October 30, 2010

Under Construction

Please excuse the craziness of this blog.  I am decidedly unhappy with its set-up, and really feel it's time for the cleaning crew to come in and do some work on my little piece of cyberspace.  It feels cluttered.  I've been checking out the blogs of other talented knitters on the Web, and I just think I need a change of direction.  The whole purpose of this blog was to promote knitting--mine and other great knitters out there--the process of knitting, yarn and fiber love, and my Etsy store (also under renovation this weekend).  Somehow, I lost sight of that purpose and feel that it's time to get back on track.  So, pardon my mess this weekend.

October 29, 2010

Friday Hopping

Just a note, I've posted the pattern that I use--I am sure there are many versions, and I hope I'm not violating any copyright laws--that was passed along to me by a Ravelry friend.  It's on the left under "What's Knitting Now".  Enjoy!

I've been thinking about just focusing my hopping energy on hops that have something to do with the whole point of having a blog, which is knitting, of course.  So, today, I'm just doing these hops (click on picture to visit them, too):




And, if you have a crafty blog hop that you'd like to share with me, please leave a comment.  Happy Friday!

October 27, 2010

It's WIP Wednesday, already?

It's Wednesday, and I'm feeling a little under-motivated to go to work.  I woke up this morning unwell--too much craziness and stress gave me a whopper of a headache at 2 am!  So this post is going to be short.  I don't have much going on right now because I am sticking to my knitting plan; although I think I have bitten off more of a bite than I can chew in terms of finishing the yellow Swing cardi by the end of next week!  Maybe the body will be finished, but not the sleeves.  And then it dawned on me, too, that I have that lace scarf from way back in May that I started, stopped working on altogether, and need to have finished for my friend Meredith before we go to Christmas vacation--I guess that will be the Thanksgiving Break knitting project; but I feel like I should be working on getting the 4 unfinished feet of that thing knit up.  Knitting lace is not my thing, I'm pretty sure.  Anyway, here's what I have for the WIP:



This afternoon, I received a rejection email from an online magazine new to the Net for my Talus scarf pattern.  I was told that, because I had published a picture of it on the Net previously, that they weren't interested in my pattern. Really.  It didn't have anything to do with the fact that the pattern had never been published before.  Very odd. All I could think was "too bad for you!", and then I published it to my Etsy shop.  It will be available through Ravelry later today, too.  Here's the newest picture of Talus, which also appears on the pattern, itself.







October 26, 2010

SAFF stash revealed

So, as promised, here's the stash.  I'm only going to show you a sampling of the llama--giant trash bags don't make for a very pretty picture.

First, the less-than-10 oz stash items:















The camel/silk is that shiny, fawny ball.


And now the llama:



I can't wait to start spinning!  Honey is finishing up the electric spinning wheel, so any day now I will have home spun goodies!  If only my teacher life, Girl Scout Leader life, and assorted other lives would move over and let me have some time with the fiber, I'd be golden.  I keep trying to think about when I can fit in some fiber time, but I keep coming up short.  I don't understand why October is always such a busy month.  Every year, I can't believe it's Halloween and that I am, once again,  unprepared and in a total rush to get it together for such an awesome holiday.

On the knit side, still working on the yellow Swing cardi; but I had some time while I was waiting in the car last night on Scouts 1 & 2 to finish their Scout meeting, and I started a dark charcoal bamboo/silk/merino scarf--just off of the top of my head.  I think it's going to be double-moss stitch alternating stripe with alternating triangles.  It's in the planning stages, and it could be frogged all together.  I just felt like knitting with something super-soft and luxurious.  Well, Rocket's first night of ballet class is tonight, so have to scram.   See you on the knit side.

October 24, 2010

SAFF & FOs

I had a much needed, super-fantastic weekend!  Not only did I survive Rocket's first birthday party/slumber party (five 7 year-olds and no one interested in going to sleep but me!), but I also finished the Rainbow Potato Chip Scarf in time for Rocket's birthday,


AND finished an improvised sweater for Pickles,


AND made it down to the body of the butter yellow Swing sweater that I am working on for myself AND I had a little out-of-town time with Honey and Rocket at SAFF in North Carolina.  (SAFF stands for Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair).  The sign at the entrance did not say anything about a fiber bonanza; instead:


Inside, things looked a bit more like a fiber fair:


Outside looked like the perfect fall day,

and everyone was having a fantastic time, including the animals:


Not all of the animals, apparently, were allowed to enjoy the day.  There was one, prisoner A-38, in llama jail:



Rocket wanted to sneak this one out to the car and bring it home; but that didn't happen.

