Monday, April 30, 2007

HSKS Questionnaire!

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

2. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
KA Bamboo - I usually use size 1 but I have four sets of those. I could really use 0's but I'm not sure if they make them. Um, normal length? (What is the regular sock length anyway? Seven inches? Wait, nope. 6") The only other sock needles I've used are Inox, but I'm not a big fan of metal. They are the only size 0 I have though.

3. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?
Anything not metal that has a good pointy tip. And Addi lace needles - I'd make an exception to my "not metal" rule to try them. Size 0 would be fabulous - I knit really loosely, unfortunately.

4. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?
No preference really, either way is pretty.

5. If your pal decides to send candies or chocolates are there any that you don't like?
I don't like fake cherry flavor, or banana flavor. Eeeewww.

6. What are your favorite scents?
Warm, fruity, citrusy, spicy, but not too sweet or too much floral unless it's a really good blend. I like Japanese Cherry Blossom and Brown Sugar & Fig from Bath & Body Works, Cocoa Therapy from Origins, and Lancome Miracle Intense (no longer made in the "intense" version, sadly) to give you an idea of the types of scents I like. Ohh, and ShiKai Sandalwood Amber. Mmm!

7. Do you have any allergies?
Only to stuff that blooms in the springtime, like locust trees and grass.

Trivia: That would be Voldemort.

I couldn't remember the answer to last week's question, and it was bugging me so much! I'm re-reading the books now and I'm almost done with #4, so I'm not to that part yet. And if Ravenclaw currently has 29 of 30 possible, that means I'm the one keeping us from being 100%! Ack! Sorry guys.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wow, look at all this!

Another box came from my awesome L&V secret pal! We have laceweight tencel yarns from MCY in Pebble Beach and from Just Our Yarn in Aziza, plus a bunch of mini sample skeins of gorgeous Fiesta yarns; BPAL full vials (!) of Kali and Eos and imps of Penny Dreadful, Arcana, Loviatar, and Bess; patterns for Sarcelle and Spring Things shawl, and lotsa chocolate!

Let's look at the yarn a little closer:

Pretty, yes? Not surprisingly, the MCY yarn arrived in a somewhat unexpected color, although it feels nice and the quality appears to be fine. It almost makes me like orange. My pal suggested overdyeing it, which I think I just might try. A nice pinky coral would suit it well, I think, and would make a nice Sarcelle. The J.O.Y. is luscious - it's almost exactly like pearl cotton (except for being tencel), and I LOVE pearl cotton. I think I want to wait on the Spring Things shawl pattern though - it's a little more involved than I want to get myself into right now, and I think I would really like it in either mohair or alpaca. I'm looking for something simple for the Aziza, something light and summery, knittable while keeping one (or both) eyes on the toddler, and that will show the variegation to best advantage. Maybe something that would look just as good tied around my waist as draped about my shoulders. I'm driving myself mildly batty with the pattern searching.

The yarn is irresistible, you see.

In the meantime, I still have both of these scarves on the needles:

I so wish I could photograph the true amazing tealness to be found in the yarns I am using for the chevron scarf. In this photo, what looks like navy on my monitor is royal purple, and the blues are actually shades of teal, turquoise, and aqua, gorgous enough to mesmerize me.

There is also the second Wyvern, which is really such a quick-knitting sock that I did all of this but the short row toe in one evening:

Ready to turn the heel now, and then switch to size 2's and the leg will go even faster than the foot. Funny how I got so into blue and white during the first two months of Project Spectrum, I can't get away from those colors.

Except for this little purchase today, for which I do have a pattern in mind. It's driving me to distraction, and might have to be pushed to the top of the list:

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Excuse us while we experience technical difficulties.

Stupid templates.

(Maybe I need a blogging for dummies book.)

So, I didn't get this updated over the weekend like I had hoped, but here are a couple of recent baby FO's. I shouldn't say baby. She's definitely a todder, with the attitude to match!

Here she is, still all chubby-looking! She is changing so quickly right now that her face is already a slightly different shape than this, it's incredible. This is the cover sweater from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. I used TLC CaraMia, which I think might be discontinued. I normally like my fibers as natural as possible, but this one is so soft with no icky synthetic feeling, has a great angora haze, and is machine washable. The girlie loves it. This is her playing outside sweater - she protests if we try to put anything else on her to go out and play in the yard. The sweater has no buttonhole or fastener of any kind. There isn't an option for that in the pattern, and I didn't feel like winging a buttonhole. We never zip her hoodies anyway, so it's fine just hanging open like this.

