Friday, January 27, 2012

FO Friday: Bluerose Socks

I feel like I stared these socks forever ago but they really only took me a couple months to make.  

I fell in love with Knitty's Blackrose Socks and set this yarn aside for them as soon as I bought it.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize the pattern was written cuff down.  I. Hate. Cuff. Down.

Now that I've finally figured out how to make socks that fit me great, I really refuse to do them any other way if I can help it.  Toe up socks with a gusset, slightly increasing over the ball of my foot and decreasing extra after the heel turn.  I was lazy with these ones and figured I'd just work the chart rows 8 to 1 instead of 1 to 8 and see how it came out.  It does not come out the same.  But I'm ok with that.

Someday I'll have to knit them again, either working the chart in the right direction but from the toe up, or rewriting it to work out backwards.  I feel like I'll be doing a lot of that in the future.

I also knit these with the purl bottoms, just like my Open Hands Socks.  Two pairs done and I don't need to do a third to understand two things:  1- I don't like working on these socks when they have the purl bottom. It makes me hate them the whole way through, even after I've turned the heel.  2- The purl bottoms don't feel any different than a regular knit sock.

Conclusion:  It's not worth the hassle.  It was worth a shot though.

Pattern:  Blackrose Socks
Project Page:  Bluerose Socks
Needles:  US 0
Mods:  Many!  Worked toe-up with a heel gusset, following the chart rows backwards from written directions.  Sole of the sock worked in reverse stockinette stitch.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stash Enhancements

I've gotten quite a bit of yarn in the past few weeks.  Plus the Vogue Stash.  Here's the other purchases or acquisitions I've had recently:

Mulberry Fibers Twisted Sock purchased during Thanksgiving weekend sales

The Fibre Company Acadia in Granite

Acadia in Lupine

They're for the Stephen West Groove KAL next month!

PepperPants Fiberworks Silky Cashmerino in Peace Offering

Christmas present from Julia :o)

Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Tart

To make Norie hat

String Theory Caper Sock in Black Cherry

Though they make amazing socks, this will be the 17th Street Gloves

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shop Update

So I'm finally slowly updating my Etsy shop again.  So far I've added some items for the Chinese New Year:

A kimono inspired project bag

Year of the Dragon stitch markers

There's also some Swarovski bead stitch markers:

Under the Tuscan Sun stitch markers

Let it Snow stitch markers

I plan to add to the shop slowly, even though I have tons of stock made for it.  I like to spread the updates out a bit.

I went on a jewelry kick right around Christmas, resulting in a lot of stitch markers and jewelry.  I wish it wasn't so cold so I could get out to the screen house and stitch up more projects bags.  I have some NY Giants fabric to make Julia a project bag and, well, it's kinda perfect timing for that big football game everyone but me cares about.  Maybe I'll luck out and we'll have a warm Saturday, the only day I'll be home this week.  Or we might just get snow again and I'll have to play with my snowflake stitch markers :o)

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Village Knitter Anniversary Party!

January 15th was the 2 year anniversary of Ann and Kathleen buying The Village Knitter from the original owner.  While that coincided with me living in Brooklyn and only being there on the rare occasion, I saw the changes in the shop almost immediately.  The yarn selection, um, improved.  The Thursday night crowd grew.  The hours were so much more convenient too! (This might also be because I was no longer working 13 days straight with 1 day off...the day the store wasn't open of course).

Of course, if there's a party I must bake!  Kyle (who hounded me to make sure to give him credit for helping bake) is still talking about vegan horchata cupcakes Nicole made when we lived in Brooklyn.  I of course had to ask her what they were since I didn't remember them quite so well.  This was our conversation:

Me:  I have to bake cupcakes tomorrow. Kyle put in a request FWD: Make those cinnamon bun thingys Nicole made lol
Nicole:  Hahaha
Nicole:  They were horchata cupcakes that I veganized
Nicole:  Just make snicker doodle cupcakes
Nicole:  That was TWO years ago!

I think she forgets how fixated boys can be when it comes to food.  He seriously still talks about the things Nicole baked.  Two years ago.

