So I was sitting here flipping through the stitch pattern book and I realized I have a goal.
I don't know if I'll be able to do it, but it's not like I don't have plenty of scrap yarn in my stash with which to try: I'm going to attempt knitting a swatch of each stitch pattern every day. Each new day will be a new stitch pattern, starting with the more basic and moving along to the more difficult ones.
I want to do this to help increase my knitting know-how. I'll post pictures every day of each completed swatch square and perhaps...just perhaps...this might be beneficial to more than just me:)
Comments? Suggestions? I'm open and listening!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
So I was sitting here flipping through the stitch pattern book and I realized I have a goal.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I received a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble for Christmas from my employer and I've been sitting on it, patiently plotting, trying to decide what I want to use it on.
I've had my eye on Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby for a while, but kept hem-hawing around picking it up because I couldn't justify buying it when I was still a n00b to the knitting scene. Well, I finally decided to get it and it's just gorgeous. I adore Victorian lace and have wanted to try it for myself. I'm still intimidated all to hell, but there is such a variation of different types of lace patterns that I really can't see myself NOT using it. I'll definitely be starting small, though. *laughs*
I also picked up The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns by Sterling Publishing Co. from the bargain bin. At a little over $14, it was a steal! It is chock full of fabulous stitch patterns that I can already see myself making use of! So, so happy with it:)
As for the other books, they're not knitting related, but for anyone who's interested in how eclectic I can be:
Death, A Life by George Pendle,
and three of the The Element Encyclopedias:
Secret Signs & Symbols,
I finished up the two Calorimetry scarves for the baristas, already given Dinah's to her tonight! She was quite excited that I hadn't forgotten:) Good. Girl needs something bright to wear because she's such a perky person anyway. Thursday we're going to swing by and give the other one to my punk-girl. She should love it too.
I've discovered that as much as I love buying yarn and knitting for myself, I also really seem to enjoy knitting for others too, if for no other reason than to see the joy on their faces when they get that hand-knit item. They truly appreciate it.
I'm still knitting away on the kitten paw scarf and I've been toying with the idea of making a skull motif scarf or shawl out of the "After the Fire" yarn I got from Andrea. It's such a darkly beautiful yarn....I dunno! Suggestions are welcome on what I should make of it! If I knew how, I'd make a pair of stockings, honestly, but I don't trust myself to make them look right. *laughs* I'd love to make it into a pair of the skull stockings over on the Victorian free patterns website I saw earlier today.
In any event, I'm going to go back to watching The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning. Why yes, I watch Disney movies. My brother works there. I'm...er...supporting him;)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
We hit the Jo-Ann Fabric store today for buttons. See, I have one Calorimetry finished for our lovely barista Dinah, but I wanted to make one for the other girl there too. My girl crush. Who...I don't even know her name. *blush*
In any event, Dragon was right on the mark when he suggested the vibrant purple Cash Iroha yarn for her because she said today that she adores purple. Hooray! And we picked up some skull and crossbones buttons before we'd chatted with her. Turns out, she loves skulls too. (Can you see why she's my girl crush yet? *grins*) So she'll be getting a Calorimetry in purple with a nifty little skull button to keep it closed.
So many button variations, it's hard to pick, honestly, the perfect button. I can see why people collect them. Hell, I'm half inclined to do so myself. But I shall show restraint.
Over breakfast, the subject of me being difficult to shop for on the holidays came up. I don't really see myself as hard to buy for, but I guess everyone sees themselves that way. Personally, I'm the kind of gal who's happy to get anything at all, therefore, quite easy to buy for. I told Dragon that as far as knitting supplies goes, you can't go wrong with needles, books, or yarn. He mentioned that I'm difficult to buy yarn for because I already have my
crack dealer favorite yarn girl;) And I told him it's less about type of yarn to me (provided it's not acrylic at this point) and more about color.
