Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Does everyone have their candy bought and their costumes picked out?? Today was our Halloween Preparation Day and we carved our pumpkins. It's crazy to think it's our 4th year! Now, as the seeds are roasting in the oven, hot off the press, is the pictures:

Popeye helping me carve

Mr. Pie modeling his pumpkin

Finished and waiting for dark to fall

Mr. Pie's Masterpiece

My finished Object D'art

Have a happy and safe Halloween everyone!! And check back soon for my ...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Find a Deal!

Okay you guys, I found the COOLEST Etsy store! It's called KNotes for KNitters and Maggie, the owner, has some of the greatest knitting accessories I've ever seen.

My very favourite is her Pirate Knitting Bags!! These totally made me crack up laughing:

I think these bags are an absolute Hoot for $12.95! She also carries some great hand lotions, bookmarks, magnets, and fiber care tags:

Girl Riding Sheep, Set of 8 for $3.95

On top of this great sense of humour and wonderful creativity, she also happens to be a super nice person. Here's what she had to say about her store:

"Making the art I do pleases me because I can rescue the antique & vintage
photos I love and breathe a second life into them, sending them back out into
the world again. And, even better, my husband no longer complains about
my ever-growing collection!"

Always with those pesky husbands, huh? ;) Check back for Holiday designs coming soon in her shop! Oh, and certainly don't forget to check in with Darcy's Knotty Knitter, where you can enter a give away for some of Maggie's proprietary "Happy Hands" lotion!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Christmas Knitting Update

Oh my gosh, so much going on with my Christmas knitting! I'm excited to show you... Dum Da Duuuummm! ... Another Christmas present knitted and done!

stacked eyelet cowl

This super cute cowl is made from my hand dyed wool from a while back and I'm super happy with it. It could have maybe been a tad smaller and it really REALLY needs to be blocked so it'll hold its shape... and maybe it could use a button? or a pin? to hold it folded like that around the neck. Hmmmmm....

I've cast on another hat in the mean time. This time the Beanie by Sue Blacker, which has this awesome "braided" look to it all the way around! Oh, here's the pic:

and here's what I have so far...

(Shameless Canada Promotion provided by my laptop cover)

Isn't it awesome?? I'm knitting it with a knit picks City Tweed DK in chipmunk that I've been saving for just the right project, and I think this one will be perfect! I think it'll use pretty much the entire ball which always makes me really happy. hehe The only part I'm not loving about this pattern is that I'm going to have to pick up and knit after I've finished the braid and I hope I don't get mad and this just turns in to a headband. LOL

Ooo! Speaking of Knit Picks! My overseas Blogger friend (if she's like to be named, leave a comment for me!) and I went in together and made a SUPER huge knit picks order that I am so excited about! She even got some friends in on it! HEHE! I'll ship it over to her once her stuff arrives at my door and I was able to slip in a few different yarns for me! I bought some Palette in red, green and white to make little christmas ornaments, and I bought a ball of chunky yarn to make a big ear-flap hat for another friend for Christmas. (As an aside: do you see a pattern here?) Totally cool, right?? I can't wait!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More House Rearranging

It feels like we're getting the house ready for the holidays or something, even though we rarely have a bunch of company over. lol

Today we moved around furniture. Previously (and again I have no before photos! argh!) we had a credenza in the long hallway and a chest in the dining room. Then, one day last week I was brushing my teeth and it just struck me that I needed to switch them around! The hallway needs a few more tweaks but MAN does the dining room look nice!

A great days work, if I do say so myself. Well... it really only took about an hour or so. Doesn't it look to you guys like those mini-blinds need updating? hehehe!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Does it count as a Finished Object?

As a break from knitting, and because I've made substantial progress on my Hand Dyed Cowl, I decided to try something new. I found this amazing tutorial from Little Green Notebook on how to transform mini-blinds in to roman shades and immediate thought of the broken blinds in my front window.

For the record: I am not a seamstress. I can whip stitch and maybe get a button back on, but beyond that is beyond me. This project requires no more tools than a measuring tape, scissors and some fabric glue. My kind of project!!

I won't go in to instructions because she does it so beautifully on her site, but there's the photos of my first attempt, taken over the course of about a half hour:

cutting the shades apart

making sure to only cut the *little* thread,
not the big pulley one

laying the fabric below, figuring out
how many slats to have

gluing everything down

finished and hanging!

pulled up and after it dried

Isn't it gorgeous!? I think it has a beautiful kind of stained glass effect with the light streaming in from the other side. I wish I had taken a before picture, because I can guarantee it wasn't this cute! Total cost was about $8.00 for one yard of fabric, which I had technically bought for another project and didn't use so it was just around the house.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Happy Tinker Day!

