009. He weighed 8 lbs 2.4 oz and was 21 inches tall.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A post to distract me

Because today is my due date, with no end in sight.

I've been in heavy 'nesting' phase for the last couple of weeks, it's all crafting all the time around here (when I'm not napping)

***

First this little guy:
This is out first dishwasher, and sometimes we don't empty it as promptly as we should, so there have been many days where either I or Bill has needed to ask the other "are these clean?" So I made a little sign to help us out.

dishwasher status xstitch

It's kind of silly, but I'm way happier than I should be about it.
Stitched on 16 count Aida, three strands over two holes.
'dirty' is DMC 816
'clean' is DMC 3755

***

Of course I've also been knitting a lot too, sometimes I just lay on the couch and knit all day, (when I'm not dozing off) and of course socks make perfect waiting room knitting at the doctors during my weekly visits.

purple bluebells leg progress

We had better light conditions today, and I tried putting one on a blocker to stretch it out, but it's still difficult to get a good detail shot of the pattern on the dark yarn.
Trust me, it looks really neat.

***

And lest you think I forgot about the baby (HA!) I finished spinning the yarn for his BSJ last night. Now it just needs to be washed and abused a little, and I can start knitting!

tommys green yarn prewash

The two darker skeins came out to approximately 168 yards and the yellowier skein came out to about 180 yards. Right now it's roughly light fingering, but I tried to spin it rather softly, so it should bloom quite a bit it the wash, and be all sorts of snuggly and warm!


Next up on the wheel:

fluffy jacob

Some delightful fluffy Jacob top I got in a swap on ravelry. This is going to be a pair of work mittens for Bill. he wore out his last pair before we moved, and he's reluctant to wear his Squirrel and Oak mittens while cleaning the snow off the car, for fear of ruining them.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Happy socks, sad socks, and some embroidery

Sad socks :(

I blew a hole in a pair of socks the other day.

holey socks

My first holey socks, I am sad.

It's especially sad, because I was just thinking that these were one of my favorite pairs, I love the colours, I loved the stitch pattern, and the yarn was so squishy and soft. Yeah, I guess that should have been the clue. Not only do I have this hole, but there are sever thin spots in both heels, and the other toe as well.

They are the leaf lace socks, I knit using Autumn House Farm Twist Strideaway.

I'm keeping these around for now because I haven't decided if I want to darn them or not. I feel so sad, because they were one of my favorite pairs.

And now I have another dilemma, because I have another skein of the same yarn in a different colorway. And I really like the colours, and the yarn is so soft and squishy, but I'm not sure if I trust it in socks again.

***

To makeup for the lost socks, (and to have something relatively simple on the needles) I have started another pair of socks!

purple bluebells start

It's kind of hard to see in the dark yarn (darn overcast conditions!) but this is the bluebell pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. It looks really nice, and is super easy to memorize. I'm using leftover Knit picks Palette from my woven and fulled scarf. I only had on ball of the darker, and about half a ball of the lighter, so I'm using the lighter purple in the toes and heels, (and possibly the top ribbing if I have enough when I run out of the dark)

I'm zipping right along on these guys, I'm only about an inch away from the heels already. The pattern is so easy, and lately I haven't really had the energy for brain intensive knitting. (Due date is a week from today!!!)

***

and finally some embroidery:

xmas redwork for mom

This is the Colonial Christmas Sampler, a First Friday Freebie from the painted quilt

I used two strands of DMC 321 for the main motifs, and a strand of 321 plus a strand of gold filament for the grid lines, all on unbleached muslin. It's kind of hard to see in the small picture, but if you click though to see the big, you can see how much it sparkles. I really love it!

I'm going to frame this up and give it to my mother for Christmas.
I'm also thinking about taking some of the individual motifs from this piece and making little tree ornaments to go along with it, but I haven't decided yet.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chilly weather = knitting

Yesterday we woke up to people scraping ice from their windshields. As Bill walked of to school wearing his woven scarf and knit hat and gloves, I decided it was time to unpack and put up the hat rack.

