December 31, 2010

FOs of 2010

I thought it fitting, on the last day of the year, to take a look back at what I've knitted this year.  Although this is not the complete compendium of FOs (another pair of gloves, a mini Christmas stocking, and about 8 more preemie hats didn't make it into pictures, and I don't have an FO picture for the Geometry Scarf yet, but it's done), I am pretty pleased with myself.
All in all, I think it was a very productive year!

And now I begin to think of all that still needs to be done that didn't get started or finished this year … So much knitting yet to do!  My 2 big resolutions for this coming year, knit-wise, are to not buy any more yarn until I have run out of projects to knit--special orders excluded--and to finish what I've already started or have queued up.  Let's see, that means the new year's FOs should be:

2 sweaters for Rocket
1 pair of gloves for Scout 2
that gorgeous cabled cowl sweater for me
Swing for my mom
buttercup beret
socks, socks, socks! (one pair in progress)
Reconstruction Sweater (sleeves not yet done)
cowl for a friend (in progress)
another pair of Elegy gloves for me (in progress)
80s Shrug (in progress)
cabled cardigan (hibernating)
yellow Swing (in progress)
Macrame Vest (in progress)
cowl for Honey

So much still to do before there can be anything new!

December 29, 2010

WIP: Groovy Socks

The Monday before Christmas, I showed you this yarn that I made, but couldn't, in good conscious, sell because of the large number of breaks in the skein.


This is Groovy, and trust me when I say that these colors are electric!  So, because I've been dying to make some socks for me, I kept this skein (as if I need another skein of sock yarn in my stash, right?) and here's how it is knitting up:


You are seeing one front side and one back side here. The pattern has come out pretty even, except for that one row on the right sock where there's the double line of purple--I guess I spliced the ends together in the wrong color order.

Today, it's more grading for me.  And while note cards and final exam essays go under the pen, new skeins in very bold colors will be resting in the dye pots, including the fuschia for the scarf order. I hope to get that on the needles tonight.

December 27, 2010

Monday Vacation Update

Well, we got snow for Christmas!  It was the first time that it snowed for Christmas, according to the Atlanta weather man, since 1882!  Giant, wet feathery snowflakes fell on Christmas day. It was the best present of all!  Today it is sunny, extremely windy, and just below freezing.  We're not expected to get above freezing, so the snow will hang around for at least one more day, I hope.



There hasn't been much knitting around the hacienda due to the holiday festivities, but Sunday did give me the chance to finish (still needs to be blocked) the Geometry Scarf and Scout 1's Sportsman gloves.  I wound up the Groovy hand painted yarn that I showed off last week and have started a pair of socks for me.  I just couldn't stand it any longer!  All this knitting for Christmas, etc. gifts, and none for me!  I can't wait to show off the very cool striping pattern of these socks for this week's WIP.

On tap for this week … Groovy socks, sleeves on the Reconstruction Sweater, and a bit of dying for the new year and for the cowl that a co-worker has ordered from me.  And I still have to finish up research papers and grades before the end of this week.  Frick, frack.

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas!

December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to wish all of my followers a Merry Christmas!  


Ho, Ho, Ho!

And keep your fingers crossed that we get some snow!

December 22, 2010

WIP for December 21, 2010

It's WIP Wednesday, and what I have to report is this:

* The Sportsman, which is in its infant stages, has been submitted to Knit Picks for consideration, and maybe a little yarn support. Fingers crossed again! I only have one more pair to go for Scout 2--hopefully by Christmas, so fingers crossed on this one, too. Finished, it looks like this:



* I started a new pair of Elegy gloves for myself in Knit Picks Merino Style Endame--the cashmerino have pilled up so badly that they need some time off and a spa day.


* It occurred to me that, darn, I forgot all about how I was going to put sleeves on the Reconstruction Sweater over the Christmas break!  I can't wait to do the very last odds-and-ends gift shopping today when we go to the mall (hate the mall!) to see Santa Claus today.

* Dying of the wool to make the cowl that a friend has ordered from me will begin today, maybe.  That'll be the feature of next week's WIP, I'm thinking.  She wants it in fuschia.

