Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Urg. The cashmere

I've been told that cashmere can be QUITE warm. Well, I wanted to knit Juno but it turns out that it's using a DK weight yarn DOUBLED! Well, my cashmere is about DK weight and I'm going t ohave to double it? It's doing to be damn warm! I think I need to find another pattern that doesn't necessarily require that I double the yarn since I don't want it that warm. Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 already?

The year flew by. Can't say I had all that many good memories of it. Well, whatever, it will be a new year soon and hopefully there will be some changes to come.

I decided that I'm going to spend New Year's Eve counting my yarn. Yup...I kinda see myself as Scrooge McDuck, except I'm not trying to hoard all the yarn in the world, I'm just there counting and counting and counting. I joined a "Stashalong" for 2009 in the hopes of having a net loss of yarn in the house next year and a better wardrobe. Any old projects that I have no interest in is getting ripped. This includes the Great American (Cashmere) Afghan. So, in order to do this, I need to know exactly how much yarn and fibery things I have in my house. It does make me a little nervous to think of it all. I bought another large rubber container tonight in the hopes of gathering it all together.

First project to start off for the year is going to be using the cashmere. I'm thinking of knitting the Juno cardigan from Rowan 40.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Very lucky indeed

Well, no damage to the car. There was just a lot of snow and ice packed under the car that was throwing things off balance when the speed got higher.

As for all the Christmas knitting, Lynn got her pair of mittens and Tina got 1 mitten. I should be finishing up the second mitten today and then I can relax with the knitting! Maybe I will start swatching up something using the piles and piles of cashmere I have from the Hunt Valley Cashmere club.

Two knitting related things I had gotten were the books "Sensational Knitted Socks" and "The Knitter's Book of Yarn". I was excited :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A time to give thanks

Yeah, normally that's Thanksgiving but I do have something to give thanks for today.

It's been snowing all week and the roads in RI are a bit icy. I was trying to switch lanes and when my car started moving over, I realized I was going too fast and that there was ice on the ground and lost control of the car. The car managed to not hit the car in front of me, turned 270 degrees on 95 and was stopped by the snow packed along the center median. When I let go, it was an interesting moment because there was some sense peace and I had said "Let go and whatever will happen will happen." The car stopped. The cars on the highway behind me were far enough behind and going slow enough that I saw them slow down because they all saw what had happened. I was able to start the car and pull out and keep going. I was about 40 minutes away from Providence and managed to make it here okay. I couldn't see any damage to the body of the car but I know something did hit because the car now shakes when it goes above 50mph. So, very very lucky and much to give thanks for today. I do think that my mom was watching over me because it really could've been a lot worse than it actually was.

The question now is...how am I going to make it back to Virginia. Will the car be fixed in time?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It was sitting on my door step when I got home tonight. I'm so excited.

Cornell hockey jersey - front Cornell hockey jersey - back

My very first game worn Cornell hockey jersey. And now, even though it is labelled Sawada, I need to verify that the name plate matches the actual era of the jersey.

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? - Part 2

And I was home for enough time to pack a new suitcase and I was off to Memphis.

Reshma and I had signed up for the Memphis St. Jude Marathon. I finished in 6 hours and 23 minutes. Not bad considering I hadn't run in about a month. Downtown was empty. It reminded me of St. Louis in how lacking in people it was but it was not as bad as St. Louis. We did go to Graceland. I love Elvis. I really loved Elvis when I was in high school but because of an unfinished school project, we never went. Well, now I get to go. Whee! Pictures are here. While I was there, I did have a peanut butter and banana sandwich - Elvis's favorite.

Scenes from Memphis:

Chowing down on ribs after the marathon
OMG, I look crazed and starving. Reshma did a good job on the picture!
Gold Lame suit!
Dyers - chili cheese fries
Chili cheese fries from Dyer's, as featured on "Deep Fried Paradise" on the travel channel. It was truly tasty.

Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? - Part 1

Anyone remember that computer game that became a tv show?

