Saturday, December 05, 2009

A bracelet

Just in time for the company holiday party. I wanted something sparkly and cuff like and here we go:
Rivoli Bracelet

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hockey promotional post

So... sicklipstick and I are trying to organize a meet up of area hockey fans to expand our local hockey fandom world. For this meet up, you need to be single. Please see details here

I know right? Haven't posted in ages and this is what I throw in.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Welcome back, beading muse

I spent this past weekend at Bead Obsessions in a 2 day class with Sherry Serafini. It's been a long time since I've been absolutely taken with the need to bead. Maybe you were able to tell with the lack of bead work being shown here. This weekend brought it all back. The artistry, the beauty, it brought it all back.

class progress

The end result is a small evening hand bag.

Me, with Sheri Serafini

I don't think I'll be bringing this with me next week. Bead embroidery requires a mix of beads, which I won't have with me. Instead, I had purchased a kit this weekend that I hope to finish next week.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cottage Gardens

Last year at Rhinebeck, I bought 4 ounces of fiber. I was looking for fiber that had been dyed using a few different colors. I was inspired both by looking at the before and after pictures of stuff that javajem had spun up and also by My So Called Scarf and how the colors blended in so well together. With those thoughts in mind, I went shopping and came home with this:

Frabjous Fibers - BFL - "Cottage Garden"

This was spun on Suzie and soon became a bobbin full of singles:

Frabjous Fibers - Cottage Garden

With the bobbin looking like that, I decided that I would try to create long color blocks rather than trying to mix and match because of how this was dyed and packaged. In order to create something like what javajem had been spinning, I would need roving that was more splotchy with colors.

Finally, after being Navajo plied and set, it became 230 yards of soft soft fiber:

Frabjous Fibers - BFL all spun up

Monday, June 22, 2009

A pound of fiber

In 2008 at Maryland Sheep and Wool, I bought a pound of fiber with the intention of spinning it up and knitting a shrug out of it for my friend's August of 2008.

Well, it's June 2009 and I have finally spun through it all! The last bit of it has been washed and set and is now hanging to dry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keep on spinning

I must finish this - Creatively Dyed merino/bamboo:

Still spinning the creatively dyed

I'm into the home stretch. Once it's spun, I will do a 2 play. Hope to finish this by July 1st. I want to finish it so that I can start in on one of these:

juliespins 50%alpaca/30%merino/20%silk - Embers
juliespins 50%alpaca/30%merino/20%silk in "Embers"
juliespins 50%alpaca/30%merino/20%silk - Great Grape
juliespins 50%alpaca/30%merino/20%silk in "Great Grape"

You can find juliespins here

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And summer begins

Some progress pictures after the last game of the 2008-2009 NHL season:

This picture of the February Lady Sweater is from 1st intermission of the game. I knit a few more rows. I've still got another 2 balls of Malabrigo and since the game is over and I'm still knitting, I think I'm going to attempt a mid thigh length sweater, having been inspired by this one.
More FLS

Also...not quite finished for class today but:

Friday, June 05, 2009

National Donit Day

Since today is national donut day
1. free donut at Krispie kreme.
2. Free donut with purchase of a drink at participating dunkin donuts

Monday, May 25, 2009

Yes, I sew too

I used to sew, before I played with beads, or before I took up knitting. In middle school and high school, I sometimes made my own clothes because I couldn't find anything I liked in the stores. I've done pillows. The curtains currently in my bedroom I made. But I haven't done much of it in a long time. And all of a sudden, the urge to sew is back. So yesterday, I made this:

Hex Frame bag

Hex Frame bag inside

This is the u-handbag Hex Open Frame tutorial/Knitting bag. The bag turned out bigger than I anticipated and I'll be using it this week to test drive this one. I did have a few thoughts about the bag and the construction as I worked my way through it:
- Basting is a wonderful wonder thing! It's how I held the bag bottom in place because I wasn't able to find feet.
- The bottom...well, I top stitched both sides along the bottom of the bag and that sort of holds the bottom in place but I'm not very happy with it. If I had feet for the bag, this would not have been a problem
- The bag lining is a little too big. Next time, I would probably take about a centimeter off the bottom of the lining and then continue with the rest of the instructions. As it is, it's kinda bunchy at the bottom.
- If I didn't have feet and needed to secure the bottom, I would do that first before I sewed the open hole in the lining used to flip the bag right side out.
- Pliers came in handy to hold the frame together as I attempted to shove the screw into the hex frame.
- I would make a wider bottom.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Before it all