* The search for chocolate brown 100% silk yarn at a reasonable price for about 400 yards has begun.  So far, I've been disappointed.  I'm in the market to make some lovely vintage gloves to go with the vintage mink stroller (circa 1940s) that I found in a local antique mall this week, and which Honey purchased for me for Christmas.  It's so lovely--golden brown with vertical chocolate striping--and so soft that I have to go with silk for the accessories.  So, if you know of a good silk yarn or a silk yarn supplier--I could dye it myself--please let me know.

All for now. Shopping to do and Santa Claus to wait in a three-hour line to see.  Merry Christmas and happy knitting!

December 20, 2010

Christmas Vaca Report

So much to share today!  As I have briefly mentioned before, I LOVE VACATION!!  I love it even more when the weekend before vacation begins brings monumental knitting accomplishments.  So here are the goodies from this past weekend.

First, my work in progress is a pair of 3/4 finger gloves for each of the Scouts.  I'm using Knit Picks Palette fingering weight Peruvian wool, and I am loving it absolutely.  I had a pattern that I was using, and since my comments are that it's totally screwy and had fingers so frick frack large that it defeated the whole purpose of keeping in the body heat, I tore it all out and said:  "I got this."  So I am down to knitting the thumb, and then I will have a pattern of my own making, which I will share freely if Knit Picks doesn't want it.  Until I began knitting these, which I am calling size large, I did not realize how huge my 13 year-old's hands are!  They are as big as Honey's, and he's not a man of small stature.  When this kid grows into his hands, I will be looking at a skyscraper-sized teenager.  Holy man!



These gloves are going to be called "Sportsman" because they are so dang warm, even unfinished, and they are perfect for being in the wintry outdoors.  I am making them for the boys to use as liners to their winter gloves for camping, and then to wear while they sleep in the often below freezing temps in their tents.  These Boy Scouts hike 11 miles up a mountain and then camp in January on the top of that mountain for the weekend.  Last year it rained for the whole hike, then snowed while they slept.  These gloves will be good for Scout 1's outdoor archery/hunting obsession, too.  I'm thinking they'd even be perfect for hiking or jogging if worn by themselves.  And, you can use your smartphone, too, because there are no finger tips.  Anyway, enough of the sales pitch.

And then there are two little yarn goodies that I have from the past few days.  First, Spinning Sunday brought the first fingering weight yarn of my electric spinning wheel dabbling, and we'll go with "Hyacinth" for this one.  It's 50% Romney and 50% bamboo silk, hand carded together, hand spun, and seriously soft.  I just finished it--in other words, wet it to set the twist and let it dry--so I haven't measured it yet; but I am thinking of using it for something lacy, like a garter stitch scarf using very large needles.  Or, maybe, for some fair isle patterning in a hat or something.  I don't know, but this one's not going into the shop.



And since I seem to be on a purple kick lately, here's the hand-painted sock yarn that I whipped up.


It's dyed with Japanese silk dye, and the colors may be a little pale by comparison to their true appearance.  I decided to use this one for the next pair of socks, which is coming immediately after I am finished with Scout gloves and right before the Buttercup Beret (click on the image at left for the free pattern).  By then, it should be the new year, and I will finish my Macrame Vest pattern design that uses an alpaca mix and a Turkish stitch in time for the new year.  I'd like to start the year with a focus on the sweaters that I have queued up, and to finish the 80s shrug, too.  So, introducing "Groovy".   I decided not to put this one in the shop because I discovered after I dyed it that there were several places in the skein where the yarn had been pieced together.  That's no problem for me to knit with; but I would hate for someone to buy the yarn and be dissatisfied because they don't know how to work around the knots.

I probably won't be back until Wednesday because I'm going to spend this vacation knitting, come Hell or high water; so, happy knitting to all!  

P.S.  If anyone wants to send me some snow for Christmas, that would be swell!  There's just the tiniest chance of snow on Christmas morning, and my fingers are crossed!