Anyways, I've been busy. I went to Hawaii! The pictures are here. A week seemed like it would be a long time before I got there but it all went by so quickly. It's amazing to see the different climates on the various islands. We started on the big island and saw the volcanos, drove through the rain forest side of the island and drove up through the mountains where it was cold, a bone chilling cold. We stayed in Waikola Village at the Hilton. It's a beautiful resort.

After that we were in Maui for a night. The Hana Highway is a trip and you need a lot of energy and concentration to drive it. The beaches and the waves were amazing. We ended in Honolulu at Waikiki. We stayed at a hotel that overlooks the beach - ResortQuest Waikiki Beach. There was a cute bellhop and they did a breakfast by the pool every morning. Each room also got 2 insulated lunch bags so you can take breakfast with you. We caught a surfing competition on the North Shore. Those waves were HUGE! The last day was spent at Pearl Harbor looking at the Bowfin Submarine, the Arizona Memorial, and the USS Missouri. It really makes you appreciate the men and women who serve in our military and the conditions that they live in while on duty.

Leaving you with some scenes from Hawaii:

Somewhere along Saddle Rd
Saddle rd on the Big Island
Maui Beaches
Surfers in Maui
Waikiki Beach at night (towards Honolulu)
Waikiki Beach at night

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yarn Ottoman

Yarn Ottoman
Originally uploaded by jyiu7
Many have heard me talk about the yarn ottoman in my basement. It's a 2 seater ottoman with storage space inside. I had it open yesterday and the camera around. As you can see, it is very much filled up. This is in case you're wondering what it all looked like

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Free Dr. Pepper

Well, Dr. Pepper is offering a free coupon for Dr. Pepper starting this Sunday. Why? They had promised to do so if Guns 'N Roses released their new album in 2008. Here's the yahoo news article.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Almost done

I'm going to Hawaii next week. I'M GOING TO HAWAII NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I've got that out of my system. But because I'm going, I realized that if I could finish the Pinwheel Sweater, it would be weather appropriate for Hawaii. I already had the body done. I had the sleeves all knitted. I had done more than half the crochet work on one sleeve and it had gone really quickly so I figured, heck, I could have this done before the weekend and because it's cotton, I can throw it in the washing machine and the dryer! Well, okay, I'll do spin cycle and let it air dry so that I can block out the crochet lace edge.
But as I was browsing ravelry, I stumbled upon this version. It's not necessarily the sweater that I'm looking at but the button closure. I'm not sure how she put it on. If it were me, I wouldn't sew it on since this sweater can either be worn as a long sweater, or you can turn it upside down and wear it as a short sweater.
This puts and idea in my head. I can make a toggle bar with peyote stitch. I can then attach the toggle bar to either a button or some large crystal rivoli that I've captured. This would result in what is basically a cuff link that's a button closure for my sweater. The lace chains are small enough that I don't have to make a gigantic toggle. Hmmm...Well, I've got the weekend :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Making it" as a sock knitter

I kinda think I've made it as a sock knitter when I finally realized how warm they keep my feet when I'm wearing them. In addition to that, I'm preparing my socks for tomorrow because I want something hand knit on my feet to try to avoid another craptastic day at work. Hand knit socks on my feet will at least make me smile for the 5 seconds I look at them.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twinkle, twinkle, peyote star

Twinkle twinkle peyote star
Oh how bright and shiny you are.
Up above my chest, so high
Blindingly sparkly crystals, oh my.

Twinkle Twinkle Peyote Star...

Class tomorrow. And now onto the instructions.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So much to do...

Instead, I'm napping on the couch. I'm at the toe decrease of my second Nutkin sock with maybe another 10 rows to go. I'm just about ready to start the decreases on the first Anemoi Mittens. I've got a beading project that's close to being finished and I REALLY REALLY need to write up the instructions for them before this Sunday. Instead, there are other things I need to do like sleep or clean my house. Sigh

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Finished Shrug

Carie Cardigan - finished

This is Stephanie Japel's Carie Cropped Flare Sleeve Cardigan made with Cascade Magnum. I had to do a good deal of recalculation since my gauge was way off. Thankfully, it's just a basic top down raglan. The Magnum is bulky yarn. I saw it at Stitch DC Georgetown one day, thought of this shrug, and bought some. I was in need of a quick project since all of my knitting and beading projects were taking a long time. The button closure I picked up at Rhinebeck. Patricia had gone to a specific vendor to pick up buttons for Bead Obsessions and while she shopped, I shopped right along side her. They are hand made, ceramic buttons. Very cute.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bead It! 3 - Autumn Wreath

Tonight was the Gallery Opening for the Bead It! 3 exhibit and my wreath won first place in the non wearable art exhibit! Eee! I'm so excited!

