Friday, November 30, 2007

Baby Kimono

This is what I really did over Thanksgiving.

I really like this pattern. The whole concept is pretty cool. It's worked in one piece, starting at the bottom of the back, increase for the sleeves, bind off for the neck, work the left front and then the right front separately.

The yarn is Peaches n' Cream Baby Ombre. I was using size 4 needles, but I still couldn't get gauge, and I didn't want to go any smaller, so I had to adjust the pattern. I also compensated for shrinking in the wash. That's right, not only did I swatch, I washed my swatch and even used the measured gauge. **Big pat on the back**. I think this was inspired by the class with Lily Chin, as well as the knowledge that cotton can be unpredictable.

I used a seed stitch border around the edges, and two pieces of icord for closure. The idea for the icord was to make a little bow, but I didn't make it nearly long enough, and the cord was too thick to make it the right size for such a small garment. If I could do this again I'd either use a button or some ribbon as the closure, perhaps a row of eyelets kind of like a belt.

Baby Kimono

The baby is a little girl, and I gave her daddy the sweater this week. It was such a great feeling. This is the first baby gift I've ever made. I love giving gifts, especially when they're well received, which it was in this case.

With that done, I've started the Jaywalkers for my MIL's Christmas gift. Twice now. The first time I completely messed up the short row toe (I"m doing them toe-up), and it took me until I had the whole foot done to realize that they were huge. So, I'm trying a different hold, still continental but wrapping the yarn a few more times around the finger. It seems to be working.

In the non-knitting world, the other day and I went to the Cummer, the Fine Art and Garden museum here in town. After walking through the exhibits inside, we took a stroll in the gardens outside. It was a gorgeous day (there were people painting), and they're gorgeous gardens.

Garden 1

Garden 6

The rest of the photos can be found on my flickr page, with the tag "Museum".

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Back Home... Coriolis Socks

The Coriolis socks for my father-in-law are all done. Here they are:

Husband was kind enough to model them:

I really like these socks. The thickness (due to double stranding) will make them perfect walk around the house socks, which is perfect for the recipient. I may make a pair for myself. This pattern is totally appropriate for hand-dyed, highly varigated yarn, here is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Pinstripe. These socks took about two skeins on number 5 needles, cuz I'm super loose. I'm not worried about them not fitting, because if they don't, they'll go to NH, as they obviously fit him.

A pair of Jaywalkers in the same yarn will be going to my mother in law. However, I couldn't start them this week for two reasons. One, I don't want the inlaws to see their presents early, even though they know what they're getting. Secondly, I had to finish the Baby Kimono for a coworkers newborn. That got done, with pictures to follow after it's washed. I also got a little bit of Husband's Ugly Brown Sweater done, and hopefully will have it done within the week.

So, for all my good intentions, I didn't get a chance to visit any yarn shops while in South Carolina, or even to take a decent picture of the absolutely gorgeous trees. These are the only pictures I have, they were taken on the way out there.

We had 8 people for Thanksgiving dinner, which is a lot for Nerdy Husband's family, but a lot less than would be expected from my family, (our holiday get-togethers are closer to 20 or 30 people). We also had 4 dogs, all very cute.

Here they are being wrangled by my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. The dogs (from left to right) are Indy, Snowball, Bosley, and Nico:

We even managed to get three of them without people to hold them down. Snowball is a proper lady, and doesn't play too much with all the boy dogs and she opted out of this one. Nico's wearing a cute blue hoody.

We ended up leaving a day early, so I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the trees or visit the lys which I have been trying to visit for over a year. It was a good thing we left when we did, because when we got back I had a call about a family emergency down South, so we got to pack up and head out again.

Now we're back home, and I'm listening to Christmas music on Pandora, and there's chili in the slow cooker. This time of year is great, even though it's still in the 70's here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Victory in The Giant Dishcloth Campaign

Well, not complete victory, not yet anyways. But a step in the right direction.

I ran out of yarn shortly after joining the petals to knit the center of the flower, which will be of considerable size. The yarn used is LionBrand VelvetSpun in pastel yellow. It's a bulky polyester chenille in light pastel colors. It couldn't be less desirable. I had originally picked up the yarn as a filler in Grandma's afghan, which was going to be pink on one side and yellow on the other. I wanted big big stitches to make the afghan go fast and have that squishy feel.

