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).

Ravelry, granny squares, and a little ghost

I’m becoming a bit obsessed with Ravelry.  This weekend I spent hours photographing yarn and entering their stats into my stash database–and still didn’t get to all of it! There’s so much yarn I forgot I had, or forgot the colors, or how much of it there was (30 balls of angora that I totally forgot about!).  I love how easy it is to see what projects others have done with the yarn that I have, and I’m inspired to do so much…so much that it’s actually kind of paralyzing, with the too!many!choices! aspect. Despite the paralysis, however, I got a lot accomplished this weekend, in addition to the photographing of yarn.

Boo!For instance, I started and completed my first ever project done completely with the evil double pointed needles–the ghost from September’s Creative Knitting Magazine. I was watching Saturday night’s game (woo!Sox!) and felt like doing something Halloween-y, so I picked up the nearest magazine–CKM–and voila! There was a ghost pattern right there on page 40! I spent half the game (plus an extra hour after the game) wrestling with the dpns until the ghost was finished (except for the finishing stuff–the closing and stuffing of his head, weaving of ends, and embroidering–ugh–of his face), and I came away being a little less scared of dpns.  They’re still not so easy when you get down to four stitches per needle, but when you’re dealing with 15 stitches each, it’s not so bad. The ghost (and leaving it in Gracie’s crib yesterday) was probably the highlight of my weekend.

Also, after browsing the Granny Squares group on Ravelry, I became inspired to try granny squares, and have so far made….I think eight (they are at home, and I am not) out of Plymouth Encore, with the intention of stitching them together for a granny square scarf.  They’re fun and easy to make, but I’m really not looking forward to weaving in all those ends!  Three colors each square makes for a lot of ends. Blech. I have no pictures yet, but will hopefully post some soon.

ION, I still haven’t given the silk/alpaca gift to my friend, so still no photos of that, but I haven’t forgotten.  Also, there’s a nifty sale going on at my favorite LYS, Handmade, A Needlework Studio–I am broke this month, still, so no sale for me, but if you’re in the general vicinity of Burbank, CA, you might want to take a peek inside.

Red Sox! And hats.

I’m watching the Red Sox game–bottom of the 8th, the Sox are up by three, but it’s not over yet, and anything can happen.  I’m very tense at the moment.  I’ve got my candles lit (some Catholic habits die hard, even for the non-believers), my Varitek game shirt on, and my heart is hovering somewhere around my stomach.  Gah!

While watching the game earlier, I was working on a hat from Vogue Knitting on the Go: Crocheted Hats, which I purchased yesterday at Barnes and Noble (along with Amigurumi! Super Happy Crochet Cute by Elisabeth A. Doherty).  The had did not end well, since I don’t know anyone with a head the size of, say, Hagrid’s.  Sad, really, as the colors (the orange/pink/yellow/red Red Heart I mentioned in an earlier post) work up so brilliantly beautiful.  It was supposed to be the Aviator Helmet from page 75, but it looks more like an unfelted Market Basket from Knitty.com.  (I might link all these things later, but I’m too distracted right now.) (Go Varitek!)

I’m very much into crocheted hats right now.  They work up fast, and require no dpns or seaming, like knitted hats. I did two hats last week, completely off the cuff with no pattern, and they turned out fine–one’s a little on the bigger side, but not half-giant big.  This meshy pattern from the book?  Ugh.  In my inexperienced (crochet-wise) opinion, it’s got errors (I couldn’t find an errata sheet on it anywhere), and I think my attempt to figure out the errors might’ve led to the supersizing.  Ah well, at least now I have something to wash so I can decide if the yarn is even worth frogging for another use.

(Ouch.  I hate it when the other team makes me feel sorry for them.)

I need pictures of these crocheted wonders, I know.

(Wow, they’re walking a rookie just to load the bases.  Desperate.)

Hold on, lemme see what I can do about those pictures…

(Woooo! Pedroia!)

 Pictures are downloading.

(Yooooooouuuuuuuk!)

Ok, now the pics are uploading to Flickr.  Whew.  Did you see that inning?  Scary.  In a good way, if you’re a Red Sox fan.  Not so much for the Indians fans.

Oh, I also bought the magazine Knitting, from the UK.  In my opinion, so not worth the nine bucks.  If it were a book, I’d return it. It was a disappointment, as I love knitting magazines and always look forward to them, but they’ve gotten so expensive I have to be picky about what I buy–I won’t be buying that one again.

Wooooooooooooooooooooo! Red Sox! Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Aw, the poor Indians.  I hate when they show all the devastated players.

Pictures.  Must focus. Ok, here we go.
Hat the First:
Hat the first
A little big, but not too bad.

Hat the Second:
IMG_3972
The crown is a little bigger than the first hat but the brim is snugger, so it fits better. Yes, it’s the same yarn, and the same general “pattern”–I was on a plane, and just made another when I finished the first.

Scary Aviation cap:
Saddest hat ever
Tragic, really–I adore the colors so much! I didn’t even bother to finish it up with the braiding and the flap-ties.  What’s the point?

Ok, that’s all I got for today.  Now I need to do a celebratory “Yay! Pennant!” dance in my living room. 😀

The Day After

As part of my birthday celebration yesterday, I spent part of my day at Barnes & Noble, because it’s one of my favoritest places ever.  While there, I purchased many Fall knitting magazines, which, I have to say, have gotten quite expensive.  Seriously, $35 for five magazines?  (Maybe six, I don’t remember exactly.)  So far I’ve only gone through one of them, but that’s because the new Vogue Knitting is enormous–silver anniversary edition, guaranteed to give you a sore shoulder as you cart it around The Grove in your shoulder bag. I don’t know why I continue to buy VK, as I so very rarely ever make anything from it.  Perhaps it’s the pretty (yet dark–?!) pictures, or the articles (it does have good articles).  But the patterns are usually way too complicated/big/time-consuming/just.not.me to justify the cost when you consider $35 for five-six magazines.

Still, pictures of pretty yarns and stitches and textures will get me every time. And it’s so glossy! (Translation: shiny!)

Soon, my awesome friend Kristen will be dropping off the remainder of my birthday cake (I had too many other things to carry last night) and a caramel latte from Coffee Bean, and then I shall chill out in my favorite chair, eating cake, drinking caffeine, and reading the rest of my new magazines–the ones with patterns that actually inspire me.