Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Felted Camera Bag & New Buttons

I got a bag done for my husband. He really needed a bag for his new camera, so I thought that I would make him a felted one. I even had the Karaoke yarn on hand! I picked out manly colors (color 277) that stripe very nicely and felts up even nicer. Under the flap is not a shadow, it actually goes from black to brown to grey.

This bag took less than a single skein. I cast on 24 sts and knit back and for 12 rows or until I thought it looked long enough. Then I cast on another 24 sts to it and knit in the round until the bag part measured 9". It was simple and fabulously quick to knit up. The hardest part was sewing in the velcro at the top. Velcro and knitting does not mix, so I don't usually work with it, but I did with this because he needs to have quick and easy access.

Here is the back. I worked a couple of holes into the back after it was felted. I then used one of the velcro strips that my husband uses to strap computer cables together as a strap that would attach to his bag.

Here is an action shot. The only trouble is that it was a bit big for his tiny camera. So I suggested that he put his cell phone in there too. They both fit perfectly! I know it looks a little flimsy but it is solid and does not fall off or open without a bit of work.

Hints for felted bags:
  • If your bag is too fuzzy (I don't like them fuzzy), then you can use a shaver, such as one for your legs, and shave your bag to a less fuzzy state.
  • Knitting a couple of garter rows on the front of the bag opening will make it a little stronger and more durable.
  • You can shape the bag a bit into place by stretching it while it is still wet.
  • You can also shape the bag and help it to shape the way you want it to by ironing it (these last 2 work like blocking)
I have found a couple more buttons that need to go up. I started listening to Pointy Sticks a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoy listening to it. I also really love her button. She has a really cool podcast, so go check it out.

I just joined the Trek with Me knit-a-long. Pretty much you pick out a color of Trekking and then take pics of it while out trekking. My thoughts immediately went to the staircase that I climb a couple times a week to go to KAH. I also think that I might end up at Lost Lake this summer and that would be awesome too. The only catch is that the deadline is tomorrow, so if you want to join, you only have a short time to decide.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day!

This weekend is one of those weekends that marks the nearness of summer and camping activities. My husband actually got off work early on Friday to help beat the traffic through town! On the way he saw nothing but people headed out to go camping and escape from the city. He pointed out to me that part of the reason that he likes living where we are is that he actually gets to escape from the city everyday and on the weekends he doesn't have to go anywhere to enjoy peace and quiet. I quite agree with him. So we did actually venture up to Lost Lake because we noticed it was open and I kid you not, there was still snow up there and crazy campers out in tents as well as trailers. I personally think that you have to be a pretty die hard camper to be out at this time of year around here (at least in a tent).

So, instead of camping out this weekend my husband and I put up pretty hummingbird feeders. I know that with as cold as it has been over the past couple of weeks that there isn't a hummingbird within 100 miles of here, but I can hope. They were here when it was warm and kept buzzing our heads. My grandparents used to put out feeders, so I think that they might be expecting it.

The top feeder is one that I picked up at Home Depot and the red one is one that I bought from a local glassblower in Eugene while we still lived down there.
. The one traditional Memorial Day thing we did do (besides going to the cemetary to honor the veterans & relatives that have gone) is we broke out the bbq. Now this bbq we received as a wedding gift nearly 4 years ago now. It has sat patiently in its box along with the propane tanks. Finally, my husband thought that we should get it out and see if it actually worked. It really did! We had hamburgers tonight and have some other ideas for future meals.

And what about knitting? Well, I do have a nearly finished object, actually a couple. However, I am going to wait to post about them. I made a very lovely camera case for my husband that was so fast that it actually did not make it up onto my works in progress. I need to update my sidebar, which will be done in the next couple of days.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Memorial Day Photo Essay

Today was an adventure in photography, for my husband that is. He just got a new camera last weekend. It is a cute little Olympus. Which is like mine just mini for on the go pics. I actually have stolen all of these pics off of his blog, but I thought that I would talk about our day through them. He has more on his blog The Porch Swing.

First off we went down and visited Sarah at Knot Another Hat. This is a pic from the Yasui building in downtown Hood River. It really reminds me of some of the old pics of downtown Hood River in the 20s and then in the 50s.

Next we went out to Idlewild cemetary to meet up with my family and put flowers on the graves of my ancestors. We put flowers on two sets of great-great grandparents, then my great-grandparents, one great-great aunt, and my baby cousin. It is tradition that we put flowers there over Memorial weekend. We also put flags on the ones that were veterans.

