Sunday, August 31, 2008

I pulled out fabric for the new quilt this morning and while I've got more than enough pinks and blues, I'd really like a few more yellow prints. And maybe another green or two. I like the yellows I did come up with, I'm just not sure there's enough of them to balance out the blues and pinks. And I'm not willing to give up any of those.


I think I'm just ready to jump on any excuse to go fabric shopping.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Forget the five inch squares for now, because this pattern is screaming to me louder --

I know I've got the right fabrics up in the sewing room, but dh has the shop keys in the pants he wore to work, which means I've been locked away from my fabric all day. I could've spent those hours getting the house absolutely spotless so I'd have nothing to do tomorrow but sort through my stash for the perfect blue and pink and yellow and green prints, but that's not how my life works.

I did tackle the housework, but I also spent some time finishing this guy --


I desperately wanted to knit an alligator scarf, but was worried about those ridges down his back. How did they do that? I was picturing complex short rows or something equally stressful. And then there were those wonderful eyes. How could those possibly work?

The little ridges and eyes are easy. I had to redo the nostrils a couple of times, which was a problem with the knitter, not the pattern.

After my struggles with the shark hat, I need a couple of projects where I can just follow the pattern as written and not fight with it.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I can't go quilting at church without wanting to buy fabric on the way home. Today, it was a yard and a half of black cotton I suddenly had to have. But Joann's would have been a 60 mile detour and I forgot about the itty-bitty quilt shop between the church and the house so, although it was less about self control and more about not having the time to drive that far, I didn't actually buy any fabric.

After seeing someone else's finished quilt, I'm dying to make my own version of the scrap quilt the group is working on. It's a pattern I've seen before -- I think it's called "Exquisite," but I'm having no luck with a Google search to verify that. Too many people are using the word to describe their quilts. And while I'm sure they're all absolutely lovely, it's keeping me from finding what I want!

Now I'm going to go finish the dishes and start cutting five inch squares. Because if I have the squares done, I'll really need to go buy the black fabric.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The bead store didn't have lucite rings. I'm not convinced that the lady there even listened to my question, because she steered me toward jump rings and said that was the only thing they had. So I went to the craft store and found some little metal rings that I hoped would do the same job. Then I went home and got to work felting the bag and dying it with Black Cherry Kool Aid.


I love this little bag! It's the perfect size for my wallet, phone, and keys, and doesn't gape completely open to spill everything out. Keep in mind that I've been carrying diapers for most of the past 11 years and cute little purses are a totally unrealistic fantasy at this point in my life. But I do plan to knit another one as soon as I figure out what yarn to use.

StandsWSicks has one on Ravelry that's done in Knit One Crochet Too Paint Box. I've got some single balls of that in my stash...maybe I could stripe them?

And llamalady has made a "double dumpling" that's more of a shoulder bag. That would even hold diapers!


This shark hat has been driving me nuts. There's an error at the very beginning of the patter nthat brought me to a screeching halt about five minutes after casting on. I got that figured out, but once I got about halfway through the dorsal fin my shark's tail didn't look right so I ripped out the whole thing and started over. This time, I got almost to the teeth before deciding that the body is still too short and fat. He needs more plain rows between the tail increases and before the dorsal fin and between the last fin decreases and the ribbing...knitting this pattern as written definitely won't give you a shark shaped like the one in the pattern pictures.

I looked at the other shark hats on Ravelry -- should've done that before casting on! It's not just me. All of the shark hats there have modifications.

So do I start over a third time, or do I just move on to the teeth? Because I'm not sure how that part is going to work out, either.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Show and Tell Friday

Show and Tell

It's been a long time since I've played Show and Tell Friday, but I'm so excited about today's new treasure that I've got to share.


Mom has this book that Great Grandma passed down to her. It's an absolutely massive thing, about a thousand pages divided into sections about medicine, and homemaking, and how to take care of the cows and chickens and the most obscure, fascinating stuff you could imagine, published in 1916. The spine was gone and the poor thing was falling apart until Mom took it and had it rebound.

I was always fascinated by that book but even though I could have looked carefully through it, it always felt too fragile to touch. So I didn't. I've never seen another book like it, not that I've been on a great quest for one. There could be dozens of them sitting on shelves in every antique store around.

I found this one at a garage sale today, sitting on someone's driveway beside a table of Danielle Steel paperbacks. As soon as I saw what it was, I scooped it up and started to figure out how much I could justify spending on it. I got it for a quarter. The sign said that books were twenty-five cents each, and that's what the lady charged me.