Autumn Wreath
The tags
Me and Wreath

I had completed this a couple of years ago. It is Donna DeAngelis Dickt's Fall Berry Wreath pattern. Onto the wreath, I've added a couple of Donna's cosmos and some wheat stalks I had lying about. I bring it out in the fall and hang it on my door.
This is currently on display at the Del Ray Artisan's Gallery: 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA. The exhibit runs through November 30th. I'll be gallery sitting on the 15th. Come on down and say hi!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night

I arrived at my polling center at 6:30. Knit a few rows on my sock. I left at 7:30. Not as bad as some of those 3-4 hour lines. I've done my part for Northern Virginia. I'm now settling in for a night of election results.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bead It! 3

For those of you in the DC area, next Friday, November 7, 2008 is the gallery opening of "Bead It! 3", a show put on by The Del Ray Artisans. I have two pieces in the show. I have a wreath based on Donna Dickt's Fall Berry Wreath. I modified it slightly by adding a couple of stalks of wheat and some cosmo flowers. Sorry, no picture. My other entry is an orchid:


So, for anyone who has been wanted to see my flowers in person, here's your chance.

Details of Bead It! 3:
Opening Reception - November 7, 2008 7pm-9:30pm
Show runs from Nov 7 - Nov 30
Gallery Hours:
Thursday 12pm-6pm
Friday 12pm-8pm
Saturday 10am-4pm
Sunday 12pm-4pm

I also have a couple of necklaces in their marketplace.

* Cross posted to Judy Yiu Designs

Scenes from a Marathon (part 1)

Really, I'm just too lazy to look at, sort, and upload pictures I took this year during the Marine Corps Marathon. Quick summary:
- It took me 6 hours and 16 minutes. It's not bad for a last minute crammed in training schedule.
- My leg cramped up a couple of times
- More hilly on the new course
- Nice weather. Took me 5 miles to warm up but it was a good day for a marathon.

One down, one to go. Maybe for Memphis, I'll upload more pictures.

Okay, really, I just have one picture. It's Teddy Roosevelt. He passed me just after mile 17. I passed in around mile 24. My last Teddy Roosevelt sighting was at mile 25. Yeah, dude did the marathon in costume. That is just bloody well amazing. For more details on "Teddy Roosevelt", see the wiki post.

Teddy Roosevlet in the Marine Corps Marathon 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Rhinebeck Post

So Rhinebeck. It was nice to get away. I drove up to NYC Thursday night after work to eat at The Chip Shop and get my deep fried twinkie and dinner with friends Friday night. I spent most of Friday wandering around Manhattan.

For anyone who knows of the Japanese bookstore, it used to be a Rockefeller Center. They have now moved to Bryant Park. They're now on 6th Ave between 40th and 41st.

In keeping up with tradition, I was under dressed on a trip to New York (the state). I left the office and forgot my jacket. Hey, at least it isn't January in Ithaca and 20 degrees. And at least there's an H&M every other street in Manhattan. I used to show up week after week in Ithaca dressed in jeans, tank top, and a wool coat. It was a little chilly.

So Rhinebeck. Autumn leaves, chill in the air - it's what autumn is supposed to be. I had a limited budget and I didn't want to buy yarn that I could order from Webs. I also didn't want to buy random yarn off of a farm. I've got enough yarn. I also wasn't looking for generic fiber. It left me with hand dyed/painted rovings. So...

