Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's about time

I wanted to write something before I go away to visit my parents in Bad Ischl, Austria for the holidays. But I'm not so sure I have that much to write. You see, I've been sewing a lot of bags for the shop (shocking huh?), people have been keeping me busy with this sewing. There are a couple more days left before the shop will, effectively, be closed for the holidays, so I'm trying to keep as big a selection in there as I can. As for my personal favorites, they change pretty frequently, although currently it's the blue version of the mini matryoska's cube and the monkeys cubes- how adorable are they?

Anyway, I promised myself that this blog wouldn't be about the shop, so onto the knitting. Believe it or not, knitting has happened, much of it will need to remain a mystery since the recipients haven't received yet. But I need to show you something, more of a tease than a show and tell.

I'm really excited about our trip, first of all I get to see family that I haven't seen in such a long time, and it will be in beautiful surroundings. I think that we will even get to visit Munich (as that's where we fly in to and out from) as well as Salzburg, which is just an hour away - I'm hoping that there may even be some yarn shopping to be done, but then, I have no clue what's out there, since the last time I was in that neck of the woods all I cared about was spaghetti eis and haribo jelly sweets (esp. the bears and sour chips). If anyone has any 'must see' suggestions while there, I'd happily take them, I don't know what our free time will be like, since we will have some painting and decorating to do...

One of the other essential parts of vacation planning is deciding what knitting to bring. Well, I'm currently knitting Mr B a Henry scarf in a tweedy colourmart cashmere:

I'm really happy with how this looks, I'm hoping this will be finished before we leave - first of all, he gets to wear it in the chilly snow, secondly, this gives me more room for new projects. I have been swatching for a sweater to bring. Of course I will make sure that there will be socks on the needles for travel time (I ambitiously plan on bringing enough for 2 pairs). I've no idea what travel is like to Paris and then to Munich, but I'm hoping that they will be nice and let me knit.

Last weekend was the spider's holiday party, where we friends got to celebrate the upcoming holidays and everything knitty, as well as silly songs, wonderful food, lots to drink, knitting and great company.

We also had a Secret Santa exchange. Sandra was my SS and she did good:

These earrings are some that I had my eye on in her etsy shop for ages, so you can imagine how happy I was to open this box.

Also from my etsy wishlist, was this adorable sheep button:

And, the pièce de résistance... fiber!! I love fiber and it makes me think that, someday soon, I'll be spinning again - stoopid full-time job getting in the way of real life.

4 ozs each of fiber-loveliness. Thanks Sandra!! And big thanks to Jess and Veronique for the wonderful job hosting such a wonderful party.

I have one last thing to show you before I end this longer-than-should-be-post. Yesterday was one of the more stressful days in my life - I don't remember ever being so scared, I'll spare you the details, as it looks as though things will be okay. But before the proverbial hit the fan, I did have one, big, up.

The. best. boots. ever! arrived from zappos, at work. I've heard great things about this shop, but had no idea that overnight delivery would count ordering at 7:30pm the night before!! Going to a snow-filled place for the holidays was the perfect excuse to buy these boots, well, that and the fact that they are adorable.

Okay, I wanted to wish you all very safe, happy and healthy holidays and I will see you in the New Year!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I love getting parcels

I felt like I had a lot to show you this week, then there was the realization that there are people reading this blog who'd have their holiday surprises spoiled (hi family!).

So instead, I'll show you something that I've had absolutely nothing to do with making.

These goodies arrived yesterday. They are from Nova, who made that fabulous project pouch there. I'm so happy with the Green & Blacks chocolate - and am astonished that I still have some left. In case you're wondering why she only sent me one skein of that beautiful Shibui, it's because one skein has already become this:

Nova knit me a Pony Express sock by Audrey Paquin. The sock yarn is Shibui in Pagoda - from which I'll knit its mate. The sock fits perfectly, I love the yarn colour and pattern - I'm a happy bunny. Thanks Nova!!

I hope I'll have some more stuff to show you next time.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Catching up

I just wanted to re-introduce myself to the blog. I'm so behind with blogging and bloglines, oh well, it's a sure sign of a busy life :) Everything is going well, lots going on, and much to show you. I don't want to bore you with a bunch of writing, so I'll catch you up with some photos.

First up, the dress - which I'm finally getting around to show you:

And the shawl, which I completely forgot to take a picture of actually *with* the dress, sorry for the crapola photo, I really struggled with this one:

Pattern: Muir from knitty
yarn: Yarn Place "Gentle" a cashmere, merino mix.
needles: US #6, denises
adaptations: I did one less repeat on the row pattern, making a narrower shawl, since I only had 690 yds. Worked out well for me.

