Aug 24, 2006

Reddish orangish goldish spectrum: knecklaces and a ribbon scarf; plus incoming soap swap!

Photos at last! Still no photo of the blue knecklace I knit for myself, but hey, you can't have everything. The pale pink necklace is Mystery Yarn from the thrift store, some kind of plant fiber(s) -- cotton? linen? -- and possibly something synthetic like rayon or polyester. The orangey necklace is a crochet yarn I picked up from Jo-Ann that I can't remember the name of right now. ;) The diagonal ribbon scarf is from a pattern in Odd Ball Knitting and is knit from Moda Dea Fresh in color Wheaty.

And here's my received handmade soap swap! It's uberlate, but that actually pleases me, since now I know I'm not the only one fulfilling swap obligations on a rubber-time schedule. ;D

Am now in the process of knitting a mini Christmas stocking from a rather annoying fuzzy thick 'n' thin Mystery Yarn; can't wait till I'm done with the thing ... and then maybe I'll be able to finally send the uberlate indie swap that it goes with. Woo. Yet more slow accomplishage...

Aug 22, 2006

The quicksilver luck field strikes again

Except that this time it's struck Brian and stressed me by extension rather than the other way around. Oysh. I should apologize to him.

Anyway, I've cast on Beth's wedding shawl and a scarf for the Uberlate indie swap, but there are still no pics of anything relevant because of the aforementioned luck field (to rehash, the weekend was good so I expected that the beginning of this week would probably be crap to balance it out ;)). Both new projects are going fairly quickly, but I may run out of steam tonight and not finish anything ... oyysh. I need to take my Superwoman pill.

Aug 21, 2006

Yarn yarn yarn and a kitten

Put in that Jo-Ann order today with the convenient free shipping code -- woohoo, I remembered. Finished two more of those Knecklaces over the weekend, pictures forthcoming. (Pictures of the washcloth and shower scrubbie currently in use at Brian's are theoretically forthcoming someday, but I'm too lazy to go photograph them now, so who knows when that will happen?) Have acquired random kittenage at Brian's as well, so knit cat toys will likely appear soon ... cackle. ;D The KnitPicks order apparently arrived at the house while I was away for the weekend, so there's also that to look forward to ... Hopefully the yarn overload will help lighten the contrast between what turned out to be a nice weekend and what I expect will be an annoying next few days. Not that there's anything particularly stressful scheduled ... My life just tends to work that way -- good weekend, crappy week; crappy weekend, good week, etc. Maybe Brian's luck field will interfere with mine -- it would be lovely -- but I'm not putting any money on it. Watch the glass ... It may be dropping shortly. ;D

Okay, some gratuitous kitty pics while I'm at it:




Aug 18, 2006

One necklace down... to go. Well, almost. I'm supposed to steam block this one, but I think I kinda like the frothy look:

Not sure yet, though. And technically it needs a button for a fastener. Haven't decided yet what yarn to use for the second necklace, but I do like this pattern (Knecklace from Knitty). Yay for more to-do list reduceage!

Aug 17, 2006

Recon pics!

To make myself feel better after the mini fiber fiasco of earlier, I did some quick 'n' easy reconstruction stuff ... which means I get to cross stuff off my to-do list, too. ;D Tricksy, I am ... anyway, pics.

First, the "princess" top with empire waist and side gores, taken from 99 ways to cut, sew, trim and tie your t-shirt into something special, in which it is idea #40, "river" -- I'm just calling it "princess" because that's what it reminds me of. ;) It's really dark purple and not black as it may appear in the photo, but that's what I get for having eternally bad lighting and a Nile-sized lazy streak when it comes to photographing stuff I have no intention of selling. ;) Oh, and for using the built-in camera. I did try to take a photo with the Real digital camera, actually, but then the batteries ran out and I'm charging another set and wanted to post in the meantime. So the appearance of laziness ensues. ;D This shirt was originally a V-neck t-shirt with lovely fabric but which, like most V-necks, looked horrid on me. The new look is ... slightly nonstandard but at least not generic V-neck crap. Moderate improvement. ;D

Next up is the "Parrot-ise" shirt, reconned from an old blood donor shirt found in a bag full of old clothes my sister didn't want. Imagine the usual ridiculously overhuge L/XL type "one-size-fits-all" t-shirt. This is the reincarnate version, idea #20, "miriam" from 99 ways again:

Exciting? Kinda, anyway. There are probably a million other things I "should" be doing, but it's nice to be able to cross more little things off the list immediatement...


