Saturday, April 29, 2006

My Big News

Well, I have been working on a project for some time. I have had this fabulous idea that I could design and make felted bags, then sell them. My first thought had been to sell at a local shop for tourist season. This seemed perfectly reasonable and the shop owner actually agreed. So, for the past 6-7 weeks I have been trying to knit up enough bags to make a good showing of what I could do. Well, when I finally called her back, she hemmed and hawed and told me to call me back in the middle of June!!! I couldn't believe it, but on to plan B.

Thankfully I am always thinking of other options, just in case! So, I have been hearing a lot about Etsy lately and I thought that I would try it out. They are totally awesome and I love them. So, my big news being that I have opened a store! An Etsy Store. The address to it is lavendersheep.etsy.com. How cool is that? So, I am going to start featuring my bags here as well, with lovely background stories into each. To begin with here is my latest bag:


This bag is my own design. I am even contemplating selling the pattern, since it is 100% no sew. I really love this bag and might have to make one for myself. I just started thinking about how to make a bag that didn't require sewing in handles or the bottom or anything like that. I also thought that wouldn't it be cool if the flap wasn't square? I just think it looks so trendy and super cute. As for this specific one, I named it Thistle. It is named this because of the awesome button and the gorgeous purple/green combination. I just love this bag. Go and check out my other bags that I put up. I will be talking about them too in the next few days.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Sockaploooza: Socks Complete

I am sooo happy. I got both of my socks completely completed last night. Even down to tucking in all the little ends last night. I must say that was the most daunting part. I personally hate tucking in ends, but it must be done.


Here are my finished socks in all their glory.


Here they are with their tag and everything. I couldn't fit it around them folded over, so they are just going to have to be happy with being around the outside. I just love these socks. I am going to send off the rest of the yarn to my sock pal so that she can make something out of it. I just thought it was too hilarious because there is exactly 50 grams left of yarn. It isn't enough for socks, but it should be enough for some other project.

Now I am off to go find some other goodies for the package.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

NIKOLAJ UDSTILLINGSBYGNING

NIKOLAJ UDSTILLINGSBYGNING

and

Tank Cosy on Flickr

and

Cast Off

Lavendersheep Buttons and Things

Well, I have decided that I actually need a blog button and such. So, I went to work and produced:


I think I will have some big news in the next couple of days, which has inspired me to make buttons and some changes to my blog. I think that it is about time that I use my logo, which is 100% my design. It is taken from a doodle that I did some time ago and now thanks to the power of computers can be rendered into a beautiful digital format. Maybe at some time I will get my much more computer literate brother to make me up an even prettier one. Here is a little icon for me to replace the pretty purple sheep above:


Knot Another Hat also seems to be in a button mood (she actually made hers before I did). So, this will be in the sidebar:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Spring Cleaning

Well, I have been running my legs off recently. Last week I decided that since it was so sunny that I would go and clean all of my rugs. There aren't a whole lot of them, but enough to keep myself busy. So, I got the help of my brothers (mainly one of them), and we took them out to the driveway rinsed them down and scrubbed them. It was a lot of fun because it was a great excuse to splash in puddles while being a grown-up.

Then I got this idea that we should continue with our spring cleaning. Bright sunny weather seems to have this effect on me. I was suppose to have a dye party with Sarah on Monday, but due to a family emergency it had to be cancelled. Still, it was a great excuse to get the place looking a little neater. I got my husband to mow all the grass around here and he cleaned the kitchen. I was quite impressed, he is such an awesome guy. At the same time I went out and fixed my banquet table which had lost an essential part to it when we moved last summer. I swept the porch and tried to do away with all the cobwebs, but I swear more appeared as I swept. Then I had class for a couple of hours, which nobody showed up for. It was quite sad, but I did get the best compliment ever. That being that a spinner, that had been spinning for years, came in and she had bought my yarn before, and told me that it was so beautiful that she couldn't take it out of the skein. I was very flattered. When I got back it was back to work. I went and fixed our long staircase, which we had put shingles on this past winter to keep from slipping. I went and trimmed all the shingles, with a box cutter, to the size of the stair they were on and nailed them down tight. It looks so much nicer, I am quite pleased.

