Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Dells & 2 New FO's

I APOLOGISE NOW FOR THIS BEING A LONG POST & HEAVY WITH IMAGES!! I HAVE MUCH TO SAY & SHOW, BUT NOT ENOUGH BLOG WIDTH TO DO IT ON! :)

Last night, I just got back from a wonderful vacation at the Dells! We lodged at the Kalahari Resort from Monday to Wednesday. Everyone had a blast! There is an outdoor waterpark by our rooms, and an indoor one jam-packed with dozens of water rides, hottubes, mini pools (for the kids), and a lazy river for slow tubing. Ahhhhh. Everything was in an African theme, so It almost looked like we were in Hawaii, because they also had fake palm trees surrounding the premises.



The outdoor water park:


The indoor water park:




Unfortunately, I decided that I would never surf for real, and so a "padded" surf machine would sufice for me do something "out there." I stood on the surf board for about 2 seconds, before I fell head first on what felt like "metal," not "padding." The hight powered jets contorted me all over the place, and pushed me up the hill on what felt like metal draining vents... still pushing me all around so I couldn't get up. My migraine dwindled, but later that night, my right side of my neck started hurting. The next day, the swelling and pain spreaded to the front of my neck too.

Nevertheless, I've been putting up with the whiplash pain, and have been knitting.


And the first sock is now officially done.
I love them soo much! The fakie fair-isle pattern worked perfectly on size 1's. However, They are a little snug. I'll try size 2's next time, and hope that the pattern still looks as cool!
I call them "Arctic" socks. Don't they look fridgid?


And I finished my "(Cover Your) Beach Bum" Skirt I just designed:

It's still blocking. I'll have real pictures soon.
I never did get to wear them at the Dells. Oh well. I'll use it to go tanning outside, or whatever.

And What was most fun on the last day (Wednesday) was going to the knitter's "candy store," Wool Warp & Wheel in Illinois, on our way home. They are known for the fiber arts, selling fiber, lots of spinning wheels and of course, some yarn. Quite the cute shop!! The owners are a husband-wife team, and were extremely nice and helpful. They guided me through what to look for in wheels and drop-spindles, and books they had on the arts. Sorry about the dark pictures.

I bought myself my first drop-spindle, and the "beginners fiber choice," some pre-cut fiber for easy drafting. I still have to dye the fiber before I jump into it. Well, ok, I still have to read that book about the "art of spinning." I can't wait!! I just love the African look to the spindle. A touch of exoticism, huh?

Of course, I bought some Opal sock yarn in my school color ("Hawkeyes") when I saw the sock yarn. Ok, I splurged... I got another one too!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Adventures of Dying Yarn

"Strawberry Shortcake" Yarn
I've been thinking about dying yarn again for a while. Clutching hard on to my 40% off Micheals coupon, so not to loose it, I wandered through the aisles to find the perfect yarn. Lo and behold-- I found cotton-ease! They finally decided to sell this yarn in their stores! I was thrilled. I really wanted to buy a few skeins in a plumy color, but decided against it. I bought one more skein-this time in 100% wool-and got myself the heck out of the store. Well, ok, you caught me. I grabbed size 2 needles and another skein of varigated cotton yarn called "sinfonia" (made with soy), a real smooth yarn that reminds me of what the clapotis should be made out of.


I first wrapped the yarn around the chairs, lest I make that mistake again (feeding the yarn into the dye as I went..... yikes! Disaster for tangles!!), and marked it with a different colored yarn. Those will be my different sections for color... (or so I thought....)

I gave the yarn a good long soak. I let them chill for over an hour.


Although I forgot to take pictures of the yarn on the stove for well over an hour trying to get it different shades of RED. I ended up adding purple Easter egg dyes to the strawberry portion... and It washed out too. Luckily, with all the extra colors I added, it gave the yarn nice varigated colors! I love it soo much! This is what it looked like after all the many washings. It shouldn't fade that much anymore.


