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Summer Swap Package!

So I’ve been terrible about this package! I got it like two weeks ago and I’m only just now getting around to posting it on Ravelry! This summer’s swap theme was the Recession Swap, so we had to send our partners yarn from our own stash, enough to make a small project. We also had to make something, which was exciting! I love getting handknitted things!

My partner was Lisa, and funnily enough I was spoiling her as well! She lives in Texas, so she sent me fantastic stuff made specifically in Texas!

a gorgeous shawl

a cute little crocheted gift bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

mmmmm...tea!

coffee from TX

scrap yarn from the shawl

a lovely smelling candle

 

 

 

 

 

gorgeous alpaca sock yarn!

roving!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

knitter's coasters--look at all the gorgeous yarn!

handmade soap!!!

look at this cute card! an ice cream flower pot!

DELICIOUS peach salsa!

 

 

Isn’t this an awesome package!! I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can wear my new shawl! And I’ve been wanting to make a pair of alpaca gloves or socks to keep myself nice and toasty! Oh and there were also some chocolate covered almonds, but they’re pretty much gone!

 

Cheers!

Tory

 

 

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Spring Color Swap!!

So this past month, the Swap Stop has done another swap, and this one is color themed! I had such a great time that I decided to join this one as well!! Since I don’t have a favorite color, I picked the one I was feeling at the moment: ultra blue (or TARDIS blue).

My spoiler is a woman named Kim, a nurse from Wisconsin. She’s been very nice and supportive during while we’ve been swapping emails, as I’ve been struggling to fight off senioritis (especially bad, since I’m only a junior) and get through my classes. And then of course she sent me a fantastic package, which was a great pick-me-up right before exams week! It seemed like as soon as I got the package, everything starting turning around and working out for me!

So here’s the awesome package she sent me:

the awesome package!!

Jeds Joy Snag-Free Stitch Markers and shawl pen

dark chocolate Lindt Truffles...yum!!

Kim sent me Snag-Free stitch markers. You can’t tell by the picture but the beads are a gorgeous deep blue! I’ve been wanting to try these snag-free markers, see how they work out, so I can’t wait to test them! She also sent me a shawl pin, also dark blue, a little purple as well, with a little sparkle! I can’t wait to make a shawl to go with it!

Austermann Step Classic sock yarn

Cascade 220 Heathers

Kim really spoiled me in the yarn department! She sent me some sock yarn (because she knows I love sock knitting!) which I’ve never used before. I can’t wait to try it, it’s very sock and it’s got a great color! And, if my German is correct, it’s infused with Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil! I don’t think this yarn will go to socks, though–I’m actually going to use it to make this Tilting Tardis Cowl! In the past month I’ve finally gotten caught up on Doctor Who, my favorite show, so this is the perfect project to culminate the start of the new season!

Kim also sent me some Cascade yarn, which I’ve been wanting to try out, since in the last swap, everyone in the forums was raving about it! I’ve been wanting to try making a shawl for a while, but I’ve always been drawn to the more complicated lace patterns–not a good way to start my adventures in shawl-making! I recently found, however, a simple but cool shawl that I really like. Ever perceptive, Kim noticed that I added The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief to my favorites. She got me enough yarn for the project, and I think the color will be perfect for this pattern! I can’t wait to get started on it!

So that was my awesome blue-period package! I think this will be the perfect thing to kickstart me back into knitting, especially now that summer has arrived! Thanks Kim!!

Cheers!

Spoiled!

Two posts in one day! What is this world coming to?! I wouldn’t normally do this, but I was just about to run off to class when I found my swap package on my doorstep! Well of course I had to open it right away! Let me tell you, it was awesome! Getting packages is always exciting to me, even when I know exactly what I’m getting, but not knowing is way better! My spoiler was MissLucy, from Las Vegas! I had a great time getting to know her–we have a lot in common!

so it wasn't packed like this, don't worry, but here's a little taste of everything!

everything laid out! I really got spoiled!

the delicious yarn and coffee mug

The gorgeous yarn is Dream in Color yarn! It’s from the Starry collection, so not only is it a rich raspberry color (Punky Fuschia, actually) with a beautiful sheen, and silver sparkles in it! It came just in time too! I only just decided today that I wanted to get a different yarn for my test socks for Amy’s Oh! You Pretty Things Socks. I really just am not happy with the yarn I picked, it wasn’t a color I was thinking it was going to be, and it’s not looking good with the pattern. Now, however, I don’t have to search for new yarn! This colorway is gorgeous, and will show off Amy’s pattern perfectly! AND it’s here just in time for my trip to Florida! I can’t go on a plane without a project! Now I just have to figure out how to get some knitting needles aboard the plain… Oh and she also sent me a really cute mug with flowers on it!

treats from The Loopy Ewe!