I am still in this spring cleaning mode. I still need to organize the living room a bit better and I have a couple of other projects going. I am going to make a garden on my back porch with different pots and kinda cheer it up. Also, my husband and I have decided to turn that back room into a dining room, since we really don't get company all that much. I think that it will be really nice to have regular meals with him. So far we have gotten one chair 7/8 of the way done. There are just too many screws in the silly things, but they will be super sturdy when we are done. In the mean time we have been eating out on our deck and enjoying the sun.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Lavender Llama

Ok, for everyone out there that uses Internet Explorer I came to the realization that in order for my side bar to work properly I can't have my Lavender Llama there. So, he is going to live on this lovely post and I will link to him. Such a sweet llama, please come and visit him often



adopt your own virtual pet!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Funny Rabbit pattern

Ok, I was surfing my favorite blogs out there and JenLa had up the most adorable bunny. I think that it is going to go on my list of things to do. I doubt that it would use more than an ounce of yarn. Hmm...I'm wondering if I should just spin for it or hit my stash...decisions, decisions.

Midnight Tweed

I can't believe that I forgot to post this skein. I finished it about a week ago. It is a really nice merino yarn and is over at Knot Another Hat. I named it Midnight Tweed because it is pretty dark and tweedy.


As you can see from my sidebar I currently have beaded mohair on the wheel. I'm pretty proud of this yarn. I have about 2 oz spun and I need to do another 2 oz to ply with. This stuff is super pretty and the last time I put it down at the shop it sold 20 minutes after it was put out. I'm hoping for the same thing, but would be happy too if people just came and drooled over it for a couple of days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Good News & Stash Cleaning

My husband is employed again, which makes me very happy. This is also a temp job, but it at least has the possibility of being hired permanently. Also, they are interested in his tech background, which is a major boon to him. *happy dance*

In other news, I have a ton of knitting things on my plate, but no significant updates. I did clean out and sort my stash. I've made some hard choices, but I think a bunch of it is going to go up on ebay. I mean how many cones of laceweight yarn do I really need? When I post it up I will make sure to put links here too and maybe photos. Also, any ideas for what to do with peaches & cream cotton other than washclothes? I apparently have at least half a dozen colors and 1-2 full skeins in each color. I originally bought them for washclothes or maybe hats. I'm not quite sure now, but there must be a use for them somewhere. Maybe when I get my one skein book I will be inspired =)

PS: Is anyone else disturbed that Tom Cruise and Katy Holmes named their daughter after an alpaca?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Jane Austen Quiz




You scored as Elizabeth Bennet. As one of Austen's most beloved characters, Elizabeth Bennet represents what most women would like to become: strong, independent, and loyal. Of course, she has her faults including a stubborn will of iron and a clinging to first impressions. Overall, Lizzie is bright and lovable...something to admire and aspire to.

Elizabeth Bennet


78%

Elinor Dashwood


69%

Jane Bennet


56%

Marianne Dashwood


44%

Charlotte Lucas


41%

Lady Catherine


34%

Emma Woodhouse


34%

Which Jane Austen Character are You? (For Females) Long Quiz!!!
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Odds and Ends

Happy Easter Everyone!
We are going off to spend Easter with my parents and eat a lot of eggs. I think we have at least egg salad and potato salad on the horizon. Blair also wants deviled eggs so we shall see.


Today seems like a good day for odds and ends to post up. This is a picture that Blair took yesterday. All of a sudden it was dark and stormy out and decided to pour down rain on us when neither of us had a hat or umbrella. So, we rushed home and when we got here Blair had spotted a beautiful rainbow, 2 actually if you look closely. I thought it was such an awesome pic that I just had to post it. It looks like it ends right over the port, which I think is funny.

In other news we have just posted up our 2006 Ford Mustang on Ebay. We won it, or more to the point, Blair won it off a pack of post-it tabs. It is totally impractical for what we need right now. Lacking minor things like a back seat and good gas mileage. What we really want is a nice family car. I'm sure that somebody out there will want a really awesome speed demon car for their very own.

I also wanted to share with you this interesting link about a sweater knit for a tree. It was on cute overload today and I thought it totally rocked. I'm surprised that I didn't hear about it before this, because it seems to be quite popular.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Interesting Links

I was going through some of my old interesting bookmarks and I came upon this:

http://www.parapluesch.com/

It is a game where you help poor stuffed animals overcome their traumas. They just added the snake and it is totally hilarious. I'm so glad I found this link again.