So I googled some recipes and found one I liked.  Kyle and I whipped it up on Friday for Saturday's party.

The recipe I used is here from Brown Eyed Baker.  It was great!  The only problem was the supermarket didn't have cake flour.  In walks Joy of Baking with the Ingredient Substitution list.  This was very very handy and I will be bookmarking for future use.

When I got to the point of making the frosting, I read the direction.  I'm supposed to boil ingredients to 230 degrees??  I do not have a candy thermometer and really wasn't in the mood for anything so precise.  Some more googling brought me to Recipe Girl.  She had a snickerdoodle cupcake recipe as well (actually might be the same one) but also had a very simple cinnamon cream cheese frosting.  Together, they were perfect :o)

Here's to another great 2 (and more) years!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Surprise in my journal

I have a collection of cute notebooks and journals from when I was in high school.  Back then, the only way I had to deal with my teenage angst was through creative writing, and I much prefered to write in pretty journals.  When my mom found this out, she'd buy up every journal she saw.  She has a tendency to do these kinds of things, such as this past Christmas when she bought me about 7 sheep themed toys or stuffed animals.  I'm 26 and I got a sheep pillow pet and beanie baby for Christmas.  Or a couple years ago when I happened to mention I like houndstooth and she bought me a bag, scarf, gloves, shirt, skirt and coat all covered in the print.

I've been using these notebooks lately to write patterns in as I'm working on them.  I needed a new one and grabbed a random one off the shelf.  This is what I saw on the first page.

Apparently a few years ago when I was obsessed with writing, my younger cousins decided to add their own writing to my book.  Some of these cousins have now graduated high school and some are just turning into their own teen years.  I love finding these cute hidden memories around :o)

Friday, January 20, 2012

FO Friday: Cherry Legume, plus a Review

Earlier this week you saw this photo:

And I bet you were wondering what my hat was, right??

Of course you were.

Well it's Legume, by Jen Lucas (um, first time I'm typing your name that way Jen!).  Jen is working on putting out an eBook, one pattern at a time.  Legume is the first pattern of the set.  Released on January 1st, I whipped right through this thing.  Granted, I had bought the yarn well ahead of time.  As soon as Jen listed the pattern on Ravelry, I was planning away.  We had just gotten the recommended yarn in at the shop so I figured I'd go with that one.

I love my hat though.  I wore it almost all of Vogue Knitting Live weekend.  It kept my head nice and toasty in the randomly cold NYC weekend (weather has been spring-like, and then of course for Vogue it decided to be a little brutal).

Project page:  Cherry Legume
Yarn:  Madelinetosh Chunky
Needles:  Knit Picks Harmony US 7, Knitter's Pride Cubics US 8
Mods:  None

As expected, I love this yarn.  Madelinetosh does amazing colors always.  BUT don't expect this yarn to genuinely be a chunky weight.  When is a Madelinetosh yarn ever the weight it claims to be??

For the first time, I used the Cubics needles.  Knitter's Pride and Knit Picks use the same overseas company (Knit Pro...seriously, what's with all the K.P. companies) to create their wooden interchangeable needle tips.  Therefore, they are interchangeable in and of themselves.  And since I can't find my Harmony size 8s and the shop recently started carrying Cubics interchangeable, I couldn't resist finally trying them out.  I really didn't notice any difference in using these as compared to using the typical circular shaped needle.  I've heard that these needles can help with gauge problems.  As a loose knitter, I'm always having to go down a size needle than recommended.  I did that with this project and this hat came out very tight on my head.  Not uncomfortably tight, but just tight enough that I can't wear it when my hair is curly without looking like a clown.  This could be because the entire hat is essentially made up of 1x1 ribbing.

I love that I can get these needles easily and locally.  I hate that if I break a needle, I have to wait a while for Knit Picks to ship.  The only thing I don't like about these needles is that they don't go smaller than a US 6...yet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vogue Projects and a word on Volunteering

Here's a peak at the projects I was working on this weekend:

Cable Slouch Hat

Cashmere Bias

Socks in Progress
These socks are actually on hold now.  I'm using them to teach two at a time magic loop socks at the Village Knitter, but part two of the class isn't for a couple weeks.  I did almost all of that at Vogue this weekend though.