Here's a close-up of the different shades of color. This is why I named it "Strawberry shortcake." Strawberries, cake bottom, cream..... Doesn't it just look yummy??


I rolled it up pull-string style, to make sure it never tangles. Let it forever be sweet and lovely, until the day it gets knit into socks. (And may the colors always stay.)

---> I'll be going to the Dells tomorrow morning, until Wednesday night. Don't worry, I'll show you all my goodies when i'm back-- my socks, and something sexy I designed to wear over my bikini bottoms (yeah, i'm pretty conscious about exposing myself). I've been horribly busy lately. I'm hoping you'll all love it! See ya in a couple of days!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Busy busy bumblebee yet the honeycomb is empty


John Angotti is here in Illinois, and I get the privilege of performing with a few others in my church choir at the concert tomorrow night. So, I've been really busy today rehearsing, as I will be tomorrow... leaving the poor sock a wee bit neglected. Hmm. well let's do some math. 1 1/2 hours in the car ride for tomorrow, that will be be, oh, at least 10 real enthusiastically indulged rows on size 1's before I start feeling car sick...
Seriously though, the *first* sock is just about done. The second sock syndrome kicked in (oh let's just say) by the cast-on of the first. Hee Hee.

I'm planning on ripping the giant green blanket-using homespun in a gentle dark lime color- which I started before I began blogging, and will knitting it in a basketweave stitch, soon. I'll double up the strands and knit them on nice and big circular needles that will knit the blanket up quickly. I don't plan on knitting it all up right away, but I want to finally get a good chunk done (finally) by a week or two.

Other than that, i'm going to crash right now-- cuddling up to Maggie Stefton's A Killer Stitch. Hopefully I won't fall asleep right away.

P.S-- thanks for putting up with all this music talk lately. I promise that I will return to a more knitting focus (with mucha pictures!) after tomorrow. Merci beaucoup! Je t'adore tous!

Andre Rieu in Concert

I just came back from Andre Rieu's concert in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. What a performance! His selection was mostly waltzes from Strauss, but then diverged into more hippity know-its from "O Mio Babbino Caro," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "America the Beautiful," "Amazing Grace," etc. It was an amazing show! The symphony were actors as well, having funny cues in between playing. There was never a dull moment! At the very end, they let hundreds of balloons fall over us. If Andre Rieu ever tours nearby you, I highly recommend you attending! He even played a waltz that people got up and dance in the isles to! He also has dvds that you can buy (probably over the internet) that is recordings of his various performances all around the world!


Now relating to knitting....i've been knitting my blue & green striped socks while traveling and waiting for my meal at Applebees, and such. You know that routine. Update with a pic tomorrow. I'm way too tired. I went to six flags for several hours before the 8pm concert...

However, the sock looks great though!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

When you sit back & let the colorway do all your "dirty work"

Without further ado, my Etsy shop is finally running!! I'm selling my "All Twisted Up" designer bag pattern now.It's in a Word format document, with written out instructions for the cable pattern, and is sent via email upon payment (to save on shipping costs and time).


On Saturday, my friend Liz visited me in Illinois, and we drove together to a knitting shop that I just found out about is only 20 minutes away. The "Keweenaw Shepherd" is a very small, but a cute shop. It is loaded with wonderful hanks of wool, alpaca, and such. Plus, the owner graciously let us stay a little over closing, since I was a goofball and thought that it closed at 5pm, not 2pm. I got some goodies:
2 skeins of Lana Grossa's Meilenweit Inca & Magico (100g each). They are beautiful skeins, with really nice colorways. I've already started a pair of socks. They are made with 80% virgin wool and 20% polyamide.



This scrumptious foresty goodness is hand painted Schaefer Yarn in "Anne." This will be used for a leaf shawl I plan to make in the near future. It's really hard to notice in the picture, but there are different shades of green mixed in with an olive-y brown and almost teal looking green.

Although I'd hate to show off the side with the line running through the work from the dpns, it was the best side to show off the perfect stripes. Isn't she purdy? No muss or fuss... just one strand (and a magnifying glass to see the stitches while knitting).

