Thursday, November 14, 2013

socks, spindling, and sweet pups!

Started a new pair of socks! My socks last week.

My socks last night!
All my current projects bored me and I can't do much else on the queue as all my needles are still packed up somewhere. The yarn is self-patterning (Opal yarn, one of the "Antonia" ones) but it doesn't really "stack" and make blocks of color like I see in most patterning yarns. I think it's just my gauge. But I like the pink/orange/purple combo, even more than I thought I might.
They're plain because I thought a stitch pattern would get lost in the yarn. I am half making it up as I go (not following an exact pattern, but following established techniques for heels etc).

In other knittery news I picked up my drop spindle again for the first time in years!
It's more green in real life. Check out the wheel in the back!
I fell into it again pretty easily, and I was worried I wouldn't. I've had this roving for ages, I'm not even sure what's in it anymore. I started spinning it, making it fine at first, and then got lazy and made it thick.. haha. I'll figure out what I can do with that ball. Now that I'm trying it again, I've been trying hard to keep an even gauge. One of my knitter friends had a spinning day at her house.  She also has these adorable dogs, and is puppy sitting!
Look at this guy! He's a mini Australian Shepard.

And this is her puffball! A parody of cuteness.

going, going

I spent four, four and half hours at the Uni yesterday, most of it waiting, some of it being shuffled around to various department advisors, a bunch of it making calls to figure out why one advisor told me one thing while the other advisor told me something else.
It was very frustrating, dealing with barely competent paper pushers, and I say this as a barely competent paper pusher myself! Haha! 
(And then I got a parking citation!)
Some people were helpful though, and while I still have a long way to go, I also have only myself to blame for not doing this sooner.  I just had to (and have to continue to) breathe deep and remind myself that it will be worth it. I got a little bit done yesterday and that’s more than the “absolutely nothing” that I got done before that. It’s a small step and it took four hours to take, but its a step, and I have to stop standing still.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Where were you? I was knitting.

I've been completely absent- from the blog. I've been in and out of life, it feels like. I tried to update more from the phone, but either it wouldn't work or I'd somehow manage to mess up a previously posted post which would then fail to update. Trying not to make things worse, i lay off completely.
There's been a lot of moves and changes in my life, so it's kind of nice to remind myself I still know how to knit, and I can still manage (sort of) Fair Isle! I'm pretty bad at colorwork, but have so many projects i want to make that will involve colorwork techniques. Tons of mittens, mostly!
A hexipuff was a good practice bit. I made up the pattern as I went. The colors are -slightly- less grody in real life.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sock KAL in progress: two socks forward, one sock back

So my knitting group started a toe up sock knitalong in January. It's been super helpful to have so many opinions and to be encouraged to stick with a project. I've already completed a whole sock! Unfortunately, it is much too loose. It's falling down at the top and would bunch up in a shoe. I've pulled it on and arranged it to look reasonable on my foot for the picture, but it's really not going to work. So I'm knitting the second sock shorter, and possibly doing the cuff differently, and then I'll rip and reknit the first sock to match the second. There is where I'm afraid this delayed second sock syndrome will kick in: will I want to reknit this sock for essentially the THIRD time?

Saturday, June 8, 2013


Australia vs New Zealand: the rivalry continues, this time in the form of cheddar!

I almost got a small chunk of English cheddar to for a Commonwealth theme, but it was four dollars for a small wedge! Overpriced Poms.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Entering the fair today

Dropping off my entries to the fair today. I have my First Sweater (mostly shaved of pills- I also have a little clump of pilly lint that is the softest most luxurious lint), my Wingspan, and my Seaweed socks.
This is the section on Hand Knitting:

1. Hat/Cap
2. Socks/Slippers
3. Mitten's/Gloves
4. Shawl/Sweater/Jacket
5. Doll Clothes
6. Toys, Animals
7. Kitchen Accessories
8. Afghan
9. Other

Interestingly, "Scarf" isn't mentioned. It's such a common project, especially for beginners. I could put it with Shawl- the Wingspan pattern is labeled a shawl, but I think it's quite skinny and in "scarf" territory. I might put it in "Other", since I'm already entering something in Lot 4.

