Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Hey folks, sorry for the disappearance... again.. and for a really long time.... I seem to be stuck in ravlery. I'll let you know if I ever find my out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Not much to say

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been pretty busy painting the house and training the pup that I haven't been able to knit NEARLY as much as my sanity needs. Just the other day I found myself in a verbal argument with Fez.... It started with me calling him fat, he responding with some non-verbal that played through my head as an insult and then me insulting him again before I realized what was going on and laughed at myself.

I'm hoping to get the painting done before the end of October... I actually wanted it done before the beginning of October but my helpers (my family) thought a break might be in order and we aren't painting for the next two weeks. :( In my head we have nothing to do for the house after the painting, not for a while anyway. Get new carpet is first on the list and we have to save up some more money (how much does carpet cost anyway?) and make sure that Anya is sufficiently house-trained so that we can leave her loose during the day without having to worry about little 'accidents'. I know she can hold it all day, her crate is clean when I come home from work but on the weekends when she's loose with us home she has to pee more since she's not sleeping all the time.... The other night Michael and I left her in the laundry room with a baby-gate at the door... she wasn't there when we got home and the baby-gate was still perfectly upright! Not sure what the next step is from here....

Knitting... well I started the second sleeve to my pink summer cardigan, it is now sitting in the car for my stuck-by-a-train knitting. And I've been knitting a bunch more on the Irtfa'a shawl, nowhere near half of the border is done. I've also received the yarn for the rest of my Equinox Pullover. I'm really in a 'finishing' mood because I feel I've got too much stuff on the needles and I can't keep track of it all. Hopefully after I finish up a thing or two I can get back to some 'gift' knitting... that's what I'm calling it but I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't finish the projects in time for wearing this year...

Also, I had a 'photo shoot' with Anya this weekend, hoping I can sort through the pics soon and get a few posted.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Test knitting: The yarn has arrived

As the title suggests, the yarn from Shivaya Naturals has arrived. In fact it came in on 8/28 and I had to be content with just staring at it until Sunday evening when I was finally able to cast on. (This is just meant to be a quick update during some very rare downtime)

Heather sent me Tussah silk in the colorway Dark Iris. That's the first project I cast on. As I was winding the skein into a ball, (I like to hold the yarn in my fingers before it gets to the ball winder) I noticed that the skein was so saturated it was dyeing my fingers. I love the color as-is and hope that the finished garment doesn't bleed enough to fade it. I decided to go with a wimple for this yarn. My lab gets pretty cold and it's not even fall yet... something to cozy up in would be welcomed come winter!

As I was knitting with this yarn I noticed that it's kind of 'crunchy'. So, I'm knitting along... going 'I don't know how I feel about this'..... and then I kept knitting..... Monday I picked it up again..... even though I KNEW I should really get started on the second test knitting yarn.... Looks like I actually do enjoy knitting with this unique yarn! Even now (I've started the other test knitting project, too) I still prefer to knit with this tussah. YAY, I'm glad that I can enjoy a yarn that it is 'green'!

Next, Heather sent me Spun silk in the colorway Camellia variegated. When I first got it I was kind of disappointed, I don't usually like to knit with variegated yarns unless it's for socks. (This might have been part of why I first cast on with the tussah) So I reluctantly turned this skein into a ball. As I'm sitting there winding it, this yarn bloomed! The variegation is so subtle, it's gorgeous. I'll try to remember to snap a pic of the ball before it gets too deformed from the lack of yarn in the middle.

Anyway, for this yarn I decided to knit a Tiger's Eye Lace Scarf, knitting the eyes twice so there are two sets per row. As the yarn is knitting up you can barely see any of the variegation and it's knitting up into a gorgeous color. I'm not sure if it's because I so enjoy the wimple project and it's yarn or if I'm just getting worn out on the lace projects, but this one isn't getting as much needle time.

ETA: It could also be the chart from which I'm knitting the pattern. It's not as intuitive or 'comfortable' to read from. This is despite the fact that I'm a chart person and the wimple pattern is only words... I'm still deciding what's going on with this yarn right now.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Irtfa'a update

Ok, seriously people, this is getting insane. I thought that I'd have enough yarn to add a few extra repeats of the small feather pattern charts. So I did.
Then last night I'm sitting there, staring at my yarn and what I've knitted up thinking, "I could totally knit more small feathers and still have PLENTY of yarn for the rest of the shawl." But I was wise and instead of just continuing on my merry way, I decided to weigh out the yarn and the knitted product so far on a gram scale.