Lucy also sent me some treats from The Loopy Ewe! She sent along a chart for keeping track of my knitting needles, a couple of colorway samples, which I’m really excited about! I’m always nervous about trying new sock yarn, but these samples are perfect because I can actually see the yarn! So now, next time I’m ordering some sock yarn, I’ll try out The Loopy Ewe! Also from them was a little mini-sock kit! It’s enough yarn, and a pattern for a teenie tiny sock, which I can turn into a magnet, an ornament, or a coin purse! I think I’m going to make this one a magnet, so it will go with my “Zombies are crap at knitting” magnet! Oh, and not pictured are a bunch of little knitting-related buttons! They say, “Get Your Gauge On,” “BEHAVE or I’ll Felt You,” and “Knit Fast, Die Warm!” They’re all so cute! I’m gonna put them on the bag I take to all my classes!

 

and all the delicious teas!

 

As for the teas, Lucy sent me three different packs of loose leaf! Two are from Teavana teas, Earl Grey, which I’m currently drinking, out of my mug, and Lavender Dreams, a white tea which smells fantastic! It’s got lavender, candied violets, candied papaya, and all sorts of other stuff! I can’t wait to try it! The other tea is from Rishi Tea, which is called Tangerine Ginger. It also smells amazing, very citrus-y! She also sent a very pretty oriental tea canister, to keep my loose-leaf in! And of course, a handful of Ghirardelli chocolates! She also sent a chocolate crisp ball thing, called Cappuccino Sorini. It was delicious, and I’m definitely gonna have to get a hold of some more of them!

 

 

Lucy also purchased a sock pattern for me, Wendy D. Johnson’s Sunflower Socks! They’re gorgeous, I can’t wait to try out the pattern! Although I’m sure the yarn Lucy sent would look great with it, I think I’m going to pick a cheerful yellow color, since they are, after all Sunflower Socks.

So that’s my swap package! Pretty awesome, eh? I’m so glad I joined the swap, and I can’t wait for the next one! Speaking of, here are my answers to the Q&A for the Favorite Color Swap!

  • Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft?

I knit. I’ve been at it for about two years now, though I originally learned four years ago.

  • Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do?

I don’t spin yet but my friend Amy just got a new wheel, so once her old one gets fixed, it’s going to be on loan to me!

  • Are there any other crafts that you participate in?

I wouldn’t call it crafts, but I like to make art and write, neither of which I do enough of. Knitting keeps me feeling sane     and productive.

  • What are your favorite yarns/fibers?

I am ALL ABOUT sock yarn! I really cannot get enough of sock knitting, and now that I’ve finally gotten needles that give me a proper gauge, I should be sock-knitting up a storm! As for fibers, anything smooth and silky! I’m not picky–I like sturdy yarn, like Knit Picks, and I really like bamboo blends. I really want to try some new yarns out!

  • Are there any yarns/fibers that you don’t like?

I don’t use acrylic, as a general rule. Other than that, as long as it’s not scratchy, I like it!

  • What is your favorite color?

Well, I don’t really have a favorite color, since I like pretty much all of them but for the purposes of this swap, I think I’ll go for ultramarine blue. Like this color:

  • Are there any colors you don’t like?

Uhm…not really. I like any color, as long as it’s rich and vibrant. And sometimes not! I don’t usually go for pastels though.

  • Do you have a yarn winder and/or a swift?

I wish. They were on my Christmas list, but no dice. Hopefully I’ll at least get a swift for my birthday!

  • Do you have a blog?

I dunno, do I?

  • Do you collect anything?

Books! I am an avid reader, and if I love a book, I have to have a hardback, preferably first edition, and even more preferably signed! I also collect mugs, and when I get my own place I shall be collecting tea pots as well!

  • Do you like sweets? What are your favorites?

Yes! Who doesn’t? I love chocolate, especially dark chocolate. Since I’ve been eating healthier, I’ve noticed that your standard chocolate (Hershey’s, Reece’s, Twix, etc.) doesn’t really taste good to me anymore. I prefer more “gourmet” chocolate, like Girradheli and Lindt. My new favorite thing is dark chocolate with sea salt and almonds. Mmmm…

  • What is your living situation like? Any pets? Children?

Well I’m in college, currently living in an apartment with my wonderful roommate and her crazy cat!

  • Are you allergic to anything?

Nope, thank heavens! I have way too many friends who are allergic, and I thank my lucky stars that I never have had that issue!

  • Is there anything else that you want your pal to know?

Can’t think of anything, except that I’m really excited about this! My first swap was a huge success, so hopefully this one will be too!

