Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Chronicles of VJ continue with mirrored increases centered over the same stitch as the decreases. Notice there's only one marker needed in this case. My aunt has finished her project. She didn't need help with the increases but since I was swatching... She did call for help one more time -- and I thought I'd have knit the entire thing but giving her assignments over the phone (okay do the next 9 rows and call me when your done) seemed to cover it. The pattern she was working on was the Yoke Vest in Loop-d-Loop. It sounds intriguing, I may just give it a try with some sock yarn and see if it fits a Barbie or something.
Gifts, gifts, gifts. It's that time of year and there are rewards for all the knitting, shopping, jewelry making, etc. Tuesday's Lace Day and we had our annual gift exchange. I got the cute little Debbie Mumm teapot teaspoons pictured here with Mary Engelbreit teapot teabag holders that I already had -- how did she know they'd go so well? They are all sitting on a handwoven scarf with handspun pink angora weft. This is a very talented group of ladies with great taste, of the gifts there were 3 scarves (2 handwoven, 1 handknitted), homegrown honey, handpoured beeswax candles, lots of home canned jellies and jams, a handmade/stuffed lace pillow and a beautifully handpainted egg from Hungary. Our theme? Handmade but not necessarily by you. It's a good theme, 2 years running. I like.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Started the next xmas scarf in the queue, this one's a bit more interesting (less complicated yarn). It's the "Quick Knit Magic Mohair Scarf" by Effectiveness by Design. And it is definitely quick and definitely effective. The instructions were very clear, however I ended up frogging this puppy 1/2 a dozen times because I misinterpreted the directions. It's gotta be right now as it looks like the picture on the pattern.
I'm using this to keep track of the 4 row pattern repeat. You can keep track of up to 6 rows. As you can see I'm still having fun with my stitch marker supply. These are 12mm split rings, which fit nicely on my US 13 needles. I like how they dangle on the end of the needle -- the Czech crystals sparkle just so.
And now we interrupt this blog to bring you The VJ Chronicles
Here's the first of many installments of what I'm calling the VJ Chronicles. My aunt (VJ) just started knitting and she's so far accompanied me to a couple knitting conventions. She's coming with me on a knitting retreat in Jan and then Stitches West in Feb. She lives in Atascadero which is a couple hours south of here, so I get a few random calls on my cell when she runs into a pattern problem. Mistakes in patterns do exist, however it never fails to have you asking, "Is it me or is this just wrong?" Here's a tip -- before you go chasing your tail over some problem in a pattern, check for errata. Most publishers will put it right on their website. Anyways, I usually try to solve the problem on the phone. Sometimes it requires me to try a swatch and get back to her. This is one of those cases. Pictured above are the mirrored decreases as described in Loop-d-Loop. The left-leaning decrease will look a bit puffier than the right-leaning one because the twist unravels the yarn on the left-leaning and does the opposite on the right-leaning. Note the position of the markers. Next installment: mirrored increases.
Finally, this is now on it's way to a very worthy recipient in Co-- (ssh its a secret and while she knows of the blog I still want it to be somewhat a surprise). This set consists of fresh water pearls, chinese crystals, czech beads and bali silver, I also made a bracelet (not pictured). It's a few days late, hope she likes blue!
Monday, November 28, 2005
I finally started on one of the Xmas scarves. I'm down to 2. Not that I finished everything else, there's just the 2. All other gifts I've decided either will not be knit or if knitted, not for Xmas. Fixes that.
Monday, November 14, 2005
But did I start the Christmas knitting? Not yet. I went to watch my daughters ice skate and brought my sock, along with 2 circular needles and the book "Socks Soar on 2 Circular Needles" by Cat Bordhi. What's cool is the Sensational Socks book includes breakdowns for 5, 4 and 2 needles. I did the first one on 5 needles so we'll see how much faster it goes with 2 needles. I'm not ready to turn in my dp's yet, but I may purchase a couple more sets of 24 circs in sizes 1 and 3...and maybe some size 8 US for the Vogue shrug -- which I'm holding hostage until the Christmas knitting has started (as for the ends of the fairisle, what fairisle?)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
21. My oldest UFO is sampler (embroidery) I started just before I got married (1993).
22. My second oldest UFO is a quilt started just before my 2nd child was born (1998).
23. I have 5 spinning wheels and over 100 spindles.
24. My mother and father are still married.
25. I have one brother and no sisters.
26. I grew up close to several of my first cousins. Two of my mom's sisters, her parents, her uncle and his family lived within a 1/2 mi radius.
