Friday, April 27, 2007
Look at that bounty! Whatever could all those presents be? I mean, look at that wrapping paper...sheepies! It was so cute! I was surprised that Tinker Belle wasn't around to help me unwrap. Usually she's nosy and want to see and sniff everything, but she was downstairs somewhere. So, I proceeded to unwrap these mysterious presents.
I opened the card first, which said that the autograph finally came in the mail, and I'd know what was meant when I opened the gift. As well, my pal was going to send me a huge present in June (which she asked if that was alright with me, and it was), but couldn't wait. So this package came as a total shock to me. So, here you see the autograph that was being spoken of...The Yarn Harlot's! My SP10 pal got me Stephanie Pearl McPhee's Knitting Rules! book...with an autograph! How awesome! I can't wait to start reading it; I've heard a lot of great things about her book and this is something I had on my Amazon wish list.
Here is everything unwrapped...the book, a package of blank "knitting" note cards , some playing cards with a knitting image on the front (very cute, and I don't think I've seen any with knitting on them before), some chocolate "poker chips", four Scrabble tile magnets with the letter 's' on the fronts, some "S" sticky notes 2 episodes of Knitty Gritty that can't be gotten here in Canada (one episode is the one with the Yarn Harlot on it, and the other talks about dying yarn with Scout from Scout's Swag...I think that's her name...), 2 skeins of yarn - one sock (I think, because it's in Dutch I assume since it says HWS Nieuwegein, Holland on the label; it also says Scheepjes Invicta Coloris, so I think that might be the brand, but I'm not sure. The colour is 1712 and it is multicolour - very pretty) and one of the Eco-Fil yarn in purple (it's sort of hiding behind the dvd episodes), and finally a stitch marker kit that even says Shelley's Stitch Marker Kit on the front...too cool (and it's a purple case to boot! I took a close-up of what is inside...everything needed to make stitch markers! I will definately take pics and show you the markers I'll make from this awesome little kit. Finally, what was in the package...something I don't think I've seen before...the pinkish thing in the pic above, which the book is laying on (that is really a lilac/lavender colour), is a bag that you can zip up into a little case! My pal wrote on the tag that it could be used as a knitting bag, and that is no doubt what I'll be using it for!
I'm telling you, my SP10 pal rocks! Thank you so, so much SP10 Pal...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything!!!
Now, if that weren't enough, I also got another package today from The Loopy Ewe. I ordered something in it for my SP10 giftee (which I hope she'll like, and hope she doesn't already have). I liked so much what I was getting her, that I got the same thing for myself...so I can't show you what it is just yet. That will have to wait until SP10 is over ;o).
I'm very impressed with The Loopy Ewe's service, and Sheri had shipped my order out the day after I placed it. The only thing I didn't like, and wasn't expecting, was when the package came to the door, the mail carrier had to collect GST and a handling fee (which came to $11.76). I think, though, that that was because of the declared amount on the customs sticker...it must have been over the limit of what can be shipped without charging the tax. That's the only thing I can think of. But, it's not Sheri's fault and I don't hold it against her in any way, shape, or form.
The reason I think that it might be the declared value that was the cause of this, was because when I got the yarn from Woolly Boully the other day, I didn't have to pay anything. I'll just have to watch what I order from The Loopy Ewe the next time so that the amount won't be high...hard to do though; Sheri's got some yummy yarn and stuff at her shop!!
Anyway, I definately recommend The Loopy Ewe. If you've not been there, her link is in my sidebar (under the title, "Order From")...go and check her out, and tell her Shelley from Kitten Knits Yarn sent ya!
Thursday, April 26, 2007
To the left you can see one in my ear...man was that ever a hard picture to get. I kept getting the camera in most of the shots but I finally was able to get this one. Pay no attention to the grey in the hair that is showing...
Unfortunately, I didn't keep them in for too long because I didn't want my ears to get sore since I haven't worn earrings for awhile. I'll wear them for a little bit each day (in fact I have them in as I am typing this up and so far so good!) until I am sure my ears won't get sore. They are so cute, and I can just imagine wearing them when I have my 'I Love Knitting' t-shirt (that I won from Karen's contest last November or December) on and doing some knitting! Thank you so much SP10 pal, they are great! I love them!
Also, you can see in the picture at the top, the link for the Etsy shop my pal got the earrings from, GraphicDesignChick.etsy.com, so I'll give that a little plug here. I haven't visited there yet, but after I finish this post I will go and take a gander at what she has there.
