Sunday, December 31, 2006

Projects 2006

Since it is now the end of 2006 and I am pretty sure that I am not going to get any more projects done this year, I thought that I would put up this list and then clear off my old list. That way I can start fresh for 2007.

Grandma's Scarf
Camo Mitts
Mech Mitts
Poof Scarf
Malizia Scarf
Sugar Plum Pullover
Debbie Bliss Hoodie
Alpaca Beaded Hat
Travelling Socks
Grandpa's Slippers
Alpaca Beaded Scarf
Interminable Sock
Holiday Bag
Eye Pillows (2)
My Adorable Bunny
Sherbet Socks
Garterlac Washcloth II
Garterlac Washcloth I
One Skein Scarf
Whisper Scarf
Fiesta Scarf for KAH
Sherbet Bag
Sugar 'n Spice Sweater
Art Deco Bag II
Blair's Camera Bag
Grandma's Baby Booties
Socks for KAH
Sockaploooza Socks
Art Deco Bag
KO Sweater
2 Karaoke Bags
Squiggle Bag

That is 8 bags, 7 scarves, 5 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of mitts, 2 sweaters, 2 baby sweaters, 2 eye pillows, 1 hat, 1 pair of slippers, 1 bunny, and 1 pair of booties. That is a total of 32 knitted items this past year. I'm pretty impressed with that and I can't wait to see what I can get done in the new year. I hope that everyone out there will have a happy new year and will knit lots and lots of pretty things.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

6 Weird Things

For those of you that were worrying, Blair and I are very safe when we travel in winter weather. When going up Mt Hood we stick strictly to Hwy 35 and only leave it for ploughed areas with lots of people. No sense in getting stuck up there. Anyway, I was tagged by Tammy of Lavendar Knits for the 6 Weird things meme.

Ok, some of this has been put on my blog before, but I think you would have to be a pretty long time reader to get it. I will try and keep it original though:
  1. I was born on the 6th day of the 6th month at 6:36am. Which I think might have just gotten rid of all of the fundamentalist Christians who read my blog. Seriously though I think the doctor really just had a bad sense of humor, I mean why wasn't I born at 6:35 or 6:37? Though because of it 6 is my favorite number and has always brought me luck.
  2. I graduated a year early from high school, then spent 5 years in college to make up for it.
  3. I was 22 when I got my driver's license. My husband was the one who actually taught me to drive after we were married. I really didn't (and still don't) have a great need to drive. In Eugene (where I went to college) there is an awesome bus system that goes everywhere. Here in Hood River I can walk to just about everywhere I need to go.
  4. Even though Hood River is considered an outdoor haven for all things athletic I am really not involved with any of them. I don't windsurf (or particularly want to have anything to do with a sport that involves a possible mouthful of the Columbia River. ick!), nor do I boat, ski, or snowboard. I am perfectly happy with my knitting as my only sport.
  5. I still sleep with the teddy bear that I received when I was 1 year old. When I am without it I snuggle my blankets. My bear is a white polar bear by Gund, his name is Gunda, and was given to me by my great-grandmother on my very first birthday.
  6. I consider myself an artist even though according to what I learned in art school I would be considered a crafter. I think that is part of why I never got my BFA and don't have any intention of ever getting one. I enjoy making things for the love of making them, whether it is a simple pattern for a pair of functional mittens or a gorgeously painted one of a kind skein of yarn. In my eyes they are all art and so I consider myself an artist.
I am going to tag Sarah, Sabrina, Destiny and Blair. Oh, and anyone else who wants to do it can do it too, just leave me a comment. I have actually gotten a kick out of reading several of these around the web.

PS. If you would like to see some more pictures of my Christmas knitting, check out my husband's post on Christmas.

Extended Family Christmas

Yes, we went sledding yesterday. Well, at least sort of. We went up twice each and got to see a lot of other people out sledding. It was pretty awesome, but I think we are going to have to invest in a couple of intertubes, because they looked like a lot of fun. I didn't get any pics because I left my camera at home. We decided to keep going up the mountain (Mt. Hood) and it was just gorgeous out. Though, speaking of pictures here are the goodies that I made for my grandparents.

Some of you probably remember when I made these slippers. They are really awesome slippers. I didn't get to see my grandfather try them on yet, but I really hope that they fit and keep his feet warm. They are made from Cascade 220 in colors #9449 & #8555. The pattern is Fiber Trends Felt Clogs pattern. In fact it is the exact one that Brenda was complaining about on Cast-On. I love them and I thought they were really quick and fun to knit.

Then I made a feather and fan scarf for my grandmother. It is knit out of Miner Creek Alpaca, an exclusive yarn through Knot Another Hat. This is a brand new colorway called Log Cabin #117. I just love the reds and greens in this. My grandmother loved it too and that is what really counts.

Here is a close-up of the scarf. It is really light and fluffy soft in only the way that alpaca can be. I also didn't end up using the whole skein of yarn. I was afraid that it would be too long and would be too much for my grandmother to handle. It's finished length was 58" x 7 or 8" wide.