December 17, 2010

Ta-Dah! Leaf Lace Scarf FO

I know all of my posts lately have been about this project, but I've been under the gun to get it done!  It's a darned good thing that we had a 2-hour delay of school and I could sleep in on Thursday. I was up until 12:30 am finishing and blocking the Leaf Lace Scarf, which I am happy to report is finished and gorgeous and I can't wait to give it to my friend Meredith today!  Whew!  I've never knit anything lace before this project, so I am very pleased with the way it has all turned out.  It's not as long as the pattern called for because I thought 6 feet would be a little too long for a lace scarf; so it's 64 inches by 10 inches, blocked.  I'm not sure I ever want to knit lace again, just because it was such a counting nightmare, but it was a valuable experience.




And so, of course I am going to want to show this lil' number off, so I am linked up here today:



December 15, 2010

WIP Wednedsday (Dec. 15th)

Hurray!  One pattern repeat and I'm done!  Such a good feeling to know that I am going to make this deadline, after all!  Here it is in its unfinished glory.  When it's done, 24 rows from now, it will block, I expect to about 60 x 10.  The original Leaf Lace Scarf pattern suggested 72 inches; but I think that's a little lengthy for an accessory.


I surely hope that all of you are making much headway, too, on your Christmas knitting projects.  Happy knitting to all!

December 13, 2010

Let it Snow … more, please!

I still have my miserable cold, which has been compounded by the "arctic blast" that has hit Georgia this weekend.  Sheesh!  If it's going to be this cold, then it's just a travesty not to have snow.  We had flurries yesterday, which was perfect Christmas weather for putting up the lights outside and going to buy the tree … when the wind wasn't blowing at 30 mph, that is.  Here's all the snow that didn't melt in our yard yesterday:


Yep.  That's it.  A few flakes caught in a spider' web.  Sad, isn't it?  All of the little children will be angry today (ooh, can't wait for extra teen angst on a Monday!) that school isn't cancelled.  Maybe tomorrow.  It's supposed to be 12 degrees F tomorrow morning with a zero wind chill.  But I doubt it--the part about school being cancelled, that is.  State end-of-course testing this week, not to mention final exams.  No one is going to be in a rush to close the schools, even though on a normal day we are lucky to have heat in our rooms before noon due to budget cuts, and all (anyone want to guess why I have a cold?).  

But on the knitting side, I did manage to make some progress on the Leaf Lace Scarf--down to 5 repeats with 5 having been knit since last Wednesday.  That equates to about 15 more inches to knit.  I also was able to get a start on a wool glove pattern that I've planned to use for gloves for Scouts 1 & 2; but I've reached the thumb gusset and the directions suddenly become VERY vague as to whether I'm supposed to M1 or KFTB to increase, and just exactly which side of the 28th stitch I'm supposed to do that on is totally unclear, too.  This is exactly why I don't like to follow the directions of others and usually end up making my own.  Well, c'est la vie.  Off to freeze at school.

December 08, 2010

WIP Wednedsday (Dec. 8th)

It's going to be a race to the finish on this project!  I finally found my rhythm again with knitting the Leaf Lace scarf; but it's so time consuming that I am having serious reservations that I'll finish this project in the next week and 1/2.  I've knitted through three and 1/2 pattern repeats in the last week or so; but that only amounts to about 12 inches; so I'm only half-way done.  It's a gorgeous pattern, and I'm pretty impressed with myself so far, but dang!  I like to knit projects with a light at the end of the tunnel, you know?  Good thing it's too cold (going to be in the 20s now through the next two weeks they say, with a chance of snow on Sunday--snow in November in Georgia?  Really?)  Anyway, here's an older picture of the Leaf Lace project--no point in taking a new one because it's  strip that looks pretty much the same no matter how long it is.



