Friday, July 27, 2007

Make your own here!

Have a great weekend everyone! I know I will!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What would you want from Italy?

My lovely aunt and uncle just got back from Italy. Before they left, my aunt asks, "What do you want me do bring you back?" Yarn, I said, thinking I was being sarcastic because no non-knitter would go to, not only a LYS, but to a foreign LYS. So she asks me what kind I want, etc. I figured I would go with sock yarn because it's easy, small, portable, and most LYS have a "sock yarn" section. I tell her about what it should cost (as much as I would LOVE cashmere socks) and how much to get, but I see it's kind of getting lost on her. I tell her to go a shop and ask the salesperson - LYS shopkeepers are VERY helpful and VERY nice. Granted, I have only been to LYS in the US, but I think that the international "knitting" language and attitude is pretty universal.

So my aunt actually found her a shop - Beatrice Galli Yarn Shop. I have to toot their horn. They were extremely nice and helpful to my muggle aunt and found me some yummy sock yarn.This is some Mondial Ecco in #728. It's a purple/green twist, but the green fades in and out. I am really excited to see how this knits up. Plus, it's DK weight, which means bigger needles!!

And, because, lately, a post wouldn't be complete without an FO:Pattern: Saturday Market Bag from MagKnits
Yarn: Sugar and Cream, ~1.5 balls (pretty pastels)
Needles: US 13, 10
Mods: Used distressed mod for two handles; CO 75 sts and knitted in the round; did 7 repeats, instead of 6.

I like this one alot better than they other one. I think this was just because I could make it as big as I wanted, without worrying about running out of yarn......

Holy...crap....just realized I didn't BLOG about the other one!!!Pattern: Saturday Market Bag from MagKnits
Needles: US13, 10
Yarn: Sugar and Cream, 1 ball, Hot Orange

I modded the crap out of this thing.
1. CO 71 sts and knit it in the round
2. used the "distressed" two-strap mod (which I modded to fit my stitch count)
3. I just whipstitched the bottom closed.

I played with it a little bit (esp. in the handles) so that I could see if I could get this bag out of one ball. Seriously, I had less than 6" of yarn left. This ended up being about the size of an average grocery sack. I used it at the store and it worked just wonderfully.

I am hoping to churn out another one and I will be set for the most part. It will probably be multicolored though, since I think all I have is single balls of S&C.

This weekend we are off to the wonderfulness that is Family Reunion Weekend down in Fredericksburg, TX. Lots of wine, yarn, shopping, wine, family.....did I mention the wine?

See ya' Monday!

Monday, July 23, 2007

I survived.....

.....but just barely. I didn't get to finish the book before I went to work Saturday morning (I am not as fast a reader as Trillian), but I did finish it when I got home. I would like to thank everyone who was nice and understanding to their booksellers and postmen this weekend. For the most part, the folks at our store were nice and behaved like good little first graders - wait your turn, stand in line, and no shouting (well, no angry shouting). Yeah, we had a few party poopers who felt they were more important than anyone else and acted like toddlers (they hadn't made it to first grade yet), but the nice people made up for it.

So, last week I decided that if I am going to make one of these....
I should get on it.
Pattern: Double-knit Bookscarf from pieKnits
Yarn: Lion Brand WoolEase in Cranberry and Gold
Needles: US5

Even if you don't want to me a nerd and have a HP Scarf Bookmark, I would suggest making one of these (in whatever colors you want) just to play with Double knitting. You are basically making a double-thickness knit fabric (aka flattened, fat i-cord), knitted flat, on two needles. I know Jennifer has used this technique on several of her projects, especially buttonbands. I really like it and will probably use it on my next cardigan. Of course, for there to be a next, there has to be a first, but I digress.

I have really gotten in a worsted-weight/big needle groove lately. I think that I needed a little Instant Gratification knitting. I have started a second Saturday Market Bag (which is halfway done) and a Pinwheel Baby Blanket. Socks and things are still getting knitted on. Don't worry, they aren't being neglected. I am fixing to turn the heel of Flaming Monkey #1. They have turned out much better, once I increased the stitch count.

On the tomato front, I have two tomatoes going strong, but nothing has come off of the plant yet. Hey, if these actually make it off of the vine, I will have doubled my produce yield over last year. That's good, right?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The beginning of the LONG WEEKEND....