Also, here is a knitting project I forgot to tell you about. I took a class from Sarah on Moebius knitting. She took a class from Cat Bordhi herself and passed on her wonderful advice. Speaking of which, Cat Bordhi should be visiting us sometime in July. How cool will that be? I am knitting this out of Teseo in color Riviera Blue #21763. I just love how the yarn changes color and goes around the bag strap. It is a really amazing and mind bending technique.

Now that the holidays are over I can finally get to back to daily chores, such as house cleaning and laundry. Though according to this article, it isn't necessarily the best thing to be super tidy. Which is great news to all of us knitters out there that aren't perfect house keepers. I think I might have to send this link off to the Yarn Harlot. The article is awesome and definately worth checking out even if you are much tidier than I am.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Family Christmas

Today's post is dedicated to my family's Christmas, for which I back breakingly knit an assortment of holiday goodies. I am sorry that the pictures are a bit blurry. The lighting was terrible as it was taken at night. We decided to open gifts Christmas Eve this year.

To start off with are the man mitts. I know I actually talked a little about them a little earlier. Some of you might even recognize this Mech pair. I gave them to my brother Andrew, for which the yarn has been named. He is such a gamer and he love blue and black so I knew that these had to be for him. I still have kits and patterns (pdf / paper) in my shop if anyone wants to make their own pair.

The pair that wasn't shown was this Camo pair for my dad. He really loved them and I hope that he gets a lot of use out of them. He said that they fit perfectly, which I am very glad of. He has hands similar in size to Blair, so it made me very happy that they fit. Blair now wants a pair too. I'm sure I will be able to get a pair done for him sometime after I get his skull socks done. I have camo mitt kitts available in my etsy shop as well.

Here is my brother Matthew. Something most people don't know about me is that my youngest brother is handicapped. He has an addition on his 11th chromosome, which is a very very rare condition to have. He is a sweet kid though and really loves bright colors. Lately he has actually shown an interest in what I am knitting, so I thought that I would make this really fast and simple scarf out of Poof Color Orange Crush #9557. It is 13 sts on a size 15us needle and just knit until all the yarn is gone. It takes 2 balls. It makes a really super soft scarf that I am sure will keep him warm, and more importantly keep him visible to my mother when he is outdoors.

I've saved the best set for last. This is my mother (left) and her twin sister Linda (right). I knit Linda the fabulous scarf that is totally out of focus. It is knit with Malizia color #11. It has a very simple and fast pattern too. Simply cast on 11 sts, knit both sides, then every 8th row k1, yo 3 times, repeat to the end. On the next row drop all of the yarn overs. Fringe optional. It really is a great way to make a beautiful yarn go further and really shows off a fancy yarn like Malizia to its very best.

The sweater that my mom is wearing is the Sugarplum Pullover from Handknit Holidays. The pattern was actually pretty accurate except for one little part. When attaching the sleeves it says to attach one sleeve and then knit the back, but if you do this from where the yarn is at you are ready to knit the front. To remedy this I simply attached both sleeves as directed and then continued to knit until I was where I was suppose to be. This worked really well because I had a slight row gauge issues, so a little extra knitting didn't hurt a thing. As you can see the sweater fits her perfectly, for which I am very very happy. I just love this sweater. It is very gorgeous and very sexy. I knit it out of Nashua Creative Focus Superwash, which I got gauge with the recommended needle size. It is an awesome substitute, and even better because it is technically machine washable. Though my mother has promised me that she is going to handwash and use Soak, which she bought from Knot Another Hat.

That's it for my immediate family's gathering. The next post will be my grandparent's holiday bash, which I forgot my camera. Luckily I took pictures of all of their goodies before they left the house. Anyway, I think Blair and I are going to go sledding or at the very least go and try out his brand new GPS that I got him for Christmas.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I actually have things to post, happy, wonderful, even knitted things to post. Actually I think I have enough content for 3 or 4 posts, so I am triple posting at the moment figuring out where all the photos are best seen and then I will post them up over the next couple of days just so that it isn't quite so overwhelming. I am sure too that there are a lot of you out there that are going to be posting (if you haven't already) and I can't wait to read about everyone's holiday!

I thought I would do today's post on what Santa brought to me:

I decided to break it down into themes. This is my sheep set of stuff. My mom got me sheepy socks, which are traditional. Every year she gets me a set or two of fancy socks, which is awesome because I am such a sock fiend. The most hilarious thing, though, is the picture my mom got me. I'm not sure if you can read it in the picture but the words below Lamb's says: Fancy Soaps for Tender Ladies. I don't know why, but every time I read that it makes me smile. I have to hang it in my bathroom! The last thing there is Trafficking in Sheep, which I have heard really good things about from other bloggers. Blair got it for me and I can't wait to read it. I'll let you know what I think about it when I am through.

The second set is my dvd set. Pretty much all of them are nice knitting time movies, so I included them. The Gilmore Girls sets I picked up for myself from Costco, but put them under the tree from Santa. Apparently Santa isn't so good at taking the price labels off, but oh well. I was really overjoyed to find seasons 1-3 for less than $15 a piece. I can't seem to find them on their website for that price or anywhere else for that matter. I bought them from the Costco in Portland off of Sandy for anyone who is in the area and would like to know. I just love them and I don't have cable so this is a very big deal. Tales from Avonlea is from my mom, I really love all of the Avonlea movies. I grew up on Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, they are perfect knitting movies because I can watch them and not have to look up all the time to see what is going on. The last Serenity I saw in theaters and my husband got for our dvd collection. It is from an awesome series called Firefly, which I am very sad that it went off the air. I really love the movie, but I was sad that they killed off some of my favorite characters.

