Wednesday, June 30, 2010

{The Mailman Loves me!!}

Well, I know it's not the mail man who sends me great and wonderful things, but it's just hard not to get excited when I see him!  Today, I had a wonderful and beautiful envelope from Tulsi Leaf Traders!  I won a giveaway on her blog and now I can't seem to find the dang address!  That link is to her Etsy store, which is also very gorgeous.  I'll update this as soon as I find it. lol

I won a pair of citrin gemstone earrings!!  Aren't these SO pretty?  They are perfect for me! I love the length and the neutral colour and I love that they are rusticy.  I could wear these every day!

And also in the envelope was a completely unexpected surprise: A skein of yarn!!  A really pretty Alpaca yarn in a fun colour!!

She said she discovered she can't knit with Alpaca, and while I'm very sorry for her loss, I'm VERY excited to be the recipient of this gorgeous fiber!!  This is from The Alpaca Yarn Company in colour Caribbean Chocolate.  YUM.

And hey! Have you I told you guys that Jenny is coming to visit me? From SWEDEN!! I couldn't write about it before because it was a big huge surprise from all her friends and family for her birthday!  Her sister Sanna contacted me after I wrote about her during Knit and Crochet blog week, and everyone pitched in to pay for her plane ticket!! She's going to be here probably next spring with her husband Thomas.  I am SO SO SO excited!  I have to probably learn to be more calm though since that's a while away. lol

Her first instinct is to buy a second suitcase when she gets here and fill it with yarn.  I think that's a GREAT idea. :D

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

{The Niddy Noddy Revisited}

So far I'm getting lots of people who have entered their name in to the drawing for my PVC Niddy Noddy and I could not be more excited! If you're not yet one of those people, just make sure you follow my blog and then go to the previous post and leave me a comment!  I'll pull a random number next Sunday, July 4th, and the give away is open to anyone in the world!

I did get a few questions about the purpose of a Niddy Noddy (or Niddy Naughty as one commenter pointed out. hehe), and since illustrations always work best...

 A Niddy Noddy is capable of taking any yarn (such as this summery yarn I got in the mail from my $10 Swap partner today. Thanks ScrapingD!)...

and turn it in to a pretty hank, like this!

by a process that looks something like this:

You just hold the yarn in the same hand that's holding the center bar and wrap the yarn around and around with the other hand.  Here's a YouTube video from JoyofHandSpinning that shows exactly how that's done.  She also uses a beautiful traditional Niddy Noddy made of wood.  Love (1).  This process is useful for dyers, spinners, or even just anyone who likes to store their yarn in hanks instead of messy balls. :)

Also, because the overall length of the tool is 18", it manages to produce something close to a 2 yard skein, which gives you a quick and dirty estimate of how many yards you have in your skein.

As a side benefit, I've also proven that my spray paint for plastics didn't come off on my yarn, YAY!  For those who noticed that one of the arms is bent in the picture above it's because I didn't glue all the pieces together so I can ship it in a little bitty box.  I have the four arms are glued to the center "T" piece on my own, but I didn't glue the long arm to the short sides so that I could store it like so:

Brilliant, amiright?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

{100 Follower Giveaway!}

It still amazes me that I have managed to attract (more than) 100 people to my little tiny corner of the Intraweb.  I love sharing all my crafty and knitting adventures with all the wonderful people that I have come to consider friends, and am so incredibly thankful that every one of them takes the time to visit me during their busy day.

To show my appreciation I would like to host a giveaway. 

This is the Niddy Noddy that Mr. Pie and I made this week especially to give away to one of my followers.  It's a device used by knitters to re-skein yarn and is particularly useful for anyone who dyes yarn.  Also, because of it's size it's also fairly useful for measuring yardage.  This model is made from PVC piping and is spray painted using a brand specifically for plastic. It's a very useful tool!  I know because mine is just like it, only not as pretty. hehe 

Enter the give away simply by following my blog then 
commenting on this post.  I'll use the random number generator 
next Sunday, July 4th to choose a winner!  This giveaway 
is open to any of my followers from anywhere in the world!

Thank again for following me.   You guys are what make this whole blogging thing fun!

The Student Knitter

Friday, June 25, 2010

{I Have...}

I Have....

 Oh my goodness you guys!!  This blog has 100 Followers!!  I will certainly be celebrating this occassion with a give-away this weekend.  Stay Tuned!

I (also) Have....

New Yarn!  Another swap and this time for this very yummy sock yarn called Zen Garden from their yarn club, in colour Flaming June.

