Friday, July 31, 2009

Find a Deal Fridays!

Welcome to the weekend everyone! Well... almost. :)

In preparation for this week I was searching ebay for any cool auctions going on at the moment. Has anyone else realized that there's crap for yarn on there? Slim pickings I thought... at least until I found this one vendor: Over the Rainbow Yarns . Here's some of her hand-painted cottons, rayons, bamboo and silks (and many combinations!)

They're all right around $12-$15 including shipping and she has about 500 yarns in her ebay store! After having such a terrible time finding any pretty hand painted yarn that isn't an animal fiber, it's so cool to find a store like this! :)

Do you have anyone who's been asking you about learning to knit? Send them Craft Leftovers at Etsy! The kit below costs a little under $7 and you get a pair of size 8 needs, 50 yards of a recycled handspun silk & wool blend (orange is just one colour choice), three vintage buttons and a print of a great headband pattern! I also love that she's finding purposes for her odds and ends. How cool is that? Oh, and shipping is only a quarter if you buy yourself some yarn at the same time. ;)

Meanwhile, there's a summer sale going on over at Green Prairie Fibers on etsy too! This one is my favourite because I want to eat it:

It's a merino/cotton twist, 170 yards of bulky weight for $12.75. There are so many pretty things here I could spend a week's pay!

Allright, that's it for this week folks! I hope you find the perfect yarn for your stash! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Really, Really Need A Ball Winder

This took me one episode of Dr. Phil, one episode of Boston Legal, some news and most of an episode of Family Feud to complete:

And that's not even all of this yarn. So let me repeat. I really really need one of these:

If I had happened to own one of these handy dandy contraption when my massive 1000+ yarn skein arrived in the mail today, I may not still have half the dang thing to continue balling up! AHHH! At a time when I just wanted to get going on my knitting, instead I had to carefully and methodically, wind all of that yarn all in to balls, taking care not to let it all get tangled. Argh, I say. Argh!

But on to the yarn. Isn't it PURDY? hehe It turned out a tad more... pastel than what I had in mind, but I think it'll still be pretty. This is the pattern it's destined to be: The Jubilee scarf by Norah Gaughn for Borocco.

I'm so excited to get started!

And as soon as I get that ball winder, I'm totally gonna start unraveling sweaters with it too. How cool will THAT be?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Didn't Know I Could Crochet!

Well, just a little. I made this new discovery after I got bored with the rounds and rounds of knit stitch on the vest. There was a blogger somewhere that mentioned she loved knitting dishclothes when she got bored with a long project, so I thought I'd try my hand at it!

I first I tried a lovely leafy lace pattern and that wasn't working out for me and I ripped it out after about 6 rows. Start at the beginning, right? So I did one of these:

The tried and true! I had never knit anything on a bias before, so that was new. I really enjoyed watching the shape come to life as I knit more rows! Then at the end I went and found a tutorial for single row crocheting and went to town around the outside! I must say, I'm awfully impressed with myself! I think I'm going to create a second one in white with the natural border. I'm looking forward to trying more interesting patterns for these!

Last night, apart from the project above, I also took apart the first of the red sweaters. It sits in pieces behind me at the moment. I won't be able to start the actual frogging until Mr. Pie isn't working night shift anymore because he needs to keep the furry child away from me. Popeye, our kitty, goes NUTS when I start ripping out all that yarn, like it's his personal playground! And I can't do anything about it because my hands are tied up. So that project shall wait for next week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recycling A Sweater Tutorials

No... not a tutorial from ME silly! I'm not enough of an expert at any of this yet for me to be trying to teach anyone else! But I thought I might share a few sites that I went to when I was researching how to recycle a sweater. It's crazy fun and oh so gratifying. Enjoy! :)

(doesn't that look FUN? hehehe!)

Craft Stylish's version here is close to what I do when I unravel than the previous example.

Or this one here from My Virtual Sanity was the version that I relied heavily upon.

Enjoy your recycling projects! Be sure and let me know about all the cool stuff you're gonna make for next to nothin'!

Monday, July 27, 2009

How much more Knit Stitch can I take??

