Wednesday, October 29, 2008

quick pics

From top to bottom--
  • Merino sport weight in Briney
  • Merino 4 oz roving in Zen graduals--the colors change from one end of the roving to the other. I am planning on spinning this up as a lace weight and making a triangular shawl to show this off. I am more than happy to do this as a custom dye job!
  • Merino 4 oz roving in Briney, for my mom
  • 2 skeins merino silk fingering weight and 3 skeins merino silk lace weight for my mom in Zen.
New yarn up on Ravelry and Etsy check it out! Got to run to class!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Got a few minutes...

It's been so long since I have posted that blogger forgot who I was and made me sign in...

Well life has been crazy busy since the semester started. I have been busy being lab mommy, trying to keep track of 4 undergrads and a dare I say one incompetent grad student. Only one more semester...

I have had a little bit of time to knit in the evenings though and have come up with a few new things. Kody's socks are coming along painfully slow. I really can't stand the colorway and have zero ambition to finish them other than I love my Kody and he needs some warm wool socks for hunting by November. I have put way Joe's sweater for a while, not that he will need it this year. I started on a sweater I won't be able to wear til next year of my own design and I must say I think it will turn out awesome.

I took a little time for myself this weekend and dyed up some yarn and a couple rovings. I did some for my mom by request, overdyed some alpaca for my aforementioned sweater for me, a skein of merino as a gift and a couple of 4 oz rovings, one to spin and sell and the other for my mom.
I have a couple of new handspuns, one that is on etsy right now and the other will go up by the end of the week.

This is a beaded version of the merino/cashmere blend that is already on etsy. I call it "Spring Chicken beaded"!! I loaded way too many beads and it was a pain to ply, but I muscled through it finally.
Here is a preview of another hand spun that will go up later on etsy later this week.

Unfortunately I don't have a very good place to take pics, and the pics of this yarn don't do it justice. Not a very big skein, only 120 yards, but this is one of my favorites yet for a seemingly ordinary yarn. The roving is blended with navy, burgundy and blue and was sitting in the box next to some red angelina which it picked up a little of. The yarn has little bits of sparkle here and there throughout the skein. It is incredibly soft too. It was spun worsted, but loosely so it has a lot of bloom.
Well I'm off to hobble upstairs and visit my poor neglected bacteria!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm supposed to be working. I'm not sure what on, but it's a good thing that my major prof doesn't know about my blog... I'm daydreaming about the perfect baby knits browsing patterns and wishing I could go on a yarn shopping spree. If I had $500... hehe. I have a couple of projects in mind, a pattern that I want to write and at this moment I wish I was a stay at home mom again who got to clean house for a couple hours, play with the munchkin and knit for the rest of the day. Ah that was the life of laziness!

I have been working on a pattern though, for my honey's first sweater. I am really unexicted about the yarn, even more about the color which I think I will overdye either blue or black, but the pattern (the whole 6 inches I have worked) seems to be going okay. This may be a little over abitious and I'm sure that I am the only one on earth who would want to do this, but the idea is to write a pattern that has set in sleeve shaping, that is completely seemless. Unless some OCD knitter such as myself has already done this and I am not aware. Of course I will offer a seamed version of this when I get finished.

Another of my less inspire projects, Kody's socks are trudging along too. I was so proud when I reached 3.5 inches!! Then I realized that although I thought I knew my guage, I had chosen size 0 needles instead of size 1. So now I have to rip out that 3.5 inches of hell and start over!! Yay!

In reality I'm just trying to waste another 5 minutes before I have to go to class.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The basketweave stitch tutorial and free pattern

This can be a little bit difficult of a stitch pattern to understand, and it's even harder to explain, but I'm going to have a go at it... This pattern is basically cabling on both sides of the work without using a cable needle. The front side of the work cables 1 stitch left and the wrong side cables 1 stitch right over two stitches. As far as the terminology, first and second refers to the order of the stitches as they are on the left needle, not the order that new stitches are made.

Row 1: (RS) k1,

*Insert the right needle into the second stitch on the left needle (knitwise), behind the first stitch as shown below. You can go through the front leg of the stitch or the back loop, it really doesn't make a difference on the finished piece, it is easier to go through the back loop.

Make your new stitch, but leave the old stitch on the left hand needle...

Next, insert your right needle into the first stitch on the left needle...

make your new stitch...

Then drop both of the old stitches off of the left needle.

You can see in the picture above that the stitch that was first on the left needle ("first old stitch") has crossed over the stitch that was second in line. * Repeat *-* until 1 stitch remains, k1

Row 2: (WS) p2,

*Insert the right needle into the second stitch (purlwise) in front of the first stitch on the left needle as shown

Make the new stitch and leave the old stitch on the left needle

Insert the right needle in the first stitch on the left needle

make your new stitch...then drop both old stitches off the left needle.If you look on the right side of your work you will see that there is a right leaning stitch just made.* Repeat *-* until there are two stitches left, p2.

