Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Fair Tablecloth

You may have already seen it on Ravelry or Facebook, but I finally finished the State Fair shawl/tablecloth from the Queen Anne's Lace pattern. I loved every stitch of it (the second time around) and see another one or two in the future. I had a blast with it, but for now I'm glad it's over. James helped me block since I've been having a hard time breathing and moving around on the floor blocking a large shawl was something that just wasn't going well. I think he did a fabulous job, and I dropped it off at the fair (with a couple other things) on Friday. And now I wait...But in the meanwhile here's a few pictures that I snapped before it went to the fairgrounds.

*Please ignore the red hair and dirty blonde roots. I'll get there eventually.
**The designer asked if he could use the third picture on the pattern page on Ravelry- I'm absolutely tickled pink!
And a little something I said I wouldn't start but did anyway... It's just a little baby blanket in a crocheted shell stitch. My mom is at the age where her friends are starting to have grand-babies and I'm at the age where my friends are starting to have babies, so I try to stash baby blankets. My mom picked up this fun yarn at Hobby Lobby a few months ago and I'm just tired of looking it at in my stash room, so I'm gettin' it over with. And I might have to make a Paige-sized blanket in this stitch pattern too- it's crazy addictive!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Two Bite The Dust

I don't have to terribly much to report, just a couple finished little projects that were started a little while ago to eliminate some stash and some mostly blocked pictures of the Handspun Hemlock. I'm going to go over the hemlock with a steam iron onemore before it goes to the fair this weekend. I'm also knitting and spinning furiously to finish 2 more, projects-one of which is the never ending doily/tablecloth I started back in March (or was it February- I'd rather not think about it). So here are some FO pictures before we move on to knitting camp...
I got to go teach a knitting camp this weekend in Henryville, Indiana! It was more of a retreat with a couple surprise projects. I got to teach a beaded lace cowl, which was most everyone's first lace, first lace weight yarn, and first beads. There were a few people who had learned to knit within the past month, and I was impressed at how hard they worked and how well they ended up doing with the three new challenges all in one. Nobody finished the project (including me) but here's my half-done picture. (much better picture on Ravelry, project is the Scarlet Starlet)
The second project was a much faster project- knitted Christmas ornaments. We each made two and then "yarn-bombed" the other guests and people working there. To those unfamiliar, that means we just randomly gave non-knitters knitted ornaments. I gave mine to a banker that was there on a company retreat- he was very surprised to get one. He thanked me quite a bit and said that he had never been randomly gifted something before- was he supposed to give me something back? Here's pictures of the finished ornaments and what they looked like before we started. We used sock yarn scraps and there will be more of the these in the future. Guess what everyone is getting for Christmas this year! :p
I'm off to spin, knit, and help Bam Bam study for his psychology exam all night. The fair is coming up much faster than I would like it to.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hemlock , Day 6

I should have posted this yesterday, but a day of watching rugby and knitting in the sun, alternating snapple and adult beverages proved to be quite exhausting. I am very pleased to say that somewhere between the 3rd and 4th game, I finished the Handspun Hemlock! I'm going to wait until this evening to block it so I can show it off at my knitting group today (first big handspun project feels like a big deal to me!) and then I'll post blocked, artfully arranged pictures after that.

Here's the technically-finished piece...
And here is Tubby Custard, the fiber snob cat, approving the doily.
Okay, it's time for more lace, but red this time. With beads!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hemlock, day 5

Yesterday, the Hemlock gave me the day off. I have been having really hard time with the humidity and my gimpy lung, so knitting was not exactly a priority yesterday. I think I managed 3 rows, which at this size, is not bad. The downside? It's only 3 rows.
So since my last post, I've managed to knit an astounding (not really) 8 rows. But I feel like I should mention that at this point in the Hemlock, I am currently working 536 stitch rows. I also feel like I might have just done my last increase, and I have 4 rows of plain knitting and then a crochet bind-off. I'm not really sure though, I'll just have to see how my yarn ball is holding up four rows from now. It's handspun, so I can't get any more and I don't want to run out in the middle of my bind-off. I just hate to have a ton leftover, ya know?

Tomorrow is a rugby day, but not mine. As a White River groupie, it's my responsibility to go watch my man do his thing and sometimes bring muffins. Luckily, I'm not the only team knitter, so if I whip out a doily at half time, it's no biggie since these guys are used to it. If whipping a doily out at half time is the difference between a 6 day doily and a 7 day doily, you bet your batts I'm knitting.

