Monday, November 27, 2006

Cedar Creek

Well, I totally love the Cedar Creek sock pattern, and I am ADORING the Socks that Rock yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The colorway, called Puck's Mischief, is not quite coming out right in the pics below...


I have started on sock #2. As has been common recently, I have a couple of complaints about the pattern. first off, it is a little unclear when to switch from the larger needles to the smaller ones, and vice versa. I feel like sock #1 fits just fine, so it is not that big a deal... but issue #2 is a little more significant to me: on the smaller size, once you turn the heel and start working the foot, the pattern is completely off center on the top of the foot and looks stupid... unless, of course, you are able to figure this out and change it on the fly. The 34 stitches across the top of the foot means that you are only knitting two of the six columns of the twist panel, which is ridiculous looking. Here is my feeling about this: if I am paying for a pattern, I want it to be right. I want it to have been test knit in ALL sizes, and I want it to work out right! Otherwise, why am I paying for the pattern???
Anyway, I have started with sock #2, but haven't gotten very far yet... holiday season jewelry making has taken precedent for the time being. I must say, however, that the sock yarn is exceedingly soft and nonscratchy. I am psyched, because I frequently find sock yarns to be scratchy. Yay! Go buy some now, but leave some for me!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Polymer Clay Pics!

Okay, Blogger is being agreeable today. Below, please gaze upon the AWESOME polymer clay tiles that I made a couple of weeks ago:

There, wasn't that awesome? Sorry about the blurriness, but so it goes. And, there is another 'so it goes' aspect to these tiles... this is a picture of them prior to being baked. Let's just say that the 'post' pictures are not QUITE the same... there was a 'toaster oven incident', which involved toxic fumes and burned clay. I was beside myself with unhappiness, for a multitude of reasons: First off,the tiles were really complicated to make, second, they were like the first good thing I ever made, and third, they turned out so derned great. However, I have made a new slab from which I can make very similar tiles, but have been scared to cut it out into pieces... and understandably so, says I!
Anyway, that's my update for today. Enjoy the weekend, all! At least in my neck of the woods, it is cool but sunny, and promises to be a lovely day.

Friday, November 24, 2006

What I've been up to

No good, people, no good! Well, that might not necessarily be true. However, here are some pics.

First up, the Urban Bubble Scarf from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Ain't it the coolest? This is made of their Kidmo yarn, which is the seriously soft, wonderful and beautiful yarn that I mentioned in my last post. The scarf is knit flat, and then the Japanese shibori method is used to alter the fabric. In this case, the kit came with a couple hundred wooden balls, which I snuggled into the flat fabric of the scarf and held them in place with rubber bands. Then, I tossed it into a zippered pillow case, then tossed THAT into Cece's washing machine on HOT a couple of times (and pretended not to be nervous), and, Hooray! Bubbles! I must say that it shortened a lot more than the pattern suggested that it would, but I had luckily made it a lot longer than the pattern suggested I should, so it all worked out for the best. Ain't it cute? (I did create a rotated picture, but Blogger did not like it and angrily refused to accept it. Dumb Blogger.)Next, my first Merino Lace Sock. At some point, I will order another skein of it, and another skein of the not quite matching ball... but not yet. I have included a top and side view. I liked knitting this first sock a lot- there are three different, interesting panels of 12 rows- not unusually memorizable, which kept it interesting.
I think you can kind of see how the pattern from the front is repeated down the back of the leg and down the heel. It is totally cool.

