Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Smitten With Mittens

So those lovely ladies in my Sunday afternoon knitting group are probably tired of hearing about how smitten I am with mittens (I've been craving a pair for months now!). So I bit the bullet and finally made a pair. And then I wrote the pattern. And now I'm going to tell you about how Alpaca With A Twist is doing a mitten knit-along in October using 2 hanks of Mojito (but if you shortened the ribbing you could totally make a pair out of 1 hank). And should you feel like participating in a knit-along for which there would be prizes, you should email for more information and a free pattern. But for now I'll just show you pictures of my mittens and Macy the Wonderpug (disclaimer- not my pug).

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Craft-astrophes and Feasts

So you know that crazy big craft fair that I've been furiously knitting for? I missed it. The lady putting it together gave me the wrong date, and then called the day after (which I thought was the day before) and yelled at me for not showing up at my booth. I checked my email and sure enough- she had given me the wrong date 3 times. Here's a baby hat that I made for the fair that I think turned out especially cute.
So does anyone need a baby blanket? I took them to a boutique-y place where they look lovely on the shelves, but I'm not doing as well as I'd hoped there either. They called and raved about the cupcake hats and a scarf and the baby blankets and requested more hats, but when I went today only one hat had sold. So now I'm REALLY in the hole having paid for 2 booth spaces and of course all the of yarn I bought to make the blankets that I've been cranking out for 2 months. So that's what's happening on the knit scene.

Thank goodness I go to Florida in 12 days. Not that I'm counting or anything.

I also went to the Feast of the Hunter's Moon this weekend, which is always one of the highlights of my fall, which is my very favorite season. I went with Bam Bam because we're trying to be friends and I really wanted someone else to drive so I could knit mittens on the way. More on those later. Anyhoo, we walked around, we ate a variety of apple-based products (meat on a stick isn't really my thing) and we chatted with lots of people. I was wearing one of my favorite knitted wraps over a big fleece to stay warm, and I had the good fortune to run in to many knitters in this fashion. I had a lovely time talking to people and it turns out that I've been buying witchballs and almond soaps for years from a dyer that I'm working with through work. Small world, eh? Anyhoo, got more of her lovely soaps and a lovely witchball to add to my collection. In my dreams of my someday/grown-up house I have them lined up in the kitchen window like a curtain. I also scored some fun beads that I will make in to ornaments and a little hook that you put on a wall with a sheep on it. Someday, in my grown-up house, I will hang that sheep hook on the wall and it will hold something fabulously woolly. Here's a blurry picture of my finds from the Feast, as well as some fiber-related pics from the event. I didn't buy anything fiber related this year- my usual roving lady wasn't there this year. I hope she's back next year, I've got a crush on her BFL. Bam Bam got a lecture from a dyer there on the wonders of natural dyes, and he seemed genuinely intrigued. Which is odd, because when I explained it, it was the most boring thing ever. Bam Bam also had a near death experience at the Feast. By that I mean I nearly killed him- he whined to every knitter that we chatted with about how I won't make him socks. Really? You got drunk and destroyed my kitchen and now you think you deserve socks. Like I said, we're trying to be friends but I'm not sure I can handle him.
After the Feast we met up with my best friend in the whole wide world, Ben. Ben, who has earned several knitted hats and wears and loves each of them, understands my frustrations. I think I might make him another hat. Anyhoo, we all had a wonderful Thai meal on campus at Purdue and then went to one of those paint-your-own-pottery places, which is a regular Paige & Ben activity. Bam Bam made a travel mug, Ben made a non-travel mug, and I went crazy and made a bowl. I find myself using bowls more and more as they're great ways of storing current small projects, especially if there's beads involved. Here is my bowl (pre-fired) with a current sock project that WILL be done before I go to Florida in 12 days. I also have a small list of other projects that WILL be done. Want to know why? Because I'm going to start some fabulous new ones on the flight down there.
Did I mention that those new projects are going to be fabulous?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

