A February sweater and some mail

Finally photos of my February Lady Sweater!

Buttons from Christmas button stash 2008.

It came out a little longer and thinner than I thought that it would be but really it is fine by me. I did have difficulty photographing myself in this. Every picture I took made me look pregnant. Weird, cause this one makes me look tall and skinny.
Here's the details:

Project : February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne
Started / completed : 1 -22 February 2009
Yarn : Dream in Color Classy (color : Nightwatch)
Needles : size 8
Buttons : metal from some store in Michigan
Overall very happy with this knit. The lace pattern seemed to take forever but the sleeves just flew along which helped. And I managed to finish the February sweater in February. Go me!
When I showed my husband this sweater he commented on me picking out sweaters that hang open. Well I hate to tell you hubby but I have one more sweater in the works that hangs open. Next up, the garter stitch swingy sweater.
Yesterday I got goodies in the mail! My order from Knit Picks. A new size 1 fixed circular needle with a 47" cable, a package of 47" cables and one of 60" cables, 7 balls of Comfy in Pomegranate for the garter stitch sweater and 8 balls of Shine Sport in Butter for a Runway Bolero.
The yarns are gorgeous and so springy especially the butter colored yarn. I can't wait to cast on with these. However the pomegranate Comfy has me a little worried. I was expecting a yarn that was a bit thicker. This stuff is pretty thin, just slightly thicker than the sport weight butter yarn. Hope that it works out with the size 9 needles the pattern calls for because I really liked this color for the sweater.
yummy yummies!
A note about the cables: If you have read a certain past entry you would have caught me ranting about the cables from knit picks. These cables feel completely different than the ones that I have. They are soft and more flexible. I really like them, I just hope they stick together a little better than the others.

I also got my first fat quarter from Sew, Mama, Sew!'s swap! How cool is that! This is a little bigger than the quarters that I sent out. I hope they don't mind. It has me a little worried now.
And my Heartening is almost finished. I just need to do the ribbing around the sleeve openings. So maybe some FO pictures of that tomorrow.


Swappin' fabric

I signed up a my first swap EVER! Sew, Mama, Sew! is having a fat quarter fabric swap. So these lovely ladies below are heading out to parts unknown in Canada,Virginia and Arizona today.

purchased at JoAnn's Fabric
(the closest fabric store to me besides Wal-mart. CRINGE.)

I just hope that the ladies don't mind that I didn't keep their tags. I am anal about washing my fabric as soon as I get it and I am new to the whole "record what you have got" process that seems to go along with blogging. They are really nice soft cotton fabric and I really hate to part with that blue one on the right. But I will be getting some cool stuff in return, so it is all worth it.


hearts and swirls abound

Sorry folks I fibbed, no FO shots of the Lady Sweater yet. I am waiting on some better light. But Heartening is coming along swimmingly. The pattern is written in such a way as to allow you to alter it easily and the yarn is one of my favorites, Alpaca with a Twist Highlander (tweedy and extremely soft).

Mods so far: I only decreased two times to get my waist shaping instead of the 4 that the pattern called for. Also I increased from the waist 3 times instead of 4.

My row gauge is off as well. I am going to get about 3 repeats of the cabling done instead of just two. Which is fine by me, it is looking great.

PROBLEM: There is an error in the cabling chart on the 18th row. The last two sets of cables are backward. So if anyone else is planning on making this keep that in mind.

It is turning out to be a rather quick knit. I can hopefully have this done and be wearing it next week. I was worried that it might take a bit to complete and that I would have to wait until next fall to wear this gorgeous thing.

the mum sock.

My mom's sock is coming along as well. I am nearing the gussett. We will see how that goes. If you are looking closely, the toe is different than the last shot of this. I didn't like the squareness of the other toe and the more I knit on it the more it bothered me. So rip it went. I am so glad that I did. This toe flows with the spirals so much better. It is the toe from the embossed leaves socks done in reverse with no purl bumps, just the increases. The end of the increases matches up perfectly with the start of the left slants of the spirals.

Mom is going to wear these to death as well. Hoorah!


A surprise from across the pond

I have the best penpal in the world!
Her name is Anne and she is from England. We have been writing since we were kids, so about 20 years. Our letters are more infrequent now but we try. The whole snail mail thing is going my the wayside. But we keep puttering along. The other day I came home to find a package from her. And what a surprise... look what was inside.

It contained chocolates (not pictured because they were consumed in mass quantities over the weekend) and a magazine with free stitches markers.

The sweaters in this magazine are cute but I think that they made odd yarn choices; metallics and assorted pastels. Oh well, the articles were really interesting and it was cool to see what is "in" on the other side of the pond.
Free stitch markers!
Gratuitous wildlife shots taken by my hubby while sitting at the kitchen table.

Woody Woodpecker.

Rocky the leaping squirrel.

Tomorrow, finished shots of February Lady Sweater and progress photos of spiral socks and Heartening.


etsy favs

The Love me 2 times Short Skirt/Dress by gaiaconceptions
Stretchy, versatile clothing.

ti leaf skirt in blue and grey by machinemachine

Love this! The top is a separate tubey thing from the skirt.