Well, I'm about 4 and a half inches in to the pull over vest ( a little ahead of when the photo was taken) and BOY is that a lot of knit stitch! LOL It's completely mindless! Originally the pattern was written to go back and forth in stockinette (knit one row, purl one row), which maybe would have kept me a tad more awake, but would have forced me to do some more seaming at the end. This is the first time that I've tried to alter a pattern quite like this, and I'm kinda scared. My plan is to seperate out the stitches for the back and the ones from the front at the beginning of the arm decreases, keep the back ones on the round needle as a kind of stitch holder, and work the front V-neck on straight needles. Does this sound to anyone else as if it may not work? In my head it sounds great! But what do I know? ;)

This next update is 100% Mr. Pie's fault, as he lead me unknowingly in to a very large Goodwill, and then coerced me in to purchasing these great finds!

These are 3 100% Cotton sweater, in what looks to me like maybe a light worsted weight that have been added to my "To Frog" stash. Is anyone else keeping count? That makes 6 sweaters in there right now and I'm feeling it getting out of control! I couldn't very well pass up those two identical red sweaters! Look how much of that matching yarn there is! And the grey one is such a pretty heathered tone. Here's a close up:

How pretty are those??? Maybe together in an afghan? Hmmmmmmmm.... ;) This evening, apart from a TON of knitting, I took some time out not only to tidy my house (it needed it!) but also to work on blocking the red scarf I finished not long ago. Here's my process: (my apologies in advance for the crummy image. lol)

I got it good and soaked in the sink and then set it out on this towel and began stretching and pulling as I wound the towel up, then I stood on the towel to squeeze out all the water. Now, I'm pretty sure that this yarn is 100% acrylic. Can anyone tell me if blocking is even necessary for acrylic? Or effective? I'm hoping it will make the lacey pattern more visible, so we'll wait and see!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It Has Begun.

Stay tuned. ;)

The Hat Is Done!

YAY! Another completed project! I will admit that this isn't my crowning achievement, either in the category of technique or design. lol The design, as I've mentioned before, was Mr. Pie's idea (actually, he wanted red on top and grey on the bottom, but I told him it'd looked like a monkey's butt). The colours were chosen for his favourite football team, The Buccaneers. As far as the technique goes, let's just say this: I don't think I'll be doing the full on ribbed knit again for a while. It just takes too much concentration to get it perfect all the way.

Speaking of rib knit (as if I wasn't sick of it by now!), I've cast on my dad's pull over vest he requested for Christmas. Here's what I have so far:

I've had to rip this baby out and recast it about 9 times it seems. I kept not giving myself enough length for the long tail cast on method! I think it was about the 5th try I thought I'd gone crazy and given myself way too much yarn, only to realize that it only got me to stitch 170, 30 short of my goal of 200 cast on stitches. ARGH! I also had to rip out about two rows because I realize, SOMEHOW, I managed to knit the freakin' wrong direction, only to turn around the other way. You know how I realized I had done this? I had 8 rows on one of the dang thing, and only 6 rows on the other side. What the hell? How did I manage to do THAT?

I've had a chance to use my stitch markers too:

This baby is part of a set that I made a couple of weeks ago. I was really happy with how they looked but I've realized now that it's absolutely essential to make sure that the top makes a complete uninterrupted circle, other wise it catches the yarn. I'm not sure if or how I'll fix these ones, but in the future I think I'll be creating them differently.

In other unrelated knitting news, I've started to become interested in spinning. At first I looked at devices like this:

... and I knew from reading that it was capable of turning this in to yarn:

but the process completely confounded me. How the heck did you turn THAT in to pretty scrumptious yarn?? That is, until I found these how-to videos from The Art Of Megan on you tube! She's brilliant, I swear! She made it totally easy to understand.

And now I want a Drop Spindle. Was it inevitable? You be the judge. ;)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Find a Deal Fridays! YAY!

Oh my gosh, I can't believe it's Friday already! And boy have I got some deals for you!