My last group is my knitting related things. My mom made me my very own flock of lavender sheep. They have stitch marker embellishments on the front of them, which I am sure I will put to good use. The sock blockers are by Leggy Creations. I asked for them specifically because they are so awesome. Each pair that she makes are one of a kind works of art. I don't think that my picture even does justice to them. I am going to have to find a special place on the wall to hang them when they are not in use. The last thing is Traditional Scandinavian Knitting that my husband got for me. It is so awesome. It is mainly in black and white, with a few color pictures. I just went through it from cover to cover and now I have some great ideas. I am sort of in a sweater mood at the moment, so this will come in very handy.

Items not pictured, or at least not pictured yet, include more cooking things from my mom. I also got the most awesome set of plates from Sarah that are made by Mystic Mud Studios here in Hood River. (I happened to find a picture online, so click on the first link to see what my pretty plates look like). It is so hard to find holiday anything with pears that I just fell in love with them when I saw them. I am using them to put pumpkin bread and Christmas cookies on them for tonight's Christmas feast. Speaking of which the other awesome gift I received is from Destiny. There aren't any pictures of it either. She made me (and she gave one to Sarah too) a gift basket filled with homemade pumpkin bread, cranberry pumpkin muffins and homemade blackberry jam. Needless to say it all disappeared before I could take a picture of it. It was really really awesome though, and made a great breakfast treat.

I must have been a very good girl this year for Santa to have brought me all these nice things. I feel very blessed for having such a great family, awesome friends, and a true soul mate for a spouse. I hope all of you guys out there are having an equally wonderful holiday season!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Knit like the wind

Ok, so I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, just been knitting like the wind. I am sure there are many more of you out in blog land that are doing the same at this very moment. I have a lot to share with you all and have missed blogging this whole last week. Let's get started.

Some exciting news for my little shop/business is that Chrissy of Knittin' Mom and Gardiner Yarnworks (check out her patterns they are awesome) has commissioned me for 12 skeins of Mt. Hood and 12 skeins of Columbia River for one of a kind kits. If you click the links there are samples that are in the shop right now. I just couldn't resist making some for my very own shop too. She is going to design sock patterns to go with the yarn. I am very excited and can't wait to see what she comes up with.

In knitting news I am pretty close to being done which is good, very very good. Especially since my family has decided to open gifts on Christmas Eve. I just need to finish my dad's gift. I have given up on my uncle's gift and have bought him something more useful and commercial for him instead. Do not worry though, his gift will be knit in the new year, I hope. His birthday is in February...I can get it done by February, um, sure. Though the new year is bringing me a commission I need to finish. That is one beautiful entrelac scarf that is 12" x 90", I have until the 5th of January, so lots of knitting like the wind for me. Then I realized that I am teaching a mitten class the 9th of January so I need to get some models made up to attract people to the class. I'm designing 3 simple sets: one plain, one with a cable, and one with a simple fair isle band. I think I have it designed just fine, I just need to make them up and write the patterns.

So, tonight is a big family get together with my grandparents and extended family. We don't really exchange gifts with the extended family, but we do with my grandparents. I'll try and take some nifty pictures of the lovely things that I knit for both of them so that I can have a real post here. I will also have lots to show after Christmas of all the goodies I have knit. I think that I might stretch it out a bit so that everything gets talked about. This is definately to make up for my lack of knit related posting for the last little bit.

Oh, and I'm not sure if you have noticed, but I have now upgrated to Blogger Beta 2, which is no longer in beta. Go Google!!!

Anyway, Happy Holidays to all! I hope you are all staying warm out there!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The lights Aren't on, but we are home

So, I have had an exciting last 24 hours. Well, ok, 18 hours. So, we knew there was a storm warning and that Portland had been hit pretty bad, but we weren't expecting everything that hit us. We started having brown outs at about 8pm, so we shut down the computers and went to bed around 11 pm.

At around midnight our power went out. How could we tell? Well, everything was silent, the heaters and everything. It's funny how silence can wake you up. We were expecting that the power would go out, though, because of the brown outs. So, we snuggled down deep under the covers and went back to sleep, or tried to go back to sleep. I kept hearing the wind hit the house and would wake up my husband saying, "Wow! Did you hear that?" He was not impressed and would go back to sleep. He told me in the morning that he didn't sleep very well because I kept waking him up, I told him that it wasn't my fault he kept falling asleep.

In the morning we woke up at about 6:30am and the power was still out. My husband was curious as to how far it was out so he went for a little drive around town to see what was up. He came back and said that it was out sporadically all over town. So, I decided that I wanted to see it too so I got up and dressed in the still dark (it's lucky that my socks match) and we headed out. For some reason too our phones couldn't get a signal either, I think the cell tower lost power as well. My first thought was that I could head down to KAH for the day so I could still get some of my Christmas knitting done, but KAH was out of power too. It was weird though, because 2 doors down they had power. So, instead, I headed to my parent's house. My parent's didn't have power either, but my dad is an electrician, so he hooked up the generator to the house so there was at least heat and power for the refrigerator. I spent most of the day waiting for the power to come on, watching the weather change from blue sky to rain to snow to hail and not in that particular order, and knitting on mostly non-Christmas things. I did finish my Grandmother's scarf however, it just needs to be blocked and I should have a picture soon of it. I have no worries about my Grandmother reading it as she still believes that you have to be at home when email arrives or you will miss it.

