Off the yarn wagon….again

So last week, as I had mentioned, I went yarn shopping at Stitches from the Heart, and as we all knew would happen, I bought more than I’d planned. That’ll teach me to carry my vacation credit card with me when I’m no longer on vacation! First it took me forever to decide on a yarn for Haley’s blanket–cool colors, soft texture and machine washable is a tough combination to find!–but I finally chose Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted LP (20% wool/80 acrylic) in the variegated “purple allure” (aka 11418) pallette. But before I decided on that, I’d kept returning to the Bernat Satin wall o’color. So many bright and beautiful colors! I’d been wanting to do some amigurumi work, but you need a good acrylic for that, so the stitches don’t stretch and leak stuffing all over the place. In the end, I couldn’t resist all those beautiful colors, and ended up with twelve balls of Bernat Satin, in twelve different colors.

Of course, now that I have all I need for a cute amigurumi doll, I can’t decide on a pattern. Sigh.

But yes, I bought a ton of yarn last week, so hopefully that’ll carry me over the summer. There have been many yarn sales lately–at WEBS and at Unwind (one of my LYSs), but I haven’t even glanced at either one, so as not to tempt myself.

So back to Haley’s blanket–I started a crocheted log cabin, but so far I don’t love it. The yarn is great, but it’s the pattern–no matter how many of these I do, I still can’t nail the right number of stitches to add when crocheting across the side of a row, so some sides are longer than others, and there’s a folding/pinching issue where I picked up too many/didn’t pick up enough. I’m thinking of frogging it and making a star afghan instead. If I do that, then I think I’d switch to the Satin, ’cause the pattern would benefit far more from different colored yarns than from one variegated pallette. And the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a “Haley’s Comet” blanket. Hmm….

In other yarn news, I haven’t done anything lately with the sparkly market shawl, the too-big pink slouchy hat, the pseudo fair isle tam from Knitty, the scratchy my so-called scarf, or Kristen’s hat. I really suck at finishing, yo.

And finally, on a completely unrelated tangent, I rejoined Weight Watchers this week, and had my first meeting yesterday. My plan is to relearn how to eat properly. Lindora did great things for me the first six months I was on it, but it just went downhil from there, and I’d like to be able to look at a potato again without freaking out or binging on them (or is it bingeing?).

That’s all I got for today. Have a great Memorial Day tomorrow!

It's picture-palooza time!

Yesterday I took pictures of the projects I’m currently and actively working on, so today I get to share them with you! Yay!pictures!

WIP: Kristen's knitted hatThis hat was knit for my friend Kristen to match her birthday scarf. I cast on 80 stitches onto size 11 needles, same as I did for the hat for my brother-in-law, and yet, this hat is enormous. I don’t think I can save it as is, so I plan to frog it and start over, this time on size 10.5 circs with ten fewer stitches.

WIP: Snowflake motifThis snowflake motif will eventually, someday, be one of many that’ll join together to make a scarf for my sister. I’m using the yarn she bought at WEBS. The motif took me over an hour to complete, so who knows how long it’ll take me to make the whole scarf.

WIP: Tam knit in roundMy tam! I’m using the pattern from the current Knitty for this faux-fair isle tam, using two strands of Paton’s Wool. I tried using a strand in each hand, but I couldn’t get any tension from my left hand, so I’ve been holding both strands in my right hand, and I’m getting pretty good at it. Sadly, I think this hat is going to be way smaller than I’d hoped (yes, I know I should gauge swatch, but that’ll probably never happen), so I’ll have to think of a child deserving of such ugly colors. *g* Also, I think my stranding might pull a bit, making it even tighter, but I won’t know for sure until it’s done.

WIP: single crochet scarfThis is the single-crochet scarf I’ve been working on since the plane home last month. It’s the project I take with me to work on at lunch or while waiting for, say, the dentist, so it’s slow going, but I’m nearly finished with the second ball of Patons Soy Wool Stripes–now I just have to find the third and final ball. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.

So that’s what I’m working on right now. My favorite at the moment is the tam, because not only am I learning something new (double stranding and working from a color chart) but it’s neat to see how the pattern emerges when I’m only focusing on one row at a time. Plus I’m always pleased when something that looks so hard and forbidding, turns out to be not so bad at all.