Random quilt.

(Sorry didn't catch the info before I clicked around.)

Layered skirt with scalloped hem by LoveToLoveYou

I love layered skirts. Note to self, start making some dumb dumb.

Little black coat by larimeloom

Unique, cozy, want it.

Asymetrical top by Treehouse28
Love what she does with t-shirt like material. I want one of everything she makes!!

All great designers of unique, versatile, comfy clothing! Check them out.


mom's socks

My mother wears out handmade socks!!! Yeah! I think that my mom needs more socks for her birthday since she appreciates them so much. So I got on ravelry and bought what I thought was some Koigu. But it came in this bag.

Makes no never mind to me. The yarn is scrumpcious! I mean look at this stuff and it feels wonderful in the hands!

So of course I had to start the socks right away. I am basically using the Swirl sock pattern by Sulafaye. They were designed for DK weight yarn and size 4 needles. I am adopting the pattern for a size 1 needle and fingering weight yarn. So far I am going with 64 stitches for the sock. It may change once I try them on my mom. But I am going to get the swirl going before I let her try them on. So I may be ripping these if they don't work out and trying again. But I don't care I just had to get started!!


future knits

Spring is getting nearer and nearer and what I am going to knit? Well I am going to finish my February Lady Sweater (I only have the sleeves left) and then try to squeeze in one more winter knit.

While searching for those perfect spring projects, I happened upon this in my queue. Upon further evaluation, I have yarn for this!!! So if all goes well it will be my last winter knit for this season. Or the first I finish next fall...??

Heartening by Amblinglia
My Alpaca with a Twist yarn that I have already used for Bella's Mittens and Hat should work perfectly!
For spring, some cotton goodies.
Runway Bolero by Robin Dodge
Plan on making this out of some Knit Picks Shine sport weight yarn in a yummy Butter color. No stripes. They just aren't me. I have been wanting to make this as a cover up for the one and only outfit that I wear to every wedding (and I have 2 so far this spring/summer).
Simple. Charming. Versatile.
Also bought some Knit Picks for this; Comfy in Pomegranate. It is a gorgeous color. I have no idea what I will wear with it but I just couldn't resist the color. Not to crazy about the fact that this yarn is 25% Acrylic, but it was cheap and again the COLOR.
The only problem with all of this planning, I didn't choose any colors that would go well with Project Spectrum, which I am participating in this year! The socks I have planned for my mom's birthday don't come close either. (That yummy goodness will appear tomorrow.)
HUH! I am supposed to be using GREEN for March and April. But none of the greens were jumping out at me, dammit! I will have to get creative with other green things I guess.
Also went back to the Zakka Pouch and moved the ribbon channel down like a wanted to do. You probably can't tell the difference but I can. To me, it looks so much better. Took a little of the length away.
Still think the base may need some blocking; probably this weekend.

One more glamour shot


Another FO : the Slouchy hat

Wear loose and floppy.
Project : the Slouchy Hat by ME
started / completed : 10 - 13 February 2009
Yarn : 1 ball Caron Simply Soft Eco (in black)
1 ball Caron Simply Soft Eco (in purple)
Needle : US 5
After knitting to a length of 10.25 inches, I started decreases as follows:
knit 4 stitches, k2tog* repeat til 5 stitches remain knit 3, k2tog
knit 1 round
knit 2, k2tog* repeat til end of round
k2tog for remaining rounds til 5 stitches remain
run yarn through remaining stitches.
weave in ends.


Fold up the brim...

for a more fitted look!

Finally... the Zakka Pouch

ok, so after hours of hand stitching and debating on whether I was putting it together right and how tall I wanted it to be, it is finally finished. I think that I am going to undo the top portion though. I want more pulled together at the top. So I am going stitch a new path for the ribbon further down.
Also the bottom looks deformed unless I shove the knitting down in there just so. Will blocking help tieh that. I hope so.
I am a little disappointed in this. But hopefully after I make a few little adjustments, I will really like it. It is going to be my new knitting bag, so I better get it just right since I will be looking at it everyday.

Project : Zakka Pouch by Black Dog Designs
started / completed : 8 - 15 February 2009
Fabric : Fat quarters from Joann's Fabrics
Yarn : Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Solids (in Ecru)
Needles : US 8
Ribbon : brown ribbon (from Wal-mart)

The best parts : pockets and lots of space.


10 embarrassing things

Thankfully not one of my embarrassing things!

Marie over at Permission to Unwind layed out some pretty embarrassing things for all to read, so I thought that I would join her. Here is my unofficially tagged meme:

1. I teach Spanish, but have never been to a Spanish speaking country.

2. I was a substitute teacher for my husband! He is 3 years younger. I was subbing to help pay for college. We did not date during that time; we only casually knew each other. We started dating about 5 years later! Please don't think of me as one of those horrible teachers that you see on the news.

3. I can never remember the year my husband and I were married, so whenever someone asks I have to studder around and try to do the math in my head.

4. One of my front teeth is noticeably longer than the others and still crooked even after 4years of braces as a teenager.