I need a real niddy-noddy, or better yet, a reel ... with a yardage counter, if possible. The slapdash thing Ben made me wielded its jury-rigged power on me today and tangled a skein of freshly spun yarn I'd intended on trying to set so I could make a Magic Yarn Ball out of it ... but of course the yardage is too short, too, and I'm not entirely sure the weight of the yarn is consistent enough for me to inflict it on someone else. Bleahh. I'm currently in need of food, so my brain isn't feeling particularly cooperative in coming up with a response to this. Should I spin up another full skein, making sure I go over the required yardage this time, and since I won't be pausing in the middle for a while the weight won't change suspiciously in the middle of the skein? Or should I spin up some more of the same wool and join it onto the stuff I've already spun, if I can manage to find the ends of it in the semi-salvaged skein shaped thingie?

I was having a pretty good spinning day -- no annoying weak spots, good control over drafting, all my joins were coming out decently, decent success with the cone-on-cone wind-on to the spindle, and spinning from the pre-split roving was going well ... meh. I know what I really should do is go eat something and then come back to this, but in order to do that I have to answer another question: what the heck should I eat that will actually nourish my poor demanding brain? ;) Possibly a harder question to answer than the other ones...

Also: International Scarf Exchange

I'm interested in the International Scarf Exchange despite the fact that I live in Florida and don't need any more scarves to add to my unrealistically superuntropical collection of said items, but I do like knitting scarves and making things especially to people's specs ... yarr. I'll have to think about it while I catch up with the stuff I'm supposed to be doing and if I get far enough along I may let myself sign up. ;D At least I do have a good scarf-delivery success rate ... Come to think of it, I have a pretty darn good knitting-delivery success rate. Figures. It takes so much less time to make a pair of earrings or a necklace than it takes to knit, like, anything, so of course I'm better at delivering knit items on time ... That's just the way I work. ;)

Summer Holiday swaps finally out

Packages went out today to both internationalites and Statesiders -- fly on thy way, each little package, and speed to thy recipient safely and happily! Fly, fly! ;D

Pointless dramatic badly lit washcloth photos

Finished Brian's reverse mitered washcloth, too, so eventually there will be a boring and probably equally badly lit photo or two of that. ;) The cotton skirt is about, say, a quarter done not counting seams and all that, and I cast on the second half of the skirt tonight ... Let the countdown begin to the finish line of the Skirt For Me. I really want to knit Allusion next, and it's actually because of the Brian washcloth -- I tested the look of that plain ol' white cotton garter stitch pulled out tight like it is in Allusion, and I likes. Since I have a bunch of white yarn that I bought for $1 a ball just in case I didn't have enough yarn for the eyelet portion of the skirt, and I think the white yarn would look good ... I really should finish the skirt before I start Allusion, even though the top may take way less time to finish than the skirt. Laaa ... A million other things I should be working on, but for the moment I think I'll go to bed and try to have happy Brianful dreams. (Can anyone tell what I'm considering making the subject of my next 'zine? No? Hint: It starts with a "B" and it appears on this page possibly as many times as the word "yarn." Yeccch, I'm one of Those people ... one of those sickening people with an SO who gets mentioned constantly in a positive light ... ewwwww. ;) I think I'm coming up for a Misanthrope Guild reassessment, but at least they can't take away my Young Spinster card, because now I literally am one. ;D)

Aspiring sock warrior foiled at APC!

That is, the automated postal center was being whingy tonight and first refused to register that I was entering my PIN (on the very same keypad that registered me inputting the zip code ten seconds before...), then proved incapable of printing out postage (as opposed to postage labels, which it would and did print for me). So the Summer Holiday swaps are all going out tomorrow, apparently; the Handmade Soap swap did go out tonight, though not Priority as I'd intended because there were no darn Priority mail stickers to put on the package. Phooey. Anyway. Something got sent.

In other news, I think I'm going to be insane and participate in Sock Wars! I ... just can't help it. I like the idea of becoming one of the fallen because someone sent me a pair of socks. ;)

It's kind of funny, too, since I've only ever knit one pair of socks with actual sock-weight yarn, and they were tube socks, a.k.a. socks with no heel. The other pairs of socks I've knit have been worsted-weight yarn, and while they've had heels, they haven't had toes (meaning, they were Knitty's pedicure socks ;)). I hope the pattern that gets sent out doesn't require grafting or something like that. ;) On the other hand, I do have several sock patterns sitting around waiting to be knit, and this may give me the excuse I need to finish the socks for Shari, which use Magic Loop as Yarn Monkey recommends we practice ... or possibly a pair of socks for myself, which I have conveniently provided myself with yarn for already. Hmmmmmm...

