Friday, April 30, 2010

Too late for gloves & scarves?

Nah!  Especially these two! 

I finished up some fingerless mitts for hackerblinks - coding mitts, for those freezing hands that need to type so much ;-)  By the way, he's got a new cd out - here are links to the iTunes download and hard copy!  The album was done as part of the RPM Challenge.

Coding Mitts Details are HERE! Yes! That, folks, is a link to my Ravelry Project Page for the mitts.  This is a new feature added by the awesome people maintaining Ravelry.  You can now see my page without logging in!  (By the way, if you're a knitter or crocheter and you're not on Ravelry, seriously...check it out.  Or, if you're a coder & want to check out their implementation details...)

This is my Drop Stitch Scarf, made from yarn I bought on vacation in Manzanita last year.

I really like it so far!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Tote Bag

Here's my latest, the work of Sunday Evening!  (Ok, a little bit on Monday too.) (note: this was actually a couple weeks ago, and I never posted the post...)

Pattern:  Fat Quarter Tote Tutorial

Mods: My fat quarters were narrow, so my cut pieces were 10.5in wide.  I also decided that I wanted longer handles, so I cut two 1.75in strips out of both fabrics and used one on either side of the handle.  The liner, cut from a 3rd fat quarter, sticks out more than suggested as well. 

I was impressed that I finished this bag in so short a time.  Really a total of less than 3 hours.  And probably the next one will go faster.  Since I finished the bag, it has been my project bag for a scarf I'm working on.  The perfect size & it folds up and fits in my purse! (Ok, so my purse is large...)

Changes for next time?  I might actually add some interfacing, especially to the handles, just for a bit more support.  But other than that, it's a super cute bag, the tutorial is easy to follow, and I've proven to myself that it's useable! 
I have come to somewhat of a conclusion about my crafting though.  I really like the DOING it.  But, I also fully understand that I cannot POSSIBLY keep everything I make.  Fortunately, the people I'm close to like (I think...) getting handmade stuff! (Let me know if you don't ;-) )  Of course, I do love using stuff I made, especially when people ask me where I got it ;-)

That's all for now.  I have more things to post about.  Will try (again) to be more consistent.  Maybe I should schedule posts for myself...  Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Down to 4!

So, I finished 2 projects over the weekend.  The Endpaper Hat for mom (ravlink), and officially finished my Hedgerow socks (ravlink).  Both a success I think!  Just hoping the hat fits mom w/ the liner sewn in.  This puts my project count at 2 on-the-needles, and 2 felted/sewing projects.  Since making the deal about the number of projects I have going on, we decided that the sewing projects don't really count.  (Especially since what's keeping me from finishing those is the disaster that is my desk...)  Also, from my initial list, I frogged (knit-speak for un-raveled) #2, and will frog #10 as soon as I find it...
Details on the Endpaper Hat
Pattern: Endpaper Hat by Kate Hiester(ravlink) - Pattern is from Eunny Jang's Endpaper Mitts
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Suri Merino in blue and cream
Needles: Final version on US 7s
Time elapsed: Too much!
Attepmts: 2 (first wasy VERY small... note to self, 2 strands doesn't mean pull tighter...also, check gauge sooner...)
Firsts: This project had a lot of firsts - it was my first stranded project,  my first doing the vertical double decreases that make the white lines on the crown, first doing applied (or any!) i-cord, and first doing a sewn in liner (don't make fun of my hand sewing...).

Guess what that means!  I'm down to 2 knitting projects!  And yep, I definitely started a new project (and have about 15 more in my head).  I am swatching for the February Fitted Pullover using a brilliant blue cotton-acrylic that I recycled from a Value Village sweater.  Actually fairly similar in color to the pattern photo. 
I'm still making progress on my Kimono sweater also - the back is nearly done (about 1 in to go).  I'm thinking of making it a 3/4 length sleeve top also, since it has billowy kimono style sleeves that would annoy me if I wore it to work.  I finally figure out with the cotton - I really get messed up if I work on it too long.  Shoulders/neck get all knotted.  Soooo, I've been working on it at lunch at work - 4-5 rows at a time (back rows are long, and the purl rows take forever...).  Perfect!  Progress + no soreness! 
Now I just have to figure out what yarn to use for summer tops, etc, since apparently lots of 100% cotton is not a great idea.  Lined up right now are the Feb. Fitted Pullover, and the Shaped Lace Tee from Knitting Lingerie Style (ravlink).  For the lacy tee, I have some Cascade Sierra, which has some wool in it.  I'm really looking forward to trying it out!
I suppose that's enough knitting talk for one day.  Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mostly Hats

Ok, so this is pathetically late, but I thought I already hit the 'post' button.  Apparently I should think harder. Or something.  These are projects I did mostly for Christmas, with a few others sprinkled in.  All of these projects were great, and I would recommend/remake every pattern. 

