Saturday, July 29, 2006

Finished Booga! Plus a scarf, old mags, and a harlot!

The booga bag, she is done! Felted yesterday and assembled today. The booga bag pattern can be found here, and was done in Noro Kureyon in color 147. I didn't do any major modifications, although I did an I-cord bind-off instead of a regular one.

And a close-up:

I pleased with the results. Even after two runs in the washer, the felting was not total. The garter stitch on the bottom in particular did not felt as much as the rest of the bag. I did feel it was felted enough though, and I actually like the somewhat visible stitches.

The booga bag is the first X-mas gift to be completed. The total number of people I want to make gifts for this year is 14: my mom, my dad, my brother, my brother's girlfriend (recipient of the booga bag), my best friend Mary Ann, my fiance Aaron, Aaron's mom, Aaron's dad, Aaron's sister Kaela, Kaela's husband, my grandmothers, and Aaron's grandmothers. Yipes. Last year I actually managed to make gifts for ALL these people except Aaron's grandmas --- and didn't really start till the end of October! To be fair, they were mostly small gifts. I'm hoping to make slightly larger gifts this year.

So, I'm going to start a gift-o-meter on the sidebar to show my progress! I'll either make my goal or die trying, gosh darnit!

Next, a find! On a trip to Half-Price Books, I found that the location I was at had a shelf full of vintage knitting patterns (my guess is that one person brought them in to sell at once). Most were old booklets by yarn companies, but I also found this:

Bonanza! Four old Vogue Knitting International magazines - ranging in period from 82/83 to 86/87! I have a thing for old knitting magazines and booklets - I would never make most of the things but I enjoy having them and looking through them. Actually the last magazine (87) has two patterns that I found very cute, so I may knit a few patterns from these! Also, some of them had some very interesting articles, such as one by Elizabeth Zimmerman on making phony seams on a circular knit sweater. Very cool!

Finally, work has started on the X-mas scarf for Aaron's sister: Midwest Moonlight from Scarf Style in Debbie Bliss Cathay.

This photo does not do it justice, sorry for my lack of photography skills. The pattern is great - it doesn't seem like the type to get boring, but is extremely easy to learn and memorize. The yarn is a dream - it is very soft and has a lustrous shine that doesn't show well in the photo. Also, despite being mainly cotton and silk, it is not at all hard on the hands are difficult to knit with. I love it, and would recommend this yarn to anyone!

By the way, this scarf was the project I brought with me today when I went to see...YARN HARLOT! It was great, but being the doof I am, I forgot to bring a camera so no pictures. However, I was in the very front row, in the middle (first there!) so you may see me in a picture on her site! I am wearing the sparkly red knitted top and wearing glasses. She was hilarious, and I got my copy of Knitting Rules signed afterwords. Love. Her.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

An ooga booga to you, good sir.

I finally pried myself away from the Playstation 2 long enough to get some knitting done. I finished knitting the booga bag! Now it is time for felting and finishing. I may do it tomorrow, but I must admit that I tend to lose focus on projects when it is time to finish. I am extremely pleased with how it looks though. Love, love, love the colors! I also chose to do an I-cord bind-off. It is a small change, but I really liked that bind-off when I did the Nantasket Basket, so I decided to use it here as well to create a slightly firmer, less rolly edge before felting.

The other bit of excitement: Yarn Harlot is coming to Austin this weekend!!! I'm very excited and definitely plan to attend. I'm going to be a big geeky knit fan, wheee! Obviously, I need something to be knitting while I'm there though. The only thing on the needles now is the stole, but that is a bit too complex for KIPing. Guess I'll be starting the Midwest Moonlight scarf tomorrow!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The need to read.

Not much new on the knitting front to be honest - I recently purchased Shadow Hearts for the PS2 and it is my current obsession. I also took a fun trip to Schlitterbahn last Saturday. I was hot and crowded, but still a lot of fun!

Here's something knitting related though: books! As many other knitters know, if you are both a knitter and an avid collector of books, the only thing better than buying new yarn is buying a knitting book. I have a somewhat unhealthy obsession with acquiring as many as possible. My parents got me the Mason Dixon Knitting book for my b-day, and with various giftcards I received as gifts, I bought two other books as well: Knitting Nature and One Skein.

Joy! I also recently acquired Alice Starmore's Celtic Collection on a whim at a Half-Price Bookstore. I don't know if I'll ever knit anything in that book, but dammit I had to buy it. Them pictures sure are purty!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Say hello to my little friend.

It's a photo extravaganza today! Some FO's, a little yarn porn, and a bunch of a hot, cranky zoo animals! Really, what more could you ask for?

So to start, the pig is done!