Aug 16, 2006

Outgoing! and the Spin to Knit exchange ... yum!

Some swap boxes will be outgoing tonight! The uber-late Summer Holiday exchange packages to partners in America specifically, and then tomorrow the international packages will go out, so I'll finally be able to check that one off my list ... excitement! And once I weave in the tails on that washcloth, I'll have the hand-made soap swap ready to go, too. Here's a crappy photo of the latest batch of soaps (just melt 'n' pours, but hey, I'm a soap newbie):

Speaking of washcloths, I cast on the mitered washcloth pattern from Strings and Sealing Wax today just to see how it works. If it comes out looking nice enough, I may give this one to Brian and thus be able to check another item off my list. (Not that I'm going for all the small ones at the moment, or anything. ;P)

Also: Interweave Press is doing a handspun yarn exchange to celebrate the publication of Spin to Knit ... oooo. I want to play! I hope someone reminds me of this when it comes around, or maybe I'll manage to somehow remember it on my own. ;)

Aug 14, 2006

The ordering of yarn

(Kind of like the ad-dressing of cats.)

Put in a KnitPicks order today for the yarn and needles for Beth's shawl, and I also ordered a ball of Shine Worsted to see how light it is and whether, indeed, it is too shiny. ;) I'm considering using it for Brian's hoodie since it's a cotton blend (like all his current favorite sweaters) and it's not insanely expensive. I'm not sure whether the color range is going to have what I need, but heck, I can always overdye the yarn a darker blue. I also really kinda want to make him a wool or wool-blend hoodie for the, like, two times it might be cold this Florida winter ... "really kinda" meaning I know it's random and I want to make sure he likes handknit sweaters before I go and do that. Oh, yes, and I still challenge the boyfriend curse to a duel. ;D Oh, and note to self: should check yardage and prices on that fluffy cotton/wool yarn from Jo-Ann. It would definitely need an overdye (while Brian might wear a pastel hoodie, I think I'll avoid that for now ;)), but it is all light and soft and appealing...

And checking out, the TLC Cotton Plus looks promising. I almost put in an order today, but neither of the free shipping codes in my sales flyers applies to today's date ... drat. If I can wait till the nineteenth, and actually remember (which is the real kicker ;)), then I can put in the code from the latest flyer and get free shipping on several balls of Cotton Plus in different trial colors. Wooo. I'll probably lose any mental notes I make, so I'm making a note here in hopes it will somehow manage to help.

Finished head scarves

The pattern is one I took from Oddball Knitting and modified after I finishd the first one (that's the biggest one). I ended up liking the colors and pattern best in the rightmost one, the sort of Caribbeanesque one. ;D I also finished Brian's toeless socks today -- would have finished them yesterday except that I didn't have the dpns I needed. Oopsie! All I have left to do is weave the tails in.

My poor neglected summer swap partners. I hope they like their head scarves, when they finally receive them. ;)

Fleeces to process

Making an impromptu list for myself of fleeces I still need to process/finish processing [edited April 11, 2007 to add more info on each fleece]:

*white Columbia - Zeneta Crawford, sheep Star - about 1 lb., 7 oz. (x 2?) [all washed; some of it needs re-washing; re-washed mid-March 2008]
*white Romney/Dorset/Rambouillet(?) - Misty Chandler, Desired Haven Farm, sheep Chloe - 1 lb. [washed April 13, 2007]
*black Romney/Dorset/Rambouillet(?) - Misty Chandler, Desired Haven Farm, sheep Maggie - 1 lb. [washed April 16, 2007]
*white unidentified donated wool - mailing list member donation
*last bits of grey Cotswold - from mabs on eBay [came washed]
*dark fawn Huacaya alpaca blanket - from Hideaway Alpacas on eBay, (male) alpaca Tahoe - 1 lb.
*Huacaya alpaca - from Hideaway Alpacas on eBay, alpaca Dream Maker -
*white Huacaya alpaca, blanket (31 microns) - eBay seller alangel4, alpaca Natalia - 1 lb. 8 oz.
*tan llama - Harold and Bonnie Davis - 2 lbs. [washed March 22, 2008]
*white Corriedale - Harold and Bonnie Davis - 4.5 lbs. [2.8 pounds washed April 20, 2007; I think the rest of this got washed on the Monday after, and then I re-washed some of it in mid-March 2008 because it still felt stickyish]
*white Columbia - Harold and Bonnie Davis - 4.5 lbs.
*white Shetland - Harold and Bonnie Davis - 3.5 lbs.
*white Merino x ewe - hoggett - Nancy Barnett, sheep Sissy - 5 lbs.