27. If I got into trouble *everybody* knew about it.
28. I rarely got
29. My favorite color is pink.
30. I was a Navy brat.
31. So were half my cousins.
32. I'm a first generation (born here) Filipino.
33. I don't speak Tagalog.
34. I'm a native Californian.
35. I can speak "valley girl".
36. I like tall men with big hands.
37. My husband is 6'3" and wears a size 13 shoe (this should give you an idea of how big his hands are -- since feet and hands are proportional.
38. I like to cook -- although not everything always turns out.
39. I love to bake -- experimentation here seems less risky.
40. My favorite holiday is Easter.
Monday, November 07, 2005
I went holiday shopping in Half Moon Bay this weekend and found a kit for this wrap called Sursa out of one of Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton's Noro books (the second, believe). It's knit with Noro Silk Garden held double (both ends of each skein). I get mesmerized while knitting this project wondering what color combo will come up next, or deciding which skein to add next -- they all start/end differently. I'm half done with with the main part, which I cast on yesterday afternoon. I also bought a nice project bag made from bolivian blankets, a pink fresh water pearl necklace with matching earrings and a hand painted silk scarf -- all (shamefully) for me.
Another thing taking time, attention away from Christmas knitting/project finishing/starting is this:
my other passion is bobbin lace. This is an acorn (I've taken artistic liberty with the colors) done in Milanese style lace. Bobbins (aren't they stunning?) hand turned by Wolf Bauer.
Friday, November 04, 2005
1. I'll start with the meaning of FiberDev -- I am a computer programmer by profession, also known as a developer. A developer takes one thing and turns it into another -- as a programmer I take code and turn it into a program. As a fiber developer...well you get the picture.
2. I'm a mother of 2 lovely daughters.
3. I've been married for 12 years.
4. I was born and raised in California. I grew up in Southern California and now live in Northern California.
5. I went to school at UCSB, go Gauchos!
6. I love to read historical fiction and chick lit. I read 1.5 books a month, 1/3 of which are audio books.
7. One of my favorite movies is French Kiss.
8. I don't like to travel. To clarify, I like visiting different places, but I don't like getting there. Plus, I get homesick -- even over the weekend.
9. I drink Peet's coffee. If I find myself in a Starbucks I will have a peppermint mocha latte -- I don't consider this coffee.
10. I love chocolate. 2 weeks before my 1st daughter was due I walked into a See's Candies and bought their 4 lb box. I was hungry. She was born 4 days later.
11. I had gestational diabetes during my second pregnancy so I waited until after she was born to eat a (very small) box of Godivas, but before the nurse came to checked my blood sugar.
12. Later, I developed Type II diabetes but I still have chocolate -- just not as much or as often as I'd like.
13. I love cheese, all kinds but mostly soft cheeses like cambazola.
14. I'm Catholic, but not a very good one.
15. I'm Republican, also not a very good one.
16. I'm pro-choice, see?
17. I like having a garden, but I don't like gardening. My idea of gardening is pointing at the things I don't like in the garden and asking my husband to remove them.
18. I love fruit -- all kinds, no exceptions.
19. One of my favorite books is The Mists of Avalon.
20. I love anything Brighton.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
As for Science Camp -- 2 nights down and 2 to go. The See's is holding up and is looking like it's going to last. I've had help from DH and kind offers of help from friends. I think I can manage on my own though. It's weird not having K around. She balances things. The 3 of us are like a chair missing 1 leg. L surprisingly is enjoying all the attention. She did however, spend yesterday afternoon making a "Welcome Home" poster for her sister, I think she misses her too.
Monday, October 24, 2005
And if that doesn't keep me from chewing all my nails with worry, I do have other projects to knit (and start) but just in case none of that helps, I have these...
they should last until Friday when she returns. Check back...