From Briar Rose, I bought a ball of roving. They don't make it out to MD S&W because they haven't been able to get in. They have some really beautiful handpainted yarn but I couldn't justify the purchase to myself.
Briar Rose - Cormo

Four ounces of the "Cottage Garden" colorway in BFL. I've been seeing beautifully spun up fiber in wildly varigated colorways that have knit up beautifully so I wanted to buy something with color to spin.
Frabjous Fibers - BFL - "Cottage Garden"

I wanted to find something from Carolina Homespun and ended up with this pretty thing from Grafton Fibers:
Grafton Fibers

It's my favorite mixture of colors. Red and black mix.

Finally, I had seen an ad on ravelry for Creatively Dyed Yarns. I am normally good on not clicking on the ads but when an ad has beautiful colorways, it draws my attention and I click. So I clicked and saw she would be at Rhinebeck and made it a point to visit the booth. She has some very unique fibers (wool/seacell, milk protein...) and beautiful colorways. so I got:
Creatively Dyed - merino/bamboo
This is the wool/bamboo blend.
Creatively Dyed - merino/seacell - "Ocean"
This is the wool/seacell blend. Creatively Dyed will be at Stitches East, but not necessarily with the wool/seacell.

The rest of the photoset from the weekend can be found here.

For anyone who is curious, it's a $100 deposit on a Golding wheel and the official wait is now out 8 years. Mr. Golding thinks the realistic date is 4 years if his son takes over the spindles and he has more time to focus on the wheels. Depending on how you look at it, I either didn't go far beyond my budget since I haven't actually bought the wheel yet, or I went way beyond my budget because I'll be handing over a ridiculous amount of money in 4-8 years for a spinning wheel that spins like buttah!

Monday, October 13, 2008

20 miles

It's nice when the only things on the "To Do" list are:
* 20 miles - run it, walk it, just get through it
* eat
* shower
* nap
* season opener hockey game

Cuz then you are in such a calorie deficit that you can go and enjoy those arena hot dogs that are piled with chili, cheese, onions, and sauerkraut. Mmm, good. Oh, and the introductions to the players and the images of the guys in street clothes with hockey sticks, OMG. Yeah, OMG. My brain just kinda stops there.

And then you go and find that the 20 miles has made you forget how to do math as in algebra and number theory and other things you're going to be tested on in a month. Or maybe it was the image of the Caps in their street clothes. My brain does kinda stop there... Have I said "OMG" yet?

Monday, October 06, 2008


It's the Jimmy Beans Wool Oct 08 Lorna's Laces exclusive colorway - Amber Rose. I bought 5 skeins in worsted weight to knit a sweater. It came in the mail today and just picture me going: "Hmmm..." (head tilt to left) "Hmmm...." (head tilt to right) ... repeat. It's a lot more bubble gum pink than I was expecting. I'm not sure how I feel about this right now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Time to think

I was going to go run 17 miles today. Well, it was humid. I felt like crap. And I figured that if you can hear yourself breathe over the music, it is probably not a good sign. So instead I walked 17 miles. I had a lot of time to think. What did I think about?
- The Garden Variety Collection of shawls led me to this blog. I decided to start from the beginning. I came to this post and stopped short. It's a sunflower wreath! The thing is, I've been wanting to make a beaded sunflower wreath. I have a fall berry wreath. I need a wreath for the other 3 seasons! Perfect inspiration. So I worked out how to do the lavender. I've worked out how to do the small sunflowers. I've got an idea on the leaves to do for the wreath. I'm thinking of doing a 3 class set. One for lavender, one for sunflower, one for the wreath. You can pick however many classes you want.
- Work related...I worked out how to start going down a new path for a dialer. I did manage to enforce my self imposed rule of not working outside of the usual hours unless absolutely necessary.
- At knitting, Lisa mentioned she wanted to do the Swallowtail Shawl but as a stole cuz she didn't do the whole triangular shawl thing. Of course, that was like throwing down a challenge for me. The only reason I never truly got into knitted lace design was because I've got too many other damn things to do. However, you want me to modify lace, hell yes, that sounds like fun. So I've been obsessed with this thought and the need to start swatching....even though I have plenty of holiday knitting to get through, Nutkin to finish, and the Maple Leaf Shawl to finish up before the Just Our Yarns trunk show at Bead Obsessions in November.