The Not-yet-blogged-but-already-finished (mostly) Knitting List includes (photos appear in clockwise order, w/ first of group on top left):

#1 - Turn-A-Square Hat for Dad - This was actually a birthday gift, but completed in the midst of these others. (ravlink)  The pattern is fairly popular among knitters, and gets its name from the top view - the stripes (subtle in my version) make squares. 
#2 - Endpaper Hat for Mom - ya, this was Christmas knitting.  Ask me WHY it is still on my to-be-finished list...(really...i have no good reason.) (ravlink).  This pattern borrows the colorwork pattern from the Endpaper Mitts
#3 - Jane hat for Sister - This was given a bit before Christmas, since she pulled it out of my purse to show off my knitting to a friend (she didn't know it was for her...). (ravlink)  This is one of the 3 hats I've done by Jane Richmond (see my last post for the 3rd). 
#4 - Snapdragon Tam for Aunt - It was cold in Texas this year! (ravlink)  This was the 2nd cable project I've ever done.  This is one of Ysolda's patterns, it was very well written.

#5 - Butterfly Beret for Mom - She got two!  Well, this one is actually done. ;-)  And I hear has gotten a lot of use. (ravlink)  It's a great, loose fitting but sharp looking pattern.
#6 - Candle Flame Scarf for Mom-in-Law - I want some of this yarn for myself - it is SO soft, and superwash!  Scarf is a shorter one with keyhole. (ravlink)
#7 - Last Minute Beret for Mom-in-Law - To use up the bits remaining from #6. (ravlink)
#8 - Austin Cap for me - otherwise known as the "I Need a Hiking Hat for tomorrow" Hat (ravlink)  This photo is actually missing the brim that I've added since then. 

#9 - Autumn hat for me - This used to be a belt... (ravlink)

As for yarn, #s 1, 3, 4, 7, and 8 are Cascade 220 Superwash (#8 is actually made of leftovers from #1).  6/7 are Lornas Laces Shepherd Worsted (super soft!!!).  9 is Cascade Venezia (only one that's not machine washable).  Superwash is awesome!  I've really enjoyed working with the Cascade 220 so far - it's less expensive, has great results, and softens up nicely when washed.  I'm looking forward to making something bigger out of some in the (near?) future.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two more down. Kind of.

My knitting project count is officially 1 less!  I finished the Drops 103-1 jacket late last week (ravlink).   This leaves 7 projects.
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Forest Heather, nearly 27 skeins, held 3x. (ok, call me crazy now...).  Biggest problem I might have with this sweater: Um...Do I have to wash this in the bathtub? Cause it's not going to fit in my bathroom is debatable. 
I wore it Friday to work - not much AT work cause it's too warm - and then as a coat on Saturday.  I got a couple complements from random people on the ferry just after this photo was taken.  That made my day!  The buttons are from Nancy's Sewing Basket.

I cheated a bit on the 'no new projects' rule (see that post on my knitting proj. count) and made a Pasha hat this weekend
(ravlink).  This is for one of my sister's friends.  She picked out the yarn color (which is fantastic!) and the pattern (equally great!).  This is the third hat I've made by Jane Richmond.  All 3 have been quick, easy, well written, and had a great fit.  The other two were Autumn (ravlink) and Jane (ravlink), which I apparently never posted about.  More on those next time (I think there was a post in my head from Christmas time which never actually got done...oops.).

We spent this weekend running around like crazy - Silverdale on Saturday, and around Seattle on Sunday.  Silverdale included a trip to a great breakfast place with the in-laws, a haircut, and a retirement party for a great-uncle. Oh, and I got a new purse. :-)  Sunday included church, a show that my college roommate is in, and flute choir (all on opposite ends of town, of course...). 

In other news, I've learned to drink Americanos.  All due to one that hub got at our favorite Kirkland coffee shop, Urban Coffee Lounge.  That first one is still the best I've had...but I'm giving them a shot.  (ha, a 'shot'.  ok not that funny.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

What we did this weekend...

