Sunday, September 30, 2007

Purple Baby Socks

No SPS this week. Honestly I am not feeling like myself with Salvbard flying out tonight. Maybe next week.

So I mentioned baby socks in my last post. What is not to love? They are so incredibly fast and sweet. I love everything about these socks.

Yarn: ArtYarns Ultramerino 4 (~0.5 skein)
Supplier: The Knitting Room
Needles: US Size 1s
Pattern: Baby Eyelet and Cable Socks
Source: Vogue Knitting on the Go: Socks Two

The yarn is super sproingy and wonderful. This pair took only a few bus rides. The pattern is one that I had been meaning to try for ages, and the faux cable that makes the spiral-like appearance go very fast.

As an added bonus, their great color is a last minute nod to the end of Project Spectrum 2. It has been really fun, and I admit being a little sad to see this round finish. It was always inspiring even if I wasn't crafting in the "right" colors. It was totally worthwhile just for the mindfulness it brought and for way it prompted me to think outside the same colors I tend to.

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hogwarts on the Brain

I have been working on a bunch of Hogwarts stuff this week. In HSS news, I did something that I have never done before. Completely ripped out 2 socks (toes-heel), reskeined the yarn, washed it, and then rewound it into balls. I have certainly ripped out knitting before, but never as many times as in this pair of socks. The socks have been restarted, but I am going to need to make up for lost time.

On the crochet front, I have gotten a bunch done on my blanket. I tried a bunch of different color strip sequences, but the one that I decided to go with for the Slytherin ripple blanket was a trapped bar style. Thanks for the input people gave for the grey color. I ended up with the medium grey rather than the light grey, simple because I was sure that I could get more. This is how far I got with one ball of the green.

Edit: Salvbard just picked me up more green, so I can get back to work on this. Yay!

Also I started a pair of sweet little baby socks. Too incredibly cute and tiny! I should have these finished tomorrow, and I will write more about them then.

In other Hogwarts news I stopped by Mind's Eye Yarns, and Lucy had freshly dyed House colors in her fabulous merino/tencel sock yarn. She said that she had listed them on her Etsy Shop as well. Of course I grabbed one in Slytherin. I love the depth of color in the green this colorway has. I will report back later with how the color repeat knits up.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


Oops, I am a day late and a dollar short for Self-portrait Sunday, but here goes anyways. Remember that I had recently bought a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain at the library book sale? I have been taking my time with it, as I want to do the suggested exercises as I go rather than reading it all the way through first. It just worked out that one of the first ones was something I had been thinking about doing anyways, inspired by Ryan of Ryan Sketchez recent self-portrait.

This was also a chance to try out my new Pigma Brush Pen that I got this weekend as a bit of a treat. Fun!

When I was in elementary school I remember our art teacher, Mrs. F., telling us that it did matter which direction you colored an area in. Glad I retained that one piece of advice, because it adds a lot of fun texture to what would otherwise be lost.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

End of the Summer of Socks

I can't believe summer is completely over. (I know the equinox was friday, but I took advantage of a free weekend to visit my niece and was off-line for a bit.) So since I participated in the Summer of Socks, I thought I would make a brief recap of the socks I finished this summer.

I have already mentioned:Just before the deadline, though, I finished up 2 more pair for a total of 14 socks (and a bunch of non-sock things as well). What is even better is that both of these last tow pairs took just under a skein of yarn each! Now presenting the Oatmeal Traveler Socks and the Stripey Socks:

Pattern: Traveler Socks (pdf)
Yarn: Järbo Garn Raggi Multi - color 48
Supplier: Mind's Eye Yarns

This pattern works up super fast because of the heavy yarn, but results in an deceptively impressive looking finished object. I could definitely see making this pattern again!

Pattern: Classic Socks for the family #29 from Yankee Knitter Designs
Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks 4 Ply - color 54801
Supplier: Wisconsin Craft Market
Needle: US Size 1s

Not bad, but I think I could have done more had the summer worked out differently. I was hoping to be a little more productive, but sometimes you just have to settle for what is possible.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Loving My Stash

Somehow life is never simple. A lot has been happening this week involving my work, Salvbard's work and some health issues. The plus side of all the seminars and doctor's waiting rooms is that I have gotten a fair bit of stash busting done.

On the knitting front, I have also been working on a pair of socks for Chiquita that I will probably set aside for the winter holidays. Nothing too exciting, just a pair of stockinette socks in a lonesome ball of Kroy sock yarn.

I had bought the stripy brown yarn below to make boot socks for Salvbard, but he ultimately deemed it too busy for him. So far after 2 days of doctor's appointments I have 2 sleeves and the start of the left and right fronts.

