Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long time no blog, eh?

I haven't gotten too much done on the crafting side of things, which means I haven't really had much to blog about on my craft blog. Funny how that happens.

We had our annual holiday swap and tea earlier this month, and it was so great to take a couple of hours away from holiday craziness and see everyone! We went to Teavolve's Harbor location, and if you're into fruity herbal teas, I highly recommend their Berry Cocktail tisane.

Jody gifted me with chocolate, a wristlet bag, and a Cha Cha Cowl:
Cha Cha Cowl

This is an original pattern of hers, and I'm more than a little bit in love with it. And I feel I should tell you, she's made the pattern available on Ravelry as a free download or through the non-Ravelry link on her blog post. Thank you, Jody!

I made a Bainbridge scarf from pepperknit for Cheryl, although I left off the ties because it seems like there are more arranging options if you fasten it with a pin.
Bainbridge Scarf
There was also a crocheted bowl that I neglected to take any pictures of, some cranberry mulling spices for cider or wine, and an "origami" wreath that I made from the instructions at Domesticali. I have more of these on my tree than I care to talk about. I'm obsessed with them.

I'm about 45% done with a Tychus hat for J, to replace the first hat I made him (his nephew usurped the first one). I asked a bunch of times if he wanted a replacement, he said no. A couple of weeks ago, he suddenly asked when I was making him another hat. *facepalm* Anyway, I'm using some teal Misti alpaca (leftover from my Simple Knitted Bodice) and brown Jo Sharp wool (leftover from his first hat), so it's a subdued color combination that I'm hoping he will like. I'm lengthening it and probably adding some ribbing around the bottom so he'll have enough for a 2"-3" brim.

Anyway, I know everyone has been on pins and needles... my shaman hit level 80 a couple of weeks ago. J and I ran all of our quests together, so we hit 80 at the exact same time. We're going to do the same thing with our paladins too. Ah, gamer love.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Finished Colinette Vest

This has been kicking around the WIP pile for longer than I want to think about... I decided this week to finally finish the back.

Colinette vest

I had to improvise most of the pattern. The Colinette Shimmer 5 yarn is bulkier than "bulky", so there aren't a ton of patterns out there for it. 6" of ribbing, stockinette for the rest. I did a crochet edging around the neck and armholes

Colinette vest

I LOVE the colors. Every stitch is different, every stitch has its own personality. This is the Toscana (Tuscany) colorway; the base color is a greyish sage green, with pops of blues and pinks and purples and yellows and oranges and reds... I've been browsing through some of the Jitterbug socks done in this same colorway over on Ravelry, even though I DO NOT NEED MORE SOCK YARN.

Colinette vest

We have some very variable temperatures at work, so I'm happy to have another layering piece. This thing is quite toasty warm.

Needles: US 11 / 8.0 mm; US 13 / 9.0 mm
Yarn: Colinette Shimmer Five - 3.5 skeins = 182.0 yards (166.4m)
Colorway: Tuscany / Toscana

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Go Phils!


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Laceweight alpaca, yum

It occurred to me that I have a WIP that I haven't shown here yet:
Biased Eyelets Stole

The day I got my Fall 08 IK, I grabbed some Misti Alpaca laceweight from my stash and cast on for Eunny's Biased Eyelet Stole. I figured this would be a good anti-project for the Kilt Hose That Won't Just Knit Themselves. Something soft and lacy and lightweight for the time when I need something other than heavy black wool. Alpaca makes me swoon. :)

Anyway, about a week in I got a message from someone on Ravelry asking where I'm weaving in all the ends. See, the lace rows are done with one strand, but those garter ridges are done with three strands. Carrying them along the edge presumably gives too much bulk there, as the pattern specifically instructs to join two strands for the garter rows and then cut off two strands. That's 4 ends to weave in every 16 rows.

My solution:
Biased Eyelets Stole

The two ends from joining are knit along with the first 3-strand garter row. The two ends when I'm cutting off the extra yarn are being woven into the second 3-strand row (the one that I've just finished knitting). Short of leaving all of the ends as-is and declaring it all to be fringe, that's the best solution I can come up with. You can see the ends on the most recently-worked garter ridge in the picture here.