(Bold = still needs washing; italics = still needs processing into batts, roving, or top)

I did go a bit fleece-crazy this season, but hey, at least I won't run out of wool any time soon ... as long as (here's crossing my fingers that) this stuff hasn't randomly been attacked by the little ants that wander around here and occasionally appear in cardboard boxes. ;) I'll figure it out eventually...

Received the puzzle swap pieces from Anne at Eccentric Pastiche today. Must add that to list of arty things to work on...

Aug 9, 2006

And a pin cushion in a pear tree

There are gobs of sewy things that cry out to be done, too:

*Wicked fairy (a la the one who curses people because she didn't get invited to the christening ;)) Hallowe'en costume for Brian's party
*Recon: Brian shirt into...? for August whip-up [okay, since August is over and I haven't done this, this is just for fun now ;)]
*Victorian dress (someday, like for instance one of those days in my dreams)
*Mother's dress for Beth's wedding [Too late! ;)]
*Possibly a dress for me for Beth's wedding [Not going after all ... doh! Thank you, Pirate Fair rehearsals. ;)]
*Pin cushion for another Very Late swap, indie-style [August 30ish: decided to make the supplies for this into a kit to go in the swap box ... after all, the recipient is another sewing person...]
*Finish the Moiraine costume for D*Con if possible - meaning put in the button holes, hem it, and make the undergarments, plus making any fitting adjustments that can reasonably be made at this point [September 07: jury-rigged undergarment is done, buttonholes are marked, hem is pinned, and the con is past so the deadline is reset to next year ;)]
*Eyeglasses bag for the father's birthday [finished August 21]
*Possibly some tote bags for Very Late Summer Swap (after all, I have the fabric already...) [August 16: okay, or not, since I'd rather not make these things any later than they already are ;)]
*Recon: purple shirt, one of those ideas from the 99 ways book [finished: August 17 - counting this one as done because I could technically wear it the way it is, meaning both side gores are now right-side out ;)]
*Recon: finish the "beachy" type shirt from the 99 ways book [August 17]
*Recon: add darts? to the Surfer Girl shirt I tried with an idea from Generation T [August 17 - taking this one off the list after trying it on again ... I may mess with it at some point in the future but it's really not all that bad ... :D]

I know there's more than that ... Will update as they resurface in the bog of my brain. :D

Oh! I know. One of them is that since August is recon month for the Whiplash competition, I have an excuse to do that recon from an old "borrowed" shirt. Cackle. And that reminds me that some of my sewy things that cry out for doing are recons, and shall add to the list accordingly.

Plugging along...

I have finished, sans weaving in of tails, four out of five head scarves for a Very Late Swap. Whew. One more to go ... Also mostly finished Brian's shower scrubbie, except that I didn't finish the loopy bit because I wasn't sure whether he'd rather have it hang from a hook or attached to a suction cup.

Other projects actually on needles:

*Toeless socks for Brian - technically still in progress, should finish sometime soon ;) [finished August 14]
*Leaf scarf for Shari - nowhere near even halfway done, not sure when this will get done, but probably before winter ;)
*Knit cotton skirt for me - maybe an eighth to a quarter done, not really sure, and I'd better finish this darn thing before the end of the month ;D

Projects that need to get done at some specific point:

*Beth's shawl as a wedding present
*Hoodie for Brian (I challenge the boyfriend curse to a duel! This will probably be either a birthday or a Christmas present)
*Virginia's scarf re-do (probably for Christmas again ;))
*Wash cloth to go with Very Late hand-made soap swap [found a cache of washcloths I knit earlier]

"Extra" stuff I want to do (meaning things that have no particular deadline on them):

*Wash cloth for Ben [finished: August 14]
*Wash cloth(s) for Brian because dang, his kitchen wipey cloth is old and uggy [finished: August 17]
*1930 from Knitty, because I've been enamored of the idea of knitting a bra for me for a while
*Allusion from Knitty because now I have someone who will appreciate it visibly ;D
*Some kind of bag/basket for Ben's bicycle
*KYOAMPi shawl - no, this isn't finished yet because it is suffering from the dreaded Things For Me curse
*Mystery Stole 2 from another knitalong, which I haven't even started yet but is too pretty for me not to want to do, and I think I even have the yarn for it already since I bought it for a project for someone without knowing she's allergic to wool -- oops ;)
*Felted tricorn hat from wool donated by Ben's grandmother, to be dyed with black walnuts from Ben's parents' farm [added August 14]
*Striped socks for Shari [added August 14]
*Socks for me [added August 14]
*Moiraine stockings - I'd put a deadline on these but it would be ridiculous to try to get them done by Dragon*Con for the costume, so really the deadline is, like Labor Day weekend of next year and virtually doesn't count ;) [added August 14]