It was nice to get out of the house for a few hours this morning after the past week of uber-snowpocalypse we've been dealing with. It's a balmy 40 degrees out there right now and the roads are 90% snow free now. Of course, now people are back to driving like the crazy Seattle-ites they truly are;)
Now, to settle in and work on my girl's Calorimetry. I'm so giddy that she's happy about it!
Scribbled by Bella at 1:54 PM
Thursday, December 25, 2008
So this was perhaps the lowest key Christmas I've ever had. Go figure, it's the first one spent away from my folks.
I didn't get any presents, not because they weren't sent, but more because they're lost in the USPS aether somewhere with nary a clue as to when it's going to show up. Hell, we were shocked when the Christmas ham showed up on our doorstep last night (as it was supposedly not to be delivered either).
So we've spent the day chilling, eating pot roast and ham, watching Season 2 of Supernatural and just relaxing.
Mom loved her scarf. I'm sure you remember which one I'm talking about. *grins* It was the tencel lace leaf scarf in Coppertop that I'd been slaving over. It actually turned out really nice! I managed to snap a picture of the lacework just to show you how pretty it was when it was blocked out:
The picture, as usual, doesn't do it justice, but mom loved it, so that's all that mattered:) I ended up frogging the whole thing and starting over, doing only 2 pattern repeats instead of the three it has, so it's a little skinnier (but certainly not SUPER skinny) and longer. The drape of the tencel after it's dried? Fabulous! And since I have some more here (and on the way) it means I'll get plenty of opportunity to knit other fantastic projects:)
I'm still working on the Kitty Paw scarf, and I'll post pictures once I get far enough along to really get a good idea of how it's going to turn out!
I hope the rest of you had a wonderful Christmas and best wishes for the upcoming new year:) I promise to post more often and hopefully, this will be a very knitty new year for me too!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Holiday season, whatever it is you celebrate!
May you be surrounded by family and loved ones, and may the New Year bring you all sorts of wonderfulness:)
Bella, Dragon, and the Zoo
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
My little sno-man asks: Who wants a hug?
The snow has been wreaking havoc on all plans this week, but my birthday is still a relatively good one:)
I haven't gotten the Christmas/Birthday box from mom yet (boo bad weather delaying packages!) BUT!!!
I did get two very awesome birthday deliveries (even though they weren't technically birthday related) from two of my favorite people on earth.
One, was the luscious box of yarn from Andrea at Natural Obsessions on Etsy. I sat for a long time just running my fingers over the fibers, squeeing with happiness. So beautiful! So timely! I didn't think I'd get anything for my birthday but they showed up about an hour ago:) AND she included some very nifty wineglass tags! Super helpful for those holiday parties where you forget which glass belongs to you:) My Dragon had to stop me from unraveling all the beautiful cakes and just rolling about in them.
Secondly, I got my custom ordered stitch markers from Jillian at WeeOnes!!! They are two sets of sushi, one is Maki Sushi rolls and the other are 4 pieces of plain sushi but OMG they are adorable! I am utterly in love with them! Mini sushi! How can you resist them when they are so cute? Behold:
Words cannot express how adorably tiny these things are! I just love them SO much! Seriously, if you want some incredibly awesome stitch markers, please PLEASE go visit her etsy store!
Other than that, I've had a piece of my birthday cake (Dark Peppermint ice cream/red velvet cake combo from Cold Stone Creamery) and have watched my poor husband bust his butt shoveling snow and ice from the driveway.
More snow is on the way and rain too. I've cast on for a new scarf. It's the Little Lace Cat's Paw scarf and I'm making it out of some fabulous fingering weight yarn from Sheepaints called "Kitty Spell". It's quite lovely and delicate!
EDIT: OMG! I just got birthday flowers! From my mom and dad! And they're SO pretty!!
Okay, so maybe my birthday is going to be good after all? *smiles*
Thursday, December 18, 2008
That's what the sky looked like last night as the snow fell.
It's beautiful, really.
I just learned today that, being un-used to driving on snowy roads, it's really a better idea to stay inside. Seriously.
