Thursday, August 17, 2006

Contest Mode/Free Stuff

I've been reading alot of blogs lately that have contests in them, and well, I love free stuff. I won't tell you which ones I've entered, I don't want to lessen my chances of winning, I don't expect to win, but the smallest chance to win free yarn....yum. Well the following picures is for a contest, it's from one of my favorite blogs to read,, if you have a cat, you'd understand too.
Now why do I deserve to win.....are listening, well the contest is in honor of the release of the movie "Snakes on a Plane", so I'm supposed to find a picure of an animal "in" something, hence the cat pic. But, besides that, take a look at the cd for the movie, my cousins band, yes the kid whose ass I wiped when he was 4, has a song on it, yea! That would be The Academy Is if you haven't read my blog for awhile. Will I see a free copy, no, did I get tickets to his House of Blues show, no, my uncle, his father said he could get me tickets to their show at the place formly known as the Tweeter Center, hell no, drive out to Tinley Park, ick. Well, pick me contest thrower! On the knitting front, I'm starting to recover from my Stitches/yarn overdose. I really need to finish the socks so I can start a new project, I'm past the ankle on number two. Also, the place where I bought the cashmere promised me some free camel for changing the price on me, well I hadn't recieved it yet so I e-mailed them. The owners assistant forgot before she went on vacation, so he's going to send me an 'extra big' one, yea. See, I love free stuff.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stitches Damage

Yea, um, making a list is useless, I got everything on it, plus more. Met up with Rachel and her mum and headed over to Stitches Midwest. While perusing the aisles I came across, many familiar knitting friends, Linda, Adrian and friend, Hugo and Michael I saw at the STR booth, and chitchatted with Bonne Marie and her posse. It was a good trip, didn't get overly excited this year. Instead of making the usual couple of rounds before buying, I went directly to the STR booth, I wanted that bumper sticker and something before they ran out, it was a good idea too. I prefer a lightweight finer sock yarn, but they were almost out, while I did buy some lightweight, I later came back and exchanged it for a medium weight, yea a little thicker, but I liked the color choices better. I ended up getting from Blue Moon Fiber arts one skein of medium weight superwash in the Pixie Park color way and one skein of the merino/tencel in Blue Brick Wall. The Pixie color is a little bright from me, but I have learn that with their yarns and the way its dyed, it often looks alot different knitted. Next on my list was some Inox circs for the Sarcelle lace pattern, which proved difficult. Everywhere I saw where Addi's, I love Addi's, but Inox is better for lace, but whoa, they were bought out and have a new name, Prym, and are made in Mexico. I compared them to an older pair when the company was Inox and made in Germany, they look mostly the same except the finish is different, more aluminum looking, we'll see, I thought Germany was the epicenter of knitting, hum. My mantra on this trip was, only if it's different which is why I like Dzined yarns and their booth. The make great hemp/wool yarns in great color ways that have a nice hippie feel. I've bought their stuff before at some yarn convention in Ohio a couple of years ago, I really like, it's rustic-y. So from them I bought obe skein of 50/50 wool/hemp in sport weight, great for socks, and also 4 oz of "textile grade" (versus what, smoking grade?) hemp sliver, I've never spun hemp and it shpuld be fun now that the winder is up and working. Rachael called me over to the WEBS booth to help her choose between two great deals and while I wasn't going to buy sweater knitting yarn, I've been wanting a celeryish green sweater for awhile, its a color I'm now wanting to explore. WEBS had a great deal on 50/50 Alpaca/wool in said color and if you bought 60 dollars of more you got another 20% off, so how could I pass that up? I bought 20 skeins with a grand total of 2200 yards total, I'm thinking an Irish sweater with cable and bobble and all kinds of stuff, down the road. Oh and a bottle of lavendar Eucalan wash, good for the spinning. I was almost home free when I saw the most beautiful color tencel/merino lace weight in a color that kinda looks like the inside of a hot house tomotoe right when you cut it, it kind of shimmers too. It also reminds me of art school when I would mix my own dyes for silk, I would get this color when mixing purple and yellow, it's wierd but I've always loved it. That's it. Pictures to be posted later as Blogger sucks right now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Computer and a Credit Card

I love the modern age, you could be the best of hermits, never leave your house and still fulfill all your fiber needs. Several weeks ago I bit the bullet and just went ahead and ordered the WoolLee Winder. I didn't realize that it would take almost a month to get it, it would have been nice to use it during my freedom from work, but alas, I join the work stiffs on Monday. Well it's here and I can't wait to play with it, I hope it works as well as I think it will. When it comes to spinning, I can get on quite a roll but have to stop so often to move the hook down the bobbin, at takes up time and messes up my evenness (sp?), but the new winder will take care of that. Plus, I like the idea of it winding even, no lumps, no bumps, nice and smooth. I bought cashmere at The Fold that I look forward to playing with.

