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...