Sqwish, of One of a Kind Sock Yarns on Etsy is having a great sale on some of her hand dyed yarns! Prices start at $10 and there's free shipping when you buy it along with another item. Here's some of her stuff:

How Yummy is that?? Most of what she has is 100% wool, all right around 100g. I also love that she's from my home region of BC, Canada! Support the Canadians, I say! ;)

Woolen Mill St. Yarns , also of Etsy, is having a great sale for just this weekend, too. She has tons of hand dyed yarn and fiber, starting at just $8! F or this weekend only all of her yarn are $2, and all fiber is $1. There are some gorgeous colour ways, all inspired by my favourite science fantasy characters from shows like Star Trek, and Firefly. This is the roving I liked the best:

I've recently stumbled across this website, which looks interesting: They sell lots of different brands of yarn, including this one here from Artful Yarns, at about 53% off:

I love the gradual colour changes in this ball. I don't think this exact colour way is what's available, but it looks like they had some great deals on a huge variety of different yarns and brands. Another thing I really like about this site is that when you put an item in your cart and it gives you the exact shipping charges based on your total order. For instance, if I wanted 4 balls of yarn at $4, it would come out to $16, but I know that shipping is the same for $15-20, then I know I can add another $4 on and not pay more shipping. I like that a lot! :)

Have a great weekend Everyone!

edit: I apologize for the incredibly unimaginable amount of exclamation posts that were in this post. I think I was on my 4th cup of coffee when I was writing this. LOL Most have now been edited out so that it does not appear as if I was screaming my deals at you like an infomercial. Please, carry on with your day. ;)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh My Goodness, It's Done!

The scarf is done! How crazy is that? I never thought it would knit up so fast and easy! I ran out of yarn at about 40 inches, but I think I'll block it next here and see how much it'll grow just from that. I'm super happy with it! Of course now that means I definitely have to move on to the winter hat that's been sitting around forever. hehe Mr. Pie and I are headed in to Roanoke today (the next biggest city around, about an hour away) to catch a movie on the big screen, so I'll have some knitting time today in the car. YAY!

What am I going to do when school starts and *I* have to be the one driving? I don't think anyone has invented a way to knit and drive at the same time, have they?? That would be awesome! ;) I've only got about 5 weeks until the beginning of all the school orientation festivities! Summer is going by faster now, I think. I still have tons of knitting that needs to get started! Ahhh!

My mom's scarf definitely needs to get started. I know I've mentioned this before, that she's requested a gay pride rainbow scarf. I've decided not to do stripes because in a scarf that means lots of little ends sticking out when I switch colours. Then I thought to dye it myself in koolaid and do a cool ROYGBIV thing, but then I remembered that she's pretty much allergic to all animal hair, and I myself have no attempted cotton or bamboo or anything yet. So instead, I've been on the hunt for a great rainbow yarn that I can use. I've put a few feelers out on Ravelry to see if anyone does a custom dye like this, and here's what I've found so far:

This is the closest as I've been able to come. It's perfect colour, and it's a cotton/rayon blend, but it's lace weight. I've been scared to start up with this yarn because I'm thinking it will take forever to get the scarf done! I may have to bite the bullet though and just order it. What do you guys think? It's going to be for this scarf, Jubilee by Norah Gaughan:

I can't believe that tomorrow is Find a Deal Friday already! Yay!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't Cha Love Picnics?

This afternoon, Mr. Pie took me for a picnic to Douthat State Park, which is only about 15 minutes from where we live. It's one of the best parts about living in this tiny town! The weather was slightly on the chilly side and overcast so we were able to find a nice quiet spot to eat out cheese, cracker, wine and deli meats. A great lunch!

In other news, I continue to be amazed by the scarf I'm knitting. I'm up to three feet already, which just makes me want to keep knitting it! It's been a super nice break from the bigger knitting projects! :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Couldn't Resist

... I started a lace scarf. I swear, I was trying to be good and finish that hat first! But after putting it on double pointed needles and cursing a lot when stitches dropped and trying to decrease in RIB knit, I'd had enough! The lure of this pretty scarf and it's simple pattern and new yarn was just too much!

There's just such a sense of accomplishment with this lacey scarf! This photo was taken last night after I'd lose the natural light. It was knitting up so quick! I think this first few inches took me about an hour or so:

Then I had a doctor's appointment today and I sat for an hour and a half in the waiting room! UGH! But it gave me a good chance to do some awesome middle-of-the-day knitting - In public! Here was the result:

I'm up to over a foot now!! This is going to be done before the weekend gets here! Weeee! It'll be such a nice break from the constant garter and stockinette stitch. As an added bonus, I think I got a new knitter hooked! hehe! A lady I didn't know started talking to me today about how she would like to learn to knit and I told her that I haven't been doing it that long at all! I gave her the site so hopefully she'll pick it up.