December 05, 2010

Yarn Love

There is something totally inseparable between the knitter and the love of yarn.  I say that because I have been knitting almost my entire life, and I can't recall a time when I have been able to pass by a rack of yarn, even in say Walmart or, when I was a kid, ShopKo and Woolworths, and not stop just to check out what they had.  I have so much acrylic Red Heart yarn, and I don't even really like to knit with acrylic, that I could make chihuahua sweaters for the next 20 years.  I have so much sock yarn that I am going to have to put myself on a 12-step program.  And now, I spin.  And if you spin, you know what comes next in the stash … all that gorgeous fiber.  And it isn't even a matter of being attracted to color.  I like natural, undyed wool, too. Fisherman's wool is one of my favorites.  I think knitting is a bi-product of being totally in love with yarn.  I think it's inescapable, and I think that I knit because I love the yarn and want to see what I can make with it.  Oh boy, and I knit compulsively!  Which falls right in line with my tendency to buy yarn compulsively.  I was out alone yesterday, running an errand to a town a bit of a drive away from my house, and between here and there is the best LYS we have, and they were open, and I had to literally give myself a pep talk the whole time I was out to keep me from just stopping by to look, even though I had been there the week before and I can't wait for Christmas to show off the oh-my-God-it's-so-gorgeous yarn that Honey bought me as a Christmas present!

Ok, so I thought that I shouldn't go on and on about the love of yarn without showing you the yarn that I spun up on Saturday from 100% Romney wool.  I hand-painted the wool at school in the art room while my super-awesome art teacher friend and a few students watched and learned.  Here's what we have as a result:




I call this one "Sunset Strip", and it's a single-ply, self-striping yarn--about 136 yards total.  I LOVE this yarn, and I put it in the Etsy shop with great hesitancy because I want to keep it for myself; but I already have such a huge stash that maybe someone else will love it just as much as I do.  Isn't it just gorgeous?!  I don't normally like anything that is bright yellow, but the lemon yellow color of this yarn is so striking that I love everything about it.  It took me about an hour to spin this up on the electric spinning wheel that Honey made for me.

And in the spirit of Yarn Love, I put together a Yarn Love treasury of handmade, hand-dyed, hand-spun, and hand-painted yarns available on Etsy.  None of these are mine, and they are all addictively beautiful.  Check it out.



December 03, 2010

In Knitting News ...

I am beyond excited to announce that my Elegy Fingerless Mitts pattern is now officially a part of the online catalogue at Knit Picks!!!!  Here is the wonderful link to my wonderful listing with the wonderful pictures that were taken of my gloves.


http://www.knitpicks.com/patterns/Elegy_Fingerless_Mitts__D10717220.htm

 I absolutely recommend knitting these up in the guava color.  It's really the perfect pink, even if you are not usually a wearer of pink.  However, so far I have knit these in 5 different colors, and I love each and every one.  Besides my gloves, there are several other new patterns that are amazing, so I feel totally honored to be included among the designers of this catalogue.  Totally.

Last night was the local Christmas parade. This year, unlike years past, it was actually cold enough for the Christmas part of the parade, and I froze my tookus off.  My daughter and I and our Girl Scout troop were in the parade with the other troops from our county.  It was great fun, and I forgot the camera, so I am afraid that I don't have any pictures for you.  It was the girls' first parade, and we walked and waved and wished all a Merry Christmas.  Santa made his appearance down Broad Street in the bucket of the hook & ladder truck with the high school cheerleaders lined up on the ladder behind him (ladder was down, don't worry).  Events like these are what make me love living in a rural county and a tiny town.  so I guess that means that Christmas is officially around the corner!

If you are an Etsy Treasury peruser, check out this one:  "There's More than Red and Green for the Holidays" .  My turquoise sock yarn, "Tranquility" is featured in this gorgeous treasury of handmade items.


And, last but not least, here's where I'm linked up for this glorious Friday!



November 29, 2010

A few things accomplished

Well, well, well.  I had missed that feeling, which I haven't had since the beginning of August, of having ALL of the laundry done, folded, hung up, and put away.  It took me a full week of vacation to accomplish this.  I once read in one of those self-help books that one should not stress out over the little things--decide what absolutely has to be done and then cope with what isn't an overwhelming priority.  That's great, but after a while, those non-priorities pile up, and then it seems more stressful as it would have been if time had just been made to deal with those little things when they were little things.  Laundry is one of those things for me, and not just because I hate doing laundry.  My children hold the Guiness record, I think, for most clothes in the hamper in a single week.  But, I'm all caught up!

The living room and all of its trim was painted.  It looks fabulous!  Thanks Honey!