I brought home tons of fiber goodies!  Bags and bags of llama fleece in every fabulous color, some to-die-for camel/silk (I'm thinking gloves for this knitting chick!) roving, some merino/silk roving, some glowing green and rust merino/silk/bamboo/BFL  roving, and some smokey lavender and gold BFL/silk/merino roving.  I'll share pictures in tomorrow's post of my treasures.

October 17, 2010

Eye on the Prize

My new mantra:  Eye on the prize!

I have a dream.  One day, knitting and yarn and fiber will be what I do every day, not just when I can squeeze out a few moments in the evening or on the weekends.  It's going to be what I do.  So, with that in mind, I am going to keep my eye on that prize, and I am going to find a way to get there.  Serendipity might just help me out a little along the way.

This past weekend, I finished the "samples" for Knit Picks, re-did the pattern--I even re-wrote part of the pattern to make the smallest size more attractive--signed the contract, and Monday morning will bring the big send off.  Eye on the prize.

Talus, the cable-y striped scarf that is physically available in my Etsy store, is ready for a pattern release.  That's going up on Etsy and Ravelry this week.  I actually saw a sweater done partially in this cable pattern, and the wheels have begun turning ... Eye on the prize.

The Swing re-do is almost half-way re-done.  I've mentioned that I am knitting it in a gorgeous butter yellow--there was that little set-back when I forgot an entire sleeve and had to tear it down to the collar in August, but I am back to where I was 6 weeks ago--and I happened across the perfect vintage yellow buttons in a local antique mall on Friday. Serendipity.  Look how fabulous these are!  They actually make a little square bowl, which is just plain nifty. Early November for this FO.  Eye on the prize.



The rainbow Potato Chip scarf must be an FO by this Friday--Rocket's birthday is on Sunday.  So far, I've done half plus about 3 inches.  Discovery:  Mini Mochi does not continuously stripe in the same pattern as I was led to believe by the initial 12 inches of scarf.  Instead, it doesn't make any kind of continuous pattern at all. It's doubled back on itself twice now, and the pretty rainbow striping is all amuck.  The type-A personality in me is gritting its teeth, hard.  But, gotta be done by Friday. Eye on the prize.

Scout 1 and Scout 2 went camping after participating in a Georgia Rivers Alive river clean-up on Saturday. Turns out it was colder 20 miles northeast of us than anticipated, and they actually froze their rear ends off.  They should have listened to their mother (me) when she said, "Bring extra, warm clothes and an extra fleece blanket".  They didn't listen.  35 degrees F this morning, and Honey reported that Scout 1 was wearing shorts because he didn't bring an extra pair of jeans.  Boys.  This brings me to the next prize ... two pair, one for each Scout, of wool gloves for the November campout.  Already have the yarn and have already done the pattern--Cigar (see Knitty.com if this link doesn't work) for Honey.  The boys will get fingers to their middle finger digit.  These are expected to be a quick project. Eye on the prize.

November will also bring the knitting of Swing for my mom, with collar modifications. The yarn should arrive by Tuesday--"Berry Frappe".  That's going to be an experiment; but if it works out well, the pattern will get an alternate collar option.  Anyone who has already purchased the pattern will get "plan B"  emailed to them.  Eye on the prize.

As for non-knitting plans ... I've ramped up the Etsy store with new yarns (silk merino) and a slew of stitch markers in Czech glass and assorted metals, and I finally figured out how to do gift certificates--just in time for the winner of my first give-away.  The winner was Kelsey Rose, and I've already contacted her with the $25 gift certificate.

Some gorgeously soft and delicate 100% alpaca lace weight and Australian wool superwash arrived last Saturday from a new supplier; so as soon as I can measure them out and find some color inspiration, they'll be making a debut, too.  I've spun up about half of the alpaca roving that I have--the other half still needs to be carded and mixed with soy silk.  Did some spinning on this over the weekend, so now I'm at a stand-still until I can get some more carding done.  And Honey has all of the parts and pieces, finally, for the electric spinning wheel that he's working on for me, the completion of which will mean some gorgeous homespun skeins.  CANNOT WAIT!