Before the beading and the knitting and the fiber, I sewed. My mom started sewing because it was cheaper to make our own curtains than it was to buy them. It was cheaper sometimes to make your own clothes than to go out and buy them. I watched her, and thought it was fun and I learned. In high school, after I learned to drive, I spent a lot of time at the local JoAnn's. It's a little different now but it's still a familiar place.

I kinda want to do some sewing and make some bags.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The saga of the Ivel continues

Finally, after about 2.5 months, I received the updated version for Ivel. There have been some major changes.

- There are now more than the original 3 sizes
- I had cast on for either the medium or large before with 50 stitches. Now the small starts at a cast on of 64 stitches for the sleeve. Yup, definitely have to rip that out.
- The sleeve was knit flat, joined to the body, and seamed before you did the cuff. Now the sleeve is knit in the round. Well, I added 2 selvedge stitches to each sleeve so that I can knit both at the same time flat. I want the seams. The cashmere needs the support. Also, with the seams, it's easier for me to get measurements to use for the lining.

So yeah. There are also somethings about the pattern that annoy me. I guess I'm a language purist. If I'm reading English, I expect it to be written in English without a heavy use of abbreviations. You want me to repeat something 5 times, please write out "5 times" instead of "5X". Or, please write out "On the next round begin" instead of "On the next rnd beg". Every time I read that, I do a double take and go "WTF does that mean? Oh, next round begin..." I'm sure most of us native English speakers who deal with American knitting instructions can translate this, but think of those whose English skills are not so good. Also, is it really that much more effort to write out the word in the paragraph than to use an abbreviation. Yes, I do rant against using internet abbreviations when writing in a proper setting as well. Does that bother anyone else?

I know this sweater will turn out amazing. It just seems the ordeal with the instructions have made things a tad bit annoying. Plus, I'm also working with the endless supply of cashmere. I just keep telling myself, "It will turn out beautiful."

Friday, May 08, 2009

If you want to increase some stitches evenly...

I declared my undying love to a fellow raveler for showing me this link. It divided 38 stitches evenly into 207 stitches for me. I love this link. It's amazing.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Time for a little ridiculous

Desperate Housefrau

Pattern: Desperate Housefrau
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in purple.

Enjoy and happy Maryland Sheep and Wool weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wool Skirt

This may be the knitted item I wear to MD S&W. I know, totally not practical. But I may actually finish it by then. But as I'm knitting this using BULKY wool, I kind of wonder at what I was thinking. Or perhaps what Teva Durham, the designer, was thinking in making a short skirt out of bulky wool. I mean, it doesn't look good if you lengthen it. So far, most of the comments has the skirt coming out smaller than one would've expected so it's going to be a mini. the summer? Sure I could wear it in the winter with some knee boots but my legs are still cold. I think I may line this so my legs aren't directly touching the wool.

Back to the playoffs!

We finished up the college tournaments and now onto the NHL.

BU celebration

BU wins the championship this year. Yay. It was a good weekend of games and the championship was won almost in a fitting way. BU came back with 1 minute left of the 3rd period and scored 2 goals to tie. Then they won it in OT. That seems to be about the way it goes. Another good weekend with friends, even if it was a little (or a lot) crazy.

I finished some socks:
Hell's Canyon Socks

I test knitted these socks for someone on ravelry. The yarn used was a merino/tencel blend from Mind's Eye Yarns that I picked up a couple of years ago in Cambridge, MA.

What else...I pulled out some Malabrigo to start swatching for the February Lady Sweater. I have a necklace I want to finish up. I have a wreath I need to get working on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Things get a little hectic. I went to Grand Rapids, MI, cheered for my team, and lost my voice. I finished knitting a hat for a friend

Another finished Gretel

I get caught up in the middle of the Cherry Blossom Festival parade while I'm running around trying to get things done

Stuck in the Cherry Blossom Festival

I start and finish a bracelet.