Anyway, send good vibes to me and my extended network of coworkers over the next couple of days. They're deploying a big software upgrade today which goes live tomorrow. We said our goodbyes to our old circ software last night; one coworker took pictures of a couple of the icons (we all agree that we'll miss the Angry Claims Returned Guy icon, who is being replaced by Even Angrier Claims Returned Guy)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Chic on the Halfshell

There I was last Wednesday, happily raiding Mount Hyjal with my guild, ready for a try on Kaz'rogal... when my internet went kaput. Checked my TV... no TV either.

I went to call Comcast, and apparently they have a different definition of "24-hour customer service" than I do. I think it means that a customer can call 24 hours a day and receive service. They think it means "If someone's in our call center, your call may be answered eventually. If not, we'll automatically disconnect your call." This was one of those pesky "auto-disconnect" periods. After the tenth time my call got disconnected by Comcast, I decided to find something better to do with my time.

I started going through the patterns I've downloaded from Ravelry, and there was Drew Emborsky's Chic on the Halfshell bag just begging to be started.

A week later, and here it is all seamed up:
Chic on the Halfshell bag

It still needs a lining. I have the fabric, I just need to figure out how to line something that's shaped vaguely like a TIE fighter. This was a fun FAST pattern, and I think the end product is cute as heck.

Pattern: Chic on the Halfshell by Drew Emborsky
Hook: 5.0 mm (H)
Yarn: TLC Cotton Plus Solid
1 skeins = 178.0 yards (162.8m)
Colorway: 3643 Kiwi


Yellowstone Lake

Pool in a thermal area


More at my Flickr set

Yellowstone was amazing. I wish we'd had more time to see it, because even with spending a full day there, we had to skip a lot. You can't really plan how long it will take to get from one place to another, because you never know when you're going to get stuck in an hour-long traffic backup caused by people taking pictures of a bear (which will, of course, be gone by the time you get to where everyone ahead of you stopped). We saw tons of bison and elk, and even saw a couple of moose on our side trip to the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe, MT; I found a picture of the place here. I probably would have taken a picture myself, had I not left my camera sitting in my car in the Dulles long term parking lot. All of the pictures I have are off J's camera, but I did at least take some of them.

After Yellowstone, I camped out at J's house for the week. I found plenty to occupy myself with while J was at work. I met him for lunch every day, got my fleischkeuchle fix (German for "greasy but fabulous fried meat pie"), played WoW, knit... he's such a sweetie, he even found the one place in town that sells yarn and made sure to take me there. The one day that he had to work late, he called me to come out to the job site with him rather than have me sit around at the house for another hour and a half. He gets gold stars. Lots of them.

Anyway, once I got home I needed some retail yarn therapy...
Gone Fishin'

Yes, I'm trying to accumulate enough of the Jimmy Beans monthly Lorna's Laces colors to be able to Do Something. I have big delusional dreams of a sock yarn blanket.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Where have I been?


Just got back Sunday night, and there will be pictures just as soon as I'm done sorting through what I have (I had to use J's camera since I left mine sitting in my car in the airport parking lot... it was 5am, I was a bit out of it).

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The socks that never end

Well, I guess if I talk about the unending kilt hose, I should show where we are:

Kilt hose, 8/5/08

Kilt hose, 8/5/08

I am about, oh, halfway done the leg. I have another few repeats of the calf decrease rounds, then another 8" of leg ribbing, then turn the heel, then approximately a size 12 foot.

I'm having pretty severe motivation problems. They're not for me, so I can't just put them in a time-out basket for a few weeks. And if I don't want to be working on them for the next 6 months, I have to find a way to work on them MORE, not less.

They will be gorgeous when they're finished. That's my mantra for this project: They will be gorgeous when they're finished.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The stuff of nightmares

Took a much-needed break from endless black ribbing in order to make this guy...

Elder God

He was a birthday present for L, my co-WoW-geek at work. L has at least 2 stuffed Cthulhus (Cthulhi?) that I know of, so as soon as I saw The Elder God pattern in the Anticraft's Imbolc '08 issue, I made a mental post-it note about it.