Anyway, the power came on around 1pm and Sarah called me saying that KAH was open. So, I packed up my knitting bag and headed for the shop to work on some Christmas goodies. Thankfully it all turned out well, except for the many people who are still without power in our area. Across the river in White Salmon it is still black, which is very very eerie to look at. I hope everyone out there is staying warm and dry.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Holiday Cheer

Many of you remember that lovely donation drive that Sarah and I ran a couple of months back for our local Middle School. We collected so much yarn that they will have yarn for classes for the next couple of years. Well, the class is only a quarter long so it has been over for quite a few weeks now. Ms Sprouse (the teacher for the class) had the class choose a charity project to work on as a final. The students decided that they would make preemie / baby hats for the local hospital. She organized a field trip this last friday for her students to deliver the hats to the maternity ward.

Here is a picture of her class with the baby hats that they made out of your yarn! Not everybody could make it, but I would say that this is a good portion of the class. Ms Sprouse is pictured on the far right.

Here are the students giving their hats to one of the nurses.

I must say that this was a wonderful experience that I am so glad that I got to be a part of. I am so happy that these young people not only have learned how to knit but have also knit for a much higher purpose. These little hats will be used to keep little baby heads warm as they travel to their new homes. I just can't thank all of you enough for donating your yarn and making all of this possible.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Little Shop Update

So, I have been a bit busy with my shop. So busy that yarn is flying out faster than I can even talk about here on the blog.

Yesterday I started putting up some of my brand new Merino/Tencel yarn. It is 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tencel. It is super elegant and soft. Such a luxury sock yarn! I love it! I only started with 4 skeins, because I wanted to really make sure that I loved it before actually dyeing up a whole lot of it. Well, I listed Candy Cane Lane & Chocolate Cherry yesterday and they sold almost immediately. I have now listed up Dazzling Sunset and Mine Don't Touch. I am not sure if I will have any more between here and Christmas as I am busily knitting away on Christmas knitting, but I definately will after the holidays.

I listed my pattern for my man mitts individually in both a .pdf version and a paper version. I am very excited about these.They should fit most men's hands. My husband's hands are fairly good size. They are pictured above. So now there are options between buying the kits or just buying the individual pattern.

I have all sorts of ideas for the new year both for my etsy shop and for my new website. I'll let you know as I work on those ideas, because I might need some help from some of you. It is going to be awesome!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Big Store Update

I have been working tirelessly today to bring a couple of new things to my etsy shop for the holiday season.

The first are these awesome Man Mitts that I designed. They should fit most man sizes. They are a little long for a woman's hand, but if you have a long hand for a woman, they might just fit perfectly. I am now offering kits with my handpainted yarn and my one of a kind pattern. These mitts were awesome and very quick to make. They are perfect for the man in your life. They come in 4 colors: Mech, Cinder, Camo, and Columbia River.

The second new thing for the shop is: I am now going to carry gift certificates. So, if you aren't sure of what color to buy for that special person in your life or don't know what yarn to pick for the knitter/crocheter on your list, you can now buy one of these. I so far have $25, $50, & $100 available. I can also put up custom amounts upon request. I have only listed one of each up so far to see how they sell. I will post up more when I run out on the site.

Coming soon: 50% Merino/50% Tencel sock yarn.

Sneak Preview: I have a domain now! Thank to Peninah. Check out

Sunday, December 03, 2006

O Christmas Tree

This year is the first year that my husband and I have had our very own Christmas tree. Traditionally we have gone out with my parents and my two brothers to go cut down a family tree. This year my husband and I wanted to start having our own traditions.

Here is my dad cutting down our tree. I have to mention that because of the colder/snowier weather we have been having that we were limited to a very small area to find our tree. Even that area had a lot of snow. So, this is the first tree that we could find that would meet our needs. Besides we were also on a bit of a time limit because I had a class to teach at 1pm. I can report that there are now 6 new knitters in the world. They just need to learn to bind-off and purl next weekend and they will be set.

Here is our tree finally at home and fully decorated. We didn't want a very big tree because we don't have a very big space to put one. It is rougly the same height as myself. I am especially proud of what I figured out for the top of our tree. My mother gave me her angel, but it was far too big for the scale of the tree. So, I thought that I could probably make some sort of tree topper and looked through my yarn stash.

The Yarn Harlot would be proud for my great execution of yarn as decor. hehehe. I mixed together two of my favorite yarns Fizz Stardust in color #4309 Cream and Fling in color #9494 Roses Print. I just wound them together into a ball and put them on the top of the tree. It really is very pretty and when Christmas/New Years is over I will knit it into a scarf. I think next year I will make a new ball and start a new tradition of scarf tree toppers!

