Thursday, January 12, 2012

So 2012 already. Unlike previous years I'm not buckling down with big goals this year. I'm going to try to blog more and I'm going to try to use more stash. But no set goals or resolutions. Just going to continue doing the things I was already doing. I do want to participate more in some of my groups on ravelry. Would eventually like to learn something new, or work on a technique. But I'm not going to stress it.

So far this year I was able to finish up the stockings I was working on. I of course never blogged these. I knit my friends family stockings. They were suppose to be for Christmas this year. But we all know how that goes. I finished the one for their daughter before Christmas and had it mailed to them to be able to use this year. But Mom and Dad's stockings didn't get finished until after Christmas. They actually still haven't been mailed. But will definitely be there before Christmas this year (hehe). The stockings knit up pretty easy once i figured out what I wanted to do.
the pictures are taken all at different angles and distances. They really are all the same size.

They were a lot of fun to do. I didn't use a pattern. I just winged them. Started with a provisional cast on did some garter stitch at the top. Then a band of white to duplicate stitch the names onto. Then a little color-work border, followed by a color-work design (different for each stocking), the border again. Then a short row toe and normal plain foot. One more little color-work detail before doing a shortened wedge toe. Then I picked up the provisional cast on and did a 4 stitch applied i-cord edge with a little loop to hang it with.

Pattern: personal
Yarn: Cascade 220 (7803, 7818, 8886) and Patons Classic Merino (winter white)
needles: us 5, 6, and 8 (3.75mm, 4mm, and 5mm)
Started: first stocking:Dec 13
Finished: last stocking: Jan 3

Was really proud of the color-work patterns. I spent several hours charting different designs to try to find exactly what I wanted to use. Here are the pages of designs. :) They were a lot of fun to try to sketch out.


I finished a hat for a friends daughter. Another pigtail hat. Pretty much the same as the one I did before, only in purple instead of pink. Even the same yearn. :) could have finished it much faster, but ran out of yarn and was lazy about going to grab another ball. Plus Justin's family came into town and I didn't get much knit time in. excuses excuses i know haha.
this is Ryan modeling the hat. He however doesn't have pigtails. hehe

Pattern: modified nippertails
Yarn: Jo-Ann Sensations Tesoro in purple
Needles: us 5 (3.75mm)
started: Jan 5
finished: Jan 11

The exciting project is my socks from stash project. We revamped the group a little this year with some theme/challenge months. This months theme is to use the oldest sock yarn in stash. So for me it was some Artyarns ultramerino 4 and some dale of norway/dalegarn baby ull. The artyarn is in a few shades of pinks and greens and the baby ull is a pretty cordinating green color.
I picked broken seed stitch socks. First I cast on 72 stitches on size 2.0mm (us 0) needles and started knitting. After about 3-4 inches I realized that this sock was coming out to big. So I ripped and restarted with 64 stitches.
photo (4)
pic of the sock before frogging.
So far things seem to be coming along much nicer. I'm absolutely loving the pattern. Its quick and fun to work on. I did a combination mini gusset short row heel. I recently did this heel on a sock for Justin and wanted to try it out for myself as well. I'm not super thrilled with how it looks in the picture. But I'm not ripping it back to rework at this point. I'm also a little worried that I'm going to run out of yarn. Always a fear when its old yarn that you can't get anymore. I started with 1 ball of each. Should technically be enough for a pair of socks. But since the ribbing, heel and toes were all going to come from the green... means I'll be using more green then multi colored. Thought about finding a cordinating pink for the toes... but I might just use the multi. Not sure yet. Still thinking about that. But since I'm about to work the toe on the first sock... I might need to make that decision sooner rather than later. hmmm.... opinions?

Friday, December 30, 2011

December post (final 2011 post)

2011 is coming to a close. I accomplished a lot of things this year. I think more than anything just spreading the fiber arts love was a major accomplishment. Its an addiction and needs to be shared.