Happy Birthday and a bit of Frogging

Yesterday was my husband's birthday. So, I want to wish him a very happy birthday. Tomorrow we are going out to celebrate, since we had to get our car fixed yesterday and I have a class to teach today. It is hard to think that it was only 5 years ago when I first sent him a box of "loveletters." Now the unveiling of his fantastic birthday present:

I modified the skull hat pattern from Hello Yarns to only have 2 repeats and made it into socks. I didn't quite have the time since he hasn't been working to finish them up, but he does love them. Unfortunately, they are too small, so I am going to have to frog them completely and start over. It's a good thing I love this pattern a lot. I am going to have to add another row of skulls on both sides. Math wise this should work. Also, my husband came up with the brilliant idea of us having all of each other's measurements written somewhere so that we can reference them any time we need to. So, I now have 90% of his measurements on hand. I think I might spread this idea to a few other relatives that are on my knit list.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Contests, Swaps & Penguins

Apparently I have won a contest on a knitter's blog! I am really proud of this. My Best Friends A Dork was running a contest for project ideas for the next project to knit. She is my sock sister for Sockaplooza, so I visit her site regularly. I posted up the Lucky K8 fingerless gloves that I have my eye on from the new issue of Magknits. I think that lovely alpaca that I dyed up the other day will be perfect for that pattern. Hmm...I wonder if they would work like craft gloves and help keep my hands from cramping from too much knitting?

In other news I joined the One Skein Swap and here is a new button:





I am pretty excited about this swap. I really like the book and even if I don't get it by then I can come up with something on my own. I'm pretty inventive, so it seems like it will be a lot of fun. I think that I will be sending off handspun for it. I just have to decide which one.



I also really need to add this button. I know that I already have one button for Cast-On, but as Sarah pointed out I do both spin and knit. Now if she does one for idye, I might just have to draw the line.

As for Penguins, Sarah was showing me this really cute article on knitting for Penguins. I just had to look it up and post it, because it was just so cute. I'm just sad that it is over, because I would have knit little jumpers for bitty Penguins. My husband loved it too, since he is such a linux geek.

Sockapaloooza Update

I have been wondering for awhile how much a person has to change a pattern before it is no longer the original person's pattern but really mine. So far I have changed the guage, the yarn, the length, the heel, the toes, and I am sure a myriad of other things.. The original pattern is from the toe up, and I reversed that. The toe in the original pattern is shaped for each foot so they are slanted opposite ways. I am planning on making the toes that I like that are from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook.

Here is the yarn that I am using. I have my beautiful handspun that I bought off of ebay from Winderwood Farm. I just love this roving. It is 70% superwash and 30% Tencel, which means that it is machine washable if one is so daring.


Knitting this sock has been a dream. It just calls to me to be knitted. I turned the pattern into an ankle sock because my sock pal prefers ankle socks. I just love these so much I might end up having to make myself a pair. We'll just have to see how much yarn is left over at the end.
This is the heel of the sock. I just loved that the pattern had the word "SOCKS" on the back of them. I really hope that my sock pal likes them too. My husband made some comment about them being like T-Shirts that say "T-Shirt" on them, but I am going to ignore that comment and just revel in the beauty of the pretty sock. I think that I will be done with both of them this next week. They are just too much fun to knit and I have been having so much fun b/c I found a size 3 in the Clover Mini Circ's. Woohoo!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Shawl Debate Update

KnotAnotherHat posted this:

Is there any way to adapt the edge of the snowdrop and utilize the type of finished edge that the PNW uses?

I think it is a really good idea. I had a similar idea, so I'm going to look at the pattern and see if it is just a matter of casting on more sts or something simple. It would be really awesome if that was the big difference.

Update: Won't work. The PNW shawl goes from the top out (middle-out?) and the snowdrop goes from the bottom up. I am leaning more toward the snowdrop now b/c it would be different than Blair's.