However, when I found out that I had more than enough pink yarn for a blanket, I scrapped the yellow idea and faded from pink to white rather than from pink to white to yellow. The result is a lot of yellow yarn, some nice and bought from KnitWitz, the first yarn store I visited in Jax (the first trip there I bought several single skeins in yellow and pink), the rest was not as nice yarn from big box stores. Yellow is not my color. I'm more of a gray, brown, dark blue person, so this yarn has been "marinating", waiting to be used.

Anyways, when we chose the daisy dishcloth pattern for our first Knit-a-Long, I thought the VelvetSpun would be perfect, because Brenda had made them out of chenille and they turned out great.

But, as we all know by now, I didn't check gauge and ended up with this.

Me and the Gigantic Dishcloth of Shame

And I ran out of yarn.

I thought that since it was big craft store yarn it would be no problem finding it. So I go to the Micheal's where I'd bought it, and there was no VelvetSpun to be found. Same story at Joann's. In a panic, I checked LionBrand's site and Yarndex to see if it was discontinued. Thankfully it wasn't. Then I checked Micheal's and Joann's websites to see if they still sold the yarn. Yep, it just wasn't at my stores here. No vendors on ebay were selling it at a cheap price with low shipping. And I wasn't going to spend like $10 on this yarn. Heck no.

So, while in Orlando for the ONS, I stopped at the Micheal's near our friend's house where we were staying. The woman there knew exactly where it was, and pointed me straight to it. I let out a little pirate-like "Ya-har!" (an affectation picked up from the Nerdy Husband), which startled the prim little old ladies that were shopping. I didn't care, it was a victory!

LionBrand VelvutSpun...Finally

I still can't believe that this was my real find for the show weekend. Not the best yarn I got by any means - what was there was gorgeous - but this was my most highly anticipated yarn of the weekend.

When I returned, I also found this in our mailbox:

Peaches & Cream Baby Ombre

It's cotton baby yarn (Peaches and Cream Baby Ombre). Someone at work just had a baby, and I'm at that age where supposedly all of our friends start having kids, so I want to be prepared to do some baby knitting. The thing is, though, none of my friends or family has little babies. So this guy at work is getting a Baby Kimono for his new daughter even if work isn't having a shower. Congratulations, here's a gift whether you expect it or not!

That, finishing Nerdy Husband's Ugly Brown Sweater, and maybe finding a glove pattern for my dad are in the line up for our trip to the Carolina's for Thanksgiving. It's always prime knitting time, and I'll probably post some, because it's prime online time as well. Nerdy Husband and his Techie Father usually get the internet on our laptop before all the bags are unpacked from the car, so access is never an issue. Maybe visiting a yarn shop with mother in law (who used to knit) and her daughter. My SIL started learning to knit last Christmas when I showed her a few stitches and lent her my copy of SnB. This year, she's making her mom a sweater. It's great!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Orlando Needlework Show

Let me start off by saying that I am very disappointed in myself, because while I remembered to bring my camera and extra batteries to the show, I was so excited (then disappointed) that I forgot to take any pictures. Until I was leaving. Then I got the fountain outside. I have some gratuitous puppy pictures to make up for it, though.

The Fountain
Originally uploaded by shishyb

We arrived in at a friends' house in Orlando late Thursday night. No one was there, but we were greeted by Quima, their german shepherd. Quima and Indy got along great all weekend. Pictures at the end.

The Class: My Yard is only 27 Inches
Friday morning, I had a class, "Crochet Tips and Tricks", with Lily Chin. It was great. Lily is so creative and really funny. She talked about "the butt hair of the Botswana Armidillo" when talking about ridiculously rare fibers, "trophy wife stitches" which are pretty to look at but a bear to live with. I even got her to crack up. At one point she told us to measure out about a yard of yarn before cutting it, by holding our work in one hand, and reeling off yarn with the other, cutting it at about our nose. I ran out of yarn, and she asked if I had done as she asked. I replied "I did, but I'm little, so my yard is shorter than yours". I measured it this morning, it's 27 inches, as opposed to 36 (translated for the benefit of number-hating or the lazy people).

Lily had a ton of great tips, and most of them are actually going to be in her next book, funnily enough called "Crochet Tips and Tricks". I really learned a lot.

The class was also cool because I met Hannah and Tracie, two cool Floridians who knit and crochet. As there was a lack of events besides classes and the vendors, classes were really the only way to meet people.

