crocheting like crazy

simpsons me
I have been neglectful of my blog... again. Sorry about that... again. In June a friend from my knitting group passed away from breast cancer. Her daughter saw on our group's email list that we were having a yarn swap in the summer and asked if she could bring her mother's yarn for us to divide up. I didn't end up getting the yarn from her until after the swap and I was talking to Kristi about it, debating what to do when Kristi came up with a brilliant idea: crochet items for donation to Breast Cancer Connections. We are crocheting because it is fast and uses up lots of yarn but also because our friend was mostly a crocheter. She used to make bed-sized afghans and give them away. They were truly epic creations: so big that she carried them in a bag from Costco. Shortly after this decision, I went to visit Kristi and delivered some of the yarn to her so she and I (and Janice and Cookie) have been crocheting away. Teenuh has been weaving and I haven't gotten a chance to see her woven scarves in person but the photos have been lovely!

In any case, here is what I have made so far. The charity only wants "hats, scarves, and booties" so that's where I have been going.

slippers

The slippers didn't quite work. I don't think this pair is going to get donated because I don't think they will stay on. I might try to find another pattern to use instead.

first timba hat

Janice designed this pattern with the yarn I delivered to her. I think mine is bit too big and I'm working on a second with a smaller hook. It's a very cute hat though, huh?

first divine hat

I liked this pattern so much...

second divine hat

... that I made two in a row.

very not tiny scarf

A very-not-tiny scarf.

checkers

This was actually the first project I made, although I got a foot into it and had to rip it out and restart because the hook was too small at first and the resulting scarf was, in Teenuh's words, like iron. She was right to talk me into ripping it.

potato chip ruffle scarf

Potato chip scarf, so named because you can't make just one, I think. I did, though, just make one.

kristi's scarves

This is Kristi's pile so far (sitting on my bike just because it was there). She also made a tiny scarf, two flower motif scarves, and a big, cozy fringed scarf. I might have to make a fringed one too. That one is coziest.

There has been some knitting going on as well, with my own yarn.

finished palindrome infinity scarf

I started this infinity scarf as a car project when we drove to Southern California. I really like it. The yarn is bamboo and is soft and warm. I have another skein of it that might need to become another cowly and/or scarfy thing. One can never have too many scarves, cowls, and shawls, right?

annis in progress

I hope not because this is also the very beginning of a shawl. This pink silk yarn ended up in my stash after the yarn swap with the BobaKnitters. I'm making an Annis but I opted for beads in place of the Nupps. I was really into that pattern for a few days but it's 300-something stitches so I didn't get very far. When I'm done crocheting, I hope to get back to it.

giants zito socks scarf in progress

My final current project is a Giants Scarf "Zito Socks Style" as requested by my friend Sandy who is a Giants SuperFan. I am hoping to finish it before baseball seasons ends but she is such a fan that she wears Giants colors all year round so I know she'll get use out of it even if the Giants are done playing by the time it's done. Also, there's always next year.

Whew. I've been busy, huh?

tiny scarf

simpsons me
When I went to visit Kristi in April she was wearing a very pretty, skinny crocheted scarf. I admired it and she told me it was a pattern called tiny scarf that she had recently finished. She even handed me the printed chart (it's a free pattern, don't freak out). When my shoulder was hurting and I was blaming knitting I wanted something to crochet so I picked up the pattern again and pulled out a skein of Sunshine Yarns sun silk that I bought at stitches with no particular plan.

the tiny scarf is slightly less tiny

It grew pretty quickly but I was distracted by my de-cluttering efforts. Still, just about a month later, my not-so-tiny scarf is done.

finished not-so-tiny scarf!

I even wore it home last night from knitting because it was chillier out than I thought. It was nice and warm around my neck. I look forward to wearing it in the fall and that's another 400 yards of yarn out of my stash!

my poor neglected knitting blog

simpsons me
Here is an update on my knitting projects. I've been doing a bit of knitting but really the de-cluttering has taken over. So... pictures!


bunny nugget


I made this and N claimed it. The pattern is called "bunny nugget" and N named her Bluebell, which I think is insanely cute.


the tiny scarf is slightly less tiny


I was having some shoulder pain from knitting so I decided to start a crochet scarf just like Kristi made. The yarn is so soft and I love the color.


destined to be ripped out


I started Kiama, from a Berroco book, hoping for a quick, simple project. But I hate it and am going to rip it out.


just needs sleeves


Slinky Ribs needs sleeves but I'm also worried about the flippiness of the hem so I've been avoiding picking up the stitches for the sleeves. I could block it to try to fix the hem, but I just haven't yet.

There you go, that's where my knitting stands right now. Back to cleaning out the closets!

knitting angst

simpsons me
I have not had much success with my knitting recently. I finally got my act together to finish Liesl.

finished liesl



And I packed it up but it's been sitting in the envelope, waiting. (Sorry, Christine!)

finished but not sent!



I am determined to make it to the post office today... that should solve that problem. But, there are more knitting problems going on.