I like compliments. Last weekend, Beth told me of an incident with her mom's orchid. Beth had commissioned a beaded orchid from me last year to give to her mother as a birthday present. Her mother loves orchids. There's a table in her house on which she likes to keep a flowering orchid. When the real ones are bare of flowers, she puts the beaded one out. One day, a friend of hers came over. This friend was also an orchid lover. He saw the orchid sitting on the table and exclaimed "You didn't get that one from me!" She told him to go look at it up close and ta da! No she did not get that one from him.
As a designer, I like hearing that. It means I'm doing something right. I'm not one for abstract flowers. I like to try to stick as close to the real thing as I can.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Holiday knitting is moving along. Holiday scarf #1 - one skein down, 2 more to go. Whoo hoo!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lace Ribbon Scarf

Lace Ribbon Scarf
Originally uploaded by jyiu7
I had sworn off scarves a couple of years ago because it was a never ending repeat. I guess I'm just in need of mindless knitting to do. In combination with short pattern repeats, it's just enough to keep my attention focused. This is coming along and I'm finding that I don't mind knitting it through.

Are you f-ing kidding me?

I am trying to work on the class piece for a new class. I'm making use of those peyote stars. I'm trying to get this into the shop by Oct 1. Well...Thursday night, I start. When I went to trim the tail ends with my thread zapper, the zapper was a little over heated and zapped not only the thread I was trying to trim but thread holding in a row of peyote stitch. I put it aside and go back to my knitting and call it a night. Friday night, I pull apart the previous night's work and start over again with my thread. First a bead snaps from the tension, then another. Finally the thread snaps. Mother f-er. Again, I put it down, pick up some knitting and eventually fall asleep on the couch and call it a night. This afternoon, I've napped and eaten after my run. I settle in and first pull apart the work I did yesterday. I start again on yet another piece of thread. As I'm working through, a bead cracks. I continue. The thread breaks, AGAIN! Seriously, are you f-ing kidding me?

Friday, September 19, 2008


Sahara with the Be Sweet Bamboo

I finished. I like bamboo. It's soft.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

People are evil

People are evil, taunting me with their yarn. As it is, I probably don't have time to knit through what I need to knit through before the end of this year and therefore, I should not buy more yarn. But of course, evil people are there taunting me with their stores and pictures and blog posts.
Exhibit A: Spritely Goods. I bought a skein of sock yarn from Cloverhill Yarns at MD S&W. I keep thinking about it and I wandered back to the online shop today and can't stop thinking about the yarns. I want some of the to be retired colorways.
Exhibit B: mmmm, green. That is a really awesome shade of green and everytime I see it, I want to go buy some.
Exibit C: F'ing Malabrigo on sale Thanks a lot, just what I need to look at. At least I'm getting good at practicing the art of resisting. However, I think my goal for the fall yarn shopping season is to just buy sweaters worth of Malabrigo. I'll sell off whatever I don't use.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wash and Block!

Sahara is done. It turns out I didn't need the extra 3 skeins of Be Sweet Bamboo I had bought so I'm going to return those this week. I'll post pictures once this is blocked. I'm hoping that the bamboo does ease out a bit cuz it's at about 0 ease right now.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Why I love beads

Hyacinth Parts

Hyacinth Parts

Hyacinth Parts

Hyacinth Parts

In certain lights, the mix of colors is just amazing. These pictures were taken with the purpose of documenting some floral assembly. I'm not going to be using these but I just had to share.

When I make my own...

Anemoi Mittens

I will be using larger needles. These are 2.25mm. Those are so not going to work for my hands. When I separated the thumb, my hand feels compressed with these. Eunny either has tiny hands...or she knits loose. Or my gauge is off.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

French Beaded Hyacinth

French Beaded Hyacinth
Originally uploaded by jyiu7
And now the pattern writing "fun" begins.