The master bedroom closet was re-done--super sale on shelving at Sam's on Friday!--and I can't believe it's our same closet!  Even Honey's side is organized!!!  Thanks Honey!

Closets and drawers were thinned out and bags for charity are awaiting departure in the garage.

Most of the Christmas shopping for the children is finished.  

Final details for the online publication of my Elegy gloves for Knit Picks have been taken care of and fingers are crossed that you will be able to see them in all of their awesomeness in the Knit Picks online catalogue on Thursday.

All baby items are knit and on their way to their recipients.

My November and December swap partners have packages in the mail to them--shopping an knitting done for both last week!

Papers were graded.  Not a lot considering how much there is piled up; but if you multiply Advanced American literature 52 students by 6 assignments, that's 312 pieces of paper (roughly 2 full packages of notebook paper!).  Still, plenty of time will be dedicated to grading to come in the next three weeks.  Only three weeks to Christmas vacation--hurray!!

I created a new invoice system was created on my Macbook for Etsy sales.  (It's amazing what you can do at 5 am on a Sunday morning when you can't sleep because you are stressed about going back to work the next day!)

All purchased yarns from this weekend are packaged, labeled, and ready to ship today.  If you aren't getting one from me, stop by the Etsy shop--sock yarn sale is ongoing.  I also created a new holiday banner for the shop.

I've gotten a good start on Christmas present knitting, and I actually made progress on the Leaf Lace Scarf.  I have, however, decided that I strongly dislike knitting lace.  My hat is definitely off to those who can knit with this thread-like yarn and not lose their sanity in the process.  

It was a banner week.  I hope that if you were on vacation, your week was as productive as mine was.  I'm linked up here today:


Happy knitting!




November 27, 2010

The Saturday after ...

Well, Black Friday sales weren't as impressive as I had hoped for the 'ol Etsy shop, but I'm still having a sale!  All hand-dyed sock yarns are on sale from now until Christmas (click the banner on the right to take a look).  That's a pretty good deal, as superwash sock yarn prices go.

Sock yarn, by the way, is basically just a 4-ply fingering weight yarn.  I've learned that superwash merino is the best plan if you are making socks for a gift or intend to wear yours as a daily accessory.  This yarn doesn't pill up like plain merino, it doesn't have to be hand washed or line dried, it doesn't shrink, and it's nice and stretchy.  And it's super soft!

Here are a few of the yarns on sale:









Yarn love to you!

November 26, 2010

Black Friday!

Here's a quick reminder that everything is 15% in my Etsy shop today!  Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY15 when you check out to have 15% taken off of your final total.  You'll find that my prices are lower than most and my yarns are very high quality!  100% positive rating from sellers, by the way.


So, I've done a little Black Friday shopping, and so far I'm just frustrated.  Promises of free shipping that don't materialize when you get to checkout, items not in the right size ... not seeing the awesome Black Friday deals that I expected.  I think that too many stores have been doing the Black Friday thing all week, and now that I waited for the "big sale!", what I want is gone.  Isn't that always the way?  Well, I've done the doors-open-at-4am thing in years past, and found the same deal, even at 4am.  Somehow I think, with inflation imminent, there's not really going to be too many actual deals out there.  Bah Humbug, right?

I almost forgot!  I have  new hand painted yarn to show off.  This one's so cute!  It literally looks like a bowl of Fruit Loops, so that's what I've named it.


And for my usual Friday link-ups, visit me here:



http://plumslife.blogspot.com/

November 24, 2010

W.I.P. Wednesday (November 24)

First, let me just remind everyone that I am offering 15% in my Etsy store on Friday.  Use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY15.

Second, how did I get so busy with non-knitting things during this vacation?  Doctor, dentist, science project, 4-H project, trips to the grocery store--I forgot how much my three children can eat during vacation!--baking to do, laundry, painting ... I had such big dreams.  Turns out, I have to really stay up after everyone goes to bed, even while on vacation, to get any serious knitting done.  Yesterday was kind of productive, though.  I was able to get most of the Geometry Scarf done--a few more triangles and some edging left on that one.


