Friday, October 21, 2011

An Update About the Awesomeness of Rhinebeck, a Week Late

Last weekend, I and my trusty car buddies Lsquared42 and Fiendishchef, hit the road at 5 AM from Massachusetts and made our way to Rhinebeck, NY for the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival. This was my first event of this sort and I have to say it was pretty awesome. Technically, the reason we went is that we are knitters and knitters need wool, so why not go to a wool fest to get wool. But I think the REAL reason I went was because of the food. I have been hearing about the food at Rhinebeck for 9 months since I joined my knitting group. I was so excited about the prospect of eating Apple Crisp and Maple Cotton Candy.And mannnnnnnnnnnn, was it good. The Apple Crisp was by far the best Apple Crisp I have ever had. I even ate a Lamb Hot Dog. But I didn't stop there -- Maple Cotton Candy, Pumpkin Fudge, my first taste of Venison Sausage, tons of different cheeses. It was amazing. I spent so much of my yarn budget on food. Too be very honest I cannot wait to go again JUST to eat more yummy festival food. So of the best quality festival food I've ever had. (See picture below, where I am enjoying a lamb hot dog)

I GUESSSSSSSSS, since I am a knitter and this is my knit blog I guess I better talk about the yarn and needles I bought. I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed by the yarn. It was just skein after skein and rack after rack. I felt like I HAD to buy something but I had the hardest time to commit. To be honest I ended up buying the skein I bought because Fiensdishchef said, "let's go back and get my mug then you can swing by and get that purple you liked." And so I said "okay" because I knew I wouldn't be able to pick something on my own. This "purple" we are referring to a a BIG ASS hunk o' merino wool from Creatively Dyed. It's some of the prettiest, softest and snuggly-ist, most expensive purple yarn ever.  Unfortunately, I could not find my real camera before I started working this stuff so you'll just have to settle for my overexposed and wrongly colored iPhone camera shots of it....

I started trying to make a sleeveless cardi with it but I am not one for gauging and there was no way I could make it with the 425 yards. I was gonna fall short so I had to rip this loverly beginning to a sleeve cardi...

Again the exposure is all wrong, there appears to be pinkish bits but it is really more of a greyish purple. I was depressed to rip these gorgeous cables but I think it will be nice to have a matching set of hat and mittens for my second New England winter. I started a third pair of Bella Mittens by Subliminal Rabbit. I made one of the first pair, and 2nd pair for my boss Chris (see below), and now this loverly purple will be MINE ALL MINE. I am almost finished with the first mit, I'll post next week.

The best purchase and also the most extravagant knitting related purchase ever. I have been in the market for a new SET of interchangeables for awhile and was damn near about to buy the nickle knit picks set but held off until "after Rhinebeck." BUT instead of spending $69.99 on a whole set, I bought a single size 10 24" hand blown glass needle. Its GORGEOUS but it is one one needle in a size I hardly use. BUT it was black and orange, and  y'all know how big black and orange are in our house between Tristan and me. 

These things are like knitting with buttah! As in the Barbara Streisand pronunciation of butter. They are amazing and I am so annoyed that I am knitting my mittens on non-glass needles right now because I don't know how I can ever not knit on glass again. It is so smooth and beautiful. I am completely in love with them both in look and function.

I have decided though that after I finish these mit I'll force myself to knit with size 10 for the rest of my life to justify the purchase of a $60 pair of needles. Or I'll just go to the guy's website and buy more in the sizes I use more frequently. 

That's it for me now, I'm tired. =)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I did end up getting a Sharmane sweater on sticks, but since I was having such a hard time deciding what to knit I put it to the ladies at the Taunton SnB to decide for me. And I apparently my reputation for being a girl from the LBC played into the group's decision because knittinginfinity posted this pattern from Knitty called Holla. Its just appropriately named, and offers everything I love in a sweater, cables, a hood, and loose fitting so as to not show of how far I let my tummy go. In a word, its perfect.

I have completed the back and am to the arm holes of the front now. Can't wait to get to those yummy cables. I have only taken pics of the finished back so far...

 Holla back..

 Holla back with Ronin for the block

I'm also making some Bella Mittens for my boss cause she is going on a trip to Europe soon and it will be cold. I just gotta get them finished this weekend. I have been slacking. That is it for today, just a quick post to get it off  my mind. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

And I did it again... I let another month go by with nary a post but the blog has been on my mind. I want to get back to blogging at least every week like I was in the beginning but baby steps. At least I didn't let another 4 months go by.