In shop news: I made it into the Lime & Violet's Holiday Gift Guide. If you haven't seen it already it is pretty awesome. Pretty much they made a list of just about every knitting related site out there and all you have to do is print it out, highlight the things that you want, and then make notes as to color, size, etc... It is a very cool list.

Oh, and for some reason Etsy had some difficulty and ate my listing for Blue Raspberry Sock Yarn, so I fixed it and it is up right now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Frozen Over Frog Pond

First the frogging:

Poor little Entrelac scarf. I had the brilliant idea that I should measure the scarf and make sure that it was actually 12" wide. It was actually 16" wide!!! Not exactly something I could hide in the blocking. Besides, it would also mean that I really wouldn't have enough yarn. The good thing though is that I can now keep even more careful notes as to how I am knitting this scarf. I was wondering if you guys would like the pattern written up as far as I have gotten, which is everything but the top triangles. I probably won't be to the top triangles until January, when the scarf is actually due. That means that the full pattern won't be up until then. If you want it sooner I can post the partial. So, let me know what you think: partial now or whole pattern later?

Now the frozen part of my Frog Pond. It is currently a toasty 25 degrees out here. Sad thing though, my dye pot has frozen over!!! No more dyeing for awhile. Actually it isn't my dye pot that is keeping me from dyeing. I'm just waiting for a yarn order. It should be here either today or tomorrow then I'll be back to my dyeing goodness.

Though the reason why I had to order more yarn is because I dyed up a whole bunch of yarn for my etsy shop. This is my new colorway, inspired by Destiny, called Truffle. It reminds me of decadent chocolates. It is so pretty and I love it.

Remember back when I first got my electric skein winder (click the link if you don't)? I said something about technical difficulties. Well those difficulties came in the form of two large skeins of yarn. So, I decided to dye them in two of my most popular colorways, Mountain Sunset and Blue Raspberry. There is enough in each skein to make a pair of knee socks for a regular foot, or two pairs of ankle socks, or a regular pair and a kids pair. The possibilities are endless!

Coming soon: Men Mitt Kitts

Sunday, November 26, 2006

First Snow

Is winter really here? It just might be:

We have snow. Actually I think most of the Northwest has snow. So far we are good. My husband put chains on the car and we headed out and even opened up Knot Another Hat. Apparently yarn shops are the place to be when there is a snow storm, just in case you are wondering. I was surprised that anybody ventured out in this snow, but they did! (Btw the grey bit at the top is the snow cloud that hung around all day!)

Here is my husband shoveling off the walk. Check out his blog for more photos of the snow. He had to get the walk swept and everything prepared for him to go off to work tomorrow (and for me to go off to work today). It is very important! He love his job, and for those of you that I haven't already told, he is working for Google making sure that the internet still works. Actually I have no idea what he really does, but making the internet work sounds good.

I really love this picture of the snow on trees. I can almost imagine that I am in the middle of nowhere except for the power lines that are on the left side. Please ignore those and bask in the beauty of freshly fallen snow encrusting each twig.

Oh, yes, and the knitting content. Like I said I needed to knit something in front of the family. I got a bunch of progress done over Thanksgiving on the Entrelac Scarf. I really love how it is coming together. I got a lot of compliments on it while working at the shop. My goal is to convert the masses to entrelac. The pattern is just about any entrelac pattern. It is 6 sts by 12 rows, which should make sense if you look at an entrelac pattern. I must admit that I just changed Criminy Jickets Garterlac pattern (on the sidebar) back into entrelac because it was the first entrelac pattern I could find. This scarf is knit on size 5s. The yarn is Miner Creek Alpaca color Fiesta #112. I might write the pattern out and offer it for free if enough people are interested.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Yardage Meter

When I bought my Electric Skein Winder I said that I would probably sell my yardage meter and that I would give you a review. Well, I finally got the pictures taken and I have now listed it up on Ebay. You can check out the listing here.

Now for my review of the yardage meter. This yardage meter is made by Nancy's Knit Knacks, a very good company that makes quality products. I know that because I am selling this item that you are expecting that I will give a good review to it. For the most part that is true. This is a good quality product, but it just didn't totally fit my needs. I bought it with the intention of measuring my handspun yarn. Unfortunately, even though NKK says that this meter can be used for handspun, it probably shouldn't be used for it if you want a completely accurate measurement. The trouble comes, and NKK does say this too, is that the yarn, like most handspun, is uneven. Uneven yarns make the meter inaccurate by up to 10%. For me that is a big deal, because I want people to be able to buy my yarn and be able to use it in a project with completely accurate yardage, not an approximation. So, I the way that I find yardage is by using my Niddy Noddy and multiplying by how many times it wraps around.