Shawl Debate

This is my big shawl debate. I like the looks of both of the shawls. They are both really pretty and I think that I would use them. The trouble comes down to that The Snowdrop Shawl has 218 sts picked up on each side of the shawl and the instructions are a little vague. The Pacific Northwest shawl has the same sort of border to it, but no pickup, it is all knit at the same time. Then there is that Blair is doing the Pacific Northwest Shawl. So, in theory, I could end up with both shawls in the end instead of the same one in two different colors. Then Sarah pointed out that if we both worked on the same shawl then we could help one another. This is really driving me crazy trying to make a decision. I am sure that I will have one by the 15th when the KAL begins, but please give me your opinions and see if we can figure this out.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Buttons Galore







Pacific Northwest Shawl Update

I just couldn't stand it any longer. I looked and looked at the brown yarn and finally my heart said no I would never wear a brown shawl. So, I started thinking about what color I would like. I love purple, but my favorite one shot dye is Raspberry. It just is so pretty and so so raspberry that I think I could picture myself wrapped up in a warm raspberry shawl. So this is what I did to the yarn and just let me say that Knit Picks yarn just loves to be dyed. So here goes:


Here is the brown yarn in all it's glory. It is the one on the left. The yarn on the right is the alpaca that was left over from my Knitting Olympics Project for my husband. I was thinking lace socks, but I am now pretty much convinced that there isn't enough so I am now thinking lace cuffs I just haven't picked a pattern yet.


So, into the dye pot it goes. I believe, from endless amounts of dye classes in college, that if you put the yarn in room temperature water and slowly heat it up it is less of a shock to the yarn. Thus it won't felt (This is the theory). Also warming up the fibers makes them more open and thus more receptive to taking in dye.

I mix the dye with a bit of the hot to just about boiling water to make it easier to mix in with the dye. I started with a 1/4 tsp of dye to see what would happen. Of course my professor would faint at the idea that I haven't weighed the goods, done a sample, etc...but where is the fun in that? Then I pour the dye mixture into the dyepot and mix it thoroughly around so that it will dye the skeins evenly. (Also Theoretical) The nice stick is a part of one of my grandmother's old mops that just happened to be handy =)

I didn't like the look of it when I mixed in that first 1/4 tsp. It is just a bit too pale, especially if you consider that it will lighten up a bit when it dries. So, I added another 1/2 tsp to the pot to make sure that it would really turn out a nice dark raspberry color.

Ah, there we go, a much better color. By the way, in case you haven't heard it enough, I just love One Shot dyes. No vinegar to add, no nothing. Just add the nice hot water and cook. I let the water get to just about boiling. I stirred quite a bit too, which is also suppose to be a no no, but even dyeing requires stirring and a lack of felting requires no stirring. So, I compromised and stirred carefully. How this is different from regular stirring I have no idea, but somehow it works. I let the skeins sit in the dyepot overnight while the water cooled to pick up the most amount of dye possible. Then I carefully wrung them out and hung them up to dry.

Here are the results. Three lovely skeins of raspberry goodness all ready for a nice shawl pattern. (sorry about the blurry picture they wouldn't cooperate). They are a little felted, but thankfully they balled up nicely and didn't give me any trouble. I am now debating about the pattern. I know the pattern I got was for The Snowdrop Shawl by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, but when reading the pattern I noticed that part of it requires picking up 218 sts on just one side of the shawl and then another 218 sts up the other side. Now, I am an experienced knitter, but that is just a bit daunting. So, I am debating whether I will switch to the Pacific Northwest Shawl with my husband, since he got the pattern this week and is planning on doing that. Hmm....decisions, decisions.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Updates and such

Well, our internet has been going in and out lately, which has been terribly sad. For more details you can check out my husband's blog with all of the technical details. I think I might spread out my updates so as not to overwhelm myself with all that is going on. I have sockaploooza updates and updates for the shawl knit-a-long as well. They will be coming I promise. Today's update will be my yarn that is down at Knot Another Hat. Which is selling out at an incredible rate. The last yarn that I posted up is already gone, which is super awesome, but it is keeping me really busy. I have also gotten compliments from two completely different people from two completely different instances saying that my handspun was the best they had ever seen. I am quite proud of this. *happy dance*


This yarn is named Monet's Garden because of all of its pretty blues, greens, and purples. I really loved spinning it and I only wish I had more since it was something that I dyed with my husband. I just love surprises like this one and I loved how it spun all lumpy. I just let it do what it wanted to and I was quite happy with the result.