Instead of finishing Liesl and sending it, I was working on my Dipped Infinity scarf and enjoying the soft yarn and how the colors were turning out...

looks great but...



But I kept looking at the ribbing and wishing I had used smaller needles and/or done garter stitch instead. So I decided to rip it back from the cast-on and fix that.

my bad plan



When I started ripping back I thought I had to pull each strand of yarn through each stitch because of the knitted on cast-on but then I got past the cast-on and realized that I had to do that for each stitch. UGH. might need to actually start the whole thing over. The thought is too annoying to contemplate.

So, I decided to knit something quick and easy and instantly gratifying so I used the rest of my Ty-Dy cotton for some mitts. The first one turned out great. I loved the color changes...

cold thumb



Then the second one was ALL one color. The color changes are a little too slow in this yarn, I guess. I ripped it out and reknit it using the blue part I had left and half of the one color mitt. The color change still isn't as nice as it is in the first mitt but it's not awful.

unfortunately stripeing



The thumb hole is a problem, though. I made it big because the cotton yarn was really pulling around my thumb but now it's too big and I tried to knit a thumb on and it didn't work. I think I'm going to just weave in the ends and call them done. Cheating? Maybe...

I finished knitting those and gave up on the thumb while visiting Kristi in Reno so I decided to cast on the other project I brought, the Yvaine Shawl.

Yvaine shawl



It looks nice so far but I had to cast on three or four times and ended up having to borrow needles form Kristi. It's lovely yarn and I like the pattern but I'm not convinced that there will be enough yarn to make a shawl worth wearing. For now, I'm just knitting (and knitting).

Oh, and while I was visiting Reno we went to Jimmy Beans Wool and I bought some yarn, of course.

comfort sock



I talked myself out of buying a Namaste wallet, though, so one ball of sock yarn shows restraint!

quest for infinity

simpsons me
I know I mentioned it at least once or twice, but I have been wanting to knit Lara Chau's Dipped Infinity Scarf pattern. Sunshine Yarns was selling gorgeous kits at Stitches but they were all wool sock yarn. I searched at Stitches and then quite a lot online afterward without much success. Finally, I realized that the best solution was a silk or bamboo yarn from ArtFibers. Not only did some of their yarns come in at least 12 colors but they sell it by whatever yardage you like, so I could buy 130 yds of 8 colors without having to break the bank or end up with enough yarn for two or three of these. These past weekend I finally made my excusion to ArtFibers, with much success!


mmm, yarny goodness
a reference photo so I could remember the color order



If you've never been to ArtFibers, it's a pretty incredible place. All their yarns are house brands and you are free to sit and swatch. So I did. For about an hour!


infinity swatch
swatched!



The swatching was useful because the colors I thought would work at first, didn't. I will not be knitting them in exactly that order and there are two colors on that swatch I'm not using, but it's more or less the colors.


art fibers rainbow
what I took home



As you can see, the cones I took home were a lot smaller than a full cone, in case anyone freaks out from that first photo. I cast on all 252 stitches last night and am almost around the first row (I had a busy day with no knitting time, really). I am looking forward to knitting this up! I think it will be lovely. I suspect that it'll be 90 degrees when I'm done though.

finished things!

simpsons me
I should be sleeping but look: I finished stuff!


finished purl ridge
The Purl Ridge Scarf! (Ravelry link)



I realize, actually, that I never talked about starting this project. I was deep in my desire to find The Perfect Yarn™ for the Dipped Infinity Scarf (which I am still determined to do) and then I saw that other people were knitting other scarves of the same type and I decided to, you know, be smart and look on Ravelry. I found Stephen West's pattern for The Purl Ridge Scarf and I thought it fit the bill. Then I remembered this yarn, Ty-Dy Cotton which I bought in Placerville as a souvenir of my trip with the knitters to Tahoe last May. I never knew what to do with it... until now!


purl ridge in the morning
A little morning knitting.



I love it already. I wore it for a bit today but it got too warm, even though it's just cotton. I think it will be nice when it really is cold again, so that might be November.

I also finished a baby sweater.


baby sweater
Ribbed Baby Jacket (Ravelry link)



I made it to match one that Juls made for our knitting friend who had twins last week. Juls made the girl one and I made the boy one. It looks much cuter on the bear, don't you think?

I think the Koala needs one with shorter sleeves
The bear needs longer arms.



It's All Seasons Cotton, of course. It's a colorway that I actually bought from Juls a few years ago because she saw my Rogue knit from it and said she had this yarn and did I want it? Of course I did! I have two sweaters out of that exact yarn myself. I did not mean to make my friend's baby match my sweater but I guess I did. Whoops!

I should have taken a progress picture of Aidez because there actually has been progress. I'm not convinced it will be finished at a time when it will be at all the right temperature to wear it but the cold always does come back eventually... right?

how to knit a heart back home

simpsons me
After getting Rachel Herron's yet-to-be-published book from her at Stitches, I was determined to finish it before its release date. I finished it today, on its release date, which I am going to call a victory.