This meter is, however, very good for things like commercial yarns that are even. Have a partial ball of yarn that you want to know how much is in it? This meter is perfect! I was using this for my sock yarn because it was very accurate for finding the 460 yards that is in each skein. The trouble came when I then needed to wind those 460 yards around my niddy noddy then dye them, then wind them again into a ball and then wind them again onto the niddy noddy. My electric skein winder, which is a dream, takes out the most strenuous of those steps. Yay! The yardage meter is ideal for someone who is measuring yarn periodically and not a high volume of yarn, like I am. It is a very useful tool for commercial yarn and can also measure ribbon yarn accurately. If you are interested in my yarn meter you can check out my listing on ebay where I am selling it at a highly reduced price. Also, you can ask me any questions here or through ebay! Thank you and have a very nice day after Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am just so happy that it is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, even if it means lots and lots of cooking. In my family we have so many dietary restraints that we have to make everything from scratch. My mother is terribly allergic to MSG and to anything with soy in it. My uncle is the same and also can't have any nitrites or he gets massive migraine headaches. I have Crohn's disease, which means that I can't eat anything with nuts, whole wheat, chocolate, or a whole long list of other things. I can eat pumpkin though, so I have been cooking up a load of pumpkin goodies!

I got most of my recipes from the Nestle site, they also make Libby's pumpkin. These are the Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies. Thay are really good. My husband and I had to sample them last night for, um, safety. That's right. Just to make sure that they were suitable for the rest of the family to eat.

This is my most favorite thing that I made. It is the Sour Cream Pumpkin Bundt Cake. I really love bundt cake. More to the point I love bundt cake pans. Especially ones like this! I also made the Libby's Pumpkin Roll, but haven't taken a picture of it yet. I didn't make a pumpkin pie because I'm not very good at making pie crusts yet, I'm working on it. It also doesn't help that my parents have cut out hydrogenated oils and other oils like soy bean and vegetable, so shortening it out. We use a product called Rice Bran Oil, which is really good and good for you. So I am going to have to experiment with it some more to see if I can make a decent crust.

I went and shook out some of the powdered sugar outside and it landed on our hedge. I just thought it was pretty so I thought I would post it up.

Just in case you were starting to think this was turning into a cooking blog, here is some pretty handspun yarn to sooth your knitting soul. This is sock weight yarn. It is 80% Superwash Wool and 20% Tencel. You can see the tencel gives it shine that looks almost like silk. It is really pretty and I am really proud of it. I named it Dazzling Sunrise. It should be down at Knot Another Hat soon and up on my page. I forgot to take it in on Tuesday, so it probably won't be down there until next Tuesday. I am working this weekend (Saturday & Sunday) down at KAH, so come drop by and say hi if you are in the area.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

This & That

I have been knitting, but mostly for Christmas, so can't show any pictures. I will, hopefully, have a pattern up soon that I have designed for Christmas, but no pictures. I will put pictures on my Etsy shop though, so we shall see. I really want to have this pattern up, because I am rather proud of it. I'm also thinking kits, which will be so much fun.

This is a project that I can show. I have a commission for a scarf that is 12" x 90". The upside being that she doesn't want it until January 5th, so I have plenty of time. The downside being that it is 12" x 90"!!! I decided to knit it in entrelac, because I love entrelac. Also because she wanted to preserve the fabulous colors that are in this yarn. The yarn is Miner Creek Alpaca color Fiesta #112 from Miner Creek Alpaca in White Salmon, Washington (right across the Columbia River from here). Marina, who owns Miner Creek Alpaca has the yarn processed from the alpacas she raises right there. Some of it is dyed at the mill and some of it she dyes herself. It is sold exclusively through Knot Another Hat. This is how far I got yesterday, so I think there is a pretty good chance that I will get it done before it is due. It is now my project that I knit around my family so that they don't know about their Christmas goodies.

I thought I would share these with you: Stitchionary 1, Stitchionary 2, Stitchionary 3. I got this set because I have been working pretty hard and I thought I would treat myself. They are really really pretty books. I love all the different stitch patterns. I don't remember where I heard it from, but somebody said that every designer should have a good pattern book (Knitters Handy guide to sweaters & patterns - check) and a good stitch dictionary. This completes that list. I just looked through all of them and I got so many ideas for sweaters and all sorts of projects it just made my head swim. I really love them. The only downside to them is they are a bit on the spendy side for knitting books. Still, though, if you are looking for a good set of stitch dictionaries with beautiful images and great descriptions check out these books.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Etsy v2 - An Update

I am very happy so far with the new Etsy. I know they are still working out some bugs, which I will list at the end, but it is definately worth checking out. If you want to see the whole walk-through check it out here. I am going to talk about some of my new favorite features, but probably won't touch on everything that is new.

I am very happy because I put up a brand new banner. A very pretty banner at that. It was designed by yours truly, of which I am quite proud, using a product called The Gimp. The Gimp is an open software (and is a free download) that mimics Photoshop. It does a lot of the same things as Photshop, but not always in the same way. It works for me though because I pretty much needed a program that would make an image an exact size for my new banner and it can definately do that. I think I might even pick up a book or something on The Gimp and figure out more of what it can do. I must say that my banner was partially an accident and partially inspired design. I'm just happy that it has a little more depth to it and really stands out. You can check it out in my new Etsy Shop.

One of the neat new things in Etsy is the shopping cart. You can even shop all over Etsy and then check out at the end. It does mean multiple checkouts, but I still think it is really cool. Especially since a shopping cart now means that Etsy will now to multiple purchases and combined shipping automatically. I am currently going through each of my listings and editing them to accomodate the new abilities. It also means that not only can I put in a shipping price for the US, I can put in a combined shipping price. Also, I can put in seperate shipping prices for the US, Canada, and Everywhere Else, with combined shipping. That means no more having to message me and banter back and forth about shipping price. It is what it is listed and that is that. I hope this will make everyone else as happy as I am. It also means that I will have more time for dyeing and designing, instead of having to answer email. Yay!

