Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wonky Tea Cozy

I finished this tea cozy awhile ago, but never blogged about it. I used a knitty pattern, but didn't follow the directions exactly. I used a different yarn, Noro Kureyon, and once I started the decreases at the top, I did them more frequently than called for. In other words, I did fewer plain rows between decreases, because I was running out of yarn. Also, I didn't do the embroidery.


It didn't felt very well. This is after four or five washings. I first tried to wash it in zippered pillow case, but it wasn't felting at all, so I put it in a lingerie bag and that worked better. I washed it with old towels and used baking soda. I didn't take it out during the spin cycle, but it hardly matters b/c it didn't felt completely.

I've read that Kureyon doesn't felt very well, but I think others say it does. So who knows. Maybe I didn't knit loose enough. In any case, I probably won't be using Kureyon for another felting project.

But, even though it looks funny, it does fit over a regular sized teapot and keep the tea warm. And the colors are pretty! It does, however, need a shave.

So it works. I just probably won't be displaying it in a place of honor.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Other crafts

I worked on my quilt a bit this week. What quilt? you say. Yeah, that's how I feel about it too.


It was two years when my mom came to visit and, along with L, we went to a great fabric store in Annapolis and both L and I bought fabric to start a Yellow Brick Road quilt. We cut out strips and then we stopped. Fast forward to yesterday, and I needed to pack up my machine for our move. Well, I decided I couldn't pack it w/o using it a bit first. So I dusted if off (literally, I hadn't used it since last summer) and started to sew some of my strips together and did quite a bit of them.

I love the fabrics I have: all pinks and greens. I can't wait to work on it some more, but it will have to wait until after the move. I am hoping to set up a nice spot for it in the new house.

It'll be my sixth quilt, I think. Well, my first quilt doesn't really count because it was just two different fabrics. Plus I lost it. During one of my 10 or so moves in my 20s, it disappeared. I suspect an ex-boyfriend. So, my second quilt is a lovely strip quilt, mainly in purples. Mom let me "shop" in her stash so I only had to buy a border and back fabric. I love this quilt. It's a large lapquilt. I have also made one of those flannel lapquilts where the seams are on the outside, so the fray. It has a name ... but I forget. Sadly, these are both packed up, so I'll show pictures next month. And I've made two baby quilts, really cute! But I didn't take pictures.

And here is a bag my mom made for my birthday. I love it!


And here's some pictures of really old and beautfil bonsai trees from the National Arboretum. The green one has been "in training" (that is the term they used for the trees) since 1625.




Tuesday, May 22, 2007

8 Weird Things and 2 Socks

I finished G's socks, finally. He likes them very much and plans to wear them to our house closing next week. What a sweet dork. So the yarn is Ocean Mist from C*EYE*BER Fiber. But G has big, long feet (lucky me) and I ran out of yarn. Thankfully, I also bought a skein of the Riverbed colorway last fall at the Cloverhill booth at Stitches East. I could have made them shorter, but there was no way I was going to unravel these just so the toes would match. I like non-matching toes anyway. Of course, if I had done them toe-up I could have avoided this problem. But I like doing socks top down on DPNs. I'm not saying I'll never do the circular method in the future, but I like my DPNs for now.


What matters is he loves them, I like them and I am finished with them! I started the first sock in early Jan. Um, yeah, socks take me a long time. I did finish the first sock by Feb 13, but got stalled out on the second one. It's the darn cuff in k2p2 that kills me. I find the socks speed by once I finish the heel.

Also, every time I knitted these in public, I got tons of compliments. Erin makes pretty yarn. I think the colors look like islands in the ocean. I didn't use a fancy pattern, just a k2p2 cuff, basic heel flap and toe and knit the rest.

Now, the eight weird or random things. Heather tagged me for my very first meme. Also pheelya tagged me for the seven random things, list. This list covers both. Here goes:

1. I don't like to walk over sidewalk grates (like over a subway or sewer). I am afraid they'll break as I walk on them.

2. I used to eat sand when I was a baby, by the handful. My mother tried to make me stop, but I gave up.

3. I love the sloth bear baby at the National Zoo.

4. My k2togethers are nice and neat, but my ssk stitches look like crap.

5. I like to dip my french fries in ice cream. I like to eat pickles with cookies. Basically, I like to balance salty with sweet.

6. I decided to move to Baltimore after I had my tarot cards read at the Renaissance Faire. A bit of background: I had lived in my previous city for 10 years and I was ready for a change but I didn't know what to do. I spent Labor Day weekend here visiting my friend L and had a fabulous time. So it wasn't like I had a reading and the woman said "you have to move to Baltimore" and I did. It was more that the experience helped me realize how stuck I was and that I didn't have to be. I was keeping myself stuck, but why? Other than my job, I had nothing keeping me in that town. So I got home and within two days decided I was going to move just b/c I had so much fun here, it was something new and I was excited. I even got to keep my job and start telecommuting.

7. I still get dressed up like a wench and go to the Renaissance Faire every year. That is where G proposed. But we didn't have a Faire-themed wedding or anything. I am a big dork, but I draw the line.

