Sunday, January 31, 2010

OWOH bonus giveaway

The footies are on their way to Cara in TX.

Friday, January 29, 2010

One World One Heart

Giveaway winners are here.

I was checking out some tweets on Twitter yesterday. One of my pals had a link to One World One Heart. It is an event designed to make bloggers aware of blogs they might not otherwise find. Each participant gives away something, hopefully something handmade. This sounded like fun to me, so I grabbed Wooly Wormhead's Meret (mystery beret=meret) pattern and some Noro Silk Garden and made this. The yarn's a blend of silk, kid mohair, and lamb's wool. It should fit a medium to large size head and is meant to be a little loose and drapey.

If you're a blogger and would like the hat, please leave a comment on this post. I'd like to visit your blog, so it would be good if you left your blog name or address, too. I'll have the random number generator come up with the winner when this event concludes on February 15.

Update #1 I was visiting Halle's Hobbies and got a great idea from her. For every 50 comments, I'll add another thing to give away. These are Crazy, Beautiful Fingerless Mittens done in Malabrigo merino wool in the Forest colorway. They are ribbed which means they should fit a wide range of hand and arm sizes. If you're a Ravelry person who'd like to make your own, this pattern's on sale there with 100% of the proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders.

Update #2 Just when I had time to come back here and check things out, the post hit 100 comments. Thanks! Here's a Ho(o)t Coffee cozy. It buttons in place and should fit a lot of mug sizes. Sorry, mug not included in the giveaway.
Update #3 This is the last addition to the giveaway. It's a cable bag knit from a wool/llama blend yarn. The handles and the pattern came from the current issue of Simply Knitting. It's about 10" square and would make a fun small project bag (it's lined so you wouldn't have to worry about your needles poking out).

How the giveaway will work: Early on Monday morning my time, I'll get the random number generator to generate four numbers. I'll contact all four people at that time. The lowest number will get first pick, second lowest gets second pick, etc. This is mainly because the lowest numbered people may not know there is more than one prize. When the prizes are all sorted out, there will be a new post with that information.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Click Here

Ravelry is a dangerous place sometimes. It is the only place on the web where the ads are interesting and relevant to me. Skimming the titles of forum postings can also lead me into mischief. Today there were two incidents.

I'd never heard of illusion knitting before. A forum posting mentioned a Dr Who pattern, so my curiosity got the better of me. It is a free pdf at Wooly Thoughts. There are some examples of illusion knitting and some really interesting math-based knitting. I downloaded the pattern for the Mona Lisa. I still wasn't totally clear on illusion knitting. Google led me to a site that was new to me, WikiHow. Not only does it supply definitions, it supplies instructions. WikiHow says:

Shadow knitting, or illusion knitting, is a process of knitting such that the finished piece has a hidden image only viewable from an angle. The effect will be created by alternating rows of two colored yarns so that the raised stitches from one row block out the flat stitches of another row.

The illustration shows a piece of knitting that viewed straight on looks striped. It looks like a fun thing to try some day. Maybe in March. February is looking like it'll already be chock-full of knitting fun.

My style of knitting is a mutant form of continental. It's worked okay for me for all these years, but it is becoming apparent that I need to make some changes. I've done a couple of knit alongs lately and it looks like everyone else's socks look better than mine do. I'm seriously considering taking a class and may have happened upon a good one via a Ravelry ad. Annie Modesitt is offering online classes in combination knitting. I think I'll wait until Ravelympics and Iron Knitter are over to try this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paintbox Quilt - Week 2

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
The blocks are better this week, but still not the size they are supposed to be. I changed the foot on my machine and took extra care in cutting, but they still are slightly smaller than what they should be. I'm going to try a different cutting method next week. If that doesn't improve things, I'm going to square them all up at 6.25" instead of 6.5". The quilt police can bite me if they thing I'm going to worry about it.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finished stuff

Originally uploaded by Paula knits

  • Kitchen rug. One of the cats is afraid of it.
  • Dead parrot cat toys. They go in the mail this week with the other swap goodies.

I'm restarting the Knitters Brewing Co mystery socks with an extra pattern repeat. The mosaic pattern tightens the tops up a lot.

I had so much fun with the mosaic pattern that I'm going to start another pair of socks that uses the same technique.

I'm doing just things that cheer me up because I need that right now. Sometimes there are things you wish you could fix and you can't fix them. At least with knitting you get do overs.