And today, I did some very exciting and fun stuff at my friend Kathy's house. She is blogless, so her name is not highlighted. Kathy is the queen of making interesting and beautiful crafts, and owns every craft thing imaginable. She is my polymer clay benefactress- she decided she wasn't interested in polymer clay any more, so she gave me all of her clay, tools, and everything. It was awesome. (as a side note, I will photograph some of the stuff I've been doing with that at some point. Fer sure.) So anyway, she recently set herself up with lampworking and precious metal clay stuff- the works. So she invited a few people over today to have a play day! I made a couple of lampwork glass beads, although my first (and most awesome) one exploded. These things happen in life. I saved the pieces, but it is not much to see at this point! I also made a couple of things with the precious metal clay, and here is a finished pendant that I made, strung with some nice beads. The silver polished up so shiny that it was hard to get a picture of, so I have a 'bright' and a 'dull' picture below:
The bright picture shows the accurate color, but the dull picture shows the detail on the pendant. The silver is mixed in with clay, so you can roll it out, stamp it and cut it to your heart's content, as long as you work fast- it dries out very fast. Then, you fire it in the kiln, polish it up, and bam. Pendant! The other thing that I made is currently in an 'emergency... how do I fix it" state. I choose not to say any more than that at this point.

So, I have tried six times now to include some pics of some of my polymer clay stuff, but again, Blogger is being a poophead. Growl. Well, eventually, it will work out.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Meme- first ever!

Okay, I decided to finally give a Meme a try. I got it from Cece's blog. You're supposed to use one word answers, which will probably be a challenge for me...

1. Yourself: silly
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): huh?
3. Your hair: fluffyish
4. Your mother: friend
5. Your Father: strong
6. Your Favorite Item: bed
7. Your dream last night: weird!
8. Your Favorite drink: cold
9. Your Dream Car: paid-for
10. The room you are in: studio?
11. Your Ex: who knows???
12. Your fear: alienation
13. What you want to be in 10 years? 43!
14. Who you hung out with last night? friends
15. What You're Not? rested
16. Muffins: warm
17. One of Your Wish List Items: raise!
18. Time: plentiful
19. The Last Thing You Did: phoned
20. What You Are Wearing: J Crew...
21. Your Favorite Weather: breezy
22. Your Favorite Book: **brain freeze!*** (too many)
23. The Last Thing You Ate: cookie!
24. Your Life: mellow
25. Your Mood: sleeeeeepy
26. Your best friend: sister
27. What are you thinking about right now? headache
28. Your car: Civic
29. What are you doing at the moment? Duh!!!
30. Your summer: footloose!
31. Your relationship status: (see #2, jackass!)
32. What is on your TV? nothing
33. What is the weather like? Arctic!
34. When is the last time you laughed? Recently.

Okay, I didn't do a great job of sticking to the one word thing, but I did my best. I mean, this is me we're talking about. I can TALK. I guess I'm not as talkative as the girls in my knitting class (holy smokes!), but I can hold my own against the average talker. No one but another 5th grade girl can compete with a 5th grade girl, I promise you!

I sleep now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I am weak. So weak.

But seriously- how was I to resist??? I didn't mention it IMMEDIATELY upon receiving the package, but I was afraid if I did, I would start knitting IMMEDIATELY, and drop my current sock project. I managed to last just over 24 hours.
What, might you ask, am I talking about? I received my package from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, which contained some very delicious yarn.I must confess that so much time has elapsed since I started writing this email that the parenthesized part to follow is seriously out of date:

Outdated typing to follow:(Yes, yes. some of the yarn is already wound into balls. Lovingly wound. Into soft, fluffy, heavenly, wonderfull puffs of yarn. Seriously, folk(s), the mohair is not only fabulously soft, but the color changes are like nothing I've ever worked with before. So, I only lasted a FEW hours before I wound the yarn into balls, but I lasted until Friday night before I started to knit it up. The final project will still be a mystery until completion, and no fair trying to figure it out! (Insert menacing grimace here)
Okay, now the outdated part is over. So, anyway, while I was trying to avoid playing with the mohair yarn, I managed to do a decent amount of knitting on my current sock project, the merino lace socks. I will someday include a picture.

