Sunday, January 28, 2007

Madrona Swag

I made my way down to Tacoma again today to take part in the marketplace at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. It was definitely worth the trip.
I got a few essentials: needles, another color for the felted pears I fell in love with at Christmas. The most exciting part is:

The yellow is hand-dyed silk and the purple is sea-silk, with which I will make this. I'm excited. I don't know what I'll do with the yellow, I just really liked it and I happen to have a lot of disposable income right now, so I got it. The buttons are to replace the blue ones on my new Sierra Cardigan. I've worn it a couple times now and I'm not convinced the blue ones are it.

Progress continues on Pomatomus, if a little slowly. I turned the heel and picked up stitches and now I just have to keep going. So far these haven't been that difficult, but perhaps the difficulty is yet to come. We'll see.
Like I said before, I could sit and look at these socks all day long I love the colors so much.
And from a purchase the other day:
It's all sock yarn because I'm a bit of a fiend, but the most notable part is the colors. I used to make my mother swear to never let me buy anything pink and now I daily sport a pink wool coat and am in love with this pink Lambs Pride Wildefoote Luxury Sock yarn in color Sonatina. The other yarn is blue. It's sort of green but would definitely fall in the blue section of the color wheel. I don't buy blue. I don't wear blue and I think I own maybe three balls of blue yarn (all of which are shetland wool for Fair Isle sweaters so they hardly count). I couldn't stop looking at this ball of yarn though and thinking what a pretty color it was, so I got it. It is Dream in Color in the Blue Lagoon colorway. I don't know what pattern I'll use, but right now I just like looking at the plain white bag with pink and blue yarn in it. I sight my high school self would throw up a little in her mouth at, but I quite enjoy.

Friday, January 26, 2007


I took my sorry ass all the way down to Tacoma last night to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak as part of the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat. If only I had known I would have totally registered and gone to the retreat, but what are you going to do. There were two speakers, Diane Formoso and everyone's favorite Harlot. Diane spoke about charity and making a difference on the local level in your own community and Stephanie spoke about the same on the international level, most specifically through Doctors Without Borders (MSF). I had read her Solstice plea to include someone on the other side of the world into our families and donate to MSF. Being the often ambivalent and flat out lazy person that I am I never got around to donating. As a result I never felt like I was truly part of the incredible knitting community out there. It seemed to me that everyone else had donated and I was an interloper rejoicing in what knitters could do without actually taking part. This is often an unspoken mantra of my life. Anyway, last night I finally donated some money and become a full-fledged member of the the knitting community that is changing the world. I gotta say it's way better over on this side of the line.

Stephanie also spoke of her donation drive during the tsunami aftermath. She had asked knitters to think about wants versus needs, and donate the wants money to MSF. This got me to thinking about wants versus needs and really rejoicing in what we do have. I spent a very peaceful and elated drive home thinking about lucky I really am. I was wearing the warm wool coat I wear every day, driving my own car that I can afford to put gas in and sitting next to the products of my hobby, which I am lucky enough to have time to take part in. My job may be excruciatingly boring, but the fact is that I can fill all the needs in my life and still have time and money and energy to fill almost all of my wants, the reasonable ones anyway. I try and remind myself of this every day.

ps- Stephanie is damn funny. And a very eloquent speaker who got her point across with just the right amount of humor and actual content. She is the type of person I want to be and I want to be my friends.

pps- Tomorrow:Pictures!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Sun Returns

I know I don't live nearly as far north as some, but I don't live above the 45th parallel, which is a lot farther than most. The longest day of the year was back in December but we are finally reaping the benefits of the Earth's rotation around the sun. When I started my dull job it was depressing enough on its own. Since it was December I got to add to that the fact that I worked during all hours of light in a building with no windows. Now not only is the sun still up when I leave work, but it is still light out when I get home. Soon, soon my friends, I will take walks outside after work in actual daylight. Huzzah!

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Digs

Today was the deflowering of the new digs for my lunch. My lunch went from this:

to this:

to this:

I'm quite pleased with my fabulous new lunchbox. The only problem is the side I did all the backs of yarn labels, with washing instructions and fiber content and such, is in fact the top, not the bottom like I intended. Of course I didn't realize this until after I had completely finished the wrong side. Oh well. I had a lunchbox like this in high school, except that it had pictures of bands I really liked and some random assortment of pictures and stickers. I'm glad I couldn't find it because I probably would have shed a little tear for my lamo former self.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's all in the finishing

So many finished objects so little time! Mostly I have so many finished objects because living above the 45th parallel, as I do, I work during all hours of daylight in the winter. Since my photography skills leave a little to be desired anyway I like to wait until the weekend to take my pictures with the added benefit of natural light. So let us begin!
Sienna Cardigan from Interweave Fall 2006.
Cascade Pastaza 50% llama/50%wool. This is very fuzzy and a lot itchier than I was expecting. I have a pretty high tolerance for itchiness and this one almost surpasses it. It got better after I blocked it though, and it will probably get better with time. We'll see.
Size 9 needles. I inherited a lot of my needles from my aunt who in turn inherited them from some old lady down the street and age ago. The moral of the story is that I don't know what brand of needles they are. They're blue.

Alterations: As I hate seaming and will do much to avoid it I knit all the pieces together. I didn't do a steek in the middle because it would have interupted the faggotting that I like so much about this cardigan. When I go to the armholes I divided the pieces and knit them separately, and since I had done the whole thing flat my gauge didn't change here. I did a three needle bind-off for the shoulders and did the sleeves in the round.
I'm still thinking about the buttons. I can't decide if the blue takes all the glory from the other things I love so much about the cardigan (like the collar) or if they are okay. I think I will probably just leave them on there until I come up with something better.