Embellished Peyote Cuff

This is the Embellished Peyote Cuff (beginning peyote) class taught at Bead Obsessions. I sat in the class not to learn peyote stitch but because I've never actually sat through this class and I'll be teaching it in a couple of months. I wanted to see how Patricia had this class set up and what she was trying to cover for topics.

What to knit?

I'm in a knitting funk (again). I've got some WIPs but they're leaving me uninspired. I've got a pair of socks on the needles and once they're done, I don't know what to do with myself. I'm on the cuff of a top down sock of sock 2. Ya, need to figure out something. Maybe I'll make the February Lady's Sweater with my malabrigo like I keep meaning to do. I like this version where she lengthened the body and made full sleeves instead of 1/2 or 3/4 sleeves.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Clap *clap*clap*

I'm thinking of making the Clapotis with this

Cottage Garden

when I'm all done. Maybe I'll be finished knitting in time for MDSW. What do you think? Around here, May is too warm for a sweater.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Continuing through the stash

A pair of socks finished. Another sock already on the needles. I've been good this month. I don't think I've purchased any yarn yet. And I won't be this weekend since in the past, when I've purchased yarn on game day, we've lost. Now...if Cornell is eliminated on Saturday, you may very well find me headed to a yarn store in Grand Rapids.

Finished L-Bee Socks

Finished L-Bee Socks

The socks are made with Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Red Rover colorway. Size 2 Addi Turbos used. The pattern is L-Bee Socks by wendyknits. It was an interesting knit. The front and back are each produced by 3 chart panels, 8 row repeat. Once you memorized the pattern, it goes quickly.

It's a toe up sock with a gusset and heel flap. I don't know why but the toe up version always looks weird to me. Anyways, more yarn being used!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Me turning 30

Today is my birthday and I am 30. I've been celebrating since Friday. Not that I'm particularly excited or unexcited about turning 30. But it's always fun to have an excuse to celebrate.

Since Cornell made it to the ECAC finals, I was on my way up to Albany, NY for the annual tournament. The annual tournament gets suckier and suckier every year. They used to have a whole festival outside with vendors and stuff. No more. Well, anyways, we'll start with the plane. I was knitting and napping and when the plane landed, my ball of yarn fell off my lap and rolled 2 seats up the aisle. Oops.

Ball of yarn

The shoe in the lower right hand corner is my foot, and look to see where the ball of yarn is. So yeah, oops.

Moving on. I had a plan to start drinking by 3pm that day. I also had a plan for drinking. It's March Madness time. For most people, it's basketball. For me, it's hockey. But for this guy, it's the Fermented Four. I don't drink beer and I don't drink much wine. However, I do like my cocktails and liquor so I thought I'd start with the cocktails bracket. And so I give you...on Friday:
Apple MartiniLong Island Iced Tea
Apple Martini vs the Long Island Iced Tea. This was a tough match. The apple martini is so tasty but the Long Island Iced Tea is such an efficient drink. In the end, I think I'd have to give it to the Long Island Iced Tea for its efficiency. I can drink 2 or 3 of those. As tasty as the Apple Martini is, it's very sweet and I get queasy from the sweetness after a couple of drinks.
Melon MargaritaIrish Carbombs
Melon Margarita vs the Irish Car Bomb. The Melon Margarita was tasty but like the Apple Martini, I can only drink so much of it before the sweetness over takes everything else. And I love the Irish Car Bomb. The Irish Car Bomb wins.

And yes, there is some hockey thrown into all of this to.
I screwed up my stitch markers

Sometime during Friday's game, I realized that I had done something wrong with my stitch marker. But an hour after an apple martini, a long island iced tea, and a cranberry and vodka, I wasn't really ready to figure out what it was.
Hanging balloon bulldog

Our pep band hung a bulldog in effigy on Saturday as we were playing the Yale Bulldogs in the final. We lost pretty badly. I can't say I expected the loss but 5-0 hurts!

