31 July 2007

The HP Haze Has Risen

Last night, at 12:30, I finished the last page of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It's the best one yet! But now that it's over I have some time to knit again. I have a few plans for the next few projects:
1. A sockbug sock pattern for my sock knitters anonymous August knit-a-long. I'm going to do River Rapids socks in Mountain Colors bearfoot in Juniper.
2. A shawl for myself. I somehow have no shawl and I could really use one this weekend. It obviously won't be done for this weekend and probably won't even be cast on by then. I'm going to make the Hanging Garden (I think that's the name) from knit picks (I just tried searching for the pattern on their site and can't find it). I'm making it in a midnight color that's actually black and green. It should be nice if I can master the lace. Me and lace have not been friends lately. Socks are so much more fun!!
3. I need to figure out a cable pattern for the sleeves of my boy's sweater. I think I know what I want to do but I just have to get my butt in gear and write out a pattern for it.
4. I HAVE to finish that damn Irish Hiking scarf. It's been a WIP for so long, actually it's probably a UFO by now!!
OK, I've got a plan now, I feel a little less overwhelmed. My stash is slowly starting to creep out of the craft room and I'm afraid it will strangle me in my sleep if I don't use it soon.
Oh, and I'm destashing a little. I'm getting rid of a whole paper bag full of yarn, hopefully. I'm bringing it to my stitch and bitch group tomorrow and I hope someone wants some of it. I tried last week and just brought some homespun, which no one wanted. If no one claims all this other stuff it's going to a thrift store! It's not bad yarn, I'm just never going to use it.

26 July 2007

Hip in Hemp Pictures

No new knitting to post, thanks to Harry Potter book 7. But, I sent the hip in hemp skirt to my niece and just got some pictures of her wearing it. Isn't she just adorable!

23 July 2007

Grocery Bags

So, I frogged my Breeze socks. It was just not the right yarn for the sock, which I knew in the first place but thought I could get over since it's just a practice lace sock. But then I just couldn't take it. I couldn't put that much effort into something knowing it's going to be crap. So, my next pair of socks is going to have to wait until I do the first sock for the sock a month knit along from sock knitters anonymous on Ravelry. I'm going to be doing the river rapids sock by sockbug. I don't have good yarn for it though. I'm going to wait for my knit picks package to come though cause I ordered some sock yarn from them.

Other than that, I'm just working on a grocery bag:

That's about it for now. I'm desperately waiting for that knit picks package (I don't think it's even shipped yet). I can't wait for my new DPNs.

Oh, and I'm hoping my sister got her package already, if not I'm ruining the surprise. Anyway, I destashed a couple skeins, some needles, and a few patterns to my little sister. She lost just about all her stuff in a fire in her apartment building the other day. The day after I mailed the yarn out I found out my older sister unloaded a big garbage bag full of crap yarn on our little sister. At least one skein I sent her was pretty good, Lamb's Pride worsted.

22 July 2007

Fell off the wagon, big time!

My whole destashing project has come to a crashing halt. I got a very generous gift from my aunt for my PhD graduation and I figured I could spend a percentage of it on knitting and the rest would go to paying some bills since I'm barely working. I told my man that I was going to get some nice needles with the money and he said that's boring why don't you buy some pretty yarn. Now how could I say no to that. My man actually encouraged a yarn purchase (not that he has ever had any real objection to yarn). So, I thought a nice sock yarn club would be perfect but of course they're all closed. . . enter lime and violet! They mentioned a new sock club starting in September with Hill Country Yarns. So, that's where part of the money went (and if a spot opens in any of the other sock clubs I'll probably sign up for that too.)

Still having about $50 left of my allotted knitting money I went to knit picks. I got the 0-3 dpn set, the favorite socks book, and 2 skeins of essential sock yarn.

Quite a dive I took off the wagon, but I am getting rid of 4 skeins of homespun baby at my next knitting night.

I rely on padcasting to get me through the day lately. I can't seem to stand listening to the radio, even NPR has lost all appeal to me. So, my 2 hours of commuting is filled with knitting podcasts, good thing there are plenty of back episodes for me to catch up on. At home I listen to the podcasts when I am walking the dogs. The dogs can't seem to concentrate on conversations when I'm walking them so I need some company. The podcasters are my perfect companion. When I'm just hanging out at home the iPod is always clipped onto my pants. We're in the process of getting the house ready to sell so there is very little down time and I spend most of my time scrubbing, cleaning, and repairing. My favorite of all is stash and burn. It's all about using your stash (which was my goal in knitting until yesterday!) Unfortunately I'm all caught up with back episodes and have to actually wait for new ones to come out. But this one is my reality check. I listen to Brenda and Lime and Violet (and many, many more) and they talk about all this yarn I've never heard of. After a few episodes of that I'm ready to jump on the computer and order from every indie dyer on etsy. That's when I listen to stash and burn. They calculate their yardage and let you know how much yarn they've used. It's pretty scary to even think of how many miles of yarn I have in my stash. And then add on the quilt fabric stash and I'm really screwed. Now I feel guilty about my yarn purchase. I'm going to go knit to make some room for my new yarn. Oh, and another reason stash and burn rocks. . . I didn't even win a contest and they sent me a gift! I guessed correctly about a celebrity and they sent the winner (a randomly drawn person) a cone of yarn and everyone else got stitch markers! Mine are gorgeous!