Volunteering at Vogue

I have to say what an excellent experience I had working at Vogue.  All of the staff was as nice as can be, and of course the "thank you" gifts are much appreciated :o).  I love that wearing that shirt made me feel less awkward talking to the kniteratti.  I loved meeting all the other great volunteers, even if we didn't catch each other's names.  I highly suggest doing it, and I hope to do it again next year!  I think that if I were to take classes, I'd have to limit my commitment though.  Even though it was only 3 shifts for me, I was utterly exhausted and really don't think I could have enjoyed myself if there was more on my plate.  I would have worked Monday too, which would have been easier since the Marketplace was closed.  Even though I felt overwhelmed at times, I can only imagine what the women who organized the event went through.  Beth, Carol, Erin, Christina, and all the other people running around all day making sure the event went smoothly did an amazing job and not once did I see them lose their patience with anyone.  They truly created an unbelievable event for all to enjoy.  Thank you guys so much!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Back From Vogue: Stash Enhancements!

And now for the fun stuff!!  Aka, the stuff I spent all my money on.

Well, I didn't actually spend my money on this one.  This was a gift from Vogue for volunteering.  And right after I got it, I went to have it signed.

Kaffe Fassett's autograph

Kaffe Fassett signed it first.  I love that he put the year under his name.  He was still chatting with someone else at the table when...

K-Brandon Mably's autograph

...he turned the page and started to write his name again!  Luckily, Brandon Mably is a quick thinker and turned Kaffe's "K" into a "B" for his own name.  I love that my book is so unique now!  I also love that each of the guys wrote their own intro for the book, and therefore had their own place to sign it.  I don't know if they planned it that way, but I like it!

Stashed here

This stuff was super soft.  It's Leicester Longwool from Solitude Wool.  I was very excited to find two of the same color/fiber so that I could make something a little larger and still do a 3 ply yarn with it.  I was debating between and a blue, but I've already spun something blue and decided for something different.  There was also a grey with bits of green- perfect Slytherin colors!  But I didn't like the feel of the fiber so I passed it up.

Solitude Wool is a small duo- two women who each own their own separate farms in Virginia, but combine their efforts to create wonderful rovings and yarns.

Stashed here

I also bought this from them.  I was so drawn to these natural colors twisted together.  I really wanted to make a cowl with this.  I changed my mind later- it will become a hat and another yarn I bought that is close in color but softer will become a cowl to go with it.

Explore their website...cuteness will ensue!  I love seeing all the animals in the pictures, especially those little baby lambs.  I tried hard to only buy from smaller companies or very unique items.

Stashed here
This is what I'll be making my cowl out of.  100% Llama and 100% from Long Island!  Yay for the locals!  I've seen LI Livestock Company at various events in my area, but did not recognize owner Tabbethia because she's usually wearing a jumpsuit, hair tied back, shaving some hairy animal.  She was so sweet and talked to me for a bit.  I just love this company so much!  I told her I'm going to move to her farm.  So far that's 2 fiber animal farms I've invited myself to live on locally.  Eventually I'll get my animals :o)

Anyway, this yarn is made up of fibers from Lily, Pumpkin and Nala, all llamas on Tabbethia's farm.  She shears them all herself and actually travels up and down the east coast to do shearings for other farms.  I really can't wait to knit this one up.  I have a feeling it won't be in my stash for too long.

Stashed here
This is a 100% llama roving.  I've never spun llama.  At all.  So this will be a new experience.  It's from a llama named Ernie.  He's very soft!

I love the various colors in the roving.  It should create an interesting yarn when it's done.

