Saturday, November 27, 2010

I tackled a big project and . . .

look what I got!

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The photo is a little overexposed, but I love this shawl very much. Here's another shot of it, where you can see the detail and the colors are closer to true:

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I started the shawl at the beginning of October, and worked on it throughout last month and this month.Considering how fine the yarn was and how big it ended up (nearly 8 feet by about 2 feet), I think I did well to A) finish it in a timely manner and B) not get bored with it and toss it aside.

And blocking it was an adventure unto itself! I had to use the floor in my bedroom and I could barely get around it. It took about an hour, but this is what it looked like once it was all pinned out and drying:

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I think I am willing to tackle more challenging projects like this!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yarn!

I just wanted to share this photo. It is a basket that I keep on the entertainment center in my room. It is where I keep some of my favorite yarns. I need to use more of them, but sometimes I just want to look at them and pet them.

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It already looks different, because I have changed out a few of them. I have wound a couple so they are ready to use, and I have added some new ones to it. And I am expecting more in the mail soon. Yarn makes me happy!

Harry Potter 7!

I really should have written this post several days ago, but I am just sitting down to do it. The movie was amazing! Oh, it was wonderful. I think it was my favorite of all of them so far. I had so much fun. I went with my husband, son and daughter-in-law. Midnight show. So great! And of course, we couldn't go without some fun crochet items, so I made hats and scarves for us.

I am definitely a Hufflepuff, and my daughter-in-law, Michelle, is definitely a Gryffindor. So, she got Gryffindor colors and I got Hufflepuff colors.

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And Mark played along and wore Hufflepuff colors as well!


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It was a great time. There were a few people in costume and it was fun to see them. I am thinking of going in costume for the last movie. It might be fun to go all out for the last one!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Update to "Oh, it's been so long"

Well, I was just back reading through some past posts, and I ran across the one mentioned in the title of this one. It has a nice list of some projects I was working on in early August.  So here's an update on all of them.

1. The cotton country shawl is done. I really like it. And the pattern was easy and fun to make. The solid rows are evenly spaced in the pattern, but I rarely make a pattern without some alterations, and that is the case with this one as well. I just sort of spaced the solid rows out wherever I decided I wanted one.

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2. The alpaca lace scarf is only a few rows in. I really need to get working on it again. It's a nice pattern and fun to make. But I have had so many other projects that have taken my time. I'll get back to it. I know I will. I just don't know when.

3. Traveling Woman? Well, um, yeah it's still in the swatch stage. Meaning all I have done on it is a swatch-sized bit. Again, I know I'll get back to it. Just not sure when.

4. Circular lace shawl. I tried to work on this one. I really wanted to love it. I did. And I tried and tried to love it. But I didn't. So I frogged it. Ripped the whole thing out. It had to have been at least 800 yards of lace weight yarn. But I love that yarn and I want it to be something that I will love to wear. This shawl wasn't it. Sigh. Here's a picture of it from a while ago. It was bigger than this when I decided to take it out. And the frogging? It took me about three hours to do.

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And finally, I definitely finished the shrug I needed for Alyx's wedding. I love how it turned out. It fit perfectly and looked like it was made for the dress. But I guess it was, wasn't it? It was delightfully easy and fun to make. And the button is just the perfect touch. Here's a picture from the day of the wedding:

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And here's a detail of the button:

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I first placed the button right at the top of the neckline, but then when I tried it on, it just didn't work right. So I moved it down a little and then it was just right.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ramblings III

Well, how about a little bit more about yarny things? Yeah, that's mostly where my mind wanders these days. And it's so much fun, why not? So for your yarny pleasure, I introduce you to Melgrin. He's a batty little thing, but he sure can clean up.

He's awfully cute when he's asleep:

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And when he starts to wake up:

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And when he's ready to get to work:

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And he even wore my little Hufflepuff house crest pin for the "photo shoot."

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Ack! A mouse in the house!

Yep. I thought I saw one this morning in the kitchen as I walked in there to let the dogs out. Then I thought it must have been my imagination. Surely Sparky the hunter would have known there was a mouse, wouldn't he? After all, he catches the mice outside...

Then tonight while I was at work, Kyle calls and tells me he sees a "rat" in the kitchen. Well, I know it's not a rat. Just a little mouse. But that means a trip to Walmart on the way home from work to pick up some traps.

And while at Walmart, I saw a for-real "people of Walmart" person! I swear I did. But I was too chicken to take a picture. I'm sure she would have known I had. After all, she and I were the only people there it seemed like. So, I don't have to feel too left out anymore. I go to that website and think I never see anyone who looks like that there. But tonight, I did. It's actually kind of scary when you see them in person.

Oh, and just for cuteness' sake, here's a picture of Sparky the hunter:

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And if he does catch the mouse in the house ( I feel like I should be saying "Fox in socks"!) I'm not sure what I'll do!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Another Saturday night . . .