I also find it interesting that a hand knit afghan is one lot within one class, while crochet afghans get a whole category to themselves:
1. Filet
2. Navajo
3. Hairpin
4. Cro-Knit
5. Samplet
6. Broomstick
7. Post-Stitch
8. Shell-Stitch
9. Afghan-Stitch
10. Popcorn Stitch
11. Granny Square
12. Pineapple Stitch
13. Ripple Stitch
14. Lacy
15. Close Work
16. Double Crochet
17. Rose
18. Other

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Knitting Goal Update

Updating my crafting goals! I tend to think of these in year long blocks but really, I'm pretty informal about it. Sometimes it depends on the goal (for example, knit HBf form fingerless gloves- this doesn't need to be done until next winter, and all summer it'll be hot).

My bigger, more general goals right now:
-Enter something in the fair.
----- I'm going to clean up my Malabrigo sweater and enter it, and likely my Seaweed socks from our sock KAL. I don't know if I'll get anything else fair-worthy done in time. The fair is in April.
---- I just want to get better at this, but I'll just find a way to use it in a future project. I don't have any main timeline here.
-Charity knitting
---- There is a charity I can knit for with one of the women going to the Fair. Another knitting friend is running a drive right now, and that might be my main project after the socks (which are my current main project). The rest is ongoing.
- Sewing. This has fallen so very far by the wayside. Honestly, I'm not surprised. Sewing isn't as portable and requires larger chunks of time than knitting.

My smaller, more compartmentalized goals:

- Finish my mom's vest (by this year)
- Knit HBf some fingerless gloves, his current ones are ratty and sad and acrylic anyways (by next winter)
- Knit or crochet some more summery stuff. I am so cold this winter, but really, I live in Las Vegas. It will get hot again. (whenever)
- Set up this loom. (someday)
-Figure out this knitting machine. (I've had the machine for like 4 years now without doing anything, it'll keep waiting)
- The Like Like sweater. I even have the yarn. (by this year)
- The Charlie Brown Sweater Dress. I don't have the yarn for this, but it's a cool idea in my head. (whenever)

It's interesting to see this change from time to time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yarn senses are tingling

I stopped by a Goodwill on Rainbow Blvd a few weeks ago to poke around. I tried on about 20 button down shirts and hated the fit of every. single. one.

*sigh* but in happy news, I had a great yarn haul!
I was actually in line to check out!

While in line, I saw this pachinko machine!

Standing in line, I felt like there might be more.. when two bins of yarn on a bottom shelf caught my eye. I had actually passed by the shelf a few times already!
The haul!

Every skein was 99 cents! There were no weird smells, either. I was so happy! Some of the yarn was plain acrylic, some just didn't appeal to me. There was a large amount of a bamboo sock yarn that felt so nice to the touch and I thought it might make a nice top. A hop on Ravelry showed that there were a LOT of bad reviews- mostly that the yarn was splitty. If it's splitty, it won't really be fun to work with, so I passed.

My first ever skein of Noro! Noro was the first "name brand" yarn that I just didn't understand. I thought Iro and Kureyon were so pretty but so scratchy, as if burrs were still in the fleece. This is Noro Silk Garden Sock, which is 40% Lamb's Wool, 25% Silk, 25% Nylon, and (surprisingly, given the feel of this yarn) 10% Kid Mohair.

However, I can see it's appeal. The color changes are like nothing else on the market. The thick and thin style makes it look charmingly handmade- that wabi-sabi aesthetic that prides imperfection. However, I think the weight and the feel- it feels sort of hard and dry to me- are points against it as a sock yarn. The label has some pretty alarming warnings against machine washing it- but online, it seems most people say it must be washed before it softens. I'm glad to have gotten it for such a great price, and I think I will try weaving with it!

I really have a soft spot for alpaca yarn. One of my knitting group friends has an allergy- she can work with it, but can't wear it against her skin. I would be so sad! We don't know if she has the same reaction to any other camelids- llama, camel, or vicuna.
I love the feel of alpaca- that sort of fuzzy denseness. I have been smelling my skeins of alpaca. 
Apparently Blue Sky Alpacas (also one of the first "big fancy names" I knew in knitting) changed the put-up of this yarn, but I can't find much information on it. They changed suppliers, too. 
I have two skeins of green and one of pink.