This is actually a picture of me. My husband thinks that it is really good. I think that it looks alright, but then I never really like photos of myself. I must think it is good if I will actually will allow it up on my blog.

This is my parent's dog Molly. I simply love her as one of the greatest pets. She loves my knitting too. She usually will sit on my soft yarn or whatever I am knitting with and give me dirty looks when I need more for my project. She is also as camera shy as I am, so to get this shot she must have been in a pretty good mood.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Sweater Porn & Thievery

Way back when Brenda of Cast-On talked about sweater porn. Sweater porn in the form of Miss Marple. I love Miss Marple. I especially love the new Miss Marple. Geraldine McEwan simply is Miss Marple and is simply ideal. I grew up watching and reading all things Agatha Christie. So I am simply thrilled that starting June 18th (and for those of you that get OPB) Miss Marple will be on at 9pm. Go and check out the link for more information and also to find out when it plays in your area.

In other breaking news Krafty1 posted up a link to this news story. I just can't image $13,000 worth of yarn stolen! Moral of this story is (including Miss Marple) is to watch out for those little old biddies, there is more to them than what they seem.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Strawberry Shortcake

I really love Etsy. Etsy has this wonderful thing called Alchemy that you can request handmade items and list the price, then see if anybody will do it. Well, a lady with the shop In Hope listed up that they wanted 8 felted strawberries to add to her handspun yarn. So, I put in a bid and was accepted. I'm pretty happy over the results:

I love needle felting and this was a chance for me to experiment a little. I used some merino/silk that I bought awhile ago on ebay. I then hand-dyed it. It is the perfect color for strawberries being a mix of red, pink, and purple. I used it mainly because it irritates me to spin because it is lumpy. It felt up really nicely and I think that the person will really like it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Trojan Implosion

I just had to steal that title from the Fox people that were running ads for it all week.

Today was a historical day, or at least I like to think so. Today is when they imploded the cooling tower to what was once the only nuclear facility in Oregon. I remember back in 1993 when they first mothballed Trojan. They had tons of ads running about how many jobs would be lost if it happened. However, voters were just not that friendly towards the idea of a nuclear plant being in operation so close to home. So, the reactor bit has been shipped up to Hanford and there is still a bit there that can't be removed. The last thing to go was this bit of a cooling tower. This photo was taken by my husband which you can see more of on his blog. If you want to see what it looks like now check out KATU's site.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sock Yarn Addiction

So, I saw these beautiful socks on the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog that totally have me entranced. They are Ann's first socks and were just so lovely that I went on the hunt for the yarn. Ann claimed that it was Trekking XXL so I started with looking down at my LYS for it, because they carry Trekking. No such luck. We even looked throught the catalogue of their yarn to order and I could not find this yarn. Finally I went onto ebay and looked it up. I got this lovely yarn all the way from the UK. I'm paying under $18 for it (including shipping), which still makes it really reasonable for sock yarn. I know that I am addicted to sock yarn and the worst part is that my husband is too. I can see us now in our old age with an entire room (house?) divided in half with "his" and "hers" yarn stashes =)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

So I have been up to all sorts of fiber prettiness. Wednesday was such a pretty day out that I thought I would paint a couple of silk scarves. I had a bit of a time getting everything together, but in the end I managed these:

It just makes me feel nice to create something so pretty. I haven't painted scarves since last fall and I could tell that the display down at Knot Another Hat was lacking. My most popular one is the pear one since that is one of the things that the Hood River Valley is known for. I was then inspired to do the second one in windsurfers, as a new design, since that is another thing that Hood River is world famous for. I am going to make 2 more pear scarves for my grandfather's sister and her daughter that are visiting next month. My grandfather's sister actually got to wear the Hope Diamond and the Star of India Sapphire when she was younger. She is really fabulous and I am looking forward to their visit.

I actually got the little baby booties done including the adorable cord for the ankles. I am happy that they are done and I think my grandmother will be happy with them. She will get bragging rights for the baby shower and that will be good for her. My mom has made sure to decorate my grandparent's walls with all sorts of things about them so that they have plenty to talk about when people come to visit.