I've knit a bit, and frogged a lot, so all the knitting I have to show today is this sock:

Pattern: It's the Honeybee socks by Stephanie van der Linden. The sock is available (in English as well as German) from a Yahoo German sock Knitting group. You need to join the group to access the pattern (yes, it's all in German, I used Altavista's Babelfish to help with translation, it's not perfect, but it gave me the gist). Once joined, click "Dateien", then the patterns are in the folder "Monatsmuster".
Needles: Knitpicks 32" circs us #1
Yarn: Opal in some yellow (obvious huh?) color
Thoughts/adaptations: I added some extra stitches in the purl part of the pattern and some extra pattern repeats for a longer foot. I'm very worried it won't fit the recipient (despite this being the 3rd sock pattern attempted for them), but I can't do another sock now, I. just. can't. As for the pattern itself, I've really enjoyed knitting it, but it took some time to figure out.

Other stuff: I went to Rhinebeck last weekend with Sharon, Cindy, Colleen and Nancy, we had a blast! I scored a good amount of fiber, a spindle and enough yarn for a sweater/cardigan, sorry about the bland photo.

(click pic for flickr notes on what I bought)

I had planned on buying a new spinning wheel at Rhinebeck, but the prices were the same as online, so I figured I would wait to get one delivered to my home, so my Lendrum Double Treadle arrived this week, and had some fun playing with some of the fiber bought at Little Barn.

It was fun, and so much smoother and quieter than my other wheel, I love it so much, I'm a very happy bunny now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just popping in to say hi

Some of may have wondered what my total silence over the weekend actually means. Did I make the dress fit? Was the shawl finished and blocked in time? Well, both were a resounding success - despite my "add darts", "change darts", "remove darts", "remove zipper partway at the top - re-sew", "remove zipper partway at the bottom - resew", "completely remove zipper, re-press, re-sew", I ended up with a dress I was pretty much happy with. Although I did have to make an emergency stop at the drugstore on the way to the wedding for safety pins when Mr B kindly pointed out that I revealed a lot more of myself than I would want to, to anyone stood on my left, and I didn't feel like pulling a Janet Jackson in the church.

My ability to wear a cashmere/merino shawl was somewhat hindered by the 85+ degree weather on Saturday. The wedding itself was beautiful and touching, and the celebration afterwards was an incredible amount of fun (it helps that the groom is a bar owner in his real life). Sadly a picture of the dress in action has not been forthcoming - unless you count the picture of me and a bunch of drunken friends in the back of a limo at some ungodly hour, no. I won't be sharing that. Hopefully I will have a photo this weekend, in daylight.

In the meantime, here is a shawl teaser.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

More socks!?

Wedding outfit update: dress is complete, shawl is not. Dress is a little too baggy at the waist/back, it occurred to me to try darts - but maybe I'm crazy, I've already adapted the pattern. I've never followed a pattern before, hell, I've never even sewn a garment before, I'm beginning to realize I'm more and more like my father, who believes that the best way to learn anything is to jump in the deep end first.

However, I do have an FO to show you.

The Esther socks are complete, they are, perhaps, the most beautiful socks I've ever made. However, I don't think I'd do them again, I started them at the end of July, and only just finished them, I could not memorize the chart, and by the time I was finished with them, I was relieved.

On to the stats
Pattern: Esther socks by Stephanie van der Linden. The sock is available (in English as well as German) from a Yahoo German sock Knitting group. You need to join the group to access the pattern (yes, it's all in German, I used Altavista's Babelfish to help with translation, it's not perfect, but it gave me the gist). Once joined, click "Dateien", then the patterns are in the folder "Monatsmuster" - I believe it's the July 2006 pattern.
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in 'grapevine'
Needles: knitpicks circs 32" US #1

Right, that's it from me today, the shop is nearly empty, and I have a lot of sewing (AND shawl knitting) to do. Happy Sunday to you all :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Look what I made

No, it's not knitting, but I'm so in love with our new curtains, I needed to show them off. When I saw the fabric, I knew I just *had* to have it. It really makes me smile. I'm particularly proud of the top hem...

Good news is, I have enough left for a few cubes. If you want to know when the bags will be available in this, and other exciting new fabrics, you can email me to be added to the newsletter list.

In other sewing news, last weekend I went to purl patchwork and bought this fabric.

