Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

I have apparently never blogged here on my birthday, so obviously that has to change. Happy birthday to me! I've been telling people I'm turning 24 again, but I am actually 25. I consider that a milestone! It's downhill to 30 from here.

For my birthday, I don't think I'll buy any new yarn. Shocking, right? I'm pretty comfortable where I am right now.

I'm going to the post office to send off my sister's birthday hat, and I started a new project over the weekend. It's Gaenor, which is a pattern I purchased back in October. It's also an IWTMT, so that's good! I'm using some stash yarn -- the mystery Peace of Fleece in Iolite that I got at Mystic Yarns last September. I still don't know if it's purple or blue. My original intent was that it would be a shawl to match a purple dress I'm wearing to a wedding, but even if it's too blue it'll look great with jeans!

My ironing board + bright sunlight makes for less-than-awesome shots, but I figured I'd give you an in-progress pic. I've done 5 increase repeats already and I love it. (Ignore all the white lifelines. I messed up and had to rip it out once. I ain't taking any more chances.)


Yeah, it looks really blue there. What do you think?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

IWTMT: Parallel Twist

You know what's cruel and unusual? When you fall in love with a pattern and it's sold out. That's the case with the Parallel Twist sock pattern (Rav). There's a little picture on the website, but the Ravelry projects are better.

And I don't even like knitting socks, so this is pretty major.

Friday, May 27, 2011

FO: Boneyard Shawl

Have you heard of the term "camnesia"? It's when you forget to take pictures of things. It's a very serious disability, which I totally have.

I finished my Boneyard back in April. I even wore it to work a few times, before it got to be 80 degrees. And I just haven't taken any pictures until today. Camnesia. Look it up.

In addition to camnesia, I also have badselfportraititis, so the weak of heart may want to turn away now. The self-timer button is not my friend.

Pattern: Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West.
Yarn: Approximately 115 grams of Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in EQ. My skein was 140 grams, so I attempted to do some math and I THINK I used 502.93 yards. But don't quote me on any of that.
Needles: Boye Needlemaster size US 6.
Timeline: 1.21.11 - 4.25.11


Opinions: A great pattern for my first triangular shawl. This pattern is easily adaptable to any weight yarn. Absolutely 100% will make again.


Random Thoughts: Try not to look at my electrical outlets or my butt in the first picture. I told you, badselfportraititis.

I wish I hadn't started this while on morphine. I screwed up some of the beginning increases. Also, you may notice the rainbow is upside-down. GOOD JOB, JEN. I mean, it's a design feature.

Kauni is a nice, nice yarn, but I don't like how it spit-splices, which is pretty much why I didn't cut the yarn when I did the EZ sewn bind-off. Never again, by the way. I will suck it up and spit-splice.

But I like it a lot and it's purty.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

IWTMT: Snow White

I never did make my knitting guild sweater. Never got past the swatching & buying the yarn parts, actually. But you probably already guessed that.

So it's definitely not cheating if you never even established a relationship -- heck, you barely went out a few times, and it didn't buy the drinks.

This is basically all justifying my ogling Snow White (Rav) by Ysolda Teague. Is it free? No. Do I have the yarn for it? No. Am I not on a yarn diet right now? No. (Did you follow that one?) Do I care? Nope.

Am I buying the pattern? Well, no. I think my sister would appreciate if I'd finish her hat and send it to her at some point before her next birthday. Sorry, sis.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

IWTMT: Sunflower Dish or Wash Cloth

According to Blogger, this is my 200th post. Good bloggers would have an awesome post planned out, or a giveaway, or at least something with pictures. Sorry, you happen to be stuck with me, and you should probably know better at this point!

I am not handy in the kitchen or in the garden. I tried to grow some lavender last year but it died. I guess you're supposed to take it out of the pot. I can boil a mean pot of water, though.