Back to the cocktails bracket. Saturday night, I continued drinking through the cocktails regional.
Pineapple MojitoGin & Tonic
Pineapple Mojito vs Gin & Tonic. This was a blowout. I like mojitos. I took a sip of the gin and tonic and gave the rest to my friend Josh. People said I needed to finish the drink but you know, I'm just drinking my way through to decide which of the two I liked better and I DID NOT LIKE the gin & tonic. Pineapple Mojito wins, no contest.
White RussianWhiskey Sour
White Russian vs Whiskey Sour. I'll give it to the Whiskey Sour. Both were quite tasty but the White Russian was a little too sweet. It starts to go the way of the Apple Martini and Margarita in that respects. Josh said the Whiskey Sour was well made because it was all so well balanced.

So, advancing to the next round, we have: Long Island Iced Tea vs the Irish Car Bomb and the Mojito vs. the Whisky Sour.

Cornell lost the final but they do keep playing for at least another week. They're going to Grand Rapids, MI for the regionals. So am I :)

Today, my coworkers brought in food and cake so I've been eating all day. Then, I went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner with Amber, Amber, and Nina. I had a peach bellini here. It was in frozen form which surprised me:
Cheesecake Factory Peach Bellini
It was a fun evening with friends. I will leave you with these two pictures from the evening...first a normal picture and then me looking crazed again:

Birthday Cheesecake
Birthday Cheesecake

A big thank you to everyone for all the birthday wishes!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Meet Suzie

I picked her up this morning at the post office. Finally, after a long day, I brought her home:


And I took her out of her box

Suzie in box
Suzie out of box

After a bit:

Suzie all set up
Suzie all set up
and some fluff!

I do have to say a little something about the whole ordering experience. After reading some rave reviews on ravelry, I started speaking with Tracy at Woolly Designs. He and his wife run a farm out in Colorado. He is very knowledgeable about Majacraft spinning wheels and was able to answer the questions I had about the wheels. They were also reasonably priced.

In putting the wheel together, Tracy also provides supplemental materials which helped in the assembling of the wheel. If I had relied on only the instructions that came with the wheel, then I would still be sitting here wondering why the whorl felt loose and it wasn't working. They're farmers and can't spend that much time in front of the computer but they've put together a great set of instruction materials with good pictures. It's not an alternate set but it supplements what comes from majacraft.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So...I'm turning 30 on Monday. Ya. With that in mind and the fact that I will be in Albany for hockey, I've decided that I'm going to drink my way to 30. That is the theme of the weekend. The problem, however, is that I need to find some sort of a sock project to work on that is not a plane old stockinette sock in the round cuz those bore me to tears...but then, I plan on not being in my right mind so maybe they will work. Does anyone know of any SIMPLE sock patterns that might also work? I do have the L-Bee socks on the needles but that is a somewhat intense 8 row repeat sock pattern across 3 charts. And I am also testing knitting a sock that does involve just a cable periodically so that might work. And so far, it doesn't look like there are all that many mistakes in the pattern.

The post office has my Suzie!!!!!! Ya, I think I will be up a good portion of the night tomorrow putting her together and spinning. Happy Birthday to me! All I need now is for Cornell to kick some ass both in the bball tourney and in the hockey tourny.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day!

No green beer for me. Not even an Irish car bomb but I'm hoping to remedy the Irish car bomb part this weekend.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I need...

to bead myself a wrist strap for the new crackberry. A couple of weeks ago, I read this post and watched the embedded video about why one might need a wrist strap. A couple of days later, I was watching the Caps at Verizon Center and someone on the other team committed a penalty. I think it was tripping. Anyways, up went my hand and immediately the thought of "If I had let go of the phone...omg I need a wrist strap!"

I'm off to Albany this weekend where I could see this happening again. I have the beads I need to make this with. I'd best get started so I can be done by Friday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No I did not stop beading!