With so much knitting to do, I don't plan on doing much blogging this week. I hope this is enough to tide y'all over until the end of the week, when I will have the FO of the Potato Chip scarf to show off.  Eye on the prize.  Toodles til then!

October 15, 2010

Decisions, decisions!

The Elegy gloves for my Knit Picks submission are, well, making me crazy!  I finished the "Platinum" Capra (cashmere/merino), and I really liked it for the right glove, but not for the left.  I don't know if, in my haste, I just knit the M1 stitches on the thumb too tightly--I do suffer from too-tight stitches frequently when stressed--or if the problem is really that I should have gone down a needle size to adjust the gauge, but the left thumb looks holey along the gusset on the front.  Instead of sending these in and making a ton of changes to my original pattern, I'm knitting up the "Guava" Merino Style DK.  These look like I really intended the gloves to look; so I've decided to scrap the Capra version and just stick with what works.  Too many big ideas getting in the way of a pattern that already rocks, I guess.  I'll have the left hand done by this evening. It works out to about 4 hours for me, straight through, to knit one glove and do the finishing on it.

(The real deal is a little bit more rosey-pink, but my camera, etc. isn't being very cooperative today.)

So, that leaves me to make some minor adjustments to the pattern--pictured is the small size, and I added some stitches to the palm and decreased some stitches in the top ribbing for a more snug fit around the fingers.  I also have to adjust the pattern to meet the Knit Picks specifications with their logo and a diagram or two.  I'm sending a medium in "Marsala"--a rusty pumpkin color--and the "Guava" in small.  New photos of the "Storm" version will be taken this afternoon.  Sometimes I'm actually glad that we never get rain and I can count on a sunny afternoon!  All will be off to the lady in charge tomorrow morning.  (insert more Happy Dancing!)

P.S. My first give-away is ending today.  Click on the give-away button to enter.  I'm giving away a $25 e-certificate to my Etsy shop.

October 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday (Oct. 13th)

Holy man!  Midterms to make and grade, walk-throughs to prepare for next week, grades to finalize for report cards, little emergencies, meetings, kids activities, birthdays ... Whew!  What a week and it's only Wednesday!  Sorry this is a late-day post, but Buddy the Knitting Dog apparently disconnected my computer during the night from the power cable while it was charging; so I got up this morning to find the Macbook dead as a doornail.  Grumble.  I had to wait until I got home from work to share a WIP update.

I had big plans this week to get those merino/cashmere gloves in "Platinum" that I am doing for my Knit Picks pattern submission of the Elegy gloves.  They were going to be finished by Wednesday morning (today) with a photo-shoot scheduled with a friend of mine for this afternoon ... Sigh.  Best laid plans and all, my principal and my life got in the way.  I had to cancel the photo-shoot and I still have a thumb left to knit.  No sneak peaks, sorry.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow.   I am going to alter the pattern to include gauge variations for both the Knit Picks Merino Style DK (original yarn of the pattern) and the Knit Picks Capra (merino/cashmere) because I am in LOVE with the cashmere!  The problem is that it knits up with a slightly different gauge, causing a slight decrease in the circumference of the glove.  No worries!  That's an easy adjustment to the pattern notes.  All will be back on track by tomorrow.  I got an email yesterday telling me to sign and send in the contract, so I guess this is the real deal.  Happy dancing continues!

In my spare time (during knitting club and when Rocket is asleep), I've been working on what I am told is a "Potato Chip" scarf.  I received one of these darling hand-knit scarves from my Sept. swap partner, and Rocket was in love with it.  Not being one to share my treasures willy-nilly, I ordered some rainbow Mini Mochi from Crystal Palace.  I didn't know what the pattern was called, and I searched the internet over to find it without much luck--apparently not too many obvious tags associated with this pattern!  My swap partner was kind enough to send me the basic pattern, and the girls at knitting club were so kind as to put me in the "potato chip" loop. I guess it is a knitting club favorite of last year.  That's what I get for being the newbie of the group.



I am seriously surprised at how much yarn this scarf sucks up and how dang long it is taking me to knit it up!  I hope to finish it this weekend after I finish with the Elegy gloves.  We have a long weekend (5 days) because, well, we have to fit those frick-frack furlough days in somewhere!  So, while the boys are cleaning up a river and camping out on Saturday night, I hope to have some time to get my knitting back in the "making progress" range, at least.  I'm also hoping that the grading fairies will stop by and take care of this mountain of papers that have been sitting on my dining room table for a week.