I was able to get a few inches of progress on the 80s shrug, and I was able to get one panel done on this vest that is in my head.  Technology, though, seems to be against me.  I have Knit Minder on my Iphone, so I put the pattern into the log as I was knitting it, and when I went back to find it, it wasn't there.  Fortunately, this pattern is a simple one, and I could easily count my rows to get my notes back.  For this reason, my favorite size of needles is US 11.  Everything is so easy with US 11 needles!  



Today I am going to be making serious progress on the leaf lace scarf, or else.  I have blocked out my entire morning for this project, which needs to be done in three weeks when we go to Christmas break--is that all there is left? Stress, stress!  I still have three pair of my Elegy gloves to knit for friends, 2 sleeves to put on the Reconstruction Sweater for Scout 2, and two pair of gloves to knit for the Scouts for Yule Log (tent camping & Scout festivities in December).  Oh, well, I'll worry about that later.

If you haven't discovered this yet, all the great pattern companies (I just love Rowan) are ramping up their free pattern selection--out with the old, in with the new.  Some pattern companies are so classically awesome that their patterns never go out of style, so when they develop new ones, they put the older ones out in the free pattern section.  Problem is, I just seem to be collecting patterns that I love, but never get to knit.  Ah, the woes of the obsessive knitter!

November 22, 2010

What a way to start the week!

I begin this week of vacation with having won a wonderful prize, book Entrelac, The Essential Guide to Interlace Knitting by Rosemary Drysdale from Peacefully Knitting (thank you, thank you!), and two new handspun yarns in the Etsy shop:  Spring Garden, which is a bulky two-ply handspun wool/silk mix, and Green with Envy, which is a BFL wool single-ply:





And what would Thanksgiving Break be without a little holiday shopping?  Visit my Etsy shop on Friday, and you can use this coupon code to save 15% off of your total purchase from Zibeline Knits:  "BLACKFRIDAY15".  Enter the code without the quotation marks.

This coupon thing is in Beta phase at Etsy, so if it doesn't work, just let me know in the comments to seller section or send me an email, and I will adjust the invoice.  We shop owners have been warned that there might still be a few bugs.

Finally, since I didn't get around to it on Saturday, here's a pic of the finished preemie hat & socks.  These are going to little J. today, along with the much larger blue socks I made last weekend.  I found this great blog post for children's foot sizes, which actually includes newborn and preemie sizes by the pound.  If you are a sock knitter, especially with children in mind, you might check it out:  Bev's Country Cottage.

November 19, 2010

Friday Notes on Knitting

Ah, Friday.  Don't you just love the melodic syllables of that word as they roll off of the tongue. Such a happy word, "Friday".  Ah, the trumpeted announcement of V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!!  I especially love Fridays that are followed by vacation days, Thanksgiving vacation days, Christmas vacation days, summer vacation days. Today is Friday, and it's about darned time!

Now, the knitting.  A friend of mine from work had a baby this past Monday, and I am scrambling to re-make my gifts.  The baby was a week late and was supposed to be 7.5 lbs, thereabouts.  When it came into the world, it was 4.5 lbs.  How does a doctor screw up that badly?  Anyway, baby J. is in the neonatal ICU, and those baby socks I've been cranking out won't fit him for quite some time.  So, I've been rushing all week to make preemie hats  (two are ready for their final 4 rows) and preemie socks (CO today to match the hats).  I just feel terribly for my friend, his wife, and their new baby.  Say a prayer, okay?

Pictures to post tomorrow.

And the knitting for vacation is all lined up and waiting--literally, lined up and waiting since forever!  First I have to finish the lace scarf for M., then I have to make 4 pair of gloves--2 for the Scouts and two for gifts for friends for Christmas.  And I have to get some sleeves on Scout 2's Reconstruction Sweater.  That's  pretty ambitious list, I know, especially since I have convinced my husband that the important thing next week is to re-paint the living room, and while we are at it, the master bedroom.  And then we were looking at paint colors online, and the kitchen would look really fantastic in this muted clay color--red clay, as in clay pot, 'cause this is the South and there is no other kind.  But, there will be knitting.  And yes, boss, there will be a paper grading day. Grumble, grumble.

I'm linked up here today:


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