Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! I promise I'll be back to posting soon.

Snow Clones!

"I got tuna for Christmas!"~PH

Friday, December 5, 2008

"My Garter Slipped" Scarf!

Got two skeins of Noro? Need a last minute Christmas gift? Need some mindless travel knitting that isn't so mindless that you want to pull your hair out from boredom? The "My Garter Slipped" Scarf might just be the project you're looking for. The pattern is an easily memorizable four row repeat. The long slip stitch looks great with Noro and would look great with variegated yarns, too. It's simple, but pretty. Here's the pattern. Merry Christmas. I hope you like it!

"My Garter Slipped" Scarf
by Bereni, © 2008

Project Specs:

Materials: Noro Silk Garden (2 skeins). Color 87 pictured.
Needles: Size 9
Gauge: Not that important, but row gauge @ 18 st/4 in (after blocking).
Finished Measurements: I blocked mine out to 6" x 60"


Cast on 26 sts.

Rows 1-4: knit.

Row 5: (k2, sl 1) 8 times, k2
Row 6: (k2, sl 1 wyif) 8 times, k2
Row 7: (k2, sl 1) 8 times, k2
Row 8: (k2, p1) 8 times, k2

Repeat Rows 5-8 (102 times)

Knit 4 Rows. Bind off.

This pattern is so easy to memorize because each row starts and ends with a k2 and rows 5 and 7 are the same. It's a cinch!

Close up.


You can see the back here.

Since it's been quite chilly lately, I've been getting alot of use out of this scarf.

I am returning to posting after a bit of a break. I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, and I did it! I squeaked by with over 50,000 words on the last day. It didn't help that I took about five days off to knit a shawl in the middle of the month. I've got lots of things to post about, and I've been taking photos, so stayed tuned.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Of Cats and Dumplings

Inspired by PH's great work as yarn model in the photo shoot of December 12th, 2007, I ventured outdoors with my newly felted and dried Dumpling Bag, intent on pressing the young, orange talent into service once more. As always, the ever-obliging feline came when summoned.

Today, however, he seemed less than accommodating.

At first he refused, but then reluctantly relented after I agreed to his extortionist terms. He demanded a wardrobe fee for appearing in his own collar, travel expenses for having to come down the stairs and a special fee for being male and having to appear in print with a purse. He also demanded that craft services be set up not just for the time allotted for the photo shoot, but for the remainder of the day and evening so that he could snack whenever he wanted. Needless to say, his fee involved vast quantities of dry food, canned food, treats, chicken and then of course, bacon, as well. I think I am going to have to start auditioning the neighborhood cats. You know, some "unknowns."

Well, there are some pretty photos of my Dumpling on Ravelry. I'll post them here, tomorrow. As for marble-mania, the purple paper ended up going on the book. Here it is with some others that turned out pretty well.

In other news, today is DH's and my 11th wedding anniversary. He had to work today and he had a special program to do tonight, so we're celebrating next week. The 11th anniversary, that's the yarn and fiber anniversary, right? Just like the 10th was? Heh heh heh.

You know, he looked so professional in his head shot...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Knitting For Artillery

The first clue for Mystery Stole 4 came out today. Though other people seem to really like it, I have to say that I am a wee bit disappointed. I loved MS3 (Swan Lake) because of the beads and the lacy wing. This one is starting out a little too geometric and stockinette heavy for me. I guess I just like the looks of, and enjoy knitting, very lacy lace. But, MS3 started out with a lot of stockinette, too, so I have to give it a chance. It's only the first clue, right?

Yesterday, I marbled up a whole slew of paper, as my oil paint stained fingers can attest to today. I managed to produce some decent ones amidst the bleah and just plain awful. I think that to make some really nice marbled paper you just have to use the sizing. I found that the paint just keeps moving around using only water to float it on. My colors started mixing together, as well. I think this may be one art that really requires watching someone else who knows what they're doing. Never-the-less, I covered the book, and it looks pretty cool. Plus, I have extra paper to recover the book when it gets trashed, which is bound to happen since it is a prop.

Oh, oh, oh! I felted the dumpling bag today. It is cute! DH calls it my cannonball bag. I have stuffed it with plastic grocery bags to give it that nice, round, large-caliber projectile appearance. I'd say it looks like about a 12 pounder, maybe more. Photos will appear tomorrow when I have the light to take them.

The End.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Birthday Boy

Yesterday was my sweet, DH's birthday! I wanted to post this yesterday, but I was busy making a big birthday supper complete with homemade ice cream and cake from scratch.

