Monday, December 31, 2012

Flash My Stash 2012

At the end of the year, I like to do a quick accounting of my yarn and fiber stash. This year, I went through and made sure everything was photographed and figured, why not, I'll take another Flash Your Stash picture. So here it is, year ending 2012. And it all fits on a queen size bed!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

FO Friday

I keep forgetting to do my Friday post!

Last week's surprise project was a Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) with a matching hat. One of my friends is having a baby and I had never made a BSJ before and the construction technique has always intrigued me so I figured this was a great time to try my hand at it.

The yarn used is some Madelinetosh Vintage. It's a superwash worsted weight wool. I didn't want mom to have to worry about hand washing it if the kid threw up on it. I'm sure she'll have a lot more important things to worry about.

Baby Surprise Jacket

I found some cute buttons at the yarn store to put on this.

Baby Surprise Jacket

Finally, I had some leftover yarn so I decided to make a hat!

BSJ Matching Hat

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 12/19/2012

Along with the Melody's Shawl that I'm actively knitting on and will hopefully finish soon, I've got a few other projects in the works that you HAVEN'T seen yet.

The purple dress is making progress and is now down to my hips

WIP Wed - 12/19/2012 VKL dress
I cast on for my scrappy socks last week. I have so many sock yarn scraps lying around and I have keep having grand plans of making a scrap blanket. You know what? A sock is more realistic. I'll be knitting 1-2 inch sections with scraps. Sections of the foot and leg will not intermingle with the toe and heel so that if any part wears out, I can easily pull the yarn out and reknit. I'm using Judy's Magic Cast On to cast on at the toe and knitting a basic toe up sock. The heel will be short rows.

Start of scrappy socks

I also picked back up on a beading projects: Laura McCabe's Treasure Necklace. This was one of the classes I took with Northern VA Bead Society. It's many components which usually get easier as you make more of them. It does take some dedicated time though. It's called Treasure Necklace because these are individual vessels. The crystal rivoli acts as a lid to the little vessel underneath and you can actually put something in it once it's complete!

Treasure Necklace component

Monday, December 17, 2012

Yarn Swap Hangover

I went to a yarn swap with the intention of leaving with less yardage than I arrived with. That was unsuccessful. I also came back with a lot of lace weight. And so, I determined that 2013 will involve knitting a lot of shawls. I did give away four shawls last year to family and I'm personally running low on them.

I can't wait to get started. With the rest of December, I'll be working on finishing up some of the existing projects. I've got a few days in Vegas so Melody's Shawl will be the primary project. Five hours on the plane each way is a lot of knitting time!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finishing things

I've heard from some of you that you're enjoying these weekly updates. I'm really glad to hear that so I'm going to try to keep them coming!

I'll show you the finished knitting thing next week. For now, this week, I made some pear cranberry jam.

Pear Cranberry Jam

I think took some of that jam and some raspberry jam that I had sitting around and made some jammy cookies for a yarn party today.

Jam cookies

In the last couple of years, I've found myself enjoying the jam making and canning process. It's too bad I can't eat through it quickly enough but I've been enjoying what I've made.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday - 12/12/2012

Another week, another Wednesday. I don't have that many projects going on right now. It's the holiday season and my dad will be visiting soon so I am busy running around getting my house all neat and orderly. I've been itching to cast on for a pair of socks since my socks are starting to get holes in them but so many projects!

Currently, in action, we have some fiber being spun:

WIP Wed - 12/12/2012 - spinning

The bobbin is being filled with white. Well, it's actually a very long color shift. It is a Bullseye Bump from Loop!. I've been fascinated with the long color changes. I had joined her monthly club so I get a surprise every month. I'm quickly trying to spin this up but I've been at it for a couple of months now. The fiber is being spun very thin in the hopes that when I navajo ply it into a 3 ply, I can get a fingering/sport weight yarn. A little bit every night and maybe I'll be done by the end of the year. I already have an idea of what I'll make with it.

On the needles, I'm still working on that dress. This is deadline knitting for Vogue Knitting Live! I've got 1 month!

