Saturday, April 29, 2006

Finished: second hat!

What a day- between 4 hours of running errands, hitting all the local garden centers for plants and checking out the local sales at AC Moore and JoAnns, I'm surprised I managed to fit in quite a bit of knitting.

This hat is to be sent with other (yet to be knit) goodies for the next collection date for Afghans for Afghans. It finished up my homedyed yarn- and for a good cause, too! My first pompom... I think I'll have to work a bit harder on that next time around. Normally I'm not a pompom person but this hat needed something.

This came out a bit larger than expected- probably not a newborn hat but I adjusted the height to match the circumference which seemed to be longer than I originally thought it would be when I cast on. I flipped the ribbing up to make it 'pretty' for the camera but it makes a cute trim when it's not folded, too.

Peeve: Maybe other JoAnns are better stores than our local one but I can never find anything there, knitting-wise. I was armed with a 50% coupon and a mission (co-worker asked me to knit her an eyelash scarf with her alma mater colors) and walked out of the store empty handed. I was really surprised compared to the website- they list quite a selection of yarn. I understand that space is limited, but they had less yarn than our local discount store.

I think I'm just grumpy because I've never been attracted to eyelash yarn and she wanted something that looks like a muppet exploded around her neck! At least I know it will be something she wants. Funfur it is!

Progress pictures...

My Progress on the Booga Bag so far- I'm come up about three inches on the side now. I'm finding it an easy knit and I have not had any knots or problems with the Kureyon so far. I *love* the colors!

It looks a bit smaller than I thought it would according to the pictures but the size seems easy enough to change if I want to next time around. I'm just about to finish the first skein out of three.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I love Kureyon! It knits up so fast! I've never used a needle larger than US 8, so my 10.5s are so big it seems as though I am whizzing through it. Well... whizzing is a subjective term- I managed to finish the bottom of my Booga bag but that was more than I expected to accomplish since the workweek is when I am most crunched for time. But for me, that's whizzing.

Now I am trying to figure out how to pick up the stitches and twist it, according to the pattern. I'm not sure how I will pick up stitches on the sides that aren't actually rows, but columns. But I found a discussion on a site that seems to address this. I've not tried knitting in the round and I'm really curious to see how it is.

Actually, now I am wondering if I can finish this and try another one (in a quieter color) for my mother for Mother's Day, and still somehow manage to work fulltime and get through my two classes. Hm. Maybe Christmas would be better- or maybe it's a package perfect for "random package from long lost daughter" Day.

Maybe I should just focus on this project before I start planning my second bag. Oh- for the days where I focused just on one project at a time, especially one I am enjoying so much!!

The bird I mentioned earlier is still happily snuggled on our windowsill. :) I keep peeking to see when the little ones are coming. I love spring!

Monday, April 24, 2006

socks scare me

I'm finishing up the baby hat, but shipped off the other hat and pairs of assorted booties today to Afghans for Afghans. I'll finish the hat and mail it off for their next collection date, hopefully with a baby jacket/soakers or an adult sized hat or something "new to me" where I can spread my wings a bit. But as for right now... I'm very ready to move on to something different.

I have an idea of what I want to do next- or at the very list, a list of ideas of what I want to do in the next few months.

Socks scare me. It seems odd, feeling nervous and overwhelmed by something that others find so easy. I don't know if it's the directions which seem to be in a completely alien tongue to me (I can't seem to understand the concept of a heel, no matter how many books I read). Maybe it's the idea of all those needles. There's all sorts of ways to screw them up, I just know it. But regardless, I want desparately to knit socks.

I have my assortment of sock yarn (knitpicks to start, and koigu and henry's attic tucked away and I'm dying for a skein of Socks that Rock) I have a sock book (Sensational Knitted Socks) that I can't wait to read once my evening graduate courses and done for the semester, and many, many sock websites bookmarked. I think socks would be ideal for me, portable that are on a small enough scale I can work on them between work and school. I look over knitting blogs and covet all their yummy socks- but the idea of me... Me! knitting socks just makes me nervous.

Therefore, I have determined I must learn how to do them, in the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt's words: "You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."

Booga Bag: I can't wait to start this. I'm going to pick up needles tomorrow on my way to training (I'm taking a course on "Stress Management for Women", although I suspect if my employer would just have paid the same money for a massage and gave me a free day off, I'd de-stress just fine.)