Open flowers, closed flowers, leaves. A bulb and yes, even some beaded roots. I've always had a fascination with beaded bulbs.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Purling...Be (Not) Sweet Bamboo

So Sahara. Knit in the Be Sweet Bamboo. It's nice to work with...when I'm knitting. I'm not liking the purling so much. I really have to pay attention so that I'm not splitting the yarn. Boo!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Design Shop

I've moved my design shop. You could say that I've finally just admitted to myself that I don't want to maintain a website in my spare time because I already spend 9 hours a day, 5 days a week doing that. So, you will now find it here. I've also updated the link over on the side.

Lazy Weekend

Yeah, I used the excuse of the storm yesterday to hide out at home. It was nice. Friday night, I started in on my Christmas knitting. I'm making multiple pairs of the Anemoi Mittens by Eunny Jang. I'm using size 1 (1.25mm) needles and it's a bitch. I'm limiting myself to about 10 rows a day so that I don't kill my hands. My progress so far:
Anemoi Mittens - Right - Back
The back of the right mitten
Anemoi Mittens - Right - Palm
The palm of the right mitten.

It's true, the corrugated rib makes the ribbing quite unstretchy. I can barely get it on my own hand. Good thing that the person this is for has smaller hands than me. Well, she is of a smaller stature so I sure as hell hope her hands are smaller than mine.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

It's good to know that it fits!

Sahara in progress

This is Sahara, knit in Be Sweet Bamboo. It's the first time I've tried it on and I'm glad it fits! My gauge was knitting slightly smaller than what was required but I figured it's not that bad and it's bamboo and it should stretch. Hope to finish it soon, along with the hyacinth. I'm stuck on the hyacinth cuz I ran out of the beads I need and I don't know where the other tube is. Doh!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Marathon running

It's amazing to watch the Olympics and the worlds top marathoners run. I watched the women last week and now the men. After an hour and 40 minutes, the men were somewhere around mile 21. For some perspective...I did 8 miles in about 1 hr 36 minutes. Yeah...I'm slow. I am happy that now that I've now seriously picked back up with the marathon training (really late in the summer), I'm back at the 12 min/mile form of last year. Whee! There is a bit of pressure. I managed to pick up a transfer entry into the Marine Corps Marathon for this year so I'll be doing that at the end of October. In addition, I'll be hitting up Memphis at the beginning of December. Yes, I'm already looking forward the greasy burgers I will be eating for dinner after both races.

Oh, and I really hate all the metro maintenance on the weekends. I was at the Braddock St. metro and was trying to get back to Rosslyn. After the Pentagon stop, I just went "Why is the train crossing the river??? It's not supposed to cross the river!!! OH SHIT!" So that kinda messed with my plans for the afternoon and didn't get to my nap until just after dinner.

Next week, we go for 10 miles and a long nap on the couch.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Finished nightie!

I decided the picture doesn't show THAT much...
After Dark Nightie

But it's done. I haven't blocked it yet, but it's done. It is quite comfy. I really may have to take the balls of lavendar GGH Silk that I have and make a nightie out of that one!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Things people do while watching the Olympics

Beaded Star Ring
Beaded Star Ring

The second picture gives you an idea of scale. I was hoping to do this as a class next quarter.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's becoming a habit

Where I have a lot of pictureless posts and then all of a sudden, I throw up some pictures of projects in progress or finished projects. So, here we go. First up a work in progress. Here are the Nutkin socks and yes, they actually fit now!
Nutkin Socks

And then a nightgown. Those straps you see are my bra. I've weaved in all the ends. I just need to go pick up some black bra straps and sew them on. No, I can not wear this as a strapless dress. That fuzzy fuchsia section up top is looser than the black silk part so the top falls down.
Nightgown, lacking straps

Finally, the hyacinth. Now I have to start in on the next one and get some pictures for the instructions for class but at least I can finally bring this into Bead Obsessions.

Yes, that is a bulb and yes those are some roots.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Well...I'm about the join the last ball of yarn. I sure as hell hope I've got enough. I'm about to start in on the chest increases. What I might do is find an accent yarn to do the upper lace border. Let's see what happens.

