Thursday, August 31, 2006

Return of the Spider

It's back.............

And this time he's showing us his belly!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Baby Cardigan!

Woo hoo! Success! Well, 98% success...

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

This cardigan didn't take me long at all. It was quite easy and was adapted from this blog. I didn't follow the stripe pattern described, but instead used ribbing at the cuffs and waist, seed stitch in the blue, and garter stitch in the green. I placed 6 button holes down the front instead of 5.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I used Classic Elite Yarns in Premiere. I found this yarn to be super soft and very economical.

I initially had these buttons picked out for this cardigan:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

But they are too big. I will have to find something smaller and hopefully just as cute.

So why just 98% success? I meant to make a 12 month size. I ended up getting a 24 month size. Which is fine, in the big picture, because the person I made this for will eventually fit into it. Unfortunately Liz's son Elias is only 4 weeks old now!

I really did get gauge: the gauge meant for the original pattern. Stupid me... I should have done my gauge swatch in seed stitch, as this makes up most of the stitching, instead of the garter stitch called for in the original. Oh well! It still came out quite cute, if I don't say so myself.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Yarn Candy for your Drooling

Aahhh... nothing like new yarn! And nothing like yarn that was on sale!

Today I went to the LYS, that specializes in high end yarns and notions, to pick up an extra skein of Classic Elite Premiere for the baby cardigan I am knitting. I also needed an Addi Turbo size 8 in the 40 inch length for an afghan I will be making for someone at work. So while I was there I looked around and came up with a fabulous idea! Why not make another baby cardigan out of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino? Excellent! I chose girl colors this time, even though I do not know any baby girls that could wear it. Maybe I will in the future.

And here it is, for your viewing pleasure:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I also received my first order from KnitPicks last Friday. I ordered sock yarns even though I have yet to knit a sock. But here is the inspiration:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I do have one complaint about my LYS. They are the snobbiest yarn snobs I have ever encountered. I know knitters who refuse to knit in acrylics, polyesters, and nylons. I know knitters who will only knit with certain animal fibers. And even I have caught a touch of the snobbery bug myself, but try only to buy at a discount or on eBay. But these people top the list!

The store carries mostly natural fibers and most skeins and hanks are priced over $10 each. I was looking at a new yarn they had on display that was 100% fake fibers...and the employee ran over and pointed out, "You know, it's acrylic!" Like I might not want to even be touching it. And the owner never greats me as she does the other custumers. Well, actually she used to great me until she realized that I mostly shopped their discount and discontinued sections. She actually had made the comment to me on my previous trip that she noticed I always head to "the loft" (the discount section). The Debbie Bliss I bought today was being discontinued because they felt it wasn't high enough quality for their store. I was surprised to hear they thought Debbie Bliss wasn't high end...hmph! Shows you what I know. I was also told today that the Classic Elite Premiere I'm loving right now will also be discontinued. I will be watching for it in their loft section, much to the owners chagrin! He he.

There was another shopper looking around and chatting with the owner. He wasn't from the area, he was from Massachusetts, and shopped the stores outside of Boston. (Oh, had I only been a knitter when I lived in the city! All that yarn! All those LYS's!) He stopped at some silks and cashmeres and cut the owner off midsentence: "Oh my! One hundred and twenty five dollars?" He was incredulous! Immediately the owner and another employee (one that I do like) defended the price, pointing out that it had a lot of yardage. I'm not sure how many yards that hank of cashmere was... I would guess around 400. But I found the exchange humorous. I am sure he will go back to his LYS's in Massachusetts.

Well, I must go off and knit, but here is a picture I had to share. The Handsome Boy and The Squawker cuddling together on my bed. It's a bit fuzzy, and they wouldn't recreate the scene to allow me to get a better shot.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Snakes on a Plane? Nah... how about Spiders in a Garage?

This post is so off topic, but I just had to share. I found this lovely creature hanging out in front of the garage door this morning:

This sucker is between 2 and 3 inches long, large enough that the detail on its body is very clear. It's web, which didn't show up in the picture, was at least 2 feet around. You can see a thick part of web right behind it. This was the exact same spider that was hanging out on our basement wall several weeks back. I am glad to see that it moved it's home to the outside world.

Does anyone have an idea what type of spider it is?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

What? My name is... Who? My name is... Slim Shady!

She is laying here squawking at me to make sure everyone knows her name really isn't "Squawker". It's Shady. Squawker is the nickname myself and her Daddy have given her because she doesn't meow like other cats. She squawks. She squawks a lot. If I ever figure out how to add audio to this blog, I'll put her on here so you can hear for yourself. It's quite unique. She also has this patented move called the "Tuck and Roll". When she is excited and squawking at us, she will drop her front end down and roll her head onto the floor (or what ever surface she is on). Sometimes it's the "Triple Sow Cow Tuck and Roll" where she does three of them right in a row with a highly skilled and coordinated effort.

And notice those paws? They are quite something! She has two extra toes on each of her front paws. They are fully functional, claws and all, and she uses them to her advantage. She can whap her brother a good one, and I highly suspect that they were used as threats against the Big Bad Doggy Sister during a recent encounter.

