Thursday, March 26, 2009

MARCHing Along

Can you believe its almost the end of March! That's one quarter of the year already gone. I have so many things I want to accomplish this year and it seems like time it flying by at the speed of light. I joined in the fun of a Year in a Blanket on Ravelry and its now the 3rd month of the year and I have no squares completed ... good thing squares can be a relatively quick knit - hopefully I can catch up here.

Speaking of catch up, I need to update my stash on Ravelry and post some yarn p*rn here. I have received a bunch of stuff and made some purchases at my local yarn store and haven't posted photos yet.

The weather is still not very Spring like here in New England, but its coming along. I can't wait to get out there and start planting some flowers now that we have a HUGE yard to work with.

I'm still working on getting up the first episode of my podcast, there have been some delays in the music intro that my boyfriend and I are working on. I have ideas and topics for the next recording, so there will probably be two going up either at the same time or very close to each other.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Unseamingly Annoying

I was working on my Quidditch sweater yesterday and realized that I really should have seamed in the second sleeve in a relatively short amount of time after I did the first ... because now I don't remember exactly how I did the first and its not working out so well. I got the entire sleeve cap in yesterday and when I held it up for inspection, saw an ugly bulge in the back of the shoulder ... so I ripped half of it out, tried again easing in more of the sleeve over the arm hole and then the bottom didn't match up - where there is a contrasting stripe of color ... so its imperative that it matches up. Or I could just walk around leaning to one side when I wear this sweater, that would solve the problem too. So today I am going to completely rip it out and start from scratch. I did, however, get the neck folded over and sewn into place, so it wasn't a total waste of time.

Today I tried again and I think I got the second sleeve set in to match up well. I don't think this would be half as troublesome if there wasn't a contrasting stripe to match up here ... if it were all the same color, I think it would go a lot smoother. Now at this point I have the sleeve and side seams to sew up and they weave in all the ends.

Won't be knitting a sweater for a while ...

Here's the progress on my Hobbiton sock, this was the first installment of the Lord of the Rings sock club from The Unique Sheep. I must admit when I first got the skein and pattern I saw this lovely variegation on the sock pictured in the pattern and the skein in my hand looked just kinda plain green ... then the variegation began to show when I was winding the hank into a ball - then even moreso when it was knit up! I am pleasantly surprised at how lovely the colors knit up. Really couldn't tell from the hank how lovely this was going to be.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

FO: Tall Tibetan Coriolis

Pattern: Tall Tibetan Coriolis
Source: New Pathways for Sock Knitters
Yarn: STR Mediumweight - "Fire on the Mountain"
Needles: Knit Picks US 2 (3.0mm)
Cast On: 3/1/09
Cast Off: 3/16/09

I like this pattern, but am wondering if there's a typo in it or if I did something wrong. I wasn't sure if I was doing the increase on the first sock a stitch ahead and that's what created this problem. Once I saw it, I said, you know what, you're the only one who is going to see it, forget it! The band of increases on the first sock has 4 stitches in it, while the second sock has 5. But the pattern says K3 on the band of the first sock and K4 on the second ...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

It all makes sense now

I don't love to cook, but I think that's because nobody ever taught me how to do it well. A man at work I talk to frequently mentioned Rachael Ray because I was saying how by the time we get home from work I really do not want to spend an hour or so cooking and waiting for dinner, but I am sick of eating things out of a can or frozen food box. I checked out her site (her show is based on making meals in 30 minutes) and printed out a few recipes to try this week. I am impressed. While I can't always get it done in 30 minutes or less, its definately an improvement and the food is yummy. Today I made a pasta dish and it came out very well. One of the things I particularly like about her recipes is that they list times for things, "simmer until thickened, 1-2 minutes" that was always a problem for me, open ended statements with no time limit ... makes for distatrous cooking, LOL!

This is the Broccoli, Cheddar & Ham Bake and it really did take me only 30 minutes to prepare. I enjoyed making this because of the time limits I mentioned earlier, if I know I have 1-2 minutes for the sauce to thicken, I can then measure out the other things to add to it and not mess up the sauce. I also liked that it says to toast the almonds - for about 5 minutes ... if I had tried this on my own, I am sure they would have burned to a black crisp, LOL!

The squirells were visiting the back yard this morning. We only have 2 at the moment. We're surprised that there is so much wooded land around here and we rarely see critters. I did see some birds the other day, including a hawk, which might explain why we don't see too many critters out in the open ... they don't want to be lunch.

I am almost finished my Coriolis socks, I have the leg and cuff of the second one to complete, so those should be done this weekend. Not sure yet what my next sock project will be. I also have the Hobbiton pattern from the Lord of the Rings sock club on the needles too, so I will finish those up.