I promise promise promise I'll get back to doing that hat as soon as I'm done! ;)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tank Top is Done!

YAY! Tank Top is done! And I'm really a lot happier with it than I was yesterday morning. I knit a 1/2" ribbing around all the edges: the top, bottom, and arms. I'm thinking about adding a row of single crochet to the bottom for a little extra detail, but to tell you the truth I don't know how to crochet. hehe

Even without, you can see Mr. Pie approves:

On the next front is the hat that's been sititng around while I've been obsessed with getting this done. I only have the decrease rows to do but they're a pain and I don't want to do it. lol I don't want to frog it either and I'm incapable of leaving projects just to sit like that. SO! It will be done this week I imagine, and then I think I'll cast on my first lace scarf! What are your favourties for a first lace scarf pattern? :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tank Update

The tank top in 90% complete, and I must say, I'm not terribly impressed with myself at the moment. Here's the pictures taken this morning, strings still hanging and bottom ribbing not complete.

I'm not happy that it kinda makes me look bigger than I am, mostly I think because I should have knit it in a finger gauge yarn. Secondly, I increased the back piece the same as I increased the second piece not thinking about the fact that my back doesn't need the same room my front does. *sigh* I so don't want to frog it, I just sorta want to be done. I think I'll rib all the way around it now... bottom, top, and arms and see if it's more... vest like. Hopefully I'll like it better and it will lay more flat than now.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I think it's time for some updates on my projects, don't you? I was reading through some Lesser Known Skeins (ravelry link) and saw mention that people like to see In Progress photos! And when I thought about it I supposed that I agreed. It's neat seeing someone else's project taking shape. Moreover, it reminded me that I hadn't made mention of a few of my ongoing projects in some time.

My tank top (Pattern from Amateur Craft Mom) has been foremost on my mind the past little while. It's been exciting to be making something for *me* for the first time! Also, it's my first piece of wearable clothing where things like size and gauge really matter. So far, I've finished the front half and the entire second half. Here it is before I finished the last shoulder straps:

Now I admit, I made a few mistakes. For instance, I didn't measure my own body and then use a gauge swatch to determine how many cast on stitches were going to be required to fit my large hips! I know, totally rookie mistake but I think I've come up with a fairly ingenious plan to compensate though. I decided to practice casting on a cast off edge and add a solid brown stripe up the side of the tank top. And then, to make it look like I meant to do that, I'm going to also add some solid brown ribbing to the bottom as well. Here's a look at how that's coming:

I think I like the added texture of the purls against the knits, and I really like that we get to see my edge there too. I'm not sure how I'll make that happen on the opposite side yet, but I think after some playing I can figure it out. I'm imagining just knitting... but through the holes just like I did on this side. Hopefully it'll work. I'm not sure if I'll continue on my brown hem theme and add it in around the arms and neck or not. we'll see.

In other news, I've finally finished frogging, washing, and re-balling the entire pretty angora blend Salvation Army sweater. It's yielded 550 usable yards in a bulky weight all for $3.50! I feel very... green. Both the environmentally friendly and pocket friendly kind. After finishing my first successful recycling project and putting THIS pattern in my queue on Ravlery, I promised myself I wouldn't buy any more sweaters to unravel. I have plenty of yarn in my stash now to do my next couple projects (with the exception of maybe one x-mas gift I have planned). But then the fates would prove against me. The neighbors across the street were having a yard sale, with these two beauties marked 50 cents each:

Both are 60% Nylon, 30% Angora Rabbit Hair, and 10% Wool. The red is a women's medium, and the white is a small but seriously... how could I pass these up? They're so SOFT and FUZZY! I think they may become fluffy socks for my sister or something for christmas. If I can overcome my fear of heels.

