Monday, February 19, 2007

A quick note

I wound my first mini skein today. (on the left)
and then I spun my second and wound it too! (on the right)

I'm so proud!

I'm going to turn them into wrist warmers.
and if I have any leftovers I'm making a mini-sheepy.

I'm so excited. The pink and purples are next.........

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

If you haven't read the Yarn Harlot's Vday post, please go read it now. I cannot tell you how much I believe in what she is saying. So much so that I actually did all the laundry in the house, cleaned the kitchen, and I am giving up on my knitting in favor of organizing my room (mom has been on my butt about it for a week).

I was intending on spending my v-day in my room with my knitting needles.
I'm still working on my sleeves. They seem to be taking FOREVER!!!!
I need a break so I'm making more pygmy puffs.
red and pink ones for the day.

I decided that I should probably share my pattern with you all. It is just a quick short-row ball done with a fun fur or a plush, but I know I had a heck of a time figuring it out myself. and it should be made as easy as can be so that every HP fan can have one in the next 155 days...... or however long is left on that ticking clock to the right.....
anyway, here it is.

Pygmy Puff Pattern
(Short rows version)
US size 3 or 4 straight needles
Tapestry needle
Brightly colored Fun Fur (one ball will make several pygmy puffs) Cotton balls (3-5) or another type of stuffing
2 beads, sequins, or googly eyes
1 bead for a nose (optional)
2-4 inch scrap of red or pink yarn for tongue(optional)
: Fun fur and an additional sport or dk yarn can be held together to give the ball more body. Two or three strands of fun fur may be held together instead of additional yarn for a more furry finish. This is not necessary if using a plush yarn as most will have enough body. In addition, longer or stringier types of fun fur may need pulling through knitting as you go so as not to trap all the furriness inside the ball.

CO 9
Row 1: K6, W&T
Row 2: P3, W&T
Row 3: K5, W&T
Row 4: P7, W&T
Row 5: Knit to end
Row 6: Purl to end

Repeat rows 1-6 a total of 6 times.
Bind off stitches loosely.
Cut yarn leaving a 9+ inch tail.
Use tail and running stitch along side. Pull tightly, drawing closed.
Use tail to mattress stitch CO and BO sides together.
If you want to add a tongue, do so now. Simply add a string of scrap yarn near the bottom front of the ball. I usually double the yarn and knot it several times at the end. If giving the pygmypuff to an animal or small child, I will secure it more firmly by weaving in and or putting in a drop of superglue.
Turn ball inside out.
If you are sewing in the eyes, it is easiest to do so now before stuffing. Place them about ½ inch above the tongue
Stuff your puff firmly with cotton balls or stuffing. Overstuffing will give a better shape.
Use the remaining tail and a running stitch to draw bottom closed.
Weave in end to secure then pull remaining yarn through ball and out leaving as your pygmy puff’s tail.
Fluff/brush pygmy puff for maximum fuzziness.

I will sometimes leave off the eyes and add a bit of catnip to the stuffing. My friend’s cats LOVE to play with the puffs.

that's it for now
happy knitting!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Another Week Gone By

This has been a very long and occassionally exciting week.
My birthday was last weekend, and as usual, my friends made it worth being another year older. The tattoo is healing beautifully. I'm so happy that I got it. It is perfect for me. A bit bigger than I originally intended, but then again, so is the place where it is located!

Saturday was my first spinning day. I sat at my LYS for 5 hours and spun my practice roving. It looked great! and it was holding up!
until I got it home.
As soon as Madalene wasn't there, it started to pull apart every time I went to spin it. So I put it down for a couple of days (or a week) to let the process sink in before I try it again.
Here is what I have done though. Isn't it pretty!

You can't really see it very well, but I'm proud of myself. I'll get better eventually. And Saturday mornings are now going to be for spinning.
I'm trying to decide what to do with it. maybe another little pet, seeing as it is my first spinning. maybe some wrist warmers. although, it might almost be enough for a lovely scarf.
I do have quite a bit more of this white to do before i get to the pretty colors that are sitting and screaming at me from my stash. Pinks and purples. I can never resist the pinks and purples.

Sunday was my birthday. and Mom gave me the Blessing Basket that I requested around Christmas time. I love it!

such pretty colors. And it holds my spinning, my Trekking socks, and my sweater project!! Now all I need is a liner for it. I almost lost a sock needle the other night as it slid through one of the holes. We can't have that now, can we.

My work week went about as slow as it possibly could. I can't tell you how thankful I was for Thursday to roll around again. Knit Night was rather tame this week. A couple of girls finished some big projects. A few started some interesting things. I helped Bella start some hunting socks for her hubby.

And then the sweater project came out..... neither Madalene nor I had the brain power to deal with it, but Cassie wants to see me finish it and insisted.
I pulled it out. I hadn't worked on the body in over a week. I started a sleeve (which I pulled out last night due to the fact that I somehow had 20 extra stitches! how does one get 20 extra stitches?!?!?!?!?!?). Well, we looked at it and drew it out 10 times. Then we did it again. After 30 minutes we finally figured out what they wanted. our mistake . . . . . read to the end of the pattern FIRST, especially when you are trying to adapt it to make it seamless. We couldn't figure out why the back was supposed to be so much longer than the front! nor could we figure out which way the armhole decrease were supposed to go. We got it eventually. and i went home and finished it. Now it is just waiting for me to finish the sleeves so i can add them on and start the fun part, the yoke.

well, sleeves here I come. no extra 20 stitches this time!
and I read the whole pattern first! lets see if this goes a little smoother this time.....

well, as smoothe as smoothe can be for me anyways

ta for now.
happy knitting!