A lot has happened in the month since my last post. I applied to and got accepted to Bridgewater State University all since August 2nd. BSU is the school my husband teaches at, although they didn't know that when I applied. Nepotism was not an option on the application. But whatever I already have a degree, so why not let me in right? I will be studying Sociology and getting a foundation for my future endeavor of going to grad school to study Visual Sociology. I already have the visual background, my Film and Digital Media B.A. that is getting no action since I have been either an Office Manager or a Operations Manager since I left school. Maybe one day. I no longer have any particular dreams of getting back into the film business, although I always assumed I would. I also have no immediate desires to leave my current job because I love it so much. But I have always wanted to go to school to get my masters, and I do believe that it will be a great regret if I don't. So, I am laying the ground work now to hopefully not let myself down on that dream.

I have also "survived" my first Hurricane. By Hurricane, I mean Irene. And by "survive" I mean, the storm was not bad where we lived but we did get our power knocked out for 4 days. THAT SUCKED! No Xbox, no TV, no TRUEBLOOD or 24/7 Mayweather v. Ortiz. ARGH! We basically chilled in the living room, starring at each other and wrestling our cats. I worked on my charity blanket because it is just a diagonal garter stitch baby blanket. Easy to work on in the dark, or at least by candle light. Got further along that I would have expected to be by now.

Now I have to decide what my next SHARMANE project will be. I currently have a project on sticks for a friend that will be a swap but I have ages on that as she is also in no rush to complete. Just something we will casually work on for each other. But I told myself when I first joined the Taunton SnB in January that 2011 was the year I was going to make a sweater and somehow its has gotten to be September without me realizing. Can you believe it? 9 months since I moved to Massachusetts and it has just flown by. Every so often I wake up thinking I might still be trapped in the hell that is Texas (hell for me anyway) but then I am relieved to find that I am not and that there is an actual breeze blowing through my window. Part of me wants to make an easy sweater (go little) and part of me wants to overwhelm myself with a cabled hoodie like the Mariah or a crazy cables aran sweater like this website has to offer. I'll probably go the crazy aran route. It is almost winter after all. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Has it really been 4 months since I last blogged?  Yes, I guess it has. Funny, I am more actively knitting now then I have been in ages and I am blogging less. How to catch up on everything I have knitted. Well, I'll make this post brief, this has been the year of baby blankets so let me start there. These are my first baby blankets that I did not improvise the pattern myself.

My best friend had her first child, Gabriella, in May of this year and back in February I started knitting this awesome blanket, and yes I will not be humble about this one cause I am very proud it, both for my yarn choice (Knit Pick Simply Cotton Organic) and the actual knitting. The ravelry pattern was great fun. It was one of my favorite projects I have ever made.

The second baby blanket I finished this year so far is for my new niece Mackenzie. I call this one Lil' Mac Blanket but I got the pattern from ravelry too. She was born last month but I just finished it a couple night ago cause I personally hate pink but I had to knit pink for Lil' Mac on account she is the first girl in a family of 5 boys. They are going to princess the hell out of her I suspect.

Okay that is it for now, but I'll be back with more updates. I'll just have to dig up what I have been doing lately.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A few weeks ago we took a tiny road trip up to Salem, MA which I have always wanted to go to on account of the witch trails BUUUUUUUT, my lovely ladies in the Taunton SnB group gave me the heads up about a little yarn shop in town called Seed Stitch Fine Yarn. So, I dragged my husband, our friends, and their little kids to the yarn shop and man oh man did I love it.

I have managed to go all of my 8 years of knitting without going into a yarn shop. Which is probably a good thing because REAL yarn is hella expensive. But just amazing. I ended up buying a skein of Madeline Tosh tosh sock in Napoli. It's beautiful in person, I wish my pic could really capture how many oranges are in this one skein. It will eventually turn in to a beanie for Tristan cause his favorite color is orange.


I also found these couple skeins of Cascade Yarns 220 Paints, Isle of Skye, which screamed out to me. I have attempted the My So Called Scarf pattern several times over the last few year and I just have not been happy with any colorway I have attempted. As soon as I saw this cascade yarn I knew it was my - My So Called Scarf. I already posted a pic of my WIP MSCS and I am so excited about this. I can't wait til I finish.
Unfortunately, that won't be any time soon on account I have 3 baby blankets in progress at the moment. One I definitely have to finish in the next month. The blanket I am making for my best friend's baby. They don't want to know the gender until birth so no cheesy boy-girl colors for this blanket. We went earth tones, and of course all natural. She doesn't want to see the blanket until its done so I won't be posting an in-progress pic here but I will say that Knit Picks Simply Cotton Organic worsted is delicious looking (you just want to eat it) and like butter to knit with. Its soooooo soft and squishy. I dig it. I wish I could post some pics but I can't risk it. Only half way there, so hopefully in another month (if my wrist tendinitis holds out) I will get this beautiful blanket posted.