WIP Wed -12/12/2012 - dress

And my current travel project is Melody's Shawl. You knit knit knit in the round with a section of stitches set apart by some twisted stitches. Then you bind off and drop that section of stitches and cut. That section becomes fringe and you have a scarf/shawl! The lace weight yarn was a set of 3 shades of purple, a light, medium, and dark. There was about 400 yards each. I've finally knit through the light and dark so there is an end in sight here as well.

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That's it for the WIPs this week! Hopefully there is more pro

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Visit to Iceland

After Thanksgiving, I visited Iceland for the first time. I went with a friend that I used to work with. We had shared and office for a couple of years and she had always talked about how much she wanted to visit Iceland. We found a good deal that included air fare, hotel, and a day tour and booked our passage.

Iceland is a beautiful country! It is the "youngest" landmass on the Earth made from the lava flow of volcanoes. It straddles the European and the North American continental plate.

We could have gone in the summer time when most other people decide to visit but we also wanted to see the Northern Lights so we had to go when it was cold.

We left DC Sunday evening and arrived bright and early Monday morning around 7:30. Well, it wasn't really bright, it was pitch black and we were exhausted. So we took a quick nap at the hotel first before wandering out to Reykjavik. We grabbed some food and then headed for the Hallgrimskirkja church. Their church is the highest point in the city.

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The second day was our pre-arranged tour to go on a glacier hike, see a couple of waterfalls, learn about their volcanoes, and maybe hunt for some Northern Lights. The glacier hike was amazing. We had crampons to help dig into the ice. It wasn't very cold, especially since we were moving. By the time we got out to the first water fall, it was dark (only 5 hours of daylight!) so we couldn't really see anything. After dinner, we visited another waterfall. This one was lit up so that we could see it.

Unfortunately, the conditions were not optimal to see any lights. We were there during a full moon and there were too many clouds

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The third day found us touring the "Golden Circle".

This involved seeing Geysir

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The Gulfoss waterfalls, stacked one right on top of the other

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And ├×ingvellir National Park. It was too dark by the time we got here so we couldn't really see anything.

The fourth and final day was spent at the Blue Lagoon before heading to the air port. It was 32F outside and my bare feet were near frozen after a couple of minutes but the pool was a good 80-90F and felt really good!

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Iceland, known from their sheep and yarn, did you think I could get out of the country without buying any? The day in Reykjavik, we stopped into the Handknitting Association of Iceland's shop and I bought 29 skeins of worsted weight Lopi. I had originally thought to buy an Icelandic sweater as a souvenir but being a knitter, I decided to buy the yarn to make my own. I did pack light with the intention of filling half of my suitcase with yarn for the trip back.

29 skeins of Lett Lopi
The full flickr set can be found here.

Friday, December 07, 2012

FO Friday 12/7/2012

Some finished things!

First up, I took a couple of Laura McCabe classes through the Northern VA Bead Society a couple of weeks ago. Some of her stuff I find that I can whip through very quickly. Others take a lot more thought and brain power. The Stargazer Bracelet was the first of two classes I took with her and the component came together very quickly for me. I had most of it done by the end of class and had the whole bracelet together the next day.
Laura McCabe Stargazer Bracelet

Laura McCabe Stargazer Bracelet

Next up is the NVBS Bead Challenge project. Everyone who participates is given the same set of beads and we all have to create something with those beads. I wish I had taken a picture of the beads before I got started but I'll know better for next time! Mine ended up being a hair stick with fringe!

NVBS 2012 Bead Challenge

NVBS 2012 Bead Challenge

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

WIP Wednesday 12/5/2012

I'm trying hard to keep this blog regularly updated. Step one, the WIP Wednesday posts. It'll show you what I'm working on, keep me posting, and keep me accountable! Here we go!


WIP Wednesday 2012/12/5

Here are two of my big projects right now. In the lower left hand corner, I just cast on a small project. It's a gift for a friend and that is all I can say about it for now. The larger purple sweater is going to end up being a dress. I'm going to Vogue Knitting Live in NYC in January and I hope to be done with it then and can wear it!

I'm in between projects on the beading front but there are definitely a couple of recent finished projects to share in an upcoming post!