T minus 5 Days

I am now five days away from my craft fair, and I'm starting to feel pretty good about it. I made a cupcake hat today (new yarn, bigger pain in the butt but much softer- might be worth the trade off) and will hopefully finish 2 baby blankets tonight while honoring HBO night. I'm super-pumped about the new season of Boardwalk Empire. I also finished a little sugar-plum hat yesterday (pictured here with Apple and Pumpkin) and after a few more little projects, should go in to the this craft fair feeling pretty good. I just hope it's nothing like the craft fair where people told me that the blankets were cute, but they wouldn't pay more than $20. It's hard to be nice when people expect you to sell a blanket to them at even below your costs. Want something cheap? Walmart is down the block. I sell things so that I can buy more yarn and put a little away in savings- if I wanted to give something away I'd take it to Goodwill and then write it off my taxes.
And in case you couldn't tell, I'm REALLY excited to have this craft fair over with! I'm putting together my totally selfish knitting bag for my trip to Florida on the 9th (I like to get things done early and then have it ready in case I think of things I need to add to it). So far the plans for trip knitting are a Baby Surprise Jacket out of the beautiful sock yarn that didn't want to be a shawl, a pair of cabled mittens that are also made out of sock yarn, maybe the start of a new sweater but I'll only take one or two hanks of yarn, and then my fabulous Halloween cross-stitching that I'm itching to get back to! Bam Bam also thinks he's still getting a hat and socks. The socks are not happening. But I've already put the yarn and needles and pattern in a bag and in the queue for knitting, so that might happen before the end of the year. But I'm certainly in no rush to get to that. I'm just excited to have the leftovers to add to my sock blanket.

Plus on a selfish knitting side note (I keep thinking that I'll be better about finishing things if I announce that I'm going to finish them on the blog) I intend to have the shawl I started in Vegas DONE before I start any of my Florida knitting. I really just need to figure out how I'm supposed to only have 50 something stitches on a side that is clearly over 130 stitches. And then of course do the crazy lace piece once I get a more appropriate number of stitches picked up.

Oh, oh! And then do you want to see another project I'd like to do? Check these pillows out- they're fabulous! I've been really crushing on these Kaffe Fassett pillows I saw in my Martha Magazine. Tapestry isn't normally my thing, but I said I'd never do any holiday-specific cross stitching either and look where that got me. Here's the link ( Just be prepared to hide your credit card before clicking- so many pretty things!

Well, I'm going to go try to finish a couple more baby blankets while Madeline works on her bikini body. Happy crafting and have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Spoken Too Soon

It's bound to get out eventually, so I'm just going to put it out there and be done with it. Bam Bam and I split up yesterday. We really didn't date all that long before we got engaged, and once we started getting in to the knitty and the gritty, we realized that we have entirely different ideas on a lot of "the big things", you know- financial management/responsibility, how much is acceptable to drink, how many animals is too many animals, why the house needs to be clean if you have a lung disease and a couple cats, etc. It wasn't a nasty or overly dramatic break-up, but it's over now and that's okay. We both have a lot of working out of our individual kinks before he and I could functionally be with other people. I also have a lot more things I was hoping to accomplish before I became part of a couple for good, and he and I just didn't share the same goals and ambitions. So it's over and we're okay.

And I'm really looking forward to MY pair of charcoal worsted weight socks to wear under my stiletto boots this winter. And I totally just booked a flight to go see my Mom in Sarasota for the second week of October, so I'll be pinching my pennies for a little yarn shopping since I've been super-frugal in the personal arts & crafts department this year. Plus a little sunshine in October would probably do me some good.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hats and Milestones