Friday, October 21, 2005
plus all of these... Yes, that's all 30 of Knit Picks colors in Palette, their fingering weight yarn. It was such a good deal, and such a bold thing to do -- who could resist? Certainly not I. There's like at least what 7 pairs of mittens in there. So here's the plan, choose a design, decide on the colors and get going. Except, there's a catch...I want them to be convertible. I know, how unconventional, traditional ethnic mittens with flip tops. Isn't it bad enough I gotta throw a Kaffe Fassett twist in there? Bear with me, what I want the mittens for is going to the ice rink where my daughters take skating lessons. Well...I would like them to have flip tops so...I can still knit while I watch. See? Only a knitter would think of this. Where else are you gonna get them? Sure you can buy convertible mittens -- but can you buy convertible Latvian mittens? How about convertible Latvian mittens a la Kaffe Fassett? I don't think so. These mittens only exist in the mind of a knitter.
The weekend approaches -- I've got a sock to finish, ends to weave, other projects to start and mittens to design. So while I go off and do all that I'll leave you with these beautiful stitch markers that I made, they are so addicting -- betcha can't just make one!
Monday, October 10, 2005
1) it is done in the round
2) it is made with fingering weight wool
3) each pattern row is done in 2 colors
This sweater breaks all 3 rules
1) it is done flat
2) it is made with cotton
3) 2 patterns require 3 colors per row
This did not stop me from knitting it -- however, it nearly stopped me from finishing it.
Look at the detail of the collar -- it is picked up from the body -- see how nicely it mirrors the patterning from the bottom of the sweater? I didn't plan that -- it just happened. There are lots of little serendipitous things like this that happened, like the patterns match at the seams -- even the sleeve seams -- this could be the genius of Debbie Bliss. I know one thing that is the genius of Debbie Bliss -- it fits my daughter, 4 years after I started it. Okay, I planned the sweater for my older daughter -- but even she was 7 at the time I planned to finish it. This is sized for a 5-6 yo. But this is Debbie Bliss and she designs her sweaters to run big.
Okay now here's a secret, another thing that nearly kept me from finishing -- I was running out of the maroon. I finished the back, looked at what I had left and realized that I may run out. With all the difficulties I was having with all the broken rules, I put the sweater away. Several years later, I found the sweater and wondered why I never finished it. As I started the front I soon found out. I re-realized I was running out of not only the maroon but the black as well. I thought I'd purchase one more of each. I found the black -- obviously not the same dye lot but it was close. But, I could not find the maroon anywhere, apparently it was discontinued. This was nerve-wracking. Why didn't I buy the extra yarn before? Ugh. What could I do? I did what any knitter in with cyberspace at her fingertips. I googled for the yarn and the color number and it came up in a shop in Germany! I e-mailed them, and purchased one skein (I now get their newsletters in German -- it's entertaining if nothing else). However, it took a long time to come. I waited. I couldn't work on the sweater until I had all the yarn. Just as I was about to contact the store, it finally arrived and I discovered that it ended up being sent to Canada before making it to California (get it CA, vs CA?). It seemed a tad darker but I saved it and used it for the last section of one sleeve and the collar. Can you tell? I think it's the sleeve on the right. You can't tell from the collar. I'm just glad it's done and it's a dream come true. Except of course it's not quite done. I need to weave in the ends. If finishing (knitting and making up) is a dream come true then this...
is a nightmare.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Speaking of the Yarn Harlot I'm catching up on her blog. I started reading it in March of this year so after reading her first book I decided to go back to the beginning of her blog. I'm up to October 2004 now. I can see it coming already. Christmas 2004 -- did she finish all the handknit gifts she started? Somehow I doubt it. This year she's started a hotline. Yup, a support line for those of you (not me) who overcommit. I've got the number in the sidebar. On another note, for some reason I have the urge to knit mittens...
Monday, September 26, 2005
So there was this sale this weekend at Knitting Arts. Notice I've told you after the sale. The owner decided to close out all Trendsetter yarns. All of them. Including what you see swatched above. It's Blossom. Do you see the green sticker on the ball -- that means I got it at 30% off. All 14 balls. Not that I needed 14. But that's all there was. The swatch is for the green basketweave sweater. It's done in pattern. Can you see the pattern? Of course you can. I only needed 11 for this sweater, but I didn't know that when I bought the yarn and well even if I did I still would have bought all of it, sorry, I was there first.
Right, I know I said I wanted to start the Vogue shrug. No, I haven't cast on for it -- but the skeins are wound. And yes, I am suppose to finish the fair isle -- and I had every intention to do it this weekend, but you know, there was this yarn sale and well I spent the rest of the weekend reading this. There is good news. I'm on the toe of the 2nd sock I was working on. Oh and then there's the afterthought heel still to do.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
I know, I know. I really do have to finish the last of the 2001 projects. But in order to achieve yarn harlotry I must give in to whim.