 

 

Cheers!

 

February Flashback

Well, February has been a crazy month, so I haven’t gotten a chance to post about it! I’ll tell you up front, I didn’t finish my “official” February socks, and I haven’t even started on my afghan squares for this month, but I’m not that worried about it. Spring break is just a few short days away, and after that a key aspect of my schedule will be changing, so the rest of the semester should be a lot less stressful!

 

NEW YORK

To start with the big news, I took a trip to New York with my friend Amy! She goes up there every year for her birthday, to visit her old friends and catch up. I was really surprised that she invited me–I love her to death, but we haven’t known each other very long, and it can be risky taking a trip with someone you don’t know as well! (I should know, I’ve had some bad vacations which I thought were going to be awesome!) But fortunately, we both had a great time!

Note: Some of these pictures are stolen from Amy and Tina, since I have a bad habit of photographing scenery, and not people! Don’t worry though, give credit where credit is due!

Wednesday/Thursday

So, to start off, after enjoying my first every Knit Night at Borders, I stayed over at Amy’s house so that we could leave bright and early the next morning. I don’t sleep very well in new places, so I was up late reading Spin Off Magazine, which had some very interesting articles (particularly about Angora Rabbits!) and a lot of terminology that I didn’t understand at all! But it was interesting nonetheless. After finally getting to sleep, I was awoken at 5AM by my poor roommate, Kayleigh, who had apparently forgotten I was leaving, and thought I might be dead in a ditch somewhere! At least she cares, right? So, I didn’t get back to sleep, because Amy’s cats decided that since I was already awake, I might as well get up. Thus, I got a really early start to the trip!

me, Amy, Amanda, Meghan, and Corey (not pictured is Tina); swiped from Amy's blog

So, Amy and I had breakfast and took off, making a pit stop for gas, and to send off my package for the Have a Cuppa Swap. The drive was only about five hours, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ve only ever driven straight to NYC, so I am used to about a nine hour drive, give or take. Anyway, we arrived mid-afternoon at Meghan’s house, where we relaxed while she cooked us a delicious dinner, and we were quickly joined by Corey, Amanda, and Tina! We all stayed up late that night, talking about literally everything (you know what I mean, Amy!) and just had a grand ol’ time. I’m usually pretty shy about meeting new people, but with that group I quickly felt as if I’d known them my whole life. Finally we all showered and turned in to catch some Z’s before our exciting day in the city!

Friday

the stunning ceiling, depicting the constellations

Today was our big day in the city! I’ve been to NYC twice before, but I’ve never gone into the city just to shop and explore, so this was pretty new for me! And Amy, despite having lived in New York for five years, somehow had never made it to the city. So we took a train from Tarry Town to Grand Central Station. Amy gave me some good advice on the train ride: when in New York, always look up! She wasn’t kidding. Grand Central was amazing. It’s a dream world of architecture, a beautiful combination of classical architecture and fantasy. If I could make Grand Central my house, I would. It was breathtaking, a really fabulous welcome into the city.

We caught a subway and headed over to Purl Soho, which is the knitting and quilting store of the city, but unfortunately it didn’t open until noon. So to kill time we went off to find the Fluevog store. Siigh…what can I say about Fluevogs? I discovered this little treasure trove when I was looking at projects for the Wallflower Socks. I wanted to see what colors other people had used, and while browsing through the projects I found this one. I’m not gonna lie….I only looked at this project to look at those shoes. I mean, they’re beautiful! And they obviously look fantastic with knitted socks! I was going to email her and ask her about the shoes, but fortunately someone else had already commented asking her whether they were Fluevogs. So I used the oh-so-convenient Google, and searched Fluevogs.

Well. I am in love.

Not only are these shoes beautiful, handcrafted, and stylish, every comment I’ve seen on the website has been along the lines of “I never wear high-heels because they always make my feet hurt but I bought these Fluevogs and walked all over San Francisco without one blister or ache!” I have the same problem with heels. I’m not one of those girls who broke herself into heels in middle school and can now wear them for hours because the nerve endings in her feet are dead. Being short, every pair of pants I’ve ever owned I’ve had to hem, so to find a pair of heels that are actually comfortable would be amazing.

I had to try these on.

feeling like Cinderella here

how cute are these??

Okay, so I’m making a weird face in this picture, but what’s really going on is me saying, “Oh my gosh, these are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn!” and everyone else saying, “They look fabulous! They’d be perfect for showing off hand-knitted socks!”

