Sunday, May 25, 2008

felting party (pic heavy!)

last week CK and I arranged a day off together and had fun with felting! We had a couple of salvaged sweaters and our finished Booga Bags.

We put each piece into a pillow case and washed them all on hot in the washer with a couple of cotton towels thrown on top to weigh things down. I had knitted two small pockets and we had our two i-cords which went into the last pillowcase and looked pretty funny, divided apart from each other so as to avoid disaster:


I thought it looked pretty funny, anyway. I didn't bother to photograph the other pillowcases, because they just looked like old pillowcases with lumps inside. use your imagination. We went in 10 minute increments, added more hot water from the kettle a couple of times, and pulled things out from time to time to check. We weren't too concerned with any of the sizing.






became tiny:


The idea with the salvaged sweaters is to cut them up and make something else out of them.

And the bags:


became smaller and fuzzier and lovely:


fuzziness is enhanced by the blurriness of my photo, even after editing it. sorry about that.

hopefully ere long the booga bags will get assembled. not this weekend, though.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

new hampshire sheep & wool festival

last weekend I made it to the NH sheep & wool festival. my first fiber fest. it was perfect, because it (a) was the most beautiful day imaginable (b) wasn't too big and overwhelming and (c) I took a friend's advice and managed to heed it as well - I looked at everything before I bought anything. rock on. here are some of the animals:


these two were parked side by side with a white giant angora bunny, like all three were in their parking spaces, but as soon as the camera came out (and friendly owner opened the cage to allow a better shot) white bunny hightailed it (so to speak) to the other side of the cage. it was so cute when they were all lined up!


then, of course, they got all excited and moved around so it was tough to take a non-blurry shot.

freshly shorn:


and I think this guy's barber ran out of time before the show:


my loot:


As I said before, I was highly selective. The cone is Shephard Sport heathered wool (1750 yd) from Bartlett yarns though it was being resold from another vendor who had picked up loads of it thinking she would knit a million socks on her sock machine, apparently. she was letting it go for half price. I intend to knit with it doubled to make a heavier weight yarn for a fall sweater.

The brown skein is my first ever cashmere! happy happy. It was being sold at wholesale by Kate who said she wanted to introduce people to the wonders of cashmere - when they might otherwise balk at the price. well done, Kate. she sells on ebay, too.

the glorious gorgeous purpleness was a last moment purchase of supersock (400 dyd) from Ball and Skein; I spoke with the owner, who dyes in her barn just up the road apace in W Glover, I'd love to see her operation!


this is the beauty that stole my heart, however, also from Ball and Skein. I considered buying two. for handdyed sock yarn and the yardage, the price was very right. I was however, about $20 over my hopeful estimate of spending a mere $50, and though I felt I'd gotten very good deals I have no idea what I would have done with two of these. in fact I'm not sure about the one. I want everyone to see it so this will not be my first pair of socks (though I am considering the purple for that purpose). fingerless gloves, maybe. though I have ... a few pairs already. anyway, see for yourself:


it is more beautiful in person (isn't it always?) it is olive and turquoise and moss and forest green. I love how the turquoise sets off the earthier woodsy colors. so right up my alley.

I went down with three gals from my knitting group that has managed to meet fairly regularly once a week for the last couple of months. those of us who were not driving were knitting away, and I'm happy to report that I've nearly finished my YAC#4. hurrah!

must be off to eat a very belated dinner but I will first mention that I have just cast on for a second pair of Saartje's booties very much like these (Ravelry link) in that they are the same pattern and yarn but I am knitting them on smaller needles (I considered knitting the smaller size, too, but for a summer baby I think that they'd better be the larger size and ready for fall/winter) but I am attempting to knit them without seams/in the round. my inspiration for this was Bockstark, and I have even managed to work for the first time the Turkish cast on which I found a tutorial for here. it's not that they're not simple as can be when knit as originally designed by Saartje but the opportunity to learn a new cast on has presented itself!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

today's thought provided by Flobots

please feel free to comment. I just heard this song on the radio today and was captivated, so I searched for a video:

Also there is a great version (with better sound quality, and totally different images, on the band's website.)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

catching up

and starting new things. I've just breezed through three knitting podcasts (one Y Knit, one Stash & Burn, and the latest Cast-on) while enjoying my Sunday morning coffee. Which is now Sunday afternoon coffee. I still have 181 podcasts already downloaded (it happens automatically often enough that I can't get through nearly all of the things that are downloaded, and there are hundreds more waiting to be downloaded if I were to every get through what I already have) so clearly listening to a measly three today does not really catch me up.

Other progress... From time to time (when a song is playing on a podcast, or when one ends and before I start something else) I check out some of my crafty bloglines. I'm doing better at catching up there too. It would be nice if I could get that whittled down to under a hundred unread posts. There are certain blogs that I check as soon as they are updated, and others that accumulate a few posts before I get over there and check them all out. That's the way I operate, it would seem. I subscribe to over 40 blogs via Google Reader. Those are just the crafty blogs, now that I mention it. I have a lot of other categories too.... I could do nothing but read blogs and updated websites all day long, but then when would my knitting happen?

I have frogged the satin bamboo Lotus Tank. This yarn just doesn't like needles larger than 3s, it would seem. Last night I swatched (even washed and blocked it, gasp! forgot to take a photo, though) for the Eyelet Chemise (Ravelry link) from IK Summer 06, just a few pages further along in the same issue as the Lotus tank. I had never noticed this pattern before. Yet the Lotus Tank had been something I've intended to knit for ages. I love the shape of the neckline. There I was, loving my bamboo yarn and having a whole cone of it in chocolate brown, and needing something with a slightly smaller gauge. Pop! There was the Eyelet Chemise. The ones I've seen on Ravelry all look lovely, which is always encouraging.


I had to make a decision about the size, though. My gauge swatch came out pretty spot on st wise and just a little off with the row count, which doesn't concern me as much. The two sizes under consideration were 34.5" bust or 38" bust. Being smack in the middle, I thought about how I'd like to wear this cardigan. It'll be lightweight and dainty and most likely worn over a simple tank top. I want it to be more drapey than stretched over my tank though, so I've decided to go up a size. Having a whole cone of satin bamboo at my disposal helps. better a little too big than too small. Of course, if it was too small I would probably be able to finagle a wider edging for the buttons... too late, I've already begun!

The lace pattern is simple but pretty - I love the look of fagoting. I searched to try to find a nice picture to show it to you but I didn't find anything useful - I'll just have to take a closeup shot of my own once it's a little further advanced. I'm into the second rep of the four row lace chart now. Luckily it's going to be memorized soon - as long as I feel confident about the k2togs and ssks and which goes where on which side of the yo's! Make sense now?

260 sts is a long way back and forth. But I love the yarn and I hope this knit is going to be a good one - I'd really like to have another garment OTN - I've been doing smaller projects and accessories and there's nothing like having a new top to look forward to!