As some of you know, I have been working at Barnes and Noble for about 6 weeks now. Therefore, I will belong to a group of the most insane, overworked people this weekend. Others include employees of Borders, Hastings, independent booksellers, USPS and UPS. I will request for everyone to be nice to these people this weekend, 'cause it's going to be insane. Give your UPS Guy/Gal or USPS worker a cookie when they deliver your book on Saturday. Or maybe a popcicle, if it's hot....

On to the knitting.....

Our SnB is at the end of a Vacation Swap. The gist is that you tell your spoiler where you would like to go, and they put a package together to send you on a trip. My spoiler was Tasha, who did an AWESOME yeah, I dunno what's going on either. But it looks much better here. I got some Cider Moon yarn, which I have never tried, some yummy Ashland Bay top, stitchmarkers handmade by Ms. Tasha herself, some pasta and sauce (that has Cab Sav in it) and a bottle o' wine. That sounds like a HP recovery dinner if I ever heard of it: yarn, fiber, pasta and wine.

And before I forget, again, check out another quickie FO:Pattern: Kureyon Kozy from Knitty
Yarn: Noro Kureyon #40
Needles: US6
Size: Small (4-6 cups)
Notes: I have a Chantal 4-cup teapot and this thing is REALLY streached over the pot. I left it sitting on the pot, so it has streached a bit. When I do it again, I will probably make the larger size (6-8 cups).

Monday, July 16, 2007

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"
-Albie Einstein

Being the nerd that I am (and I couldn't come up with a better title), I start you with one of my favorite quotes.

Someone had made told a story about having a roommate that had a huge periodic table on their wall. To this I said, "....And?"/aside: How FREAKISHLY reflective is my old licence plate??

But there is something special about this one. The first summer I did research, they were replacing the periodic tables and I asked if I could have one of the old ones. This one is from 1962. This is what I think is cool (in my nerdy sorta way:Element #74....The original name of this element was Wolfram and was changed to what we now know as Tungsten. I thought that was cool, but I am a nerd, aren't I?

To continue the nerdiness, check out what my Becky brought me back from Poland:In the center there is a depression that holds a tealight. Looks really pretty when lit. Why is it nerdy? Because my BFF got it for me because it is not a "rock", it is a halite crystal....aka NaCl....aka rock salt! BTW, this is HUGE, around 6x6x4".

Okay, ya'll want some knitting? Check it out:Pattern: Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style
Yarn: Lion Brand CottonEase (1.5 skeins in Lake)
Needles: US8, 9, 10, 10.5
Size: 42"

Notes: I LOVE THIS SHRUG!!! You just can't beat it. The stitch count stays the same for the entire length, you just change needle sizes. A interchangable set is priceless. There is ALOT of give in the length (cuff to cuff) so I would base any sizing on your arm circumference.

I think the yarn worked really well with this pattern. I wore this to work and after about 8 hours, it had stretched a bit and wasn't very "snug". But a washing AND drying took it back to normal.

When I do it again, I will keep the stitch count the same, but make it shorter. Like I said, there is alot of give in the length and I could easily afford to make it shorter.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

And it all goes to pot.....

Just so you know how things are going in this neck of the woods, we have skipper Destash - Round 2 and have moved straight on to Destash - Round 2.5. Ya'll get first dibbs, but is is going up on Destash probably Wednesday night. Check out the Flickr Set.

Just so you know, Destash - Round 3 will probably consist of my first born. :-P

Yes, lots of alcohol was involved, why do you ask?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This house is clean.

Hi my name is Jennifer and I am a packrat. However, I have been told that I come by it honestly because my dad is also a packrat, along with his grandmother. See, it's not my fault! :-P

However, I had begun to get better about it, but it was like trying to push back the ocean when the tide is coming in. It was starting to progress from messy to dirty (trust me, there's a difference). I had fought with it for a long time to get everything back in order, but I was fighting a losing battle. I needed reinforcements.

Yep, I called my mom.

She came down a few weeks ago and we went hard core on my little apartment with all of it's "crap". We started with the worst, the living room. Why is it the worst? 'Cause that's where all the fibery goodness lives.....well, most of it. It was at this point I took EVERYTHING out of it's place and only put back what I really, really wanted and started a destash pile with the rest. This is the point where my non-knitty mommy said something that literally had be laughing for at least half an hour:

*Disclaimer: Please put down all beverages before proceeding*

"Yeah, you should get rid of some of it before it goes bad."