I have moved on from obsessively watching NHL playoffs to obsessively watching the Tour de France to obsessively watching the Olympics. It has been a good sports year.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Succumbing to the clap

No, not that clap! I'm talking about this one. Of course, I had to get a Clapotis joke in. I decided that it was time to give in to the crowd and make a Clapotis or two with some of the new sock yarn I've bought.

Beaded Ball Gown

Some of you know that I've been working on a beaded ball gown for Bead Obsessions' Ball Gown Challenge. From the Bead Obsessions newsletter:
Beginning in March of this year, Bead Obsessions and Cindy Sayers of Creative Design Solutions hosted a ball gown challenge and charity benefit. The ornaments and most of the beads were donated by Cindy Sayers and Bead Obsessions. Participants donated their time, stitching skills, and more beads. The completed covered ornaments are being donated to the silent auction at the 2008 Georgetown Jingle.

I didn't make it in time for the shop contest due to my hand. However, I still managed to complete the ball gown for submission for the auction.
Beaded Ball Gown
Beaded Ball Gown

Beaded Ball Gown

The colors were part of an overall color scheme chosen by Cindy and Patricia. I took the idea of "ball gown" literally since that's what I always think of when I see "Ball Gown" listed as a class at Bead Obsessions. When I was in Taiwan in 2006, I also happened to stumble across miniature beaded evening gowns and the idea has always fascinated me. The bodice of the gown is made in peyote stitch. I increased for the bust. I finished it off with peyote stitched straps. Then, I increased a few rows and went right into the skirt which sits, oh so nicely, over the actual glass ornament. The skirt is really just sections of fringe. It is two layers of fringe. There's a silverish lining under the blue outer layer. If I had found bowtie beads that could be strung horizontally and fit the proportions, I would've strung them on the back section of the skirt. The finishing touch came at the last needleweaving study group when I was finishing this up. The gown itself was only hung by the loop on the ball ornament. One of the women there that night pointed out that it would look better if we could emphasize the sleeves/straps and came up with the idea of a miniature clothes hanger, et voila. We have the piece you see in front of you.

Is there any interest out there in a pattern write up?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knitting again...

16 stitches and 10 rows. I've managed to do more than 1 repeat tonight and I still have use of my hands. That's an improvement! The Nutkin socks...those will not be mine. I can barely get them on my foot and I'm afraid I'll rip them either trying to take the socks off or putting them on. I could add in another pattern repeat but then I think it would be too loose. I made Tina try them on today and it fits her a little better so they'll be hers when I'm done.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Projects, projects, and a time trial

I am always in awe of the Tour de France riders. I also admit to waking up on a Saturday morning to sit and watch the time trials. The tour ends tomorrow and the time trial is one to catch. As for my TdF knit along project, well...I'm still on the third ball. I still don't know yet if I'm going to end up with a nightie or a tank top. We'll see. I was at Springwater's closing sale yesterday and while I was looking at the needles and crochet hook, it suddenly came to me. The issue keeping me from finishing last year's TdF KAL project is the disappearance my crochet hook. I don't know why I hadn't thought to just go buy another one! Duh!

Well, as I sit here and watch the time trial, I have been working on a couple of things besides laundry and packing.

Start of Nutkin socks

I'm using the Lisa Souza Sock! in Mars Quake. I bought this at Stitches East 2006. The pattern is called Nutkin. I had finished my last sock and in need of a travelling project. It's a top down sock and you actually create a small cuff at the top.

Also, I finally finished:
Crystal Burst Bracelet

Crystal Burst Bracelet. This was the class I took with Laura McCabe at Bead&Button. Pretty eh?

Next week, I'll have pictures of my finished ball gown. I finished it last night at Bead Obsessions. I didn't have my camera with me so I'm going back today to take pictures. Ball gown, you ask? It's a Christmas ornament ball gown. However, every year, Patricia adds to the class calendar "Ball Gown" class and I always think it's a class to make an evening gown. So, I've made an evening gown...for a ball ornament. I'll have my camera this week, but I don't plan on bringing my usual laptop. I'll have the work laptop. I don't feel like lugging around 2.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Insanity is...