Anyways, I'm pretty much set on the Vogue shrug. I mean I've settled on the yarns (mostly from stash mind you--I only had to buy the Grace). Now I just have to wind and get started. As for the One Skein Wonder...I'm wondering...well, my arms aren't exactly uh, firm, shall we say? And it being fall I was thinking of extending the sleeves to 3/4, y'know? I do have 3 of those skeins (again from stash -- see a trend here?), so it wouldn't be a problem. I dunno. Still contemplating...
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
She has a following, she gets almost 100 comments after each post sometimes more. Me I get 0, big goose egg, although I do know one person who regularly reads my blog besides me -- at least she says so -- hi, Cris!
She's funny. Maybe because she just dives in when she knits she's more prone to "funny" things happening. Me, I'm not nearly as adventurous, but funny and not so funny things do happen -- just not as much.
She's prolific. It seems she casts on and finishes something nearly everyday. I just toil over my measley 5-6 projects. Plus she gets in way more blog entries -- how she can knit all that stuff AND write about it is beyond me.
She has 3 daughters. I have 2. Although mine are younger, however they are of school age and they can feed and clothe themselves. I did teach them to knit at 5, but it really didn't stick until 7. They don't knit regularly but when handed knitting needles they pretty much know what to do (well there was the time they used them as weapons for their Barbies -- this after seeing the movie Charlies Angels -- not good).
She's got (at least) 2 jobs. I have one.
She's actually designed stuff. I've modified a pattern or two.
She's published. I have yet to write full sentences in my own journal.
And the last 3 things I think I have on her...
She's younger and thinner, but I'm taller -- that should count for something. Okay, maybe not. How about this. I'm way more organized -- all my stash is stored in a database. It's kept in plastic tubs with a spreadsheet listing what's inside, all in a stash room that contains what I'm not currently working on. The room itself is 10'x14' and was built by my hubby and his dad in our 3 (now 2 - okay well 1) car garage. My friends and family think I'm nuts.
She spins and knits. I weave, make bobbin lace, and jewelery/beads besides spin and knit. I'm not sure this is a net positive, maybe I'm just spread way too thin.
I don't do laundry. The trick is I'm far more unpleasant if I have to do laundry -- so unpleasant my hubby just does it. There's a downside to this but I'm just not that particular about wrinkled, spotted clothing.
Why the comparison? Not because I aspire to *be* her. I just want to come close.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
While I do tend to buy (and knit!) lots of pink -- not all my yarn has pink in it.
Okay, well so my stash is mostly pink.
Meanwhile I am working on finishing the fairisle -- the last of the 2001 projects. You hafta wonder why these guys got left behind. There were 3 altogether. A pair of socks, the Ironstone Cardigan and the Debbie Bliss fairisle. I looked back at my various knitting journals and found that nothing, well just about nothing, got done in 2002. I'm not sure I even started anything in 2002. I'm willing to bet I didn't buy
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Actually they are at rest, waiting patiently for me to kitchner the heel -- these are the Mermaid Socks from Cool Socks Warm Feet -- the heel is a turkish heel done in garter stitch. This morning I woke up, did the last few rounds of the heel and left it just as you see here to begin my day. I work from home and each time I passed the socks I wanted so badly to finish them. But my job doesn't pay me to knit so they sat. All day. Just like this.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Here she's sporting a Spiderman finger puppet to take back to Hank!
Stephanie (also wearing one of Alison's creations -- a gift, no less) with Alison.