Wasn't he a beautiful baby? I can say with confidence that he is still quite easy on the eyes!
Happy Birthday Sweetie! I love you!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I Can See!

Yep, I am the proud owner of a brand spankin' new monitor! I am happy to report that I can see actual colors again. Oh the joy, the freedom to post a photo without wondering what it really looks like, the carefree browsing on Ravelry for patterns and actually identifying the cables in that navy cardigan, and not having to pester my big sister to preview my photos.... Hmmm... now I will have to think of something else to pester her about.

Look! Yarn! As Knatly commented... know, twisted together!


I think the real color is somewhere in between the first two photos and this one.

I looked back at previous posts where I had tried to lighten some of the photos before I posted them. I should have left well enough alone. They are too light. Ah, well. My new 20 inch monitor shall now change everything! My old monitor was probably close to fifteen years old, so you understand the primitive conditions I have been living under and will forgive me my exultant glee. Happy happy happy!

The other day I decided I needed a quick pick-me-up project. So I dug around in the stash for some bulky, felting-type wool and came up with some Lamb's Pride in black. Within a couple of hours I had knitted up a Dumpling Bag! The pattern is by Sharon Dreifuss, who hosts the She-Knits Podcast, and it was featured in this Fall's, Interweave Knits.

The bag is knit, embroidered, and then felted. The pattern calls for two rings attached to the straps, but I opted to go without. The straps still slide through each other. I still haven't felted it, but I think it is adorable, none-the-less. Once felted, it should turn out very round, like a little dumpling!

Great little pattern, Sharon! I think I'll make another.

And now I leave you with something that has become a daily occurrence...

Kitty in a basket.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Marbling, Meh.

As promised, here are the results of my marbling paper experiment. Looks like I've got a ways to go. For one thing, I need to use a heavier paper than I did. I grabbed a pad of sketch paper, but I know that I have a larger pad of heavy drawing paper packed away. I'll have to find that. There are other things that I'm going to have to get before I try this again. Lots of newspaper, for one! It's a messy job! I need a sponge for dabbing excess away, better containers to mix paint and mineral spirits in and a better way to hang them to dry. Here are the sad results of my first attempt...

Not really usable for much...

Once I get the hang of it and get some nice ones (if ever), I'd like to cover some books with them for my DH.

After spinning the plain 'ol vanilla top, I got out the Mountain Colors roving in Alpine...

I wound them both up on a ball winder and plyed them both to themselves today. I took some photos of the skeins, but the light wasn't good. I'll try again to photograph them tomorrow.

We've had some much needed rain the past couple of days. DH and I like the rain. It is not a universal feeling in our household, however. The frustrated shut-in, Kittysperk, aka PH, feels otherwise. Here he is shown taking solace in one of my baskets, lying on my pennywhistle.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Vanilla Sheep

Did a little vanilla spinning last night and finished it up tonight. Just some Coopworth I've had hanging around for some time. I'm shooting for a worsted weight. Maybe it will become a bunch of mittens. I'm thinking I could dye skeins in several colors. Coopworth just seems "mitteny" to me. Not terribly soft, but not itchy.

When I first started spinning, around the turn of the century, I leaned towards natural colored fleeces and roving. I figured that I could always dye them if I got around to it, right? Lately, all I want is color, color and more color. So, from now on all plain, white fleeces, roving and top that remains will have a date with the dye vat. I have some gorgeous natural colored fleeces that are deep brown and silvery grey that I won't have to dye, but I just need some unnatural color in my life!

Today, DH and I went to Hobby Lobby. I bought some oil paints, for, tomorrow, I am going to attempt marbling paper. The oil paints I purchased will be mixed with mineral spirits to a cream-like consistency, floated upon a vat of water, and then manipulated into pleasing patterns with skewers and suchlike. The resulting masterpiece will then be transferred swiftly, but carefully, to a piece of drawing paper and hung on a line to dry. This is what is supposed to happen. What actually happens, however, will be documented tomorrow whether it be success or utter failure. I am hoping that the oils will float upon the water without having to prepare a sizing. I read somewhere on the web that you don't need a sizing when you use oils and I am counting on that because I really don't want to have to go to all that trouble, though, I know of one artist who uses one anyway. Hey, oil and water don't mix, right? Oh, I hope not!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

GKAS Project Specs (and What's Next)

The Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl specs:

Size: 62" in diameter

Yarn: Jojoland Harmony - Colorway 06
(I used 2 balls, plus a little more of a third. This is a cobweb weight yarn. The colors are spun in an ombre fashion where one color is mixed with the next before it changes completely into the next, like Noro.)