Today was another good mail day. Well, any day when you don't get bills is a good mail day, I suppose. Anyway, here is what I got today:
This is some superwash sock yarn, 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon. It is approximately 440 yards of yarny goodness! I took the picture in the little greenhous that is set up on the back patio, and used the geraniums that are starting to grow (they'll be planted in front of the house at some point), as a backdrop. Look at the colours - so vibrant! The part in the shad, toward the right of the picture, is the most accurate (the sun is shining on the rest so you don't get a very good idea). There are actually two or three shades of pink in it, as well as white and brown. The colour is appropriately named, Neopolitain...and now I'm wanting some neopolitain ice cream. I think I have a pattern in mind that I am going to use this yarn with, so stay tuned to see what this yarny goodness turns into.
I ordered this yarn from an etsy store, Woolly Boully (found her via someone's blog I had visited), and she shipped it out very quickly. She allowed me to send a money order, and as soon as she received it she shipped my yarn to me. She also threw in a cute stitch marker (which I forgot to include in the picture) with my order. So, go check out Jenny's shop as well! She has a few more colourways that I have my eye on, too (such as the Moon Flowers colourway).
That's all for now. Today is going to be filled with practicing my flute and knitting...but mostly knitting. My ISE4 pal's scarf is now 2 repeats longer than it was yesterday, and last night I got about 5 or 6 rows of the Secret Sock done. I was getting rather tired so before starting the lacy pattern on the leg I put it away and went to bed. I didn't want any disasters on my hands, so I did the safe thing and waited until I was more awake to work on it. I'll work at that today, and maybe get a pic of it up tomorrow or on the weekend so you can see how it's looking.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
When I ordered it, I thought the colour might be a little redder than it actually is (which is more of a reddish brown colour) because I wanted to make a scarf for a friend of mine from work because she is retiring in August. I know a scarf isn't really a summer item, but hey, this is Canada - we get winter up here!
Anyway, I don't know if I will give it to her now or not. I have some more of this yarn left, so what I might end up doing is taking it into work when I start (on May 7) and asking her what she thinks of the colour. If she likes it, then I'll gift her with the scarf. If not, then the scarf will go in the 25 Things For Charity tub I have and be put on the Mitten Tree at church at Christmas time.
Here's a closeup of one of the "cat prints". It doesn't really look like one to me, at least in this picture, but even if it doesn't look like a cat's paw, it looks kind of like a little flower so that will be acceptable.
Ok, as I said, I used alpaca (and boy was it soft!) yarn in the sangria colourway and size 6mm needles. It was a little slow going because the only size 6 I had (or at least that I could find) were plastic ones and the yarn didn't move too easily. It would have gone much better and quicker if I had bamboo or aluminum. I know I have 5.5mm and 6.6mm bamboo's, but I honestly don't know if I have 6.0mm in bamboo or not. At any rate, the scarf is done and blocked and overall I think the pattern turned out lovely (even if it doesn't quite look totally like cat paw prints to me...but that might be because of the way I had blocked it too).
I'm still working on my ISE4 pal's scarf. Now that school is done (with the exception of my TESL practicum which will be done next week), I will have a little more knitting time until I start back to work.
Oh, and I've started on the Secret Socks from the CD that my awesome Secret Pal 10 pal sent me not long ago! I'll show more of that when I get more done. I needed a break from studying the other night, so for about 1/2 an hour I worked on the sock for that...well maybe not quite 1/2 an hour...I got 8 rows done. This is a first for me (well, not only knitting a 'secret' pattern from a CD)...this sock is done on 2 needles! I was debating on trying to 'adjust' and use 4 dpns, but thought to myself, 'no, I am going to try some new things with my knitting this year so I am going to attempt to do it on 2 needles.'
Anyway, I think the pattern is from a podcast...at least that is what it sounds like so far...pretty cool! I have only listened to 3 podcasts (none of them from this lady because she has an accent, and the ones I've heard don't have any accents), but am thinking of downloading some for when I start to work. We are allowed to listen to the radio, CD player, etc. while working (data entry) so long as we have our earphones one. But, like I said, when I get further along in the sock, I'll post a pic of what it's looking like because right now it doesn't look like much of anything, lol.
So, now I must go and get caught up on reading some blogs and then do some knitting! Happy knitting to you!
Sunday, April 22, 2007
I rolled up a face cloth and stuck it in the leg of one of the socks so that you could see the pattern a little bit...it's supposed to look like a butterfly, hence the name of the pattern. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show it all that well. You might be able to click on the pic for a bigger view...that might help...maybe.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I did some more spinning Sunday and Monday. Yes, not to worry, I did some studying for my exams too.
