Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday...and wet

So, I'm working on my Earl Grey Sock.  I really only have about 4 inches left on the foot and the toe.  I know - I'm a lazy blogger and I haven't taken pictures.  I've been working late, which is unusual, since close hasn't even begun yet.  But, it's year end for us, and things are crazy.  Hubby applied for a job, and we're waiting to hear back.  Knitting keeps me calm.  It keeps me from throwing my shoes at people at work, at least until they interrupt my lunch (my knitting time).  I really want to stay home and craft for a day or two.  Maybe I'll take a vacation day sometime just for that.  

This Shibui Knits yarn knits up beautifully.  It looks really smooth, but then as you knit it, it has a slight halo that appears.  It's very lovely, and 100% merino.  The recipient should enjoy them.  

My hubby loves his socks that he received for Christmas last year.  It was funny - he had icy feet the other night, and then got excited because he remembered he had wool socks.  I think I'm going to pick another pattern for his lovely blue yarn:

It's Madelinetosh, and I've knit with that before, so that will be the second pair of socks next that I knit.  Before that, the next pair that I cast on will be this yarn:

So, that's it for me.  I want to spin, and sew, and knit, and crochet...but my time is incredibly limited.  So, I stick with knitting at the moment, because it's easy to transport.  How about you?  What other crafts have you been wanting to dig into recently?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Setting up

Well, Christmas in July was wonderful.  If you didn't get a chance to come by, you missed a whole lot of fun!  There were great patterns, lots of laughs, fun people, and even cookies!  How can you not like cookies?!  It was terrific, and I think a lot of people were interested in the next part I'm about to share: we're doing a CAL at The Whole Nine Yarns.  We're using this pattern:

It's the Crochet Sampler Afghan by Marianne Forrestal.  It has 12 different blocks, plus a border.  Once you make all the squares, you block them, seam them up, and crochet the border around.  It's just a block a month, and they take hardly any time at all.  The pattern is free, the class is $10 and that includes the yarn!  You get an hour of help from me, and in an hour, you can easily do a whole square.  At least, I've done 2 squares in an hour (each) and so some of them can be completed.

I also completed the second sock of the second set of Hermione's Everyday Socks.

That means that this one is done.  There's one more Christmas present done.  So, I've started another one.  I picked this one:

It's Earl Grey by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  And I balled up this skein:

It's Shibui Knits in Charcoal.  Not exactly as exciting as the MadelineTosh, but it's turning out lovely already.  As a matter of fact, it kind of makes me want a pair.  Maybe after Christmas is all done.

It's not just knitting and crocheting that I've been working on either.  We've been looking into some new possibilities for our business.  It's definitely slow-going, but changes are needed, and sometimes it's difficult to turn the Titanic.  So, little by little, things are looking up.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fun Friday

So, I know I already posted this morning, but I’ve been kind of bored today, and so now I’m writing another post.  I’ve been scouting out some new patterns, and planning on completing some WIPs, but let’s face it, starting something new is always more fun!  Here are a few that I’ve found that I am itching to start:

Alchemilla Shawl

Have you see The Crochet Project?  Have you heard about it?  I’m completely loving this shawl – it’s based on a Hap shawl, which starts off as a big square in the middle, then works a lacy pattern around the outside.  This one is not unlike the Hap Blanket from Ysolda Teague, but it is crochet instead of knit.  It’s also worked in a fingering weight yarn, rather than a worsted weight, so it makes it like you’re NOT wearing a baby blanket.  C’mon – you know the only person who should ever wear a baby blanket is a BABY.  And then it’s less “wearing” and more “wrapped up in.”


You know I’ve been working on an Elijah, right?  Just in case you didn’t know, I am.  I have plans to make 2 for Christmas for my lovely children.  Right after I stop sleeping to complete all the projects I want to make for Christmas.  Yet I digress.  Have you seen this?


This is incredible – I love the use of motifs.  It’s worked in a sock yarn (fingering to DK weight) and a great way to use up scraps.  I really want to make 3 – one for each of my kids, one for a lovely girl whose mother is a dear that I know through The Whole Nine Yarns (link) and maybe even one for me! 