Sadly, the one flaw with these shoes is…they range from $200-$400. But you know, if they last for ten years like all the reviews say, then I’d say that’s an investment worth making. I wish I could’ve walked out in them, but I think my parents would’ve gotten pretty miffed if I dropped $300 on a pair of shoes, no

the door to Narni--er, I mean, Purl Soho...

matter how cute and comfortable. So, I’m starting a jar to save up for these shoes…they’re discontinuing this color, so hopefully I’ll be able to get these before they are gone forever!

Anyway, enough about Fluevogs. After “ooh”-ing and “ahh”-ing over the shoes, we went back over to Purl Soho. I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the inside–it was a beautiful whirl of colors and patterns. The first half of the narrow store is packed with shelves ceiling-high full of delicious yarn! Each column was arranged by fiber, and then each fiber was arranged by color…so pretty! It was so hard to choose what to buy…who doesn’t love souvenir yarn? I decided to go out of my comfort zone, color-wise, and bought some beautiful Koigu KPM sock yarn in a pale seafoam green.  It’s 100% Merino, and very soft with a very slight halo. I think it would be perfect for a very simple lace pattern, or possibly paired with white in a floral faire-isle pattern. Maybe the Wallflower pattern! I also bought a pair of Addi Turbos in size 00, since I’ve been having trouble with gauge. Most sock patterns I have to completely change the sock because it doesn’t fit. Now I can actually just knit the pattern like it’s supposed to be made! I really wanted to buy a stack of quilting squares, because they had a lot of great fabrics, and Amy’s going to teach me how to sew this summer, but they were expensive and I was already spending enough on yarn.

After Purl Soho we got some hot dogs (which were disappointing) and went to Times Square to do the touristy thing. We went into the Disney store, which was fantastic, and Sephora! It made me wish I went to clubs or something so I could wear all that glamourous makeup! Oh, and the Toys R Us has a ferris wheel inside. Yeah. No joke.

Trinity Church from the outside--right next to the Stock Exchange

the inside

Finally we went to my favorite stop: Trinity Church. It was amazing. A towering Episcopal church right in the middle of Wall Street. Despite being dwarfed by skyscrapers, somehow Trinity Church seemed so much more larger-than-life than anything else there. The inside was even more magnificent, with beautiful carved dark wood, and stained glass windows. Buildings should look like that. Modern architecture, to me, just doesn’t seem to have the emotion and aesthetic that these chapels have. Just stepping inside filled me with awe at the capability of man, the creativity. It’s so inspiring to me. I would live in NYC just to be able to go to that church.

Finally we returned to Tarry Town. We met up with Amanda for dinner at a cute little diner. On the outside it looked like some weird, Aztec/Mexican food, and on the inside it was a little 1950’s diner! So strange, but it was good! Afterward we returned to Meghan’s and then had to drive another hour and a half to Tina’s house, where we collapsed into exhaustion.

Saturday

Saturday, we blessedly slept in before getting up to go explore Hudson! Tina took us out to Verdigris, a fabulous tea shop with hundreds of different loose leaf teas. It was a dream for me! Euria got me a tea infuser spoon for Christmas, and there really is a vast difference between bagged and loose leaf! It was so hard to choose, there were so many! So I bought five one-ounce samples of different teas. Unfortunately I left them in Amy’s trunk when we got back, so I haven’t been able to taste them yet! We also went to a great little coffee shop/coffee roaster called Strongtree Coffee, where we had a good cup of coffee and bought some beans to take home.

Then we went on to Hudson Sheep and Wool Co., a yarn store which is also a mill! It was fascinating to see how the fiber is processed! There were just piles and piles of fiber everywhere, all different kinds!

fiber!!

Mickey felting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

roving goes in...

...and yarn comes out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was so cool to see all the machines and fiber, and how everything works. And then in the shop I bought some official Hudson Sheep and Wool Co. sock yarn and some Shetland roving to try out spinning on! Unfortunately the sock yarn got left at Tina’s house, so I have to wait on that, but it’s a nice blue and yellow colorway, and was dyed right there in the mill! I’m going to use it to make another pair of socks for Euria.

Tina, John the Chef, and Steve

After that we had a late lunch at the Cask and Rasher, which was a fabulous pub in Coxsackie. It was fantastic! The only beer on tap I recognized was Guinness, and it looked like the kind of place where if you asked for a Bud Light you’d get thrown out. And the food was amazing! Literally the best buffalo wings of my life, and I’ve had quite a few in my time. And the fish and chips was so well battered that you could actually pick it up and eat it with your hands, and there was more fish than batter! John, the chef, was so nice! He came out and chatted with us and gave us a slice of rum cake and mafia cake on the house! He told us about the mafia cake, a recipe he got when he was working at a jail, checking food for razors and such. This one woman always brought in a chocolate cake for her husband each week, who was a mafia hitman. Since he was so careful about cutting through the cake, she brought him a slice, and when he tried it, he asked for the recipe and she gave it to him! And let me tell you, it was delicious!