...and with a straight face.

Aren't you glad I made you put your beverage down?

Which finally brings us to my point. I have finally gotten my box 'o yarn photographed and "flickred" and it is now up for grabs in this flickr set. I am giving ya'll first dibs before I throw it up on Destash. This is Round One and I will be doing the same thing for Round Two. If we get to Round Three, you will know it's bad 'cause that's when we start on my Lorna's........*shudder*.....

Okay, so how about some pretty things?

Pattern: Amanda's Squatty Sidekick
Needles: Denise US10
Yarn: Paton's Merino Wool in Chestnut Brown and Retro
Mods: Again, did the 6" of i-cord on the handle, instead of 3".

This is the second one of these, this one done for my roomie who is moving out. I really got this felted and I like the fabric that came out, but it did make it a little small. Therefore, the next one I make I will probably make it bigger so that I can get it really felted. The next one for me will also have a zipper, instead of the clasp.

I have been going back and forth on if I like it or not. The varigated Patons felted wierd, but once I shaved it and looked at it some more, it's kinda starting to grow on me. The roomies outta town, so I don't know if she likes it or not.

Bezzie has been keeping us updated on the Great Potato Experiment. This got me to contemplate my current vegtable experiment - the tomato (not to be confused with the Tomato, which will happen at a later date). I am in an apartment that has a good size patio, but gets very little direct sun.

This makes growing things, especially veggies quite difficult. I had a tomato plant last year that I got one little tomato out of before it burned up. Since we have been having a bit of rain (read: flooding), the weather has been relatively mild, letting my plants grow, without needing water 2-3 times a day. The above picture was taken May 14. My tomato plant is on the far right. And here is is today:It has begun to take over!! It is even growing over the side of the railing to get more sun. The picture above is at about 9:30am and that is about the most amount of sun that gets to my patio. There are about a dozen blooms about and...WOO HOO!!! He's clocking in at about 1.5" right now and still going!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What's that wet stuff falling from the sky?

All right, ya'll. This is crazy. When you think of Texas, what do you think of? Cactus, horses, dirt (especially if you have ever been to Lubbock), sun, sun, BLAZING SUN? Yeah, it's hot in Texas, especially in the summer.

I grew up in West Texas where there has been a drought for, what, 15 years? I know that there have been water restrictions for at least that long. (West Texas is basically the "desert" part of Texas, for you non-Texans.) I then moved to North(east) Texas to go to undergrad and I did encounter this mystical occurrence called "rain". They had a couple of weeks there where a nice shower was not unexpected. It was nice....stuff actually GREW!

And now we come to 2007 - The Year of The Rain. Holy crap the past 4 months, we have had maybe 7 days where it didn't rain. And I ain't talkin' that sissy rain either. I'm talking 3-4 inches in an hour. No where in my wildest dreams would I think that we would have a daily threat of flooding. It was just a few weeks ago when the Gainesville/Sherman areas flooded. That made the national news and it was about 30 miles from me.

Which brings me to my now daily observance:Freakin' 'Shrooms....fields of them all over. These also ain't sissy 'shrooms, these are Texas-Sized 'shrooms.And what pops up quicker than a 'shroom when it rains?A random FO!!

Pattern: Amanda's Squatty Sidekick
Yarn: Cascade 220 (Black) and Paton's Merino Wool (Bright Red)
Needles: Denise US10
CO: 7/1/07 BO: 7/3/07
Mods: I did 6" of i-cord on the handle, instead of three. Next time I will probably add another 2", just for me.
Striping: Of body, replace this for Rnds 12-26 (all K)
Rnd 12&13: Black
Rnd 14&15: Red
Rep rnds 12-15 two more times
Rnd25&26: Black
The button I just needle-felted....and I only stuck myself once!

The pattern states that you can knit it today and use it tomorrow and she ain't kiddin'! This was a super-quick knit. I knit on it in front of the TV for 2 nights (plus a little finishing on day three) and felted it the third day. It is a nice little knitting pick-me-up.

I have had some inquiries about Coachella. I did some mods and got back to the try-on point. I think it will work, but I have lost alot of love for this project. So, it has gone to the naughty corner until I am no longer frustrated with it. Hence, the nice, quick knit above.