I guess my point is that I found a really cute pattern that transcends my inability to cook and garden and instead focuses on what I can do, which is crochet. The Sunflower Dish or Wash Cloth (Rav) is a great free pattern that will use up little bits of yarn, even if they're not sunflower colors. The designer suggests using cotton as they're meant to be dishcloths, but I would also consider using wool and making them hot pads. You could even felt them for extra protection.

Also, I love sunflowers. I know better than to try and grow sunflowers, but I'm pretty sure I could crochet one.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

IWTMT: The Blue Box Beret

I think my parents bought me a beret the time they visited France. Apparently I look good in hats, but I'm not so sure about berets.

While I was checking out With A Tangled Skein for the Wooly Dryer Balls pattern, I decided to see what was new on the blog.

I'm still not sure I'm a beret person, but I'm pretty sure I'll be making the Blue Box Beret (Rav), because it's a hat that looks like the Tardis.

Do I need to say more than that? I want to make it; heck, you should want to make it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

FO: Wooly Dryer Balls

Hey. Hey guys. I made something else. And I took pictures. Are you looking? Look at me!

AND it was an IWTMT.

Last week I bought some Lamb's Pride Worsted, thinking if I was going to make dryer balls I wanted natural-colored wool. Don't ask me why I didn't just use the perfectly good wool I have in my stash. Didn't your mother teach you to mind your manners? All these questions!


Pattern: Wooly Dryer Balls from With A Tangled Skein. However, I say "pattern" loosely; it's more of a brief tutorial. It does not include instructions on felting.
Yarn: Less than one skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted covered four acrylic balls of approximately 8.5" circumference. I used color M-140 Aran. The acylic core was probably Caron Simply Soft Ombre in Country Blue, but I don't know that for a fact. I got four small balls out of a large partial ball I had, with very little left. I really should measure this stuff.
(7.1.11 edit: I weighed the balls and did some math. I believe I used approximately 104.5 yards of wool and 190.5 yards of acrylic.)
Hook: Haha, bet you thought this was a hook/needleless project, huh? You use a crochet hook to secure the yarn ends so the ball doesn't unravel. I used a G because it seemed like it would lessen my chances of loosening all the yarn as I secured the ends.
Timeline: I got it all done yesterday.

This was a perfect quick project for me, since my hand has still not recovered. I also felted for the first time, and it was easier than I had anticipated. My washing machine is more computer-like than the turn-dial ones in the felting tutorials I looked at, so it was difficult for me to feel like I was doing it right. I sent the dryer balls (in tied-up pantyhose) through 2 wash cycles on hot with a pair of jeans, and then dried them alone in the dryer on hot for 60 minutes.

They had felted really well at that point, but I decided to do a hand-felting in my sink after, just in case. You can see how beautifully they felted here:


Isn't my robe a pretty color? I was afraid the M-140 wouldn't felt, being a natural color, but it was a champ and I would definitely repurchase that yarn/color.

They take FOREVER to dry once they're soaking wet. Mine still aren't dry, even the 2 that I sent through the dryer today. That's something to consider.

(Also, these pictures are all pre-shave. I put some in the dryer with my towels pre-shave and everything seemed fine, but I used my fabric shaver on them after I took them out to defuzz them a bit.)

Random Thoughts: So ... how do they work? That's a good question. I made 4, but I intended for each one to be used with one essential oil, so I haven't used all 4 in the dryer yet. I think I'd really need to use 4 at once to see a reduction in drying time.

I put about 5 drops of lavender essential oil on one and 5 drops of eucalyptus on another and tossed them in with some towels. The towels seem un-staticky and amazingly, they actually smell a little like the essential oils, so I'm going to consider this a win.

I definitely, definitely definitely want to make more, both for myself and others. I think these would be great gifts, especially when gifted with a nice essential oil (rose or lavender, perhaps?). I purchase the Oshadhi oils at a local store and find them to be very high quality.

Actually, I can see the most lovely hand-made package, with wooly dryer balls, essential oils, maybe a hand towel knit of linen ... mmm. I know I'd love to get that.

