Friday, May 26, 2006


its kind of hard to pack for vacation when your nice luggage is being used to store yarn. hehehe.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

too much Tyra?

Two... beauuuutiful balls of yarn stand before me.

One is a light ocean blue color, just perfect for summer knitting. But the judges are worried that your bulky guage might not work well with vacation travel knitting.
The other is also a gorgeous color, with a versatile aran weight gauge. The judges think she could be used for just about anything. But... they are worried about being so perfect that they won't be able to decide on one single project.
Only one of you can go on to become...
America's. Next. Top Sweater

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

pictureless post; think blue.

i tried to have an interesting picture today, but the camera just wasn't cooperating.

I've gone back to working on my blue-green aran. there is only about 6 inches left of the shoulder, then its ready to block and seam. why, yes, i AM procrastinating on the St. Moritz neck. because i don't like to work on things that are complicated. perhaps its makes me a lazy knitter... perhaps i'm a slacker. Whatever the word, I have come to the realization that i don't like to think too hard when i'm knitting. I expect my knitting to be relaxing; something i can do at night in front of the tube. Not entirely mindless, though, I like it to have a little bit of challenge. Just not so much that i need to contemplate heavily. I am not the kind of knitter that designs her own patterns or significantly alters patterns. I just don't find that relaxing.

Right, back to St. Moritz. I need to actually sit down with pattern books and /think/ about how to make the collar i want. and so i'm procrastinating by finishing up other UFOs.

I must have the Blues lately. Not only am i finishing this aran, but I also came home with two different blue yarns from the Webs Tent sale last weekend. As much as i tried, i couldn't resist the disgustingly cheap prices. (buying from them was so much easier to justify when i had an employee discount! damn i miss that.) I got two bags of a bulky yarn - Filatura di Crosa ZarOne in a light aqua blue. I think this one is coming on vacation with me next week for plane/car knitting. I am torn on the pattern, though. Deciding between: Blackberry / Hot Lava shruggy type cardigan (pros: easy pattern, immediate gratification, nice shape. cons: odd shaping in the back, possibly not flattering for big-boobied gals?) or Glampyre Bulky Cabled Cardigan (pros: top down for easy of altering shape, simple to knit while travelling. cons: bulky yarn + cables + big boobs = disaster?)
thoughts from the blogiverse?

The second blue yarn to jump into my basket was some Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in a really gorgeous teal blue. I was thinking about making Rogue with it, but 1600 yards in the 20 balls i've got might be cutting it too close for my taste (pattern calls for 1650 for the largest size). Hypothetical option #2 is the Sunrise Circle Cardigan. suggestions?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

new for knitting scientists

(this is yesterday's news for some, but not everyone has seen it yet. I do love me some knitting science geekery!)

have you already knit yourself a Double Helix Scarf? or don't want to do cables? Rosalind is a cool new pattern from Alice, a member of the knitting scientists webring. I love that she named it after Ms Franklin. This scarf is definitely going into my 'to knit' file.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

(nqc) FO: Big Orange Sweater

attending recent fiber festival made my startitis flare up. the itch is bad. i'm pawing through my knitting library again. and lusting after a sweater kit from Mostly Merino that i first saw at Gore Place. I very nearly bought it at NHS&W, but decided on the new wheel instead. of course i have plenty of yarn already in my stash! AND 4 unfinished sweaters at home!! (the startitis care's not. it wants to rush of planning something new. grrrr)

my anti-startitis prescription? finish something! I was waiting to block the B. Orange pieces, but they are big and i don't know where to lay them all out. screw it. i seamed them up watching the toob over the last few nights. Tonight i will finish sewing in the ends and probably block it this weekend.

The second incentive to finish this particular sweater was the upcoming MAS&W in Cummington, Ma. I bought the orange fleece there last year. I mentioned that i was going to spin it and knit it for Darius, and we joked about whether it would get done over the coming winter. The vendor laughed, "Yeah right, if you have that done by this time next year i will be really impressed." a challenge was issued!! (i am not a competitive person by nature, but i do appreciate a good dare now and then.) Boy and I will be on the west coast visiting family and friends during the weekend of MAS&W this year, so i can't show it to her in person. But i know its done. and he likes it! (see the whack rabbit dance shot is proof!)

Fiber- washed and dyed merino fleece purchased from Winterbery Farm. i must mention (yet again) how much i loved this fiber! it was easy to work with and the spun yarn is light, soft, warm, and gorgeous. (i'm considering buying this year's fleece from the same sheep and making a sweater for myself!)
i bought about 1 lb of orange and 1 lb of yellow. I blended with random red roving to keep it 'overall orangey'. But i didn't blend completely because i wanted the random tweedy look. Started with handcarding, then bought a drum carder in the fall. Forgot to keep track of how many yards spun... think i used up 1.5 lbs. probably spun about 1500 yds of 2-ply, worsted weight yarn.
Pattern- Knit Great Basics by Vicki Square. My favorite book for making simple guy sweaters. Also a really great book for handspun yarn. The math is already worked out for the same size in a variety of yarn gauges. If your yarn changes as you knit, you can just switch needles and use the numbers from the next column over. no muss, no fuss. And it fits him perfectly!
Time- one year exactly from fleece to sweater.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NH S&W purchases

Like many others this weekend, i actually paid to LEAVE stuff at the fairgrounds. I brought up two garbage bags of raw fleece that someone gave me last spring. Of course i thought i would have time to wash and process it myself... shyeah right. So i brought it up and left it with the Zeilinger's truck. My cra(p)ft room is very happy to have that mess gone. I should get it mailed back to me sometime in july.