We decided to venture out to the bank this afternoon figuring, well, it's snowing. So it can't be that bad. People are still driving around.
How wrong we were. We made it to the bank only to end up stuck on an ice patch in the parking lot. If it weren't for the two very nice guys who helped Jack shove the car off the ice and onto the snow, we'd probably still be there. So, we came home. The bank and trip to Fred Meyers can wait for another day.
We definitely need snow tires stat.
In the meantime, yay snow! Boo driving in snow.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
How can one stand it when you have a picture like this teasing you?
Those are the beautiful bits of lovely waiting on me to play with! Andrea, in her awesomeness, has not only spun these sexy strings, but she's wound them into balls for me because she is made of complete awesome and win.
Let's see if I can remember what the colors are. Clockwise from the top: Her Eyes, Lemon Drop, Obsidian, After the Fire, and Hawk's Eye (I believe).
*whine whine whine* Ahem.
So come payday this Friday, I will ship off for these most craved for yarns and will soon hold them in my greedy paws!
In other knitting news, I will upload pics of my mom's present after she's had a chance to see it (because I know she looks at this blog *waves* Hi Mom!) so I don't want to spoil the suprise:)
We were out for coffee yesterday and I was wearing my latest Calorimetry head scarf. Side note: I am seriously addicted to making these. They take up very little yarn, so they're great stashbusters, plus, they're ridiculously quick to knit. They keep your head and ears warm and...well...I'll just let a picture speak for itself. This one was knit in Cosmic Fiber's Moonlight series Josef colorway, 100% Leicester wool!
Anyway, the one I was wearing is done in a lovely skein of black Noro Cash Iroha yarn which is a cashmere/silk/lambswool blend and OH so warm!
As she was handing me my coffee (because I adore Terravida, just sayin') she said she loved my hat.
This is where my Dragon pipes up with, "She knit it herself!" Bless him. She looked shocked and then when I asked if she wanted one, she asked how much I'd charge. I told her it's Christmas...so it'd be all for her. She said she liked the black, but, oh noes, I don't have anymore black, BUT! I do have a beautiful deep garnet and a vibrant purple, both in the same yarn...so I think I'm going to follow Jack's advice and make one of each, and let her pick:)
She's such a sweetie, so perky and upbeat (and adorable as hell), and she makes me smile. So it's nothing major for me to make her a little something to keep her adorable head warm:)
I'm also working on turning the Silver Lining bamboo into a pair of glovelets, but it reminds me, working with the DPNs, how much I detest the DPNs. I seriously need more circular needles because man...I feel like I'm wrestling a hedgehog. It's slow going, but that's mostly because I have very little experience with them.
And just in case you haven't had enough yarn porn...behold, the newest additions to my stash that the most lovely Andrea is going to spin and ball for me:
The Morning After, and:
I'll explain why I got one so close to the coppertop colorway a little later on.
Anywho. So there you have it. Current WIPs. Yarn Porn. Awesomeness and Win.
And freakin'-A, it's snowing!!! I'm going to go dance in the snowflakes for a bit!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I have finished one project, the most important one right now, because it's for my mom's Christmas present:)
It's currently blocked and drying in the bedroom, much to the chagrin of the cats. I don't have a blocking board or proper, er, needles? for it, so I'm making do with what I've got. The blocking does, really, open the pattern work so you can see it better and from what I understand, the drape will improve and this particular yarn should hold it's shape much better:)
I just hope she likes it! Last year, my mom gave me a beautiful handmade quilt that serves as my "hug" while I'm up here and she's down in Texas. This year, I'm returning the favor.
And that's all I'm going to say about that, lol! I'm just so damned proud of myself for finally finishing it! And it's beautiful.
So I suppose that I need to add blocking board and pins, and, possibly, blocking wires, to my list of things to get. It joins the ranks of ball winder and Signature Art needles with stiletto points (alllll of them, in all sizes, AND the DPNs).