And yes, I did say crochet, not knitting. Even though you couldn't tell it from my blog, I do crochet; I just haven't done any in a while.

The Show: As disappointing as the movie Ultraviolet

After the class, we went to check out the vendors. I was a little afraid, because I had watched the vendor list since I found out the show, and I only saw a few yarn vendors.

My fears were justified, it turns out because there were only three yarn vendors. What vendors were there were wonderful, but there was a distinct lack of yarn companies. Since there were so few, I can review them all.

The Local Needle
This is a local yarn store near Jacksonville. I've been to there before, and I know the owner. She is very nice and always very welcoming. She even remembered what some of the yarn I had bought there over a month ago, so it was good to see them doing so well. I got some lovely Pagewood Farms hand dyed sock yarn in Navajo, shades of blue and a little brown.

Picasso's Moon
This is a local yarn store with a twist in Sarasota. What sets this store apart is that the owner does some pretty cool things, such as taking four different very light yarns and combining them into a single ball of a heavier yarn. Again, this owner is very warm and has an awesome sense of color. She also had kits that had several balls of rag strip yarns in coordinating colors and patterns, as well as single balls of rag yarns and lots of indy dyers, and a few balls of what looked distinctly like Cascade 220 in the corner. If I'm ever near Sarasota, I'm definitely going to check out her store. I got just one ball of hand dyed wool yarn, in pinks and browns. I have no clue as to what to do with it. Actual stash yarn!

Tess's Designer Yarns
This was the only true (traditional) yarn company. This booth had some gorgeous yarns, in some very interesting fibers. Everything was smooth and shiny here. They're located in Maine, but a lot of their yarns were blends that would be very appropriate to warm weather wear. All of their display pieces were tank tops and mesh wraps, with the exception of the cutest child's capelet.

All in all , I got out in under $30. Here are the disappointing results.

ONS Stuff 1
Originally uploaded by shishyb

On the right, you see the bags that I brought with me. This includes class supplies (in the striped bag graciously gifted to me by Donna), the Coriolis socks (in a bag made of grey jersey material that a set of jersey sheets came in) and my purse (featuring the face of Jim Morrison). The brown bag on the left is the bag that holds my purchases and other acquisitions (including three free magazines). I'm sorry Brenda, there are no pictures of me swimming in yarn, because I didn't buy nearly enough. Had some of the other less accessible yarn vendors been there (Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Webs, indy dyers this means you) I would've got more. Oh well, since Nerdy Husband's car is in the shop, and with the holidays coming up, I guess I don't need much more yarn. I have enough to get through the holiday projects, and I shouldn't start anything for myself right now.

And now, here are the puppies to lighted the mood. Here's Indy and his new girlfriend, Quima.

Indy and Quima 3
Originally uploaded by shishyb

She's a older woman, and I think she's a retired police dog. I say this because the owner is a police officer, and the dog was really well behaved. I kept trying to get good pictures to compare their sizes, but for the first time in his life, Indy was camera shy.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Heading Back to Orlando

No one that lives in Orlando calls it O-town. Mostly because we don't want to be associated with mildly popular boy bands.

But it's not all bad. There's the Orlando Needlework Show. Dude, a fiber show in Florida. And Lily Chin is teaching classes.

I'm all signed up for Crochet Tips and Tricks. Hopefully this will renew my interest in crochet a little, because I've really fallen out of it. The only thing I've crocheted in months is the swatches I made as homework for the class.

And I may pick up some cross stitch supplies. That's something I really haven't done for a while. 15 years at least.

I'm so excited about this show! Too bad Blue Moon Fiber Arts won't be there. I need to feed my sock yarn addiction with Socks that Rock. You know, the good stuff.

I'm bringing the Coriolis socks for my FIL, I'm nearly done, and I'm looking forward to starting some Toe Up Jaywalkers in the same Lorna's Laces for my MIL. The Dishcloth Incident is turning into an unmitigated disaster, as I cannot find any LionBrand VelvetSpun , and I am very nearly out of yarn. I thought I wasn't supposed to be still making rookie mistakes, but who ever heard of a dishcloth that took more than one ball of yarn (colorwork notwithstanding). I guess when it's the size of a placemat, that can happen.

No other knitting news, except that our knitting circle totally took over a Barnes and Noble cafe last night. 18 people. Seriously.