Monday, May 29, 2006

Creativity abounds!

A long weekend & the house to myself meant that I accomplished quite a lot!

I managed to finish my fair isle free argyle socks:

I still love everything about these. The pattern, which is now available in pdf form here. The yarn. I could go on & on but you could just read my last post for all the mush!

I also finished my first Subversive cross stitch sampler.

Now I just need to wash & and find a suitably ironic frame for it.

I also had time to whip up a purse:

And make pesto for dinner tonight (a little green for project spectrum)!

I hope you guys all had an equally fulfilling weekend!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Upwards to the vanguard where the pressure is too high

The last week of school..... UGH! While exciting for the kids, it keeps me way too busy for my liking & seriously craving a beer and some knitting therapy by 10am. Now of course it's Friday & it was the last day of school. Hurrah! I still work over the summer but it's my regular hours with fewer meetings and assessments and with many vacations in the mix. Woo Hoo!

Let's celebrate the last day of school with a sock shall we?

The pattern is Bryony's. If you happen over to her blog to plead with her to share this well written, fun to knit sock pattern be sure to wish her a belated happy birthday. Oh & check out the cool Miffy bag she got! I'm soooo jealous!

I have been test knitting this sock pattern for her & I love it. It's her first sock pattern and it's a keeper! The "fair isle free" argyle gives the sock some stretch so there's no fear of it not fitting. Plus the toe up style is almost instant gratification.

The yarn is also wonderful stuff. It's the Nature's Palette I got from Pure knits. The colorway is spectacular!! It really compliments the pattern so nicely. It feels like heaven all knit up!

On the other end of the spectrum, not so instant gratification could be called:

Accidentally on Purpose

That is the front of my AOP for my sister. It's the second one I've knitted & while it's not a bad knit or a difficult knit it is a BORING knit. 22 inches of stockinette for the front & 24 for the back. All the fun dropping of stitches happens in the last few rows. The antithesis of instant gratification if there ever was one. But, it's for my sister who I love dearly & who deserves a kick ass knit vest. So, I knit on. I would post a progress picture but really who wants to look at 18 inches of SS on a straight needle. I'm sure you can imagine it just as easily!

As far as my last knitted gift, it was a hit! The floral felted bag has been making the rounds about town and has garnered much praise and lots of requests for me to knit a few more of them. HA! Non-knitters have no clue what goes into making a bag like that!

Bryony asked if I would knit it again and I really would. For me or maybe another loved one but not the sales girl at Nordstrom! It was the getting used to throwing and picking all in one go that was hard. Now that I have that skill under my belt it wouldn't be quite the challenge.

Thanks for all the comments you guys left!! I've been grinning ear to ear all week from them!

There were also lots of comments about the Flaming lips. The show was amazing! If you see them you MUST be in the front row! It takes you back to being a kid to have confetti & streamers fly through the air as you sing along with a chorus of Santas & Aliens. I swear I am still finding confetti around the house! While I forgot my camera the ajc photographer got some great pictures here. You will have to click through all of them to see the best Lips pictures. There is also a brilliant one of me looking up all doe eyed at Wayne Coyne. He really is the pied piper!

I will leave you with this news story out of my backyard:

Woman steals thousands in yarn. Yep, she used the five finger discount at some local yarn stores.

I hope ya'll party like it's the first day of summer break this weekend!! I know I will!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The tease is over!

There isn't much to say that you guys don't already know. It's the Nicky Epstein felted floral bag from the Fall Interweave knits. I used Knitpicks Merino Style in DK & size 7 needles. It took me forever to finish the first side and then I really got the hang of the double fisted fair isle & it was breeze after that.

I love the fabric I found to line it. It really compliments the fair isle. I also chose to use leather handles instead of the i-cord for a more finished look.

All in all I am extremely pleased that I finished it & that it looks good. This was a BIG knit for me in terms of skill. I have done fair isle before but not of this size. I feel like this is a real knitting accomplishment.

Now Isaac & I are off for a quick brunch before heading to centennial Olympic park for the Southern Comfort Music Experience. Why? You ask. Is it my love of SoCo? No friggin way folks! It's the fact that tonight we will see De La Soul, Big Star & The Flaming Lips for FREE!! Today, I am a SoCo fan!!

Enjoy your sunday!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Monday!!!

I hope you guys have all had a wonderful & productive weekend like I have!!

OK, I know, I know! Get to the point of who won the contest right?

The names in Isaac's 8-bit hat:

Isaac drawing the winner:

And the winner is:

PBnJ Holly!!! Congrats Holly (email me to let me know your address & I will get it right off to you). I can't wait to see what you make with it!

Thanks so much to everyone who added their inspirational songs. I'm still tracking down a few of them but I will post the entire list later. It's been really fun reading all the responses! You guys really do rock!

I did have a productive weekend you know. I've been test knitting a sock for Bryony & it's going brilliantly! I love the way the pattern is working out in my Nature's Palette. Yummy, yummy combination I tell you!

I also managed to finish & felt a little thing called the Nicky Epstein felted floral bag!

Here's a little teaser. I won't be showing off the whole thing til' it's blocked & lined.

Pretty nifty eh? I can't wait to have it all finished up!! It's going to be grand (if I do say so myself)!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rain, Rain go away.

Blech is the best word to describe the weather today.

Luckily I had a happy surprise waiting for me when I got home.