In our old apartment we didn't have a hall closet, so the rack held our coats, and the hats and other wintry accessories lived in a plastic bad on a table to the side. The new apartment has a nice big closet where we keep our coats, so the rack can finally be used to display our winter accessories.

knithatrack

Everything on the hat rack but Bill's driving cap was hand knit by me. I actually still have a few tams that didn't fit hanging in their old bag in the closet.

In other news, I have a few FOs!

First, TW's baby poonam

baby poonam done

I knit this using LB fisherman's wool, and size 7 needles. I did it mostly in the round with steeks for the armholes. This was my first time steeking and boy was I nervous! But I looked up the crochet steek method from see Eunny knit and it was a breeze. It was actually quite fun once I got going!

I didn't really do too thorough of a blocking, just kinda patted it into shape, and after I uploaded the picture I noticed that it was a bit lopsided, I went back and fixed it a bit, but I'm not going to stress over it too much, because really, nobody is going to notice how well a job I did blocking it while my most awesome TW is wearing it ;)

And last but not least, socks!

felicisocks done

Knit picks Felici in Aurora, size 1.5 (2.5 mm) needles, toe up, two at once, magic loop

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

blogging to win

as you may or may not know, i occasionally like to sew.

so i was very excited to see that Sweet Jessie is having a contest to give away an awesome new book:

one yard wonders
this is by the same people who did one skein wonders which i already have, and love.

why not go on over and enter yourself?

Friday, November 06, 2009

Spinning, Rhinebeck, and a very special hat.

The last month or so has been really busy around here, there is only about one more month to go before the baby is due, and I can definitely feel it! We've been in a flurry of baby preparations, doctors visits, ultrasounds, and weekend visits from my parents to buy last minute supplies.

But I've still managed to spin and knit a little, and even to haul myself to Rhinebeck for the NY sheep and wool festival

++++

First the spinning:

You may remember this fiber that I bought at the Southern Adirondack Fiber festival.

SAFF2009 yummy wool tower

Well it's been spinning up nicely into a lovely worsted weight two ply which I plan to make a baby surprise jacket (ravelry link) from for little TW. I wanted it worsted to make a slightly bigger jacket to fit him later on, as he will be born in winter, so by the time a regularly sized jacket would fit him, it would be too warm. But I figure a larger size will fit him slightly longer.

greenredyellow spinning in progress plied 1 niddynoddy

I wasn't quite happy with the amount of plying twist so after this picture was taken I went back and added a little more, and I'm much happier now.

I have two skeins finished now and am working on the last.

++++

Rhinebeck:

Rhinebeck was awesome this year; there were so many places to go and sheep to see.

I even bought my first Abby Bats by Abby Franquemont who is an amazing fiber artist. They are 40% merino, 40% tencel, and 20% BFL, and they are DELICIOUS! I can't wait to start spinning them. I only got about 76 grams, whish isn't much so I think I will spin them up lace weight, and see if I can find some green silk in a matching colour to spin up and ply them with for a shawl.

abbybats forestforthetrees

The rest of the festival was awesome, and so was the afternoon Ravelry meet up even if I was a bit too shy to talk to some of the people I wanted too, unfortunately I completely forgot to take any pictures. Luckily, Bill did take a few, and you can check them out at his flikr stream. (there's even a picture of me with Bob!) please try to ignore how big and squishy I look, pregnancy has not been kind.

Specking of pregnancy, I was SO SORE by the end of the day! I missed so many things that I wanted to see because I was just too tired and sore to keep going. :(

But there is always next year, and we can introduce TW to all the sheep and critters!

++++

And the very special hat:

special hat

No I did not knit this hat.

A few weeks ago, we got a package in the mail from Bill's mother, inside was this hat.
No she didn't knit it either.

Bill's Grandmother did.

Many, many years ago, Bill's Grandma Bid knit this hat for one of her nieces who was expecting. Unfortunately the baby never got a chance to wear it (he outgrew it before it was cold enough to wear.) but it was a hand knit, so it was kept. Years go by and Grandma Bid passed away. But when the niece heard that we were expecting she immediately thought of Grandma Bid (I have been told repeatedly that she would love me) and she sent the hat our way.

