Thursday, June 28, 2007

Tuscany Shawl

It was close, but I finished. I washed it and blocked it. But it took it's time drying so I had to gift it like this:

My sister loved it and I'm really happy with how my first "real" lace project turned out. I was having doubts, but the blocking? WOW! Magic.

Pattern: Amy Singer's Tuscany Shawl from No Sheep For You
Yarn: Undyed Black Laceweight Alpaca from Rich-Nes Farms
Modifcations: I used Size 4 needles and did only 9 repeats.

I enjoyed this pattern. It was easy to memorize, but not too boring. It starts at the bottom and grows each row so it's easy to see when you'd like to stop.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sophie's 'Monica' tank

I wanted to make something special for Sophie's 6th birthday and Monica was her request. I was frantically finishing the straps just hours before her party! I did make a few modifications (knit in the round rather than flat to avoid seaming and be able to finish in time...I'm rather slow with the purling. I also added a couple inches to the length of the pink portion.) and there are things I'd do differently next time (the straps are quite stretchy so I'd make them shorter so it doesn't hang down so much...even here I have them tied up in the back and it still looks 'saggy'. I'd also do some sort of decorative trim along the bottom of the ruffle & tank to prevent rolling. It does have a few rows of garter stitch, but it still seems to want to roll.)

I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out and Sophie was ecstatic, which is all that really matters in the end, isn't it? :)

Added bonus: The yarn Sophie picked was Lily Sugar 'n Cream. It took about 2 balls of each color so the total cost was only about $6!

Heart Gifts

Heart Gifts
Originally uploaded by ~*Melissa*~
I wanted to show all of you a couple of the goodies I received because they were made by some of the talent here.

The heart blanket lovey is made by Shannon, and the booties are a Dani creation! Aren't the heart stitch markers Gina picked out cute?

Monday, June 25, 2007

New title, anyone?

I was tired of Bungaknitters, but I'm not sure this will appeal to everyone. Let me know. Or better yet, come up with something to beat it. It is a little quippy, dontcha think?

Good Luck!

Lucky purchase
Originally uploaded by ~*Melissa*~
I had some good luck this weekend! My LYS had a grand re-opening due to a store expansion. I decided to pop in and pick up one treat for myself. Dominic likes to go to the yarn store, so he came with me. I saw some Claudia Handpainted that I liked, but walked around a bit more to make sure something else didn't jump out at me.

I decided to go with the Handpainted, and picked up one skein..then another and another. (Good thing Vince decided to just wait in the car!) Because it was a special day at the LYS, the cashier told me to draw a piece of paper from the bowl to find out how much of a percentage off I would receive. I let Dominic have that honor...and guess what he drew? 50% off! Woo Hoo - I ended up getting a very unexpected good deal!! I told Dominic he'd have to always come to the yarn store with me.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Clapotis update

I'm guilty of not blogging much lately, but really, the clapotis is not an exciting piece of knitting. I tend to be fairly monogamous when it comes to projects, so I haven't wanted to start on anything else until I'm done with this. Luckily, I'm on the decreases, so it's not long now. I think my mom will like it. Her birthday isn't until October, but I am very into planning ahead these days. I don't know why. It's pretty uncharacteristic of me, since I am still guilty of leaving the house without checking to see if I have a juice box and a few extra diapers. In any case, here it is, in its almost complete form:

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I cannot say enough good things about Claudia's Handpainted yarns. Love it. Elisa, this is great sock yarn if you are looking for something new to try. That is, if you can fit it in between Sock Club shipments. LOL! Those sock clubs remind me of those CD clubs I joined in college, that kept sending CDs every three weeks or so. Except a lot more expensive. I've had good luck ordering from Loop in the past. They photograph their stuff well, so you can really see what you are getting.

Remember when I commented on Elisa's stash by saying I don't usually buy yarn without the project? Ahem, well. I made the mistake of stopping into a new (to me) yarn shop in Alexandria, Virginia (HEY, ONLY THREE HOURS FROM PEZ'S HOUSE!) called Knit Happens. The gals in there were so nice. And had such good salesmanship. Behold:
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It's "Paris," by Fleece Artist . I think it's going to be a Print O' The Wave stole. FOR ME. So selfish these days.

I feel like crap these days. But I did get a great hair cut. I call it The Carmela Soprano. Doesn't it look like I can whip up a mean batch of meatballs and sauce?
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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Not going to make it

I gave up on the Candleflame Scarf. It got to about a third as long as I wanted it and I realized that there was just no way it was going to happen. Fortunately, I had a fabulous backup gift in the works, so I let it go. It's current status is long term planning for the holidays. Now I'm (still) knitting like a fiend on the Tuscany Shawl. I'm afraid I lost far too much time. I need to do 3.5 more repeats or 56 more rows. It sounds totally do-able until I remember that it gets bigger every row. Plus, it will need to be blocked before it can be gifted. I'm not sure when I will see my sister for her birthday (which is Friday) because she works all weekend. If I don't see her until Monday, I'm golden. Otherwise, I think I'm boned.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Booga, Booga!! I did it!

I finished a project! I felted! I made something for me!! Can you tell I'm excited? ;)

Here is my new Booga bag before and after felting. It was fun to knit and I loved the wool. (Noro Kureyon #126; pattern at

I just love it! I can't wait to start using it. My dd wants one of her own, too, of course! She had to model it for me.

Thanks again to Gina who sent me the awesome yarn and the idea in a Magic Yarn Ball swap! Here is a picture of the goodies she sent. (& Gina- the ladybug stitch markers came in handy and are sooo cute!)

I always love knitting for others, but hey- this knitting for myself is kinda' cool too! :D I might have to try it again sometime. ;)

Must. Stop. Buying. Yarn.

I have a problem. It's a sickness really.

