Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Also, the tiny project from earlier in the week. I finally tried out tunisian crochet. I think Sebastian approves.

Gotta love the catnip trance at the end. heh Catnip toys are one of the best things for practicing new stitches - nice and small and no one complains if you do make a mistake in the stitch! Since I don't have the right hooks for a larger project, this was perfect for trying it out on my regular hooks. =)

Here's a still shot. I love the look of this stitch - almost a woven look instead of very obviously crochet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sometime, the budget's NOT the most important thing.

I was all ready to post about the new crafty thing I did last night... but apparently my little dog decided he hadn't had enough face time on the blog lately. Reilly has had a few issues in his four years and today, added one (or two) more. He had his first (and hopefully last) seizure this morning. Out went the budget I've been sticking to along with my work schedule for today and off we went to the vet. Bloodwork came back this afternoon with off the charts markers for pancreatitis. We'll hear tomorrow on the next test results. Hopefully, the outcome will simply mean a new super-lowfat diet and we'll be able to proceed without more bumps in the road. This has been one heck of a year for the critters in my little family. Can this please be the last health crisis this year? Please?! 

The craftiness? It'll wait.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Real Man

This guy cracks me up!

I made it for lunch today, but with homemade hummus instead of packaged. Yum!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

20s Babies

Finished both hats! And added crochet flowers. =)

So cute. I hope she likes them... and that they fit. lol I'm so early on getting these done (she's not due with #2 until January), now I'm debating what else to make for the girls. Baby/toddler stuff is so fun... and so quick!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Could it be?

Oh, yes, it could! Count 'em, SIX FOs in ONE week! From me?! lol

A friend has her second baby due this winter so I thought I'd make a pair of hats, one for the new little one due to make her debut in a couple months, though already named Katherine, and one for her big sis, Elizabeth! This is Katherine's. I've had this nice cotton blend (white and a bright pink/rose) in my stash with a babyish plan. I went browsing on Ravelry for a cute pattern and turned up the Poppy by Justine Turner. So cute! Love the 20's feel of it. =) I'm thinking they need a crochet flower on the side to add to the cuteness.

I finished this mid-last-week, but just finally got a chance to take a couple shots of it this morning. Work's been slow (hence all the yarny goodness around here this past week), but they finally came through just as I was casting this one off and I've been tied to my laptop the past three days... or I would've had big sister's hat done too! The knitting progress suffered a bit (and my shoulder/forearm is killing me), but my bank account will be much happier in a couple weeks. =) Back to a more normal schedule this week!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wrapped in love

Or at least alpaca and bamboo. =)

Last winter, a friend saw my then newly-knit fingerless gloves and asked for a pair so we went off in search of some great yarn while working in Portland. She picked up two skeins of Qina from Mirasol Yarn, a blend of alpaca and bamboo, in a beautiful charcoal grey. I haven't been knitting much this year so the yarn has been sitting, unloved, for much too long. Now that the temps are starting to drop (everywhere but here apparently), I thought it was time to pull this out and give it a go.

This weekend I finished off a few of my older projects that sat unfinished far too long, with this project as a bit of incentive. I didn't want to start anything new with all the old stuff still sitting there. Mission accomplished and guilt abated. =) So after finishing the others, I cast on the pair of delayed fingerless mitts for my friend on Sunday.... finishing Monday. This yarn is so yummy! Soft and warm. I think they'll be well-received. The pattern I chose, Fetching, knit up incredibly quickly and took only one full skein and just a bit from skein two for the second thumb. They weigh exactly 50g though so had I been careful, I could have used just the one skein after all, but I had fears of running out on that second thumb and having to pick back. heh

Love the picot bind-off!

Since we didn't have a specific pattern in mind all those months ago, she purchased two skeins of this luxurious-feeling yarn. Still having almost a full skein left, I decided I wanted to make something else cozy to go with the mitts. Using the cable pattern used on Fetching, I worked up a pattern for a small cowl/neck warmer with a button closure but didn't like the way it was coming out halfway through so I reworked it into a circular cowl instead and started over. Had to resize it halfway through and start over, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Here are the details for A Fetching Cowl:

Yarn is DK weight, size 6 needles (a set of dpns will work, but a 16" circ makes it even quicker!)
Gauge: 25 st and 26 rows to 4" (worked in rib pattern, unstretched of course)
Finished measurements: @17" around and @5" tall (again, unstretched, the rib allows plenty of room to pass over the head)

CO = cast on
BO = bind off
PM = place marker
st = stitches
K = knit
P = purl
C4F = transfer 2 st to cable needle, hold to front of work, K2, K2 off cable needle
C4B = transfer 2 st to cable needle, hold to back of work, K2, K2 off cable needle

CO 110 st in a stretchy CO (I used the cable cast-on)

PM and join in the round.

