Monthly Archives: September 2011

Back on the Mainland!

We arrived home from Kauai last night….had a wonderful vacation with some very good friends of ours! I haven’t had time to sort/convert all my photos yet, so here are a couple to tide you over!

I’ll be back in the next few days with more pictures!!

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Garter Stitch Goodness

Apparently, I’m on a garter stitch kick with my knitting. There’s something about the monotony of garter stitch that is soothing and makes for great mindless knitting. And then, of course, there’s the fantastic squish factor that garter stitch has. Which, makes it especially fabulous for this first project:

Pattern:  Vintage Baby Cardigan by Kristin Spurkland

Yarn: Shibui Sock in Wasabi

Mods: None, really. My gauge was off, so instead of going down to a size 2 needle I knit the smallest size to achieve the 6 month measurements. The pattern was well written and while the sweater looked like a hot mess for a while, it all magically works out when you do a 3-needle bind-off for the tops of the sleeves! The construction is interesting and would be a good way for beginner knitters to learn some new skills (casting on in the middle of a project, 3-needle bind-off, seaming the undersides of the sleeves) as long as they don’t mind that it’s fingering weight yarn on size 3 needles.

The baby sweater will be headed to Stash tomorrow along with a big pile of project bags. The sweater will be a shop sample showing off the lovely Shibui Sock yarn. The yarn was great to knit with and is perfect for baby knits, and would make a fab pair of socks, too!

Next up is a shawl-in-progress for a family member who is going through a tough time. I had started a completely different pattern with different yarn, but wasn’t really liking the way it was knitting up. So, I found a different pattern and dug through my stash and found some luxurious yarn that is going to make a fabulous shawl.

Doesn’t it look wonderfully cushy? 

The pattern calls for either 2 strands of lightweight yarn or 1 strand of worsted weight yarn. The skein on the right is Hedgehog Fibres Pure Cashmere Lace that I’ve been hanging onto until the perfect project came along. I think it found it’s perfect project. The shawl is a bit more chocolate brown than in the pictures and the orange is a bit less electric!

In other news, we’re headed to Hawaii later this week with some friends of ours! I’ll be bringing the laptop, so I’ll try and update the blog while I’m there!

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Atlantis

For July’s Stash Menagerie shipment, I received 2 gorgeous skeins of Atlantis on Roslea Organic Merino:

I knew immediately that I wanted to use them to weave a scarf and I certainly wasn’t disappointed with the result!

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Roslea Organic Merino in Atlantis

Notes: I wasn’t sure if the Roslea Organic was going to be too thick to weave or if it would lose some of it’s softness when woven. It actually ended up being perfect. It’s wonderfully soft in woven form and makes a really warm scarf! Now, if only I could get my hands on some more Roslea Organic!

This is headed to the “holiday craft fair pile” 

In non-fiber arts news, we took a little drive to the coast today with some friends of ours. The main goal was to buy some tuna off a tuna boats for canning! Yes, we’re canning our own tuna (apparently I’ve become the crazy canning lady!)….more on that after we actually do the canning tomorrow! After picking up the tuna, we headed to Seal Rock State Park to eat some lunch and let Sailor run around like a crazy dog. And run like a crazy dog, he did…

Not only was there running around, there was also some not-so-sneaky food stealing! bad dog. 

Sailor wasn’t the only one running on the beach:

E showing off her leaping skills

There’s a good possibility that I made her do this multiple times just so I could snap a photo!

Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! I’ll be back with a finished baby sweater and a canning tuna update soon!

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A bag for every occasion

According to my husband and father-in-law, a) one can never have too many backpacks and b) each backpack serves a very specific purpose.

I think that this school of thought can certainly be used when discussing any kind of bag. One can never have too many bags. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. So, today I sewed up a bag for a very specific purpose (but of course, can be used for a variety of things). Any readers who knew me “back in the day,” can tell you that I was an avid dancer throughout elementary school, junior high and high school. I also dabbled a bit in dance during college. Since then, however, I haven’t so much as put on a pair of ballet slippers or tap shoes. Every once in a while I get an urge to join an adult ballet class, but I just haven’t done it.