I started off the year with 2 knit related goals. To try to make at least 1 blog post a month and to knit more from stash. I think I did a pretty good job of both of those. There was a couple months in there that slipped thru, and there was new yarn brought into the house. But I knit from stash. I looked at yarn sales a lot less. I stuck to the blog challenge and actually wrote entries. Or tried to. I'm not the best blogger, but I feel like I'm slowly getting better. Practice makes perfect, right. hehe

To recap 2011 I had 33 finished knits. I blogged all but 7 of them. 1 of that 7 was a sample knit that can't be shared yet. 2 were Christmas projects, just not shared yet. Not really sure why the others didn't get blogged. Probably because its me and I'm just not the best blogger. I'll work on that for 2012. I have 3 current wips. It was a productive year.

I hope everyone had a great 2011 and can't wait to see what all is in store for our 2012!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

swap package


my awesome package from AMIE!

Its fantastic and I love everything.
ziploc bag full of bar cookies. Caramel Ginger Spice to be exact. They are Nathan approved :)
Cappuccino, lotion, and a mug. these were purchased at a local craft fair.
handmade snowflakes
a necklace and earring set (she knows I love snowflakes!)
yarn from my favorite indie dyer. this is JulieSpins glimmer in compote. its absolutely gorgeous!


a few days later I got this in the mail. Which opened up to reveal this:

your all jealous i know. and you well should be. Its divine. Its this amazing salted caramel turtle pie. Salted caramel on the bottom with pecans in the middle and then dark chocolate caramel topping it off. its definitely sinful.

Thank you so much Amie for such an awesome package. :) love you!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Finally, an update from me! I've been too busy with work to even think much about crafting, but hopefully that will change soon ... long story short, I quit my job. Today was my last day. I am officially unemployed until I find something that won't be as stressful as what I was doing. So, in the meantime, I should have time to knit! Hopefully!

I also managed to send off and receive a lovely swap package for the Four Seasons Swap. I may be biased, but I think I have the best swap partner EVER. ;)

So here's what she sent me ...

And a better photo of the yarn that is more true to color, thanks to the addition of my multi-colored shower curtain in the frame:
Gorgeous yarn, by the way, absolutely gorgeous. Road to China Light/Silken Jewels ... definitely drool-worthy. And that color is to die for.
The little loopy thing in the top photo may look familiar to you, and so may the pumpkins, which are even more adorable in person than they look in the pics. If so, that's because you saw those in the previous two posts on this blog. Which were, of course, posted by Jessica, since she's my swap partner. I love that we're so much alike that we were partnered together in a large-ish swap based on what participants have in common.
The rest of the stuff in the top photo, in addition to the necklace and the yarn and the pumpkins, is a bath/body set of warm vanilla sugar (Luke approves, by the way), "puppy snips" (little clippers, very cute), buttons that just so happen to coordinate very well with the yarn but are also very pretty on their own, and something that was just perfect for our relationship ... a parachute pin. Jess and I always called each other "parachute" as a nickname because of how we were there to support each other and catch the other when they fell. Yeah, that part of the package almost made me cry, but in a good way.
The bottom picture has the food-related items: chocolate bread, cookies, locally-produced honey and a recipe. Mmmm.
AND. My package included one other thing. Birthday socks!

Sorry, I didn't realize this photo wasn't oriented correctly until it was already uploaded. Oh well.
One last photo:
I told you that she's the best swap partner ever. And the best friend ever, too. Thanks, Jess!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

fun quick project



Pattern: Cable Braided Necklace by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate
Needles: 3.5mm
started and finished: May 18

I knit 5 of these little necklaces for my 2011 Handmade Pay It Forward I did on Facebook. They are super fast and very addictive. They are the perfect mindless knitting and double also as fantastic instant gratification projects. I did get a picture before starting to hand these out. But they all looked exactly the same.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jess's October Post (another FO parade)

Holy crap not sure what happened. I was doing so well getting at least 1 post a month. Then Summer happened. OK its October 31st... Halloween. But more importantly the last day of October so if I don't post tonight I'm 3 months behind. And yes I have things to post about!

Since my July post I have finished a number of things. first up are a pair of socks I knit for my friend Donna. They were originally suppose to be toe socks. But after a few failed attempts at toes I just made them regular socks.