I used the extra stuff Heidi had given us at the end of class to practice with. In the foreground of the picture, you'll see some with two colours; that is a bit of leftover from class that I wanted to use up before switching to the offwhite. I just came from an exam and all my spinning terms are somewhere in the back of my brain, laying dormant for when they can come forward and shine again...until then, they will remain in hibernation (at least until after my exam on Tuesday).
Anyway, there are definately differences in the spinning; some thicker areas and some thinner. The above is two plied, and I am so stoked (whatever that means) that I remembered to twist the drop spindle the opposite way to what the singles were done!
To the right is the ball of all the top that I spun. Offhand, I'd say it's probably a little smaller than the size of a tennis ball, or close to it anyway. After I had done the plying, I soaked it and hung it to dry (with a coffee cup for a weight). There isn't enough to knit anything with, but I'll either keep it as is for future comparisons, or I'll just knit a swatch up to see how it looks (and use for future comparisons). Not really sure right now though. I also have done some spinning when taking breaks from studying. I've been using some of the coloured roving I bought after the class the other day and I must say that I am doing it much thinner than I have - a big improvement. There aren't as many big fluffy sections as in the beginning. I haven't a clue what size the yarn would/will be once plied, but I am guessing probably chunky or something like that. It's definately not sock yarn size. I'll try to take a pic of it over the next day or so, so you can see how I've come along. It's still far from perfect, but I'm proud of it (at least so far).
Here's a blurry pic of Tinker Belle. I think she likes the spinning...or at least the wool. When I was trying to take pics of it she got up to grab hold of it. The camera was sitting on the stool so I just pointed and shot the pic before she got away - didn't want her taking my yarn with her! S is also for Secret Pal
Yup, she's done it again! My SP10 pal sent me two more little packages, and I go them today.
The first one I opened had a cute little "knitting" card which explained what the pouch was. It's a dpn holder! It's so cute! She made it herself, and I think she did an awesome job on it! Under the flap, there is a ribbon (held on one end with velcro and sewn in on the other) to hold stitch holders so they don't get lost in travel. I should try to remember to take a close up of it so you can see it better. Maybe I'll try and do that tomorrow when I take a break from studying. It's really cute and she used three different patterned materials to make it. Plus, the ribbon is pretty and colourful polka dots. My SP said she is new to sewing, but I think she did a fantastic job on this! I don't think I'd know how to make one of these.
In the other package was a nice little note and some patterns (a scarf and some socks)! I tell you, my SP is definately spoiling me - but I like being spoiled! Thanks so much Secret Pal, you rock!! I can't wait to start knitting these patterns, and the one from the CD in the last package too. Can't wait for exams to be finished so I can focus on knitting these in the evenings! I tell you, it was hard to study for awhile after the mail came today. I had to take these patterns and dpn holder and put them away so that I wouldn't be tempted to even look at them while studying (been hard enough trying to focus on studying - I'm sick of studying, sick I tell ya!). I do admit that a couple of times I did put my notes down and go fondle the dpn holder and look over the patterns...but not for long.
Well, my next exam in on Monday (then one on Tuesday), so tomorrow I'll have to get back to studying. But for tonight, I am going to go and knit! Now, I have been getting a little knitting done. When I wake up in the morning I'm not awake enough to study right away (or do much of anything), so I've been doing some somewhat mindless knitting. I've been doing a lacy scarf that I had intended for a friend of mine at work (which I start back to on May 7). She likes the colour red, and I had ordered some alpaca yarn from Elann in the colour sangria. I thought it was more redder than it is (it's more of a reddish brown), but thought I'd knit up the scarf in it anyway. Well, I'm undecided if I'll gift it to her or not (might just take a ball of the yarn in and ask her what she thinks of the colour and if she likes it, then she can have the scarf. If she doesn't like it, then I'll put the scarf on the mitten tree at Christmas or find someone else to gift it to. Anyway, the scarf is a quick knit (when I can knit it...I usually only do a repeat each morning, and have about 4 more repeats to do) so it shouldn't take long to finish it, especially after exams are done. I'll have to block it as well, but I'll definately put a pic up when it's done.
For now, I am off to work on my ISE4 pal's scarf as I haven't worked on that since before the weekend. I'm over half done with it, and it too seems to work up fairly quickly. Gotta love the quick knits!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Today my friend Elizabeth (my oldest friend - in that I've known her the longest) and I went to London-Wul to the drop spindle class that was offered. There were five of us there, in total, to learn, and Heidi taught. What a great time!