It's been in the high 90s here in the DC area with a lot of humidity. I don't deal well in this kinda of weather. It makes me want to pack up and move north. So I thought it'd be nice to wear more skirts and show off the legs. So I started knitting Teva Durham's Slip Stitch Intarsia Kilt...in a nice bulky wool. I'm still trying to sort out the logic of bulky wool skirt in hot/humid weather. Here's a little beginning:
Intarsia Insanity

Now, if I actually lift this up so that you can see the bits of color I'm working with...
Intarsia insanity

Um...yeah. I'm just pulling the yarn to knit with. I gave up on trying to untangle that.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


In a fit of something, I started in my the Great American Aran Afghan. Quite a few of us came across the cashmere version of it at the 2007 MD Sheep and Wool festival at the Hunt Valley Cashmere booth. You sign up for the "club" and every 2 months, they send you 2 50gr skeins of cashmere in your choice of 4, 8, or 12 ply. They've been coming to me for over a year now and I had never started. But I felt like starting it and so I did. I had to drop down to size 5 needles cuz size 7 was producing a square with a 15 inch side. I haven't been that far off gauge in a while. The other thing I have definitely confirmed for myself is that cashmere is HARD on the hands. Yeah, it feels great but working with it, OW! I'm a third done with the first square but omg my left wrist HURTS!

So instead, Amber and I played with duct tape today. She had been on a quest to make model feet and offered to help me make my duct tape body double if I helped with her fake feet. I didn't realize I had bought black duct tape at Home Depot until I opened it up and as I was doing it, I felt like a dominatrix. Amber will have pictures but think shiny black vinyl type get up. Once I tape up the back, I'll probably even out the neck, arms, and hips and go look for that new insulation foam stuff that you can pump into an area and it expands and fills. If that's too expensive, I'll just stuff it with newspapers. So ow, my hands hurt.

Btw, in watching the Tour de France, I am being tortured by the Bacardi mojito commercial. It is driving me nuts cuz I see it at EVERY FREAKIN' COMMERCIAL and yet my hips start twitching. Oy vey.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Slow and steady...

wins the race. Well, not the Tour de France, unless you were going for the Lantern Rouge award and make it in within the time limit. Me, I am knitting, spinning, and beading at a slow but steady pace. Another puff here, another knitted row there, and maybe a few more beads. I've spun another few puffs of the Autumn Harvest fiber. That is definitely not going to be made into a shrug in time for my friend's wedding in 3 weeks. I hope to have a beaded ball gown (Christmas ornament) done by next Friday since it's due at Bead Obsessions by August 1st. I also want to finish the Crystal Burst Bracelet. I have only 1 half of a 14mm crystal to embellish. Almost done. Almost done. And as for the silk nightie...it might end up being a black silk tank top. See, I only have 5 balls of it. I'm into my third ball and I think I've still got a few inches until the waist shaping. hmm... So I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Some progress

I knit a little, I rest a lot. The silk nightie (TdF KAL) project is coming along. I've finished my 5 inches of lace at the hem and am just over 2 inches into the stockinette body. I need another 8 inches or so to start the waist shaping. In the real TdF, we have entered the mountains. Whoo hoo! Now you see the crazies come out in the mountains and where the fun begins on the road.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spinning therapy

I liken the beads to be like crack. It can get to be an expensive habit when you buy it in the quarter and half kilos. But it can also be a cheap fix when you run in for a few grams. A friend of mine likens the yarn and knitting to be like weed. It's a recreational drug for when you're just sitting around with friends, shooting the breeze. Spinning, I liken it to something like an opiate. It takes the pain away. Well, it takes the mental pain away. I can't keep spinning as I'd like, I can only go a little bit at a time. The gripping position in my hands makes them hurt. But I've been thinking about spinning and I needed a bit of the opiate today. I borrowed Lynn's (who needs to update her blog) Majacraft Rose. I'm test driving out the wheel since it's one I'm considering purchasing as my next/second wheel. This is a colorway called "Inferno" and comes from Copperpot Woolies over on etsy

Spun up fiber

Fiber - Inferno colorway