Pattern: just winged this pair
Yarn: Red Heart Heart and Sole in Spring Stripe
needles: 2.25mm
started:June 16
finished:July 12

Next I made a pair of socks for my friend Emily's husband (Jeremy who is also my friend). He did my family a huge favor and these were our way of saying thank you. They are fantastically warm. I love the way these socks turned out. Although it did take almost an entire sock to get use to working with how slippery this yarn was.


Pattern: my basic 3x1 rib pattern
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock Yarn
needles: 2.25mm
Started: July 13
Finished: August 8

Next up I made Ryan a cute little dino sweater. At least I think its pretty darn cute. Ryan seems to like it a lot too.

Pattern: Diplodocus by Kate Oates
Yarn: Patons classic Merino in various colors from stash
Needles: 3.75mm and 4.0mm
Started: August 8
Finished: August 29

My friend Ruth Smith is expecting a little girl. I almost never pass up the opportunity to knit little girl items. So I knit this little set.


Pattern:Scrappy Socky Stripey Cardi by Fawn Pea
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate (leftover from previous projects)
Needles: 3.0mm
Started: Sept 18
Finished: Sept 22

Pattern:Closeknit's Striped Baby Boots by Sarah Owens
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate (leftover from previous projects)
Needles: 2.25mm
Started: Sept 11
Finished: Sept 17
The booties were also a KAL with a friend Janice Marchick. She wanted to learn how to knit them. So we did a quick little KAL. Since I needed a gift for Ruth seemed like the perfect plan. Then I made the little cardigan to go with them. win win

Special for the month of "Halloween" I knit these adorable little felted pumpkins. They are super cute. A fast fun knit. However I did struggle with the felting process. Not easy at all to felt in a front loader machine. So I ended up running them thru the dryer several times after also failing to get very fair hand felting. sesh... you can still see that they could definitely stand to be felted more (tons of stitch definition left on these suckers) but I just gave up and finished them. They are still pretty cute even if they aren't perfect.


Pattern: Miniature Felted Pumpkin by Tracy Batchelder
Yarn: Patons classic Merino (its cheap and easy to get local)
Needles: 6.5mm for the pumpkin 3.25mm for the stems
Started and Finished sometime in October. I knit the pumpkin parts first which just took a couple hours. Then forgot to felt them. Finally felted them and knit the stems and did all the sewing, just another few hours. They were a very quick project. They'd been in my queue for forever... I'm so happy I finally made them.

To finish off my October post my friend Kelly Jakubowski and I did a little KAL. A winter mitten KAL. These are fabulous. I love them so much and they are perfectly warm for these cold northern winters.


Pattern: All the Water by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Patons Classic Merino (again cheap and readily available)
Needles: 4.0mm and 4.5mm
Started: October 1
Finished: October 13

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Blooming Stitch Shawl


Pattern:"Blooming Stitch Shawl By Mary White"
Yarn: Beyond Basic Knits 50% Merino / 50% Silk Lace in Innocence
Needles: US 5 (3.75mm)
Started: May 24
finished: June 13

This shawl came to me at the exact right time. I needed it. It is beautiful and elegant and everything that you can hope for in summer knitting. I worked the 7 leaves/8 bloom version. There is a smaller version (5 leaves/6 blooms) that is equally gorgeous. The yarn is perfect. Just the right amount of sheen and bounce. It couldn't have come together any better.

The pattern is available as a download on "Ravelry" and also via "patternfish".


(a little hesitant to post this picture of my posterior but it does give the best idea of shawl size)

Like I said this came to be at the right time. I test knit this for Mary and there were a few mistakes in the original write up (there are with ALL patterns this is why there are test knitters). But Mary is fantastic and totally on the ball with keeping up communication with her testers. It was a pleasure working with Mary. The pattern came out fantastic and the lace is gorgeous.

This shawl is a bugger to block, though. I struggle with blocking on the best of days. Then this lace comes along. Mary let me know before I started blocking that it was a pain. She wasn't joking. But once you give in and let the shawl move the way it wants and not try to force it into something you want. It will all come together and work out great. It tends to tier, and does not need to be blocked to harshly. Mary gives adequate notes on this in the pattern. She also provides some blocking tips to make things go a little smoother.