This crochet project has been the Mexican Jacket from Adorable Crochet for Babies and Toddlers which I am working up in some Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima 6 Ply Socka and Regia Jacquard Color 6-ply that has been languishing in my stash. I have heard a lot of people say that Ravelry has inspired them to use their stash, but I also find that it has inspired me to look again at the books on my shelves to find patterns that I loved and find inspiring, but have never made.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Hats for Alex

Wheezalana is hosting a The Hats for Alex Fall Challenge, and with all the preemie needlework I had been doing, that seemed right up my alley. If you are not familiar with the Hats for Alex project you can read more about it on their blog. It is a great idea, but the reason for its founding is heartbreaking, particularly as a parent.

You may recognize the yarn in these hats. The first blue one is left over from the back-to-school socks, and the two pink ones are left over from the little pink preemie sweater.

Pattern: Bev's Really Basic Stretchy Hat
Yarn: Regia Mini Ringel Color - 5216
Needle: US 2/2.75 MM
Size: preemie

Pattern: Bev's Summer Preemie/Newborn Hat
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Baby Solid 0400 Bright Pink
Hook: G/4.0MM
Size: preemie

Pattern: Barb's Seamless Crocheted Baby Hat
Yarn: Red Heart Ltd. Soft Baby Solid in 0400 Bright Pink
Hook: F/3.75 MM
Size: New Born or large Preemie

So those are my three I am sending, though I think I will make more for my local hospital. If you are so inclined, I totally encourage you to work up some stash into hats for this drive. Let me know if you do. And as an added bonus, if you do it by October 31st you will be eligible to enter the Fall Challenge.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rainbow Berry Socks

I finished up my rainbow berry socks this weekend. These were knit as part of the "Single Skein September" challenge over at Stash and Burn. By alternating rows with two different 200 yard skeins of sock yarn I had enough to finish a full, if short, pair of socks.

Yarn: Spunky Eclectic Spunky Socks in Potluck (2 skeins)
Needle: US Size 1/2.50 MM
Pattern: 2 at once magic loop, cuff down with heel flap

And this is all I had left at the end. Whew! That certainly made me a bit nervous. (Canadian toonie and US quarter for scale.) But these were just enough to add 2 half squares (aka triangles) to my sock yarn blanket. Hopefully I will get pictures up soon.

PS. Sorry, this is all you get for a SPS this week. Salvbard is out of town, and I am not all over the "myspace-style self-photo" plan.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Look Stockinette!

For some reason I have been totally uninterested in knitting recently. I am not sure of the cause, but I seem to have broken through a bit of that funk today though. I finished up Chiquita's back-to-school socks, just in time for her to wear on this cold and clammy day.

Yarn: Regia Mini Ringel Color 5216
Needles: US Size 2s/2.75 MM
Pattern: Most Basic Kids Socks (pdf) by by Evelyn Skae

I still have a good amount left from the single ball, though not enough for another pair. I'm thinking it will become another preemie hat.

With that done, I started a new set of playground socks. You know, the type that is good for working on at the playground all in stockinette so you can still watch the kids. Ages ago I bought some of Spunky Eclectic's "Potluck" yarn. (And hey look there is a Ravelry yarn. Sweet!) What I didn't realize or think about at the time is that every skein is different. Every skein.

So the two I got aren't quite the same. One is a rainbow color, while the other is a more muted berry with rainbow bits. You might notice that there are 2 strands going to each sock. I am alternating rows in each sock. Mmmm stockinette. I know lots of people who like more pattern to their sock, but nothing else soothes my frazzled nerves like stockinette in the round.

And speaking of knitting, I found a great booklet of men's sweater patterns at a local library book sale.

I had tossed it in with a copy of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards, only to be told that all magazines were being given away for free. Now I wish I had been able to find more vintage knitting magazines!

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

1 year blog-o-versary

Today is my blog's first birthday! It is funny to think that it has only been that long though. I feel like this is such an integrated part of keeping track of my creative journey and meeting so many other crafty folk.

A year ago I was just returning from a research trip in Madison, WI, where I had been listening to the Creative Mom Podcast and thinking a lot about my creative life. Then I started a blog up just before last year's Boston Knit and Crochet out.

So in honor of muddling through a year of learning Blogger, re-learning with new Blogger, discovering and re-discovering several crafts, and many happy artistic endeavors I am doing a small give-away. (If you are not a knitter, feel free to enter anyways. I am sure I could pick something up.)