Firstly, thanks to the wonderful readers that offered suggestions about the shawl. It has since been frogged and will be used as a warp for a scarf, the weft will be undyed sock yarn. I just love that combo for some reason. That being said, I still have Jaclyn's scarf on the loom, and won't be touching anything non-craft fair related for 2 more weeks. Plus maybe a couple more weeks after that, I've signed up for another craft fair because I'm a looney and have gotten several orders since then. I really can't complain though- orders mean money which means I am that much closer to moving in to my own place.
Secondly, I am going a little nuts with the baby hats. I'm having a great time with them- I'm trying not to do many repeats, so each little hat is still quite fun. I'm working on my favorite style- Ogre baby- right now, but here's a pic of what I have so far. I hope to have at least 12 ready for the craft fair (currently working on #6). I also would love to have 9 baby blankets done for the craft fair, and hope to finish the 8th this evening during True Blood. Grr baby. I have enough yarn to do 11 blankets, but probably only time for 9. Oh well- it's not like they go bad, and I'll just add them to the stash for people that sneak up on me with babies I didn't know about. I'd also love to make a plastic bag holder or two for the show. I love mine and use it all the time, maybe someone else will like them too? If not, more for me.

Thirdly, Bam Bam and I hit a little milestone in our relationship Friday evening. He and I picked out yarn for his first pair of hand-knitted socks. Okay, it might only be a milestone for me, but I was really pleased with how involved he's trying to be with these socks. We (and by that I mean I) decided on a worsted-weight superwash wool so that they go quickly and won't be accidentally turned in to a shrinky-dink in the dryer. I explained that these will be a tester pair of socks- much like training wheels. We've had numerous conversations around the lines of "you'll get socks when you start cutting your toenails" and so far, he's filled his end of the bargain. And so we bought yarn. But I'm still not taking *that* big of a chance- he's getting worsted weight socks until he earns fingering weight socks.
The yarn we picked out is a Lion Brand superwash wool/cashmere (just a smidge) and nylon blend. He likes the color, I like the gauge. I haven't had the best taste in my mouth when it comes to Lion Brand ever since my attempt at frogging and re-knitting Homespun, but they're really starting to impress me with some of their higher end yarns from the Lion Brand Studio. I looked up this yarn on Ravelry and no complaints so far, so we'll see. I did tell Bam Bam that his socks are going to have to wait until after the craft fair, post-fair orders, and I need to finish up a green and pink sock before I'm even looking at his socks. I will try to have them made by the time he starts shoveling snow for his friend's landscaping company this winter though. I'm not THAT mean.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Second Opinions Needed!

Hey there wonderful readers!

I know I said I would resist personal projects (especially new personal projects) until this craft fair is over with....but I haven't had the best day and I had a weak moment and suddenly I have the start of a new triangular shawl.

But I'm not sure about it. The yarn is part of my dwindling English stash, and I've been saving this yarn in particular for something stunning. So far everything I've started with it hasn't even come close to meeting my expectations. So in this previously mentioned
weak moment, I began crocheting (gasp!) "Elise"- that's the pattern should you feel inclined to look it up.

But I'm not in love with it. I'm not sure if I don't like the pattern, I'm not sure if my hook is too small, I'm not sure if the colors are clashing with the pattern, I'm not sure if it's just wonky because it's unblocked....and I'm not sure if it's all in my head since I've put this particular sock yarn on a ridiculously high pedestal.
What do you think? I'm stumped on this one.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Craft Fair Knitting

Twenty days to go until the Craft Fair and I'm feeling...okay. Naturally, I overestimated how much I could get done, but there's still time for a few more knits. I finished the ruffle scarf and the cowl, which I will try to unload at the fair since I could use cashmore than I could use 2 more neck-warmers. I've also made a couple baby hats, and intend to make several more as they cost me next to nothing and can be made in a night if I'm really determined.

So I don't have a picture of the cowl and ruffle scarf because I still need to weave in my ends,
but I have pictures of everything else. I also have pictures of my cotton plants that are growing out at Gpa's house. They're doing a lot better than I thought they would! Here's a few pictures of my little cotton babies!
That's all for now- I'm still determined to make this craft fair kick butt for my savings account, so I'm going to stop writing and get back to baby hats.