October 08, 2010

TGIF in Spades

I am so glad to have finally made it to Friday!  Here's where I'll be hopping today.  Don't forget to visist Mommas Kinda Crafty to enter my first-ever giveaway ($25 e-certificate).



 

 

Go ahead and leave a comment.  I love having visitors and meeting new people! For some reason, Blogger isn't letting me assign a link to my buttons (above), but if you scroll down, you will find them on the left bar, and you can click on these to link up to these awesome hops.  Sorry for the inconvenience!  Thanks for stopping by!!!!!

October 07, 2010

Check Me Out at Mama's Kinda Crafty! (Thursday, 10/7)

Joy at MommasKindaCrafty has been so kind as to spotlight my blog and to host my first ever giveaway for the Zibeline Knits Etsy shop.  Check me out on her blog today and enter my little $25 e-certificate giveaway.  Giveaway deadline is Oct. 15th.

Then, check out the rest of the blog because the title is pretty darn apt--Joy is VERY crafty!

In other news ... I know I missed my weekly WIP update; but OMG this full-moon week is killing me!  I can't even keep track of what day of the week it is, I'm so covered up with work!

We had a huge curriculum night "fair" last night at the high school.  We fed 350 parents plus students and assorted family members who came to dinner and to play our curriculum night game (Cane-opoly) and had 40 faculty and staff-manned tables showing off academics, clubs, and fall sports plus community service agencies and the GA Dept. of Labor and two colleges.  My own kids were so helpful that I hardly could believe it! They deserve much thanks! Later, when it was all over and we could go home at 8:30 pm to do homework with my kids and grade papers, I got a text message from the same principal's admin. who told me, twice in the same week, that what I did at the school wasn't valuable.  She just wanted to let me know that so much is put upon me because I always do "such a good job".  Well, that makes all the disruption of my personal life, stress, and chaos worth it, doesn't it? (Read that question again, but this time insert a heavily sarcastic tone.)  I'd like to try doing a crappy job for a while, let me tell you; but I don't think I have it in me to do that.  I think they broke the type-A personality mold after they made me, for sure! I didn't leave school until after 8:30 pm, so that means I had been there for nearly 14 hours by the time my day was over--teachers don't get overtime, FYI.  It was a LATE night for having to rise and shine without getting any monetary incentive for my awesomeness.  I think I am, though, catching another frickin' cold.  So, BONUS!

I guess you know what all of this personal info. means ... no knitting since last Sunday!  I feel like a part of me is missing.  I think I'm going through knitting withdrawal.  Really.  If I survive until Saturday night--whirlwind of activities between now and then--there will be knitting.

October 04, 2010

Doin' the Happy Dance!

Remember this little number? My Elegy fingerless gloves?


Well, I'm doin' the Happy Dance!  Knit Picks has graciously accepted this pattern into their Independent Designer Program, and I couldn't be happier, not even if my principal informed me that I don't have to teach 10th graders how to write a research paper after all this year!  That's pretty darned happy!!!

October 03, 2010

Yarn Yumminess!

Trying out a new Monday Blog Hop this week:  Making Friends Monday at Living on Love and Cents, so I thought this would be a great time to share what's newly dyed and fabulous in my Etsy shop this week.

First, there's Cherry Blossom, which is a gorgeous kettle-dyed silk merino fingering weight/sock yarn.  Slight variations in color from pale pink to cherry abound.  This yarn is truly scrumptious!





Then there's Mardi Gras--start now to have those Mardi Gras party socks finished in time for January!  Gorgeous greens, golds, purples, and deep blue make up this a fairly self-striping fingering weight/sock superwash merino.




Add to this the Patriot superwash merino fingering weight/sock yarn in cherry red, navy blue, pearly white, and a bit of purple thrown in just for fun!  This stunning color combo is like having a Fourth of July parade on your feet!



And lastly, September Rain.  Not to be confused with Georgia Sunset, which has some gorgeous wines and purples, September Rain is simply Indian Summer in a 462 yard skein of superwash merino.  The turquoise came out looking like it had been kettle-dyed, so it has a lovely variation of light-to-dark coloring.  The orange will make you think of Japanese goldfish!  And the red ... well it's a deep scarlet, like maple leaves at the height of their autumn color. This one's my favorite!



Stop by and check out all of my one-of-a-kind colorways.  It's sock season, so you'd better get a move on!







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