I have never had an FO make me laugh as hysterically as this one did. I was cracking myself up during the assembly phase, particularly during tentacle application.

Elder God

My mods were nothing huge. I made a set of wings as specified in the pattern, but couldn't get them to arrange themselves the way I wanted. I fought with them for about an hour before deciding that maybe it was time for different wings. I crocheted two triangles, folded them over, and sewed them on. Instant wings!

I left off the first tiny part of the face adornment and just gave him angry eyebrows. VERY horrifying.

And then there were the tentacles. The pattern tentacles are pretty small. I made a set, held them up to his face... He looked like he had a small, scraggly green beard. I wasn't exactly filled with abject terror and insanity. It definitely called for longer tentacles, which I made by just doubling the chain lengths and then doing sc back to 2 stitches before the other end of the chain. The individual chains started curling and ended up looking super-tentacly and awesome.

Elder God

Now I just need one for me...

Sunday, July 06, 2008


It rained here on the 4th, but I still got some fireworks:

Lorna's Laces July 2008 - Fireworks

Ha! I kill me. Anyway, say hello to the special July colorway of Lorna's Laces from Jimmy Beans Wool.

Lorna's Laces July 2008 - Fireworks

I love it. It doesn't look much like the picture on the site, but that's fine with me. JBW's picture is washed out; the yarn in person is very bright, very colorful, and very summer-y.

Lorna's Laces July 2008 - Fireworks

I've been staring at black 5x1 ribbing for the last couple of weeks, so I loved opening the package and pulling THIS out.

Lorna's Laces July 2008 - Fireworks

New yarn probably makes me far happier than it should. ;)

Friday, July 04, 2008

Red, white, and blue

red white and blue

Have a happy and safe Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Kilt hose update

I wish the progress on these looked more interesting. Or noticeable. I feel like they get shorter every time I measure them...

Kilt hose, 6/25/08

And just to demonstrate the size... know how most socks fit nicely around a bottle or a soda can? These fit on an iced tea canister.

Kilt hose, 6/25/08

By the way, lesson learned on this project: find out measurements BEFORE getting yarn. The question isn't whether I'll run out of yarn, it's whether it'll happen before or after the heel flap.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I can quit whenever I want

This is the June 2008 special Lorna's Laces colorway "Blueberry Snowcone".

Lorna's Laces June 2008 - Blueberry Snowcone

Lorna's Laces June 2008 - Blueberry Snowcone

Ok, maybe I have a couple of yarns in my stash that are this same blue/black/purple combo, but that doesn't mean I have a problem.

Blue/Purple/Black stash yarns

That's only 15 skeins there... Ok, 17 now with the Lorna's Laces. That's perfectly reasonable, right?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hose cuff finished

I had a great week out in Montana visiting J. Look, I got some knitting done on the plane:

Kilt hose cuff

When I left, all I had was the 4-row purled section on the bottom edge. Over the trip, I finished the whole lace section on the cuff, but had to stop there because I'd forgotten to pack the smaller needles for the ribbed garter.

Anyway, J took me fishing (although I couldn't actively participate because I didn't have a license) and took me to see pretty much all of the sights in the area. We hung out a lot, I met his family, I met his cat, he showed me where he works, and we played WoW together (of course). All in all, a really nice week off.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day weekend...

First, I finally made sense of the not-all-that-helpful set of instructions I found online for doing two socks at a time on two circulars.

Two socks on two circs

I needed the two-at-once option because this is a large pair of mostly plain knee-high black kilt hose. One at a time? No way, not if I actually want to finish them. They're going with me to Montana, and between the flights and layovers and time in the car and time sitting around at J's house, I'm hoping for some significant progress on them.

Also, after almost 2 years, it was time to upgrade my stash storage from the wire cubes...

Storing the stash

I was tired of having to go digging through the wire cubes every time I was looking for something. The shelves on these are smaller, so nothing will get buried behind 5 other bags. It's more-or-less organized by weight. I'm loving how manageable and reasonably-sized it looks. :)

Saturday, May 17, 2008


We had our Medieval Mania program at the branch... think Ren Faire, but much much smaller and without any food or beverages or port-a-potties.