3 books that I ordered from Amazon and a postcard from our nations swamp, I mean capital, courtesy of Sandra. Isn't she such a sweetie!!

There has been much buzz in the blogosphere about the amazing lace. I suppose it is going to be "the summer knit along". It was funny to read the blog today & see the sentence "In an amazing coincidence, all three Leahs are awash in indecision."

Yep, I'm still undecided as to my teammate (and apparently the other Leah's in the kal are as well).

I know for a fact that I will be working on Orangina but I also really want to do a shawl or stole. I have the pattern for the hanging vines stole which Zen needle made look & sound so appealing. I've also been toying with doing the flower basket shawl. I also have the pattern for the flared lace smoke ring & some scrumptious yarn to make it in. I think I have my heart set on a shawl though. Any thoughts?

Now I'm off to finish the felted bag. Yep, that's right I said FINISH! I have all the colorwork done & just need to get the sides and handles knitted. I hope to be felting by Friday. With that done & Accidentally on Purpose going smoothly I just need to clear up some other WIPs & start lace training!

Don't forget to get your entries in to the contest!! I am loving the interesting mix so far!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Ah how far we have come and a contest to commemorate!

**Thanks for the wishes for sleep & the helpful hints. I am happy to tell you that I got a great nights sleep without taking anything last night. WOO HOO**

On to our regularly scheduled post:

It seems like spring is the time for all things to start fresh & new. Not entirely surprising then to find out so many knitbloggers started there blogs in this season. Myself being one of them. Today is my one year blogiversary.

When I started this blog I had no idea that anyone would ever read it, or comment on it or that it's existence would yield me so many true friends.

*Warning, yes I will be getting mushy*

Our little blog community provides the BEST stitch n' bitch around. You get to peek in on people's lives & see if you like the project they are knitting or the book they are reading & with that you create a group of friends that suits you. Mind you I am not advocating being exclusionary. I think the entire notion of knitblogging & the sharing aspect excludes that in and of itself. I am merely saying it's nice to find knitters with similar styles or interests to help with your questions, offer advice & ultimately friendship.

So many of you have been there though the wonderful and the rotten times of both knitting & all the incidentals that happen when we aren't knitting. I really, deeply appreciate that. So, thanks! You guys ROCK!

**End of mush**

Speaking of rocking. I like so many others want to commemorate my big 1 year blogiversary by having a CONTEST!

I'm calling it:

Rock for Socks

First the best part of any contest, the prize:
Photo courtesy of Yahaira & Pureknits

2 skeins of Nature's Palette sock yarn in "Mallard" perfect for May's project spectrum huh!! Yahaira gave me 2 skeins of this in "Odd duck #3" for my birthday and I can't tell you how soft and wonderful this yarn is- I LOVE IT. The most amazing part is that they are all dyed with entirely natural dyes. Yes, flowers, nuts, berries. It's really amazing that the colors are so vibrant. Pure knits is now carrying it. You can check out more color choices here.

So now the contest**.

Many of you know I am almost as obsessive about music as I am about knitting so what I want is the song or songs that inspire you most. I don't care what kind of music it is if it makes you want to knit, or sew or just create then I want to hear it.

Please leave a comment with your song(s). I will use the old "names in a hat" method of choosing. I will leave the contest open until next Sunday and announce the winner on Monday (because how better to start a Monday than winning yarn). I want ideas from across the pond as well. I will send this yarn anywhere!!

At the end I plan on gathering up as many of the songs as I can find (thank you itunes) and making a Mixed CD. I'll post the playlist next week. If you like the playlist & fancy a copy feel free to email me.

Now, go forth & be inspired!

**Special thanks to Chris and her Chaotic playlists post for the idea. Thanks Chris!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Not enough sleep.

I'm. So. Tired.

I haven't slept well since Thursday. I miss sleep. I need sleep. I'm not sure why I'm having such trouble. I've cut out caffeine & been going to the gym and I'm exhausted but sleep doesn't come.

So tonight I may take something. Maybe all I need is one good night's sleep.

I just joined The Amazing Lace. I'm really excited to try a more intricate lace project this summer. While I still plan on making Orangina & Lucky, I think my "partner" for the amazing lace will be a lacey shawl that Elizabeth Bennet would be proud of.

More exciting things tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Right to the point.

This is a Sunday morning picture (when I intended to post pictures- oops). I'm now 10 rows into the colorwork on the second side. It's going a lot faster now that have a better handle on the whole "fair isle" thing!! It's a lot to keep track of and using two hands! Sheesh!!

On to my distraction:

My first giotto sock finished. Also a fast(er) knit when you actually work on it. It took me no time once I started the heel. I love the way Marie's yarn knits up. It's so soft & looks great when it's made into a sock!

I'm really concentrating on finishing the bag this week. I feel like I'm in the homestretch now. The only problem I have with it is it's really heavy & awkward to turn. I suppose I should have used circular needles.... Ah hindsight. Maybe I'll switch it over tonight.

So, is anyone else completely enthralled by Texas Ranch House ? I love these PBS reality shows.

I'm thinking of whipping up a special dinner for Cinco de Mayo on Friday night (for no reason in particular). When I was at the farmer's market this afternoon the cilantro smelled so good that it's all I've been thinking about since then.

I was thinking of making this. I had completely forgotten that I clipped that recipe til' Shelterrific wrote about it.

Any other vegetarian ideas out there?

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