Check out a preview of what we did this weekend on the Solace Arts Photography Blog.  The owners of the business, Emily and Kolby, are friends from college who recently moved back into the Seattle area, and are working to get their photography business re-established here.  We got to participate in one of their QuickTake Sessions to help out.  If you need a photographer, check them out!

We also...skipped Valentines Day.  Or rather, postponed it, because I was sick.  Yek.  I'm mostly recovered now...if my ears would just get unclogged and my throat a bit less scratchy so my voice could go back to normal... yeah.  We did get to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Cactus, for lunch before the photography session. 

Other than that, the inlaws and a favorite cousin came over for the afternoon yesterday, which was fun, except I nearly lost my voice cause I talked so much more than I had for the last several days.  I didn't get much knitting done while I was sick, unfortunately.  However, I think I got through a season's worth of Gilmore least enough to drive A. crazy with them ;-)

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

So little time, so many games...

This solves one of our household problems:  Game choice paralysis.  In layman's terms...  we kept talking about a glorified random number generator that would pick a game for us to play, since we have so many, sometimes forget about the ones we've had for a while, and in general like somewhat different style games.

Now we have (thanks to hub!) something that makes it all easier!

Anyone up for a gamenight? ;-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

PDX and Accomplishing things

Last week I decided, sort of spur of the moment, to make a trip down to Portland.  On Tuesday, I bought a train ticket.  The train ride between Portland and Seattle is something I've done multiple times, mostly during college, but a few times since then.  It's a great way to travel, cutting out the long, construction and traffic clogged drive down I-5.  I think I want to do it more. :-)

I almost made a case for starting a new knitting project for the trip, since none of my projects were really travel-ready.  But...instead I restarted a project.  I frogged the long-in-process Windermere Scarf and started over on an Elm Row Scarf (ravlink).  No photos yet, but I have 4 of 25 repeats done.

Once I got to Portland, my parents and I stopped at Isabel's Cantina for some lunch.  Yum.  Wish I lived closer ;-)

Then we headed out to my grandparents house.  We ended up with a nice group of people & hung out for the afternoon & evening.  Dad made pheasant, with an orange-persimmon glaze.  More yum.  And I think there were 6 sides - so much food.  I also got a bunch of work done on my Otto bear - finished up the 2nd arm.   He still looked like an anteater. 

I finished Otto Sunday morning, just in time to meet with his recipient.  Well, I did give him a nose job while we were having tea.  It just wasn't right the first time.  (And he no longer looks like an anteater!)  It was great to get together w/ my mom-to-be friend one last time before the baby is born.

I gifted Otto with a super cute hat and blanket set from KinderCotton, which is run by one of the gals I knit with.  Sorry for the dark photos...I was in a hurry ;-) 

On Sunday, I spent a bit of time in Portland with my parents before starting the trip back north.  I got a couple cool photos of this wall outside the EcoTrust building in the Pearl District. 

Anyway...overall it was a great weekend, I got a lot accomplished, and it was great to see everyone!

Friday, January 29, 2010

(Temporary) Sock Fail

Well, I thought I had finished my Hedgerow socks (ravlink).  So here's the details...

Pattern: Hedgerow Socks by Jane Cochran
Started on: June 26, 2009
Finished on: TBD.
Yarn: KnitPicks Essential Kettle Dyed (now Stroll), Timber
Projects left to complete: 9

Overall I thought this pattern was great, not quite sure why it took so long to finish them.  With a 2 row repeat, it's super easy to memorize the pattern & do on the go without needing the (well written) instructions for most of it. 

The socks themselves are nice and soft.  The first one fits great!  The second one (and the reason I thought they were finished) is about 1/2in short, so I need to take out the toe and add a bit.  As for mods: the only thing I did was to kitchner the last 8 sts of the to instead of pulling the yarn through, but I'm not sure it would have made a difference one way or another.

I like the yarn - hopefully it will hold up well.  At the end of the day - I would recommend this pattern as one that is fairly simple, has a great fit, and looks great too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Too Many Projects

So, I made an agreement last week with the Hub. Actually, he made me index-finger-swear (cause I can knit without a pinky...). I need to get back down to an appropriate number of knitting projects. 10 is not an appropriate number. Per our original agreement from when I started knitting, 3 is the magic number. With the amazing (to me anyway) amount of FOs I had over Christmas ( that post is still on my list of things to post about...), you'd think that I didn't have anything left on the needles. HA.