Entrelac: I have decided to make my Booga Bag before attempting this technique, mostly because I am still figuring out what to do with it. I adore Lady E but fear it would be a better idea to wait since I have A) slow knitting skills and B) limited time schedule and C) gut feeling that I should practice this technique before cutting my teeth on such a gorgeous pattern.

More dyeing: I need to set aside the time to play. Only three more weeks!

The dog who loves to carry socks in her mouth - I need to work on breaking that habit before I learn how to knit my own or I'll have a heart attack.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Changing Colors

I'm slowly making progress on my double stranded baby hat which will go out this week. I ran out of the darker KoolAid shade and am now working with double strands of the pastels.

The result is not quite as gradual as I hoped, but it should look ok once it's done. (I hope) Hopefully, when paired with the darker Koolaid baby booties, it will look like it matches. (I hope!) The scraps of yarn were not that large since they were from my first ventures into Koolaid dying, so I'm glad I found a productive way to use them.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


The electricity went out, so I took advantage of not being able to do my homework on the computer. I grabbed my WIP and headed to the bedroom with the best natural light. As I opened up the blinds, I surprised this cute little bird nest on the window sill (which I feel badly about) especially since she showed me a glimpse of her little family-to-be!

Knitting update: Madly working on a hat to match my Koolaid Dyed Booties and one last orange bootie before Monday, along with assorted homework. I'm feeling pretty good about it, though, and on Monday I am hoping to mail out my donations for afghans for Afghans. At this point, it will be four sets of booties and two hats.

Here's a picture of my first hat ever- with matching booties.

My current project- Baby hat: Doublestranding with my KoolAid dyed yarn with one darker color, one lighter. When I finish up the last of the darker, I'll double strand with all lighter so (hopefully) it flows into the lighter, pastel colors gradually. We'll see.

Edited to Add: Gypsy was jealous that I take all these pictures of yarn and stuff, but not of her! She even posed for me- so here she is, in all her glory.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Just wanted to brighten my gloomy grey rainy day. My first attempts at gardening from last fall finally showed up in full glory!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Looking ahead...

While madly knitting booties to send off next Monday to afghans for Afghans, I've been fondling peeking into the stash to already plan out my next project. I'm torn between trying entrelac or doing the booga bag. I'm just so curious about how the Kureyon knits up! I know if I break down to knit a swatch, all my good intentions will be long forgotten. So first I'll finish my project and THEN I'll wrestle over what to do next.

I've fallen in love with entrelac after seeing so many gorgeous Lady Eleanor stoles. This last link pushed my mild fascination into a burning "I must learn how to do this!" I was considering a scarf to start with, to get the knack of the technique. But I've wanted to make a booga bag since I started knitting... I think that's probably going to come out the winner.

Monday, April 17, 2006


About ten minutes after I firmly put myself on a yarn diet(!!), I followed a link from one of my knitting communities and fell in love with a "learn to spin" kit from anniemay123 on ebay. The roving looks gorgeous and I loved the look of the spindle.

I am doing my best to keep things in perspective, thus reminding myself of the following:

1) I barely have time for work and my evening Graduate classes, which means barely any time for knitting by default.
2) I have to learn how to do socks first before I take on anything completely new.
3) I want to learn more about dyeing, too. And felting. And entrelac.
4) I just swore off buying yarn for a while! I am pretty sure that applies to "potential yarn".
5) Self control is my friend. Really.
6) It's for my own good!

Ok, I don't believe the last one but I'm hoping it will sink in. So I've bookmarked it and just sigh over it occasionally. I will learn how to spin one day but I'm pretty sure it won't happen before I graduate.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

finished the newborn hat!

I just finished the newborn hat- pictures to follow once Ilocate the camera. I really enjoyed making it- my first hat of any sort and it was a bit hard for me to find a pattern for newborns that was
A) easy
B) I could make on straights
C) using worsted weight yarn

I found one with mock cables that I started, making two inches of ribbing at the bottom. But I kept thinking the way the yarn was dyed.. the mock cabling would not show up as well. So I did a half inch of reverse stockinette as a 'border' or sorts, and then switched to regular stockinette.

I think next time I'll try the mock cables with a simpler yarn, or try knitting in the round.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Not your usual baby colors!

Normally, I would say that the camera doesn't always represent the colors well... but in this case, they really are that bright.