And now I’m off to see a baby about a smile. 🙂

A tam, a scarf, and a quickie wrapup of my week

Looks like I’m getting back on the habit of not posting as much as I should–well, phooey.  I even had to go back and read what (and when) I’d last posted, so I could remember what’s been up since then.  Oh, for the discipline of NaBloPoMo!

So let’s see, when last I posted, I was heading to the LYS to pick up some Debbie Bliss Silk Alpaca in chocolate brown.  It turned out rather well, and I was quite proud of myself.  Despite browsing for nearly an hour, I came out of the store with only the one ball of yarn and three magazines–not cheap, but I didn’t add to my stash, so it’s totally a win!

The hat for which that yarn was purchased is nearly finished–as is typical for me, all that’s left is the seaming, which it’s been waiting for for a week now. Very sad. Just like the blindingly bright granny square afghan is done except for the weaving of the ends. I really suck at finishing, but I hates it so, I do! And of course, rather than do finishing, I’ve started two other projects–the motif scarf for my sister, and a colorful tam from Knitty.

The scarf is the Snowflake Scarf from the latest Crochet Today (pg 26), and so far I have one motif done (in a rusty red), which isn’t much progress, but the damn thing took me over an hour and I needed quiet to concentrate, so you can imagine how often complete quiet pops up in a standard day. I may try to block off a lunch hour or two this week to try to make some  headway.

The tam is Tam C from the latest Knitty, and it’s my first project ever using a chart. Well, ok, there was a heart chart once in a sampler square, but that was easy compared to this chart, so it doesn’t count. 😉 I started it last night using two balls of the Patons wool that I bought during my felted bag phase; the base color is light green and the variegated is red, orange, green and navy. I already screwed up the first round, but I think I’m getting the hang of holding two strands. I’m worried my stitches might be tight enough to pull it into a scrunchy tam, but not worried enough to start over.

I’ve also been going to the WeHo SnB group (if you can count twice as ‘been going’–it was raining Thursday and I couldn’t make myself walk out the door). It’s hard breaking into a group that’s been together for as long as those people have, but there are a few other people who are relatively new who are in a similar boat, which makes it a little easier. 

I think that’s it for yarn related news.  I could go into my neverending leaking window saga, or the hours I’ve spent this weekend trying to learn content management systems for websites, or my cousin’s wedding in Scotland that I desperately want to go to but so far haven’t figured out how to afford it, or the many interviews we had at work this week for two of our four open positions, but I’d be typing for hours. Suffice to say, it’s been a busy week.

My To Do list for 2008

I am home now, yay! Well, home as in Los Angeles–at this very second, I’m actually at work.

I have a list of things I need to accomplish before I can do my own projects again:

  • a scarf for my sister using yarn she purchased at Webs a couple of weeks ago and a pattern from a crochet magazine (Crochet Today? Interweave Crochet? I forget, they all blend together for me);
  • a hat, also for my sister, to match the scarf I gave her for Xmas, using the leftover Lion Suede;
  • and a hat for my friend K to match the scarf I gave her for her birthday (fingers crossed that there’s enough yarn left over).

I think I’m free as a bird after that to tackle my own projects, such as:

  • finishing my UMass scarf;
  • doing something, I don’t know what, with the yarn I bought from Webs;
  • tackling my first-ever sweater (I already have the yarn, I just need a pattern);
  • finishing my gazillion WIPs;
  • and a little (translation: verra ambitious) project I’ve been contemplating for awhile, an intarsia wall-hanging (haven’t decided on a pattern yet–I waver between two or three color movie-poster-theme and multi-color recreation of a work of art).

That last one is the one I’m most excited about, but it really will be a big and scary undertaking (that will require much yarn to boot), so I don’t know when that one will happen.  Hopefully in 2008, though.

I also have to figure out what to do with my now largish collection of felted handbags, since I didn’t give away nearly as many as I’d expected to for the holidays.  I don’t need that many bags myself, that’s for sure, but I don’t feel comfortable selling them since all but one were made from other people’s patterns. I may yet find people to give them to, or I may use them for some charitable purpose. Or, I may continue my lazy ways, stick them in a bag in a closet, and forget about them until next Christmas. Who knows?

GabbyAnd finally, since this blog is horribly boring enough without including any photos, here’s a picture of my sister’s cat Gabby.  Gabby likes to talk (a lot!), is always begging for food, and has the largest eyes any of us have ever seen on a cat.  In fact, her vet even examined them for oddities since even he had never seen such large eyes and was afraid she might be in pain (no evidence of this, though).