Monday, April 03, 2006

Announcement!

I originally started this blog with the idea of chronicling my crafty adventures. I've now realized that they go far beyond knitting -- in the past year, I've started writing two separate series (one fantasy, one science fiction), and I want to start blogging about my writing adventures as well.

To that end, I'm moving my blog over to Typepad. I would love it if you would keep reading and letting me know your opinions -- more than ever now, because I'll be posting sections from my stories and I'll want to know what you think.

My new blog is located at: Miss Teen Wordpower. I'll still be reading all your blogs, and I can't wait to see what new creations you'll be creating.

See you all later!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Flashing My Stash!

Since Tee is in Boston, I could flash my stash without him walking around with an indulgent smirk on his face. However, he should know better than to be smug -- after all, he's addicted to World of Warcraft!

Without further ado, here I go, flashing my stash!


First, I decided to organize my stash. This was a catastrophic decision and in order to escape from the chaos, I ran away and started to clean the kitchen. THAT'S HOW OVERWHELMED I WAS.

Stash Insanity

Stash Insanity.


After recovering and finishing the organization, I managed to find my favorites. It was quite an experience, going through my stash and remembering for what I had bought each skein of yarn. I found a few balls of yarn without labels at the bottom of one of the baskets from my first few weeks of knowing how to knit; I had gotten them with no idea of what to do with them. Now, two years later, turning them over in my hands, I started to invision designs for them: a delicate capelet, an airy netting to hang instead of curtains. I never thought I'd be able to design my own pieces when I first started knitting, but there isn't a pattern I knit today that I don't make modifications to, even if I'm just changing the size. It surprised me, to be honest, to suddenly recognize tangible proof of having grown.


Speaking of designing...
Knitpicks Merino Style
Knitpicks Merino Style, destined to become a super-secret design for one of my friends, whose band is going on tour and has asked me to create some custom pieces for her. Exciting!


Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport
Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport, for the Nordic Mittens in IK's Winter 2004 issue. I need to order more of the Plumberry main color, but that can wait until I'm ready to knit these up next fall.


Dyeing Yarns
Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, Knitpicks Paint Your Own Merino Laceweight, and Dale of Norway Baby Ull. I'm starting to experiment with different dyeing techniques and these are my favorite yarns for experimentation.


Sock Yarn
My sock yarn stash. I have a slight addiction to sock yarn. My substantially reduced stash includes Knitpicks Simple Stripes, Invicta Coloris, Jaeger Matchmaker, Koigu, and Cherry Tree Hill. The last two are the yarns that take my addiction, inject it with pure adrenalin, and take me into the "obsessive fan" realm.


Reynolds Saucy Sport
Reynolds Saucy Sport for the Peppermint Stripe Sweater in Stitch 'n Bitch. I started this project last February, but between gauge problems and school, I put it away and only rediscovered it today!


Noro Kureyon #124
One of my absolute favorite yarns, Noro Kureyon in colorway 124. These skeins are the result of me over-estimating when I ordered the yarn for my Lady Eleanor stole. They'll become a felted knitting bag or a modified Boobholder.


Brown Sheep
Lamb's Pride yarns -- I can't say enough good things about them. I have several leftover skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky from when I made the Fairly Easy Fair Isle cardigan from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I have a cardigan pattern in mind for them, but since it's getting gradually warmer, it'll probably wait until next fall. The Lamb's Pride Worsted skeins are gifts from my second Secret Pal, and I'm planning a cute Fair Isle hat/mitten combo for them. This picture proves that I would have done quite well with March's Project Spectrum color choice! I will never, ever grow out of my pink stage.


Here's the entire stash, neatly arranged and cuddled together. Think of it as a sort of cast bow for my stash!
Stash!


I've loved looking at everyone's stashes -- it's inspiring and I've got plenty of new projects that I want to knit! If you haven't already, check out Knit and Tonic's Flash Your Stash entry. It's awe-inspiring!