I looked up what the yarn weighed when it came to me (200g).

Then I weighed the knitted up product so far (85g)

Then I weighted the yarn I still have left to knit (115g)

We'll just ignore the fact that the needles added some weight to the knitted product because as we all know actual knit up yarn weighs less than its un-knit counterpart. ( I know, some physics violations here, but it's just true. Accept it and move on. I have.)

85 + 115 = 200

This means that I still have OVER HALF the yarn left. I could probably knit another 20 repeats of the small feathers and then drape a blanket around me on the deck (instead of my desired gorgeous shawl).

Rather than react in an irrational manner, I've decided to block part of the pattern out and see what dimensions I'm getting. Then I'll decide how to move forward. Seriously. Nuts.

Friday, August 15, 2008


If you haven't been to this new yarn shop that I'm obsessing over you need to get over there before I buy up all the lace-weight!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Me? A test knitter?!

So, not too much has changed from the previous post.

I'm still chugging away on the small feather repeats of the Irtfa'a shawl, still enjoying it very much! It's finally starting to look like it's getting bigger... I should probably think about taking it off the needles and blocking part of it to see what kind of stretch I can get out of the pattern. Then I'll know more about if I need to add some repeats to get the size I want.

I've been working very diligently on that green sock I use to calm my nerves during traffic jams.

I've also cast on for Nancy Bush's Laila's socks from Folk Knitting in Estonia. I did that just last night because I've really been craving some more colorwork and at the same time wishing that I had more socks. I know I haven't finished the other pair but maybe I'll be able to finish these because the colorwork will keep me going? The only thing is I wasn't really pleased with the color choices I had in my stash... we'll see if I end up purchasing extra yarn for these guys....

But the real reason I'm posting is because I am going to be a test knitter for a new yarn-dyer out there! Shivaya Naturals. She does all natural dyeing and the yarns look delicious! I already bought a skein of Alpaca lace in Iris before seeing on Ravelry that she's looking for test knitters for ALL of her yarns! I quickly emailed her and we discussed my test knitting for both spun silk and tussah silk! I'm quite excited, but a little nervous too because she wants an honest opinion and I've never been in a position to tell a person how I feel about their products. But, there's a first time for everything and I've been wanting to test knit for patterns and yarns for a while now. She's asked that I post pictures of the yarns as they're being knit so that should be some good pressure to get a few more posts on the blog! Good news for everybody, I guess. :D

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A general catch all of all the knitting I have to show

Ok, before I forget: In the last post I mentioned the green sock knitting in traffic jams and that it only helped 'slightly'. It actually helps immensely and I'm often torn between wishing for traffic problems and getting home as quickly as possible! Since the sock is in the car, I have no pics. :( I have to carefully snap shots whenever I can (AKA: sleeping puppy) and that doesn't happen when I often have the energy to stage some shots or there is good light!

Um.... so first, an update on Irtfa'a:
(And yes, it is stretched between two plates, for those who were really looking.) This is coming along really well. The pattern is very clearly written and I've gotten to the main body of the shawl which means that the knitting should get done a lot faster now. My only concern is that I've barely put a dent in the 1700 yard skein that I bought because the shawl pattern said something like 1200 yds.... I'm wondering if I should be concerned that the gauge is wrong (even though I did swatch) and that I will need to rip back and start over...? I really like the way things are looking now though, so I might just continue as is and see if I'll need to add some extra repeats towards the end.

Also, apparently I never posted anything about a new shawl that I've started with some of the remains of yarn from the wedding shawl. It's the pattern from page 100 of Victorian Lace Today called 'Scarf with edging 21 and insertion25'.... An odd name, but that's what it says. This is intended to be a gift for someone and I wanted to get an idea of what the finished dimensions would be in this yarn, so I blocked part of it!
It's looking pretty good! I've decided to go ahead and add 2 more repeats to make it a total of 21 repeats (seems a better number) before I do the second border piece.