Friday, January 22, 2010

I Haz Startitis

I got a bunch of projects done at the end of last year. This resulted in a nasty case of start-itis:

  • I have about 3/4 of a kitchen rug knit out of this stuff. Three strands held together goes pretty fast, but it's all k1 p1. I got bored with it.

  • I have about 3/4 of a patchwork afghan done. It's supposed to go to Haiti with another one I did last week. I got bored with it and feel tremendously guilty because I should stop everything else and work on it and get it in the mail.

  • Iron Knitter, pattern 1 of 6. This jumped to the top of the queue because of timing issues. I also finished it because of the same timing issues. I have no illusions about becoming the ultimate Iron Knitter, but I still want to see how far I can go.

  • Girls Night Out (Knitters Brewing Company mystery knitalong). I'm completely insane to add a KAL to the mix. This is the first clue. I'm a week behind (the second clue has been released already). It involves intarsia in the round. I'd recently given up trying to master it on my own, so that's my excuse for doing this.
    There are so many different little techniques, it's the perfect antidote for endless crocheted rectangles and endless k1 p1.

I have 3 smallish swap projects that have to be done in the next week. In two weeks I'm going to drop everything and knit a sweater and a couple amigurumi for the Ravelypmics. Maybe if I got a little sleep, this would all start to make more sense.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Paintbox Quilt, Week 1

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
Okay, I'm done ranting and fussing and have moved on to the sewing machine. I got a roll of solid color 2 1/2" strips of Kona cotton in the dusty shades (equilter has it and shipped it promptly).

Each week we make four pairs of blocks. Each pair involves a solid and coordinating print. They won't all be pink. I started at one end of the roll and that end just happened to have pinks.

What I learned this week:

  1. Even though the directions say the prints should be 10" squares, they don't have to be exactly that. The squares get cut up into other pieces so I can use fat quarters and other scraps.
  2. Precision is important. When I do the cuts for next week, I'll use one of the big rulers.
  3. Precision REALLY is important. When I sew next week, I'll put the quarter inch foot on my machine.

When the pieced squares are done, there's a strip of solid fabric 1.75" x 40" left. I'm carefully saving these. I don't thing the quilt calls for them to be used and I think they could be pieced into something pretty groovy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Theoretical Questions

Let's say that you are preparing for a sock mystery knitalong. It's the sort of thing where you want to be ready to start just as soon as you get your hands on the pattern. Wouldn't you expect to have an idea of how many yards the designer and test knitters used to make a specific size? And would you want to know if the best yarn to use would be solid or variegated?

(rant on)
I know the yarn used for the first sock, but not the size of the sample. We've been told we need 100 grams of yarn for each pattern. I sorted through my stash on and found a more than 50 yard difference in 100 grams of sock yarn. If the sample socks are size six and use a 460 yard skein, I'm not going to do well with size ten and a 410 yard skein.

I know that at least the first sock will look best with plain yarn. None of the plain yarn I have is over 425 yards and I'm not going to drop everything to go buy more frakking sock yarn.

A last minute requirement is a working knowledge of famous female authors. I can't believe I'm the only one out of a hundred sock knitters who never needed to know anything about famous female authors, but it appears that I am. I'm not getting my pattern until after the people get it who do have this knowlege. I didn't want my horrible ignorance to be an advantage, but I didn't want it to be a punishment either. I'm not going to let them force me out, though. I intend to finish this event.
(rant off)

I'm digging through my stash for the most yardage. Thank you, Code Monkey, for making it possible to sort my Ravelry stash that way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Crochet Break

I've got 1 blankie done and a second about 75% done. I'm slowing down because it's a little less interesting. I've worked in all of the previously made squares. I've used up all of the odd balls of yarn and will be finishing with several full skeins.

The good thing is that the bin that was full of acrylic yarn will be empty when this is done. The few remaining yarns will go to live in the What Was I Thinkin? bin with the seriously strange yarns. I found three bears in the bottom of the bin that will be completed and shipped off to the Mother Bear Project.

I hope to have everything done tomorrow. The fabric for my Paintbox Quilt is supposed to arrive and I'll need that bin for a major dig through the fabric stash.

It's time to grab a cup of cocoa, the G hook, and get it done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Crochet Break

I can't get my head around the death and destruction in Haiti. It's like the entire population of the town I grew up in was wiped out all at once. Since I've got more yarn and time than I have money, I've been crocheting like mad. I found someone who is collecting blanket squares for charity. I'm going to clear out as many of my washable fibers as possible and use up all the squares I got in various swaps. At least one of the blankets is going to look a bit unusual. Still, it'll be better than sleeping on a sheet of plastic which is what many folks are doing right now.