The hat is so tiny! I hope that it will fit so that TW can wear it at least once. I nearly cried when I read the letter and story.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whew, marathon socks

Well, marathon sock knitting that is.

This is a commission knit for someone on Ravely, she needed two quick pairs of socks for her mom by the end of the month, and we worked out a deal.

plain ribbed socks pinkandblue

Plain old toe up short row heel two at once, plain 2x2 ribbed socks.
Knit with size 2 (2.75mm) needles and Bernat Sox yarn (pink camouflage and hippi hot)

The first pair only took about a week to do, but only because I neglected almost all the housework and laundry, and pretty much knit on them obsessively.

The second pair took a little over two week, with breaks to spin up some of the yummy wool I got at the Southern Adirondack fiber festival, and to actually do some housework. (my husband is thankfull)

In exchange of all this knitting she sent me some fiber:

wool in exchange for socks love spell

8 oz, hand dyed merino wool from CJ Kopec called "love spell" and it lives up to its name, I love it! I'm planning on spinning it up fine lace weight, and knitting a shawl from it.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's fiber festival time!

On Saturday Bill and I piled into the car and took a scenic drive to the Washington County Fairgrounds to attend the first annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival

It was a beautiful day, the temperatures were cool, perfect shawl weather, and it was bright and sunny all day. There were over 80 venders there. On top of spinning, weaving, and rug hooking demonstrations, and a really interesting sheep sheering demo.

SAFF2009 shearing

we saw cashmere goats, llamas, alpacas,

SAFF2009 alpaca

and Bill got to commune with some sheep:

SAFF2009 sweet sheep
(I love this picture)


Bill bought lots of yummy smelling hand made soap from Natural Specialties (no web site, but they'll be at Rhinebeck!) and Saratoga Suds 'n' Stuff

We drooled over the shirts from five sheep and a donkey especially the baby's onesies, soo cute!

And finally I gave in and bought 9oz of hand dyed wool from Spinners Hill

SAFF2009 yummy wool
I plan on making a baby surprise jacket out of it for TW and hopefully a hat and maybe mittens if I have enough left over.

I wanted to preserve the colors so I split it into three sections for easier handling (my bobbins will only hold about 4 oz each) and when I go to spin I'll split each section in half lengthwise and then ply each half together to (hopefully) get a self striping two ply.

SAFF2009 yummy wool braid

I just love the colours in this roving, it reminds me both of autumn, but also of summer fields, I can't wait to get started on this!

SAFF2009 yummy wool tower

Afterwards Bill and I were talking, and we really enjoyed how small the festival was, unlike Rhinebeck with its huge grounds and huger crowds. It was so calm yet cheerful, we could actually stroll up and down the aisles, and were able to take our time as we perused the vendors, and I never got jostled once! The SAFF will undoubtedly get bigger and more popular as the years go on and it gets more advertising and more activities and such. But for now we are going to enjoy the calm and stress free time wile we can. (Don't get me wrong, we LOVE Rhinebeck, and definitely plan on going, but anybody who has been there will tell you, the crowds are wild, and it can be a bit stressful trying to check out all the vendors and their wares while a massive crowd presses in around you trying to do the same)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pineapple FO, okie dokie progress, and socks!

So I mentioned earlier that I had finished some crochet doilies to adorn the arms of my new chair.
Well, I STILL haven’t found my blocking pins, so I figured I would at least show you the unblocked pictures:

starypineapleunblocked

doilyarm

Starry Pineapple Doily from Favorite Pineapple Doilies of Rita Weiss from the American School of Needlework.

J&P coats size 10 crochet cotton in Ecru, and #7 steel crochet hook.

doilyarms
(Doesn't Pillow Guy look so happy in his new home?)

I've also picked up Okie Dokie (aka Frosted Ferns by Herbert Niebling) again, and have made some pretty good progress.

okie dokie progress

It's about 37% finished now, and as you can see I've finished the first acorn, YAY!