I was 'on the lookout' for a nice used spinning wheel while there as well. Or something that i just had to have. And i found it... a Merlin Tree Hyacinthe Wheel! I am so very, very excited. Its the last one he has available. I'd been eyeing them on the website for months and was pretty disappointed when the site said they were sold out. He had one with him that was being picked up that day and i got to give it a test spin. *droooool* I swam around the fairgrounds for a few hours thinking about it. Then went back and put a down payment on it. Sometime later this summer it will be done. oh boy oh boy oh boy.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

lets get IKEAfied

Those who've actually been to my house will not believe this... but i'm posting this from my craft room!! How is this possible? Many weeks ago, friend Jenn and I measured every square inch of room and furniture in the crap room. She brought graph paper and actually drew out a little model room and found the best possible arrangment. IKEA catalog in hand, we planned out a new, usable craft room. I didn't have the money to go ahead with the plan at the time, but planned on using my tax return for it.

Then i came across pictures of someone else's utterly droolworthy craft room and it inspired (or shamed) me into getting my own room into shape. On wednesday Jenn, Gina, Darius and I went to IKEA Stoughton and actually purchased the furniture.

Here is feline overlord Sabine supervising while Gina fiddles with small swedish hardware and the boys attach the glass doors.

I've spent most of the day today cleaning, organizing, culling, etc. The desktop is clear, i've got music and computer set up. Surprisingly, my entire yarn stash only takes up one cabinet! Its hard for me to actually organize, instead of just 'put away' and fill up drawers without really going through things.
I'll definitely post more pictures when the whole room is pretty and functional. Its so exciting!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

cat in lieu of knitting

its been a busy week. i attended a friend's wedding over the weekend and saw all my college buds. That makes me very happy. I taught a friend to knit on the drive to the wedding. didn't do much studying for the final exam that was last night. but its done, and i'm feeling pretty confident about it. Rounding the home stretch on the first year of grad school. I have a few more days to decide which lab i want to join and write a little report. Then i have the rest of may and some of june to write and defend my qualifying proposal.

since i've been an unproductive knitter, here's a cat picture. That is Sabine snuggled up in balls of roving. on top of my laptop. they sure know how to pick the sweet napping spot!

Friday, May 05, 2006

what was i thinking?

so here's a fiber-ish story from the last week:

i was in Sturbridge last weekend for a friend's bridal shower. I stopped in at a quaint little shop that advertised "quilts, wool, fabric". Hey, this car breaks for wool! well it wasn't spinning wool, as i'd hoped. It turned out to be felted wool for sewing and quilting, making "primitive" style crafts. As an aside, i hate that term. when did "country" get repackaged at "primitive"?!? ugh. but that's what they like in sturbridge.

The crafts and quilts were really cute, even thought not normally my style. In a moment of supreme idiocy, i decided to buy a small rug hooking kit. It looked fun. It had cute sheep. It was a small beginner item, and i thought it was something i would like doing.

I tried it. i officially don't like it. i worked on it a few nights this week. still don't like it.

It is supposed to be a 'sheep brick', whatever that is. Why do i need to cover a brick in wool?! While i was bitching about it in front of the tv, B. Orange responded: "well, its a brick cozy. then you can throw it through the window of the yarn stores you don't like."

HA! i love that boy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

sheep lover's webgame

Big Orange is an evil, evil man. A man that knows i have a love of sheep and puzzle games, and has an interest in making me like video games. So he sent me the link to this addictive little number: Puzzled Sheep. give it a try.

Monday, May 01, 2006

citizen of the procrasti-nation

Now, what did i do wrong on the neckline of St Moritz? Well, in classic dharia tradition, i forged ahead without thinking or paying attention. I want to make the crew neck version, not the zipper neck (because i know i would never actually sew in the zipper). As you can see, mine is NOT a crew neck! As i was knitting from the photocopied pattern for the zipper neck i knew something wasn't right with the shape of the neckline, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. So i tinked around with the slope and depth of it while continuing, making it more shallow than the pattern calls for. Its hard to visualize what the final neckline will look like while you're making it with a steek. After cutting, i realized what the problem was. d'oh! So now i have something halfway between a crew neck and zipper neck.

After much bitching, moaning, cussing, contemplating, and conferring with other knitters... i've decided to make a cowl neck for it. I've never really made a shawl collar, so i need to go to the bat library and research that for a bit. (i think i said 'cowl neck' to some friends this weekend cause i was tired. they gave me a very strange look.)

Did i get started on it? of course not. But i did finish the knitting for the Big Orange Sweater!!! woohooo. the boy might get this sweater by the end of may after all. one year after purchasing the fleece. The woman challenged me to spin, design, and knit the whole thing in one year. While i am not the most competitive spirit in the world, i do enjoy a good challenge. Who cares if he can't wear it til next fall? it is GOING to be done before Cummington this may, (*#&$(*&%#@.

B. Orange pieces need major blocking. Neck of St Moritz needs knitting. What did i do this weekend? I made a mindless-knitting hat from handspun leftovers. Because i was jealous of the cute little hats that i've seen Woolarina Kate knitting and wanted one for myself.