Like it needs any introduction :o)


What Would Madame Defarge Knit?  Edited by Heather Ordover

This isn't exactly your typical knitting book.  There are no pictures of a finished product in here.  None.  Zero.  There are simple hand drawings, such as the one on the cover.  Because of Ravelry and to keep costs down, Heather opted to not include pictures.  You can see the patterns here though.  Instead, space is reserved for each designer to write about the project, the story that it is derived from, and their inspiration.  I started to read it Saturday evening but was too tired to take any of it in.  I'll definitely have to read through this one!

It says "Toujours en Tricot!" which GoogleTranslate "still knitting."

This is the fiber I bought for Julia since she 1- loaned me her unlimited MetroCard and train ticket, and 2- missed Vogue to go on vacation with her boyfriend.  It's colorway is "Alcohol".  I had to buy it for her when I saw that name.  Her story about vacation told me I chose well :o)

Stashed here

This was a fiber for me.  Both this and Julia's Alcohol were purchased from Creatively Dyed Yarn.  Such pretty colors :o)

Oh and did I mention it's a merino/silk/cashmere blend?  My hands were in love <3

Stashed here

So I have a confession to make.  I only bought SweetGeorgia Yarns' Tough Love Sock because I wanted the bag that comes with a Knitty City purchase.  BUT that does not mean I didn't want the yarn already :o)

Maria of the Subway Knits podcast raves about this yarn, and Julia recently used it for a pair of socks.  Both have lots of good things to say about it so I've wanted to try it for a while.

I fell in love with this colorway.  Apparently Dino approved.  He interrupted my photography session to lick my yarn.  Yes, I said lick.

See that tongue?!?  On my yarn!

Oh Knitty City bag, how I love thee!  I got one of these bags during this past fall's NYC Yarn Crawl.  I love to use it for my lunch, but I have a tendency to spill my coffee on it.  When it's in the laundry (which could, um, take a while sometimes), I have nothing but regular plastic shopping bags to use.  So I felt I needed another one.  And bought me some yarn so I could get another awesome lunch bag.

Is he not the cutest thing ever?  I got this little guy from the Mother Bear group.  I first heard about Mother Bear from Dr. Gemma on the CogKnitive Podcast.  I have yet to make one though.  Actually, I have to purchase the pattern too.  I was very happy to see they had a booth at the Marketplace and stopped by to check out some of the pictures and bears they had displayed.  They were selling kits to make bears for $20. But the kit really had stuff I didn't need- acryllic-ish yarn and needles.  I have needles and lord knows I have plenty of yarn.  But I still wanted to contribute, to make sure their time at Vogue was worth it.  So I saw these little bears hanging on a display.  One of the girls working the booth made them all, using the Mother Bear pattern and sock yarn (instead of worsted, which is used to make the regular bears).  I really love this idea.  You can buy them here if you want one too!  Money from the sales goes towards shipping the bears over to Africa.  I didn't even hesitate to fork over $20 for him. Obviously he's something I could make myself and cheaper, but the point of this booth was to raise money for the charity.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that my friend Megan from college went to Uganda for a year to work at an orphanage.  Many of the kids there had HIV or were orphaned because of AIDS.  After all of her stories from her trip, I have felt a more personal connection to the children in Africa affected by this disease.  I really want to help and urge all of you to help as well.  Hell, I'd even knit these little guys to sell as future fundraisers for them.

Megan and one of her kiddies

Ok the PSA is over and now back to the yarn!  I had to get some of the yak yarn from Bijou Bison Ranch.  I've never used yak before.  I really wanted one that had bamboo in it, but this one was $5 cheaper and I had to let my budget make some decisions for me.  I persuaded myself with that "limited edition" on the label and the fact that it has camel in it too!  I think it's going to grow up to be a shawl someday.  Maybe a Stephen West shawl...something simple and not lacey.

Lion Brand was giving out free bags!  They make a great bag.  I use one (bigger than this one, if you can believe it) for some yarn storage...mostly my Cascade 220 stash.  Not sure what this one will be used for just yet.

And there it is...the sum total of my stash.  I threw my volunteer badge in there.  If I'd done my laundry yet, I'd have put my t-shirt in too, but like I said earlier, that can take a while.


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