Next is the bunny, from the same book. The girlie is totally obsessed with this book, by the way. It resides on her shelf, not my knitting shelf, and it is one of the first books she grabs every morning. She flips through the pages, points to all the babies and tells us all about them in babble language, mimics what they are doing with their hands in each photo, and gets SO excited each time she sees the bunny. So of course, I had to make the bunny! This is the best shot of it I have right now. When she plays with it, she is constantly in motion, so we have about 10 pictures of a pink blur. This took exactly one skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted. There isn't even enough left to make a pompom for a tail. Bunny is currently still tailless, but I kind of like him that way. Yes, he's a HE, even though he is pink. I don't know why. The pattern gauge is tighter than I could get with the Lamb's Pride, so this guy is about 14 inches tall, not including ears, rather than 11 inches as the pattern specifies. I had quite a time with the finishing. I hate seaming and grafting. I'd like to make more toys, but I'll definitely be looking for patterns that are done in the round in fewer pieces than the nine (!) this one took. I'm thinking Nautie may be next, or else the elephant from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I have a lot of single balls and odds and ends of Cascade 220 and Elann Highland Wool. I could make some funky-colored sea creatures.

On my needles right now though are the second Wyvern and a chevron scarf, which I'll try to get a good picture of tonight. The colors are gorgeous. I love teal!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A couple of sock half-FO's!

On the left we have Hedera, in Louet Gems Pearl in crabapple blossom, knit on US1 KA Bamboo dpns, and on the right we have Wyvern by Marnie Maclean, in Colinette Jitterbug in marble, foot on US1 dpns and leg on US2 dpns. After the last photo of the two-small Wyvern, I ripped it back to one repeat after the heel and switched to bigger needles. The pattern directs you to go up a size for the top couple of repeats, but I found that I needed to change much sooner than that. It's still a little tight getting it on, but it works, and will probably stretch a bit. I hope so, because look at this:

I love how this short row heel fits, but the stress on the stitches here makes me really nervous. My handknit socks don't get a whole lot of wear, so it should be fine, but still. I need to perfect my heel skills apparently.

Hedera looks pretty good now that it's finished and the dropped stitch is safely attached, even though my twisted rib is a bit messy. It's slightly too large though, and pretty loose in the leg. I'll reassess when both are done, but the pair may end up gifted to my sister who wears one shoe size larger than I do. (Shhh, don't tell. MJ, if you are reading this, pretend you didn't!) I haven't cast on the mate for either sock. I think I'll do the second Wyvern first, out of pure laziness - that yarn is wound into a ball already. It was also a quicker knit.

Still no acceptable, non-pooling pattern for my Carbon Dating, so that yarn is nestled into the stash for a little while, because two newer, shinier (in one case literally!) skeins have arrived from my Lime & Violet yarn pR0n pal!

The yarn here is a skein of merino/tencel Socks That Shine from Socks that Fit, and it is so shiny and soft! The fluffy sheep was a gift for my girlie. She also got some weebles, which she was pretty excited about and has them so mixed in with her other toys that they were MIA at photo shoot time. There was also a sweet little vase that I dropped (oh no!) as I was setting things up for the picture. Sorry Ansley! I am a clutz! My super pal also sent a gift certificate for Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and my gorgeous skein of Puck's Mischief arrived yesterday! These two are making it really hard to finish the two pairs of socks I've got in progress - I just want to cast on something with the new yarn!

I also won Britt's blog contest! She sent me a couple of skeins of Cascade Sassy Stripes that I think will make great Jaywalkers, and some stitch markers that were so pretty the girlie couldn't keep her hands off of them long enough for me to snap a photo. I can't wait to see the shawl I suggested for her.

I have more FO's to show off this weekend, as well as a photo of the chevron scarf that I have been knitting on obsessively the last few nights just to watch the colors change. Hopefully I'll be finally finishing those long overdue ATC's as well and sending them off on their way back to their owners. I'm going to miss the April meeting though, so I'd have to finish them by early Sunday morning and give them to my aunt before I leave town for a very important birthday party for a very sweet girl. We'll see.