Sunday, January 31, 2010

{Flags App}

Has anyone else noticed my new App that displays the flags of my visitors? I already have 7 flags there! You can get one too over at

Thanks Carla for the tip!!

{Etsy Feature}

I found a super cute and brand new etsy store that I really like! It's called Mama Roux and look at these super cute tote bags!

They are 9" x 11" (not including straps) and she's selling them for $15 with only $1 shipping for the Grand Opening! Which one is my favourite? I think maybe the greenish blue flower bag in the bottom left corner. But they're all yum!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

{Updates on WIP}

Yay! I finally get to write you guys a real post. Hi, New Followers! *waves!* :D

Not to get TOO far off course with what I was planning on writing today but I just wanted to say that I'm unhappy with how Blogger keeps track of followers. I hate that I can't see who's new to following me and who isn't. So if you're new I'd love to check out your blog if you have one, or just see your profile, and I can't do that unless you let me know you're here. Leave a comment for me, will ya? :)

Okay! On with business. I haven't done a ton of knitting the last week because of my internship! I'm sad and excited that I'm done with that month-long endeavor because I was really enjoying myself and it went by very quickly. I was with the local Chamber of Commerce and I feel like I was wined and dined pretty good! I visited our state capital and met with state senators and other legislators; I even got to watch legislation being passed, which was pretty cool. I learned a whole bunch and met a ton of people, including the fabulous people at the Chamber itself. Everyone was so amazing and supportive of me and I'm sad to be done.

This is the yarn that I won from Lizzknits , which believe me, has helped with the back-to-school blues! Isn't it gorgeous? (I'm particularly proud of this photo. lol)

I'm having problems finding a suitable pattern, even though I've been trying all morning. It's not a stretchy yarn at all, so I'm afraid a hat, mittens or socks really aren't the answer, and I'm not liking any scarf patterns with lots of lace because the thick-and-thin of it just sorta makes it look messy. This is my first hand-spun yarn and I want to do a really special project! Any ideas anyone?

This next pic is a better representation of the colours on my Modern Log Cabin Blanket. It got some work done on it while Mr. Pie and I were at the cabin last weekend.

And finally, this is the beginnings of my Hey Teach! cardigan. I like how this is shaping up. I've just begun the lace part at the top. You may notice if you're familiar with this pattern (as about 7000 of you Ravelry people have already knit this... lol) then you may notice I've lengthed the body quite a bit. I'm hoping this will suit my shape a little bit better.

And Finally, here are the few yarns that I ordered piggy-backed with Jenny's latest KnitPicks order. It's not a lot, but it'll be fun to play. A couple new colours of Palette to go with a few others that I bought back at Christmas time and used for ornaments. These two colours are Oyster Heather and Edamame. I hope to get some colourwork done with these.

And two of Wool of the Andes in Dove Heather. I had been planning on this yarn for my fingerless gloves that have been at the top of my queue, but when I started it at the cabin I decided the yarn was just a tad too scratchy for wearing against the delicate under-wrist skin. Instead, I think I've decided to use this yarn for one of those cool Vase Covers!

So that's about it for me. I'm so glad to be back on top of things and I'm looking forward to finding my school rhythm again next week. Yep, that's right. I'm starting my spring semester on Wednesday! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

{A Giveaway}

My good friend Jenny from Jenny's blog on Knitting has officially written 100 posts! YAY! Congratulations, girlie!!

She's giving away some gorgeous yarn to celebrate, so cruise on over to her site!

Monday, January 25, 2010

{My Socks Are The Awesome}

Knitting socks might become my next favorite thing to do. Especially comfy cozy socks (which I wear in the house even in to summer lol).

The only thing I'm not totally hip on is the holes that keep appearing in the heels of the socks i knit. I think I do a short row type heel, where you wrap the stitch and then turn around and go the other way.... and I even wrapped an extra time and knit or purled three together as per Silver's Sock Class.

I was finished just in time for our weekend away at a cabin and these were perfect for keeping my little feets warm!