I also think this shawl would be absolutely lovely with beads added. Not sure if I will get a chance to do that or not. But I'm sure someone will and it will be divine. If I get the chance to knit it again I totally plan to add some beads in.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lorna's Laces Solemate

I was able to sample knit Lorna's Laces new sock yarn. Solemate. It's 55% superwash merino, 15% nylon and 30% Outlast. Outlast is a viscose fiber that interacts with your body’s microclimate to moderate temperature from being too hot or too cold. The yarn itself is a little beefier than Shepard Sock. But just as lovely to knit with. The colors really shine on this yarn.
I knit 4 socks for them. And since I'm in Cookie A's sock club I have another skein in stash that I will knit up soon. Not only did I get to knit the new sock yarn but I debuted it in 4 new colors. I will be getting more of this yarn and more of these colors.

Pattern: Side Swipe Sock by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate in the "L"
needles: 2.25mm
Started: May 2
Finished: May 5

This is a very basic sock pattern. I believe its one of Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter's very first patterns. It's like a plain jane pattern with a little twisted extra running down the sides. Its a simple quick knit.

Pattern:Down and Up Lace Socks by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate in Buckingham Fountain
started: May 6
finsihed: May 9

This is a very interesting pattern. It has the best of both worlds of sock knitting. Toe up and top down. A lot of complaints about toe up socks is that the ankle/heel doesn't fit as well as top down. The complaints about top down is the risk of running out of yarn. So this sock starts at the ankle. you work the heel flap, pick up gusset stitches and work down the foot and finish the toe. Then you go back and pick up around the ankle and knit up the leg. Making it very easy to customize fit and you can knit up until you run out of yarn.

Pattern: Everybody Wants Sox! by Catherine Wingate and Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate in Grant Park
needles: 2.25mm
started: May 15
finished: May 17

Originally written for sport weight yarn, but works up just as lovely in sock weight. Knit per pattern. If I were to knit it again (which is likely) I'd probably carry the design down the top of the foot.

Pattern: Oh So Beautiful Socks by Judy Sumner
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Solemate in outer drive
needles: 2.25mm
started: May 9
finished: May 13

This was my favorite of the 4 new colors I got to work with. I absolutely love it and think this was the perfect pattern to show case it. The pattern is very easy to memorize. Once you do the repeats go pretty quickly. I think I should have made the heel flap a little longer on this one. You can see it curve a little funny on my sock blocker.

The great thing about sample knitting is that I follow the pattern. Now this is a good thing and a bad thing. In some of the patterns I struggle knitting because there are things I would love to change to make it (what I would consider) better. But the fun part is that it forces me to try things that I might otherwise avoided. All 4 of these socks have a different heel. Yep they are all traditional heel flaps but the pattern down the heel is different on all of them. I often stick with classic heel flap and gusset turns. If doing a sock for myself I generally do a slip stitch heel flap. So its fun to try out new things and see them work. I wont say that I'd do some of the them again. I think I'd opt for a sturdier heel flap than say the plain stockinette one. But its nice that I've at least knit some different ones and can see how they are.

Since I knit these and sent them back to Lorna's Laces to use at TNNA I can't vouch for how the socks wear. The yarn is nice to knit with. Like I mentioned it is beefier than shepherd sock. I like shepherd sock on 2.0mm and I knit Solemate up on 2.25mm. So not a big difference but it is noticeable. Its soft and pleasant to knit with. A nice smooth yarn. Not sticky or to fuzzy. Just pleasant knitting. It does feel like it will hold up very nicely. You know how you knit some yarns and you can just tell that they wont hold up well? Well this one just feels very sturdy and that it will last.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jess's May Post

Holy smokes its the end of MAY!

ok As far as knitting goes in may I have done some. But there isn't a single item I can share with you. I sample knit 4 socks for Lorna's Laces. In the new sock yarn that is being released at TNNA in June. And with new colors. They are gorgeous. you are all jealous. trust me! Then I knit 3 necklaces for gifts. I've given 2 of the 3 away but I want the 3rd person to get hers before I share pictures (not to mention they are out of leftover sock yarn... the lorna's laces that isn't released yet in the new color also not released yet. haha). I've knit a few hats and I'm working on a lace project (another test knit).