Oh, yeah, and what's on my needles. . . elisa's nest tote to use as grocery bags. I'm using some craptastic sugar and cream my sister forced on me when I was visiting her.

20 July 2007

Hippie day!

I finished the hip in hemp yesterday! It's sitting on the kitchen table drying.

Need I say more?

I casted on for the breeze socks from Knitty. I'm using some ugly sockotta yarn from my stash. the yarn will look pretty bad with the pattern, but it's my first attempt at lace socks. I was going to switch to being a picker, but I can't quite figure out purling like that so it will have to wait until I'm not dying to make anything and I can practice on a dishcloth.

Oh and I'm destashing 2 skeins. It's a surprise though so I'll share how I destashed later. I need to figure out a new destashing challenge cause. . . I'M GOING TO RHINEBECK!! There is no way that I am going to be able to use up enough yarn to buy even 2 skeins (that would be using up 10 skeins by October!) This is going to require some real thought.

OK, I'm going to spend the rest of my day staring at the hip in hemp skirt. Knitty rocks!!

19 July 2007

Just a little obsessed

I don't have any pictures today since I'm posting from work. But they're coming, I just thought I needed to blog a little so my next post isn't ginormous.

First things first, Mr. Chopper has the first leg of his rally obedience novice title. That was the whole reason for my trip up to NY this week and I'm very glad I went to see him. My mom was super nervous the first day but she was much calmer the second day of competition. Although they were running behind by over 2 hours and she was ready to leave cause she thought Chops was too stressed out (oh yes, sleeping in a crate on a beautiful day is stress to my mom!). But me and my sis were able to convince her to stay and that's the day the silly little dog got his first leg! I'm very proud of you Chopper!

Me and my sis went to see Harry Potter while I was home and I was thoroughly unimpressed. I think my problem was I listened to the book on tape right before I went to NY so the whole thing was fresh in my mind and I knew exactly where they strayed from the book and just how much was skimmed over or completely left out. I really think that had I not read the book I would have been totally lost on the plot. At this point I'm going to read the last book out of loyalty to Harry but really am not nearly as interested in it as I once was. I think they've gotten far too long and convoluted story lines for a kids book.

I got some quality knitting time in with my older sister when the whole family came over on Sunday. (I'm all about KIPing and I consider it KIPing when you knit during family functions even if they're in your mom's house.) Anyway, we talked about our future podcast. We were thinking the 3 knitwits but I believe there is already a knitwit podcast. We're going to have to think of a new name, I've got some in mind. And I'm thinking of ideas for segments that aren't done by all the other podcasters. It's all part of my knitting fantasy world. You know the place. That land where I don't have to go to work and yet somehow have a million dollars a year to spend on yarn. That special place where days are endless and you don't have to choose between squeezing in 30 minutes of knitting and taking a shower. In my knitting fantasy world I live in a town filled to the brim with knitters. All social outing involve knitting. A night at the bar. . . sure bring that scarf you've been knitting. A Sunday movie matinee. . . of course we'll leave the lights on in the theater so you can make some real progress on that sweater. Dinner at a friends house. . . handmade knitted hostess gifts are well received.

So, back to the real world. I'm in the process of getting my house ready to sell. My husband will hopefully have a new job lined up soon and we'll be moving. Yipee!! Not that I don't like my house. I actually like it quite a bit and would love to just put an extension on and call it a day. But we live next to a rental property that has been abandoned for up to 6 months at a time. An unmowed lawn with vermin is not what I like to see when I look out of the window. We have no idea where we're going. . . Rhode Island hopefully but probablly going to stay around here in southeastern Virginia. The good thing about selling the house is I have a very good excuse to not go to work. I work about 1 or 2 days a week now, and basically just go in to fill out some paperwork and get a few things done that my advisor needs. It's very low stress but I think about everything that needs to be done at home and I start stressing. We're looking to put the house on the market August 1st or so. Another good thing about getting the house ready is that I can work all day around the house, make dinner, then call it a day and knit all night. I don't have to clean the house at 7 at night, then do the dinner dishes, and walk the dogs. I can get it all done at a decent hour and have my nights free. It has lead to a large amount of knitting actually getting done. It's fantastic! Last night I completely forgot to go to my knitting group. I knit all night though and bound off the last stitch of the hemp skirt as the credits started rolling for Rescue Me. What timing! I've got a few more ends to weave in then I've got to wash and block it and then another WIP finished! Pictures will be up in the next post and hopefully pictures of my niece wearing it very soon.