What are these 10 projects that have been hanging around for months (or days, in some cases...) at a time? Let me show you. Most recent to been-around-forever.

#1 - Most recent is actually a gift. It hasn't been gifted yet, so I'll have to keep quiet about that one. However, since I'm pretty sure the recipient doesn't have a ravelry account, here's the ravlink. I really just started it on the 19th, so not too bad.  No photos up yet.

#2 - Teaching Mitts - Started: Jan 7.  I started these mitts to make along with these by Hub. Yes, I'm teaching him to knit. Yes there is a reason for that. I've been asked by a couple other people (friends at work, relatives, etc) to teach them how to knit. However. I'm not a fantastic teacher. So! I had this idea that if I taught someone who teaches better than I do, they could give me feedback on what I did/didn't do well. Enter Hub. Hurrah! A fantastic student & looking to be a great knitter too! Check out this first bit of his gloves!

#3 - Drops 103-1 Jacket.  Started Nov. 17.  I've been trucking along on this sweater, which I HAVE to finish very soon, cause it'll soon be way too warm to wear it.  I love it so far though, and hope it fits really well.

#4 - Endpaper Hat - Started Nov. 2.  This is a gift for my mom, who received it for Christmas.  I brought it home with me to finish it.  And hauled it back to OR again, didn't finish it again, and now it's back up here with me, waiting for the fleece band to be sewn inside.  Oy.

#5 - Kimono Sweater - Started August 8.  This got put aside for #3, and cause it's cotton and hard on my hands.  It's lighter weight though, so will be good for spring.  

#6 - Hedgerow Socks - Started on: June 26
These were started as an 'I need something easy' project for a day trip. The yarn is nice to work with, the first sock is lovely & fits perfectly, the pattern is cute & practical...And the second sock is still only 2/3 done. 

#7 - Felted Needle Holder - Started on: June 28  Again, knitting is done. I need to trim the edges of the felted material, figure out how to cut the fabric to make the needle pockets I want, it together.

#8 - Windermere Scarf - Started on: April 30
I started this for our real estate agent who stuck with us through the purchase of our condo, a short sale that took 6 months to complete, and whom I would recommend to anyone on the Eastside (Seattle east side that is...not eastern WA.) The real question I love this pattern (or working with lace weight) enough to continue with this project. Gifting it (or something else...) would still be fantastic.

#9 - Felted Purse - Started on: March 15
This Well, the knitting is done. What needs to be done is to try to reblock it cause I'm not super happy with the shape. And then...there's some super cute fabric waiting to be sewn in as a liner.

#10 - Is a scarf that has been in 'hibernation' for too long.  Start date on it says Feb. 3. 2009.  I think this will get taken out.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday Sunrise

These photos are from yesterday morning, right out our bedroom window (which doesn't have a screen right now...)  We no longer live by the lake, but we can now see the sunrise ;-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back to the Blogosphere...

Ok, so really, I want to do better about posting. Really. Plus, I've got a LIST of ideas for blog posts. Better get started.

So, the sum-up of the last month and a half...

We're finally feeling recovered from our holidays, which included 3 states (including Texas), a graduation, an unexpected death and memorial service, a last-minute wedding, 3 family Christmas parties, a party with college friends, a breakfast with high school friends, a showing of White Christmas at the 5th Avenue Theater, 2 New Years parties, knitting 6 hats and a scarf for other people, and a partridge in a pear tree. Ok, so the last one didn't really exist.

Last weekend was the quarterly D&D event held by a group of friends in PDX, so we were down there again for that. I don't play, as I have a hard time gaming at 2am...but I do get to see friends & family. This time, I went on a hike with a friend from high school and her friend visiting from out of town. We were planning a snowshoeing trip around Mt. Hood, but since the last month has been very (VERY) mild, there's not much snow. We opted for the short hike up to the top of Multnomah Falls.

The folks at the visitor center were helpful and gave us a map of the trails in the surrounding area (great 5-6mile hikes if you've got a bit more time, they say). Going to the top is a steep 1.2mi one way trip, including 11 switchbacks. Deceiving though, cause the last 3 are downhill ;-)

I took a bunch of photos cause...well...I'm out of shape, and it's a good excuse for stopping.

Multnomah Falls is one of the places my family has always frequented, since much of our family lives in Corbett.  Outings (as did ours this weekend) often included a stop for lunch at the Charburger in Cascade Locks.  It's a funky place, has a great view of the river, and the burgers & pies are not too bad either.