Next month I should have some pictures and what not to share with you. This month has been the month for hush hush knitting I suppose.

But I wanted to make a quick post to let you know I have been working. Because my goal is at least 1 post a month. and secret knitting or not this is a post gosh darn it!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I got a really super awesome package today in the mail from the best swap partner ever! Who also just so happens to be the best best friend ever. (Hey, what can I say? We were matched based on interests.)

I was absolutely floored by the magnificence that was my package. I mean, seriously, check this out:
AND -- get this -- that's not even all of the package. It's most of it. But the cookies (up at the top) are kind of obscured, and the dishcloths aren't in at all, and did I mention that we agreed to include each other's Christmas gifts in this package as well since neither of us had managed to get those in the mail yet? None of the Christmas stuff is included in the photo.
So, let's take a closer look. First, we have some nail files, cute notepads (the polka dot one is a magnetic pad, the others are sticky notes), a white gel pen (which I've actually been looking for and have been unable to find), some other cute little pens in a nice little plastic container and the cutest tiny highlighter, the perfect size for sticking in a knitting bag with your current charted project, also in the plastic container.
Then we have the knitting-related stuff: two hanks of Cascade alpaca laceweight which is just begging to be petted, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Things I Learned from Knitting" book and a "knit picker," which is basically a teensy latch hook useful in picking up snags and stuff and is pretty much the coolest thing I've ever seen. (Except maybe my Christmas gift yarn ... more on that later.)
And then there's the kitchen-related stuff: an awesome floral coffee mug with a cute little butterfly sitting on top of the handle, 3 handknitted dishcloths/scrubbers and cookies! Cookies that my husband foolishly thinks I'm going to share with him. Psh.
I failed to get photos of my Christmas gifts earlier, so those will come some other time. But she sent me some bath and body stuff (great smelling!) and awesome handspun alpaca that I love, love, love. Seriously. Love it so much.

Jess, you're awesome. I'm so lucky!

Jess's April post

I seriously don't know where this month went. One moment I'm complaining that the year is moving by so slowly... next thing I know the month of April is almost over. Whew. It has been a busy couple weeks. Not that I have much knitting to show for it tho.

I did finish Ryan's sweater.
Pattern: Cardigan for Merry
Yarn: Knitpicks andean treasure
needles: 3.0mm
Started: Jan 29
Finished: April 3

Love love love this sweater. The cable was a pita at first. But the more I worked the more it started being intuitive, I guess. Perhaps I just finally memorized the repeat. The finished results are definitely worth it tho. Ryan's only complaint is that I left off the buttons. So I might have to go back and add those in. He keeps trying to find the zipper hehe. Its cute.


I also finished a pair of socks. The ska mystery KAL


Pattern: SKA March Mystery sock 2011
Yarn: Fleece Artist Kidazzle in silver
Needles: 2.25mm
Started: March 25
Finished: April 13
This is a great sock pattern. I'd consider knitting it again at some point. It goes super fast and fits great. I also really enjoy this yarn. Like I said before I am a Fleece Artist fan, and this one was no disappointment.

As far as the last project I was knitting on in the last post... well I'm still knitting on it. I'm on the foot of the second sock. Hopefully I'll finish today or tomorrow, so that they can count for the march challenge (you have 2 months to complete the socks for the challenge). But not really sure. We'll see.

I also finally got a chance to sit down at my wheel a little this month. I had about half of some fiber spun up. And forced myself to finish it. It was some alpaca fiber that was gifted to me. It wasn't the cleanest fiber to work with. Lots of VM. But I think the end yarn turned out pretty nice.


I'm going to try my best to finish up the current socks I have. I am also waiting on yarn from Lorna's Laces so that I can knit up some samples for them for TNNA. Since I am waiting on that I'm trying not to dive into anything big right now. I have some lingering UFO's that I might pull out until the yarn arrives (ahem bearclaw blanket that is very close to being finished). I have been talking with Amie about starting a new sweater. We are both REALLY excited about that KAL. But with our schedules not sure when we will be able to actually start it.