Cleckheaton!! Cleckheaton is an Australian brand, and so I know it from New Zealand. I haven't seen it much in the US- I haven't seen it at all in Las Vegas! This is a squishy soft 100% Merino in a bright primary red. It's also machine washable! I think it would make a good hat or mittens. I want to make HBf some fingerless gloves (he has a super sad ratty pair of acrylic ones that ought to make any knitter ashamed) but this yarn might be too thick to be comfortable around the fingers. I have some thinner red Berroco Ultra Alpaca, but the color has a purplish tint to it that makes it quite feminine.

This is Schulana (which might be owned by Skacel? it's website is on the ball band) Cortina, a German label. The yarn is 70% Merino 30% nylon polyamide. It is only the tiniest bit wool-itchy, but it would be fine next to the skin.

I love macros, and I love fiber macros even more!

"Bazic Wool" from Classic Elite. A fun orange, either this or the orange above will pair well with some handspun I made years ago- it's some of my first handspun, although I cheated and used pencil roving so it's very even.

It's 100% wool, superwash. It's spun up in a very interesting way- several plies, some thin and some thick.

What a great find!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Parliament sweater

this post was written on my phone, that's why the pictures are sideways and at the end

A few weekends ago, I went thrift store shopping with some great friends from knitting, Kellie and Sydni. (Sydni's blog)
Sydni started looking at me funny, then asked: is your arm socket space smaller than mine?
Haha! She meant, she had knitted a sweater and the armscye area was too tight on her. It's a raglan, so there's no releasing the seam. She was offering to GIVE it to me!!
Not only was it an Owls sweater- a project I had been meaning to make- it was a cardigan! I kept thinking to myself, "I should knit a cardigan, I have enough pullovers."
It's essentially perfect. The sleeves are a bit long-  which is cute, I can cuff them! There are no buttons- yet. There are button holes.
I wore it yesterday and today (I know, today's pink-skirt-brown-socks-black-tank-purple-shoes outfit is a bit much. I couldn't seem to get it together this morning), and I'll wear it tomorrow to knitting group....
I have JUST the thank-you project planned out.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wild caught imitation crab stick

Wild caught imitation crab stick, straight from China :) at SF supermarket in Spring Mountain/Chinatown area! ^_^

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

new year, more blog

I am baaaack!

I have so much to share.
But right now this is just a post to let you know I'm still here.

Here are some things that have been happening:

1. I got a car. My parents paid for it and for a lot of mechanic work, so I'll be owing them back the money. This is on top of all the rest of the money I owe them. But it's so nice to have my own little car, and getting around- to and from work, working out stuff for school- has been really helpful.

2. Speaking of money, I am also looking at another nursing program at Roseman University. The reputation isn't UNLV- in fact, I've been seeing ads for Roseman popping up all over, which made me think it was some kind of diploma mill (although, you can't really do that with Nursing). I think someone in their marketing/recruiting offices just doesn't know how spammy sidebar ads can feel. 
Roseman will be a lot more expensive, but it's not requiring anywhere near as many prereq classes as UNLV is. The amount of extra classes I'd have to take at UNLV kinda evens it out. I could get in to Roseman a lot faster, which is the appeal right now.

3. But let's get over money woes and important career planning (srs bzness). Let's get back to knitting!


My knitting group started a Sock KAL. It's toe up with the heel flap and going swimmingly for me so far. I've just reached the heel flap, though...

I have a knitting New Years resolution, and that's to knit more for charity. My resolution from last year was to enter things in the county fair (which is in April) and I made that resolution in the fall.
Some of the things I'm thinking of entering in the fair:
- The socks from the Sock KAL
- My Wingspan shawl, even though it has a whole row where I messed up
- My mom's Poitou vest, if I finish it in time
- Maybe some handspun

Some of the things I'm considering knitting for charity:
- Hats for Christmas at Sea I even have some dark green Cascade 220 wool, but it's not superwash.
- Snuggles for pet shelters in the area. These are basically mats to put on the bottoms of cages so they're a little cozier for the wee beasts.

And for charity, while I have a sort of erratic and busy schedule, I still want to volunteer more. There's a community garden that's starting back up after the winter, and William will be playing a show there soon, so I'll be checking it out then. There's also a little rescue farm on the north side of town but I put my info down ages ago and never heard back from them for volunteering. I tried for a group that puts together care packages for new mothers but they didn't meet at times I could make.
I continue to look around!