I have embraced the fact that I am a process knitter. I have more WIPs than I can easily keep track of, and an utter shortage of needles, because it seems like the ones I need are always buried in the bottom of the bin with a half completed project attached.

I have also embraced the fact that looking at yarn, buying yarn, and stashing yarn is a part of the process for me. I love my yarn. I sniff it and pet it. What's wacky to me is that in some cases, I cannot bring myself to actually knit it.

What's up with that? It doesn't make sense to me either, but the best way I can explain it is that the yarn is so perfect, so loved, that I can't bear the thought that it could wind up as an item I could love less than I love it right now, skeined up neatly. So I save it, for the perfect pattern, the perfect needles, the perfect recipient.

And meanwhile, I keep buying yarn. In fact, since it's not enough anymore to place weekly yarn orders, I recently joined sock clubs with Yarn Pirate and RubySapphire. Now I am guaranteed a monthly fix without even the effort of clicking the "Place Order" button.

It's crazy, I know. I may be in need of an inpatient yarn detox at some point in the future. But I can't hit my personal rock bottom until after I succeed in getting one of the highly coveted slots in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Socks Club. I have been stalking their website for months, waiting for sign ups to open. I think they're trying to torture me.

I'm finally posting pictures of my newly organized yarn cubby. It's my happy place, even though when I put it together, the goal was simply to get all the yarn on the shelves and so, I am not super happy with their arrangement. The yarn is separated by weight, but I may change that. I'm curious to know how it will look if done by color instead. Perhaps I will try it on some lazy afternoon. (Hah! Who am I fooling? If I have a lazy afternoon, I want to spend it knitting!) The needles are, sadly, half missing (see earlier paragraph.) But the needlefelted wall hanging I found on Etsy is the perfect complement. I was especially happy to hang it up, so my darling child can stop stealing the nursing baby from the mother's arms and using it as Barbie's lovechild.

Sushi Anyone?

I received a special box while Delphine was in the hospital full of knitting goodies (and some fun gifts for Dominic and Delphine). Let me tell you, what a treat! It was the perfect gift to keep me busy and calm during a very stressful time.

Here is the very cool sushi wallet...

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Needless to say, while staying in the hospital, waking up several times a night with the nurses, worrying about my little d, and having to go into work - I've been a little brain fried. There is a part in the pattern that describes how to make a little tube where the zipper would be. I'm sure it's a pretty basic thing to do - but I could just not wrap my brain around it. I couldn't get it to work - I kept trying different things but they just weren't right. I went to sleep that night and woke up in the middle of the night and realized I knew EXACTLY what I was doing wrong. I had to wake up Vince to tell him that I solved the problem while sleeping!

Next project will be a flower that I can't kill - a knit daffodil.

I've not posted a public thank you to those of you that sent me some wonderful goodies yet...I want to make sure I know of everyone I need to thank. I suspect however, that most of you here were part of thank you so very much. You girls knew just what I needed!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

KIP (&my baby bro is a Graduate!) & bamboo!

I see a lot of blogs about knitting in public. I do this, and yes, I get funny looks occasionally, but I do not care. I am a mom to three elementary age kids, and if I get time to knit I will, and I don't care where I happen to be. In line, at the park, at a party, sitting, standing- whatever works

My youngest brother just graduated high school! Woohoo! It is a big accomplishment for him, and he is college bound which is exciting. However, commencement exercises can be long, drawn out and pretty much uninteresting, except for that moment they call the name of the person you are there to see walk across that field and accept their diploma. So I knit...while I waited.

It was wonderful seeing my brother afterwards- he could not keep the huge grin from his handsome face, and he is so popular, I took loads of pictures of him with friends and
family. Even got one of me with him. :)

Also- I tried bamboo needles for the first time and I fell in LOVE! They felt so good sliding through the cotton yarn I am knitting with. (A sweater for my niece that I think she has already outgrown! lol)

Unfortunately, this was my first and last time kntting with them, as my knitting bag had a hole in it apparently. Waaahh. Now I have one lonely needle beckoning. No where in my town sells them, so I might have to go online to find more wonderful bamboo.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Fresh Picked

Fresh Picked
Originally uploaded by pezdiva.

Finally done with this mega trade, feels so good to be done.

It is not like the knitting is hard, or that it takes a long time - it is the little things, the extra color changes, knitting stems, tomato tops, that is what makes these knits seem to take forever.

Off to Florida with my girly tomorrow, eat well, be well.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Question of the day

Does anyone know what has happened to Jenna Adorno? She used to maintain a website that no longer exists and I can't get any links to a new one. Anyone know?

Slow Going

The Candle Flame Scarf that is. I like the pattern and the colors. I like the way the colors are pooling a bit. Overall it reminds me of, well, candle flames. The size 2 needles and the error on the lace chart have me slightly less enthralled. After a hair pulling evening of ripping, knitting, and reknitting, I (finally) checked the website for pattern errors. Apparently, Knitpicks corrected the error and posted it on their errata page, but not on the pattern on the lace page. I emailed them and they tell me they are getting the correct version in all areas. I can't complain that much, it's a good pattern, especially for free.

I've got about 1 and 1/3 repeats done of I-don't-even-want-to-know how-many. This one has to be done by June 18th and the Tuscany shawl by the 22nd. If you need me, I'll be knitting like a mad woman while my kids turn into zombies watching Spongebob while eating poptarts.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

It's done, it's finally done!

I have finally finished the dreaded Girlfriend Shrug. I won't even dare mention how long it took to make as it was way too long. Lesson learned: size 2 needles are not my thing. lol As happy as I am to be finished, it was a bit of a disappointment as it barely fits. I recommend adding more length across the back...the ribbing makes it a little tighter than it appears and she has to put her arms straight up in order to get it on.