They make me smile when I see them- I'm so glad I stepped outside my box to make these for Project Spectrum. I don't think I've ever made anything orange/pink together.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I broke down and did it.

I ordered a ball winder from Joanns, courtesy of a 50% coupon advertised in the margins of the forums at I believe it's good for April.

I was doing fine handwinding small amounts of yarn, but this latest batch of orangy goodness is just crying out for a ballwinder. Not to mention some of the Nature Wool I have which is great yarn, but terrible to wind. And is it bad that I don't knit socks (yet), but bought sock yarn from Knitpicks that I'm impatiently waiting for? (small voice) I just wanted to take advantage of the sale... that, and they had the One Skein book for less than I had seen anywhere else.

I'm going to have to say no more yarn until I can either learn how to make socks or knit a little faster! Luckily, I have signed up for both Secret Pal 8 and One Skein Secret Pals, so I can focus on splurging for my secret pals instead. That's the plan, anyway.

I have three sets of wool booties and I'm hoping to try out a newborn hat this weekend. I'm hoping to have at least 5 sets of booties and a hat, maybe (crossing fingers) two hats to send off to afghans for Afghans before the 23rd of April. The color is just as bright as the picture promised- wow- no one will lose these babies!! But it definitely is a happy color.

I did finish "Knitting Rules" and I was sad to discover it was the end of the book, already! I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I'm finishing my fourth bootie- they are so easy to do and it's such a little thrill when I finish them instead of just plugging away on my shawl with no end in sight. I like the shawl, too but right now, I'm going to put it aside. I'm thrilled that that little oddball scrap of yarn ended up being 2 sets of booties and they will have a purpose other than taking up space in my stash.

This morning, I was walking out the door to run some errands when I saw that my Project Spectrum yarn arrived! It definitely is vibrant and soft- it should make for some cute booties and hats. I purchased it from

I also signed up for the One Skein Secret Pal- I'm very much looking forward to it.

I started a new book the other day: Knitting Rules! : The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Still as funny as ever but this one has some practical information I can't wait to try out. A very good read- I'll be a little sad when I finish the last page.

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's all about the booty!

I'm so proud! It's my first item that isn't a scarf or shawl or dishcloth- and made out of my own special Kool-aid dyed yarn!

I highly recommend this pattern for beginners. I was so excited about dyeing my own yarn for my Project spectrum/afghans for Afghans newborns projects this month (whew- what a mouthful), but I looked at my schedule and had to be realistic. So I've ordered some orange wool and will just focus on knitting what I can in the time I can spare, and I'll have to play with colors when I have more time.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Making progress!

I finally figured out my April project for Project Spectrum. There's a call for donations at afghans for Afghans They are requesting "bright happy colored" wool hats and booties for newborns and their deadline is April 28- perfect timing for this April project! They are small enough projects that I can finish even with my insane schedule, and I like the idea of making something someone needs and appreciates. And of course, I'd never done hats or booties before so this is a good way to spread my knitting wings.

My first thought, of course, was to immediately go out and buy some yellow and orange wool (April colors for Project Spectrum). But then I decided to make a practice pair first out of my "first attempt at koolaid dyeing" wool since I only have a small amount of it and booties are, well... tiny, and to be sure that booties are within my ability. And my Koolaid dyed yarn is certainly bright and happy!

The bootie is lovely- pictures to follow when I finish its mate. I can't recommend the pattern enough for beginners- it's simple to follow and a very quick knit- and has a very nice texture. And then, as I was about to head out to shop for yellow and orange wool, it dawned on me that I have 3 cones of merino wool ready for dyeing and could surely do a small batch of orange and yellow- so I'll be dyeing and celebrating the colors, and charity knitting as well! There's my game plan!

I'm still working bit by bit on my alpaca knitalong shawl. I don't know if its the lighter weight of the yarn or the smaller than usual needles, but it is taking it's time. I can see how people get bored with longer projects and move onto something else. However, I'm happy to say that I am learning as I go- I've not had a project yet where I made a mistake and repaired it (usually it gets frogged because my 'repairs' screw it up even more!).

But this time, I met with success!!! Part of it (I am sure!) was due to the fact that frogging this shawl after all this effort would make me lose my mind!

I attempted to knit a row past the mistake, hoping it would be so small no one would notice. But it was an eyesore, and so with the help of, I finally figured out what I am doing and it looks so much better! In fact, I'm committing myself to learn how to do lifelines next!