And of course, I've got my ubiquitous pair of socks:

felici socks progress

Knit picks Felici in "Aurora"
The usual toe up two at a time, short row heel pattern in 1 1/2 Knit Picks circulars.


Unfortunately (ok, not really) these projects are going to be put on hold for a while, since I've just picked up a Commission knitting job through a swap group on Ravelry.

I'm knitting some socks in exchange for spinning fiber. It's win-win-win!
I get to knit socks, I get awesome spinning fiber, and she gets new socks!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Wow, who knew moving would be so hard?

Yeah, shortly after my last post Bill and I took a trip down to the Capital District of NY to go Apartment hunting. You see, he got accepted into the DSES (decision sciences and engineering systems, it's essentially applied mathematics) PHD program at RPI (yay!)

Once we got back it was a flurry of purging of unneeded stuff, and packing of needed stuff, then there was that whole moving thing, and then a bunch of unpacking (which still isn't finished).

Things are finally beginning to settle down, and I can start knitting and blogging again!

but for now, how about a few FO's and a WIP?

The wip:

baby poonam progress

The Baby Poonam I'm working it semi seamless. The main body is in the round with steeks for the armholes. I'm just about ready to cast off the front shoulders. Then there will be a bit more knitting on the back, a button tab for the shoulder and then the sleeves!

FO's:

blue green baby booties

Baby booties! :D:D
Just the Oscar pattern (link is to Ravelry, where the pattern is a free pdf download) in some leftover sock yarn, I think this is my favorite booty pattern ever.


And my first finished knit in the new apartment:

pastel knit basket side

A little knit basket. Before we moved we didn't have a couch, or a coffee table, now we have both, and I have discovered that the coffee table accumulates bunches of little bits and bobs that I use all the time, so it's really annoying to constantly be putting them away and taking them out. so I knit this cute little basket to put them in so the table stays neat.

Yarn is some of my own handspun merino from when I was first learning to spin on a wheel, so it was a bit thick and thin, but I really likes the colours, and I think it worked well here.

No real pattern, just cast on 8 stitches, and knit a center out square until I thought it was big enough, then a couple of purl rows and knit straight up the sides. I then felted it a bit to make it a bit stiffer to keep the sides from flopping over.

pastel knit basket fill

I've also just finished a couple of crochet doilies to put on the arms of my new chair, but they aren't blocked yet, so the look kinda funky, so pictures will have to wait until I find the time to block them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Holy crap, two more months between posts?

It's ok, I have a good excuse, and some FOs!

First the FOs:

Remember the evergreen yarn I won from Lucia?

Well that became these:
billsevergreen socks blockers

Socks for Bill, I used Cat Bordhi's upstream construction modified by a lot of math to make it work better, and then threw in a simple knit purl pattern for interest.
billsevergreen socks fold

the next fo isn't quite as exciting, but I had read about the spiral, 9 stitch blanket and wanted to try it out, but I didn't really think I would have the gumption to knit an actual blanket, so I made a bathmat:
spiral bathmat

it came out pretty nice, but I didn't really like the pattern, I couldn't really get into the groove, there was too much stopping and turning. Maybe next time if I want to do it again I would make it more like 15 – 20 stitches.

as for why I haven't posted in about two months, you see... I've been too tired and sick to knit much let alone put together a post.
I hear that happens to a lot of pregnant women though, so don't worry, I am knitting, I have the baby poonam sweater on the needles right now, and am planning on making up a bunch of Oscar booties once we find out what the sex is. (Those who follow me on Ravelry may have noticed an explosion of baby pattern on my queue, there are so many cute little things to knit, and most of them easy and quick too!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

This post brought to you by the letters F and O

Yow, sorry about the two week wit between posts. I guess I'm just a bit too easily distracted.

Well, anyways, today is all FOs!