I actually tried out my new hand carders last night (rather than run off and watch Brian sleep on the floor for the night ;)), and I definitely like making rolags and batts, but goddang, I still think they're ugly. ;) I'm finally processing that wool I got from Misty at Desired Haven Farm, which is a Romney/Dorset/Rambouillet, or something like that. It reminds me a little of the Columbia I have as far as staple length and color (haven't got to the black yet), but I think the Columbia had more lanolin in (and definitely less VM, though that's not breed-specific, is it? ;)) and the Columbia seems softer. Mmm, Columbia. I think I'm going to try to convince myself to attempt the entire basket of wool. It's only a pound or so, but it Needs to Get Done, along with eight million other things around here. Slowly cleaning up and finishing projects, though ... and I might even get done in time to start on Christmas presents early. ;)

More things that occur to me that Should Be Done:

*I should finish spinning up that coral/peach yarn so I can set it and send it for my Very Late magic yarn ball swap.
*And there are a couple of necklaces I should do for another Very Late swap,
*and a postcard,
*and some button covers. [swap is getting swapped without me, apparently, which is totally okay, considering ;)]
*And I should start on my Gleaner 'Zine swap 'zines RIGHT NOW (that being defined as "as soon as I catch up with everything that's late" ;)) so that I don't end up dropping that one like I dropped Dark and Dangerous.
*Oh, and a shrine. Dang.
*Puzzle swap pieces for Eccentric Pastiche [added August 14]
*Eventually, the ornaments for the Eccentric Pastiche swap [added August 14]

In other news not related in any way I can fathom to lateness, heads up: if I don't waffle my way out of it and if Something doesn't occur to keep it from happening (which seems like the way my life tends to go, so I'm not really expecting Goodness ;)), I may actually have a spinning wheel sometime in the next few months. Brian is planning on refinancing, and that means there will be some extra money floating around...

...Of course, I may end up convincing myself I need a kiln more. I don't know. ;) Mmm, precious metal clay. Mmmm, raku. Mmm, dichroic glass...

Anyway, off to play with fluffies!

Blathery later addition to post: I just realized I could put up my flappy (that is, convertible) mittens made from the lovely magic yarn ball I received on the Skein-along blog! Wooo! I managed to do one of my blog-button -along type things without even knowing it! Go me! Ack ... Thinking about it, the pattern is from Handknit Holidays. That means ... I managed to make one object serve two of my blog-button participation projects! (The other one being the Handknit Holidays-along.)

Gosh. I'm not as slacker as I thought, am I? ;)

Aug 3, 2006

In other news...

I've been nonexistent, haven't I? It's all in the name of love, freedom and progress, I promise. ;D I'm very slowly catching up with all the stuff that got put aside, and I'll probably suffer some consequences in my lateness, but that's par for the course. After all, some people gain their merit in the glorious pursuit of punishing others when life happens according to someone else's script. ;D (And that is what *I* find disappointing, more than people failing to send my swaps. Gratuitous petty behavior is way more crap than not receiving something that was icing on my life to start with. Not that everyone has to agree with me on that, but some people count their Christmas presents, too. Actually, I do sometimes, too, but not for the same reasons. ;))

Ahem, anyway. ;D We shall see when I reappear! In the meantime, I am slowly sending swaps which need sending. I shall persevere, through the emotional and life-experiential equivalents of fog, fire, sleet, and all that...

I got fied!

Someone on Swap-bot posted a comment along with a swap rating for me which contains the words "Fie on you!" I entirely deserve the rating of 1 (after all, I haven't sent her necklace yet, have I now? And that's what a rating of 1 means ;)), but apparently she thinks it's safe -- even wise? -- to alienate people by posting whingy comments in their ratings. I particularly admire that she took the time to write a whingy comment but not to send a message or read my profile ... since my profile contains a note at the top saying that I Really Am going to send late packages to people so they shouldn't get their knickers in a twist (well, unless they really want to). Brava! Not out to spread peace or joy or win any popularity contests, I take it -- no, no! Rather, pursue the goal of spreading nastiness because you didn't get your pretties! That'll teach us late people and the real freeloaders who just want you to send them stuff for free! Yeah!

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