This is my sweet dove that I have adopted. My mother had a small flock of doves that she got tired of having and released into the wild. There are doves that live all around here, so it was alright. Well, this little one can't fly. She ends up flying backwards, so it makes her perfect as a pet. We just couldn't let her be eaten by predators. I originally named her Lovey Dovey, but when my husband saw her he named her Cat Food. Somehow it fits, but it just is a little morbid. She is really tame, so she can keep me company while I work outside.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Playing Possum

For awhile we have been talking about possum yarn down at Knot Another Hat. Somebody came in and asked about it and I think another person actually had some. Something like that. Well, then we were pondering what a possum really looked like, Sabrina (she owns So Much Fun next door to KAH) says that they are truly adorable. So then we were pondering how they collected the fiber, my theory being that like bunny rabbits where it is plucked or shed. Of course that is the "family friendly" version, apparently reality is not that nice. So, Krafty1 actually has the answer. She did some research, so if you want to know more about possums go and check out her post.

These are my Socks that I knit for Knot Another Hat out of Aktiv Effekt. They are also my May socks for Sock a Month, which makes me very happy. They are so pretty and I got lots of compliments on them. Everybody thought that the yarn was truly amazing in that it did all that striping all on it's own. I was also amazed that I had so much yarn left over. I weighed it and there was 42 grams left! I gave it back to Sarah so that she could make little socks for her daughter.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Updates Galore

So I thought that I would post up a few updates for knitting projects and such.

This first is the update on my baby booties. These booties are taking more time than I ever imagined. I thought no problem I will just sit down for an evening and two little booties will appear. So far it has taken me nearly 4 days and still I am only on the second one. It probably would help if I could actually work on them continuously, but my mind seems to wander. Oh, and speaking of socks I have finished the pair for Knot Another Hat and as soon as I get the pics from Sarah then I will post them up in all their glory for my sock a month knit-a-long.

This second project is a store model for Knot Another Hat too. It is a Fiesta Scarf that is knit the long way. It is super simple and takes only one skein of Fiesta to knit up. Sarah knit one up before and it took her forever. Oh, and what happened to that lovely scarf? It was stolen right out of the shop. It really really annoys us that people feel it necessary to steal the nice store models that have taken quite awhile to make up. We also know that it isn't the wonderful knitters that are local either. It always starts up with tourist season. We love seeing new people in the shop, but it makes us just about want to have eyes in the back of our heads to see what everyone is doing. (Also, stalking people around the store isn't an option, even if it is so tempting.) So I am knitting up a new model in Jamaican Spice. I have to actually take this one out because we thought the original one was on 9s and it seems a bit small, so I am going to try 10s.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is such a bright and beautiful day. A perfect day to go out and celebrate our mothers. I just love mother's day, but that might be because I have an awesome mother, that may drive me crazy from time to time, but that really loves me. I know that she will be really happy with what my husband and I picked out for her. Actually the flowers are not for her. We got her a gift certificate to her favorite plant shop, which will get her in the door and drive my father crazy. My mother loves to plant shop! The flowers are actually for my mother's twin sister. She doesn't have any children of her own, so I thought that it would be a nice gesture to get her flowers for it anyway. That way she won't feel left out. Also, I heard her admire my geraniums, so I know that she will like these.

Ah, look I'm knitting baby booties! Ah, the pitter patter of little tiny feet. No, they aren't for me (sigh). These are actually for my grandmother (which sounds even funnier). My grandmother is the one that taught me to knit several years ago has since developed rheumatoid arthritis and can no longer knit. This is really really sad to me as it is to all knitters the idea of no longer being able to knit. So, there is a lady that works at her retirement home that is going to have a baby. Now, grandma, sweet lady that she is, is also starting to loose her mental capabilities. She called up my mother and because the lady is going to have a baby shower she told my mother that I could just whip up a baby blanket in a couple of days. Ok, now there are a couple of things wrong with this, first of all I may be a fairly decent knitter, but no blanket could possibly appear "in a couple of days." Second, knitting baby blankets has absolutely no appeal to me what so ever. I completely understand that other people love to make them and they do an absolutely wonderful job, but so far I don't have the urge at all. Mom and I managed to talk her down to baby booties. These baby booties are from Dale of Norway Soft Treasures and they are being knit with Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I have already had to rip them out once because I some how managed to miss the step that makes the little eyelet round for the ribbon to go through. I think it is going pretty well now and will shortly have both of them up for show and tell. Anyway, a happy mother's day to everyone out there!

Friday, May 12, 2006

4th of July in May

I finished a beautiful skein of yarn and started a new one. I wanted to get a few skeins done for Knot Another Hat so that I could work for awhile on some yarn that I want to make into a sweater.