I blame the ADD Knitter for my new-found love for the "chocqua" combo (or at least giving me a name for it). The fabric is currently in the process of becoming the dress in the picture, I plan to wear it at a wedding in less than 2 weeks. I learned some new things so far in following the pattern, particularly the language difference - the term 'basting' had me particularly confused, until I found a US-UK sewing glossary.

I figured I would also need a shawl as it's a late afternoon wedding. Fortunately I had this beautiful cashmere/merino lace-weight (won from Red Head Skydiver) in the stash that was perfect.

Look how well they go together. I'm currently making the Muir shawl with it. I now have to keep my fingers crossed that both the dress and shawl will come out okay AND in time. I'm about a third into the shawl, I'd've taken a picture for you, but, as you could guess, it's just a blob.

Hope you're all having a beautiful Sunday.

PS: Hi Mum & Dad!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just Stuff

First of all, a quick shot of the prize from Knitting Philistine, don't worry, I didn't win another prize, I already 'fessed up to this one.

There's some Gentle Lavender Natural Mineral Sea Salt Soak, Herbal Spa Treatments for Bath (also Lavender), Sweet Orange and Clove Soap, and Peppermint Wish Foot Balm. I have to admit to opening the foot balm right away, and I LOVE it, my post-summer feet ate it up, I've tried a lot of foot moisturizers in the past, and this has to be my favorite so far. Normally I feel that my feet are over-greasy. Forget walking on the hardwood floors afterwards! But this was much better than any other I've tried, I felt like it absorbed a lot better, and was much less greasy. I also felt a difference in softness. I've not tried the other things yet, I think we need some cooler weather before I'm taking a bath. But I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to Melissa. If you want to get some of your own, you can always check out her store.

Speaking of stores, I wanted to say that I'm blown away at the response to my box bags, the first batch sold out in less than 3 days, I've managed to add more here and there. I hope to do a bigger update sometime over the weekend. Anyway, big THANKS to everyone that's stopped by the store to visit, and those that have bought bags. I'm so relieved that people actually like them.

Every time I start a new project, I have, in the back of my mind, the crazyidea, this time it may *the one*. You know, the one that has zero errors, the one without any fudged-up bits. Although I'm pretty sure this will never happen - there is still a part of me, hoping that just maybe....

So, a couple of (slightly) fudged up FO's for you. First of all Spiral Socks. I absolutely adore these socks. I really enjoyed the STR - which is a relief since I have 3 more skeins to use :) it's so... round. As for the socks, I thought I was doing so well with the matching of the socks, opposite swirls and all. However, the swirl came around a lot faster on the second sock than on the first. I could. not. figure it out for ages. Trying them on after finishing last night, I realized what the problem is, I think I actually had less stitches for sock #2!!! Oh well, they still fit (albeit tightly for #2), and I still love them, even though they're not perfectly matched.

Pattern: Swirl Socks by Sulafaye
Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight - in January One (btw, how cool to have a colorway named after you?)
Needles: US #2 Pony Pearls
Mods and thoughts: Only the 'oops factor'. I highly recommend the pattern, perfect interest and not too 'fussy' for a variegated yarn.

The second FO began with even higher hopes. Orangina was supposed be knit faster than anyone else has done it (planning to practically finish on vacation - HA!), be perfect, AND make me slimmer. None of these things happened, of course. I'm had moments of losing my place in the pattern at times, creating 'unevenness', and being the lazy knitter that I am, I didn't rip back. Ripping back only happens when it's *really* noticeable, which is rare in my book, my standards are low :) Oh yeah, and I gave myself a face, for a change.

Pattern: Orangina by Glampyre Knits
Yarn: Rowan 4-ply in "Sage"
Needles: Addis Tubos US #3
Mods: again, only the "Schrodinger touch" to certain parts of the pattern, oh! and I made the back slightly longer than the front - not on purpose. I'm undecided about the pattern, like I said, I wanted it to make me thinner. Shockingly - it didn't. Oh well...

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

And the winners are...

Contest is over - woo hoo! What follows is a bunch of rambling, followed by the winners names, just scroll to the bottom if you just want to know if you have won a bag cube.

Choice A - autumn flowers

Thank you so much everyone for your overwhelming response. I was fortunate enough to have the week off work last week to have time to look over the comments - 247 all-in-all!! I'm not kidding about overwhelming, I can't believe how many of you knit bloggers out there came by to visit - it's exciting for me to see all these new blogs - even if I haven't had time to personally say hi. I really do appreciate your good wishes and support for the new shop (which is now open btw - check out the nifty little 'mini-shop' on the left).

