Sunday, January 30, 2011

IWTMT: Pathways Blanket

I'm beginning to think that blankets are my new socks.

If that makes no sense to you, do you remember when everyone was like "pink is the new black"? I don't know if anyone ever said that, but you've probably heard something similar. I said I'd never knit a pair of socks and I did; maybe bed-sized blankets are my new impossible. Theoretically one day I'll finish the crapghan, but that's not something I'm going to put out where company can see.

So what does a commitment-phobe like me need? Oh, I know! A blanket you can make in small increments. (We'll pretend that I would have the motivation to sew all the squares together. Shh. It's better when we pretend.) Frankie Brown's Ravelry-only pattern, Pathways Blanket, is really cool because the pattern totally depends on how you sew it together. If you'd prefer to see a blanket in action, check out Knitting Up A Storm's blog post. Now that's a blanket you can pull out when company comes over.

I would never be able to pick one pattern for this blanket. I guess I really did find my new socks.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Traveling Woman

I pretty much never win anything. I think the last thing I won was a Darth Maul cutout from Sam Goody, and Sam Goody's not in business anymore and everyone is trying to forget what the nineties did to Star Wars.

A few weeks ago I found out I won Handmade by Mikaiya's blog-a-versary contest, which helped spur my own blog-a-versary contest. (That's still going on, so keep commenting!) I won a Traveling Woman shawlette in Wollmeise (or viewable on her Rav page).

I received it on Wednesday, but didn't get a chance to wear it/take pictures until yesterday. Can I just say I'm in love? The green is fabulous, the yarn feels and looks amazing, and the craftsmanship is quite superior. Unfortunately I apparently work at a place where the general public does not know how to fawn over such items, as I only got one comment on it yesterday. Don't worry, I'll wear it to knitting guild and it will receive its proper praise.

Also, it is really difficult to take pictures of your own back, so ignore the iron in the corner.


I ended up wearing it with the point in the front, but all the pictures I took of it like that were terrible because apparently I forgot to brush my hair. And to not make stupid faces. And have a double chin.

I love you, blog, but not that much.

P.S. Thank you everyone for continuing to comment for your chance to win my blog-a-versary contest! Please make sure I can contact you via Ravelry/your blog or make sure to check back on March 12th for the winner. If I cannot contact the winner in a reasonable amount of time, an alternate one will be chosen.

P.P.S. If you are (one of?) the anonymous commenter(s), please make sure I have some way to identify you! You don't have to use your real name, but even an initial would be helpful. Thank you!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

IWTMT: Felted Kidney

I should probably make this post before I fall into bed and take a twelve hour nap, because spacey Jen is spacey (and also not quite sure how it is not even 1:00 yet).

After my kidney stone adventure on Friday, as soon as I felt up to it I got on Ravelry and hunted. You probably know where this is going. There are no kidney stone patterns I can find, but there is a free felted kidney pattern. You have to be a Rav member to get it. If you're curious what a felted kidney looks like, check out Knitting Sandwich's blog post about her project.

Why? Because I'm weird, even when I'm not drugged up on morphine.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

And Now Back To Your Regularly Scheduled Program

I was going to take pictures of the swatches and give you all the math and tell you which yarn I bought for the sweater.

This was, of course, before I was taken to the ER yesterday morning after suffering 5+ hours of debilitating back and abdominal pain. I was diagnosed with a kidney stone, given lots of drugs, and sent back home to "take care of business".

I bought another skein of Kauni in my morphine-induced haze and cast on for a Boneyard Shawl in the Kauni EQ I already had. I thought: this will be easy! This is mostly garter stitch and pshaw, increases. M1L and M1R, by the way, are apparently not easy for me even when I'm not hopped up on painkillers. Don't judge.

Oh, I don't have any money to pay for the ER visit, so anybody want to buy some yarn?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weighing My Options

The last of my sweater swatches are soaking, so I've got 20 minutes to spare from multitasking at Farmville and write a blog post. I only ended up knitting 9; I knitted 3 from the first yarn, but quickly realized I couldn't find needles so I got lazy. However, this is totally science project material. I measured each swatch and got stitch AND row gauge pre-bath. My swatches are being washed and I'll remeasure them when I'm done to calculate changes, if any. Guys. I'm saying words like "calculate". At 9:05 on a Monday morning. This is srs bzns.