I also finally got around to taking a picture of myself wearing Lady Eleanor.
Lady Eleanor



I should be finished with the first Jaywalker sock tonight...but only if I get started knitting now! So, it's off to spend an evening with Peter Parker. Hey, if my superhero isn't here, I have to find a replacement!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yarn For Breakfast

Lately, I've been waking up about half an hour before I need to get up, and I treasure that little bit of time before Tee and I need to get ready for our day in earnest. I can read knitting blogs, write emails, have a full breakfast, or knit a few rows on my latest project in early morning sunlight. It's lovely.

Our apartment is in the basement of our landlords' home. We get an enormous amount of sunlight for where we live, but I've discovered that I can take my best pictures of my projects in that half hour before Tee gets up and I have to get ready for school. So, a new series begins: Yarn For Breakfast!

Today's main course: Grumperina's Jaywalker socks, served up fresh and tasty.

Jaywalker, Part the First


Jaywalker

I've become quite devoted to the Magic Loop technique. It wasn't very fluid at first, and I had a hard time getting used to not pulling my stitches tight to close up any gaps at the joins, but now I find it just as convenient and useful as using 5 DPNS (my usual number). I'm using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Tropical Storm -- my mom will eventually be the recipient of these beauties.

I think it also bears mentioning that after my midterm (American Identities in Literature...ugh, Melville and Thoreau!), I skipped class to play disc out by the campus pond. It's so, so gorgeous out! I love New England.

EDIT: I'll be taking part in the April 1st Flash Your Stash fun. I couldn't decide what button to use...so here are my two favorites.

sorortiyflashstash
This one is appropriate, considering that my college is better known as "ZooMass".


maudeflashstash
Bea Arthur, I love you.

Who else is taking part in Flash Your Stash? I know Cathy is, but there has to be more of you!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Stash-Enhancing Joys

Friday was such a successful excursion! I love A Good Yarn more every time I visit. Tee is visiting BU for grad school this Saturday, so I might take another trip out there to visit again.

...not like I need to, after the orgy of stash-enhancing that occured on Friday. After walking about 800 miles, Mom and I were exhausted, happy, and more than a little amazed that we had spent an entire day in each other's company and not come to blows.

I know that sounds more than a little extreme, but back when I was trying to survive puberty, I was a monster. My mother and I fought constantly, bitterly...you get the picture. We fought for the sake of fighting. Finally, I graduated, I went to college and I started to grow up. I've always loved my mom, but for a long time, I was too cool to like her. I cringe to think about it now.

I guess I have knitting to thank, in part, for letting us get so close. She taught me how to knit during my sophomore year of college and I've never looked back. Now, it's a tradition that, whenever I go home to visit, we rent BBC miniseries (Jane Austen adaptations are always popular) and knit for hours. I mean hours. We talk now, instead of yelling, and we have inside jokes about British actors and bad accents. I just came back to Amherst yesterday, and I wish I was back upstairs, knitting with Mom. For once, I'm glad I'm homesick.

Handcrafts are uniquely fulfilling; they bring groups of such dissimilar people together, but the crafts also serve to connect the crafter with everyone who's knit a sweater, sewn a quilt, or cooked a meal. When you craft, you are both making progress and living in history.

I saved all of my babysitting money since January, so I wouldn't feel guilty about splurging. And splurge I did, without shame!

100_3896


From Windsor Button, I got Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn -- this fiber feels like melted butter in the skein. I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Cherry Tree Hill

The blue yarn is for my mom -- I think I'll make Craftaholic's Mata Hari socks with it. The other skeins? For me, of course!


As I've said before (and will probably say a million times again), A Good Yarn is a lovely, lovely store. I indulged my craving for Koigu there.

Koigu again.

I could have spent more; in fact, I spent much less than I was planning to, but I'm content. I have patterns in mind for all the sock yarns I bought, but with the money I didn't spend, I'm going to buy my dream knitting bag from Della Q.

Progress pictures tonight! I hope everyone's enjoying the Spring weather!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Know Your Onion!

I'm more than a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I updated. I had originally planned to make this blog an almost-daily update on my crafty endeavors, but I've rather gloriously failed. Life took over in a big way.