Round 1 (R1): *K4, P1*, repeat to end of round
Repeat R1 until just before the halfway point. If using my measurements, repeat until your cowl reaches just shy of 2 1/2". (I did this by weight since I was working with a small amount of yarn and wanted to get the most out of it - just weigh the remainder of the ball you're working from and work your cable round when you have a little over half left.)

Cable round: *C4B, P1*, repeat 10 more times, *C4F, P1*, repeat 10 more times.

Repeat R1 for another 2 1/4" (or adjust if you've made yours smaller or bigger).

P 1 round. (This will help a bit with the cowl wanting to roll and make it match if you've used the cable cast-on.)
BO in your favorite stretch manner. Weave in ends. =)

Resizing the pattern -For a larger or smaller cowl, simple add or subtract your CO stitches by multiples of 5 and adjust your cable round to suit your CO number. A multiple of 10 CO stitches will result in an even number of cables leaning right and left, but no one will notice if there aren't an even amount!

Perfect as a set! (And ridiculously quick to knit! Hmm, Christmas gifts anyone?)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's this?!

Not one...

not two...

but THREE finished objects today???

Yep! I now only have TWO UFOs! And one of those only needs a strap added (all crocheting finished) once I manage to actually find one. The other is a crochet blanket started earlier this year that I really need to start working on again. Been awhile since I didn't have any UFOs from previous years lurking around. heh

**The pics all link to the project pages on Ravelry if you're interested in details. =)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Budgeting... and yarny goodness

About a month ago, I started using to track my spending/savings to see exactly where the money's going... and where I could cut back. I used to be pretty anal about my budget, then I took a travel job... with a bigger paycheck... and quit caring quite so much. lol Not saying I haven't saved, but I know I can definitely do even better!

Saved a bit of money (and even better, time) this week. I was asked about swapping some yarn last weekend by a fellow raveller and being a yarny girl, of course I let her twist my arm and took a look at what she had to offer. This has to be the best way to get new yarn. I pass on some great stuff I don't want anymore (in this case, part of it I'm allergic to) to someone who would love to have it and I get some great new yarn to play with too. All for just a few bucks for shipping. That's not the saving part though. I discovered I could pay for and print a shipping label on, getting a small discount on shipping, free delivery confirmation and even get free pick-up! No trip to the post office? I'm sold! The scale I bought awhile back came in handy too. =) So off it went today, headed for MA. And surprise! Mine came today!

Two balls of Aussi sock in sahara dessert - lovely shades of brown, tan, grey and blue.

And some elsebeth lavold silky wool in emerald green

and lava.

Yeah, I'm a happy girl. =)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Happy October!

I'm a few days late, but I LOVE October! The apples and pumpkins, the chill in the air, the crunch of fallen leaves under my feet, the gorgeous, colorful trees! What's not to love?! I can't wait until the trees really start turning around here - so far, not much color to be found, but it's coming!

The cooler temps have brought back a bit of my knitting mojo. I pulled out the scarf I started back in August and am pretty close to being finished. Just deciding how long I want it to be. No new pics. It looks the same, only longer. ;-) Trying to decide on a hat pattern to go with it. Or maybe just a pair of mittens - I know those would get more use. Any suggestions on patterns?

Haven't finished up my crochet bag either. It's all finished other than adding a strap... something I haven't had any luck so far in finding. I'm looking for something probably an inch to inch and a half wide and long enough to carry messenger style across the body. I looked at Joann's but only found thin straps. Anyone know of a good place for something like that? I thought about using a belt, but would really like something with the rings attached on both ends for easier attachment.

Maybe a week or so ago, I hit Big Lots and found some awesome deals on critter stuff! Not sure why I never think of them, but I'll definitely be going in more often now. Seriously, dog toys for $2-3, pet beds for $7! Speaking of beds... I bought the beds for my mondo (but getting slightly less so) cats. These beds are roughly 15" across in the center. Perfect, comfy fit:

Well, someone else decided they just might be a perfect fit for him as well:

"What?! It's got a dog bone on it, right?"

A little spillover, but not bad for a 13-yr-old, 35-lb dog! heh

I've spent the past two days watching another photography seminar online while I work my day job (thereby making the day job not quite as mind-numbing). Nope, I can't get enough! It's so inspiring listening to those who've been there and made their businesses successful already. I always come away from these seminars amazed at how much I can learn in such a short time. I loved my photography classes, but I think I've learned more from these free (or nearly free) workshops/seminars than I did in school... and saved a good bit of cash too! Always a good thing. =)