Amy and I spinning

me and my first skein of handspun!

After dinner, we went back to Tina’s to relax and spin! Tina and Amy taught me on a wheel that Tina’s selling for a friend. It was harder than it looks, but at the same time easier than I thought it would be. It’s difficult to explain. I wanted to get a thinner yarn, like fingering weight, but I couldn’t find the balance between DK and laceweight. Funny, eh? Still, Tina and Amy both said that it was a great skein for my first try! Amy’s wheel keeled over on her, so she got a new one, a very pretty Ashford Traditional. In the meantime, her old wheel (Becki) is getting fixed, and will be on loan to me once she’s in better shape! That means I’ll be able to experiment with spinning more!

After a relaxing evening, we all went to bed early, still sore and tired from our trip to the city.

Sunday

Sunday was a day of relaxation for us. Tina and Steve made waffles and peppercorn bacon for us, and we all just sat around all day, relaxing. Tina purposefully planned this day of nothing for us, so that we would get a chance to recuperate before we went home, and boy did we appreciate it! A friend of Tina’s, Avyngail (I think that’s how it’s spelled…), came over and knitted with us, while we watched an episode of Castle, a great show starring Nathan Fillion. Later, after Avyngail left, we watched the new Star Trek movie, which was surprisingly good! We just relaxed, while I started working on a pair of socks on my new Addi Turbos, with yarn hand-dyed by Tina. The yarn is called Zombie Queen, mostly black with pops of hot pink, white, and gray, almost like a tweed. I really like how they turned out–they fit perfectly, thanks to my new needles!

We went back to the Cask and Rasher for drinks and wings, and I took home…the Satan Wing. One wing to rule them all, one wing to find them. One wing to bring them all, and in the excruciating, burning pain of the Ghost Pepper, bind them.

…or something like that. In prose form, this wing is made with the Ghost Pepper, the World’s Hottest Pepper. Well, actually, third as of 2007, but still. I didn’t eat one, no way. But I took one home for Euria, because he’s always wanted to try the Ghost Pepper. The results were phenomenal, I must say.Unfortunately I can’t upload the videos, but I have a fantastic video of Euria eating one (yes, one) bite of the wing. He was very angry with me while he was eating it, because it was so hot, but about ten minutes later, I got another tape of him on the phone with Will the DM, telling him how amazing it was! It was hilarious.

On Monday we drove back, and I spent a blessed couple of days in town, just relaxing after the exhaustion of so much fun! It was a blast, and I can’t wait to go back and see everyone!

 

OTHER THINGS

So like I said, I got off track with my knitting. Part of it, I think, it the sock yarn I got for February. I’m just not very happy with it, I don’t like the colorway. I got Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted Sock Yarn in Unicorn, which the picture said was shades of pink, pale yellow, and aqua blue. The changes are a lot more extreme than I expected, and there’s a lot more purple. Anyway, I just don’t like how they’re turning out. I think I may just frog them, and turn them into some Plain Jane socks and pick a different yarn for Amy’s pattern. Plus this way I can rework them on my new needles and they’ll actually fit!

So I haven’t had the time to work on my afghan squares, since I have been working on socks, but I am very pleased with my Zombie Anastasia socks, so that makes up for it, I think.

And, in just two short days, I shall be on a plane to the land of sunshine, Jacksonville, Florida, to see my best friend, Christine! I haven’t seen her in two and a half years, way too long a time, if you ask me. We’re going to spend a week together, and go to DisneyWorld for a day or two! It should be a blast, and it will be great to enjoy some warmth, since it’s supposed to be cold all week here. I plan to reread The Name of the Wind, knit, and have fun! And then, the week just gets better. The Monday after I get back, Euria and I are going to Washington D.C. to go to a book signing at the Library of Congress. Who’s signing? Patrick Rothfuss. YES. I am so excited. This will be my first book signing, and he’s one of my most favorite authors!

Needless to say, it’s been a good month, and it’s only getting better!

 

Cheers!

 

Quickie Update

Well, I’m making some headway on my Quickie socks for Euria! Let me tell you, for an easy pattern, they’ve been an absolute pain! It’s not the pattern’s fault though…it’s Euria’s big feet! I had to redo the heel twice because I made the sock too short, and then I had to bind it off twice because the cuff was too tight! I was originally going to do a garter stitch cuff, but that wouldn’t fit over his heel, so I just did half the rows of the rib pattern and used this fantastic bind off I discovered: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. It’s just as magical as Judy’s Magic Cast On and it really is incredibly stretchy! I’m so glad I’ve found it, because my number on problem with socks has been that the cuff is too tight! So now I’ve got the first sock done, the second one should be a breeze to knit up.

the first sock--absurdly long!

the absurdly long sock

Trust me, it looks a lot better on his foot. This sock caused me a lot of trouble! (Euria is anal about taking his shoes off–once they’re on, they’re not coming off for anything!) But now it’s finished, the second one will be easy. Although this technically took over half a month to make, there was an entire week during which I wasn’t working on these, because I need him to try them on again, so really this took about a week and a half to finish. Note bad, considering my past history!