I finally got my cashmere from the UK! 150 grams of laceweight, 2250 yards approximately for 20 plus 5 for shipping, what a deal! I actually paid 29, but a couple of days after I bought mine, it was put on summer sale for 20, so I wrote the company and they offered me a free cone of something else component, so I picked a cone of 4-ply camel, I haven't gotten it yet, but I expect it within the week and will post. I've never worked with camel, I look forward to it. So the cashmere is this pretty chocolate brown 2-ply with a single thread of silvery lurex, it adds a nice subtle sparkle. I've never bought brown yarn before, all my coats, shoes and accessories are black, so this a change for me, I also thought it would look nice with my hair color. I picked the laceweight to do the Sarcelle shawl pattern that has yet to be published, a friend of a friend designed it and it is the coolest looking knit pattern, I can't explain it, but it was love at first sight. I did a sample of the cashmere, 4x4, co 40 sts, on 1US bamboo dpn's, washed it and threw it in the dryer with some towels, it bloomed nicely, not as much as I was hoping, but I think that's because of the lurex. So very soft!
Saw at a friends house this really cool vintage stitch dictionary which is where I found the pebble stitch for the socks I'm working on. I liked it so much that I found one on eBay and won it for $11 with shipping. It's in great shape, has a nifty section on stitch terms in five languages, it's very inspiring. My friend Valerie has been designing some great scarves by combing several stitch patterns which I liked and I realized that I didn't really have any great stitch pattern books to work from, it is a great addition to my library. Since I've been playing around with crochet I've been looking at the books at the crafts and have not been to happy. It seems that all the really good stuff can only be found in vintage pattern books, it's like the publishers have dumbed down the patterns, made them simple and fugly. I don't see my house covered with doilies by any means, I just thought a nice border around a pillow might add a touch a femininity to things. Oh, that's Bella modeling next to the cashmere, such a good dog.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Master of the Short Rows

1/2 of a pair of socks done! Yea. A couple of tips when photography said sock, clean your floors first, you don't want cat hair all over it and have a model with a slimmer leg model it, or at least get it from a slimmer angle. I tried a couple of things with this sock to combat my falling-sock syndrome, i.e. the socks I make always fall done on me because I have a fat calves. The pattern repeat is kind of interesting, it very slows rotates the beginning of each row by one stitch every three rows so that helps with the stretch and leg gripping. I thought I would try a gusset clock along the back if I wanted to go really high on my leg because I would definitely need to add stitches, that didn't seem to look right and the pebble pattern seemed to take the stretch nicely. I ended up doing 1.5 inches of a 1x1 rib at the top with matching elastic knitted in. So far as I write this the sock hasn't fallen down yet...I really enjoyed the toe method I used and I am master of the short rows! Tonight I shall forgo cleaning of the kitchen and cast on for the second sock.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Effing Hot

I feel like I'm melting! I am so glad I have air-conditioning, it just sucks that I don't in my car. My secret scooter fund is back up, I'm about a quarter the way there. On to the good stuff now. I've been busy while enjoying the AC, I started work on my first toe-up sock last week and have discovered a couple of things. Toe up is great, (though is still is tricky taking trying on wiht four needles hanging out) of the two toe-methods I'm tried I like the easy toe over the short row toe, I couldn't choose what stitch pattern to use, but I found one I liked in the Mon Tricot Stitch Dictionay book, the Pebble Stitch (I did modify it abit).

I also solved my needle storage issue. The straight needles look great sticking out of my round Waterford vase from the Marshall Field X-mas tree, visual had a sale and I got it for 10 bucks I think, perks from the old job were great. My problem was my double points. A couple of years ago I got this nifty box from the container store, painted it all pretty and have been using that for awhile, but I've out grown it. I came across a brush storage tubes at the local art store, and its perfect, now I don't lose my needles.

Back to my old sock needle problem. The current socks are made with Shepards Sock on size US1, I have a couple of skeins of STR that I've been playing with,with US 1's and 2's, which are just not right for it. The other day while cooling off at JoAnne's I found my self in the knitting section surrounded my nasty acrylic, when I saw the light! DPN's in a US1.5, 2.5mm for you Euro's, how cool is that! I would never buy metal's but now that I know they really are out there, I looked around and found this great company Colonial needles and ordered a set online monday, and got them today! How fab, my first rosewood needles.

Now that I'm back in sock mode I signed up for Sock Wars, should be fun, I need to start looking around for the perfect sock yarn, maybe some of the cashmere I recycled from a sweater, that would be a great surprise for some lucky person.