No, not like "tinking" some knitting! Tinker Day is an annual celebration at Hollins, my school. It's a surprise every year and no one (except the President of the university) knows when it's going to be until 6am when seniors run through the hallways banging pots and pans. It's tradition to wear a funky get up and hike Tinker Mountain, where at the top there will be Krispy Kreme doughnuts waiting as well as lots of festivities.

Here's President Gray this morning:

So as you may have guessed, since I'm here to post this today, I'm not on a mountain. hehe I decided to stay home this morning instead after the killer week I've had. I'll be at this school for another two years, so I'll catch it next year. :)

Instead I've spent the day catching up on the cleaning of the house. Mr. Pie and I decided to hose down the shutter doors in our kitchen by laying them in the yard. They were seriously gross because our house is so old that it doesn't have a fan above the stove. Seriously yuk. lol Then we cleaned the spinning fan ( for the same reason), vacuumed and got some laundry on. I feel as if I've accomplished something today. :)

I had a big midterm in Anthropology yesterday and feel GREAT about how it went! I can't wait to get it back and see how I did. I also got my first big grade in that class back and I got an A on the paper! YAY! I'm keeping my A in Calculus still, and am pretty sure I have an A in Business class too. Leadership is the only one I'm uncertain about because we haven't received a whole lot of concrete grades just yet. But I'm feeling good about my first term. :)

We've already grabbed a sneak peak at the schedule next semester and I'm thinking I'll be doing Calculus 2, Math Lab, Business Organization, Ethical Leadership and maybe the next Leadership skills class. Crazy enough, I think it's going to work out to fewer credits than I'm taking now.

So yeah, on to knitting updates. hehe Mr. Pie has expressed numerous times how he'd like for me to make him a pair of slippers. His requests: that I use scrap yarn so they're in funky colours, and that they're tall enough that he can tuck in the hem of his pajama pants. This was my first attempt...

.. and he couldn't even get his foot in the top. ARGH!! I even undid some of the seaming up the back! They're knit in garder stitch so they are SUPER stretchy, but that dang cast off screwed me! LOL I have no idea how to cast off in a stretchier way, but I'm seriously going to have to learn 'cause this was terrible. They are so tightly knit too (double worsted weight yarns on a 7), which makes them super warm but hard on the hands when knitting. This one fits me (again) but I'm going to have to make a second one eventually. lol

My second project on the needles is the cowl, which I have't spent much time with as evidenced here:

Hopefully school will calm down for a little while and I'll be able to bang out a few more christmas gifts, but I'm not counting on it. How is your Christmas knitting coming along?

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Cast Ons

So after finishing two hats this week (scroll down to see pics) I had nothing left on the needles, so I cast on TWO projects yesterday.

Number one, and of the highest priority, is a pair of slippers for Mr. Pie. I made myself a pair a while back and have been enjoying them. I have not been enjoying the guilt trip every time I finish another project that isn't his slippers! hehehe It's getting very very cold in my part of Virginia these mornings, so I figured it's time to get cracking on these:

Knitting Moccasin Slippers

They aren't much to look at but I like that they're knit flat and then seamed. Mr. Pie wants them to be tall enough that he can tuck his pajamas in to them and I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to make that happen yet. He's also expressed that he wants "crazy slippers", meaning I use whatever yarn I don't have enough of to make something else. Since it's knitted with two strands of worsted held together, I've started out with some Lion Brand Wool Ease in burgundy and blue put together. I'm hoping I can at least get the bottoms of them to match. lol

Do you remember this yarn that was to become socks, but got frogged?

Well, I decided to search for a project that this would be suited for. With someone in mind for a Christmas gift, I chose this project here:

I don't even have the first rows done, but it should be pretty mindless and I hope it turns out pretty with all the striping!

So with both going at once, of course I won't have a finished project quite as quickly. I'll let you guys know how they're comoin'! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finished Hats!!