Sydney's square

my square

I also finished two of my afghan squares for my Year in Afghans project! I finished Sydney’s and mine, so I just have Euria’s and Kayleigh’s left. I am really happy with this yarn. It’s Knit Pick’s Swish Worsted Yarn, which is soft, has a nice sheen, and above all, cheap! I was a little hesitant because I’m really picky about wool, since it’s often scratchy, but this is just soft enough for a blanket, while still being durable. And the colors are gorgeous! Sydney’s square is–like many of the colors–heathered, so on top of the ultramarine blue, there are hints of purple and deep blue in the fiber. And the photo doesn’t show it, but the red is eye-popping!

"Autumn Harvest"

"Autumn Harvest"

And, saving the best for last, I finally finished editing Amy’s novel, so this past weekend, while pub knitting with her, I received my payment: two delicious skeins of her own handspun! I named them myself, since she didn’t. “Autumn Harvest” is a gorgeous DK/Worsted weight yarn, with shades of pink, orange and green plied together! It’s absolutely stunning, the kind of color that makes you want to walk hand-in-hand through the park on a breezy fall day, sipping hot apple cider! I haven’t decided what I’m going to do with this skein yet, but I’m picturing a simple, slouchy

"Blue Damask"

"Blue Damask"

beret. “Blue Damask” is fingering weight, because Amy knows I love socks! Shades of blue plied with pale peach, and a nice halo give this skein a really vintage feel, I think. So instead of socks, I’ve decided to go for something that will really show it off, while retaining the Audrey Hepburn feel I think this yarn gives off! So I’m going to be knitting this into Abby, a simple lace cowl which was originally designed for a precious skein of handspun. I think it will be perfect for this yarn!

Now, off to class, and that second sock!

Handmade Pay-It-Forward

So, my friend Amy posted this on her blog, Mrs. Darsie’s Menagerie and I was the first to comment, so that means I’ll be getting something deliciously handmade from her! I never finish the projects that I make for myself, so I get jealous of all my own handknits! So anyway, here’s the deal:

I promise to send something handmade to the first 5 people who leave a comment here.  They in turn must post this and send something they make to the first 5 people to comment on their blog (or Facebook note).  The rules are that it must be handmade by you and it must be sent to your 5 recipients sometime in 2011.

These will be knitted projects, as an added motivation to my knitting resolutions! Requests of color or article of clothing are perfectly welcome!
Cheers!

 

12 Months of Socks and a Year in Afghans

So as one of my (many) New Year’s Resolutions, I am going to take up my friend Amy’s challenge of knitting one pair of socks each month. This will (hopefully) be a way for me to keep up with my knitting and finish projects in a timely matter. Last semester I was bogged down with schoolwork, so I only knitted three small projects over four months. This year, I’m determined to be more productive!

the pattern, "Quickie Socks"

So anyway, last night I cast on Quickie Socks, a pattern from The Joy of Sox knitting book, a Christmas present from Euria. It’s a lovely book, with over two dozen different sock patterns, all gorgeous! This particular pattern is one of the easier ones; it’s a simple offset rib pattern, but the results are very nice! I think it should knit up pretty quickly. The pattern is designed top-down, but I prefer toe-up, and this is a pattern that can easily go either way. I’m also increasing the number of stitches, since I’m making these for Euria. The patterns in the book are mostly designed for women, but I think this is a pretty unisex pattern.

 

the yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in "Slate"

 

I’m using a sock yarn that was originally his, but he still hasn’t gotten into knitting socks, so he said I could have it. The picture doesn’t show the color very well. It’s a cobalt blue, not usually a color I like, but the yarn has a really lovely sheen to it. And Cherry Tree Hill Yarn is my favorite sock yarn to work with. It’s got just enough elasticity, and it always knits up cleanly and beautifully! And, if I actually stick to my monthly plan, these will be done just in time for Euria’s birthday!