Pattern is from World of Knitted Toys and the yarn is Lion Brand Microspun. The knitting is not hard at all, but the seaming and the making up was a pain. For one thing, all the increases/decreases are performed right on the edge. Also, the microspun is nightmarish. Too be fair, I was aware of this before I used it, based on other reviews on the net. And it is not all bad as a yarn - it is insanely soft and the stitch definition is amazing. But trying to work with it while it splits into a million plies is a headache. The result, however, is a soft and cuddly piggy! How I love pigs...just like this guy here!

Next I have a finished modified Zeeby's bag. This was something I knit over 2 years ago. The pattern is from Stitch 'n Bitch, and the yarn is Cascade 220. The color is a marled red and black. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was never happy with the result (bad seams, really floppy/stretchy). So I decided to felt the sucker just for the heck of it.

It shortened more heightwise than it did lengthwise, but other than that the felting was fairly even. It is very fully felted so it is thick and sturdy, and the straps don't really stretch much at all. I'm pleased with the result, but in all honesty, it still won't be used much since I prefer a bag with a zipper (and I really don't have the stamina to try and put a zipper on this bag). I think it will be good for times though when I am going on a trip and want to carry projects/clunky objects.

It was my birthday on Tuesday, and I was fortunate enough to receive a lot of wonder ful gifts from family and friends. But the best gift of all was from my fiance - he set forth on his own the yarn shop on a mission. A mission for laceweight and sock yarn. This was what he surprised me with. Behold!

Cherry Tree Hill supersock and LORNA'S LACE HELEN'S LACE!!! (hyperventilates slightly) The sock yarn is a color called "Peacock" and the lace is "Black Watch". I was completely floored when I opened this gift. Knitters, if your significant other buys you Lorna's Lace, you know they are a keeper! It will be a while before I know what I want to do with the yarn, but for now it is nice just to stare at it reverently. By the way, although the sock yarn is the one that is called "peacock", doesn't the lace remind you of the colors of that fabulous bird? See what I mean:

The rest of birthday was fun as well. I had dinner that night at Buca di Beppo's with my fiance Aaron, my best friend Mary Ann, and her SO Alex - it included a free birthday dessert, the Chocolate Vesuvius, a giant mountain shaped brownie covered with chocolate and caramel sauce.

I spent that morning at the Austin zoo with Aaron. It was about ten zillion degrees, and clearly the animals were not pleased. We had a good time though - here are some of the more entertaining photos.

Turtle power dude!

A lovely plant...I have no idea what it is.

Angry coatis! Fight to the death...or just until they get tired!


Crazy cage climbing prairie dogs and yours truly. I could not resist and poked the belly of the one on the right.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Quiz Show

I don't know why I like doing these so much...

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are "turbo" charged.Fast moving and classy, you get things done with power and grace. Your expensive tastes can be deceiving, since what you really value is quality and efficiency. As you're careening around those corners in life, finishing a dozen knitted objects each month, stop and smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of process!
Take this quiz!

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What kind of yarn are you?

You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with others, doing your share without being too weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely refuse to change your position once it is set, but that's okay since you are good at covering up your mistakes.
Take this quiz!

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Sunday, July 16, 2006


Just a quickie! Here's the booga bag photo.

The colors look pretty bright in this picture - they are slightly more subdued in low light. It is colorway 147. I am actually quite a bit farther along as well, but I'm far to lazy to take a new picture!

Also, I forgot too mention that the yarn I'm using for the stole is Zephyr - a wool/silk blend (most likely familiar to any lace knitting veteran).

Two other bits of news:
1. The snout is fixed, and progress on the pig is finally happening, albeit slowly.
2. My birthday is in TWO DAYS! Yeehaw!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Go Go Gadget Knitting Blog!

So, I am really and truly going to start posting things on this blog! With this blog just starting out, it's probably going to be more of a diary for a while (with only me, myself, and I reading) it, but I can hope that someday others will come here as well! I've debated about letting my family and friends (non of whom knit) know about this blog, but decided against it. Partly because they probably wouldn't enjoy all the knitting talk, but also because I want to be able to discuss and put up pictures of gifts I knit for others without ruining any surprises. So I'll just have to attract an all knitter audience!

Since this is the first real post, I have a decent amount of stuff to talk about! Currently, I don't have too many big plans for stuff to make for myself. I finished three tops in a row since January (hoodie, sleevelss shell, bolero jacket) so I'm a little burned out on that type of project. I have started the "Print O' The Wave Stole" designed by Eunny Jang from See Eunny Knit!
This seems to be a very popular pattern right now - I noticed a lot of people are doing it for the Amazing Lace knitalong (which I did not sign up for - TOO MUCH PRESSUUUURE!). I can see why - I'm finding it so far to be challenging enough to be interesting, but no the type of lace pattern that makes you feel like the veins in your head are throbbing so hard that a stroke is imminent. However, my progress so far is rather slow.