And if the recipient doesn't like them, they make great juggling balls.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Stash Sale

I may or may not have mentioned that I fell down some stairs and hurt my foot on January 2nd. To make a long story short, I still have foot pain and have decided it's time to see a doctor about it.

I don't have health insurance. To see a doctor and get an x-ray is going to cost, at best, a few hundred bucks.

I've decided it's time to be ruthless, so I am willing to sell a lot of my stash. I went through my stash on Rav and marked a lot of it as willing to trade/sell. I don't have prices listed since I'm willing to be very flexible. Some of the skeins were given to me as gifts, so I hate to sell them but I need the money.

Items for sale are currently only listed on my Ravelry stash page. I don't have the patience to relist them here, so I apologize if you are not on Ravelry and are interested in purchasing something.

You can see the items here. If there is no picture and you'd like to see a picture, let me know. I'm very flexible with prices, so please feel free to make an offer. I can be contacted through Ravelry or via my e-mail (stormcoastcreations at gmail dot com).

Thanks for taking a look, and I'll update you guys with info on my foot as soon as I can get to the doctor.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Falling Off the Wagon ... Ouch!

I fell off the wagon. I bought yarn.

I had Friday (aka Royal Wedding Day) off and so I went to my LYS to hang out. It was quite lovely, and I got a LOT done on my sister's hat because my nail has finally grown out. It was so nice that I decided to get myself a little yay-I-finished-Bonyeard/yay-I-actually-worked-on-my-sister's-hat/why-didn't-I-marry-a-prince? present and bought myself a skein of Lamb's Pride. I'm hoping to actually make those Felted Dryer Balls. A friend made them and didn't have a ton of success, but I have a top-loader and she didn't, so maybe it will work better. And if it doesn't, that's okay, since I've never used Lamb's Pride and will enjoy the new experience.

That's all the yarn I bought. Turns out there was a little fashion show going on, and since I stuck around for it I got a thanks-for-being-there prize. I love those. I got to pick from a few options, so I chose a bag of 3 individual skeins. Not sure what I'll do with them, but when do I ever?

I now have some more Kathmandu Aran (in cranberry! maybe I'll make a Christmas hat since I have some green too). There was also a skein of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool XL. I have a skein of her DK Silky Wool, but I haven't used that yet either. Finally, there was a fun little skein of Elsebeth Lavold Twice Tweed, which is apparently discontinued. If nothing else, I will enjoy a little yarn tasting.

On Saturday, my husband dragged me down to Massachusetts for some LARP thing he does. I drove a little, since I'm trying to get my license, and then I worked on the hat more. Once we hit MA, things started to look strangely familiar, and I said "wouldn't it be funny if WEBS was around here?"

Oh, yeah. Where he games is about 2.5 miles away from WEBS. Since we got there so late (they were closing in 20 minutes), I showed my husband the store and then we left. I didn't buy anything. Can I just repeat that? I went to WEBS and I didn't buy anything. Not even a pin. I might have fallen off the wagon, but I wasn't about to throw myself on the train tracks.

Besides, I didn't have any money.

I finished knitting the hat on Sunday, and now I just need to reknit the ribbing because it is way too loose. Unfortunately I think the stress of driving and the major knitting I did after a serious hiatus led to my left hand officially hating me. I went to push myself up out of my chair and my hand collapsed. That's right, I can't put any weight on it. So I have to take a knitting hiatus right now, because I'm pretty sure if I try to reknit worsted weight cotton on size 2 needles I might need a hand amputation. And that would suck.

Falling off the wagon hurts, guys!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

IWTMT: Cassady

I managed to finish blocking my Boneyard just in time for spring weather to finally get here.

Of course.

My yarncraft slows down in the warmer summer months, but usually I can find a cute little pattern or two that won't suffocate my lap. I also tend to try to grow my hair long so I can put it in a ponytail, but I get annoyed long before it ever gets there. So, Cassady (Rav) is basically the perfect warm-weather pattern for me. It's small, free, makes variegated yarns look good, etc.

Besides, I went to college in Vermont. I can so rock the kerchief look.