Yarn: Lana Gross in Inca; 100g
Needles: Size ONE
Stitches: 64 (although it does fit my feet, I would like to cast on about 70-74 on 1's next time)

I casted on yesterday evening, and have been knitting on and off, inbetween performance acts from my mom's charity show, car rides, watching a Smallville Episode, and such. It's getting there. My sock preference is anklets, so this one already feels like knee-highs to me, but you've gotta let those colors shine... go for the extra legnth. (shhh... i'm only doing another inch or so, before I work the heel.)

(*breathe*) Lastly, Joe and I went to Borders today (to "window shop") and I couldn't help but splurgin on Maggie Stefton's 4th book in the Knitting Mystery series--"A Killer Stitch." If you haven't read these books, you should check it out in your library/buy the books cheap on Amazon.com, because they are really great reads (and fast!). You really can "cozy up" to these books! They really make me want to move to Colorado, and sip coffee everyday at the knitting shop and knit at a large table with friends. Unfortunately, after 3 books, the author decided to turn to hardcover... I'll let you finish my thoughts about that. Poor bookshelve and its inconsistancies....

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I'M SUCH A SLOW-POKE! I'VE BEEN TAGGED AGAIN!
(this time from Silver Ilix )
Rules: if you've been tagged, you have to write 7 random facts about yourself (usually fun and interesting ones) on your blog, tag 7 others and write to the original tagger to read your posted facts on your blog.
p.s-- you need to post these rules on your blog as well, to let others know how to play the game.

1. I hoard too many books... probably because I buy too many of them
2. I'm a neat freak. Sometimes I get really OCD about cleaning my room and organizing my schoolwork... even late at night (if i'm on a lot of caffeine).
3. I was raised Catholic, but since college, I have been finding out what being "Christian" trully means to me.
4. I take a lot of progress pics of my knitting, and most of the pictures I take are in fact of knitting, not people. (don't laugh, it's sad...)
5. When I was young, I would blare my music really loudly in my room so no one would hear me sing, and I would dress up and pretend I was singing on stage.
6. I cannot stand pretezls with flavors. Once I ate some mustard pretzles at a bowling alley, and regretted that later.... let's just say my senses can't stand the smell or taste of them again. Any other flavors is just border-line sickening to me, because of the bad memories.
7. When I go to restaurants, I usually don't order any drinks, besides water, because i'm a cheapo. $1.30 is just to expensive for me, for a can of pop.
I'm tagging:
-Silver Ilix-- ha ha, tag-backs!
-Knitting Hawkeye (Liz)
-Laural
-Knitlit (Kate)
-Knit Creations of a Curious Mind (Olga)
-Dawn
-and how about Faith.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The death of a WIP

"Dah dah dah-dah, dah dah-dah dah-dah dah-dahhhh....."
Yup, Victoria was giving me so much grief that I'm gonna rip her apart, to my dispair, and start her up later.

In the meantime, I've got several skeins from the thrift-store Berrocco Suede(?) and I am thinking of starting the clapotis, finally!
Because I only have 3 skeins of the multicolored brown, i'm also using the purple. So, this clapotis will have stripes from the colors and stripes from the ribbing. Pretty intense.

I'm already on the 2nd section, 3rd rep.

Needles: Size 8 US

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

$14 Thrift Shop Bill. Yeah, I'm serious.

Having nothing to do today after watching tv at the bo's house, we decided to take a trip to the thrift shop, because I heard on craftster that someone found a bag of yarn with alpaca and other things for $4! Well, I didn't find alpaca, but I found a bag with shetland wool (50g), 8 skeins of what looks like the Berroco Suede yarn in a variety of colors, 1 1/2 skeins of what looks to be chunky purple wool, blue & white wool, and tweedy wool (80-100g??), a skein of that black lacey blocks yarn on the right, and a questionable tweedy blue skein of yarn. My cost for this whole bag?? $4!! If I bought this at the normal craftstore, that wouldn't even buy me one skein of theses things.