Shady was not the name I picked for her. Her previous owners named her this when she was born in February of 1999. I didn't get her until August 2003, when someone at work had an acquaintance who was moving and couldn't take her with them. If you ask me, these prior owners were not true animal parents. I'd live in my car before moving to a place that wouldn't allow her. But that worked out much to my advantage.

When I told my mom about her (also another cat nut, I guess the apples never fall far from the tree) the first thing she said was, "Did they name her after Eminem?" I still laugh at this... because who would make that connection? Ironically, Shady was born the same month and year that Eminem made his debut. But there was no connection. She was simply named after her grey blue coat.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My first FO!

I am so proud of myself! My first non square/rectangle item is finished! I decided that my first knitted garment would be the Double Eyelet Rib Tank from the Tahki Summer 2006 collection. It was categorized as EASY and thought it was the perfect summer tank for me.

The project started off without a hitch. I got the correct stitch gauge on my first try, even with using a different yarn than what was recommended. My row gauge was a bit off, but not terribly off, so I left it alone. I wasn't going to drive myself crazy knitting 20 gauge swatches to get the row gauge exact. Besides the pattern gave instructions to knit the length by inches, so it was very easy to compensate.

I chose a yarn from my ever growing stash: Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in Dusty Rose. It's a lovely pale pink and incredibly soft. It was wonderful on the hands while knitting. It also shows the stitch details nicely as well.Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I knitted the front and back along quite quickly and finished blocking it this morning. Then I set off to watch my DVD "The Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting" by Nici McNally (it's great!) to learn how to seam it together. So right after dinner tonight I learned the mattress stitch and seamed the tank up effortlessly. I weaved in the ends, and viola! This is what I got:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Shows some great cleavage, huh? Unfortunately, even though I have the cleavage to show, it wasn't the look I was going for. Urg! One thing that I forgot to mention was that I added an inch to its length thinking that I needed it. I'm not sure why, because I have a short torso. I've always had a short torso. I must have been under the influence of ice cream or something when I made that decision.

I'm trying to look on the bright side of this. I did get the stitch gauge right on, and so the width around the piece fit well.

Anyhow, this is how it is supposed to look:Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If you want it, it's yours. It's incredibly soft and comfortable. Here's the measurements (laying flat): 22 inches width, 24 inches from shoulder to hem. I wear a women's size 18 top, so if you have a longer torso than me this should fit wonderfully~

Friday, August 11, 2006

Breaking My Vows

I'm talking my yarn vows. As some of my KH friends know, I vowed several weeks ago to abstain from yarn shopping. I have plenty of yarn, so much that I decided I was downsizing the stash and sold some on eBay. (Dont' worry, it wasn't anything good).

My yarn vows came from an incident involving innocent yarn winding at the LYS, and I came out with $130 worth of goodies. I think I may have ordered some Rowan Denim from after that, but I didn't count it. It was for a project I had decided on before the vows. So I needed to get that.

Even though I took these vows, I still cruised the net in search of yarn porn. A girl can look, right? I wasn't getting any goods, just looking. And in my cruising I found another LYS. I was so excited! How could I have not known of this place! Especially since it is close to my hometown, and in the same city as the college and university I attended.

The Hub Mills Factory Store is in Lowell, Massachusetts. They are the distributors of Classic Elite Yarns, which I have had recent fantasies with. They also carry antique spools, which I am sure were just left overs from the mills heyday. So I had to go and see it for myself, not to mention it is a bonus to go into the old mills in Lowell. (For those who have been living under a rock, Lowell is where this country's fiber mills were booming in the mid to late 1800's and early 1900. Lowell is rich in fiber history). You can visit their store at and order discounted Classic Elite and their antique spools. For those of you who love the antique spools, they were in great shape and had great patina!

So back to breaking my vow. Guess how much I spent. Go ahead. I'll provide some pictures to help you guess.

This is what I got:

  • 6 skeins Cascase Yarns Sierra in a rich rust tone
  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  • 10 skeins Classic Elite Yarns Premiere in Dried Cherry
  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  • 10 skeins Classic Elite Yarns Flash in Aster
  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  • 10 skeins of something call Patina. The label is in all Chinese (or maybe Japanese. Who knows, I can't read either)
  • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

So what makes me feel better is that everything I got was at a discount. ( I can hear the DH now: "Oh, good! You even saved us money!")

The Patina was 3.50 each, Flash 2.75, Premiere 4.00, and Sierra 4.30! Even Squawker had something to say about that!Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I ask you, how could I not???

Friday, August 04, 2006

For those who like a challenge:

Listen up!

Do you feel like you are in a knitting slump? I've got a great idea! I challenge all knitters to create their own piece. It can be anything: a sweater, a scarf, a hat, a bag, a blanket, a toy... you name it. So long as you create it without a pattern.


Not only can you be patternless, you must include a technique that you have never used before. So if you're a beginner it might be just simple increases and decreases or a new stitch pattern; if your an experienced knitter it could be enterlac or something very intricate.

My first self challenge is this scarf. It was the first time doing intarsia and crochet. See the pattern further down this page. I have left over yarn to make a matching hat. (Which I haven't done yet, as I am not sure what stitch pattern to use). I have another self challenge in the works, which I will post once I get it done.

So who's in?