 

Euria's Afghan

Kayleigh's Afghan

My Afghan

Sydney's Afghan

And to help motivate me to actually finish the projects I inevitably juggle, I’m also taking up the Year in Afghan project. I’ll be making four afghans, total. One for me, one for Euria, one for my roommate, Kayleigh, and one for my sister, Sydney. These will be next year’s Christmas presents, so I’m also getting a head start on my Christmas knitting! (Another of my New Year’s resolutions.) These pictures are not the exact layout, they’re just general color charts. Euria’s is going to be blue, green, and grey. Kayleigh’s is purple and grey. Mine is pink, red, and grey. And Sydney’s is blue and grey. I’m using Knit Pick’s Swish Worsted Yarn, which is made of superwash Merino wool. Hopefully it will be soft–I’ve never used it before, but it’s got good ratings on Ravelry, and it’s cheap!

So that’s the start of my year. Oh, and I finished Carrie’s arm warmers, just in time for her bridal shower! Even better, I have enough yarn left over to make her fiance’ a matching pair of gloves!

 

Cheers!

Hava a Cuppa Swap Q&A

I’m finally joining a yarn swap! I’m so excited! So here’s the first set of questions for the swap!

Have A Cuppa Swap Q&A

  • Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft?

I knit. I tried crochet once but it didn’t feel right…there was only one needle! And I’ve been knitting for about two years now. I learned originally in high school, but I quit pretty quickly. Then in my freshman year of college I had a dream that I was knitting so I went to Michael’s (blegh!) and bought some needles and yarn!

  • Do you spin? What type of spinning do you do?

I don’t spin, but my friend Amy said that she would teach me this summer! AND when she gets her new wheel, I get                             her old one!

  • Are there any other crafts that you participate in?

I don’t have any other crafts, but I like to dabble in painting and sketching, as well as writing.

  • What are your favorite yarns/fibers? Are there any yarns/fibers that you don’t like?

I love Cherry Hill sock yarn and Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande for nice big cowls and scarves. Any kind of sock yarn,                          really, as long as it’s a multi-ply. I don’t like single ply, because it always turns messy for me! I make too many mistakes!                    I also don’t like anything acrylic, or Noro yarns. It’s too scratchy.

  • What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you don’t like?

I love pretty much all colors, except neon colors. I tend to only buy blues and greens though, and I want to branch out.                        Right now I’m on a pink kick.

  • Are there any types/brands of yarn that you are dying to work with but haven’t gotten a chance?

I’d love to work with something really luxe, like cashmere or silk. Also I love bamboo blends.

  • Do you prefer coffee, hot tea, or cocoa? What is your favorite (type of coffee or tea, etc.?)

I love all three, but my number one favorite is hot tea. I love all kinds of tea, but I especially like black tea. My favorite                          blends are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast. I’d love some loose leaf. I just got an infuser for Christmas                      but I don’t have any loose leaf to use it with!

  • Do you have a blog?

I dunno…do I?

  • Do you collect anything?

Not yet. But when I have my own place, there will be an extensive collection of teapots, books, and garden gnomes!

  • Do you like sweets? What are your favorites?

Right now I don’t because I’ve had nothing but sugar over holiday! But I love any chocolate and peanut butter                                          combination!

  • Are you allergic to anything?

Nope! As far as I know the only thing I’m allergic too is poison ivy!

  • Is there anything else you need your pal to know?

I can’t think of anything else right now!

Playing Catch Up

So, I’ve neglected this blog for about a year now and I’ve decided that–as a way to force myself to keep up with my knitting–I’m going to turn this blog into an expose on my knitting adventures, because I know they’re so very exciting. So to start off, here are my most recent projects. This past semester has been really hectic for me, so I didn’t have time to knit nearly as much as I would’ve liked to. But on the bright side, I managed to get through three Christmas projects this year! That’s two more than last year, so I’m definitely getting better. It helped that all three were very quick knits.

Grandma's Cowl

You can’t tell from the picture, but the yarn is bright aqua blue, the same color as a jacket my grandma’s been wearing since the ’80s (unfortunately!). The yarn is Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, a personal favorite of mine. It’s incredibly soft and warm, and so easy to knit with!

The pattern is called Col GC and it’s quick, easy, and fun, something I look for in a pattern! Especially for Christmas presents. I added an extra repeat of the cable pattern, so that there would be the same number of twists in each cable. I think it turned out well, and Grandma loved it.

Aunt Janet's Cowl

This was originally supposed to be a scarf, but I was going to have to buy another ball for it, and I was too stressed from school to worry about it. As a result, I ripped out some of it and turned it into a large cowl. It’s a little too big, actually, and I didn’t realize I hadn’t sewn it up until it was Christmas Eve. At that point, the rest of this yarn was about two hours away, in my apartment, so I went ahead and used scrap alpaca yarn. I’m not too pleased about that, but my aunt is about to move to Phoenix (something I didn’t find out until after I had made this!) so she won’t be wearing it for long. Again, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande, this color is a nice dark maroon, and the pattern is called Nancy’s Cabled Scarf and again, it’s very simple but very pretty. I definitely will be reusing this pattern in the future, maybe even for myself!