Friday, January 22, 2010

{Book Reviews}

I got a few new knitting books for Christmas and I wanted to let you guys in on which ones I liked and which ones I don't think are worth buying. Keep in mind these are only my opinions and others may think differently. :)

the knitter's handy Book of Patterns

Let me just say that I never plan on being a knitwear designer. I got frustrated though when I was searching for a pattern and I didn't have *just* the right weight of yarn in order to knit the pattern that I liked. I think with this book I'll be able to use a pattern and just change the stitch counts depending on my gauge swatch with this book.

It covers the basics - a sweater, hat, gloves, mittens, socks and scarf. Someone was thinking too because it's a book that's made to lay flat with rings in the middle. Smart, right? I'm looking forward to the knitter's handy book of Sweater Patterns too.

The Best of Interweave Knits

I was excited about this book because of the reputation that Interweave has of making great patterns, but I don't think my expectations lived up to the reality of this book. There are a couple of patterns that I'll probably knit, including the shawl you see on the cover, this cool bag pattern and maybe this summery top. Many of the patterns are kinda shapeless (ex: Simply Marilyn oversized sweater) and others are kind of out of date (ex: Cropped Argyle Vest). Then there are a few others that look like they are designed for someone twice my age and wouldn't really look great.

The Men's patterns in this book are timeless and fashionable forever, of course. How do men get away with that??

Free Pattern Giveaway

I met Petite Vache when she became my very first Swap partner on Ravelry. She was super duper sweet and I got the COOLEST swap packet, EVA from her! She designs her own patterns and has her very first pattern up for sale on Ravelry now too! As a celebration she's giving away two free copies of her pattern over here on her blog - head on over and enter. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

{It's Like Christmas!}

Man, I wish it was all mine, too! Just like Christmas when I was 4! LOL

So I come home from work today to find a box I have been *eagerly* awaiting.

It's the Knit Picks order that I put in with my friend Jenny from Linköping, Sweden. As you may know, our compatriots in Europe are unable to order from because they don't ship outside the US. They do offer free shipping only over $50 though, but since I can't really afford $50 all at once, I rarely order from them myself. So a few months ago Jenny and I worked out a deal where she and some friends put together an order and then paypal me the money, I place the order (plus a few skeins of my own) and it comes to my house. I verify the order, take out what's mine, and let her know what shipping on the box will be to her house and she paypal's me again, and the box is on it's way to Sweden! It worked so well that she decided she wanted to give it another go.

There's is something thoroughly therapeutic (masturbatory ?) about sorting through all this yarn!! I just love touching it all and seeing all of the yarn all laid out on my floor!

So here's Round 2: (it didn't even fit in one picture!!)

The colours they chose are just GORGEOUS and the baby alpaca lace yarn that Jenny's bought to do her 12 shawls in 12 months challenge feels like HEAVEN. This order is seriously larger than my entire stash! LOL

So let this be your tease, Jenny! hehehe It'll be at your house soon!

PS - if any of my other friends outside the US would like to do this, let me know! :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

{My Next Cast On}

With the socks drawing quickly to a close, and with our weekend getaway trip planned for this Friday (only two more sleeps!), I found myself this morning searching Ravelry for my next Cast On. For the first time, I was searching for a project at a much higher skill level than others I've tried before. Maybe I'm gravitating towards projects that take longer now? Cool.

So anyway - here's what I settled on:

Hey Teach!

This cardigan is called "Hey Teach!" and it's a free download through It's a lot of lacework and shaping, but it's knitted on size 8's so it should go pretty quick!

I'll be doing it in this yarn here:

Mr. Pie bought me a 4 balls of Caron Simply-Soft Eco as a surprise one day when I was having kind of a rough time. It really made me smile, and now I'll smile every time I wear the cardigan. :) I even have some great buttons for it! yay!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

{Thank You}

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all my followers. I've recently hit 60!! I think that sounds like a lot of people who take the time to check in and see how my knitting is going. Thank you also to everyone who makes time in their busy schedules to leave me a comment and give me advice when I'm struggling with a new concept - You all just make this whole knittnig experience worlds better. I can't believe how amazing the whole knitting community is.