I was looking through magazines last night and found some nice Spring/Summer sweaters that I want to make, so I will reserve the yarn in my stash for really warm sweaters for later in the year. But that also means that I need to buy more yarn!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The UN-organized Knitter

Its already March and I have yet to compiled a list of projects like I was planning to. I always envy those that I read blog posts about or listen to podcasts and they have spreadsheets and lists of projects that match up with their stash. I don't have such an enormous stash that I don't remember which project I bought yarn for, so its not that big of a deal. I would feel better though if I were a little more organized ... because sometimes I do find something in there and think ... what did I buy this for?!?! Also, one thing that I would like to deter is buying yarn for a specific project, forgetting, and then using it for something else and then remembering which pattern I had it set aside for AFTER I cast on something else with it!

I keep a three ring binder with working copies of patterns in it that I know I will make. This way I don't have to go back through a bazillion magazines or books and try to find the pattern for a yarn that I have in my stash later ... plus I doubt I would remember which pattern I had intended to use anyway, LOL! Ravelry is great for keeping track of my stash since I can post photos and see the yarn and not have to make a mess of a pile digging through plastic tubs in my basement.

First of all I would really like to finish up some UFOs from last year before I start any major projects this year, I guess the smart thing to do would be to create that list first. I have also come to the conclusion that sometimes you need to rip something out and either find a new project for the yarn or start it over so that the gauge ends up uniform.

In no particular order:

Reversible Cable Scarf
Ultra Alpaca
Notes: The scarf is almost done. I didn't realize that the original pattern called for enough yardage to make a 6 ft scarf ... and I substituted with something else so I actually have more yardage than that. I am planning on using the last skein to make a matching hat, then incorporate whatever is left over at the end of the scarf to use it all up.

Diagonal Baby Blanket
Cotton Ease
Notes: This is something I was making for someone at work when she was pregnant ... well the child is about 6 months old now and this woman got fired a few months ago, so I guess it doesn't matter now, LOL! I do have friends with young children so I can find someone to give it to. There's no pattern I was just made something up on my own.

Tank Top
Notes: I am going to rip this out and start it again - maybe I'll even get to wear it this summer! Its been sitting for so long and the last time I picked it up I noticed that I didn't even have the right number of stitches anyway, so what's the point of continuing here when I don't know where I went wrong. This is not a huge project so starting it over isn't a big deal. Also, I have come to the conclusion that bamboo needles don't work for everything, so I am going to try this one again with metal and see how it goes. I think the reason it was sitting for so long was that the yarn was sticking too much to the needles and it was no fun to knit.

Christmas Stocking
Notes: Would be nice if its done by this Christmas eh?

Hooded Scarf
Shetland Chunky
NOtes: For my mom ... I believe it was supposed to be a Christmas present for 2007 ...

Faux Dr. Who Scarf
Various DK weight
Notes: For my boyfriend. He wanted a scarf like the original Dr. Who, I didn't want to do something in plain stockinette so I found a pattern for a wide scarf and will alternate colors, etc. from there to make something reminiscent of Dr. Who.

Back to icky needles. I decided to invest (which isn't much of an investment since they are so reasonably priced) in some Knit Picks interchangeable needles. I ordered 2 cable sets and one set of needle tips for a project I plan on starting in the near future. As I go along I will order needle tips as needed for projects. While looking for some size 8 needles today I found two size 7 of the same exact kind ... probably couldn't find them before and purchased another set. Or had a project on the needles already and went out and bought another pair.

Moving didn't help my unorganized state. While I tried to organize things while packing, that worked for about 5 boxes ... then time started to elude us and I just started throwing miscellaneous things in boxes together and now everything is all over. I am working on creating a list of what needles I have by type, length and size so that in the future I can just refer to a list instead of trying to dig through bags and boxes of stuff ... would be helpful to organize the needles in some particular fashion too ... maybe someday, LOL!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday's Web

Cake Wrecks is a hilarilous compendium of weird cakes. Mostly of the professional bakery variety, but some of the things people come up with or mistakes that are made are great for a laugh!

Kris Knits is a blog that's got fantastic dish cloth patterns, some for free and some for sale. The most recent one is a free shamrock design, just in time for St. Patty's Day. She's also got some other pattern designs as well such as mittens and neck warmer.

The Spring edition of Knitty is up! I haven't had time to check it out yet, so I'm heading over there now.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Almost Finished

I took my Quidditch sweater to my LYS Saturday for some advice on how to start seaming the shoulder caps since I've never done those type of seams before and started one of them there, had to back it out a bit because it wasn't lining up at the end, but otherwise it went pretty smoothly. Today I finished the neck and cast that off, so all that is left at this point is to seam in the other shoulder, whip stitch the neck on the inside and seam up the sleeves and sides ... then weave in all the ends.

While at my LYS I made some purchases ... and I think they went up on their prices, everybody has seemed to lately because of the state of the economy I guess ... though it doesn't help us want to purchase more from retail places if that's the case. Anyway, I got 5 skeins of worsted weight Berocco Comfort to start the Year in a Blanket. Its already March and I don't have any squares completed yet ... mainly because I couldn't decide on what yarn I wanted to knit it in. I am going with Comfort because its machine washable and dryable, really soft to the touch and I have socks in Comfort Socks and they have held up really nicely. I got some coordinating earth tone shades and hope its enough to make the squares and then if I want a border or strips in between the squares to make the blanket larger I can find a color for that later. Dye lot doesn't really matter since all the squares are different anyway, so if I do run out of these main colors I can just get more.