Repeat rows 1 and 2!

Free Pattern: Basket weave tutorial swatch coffee cozy

Materials: Worsted weight yarn, I'm guessing here, but I think 50 yards should do it. I used some left over Plymouth Encore wool/acrylic.
Size 7 needles
2 buttons

Gauge: About 4 right leaning stitches per inch in pattern.
Finished size: 3.5 inches wide x 9 inches circumference
Cast on 24 stitches. Work 2 rows in garter stitch.
Work in basket weave pattern until the piece measures 10 inches, BO in following pattern:
*k1, k1tog, rep from *.
Overlap the ends as shown in the photo below, sew together. Add buttons as shown, weave in any loose ends, add to coffee cup!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gearing up for holiday knitting

First off, we managed to get through the hurricane without any trees falling on our trucks or home and didn't even lose power. Honestly I was a little disappointed, I'm kind of a sucker for natural disaster drama, but I'm glad that the damage was kept to the minimum for everyone else's sake. The storm was talked up so much that it was kind of a let down when all we got was rain and some weak wind. I did get out of school/work for two extra days though. I have gotten a lot of crafting done over this extended weekend too. I only have one more block plus the sashing on my mom's quilt left to quilt, I started and almost finished a crochet blanket for the baby, I finished the Druid Mitten's, did one of two fingerless gloves, sold some yarn, and started a pair of socks (see below for more on the socks). Whew, that sounds like a lot. Let me tell you I am bored out of my mind.

Look a collage of my accomplishments!!

Well its come to that time of year again when I'm starting to panic and dread all of the holiday knitting that needs to be done. It's not often that knitting becomes a unwanted chore, but that is the case a couple of months before Christmas. This is also the time that I realize that the men in knitter's lives are often overlooked when it comes to style. Not wanting to put forth any creativity of my own I've been looking for a nice pullover pattern for the hubby I have been looking for a nice pattern, preferably free cause I'm broke, that won't make him look like Mr. Rogers or, well, gay, and maybe one that he might be willing to wear. Looks like I'm going to have to use that shriveled up thing that rattles around in my head and write a pattern or fork over five bucks to a deserving designer.

Another knitting challenge is fitting a pair of socks to a guy. Men have the oddest feet and if you want to make a pair that fits right you should take proper measurements, but does anyone really want to get that close to a guys foot? Especially when they belong to someone you don't snuggle with. Somehow I always feel the need to make Joe's friends socks just for being great guys and putting up with my attitude and being there when Joe or I need a helping hand. Ben got a pair of blue alpaca socks last spring and now it's Kody's turn. It should be rather challenging considering that I want them to be a surprise and I have to eye up his feet every time he is over. I can't even use Joe a model cause Kody has totally different feet than my husband.

I decided to use the traditional sock recipe and very simple k3 p1 stitch pattern using Brown Sheep's Wildfoote. I must admit that although the color (brown sugar) is very well suited to a man, I'm not thrilled with it. I figure I will work about 2" a day and should be done sometime in September. I have some surprise plans for the sock though and will be sure to make Kody model them (I imagine a photo shoot in front of the gas fireplace, with feet kicked up, light that sucker up, try to get a few shots off before passing out from carbon monoxide poisoning cause the idiots didn't vent the fireplace properly or simply from heat exhaustion cause it will still be 80 degrees here in Louisiana, desperately trying to turn of the gas, all the while hoping that Kody smiled nicely and didn't make faces)...I digress...and write a pattern that I can share with the world!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grrr, quilting

The fuse on my short temper has disappeared completely with pregnancy. I'm really pissed off about a parking ticket that the campus police won't repeal, but they were nice enough to repeal my husbands parking ticket, which he got for the same reason as me. Grrr.

I am off the knitting kick for a little while and back into a sewing kick, particularly a quilt top that I started when my little girl was only a few months old. It's a lone star with applique flowers and vines around the edge. I had to rip out most of the applique I did because, well it sucked. Now after a little more brainstorming and research I started working on the applique again. I just might finish it in twenty years.

This all got started off with a kick to make place mats for me. I have an iris fetish when it comes to my kitchen and dining area. Every thing is violet, blue and green, iris colors. So, I got on the quilting software and came up with this....

Pretty.... of course, I should probably work on some of my UFO quilts before starting new projects. That and I really can't afford the quilt shop right now and I don't have any batiks in my stash that quite match the colors I want.