Class is Saturday! (It's the sunflower)




Sunday, March 01, 2009

March goals

Wow, setting some goals for myself, amazing! Well, first, I want to finish my sunflower. I've got class scheduled for 2 weeks from now so I need to take pictures and write out the instructions. Corresponding to the weekend of class, I need to submit one of my applications and one of their essays is unique. They ask you to describe yourself and you can submit the "essay" in any media format, as long as it's non-perishable and isn't some sort of CD, DVD, etc. So, When I put this sunflower together, I'm sending it in.

I also want to finish making Dianne Fitzgerald's "A Time for Teapots. Those mini teapots are so cute. I need to make myself a whole tea service.

On the knitting front, I'm going to keep working on the Hydrangea scarf. But for larger needle, mindless knitting, I'm thinking of the Yoke Pullover from Vogue Knitting Winter 2005/2006 with some grey Berrocco Peruvia.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Decreasing the yarn stash

I finished Buttony!

Finished Buttony!

It seems like everytime I'm taking a picture, I'm in those pajama pants!

The yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino Chunky.'s superwash which is why it didn't feel quite like wool and I couldn't spit splice. Definitely a bulky knit and it went fast. Not sure if I would use this yarn again, I didn't feel anything positive or negative about it and it definitely didn't turn me on.
I originally had 15 balls of yarn but used 3 of them to make Esme. I bought those 15 balls for about $24 at MD S&W one year. I ended up having to buy another 3 balls of yarn for another $24 to finish this sweater, otherwise it would've been sleeveless. I have a slight dyelot issue here. It's noticeable if you know what to look for and where. If anyone asks, I will just tell you that it's the lighting and a trick of your eyes.

The pattern: Buttony
Not the best written pattern. It's more like an outline of what she did. After hearing the general background of how she doesn't really want to be a designer from Amber, it makes some sense. There was definitely a gauge swatch involved and I did have to start over after a couple of rows because the initial neckline that I cast on was too small. I added some waist shaping here and made it much more form fitting than what may have been originally intended. The instructions also say to knit to 12 buttonholes. I only made 11 buttonholes since 12 would have been way too long.

Monday, February 23, 2009

National Pancake Day at IHOP!

Free shortstack from 7am to 10pm. Of course, they would like you to donate the cost of the shortstack to Children's Miracle Network.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Buttony progress

Buttony progress

The lighting was dark, but whatever. I just wanted to try it on, and take a picture and see how it looked. And now you all can see how it looks as well. I'm now working off of two different dye lots of the yarn.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spinning a garden

I borrowed Lorenzo (a Majacraft Suzie) from Helena to reacquaint myself with the wheel. This is going to be a purchase with my tax refund. The wheel spins like a dream. The fiber I'm using is some Blue Faced Leicester from Frabjous Fibers that I bought at Rhinebeck from Susan's Fiber Shop. The colorway is called Cottage Garden.

Cottage Garden

I've been very much inspired by javajem's spinning adventures. It's really amazing to see what the fiber looks like in roving form and what it looks like after it's been spun and plied.

Around the time of Rhinebeck, I had also seen some scarf patterns, My So Called Scarf being an example, that really made use of varigated yarns with very different colors. At Rhinebeck, I was on a budget and a quest. I wanted to find a roving painted in different enough colors that the end result may not necessarily be what I expect it to be. And then, it would be knit up into something like My So Called Scarf. I came home with this.

I've just begun spinning but upon beginning, I realized that the color segments were long enough that I could spin up a large section of each color and navajo ply for long stretches of color. Of course, there will be some mixing since I haven't quite got down how to separate each color in the plying but it should be interesting.

The fiber itself is easy enough to spin. It's soft and quite yummy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ivel sleeves

Worsted weight cashmere on size 4 needles. I have to stop every couple of rows to rest my hands but the fabric this creates is stiff and firm. I'm enjoying knitting this so far, and it's not just because this is cashmere. The finished product is going to look amazing.

I bought the first iteration of this pattern and am waiting impatiently for the errata. She should be releasing a second version with the various corrections by the end of the month. The pattern begins with the sleeves and there's a length to be knit on the sleeves before I hit the increase/decrease section so I figure that I'm good until I receive the next iteration of the pattern.

Ivel sleeves