So just... thank you. To all of you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I was surfing around last night and stumbled on to Budget Wise Home where they feature lots of great ideas for decorating that cost little to nothing. Since my decorating budget is nothing, it works well for me! I particularly was inspired by this photo here:

photos are from Real Simple and Pottery Barn

Isn't that the COOLEST idea? Books are a huge issue in this house and we have way more than we have space for. I ran out to the living room as soon as I saw the photo and whipped up a version of my own.

What do you think? I've been wanting a table here forever because it's sorta off in a corner and there's no place to set a book or a tea cup. It's the most comfortable seat in the house and unfortunately it's rarely used. It still needs a tall lamp I think.

Of course, solving one problem caused another. Now the bottom of my bookcase is looking sparse.

And man oh man does that bookcase need some sprucing up. Maybe this spring it'll get a coat of black paint or something. Any ideas? Opinions?

Don't worry, I'll be back to my normal knitting updates soon. The first sock is done and I've go the toes of the second cast on. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

{Why In The World...?}

So... I'm looking around online for a way to spruce up some sorta tacky glass vases I have around from different flowers we've ordered and I come across about 6 billion posts about how to re-use Glass Jars. I pause to look at them because I had just recently pulled a few glass jars aside and run them through the dishwasher thinking maybe I'd do something with them later. Much later, is what I was thinking.

This was supposed to be a picture of some empty jars.

These 6 billion websites, such as this one or this one, pretty much made me feel like a idiot. lol I'm a person who tries to do as much as is easy when it comes to the Three R's, such as composting, recycling plastic/glass/tin, buy stuff in bulk to use less packaging... stuff like that. That being said... for some reason ... I had not thought to store food in jars after they were empty. Why in the world hadn't I thought of that???

It's almost easier TO use them than to NOT use them. It means fewer plastic storage containers and all their dumb lids, fewer chemicals leaching in to the food we eat when it's reheated in the microwave, fewer trips to the recycling center, and on and on and on. And it's so darn easy! Just a trip through the dishwasher and they're ready to use.

marshmallows, pasta, and cinnamon sticks

After pulling out the three jars I had put aside to use at some later date for something I hadn't thought of yet, I went through our recycling bin and found a few more of different sizes. I've got almost all the food in the cupboard in sealed containers now instead of just plastic bags twisted at the top, or open cardboard boxes.

So with one project done and feeling oh so proud of myself, I started to spruce up the rest of the house a bit. Nothing big, you understand, just tiny projects that have all made a teeny difference. I snipped some greens to put in those glass vases I mentioned. They now reside on the credenza that's been naked since the Christmas decorations came down.

Then I reorganized a few things in the kitchen (oh lord the kitchen... that's a whole seperate post. lol)

And added a very simple tie back to the curtain in the dining room:

Overall I've had a productive morning even though that's meant only a few rows on the socks in progress. I plan to keep every glass jar that makes it's way through our kitchen and even to choose products in glass containers over products in cardboard or plastic from now on. What about you guys - what do you do with your glass jars? Or is this something that's new to you to? (oh umm... I think that was just me. lol)

Friday, January 15, 2010

{I have a Knitting Fairy}

My friend Hope is the very sweetest person I have ever met. She's an experienced knitter that visited my very tiny town when she was little and contacted me out of the blue one day on Ravelry. Ever since then I have been showered with knitterly gifts and there is no way that I can thank her enough. As a full time student there is little I can afford to splurge on. Her gifts have given me the opportunity to knit my first shawl in the most amazing yarn I have ever set my paws on, much less knit with, and she gifted me with the yarn for my first sweater.

While I was on the phone and she was walking me through some finishing techniques for said sweater I was expressing frustration with not having pictures and such, or the proper tools for pinning pieces together (I was using old locking stitch markers of my Grandmother's, which were brittle plastic and kept snapping in half on me!)

She mentioned that she may be able to help with that, and a few days later, this came in the mail:

I can not tell you how overjoyed I was. I started to tear up with such deep feelings of gratitude.