I also have been working on and off on machine quilting this Star Sampler quilt for my mom....
Almost every block is a variation of the Evening Star, but I did eventually run out of ways to vary this pattern, so I had to throw some other star patterns in.
It was hand pieced and I originally planned on hand quilting the whole thing, but I would also like her to have it before she dies. (Not that she is going to, but it would take me fifty years to hand quilt this cause I'm so slow)
Instead I decided to ruin it with my questionable free hand machine quilting skill. I only have about 6 blocks plus the sashing and the border to quilt though and then I'm ready to bind and be done with this thing. I doubt I will have the ambition or the time but I could be done by Christmas. I still am not sure what quilting pattern to do on the sashing and the border which are only 2 inches wide. This quilt is truly a sampler though and the quilting patterns, although mostly feather based motifs with a stippled background, but I think the sashing is too narrow for a decent feather motif. Oh the challenges of being creative.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's been almost a month, sorry

I didn't really abandon my post, I have been crazy busy with summer and getting back to work/school. First an announcement:

For all of you charity knitter's out there that haven't heard, knit a red scarf for the red scarf project for the Orphan Foundation of America which gives these scarfs to college bound foster kids. For more information go to OFA's red scarf site.

On my own sob story front, my fantastic lovable adorable English Pointer has been diagnosed with hip dysplasia and its severe enough that it he will probably be crippled in a few years. For those of you who don't know, canine hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that affects almost all breeds of dogs, especially large breeds. As the dog is growing the hip joint doesn't form right, usually the socket part doesn't form a socket like it should. This causes pain in of itself, but the debilitating part of the disease is the arthritis that forms as the dog ages. Right now selective breeding of dogs with good hips is the only way to prevent this disease, but even dogs with good hips will occasionally have puppies with bad hips and so is the case with Copper. Both parents are part of a very carefully controlled breeding program by a renowned English Pointer Kennel and this is the first time either parent has had offspring with this disease.

Copper on his first day home.

Right now we are looking into a surgery for him called Triple Pelvic Ostectomy where the hip joint is remodeled. It would be a rough recovery, but the success rate is around 90% and dogs usually return to a completely normal active lifestyle. Because he wants to be such an active dog (born to run and hunt) we are hoping that he is a good candidate. Of course everything is expensive, so if he can get the surgery I will be making up mad amounts of stitch markers and hand spun and hand dyed yarn for sale on Etsy. All profit will go in a special account for his surgery. More on that if he qualifies for the surgery.

Copper as of now, sitting in the typical dysplasic posture.

I have been getting some knitting in. I have been a little bored with socks lately so when Vogue Knitting showed up in the mailbox with those awesome mittens on the front cover, I couldn't help myself but get into the mittens. As long as I live in Louisiana I will never have a need for them, but I plan on getting back to a state that has seasons, particularly one with winter. I really miss playing in the snow... I digress. I had spun up some fingering weight merino from one of the hand dyed rovings I did, and I added beads when I plied it. The yarn is super soft but turned out a little more woolen than I would have hoped for originally but works great for the mittens I ended up doing. Inspired by Vogue and using Ann Budd's book "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" I knitted up some mittens with a simple cable pattern.

I think everyone will be getting mittens for Christmas, or at least those who live in a state where they would need them. I also started on the Druid Mittens from Vogue's cover using Pagewood farms Denali. I should have used a lighter color, mine is a little bit dark for the pattern, but it's turning out well. Denali is an interesting yarn and follows the trends that Koigu started with their tightly twisted two ply yarn. Denali is three ply, but has a lot of the same texture that is seen with Koigu.

I really like the saddle closing that this pattern uses versuses the standard decrease seen in simpler mitten patterns. It was a little loose and I might try a different approach on the right mitten though, (for those of you who are knitting this pattern I will let you know how that goes).

Off I go to be anti-productive in another way, or maybe something that I actually need to do...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun with dyeing

I was a little scared when I dyed my first roving but......not too bad. I did two 4 oz rovings and some sock yarn in "glitter" as well as a sock blank from knit picks

One side turned out perfect, the other not as much but either way I'm hoping that it will look good on the sock itself. I also think that I have found a new use for my knitting machine, after all the yarn to make the sock blank costs 5.99. The sock blank cost 11.99. It would take me about 10 minutes to knit it up on the knitting machine, so I think I will do that from now on. I really like the dye effects that you can get out of the blank though.

Off to do some work now....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Back from CO

I have been completely MIA for the past few weeks, and it was so worth it. Went home to Colorado and I am surprised I even came back! The real purpose of my trip was to be in my friend Heather's wedding which turned out beautiful and made me regret my own wedding choices (or lack thereof). Needless to say she didn't get her shawl, instead I made a quick knit and gave her a knitted white thong with a blue ribbon as a bachlorette gift and a small drawstring bag made from one of my all time favorites, Artyarn's Regal Silk. It was fun to splurge on a skein of yarn. I even had some left overs and made a pair of undies for myself. I thought about giving them to her, but that might be a little weird. Well I have to run home and get some knitting before I meet A for coffee (or decaf) this afternoon, good thing I live 2 minutes from Starbucks!! I will leave you with a pic of the baby...