This weekend looking forward to the Red Line Yarn Crawl, if I can make it. My first. I just can't spend much more money on yarn. Ouy!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

I was on a roll for a minute there, blogging fairly often compared to the last few years and then I got a job. Blogging tends to stop when I work I guess. But I have been knitting with a vengeance as my name claims and meeting regularly with some funny ladies at the Taunton Stitch N' Bitch which has been a lot of fun. I seriously never expected to land a group AND enjoy them on my first try.

I don't have all my projects with picks handy at the moment but I thought I would at least drop a few pics to get another blog post off and then I will try my darnest to make up for lost posts this weekend.

A few weeks back I got it into my head to introduce a St. Patty's Day knit-a-long to the ladies at my group and some jumped on board with me. For a period of about two weeks in February I was a bit obsessed with knitting green but that seemed to die out on me. Even though I started four green things (one of which a surprised b-day scarf for my best friend that I have yet to finish and her bday is actually St. Patty's Day) I have only finished one of the four projects AND I realized that I messed up my color pattern on it and it will eventually have to be frogged about 2 inches so I can correct the color scheme. Or it will stay as it is forever mocking me for my lack of attention to detail. The first of these unfinished St. Patty's Day projects was a clover hat.

I didn't finish because I ran out of green and when I went to the store to get some more, I ended up buying a totally different green, which was inspired by one of the fun ladies at T SNB. She had this nice shimmery lime colored yarn that she was building a robot with SOOOOOO I bought that and began making this scarf for my own pattern but as I  meantion it is not done. This is a play on St. Patty's day both in color and pattern because not only is it green BUT it also contains a horseshoe cable pattern and horseshoes are supposedly lucky - so there you go a lucky little bday scarf if I get around to finishing it before her bday and have time to ship it across the country so she can wear it on her bday... UNLIKELY.

Then I started this other scarf KNOWING I should finish my BFFs scarf but this KnitPicks yarn called to me and wanted to be a geek scarf with stripes (I have no photo). But of course that is also not finished. But knitting the scarf made me want to make a geeky hat to match and that is when I started this hat...

So there are my adventures in knitting green last month. I, of course, have not touched a single green project IN th emonth of March. But I did start the baby blanket for my best friend's soon to be first born child. I am about 25% of the way done and have until May so at the moment that is my priority project. I have tried to knit only that for the last couple weeks. And with the exception of a scarf I started at the hair salon yesterday while I was getting my hair did...I have held to that rule. Check out these beautiful colors...

Oh yeah and since I mentioned it, I did get my hair did and here is what I did to it...

Turns out I wrote more than I was planning but I will still try to keep this blog beefy job or no job.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did I seriously NOT blog about my sock completion yet?

So! I wanted to try to make a sock so I casted on sock yarn on a size 1 needle and basically did an okay job until I had to get to the heel of the sock. Then I started to suck it up big time. There were holes where I had to add stitches it was just ugly. (BTW, for some reason I hadn't figured out how to properly pick up stitches until a couple days ago.) 

Then I went to a knitting group in Taunton, my first real activity since moving to MA, and was so inspired by sitting there knitting with all the ladies that had braved the freezing weather to knit amongst other ladies and make fun of each other, and eat, and cuss, and laugh at one of the lady's little girls playing in the background --- that I decided to try a thicker sock on thicker yarn with thicker sized needles to FINALLY after several attempts through out my knitting years, successfully finished a sock. 

I ordered some Fisherman's Wool from online and it got there on Friday. So I found this simple pattern Comfy DK Socks on Ravelry and got to work. I was ambitious and tried to finish on Friday but it got late so I wrapped it up at the heel. THE DREADED HEEL. When I got up on Saturday I was hell bent on finishing my first sock and it actually wasn't too hard to do so cause the pattern calls for the double circ method, which is a favorite of mine. I breezed through most of the ribbing and stockinette but when it came to picking up stitches I got nervous and started looking up tutorials online. Which I had done before but none of them ever clicked until that day. Isn't it funny how you can try something a few times and it not make sense and then one day it just does? That is how a lot of my learned techniques with knitting are.

Any who, the second took me a few more days cause I was enjoying my one sock high too much I guess. But I am so proud of them and so enjoying knitting socks with double circular needles. Now if I could only learn to graft for reals my toes wouldn't be so pointy. 

Ronin is curious about the socks

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Went to my first meeting with the Taunton Stitch n' Bitch group I found on Ravelry. It was a lot of fun. The ladies were all nice and ragged on each other all night. A lot better than any weird hippie circle I have sat through before. They even gave me a free hank of sock yarn from Knit Picks for being a newcomer. Which I love cause I am trying to make my first sock right now!!!