5. I once slipped up and said a curse word while teaching class!!! Very embarrassing. I am still waiting for that group of students to graduate.

6. I can't pronounce words in English that I have never heard someone else say aloud before.

7. I am the world's worst speller in English and a horrible typist.

8. I was once publically called a cheater for using the same book to write two very different papers in college. Super embarrassing! I had no idea at the time that it wasn't ok to do that. I will never forget it though. Gracias, Señora Merida.

9. I sing Christmas carols horribly off key and very loudly.

10. I have acne at age 32! I have to use Proactive every day. It sucks.

Anyone else want to let it all hang out??? Let Marie know when you do. It is only fair. She let it out first!


Print making and knitting, What could be better?

Printing by Hand: A Modern Guide to Printing with Handmade Stamps, Stencils, and Silk Screens
I have been reading through this book for some time now. It explains the different techniques for painting on fabric. I was wanting to learn about silk screening. This technique seems to require a little more care and money than I care to put into printing at this time. But this book explains the process really well, so when I am ready....
Anyhoo, it does have great tips and explanations on stenciling with different materials, that are a little more up my alley, like freezer paper stenciling. This method is extremely simple and the supplies are readily available at low costs. Plus it comes with free stencil art in the back of the book for all the projects!
vine stenciled chair

stenciled quilt

an example of one of the designs

More about the hat:
Striping as begun and I can't seem to put it down. Watching the stripes appear is hypnotic.
I finished the ribbing. Next i did a knit round where I increased one stitch every 10 stitches. Next, I switched to the purple yarn. I knit 6 rounds of the purple, switched to black for 3 rounds, and then increased one stitch every 10 stitches on the next round. Continued with black for 2 more rounds.
So stripes are basically 6 rounds for each color. Plan on keeping this amount of stitches until I have 10.25 inches of hat. Then the decreases.


Projects and projects and more projects

This came yesterday causing me to drool and wish and dream of spring knits. Then it made me sad because I probably won't be buying much out of it. But there are some great looking yarns at some great looking prices in here. ¡Qué lastima! (Too bad!)

So I am a sucker. I really want to finish my February Lady Sweater before the end of February, but I took on yet another project. I was asked to make a slouchy hat for someone, which I agreed to do if they provided the yarn. So the very next day, said person arrives with yarn. I was really hoping for some time but since I can't turn down a real request, since they are few and far between, I jumped right in.

Here is the progress so far.

Cast on 104 stitches on supposedly size 7 circs (I think they are really like size 5!) and am knitting 2 x 2 ribbing for 3.5 inches. Then I am going to add about 10 stitches (probably) and knit stockinette black and purple stripes til I get about 10.25 inches. Then I will decide on my decreases. We will have to see how this goes. I plan on knitting on this during movies or zone out times, while still trying to get in plenty of time to finish sweater and possibly, the zakka pouch that is waiting to be put together.

Sweater so far!



Float Stole by Melinda C. Hunt (Spring 2009, Interweave Knits)
I have been pretty disappointed with the designs in the Interweave Knits magazine for the past few copies. I love Eunny Jang and was really hoping that with her in charge, I was going to see all kinds of coool knits that I just can't live without. Not the case, again to my disappointment. But it might be worth getting ahold of the spring issue just to have the pattern to the Float Stole. I think that it is absolutely gorgeous.
This week end I was flipping (literally, flipping, I don't really read this mag) through the lasted edition of Entertainment Weekly and saw this article about the Bella Mittens. I thought that maybe it was going to be about the ravelry pattern floating around out there, but no. This is an article about how to get ahold of your own pair from the original British knitwear designer, Ruth Cross for ONLY $80. Wow! I made mine for about $15.oo! I feel like I have saved an enormous about of money. (Pat on my back.) The only difference, that I saw between the ones that I made and these, was the palm side of the mitten seems to have a different pattern, instead of plan stockinette.

Parts on pieces to what will soon be my new knitting bag, the zakka pouch.



thanks to the few people who have left comments on my blog so far. once i figure out how to reply, i will give you a personal thank you. it means a lot to get any kind of feedback on what i post here. i have wanted a blog for so long and it is finally a reality and i just want you all to know that your comments REALLY mean a lot to me. again, a big thank you! the crafting community online rocks!



remember this mess? well it is now this...
basically i made a patch for it.
i looked at a video on how to darn a sock, but i just didn't think that it would work well considering the damage. so i took some yarn and went around the edge of the hole picking up loose stitching and securing those that weren't loose. then i knit an 8 st by 1.5 inch patch, placed it over the patch and mattress stitched it down. it is a little bumpy on the inside from the mattress stitching but my mom says it feels fine and she is joyously happy to have her warm socks back.
ok, mom. love you! and you are definitely getting more socks for your birthday!

crappy cheap yarn from walmart for zakka pouch. it's peaches 'n' cream 4ply cotton in cream. it will go great with the fabric that i plan on using. and i really don't mind that it's cheap. or that it came from walmart. also picked up the winter Vogue knitting because i just had to read the article about Jared Flood. he is such an awesome knitwear designer. and if you have never seen his blog, you definitely need to head there now!