We aren't going to find out the sex, but I bet it's a girl only becuase DH wants a boy so badly!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Esty shop

Just wanted to let everyone know that the etsy shop is up and running! Right now I have one handspun and several stitch markers. I need to take some pics and I should have a few more handspuns up in the next couple of days.

I am really excited about my new patterns and the positive response on them. I had one knitter contact me about the basket weave handbag. She mentioned that she really doesn't crochet and me (like a moron) forgets that not all knitter's crochet also. So here is a simple solution for those who don't crochet:

Instead of binding off, switch to the cotton yarn. Decrease every stitch, 38 st remain. Work in garter st for 4 rows (2 purl ridges on the front side).
next row: k12, bo 14, k12
next row: k12, co 14, k12 (leaving an opening for the handle but joining to the last 12 stitches) Knit 6 more rows (3 purl ridges on the front side) Bind off.
Pick up 76 stitches from the cast on edge and repeat the above directions.
Sew up side seams, weave in ends.

I used garter stitch as an example but in the spirit of making it your own, you can use any stitch that doesn't curl such as seed stitch. I will be sure to add this to the end of the pattern post also.

I did start on the Malabrigo bag, but I'm not particularly happy with it right now, it just didn't come out like I had pictured in my head. I'm working on a baby surprise jacket for a preggo friend of my mine and that is almost done, so I might try and pick it back up and have another pattern by the end of this week. Then it is off to Colorado for me!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

So freakin cool

How freaking awesome is that??? My bag is on the recently added list!!!! It has been up for about 3 hours as I write and people are favoriting it, woot woot. Okay everyone, start telling me what a complete dork I am. I know, go ahead, but I feel special right now, or at least some pattern love.

Since I am all about customizing patterns I thought that I would give a quick tip for customizing this bag, make it big! By increasing needle size and/or yarn weight, you can very easily increase and still use the same pattern. If you want to be a little more adventurous, you can increase the number of stitches. The stitch pattern is just a multiple of 2 stitches plus a stitch on each side for the selvedge. To change the top, simply follow the same guidelines and adjust the number of crochet stitches as necessary. The handles are 1/3 of one side of the purse! Voila, from small handbag to large tote! Am I using to many exclamations?

I got off my hiney and set up an Etsy store. You can find it here. There isn't anything up as of today other than I spent a little while actually setting up the store. So far I (and my partner in crime) plan on having dyed yarn, fiber, hand spun yarn, stitch markers and rosaries. I made a few stitch markers tonight...

yep. Well that's all I have for tonight. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New handspun

In addition to the new pattern, I was busy this weekend spinning up some pretty new yarn that I felt I need to share.
I also decided that I really need a plying head for the Lendrum and Christmas is still months away... Maybe I could buy it for the hubby's birthday in September. After all he does buy me presents for himself. Okay maybe not, I guess I just need to sell my soul... or yarn... who would like to buy 320 yards (4 oz) of sport weight 100% hand spun wool? $30. Maybe I need to get on etsy.
I really have the spinning bug right now, I started some pretty blended merino last night and I'm thinking about plying it with some mill spun cashmere singles that I have and have no idea what to do with. The merino is very pretty yellow blended with some orange, light blue and pink, and the cashmere is a lighter yellow, I post pics when I can take some.
I am also finding that I don't do forced knitting very well either. I can't even stand the sight of Heather's wedding shawl, so it might turn into Heather's wedding purse or something (not the actual shawl, but I might make a purse instead, which gives me an idea but I would have to spin the yarn and that probably won't happen). I should make something fun for the bridesmaids, each different so I don't get bored...Angelina!! sorry, that was the turret syndrome speaking, angelina the fiber not the brood mare, I mean actress. I am very easily distracted today and rambling so on that note I am off to a cookie cake party in my honor (not really, they just invited me).

Monday, June 23, 2008

New Pattern- Basket weave handbag

Call me the bag lady for the next few weeks, I seem to have a desire to use up all of my single skeins and small bags are perfect for that. This week is a very simple little bag, very light and perfect for the hot weather. I saw a scarf in a similar color way of a different Manos yarn and I loved the stitch pattern, but what the heck am I going to do with a wool scarf in Louisiana???? If found the stitch pattern in my big book of knitting and decided to go for a bag instead. Sorry for the awful pic, I promise to get a better one up in the next few days.