I wore three things that I had made. Given the following descriptions, guess which one got the most compliments:

My Simple Knitted Bodice, which took me several months to make.
My Chanson en Crochet, which took several days to make.
A crocheted lace cap, which I made in less than an hour the night before the program.



Renaissance Rose Cap from Inner Child Crochet
Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed, less than 1 skein
Size F (3.75 mm) crochet hook

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A tiny plied sample

I've been playing around with my new Golding spindle, and I decided a couple of nights ago to try plying what I had... in truth, it's the first time I've ever spun anything thin enough to even be able to *think* about plying, so this was a first.

Plied sample

Plied sample

This roving is a bit hard to work with on a drop spindle. It's some Karaoke from SWTC, so it has soy silk, and it sticks to EVERYTHING. It spins up nicely, it was just that the drafted pieces I was working with kept deciding that they were going to stick to my arm and tear into multiple pieces... and we won't talk about the couple of times that I got the fiber tangled around the single on the spindle.

Gotta love that colorway, though.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sheep and Wool lootz

"Yeah yeah, you did stuff, you saw people, blah blah... show us the yarn, woman."

C*EYE*Ber Fiber sock yarn, colorway Napa
C*Eye*Ber Fiber sock yarn

C*EYE*ber Fiber sock yarn

C*EYE*ber Fiber sock yarn

The Sweet Sheep superwash merino, colorway May Day (pretty appropriate for a May festival, right?)
The Sweet Sheep superwash merino

The Sweet Sheep superwash merino

The Sweet Sheep superwash merino

Tess' Designer Yarns Super Socks and Baby
Tess Super Socks and Baby

Tess Super Socks and Baby

Tess' Superwash Lace
Tess superwash lace

Tess Superwash Lace

And then the thing I had no idea I was going to buy. Hello, Golding drop spindle.
Golding spindle

Golding spindle

I also got a book about making kilt hose and stockings, since Nick from our Star Wars group would very much like a pair of kilt hose. That'll probably be my main project for a while... I don't mind taking forever on projects for myself, but I feel like I should crank a bit harder on stuff for other folks.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2008!

This is going to be a lengthy, photo-heavy post; consider yourselves warned.

Mt Rushmore

J and I had a very nice trip to South Dakota, where we saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse and more kitschy tourist shops than I ever knew existed, and got massages, and went home not wanting to kill each other. We had a great time, and I'm already planning to go see him at the end of the month. :)


This past weekend was MDS&W, which is always crazy and fun. I even worked my way up to it by doing a bit of pre-shopping the weekend before, and got 2 skeins of "Tabali" from Esther Bitran Hand Dyes:

tabali 001

tabali 002

It's cotton and viscose, and has a really neat look to it from the different weights of the singles that were plied.

Friday night, I hung out at Erin's pre-MDSW party at the C*EYE*Ber Fiber studio, along with a few of our usual Knit Night crew, Sarah, Stacey, Gin, Michelle from The Sweet Sheep, Dawn from Knitting Gnome, and tons more I'm forgetting because I didn't take a single picture. *facepalm* Erin has such a great space there, and we were even able to spread out into the room next door.

Parking @ 9 am

Saturday was S&W day. Since Jolene just signed the paperwork to buy Cloverhill (YAY!), a lot of our group were helping out at the booth. Coleen had the afternoon shift, so we wandered around together for the morning. I got to ooh and ahh over the pieces that she and Jody had entered for competition.

Coleen's Bird in Hand mittens

Coleen's felted squirrel

Jody's shawl

And of course, there was some looking at fearsome beasties...

And just a smidge of shopping...
Cloverhill booth

That's the Cloverhill booth. Jolene and Jody and Sarah and Coleen (and many others, I'm sure) did an amazing job putting together the displays and running things smoothly. The booth was full of people every time I saw it... Can't go wrong with a booth full of gorgeous yarn and fiber from indie dyers and spinners! I was thrilled to see them doing so well - yay for my gals!

This is long enough already, so the loot gets its own post later. :)