So, after the terrible set back that the Great Sweater Disaster of '09 did to my ego, I decided to try and get out some more christmas hats. They're fun, quick, don't take too much yarn and there's loads of room for creativity. :)

The first one I did was a Dean Street Hat in a child's size, as seen here:

It's not a true cable pattern, but it looks like one, which is way cool. This is knit up in the Caron Eco Soft again, which since I bought so much of it has been a re-occurring theme in my knitting. hehe I'm thinking about trying this one again, but maybe in the green and staggering the cables so it looks kinda bambooey. It was a super quick knit too! Only took me about 2 days.

The second one I cast on just three days ago and it's already done, the Wavy Cable Lace Hat.

I used my Knit Picks Gloss DK and it is SO nice to knit with. I will definitely be buying more of this yarn! For the pattern though, I think my gauge was a bit off because I only ended up doing two pattern repeats instead of the three they call for. Also, I have about 2 yards of yarn left, and I kinda altered the top because I was getting nervous. I don't know if I would have had enough if I hadn't skipped the rounds that didn't have the K2Tog on them. The pattern looks intimidating when you're just browsing, but is actually pretty easy to remember once you get in to it.

I like this one so much, I'm not sure it's going to make it out of the house at Christmas time or not. hehe! It feels really good to have accomplished something. :)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Find a Deal Fridays are BACK!

Yay! They're back! And now with new and improved copyright protection! hehe

There's a huge sale going on at Handspun and Dyed Too ! Buy one hank/ batt of yarn, and get a second one of equal or lesser value FREE!! She spins and dyes her own, and the prices are very very reasonable.

$13.00 , 100% Falkland Wool, 96 Yards, Worsted Weight

$13.00, 100% Faulkland Wool, 100 Yards, Heavily Worsted

$14.50, 100% Faulkland Wool, 65 Yards, Bulky

I really admire her work and would love to have some beautiful knits out of any of her yarn! :)

Karol's Treasures has some of the best deals on Etsy right now for yarn I think. It's a complete destash shop done the way I think it should be done, where you don't ask your patrons to pay retail price for the yarn sight unseen! :) She's got some gorgeous stuff right now too!

$4.00 /ball

She also carries interesting vintage beads and other findings. It's a great store and shipping is great too!

Aqualight is another store I bumped in to because of some really excellent prices! Even though her store doesn't have much of a description, you quickly see an emphasis on environmentally friendly yarns, which I gotta love too. :) Here are a just a few offering from that store:

$18.50, 100%Wool, 600 Yards

$12.50, Organic Cotton and Soy Blend, 100 Yards

$6.15, 90% New Wool Merino, 152 Yards

Hope everyone enjoyed the resurgence of FADF! Tomorrow I'll post a few pics of some recent finished objects. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Knitter Feature

Hello Friends!

I thought we'd try something new today and feature a super cool knitter! Beth has her own blog and etsy store, but I think she's cool enough that you should hear even more about her. :)

She spins, she dyes, she knits! How cool is that? Oh, and she also has a tortoise that wonders around the house. You so HAVE to be cool if you ever have to say, "I can't spin because there's a tortoise in the way!"

Just sayin'.

Her Etsy Store, Blue Mountain Handcrafts, is just SO Gorgeous! She has a great variety of knitting and crocheting supplies! (Click on the pictures to be taken right to the store page.)

She even has a ton to say, which just makes her so much more interesting. :) Here's her thoughts on knitting:

Student Knitter: When did you first start knitting and why?
Beth: I first stared knitting about 6 years ago. I'd been crocheting for 15 years and kept seeing all the fabulous stuff you can knit but can't seem to get the same look using crochet......cables, socks, etc. After trying to teach myself to knit twice before with no success and wondering if I should just use the pointing sticks for staking my flowers up something clicked in my head and I finally got it. I've been hooked ever since.

SK: What made you first want to start spinning?
Beth: One addiction leads to another. I was hooked on knitting which means I was also addicted to yarn. I discovered the lovely hand dyed and hand painted yarns first. Then I saw some gorgeous handspun yarn and that was all she wrote. My budget for anything besides food and bills was pretty anemic but I'm super thrifty. I kept a look out EVERYWHERE and told EVERYONE I know I was looking for a spinning wheel in working condition. Months later, I was at an auction and they had for sale a vintage Ashford Traditional spinning wheel in fabulous shape. I told my husband I was going to get it. He didn't think that was a good idea and then he walked off outside 2 minutes before it went up for auction. Silly man. I got Ethel (my traddy) for $12. He couldn't argue with that and has since come to appreciate handspun yarn and the work that goes into it. And so, another addiction was added to my list.