Materials- Main color (MC) 1 skein Manos del Uruguay silk blend (150 yds) in 3113
Contrasting color (CC) 1 ball Patons Grace in Ruby
size 8 needles
size G/6 crochet hook

Gauge- who cares it's a purse (but if your a stickler--about 6 st/in in pattern, which is really hard to tell, but count both the right leaning stitch and the left leaning stitch below it)

Finished size- 8"x10"

Cast on 76 st and begin pattern as follows:
Basket weave stitch pattern-- worked over two stitches
Row 1-k1, *with right needle behind the first st, knit into the second stitch, do not drop stitch off of left needle, knit into first stitch and then drop both stitches off of left needle* rep *-* to last stitch, k1
Row 2- p2, *with right needle in front of first st, purl into the second stitch, do not drop stitch off of left needle, purl into first stitch and then drop both stitches off of left needle* rep*-* to last 2 stitches, p2

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 12 inches, BO. Fold in half (hamburger style) and sew side seams. You should have enough yarn left to crochet one or two rounds around the top of the purse; if not, join CC. Single crochet around the top edge evenly in the round (see note below).
This is about the time I started just going and not paying attention to the fact that I wanted to write this pattern down. To keep even with the stitch pattern, I crocheted into every other BO or CO st, this tightened up the top fairly nice. This means that you should end up with 76 sc.

If you haven't already, switch to CC.
work 2 round of hdc.
next round: 12 hdc, ch 14, skip 14 hdc, 24 hdc, ch 14, skip 14 hdc, 12 hdc.
next round: 12 hdc, hdc in each ch (14), 24 hdc, hdc in each ch (14), 12 hdc.
work 2 more rounds of hdc, BO.

Finishing- weave in ends and sew in liner if desired.

Sc= single crochet
Ch= chain
hdc= half double crochet

See how easy that was?

for the non-crochet-ers, try this top:

Instead of binding off, switch to the cotton yarn. Decrease every stitch, 38 st remain. Work in garter st for 4 rows (2 purl ridges on the front side).
next row: k12, bo 14, k12
next row: k12, co 14, k12 (leaving an opening for the handle but joining to the last 12 stitches) Knit 6 more rows (3 purl ridges on the front side) Bind off.
Pick up 76 stitches from the cast on edge and repeat the above directions.
Sew up side seams, weave in ends.

Next week's bag pattern (hopefully if I don't lose my head before then):

I will pull myself into 2008 and finally knit with Malabrigo, since I am apparently the last knitter on earth to pick some up.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Free Pattern

Okay this will count as my very first pattern. I have it in PDF format if anyone would like it, please let me know and I will email it (I have no idea where or how to upload it so that it can be directly downloaded. I'm not that technical)

Boho Beaded Bag by Robynn Thomas
Needles: size 13 24” circular needles
crochet hook size I/9-5.50 mm
Yarn: 2 skeins Lamb’s Pride Burly Spun in sable
or about 350 yards of worted weight

yarn, 2 strands held together

Notions: Stitch markers
71/2” diameter round purse handles
Assortment of large wooden beads
Gauge: 10 sts = 4 inches in St st

Moss Stitch pattern:
Round 1: k1, p1
Round 2: k1, p1
Round 3: p1, k1
Round 4: p1, k1
Repeat rounds 1-4

Cast on 58 stitches, join being careful not to twist.
Place marker to mark beginning of round. Work 29 stitches in stitch pattern, pm, work in stitch pattern to end of round.

Next round (increase round): m1 by p1, k1 into the first st, cont in patt to 1 st before marker, m1, slip marker, m1, cont in patt to 1 st before marker, m1.

Work even for the next 3 rounds

Work these 4 rounds until there are 74 sts.

Work even until piece measures 10”

Divide for top of purse
Next round: k16, BO 5, k32, BO 5, k2, ssk, k to last 4 st, k2tog k2 (30 sts), turn. You will work only these 30 sts for now.
Next row: sl1, p1, p2tog, p to last 4 sts, ssp, p2
Next row: *sl1, k1, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2
Next row: sl 1, p1, p2tog, p to last 4 sts, ssp, p2*
Rep *-* once more
Next row: *sl1, k1, ssk, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2
Next row: sl1, p to end*
Repeat *-* twice more
Work 4 rows in St st, bind off.
Repeat for other side

Weave in ends and sew in liner if desired

Attach handles by crocheting on. See tutorial for braided look (check for this in the next week or so).

Make 4 20” lengths of cable cord by cutting 40” of yarn (if using 2 strands of worsted held together, do the same to make the cord) tape or have someone hold one end of the yarn, twist in the same direction the yarn is twisted tightly. Hold the middle of the yarn taught, bring the ends together and then release and let the yarn twist back on itself.
I-cord works very well for this also, but I recommend using a fingering or sport weight yarn to make the I-cord or it will be too thick to fit through the beads.