And here with Cris. Coming away from this talk you'd think I'd have "the" answer to why I knit -- why I buy (so much) yarn -- why I'd travel (w/ my knitbuds) an hour in traffic to a yarn store to see/hear the author of a knitting "meditations" book and just connect. I can't explain it. Either you get it or you don't.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Aran Cardigan from the Top Down This is the result of a class I took this weekend at TKGA's Regional Conference at the Oakland Convention Center. It's knit starting at the saddle, working the back, then the fronts, adding the collar, button band and sleeves. Then you make it up by sewing up the sides and arms. The class was taught by Beth Brown-Reinsel. The conference wasn't nearly as big as Stitches West which up until this year had been held in the same location. However it was very nice, the vendor market had a fine selection of yarns. I like seeing vendors who make up patterns and kits and do inspiring things with yarn. I bought some handpainted yarn, a purse kit and a poncho kit -- all in various shades of pink. I have an obsession with pink -- bigger than my obsession with yarn -- but it probably shows up more there than anywhere else.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I did begin the weekend with a shopping spree. It being a holiday weekend there were sales to be had and I could not avoid temptation. Knitting Arts as always had the best selection of yarns at 40% -- I had to laugh when a woman beside me picked up her cell, called her sister and said, "You have to get here". I bought a kit (another -- but different -- Ironstone kit) and some scarf yarns. Yarndogs had a very clever 17.76% off sale on ALL their yarns. They had a capelet on display and a salesperson helped me locate the yarns and choose a different colorway. The pattern was complimentary. Finally I visited Stash in Berkeley, about an hour's drive north of home. They were also having a sale and a trunk show of Loop-D-Loop -- I bypassed all that and found a selection of Wool In the Woods yarn suitable for a top of some sort. When I got home and tried to find a pattern I discovered that I may be short. I called 2 days later thinking I could drive up...they found the yarn and offered to mail it. Isn't it amazing how accomodating yarn shops can be with your money?
Thursday, June 30, 2005
This is what I got for myself at So Much Yarn. Some yummy kid mohair and a pattern for a shawl. My two favorite shops so far are this one and Hilltop. Mostly for atmosphere and selection. So Much Yarn had a nice cozy area to knit. Hilltop was a very quaint looking shop with different rooms to view the yarns. I snagged some Opal sock yarn along with the buttons while there!
I also went to Weaving Works where I bought the small spindle below along with some undyed yarn (not pictured). You can get nearly everything fiber related here. Knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving supplies. They had lots of fiber and coned yarns and a large selection of knitting/crochet yarn. Then I went to Acorn Street Shop which I'm most familiar with since they always come down to the Bay Area for Stitches West. By this time I've had my fill of yarn buying and instead bought a Mt. Rainier spindle by Cascade (larger spindle). It was nice to see their shop which was very well stocked. Days later after coming down from the 4-yarn-shops-in-one-day high, I had a desperate need to find just one more shop -- we ended up in Bothell on a Sunday afternoon (it was the only shop I could find open as my husband made a constraint that I could not go back over the lake and we were in Bellevue). Columbine Yarns is located in Country Village, a very nice shopping center complete with a train for the kids to ride -- see in order to take kids yarn shopping you have to convince them that they'll have fun too. It was a small shop with limited inventory -- however I did find the fiber pictured with the spindles. Three more Seattle shops that I wish I visited Yarn Gallery, Fiber Gallery and Wooly Monkey. The real bummer was while I was in Bellevue the shop Skeins Ltd was closing! I missed their close out sale by one freaking day!!! Wah! For reference, I had my Knitter's Shopfinder in tow (never leave home w/o it) and searched the web for yarn-sites -- btw, this is a great site listing for Seattle area shops http://www.v-comm.net/seattleknitter/stores.html. I'm safely home still discovering shops in my own neighborhood and beyond -- but to all the knit shops I missed in the Seattle area I say (in my deepest Arny accent) "I'll be back".
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
This is the beginnings of the left side of the Palacios Vest. It has 3 lace pattern repeats that I distinguish using the markers. The markers are heavy enough not to go flying off when I transfer them from one needle to the other. Aren't they pretty? I'm back to knitting now, having started the left side here. I brought this along with a sock to knit while on vacation in Seattle, WA. I didn't knit on it at all and did only a few rounds on the sock. Instead I visited 5 yarn shops -- at Hilltop Yarns I bought buttons for the Ironstone Cardigan.
However, they do not match -- I think maybe abalone buttons will go better -- these are too brown.
All I have left to do on the Ironstone Cardi is the button band and seaming. The only thing holding me back from the button band is the buttons and well, the fact that I'm running out of yarn. This is all I have left for the button bands. I have to knit holding all three yarns together, the subtle handpaint effect here is achieved by swapping out one of the colors each section. This is color combo A, which I've used on the collar, rib and cuffs.
I think it's enough. At least I hope so.
Nothing's stopping me from seaming up the sides -- well except the act itself -- love knitting -- hate making up. However, the 4th of July is Monday and I have a 4 day weekend, time to seam, knit on the fairisle and post pix of Seattle aquisitions that include duh, yarn and spindles!