Also, I knit this shawl a long time ago with some yarn I got from the Estes Park Wool Festival. I've only worn it a few times and feel that it might do better in a different home. However, this shawl is overly long (even on me) and the intended recipient is at least a foot shorter, so I'll have to rip back and finish the shawl in much shorter dimensions. Not too hard since the edging consists of something like 5 or 6 rows of garter stitch.
I've been working on my Pink Summer Cardigan again and am almost finished with the first sleeve. I don't have any pics but I tried the sleeve on and all seems well. I'm mostly concerned about how long I should knit the sleeve before deciding that it's ready to be attached to the yoke of the cardigan... I've only knit one sweater before this and I wasn't thoroughly impressed with the shoulder seaming...

And finally, a pic of Anya who now weighs 15 pounds and is developing a BRIGHT orange spot on her head right between her ears. I think people give us strange looks when we are on walks, something to the tune of, 'What on EARTH did they do to that poor puppy?!'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In which I start a new shawl!

I haven't been able to knit much, still. :( I've started taking some sock knitting (those bright green argyle-ish socks) with me to work. I keep it in my car and knit at any traffic jams or long lights. It helps only slightly.

But this last Saturday I received the yarn I ordered from The Colorful Sheep on Etsy.
Lately I have been CRAVING a fall-shawl. I envision myself wearing a gorgeous brown/gold shawl while spinning some luscious yarn up on the back deck one almost too-cold afternoon. (Most likely a cup of tea will be present.)

I have cast on for Irtfa'a. I love it! The pattern is so clearly written and I love working with this SOFT yarn. This will definitely be a knit to treasure through the knitting process as well as the finished product.

On a more surprising and upsetting note: Anya picked out a 100% felted wool bone from the all natural pet store. Here is the culprit:
This does not bode well for our relationship. :)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

We've moved!! Updated

We've gotten all moved in, at least the furniture is. There's quite a bit of work to do to make it my own, but I'm looking forward to it. Also... we got a puppy!!! You can check out some of the pics on my flickr page here.

ETA: Wow, things sure have been busy around here. Along with the move and the puppy I got my own project at work that I'm very excited about!

Of course the puppy likes my yarn because I'm playing with it. 'Why can't I play with it too, Mom?' she asks. SO, there hasn't been much knitting going on at the house. I did have a TERRIBLE craving to do some spinning on Tuesday night, and so I spun! Anya (the puppy) didn't mind. She was terribly interested in the fiber but once she got smacked in the head a few times by the wheel spokes, she showed MUCH less interest in that.

We've been spending the last several weekends ripping out wallpaper and general getting rid of the old owner's taste behavior (they had bad taste). The wallpaper was bad enough but there's some leopard-print wallpaper in the dining room... weird... anywho... My family (who's been helping with the wallpaper) can't wait to get it all out (hopefully this weekend) and move on to a new project, such as painting!

All is well in my little world, I've got plenty to keep me busy and I sleep hard at night... plus many smaller naps in-between.

Monday, June 23, 2008

During the move

So this last weekend we started to move some things over to the house, namely books, clothes and .... yarn. It was really hard parting with the yarn. I know it's less than a 5 minute drive and most of the yarn I've barely glanced at in the last few months, but suddenly realizing that it wasn't going to be at my beck and call left me with a dark-pitty feeling in my stomach! I thought enough to leave behind my current shawl-like project (haven't I mentioned it?!) and that green faux-argyle sock I've been working on for SOOO long.

Last night I got a SERIOUS hankering to cast-on for a new project. An almost-going-out-of-my-mind hankering. Finally I just settled in to work on my green argyle-ish socks. Then I realized why I put it aside so long ago, it's to the heel shaping and I have to pay attention to it now. Then I realized I had sent the custom-written (by me) heel-shaping directions to the house!!! Oh dear...... I'm winging it now with the directions I used as a basis for the personalized directions. It is satisfying my need for some sock-work, but I have prepared myself for the realization that I might have to just rip the heel out when it really starts to look kinda of.... wonky.

We're scheduled to make the official move this coming Saturday, you'd think I wouldn't have gotten so crazy, but the lack of wool-y fumes seems to have driven me quite mad! :)