A couple of weeks ago I was out and about with my friend Betty and her daughter E (I’m teaching them to knit!), and we had to stop so that E could register for dance classes for the fall. Betty was telling me that there was an adult tap class starting and that she was thinking of signing up. Well, that was all the motivation I needed! So Betty and about 8 of her friends (including me) are all signed up to take tap starting tomorrow with a fellow from The Hot Shot Tap Dancers (he’s the one wearing the hat) who were on “America’s Got Talent.” Poor guy…he has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.

Anyways….today I decided I needed to whip up a bag to carry my tap shoes to and from class.

Pattern: Simple Bag from “Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts”

Fabric: High Society by Anthology

Modifications: Oh, at this point do we really expect that I haven’t made any changes? I didn’t think so. I only made a couple of really small changes this time around. I made the straps differently than the pattern called for (and will probably make them a touch longer next time) and used lighter weight fabric. The pattern calls for heavyweight cotton, but I used some medium-weight quilting cotton and used some fusible interfacing to give the bag a little sturdiness. The pattern called for 1/2 yard of each of the fabrics used on the outside of the bag, but I was able to get the pieces cut from fat quarters. I think that the pattern calls for 1/2 yard cuts so that the straps can be made as one long piece and then cut in half. But, it worked perfectly using fat quarters instead.  I also think there might be an error in the pattern. The pattern calls for the lining to be cut 13×31″, but then when you sew up the sides of the lining, it states that you’ll be sewing 16″ up the side. Well, maybe I’ve forgotten how to add…but I’m fairly sure that 16 + 16 = 32 and not 31. Ah well, I just made some adjustments when attaching the lining to the outside of the bag, and it worked out just fine. The pattern was really easy to follow and took far less time than the pattern predicted. I think it took me an hour at most, and the book estimates 2-4 hours.

I’m now feeling the need to make one of these for every day of the week! 

My tap shoes fit perfectly with extra room for a few other things.

Yes, my tap shoes look like old lady shoes. 

I’ll be sure to report back on the hilarity that is sure to happen during tap class tomorrow night!

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You might want to put on some sunglasses

I have finished spinning the retina-searing yarn for my dear friend Aimee. I sort of lost spinning steam after the Tour de Fleece, but finally finished this today.

If you have those sunglasses handy, now would be the time to put them on:

The yarn is a whole lot brighter in person. It was playing tricks on my camera and didn’t want to be photographed in all it’s electric yellow glory. I think the light meter in the camera was over compensating for the brightness of the yarn, so the whole picture turned out a bit dark.

360-ish yards of electric yellow craziness

I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I’m going to be selling my project bags (and handspun) at a new yarn shop that’s opening up in town. Well, I’ve also been working on a sample knit for the shop in some yummy Shibui sock yarn.

Any ideas what this odd shaped thing could possibly be? 

It’s a baby sweater! 

I’ll post all the details when it’s finished (which will hopefully be soon!)…but so far it’s a really easy, peasy project.

Of course, there’s been lots of other crafting going on around these parts. Including a little bit of weaving with some Three Irish Girls yarn:

And some yarn wreath making:

In the midst of our heat wave last week, I decided that I needed a fall-inspired project to keep my mind off the fact that I was sweating profusely by just sitting in one spot. I had a few other things I needed to pick up at Jo-Ann’s, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that all their fall decorating supplies were 40% off. Score! So I picked up a few along with some fall colored felt and a straw wreath. I used this tutorial on the three irish girls blog. Though, truth be told, I didn’t actually look at the tutorial this time around since I’ve already made these before!

This wreath is quite a bit larger than the last ones I made, and I ended up using an entire skein of worsted weight yarn to cover it. I’ll be hanging this on our front door once I get some matching ribbon, and I think it’ll look great hanging there throughout the fall!

And of course we’ve also been trying to keep up with the massive amount of green beans our garden is producing as well as the tomatoes and fresno peppers!

We’ve managed to make another 1/2 batch of dilly beans and still have plenty of green beans to spare! The plants are showing no signs of slowing down, either! I’ve hung the fresno peppers up in the kitchen to let them dry so that we can use them this winter:

Why yes, that is a piece of yarn that they are tied to. 😉 Speaking of food…time to go make some dinner (and use up some more of those green beans!).