So far the only downsides I have seen are minor things that will probably be fixed in the near future. One of them being Alchemy. I really miss having Alchemy, because I liked to peruse the listings everyday and see if there was anything interesting. It really was a great way to get my name out there and make some custom items for people. Etsy people say that it will be back soon, but haven't mentioned a date yet. If you would like a custom item through my Etsy shop make sure to leave me either a message there or a comment here on the blog and I will make sure to get back to you. I have been doing custom items this way lately, but I will be much happier when Alchemy is back. The other things that have gone wrong are minor, like the fact that it will not let me put apostrophes in my titles, so please do not think that I am illiterate because don't is now spelled dont. I don't feel like bugging the admins with this quite yet, because there is a lot of stuff that they are dealing with right now. You can read the forums to see what is going on.

So, really truly, you should go and take a look around Etsy and see what you think. I am really impressed with this update. They really have improved the look and capabilities of Etsy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Etsy v2

I have been waiting all day and it is finally up! Go and check out Etsy v2 and more importantly, my Etsy shop with all the whole new look!

I still need to spiff it up to their new specifications and get use to everything is new. So, bear with me. I am just so happy that it is up, all new and improved.

I don't have much else. I'm working on Christmas goodies, so nothing new to show. I worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday down at Knot Another Hat. It wasn't too bad. The place is still standing, so Sarah should be pleased.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wild and Wooly

If you have seen the news recently you probably have heard that we have been having some pretty wild weather out here in the Northwest. The water was really high, which is unusual for this time of year. So, I went out and took some photos with my mom and her twin sister.

Here is a view of the railroad bridge nearly underwater. We kept hearing rumors on Tuesday that it was underwater. The train most certainly wasn't running that day either. I don't know one way or the other, since these were taken on Wednesday.

Here's another view where you can see that all of those lovely trees were once on an island and are now partially underwater.

This is a picture from our deck, compare it to this earlier picture taken of the lovely foliage. I think it has totally reformed the land where people would fish or swim. Not to mention that that lovely substation is now underwater. Thankfully it really isn't used to power anyone in town.

Ok, onto the wooly! These skeins are all 100 grams for each pair. I just hate skeins that have knots in the middle of them so I break them up and come up with 100 gram pairs. I'm going to sell them at a discount in my etsy shop, because they are in 2 skeins. It does take me awhile to come up with groups of them, because for the most part my yarn comes in perfect 100 gram skeins. (There are also some of those in my shop too).

Finally, here is the little Debbie Bliss Baby Hoody. It is made out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran Color #207 and is from the Debbie Bliss Special Knits book. I love this hoodie. It was really fun and fast. It had a lot of plain mindless knitting combined with more complicated techniques to keep me interested.
The only little thing that bothered me, which should hopefully help others trying to make this pattern, is the hood. There are approximately twice as many hood stitches to sew than there are back sts. This makes the hood poof out for the babies head. I just wish there had been a picture of the back of the hood in the book. So I thought I would put one here. I had to ease the hood in, which wasn't so bad, but was a bit of a surprise. (The more accurate color is in the first picture). I'm just pretty happy to have this one finished and I could totally see myself making another one. This is a store model that will be down at Knot Another Hat.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm a Knitter and I vote!

As everyone else out there ought to be. Today is the day to get out and vote! Get your voice heard! If you are a knitter and you vote and you like a nice yarn related prize, make sure to check out Chrissy's blog I'm a Knitter and I vote! Everyone who emails Chrissy letting her know that they voted will be entered for a very nice patriotic prize. So even more reason to get out there and vote.
My husband, mother, father, brother, and myself all voted last week thanks to the wonder of mail in voting. It was really great to hash out all the issues as a family. That doesn't mean that we all agree on everything, but we do get to look at it from different angles. So, if you haven't already, get out there and vote, I can't stress this enough!

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Got a New Toy!!!

I am so happy. Thanks to everyone who has bought yarn lately, I have been able to save up to buy this labor saving device:

It is an Electric Skein Winder by Fricke. I went on Saturday, which means I didn't get any dyeing done that day, to Woodland Woolworks and they had one. They actually had one assembled and everything sitting there waiting for me. For those curious as to what I did before, I would measure out my yarn using my yarn meter then I would wind and wind and wind on my Niddy Noddy (by ashford). Then I would dye and then I would wind and wind and wind them all again. I must say that with how popular my yarn has been lately that my arm was about to fall off. So, this new skein winder is going to save my arm and it will save lots and lots of time. Now I can use more time to dye and less processing! Yay! As a final note, I may be selling my yarn meter, probably on Ebay, and I will let you guys know when/if I do with a bit of a review about using it (if you are going to buy one and want a review early, just email me or leave a comment). I still am going to use my niddy noddy for my handspun yarn, so it will not be parting from me anytime soon.