Oh. And yarn;) Of which the lovely Andrea will be getting her payment and I should be getting my order of the latest yarn porn soon:)
That's all I have right now. The weather outside is frightful. Windy, rainy, and temperatures plummeting to the point they're forecasting snow showers all weekend. I'm excited because, hello, I adore snow! And we don't really have anywhere to be this weekend, so I might get a chance to sit and watch it...and possibly make a tiny snowman. *insert cheesy, child-like grin here*
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I was sitting here listening to a new podcast and I thought I'd make a list of the ones I'm truly a fan of.
It goes without saying that Brenda Dayne's Cast On is the gold standard when it comes to podcasts about knitting. I was late to the podcast thing but I eagerly devoured her podcasts (even if I wasn't really a knitter at the time) and now I am constantly thrilled when she does an update!
Socks in the City is another fabulous podcast. The shows are short (averaging about 20-30m) and she rambles all over the place about knitting, yarn, and oh yes, socks! She knits a ton of socks. Pattern reviews and opinions abound. She's on Ravelry, has a group there too, and is a very chipper person! The best thing too, might I add, is that she also runs the Cosmic Fibers Yarn shop on Etsy...and frankly, I've bought a few skeins from her and they're awesome! She hand dyes and the colorways are faboo! Do check out both the podcast and her store:)
Yarn Thing: A Podcast about Knitting - She used to podcast weekly but it has since tapered off quite a bit. Marly's a very bubbly podcaster and she also has a yarn fetish:) She can take a little getting used to if you're not a fan of very gregarious bubbly folks, but she's got a lot of good information about knitting and yarn, especially about books! She also crochets, so it's nice to hear about those projects as well:)
Cogknitive - I have to admit. I adore this podcast. Not for the reasons you might think. I have a BA in Psychology and Dr. Gemma is a cognitive psychologist who knits and crochets. I adore her! She's relatively new to the podcasting arena and her casts are short (25m at the most) but what I love is that she not only talks about the projects and such that she's working on, but every show she offers a tip from cognitive psychology to help manage stress and the everyday, as well as a little blather (as she calls it) at the end about her job. I cannot highly recommend this podcast enough!! You can find her blog here: http://cogknitivepodcast.blogspot.com/
All of these podcasts are available on itunes and if you're not already listening to them? Track them down! They're perfect to listen to while you knit/crochet!
Monday, December 1, 2008
I can't believe that the year is almost over! 6 months ago, I was sitting in my living room in Texas wondering where my path would lead...and here we are in Washington!
I'm going to reserve my "thankful for" list until the end of the year, and am, instead focusing on getting my knitting done! There is a NIN concert next Sunday in Portland that we have tickets for, and I am determined to have my coppertop scarf done by then. I also need to make another calorimetry head scarf done before Sunday rolls around (it's supposed to be quite chilly that day!)
Later this month, we're going to celebrate our anniversary by going to see the Pacific Northwest Ballet's 25th anniversary production of The Nutcracker, and later that night, we're going to a Saloon in town (in full Steampunk gear *grins*) for The Steampunk Cabaret show!
I've been playing with ideas for Christmas goodies that I plan on giving out, and I think I've settled on some chocolate dipped cake bites (courtesy of Bakerella at her blog) because they look delicious AND unique enough to give out:)
I have to make some traditional cookies as well this year because my Omi mentioned that she won't be making cookies this year. *sad face* So instead, I'm going to send some to her for a change:) It should be a nice little surprise for her!
I'm currently amused by My Dragon driving himself nuts trying to answer my question of "Who is your favorite James Bond villain?" Poor thing can't decide. *wicked grin*
In other news, we had a relatively successful Thanksgiving with the exception of the cornish hens. They didn't turn out as well as I hoped, but that is partially my fault because I decided to try a new recipe on a holiday. *laughs* So from here on out, no new recipes on a holiay WITHOUT pre-testing them a few days in advance.