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Pure Awesomeness.

Before I show you this piece of awesomeness, let me tell you a little story. My dear friend Aimee learned to knit about 2 years ago, and has a serious penchant for bright, fun colors. Earlier this summer I had the PERFECT idea for her birthday. Unfortunately, my initial idea fell through. But fear not, friends….Sock Summit was a mere 2 weeks before Aimee’s birthday and I knew I could find something fabulous for her. While I was checking out the Three Irish Girls booth, this bundle of rainbow yarn practically leapt off the table and screamed, “AIMEE!!!”.

Photo shamelessly stolen from Aimee, because I apparently forgot to take a photo before I sent them to her!

I was so ridiculously excited about the mini-skeins that I wanted to send them right away, but I was able to refrain until closer to Aimee’s birthday.

The other day while I was on ravelry, I noticed that she had already knit a whole shawl out of the mini-skeins!!! And it is pure awesomeness. Check it out:

Again, photo shameless stolen from Aimee. 😉

Pattern: Faraway, So Close by Carina Spencer

Yarn: Bamboo/Cotton Worsted dyed by Three Irish Girls in “For Better or Worsted”

I love the way she placed the colors and how bright and cheerful it is! And can you believe she’s only been knitting for 2 years?!

Awesomeness, I tell you.

I happened to finish a project today, too!

Kindly disregard the crazy hair and bathroom pic (it was far too hot today to wear a hat outside!)

Pattern: Courtyard by Melissa Thomson

Yarn: Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Worsted in Eiffel Tower (grey) and The Plucky Knitter Primo in Can Can

Modifications: None, surprisingly! I used leftovers from 2 other projects and still have enough yarn left for a pair of fingerless mittens if I use the grey as the main color and pink as a contrast color!

This knit up really quickly, and I partly attribute that to doing the 1×1 cables without a cable needle. 

I love the way the decreases on the top look! 

I’ve also been meaning to share some sewing that I neglected to take pictures of before I sent it off! I’ve had some inquiries about ipad cases, but since I don’t own an ipad I wanted someone else to test one out before I sewed any up for the shop. Well, I sewed one up for Nicole, a friend from my camp days, and sent it off to her! She gave me some excellent feedback (and took some photos for me!) and I think some ipad cases will definitely be making their way into the shop soon-ish.

Hmm, the photos are coming up really small…but you get the point. I’m guessing I’ll have some for the shop sometime in October after I finish all the bags for Stash!

Phew. I think that’s all for now!

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Got Jam?

Apparently, we do.

46 jars to be exact. And that’s not counting any of the ones that Seth has already eaten or that we’ve given away. Today we made 2 more batches of jam….strawberry and strawberry/blackberry. If there’s a jam crisis of some sort, we’ll have more than enough to share!

I also did a huge amount of sewing today. There’s a new yarn shop called Stash coming to town, and I’ve very pleased to announce that they’ll be carrying my quilted project bags! I’ll also be making some smaller drawstring bags for single skein projects. I pieced together 6 quilted project bags today:

There are many familiar fabrics, but some new ones too!

I recently picked up a whole bunch of Lizzy House fabrics from both her 1001 Peeps line and Red Letter Day line. I’ve been itching to break into them, so today I used some of them!

I love the genies!! 

the ducks in the middle are from the Red Letter Day line and the outside fabric is something I had in my stash

I’m excited to see all the bags completed!

There’s also been a bit of knitting going on….a ravelry friend just gave birth to her first baby this morning, and I finished up a little baby vest just in time.

Pattern: Milo by Georgie Hallam

Yarn: Handspun yarn from Two if By Hand’s Organic Merino in “Life is a Session”

Modifications: My yarn was a little bit heavier than the pattern called for. I followed the directions for the 3 month size and ended up with something between the 3 and 6 month size. This is why I love baby knits. The baby will grow into it at some point!

The cable doesn’t pop as much as I’d like, but the handspun is so pretty knit up!

Last night I decided to cast on for a hat using the leftovers from my most recent shawl and cowl:

I’m in love with the color combination. Both yarns are Merino/Cashmere/Nylon, so although the weight is slightly different they seem to be working well together. The pattern is really addictive…speaking of which, I’m off to go work on it for a while!

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