Aunt Nancy's Cowl

 

This was made for my Aunt Nancy, who’s not actually related to me. But she’s been living with my grandma for a few years, so she’s practically family. This year was nice because she decided to actually spend Christmas day with us, after spending Christmas Eve day with her own family in Pennsylvania. So that meant that she got to join in all the festivities. This was (surprise surprise) made with Baby Alpaca Grande. Again, the picture doesn’t show it, but the color is a bright coral, a really pretty color. The buttons are bright yellow, and I forgot to sew them on before Christmas Eve, so I had to use the same scrap yarn that I used for Aunt Janet’s cowl. I’m a lot happier with this one though, though. The pattern is called Quick Cabled Cowl and the name doesn’t lie, it’s definitely quick! I think this only took me a couple of hours to finish knitting!

Carrie's Wrist-Warmers

Carrie's Wrist-Warmers

 

So that was Christmas, pretty successful, considering my past history. And I have now started working on wrist-warmers for my friend Carrie. We’ve been friends for several years, despite all the dramas of our high school. I bought this yarn for her birthday last year (possibly the year before) with the promise that it would one day be socks. But my history with socks has been rocky, so I’ve decided to go with the arm-warmers (after attempting socks and getting fed up with them and putting them on hiatus for a year. Eventually–as in, Christmas day, a year (or two) later–I picked up the yarn again and began these wrist-warmers. I think it’s interesting, though, because so much has changed in Carrie’s life in the past year. The most important factor is that she met her now fiance, whom she is marrying in a week and a half! I’d never bought yarn/knitted for her before, so it almost seems like a little bit of yarn magic rubbed off on her! I know it’s corny, but all the strands of her life “knitted up” to bring her to her soulmate! Darn, now that I think of it, socks would’ve been perfect. “Solemates!” Haha! Maybe next Christmas, for both of them. Anyway, the yarn is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select, and it’s all beautiful blue and purple tones, her favorite colors. I was afraid that the cabling pattern wouldn’t show up well, but it’s actually turning out beautifully! I’m very pleased with it! AND I think I’ll have some yarn left over! Maybe I’ll make shorter versions of this for Carrie’s fiance, Anthony!

the yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in "Slate"

a Christmas present from Euria, a book I've been wanting for FOREVER

the pattern, "Quickie Socks"

 

For Christmas, Euria got me The Joy of Sox, a knitting book I’ve been wanting since last Christmas, with a ton of beautiful sock patterns. So, I’ve decided that–in an attempt to keep up with my knitting–I’m going to take up a habit of my friend Amy’s: knitting a pair of socks per month. January’s going to be these “Quickie Socks,” made for Euria. The yarn is actually Euria’s, a gift from Amy herself, but he has yet to really give sock knitting a good crack. (He hates the tiny needles.) So he said I could have this to knit him a pair of socks. I think this pattern is pretty masculine, don’t you? It’s just simple ribbing, set off-kilter. Shouldn’t be too frustrating. (Knock on wood!) And the best part is, if I actually finish them in a month, they’ll be ready just in time for Euria’s birthday! Hopefully the ribbing will show up…if not, too bad for him! Haha. It’s so hard to knit for him, because he thinks pretty much everything is girly, but hopefully he’ll like this pattern! And hopefully this will kick-start the new year, and I will be able to keep up with my knitting. Next semester won’t be nearly as busy (again, knock on wood) so I should be able to keep up with my projects. Maybe I’ll even be able to get Christmas presents done for everyone next year!

 

Cheers!

 

O! Acrylic yarn, how I loathe thee. Let me count the ways…

1. Thee feels like plastic s*** under mine fingertips.

2. Thee maketh my fingers sweat and blister.

3. Thou art rough as eighty-grit sand paper.

4. Thou smelleth bad and unnatural.

5. Thee tangles worse than any twine known to man.

6. Thy synthetics are an abomination before the Lord.

7. Thou art abundant and cheap, which causes unwary knitters to purchase thee.

8. Thy colors are almost always ugly.

9. Thou doth not slip from my needle with ease.

10. Thou cometh in Fun Fur.

There are many more, but Brandon and I stopped at ten because there are only Ten Commandments. And he had to go to clinicals. Just a little fun complaining because I just finished my mitts of awesome Alpaca and now I’m determined to finish Kelly’s scarf, which is awful acrylic. It doesn’t feel that bad unless you’re knitting with it, honestly. Ah the trials and tribulations of the knitter.