The best part is that I took everyone's, including my own, best advice and spent an extra five minutes learning how to properly sew a sleeve into an armhole. Man was that a 5 minutes well spent! Let's observe the bonk method I used to sew a sleeve into a cardigan I made a couple years ago and this cardigan.

The green one is a cardigan I made awhile ago, love dearly, and wear all the time. However when I made it I couldn't be bothered to learn how to seam properly, thus ending up with this monstrosity. The best part is that I remember when I finished it I thought it looked pretty good. Now the glorious orange is where I spent the time to do it right. I could't be more pleased with the outcome. It looks like I magically knit the sleeves right there with the sweater. Those technique books really know what they are talking about.

And my second finished object. The smallest size of the Adventure Hobo Bag by Noni.
I thought I had a whole series of photos from unfelted to felted to completely finished, but turns out I either didn't actually click the button on the camera or they are lost in the void somewhere. Anyway...
Cascade 220 in Mystic Purple, it's one of the heathers. Less than 3 skeins. I haven't used Cascade 220 in a long time, I forgot how delightfully soft this stuff is. I enjoyed every single stitch of this bad and I want to make more. I love this color, this yarn, everything.
This bag also contains my very first zipper in the whole world, and I gotta say I think my hats might not fit anymore my head is getting so big. I couldn't be happier with my zipper.
That and I don't know why needle felting embelleshment hasn't taken over the world of felting, cause I think it is fabulous to no end. For some reason recently I have taken a liking to moose. I have always liked moose, but this summer I really got attached. So what purple felted Noni bag is complete without a moose you ask? Well none of them, which is why:

Friday, January 19, 2007

I wore my new cardigan today (pictures to come when I can take them in daylight tomorrow) and no one commented on it. This is either because it is so fabulous and wonderful that everyone thought it was store-bought or because I work with very dull people who don't notice anything. Frankly either option has merit.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What a day! My plain tin lunchbox came today, fabulous decorations to come. I sewed the buttons on my new orange cardigan, to wear to work tomorrow. And I think my Pomatomus socks may be my very favorite socks in the whole world and I'm only 3 inches in. I love the color so much that at the end of every needle I stop and admire how beautiful and wonderful my new socks are.

Oh, and someone not only noticed my moose today, but knew it was a moose without me telling her. I feel so accomplished.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My deficit of projects has left me thinking. What do I get to knit next? Pomatomus? I think so! I picked up some Jitterbug at one of my local yarn stores recently. I've never seen Jitterbug before, nor hear of it, but I thought the color was so fabulous I couldn't leave without it. Especially since there was only one of this colorway left.
I have a lot of sock yarn just waiting for the perfect pattern. I am thinking of Grumperina's Jaywalker, a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, and the Boudoir socks from the Interweave Knits Holiday Issue. We'll see what I actually come up with.

Then there is that Dale of Norway sweater waiting out the debate between steeks and no steeks with machine knitting. Really five minutes thought and a couple measurements would solve this debate but sometimes that is just a little too much energy.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Getting a job that expends almost zero mental energy has done wonders for my knitting. That and the crazy amount of snow days that have prevented me from going to work, thus expending even less mental energy. I have had so much time off that I have cleared out my knitting basket completely. Totally void of any project.

Luckily I have this in store:

Thats, count 'em, 13 skeins of Koigu. I have never actually worked with Koigu before but I am really excited. Super duper excited. This was chosen by my Aunt (who has exceptional taste, as she chose it without even knowing just what Koigu is) to make a short-sleeved top. And I desperately hope there is something left over for me.

The two major projects I just finished are still blocking and in need of minor embellishments (read: buttons and a moose) to be completely done. A full report to come. I did however do some felting during my snowbound days. A couple vessels done with a single skein of Di Ve Autunno, 100% Merino. This yarn is very soft and felts exceptionally well. If I thought I would like a sweater knit with Autunno I would make one in a heart beat. I love the softness and the wide stripes it creates. The first one is a pencil holder for my dreary desk at work, my favorite part is the surprise on the bottom. Why needle felted embelleshments haven't taken over the knitting world is beyond me. I can't get enough of them! The orange one is currently holding all the yarn labels for recent projects.

This last yellow one is made from Cascade Indulgence, 70% Superfine Alpaca, 30% Angora. This one took forever to felt. I would even like it felted a bit more, but I think I would still be felting it if I didn't stop when I did. It created a very soft fabric though and I like the picot bind off on the ruffle a lot.
ps-I am still working on the whole format forgive my lack of any sort of technologic skills.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Everyone keeps saying this is the year of stash knitting. Well not me! This is the year I increase my stash. I am going to bring so much yarn into this house I won't know what to do with it. Really knitting a whole year solely from my stash would leave me with about 2 months worth of knitting, and then I would be projectless and stashless. Maybe, if this year is successful (its looking good as I have a lot of disposable income right now) next year will be the year of stash knitting. We'll see.

Finished objects to come.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My attempts to begin a blog have so far been resoundingly unsuccessful. Today though is a snow day! So I am determined to post something. Even if it is only a picture of the back yard in a lame attempt to put something up. It seems that when I am determined to post I have nothing to say, but when I am at work and unable to post I have loads to say. We'll see what the day brings.