Also, new to the scene is this. I just reorganized my "studio." I know I said that I wouldn't dye inside, but with how popular my yarn has been lately I decided something needed to be done. So, I moved my table inside and reorganized my stash. It only needs a new cheap vinyl tablecloth to make it complete (the last one cost $3 and is now full of holes). By the way, this is the closest I will ever come to flashing my stash. This is only part of it. The dresser is filled with yarn, in case you wondered. I still have a couple of bins in the back room that are filled with yarn that I am sure that I will do something with someday, but I don't want to look at it right now. Someday it will probably be purged. You can also see part of my fiber stash in the bin on top of the table. There is also a bin under the table that is overflowing and a huge bowl full of yarn on my coffee table in my living room. I really need to sit down and spin.

In shop news I have two new yarns. This is superwash in dk weight. This is ideal for people who want to knit socks on bigger needles (5-6US). It is also really nice for scarves and hats. Pretty much anything that calls for dk weight superwash wool. It will not felt and is machine washable. Each skein is 4 oz and 280 yards. They will be posted up in my etsy shop very soon.

The second new yarn is a twisted yarn. One of the three plies soaks up more dye than the others, so it gives this kinda tweedy look. It is worsted weight, so slightly heavier than the superwash (needles 7-9). It is handwash only, though I'm not sure if it would actually felt. I'll let you know if I find out. It would be ideal for hats and scarves, or anything that calls for a worsted weight yarn. Each skein is 4 oz and 280 yards. I can dye either of these in any amount, so if someone out there wants sweater quantity, I can do that as well.

Finally I have a picture of the Mine Sock in progress. I had meant to put up a picture of the Debbie Bliss Baby Hoodie blocking, but somehow I managed to take only blurry pictures of it. I only have two seams left to sew up and then I will show it to you all finished and adorable. I do really love these socks, they at least photograph well. I just love how they are so pretty and rainbowy. I just love knitting them. I do have to say that having an electric skein winder may change the repeats in my yarn. This is mainly because my niddy noddy is 64" around and the skein winder is 72" around. We shall see what happens, either way I am very excited about it all.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Socktoberfest in Review

I know I am a bit late with this, so bare with me.

My four goals for Socktober were:
  1. Finish My Traveling Socks (Trekking socks in the sidebar)
  2. Finish the Sock for KAH
  3. Work at least a bit on My Husband's Skull Socks
  4. Cast on a new pair of socks
I think I did pretty well, you can click on each of the links for a recap. Links 1, 3 & 4 are all the same post. I do feel pretty proud that I got all of my goals accomplished. Now to work on all that Christmas Knitting.

In other news: Wendy finished her socks out of Blue Raspberry (see my etsy shop for details on the yarn). So go and check them out. As an additional note, she actually purchased one of my mini skeins (80 grams) to make those socks, which gives me hope for my toe ups. The toe ups are doing quite well, I am almost through the foot and then I need to work up the heel.

I do have an almost finished project too. I have all the pieces knit for the baby hoody from Debbie Bliss Special Knits. I just need to sew them up. I actually managed the smallest size (0-3 months) with only 3 balls of Cashmerino Aran, when it called for 4. I think it is because I am conservative with my yarn. There is just enough to sew everything up. I think I will have pictures next time and leave this as a pictureless post. Sorry!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Knit, Dye, Vote

Wow! Things have been busy ever since Wendy posted about my sock yarn. I have something like 7 skeins all commissioned to dye this afternoon. I know this may not sound like a lot to the bigger independent dyers out there, but it is for little me. Especially when I thought that I was going to gear down for the winter. Oh, well. I am enjoying the success and just how many people love my yarn and everything. I do enjoy dyeing and in fact I am adding two new yarns to my shop very shortly, which I will talk about in my next post. I would post up sock yarn pictures, but they keep disappearing from my shop, so keep an eye on my etsy shop, or request yarn from me directly if you are interested. The closest to sock yarn pics I can get is this one:

This is a really nifty tool that I use here. My husband bought me this wonderful clothing rack from Target (which I can't seem to find on their site) a couple of months ago and it has been a life saver. I used to just dry all of my skeins in the bathroom, but our bathroom doesn't seem to dry things very quickly. During the summer I had it outside where everything could dry in the great outdoors (if it didn't go on the laundry line). Now I have it in my living room with buckets underneath to catch unfortunate drips. It is really awesome and if you dye or spin it is definately worth having.

On the knitting front, I didn't think I would really have anything to share with you, but as luck would have it I do! I finished the commissioned hat and scarf set, which has made me very happy. I adapted a scarf pattern from Sarah to make the brim of the hat. I am really happy with how it turned out even if this isn't the most flattering picture of me. The hat is also a little big for me, but that is fine since the recipient's head is also larger than mine. As soon as I get it written, the pattern for the hat will be available at Knot Another Hat.
There's just one more thing I would like to add. Chrissy has started a blog that has prizes for knitters who vote, called I'm a Knitter and I Vote! I think it is really awesome and I am blogstalking it. I probably will answer the questions she posts, though, because they are very interesting. I like it because it isn't about standing on a soap box and professing your views, but more of a discussion and promotion of people, especially knitters, getting out there and voting. I hope that you will check out this site, or at the very least get out there and vote! The wonderful thing about Oregon having mail in voting is that my husband, my parent's, my brother, and myself have already voted!