Choice B - Purple Regal

Also during my week off I was been cutting, pinning and sewing like a woman possessed. I love my bags, I'm proud of them, I think they are excellent quality, and they look freaking adorable, but they take up a lot of time. So, if I haven't commented on your blog recently, please don't think I'm ignoring you, I'm still perusing blogs, but not commenting as much as I'd like.

Choice C - Greyscale Flowers

I have found a little bit of time to knit in the evening. The never-ending Orangina is now complete, just in time for the fall - my timing is perfect, as always. But I'm going to save all that knitting stuff for another post, because all you folks want to know right now (if you've not already skipped past to the names) is if you're a winner. First of all I want to let you know about my method of randomly picking - well I toyed with the idea of hats and scrap - for all of about 5 seconds!! Seriously, once you add all the extra entries for everyone, there would have been 364 pieces of paper to write/print and cut - no, I've got enough cutting going on here. Instead, excel became my friend, cut and paste my savior :) Then, after a bit of googling I found this formula:


Choice D - Amber Eternity

Apparently it works - well, I know it does, I tested it (on another list) a LOT, it's like magic! Now I'm writing this post before picking the names, so, right at this second, I have no idea who the winner will be (although there are a couple of bloggers out there who sent a huge amount of people over here - either by threatening physical violence, or just being known to post a LOT of contests).

Choice E - Golden Blue

Anyway, I think that it's time to put you, and myself, out of our misery and just do it already!!

So here goes - first name out of the hat is..... Jen W

Number 2....... Sally Villarreal

And the final name is .............. Cass (not surprising with over 30 entries in all), now we know, violence - or at least the threat of it, does pay ;)

Congratulations to you lovely winners. You get to choose one the the bags shown in this post. Just email me (schrodinger212 AT gmail DOT com) with your choice and mailing details. Again, thanks to everyone for your support and the amazing response. And don't forget, if you really, really (really) want a bag, you can find them at my store (sorry, couldn't resist one last push).

Next time .... some actual knitting - AND, shock, horror, at least one FO.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The one where I show you a bunch of half finished projects

There's some still time left to enter, so if you're looking for the contest ---> click here

Happy Labor Day everyone!

I don't have anything complete to show to you today, but I do have a bunch of WIPs. I'm going through a major amount of startitis - it happens sometimes, esp. when I have so much lovely yarn in my hands that I want to knit - now!! First of all, let me share with you a pic of the beautiful yarn I won from Scout.

It's 100% merino in the colorway "Harlot's Mums" - it's a beaut right?

Now for the WIPS - the clap is really coming along, not much else to tell ya on this one - except the Sea Silk continues to be a dream to knit with.

I started my first STR sock on Friday - it took 3 false starts, and much ripping back before the yarn (in "January One" colorway) was telling it *had* to be this pattern. I'm obsessed with this pattern, I LOVE the asymmetry of the swirls. And you all know I love my swirls/spirals in socks. Look at it! I don't know if you could share the same love I have for this sock, but I just can't stop knitting it.

Which means that my poor Esther sock will remain partnerless for some time yet - but at least one is done for now - a super pretty pattern this is (click here for more info on the pattern - or check it out on ravelry).

That's all for today, I will be drawing the winners of the bags later on this week, in the meantime - I have some more sewing to do...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Big thanks

If you're looking for the contest ---> click here

I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but it was my birthday a little while back (maybe that's the reason for my run of luck?) and among all the other goodies, I got a gift from my fave . Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush - a book I'd had my eye on for ages, and a gift cert for Blue Moon fibers. So you can guess what I got....

STR - seriously, how have I never tried this before?

THANK YOU so much Spiders!! I love, love, love the book AND the yarn - you know me so well :) I chose the colours in preparation for fall/winter knitting, and I think I will forgo my other knitting and end up casting on for a basic sock tomorrow.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I'm a winner - now it's your turn!!


Some of you are already aware that I'm such a lucky ducky these days. Not satisfied with winning a contest over at Bockstark's and Oiyi's blog. My name was pulled at a contest with Knitting Philistine, I've been dying to show pics, but I think the mailman is holding out on me :( Last week I won at Cass's 222 contest, lookie here:

Book of Knitting Tips and Trade Secrets - sure to help me out next time I have aeautiful SeaSilk - which looked stunning in it's hank (go see on Cass's blog), I had to wind it and cast on right away. The cold weather earlier in the week inspired me to cast on for my first ever clapotis (yeah, I'm a bit late to that party). Scout then contacted me to let me know that, just for donating some money to ravelry (something I should have done a long time ago) I won her contest, now I have a hank of her beautiful yarn heading over to me. Now, please don't hate me. In case you're wondering, I don't go trawling around blogland looking for contests. The contest have either been on blogs I read already, or stumbled across them from a blog I read regularly.