We then looked around at the book selection. I was amazed to find books in my own collection (eh hem!! *library*) at home that was going for only a couple of bucks... paperback and also hardcover! They had quite the selection of stuff. I piced up an interesting find: Snow Falling on Cedars, which supposedly is a #1 bestseller book, and the great price of $1.21 and The Alchemist, which is only 150 pages, and if it isn't good, I won't cry over 88 cents.

Also... I've been looking for ages for a bargain-priced serving tea pot! For 7 bucks, I found an amazing pot in brand-new condition just waiting for me. I looked on the bottom, and I know why I recognize it. I saw it at Target last season, when I was initially searching for the teapot.


Amazing, or what? 14 bucks is pretty good for all that!
Let's hope more people donate yarn, and the cashiers never find out the retail prices of the yarn!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Playing with fire

...When you know you are on the threshold of insanity, or entering the "darkside."
It all started with a lovely walk down Walmart lanes. I had the whole idea of learning how to do granny squares and knitting a really cool looking afghan. This isn't your orange-white-red combo, mind you; something simple, pleasant, and appealling to the common eyes.
So ok. Maybe this first go wasn't so sucessful. I wasn't even sure I was double crocheting correctly.
The second go was a lot more sucessful. If it weren't for the wonky black and light blue center, this square would look actually quite nicely.
The third go was even more sucessful, but yet the second tier is again a little loose. I decided to do only 3 tiers, since the object started to get more and more circular as you go. Instead of the black double crochet stitch like the second go, this one has single crochet for the border. it looks a lot better. I was thinking that the other color for the borders would alternate with teal and seagreen, in the afghan. Nice idea, yeah?
The fourth, fifth, sixth (didn't even really get past this point)... the guage is considerably tighter! I hesitated to go looser, because I didn't want the wonky-tonky business going on. Mistake? Yup.
Result??? Let's knit the damn afghan, shall we? I'm going to alternate with the foggotting stitch blocks, picking stitches up along the sides and top and such. I almost considered the trinity stitch for it, instead.

When I was at Micheals, I picked up some awesome ribbon, that I plan to use as my wedding theme. I will put it on the invitations and such, since i'm doing it all by myself. You'll see later on... it will look good once it's all put together. On the right side picture, we are looking at 5 skiens of Sugar & Cream cotton, for washcloths. Colorful and happy-looking... I think so!


Oh my! A book that i'm reading that isn't required for school? You can see that I only got 11 pages through, but i'll pick it up again tomorrow. Bruce Feiler is such an exellent writer/storyteller! I recomment his books to anyone that happens to be Jewish or Christian (or Muslim-- for the book "Abraham")
DID I FORGET TO MENTION THAT SCHOOL'S DONE?!?! I had a great semester, and i'm sure all of my grades will show for it. :)
My FH and I went to Caribou Coffee yesturday, after a couple of months of Starbucks and such, I read some of my book and sipped on their mocha coffee. Now that's mocha!!
Update on Victoria: doesn't look like much, but let's just say that the cabled border took a little while! Then, I had to sew it all around the border-- eeek!! I'm now entering the trinity stitch zone, and am playing with the stitch variation numbers in my head right now. I'll have to figure out how many knit stitches should be in between, or yo's and such.


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--->I've been tagged!
(by She'sa crafty one)

Rules: if you've been tagged, you have to write 7 random facts about yourself (usually fun and interesting ones) on your blog, tag 7 others and write to the original tagger to read your facts, so they know you've done your part.