Considering its age and the fact that apparently no-one wanted it, it's in great shape. I can't wait to curl up with it and read how to treat hydrophobia and properly store fresh eggs!

The garage sales were good today. I found a huge bunch of black floral fabric (hopefully enough to finish and back the kitty cat quilt), an old blue Nancy Drew book I don't think I already have, and some decent yarn.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

If I had two 3 centimeter Lucite rings and a packet of cherry Kool Aid, I'd finish my Dumpling Bag tonight. But we live in the middle of nowhere, so I have to wait until I'm up in town tomorrow to buy the little rings and the grocery store near the house is out of red drink mix. I really want to get this thing assembled and felted and dyed a different color!


When I cast on the night before last, I didn't expect to have it knit up before I left the house again, but it's a fast project. I'm using the same mystery wool I used for the Firefighter Hat, since it felted so well and came out such a nice shade of red.

These little projects are piling up quickly. I finished two more dishcloths, got the I-cord for the little froggy bag's mouth done and in place (he wasn't feeling photogenic today, so you'll have to imagine how he came out), and made a hat for Alex with yarn and a pattern that have been drifting around my sewing corner for at least a month now.

The Knit Dishcloth Dress is a pattern I'd printed out and completely forgotten about. I used short rows to shape the neckline in an effort to avoid rejoining yarn and weaving in extra ends.

The Pinwheel Dishcloth was easier than it first looked, if I don't admit that I couldn't figure out how to knit the fourth triangle to the first one. Mine is seamed.


Alex saw a picture of Pretty in Pink Ribbons over my shoulder when I found the pattern on Ravelry and liked it. She's up with Grandma and Grandpa for a couple of days and hasn't seen it yet -- hopefully she'll agree that it came out cute!

My hand is feeling a lot better. It seems like knitting (as long as it's not seed stitch with dishcloth cotton) loosens it up, and I can go for longer stretches each day. So I'm a much happier knitter this week!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

There's a radio ad playing lately that says something about making lemonade with free lemon slices and sugar packets. In my case, I'm using leftover bits of acrylic and suddenly feeling better about my knitting than I've felt in weeks. These little fiddly projects are distracting me from the fact that I can't knit for long stretches. So now I'm going through my Ravelry queue and looking for more of them.

The Sideways Short Row Watch Cap has been hovering near the top of my Ravelry queue for a couple of months. I thought it would be a good way to use up the leftover Bernat Camouflage from Heath's ugly raglan, but never got quite motivated enough to cast on.


Quinn promptly decided it was for him and insisted on wearing it to the grocery store because if he didn't, the wind would get in his hair. It was a fun little project and left me with a couple of ideas I want to try on my next short row hat.


I'd printed out a pattern for a Frog Bag ages ago because it's so silly and cute and I've got little kids to knit for. One of those projects I thought I might knit someday but wasn't actually planning to start because of those fiddly little arms and legs and eyes.

I love those little froggie legs and the way that a couple of "knit 3 togethers" make them bend just right!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My camera is having fits today and this is the only picture I could manage, but it proves I managed something last night --

(edited to add a better picture)

Pattern: Miniature Kniting Bag Ornaments

I used some Vanna's Choice left over from Leif's cabled sweater, and made the skeins with some old needlepoint wool that I had in my stash. It was quick and fun and left me feeling a lot better about my knitting.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I've got too much yarn to quit knitting, but I may have to learn a new way to hold my fingers around the needle. It still hurts when I bend my fingers. Not nearly as badly as it hurt the last time I posted, but I still can't knit for any decent length of time without feeling it.

Which probably explains why I'm getting so antsy in the evenings. I don't know what to do with myself if I can't knit!

I've managed a few more rounds on the Noviembre socks and got to within an hour or so of finishing Alex's new tank top before trying it on her and realizing that it's just a little too tight and a little too short. I was tempted to finish it just for the sake of finally finishing SOMETHING other than the fluffy red scarf, but I ripped the whole thing out this afternoon.

It was cute. I liked the texture of the yarn and the shaping and I had a whole skein of the yarn left over, more than enough to reknit it with a couple more inches of ease and make it longer.

I'd feel better about this if I was going to be able to actually get the knitting done anytime soon.

Maybe if I cast on something little and fiddly, I won't notice that I have to put it down and rest my hand every few minutes. I just went through my Ravelry queue and found some possibilities. The Miniature Knitting Bag Ornament pattern looks pretty cute!


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