Friday, April 1, 2011


I did it, I really did it! My Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup History of Magic OWL was accepted! I got a total of 150 points for Hufflepuff for doing those four hats (to reiterate: Viking Hat, Hermione Hearts Ron, Gamer Hat and Button-Tab Hat) in three months. Normal homework projects were worth 15 points each, plus optional bonus points, so 150 points for four hats is pretty good!

I'm so proud of myself for setting this goal and meeting it!

I got this badge to post on my Rav profile for completing my OWL:

ETA: Assuming I don't get any bonus points this month -- and I don't really expect to since the Reading Mitts and the carnation were the only homework projects I turned in -- I earned 336 points this term.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Final March project

I managed to squeeze in one more very quick project this month: a crocheted boutonniere-style carnation pin in white with pink tips. This project serves two purposes: it demonstrates capillary action (for a Nerd Wars prompt) and it reminds me of David, who loved Marty Robbins, singer of "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation." I couldn't knit a white sportcoat, so I just incorporated the white into the carnation along with the pink. ;)

Oh, and this also works for a House Cup assignment; this month's assignment for Herbology was to knit something flowery. What's more flowery than a flower?

My good camera is being uncooperative at the moment and giving me a blue screen every time I put the card into the computer, so you get webcam photos instead.

I used scraps of embroidery floss in white, baby pink and leafy green (my own color names). All in all, I'm guessing it only took around 10 yards of the embroidery floss, but it did use all of the pink. (I only bought one skein.) And that was just for the final round!

Jess's March Post

So I'm a slacker. I posted kind of early in Feb and then not again until the very last day of March. clearly Amie has done much better. Since lets see she has posted like 8 times since my last post. o well tho. I have been knitting. I made some progress on Ryan's sweater. But then opted to put it down and cast on a couple socks for the SKA challenge. oh and of course my first Cookie A. Sock club shipment.

ok Sock club first. It was a small struggle to talk myself into the club. But come on 2 cookie Sock patterns, 2 cookie recipes and a skein of yarn every other month for an entire year! VERY hard to say no to. The first shipment was AWESOME.

A skein of String Theory Caper Sock in a color called Solas.
Cookie recipe number one was molten dark chocolate chunk. Amazing cookies that I've already made them a couple times
Second recipe was white chocolate macadamia nut. A totally different cookie but very good.
I decided to knit the first pattern in the club color.
Pattern: Rippling Leaf Socks by Cookie A
Yarn: String Theory Caper sock in Solas
needles: 2.25mm
Started: Feb 18
Finished: March 11

I'm still working on the second club pattern. They are gorgeous socks and I picked something I loved out of the stash to knit them with.

Pattern: Haleakala by Cookie A
Yarn: Madelinetosh Sock in Logwood
needles: 2.0mm
Started: March 29

I also cast on for the SKA club challenge (the Haleakala socks also qualify for the challenge as long as I get them finished in time). The challenge this month was "lace" and they had a mystery KAL. I love their mystery socks. But sadly I wasn't able to cast on until all the clue's were out. But the sock is very lovely and a super quick knit.

Pattern: SKA March Mystery sock 2011
Yarn: Fleece Artist Kidazzle in silver
Needles: 2.25mm
Started: March 25
Have only completed the 1 sock because I wanted to get the Haleakala socks cast on before the end of the month. I have until the end of April to finish both pairs of socks to qualify for prizes in the challenge. This is a new yarn. It definitely lives up the fleece artist name. I'm not generally a fan of mohair (kid) in yarn... I'm slightly allergic. But I couldn't pass it up and I'm glad I didn't. I loves it. :)

Last but not last the progress of Ryan's sweater.

Pattern: Cardigan for Merry
Yarn: Knitpicks andean treasure
needles: 3.0mm
Started: Jan 29

I finished the back and both sleeves pretty quickly. The cable is taking me a bit longer. Especially since I keep putting it down to knit other things. I have all the pieces knit and I'm working on the hood. Then to sew it all together and call it done. But sock knitting has taken over my time. I will finish this sweater tho. hopefully before casting on anything else new. If I wait to long Ryan will outgrow it before he is able to wear it at all!