Needles: Knitpicks Options - Size 4
(I love the points on these. You also have the option of threading a lifeline through the tightening hole and drawing it through the stitches as you knit. I used it for drawing the crochet cotton through so I could stretch it out for photos.)

Pattern choices:
Clue 1: A
Clue 2: B
Clue 3: D
Clue 4: D
Clue 4.5: Doubled again. Clue 2/A Rows 1-16
Clue 5: Edging as written. 192 repeats!
(I was going to morph clue 2 A and B together for Clue 4.5 as an enlarging option. It was just too much for me though. I think if I had made Clue 4.5 wider, the diameter of the shawl would have been larger and my edging points would have had more room to be blocked out at a diagonal, instead of being pulled straighter down in long points as I had to block them. By that time, each row was well over a thousand stitches. There are 192 repeats of the edging.)

This is a great pattern and it was a lot of fun to do it as a mystery lace knit-a-long. I highly recommend trying a Goddess Knits KAL for yourself.

Check out the other beautiful patterns on her website.

So what to do after all the excitement it over? Well, after I knit a little bit with some heavier yarn to clear my head, I'm going to start another KAL!

The Mystery Stole 4 KAL! Yay! My first mystery lace KAL was the MS3, the Swan Lake stole. It turned out beautifully and had beads! This year stole will also feature beads. I've been trying to match up beads and yarn. Here are some photos. *Disclaimer*-These photos have not been through SAP, the Sister Approval Process. I couldn't decide which one I liked better of the top two so I put them both in, even though I am not using these beads.

When I bought these beads, they looked just perfect. They are matte, but have a rainbow effect coating on them. (Gnatly, what are these kinds of beads called?) They match the yarn perfectly, but too perfectly--they blend in and disappear. I didn't even try a swatch with them.

Pretty, with feather, no?
I was sad about this until I remembered that my mom had given me some beads many years ago. They were left over from when she made some gorgeous crochet beaded clutch purses. She made them when I was 5 or 6 years old! These are some old beads! She bought them when my dad was stationed in Okinawa. There are three different kinds on this swatch. From the top is clear turquoise, then cobalt, then black. They had a shiny rainbow/oil slick color surface coating. (What are these called, Knatly?)

Can you all see them well enough in this photo to help me choose? I was wondering if I could use them all, you know, start with the darkest ones on the ends and get lighter? Opinions, please!

Friday, August 22, 2008

GK Anniversary Shawl Photo Spread!

Ta DA!

Okay, perhaps if I had stayed up a little later and checked my e-mail, I would have gotten the e-mail from my sister. Did I tell you I have the best sister in the world? She got on my Flickr, oh, about midnight, and left me humorous comments. These are her top picks. Thanks, Amy! I love you, man!

The next one won in the "roundness" category. Heh heh.

I am so happy to be finished with this beauty. I wore it around the house last night for fun. I need to go grocery shopping and do laundry as well as other mundane tasks right now. I may post again this evening to give project specs and talk a little about this shawl.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Finally Finished...And Yet...

I have finally finished knitting and blocking the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl! Yay! I will post pictures tomorrow. I was going to post some today, but someone...cough sister...cough cough...wasn't available to preview them on her normal computer screen (mine being abnormally dark and useless when you want to see what a photo really looks like).

To be fair, she did proof some of the blocking shawl this morning and she noticed that they didn't look exactly like the others that I posted before. Later, I realized that I had blocked the shawl purl side up! I had to flip it and take some more photos.

Heh heh. I called her back on her cell while she was getting her classroom ready for school to start next week. While she was pushing heavy furniture about I told her that she had a whole new slew of photos to review. Good thing she lives about five states away, heh heh. Nah! She's always been very patient with her baby sister, and of course she's a knitter herself so she understands.

Understands! Right Amy, my dearest, sweetest, beeg seester? You know how tortured I must be, sitting here not having any photos to post on my blog. I feel...I helpless! Like needles without empty, felted vessel...a...a...

Why haven't you called me back!!! I'm gonna tell Mom!

"Um. Pass me the Kleenex, will ya?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Can't Feel My Arms

Last week, my social calendar was filled to the brim, so in the past few days I've been playing catch up on the Anniversary Shawl KAL. First there was the visit from DH's parents. Haven't seen them in a while so it was great to catch up for several days. When they went back home, our friends from Texas arrived. Between company, girls' coffee outings and singing on another local radio station, there wasn't much time for knitting the shawl. In fact, I had only a few rows of Clue 4 done when Clue 5 came out. But, I finished Clue 4 today! Yay!