Thankfully, everything has been worked out with my financial situation. I work an IT position, so I know that I'm more aware than most about how insidious this type of damage can be. It was still terrifying to watch my personal information snatched away.


I haven't been idle, though. I've been dragging myself through an insanely boring course on American literature (bane of my existence), an honors writing course, and two French classes. I'm so glad that this week is Spring Break...even if I'm working eight hour days the whole time! On Friday, my mom and I are taking a girls' trip to Boston -- we'll go to the MFA, Windsor Button, A Good Yarn, the Pourhouse...I can't wait!


I finished Lady Eleanor from
Scarf Style
last week.

Lady Eleanor
The Lady herself, after three balls.


Lady Eleanor
In what can only be called a knitting frenzy, I knit up six balls in one weekend.


Lady Eleanor
She looked so lovely reclining that I couldn't bring myself to take any pictures of me wearing her -- not yet, at least!


Lady Eleanor
She's big beyond all sense.

Project Stats:
Project: Lady Eleanor Stole from
Scarf Style

Yarn Used: Noro Kureyon in #124, ten skeins.
Needles: Addi Turbos, size 7, 32" circular.
Modifications/notes: Instead of casting on 56 stitches, I only cast on 49. Believe me, if I hadn't, this lady would have turned into a blanket. I really advise using at least a 29" circular needle to knit this project, otherwise the sheer weight will have your hands and wrists aching after the first three balls. I also substituted my preferred increase (k1fb) for the M1 from the pattern. Sometimes there is a visible difference, but luckily I didn't run into that and I avoided some really unslightly holes in the fabric.


Honestly? I adore this project. It was soothing to knit, especially on Addi Turbos, and I loved watching the color subtly change from one block to another. Tres Chic Veronique made Lady E in the exact same Noro colorway...I can't say that I blame her. It's gorgeous, with bright jewel tones standing out against cool, muted grey-blues. I have four more skeins of #124 coming to me soon -- I'm planning on making a felted knitting bag with them.



As for current WIPs, I've restarted the Norwegian stockings, have a seemingly unending parade of socks in my knitting bag, and am still hammering out the designs for my vest and hat patterns. It's going to be a productive Spring Break!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Life Takes Over...

The rush to finish for the Knitting Olympics has been stymied.

All of my online information has been hacked. Email, Paypal, eBay, bank information...this is a nightmare.


Luckily, everything is going to be recovered and everyone on the service end of this mess has been so kind and capable, but I'm still terrified by what this could have become.

Ironic, isn't it, that I work with clients, helping to make their computers more secure?

My head hurts.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Progress Report

The Knitting Olympics is an amazing phenomenom. With only a week left to go, I'm wondering if I can measure up, but I've been swept away by the talent and excitement that everyone is exhibiting. Even if I don't finish, I can't wait to see what everyone else has done.

That said, since my last update, I've frogged the entire stocking twice, and ripped back at least three inches three more times. I'm starting to get a little worried; I'm less than halfway through the first stocking and there's only a week left. Thank the Lord that we have a three day weekend!

After frogging everything for the second time, I power-knit through three hours of Law and Order: SVU and managed to recoop my losses.

Norwegian Stocking, 02/18/06

Norwegian Stocking, 02/18/06

Norwegian Stocking, 02/18/06

I'm still in love with this pattern, luckily. I'll be working on it all night, as Tee and I immerse ourselves in the usual Sunday Movie Night -- this week, Bride and Prejudice and Aliens. Yes, the nice people at Hollywood Video are afraid of us.

I've managed to knock off my own Odessa, pattern by the lovely Grumperina. It's a relaxing, soothing knit, perfect for working on while answering calls from irate frat guys.

Odessa

I apologize for my lack of makeup, consciousness, etc.


I've really got to focus on the stockings...I want to be through the first stocking and into the second by Tuesday. With tomorrow off, it's completely doable. I just need to focus. Focus. FOCUS!

Odessa 2

Oh damn.