I'm sad to admit that there has been no more progress on the red and grey hat than I had previously posted, but as soon as I'm finished my tank I'm going to finish it, then I'll cast on a brand new project! Why is it I'm always more excited about what's around the corner than what I'm working on right now?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dye Job #2

This is a warning for all yarnies who are faint of heart, the following photo is very disturbing.

This is a photo of a tragic accident involving a full 50 yard skein of my beloved recycled angora blend yarn, painstakingly frogged by this author with her own two hands. On the evening of Wednesday, July 15th, approximately 8:30 pm when all other skeins were being extracted from their bath in the washing machine, this poor skein was left behind. Then later in the evening when this author inserted other clothing in to the washing machine to be cleaned, it was agitated to and fro with said towels and jeans.

RIP this yarn! *sniff* Knowing that this skein wouldn't want it's short existence to be completely in vain, I decided to use it's remains for the scientific kool aid experimentation.

This was the result:

Not bad, right? This time I used strawberry with a bit of grape mixed in and I mixed the kool aid in a glass ahead of time. I didn't *quite* cover the yarn so that there would be a few different levels of colour. I think if I really could knit with this, it would be pretty. lol

At the end of frogging that sweater I had about 15 yards left that I decided to experiment with at the same time using a lemonade kool aid. The results didn't work out quite as well.

I think this was about 1 1/2 packs of the lemonade and you can kinda tell it's yellowy-er, but it didn't turn the already tan parts green as I had hoped.

So this experiment wasn't quite as bad as my first, and hopefully my next won't be quite as bad as this. I'm thinking of buying a few of those 100% wool balls that I posted below, but I don't even want to waste the money on that if I'm just going to mess it up! Still, not a complete disaster is an improvement. I'm optimistic about the future yet again.

Find a Deal FRIDAY!

It's that time again boys and girls! Find a Deal Fridays!

OH my gosh you guys!! Joann Fabrics is having a 30% off sale on all Lion Brand yarns! and 25% off all Bernat yarns! You have to go to the website and see! And order yarn!! hehehe!

There's some serious destashing going on over here at StudioNeshama.

This is 50% Wool and 50% Acrylic, 5 balls of it for a total of 760 yards, for $10.00 INCLUDING shipping!

Isn't this a pretty colour? It's over at It's half "Soy Silk" and half wool. What is Soy Silk? lol I bet it's super soft though! 10 bags for $17.99! Hmmm.. which christmas gift needs this yarn? ;) I had never heard of this site before! What wonderful prices on beautiful yarn!
Anyone out there interested in diving in to some dyeing? Here's a cheap way to experiment! It's from the same site as the one above. 100% wool, 154 yards are only $1.99. My stash is already getting out of control, or I would snatch a bunch up to start koolaid dyeing! I betcha it would turn out a lot better than my previous experiement. I'll have some updates tomorrow probably on my newest attempt. Clue: better, but not great.

Have a happy weekend everyone! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blogs I'm Digging

One of the big reasons that I began writing on this blog was to meet some cool people and become a part of the omnipresent, yet previously elusive, blogosphere. I wanted to meet cool people who were interested in the same things as I am and make some cool, creative friends! Here's a short list of some of the people I'm enjoying reading!

Top of the list is Ponder And Stitch. Her and I have started emailing back and forth and she's a totally cool chick! She has her own Etsy shop selling very pretty vintagey clothing and jewelry that she makes. This purse below is from her store (and psst: it's on sale!)

Here at Cliodhna's Updates , Cliodhna is hosting what looks to be a very interesting mystery Knit-a-long! This is where you log in every week to get the next instructions, but you're never certain what it is you're knitting! How fun is that! I think I'll jump in on the next one. Here's the current one so far, in case you want to start with week 2. She's also running a contest right now!

Molto Di Moda Designs dips her fingers in so many different crafts, it's great! She gives instructions for recycling a sweater in to a purse, making zuccinni bread, creating your own cosmetics! She's a thrifter and a crocheter too... what's not to love?

And finally, but certainly not at the bottom of my list, is A Hard Days Knit. She a knitter and crocher with big beautiful pictures on her blog. Her puppy dog is so adorible! How could you resist this face?

I hope you guys check these blogs out and give 'em some love too!

Everyone looking forward to tomorrow's Find a Deal Friday?? I know I am! hehe I'm pre-shopping even as we speak!