And because this wouldn't be a proper post without some sort of picture, I present something from another Etsy girl that I am totally addicted to:
This picture doesn't do them justice, so I'm going to borrow the ones directly from her shop!
These adorable little confections are by Jillian and can be found at her Etsy shop WeeOnes and she has the most amazing stitchmarkers! If you're looking for something whimsical and new, a little different and a lot amazing, check out her shop! I have to admit, I'm a bit bummed that the sushi stitch markers she had up aren't there anymore *pout* but I wonder if I can cajole her into creating more? I'd looove to have some sushi stitch markers!
In any event, I'm going to step away from the computer for a bit, since I've been tied to it all day! And then....dun dun DUN! It's Heroes Monday:D
Thursday, November 27, 2008
However you celebrate it, even if you don't; omnivore, vegan, carnivores alike...have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Here. Have a lolcat:)
Scribbled by Bella at 1:06 AM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
It's raining right now. The day started out chilly and bright, but I do believe this is the "afternoon showers" that the weatherman warned us about last night. No matter. They're supposed to be gone by later this evening and it isn't supposed to rain again until Thanksgiving.
I've paused in my knitting because I don't have enough hands to knit AND read at the same time. I'm currently devouring Sex with the Queen by Eleanor Herman. I read her previous book about the infidelity of Kings (I believe it was titled Sex and the King) and loved the way she tells all about these affairs, both good and bad, the consequences of them and just generally portrays the monarchs of the last 900 years or so in mostly-true light. It's fascinating reading. Honestly:)
In other news, we've finalized our Thanksgiving menu. We're going to have cornish hens, in place of the traditional turkey. There will be stuffing, squash casserole, baked beans (that's all Dragon's right there), chedder and bacon mashed potatoes, and I will ATTEMPT to make creamed spinach. My dad is being a rotten man, withholding his recipe;) No matter. I will triumph. It can't be that hard, right?
I'm also making (by Dragon's request) a pumpkin pie cheesecake. He's already been warned that he will be the one eating the majority (as usually happens around here with my baking) and he's pleased as punch about the prospect.
Once I'm done with this book, I'll resume knitting. BUT!! I do have yarn porn for you, look on the following lovelies from Andrea and despair!
Remember my mention of the Lemon Drop roving that was being spun? Well, Voila!
Is it not lush? I do believe it will make an amazing pair of socks!
My Dragon actually wanted this one:
Antique Bronze. He wants me to make a pair of gauntlets for him, so we'll see how it goes.
This one is called After the Fire:
And I think it's going to make a gorgeous shawl.
And just for snits and giggles, here's one I'm eyeballing but don't think I'm quite brave enough to get:
It's called Dreamsicle and my goodness, look at how bright it is! I'm starting to renew my love of brighter colors, one skein at a time it seems.
Anyhow, that's all I've got today. Scarf is mostly done. Just a few more pattern repeats and then binding off and blocking. I'll be sure to add some pics when it's all finished:) I need to make another Calorimetry head warmer for myself in a darker color than just the blue variegated that I have. But that is a very quick knit, so it won't take me any time at all to do!
I'm still lusting after a ball winder, but I think that'll be a Christmas present to myself. Beware the girl with coupons;)
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Stepping outside this morning into the chilled air of our part of town, I took a deep breath and paused.
It wasn't drizzling. *laughs* In fact, it was that dry, cool air that makes your cheeks ruddy and your breath crystallize in front of your lips.
Looks like it's going to be a nice day out there.
**I know, I know. I got the memo. I'm not supposed to tell non-Seattle-ites that the weather isn't nearly as bad as they've been led to believe.**
I'm trying to be creative with breakfast, so I'm doing a toasted english muffin with a touch of butter and another touch of bumbleberry jam, along with a small serving of cottage cheese. Exciting, yes?
Not sure what I'm going to do today (aside from work). I've already gotten the dishes mostly finished (they're percolating away in the dish washer) and the kitchen has been wiped down with clorox wipes.
