Saturday, June 30, 2007

More Stuff (To Share)

I added another chart. Check the sidebar for the Batman Logo Chart - and this time I made sure it wasn't sideways. ;^)

Also, I still love my new camera.
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Friday, June 29, 2007

Stitch Markers In Silver

I made up a set of stitch markers for one of my knitting buddies. Check them out!

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I liked them so much I had to make myself one too. I didn't take a picture of it though.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Or whatever it is that Lightning says in Cars... I finally got a really dark dyejob.

It only bled for hours and hours and forced me to felt it to finally get all the red dye out of it. It seriously looked and felt like it was bleeding! Very gross. I think it would have been slightly less gross if it really had been bleeding. At least then it wouldn't have dyed my hands.

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But it is so perfectly what I was trying to create! I just need to learn how to get what I want without wasting so much dye.

Also, I know what you crave, Barbara. Yes, that's right. Check this out:
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At least one of those center pull balls is yours. I had intended it to be the 3-ply one, and I spun it first. But I didn't expect the single to come out so even or so thin... so we'll see if Beth sees any potential in it or not. I like them both a lot more now than when I was spinning them. I've never had to put so much pre-spinning work into yarn!

Anyways, gotta run!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mmmmm, New Camera.

I think I might be in love with this thing. Of course the moment we ordered it the old one starts acting normal again. But that's okay because our new camera has macro out the wazoo!

Check this mad macro action:
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Those pearls are about the size of rice crispies. And the fabric is a reasonably firm canvas.

And there is another sad report of kitty death by giant fish o' doom.
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Poor, poor Kokomo. That fish really has it in for him.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Dyed To The Wine

I mixed some red and black to try and get a nice, dark, rich color. If I had left it in the dyepot long enough I might have succeeded. Yarn always looks SO dark when it's wet!

But it still came out a beautiful wine color. It is a little darker than the photos show. And I kept some dye from the dyebath so I can try it again later.

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This is a 70/30 merino/silk blend sockweight yarn I got from knitpicks. They've been really good to me, and I've thoroughly enjoyed their yarn. I just wish they would get some more plant fibers in their Bare line (ready-to-dye yarns).

I Can't Help It

I've got a cute kid. :^)

Partially inspired by the movie Ice Age, and from just playing this game with us... Sebastian gives his rendition of the game "where's baby?". He asks the question and gives the punchline, hehehe.

(It didn't come through that clearly on the video, but he is saying his own name correctly. He can also say my name - no small feat for a 2-yr old).

Isn't that grin just infectious???

Friday, June 22, 2007

I Caught One!

Sorry for so many kitty pics, but I just had to post one more.

My fish ate a kitty!
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Haha, this was so awesome. The toddler was chasing down Kokomo and he ran into my fish to escape! After that I had to defend his hidey hole. He stayed in there for over an hour (which was better than I had expected when I made it).

I thought he had snuck out long before I took the pic but when I stuck my hand in there I could feel him. If I hadn't used the flash he would have been invisible in the picture too.

First Jacquard Dyeing

And it turned out great! I bought some short mason jars that fit in my crockpot, and mixed jacquard dyes to get purple, green and blue. I dipped the ends of the skein in the purple and blue and the middles in the green and just let it go for a while.

It's very uneven of course, but that's part of what I like about handdyed yarn. There isn't any room to stir the yarn in the mason jars so... light and dark places abound.

In the skein as dyed:
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Looped up attractively:
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And a couple of the center-pull ball shots:
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Thank you Saun, for the lovely merino yarn. I think I'm well and truly hooked into dyeing yarn now. It is fun and also low-maintenance enough to do while keeping an eye on the toddler. Most of the time, anyway.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More Kid & Kitties

Occasionally the kitties willingly tolerate the toddler. This is the first time he tried reading the kitty a book, but not the last time. ;^)
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Watch out, they're possessed!
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And here are the kitties recovering from their baths.
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We named the black one Kokomo and the siamese one Kahlua. I didn't tell you that already did I?

Oh and for the ladies of knitting: a picture of the very first pet to enter the kitty condo "Cat Wheel Of Fun".
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And I thought he couldn't fit... He tried out the other spaces too, each in turn.

And here is a video where my boy tells me the kitty's name. I'm muttering at the beginning because I thought I had already taken a video but... I was wrong. He is frequently this nice to the cats, and then we turn around and he's pulling a tail or something equally undesirable. Ahhh, toddlers.
Also I apologize for the quality, my camera is in the process of dying.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kitty Pictures

We're still working on names for these cute little guys, but here's a couple of pictures.

The boy, still pretty shy (except when playing with his sister!). His eyes are actually a pale dirty yellow; much prettier than it sounds.

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The girl. Notice that the tabby in her shows up in markings above her eyes, and there are lighter markings between her ears. Her eyes are a very pale blue.

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The boy kitty cries if he finds himself alone in a room for very long. He likes to have his sister nearby but he'll also calm down if I hold him or pet him. I think she would have been fine even if we had only adopted her, but they're so sweet together and I'm really glad we have them both.