Hope - I don't know how you found me or why you picked me, a virtual stranger, to shower with such gracious gifts . Thank you... just thank you so much for enriching my experience of learning to knit and being such a wonderful friend.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

{Red Dwarf Socks}

Anyone remember this sweater that I recycled, and was going to become a different sweater but instead became an epic failure? (in my defense, I had no clue what I was doing and didn't follow a pattern. Yeah. I know. lol).

This soft fuzzy angora blend yarn has been sitting in my stash since almost the conception of my blog and now it's being it's being reincarnated a second time. This time: socks! I cast on my Red Dwarf Socks last weekend and have only had time (or energy) to do a few rows each night. The repeat pattern is super easy to remember and I love that the pattern is written for toe up on two circular needles, since that's my preferred sock method thus far. I'll still have to figure out how to alter patterns to be able to do them that way if they aren't written from the toe up. Can't be that hard, can it? hehe

Here's what sock 1 looks like so far:

The pattern in this yarn isn't as pronounced as in the pattern's picture, but I still think it makes a pretty little detail. I don't think I'm going to do the pattern again on the back of the socks once I'm up on the leg as the pattern calls for. I'm thinking instead I'll just do ribbing around the back for a better fit because the yarn doesn't have a lot of elasticity.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

{My First Sweater}

I began the Climbing Vines Pullover on December 28th, 2009 and proceeded to knit like a mad woman while I was on break from school. The progressed slowed a little after I started my internship a week ago, but today, January 10th, 2010, I present to you:

... the completed sweater.

... and again closer up.

I'm pretty happy with it after the blocking process. I think it did manage to shrink up just a little and I'll remember to shrink it a bit after each washing. It's not super duper flattering in person (though I managed to pull it off okay for the photo. hehe It's COLD out there!) but it's cute and warm. I'm happy with how the charted vines came out and I think it adds a neat touch.

The arms don't sit right for sure. Anyone have any idea where I can go to get good info on fitting shoulders?

My main lesson from this project though is fit. I know now that I'm a fan of a bit of negative ease so if I'm stuck between two sizes next time I'll go down and not up.

And thank you so so much to everyone who left lovely messages for me to find this morning. I really appreciated the kind words. :) I did take your advice and began knitting a bit on my other mindless project, the Modern Log Cabin Blanket. I have all 4 colours integrated now and thought I'd share that too.

These yarns are all 100% acrylic that I got from my Sister in Law for Christmas. I'm really surprised at how nice these Bernat Super-deal yarns feel! They're pretty soft and nice to knit with. The colours don't show up perfect, though. The dark one isn't brown it's more a dark purple. From now on this will be my go-to project for nights like last night - I don't care if it takes me a year to knit it. lol

Thank you to everyone again for your encouragement!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

{I got a feelin'...}

I was hesitant to write about this on my blog because it's a hard feeling for me to put my finger on, but since it's not the first time I've noticed this phenomenon in myself maybe it's important for me to try to think it through.

After I've completed a big project I find myself feeling.... down? blue? sad? depressed just a little? I'm not sure what to call it. It's like I build myself up as I'm getting close to completing a project and then once it's done I have a big fall. Maybe I was thinking that my sweater was going to look like the professional one in the photo, and when it didn't come out 100% perfect, I was disappointed? I know that's not fair to myself, this is my first real sweater... but I tend to expect a lot from myself. In one way, these higher expectations I have let me tackle bigger projects without fear of failure, but at the same time when they don't come out perfect maybe I'm a little too hard on myself.

I'm not even sure if that's what it is. Is this common? Does anyone else get these kind of feelings after a big project is off the needles?

Maybe it's more like I'm just taking a breather before my next project. I've been excited to cast on my next socks, but just can't get up the enthusiasm to do it tonight. I sort of feel like I'm in a haze just wandering around the house without any knitting projects and wondering what to do. :)


The Climbing Vines Pullover is complete and now it's blocking:

bad bedroom overhead lighting. lol

I have to say that I'm not *thrilled* with it. It's quite a bit big on me, which I think was maybe a poor choice of size more than my gauge. I think just because of the shape I am it's going to be hard for me to find a regular pattern with the hip to waist ratio that I need, just like it's difficult for me to find clothes in stores that fit me nice.