I'm doing all this, of course, so I can find the perfect yarn for my guild sweater. Once I determine the bestest yarn, I will call the store and say "please, can you hold all the rest of *yarn of choice* for my first sweater? I can be in to pick it up in what do you mean you sold it all ten minutes before I called? I am never swatching again."

The swatches are going to take a while to dry, so right now I am way more excited about the food scale. GUYS, MY HUSBAND FOUND MY OUR FOOD SCALE. This requires all capitals. Sure, I can measure out my daily snacks, and isn't that nice from a weight-loss perspective, but I get to weigh the yarn! I even weighed my swatches. Science fair, I'm telling you. Why didn't I know about knitting in middle school? My tri-fold foam board would have been covered in swatches and the name of my report would have been something like "Change in Vertical and Horizontal Knitting Gauge in Different Fabric Blends Post-Submersion" and the judges would have been like "whoo doggie, I don't understand this so let's send it to State" and then I would have been an eighth grade science nerd, as opposed to a literature nerd.

All this without caffeine in my system, ladies and gentlemen.

I think the point of this was yay, he found the food scale so I don't have to buy another one, so that saves me $20. Also, I get to weigh the yarn and decide if I want to live dangerously with my exact-yardage knowledge. Or if I just want to wuss out and felt it all. We'll see.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

IWTMT: Northern Dreams Pullover

Here's what I should be doing: finishing swatching so I can find a knitted sweater pattern that works up to 5 st/inch in stockinette.

Here's what I am doing: looking at a crocheted sweater pattern that uses sport-weight yarn. Yes, I'm a procrastinator.

Normally I don't find crocheted garments to be all that attractive. They tend to be kind of holey and chunky. Boxy. In short, not flattering.

Apparently, all you have to do is use a thin yarn, add a little colorwork and I'm sold. Interweave Crochet's Northern Dreams Pullover (Rav) costs $5.50, and I'm in love. Somebody want to steer me back to the worsted-weight knitting path, please? Before I cave? Anyone?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Just a Normal Tuesday

I just thought I'd give you an idea of how my Tuesday went. Everybody likes pictures, so let's go with a picture.


See the rest of the past week? That's how my blog looks every day. I'm lucky to get the person who really loves my Butterfly Moebius on a daily basis. My numbers are small, but at least they're there.

I made my post yesterday. I linked it to my LJ, Twitter and Facebook. I had some time between work and knitting guild and I was thrilled to see I had 2 comments.

I come back from guild and all of a sudden I have almost 100 pageviews. Apparently one of my friends posted about my giveaway on Reddit, which basically led to blogsplosion. (Hi, Reddit people!) By the end of the night (and I stayed up to watch), over 100 new people had checked out my blog. There are 11 entries for the contest. I don't think I got 11 comments last year.

Thank you. Even if you're only here because I'm making you comment to win a skein of yarn, thank you. Thank you for showing me that this endeavor is not entirely fruitless, that I am not completely wasting my time, and that people will do anything for free stuff.

Hah. I knew I couldn't keep it serious the whole time.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My First Giveaway!

This week I found out I won Handmade by Mikaiya's blog-a-versary contest. What did I win? A Traveling Woman shawl knit in Wollmeise. Are you jealous? You should be. I can't wait to get it!

Since my third blog-a-versary is coming up on March 12th, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon of giving and have my own little contest. The rules will be similar to Mikaiya's: comment on any post between now and March 12th, and you'll be entered to win a skein of yarn from my stash. The more times you enter, the more chances you'll have to win! In order to be fair, I'll need at least three different commenters to enter. I can only ship to the US/Canada, so while anyone is welcome to comment, please indicate if you aren't eligible for the contest!

Oh, you want to know what you'll win? Okay.


I bought this skein at the VT Sheep & Wool Festival in October from the Biltmore Wool Barn. The skein you get won't have the stats on it, so let me list them here:

Yardage: 430
Ounces: 5/2
Superwash Merino Wool

There's no needle size or suggested gauge, but it seems like sock-weight to me. This skein has gorgeous maroons, pale pinks, rich browns and deep golds. The picture can't do it justice.