The Yarn Harlot reports that her totals for MSF/DWB are $46,000 higher now than they were this morning. AND she still has a whole bunch of emails that she hasn't tallied yet. I like it very much that people from all over the planet are doing what they can to help.

P.S. to the individuals that have a problem with people taking action: seek professional help.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

The Knit-Signal has appeared in the sky over Toronto. The Yarn Harlot has called on all of us to help the people of Haiti with donations to Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières. I'm just giving the signal a little boost here on the off-chance that someone who does not read her blog comes by. Click on the link for further instructions. I'll be making my own donation shortly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Send in the Clowns (and Hello Kitty)

Originally uploaded by Paula knits
This is alpaca/punta/merino blend spinning fiber from Fiber Fancy. It is called Send in the Clowns. I had to buy it because I was buying some other fiber for a swap gift. It's really nicely prepared. I think I do better spinning with better prepared fiber. I have high hopes for this stuff.

My sleeping is still out of whack, so I'm often online in the middle of the night, getting into mischief. Last night I bought a Hello Kitty knitting machine after reading about them on Ravelry. had them, I have a gift card from Target, so you can do the math.

My next trick was signing up for the Paintbox Quilt-Along, which involved me buying a roll of 2.5" wide Kona solid fabrics in 40 different colors. I'll need 40 squares of print fabric to go with them, but my fabric stash should take care of that. If my quilt is half as nice as the samples, it'll be really striking.

Fabric is calling louder than yarn at the moment. I have been keeping warm with one of Folkwear's Siberian Parkas and decided to make another one. Hancock's got tons of fleece on sale, so I picked up several yards of it. It's pink. It should match my new knitting machine.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New LYS Cumming GA

I spotted this on Ravelry:

Name: Fleece
Address: 549 Lake Center Parkway
Phone: 770-886-5648
Off Buford Dam Road just West of 400
In a strip mall behind The Summit

I'll save this as a reward for when I get all the little stupid tasks done that I've been avoiding. The little stupid tasks list has 15 things on it. If I make myself do one task every day, I could go there in two weeks or so.

They are opening on Monday (I'm assuming 1/18) at 10 am.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Originally uploaded by Paula knits
My brain's turned to mush, so focusing on anything fibery has been difficult. I turned a big ball of roving into something resembling yarn. I then took the "yarn" and turned into something resembling a hat. The pattern's the Ballard Slouch Hat. Yeah, there was a pattern. It's not the pattern's fault it isn't visible. It was just me, using my homemade "yarn" in multiple colors when a solid would've been appropriate.

The hat is warm and comfortable and it reminds me of visiting Archie McPhee's in Ballard. I can also get the lid on my spinning fiber bucket. I think this counts as a success.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

DIY Sock Club

Whining about flaky sock clubs is so 2009. The one way of getting what you like when you expect to receive it is by doing it yourself. The Yarn Harlot was tweeting earlier about putting together her own sock club for herself, and I was inspired to do something similar.

I decided to go with a seasonal theme and do four kits. Each kit has sock yarn and a pattern in a project bag, along with a little "surprise". There are fun things that have accumulated around here over the last couple of weeks. I'll probably forget I have them and they really will be a surprised when the time comes. They are all stashed away in this bag my brother gave me. Just looking at it makes me happy and not at all whiny.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year, New Plans

I finished my last 2009 UFO before 2009 was history, so now it is time to plan my next move. There may be other unfinished objects around here, but they were started before 2009 and therefore do not count. I may work on them before the next deadline falls, but I make no promises.

Iron Knitter-I think this starts 1/20/10. I don't know what yarn I'll need, but odds are really good that I have it already. There will be six patterns. There's not much of anything I can do ahead of time. This will likely overlap Ravelympics here and there. Big fun.

Ravelympics-I think this starts on Groundhog Day.

For Team Copper Boom, I'll be knitting the Imagine sweater for the Sweater Slalom.
For Team Big Damn Heroes, I'll be making two things for the Skele-gurumi event. One will be a Chinese Zodiac Tiger (Chinese New Year falls during this time period) and it'll be the year of the tiger. The other piece is a amigurumi Hello Kitty that will be altered to be a Maneki Neko (lucky cat). If I need something else to work on (you there, stop laughing! it could happen) I'll enter one of the pattern competitions. I've been wanting to make a journal bag out of recycled sari silk. It would be similar to a messenger bag, only about half as wide.

This leaves around three weeks for me to get into all sorts of mischief. I think I'll go give my Ravelsox another try.