Using a crochet hook (and picture for reference, I have crudely outlined the cord to make it more visible) lace cords through the top of the purse and secure to the wrong side. String one bead onto both cords, then three beads onto each cord, make knots to hold beads in place, repeat for other side.

Weave in any remaining ends and enjoy!
© Robynn Thomas 2008All rights reserved

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Local cockroach death ruled a suicide

Monroe, LA- Allied press
Local residents watched in shock as an unidentified adult male cockroach or climbed up the wall behind the stove, onto the exhaust hood and then leap into a pan of frying bacon grease in a home on Bon Aire Dr mid Saturday morning. The pan had fortunately been emptied of all bacon before the tragedy took place.

“I remember calling to my husband telling him that there was a cockroach on the wall behind the stove, I didn’t have time to do anything before he jumped,” said the female resident of the home who wishes to remain anonymous.

Local authorities are not sure why the cockroach chose to commit suicide, but they speculate that the smell of the bacon grease may have been to attractive to resist. It is not apparent if the roach was a transient or native to the home, however the residents are hoping for the first.

The roach was put to rest with the bacon grease that he was fried in a modified Miller Lite can.

In all seriousness, that was disgusting. I made sure to spray the whole entire house after that. I can't handle them in the house.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ugh and YAY

Well the yay is that I can finally tell the world that I am expecting! Here is the first picture of the little jelly bean due in December.

The ugh is the first couple months I'm feeling like dirt. Needless to say I have been extremely unproductive. Unfortunately I won't be dyeing much yarn, and even knitting feels like a chore. The meds that the doc gave me just put me to sleep. With no relief in site for at least the next month (hopefully I will enter blissful pregnancy after that), I doubt that I will be up to much.

It's killing me not to dye yarn cause I have a bunch waiting for me. I finally decided on a pattern and yarn for Heather's next wedding shawl. The new pattern was found in a German knitting pattern book from ??... Good thing I don't have to read German to read charts.

Yes I know its a table cloth, but in wool it can be a shawl and very pretty and lacy, etc.
Well that is about all the tummy will give me today, be back with pics of my accomplishments next time.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

On a break

Knitting and I are on a break right now. With all of the drama in the end of the semester I just don't feel like knitting and I should be together right now. I am afraid that we could have a permanent break up if knitting doesn't give me just a little space.... Don't tell knitting about the solitaire, it might get jealous.

The reality of it is that with the end of the semester pressure, I just don't have the time or the energy to do much of anything. Solitaire seems a little easier on me since it requires very little brain power. I have had a few break through in the lab, so I want to actually start working again, but I don't have time!!! All of my creative juice has been focused on writing these last two papers and then its finals and back to knitting. If you don't see me for the next week, there are a lot of reasons....

Well its off to bed for me, sweet dreams about how I wish I was 19 again for dumb reasons.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The opinion column

New feature!! Not really knitting related. Today's opinion is what people in Monroe are willing to do to their cars.

First off here is a list of things I need to do to make white lighting a cool truck

1. 3 foot lift kit

2. A hot pink Browning buck sticker

3. A push bar for the front

4. Headache rack or roll bar, with lights

5. something camo

6. an airbrushed front licence plate

I saw this today at the mall....

Now I'm not sure if they used a four dollar can of spray paint or something removable, but what better way to to customize your Subaru than by using amateur artistic talent to paint flames on your car. "It just seemed like a good idea! And look, it really adds to the appearance of the car while adding value at the same time. Plus the car goes about 10 mph faster!!"

Really, what were you thinking?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back from a long vacation in my head

Sorry it has been a few days, been a little busy. Well I have pictures on my phone that I would like to share but I can't find the mini SD card to get them to the computer. Theoretically I should be able to use the blue tooth on my computer and on the phone to get them on but technology never works for me, only against me.

I did see something the other day that shocked me to the bone so much I took pictures.

That's right, she is actually wearing the slippers I made for her, just in time for her to grow out of them, makes a momma proud!!

Well I did a little picture editing and decided to post this lovely...

It is a little difficult to see how super fine and ultra soft and downright beautiful the colors are but....that is a size 1 needle. Say it with me.....Robynn you need help.
I also wanted to show a proud mommy pic!! She knits!! Really, there are witnesses.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Needle collecting and other fun stuff

First off, I have 5 new colors at Threads, all are 70% merino and 30% silk fingering weight (sock yarn!!) In the chaos that is my life I forgot to take pictures, but since I am at the shop every day I promise I will take some tomorrow and post them. Anyway the new colorways are....

Hammer Pants--fluorescent green/bright purple

Hunter--green/yellow/hot pink/bright purple

Pickle Barrel--green/ecru/brown



These are $20 each for 440 yds (enough for a pair of socks + extra). I was planning on selling some cobweb merino in the zen colorway, but it breaks to easily when balling it up ( has to be hand balled very carefully) so I decided that I would be responsible and keep it to myself.