SK: Where does your creative inspiration come from?
Beth: I get a lot of ideas for color combinations from my kids........they are a great source for wacky colors that at first you wouldn't really think go together and the kids come up with fabulous names for them most of the time. I also see a lot of colors in nature that inspire me. And, believe it or not, I will wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for color, a bag design (Caddy Sax were born at 3:30 am), needle case, etc. Sometimes it's as simple as I want an item for a specific purpose and can't seem to find anything that works for me so I make it myself.

SK: What is your biggest challenge right now?
Beth: My biggest challenge right now is space and time. Sounds like something out of Star Trek doesn't it? I have very little storage space for fiber and fabric and even less space for working on batts, drying wool, sewing, etc. Fabric and the sewing machine have taken over the master bedroom.......I wanted to use the dresser to store my fabric in but my husband wasn't keen on digging through a garbage bag to find clean underwear. All of my fiber tools and goodies are stored in a small room downstairs with the exception of my girls Ethel and Elphaba (my Ashford Scholar). Time is the other challenge I have. Time to actually sew, spin, card batts, dye wool, etc. With two kids, a husband, 2 Etsy shops, and life in general I have to steal time here and there to get things done. I'm looking into cloning myself.......they can do the laundry, housework, and taxi service while I play in fiber heaven.

SK: What kinds of crafts would you like to learn/try in the future and why?
Beth: I sew, crochet, knit, spin, and dye. I also love flowers, herbs, gardening, and plants in general so I think my next direction will be in dyeing with natural plant dyes. I have some background in aromatherapy and natural medicine and am familiar with a wide variety of plants that grown here on the mountain that could be responsibly wildcrafted for dyeing purposes. Now I just have to find my trowel and clippers.............and room to dry and store plants.

I hope you guys visit her store and her blog! She's a super fun person and her things are just so beautiful. Thanks Beth for agreeing to be featured! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I finished My First Sweater...

And it's really. really. Ugly. LOL

I just saw it on me in the mirror for a moment, but yeah. It's really terribly unflattering. lol It's going to get frogged at some point, but I'll have to decide if I have the cajones to put it on again and take a picture. lol


I'm really disappointed, but chalking it up to experience I suppose. Oh well, that yarn will make a nice scarf. lol

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Comments were broken?

Ugh! I was wondering why I hadn't heard from you guys in a while so I checked to see if *I* could comment on my posts and I couldn't! UGH again!

I think I have it fixed. If I don't, please email me at . I should put that in my description too, shouldn't I?

So annoying, but fixed. I think. :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

What to do about Find A Deal Fridays

Hi folks! I have a question to ask you about Find a Deal Fridays. Recently I posted my blog up on a Ravelry group in order to get feedback and I got a lot of very positive responses, so thank you to those people who gave me encouragement. :)

I did receive one tip though that worried me, from a lady who pointed out that I wasn't even thinking about: when I use photos from other sites I may be violating a whole slew of copy right laws. To anyone that I've offended by doing this, I'm sorry. Now that I'm aware of the laws regarding how I can use photos I'll be much more careful about what I post.

This got me thinking about Find A Deal Fridays because that is the part of the blog that I think I borrow photos for than any other time. Traditionally I've just linked the photo over to their etsy pages or wherever, which I've also since learned is a big blogger No-No! So, if I continue to do Find A Deal Fridays, then I'm going to have to:
a: seek out the products that I want to feature much farther ahead of time than I have been and
b: seek permission to download their photo in order to upload to my site to show you guys.

What do you guys think? Would you miss FADF if it wasn't here anymore? Do you look forward to it every week and would be disappointed if it wasn't here, or would you be okay with say.. once a month instead?

Thank you in advance for your feedback in this one! :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Major Score!

Today, Mr. Pie and I took a walk in the little downtown area of our tiny town to have lunch and see what's new in the shops and such. One of my favorite little stores is a cute consignment clothes shop that always has name brand baby clothes for like $2 each and has a "give away" bin for clothes that are more worn than she feels comfortable charging for. I've always taken a little bit of time to go through and see if there was anything knitted that I could pull apart.

Well! Today when we went in they had actually moved up to the store front level (from the basement level) and had much less space than before. I looked around for the freebies, didn't see them, and was preparing myself for the worst. When we asked the owner if the bin was still around, she took me down to her old store and me go through a bunch of boxes! Check out my haul!