I am enjoying the pattern, but found a nitpicky little 'error' in the chart: the "V" stands for 'sl 1 purlwise wyif", but it really ought to also say 'sl 1 kwise wyib' on wrong side. If you don't, then you don't get the nice slipped stitch edge on one side of the heel flap; instead, you get a mess. Luckily, I figured it out pretty quickly. I'm all about patterns being super specific- if it's a pattern, I expect to be doing just what the person tells me to do, unless I plan to lengthen the torso, which I sometimes have to do.
Anyway, this is one of those posts that I'm writing with the full intention of not posting it until there are pictures to be involved. So you will not even know that I have been keeping you in suspense! Buwahahahaha!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rainbow Yarn 1; Amanda... moving on.

So, the rainbow yarn is giving me frustration. It is not a particularly stretchy yarn, and the Jaywalker pattern is not a very stretchy pattern. Attempt #1 yielded an unwearable sock, and so did attempt #2. There will someday be an attempt #3, but for now, I have decided to put that particular project on hold, and move on.
I have selected a pattern from the summer 2003 Interweave Knits, Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury. It is a fairly involved lace pattern, with several panels of interest. The yarn is nice- Gedifra Fashion Trend Sportivo. Unfortunately, in a shopping frenzy at Webs, I picked up two slightly different balls of yarn! One has a purplish background, and one is sort of navy blue. We'll see how the 'pair' looks- if it is lame, I will order one more of each and make their pairs. If it works out, I'll just rock it! Tell me what you think from the picture- it's color # 5793 and #5707. They look even a little more similar in real life. I guess we'll see what happens! I'm only a few inches in, but will post a pic when things get a little more interesting.
In other news, I am feeling much better today; went back to work and everything. I'm not saying I DID much work, but I was TOTALLY there. I then hovered by the side door so I could RUN out to the car when the bell rang, because I agreed to go see Saw III with Cece for moral support, because I actually like horror movies, and the dudes from her work made her go. It was totally gross; I would recommend it if you like horrifyingly gross horror movies full of horror and horrible things. Later on, Cece called me to say, "That was scaaaaaary." I hope she doesn't have nightmares about having to saw her own leg off. That would be... horrible.
Well, back to KNITTING. Wheeee! (I wonder how many posts I've ended with "Whee". Just a thought.)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sniffleupagus