And more excitement.... My momma is the best. The greatest gifts always come from someone who truly understands you, and since we might as well be the same person, I can honestly say she understands me. I have been craving Sox Stix from Lantern Moon for a while now, and in the mail today I got some, as well as a few other goodies.

Let me explain something about my knitting habit. It's not just that I love knitting, and I do, it's also that I love collecting anything involved with knitting. I have a penchant for 5" dps and if manufacturer makes them, they will end up in my needle collection. I think I have a problem. I have been knitting for ~2.5 years and my needle collection rivals that of lifetime knitters. We won't talk about my stash (Ravelry shows about half of it, I have yet to get into the boxes of embarrassing yarn and stuff that has only been recently purchased).

The rest of the package included some buffalo down for spinning, a couple balls of Panda Silk, my signed copy of Maggie's book and Arctic Lace. Can't wait to delve into that, although I really should be reading books relating to school....nyahh. But really thanks for the early B-day Mom, I love it!!!!!!!!

I've also decided that I truly have lost my mind because I'm giving up on the Heather shawl in favor of something that I actually have yarn for (the merino that couldn't make it to market). I also chose a new pattern, circular, written in German, although it is charted , and beautiful!! Of course I decided that a size 1 needle would be best (what is wrong with me?) and I am wondering if maybe a size 15 and worsted weight yarn might be a little more feasible. Okay how about I move up to size 3. Maybe then I can have it finished by her 3rd wedding anniversary. Again pictures tomorrow this time cause I don't believe in flash photography with a point and shoot, it never turns out well.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Classes and future hand dyed!!

The first round of class dates is now set in stone!!! Here is when they will be plus a few more details. As the time comes I will post more details.

Sock class:
Session 1: May 13 and 20, 7:00-8:30 pm
Session 2: May 16 and 23, 2:00-3:30 pm
Where: Threads Unlimited Knits
Cost: $35 + supplies

Beginner Lace:
May 19 and 26 7:00-8:30 pm
Cost: $35 + supplies

I have the details of what will be covered in the class and I will give out some of those details a week or two before classes start. Class size is limited to 5 people per session and all materials used in class must be purchased at Threads with a few exceptions which I will discuss at sign up. I will also do an individual 20 min followup (no charge. by appointment, limited to 45 days after the class) to help with issues that arrise in the final project. I will be doing additional sock classes and beginner lace classess throughout the summer by demand as well as an advanced lace class (probably one in June and one in the beginning of August).

I also wanted to let everyone know that I have finally found a source for base yarn for my hand dyed yarn that I can count on for consistent (and fabulous) yarns!! Hopefully we will be putting in an order by the end of the week!!! I am hoping that by summer I will have all my colorways fully developed and also that I can find a few more people interested in selling my hand dyes!! I have a few leads on shops that might be interested in carrying them (one in PA and 2 or 3 in CO) and if that works out, I will hopefully be taking on an apprentice (you know who you are girlfriend!!!) to help me deal with the loads and loads of yarn being ordered...would you please quit falling out of your chair, it's not THAT funny. I jokingly tell her its an unpaid internship with the finest dyer on Bon Aire Dr.

I will also doing several limited amounts of special stuff depending on availability of my other source. These will usually be limited to less than 10 skeins in one selected colorway, but will be worth it. I promise that I will not turn into one of those snotty Indie dyers who charges $25 for 200 yds of sock yarn. I will never charge over $20 for a skein (unless it's cashmere, then I HAVE to charge a little more). And every skein of lace weight will make a decent size stole, and every skein of sock yarn will make at least one pair of socks!!!

New colors!!

I spent several hours deciding on the perfect color ways, and the local dye guru (stop laughing and get back in your chair) has come up with some fabulous colors for spring lace! I wanted to do something with subtle color changes so that when knitting the lace, the pattern shows through and the colorway doesn't take over. After all, why spend all that time on k2tog, ssk, and yo and not even be able to see it?

Left to right: Horton, Zen, Tallulah, and Pushing Up Daisies

I had to monkey with the picture to get the colors true to life, but voila, there you have it!

So this is the time of the year when people often ask me, "what is that intoxicating scent you are wearing?" To which I reply, "Why it's Cutter Deep Woods." I have 6 mosquito bites from standing outside for 2 minutes with out bug spray. Those of you who know me personally know that I don't get along with bug bites very well. Only time will tell exactly what species of mosquito bit me by how much pain and swelling shows up in the next few days. If it's those little black stipedy ones then I'm screwed. I think the common name is Asian Tiger Mosquito or something cute like that.