This yarn is so not my usual colours but for some reason i. LOVE. eet.   The composition of the yarn is pretty cool too: 70% Merino, 20% Bamboo, 10% Nylon, so it could make excellent machine washable socks, but I'm not convinced that's what I want to do.  I want to search around on some Rav pages and see what inspires me! 

Alrighty! Check back this weekend to see what the Follower Appreciation Giveaway will be!

{Check Me Out!}


Hey!  You can't imagine my surprise when I realized that I was chosen as one of the Top Ten projects over at the CSI Project!  This is super exciting because all the biggest decorating and designing blogs submit their work here.  More than 200 people linked up!

I am so honoured! Thank you!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

{I Got Flowers!}

No Particular reason, other than I have the greatest man ever. :)  He just woke up this morning and thought, "I'm going to get my girl some flowers today."

*SWOON!*  Aren't they pretty? Just a great summer bouquet.

That's another kitty, not Popeye, sniffing my flowers. Her name is Girl Cat. She adopted us, I'm afraid, and we were out of creativity for names. lol  She came to us as a kitten and then well... she grew up and we found out she wasn't a girl. We decided she had a girly spirit though, (and Boy Cat just sounded stupid) so she was gender reassigned. hehehe

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

{Keeping Busy}

The summer swing of things has certainly settled in, and that's not to say that it's a slow pace.  I've had plenty to keep me busy!


My first accounting class.  I'm doing this one independent study over the summer, meaning I don't have to go to classes, but I still have to take the tests and turn in homework the same as a normal class only without the lectures to help me out.  Oh yeah, and I have to finish it in 7 weeks instead of the typical 15 we get during the fall or spring. lol

The Gym

 I've been trying to get to the gym 5 days a week and I've been fairly successful thus far.  If I can just make it a habit then I'm less likely to get lazy or lose motivation.  I've been running on the treadmill, doing circuit training, weight training, group classes, swimming... anything to keep me interested so I can trim down a bit. It's working so far, I'm down about 7 pounds in the month I've been working at it.


This Malabrigo Worsted is a DREAM to knit with.  I've really been enjoying this scarf that will be for a Christmas gift.  It's two sided with three cables on one side and the two on the other.  It's repetitive so I watch movies and whatnot while I'm doing it.  I'm at about 30 inches or so at the moment and aiming for 50 inches - does that seem about right for a man's scarf?

The Icarus is not sitting idle either.  I'm two rows shy of completing chart 2 and moving on to chart 3.  


Mr.Pie has been working long hours at his new position while he's training, which could go on until nearly Christmas time. Ugh.  I'm doing what I can to keep the house tidy, the laundry done, the meals cooked for him when he gets home so that our time together is the best it can be.  Oh lord... does that sound domestic or what?  I don't mind it though. :)

What has been keeping you guys busy this summer? :) 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

{Chittery Chattery}

This week I discovered a new group in Ravelry that I really like called the Chittery Chattery Swappery group while I was stalking my swap partner.  It's all about swapping great yarns with other yarn enthusiasts, but they're also kind of goof balls in there, which I love!  Each forum has different games that are played like I Spy, Snobberific, and Yarnything Goes (just like your mom).  I was lurking through the forums and someone in the forum called Instant Gratification asked for some pink Malabrigo lace, and I happened to have about 5 skeins of it in my stash, so when I offered it to her, she accepted!

Then it was MY turn to ask for something.  I thought about it for a while and decided to ask for some worsted weight, cream/natural coloured, squishy wool for a scarf I had in mind for my dad for Christmas.

And guess what came in the mail today??

SQUEEEEEEEEE!!! This stuff is AMAZING!  I swear, I have never felt anything that came close to be as soft as my cat, but this stuff might be it!!  It is SO squishable and SO soft!!

So.  Tonight, I will be casting on this for a Christmas Gift. 


Thursday, June 17, 2010

{Noro Update and... MAIL!}

Oo! Guys! I am so excited to tell you about my Noro hat!  So, I took your guys' advice and I gave it a good hefty wet block, meaning I submerged it in some water with a bit of dish detergent for about 20 minutes or so.  Then I squeezed it carefully under some running water to get the soap out and let it sit up on one of my blocking mats in the bathroom.  And... the result....