I'm not happy with how the shoulders sit either, they're pretty bulky. I used the back-stitch to do all the finishing and maybe I just didn't fit the shoulders just perfect.

There are some things I like about it though. First of all, it's my first big completed project! I learned a ton of new techniques with this project - mostly finishing kind of stuff. I also got to do shaping work, like at the shoulders, while following the chart for the leaf pattern. That was a little tricky and I think I pulled it off okay. I also get to use my new blocking mat! hehe

So it's laying there sorta scrunched in, hoping that the 25% wool will pull it a bit smaller so it fits better. :) I'll have a pic of me in it for you tomorrow once Mr. Pie is home in the daylight.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

{Find a Deal Friday}

I just found the most GORGEOUS Etsy Store called Febystan: Land of handmade.

She makes the most intricate and beautiful crochet jewelry. My personal favorite are these little Moon earrings done in a light grey metalic thread and fun coloured beads. So so pretty and the price is reasonable! Love it!


And I've also found which is a very smart looking website with very pretty yarns. They're more of a normal online store with normal online store prices, but they're having a 10% off all yarns in January. You should go check it out!

oh and psst. I finished the last sleeve of my sweater and I'm gonna sew it in tonight. But don't tell anyone. :P

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

{What's in my Queue?}

Progress is slow on my sweater because my Internship is now taking up most of my day. The same sleeve is still on the needles, just with about oh... 10 rows more. hehe Don't worry, I have the weekend off and it'll get D. O. N. E. So as you may have guessed, I'm already looking ahead to what's next:

First up, after finishing my sweater, is some Red Dwarf Socks by Cristi H. Brockway:

I'm not sure what yarn in my stash is going to work for these socks, but I figure I should be able to make them in worsted weight on the #4 needles! They'll be my first non-basic socks and I'm kinda excited. :)

After those are done, I'm going to knit Give A Hoot mittens to match my own hat!

These will be in the same yarn and stuff since I have a ball and a bit left. Very excited because these will be my very first mittens. They can't be that different from socks, right?

After those, I'm sorta obsessing on these: Reading Mitts by Janelle Masters on Danving Ewe Yarns:

I don't know what it is, but my hands get FREEZING at the computer. Specifically the one that operates my mouse. I have no idea why! I love the little detailed edging and that it extends a little further up my fingers, but again I'm going to have to figure out which yarn in my stash will work.

This one isn't quite in my Queue, but my friend Jenny showed it as being in her queue over on her blog and I'm kinda sorta obsessed now. It's called Haruni... look at that gorgeous lace work!


It might be in my queue soon.

And between all of those I'll be working on my Modern Log Cabin blanket. Not much progress there, but I have the first three squares done in the main colours. I'm excited about it. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

{An Own Hat Complete}

I was finished this hat a week or two ago - before Christmas I think - and I hadn't taken a picture yet! It was a super quick knit and it's oh so soft to wear.

I have enough left of the Bernat Alpaca blend yarn to make some gloves too I think! I'll be casting those on after my next pair of socks. I just need to figure out which of my stash yarns I'm going to use for the socks and whether I'm going to try a specific pattern or just do a ribbed pair.

doesn't it look sorta sweaterish?

Oh, and the sweater is almost done! I have one sleeve totally knit and sewn in to the shoulder slot! (THANKS Hope!!) I am so darn proud of myself! The last sleeve is on the needles now and after that it's just sewing and the neck band left. I have the end in sight! If I was still on vacation I would have said that it'd be done in a couple of days, but since I'm starting my internship tomorrow I'm going to guestimate beginning of next week. My first sweater!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

{Summary of Changes}

I finally settled on a background, then my header looked too clunky or something. I didn't think it said much about *me*, so instead I got to work with Picasa, Gimp and Photobucket and put together my new header.