This yarn I decided to name 4th of July. It just seemed so patriotic, since it was red, white, and blue to begin with then I added silver flash, which are the little sparkles that you can see in the photo. It is really awesome yarn and I enjoyed spinning it a lot. I kept thinking of different names for it like sparkler or star spangled banner or my husband thought fireworks would be awesome. In the end I chose 4th of July because it covered everything. The rest of the fiber is an alpaca silk blend. I think that it will be really awesome for somebody to make something for the 4th of July and if I put it out there now then they will actually have time to make something out of it.

This is my latest yarn that I am spinning. I am going to call it Sea Turtle, unless I change my mind when it is plied. It is superfine superwash. It is really soft and I am spinning it with the idea of it working for socks. It will also be down at Knot Another Hat when I am done with it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Stash Clearing and Sale

You know the best way that I can think of getting rid of odd stash is to ebay it. I love ebay. My thought is that if I sell off parts of my stash then I can reasonably use the money to buy more stash. An endless cycle I know, but isn't it fun?

I have sorted out roving and an assortment of yarn. I mean what am I going to do with over 2 lbs of lace weight wool yarn (and that is just one color), when I am not a shawl person? Part of me wonders why I have kept this stuff for so long, but I think it comes down to the idea that I could use it. It could be a lace shawl, and I could suddenly have a fascination for them and want to knit them. So, I decided that I was going to put my foot down and have a hard look at my stash. I have convinced myself that if ever I have the urge to lace knit or knit anything that would require the yarn/fiber that I am off-loading then I will simply purchase it at that time. We'll see if it works =)

Here is a huge lot that I am off-loading. I had a strange habit of keeping all sorts of different yarn because I once learned to tapestry weave and really really loved it. My Professor even goaded on this obsession by telling us that a simple piece of yarn that is 6" long would work in a tapestry as a little highlight. How crazy is that? But it all sounded so fascinating at the time. (And, no, there are not any 6" pieces in my listings, I threw those away awhile back.) So, if you are interested in looking at my stash clearings for rock bottom prices you can check out my ebay listings. I will be posting up more for the next few days.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Two Bags and Some Yarn

I have been so behind in my posting. There is just so much going on. So, here are the last two bags that I have posted up on Etsy:

This is my Tulip Squiggle Bag. This is one of my favorite bags because it is really wild looking and trendy. It is really soft and even though it is that fuzzy on the outside it is pretty clean on the inside. I know because it took me 3 days to pull all those little ends out to the front. It is knit with handspun yarn that you can only see on the inside. I plan on making another one, because the handspun is sooo pretty. It is in watermelon colors and felted really beautifully.

This bag is my Fire Bag. It is also out of my handspun, but this one didn't felt as well. It is soft felt so it still has the appearance of the knit stitch and is stretchy. I really like it because it still has that stretchy capability. My mom likes it because of still being able to see my pretty knit stitches. Mom's are so great for encouragement like that.

Here is a better pic of the novety yarn that I dyed. I think it is so so awesome. I have this incredible urge to name each one after a Sesame Street character. Like the blue would be Cookie Monster, red (which is really bright) would be Elmo, green/purple would be Oscar the Grouch. You can see that I have thought this out a bit. I have a feeling that there is some sort of trademark issue in there, but if I had my way that's what it would be.

This is my latest yarn. It is called Dark Autumn. It is beaded and is made after a skein that I made last fall. The one last fall was much lighter and more fall colors, so I thought that I would call this one Dark Autumn. The last skein that I made of this sold after being down at Knot Another Hat for a whole 20 minutes. I'm hoping for a repeat so we will see.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Handpainted Novelty Yarn & More

On Friday I decided to have a One Shot dye party. I was pretty much on my own, but it was still fun, a bit breezy, but fun. I have been meaning to dye some things because I had a stockpile of white things that just needed to have some color added. That, and I found out that this truly ghastly novelty yarn down at Knot Another Hat was actually dyeable and I wondered if I could "fix" it if it was dyed something other than white cat vomit.

Here it is in it's undyed form. It is Whisper from Crystal Palace, which I am truly sorry to them for the insult to their yarn, but why is it so terribly ugly? It has sat down at KAH for the longest time because it looks truly terrible. Their other colors of it are actually rather pretty, so I can't quite understand it. The white is a dirty white and then the other color is something like shell I think. Both are ghastly, but when I suggested that they could be dyed Sarah was so happy that she let me experiment with the whole lot. We're not quite sure how we are going to sell it or what price and such, but it will be for sale at Knot Another Hat.