The girl kitty actually allowed Sebastian to come up and pet her and he picked her up. It took a few reminders to him that he needed to be quiet and walk up slowly, but he seems to be getting it. Sebastian is learning how to be gentle very quickly since he absolutely loves the kitties and wants to pet them all the time.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Got..... TWO Kitties!

And they're completely adorable. But still a little shy. They're in "sniff the new house until it starts smelling normal" mode.

We got a siamese colored girl kitty with short ears and muzzle, and a solid black boy kitty with longish ears. (They're siblings). They're so incredibly sweet. From time to time they stop sniffing everything to pounce each other a little.

And the siamese one tried out the fish! It was hilarious with just a kitty tail sticking out of it, but I guess she got a little nervous because she didn't stay in it long.

I hope they settle in really quickly, and become lap kitties.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Fish That Wouldn't Die

I finished the sewing on this bad boy ages ago. I actually blogged about it shortly before I finished it, and I think the blog helped goad me to finish. (I am too lazy right now to hunt down that blog).

All that was left were the ping pong eyes. I made a start on them (I cut them in half) after the sewing and then just gave up on removing the sharpie and brand name marks that were on them.

I tackled the sharpie with a gratuitous amount of rubbing alcohol yesterday (see, this is why I wasn't knitting Sahara). The edge got vaguely purple, but none of the sharpie came off. I gave up on that and went whole hog with the nail file. That took off the brand name markings pretty quickly and the sharpie too... with a little effort.

I glued the ping pong balls to the fabric and then to the fish, and blanket stitched the edges of the fabric. And finally finally gave it eyes.

Behold! The kitty bed that took over 3 years to complete. Probably closer to four years. These first pics are before I finish tweaking the pupils of the eyes.

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And a couple after I filled in some more of the eye. I tried to model them after frog pupils.

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We might be getting the kitty tomorrow! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! So excited.

Double Sahara Update

Because I missed one. And I maybe didn't knit on it yesterday. Shhhhh, don't tell.

At the end of knitting on Thursday I had this:

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And tonight, after adding in some short row darts and starting on the decreases for the waist, I have this:

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You may notice that tan string running through the middle of the stitches right above my short row darts. That is my lifeline, because I have learned through experience you shouldn't do creative things to a pattern without having a nice, easy, rip-back row. Plus it has been a long time since I designed that cotton shirt with the short rows and I couldn't remember if I did it right. So far, it looks like it's going to fit all kinds of awesome! 8^D

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Wonder If I Can Keep This Up?

Alright, another last night picture. Actually, I haven't gotten to knit any yet today so this is realtime. :^)

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It's really curly, but all the curled edges will be picked up with stitches later so no worries. Yet.

A picture a day, and actual progress to show. I am loving knitting on this so far. I need to get to a store and find some beads before I get to the trim.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mine, All Mine!

My yarn came yesterday. And the book. And the dye kit.

I pored (geez, I've seen this misspelled so many times it looks wrong even when it's right) through the book. Even the guys enjoyed looking through this book of patterns. ;^)

I put the dye kit up for now. I tend to dye when I'm feeling bored.

And the yarn. It's very lush - Andean Silk from In fact, I started on Sahara last night because I just couldn't wait.

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This is the first section. Just looks like a rectangle, huh? That's because that's what it is (at the top of the back). The next section starts shaping for the armholes. It's very soft and yummy yarn, but I think I might have to shave the sweater when it's finished. The yarn is kind of hairy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Yarn & Online Orders

So, I ordered some of this lush-looking yarn in the color olive just over a week ago. No, it wasn't on sale when I ordered 11 balls of it. *Sigh* I feel somewhat jipped.

Especially since my order of this cotton/linen blend, ordered a good 5 days later, arrived today. That's right, it came from Canada in easily half the time the American order took, and that's assuming it arrives tomorrow. Admittedly, I chose priority mail from because it was only 10 cents more and is shipping my stuff for free.

I am still mad that I'm spending nearly $9.00 more than I would have if I had just waited five days. I know, I know, why would they tell me? The sale wasn't on yet when I ordered. *Grrrrrr*, is all I have to say. The sad thing is I wouldn't have felt as bad if it had been a color that they didn't put on sale.

In other news, I got to see the book I ordered (at a store, since the order has yet to arrive). I'm about to die, it is even so much better than I had anticipated! I WANT MY BOOK!

I also bullied my mother into giving/loaning me her cotton handcards. They're antiques that have been in our family for a long time. Although apparently you can get the same type on eBay for $10.00. I'm wondering if it's the same price (with inflation factored in) that they would have cost new. It wouldn't surprise me. I definitely need more practice on them but they're a whole lot better than dog brushes for carding fiber!

Mmmmmmmm, yarn. Um, sorry, are you still here? That's all I had to say. I haven't really been doing anything productive lately. Just a little swatching here and there for a pattern I'm trying to design. It will be a long time coming though, so don't hold your breath.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hello, Local Knitters

I made a poll on the yahoo group. If you're in this area and you enjoy knitting in public from time to time, please take the time to check it out! I need this info to help make a persuasive argument.

