Have Ewe Any Wool?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Lights! Camera! Action!

I've got pictures! My dear husband has graciously volunteered to take some pictures of this years creations for me. I have a few others that still need to be photographed, but I didn't want to take advantage of him....I promised to make the "photo shoot" as quick and painless as possible. I also have some pictures that are still on film....yes, I said film. There are still a few of us that are throw-backs to the old days of the 35mm camera....and the undeveloped film. I hope to "free" these images soon and scan them in for display as well.

Going a bit crazy with socks....part of my attempt to whittle down the stash a bit. The socks I'm wearing in the picture were made from Lang Jawoll wool sock weight yarn in a dark blue with turquoise bits. These were made using the Fiber Trends "Hellen's Favorite Socks" pattern - a 3/1 rib using size 1 1/2 needles.

The blue striped socks were made with Idena "Crazy" on size 4 needles using the "Crazy Socks" pattern. Both the Jawoll and Crazy socks were started and finished this month.

The wild colored socks were made from Fortissima Colori Socka sock weight yarn using size 2 1/2 needles. These "uglies" were completed in February. However, I must admit that one sock (and the top of the second sock) was completed about 3 years ago....but since I didn't really like the colors (especially the yellow with the smudgy black throughout), I let them "fester" until "stash busting" got the best of me. I used the freebie Socka pattern to make these.

The final pair of socks, the royal blue solid ones, were made from Jo Sharp 100% DK weight wool. I actually completed 1/2 of the ribbing of the first sock about 1 year ago while keeping a friend company at the hospital. I used the basic sock pattern I got when I took the sock class
at Hunt Country Yarns a few years ago. These socks knit up super fast because I got to use size 5 DPNs. Wahoo! It feels so good to finally finish some of my UFOs as well as use up a few skeins from my stash!

On the right is a picture of a couple my favorite creations from this year - a felted purse and a warm, cuddly hat.

The felted bag is the "Sophie Bag" (pattern available from the Mag Knits website). I made it out of purple Cascade 220. I LOVE the twisted handle. My big dilemma now is how to finish it. The bag is fine as is, but I could
"embellish" it a bit. Should I add a button at the top? Or should I create felted flowers and artfully attach them to the bag? What if I embroider a flower on it? Or....needle felt a an artsy design on it? Decisions, decisions.

Ah....the "Big Cossack". I LOVE this hat! The pattern is from the book "Folk Hats" by Vicki Square. The pattern calls for Mountain Colors Moguls and Cascade Magnum. However, I fell in love with the Mountain Colors Mohair Loop at Capital Yarns and used that instead of the Moguls and a double strand of Lamb's Pride Bulky instead of the Magnum. The Mohair Loop had a lovely sheen that was not present in the Moguls. I was VERY pleased with both the appearance and the fit of the finished hat....as well as the "cuddliness"!

The scarf is made from Crystal Palace Fizz Stardust. It's white with silver metallic mixed in (sorry....the picture doesn't capture this well at all.). The scarf was made entirely while riding in a car. It's a very easy pattern (plain ol' garter stitch on large needles), but produces a rather elegant scarf thanks to the wonderful yarn.

The hat is made from variegated Red Heart acrylic. It's a basic ribbed hat topped off with a pom-pom. I intend to donate it to a worthy charity.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Awesome Inspirations!

Wow! While poking around the Angel Yarns forum, I followed a link to the Knitty Blog. It's absolutely awesome! Her blog is loaded with pictures of gorgeous completed projects, free patterns, and some fabulous sounding recipes. I just love the "Brainwash Purse" and must add that to my "to do" list (as if I need another project!!!!) To say that I'm inspired is an understatement!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Simply Knitting" and my quest for stitch markers

I love the UK knitting magazine, "Simply Knitting". Every month, they provide a knitting related free gift. The magazine comes packaged in plastic wrap with the freebie inside and is available at a number of local book stores. This month, the free gift was a set of 5 beaded stitch markers. I thought, "How cute and useful! I can't wait until the March issue is available.".

I checked locally on Sunday.....the magazine had not yet arrived. While out of town on Tuesday, I checked at another store. Nope.....not there yet.

Wednesday - the magazine is here! I rushed to Barnes and Noble, only to find that they ONLY had the magazine.......it was NOT packaged in the plastic wrap and did NOT include the freebie. I was devastated! I checked at the info desk and they checked in the back. They left a message for the manager.....but I've heard nothing. I checked at another Barnes and Noble....same thing! No plastic packaging.....no freebie. I called Books A Million - they don't even carry it!!!! I'm starting to panic now....I'm running out of bookstores! Must.......get......my.....freebie. Need........stitch......markers! I'm becoming obsessed.

As a last resort, I went to Borders. SUCCESS!!!! I got the last copy! Hopefully, Barnes and Noble will get this mess straightened out.....I don't know if it was the supplier of the magazine who omitted the freebies or if someone at the stores neglected to repackage the magazines with the freebies. I've got my fingers crossed that they'll get this straightened out before next month!

NOTE: Next month, the freebie is not nearly as exciting or useful.....and all the British folks are rather unimpressed with it......a miniature "Loopa" from Sirdar. I probably won't be as obsessed about that freebie. Previous freebies have included knitwear labels, a knitting tips book, a retractable tape measure, a pattern booklet, etc.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Socks! Socks! And MORE Socks!

Whew! I've been busy finishing off unfinished socks and attempting to "destash". I finished a pair of rather thick royal blue socks in Jo Sharp DK wool earlier this year (knitted VERY quickly on size 5 needles....although I started the ribbing of the first sock over 1 year ago!!!!).

I FINALLY finished a pair of Fortissima socks (the self patterning stripey Faire Isle sock yarn). These were done on the size 21/2 double points....so they took a while. These socks have been on the needles for at least 3 years.....one sock was complete and the other was half-way done! It feels soooo good to have finally finished them! My only regret is that I'm not really keen on the colorways....lots of reds and yellows, where I'm a purple and blue person.

I've also nearly completed (doing the toe decrease on the second sock right now) on a pair of Idena Crazy Socks. This yarn has been in my stash for a couple of years. It's pretty much a blue and grey self striping yarn of DK weight. I used the Crazy Sock pattern that was designed for this yarn and didn't really like how they picked up the heel or decreased the toe. I reviewed the Fortissima instructions as well as the instructions for my favorite basic pair of socks (Fiber Trends pattern, "Hellen's Favorite Socks" - using 3/1 rib pattern) and revised the shaping. Had I not ripped out the first sock all the way up to the top of the heel, I'd be done right now but I'm trying not to think about that! These knitted up fairly fast as they used size 4 double pointed needles.

The other SIP (sock-in-progress) is a dark blue with turquoise bits out of Lang's Jawoll. It's a sock yarn that has a very nice hand. The socks are taking forever though because it uses a size 1 1/2 needle. I'm making the 3-1 rib socks that I mentioned above from my favorite Fiber Trends pattern. I have one sock complete....and it fits just beautifully! Hopefully, I'll have completed its mate before the end of the month!