My home is cat-friendly, though my yarn is stored in plastic tubs with lavender essential oils sachets protecting against moths and stinkiness.

Remember, comment on a post between now and March 12th and I will randomly pick a winner from that list on my blog-a-versary. Ready, set ... go!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

IWTMT: Elefante

I'm currently somewhere between completely exhausted and insane. Turns out coffee and swatching don't mix in my book, because when I crash I crash hard. I'm getting to the end of this skein faster than I thought I would, which makes me think about using up scraps again.

How cute is Elefante (Rav)? I don't think I've featured any toys on here yet, and that's because I don't have much use for them. But this little guy is sure to brighten up anyone's day!

Actually Enjoying ... Swatching?

No, this isn't IWTMT. I'm sure I'll get to that eventually. Have I mentioned guild is working on sweaters this year? The only sweater-quantity I have in stash is Caron Simply Soft, so I bought four skeins of different yarns to swatch with. We won't get into the fact that I forgot to accommodate for swatching when figuring how many skeins I'd need vs. how many the store had in stock. Contrasting stripe by the boobs for the win.

In a somewhat surprising show of not-quite-waiting-until-the-last-minute, I began swatching today. (They're due Tuesday.) I'm planning on swatching each yarn with at least two different needle sizes. I have the four skeins I bought, plus two or 3 in stash I want to try, leaving me with potentially upward of 14 swatches.

And yet ... the first swatch. Elsebeth Lavold Favorite Wool. Size 6. Stockinette. It's just so lovely I don't even want to swatch any more.

I know I'll feel this about many of the other swatches. I must continue to swatch. If I had worn a wedding dress when I got married, surely I would have tried on more than one dress!

But it's so pretty right now I feel like I've found the one. Who would have ever thought I'd enjoy swatching?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

IWMT: Knitted Felted Bowl with Bottom Welt

I emerged from my craft room yesterday bleary-eyed and a little overwhelmed. I had to stop counting at 140 partial/full skeins because I couldn't positively identify some Noro tidbits. It's basically all cataloged, though I'm missing my kitchen scale so I can't get exact amounts. I found my passport after two years in the void; why can't I find my kitchen scale?

You'd think I'd have plenty of ideas for projects after yesterday, but mostly I'm in a panic about all of my little scrap balls. I hate throwing things away that might prove to be useful later. Like, years later. Like, so many years later I've forgotten I have that useful thing and buy another one. Have I mentioned that I have three pairs of nail clippers?

(I'll have you know that I stopped writing this blog entry for 20+ minutes because I was distracted by patterns on Rav. You'd think I might stop procrastinating for a post I know is coming every week.)

As I mentioned above, I have a lot of little wool scraps. At first I thought I might spit-splice them and make the world's ugliest felted coaster, but it might match the world's ugliest afghan and we just can't have that, you know. I really do want to felt, and I really do want to make those dryer balls, but I can't justify buying new wool until I get some old wool out -- and how better to do that than to make some felted bowls? Plus I can throw in some of that novelty eyelash/fur yarn I have and use up some scraps there too. It took me a while to find a pattern I liked, but I settled on Deborah Gray's Knitted Felted Bowl with Bottom Welt (Rav). I'm not really sure what a bottom welt is, but I like the sturdy-looking construction.

I WILL felt one of these days. Let's just hope I can figure out what a bottom welt is by then.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cataloging the Maelstrom

By the way, I'd like to thank whoever it is that apparently has one of my blog posts in their internet tabs. Whenever you open your browser, I get a hit. I know that's cheating my count, but I don't care. Thank you, random person!

I don't know if I've mentioned this on the blog, but when I cut my nails I can't knit for a few days. I grow my nails long and every time I cut them things are difficult to do for days. The tips of my fingers aren't used to all the sensations, I guess, so they freak out. Yeah, I'm weird.

Since I cut my nails last night, guess what I won't be doing today? Instead, I plan to grab a journal, a pen and dive headfirst into my to do inventory. I mean, Ravelry says I only have 73 kinds of yarn in my stash, but I know that's not true since I haven't entered any of the stuff I bought at VT Sheep & Wool. Also, I need a firm handle on my skeins and yardage if I'm going to seriously shop the stash this year. I know I could participate in that "100 skeindown" challenge on Rav.

2011, it's time to get serious.