Lest start off with the oldest, shall we?:

Handspun legwarmers: these guys were made with handspun yarn from some beautiful and gloriously soft alpaca/mohair/Marino roving I got from All Strings Considered (weavespinknit.etsy.com) at Rhinebeck last fall. I decided I needed legwarmers with the exceptionally cold winter we had, so I whipped up a pattern and finished them around the middle of January and wore them almost constantly until last month or so. They are so nice and warm, and did I mention soft! I did need to thread some elastic through the top ribbing so they would stay up, but otherwise these are PERFECT!

legwarmers and socks 1
(excuse the weird cropping and background, Bill took the pictured and managed to get some rather unflattering pictured of my butt in there too)

legwarmers and socks 3

And what is that under the legwarmers? Why yes! It's another pair of socks!
Just a plain old Jane toe up pattern, but what makes these guys special is that once again, they are handspun! Made from some wool I dyed myself! The yarn for these socks was entirely spindle spun, and is wearing wonderfully. I didn't have quite enough wool for a full pair, so I saved some aside and spun it with some undyed singles, along with a strand of wooly nylon, and I used that for the heels and toes and cuffs. There a bit pilly in the picture, but that’s only because I've been wearing them A LOT since I finished them, but besides a few pills, they show no sign of wearing out any time soon, awesome!

legwarmers and socks 2

next up, some tatted Easter bunnies that I put in cards for my family this year:

tatted bunnies

the two on the left are from here, the middle one is my own design, and the one on the right is from here everybody loved them! Yay!


at the beginning of march during knit night a woman came up to me and asked if I took commissions, a friend of her had begun a baby blanket, but had just gotten out of surgery and the pain meds were making her too loopy to knit, but she really wanted the blanket to be done soon, since the baby had already arrived and the weather was getting warmer.

I looked at the pattern, and it looked relatively easy, so I said sure, what the heck!
Slightly under a month later after some pretty seriously monogamous knitting I had this:
bluebabyblanket 1

bluebabyblanket fold

The pattern was an old Bernat pattern (at least all the materials, from yarn to needles called for were Bernat brand), but all I had was a photocopy, without any other information besides “style no. 3020-132”

I'm not really sure this blanket is really all that baby appropriate (there are a lot of long strands to make the swags, and the repeated stitch slipping left rather large holes on either side of the purl sections. And lets not even mention the loopy edging) but when I mailed it out, the woman loved it. so I guess that's all that matters.

And finally, a couple of years ago, I crochet and knit up a bunch of pot scrubbies using some old acrylic and cotton yarns, and while they worked well, they also were falling apart! So I went out and got some nylon yarn and made some new ones!

greenscrubbies

The 100% nylon (Needloft brand, I got it in the plastic canvas section of Michaels.) should make them both tougher, but also, rougher, so they can do a better job at scrubbing. So far so good!

From the top, clockwise, they are: a crochet pattern of my own design, Abigail, from 1870 Pearl's knit tribble and a crochet spiral tawashi from here (the site is in Japanese, a direct pdf link here)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pattern Palooza

Part of the isolation over the last two months has been because was working on two new patterns.

The first one you have seen before:
The vacation headband

unorigional headband 001

It is now available as a free download from Ravelry:
here, as a PDF
(Do not worry if you don't have a Ravelry account, you can still access the pattern!)


The other pattern has also made a short guest appearance here:
The shamrock tam, the pattern was originally put together for a stranded colourwork class I am teaching, but I had so many requests for the pattern I finally decided to put it up for sale :
shamrock tam top

Pattern will be available for US $3.00


The Shamrock Tam: $3.00

Monday, March 30, 2009

Return

Holy crap, has it really been two months since I last posted?

I totally did not mean to flake out like that, but first I didn't have anything to post about, then I had stuff, but wasn't feeling very motivated, then I was sick, then I felt like posting, but had so much I wanted to post about I didn't know where to start, so I didn’t.

Sorry about that everybody :(
(That is, if there's anybody left?)

I have a bunch of stuff I want to post about, including some FOs and a couple of new patterns.

But fist, a little teaser to hold you over while I try to get my thoughts organized.

legwarmersteaser billsevergreensocksprogress teaser
sock summit 09 markers first batch teaser bluebabyblanketprogress teaser

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Sky

saturday sky 01-31-09

taken overlooking the frozen St. Lawrence river from the veterans' memorial on riverside dr. Clayton, NY

taken Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 11:20am

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