And here I am. I cleaned my desk off at work tonight. And K-State is cleaning Texas' clock on the football field. And I was able to spend some time at Twist playing with yarn. That always makes for a better day. And I had yummy Chinese food for dinner. It's a newsroom staple. But it tastes so good.

I am looking forward to being able to set my clock back an hour tonight. I sure can use the extra hour of sleep! Maybe I will actually be on time to church in the morning. It's a possibility. And my Lozenge Shawl is completely finished, ends woven in and all. I think I will wear it to church tomorrow. It is so soft!

And speaking of yarn, this is my basket of luscious yarns that sits on top of the entertainment center -- which doubles as a yarn storage unit! -- in my room. It makes me so happy to look up and see it sitting there. I have ideas for some of the yarn in it. I need to find ideas for more of the yarn in it. I took this picture outside in the sunshine. And, of course it's not exactly what I see when I look at my basket, because I took this photo from above.

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Sometimes I just want to bury my face in it. Silly, I know. But it's comforting.

And I got a lovely box of treats in a swap in one of the book groups I am in on Ravelry. Sarah who lives in West Yorkshire spoiled me. Lovely yarn, a fun tote bag from her local yarn store, and lots of other goodies. She also made the cutest set of stitch markers. See all the good stuff she sent?

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Ramblings II

Oh, I feel I must do a little more rambling. Lately I feel like that's all I'm capable of. Maybe it is. If so, then I am OK with it. So, some random thoughts.

First, I love words. Yep. I do. And I love that I work with words. And words are where I turn for learning, and comfort and making things. But sometimes the words don't work. And I am always amazed when I do better from a picture than words. But this shawl? Yes, the picture is what did it for me. I have not knit from a chart before, but the words in this pattern were confusing to me, and the picture made sense. Crazy, I know, but it's true.

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It will be perfect to wear with my wool winter coat. I am quite pleased with my first attempt at chart knitting. Maybe I will tackle a bigger lace project and use just the charts. My, that would be daring, wouldn't it?

Oh, hey, shoes! I love shoes. But not in the way my sister loves shoes. She loves heels and crazy shoes like that. Me? I love comfortable and fun shoes. And Converse. Yes, I love to wear Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Not great for doing a lot of walking, but seriously comfortable for sitting at my desk at work! Well, I found a pair that I love very much. They make me quite happy.

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How could you wear these and not be happy? Impossible, I am sure. They will likely be on my feet when I go to see the new Harry Potter movie!

I love yarn

Does this surprise you? I think not. But I do. And I love making things with yarn. And I really, really love it when a stitch pattern and a variegated yarn just work perfectly. It doesn't always happen that way, but this time it did for me.

I had a large hank of worsted weight yarn in a lovely mix of blues and green, and I knew I wanted to make a shawl or wrap of some kind with it. At 560 yards, it was plenty for something of decent size. I tried two or three ideas, but nothing was working. I started looking through my stitch dictionaries to see if I could find a simple pattern that would set off the yarn. I succeeded!

I call this the Lozenge Stole because the stitch I used was called that. It worked up very quickly and was so easy to memorize since it was a one-row repeat. I am so happy with how it turned out. I hope it dries quickly so I can wear it!

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And here's shot of the stitch detail:

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I had to block it on the top bunk bed so I could get it spread out somewhere that the dogs wouldn't decide it made a nice bed for them. I think it's about 6 feet long and between 18 and 24 inches wide (I really ought to get out the tape measure and measure it, but I am too lazy right now). It should be a nice and cozy wrap now that the weather is getting a little chilly.

Ramblings

Well, that could probably be the title of any post on this blog. Tonight, it's ramblings about knit and crochet. Well, that's nothing new either, is it?

How about I just share some fun projects that I have made recently?

Here is the set of place mats and a dishcloth that I made for my daughter-in-law. They are for her birthday. It was in July. I gave these to her in October. Yes. I am lame like that.

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They were fun to make, because they are just big circles. Each one is a little different than the others because I just adjusted on the fly to keep them laying flat. The dishcloth just finished off the big old skein of yarn I was using. I actually really like how they turned out.

I also made this great granny square hat. It's a Hufflepuff hat. I plan to wear it to the premier of the next Harry Potter movie. Everyone should be able to tell that I am a Hufflepuff!

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Here it is being modeled by my lovely African elephant grass basket. But it fits me perfectly and I love it!

And while I am on the subject of hats, here's another one I made recently. The yarn is from Sugar Bunny Boulevard, a lovely little yarn store up the road from me a bit. The Central Kansas Yarn Shop Hop was the second-to-last weekend of October, and that was the only shop I visited other than Twist. I found this amazing skein of Malabrigo Chunky, and when I picked it up, it told me it wanted to be a hat and to warm my head. I love it when yarn speaks to me that way!

Well, I certainly couldn't deny its desire could I? So a hat it must be. And I had just enough left over to make a little flower to embellish it with.

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As you can see, I am having as much fun as ever playing with the yarn and hooks.