Here it is all dyed up. I was so nervous that the bright pretty colors would just wash away, but they didn't. I actually had very little to no residue at all when I went to rinse them, which is quite amazing. The colors are a bit washed out because they were backlit on the line. I will probably have some better pics later when they are reskeined and ready to go down to the shop.

Here's some more pretty yarn. This yarn is going to be turned into felted bags. Except for the middle bit which are going to be my Alpaca Watermelon Socks that I had planned awhile ago.

This last bit is a bunch of roving that I dyed up to spin. It is mostly superwash that I got from Woodland Woolworks and some that I got from Little Barn Fibers off of Ebay. Both are really nice and I think will make super nice yarn for socks and hats.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Sockaploooza Finale

Well, Sockaploooza is pretty near finished. I still haven't received my socks, but my sockpal has. You have to check out her blog, because it is super cool. I like reading it because she posts quite a bit, writes about interesting things, and she just got back from Europe. I am going to add her blog to the sidebar too, because I am quite hooked on reading it. Oh, and she loved the socks, really really loved them! I am so happy about that, because I put a lot of effort into it and it is nice to be appreciated =). This is part of why I like Christmas is because I can plan out things for other people.

Here is what I sent her. On top of sending the socks and the sock yarn I also found little point protectors in red socks and a mini circular like what I used on her socks. I love mini-circ's because they can be used for so many things and they avoid using dpns, which I prefer to do. Though, I am sort of getting used to using them because I am using size 2 dpns for the KAH store socks that I am working on.

I also noticed that I haven't posted the specs on the socks for all the new people that will be coming to visit. The socks are from Socks Socks Socks and the pattern is called Harry's Socks. I personally don't like the name, though I understand that the designer designed them for her husband and they are named after him. I personally liked when my Sock Sister Erin named them The Socks Socks because they have "Socks" written on the heel. The main color is my handspun from Winderwood Farms (they have promised to look into stocking more, otherwise I will have to wait until fall) it is 70% Superwash and 30% Tencel. I got a lot of people asking me if it was silk because of how it felt and looked. The contrasting colors or the solids are Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and it is a really awesome sock yarn. Actually it is a really awesome yarn all around, but it did work really well for this particular project. I think that is all of the specs I can think of, but please feel free to ask questions.

Coming soon: Can we say handpainted novelty yarn?!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Buttons, Banners, & Icons

Bless my brother Andrew!

I was having a terrible time because I don't have photoshop and I really wanted clean looking "pretty" buttons for my blog and for my etsy store. So, I sent what I started with over to my brother and he fixed it. Yay! He is such a wiz with graphics and things. The new graphics will be up soon in all their glory.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Two Sparkle Bags

These are what I call my Sparkle Bags:

They are really lovely. They are actually out of yarn that was suppose to be my very first sweater. I dyed it, but I didn't have the patience to dye it all the same color or even combination of colors. So, I seperated them into two groups that went together. Oh, and I did a test swatch to see if it would even felt. It was sooo pretty felted I knew I had to make them into bags. I'm not sure exactly what the yarn is because I lost the label, but I know that it has wool in it. It might have mohair. Also, it most certainly has a sparkle to it that makes it super pretty. The forest bag has a little pink spot on the bottom to go with the pink handles. I have also listed up two new bags in My Etsy Store that I will get to in the next few days. Also, I sent off my Sockaploooza package and I will post up what I sent and details about my sockaploooza socks.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Soy Silk Felted Bags and a Little Adventure

Today's highlight is on my two little cell phone bags:

I like cell phone bags because they are small, easy to knit, and they only carry essentials. They are just perfect for grabbing up keys and a wallet and heading out the door. Perfect for shopping, because there is so much more room to carry lovely bags of yarn and other assorted goodies. I really love the color of both of these bags. The yarn is 50 wool 50 soy silk, which means that it is super soft. I was amazed that it could felt with that much soy silk in it, but it did. It felted really really well. The only odd thing is that the light colored one actually felted more than the dark one. I think that might be because of where they each were in the washer or maybe one just felts more than the other. They are also really cool because they have hand made glass buttons.

In other news, my husband and I went on a drive up the Columbia River Gorge (our backyard) and saw many beautiful things. I took tons of pics, but I thought that I would share my favorite one:
This is a picture of Crown Point, which is near Portland, Oregon. The clouds rolled in and the horizontal rain started. This is after the storm , when the sun was just starting to go and the clouds were turning purple. I know this is where they get "purple mountain majesties" from.