I also got some sock yarn ... of course I can't leave without more sock yarn! Berocco Sox in the new striping kind and some Tofutsies in a really cool black, yellow and teal. I will post photos later when I can take some in daylight.

Sunday my boyfriend's parents came down for a visit and we had lunch. His mom helped him replace the insides of my toilet so that we can turn it back on. We have two bathrooms so this wasn't too big a deal, one toilet ran all the time because the flap inside was old and not sealing right so water kept draining out and the tank kept filling back up, so we don't want to waste water and turned it off for a while since we have another toilet in the house. Now its all fixed and not running on its own anymore!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Episode 1 - Revlelations of a Delusional Knitter

Download episodes here: Revelations of a Delusional Knitter


What I'm Currently Knitting
- Quidditch Sweater
- Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel
- Notes & Tips on Seaming

- Coriolis Socks
- New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi

Debbie Bliss Magazine
Knitscene Magazine

Google Reader

Norwegian Purl

Winding a Hank
- Knit Picks Ball Winder

The Unique Sheep Lord of the Rings Sock Club

What I learned in 2008
- Fair Isle
- 2 Socks at the same time
- Continental Knitting
- Seaming & Finishing

Goals for 2009
- Slip Stitch Knitting
- Knitting with Beads
- Lace Shawl

2009 Rockin' Sock Club

The AntiCraft - Bat Shawl

Special thanks to my boyfriend for creating the intro music and editing the podcast!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Finally Friday

Whew, its finally Friday and I am not working this weekend, so I get to do whatever I want and not lose my weekend to work. I created a podcast that will be available for download shortly. I recorded it tonight and did pretty well, it doesn't need much editing, I'm just waiting for my boyfriend to record an intro. I hope I get listeners ... otherwise what is the point ... if I want to talk to myself and have nobody hear me, I can do that perfectly well on my own without recording equipment, LOL!!

I really enjoy listening to podcasts. I take my mp3 player in my truck and listen while I am driving to and from work ... and sometimes at work if I have stuff to do that takes a long time. Although I notice for some reason people want to talk to me while I have ear buds in ... though if I don't ... nobody says a word to me, LOL!

Wednesday night I went to the local Knitters' Guild meeting and I am glad that I did. One of the women who works at my LYS is a member and she does the newsletter for the guild and she started sending it to me, which is very smart of her because it reminded me of when the meetings were and also because she took the time and though to send it to me it made me want to attend and also I am planning on joining myself. Guilds are a great resource, usually they have guest speakers at the monthly meetings who are authors, dyers, fiber company owners, etc.

I am working on finishing up my Quidditch Sweater. I am extremely pleased with how it is turning out. I am going to my LYS tomorrow, there is a group of us who meet on Saturday mornings to sit and knit and I haven't been in a while since we moved and I am busy working every other weekend. I am going to bring my sweater in case I need some help seaming it up.

I cast on the mate to my Coriolis sock tonight. I am really pleased with the first one and learned a lot from New Pathways for Sock Knitters by Cat Bordhi - and I haven't even scratched the surface yet. This book is really phenomenal and a must have for any sock knitter.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wednesday's Web

OK, so its actually Thursday ... but that's because last night was the monthly Knitters' Guild meeting, so I was busy (more on that later).

This week in the web I found the following things of interest:

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee tackles a project that makes her want to rip her hair out.

The Spring Issue of Popknits is live. Greta is a lovely 1920s inspired hat. Meandering Circular Ziggies (with a Zag)is a cool sock pattern great for self striping yarn (and who doesn't have some of that in their stash?). Take me to Paris is a spring scarflette that looks like a super fun project to work on. Check out the link to see the rest!

Knit Picks has a ball winder for only $19.99!!

Lime & Violet has a new episode up ... which I haven't even listened to yet!

There's a tutorial on Norwegian Purl on Lime & Violet's Daily Chum

Monday, March 2, 2009

Yarn Buyers Anonymous

Is there a group for this? I need to join it, LOL! I was trying to not buy yarn this year since we just purchased a house and well ... have a lot more bills to pay now. I have been fairly unsuccessful so far. I did go on a binge before we moved since I knew this was coming, so its certainly not that I don't have anything to knit with ... I have plenty. But as I am sure you all know ... we just can't resist ... especially if something is marked down!

January - Knit Picks $32.12
February - Knit Picks $12.45
February - LYS $8.99
February - Etsy $17.85
February - TLE $31.70
March - Rockin Sock Club $230

Grand Total: $333.11

And it is only March. So much for not spending any money on yarn! I couldn't help joining The Rockin' Sock Club, I missed it last year and this year it technically should no longer be available but they were still taking registrations.

I also joined a sock club last year that started shipping this year, so at this point between the two I will get a shipment each month, this this will tide me over?