I'm over halfway through The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone! It's an excellent story that I've just been plowing through. I adore NG's work, I really do.
I think I may sit down and plan out the Thanksgiving menu today. It'll be just the two of us this year, vastly different from anything I've been used to, so there won't be much need for an overkill of food. I'm thinking cornish hens with a few sides and a pie. Maybe a small ham. Time will tell what I'm in the mood for as I'll be doing all the cooking;)
Well, I'll leave this be for now. To keep it relevant, I'm nearly done with my scarf! Only a few more pattern repeats and I'll be done. Then I can move on to the glovelets with the bamboo and toy with a few ideas for socks I might want to try. I'll keep you updated;)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I was browsing around on my other journal today and someone had posted this link:
How to peel and eat a pomegranate.
3 things of note (aside from the sheer awesomeness of the post itself):
1. The author and I share the same name (even the same spelling, which is so awesome I can't even describe it)
2. We share the same city
3. We share the same adoration for the color Purple (not the book, the hue).
And it struck me as I read the post that....wow...this is an awfully small world sometimes. *laughs*
In other news: The weather outside isn't nearly as frightful. A bit drizzly and grey, but it's lightened up since this morning. A crisp 50-something out there which makes it entirely pleasant to keep the window open:)
Shadow-cat is mooing at something in the backyard while the other beasties are passed out in their typical spots.
I made a Whipped Cream Butter Pound-cake the other night because I had a hankering for something simple yet decadent (that, and my Dragon has been pestering me for a cake the past few weeks). I realized earlier today when discussing the merits of this particular pound cake as the base for Strawberry Shortcake, that I'm in blackberry country now, so I think I'm going to try to get my hands on some blackberries, macerate them, and try for a blackberry shortcake. Mmm.
Still plugging away at the scarf. It's coming along very nicely.
I find myself at a loss for words today. I think I'll go back to knitting and dreaming of blackberry shortcake.
... Or perhaps I'll make a nice spinach salad as a healthy alternative. LOL!
Monday, November 17, 2008
When I woke up this morning to take my Dragon to work, I noticed that it was foggy. Really, really foggy. Surreal the way things come into focus only when you're near to running into them foggy.
I played around a bit with the opera glove pattern I mentioned the other day. Cast on, knit a few rows, looked at it, frogged it, cast on again with more stitches....looked at it...and then the cat nipped the yarn enough to separate what I'd knit from the ball.
So now I'm trying to figure out if I'm still going to do that pattern (it seems a titch vague to me in places) or if I'm going to try a different corseted glove pattern that I found. Dilemma!
Spent yesterday watching Season 1 of The L Word (and I adore that show!), cleaning house, and knitting on my scarf. I'm wondering if I need to frog the thing and start over for a skinnier, longer scarf. Perhaps take one pattern repeat out? Leave it just two? We'll see how it looks when I finish, but I'm thinking I may just have to start anew and leave it at 2 pattern repeats instead of the 3 it's at now.
I'm such an indecisive crafter, I swear.
Scribbled by Bella at 9:46 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I just finished knitting up my gauge swatch for my newest project.
A pair of lace up opera gloves by ysolda that I intend on making out of the glorious Silver Lining bamboo yarn that I received yesterday from Andrea.
I never knew how soft, how lush, how utterly fabulous bamboo yarn could be. I normally don't do gauge swatches, but I couldn't resist casting on and playing with this yarn as soon as I touched it.
I'm glad I did because not only is it PERFECT for the gauge of the project, the shimmer of the yarn really shines through in the way it pools and shifts through the colorway.
I love it! And I can't wait to cast on:)
Friday, November 14, 2008
I got a package in the mail today.
It was the first 3 skeins from Andrea!
Silver Lining, Nearly Grackle, and Amethyst. Oh how they shimmer! Oh how absolutely gorgeous they are!
Oh the projects I'll make!
*strokes them* Pictures forthcoming but I don't think the camera will do justice to these beauties!!