Also, if you're in this area and you're not in the yahoo group, you should join it just to keep up with what other knitters here are doing. You don't want to miss out on anything cool, do you??? ;^)


The poll is HERE.

If you're not a member of the group you'll have to sign up first.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Free Pattern

Hey guys,

I have a free pattern for the dicebag up in "My stuff to share" in the sidebar. I know it's not much, but it also has the toggle directions. And a couple of pictures with the toggle.

I'm using Google documents to host it... not really sure if I like it but oh well. Let me know what you think, or if you know a better document hosting site.

Sexay Bra

I got this bra pattern from Interweave Knits' website.

I knit the purple part as written, but I simplified the attachment points on the sides and just knit a faux i-cord up from the cups for the cords.
Faux i-cord: slip1, knit1, slip1. Turn. Purl across. Turn. Repeat for desired length.
It makes a cord that is a little bit flattened, but only a little.

If I make it again I'm going to knit the plain pattern without dividing/shaping for longer so it gives a little more coverage. (I love it as is, but it is definitely skimpy on me).

And here is the Fembot, modelling for me because I'm too wussy to put that much skin on the internet. But Fembot has no shame, as you can see in the following pictures. ;^)

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And the back? How does that work??? :^)
I will show you how my straps cross in the back b/c I'm nice that way, even though the original pattern failed to bother with such a useful picture.
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This knit was a quick little flash in the pan. I finished the whole thing in just 4 days. But I'm gearing up for a long-term commitment: I recently ordered yarn to make my Sahara. I can hardly wait!

RIT Dyeing & Tie-Dyeing

I read a post on about dyeing and cutting up t-shirts for yarn. It seemed like a fun idea and the pics looked great, so I tried it out too.

I used RIT's dark green and denim blue.

I also tried tie-dyeing. The green diaper was the first try, and the shirt was last. I took the rubber bands off the blue one too soon. It only looks this good in the flash, but in reality it's just blobby blue.
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I got pretty good by the time I did his shirt. Too bad there wasn't much dye left in the pot.
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This is about what the blue one looks like, but the green one looks better (more like the previous photo).
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I dyed a lot of shirts. The procrastinator one I'm keeping for me. It was a hideous pale blue when I bought it, but now it's a beautiful dark denim-ish blue.
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Closeup of the procrastinator shirt.
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It's more fun to dye shirts than to cut them up. It made my hands really sore! But now I have neato t-shirt yarn.
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I wanted to make a bathrobe for the boy, but it might be too thick for it. I'm trying to make up my mind between that and a rug... also I want the colors to look good which means planning. Planning definitely slows me down when prepping a project.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Stuff For You

Hey, just wanted to point out that I've added some charts in my sidebar "My stuff to share."

Yes, I know most of them are sideways. Let's just say that when I was charting them and cleaning them up I was confused. For some reason it seemed to make sense at the time that the stitches would be taller than they are wide. I used KnitPro, but then I sharpened the edges in MSpaint.

Anyway, it takes me a really long time to clean up the rough edges so the only one that I fixed is one I've actually knitted (the recycle logo).

Which, by the way, I do have in a sideways version if you so desire it.

Have fun!


Did you guys know about this and just didn't tell me?

I put my name on the list just now. I'm dying to get in there and find out what it's all about. (That's right, they're not taking just anybody... you gotta get on the list and wait and hope. I'm just kidding, it's still beta and they're easing into it).

Do you think that people will sell invitations on eBay like they did when gmail was still new and beta? *smirk*

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Handspun Hat

My FIL has been encouraging my spinning habit at every opportunity. He bought me a wheel and an umbrella swift. And he buys me lots of roving (and some yarn too) whenever I'm in town. He even made me a beautiful and beautifully balanced top-whorl hand spindle. I've taken to calling him my "patron of the arts" (see, it's even funnier because "patron" means "father" and he's my FIL... oh nevermind).

So anyway, I thought about making him a hat a while back but I figured he probably had all the hats he needed because he lives in the mountains. But on this last trip he casually mentioned that he would like a hat... Yeah, I jumped all over that. He probably knows I'm crazy now. The monologue went something like this:

"A hat? You want a hat? I LOVE making hats! I'll make you a hat! I would have made you a hat a lot sooner if I had known you wanted a hat! Hats are great!"

Except I think I kept talking about it for about five more minutes. ;^)

I used the same handspun I had for my legwarmers, plus I carried a thread of the lambswool/angora blend sweater that I recycled to give it a little more stability.

P.S. - M, if you're reading this, you're still required to act surprised when I give it to you! ;^)

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And yes, it is yet another That Chocolate's Gone Straight To Your Ribs Hat. Because you know I love it.

More Yarn

Yup, I finished that delightful silk & merino blend, and the dense black alpaca. I plied it together with two strands from a recycled lambswool/angora sweater and just look what I got!

My very first 4-ply (or at least my first 4-ply containing any handspun):
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I am so in love with this yarn. Now the torment of figuring out what to make with it. Can't waste any! Hehe.