That is my name for today. I felt a little worse this morning than I did yesterday morning, and knowing how cruddy I felt by the end of the day yesterday, I decided to sit this one out. However, there is no fever, so I will not be shivering under the covers all day, which is cool.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I received a package from J Crew last night, and have found my new favorite chinos- the Heritage Chino. What makes them so great? They are not super low cut, they are cut to assume that I have both a waist AND a booty, and they come in a 35" inseam. Long legs rule! My only regret is that they have stopped making any chinos in black! Now, I must re-start my quest for a washable work pant in black. Sigh. And we all know that they won't be at "Let's cut all of our waistbands so low that you don't actually have to take the pants OFF to use the bathroom". (Oh- also known as Gap) I am not sure whether any of my reader(s) have any suggestions, but they are welcome. Requirements: long inseam, not low waisted, generous in booty and thigh region, and NOT TAPERED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM. That is all.
Last night, I also got a very exciting email from Blue Moon Fiber Arts that my package has shipped. What did I order? A groovy sock pattern that I coveted from Cece, (Cedar Creek) and some excellent sock yarn to accompany said pattern. And a secret surprise that you'll just have to wait and see! I am actually forgetting which sock yarn colorway I ordered, and in order to surprise myself, I am going to forego looking back at my order to figure it out. It will be like opening a present! Wheee!
Last night, I had a knitting incident that I did not capture on film- I have been knitting a pair of Jaywalkers out of some fabulous rainbow Regia sock yarn. I decided to try and knit them on size 0 needles, since I had to downsize the pattern on 1's for my skinny feet. However, in addition to using the 0's, I also appeared to be knitting more tightly than usual, and wound up turning the heel, trying them on, only to find that I have made my first ever too-tight pair of socks! I unravelled the partly completed unwearable item before snapping a picture. Too bad, so sad.
Hmm, what else. Last Saturday, I went to the opening of a new show at the Revolving Museum, and two of the jewelry pieces I have showing there got sold! One of the women who bought something asked for a matching pair of earrings, and I was only too happy to oblige. I whipped them up last night while sniffling unhappily on the couch. I hope she likes them.
I haven't bothered to peek through the blinds yet to see what's going on outside, but I hear it might be gross out. All the more reason not to look.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Yay for Stripes! Boo for sniffles!
Please gaze upon the latest completed project, blocking happily.
Project Details as follows:
Pattern: Rosedale United from Knitty, size 38
Yarn: My favorite, Noro Kureyon #95
Needles: Size 4 circular (pattern called for an 8- I'm such a loose knitter, it's embarrassing)
Comments: This was fun to knit, in part because I lurve the yarn, but also because it involved an intarsia rectangle. However, the pattern required some intuition- it was not always clear at all points. For instance, I knit the smallest size, and the pattern told me to continue with the intarsia rectangle, despite the fact that it would be cut off by the raglan sleeve decrease for that size. And, at another point, it told me to decrease every right side, even when you go from knitting back and forth to knitting in the round... you had to be wily enough to know that you should NOT begin decreasing every row, but continue to decrease every other row. There were several issues like that. Near the neck, I had been working in the round for quite some time, but the pattern had said to keep working back and forth, which made no sense to me. And it said to bind off stitches at the front of the neck rather than just short row-ing and picking up the live stitches later to work the turtlenecky part. There are more examples, but I do not care to continue with such trash talk, as I am happy with the results, and that is what matters.
Prior to blocking, I was a bit nervous- it appeared a bit tight, and I was having horrible visions of having to give it away to my sister for Christmas- she is a few inches shorter and is proportionately slimmer, and this sweater (in its pre-blocked state) would most certainly have been a good fit. However, as wool is apt to do, it blocked to Amanda Size quite nicely! Huzzah!
Oh, another thing- the pattern never even mentions what to do with the leftover live stitches at the armpit. I mean, duh, kitchener stitch them closed, but really. To leave that out? Most patterns even mention to weave in leftover stitches, which is a big 'duh', but they still SAY it! ARRRRGH! I have an editor inside of me, I know it for sure.
Okay, so now it is the time in my post where I begin to whine about part two of the post title: Miss Amanda has a stuffy nose. It is totally gross. And what do you need when you have a cold? Sleep. What can you not DO because of the stuffy nose? Yeah. Sleep. Oh, cruel fate. Thank goodness for sweet, sweet Nyquil. I took some last night and felt like I was awaking from a 15 year coma when the alarm went off. I won't even MENTION the amount of 'sleepies' I had to cut through to be able to open my eyes! (EWWWWW!) Sorry, had to be said. No, really, it did. Just accept it. Love me, love my lack of editing capabilities. OH, and to make things worse, I got the flu shot today and now my arm hurts a lot. Another thing that is annoying about this is that I wanted to go to yoga today, but my nose and arm were significant hindrances. No one wants to be in a 105 degree room with a girl who is not only sweating profusely, but is also blowing her nose and spreading germs... 105 degrees... talk about a breeding ground for cold germs! Plus, I definitely think that the whole not being able to lift my arm above my head would have been a problem.
So, if I post in the middle of the day tomorrow, you will know that the cold has taken a turn for the worse. The school nurse told me today, 'Oh my goodness, you look HORRIBLE!' Yeah, it WAS good for the ego. No,really, it was. I strive to look as horrible as possible on a fairly regular basis- that way, when I try to look good, everyone is blown away by my awesome beauty. Hmm. That might actually not be a bad strategy- I will attempt to put into practice "Operation Look Ugly Most of the Time So that When I Put On Makeup, All Will Bow To My Transformation"!
What is scary is that I haven't taken the Nyquil yet, and still these ideas are flowing out of me. Hmm.
Well, faithful reader(s), we have now reached the portion of the evening when Nyquil taking and tooth brushing shall commence. Wish me luck- either that I will wake up feeling refreshed and like a new woman, or that I will feel JUST enough worse than yesterday that I can justify staying home and watching Netflix movies and making jewelry. YESSSSS!