I have also decided that I no longer want to be a biologist and that I should follow my true calling. I have shunned the idea (or rather DH has) for over a year now because it is not "practical." Hopefully this summer is a turning point for either direction that is either my research takes a turn for the "this is valuable research that will actually work" (the better) or my fiber arts career takes off like weeds in my front yard. I'm really hoping for the latter. Okay enough complaining for the day.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Thursday Night SNB

Here is some pics of the Thursday night "Sit and Stitch" as Tonya so eloquently renamed (much more PC, which is good!). We had a really great time, Ro is such a great hostess!

Crappy blurry picture, sorry, camera sucks occasionally.

I now have my own corner at the shop filled with my handiwork, which is very exciting for me. Now I just need to make sure that I put all that money :::::rolls off the chair laughing:::::: away to buy supplies!!

I have stitch markers, earrings and a half basket of hand dyed yarn. I am debating putting out some of my hand spun also.

Here it is with the famous feathers and fan shawl (Eugen Buegler)

I finished spinning up some heavy lace weight the other day and started Krista, a fantastic doily. The pattern is not very large, but plan on adding to the outside and making it as big as I can. In this case the amount of yarn will dictate the size of the doilie. I have been translating this and several other patterns from Danish to English in the past months. It has been a challenge, but with the help of Yarn Over's Dictionary and Nurhanne (who emailed me back a translation in record time, which I am so grateful) I can actually get through all the lace patterns even if I haven't translated it out. That means that I can read (not speak) Danish if it relates to knitting!! I am so proud of myself.
The problem with this is that since I am translating, and the patterns are not charted and so forth, mistakes are easily made. The problem being that I cast on 8 st, when I should have cast on 6. That means I did 8 repeats instead of 6. That means that it won't come out as a circle, but rather some ruffled thingy (not what I want AT ALL). That means that I have to frog the whole thing and start over. I spent all weekend on that damn thing. GRRRR. I only realized that this morning as I was reformatting the pattern so I could put in PDF form. ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH. I can't wait to design the rest of it and now I am behind. This is to be one of my crowning glories as a lace knitter and I have to GO BACK!!! I am so frustrated at the moment, can you tell?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I am a smart girl. At least I have been told that and I believe it because when I walk around I hear something rattling in my head and I'm pretty sure that would be my brain. There are certain things that you are taught as a young girl.
Like when you use bleach, always dilute and never let bleach near wool. In a moment of disappointment that my colors ran in the white while dying yarn last week I had the brilliant idea to bleach the color out. What did I do? I filled a bowl full of undiluted bleach dipped the yarn in there and left it. About 10 seconds later I heard a fizzing sound and turned around to see my yarn steaming, yes steaming. Dumb ass.
So at this point I realize that I am a complete idiot and washed it off. Dumb ass. Needless to say the yarn was ruined although I didn't realize it until I started to skein it and as I turned my umbrella swift the yarn broke and I did really try to save it but it just kept braking and it is now sitting at the house half skeined and begging not to be thrown out. Because I am sympathetic to my yarn it might get to stick around for Hunter to play with. I'm not sure how that is being sympathetic, but it beats going to the landfill.

I am also debating the feasibility of actually finishing Heather's Shawl in the three months that I have left to finish. Remember not only do I have to knit, I have to spin. So I am going to graciously give up. I ordered some cobweight cashmere at a phenomenal price and I will pick something beautiful that can be finished in time. HAHAHAHA

Monday, March 31, 2008

This might take a while

I have so much catching up to do! Usually I sit in my office for a couple hours and waste a whole lot of time looking at all things knitting. Since I was off last week, I actually did some things that one might consider productive....WHAT?? That's right. Productive.

So, the Mother-in-law was in town for 5 days last week and I couldn't let her leave without something hand knit that I know will get scoffed at behind my back and thrown in a closet. I think it was very pretty and Ro agreed.

Not the best pic of it, but still very pretty. It was a wide border scarf from Victorian Lace done in Koigu KPPPM, one of my favorite yarns of all time. I have been trying to get out of only making socks with it, because not very many people notice my fantastic feet, but will always notice a nice lace piece. I managed to finish it in record time, only took the five days she was here to knit, block and finish!!

I now have a key to the knit shop.... I thought I died and went to heaven, but was coldly thrown back into reality this morning... not a topic for here though. I went every day last week. I can be in such a pissy mood, go there and life seems okay again. Wow!

Ever the enterprising knitter, I died a bunch of sock weight and lace weight to be sold at Threads.

A couple in the basket have been claimed by Hunter already which leads me into my next subject...

Hunter is learning to knit. She FOUR!!! How exciting is that. She must watch me a lot cause she holds the needle like a pro instead of forming a fist around them. She does a REALLY good job too, I am so proud. Okay, it's already after 3 and I am fiending for some Threads Unlimited. Tomorrow, I will be back with more pics and some details. Tata!!