Behold, my new drop spindle! Isn't she cute? I'm not entirely sure what it's made from...I mean I know that it is wood, but I don't know what kind. Don't know if that matters or not. I think it is a high whorl spindle because according to our vocabulary, a high whorl spindle has the hook at the same end as the whorl (which I found out is the weighted disk).
We started off learning some of the vocabulary used in spinning, things like carding, tops, drafting, drafting zone, S Twist, Z Twist, etc., and we also learned about the different lengths of wool, the crimp of it - which helps in understanding the language behind spinning.
The first thing we did was spin with some single spun wool roving. Heidi demonstrated how to do this by explaining that we have to tie a leader line before we could being spinning. Then she showed us how to take a small portion of the roving, open the fibre, lay it onto the leader line and hold it. Then she said to give the spindle a twist, stop it, pinch the spot where the leader line meets with the fibre, pull a length of it and let go, allowing it to spin up. It's a really cool process!
Once we did the single we used it (using both of the ends) to double ply it. Mine looked kinds of wonky, but she explained that you have to soak it and weigh it down. Then when it's dried it looks a little better because it is more relaxed. Also, she said when you double ply it you have to twist the spindle the opposite way from what you did the singles - I think I may have goofed on that and twisted it in the same direction as the singles, so that would have affected it too.
Finally, we did a single spin of mohair. Talk about soft! Mine didn't stay together very well - I think I used too much of it, not separating it enough. I just realized that I forgot to take a picture of my little samples of those...however, over to the right is some of the mohair spun on my spindle. Yeah, I know it's not perfect and has spots that is wound too tightly or not enought, but Heidi said that is ok, that's what gives handspun yarn its uniqueness (or something to that effect). At any rate, it was my first try today at doing spinning of any kind so I can't expect perfection, right?
And, finally, because I can feel a new addiction taking root, I had to buy some coloured roving to spin up to make some mittens. I bought two bags, because I'm not sure when I'll get out to London-Wul next time (they aren't overly far, maybe 15 to 20 minutes away).
Heidi gave us each some extra roving (called top) for us to practice on, and I'll definately use that before digging into these bags. The colours look pretty accurate; the bag on the left has some green, red and purples, and the one on the right has pink and blue shades. I can't wait to see how they look spun up, and then knitted!
I'll do my best not to expect perfection so soon. It will come, and just takes some practice. The only thing is, I have exams coming up this week and next and now I'm not going to want to study - I'll want to spin (and knit)...but, I will have to take breaks from studying though, so maybe that's what I'll do on those breaks...
Off to do a bit of studying, but mostly some spinning! Happy knitting & spinning!
Friday, April 13, 2007
There is a little note on such pretty paper (I love the font she used too), as well as a diary/calendar from Simply Knitting. Each month is coordinated with a ball of yarn and on the front it tells you which month is which colour (too cool!). Inside there is a place to record family member's measurements to keep handy for when you knit for them; there is a page with lists of organizations accepting knitting (charities to knit for); a page with needle and crochet hook sizes with conversions; a page to record the needle and hook sizes you have; the calendar, and finally, some places you can order yarn from (in the UK). It's really cool!
Also, my wonderful SP included a CD that has step-by-step instructions (to listen to) for knitting a "secret" sock. Once you knit it up, then you will see the pattern! I'm excited to try this, and can't wait to see how the socks turn out! I think I'm going to use the sock yarn with aloe and jojoba that I had ordered from Mary Maxim not too long ago...I just hope the pattern looks good in it as it's striping yarn.
Thank you so much SP, you made my day!
In other knitting, the children's socks I've been working on in the previous post - I am afraid that I am going to run out of yarn! I don't have much left and I'm only a few rows into the gusset decreases...I really hope that the yarn will not run out because I have these planned as being my April entry in Socktopia. I'll knit as far as I can on them...then I don't know what to do, other than putting out the word for anyone who might have some of this yarn left over (I wouldn't need a whole lot really, I don't think). I don't think using other yarn with it will work...then it will be TOTALLY mismatched! But like I said, I'll knit as far on it as I can and maybe it will stretch out long enough for me to finish the sock...I hope.
Edited to add: I just came from checking my email a few minutes ago and my lovely SP has added to my spoil! She has purchased and sent me the pattern for Rogue! I've seen this pattern done up on other blogs and thought it looked wonderful. And now the pattern is mine! Thank you so much SP!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
In knitting news, I've been working away on my ISE4 pal's scarf, and it's coming along nicely. When I work on it, I have to make sure I have the time to do a full repeat (24 rows) otherwise I'll forget where I am and get lost. It goes quickly though, and often I will do two repeats in a sitting. I am enjoying this scarf and the pattern.