It's more than time to give back, yup. I'm having my own contest, right here, right now. I've actually been thinking about how to run this contest, there's been so many imaginative ideas (let's face it folks, so many contests) out there. I'm really not that imaginative, so I just say, add a comment here - something silly, benign, hilarious, whatever, and you're entered. Bonus entries go to those who tell others about the contest (just email me your blog link at schrodinger212 AT gmail DOT com), or if someone tells me you've come from your blog, you'll get another entry.

But wait! What's the prize you ask? Well, I think that there is nothing more fitting than the thing that has kept from from my knitting, more and more.

It's the ultimate sock knitting bag. These box bags - let's call them 'cubes' are about 4" tall, and about 5" wide and deep. I've been using them regularly for months and months now, I found it to be a perfect size to throw in your sock project (even if it's 2 socks), with needles up to 7", and a few notions.

I love my bags and want to share the love, so I will be giving away, not one, not 2, but 3 bags to 3 lucky commenters - 3 winners will be randomly selected after the contest closes. The contest will be open for a week (closing Sept 4th at 11:59pm ET) - which is when I'm hoping to open my etsy store*, selling these very bags.

Good luck!


* Link to etsy store is

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Twisted Tweed Socks!!

Finally, I have battled the monster that is pdf creation. And the pattern is now freely available here. I have to say a big thank you to Harriet of Limedragon who gave me some pointers with little oopsies in the first draft of the pattern. Enjoy the pattern!

ETA: If you're a Ravelry user, you can queue the pattern here.

Click to Download

If that link doesn't work you can also try downloading from here.

Failling that, please try downloading from here.

Jan 2008 Update: I've changed one of the links for downloading the pattern. There are now 3 choices, all from free servers, that each have their own limitations - sometimes the bandwidth is exceeded for the day/week/month for one, which is why I have 3 choices. If none work, please try again later, or on a new day. Thanks.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sunny Days

It's finally sunny outside - which is great news for me, I could actually bring the camera and goodies out, and take some shots to share with you.

First of all some yarn acquirement, from the little trip last week. It wasn't a huge amount, to be honest, but certainly plenty to keep me happy.

I'm actually thrilled by a purchase of Cotton-Ease (strange huh?), this stuff is hard to get in the city, and I've heard good stuff about it, so when I saw it at Pearl Paint (who knew?!), I couldn't resist.

Next up is a little purchase from ImagiKnits, - some Misti Alpaca Lace. I plan to do Auburn Mist from the latest issue of Knitters mag - sadly I can't do Mohair, so alpaca it is. Shopping at ImagiKnits was a pleasure, the shop was near empty and the staff were super-welcoming and friendly. Even when I came back after my cuppa tea across the street to change needles (yeah, I bought the wrong size) they were helpful. Anyway, I'm going on, here's the yarn, needles and cute little needle holder. * I forgot to take a picture of the needles, they are Brittany US #1 dpns.

Finally, and most gorgeously, the Art Fibers purchase. I really loved this store, great atmosphere, beautiful yarns - I went twice!! If my budget were bigger I would have been buying many (many, many) cones of the gorgeous stuff they had on the shelves.

Since the sun shone, I was also able to take picture of the prizes I received this week. First up, I won a little contest at Oiyi's blog a little while back, the prize was a beautiful little handmade stitchmarker as well as a couple of balls of Zitron Samoa yarn - cool huh?

Bockstark had a little contest going, which I was very thrilled to win - first of all, this sushi bag that she made - dontcha just love the print?

The inside fabric is just as cool - see?

The inside was made even cooler as it contained this beautiful yarn from Tausendshon in "Das Rot", it's a 70% Merino wool, 20% silk, 10% Ramie. I'm so in love with the colour. I think I'm going to be tempted to buy more German hand-dyed, get it sent to my folks in Austria, then have some really cool Christmas gifts to look forward to when I go and visit them :)

There may be more to come but I believe the postman hates me :)

In honor of all that, there will be a contest here, promise! I know I've been dangling that carrot here for a while here, but life can really get in the way sometimes :) In the meantime, let me tell you about another contest - one that Cass is having a #222 contest, simply name your 2 favorite knitting books, patterns and blogs, go and check it out.