This is my most expensive yarn so far. I picked up the fiber at The Abernathy Grange Sale from Fox Hollow Farm and Fiber that I used to go visit while I still lived in Eugene. It is a mix of Cormo Wool, Mohair, and Angora. It has a pretty halo that is hard to see when not in person. This is also a yarn that wanted to be lumpy, so I let it. I named it Watermelon Patch.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Socks

Lavendersheep will soon (hopefully) have another pair of socks. Just working on the gauge swatch at the moment. They'll be on self-striping yarn, using two circulars. I love using two circs.

Monday, April 03, 2006

New addition

After figuring out how to do a selection box on my blog, Lavendersheep asked me to do similar on hers. And below you will find a feast of selection boxage for your enjoyment.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Buttons and Hopefully an Updated Blog

I just thought I would clean up my blog a little bit and post new buttons and clear away old buttons. It just feels so sad to move away the Knitting Olympic buttons. I know it has been over for some time, so now I actually have to clear them out. The new buttons are below:



This button is for Cute Overload which I have to get a daily dose. I just love them and I loved that they got an uber cute button up.


This button is for Cast-On. I usually can't wait for each new episodes and it sounds really professional. I was so overjoyed when I found out that one of our local knitters, that owns alpacas (every knitters aspiration) and provides yarn for Knot Another Hat, actually knew Brenda Dayne when she lived in Portland and knew the Twisted Sisters from Northwest Wools. I mean we are only about an hour from Portland, but it still was really uber cool.


The last button up is for the Pacific Northwest Lace Shawl KAL. All it requires is a lace shawl with a northwest theme. Like the yarn I am going to use is called Oregon Coast from knitpicks. Though I am thinking that I might dye it. It may change to Oregon Grape, our state flower. I will probably decide pretty soon since the KAL starts on the 15th.

Silly video

Vonnie wanted me to post this silly video after I found it on Google Video.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Long exhausting week

Well, Asher headed off yesterday after a very exhausting week. I think I have been more exhausted this week than I have in a long time and that is including the three days that mom and I spent pulling up the carpet and making the room presentable for Asher's visit. In my mind I pictured this semi-quiet week with lots of rest and company. All of that changed when Blair lost his job b/c then we had transportation.

So, Saturday we drove all the way down to Albany to pick her up, which is a 2 hour drive one way. Then Sunday, we went out to the Foothills Yarn and down to Knot Another Hat for my class. Monday we went to Portland and went all over the place. I finally got to go to Lint which I have heard quite a bit about and is a really awesome yarn store. It has a really nice seating area and plenty of books and yarn. Then I got to tour Pendleton's design department thanks to a friend from college whose mother works there. It was truly awesome. My only regret is that my husband didn't get to go because he would have loved all the techie aspects of it, such as their computer design process and a printer that prints out clothing patterns and cuts them out at the same time (my favorite). We had a nice lunch and then headed down to a lavender soap shop (sorry have no idea how to spell it) that Asher wanted to visit desperately and that she visited back when we were travelling through France. Unfortunately it gave me a headache so I went and sat out on the bench with Opus (the friend with a mother at Pendleton). Then we all ventured over to Knit Purl and I finally got to look through a copy of Sensational Socks, unfortunately I was completely off budget for the month, but it is on my list of really good books, as is One Skein that I got to look at while at Lint. I was so exhausted by that point and I could tell that my husband was too, probably really bored too since he got to mainly babysit the car. He has the patience of a saint! I was really hoping that the rest of the week would be much more toned down, but I think we ran our legs off just about everyday. Tuesday we went down to KAH again since it is the day I usually hang out there and I had a class that night. I was so happy with my class since the person already knew how to knit so I just got to goof off and show her extra things like ssk's and m1's (woohoo!). Wednesday we went and watched anime at my parents, which at least was a little restful. Thursday Asher wanted to see more of the landscape so we trekked all the way up to Government Camp where there was plenty of snow. It was a nice day, kinda springy feeling. It really is nice to live in an area where there can be snow found all the year round as well as beaches to go play on. Friday we saw Asher off to the train, where her family ended up picking her up at. Blair and I got to come home to a quiet house and are now getting back on track towards job hunting and ebaying (ie. life in general... woohoo!).