Friday, February 2, 2007

February Second

I love February second. I always have.

It's Ground hog's Day... which means Punxatani Phil (how in the world do you spell that???) will tell me that Winter is going to last FOREVER and snow will fall every day for the rest of my life. yes, that may be wishful thinking, but, hey, a girl can dream.

in addition to the lovely little hairy rodent day, it is St. Brigid's Day.
Brigid has always been my favorite saint (i was raised catholic, and some things you just don't let go of). her legend is wonderful. and she founded Kildare. and she is the second patron saint of Ireland. and her cross is beautiful and very simple. so anyways, happy St. B's day! turn some earth and have a pint.

oh, and i can't forget. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERIN! miss you!

last night was knit night.
it was great, as always.
and we actually had a full crowd! it has been a while since we filled all the chairs (and had people on the floor). 5 new knitters i think i counted. and they were all nice .... and held their own in conversation .... without being offended..... or making anyone want to drive a needle through an eyeball. YAY!
Beth made me shortbread. YAY! it's one of my absolute favorite things in life. and Allison and Madalene and i walked to the coffee shop for hot cocoa to dunk it in. YUM! it was wonderfully delicious. and i have some left over!!!! can you say breakfast?????

and i finally got to the 14 1/2 inches i needed on the sweater. and then chaos. i couldn't quite figure out what i was supposed to be doing. there was some confusion due to the fact that i'm doing it in the round and not flat... and i can't figure out why the back is supposed to be 2 inches longer than the front . . . doesn't make esnes to me. and some parts go on holders. some parts are supposed to be bound off... then picked up again... then added on...then, hell, i don't know! and i have 2 balls attached now, not one. and i 'm confuzzled. i think i'm supposed to be working just the sides right now.... armpits?? hell, maybe i'll just do the sleeves.

so what's on the agenda for today? well for my day off i usually sleep in, but not today it seems. today, i am going back to the LYS to try to get my head around what i am supposed to be doing with this sweater....
then i am picking up a couple of friends who will be accompanying me to get a tattoo as a bday pressie to myself. normally my nerves get the better of me with stuff like this. i'm not good with anticipation.... or adrenalin.... or anything somewhat adventurous.
but for this i am completely calm. no butterflies yet. no anxiousness no nerves. just a hint of excitement. so far in my life, that has only happened a few times. first overseas flight. first day of college. moving to Scotland. and now this. all the other things were right. the beginning of something. i don't think this is the beginning of the tattooing of my whole body or anything, but something, perhaps.


Thursday, February 1, 2007

What a day

To wake up to such news as the release date for the final Harry Potter book! That in itself was exhausting.... and then learning the actual date!
Jo has thrown me for a loop. i figured i would have at least until fall. i mean, really. to release the 5th movie only a week and a day before the final book! insanity!
it just can't be smart. i can't afford both!
not with the trip, five years in the making. (cross my heart, i started planning this nearly 5 years ago.)
yes. i think i have it.
I'll fly over for the movie and stay for the book!
until i looked at the airfare. winter fare (non holiday of course) i can usually find for between $400-$700. summer fare.... runs $1,000-$1,400. that, with food and tourism and housing... more than i anticipated, 3 months before I anticipated it.

with all that, i sat down and looked at my finances. i came up with several solutions:

option 1. get a part time job. this was already in the making. i am up for a part time position at the LUSH going in at the nearby mall. but it doesn't start until the end of Feb or March. so it is no good to me. but with my morning coffee.... my usual barista handed me an application. i am on my way to turn it in as soon as i finish typing here.

option 2. take out a loan. probably from mom, but a loan all the same. i can by my plane ticket now (or at least in the next few weeks) so as to lock in a reasonable price. and i can pay it back when i get my taxes back and with each paycheck.

option 3. the most relevant to this particular blog... and my least favorite of all..... a yarn fast.
i was on a yarn diet, but now, an all out fast must be put into place if i'm going to be able to afford this.... i'll give up yarn for lent.... maybe that'll help

all i can say is that at least i have enough in my stash to keep me going.

my sweater is at 13 3/4 inches. hopefully i'll start the shaping tonight..... or a sleeve.

and i have some pink Silky Tweed on sweater plan.... i can take that out a piece at a time, when i'm ready to start another big project.

and my socks haven't grown much. they'll have to be finished.
and Angelica is still calling me
and as if i didn't have enough sock yarns ....i bought this 2 weeks ago
(i didn't have a pic until today)

it is a very colorful (and slightly shiny?) bamboo sock yarn. I love it! it is so soft. absolutely lovely.

it'll have to tide me over.
until fall?????
not going to happen. but hopefully it will get me through the new spring yarns coming out!

and i'm starting spinning!
Saturday mornings are going to be for spinning now. it was a new years resolution. and i have enough roving to get me quite a while i think. some white to practice on, some white i had intended for mittens, some pink, purple and a blended pink and purple for something fun.
hopefully that will keep me going... hopefully.

for now it is off to Starbucks to turn in an application.
and then to knit night! YAY!
one of the girls baked me a pressie for my birthday.
i'm excited.
i hope it's shortbread!!!!!