1. )I hate beer. I'll go straight for the hard mixed stuff.
2.) I don't watch sports, nor do I know any trivia about them, or care much about it
3.) As a child, I took eleven(ish) years of piano, played flute (without instruction, but still very sucessfully) for six years--before I decided not to play in band anymore, and I sing a lot!
4.) I hate all forms of seafood! And I don't care for steak (bloody and red... yuck)-- I'm a cheap dinner date, aren't I?
5.) I live in the Chicagoland, but I rarely visit the city
6.) Rap, alternative and techno music doesn't do it for me-- I listen to classical, contemporary Christitan/gospel, broadway musicals, baroque, some new age and pop music
7.) I really enjoy cooking. I watch a lot of foodnetwork. However, whenever my FH is supposed to help me cook, I usually hog the cooking!
8.) I'm one of the lightest sleepers in the world, and it's almost always a struggle to fall asleep. My creativity kicks in-as well as songs in my head-around the time when I should be sleeping!
9.) I love to read! I mostly read fantasy novels, some Christianity books, Knitting stuff, Harry Potter... etc. You can look up my list on "library thing" under my profile.
10.) I'm engaged to the most loving, caring and wonderful man in the world. We will tie the knot September 19, 2009 (a million years away still).
...11.) I only have one more year left of college... whoohoo!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Victoria

Ok, someone must stop me! I already have my raglan on the needles, yet I felt the necessity to start something else! At least this isn't a raglan. In fact, it's just a victorian tanktop... which is why i'm gonna call it "Victoria." The inspiration was from the white tanktop picture that I posted a week ago (at the bottom of a post). It will look a lot like it- with bobbles, eyelets on the bottom edge and two different rows of trinity stitch. However, i'm not going to do short rows (I don't think), and I'm still debating whether or not to do pick up stitches along the arm edges like in the picture. It should turn out nicely, and be great for the summer!


Oh, and there are a gazillion strings hanging down the first picture because I tied it around the eyelets, so that the edge doesn't curl up as much when you wear it.

Needles: Size 8 us Circ's (knitpicks interchangables-- lurve them!! I really don't say that enough!)
Yarn: Gotta use up those few skeins of Red Heart Soft-- plumish purple

Back to studying again. (Finals week.)--
EDIT: One more final left! Thursday @ 7:30 AAAAMMMM! Sheesh! Why do they keep doing this to me???
I'm at the computer lab right now finishing up some studying, but when I get home, I'm gonna knit up some more rows and watch Will & Grace. This Thursday, I can officially watch Smallville for the first time ever, since I'm done with my night class!!! Yay! I can't wait. Then off to the bars-- "no more finals, no more school for 3 more months" partying! I'm not a heavy drinker (i'm a lighty) but the upstairs dancing with all the lights and music sounds fun, after not doing it like all semester!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just about ready to sell on Etsy!

Ok, because Paypal doesn't want frauds tapping into our bank accounts, I have to wait until paypal's number appears on my bank statement, then I can sell on etsy!


The pattern took a long time to "rewrite" up, because the chart was much too large to squeeze onto Word. I'm thinking about $4.95 for the pattern?

Oh, and I *slightly* modified the top and bottom cable so that they don't run so long (like pipes). It should be much better. :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Lightning-Quick Slippers: knitting w/ fabric

Ever just want to knit with something other than just yarn? Well, I was intrigued by the idea of knitting with fabric. Let's look at the positives, shall we? First, you can use large needles. My 1'' wide strips let me use 13's easily, probably even 15's or more (if your stitches don't need to be tight at all). Then, there's the possibility of making rugs, which actually motivated me to knit with fabric in the first place. You can even use el-cheapo yarn, you know the kind that's a dollar a yard at Walmart. Even so, you can use old material the wouldn't normally look that great as a skirt a decade later, one that was lurking in the coldest, darkest conrners of your basement...
However, there is one negative aspect: the coarseness on your hands. Now, this can easily be remedies. There's fleece, silk, and...*cough* more expensive fabric.


With all due respect, I present my first design & experiment with eccentric knits:

Lightening-Fast Slippers
Designed by Anna Peck
[RAVEL-IT!]



Don't be fooled by the blah-ness of the picture. You can see patches of the blue & white stripes among the offwhite patches.

Now the mystery is over, right? Nope.
I still have to buy more fabric and make a rug!

Next Frontier: Knitting with wire!

A nice big ball of....fabric?

...... Anyone wanna take a guess at what it's going to be?
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