Here's a close up.

When I started knitting Clue 4, I wondered if I had made a mistake in choosing Chart D because it really didn't look like anything at first. It took several rows before the pattern became apparent, and several more rows before the pattern became pretty. Then, after several more, it became gorgeous.

I think I do want to take the option to make the shawl larger before starting the Clue 5 edging. I am considering different charts and combinations of charts. I just want another six inches all the way around, adding a foot to the diameter. Over a thousand stitches per row is rather daunting, though. I'm thinking that one of the earlier charts that don't have as many stitches per chart row repeat might be easier to fool with. That way I wouldn't have to keep such a close watch on the chart as I knit those looooong rows.

I went ahead and stretched it out on a string to measure it and photograph it. I know it seems like it might be, but it really isn't such a tedious thing to do. I just stick the crochet cotton through the little tightening hole in my Knitpicks needles and knit the last row, which draws the string through the last row of stitches automatically. It takes less time to put the stitches back onto the needle, than it takes to knit a row, so it's not that bad, really. I think it's the only way to get an accurate idea of how big the shawl is if you are concerned about the size, which I was for this shawl.

Here is the picture I keep staring at, trying to decide which pattern to use next. I wish it was big enough to stop here!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I See Skies of Blue

It's been so beautiful around here, lately. It's July, but temperatures have been in the upper 70's, lower 80's, and not humid at all. All blue skies and fluffy, white clouds. Imagine the sky looks like this photo but without the weird pixelating going on. Strange.

Thank you for all the kind comments about my Anniversary Shawl. I am enjoying knitting it so much. It's been fun to communicate with knitters all over the world who are working on the same project. It's a great group of people. If you've left a comment and have a blog, be forwarned! I'm going to be visiting it soon to see what y'all are up to!

So, what have I been doing now that Clue 3 is finished? Did I go back and finish a few more snowflake backgrounds? No.

Did I work some more on the fabulous pattern that is the Heere Be Dragone Shawl? No.

Did I get a few more rows in on the wrap cardi, or any, ANY other UFO?

No. (Well, I did do a couple of rounds on a sock while riding in the Jeep).

Okay, I'm an idiot. I started a new lace project.

It's the Curved shawl from Victorian Lace Today. I have always been intrigued by the little Cheerios shapes and wanted to find out firsthand how they were made. This is the orange Jojoland Harmony that I bought to make a gift for my friend. I sneakily leafed through this book at lunch with her one day and she liked this pattern, too. I didn't even steer her towards it...much. Heh.

The cast-on was a real pain. It calls for a backwards loop cast-on. Auugh! Can I tell you how hard it is to knit the first row with this type of cast-on and cobweb weight yarn? But, boy is it stretchy. It's a four-row repeat with a lot of knit three togethers, but once you get going and have something to hang on to, it goes fairly quickly.

I will leave you with something else that is orange. Honestly, lately every time I want to take a photo of PH he looks like this. I swear it's not the same photo!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Clue 3, Finis!

Here is Clue 3, D!

So, to recap, Clue 1 - A, Clue 2 - B, Clue 3 -D.
Phew! Time to get some rest. Next weeks clue is going to be huge!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Clue 3 Spoiler!

Here's my Clue 3 up to where I am just starting Row 33. The yarn looks awfully bright on my screen. It's more muted in person. It's not stretched out to its fullest potential, but can you see the little leaf shapes, complete with stems? There are what look like to be flower shapes, too. These pictures are not the greatest.

Here's another one. Can you guess which Clue it is?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Clue 3 Is Up!

Got it printed off. See ya!

Still Life While Waiting

It was a lovely gray day, yesterday. We got a nice bit of rain, but we could use some more.

The Heere Be Dragones shawl went from this....

To this.

Hey, I just realised that in the first photo, it's backwards. Doesn't look like much progress, does it? Just a little more belly and wings.

I've been knitting on my wrap cardigan this morning while waiting for Clue 3 to appear on the Anniversary Shawl Yahoo page. I've also been vacuuming, listening to a Librivox reading of Robinson Crusoe and closely observing PH for more hobbitlike tendencies. I noticed that, both yesterday and today, he asked for elevensies.

PH has not forgiven me for the scary photo of him in yesterday's blog entry.