It was my first night out since moving here, so I am happy to have finally spoke to other people besides Tree. And they all said I have a Texas accent, can y'all believe that?!?!?! =P It was fun hearing them speak too. An initiation into the New England speak. The words "wicked" and "retahhhded" were dropped a couple times.  I was gonna post a pick of my current sock in progress but I am gonna wait until it is complete, so that the whole thing can be laughed out. Laters.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Johnnie's B-day Hat - Fails and Success

My friend Johnnie, who I have known now for like 12 or 13 years recently commented on some of my knitting pics on Facebook and mentioned he wanted a hat. I bumped him up over other people I have promised hats to cause I love him so much AND he married Tristan and me at a time when it wasn't legal for him to be married in California. so needless to say I feel indebted to him and wanted to get him a groovy hat. 

I started one before I left Austin, tackling what I hoped would be a new skill (double knitting). I was unsuccessful at doing it so I put the project on hold until I moved to Mass cause I wanted to be able to have something to do when I got here. Since I got here I had attempted a couple different hats and wasn't happy with any of them really until I found this pattern for a checkered hat on Ravelry by Spirals420. Johnnie wanted Royal blue & Kelly green so it was a perfect 2 color hat to do. But I am a tight knitter and didn't realize I would knit this thing so tight (with the two strands of yarn) that it would end up being too tiny for my dear friend's big head, or even mine. I will be giving this one to Tristan since he has such a small head. It is super thick and warm, which will be better here in Mass than it would have been in Cali anyway. I really like this pattern though, especially the added touch of a star top its fancy. I think I will make another one in Orange and Grey or Black and Grey.

Taken with iPhone in bad light, sorry. 

I did finally just re-use my plain hat pattern that I did for the purple diagonal dot hat for the final hat attempt for Johnnie. This one turned out to be successful. It will be big enough number one, and also I added a little Greek pattern from the Stitchionary Volume Three. It turned out decent I think. I even got a "that's cool" from Tristan WHILE I repeat WHILE he was playing video games. Normally he can't pay attention to anything but the screen when he plays but he noticed. The flash might be a bit harsh so hopefully you can make out the pattern.

That's it for this one. On to the next project, which is a sock. I will finally try to finish a sock for a change. Keep you posted on that one.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hello from Massachusetts

Well I THINK I have finally settled in to my new (old) home here in Bridgewater, MA. Tristan and I packed up the truck and left Austin on December 27th and after a few days of hard rental truck travel with four cats in the cab we made it here in between snows.

The house we are staying in was built in 1844 and my new landlord wishes that one day she will find out it was a stop on the underground railroad. I guess there are a lot of houses around this area that can make that claim. To me it is just crazy to think I am living in a house that was built when my ancestors were still slaves in this country. It is a nutty house. Has a bunch of oddly angled walls, has different color paint in every room, and my LG TV has no business being in the living room here. (Hahaha) But it is cool. Just such a huge adjustment to go from the heat of Austin and easy access to every comfort and necessity we need, to moving to a town so small that we actually have to drive to other towns and cities to get all the things we need. 

Another oddity is that unlike a regular duplex (or what I am accustomed to living on the West Side) we share a corner with the main house. Not a full wall or a side, but a corner. Ours is the one hiding behind sleeping trees. And oh yeah, did I mention all the snow? Since we have been here it has only snowed twice and not that bad, shoveling was as simple as pushing the shovel against the ground until we hit a snow bank. But from what I hear it can get pretty dicey here from time to time. 

Ronin watching Papa shovel for the first time.

I have done some knitting since we got here but in this small town, it took 10 days until we could get someone to come out and install the Internet and Cable. That's right they have to come out and do that. No sending me a remote and trusting I'll figure it out. I guess in this place, when people move out of homes the cable companies come through and remove the lines to the towers. I don't know why but that is what both the customer service agents AND the installer said. Strange. 

Here are a few of the projects I have recently completed. I did a bit of a detour on promised projects to people to selfishly knit things that would keep my baby and me warm on these cold, cold, days. 

Diagonal Dots (Purple)

I made this hat using my basic hat pattern but added a purl every 6 stitches for some fun. Some friend brought this yarn back from Italy for me about 6 years ago. I have started a number of projects with it but just never got around to finishing anything. Nothing was perfect I guess (until I moved to the snow). It's nice and warm though, so it should do the trick. 

I also made a WWII Balaclava using a pattern I found on Ravelry. I am digging it and hope to make a few more for friends and family. My first attempt at these was not as great (sorry Richard) but I think I redeemed myself on this one. The trick is soft, stretchy yarns.

Turquoise Knittin' Kninja

Well, that is all for now. I got a few more projects to get on sticks since I am currently unemployed in MA so I should be posting more often.