Super a LOT softer!  It's not Merino wool or anything, but definitely a ton more comfortable against my forehead when I'm wearing it.  I'm kind of smitten with this hat. :D

My kinda blurry bathroom shot:

Just as an aside for anyone who plans on blocking Noro in the future:  this took a LONG time to dry.  Maybe it was because I totally submerged it, but even after I stepped on it in a towel it took just about a whole day to dry on the inside.  I think that means that this hat is going to be super water resistant during the winter, which I totally dig!

I Got Mail!!

Like some kind of knitting Super Hero, my lovely, beautiful, generous friend Hope, upon hearing of my Malabrigo Woes, immediately sprung in to action!  She happened to have an "extra" umbrella swift just laying around the house!   She packed it up and sent it before I would need to ball up the second skein!

I left Popeye in the photo for scale.  This is one huge box!! LOL 

Isn't she pretty?? I'll be putting this to good use today since I ran out of yarn at the very end of the chart 1 of my Icarus.  Yes! You heard that right! I'm done chart 1!!

She also sent along this little gem!

So far I've just flipped through this book, but it looks incredibly fascinating!  I'm looking forward to learning more about knitwear construction.  Maybe start designing my own? Hmmm... ;)

Thank you SO MUCH Hope!  You really are my knitting-guarding angel!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

{On Noro}

This morning I decided to take a break from my shawl knitting because I'm getting towards the end of the first skein and there's a swift in the mail for me right now (Thanks Hope!!) so I can wind the next skein properly. 

I just wanted a mindless project, something that would be finished quick.  I've missed knitting hats so I thought I'd do a quickie winter hat.   After a few hours of deliberation I decided I would do just a plain stockinette hat with an inch of 2x3 rib in my Noro Kureyon.

color 211

I got this yarn incredibly inexpensive from a destash sale on one of the Ravelry forums... $20 for ten skeins!!  I haven't knit with it since then though because (and I think you all know what's coming) this yarn does not feel good.

It pretty much feels like the nightmare wools of my childhood, and I'm not even wearing it yet - just knitting with it.  It's scratchy, thick and thin in places, it's over spun sometimes to where it curls back on itself and in other places it's not really spun at all.  I'm even having to stop and pick out little sticks and pieces of dirt fairly often.

But the colours... Oh the colours!!   I love the subtle transition from cream to tan to grey....

So my dear readers and dear friends, I ask you: How the heck to I get this yarn to where it's wearable?  Do I have to line it with something ( and if so, how the heck do I do THAT?  Do I wash it in something that will soften it?  Do I have to felt it to make it soft? Should I try blocking this hat? 

Why does Noro have to be so scratchy?  Have you knit with this yarn before, and if so, what did you knit with it?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

{Garden Update!}

Oh my gosh our garden plants are growing like crazy! We've started to see the first tiny green tomatoes appearing and we've already enjoyed our first round of cayenne peppers!

Here's a pic we took yesterday:

We have, in order from the far left to the near right: carrots (barely visible back there), jalapenos, yellow peppers, cayenne pepper (hiding), small tomatoes, large tomatoes, and asparagus (in the red pot).  Pretty soon we'll have an almost salad! hehe

In Icarus news, I'm knitting away on my fourth repeat of chart 1.  I think I've decided to only do four, which would make the finished blocking length about 66 inches, which would be a-ok with me. lol  Chart 2 here I come!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

{A Saturday Morning Hike}

This morning Mr. Pie and I visited our friendly local State Park, Douthat  (pronounce Dowth-at).  We did about a 3 mile hike and then had a small lunch picnic just as the thunder storms were moving in.  Our timing was impeccable!

We met a friendly turtle.  Isn't his shell gorgeous?

And a pretty caterpillar.

We kissed under the leafy canopy.

While admiring the serenity.

GREAT start to the weekend.  What have you guys been up to? :)

Friday, June 11, 2010

{Another Bag and some Progress Shots}

I thought you might be interested to know where the beautiful embroidered lady from yesterday ended up:

She's on the pocket of my next market bag!  I sold the first of my bags today at the Farmer's Market.  Or more accurately, my friend Robin sold it out of her booth for me! She said she's excited to have something else to have for her customers.  How cool is that??  I hope this little girl goes to a good home!  I love that this bag has a pocket for coupons or your cell while you're shopping.