Have a great day and hopefully my next post will look something like blocking!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hemlock of DOOM (day 4)

Have made it to day 4. Spent much of last night helping Bam Bam studying for a psychology exam and not knitting. Did manage to make it to the end of the seemingly never-ending yarnball a couple minutes ago. One more giant yarnball to go.
Also poured some resin into mini-sock molds (am going to try a new way to finish them), gave the ugly plastic pot a first coat of paint and repotted several spider plants.

Speaking of which, would anyone in the Indianapolis area like a spider plant?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hemlock: Day 3

The yarn ball is smaller, which generally means a little progress has been made. It looks the same to me as it did yesterday but like I said, the yarn from the shrinking ball has to be going somewhere. That or I will win some prize for discovering the space-time continuum.
I'll try to come up with something wittier to say tomorrow.

Meanwhile, another project. It's really just sanding and spray painting a plastic flower pot so that all of my African Violets can live in the same pot. Not terribly exciting, but I have been looking for a solution for the violets for a while now, so I'm looking forward to having a nicer looking home for them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Handspun Hemlock: Day 2

So this plan may backfire, but I'm putting it out there anyway. I'm going to *try* to post a picture of the handspun Hemlock every day until it's done. I did a little cross-stitching over TNNA and posted a picture of it every day on facebook to see how it progressed. I was able to see a difference every single day which helped me keep chugging along and even better- I got some really great encouragement and comments. I felt like I couldn't let people down- I had to do just one more row before I went to bed.

I know that it's silly to think that people were checking back to see the daily progress, but it totally made me work faster. And so I'm going to be posting a daily picture of my handspun hemlock with a few comments, if only to convince myself that I'm making progress. So this may be a boring week or so of posting, but I'm doing what it takes to get this thing to the State Fair. Extra points if I have time to block it.
Handspun Hemlock, Day 2:

Knitted furiously through True Blood. My dad wanted a ride to the airport this morning, and I agreed provided that he drove while I knitted. Knitted for a good 8 minutes at lunch today, and switched to a bigger needle when I got home. Hemlock is now to the point that it's starting to look more like a doily and less like a sunburnt boob.

Very excited to see how big it gets. The Brooklyn Tweed version calls for 600-900 yards heavy worsted on size 10 needles for a throw. I have roughly (maybe? hopefully?) 600 yards heavy fingering,worked on size 5 needles. I know I'm not going to get an afghan out of it, but I'm curious to see just how far that handspun llama can go. Doily? Tablecloth? Shawl? Only time and more knitting will tell.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Up, up and up again

I do this every time. I get my project count low(ish) and then have a week where I forgot to make this and this is due and I haven't even started that...and I'm back up.

The good news is my new project-high is still better than my old project-low, and there is a realistic end in sight for each project. For example, I could feasibly finish a woven scarf and send it off to Jaclyn Bailey tomorrow in the post because she was the only person to suggest a Vegas project. I didn't make that project in Vegas, because toe-up socks scare me and I didn't want to risk getting on the flight and then having a project that hates me. I started a shawl instead....on which I have come to a screeching halt. I've goofed up somewhere, or the pattern is poorly written or all of the above, but I'm going to put it away for a while as I finish up my State Fair knitting.
Because I totally committed to the "knitting with handspun" competition in hopes to force myself to knit with my own handspun. 7 starts later, I think I've found a project I'm happy with. I intend to make a Hemlock doily/small tablecloth from 600 yards of fingering weight llama. We'll see- I don't have that long to make it. Then again, nothing bad happens if I don't make it, I just feel disappointed for a while. So that's two more projects.
Plus a work project.
Plus a class-teaching project.
And then that wedding gift for the couple who got married in Vegas.
And the pile of purple yarn that used to be a sweater then a purse and is going to be yet another cat bed as soon as possible.
And then I'm overwhelmed again.

So I'm going to take down this llama doily and this woven scarf first. And then the filet crochet wedding doily. And then whatever tickles my fancy, because that's how I roll today.

I am glad to see two more projects truly done though, thanks to Jasmine the wonder-crafter. She took my sheep pillow parts off of me a couple weeks ago and handed me back a wonderful pillow and a crocheted market bag today. Didn't she do a great job?

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Big News!

hint: the big news is not the finished cross-stitch