Oh, and I'm absolutely obsessed with Ravelry. I'm pinsandneedles for anyone else who's on it. And I constantly have my iPod with me so I can listen to knitting podcasts while working on the house and driving in the car. They're will be more on podcasts later this week though. I'm really very obsessed with this whole knitting thing. I have to find a way to make money off of this so I don't have to work again. I'm thinking an etsy shop is on the way. Why didn't I major in knitting in college??

11 July 2007

Finished Socks!

WooHoo!!!! I finished my first pair of socks. Just like everyone I've been listening to on podcasts, I'm over the self striping yarn. It was my first pair though and I didn't want to use some nice yarn since I really didn't think I'd ever finish these things! I'm ready for another pair of socks!! I'm going to try the breeze pattern from knitty next. It's an ankle sock with lace so it should be a quick way to try out some lace since it's normally not my friend.
Pattern: Basic sock (on label for yarn)
Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes, color Purple Pattern
Needles: Size 2, bamboo DPNs
And here's the progress on the hip in hemp skirt for my niece
I'm just finishing the last row of the 4th repeat. This is the first repeat with a little bit of lace. 2 more to go. This is knitting up so fast, although it's starting to get a little boring so it may slow down a little.

05 July 2007


My stash has gotten out of control! I'm beginning my own personal destashing challenge. I can not purchase another skein of yarn until I knit 5 skeins from my stash. Current UFO's not included!! It's going to be extremely hard to do, especially since I'm going to NY next week and my sister is also knitting obsessed. Luckily, my LYS in Virginia is a good 40 minute drive so it's not too tempting to drive up there. But, once I need a new needle to make a project I'll be screwed. I don't think I can actually walk into the store without buying some yarn.

And I've made amajor discovery that will affect the rest of my knitting life. While listening to some back episodes of the knit picks podcast with Kelley Petkun, she was discussing he differences between english and continental knitting. I have been a "thrower" or English knitter since I started but have become completely amazed when I see people knit without all the movement I seem to have. I feel like my right arm is flying all over the plave when I knit. But, being the lazy person I am, I never actually looked for another method. Then in Episode 5 of the podcast Kelley gives the simplest description of being a "picker" or Continental knitter. I was working on the hemp skirt while I was listening to it and played around a little with picking. I absolutely love it! I'm going to switch to being a picker. Unfortunately I have many UFOs that were started as a thrower and I'm sure my gauge will change when I become a picker. So I have to finish all of my UFOs and then I'm going to practice being a picker on a dishcloth or two. I'm so excited to start being a picker! It's going to speed up my knitting so much. I have so many UFOs though, including a large sweater for my husband. I really have to quit my job so I can knit full time!

02 July 2007

Knitting. . . eat it, sleep it, breath it

I seem to do nothing but knitting lately. I'm a little afraid I'm going to burn out on it, hopefully not! I knit all day when I'm home. When I walk the dogs and drive anywhere in the car I've got a million knitting podcasts that I listen to. It's crazy the amount of knitting stuff out there! Reading has pretty much been put on the back burner. But I've read a ton the last few months so maybe I just burned out on that for a while. And quilting just doesn't happen unless there's a baby blanket I have to get done since it requires taking over the kitchen table for days at a time. Anyway, much progress has come from all this knitting time.

I have been working like crazy on the hip in hemp skirt. It took a while to get the last color in, the green. It came in on Friday while I was home from work so I drove up to Williamsburg to pick it up (and also picked up 2 skeins of frog tree and 1 skein of mountain colors sock yarn, I just can't help myself). Anyway, I got it and I was not thrilled with the color at all. It looked like lime sherbert in the store. I gave it a shot though and got it home. I placed it next to the other colors and it looked pretty good. Plus I have to remember that this is for a seven year old girlie girl and there's nothing better than sherbert colored clothing when you're a seven year old girlie girl. So, I've finished one and a half pattern repeats with four and a half left. I add more stitches every 4 rows though so each repeat will take longer and longer. Here it is. It's riddled with mistakes, but hopefully they're not going to mess up the overall design. I think I got through the last 2 patterned rows with no problems (hopefully). I'd like to have another repeat done before I go to NY in a week and a half so I can have my niece try it on.
While I was waiting for the last color for the skirt I made some serious progress on my striped socks. I was a row or two into the gusset when the hemp yarn came in. I figured I had to finish the gusset or else I'd be completely lost when I picked it up again. It'll be my no thinking project now until I get to the toes, so it's going to my S&B with me and other places where I can't quite knit and talk but I try anyway!