But dudes.  These handles are a B**** to sew. lol  I'm going to have to find another method soon!! They take me longer to do than the whole rest of the dang bag!  That just ain't right. lol

And an update on the Icarus Shawl I've been knitting as a Christmas Gift for a lovely lady whom I'm fairly sure doesn't read the blog. hehe

I am loving LOVING this colour way.  There's going to be something for me in this yarn in the near future!! The camera makes it look slightly pinker than it is.  The true colour is more of a rust.  LOVE it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

{I Embroidered!}

You guys have GOT to see this! I am so proud!!  After watching a couple of different videos and reading up on preparing to embroider, I figured out how it's done! My friend Lisa from Molto Di Moda was gracious enough to send me some embroidery floss from her stash and a tiny hoop!  I used a needle here from home and almost panicked because I didn't have one the floss fit through... until I realized you weren't supposed to use all 6 strands. (duh). lol

Mr. Pie couldn't find any kind of transfer paper or fabric pencil or carbon paper at the Walmart nearby so we went with Tissue Paper.  I first printed my design from and traced it on to my tracing paper.  Then I just stretched it in the hoop along with my fabric!

As you can see, I didn't even take "process" photos, I was so excited to get this little project done. :)

I took the hoop off and TA DA!

As you can see, I was so excited to get started that I didn't even iron my muslin. lol I'll probably have to find a way to do that now! LOL  I will probably continue to use the tissue paper method because now I have what I need to do that, but getting the paper out from between each of the designs was pretty annoying. lol Didn't take too long though and I had a huge pile of tiny paper pieces when I was done.  Maybe I'll use it for packing material?  hmmm.. maybe that's reusing to an extreme. hehe

What do you think? I love her!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

{ I Made T-Shirt Yarn!}

I think I found this tutorial through one of the link parties I like to visit.  Making of T-shirt Yarn on the site Craft Passion. Here's the direct link:

 Mr. Pie faithfully offered up some t-shirts he wouldn't wear again ( I think maybe he thinks this'll mean less money spent on new yarn. tee hee hee)

And I made yarn out of it!!

It's a tad thick and thin, which might be because I can't cut straight to save my life.  I'm thinking market bags maybe?  What else would you knit with recycled t-shirt yarn?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

{I was given the Beautiful Blogger Award!}

Thank you so so much to Kate from Lazy Kate Creates AND Jenny from Jenny's Blog on Knitting!  I am so honoured to be nominated by not one but TWO of my blogging friends!!

The rules of this award are as follows: I tell you ten things you may not know about me and then I nominate 10 more people for the award. Fun, right? Here we go!

1. You may not know that I'm a transplanted Canadian citizen living here in Virginia.  I grew up outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, and still consider it my true home even though I haven't really lived there for 10 years.

2. Mr. Pie and I are doing the eating better and moving more thing right now.  (I prefer that label to "diet and exercise" hehe) We're in week 3 at the moment and I've lost 6 pounds and Mr. Pie has lost 11.   We're trying not to make too many changes at once so that we'll be able to keep up with the changes for a long time. 

3. I actually have an Associate's Degree in Interior Design from a private design school in Newport Beach, California.  Not quite sure what I was thinking with that one.

4. When I was 16 I got a kitten from a boy that liked me.  She was a gorgeous chocolate brown colour but tragically only weeks after I got her, she got out the front door and a reservation dog got to her before I could.

5. My best friend from grade school and up through high school was named Ruth.  I met her in 4th grade when she agreed to take me on a tour of the school on my first day.  She's now married and has three adorable little boys.

6. My first pet with Mr. Pie was a beta fish named George. 

7. Our kitten, Popeye, was born right in front of our eyes on July 4th, 2008.  We were at the neighbor's picnic when we started hearing the normally silent stray cat making tons of noise on our back porch.  When we went to see what all the comotion was about, she led us right in to our shed and to the bed we'd made her.  There was already one kitten born and she had four more while we were with her.  She wouldn't let us leave! She jumped between us and the door when we tried!  It was so amazing. 

8. I learned to walk with the help of two dogs who used to let me pull myself up on their fur and then walk on either side of me so I couldn't fall and hit my head.  One was named Snoopy, but I'm really not sure about the other since I can't really remember this event, just the pictures I've seen. hehe

9. Christmas is my very favorite holiday ever and it's even MORE fun now that we have a new generation of kids to spoil.  I love the decorations, the treats, but most of all I love all the traditions that we make together.We're half way through the year almost! Woo hoo!

10.  I've got two years of school left, which means I'm on the 5 year track for graduation.  Ugh.  If I hadn't transferred from a Community College, I would have been able to finish in 4.   If I didn't want to be a math major I could be done next year and believe me, it's looking tempting right now.

Alrighty! On to the Nominations!!