It was a beautiful day out today, around +7 celcius (sorry to those using the non-metric temps, but I'm not sure how to convert it over for you), so I thought I'd take out my current knitting project out on the back patio and take a pic of them...you know for accurate colours and such.
Ok, for the first item, above, I have the scarf folded up...I'm still paranoid that my pal will discover it and my cover will be blown. So, if you are reading this and you are my pal (I know who you are), don't let on that you've discovered me or the scarf...otherwise I'll be sorely disappointed in myself at blowing my cover!
The scarf looked much brighter outside in the sun than in the house - naturally, and I found I liked the colours a lot more when they were out in the sun (not that I didn't like them before, just that I was worried that the scarf was going to be too dark).
The other picture I took is of the current sock project I started over the weekend. Another child's pair that will go for the mitten tree at the church at Christmas (and count for 25 Things For Charity). I am using the Butterfly Ribbed pattern, one that I printed off the net some time back. I'll post the link for it when I get the pair done.
I'm using the leftover Opal yarn (that I made the Lacy Trellis socks with), and am worried I won't have enough for it. So, I made the leg an inch shorter than normal so that it would just be a short sock. Also, they aren't going to match because the area that I began with for the first sock doesn't appear until the middle or so and if I were to cut the yarn, I would definately not have enough. So, hopefully the little girl that gets these won't mind. I also wound the yarn in a ball and the colour pattern will be working backwards...it's starting with pink (like at the heel of the first one), then purple, etc...I hope it won't look too freakish, lol. I'll also get a close up of the pattern when they're finished.
Well, must go do some homework now. Not much left to do in the school year. Exams start next week (the 19th) and I'm so not looking forward to that. I've also got to finish my observation and teaching practicum for TESL, but that probably won't be until the first week of May at the earliest. I want to get it done before I start work for the summer...which reminds me, I need to call and see if I can come in for the summer again. I don't think they'd like if I were to take off 2 mornings and 2 afternoons to do my practicum teaching, so if I can do that the first week of May, then I can start work the week after. Anyway, I'm it will all fall into place, I'm sure.
Friday, April 06, 2007
I think this cold came on yesterday, but I'm not totally sure. For a little over a month now, my eyes have been itchy, watery, and red. So, I figure it's my allergies starting to act up (being that time of year and all). Then, the sneezing begins. Darn annoying sneezing. And I'm about to lose my mind from all of this. So, on top of that, this cold or whatever it is (I think it is a cold), is driving me even more loopy. And not in a good way.
Right now, my chest feels somewhat sore from all the sneezing I've been doing. It's not "delicate lady type" sneezes either. I'm talking about loud-give-it-all-you've-got sneezing. Loud enough that I'm surprised I haven't been issued some kind of ticket or whatever for noise pollution. Did I mention that I hate being sick?
So, I have been working on my pal's scarf for ISE4. I have finally decided on the yarn and pattern (which is the border from one pattern and the stitch pattern from one of my knitting dictionary type books). I like the pattern, but I think it would look better in a solid colour yarn rather than varigated (she didn't want solid), but I am using the colours she stated on her questionnaire. The scarf does look good though, in my opinion. I just hope my pal will like it. I'd hate for her to have her hopes up at getting a fantastic scarf, only to receive something she doesn't like (for whatever reason). I don't know if she is a more experienced knitter than I am or not, but I'm hoping my knitting isn't disasterous. I don't want to be known in exchange circles as "the girl who knits crappy stuff."
Anyway, my pal would like a long scarf, and I've got so far three pattern repeats (I think). It isn't a difficult knit, and once you finish the 24 rows you have a fair amount showing. I'm paranoid of showing the pictures in case she happens upon my blog and sees it...at any rate, I am enjoying the pattern which always helps when you knit something - I mean, why knit something you don't enjoy, right?
Well, I'm heading off now. Not going to do any knitting though because I'm feeling tired (and sick of course). I just discovered moments ago that I have run out of nighttime cold medicine and it's too late to go get any (the drug store will be closed by the time I get there, and besides it is crappy outside tonight). I thought I had one more left, but alas, I am out. I'll have to suffer. Can't take the daytime stuff or I'll be up all night (it's non-drowsy). Oh well, enough complaining. Everyone gets sick from time to time, and it could be worse - I could have the flu or a stomach bug. Hopefully I'll feel like knitting tomorrow!