Tiramisu Baby Blanket

I know – another crochet project!  Isn’t it a lovely baby blanket though?  Just to be fair, I’ve had my eye on this one for a while too:

Big Bad Baby Blanket

I keep meaning to make this one, for someone I knew who had a baby last year, but I think it might get passed to someone else who’s about to have a baby (if it’s a girl – if not, I may have to rethink the yarn choice).   I’ve been adding some things here and there to my queue.  Some things are simple and easy – others are not.  What about you?  Have you been noticing anything fun on Ravelry lately?  Find any new great patterns out there?

Knitting for breakfast

I've been under the weather, and still trying to get out from under it.  It's hard when it goes from pouring down rain one minute, to over 90 degrees the next.  We've been stuck with a summer cold, and mine is lingering a bit.  I do have something to show you:

It's Hermione's Everyday Sock, part 4.  I knit one pair in Rhubarb for my SIL for Christmas (Shhh!  Don't tell her!) and this is the colorway Home from MadelineTosh.  Same pattern, second sock.  I am however, getting a bit bored with this pattern.  It's a great pattern, and it works up quickly, and it's terrific for the MadelineTosh, but let's face it - by #4, it's old hat.

So, what am I going to start next?  Well, glad you asked! :)  I have an Elijah to finish (hopefully I can take some pictures this weekend for you) and I'm going to start another pair of socks for Christmas (hey - we only have 174 days left - time to get busy!).

Oh, and there's something new on the horizon!  Wanna know what it is?  Well, I'll tell Christmas in July!  Haha!  I had to get a shameless plug in there somehow!  Come on by and visit, and you can see what I'll be up to next.  Or, you can wait until after Christmas in July, and I'll tell you here.  It promises to be fun though, and I'll give you a hint - it's crochet!  The details for Christmas in July are as follows: 11-4 at The Whole Nine Yarns, in downtown Woodstock.  It's $5 at the door (for printing costs) and the rest is free!  You'll get to meet just about all the teachers, see projects for Christmas (or any time), ask questions, buy'll be fun!  I've been for several years, mostly as a teacher, and it's great.  You always find the coolest people will show up and you get to know them.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Designing, Part 1

Sorry I've been gone for a while.  I was going to blog over the weekend, since I had a long one, but then everyone decided we needed to share a cold, so we've all been sick.  Little Man started it, then passed it to me, and now Princess is in full swing, and Hubby is starting.  It took serious effort to just get dressed and go somewhere.  Like to our favorite restaurant.  And by the way, the chef is amazing.  Not only is their regular menu terrific, but the weekend specials rock.  This past weekend was Julia Child recipes.  No tinkering, just the way she wrote them.  Simple and incredible.  I even had a dream about the chef.  Are you ready for this one?  It's kind of hot.  He drove to my in-laws, and brought me homemade chicken soup.  Hot, in a thermos.  Ha ha!  There's my "hot dream".  I know - terrible.  That's what happens when I'm sick - my sense of humor goes to about age 5.

So, recently, I did a test knit.  Remember this?

And I talked to the designer, the lovely Jane Richmond, a bit about her designing process.  When I say "talked a bit," I mean I messaged her on Ravelry with what I thought were rather uninspired questions, and she kindly wrote back.  I had read an interview with her (you can read it here) and decided to try something a little new.  Since Christmas in July is almost upon us (it's in about 2 weeks!), I needed to create something new, and I went through all the math first.  I swatched - isn't that amazing?! - started figuring out the math for the pattern, and went to work.  I actually had the pattern drafted before I even picked up a hook!  (The pattern is crochet, in case that confused you.)  Surprisingly, my math worked.  Even I was surprised.  It should, considering what I do for a living, and it's not difficult math.  But it is nice when it all works out.  In any case, I now have a spreadsheet to work from when designing.  It's surprisingly easy to use and work with and tweak and manipulate to get what you want or need.  I love it.  I usually live in Excel at work - who knew that you could do the same thing for knitting and crochet?!  Apparently a bunch of people who had thought about it a lot harder than I had.  The test crochet is now blocking, and the fabric is drying.  What is it?  It's a skirt.  It's a really awesome girly skirt for Princess.  And the best part?  The pattern comes in 5 sizes. Really - all that, and a bag a chips.  Just wait until you see it!  If you want, I'll give you a sneak peek before Christmas in July, but you really need to see it for yourself there.  I'll be there - will you?