From left to right we have a ladies size M in 100% cotton, girl's size M in 53% acrylic, 47% wool, girl's size S 50% nylon, 18% angora, 32% lambswool, and a men's L in 55% cotton, 15% wool, 15% rayon, 15% nylon.

Along with the yarn I scored a zipper (on the green one) and 4 buttons (on the peach one). Woo!

The lady is still going through inventory and said that she would put aside more sweaters that had big chunky knits. YAY! It's like I've found the ultimate source for sweaters that need rescuing! :)

Now, to go put them in my stash on ravelry. I love that part!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hand Hurting Again

Yes, I knit for about an hour and a half tonight, but I probably shouldn't have. My knuckle on my left hand is throbbing again and it's so not fun.

On the up side, I have the top of the sleeve figured out I think. I'll post more pictures tomorrow, maybe.

Did I mention that tomorrow is my last day of school this week?? It's fall break! And Sunday is Canadian Thanksgiving! (Well, it's really Monday, but I'll be cooking Sunday.) I've invited a few friends from school to come over for a great big dinner, because it's not thanksgiving without a bunch of friends, right? :)

I'll be spending my fall break cleaning, I think. LOL

Monday, October 5, 2009

They're Reproducing!

My back half of my sweater has been fixed since my last sweater post, and then replicated itself as a front half as well!

Ahhhhh!!! It's a sweater pieces take over!! AHHHHH!!!


No just kidding. It is knitting up awefully fast though, isn't it?? I'm enjoying that aspect, considering I've never knit a sweater before. Dang... This is my first real sweater and I never realized it! :Pats self on back:

Alrighty! Well, I'm about to go cast on for the sleeves, which I have no idea how to do and have a feeling i'm going to fail miserably at the first time, but since I don't want it to be a sleeveless sweater, I better get to it, right? lol

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Find a Deal!

Alright, I admit I wasn't doing research for my blog, but I certain have found a deal!

Mom, Dad, all I want for Christmas is:

A complete set of these great Knit Picks Interchangeable needles... and they're on sale!! $44.99 is 33% off! And Mom... Dad....if you just include a few small balls of yarn in there, you'll get free shipping too! (Well anything over $50 hehe!)

Are you guys thinking about your lists yet? :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

No FADF This Week

Truthfully, I'm just wiped. School is kicking my butt right now! Thank GOD next week is fall break and it's only a partial week for me! Woo Hoo!

Meanwhile, I'll be knitting on my sweater. I think I've subconsciously begun knitting the grey sweater, only in this tan/cream colour instead. Whoda thunk? So I just ditched the "3-Hour Sweater" pattern and have begun on the grey sweater instead. lol There were really only a few minor details different I think, and the angora recycled yarn is well suited to the drape I think.

I've pretty much finished the back, but I'm unsure of how far up in the back I should be going. Remember how in that grey sweater there's kind of a wide neckline? So I'm knitting the front now and I guess I'll just have to see how they match up when I get to the top.

Here's what I have so far, compared to a picture of the Ann Taylor sweater again:

Hmmm... a little less ribbing at the bottom probably would have been better, huh? I wonder if it'll make enough difference that I should frog the entire back AND the part of the front I have so far? Probably not. lol The sleeves are going to post some problems I think. Anyone have any idea how many stitches I'll want to cast on (in bulky yarn) for those sleeves? Ooo... and I didn't do the few rows of reverse knitting on the back either. Eek. I was already thinking that I probably starting the ribbing too soon anyway, so I'll pull it back just enough to fix that. lol

And here's another issue I don't know how to solve! See how the top of the sleeves are rounded? How will I do that? If I just cast on 10 stitches or something, won't it just be straight? Maybe I'll start knitting teh sleeves from the bottom?

Thank you so much to the people who helped last time! Hopefully you don't mind me mooching off your Knitting Knowledge a second time. ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Yarn Fairy Came!

I got home from school yesterday, and look what Mr. Pie the yarn fairy had left me!

5 big balls of the great Simply Soft Eco yarn in a great dark green colour! YAY! My stash was just getting worked down too. ;)

So... what to make? A few ideas: (Ravelry links if you click on the pictures)

(I would have to hold two strands of the yarn together for this grey one)

These are all patterns off of my favorites list on Ravelry that could possibly work with this Eco yarn. Ooo! I'm excited!

Find a Deal Fridays will be either later tonight or tomorrow, so don't forget to check back for that! :) Meanwhile, I'm still chug chugging on my other sweater too. More on that later!