I liked it just as much as her first book! The funny thing is that even though I share a name with her first book's heroine, this one spoke to me more. I related to her.

I totally recommend this book, you should go buy it on Amazon! (Or, you know, at your local bookshop.)
simpsons me
Everyone else (it seems) was buying the kit for Laura Chau's dipped infinity scarf from Sunshine Yarns. I really want to make that but the kit is, of course, all wool yarns. 120 yards each of seven colors of fingering weight yarn plus 50 yards of an eighth color. I really want to make it too so it was my goal today to find non-wool yarn that would work. Part of my search lead me to RedFish Dyeworks I go into their booth every year and drool over their yarns. It's all so gorgeous. The 100% silk only comes in laceweight and finer. Finer than laceweight. Cobweb. Nearly invisible weight. Gorgeous but not something I can manage in my life.

While I was in their booth this year I picked up a sock knit with the 20/2 (laceweight) silk. I asked what size needles to use and the woman in the booth told me, "triple 0s" and I just laughed, I couldn't help myself. Triple 0s are 1.5mm needles. TINY. She also had sock samples with the yarn held doubled knit on 1s or 0s but then I would have needed a second skein of yarn. Somehow, between the need for a second skein of yarn and Lisa saying, "I'll do it if you do it!" I convinced myself that this was a good plan.

red fish dyeworks silk
seductive silk



Seriously, the sock they had knit up felt SO good. I couldn't help it. Ten stitches to the inch, though! My will is weak.

I am still determined to find the perfect yarn for that scarf but first I have to knit some socks.

stitches yarn and stuff

simpsons me
I must admit that I was not really looking forward to Stitches this year. I'm not sure what happened. I think I was bummed about Signature not being there and then there was lots of snow in the Sierra and it didn't look like Kristi would make it. Signature still didn't make it, but Kristi did, which is better than the other way around.

I bought some yarn.


sunshin yarns silk
Sunshine Yarns Sunsilk Lace



I don't know what I'm going to do with that, but isn't it pretty? I'm considering the Curatio Shawl (Ravelry link). Or maybe an infinity scarf (a large cowl that you loop around yourself twice, basically). It's just so sort I want to snuggle with it.

At the end of the day, I got some more yarn.


manos cotton stria
Manos Cotton Stria



That pile of burnt orange is 10 hanks of that yarn. They were in bundles of five and marked down and I couldn't resist. I am considering Kiama (Ravelry link). We'll see. I think the color would be overwhelming on me on something that closed in the front but I like the idea of something drapey and open.

I also got buttons for Christine's Liesl.


buttons for liesl



It's a set of 12 buttons but I only need three. I think they're perfect, though, and I'm sure I'll figure out something to do with the other nine. I'm working on the first sleeve and they're short, so I should be done soon!

Last, but not least, I got Norah Gaughan Volume 7, some highlighter tape, a 10-dent heddle (for DK weight weaving projects) and a book.


stitches stuff



The book comes with a story. I saw Rachel Herron in line to get a ticket so, as I was walking by, I told her how much I love her first book and how I stayed up late reading it all in one night because I couldn't put it down. She said, "You win, then!" and told me that since I was the first person to approach her I could have a copy of her next book, which isn't out yet! She even signed it for me even though between the three of us (her wife, Lala, was there also) we didn't have a pen that was completely functional. Ah well, I know who was signing it.


autograph



I wonder if the kids will let me curl up on the couch one day and read this one all at once too. Fat chance, eh? Later, Kristi told me that there's a short story available on Amazon for Kindle (or Kindle for Mac, iPod, etc) for free! I downloaded it tonight and am looking forward to reading that too!

All in all, it was a good day. I am looking forward to heading back to the market tomorrow for the grand prize drawing. I have two more tickets I forgot to drop in. I need to make sure that I'm there on time!

some gift crafting

simpsons me
The sweater I'm knitting for Christine is close to being done but she is leaving on Sunday so I might still have to mail it to her. That seems likely. Sorry, Christine! At least you'll have a package waiting for you at your new house.

I did finish this for her, twice.


bracelet for Christine


I made it twice because it was too long the first time. I took off two of the blue beads which I made into a pendant, unpictured.

The story behind the bracelet is this: I went to a going away dinner for her and another friend of hers brought those beads and each person said a blessing or a prayer over one of the beads and then I put it together into a bracelet. My blessing for her is that she find a parenting community as supportive and welcoming to her as she has been for me in my parenting journey. I am a better parent for having had her in my life.

It was another dear friend's birthday this week so I made her something too.


mushroom girl for Rachel


Rachel's husband is Swedish and she has a photograph of her daughter dressed as a Tomteoboarn (little people of the woods?) I couldn't find any descriptions of them in english, but this blog post in Swedish has a photo of them. I thought the little mushroom girl was very similar. I gave it to Rachel today and she liked it and mentioned maybe turning it into a pin.

That pattern came from the Felties book that Kristi gave me for Christmas. So much cute stuff in there. Stefan wanted a mushroom girl too. He wants one of everything I make.

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