2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet, a copy of Knitting Rules, and a skein of Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel sockyarn in Coral Snake

To be eligible please leave a comment by Sunday September 9th midnight EST. Remember if you you don't sign in with your blog for your comment to include other contact info so that I can get a hold of you.

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Hogwart Sock Swap 2 Q&A Contest

To earn Slytherin points I am answering a few questions to let my partner know a bit more about me.

Hogwart Sock Swap 2 Q&A Contest

What type of pet do you choose as your companion at Hogwarts?
Probably a reptile of some sort. I already have a African Fait-Tailed Gecko named Cupric.

While shopping in Hogsmeade you stop by Honeydukes for some sweets. What treats do you purchase for yourself?
Peppermint Toads - love all things mint!

A potion you are preparing needs an ingredient available only at muggle shops. You don't want to stand out in your wizards robes, so you resort to traditional muggle clothing. Describe your outfit in detail.
baby doll tee-shirt, slacks, maryjanes and handknit socks

What is your favorite subject to study at Hogwarts and why?
Potions! I just love bench work, it is all about being thorough and focused. No foolish wand waving here!

Likewise, what subject is your least favorite and why?
Divination - unless you are a centaur, why bother.

Back to the potion you were shopping for ingredients for, what type of potion are you making, what color is it, what are the ingredients, and precisely what does the potion do?
Amortentia - mother-of-pearl sheen and steam rising in characteristic spirals - frozen ashwinder eggs, avens, maudlinwort, daniana, dulse, melequeta, agave, and copal - love potion (officially not allowed at Hogwarts) encourages infatuation with an individual


Friday, September 07, 2007

Slytherin Blanket

For ages now, I have been saying that I would make myself a crocheted ripple blanket for myself in Slytherin colors, but in a recent case of startisis I actually cast one on last night. I finished the first stripe of green and then went to grab the first silver/grey, when I discovered that I had choices.
Color Combination #1Color Combination #2
At first I was really leaning towards the first one as being more silver, but the second one with it's light has a lot better contrast. I would love to hear other people's thoughts. Relative amounts of each yarn is not a factor, so it just comes down to color.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

School-year's-start Socks

Two years ago when Chiquita started full day elementary school, I unwittingly started a tradition. Sitting down with her, we planned a project knit just for her in honor of the new year. The first year it was a soft, soft hat and scarf set in burgundy cashmerino. (That year her favorite color was red.) The next year for second grade it was a pair of mittens. (Favorite color that year was purple.)

This year she is asking for another pair of socks, which I have made for her before, but not as her special start-of-year gift. So we sat down yesterday and took all of her measurements again; she has grown a lot over the summer. She picked out yarn from my bag of lonesome balls of sock yarn. This year she says her favorite is (and always has been) blue, and the yarn she chose matches accordingly.

I love how excited she gets about this. It is funny the things that unexpectedly become annual traditions, but still it is nice. I am glad that she still values this type of thing, and I am excited to see her own ability grow. I figure I have to enjoy this while it lasts. Who knows when it would be too uncool to have something handmade or even funnier if she would just rather make it herself!

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Little Pink Sweater

When I was originally asked to maybe make a few preemie garments, the one item that was specifically requested was a small pink sweater. Digging through my stash I realized that I didn't even own any appropriate pink yarn though.

Pattern: Preemie Angel Shell Sweater
Hook: E/3.50MM
Yarn: Red Heart Baby Soft
Modifications: added a row of sc to front edges, skipped the flower

Fortunately my local independent craft store was having a back-to-school sale that included yarn. I am not usually an acrylic user, but several sources have now told me that it is the preferred fiber/material for hospitals, which makes sense its ability to wash and dry hotter to kill the most germs.

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sunday Picture - Dragon

I suddenly realized that I hadn't done Self Portrait Sunday in a few weeks. Time sure gets away from me.

I am a little behind on my podcasts at the moment as pre-school-year business has been running me ragged. After listening to Amy's Creative Mom Podcast Episode 60 yesterday my thoughts turned to dragons. The prompt from that episode was "collection", and for years I have been collecting small dragon figures.

So I broke out a Conté crayon and a few of the small figurines and got to work. Many thanks to Salvbard for taking the portrait of me at work on one of the sketches. (Note the mini M&M tube, which is perfect for storing Conté crayons and charcoal.)

I had forgotten how good it feels to work big. Most of the drawing I have been doing in the last few months has been ATC sized (2.5"X3.5") or in my Moleskine (5.25" X 8.25"/13 cm x 21 cm). And the Conté crayon has just whetted my appetite for working with charcoal.

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