I have five repeats done so far of the main pattern...out of 34. And of course after that there is a border an an edging. And let us not forget the grafting! (shudder) Anyway, it's not so much that I am a horribly slow knitter or that it is especially difficult, just that I have only been picking it up to work on every few days. If I worked on it an hour each day, I could probably have it done in under 2 months easily. As it is, it will most likely not be done until late fall. Oh well, I live in Texas anyway, so I won't need it until then!

For my amusement, I have also been working on a knit pig from World of Knitted Toys.

The toys in this book are very cute, but I am especially fond of the pigs and the duck-billed platypus. Did you know that male platypus as poisonous spurs on its rear feet? So if you ever happen to spy a platypus, resist the urge to pick up that cute little bugger and cuddle it! BEWARE THE PLATYPUS!!!

Anyway, I finished all the actual knitting of the parts - so now it is time for the very boring and not fun process of sewing everything together. Disaster has already struck - I sewed the snout on crooked. And weaved the tail in (I was in denial). Behold:

Just behind the nose , you can see the decreases that mark the center of the head - that gives you a good idea of how crooked it is. I have realized that there is no way I can leave it like this - it will drive me crazy. But the thought of picking out the tail and prying the thing loose has left me paralyed - it's black yarn! And Lion Brand microfiber which is crazy splitty! Ugh. I'll do it sooner or later - probably later.

I have some other stuff on the back burner right now as well. Near the beginning of the year I finished a Backyard Leaves scarf that came out quite nicely:

But I have never blocked it. I meant too! But I lived in an apartment. And I not prone to neatness. Long story short, there is no space anywhere to lay out a 7-foot scarf to block (it came out kind of long, oopsy). By the way, for anyone actually reading this, the picture also came out a little strange - it makes the scarf look rather "bright" green, when in fact, it is a very dark forest green.

Finally - a blast from my past. This is one of my earliest projects:

It is based on the pattern Zeeby's bag (I think?) from Stitch 'n Bitch, although I made it without the pocket. There is no good way to say this so I'll be blunt - it sucks. Not necessarily the pattern, although looking back, I'm rather disenchanted with it. But it is mainly me. My tension is uneven and the seams are a terrible mess. Plus as a practical matter, the straps and the bag itself stretch ridicuously out of shape if you put ANYTHING in it at all. So, for 2 years it is been either hanging on a doorknob and functionion as "decor" or been stuffed away in a closet. As I went through all my knitted stuff recently and found this though, it hit me: why not felt it? It is knit out of cascade 220, so it would felt easily. The wonky tension and half-assed seams would be solved. And it could carry stuff without stretching or need of a lining. So I plan on trying to felt this in the near future. Frankly, I having nothing to lose at this point - and may end with a pretty cool end result. Stay tuned for more!

Now onto gift knit posting! I have decided to make a sincere effort towards being prepared the holidays this year, and have begun knitting x-mas gifts. In all honesty, this has less to do with any virtue on my part, and more with the desire to buy a bunch yarn and start a whole bunch of new projects. But I digress! I went to my LYS (Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe, yay!), bought some yarn, and have cast on for the first gift. Right now I am working on a booga bag for my brother's girlfriend, in Noro Kureyon of course. I love the green in the colorway I chose. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture yet, but will put one up soon. I started this project in particular because I needed something mindless I could work on while watching subtitled anime. I'm realizing now that at some point I will definately want one for myself too.

I also bought this yarn for another gift:

Mmmm, Debbie Bliss Cathay. This will be my first time to work with this yarn, and I'm looking forward to it. It will be used for the Midwest Moonlight scarf from Scarf Style, as a gift for my fiance's sister (my future sister-in-law, HOLY SHMOLY!). I picked this because frankly, a wool scarf, while wonderful, is a little unnecessary in Texas. The cotton/silk blend should be comfy to wear, and it has a beautiful shine too it that I think will compliment the pattern.

Finally, I bought this yarn months ago, but am considering using it for a gift:

Brown Sheep Wildfoote Sock Yarn. I want to make my mom some socks for Christmas and am strongly considering the New England socks form Knitting on the Road. Obviously, I want a solid yarn to show off the beautiful lace pattern of the socks, and this yarn seems like it would be good for that. On the other hand, I am tempted to peruse the yarn shop some more to see if I could find something else. If there are any readers, opinions are welcome! There is another blogger who has knit these socks in this yarn and color, as a matter of fact. They look pretty good, but part of me also thinks a darker solid would look quite nice as well.

Well, I think I have rambled quite enough now. Thank you to anyone who reads this, hope you enjoyed it!