Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Weekend Knitting

I spent most of the weekend doing some "just for fun" knitting. Here's the evidence:

A cotton dishcloth/hot-pad for my sister, the Illini (Univ. of IL basketball) fan:

The Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting...used Caron Simply Soft in Papaya:

And finally, the first two squares for a new baby blanket - for a friend who recently had her second son...yarn is Plymouth Encore:

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Twins

If you wondered what that faint sound in the background might be, it's probably the trumpets blasting and the angels singing Hallelujah. Why, you ask? Because these lace baby blankets are FINISHED!!! And not only are they finished, they are also in the mail, on the way to their new home!!! I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! On one hand, I never want to see them again (because of all the work and all the trouble I had with them)...and on the other, I hated to mail them off (because they were such an accomplishment). But there are two sweet baby girls who will arrive soon and will desperately need some soft, pretty blankies.

Big thanks to Lorraine, from Two Waters Fiberworks for her beautiful yarn and her willingness to work with me on a custom order. Lorraine's the best!!

And so now, I present you with two shots of blanket 2, the Chevron Lace Baby Blanket from Vogue Knitting: Baby Blankets, and a close-up of the "twins" together.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Hair and New Yarn

I got my hair cut yesterday. Back to short hair. It's very similar to what I used to have, but I do like it and it's easy to deal with. Now I need to re-color it.

I also dyed some yarn today! The first skein was done with Kool-Aid...the orange side was 2 packs of Orange and most of one pack of Black Cherry. The blue side was 2 packs of Berry Blue and a pack of Grape. Then I left two sections white to allow for possible bleeding. (I hoped some would stay white and much of it did, so it's good.) I applied this to dry yarn, then wrapped it in saran wrap and microwaved it.

The second skein was done with Wilton's Icing Dyes. I love how it turned out, but must confess that I'm befuddled. After hearing Roberta talk about applying the icing dye like fingerpaints to dry yarn and then overdyeing it, I decided to try it for myself. Now if I looked at this yarn without knowing what I'd done, I would assume I had used many different colors. Not so. With a foam brush, I applied Copper (which is technically supposed to be a flesh tone for icing) and Brown, plus a few streaks of Royal Blue. (this was on dry yarn) Then I prepared an immersion dye with a very small amount of Royal Blue (probably 1/4 tsp) in water and vinegar...and THIS is what I got?!?!? I just don't get it! Like I said, I love the yarn, but??? Oh, and the picture of it all skeined up is actually rather washed out. In person, it's much darker, like the picture of it spread out to dry.

Amazing Lace Team Intro

Name: Julie
Age: 32
City: Nashville, TN
Likes: sunsets, long walks on the beach...oh wait, wrong list of likes. How about...lace, pretty colorways, nice yarn, cooperative needles, lifelines
Dislikes: circular needles that catch at the joins, blunt ends, splitty yarn
Strengths: determination, a fascination with long and tedious things
Weaknesses: a wandering eye when it comes to new projects

Name: Pinwheel Shawl
Age: new
City: Nashville, TN
Likes: smooth needles, a good blocking, a gentle rinse
Dislikes: hot water, dryers, moths
Strengths: a good pattern, easy to follow
Weaknesses: well, it is lace, after all...

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dye-O-Rama Meme

OK, so I'm a little behind the times...but just in case my swap pal is reading...

Questions specific to this swap:

Your favorite colors? green, autumnal colors, orange - pretty much anything

Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)? fingering

Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? both, but I'm a sucker for multicolored

If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn? sure! whatever!

Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)? sure! whatever!

Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it? "It Goes to 11"

What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along? I've been wanting to try dyeing for a while and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

General yarn/fiber questions:

Have you dyed yarn/fiber before? Not prior to signing up for the swap

If so, what’s your favorite dye and method? So far I've only tried Kool-Aid and Wilton's Icing Dyes.