I also changed my profile picture to one of Mr. Pie and I. So don't worry! That's still me! hehe

What do you guys think? I'm looking for honest criticism! I can take it, I promise!

Oh - and I need to ask your opinion. How do you guys feel about blogs that have frequently changing backgrounds? Sometimes it kinda throws me off and it makes the blog feel less... professional or something to me. But I guess my goal with this blog isn't to be professional looking, it's supposed to represent my style, right? I'm torn. I liked the clean look of before, but these backgrounds are just so fun! Please chime in and leave a comment if the fancy strikes you!

{Christmas Morning Photos}

How Cute is this?? This is my dad and my niece Alora both wearing their matching sweaters on Christmas morning. Both fit perfect and I couldn't be more pleased with myself.

Friday, January 1, 2010

{Find a Deal Friday}

Yay It's back! You didn't think it was gone for good, did you? has a nice selection of discontinued yarns and colours available, with shipping under $5 in the US. The one pictured above is Cascade 220 (the one Jenny was thinking of in the comments of the last post I think), 220 yards for $5, 100% wool. They also have a whole lot of the different Noro yarns in discontinued colours for what looks like a good deal too.

Smiley's Yarns is a favourite of every bargain hunting yarnie, I think. This Filatura Lanarota brand of yarn is new to me. 100% wool, worsted weight, about 100 yards of it for a buck and a half. Some pretty colours too! I love that heathered gray in the back. From the same brand, they have about 100 yards of 100% Alpaca for $2.99. I'm seriously considering this one!

The Fox Hop is having a sale until January 5th, 20% off of batts of yarn and 25% off of hand spun yarn! She's got some super pretty stuff!

Fairy Designs has a bunch of recycled Angora and lambswool for very reasonable prices, and a bunch of it which would be nice for a larger project!

318 Yards in Worsted weight, $6.30

I hope everyone will have a great last weekend of vacation time! :)

{What's On The Needles?}

Hello 2010! I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's Eve last night. January 1st, 2010 is here and I have to say I'm not stoked about it because it means that I start my internship on Monday -only three days away! It's not that I'm not looking forward to having a reason to get dressed again, but I'm just having so much fun knitting 10 hours a day, ya know?

Here's what I have going on at the moment:

The front of my Climbing Vines Pullover is coming along nicely. The only part that's bugging me is that I can't seem to figure out how to keep that extra little hole from popping up under the left side of the leaves. Do you see it? It's in all of them except the bottom one. It's something that's in the pattern I guess but the final product picture I've seen doesn't look like there's a hole there! ugh! Maybe I'll just put a stitch with some thread in later, or maybe I'll just leave them because Who would really know that it's not in the pattern, right?

Oh, and along that note... has anyone figured out what I did wrong with the cast off at the neck part in the back? I'm going to have to do that again here in not too long and I'm kinda nervous. lol If you're inclined to take a look and help, I strategically buried it in the middle of my last post. hehe

And then yesterday I cast on this too:

It's the beginning of a Modern Log Cabin Blanket. What do you think of the colour scheme? It's a bright white, the dark taupe and a dark smokey purple colour. I decided to start one of these after I opened my gift from my Sister in Law - a TON of this Bernat yarn!! Like... I do mean a TON. I got 5 of these super value sized balls, plus this monster right here:

Holy MACREL that's a lot of yarn!!! I'm looking forward to finding a blanket for that one too! Maybe the Tree of Life Afghan (Rav link) or something like that? I think I should stick to one blanket at a time though. This modern afghan will be a good project to take in the car with me and knit in front of the tv now that I've started some more complicated need-to-pay-attention kind of projects.

I'm also itching to cast on either mittens or socks for myself now that I have my amazing new needles that I can use for either the Magic Loop or two circle needles to do the small rounds with. Socks would be pretty straight forward and maybe the same yarn that I did my traveling woman shawl in, but it's only sport weight and I don't have needles any smaller than 4's, so they wouldn't be terribly warm I wouldn't think. I should probably swatch that. I'm still working out the details.