8. The last song at my wedding was "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix A Lot. That wasn't the intended last song, but we had the reception in my parents' backyard and had to finish up the music at 10:00 p.m. G did all the music on iTunes and printed out a list of the songs so people would know what was coming up. My younger cousins, especially, loved this. But he overestimated the number of songs by an entire CD! So, when 10 o'clock rolled around, and we only had time for one more song, he asked me what I wanted. I looked at the list and said "Baby Go Back." Was there really any other choice? The best part was seeing my super religious uncle dancing to it. I assume he wasn't listening to the lyrics very closely.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fingerless Garter Mitts

Here's a finished object to show off: the Fingerless Garter Mitts from One Skein. I used one skein of Koigu purchased online from Got Yarn. (I needed to buy a skein of something else and the shop had a minimum purhase. I knew I had a pattern for one skein of koigu.) I got some beads at Michaels. It was my first beading project.


Started: May 6
Finished: May 14
Yarn: Koigu
Pattern: Fingerless Garter Mitts from One Skein

It was a very easy knit, just garter stitch and then some seams to sew, which I am not very happy with. Sewing horizontal seams in garter is not very smooth.

Also, I am not sure how much I like the color. I love pink. I love purple. But together, they might be a bit too little girly.

The beading was fun. I want to do another beading project in the future. And they are cute. I will wear them, but probably not as often as my Fetchings.

Close up of the beads:

I also started a shawl for my mother. It is the Half Pi Shawl from Rosie Knits that I got at Stitches East last November.


I bought this yarn (some random hand dyed merino) from A Good Yarn in Fell's Point almost two years ago. It was going to be a Christmas present, twice. But now it will be for her birthday in July. I can't work on it this weekend though, because my parents are coming to visit! Yeah, so excited. G and I are planning various things to do. We're going down to D.C. on Saturday for a bit. My dad hasn't been to D.C. since he attended an anti-war rally in the 60s. We're going to a restaurant that has singing waiters. They sing showtunes, standars and opera. He loves opera.

We're also going to take them by the new house to at least see the garden. We close two weeks from tomorrow! I don't want to jinx anything, so I'll post a photo of the house after we have the keys. But until then, here is a little peak:


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I just want to knit!

Maybe with some of these new purchases?




On Saturday at Maryland Sheep and Wool, I found myself sticking to a three-color palette of reds, greens and browns. I didn't buy any blues, which is what I normally gravitate towards.

During the first hour, I didn't think I would buy anything. It was my first time at MD S&W and I was very overwhelmed by the crowds, by the many, many booths. L and I sort of wandered aimlessly. We didn't know where to start.

We started the day out very nicely with breakfast when we met the Columbia knit night girls at Coleen's (and we got to see her beautiful Arwen). What a treat! It kept me sustained most of the day. I did stop long enough to eat a single bbq sandwich, but that's all.

Here's the booth selling Socks That Rock. Or rather, this is the line of people trying to get in to the booth selling STR. Can you see how I could be a little freaked out?


L and I made it inside the booth after lunch, where there was still some STR left (see the mostly bare walls behind the lovely, blogless, L?).


She bought some of the famed yarn, but I got this Gypsy Girl stuff instead:


The best part of the outing was getting to meet other knitters. At the blogger meetup, I met Mel, who was wearing a gorgeous sweater, Susan, Stephanie (love her blog name!), Mary (in the pretty, red tank/vest) and Gryphon (whose skirt in the summer Interweave Knits I love!).

Mary (left)) and Mel (right) trade info:

Stephanie (right) and Gryphon (left)

And of course, here are the requisite animal pics:




And, finally, a good husband award goes to John, Jody's husband, who stood in line for an hour(!) to get t-shirts for Jody and about 10 of her friends, including me. Aren't they cute?


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gifts for Moi

Look what my brother brought me back from his travels in Tibet? Yak yarn! For some reason, I thought yak yarn would be very scratchy, but this is so very soft. And such pretty colors.


Close up shots:




So cool! I am thinking of making a stripey, lacey shawl. No idea about the pattern yet though.

And, I am extremely late in properly thanking bySarah for these lovely stitch markers (there is a fourth hiding somewhere around here). I heart them. If you want some, check out this store.


And an almost finished project: a not-yet-felted tea cozy made from Noro Kureyon.


With the white stripe at the top, followed by the darker green in the tip, it kind of looks like a boob. But felting will probably allow me to make the tip less nipple-shaped. And if not, a boob-shaped cozy is fine for my tea. Kind of appropriate, really.

I am going to MD Sheep and Wool on Saturday! I am tres excited. It's my first time. Last year I was out of town and the year before, I actually tried to go to a yarn shop but it was closed for sheep and wool and I had no idea such an event even existed! But I am ready and have a plan (well, sort of. Ok, no, not at all. I wrote down the yarn I need for a bunch of patterns that I want to make, but I feel like I'll be so overwhelmed that I'll just wonder aimlessly.) But still, super excited. And, since it's my birthday at the end of May, I suggested to G that he NOT go to all the trouble of buying me a birthday present and that I'll just spend a little extra at sheep and wool. Normally, he likes to be very secretive and romantic and think up a very special gift (like a vintage copy of Anne of Green Gables, my favorite childhood book). And it's so sweet. But I am ok w/ not having a big surprise this year if I get to buy more yarn! :)