Do you spin? No, but I wouldn't put it past me one day

Have you knit socks before? Yes

Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too? I'll use it wherever I can!

What are some of your favorite yarns? BMFA Socks That Rock, several sellers on Etsy.com

What yarn do you totally covet? BMFA Socks That Rock, of course

Favorite patterns? you know, the standards...Jaywalker, Pomatomus, Elfine...I also really like lace

Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? yeah, too many to list

Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? Addi Turbos and Naturas, love the look of Brittany and Lantern Moon...I use a little of everything, though: Addi, Clover, Bryspun, straight, circular, dpn

If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? I would likely be sock yarn, most likely Socks That Rock or something similar.

Nothing to do with knitting/yarn/fiber in any way but seemed kinda fun:

Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Chocolate all the way

What’s your favorite animal? I like most animals

Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? Yes, a dog, Maggie, a 7 yr old Schipperke mix

If you were a color what color would you be? I would be green

Describe your favorite shirt (yours or someone else’s).. right now I'd have to say my orange Illinois Basketball hoodie sweatshirt (because it's comfy)

What is your most inspiring image, flower, or object in nature? just one?? probably the sea

Tell me the best quote you’ve ever heard or read. one of my faves, "I'm not a box. I don't have sides." -by Meryl Streep's character in Postcards from the Edge

Do you have a wishlist? I do, but it's not written down anywhere

Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Nope!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Blanket 1 Finished

Blanket 1 is now finished and blocked! Blocking truly is a miraculous thing. It just changes the item so much! So here is baby blanket number 1...my own pattern, fingering weight yarn, size 6 needles.

Blanket 2 is now well underway - no new pictures yet. The bad Chevron Lace mojo seems to be lifted, so it's full steam ahead with that pattern. Amazing to see how much of a difference one's needle choice can make...when I originally started it, I was using Clover bamboo needles but have now switched to Addi Turbos. Soooo much easier.

In other news, I signed up for the Amazing Lace Knit-Along. Call me a lemming. Or perhaps it's just the Borg influence? Anyhoo, once I finish Blanket 2, I'll be starting on my lace project!

Monday, May 08, 2006


My Sockapaloooza socks arrived!! And I LOVE them!!! My pal didn't mention what the pattern was, but I love it. The yarn is Bearfoot, which I didn't know had some mohair in it...as a result, I really want to just sit around petting my socks. I love the colorway, too! I'm very, VERY pleased! And even better, my pal included chocolate!! Thanks so much, Carry - you did great!

In other news, I dyed some more yarn. It didn't go well. This time I used Wilton's icing dyes, which work very well for yarn dyeing. However, I think there is some level of skill involved in mixing colors because it didn't go AT ALL the way I intended. I ended up with a very ugly skein of yarn and then decided to give it an all-over dye the next day. The result is still not what I'd call pretty, but it might appeal to someone. I think it looks very rainforest-y. Or perhaps Oscar the Grouch. In real life, it's darker than this picture appears...the actual colors are accurate - just a bit darker. So hey, if you love it, let me know...I'd probably send it your way! (440 yds fingering weight merino sock yarn)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Episode

For those who may be interested...Episode 2 of the CraftBorg podcast is now online. Check it out here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Progress Report

Today is the day to mail the SockapalOOOza socks! Can't wait to see what I receive!

Here are two progress report pictures for you - my first mitered square, done in KnitPicks Shine on size 7 needles, unblocked...obviously...and also a picture of the first of the two lacey baby blankets. The pattern is my own, but the lacey stitch is called Pillar Openwork. The blanket is just about at the halfway mark, which is great...I'm just ready to be finished so I can get it in the mail and start the second one.

We got our Dye-O-Rama swap assignments yesterday, so I am eager to dye my second skein of yarn. I have a good idea of what I would like to do for my pal, but of course being a novice, I have no idea if it will turn out the way I want it to! So be on the lookout for pictures of that little experiment in the days to come...