Karen from Hissy Stitch
Lisa from Groggy Froggy
Alexandra from Wool & Cotton

Saturday, June 5, 2010

{A New Caston}

I have decided on Icarus (rav link) for a couple of reasons. First, I've had this book for a while but have never knit anything from it. Secondly because it's not quite a stockinette body and not too complicated either.  I wanted something would keep me awake, but not frustrate me with a million complicated charts.  This one is charted out beautifully, even though I had to photocopy and enlarge them to make them usable. 

And this yarn... I'm SO glad I went through the hassle of untangling it... the colours are GORGEOUS.

I'm almost through with the first chart already!

Friday, June 4, 2010

{Malabrigo Woes}

Last night I started the pre-process of knitting a Christmas gift.  I picked a pattern to which I had an appropriate yarn in my stash.  A couple of skein of Malabrigo in a beautiful brick red colour.

And so begun the process of winding the first skein in to a center pull ball so I could begin.  Three hours later, it looked like this:

Seriously? Is there something I'm doing wrong? This is the THIRD skein of Malabrigo sock yarn that's done this to me. UGH!!! It is trying my patience and I"m not sure I would buy it again just because of this issue.  Is this all sock yarn that does this?  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Thursday, June 3, 2010

{A Few FO's and a Gift!}

So I teased you the other day about my spinning and Alpaca experiences, but then didn't post yesterday. Sorry! The story goes that I met a nice lady named Robin at the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago and Mr. Pie saw on her card that she also raises Alpacas.  When we asked her about she said they had JUST be sheared and she had garbage bags full of fleece to go through.  Well, as you can image the light in my eyes lit up like it was Christmas and I gasped and asked, in a tiny voice, "Can I come help you wash and card and stuff?"  She laughed and was more than happy to oblige! 

Finally yesterday I went to visit Market Basket Produce (her farm) about 40 minutes from me.  I didn't bring my camera because I didn't want to seem like a weirdo! LOL They were pretty darn cute though, all skinny and hairless. hehehe  We laid out a whole alpaca fleece on the floor and walked on it with our bare feet! MAN is that stuff soft!!  Robin showed me how to wash, pick out guard hairs and other garbage, and then we hung them to dry.  THEN she got out her spinning wheel to show me what she was working on!

She's a beginning spinner, but let me played on her spinning wheel!  It was a newer model and it has two feet pedals.  It was those pedals that kept getting me, I would accidentally spin the wheel backwards -  Not helpful at all. hehehe  Before leaving she sent me home with a little gift!

I've been pondering a little spindle for some time now but  I really don't know if I have time to pick up another new craft! LOL  I'm on the lookout now for some inexpensive (but easy to spin) fibre so I can see if I like it. :D

Other than that excitement, I've been doing lots of healthy things, like cooking and working out.  I'm kind of on a mission at the moment to trim up and drop a few el bee's while I'm at it.  Mr. Pie and I are counting calories and writing down everything we eat.  Today is just over one week since we started and I've dropped about 3.5 pounds, so I guess it's working. :)

And of course, I've been crafting.  I've been doing a few small projects since I cast off my cardigan.  Here's a couple of bags that I'll bring to the craft show.  The first is knitted in some of the yarn that Jenny sent me called Viking Milk and Honey.  It's 70% cotton and 30% milk fiber.  How cool is that?  I love that it's the colour of eggplant, spinach and mustard.  Yum!  There are some super long colour repeats  which works great on this bag! I have another skein for a second one like this.

This second one is one I whipped up out of some burlap I had with straps made of the left over green canvas from my outdoor spices hanger thingy.  The stencil on the front is one I cut for my t-shirt. Cute, right? I think this is as simple as it gets.  One long piece of burlap folded in half and stitch up both sides, I didn't even use a seam allowance on the side or anything, it's just the raw edge 'cause I think it looks neato.  I did make the straps pretty long, which I hope will help the person carrying it. 

 Random Burlap Bag

And there ya go!  I've been keeping busy even though I'm not in school, as you can tell.  Now, I think I'll begin knitting Christmas presents.  If anyone in my family wants to place an order, now's the time! :P

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

{Ambrosia = Done!!}

It's blocked and it FITS!

I actually had this picture taken day before yesterday, but I've been putting off posting it.  It's just not the most flattering photo. lol  Mr. Pie said something silly and I laughed and gave him attitude while I was squinting. lol 

More importantly - I played with Alpaca fur today! And I visited Alpacas! and I played on a spinning wheel!! I can't say I spun yarn because well... I don't think I did anything usable. lol  But it was SO COOL! I'll tell you more about it tomorrow. :)