Monday, April 30, 2007

So you want proof, eh?

Warning: Word and picture heavy post ahead!

My last few days have had a theme: proof. It started Friday with a knock on the door. I had a registered letter that I had to sign for, thus proving that I had received it. The letter was from the Universidad de Huelva, demanding proof that I had paid my tuition for the year. (Those of you who are new: I'm technically doing two PhDs right now... one in the States and one overseas... it's a long story.) The problem is that I didn't actually pay my tuition, someone else did it for me. Because in Spain you can't just give them a visa number or fill out a form online... you have to show up, pick up a letter from the University, take it to a certain bank and pay it in person. So I don't have the receipt. Long story short: sometimes my luck amazes me. The girl who paid my tuition because she was there on exchange last semester still had the receipt (despite the fact that all this happened back in Sept and she's moved back to Canada since then) and emailed me a scanned copy. I've emailed it on to them in the hopes that it is enough proof to satisfy them.

And now, I present to you, the proof that I do still knit! In no particular order we have:

The beginnings of a log cabin baby blanket for a new baby in the OSCBF's family in Berroco Touché;

A kerchief scarf based on the one in Last Minute Knitted Gifts in the linen/cotton (unsure, but most think it is linen) from my first SP10 package;

Two views of an anklet sock (and my extremely white leg): toe-up, short row heel, lace pattern adapted from Vogue Stitchonary in the KnitPicks Merino from Kniterations (only one is done... I figure I'll cast on the second next Saturday while waiting for planes trains and automobiles...);

A detail of a secret present for a friend's wedding shower (no out-loud guesses if you know what it is!)... this project is finished except for blocking and weaving in of ends;

And finally, a detail of the scarf that I'm currently blocking for a friend's birthday.

No progress has been made in FOREVER on the Hourglass sweater, the Graknitti Strip, or the Red-Cross Army vest. Here's the deal though: I'm moving, for the summer. I'm going back to Canada so that I can get a job in which I will actually make money. I didn't get any summer teaching at school and I love helping out at the yarn store and teaching classes there, but technically I can't work there. I can "volunteer" (in exchange for the occasional skein of free yarn) but (no matter how much we might want to) a girl can't live on yarn alone. Plus, I'll be with the OSCBF for 4 whole months. I'm pretty sure we haven't actually lived in the same country for that much time (consecutively I mean) in almost 2 years. So, the plan is to take the vest and some stash with me, and try to use some of it up over the next 4 months. I'm sure I'll eventually have to break down and buy some yarn there, but not without some guilt... I feel very loyal to my wonderful, friendly LYS here. I love going every Saturday to knit with the regulars, and I'm going to miss them, and Sue a LOT. But I'll be back!!

P.S. To my secret pal coordinator - I wasn't sure that whether I would be moving at all, or for part of the summer when I signed up for SP10. But my secret spoiler has already agreed to send my packages to my new address in Canada and I will continue to spoil my pal from abroad.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

grand opening!

If anyone is in the Bmore area and wants to check out the new and improved Lovelyarns today would be a great day! Not only is it gorgeous and sunny out, but today is her grand re-opening!

P.S. I promise, photo proof that I do still knit later today or tomorrow at the latest!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

a bounty of buttons!

Sorry if you've seen this before, but it's so well done and so cute! I think by the writing that it was done in Russia, but I could be wrong. I think my favorite button is the old soviet symbol that gets knocked down and has to be carried away on a stretcher. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I am a lucky, lucky girl!

I am super lucky... last night a friend said that he needed a place to stay, so he's taking my apartment for most of the summer. It's a huge load off my mind 'cause I know I'll have the majority of the money I need to pay for the apt. for the summer and I know that he'll treat my stuff and my roommate with respect. Phew!

Then, I came home today to find a small padded envelope with my name on it! Another package from my pal! This one was a special extra package in honour of my birthday (which, if anyone cares to know, is actually this coming Monday) with the following contents:

A very cute postcard of Paris (my pal is from France) and a little crochet bag and earrings, all of which were handmade by my pal! Thanks pal! You're the awesomest!

And now, a close up on the earrings:

Hanging from the bottom are little charms, including a heart with a lock and a key, a little Eiffel Tower, a butterfly, a star and a silver ball, along with some bits of what look like shell. They are so cute and I'm going to wear them to my bday party tomorrow night.

And since I get to post about birthday gifts, here are some pictures of bday goodies I bought myself with the money my grandmother gave me for my birthday and made me promise I would spend on myself and not on bills or groceries!

A luggage tag in the shape of an icecream cone... I know it's dorky but I travel a lot and it's cute and fun and it will help me identify my luggage quickly, so really, it serves a functional purpose... uh, yeah!

And a new purse! 'Cause really, what I really need is another purse... I have a slight addiction problem, but it's only with shoes and purses, so I figure it could be a lot worse...

Sorry about the crookedness of the last picture... I'm still getting used to the "take a self portrait in the mirror" concept. And I couldn't figure out how to turn it on my mac... If I could wish for one more thing for my birthday (other than the obvious wish that the OSCBF could be here too) it would be that google would make Picasa for Macs!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Sorry I haven't posted much lately... I haven't had much time for knitting. I'm trying to sublet my room for the summer and it has become a full time job. I wouldn't worry about it, except that it's going to save me so much money and, being that I'm a poor grad student, I can definitely use the extra $$...

So, hopefully some knitting will get done over the weekend... I'm helping out at the LYS 'cause she's moving and she needs someone to man the old shop while she paints and replaces the floors in the new one. Of course, the whole time I'm there, knitting away, I'll probably be freaking out about the apartment. Hopefully the girl who's coming to see it on Friday will take it and I can relax about it a bit...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

2 packages in 1 week!

MMMM! I've been spoiled! I got home late last night to find my SP10 package waiting for me outside the door! And what a great little package it was! Let's check out the contents...

2 skeins of PINK! I <3 me some pink. On the left we have a pink cotton (I'm guessing... the tags seem to have gone missing but my pal says in her letter that it is from a shop called la droguerie) (I think the link is right) and the other is a thick and thin variegated pinks and oranges and I think that it is wool. About this one she only said that it is from a shop in Paris.

The black is 100% wool, quite thick, so I'll have to think of something to do with that... hmmm... ideas are forming!

And the "goodies": 2 shower gels, one vanilla and one raspberry (yum!), as well as a vanilla body lotion, a lindt bunny (double yum!), some incense and a pretty blue bag, perfect for carrying a couple of skeins or some travel bath stuff!

And, since I seem to be improving at my picture taking skills, here are some close ups on the pink skeins:

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ooooooh! A prize!

I got an honourable mention over at Kniterations in her contest regarding how many movies she's seen... I guessed low and I guess that endeared me to her! So yesterday in the mail I found this:

A skein of Knitpicks Memories (100% Merino) in Redwood Forest and a little Winnie the Pooh in a bumblebee outfit! I've never actually ordered any Knit Picks Yarn before (I like to feel it and see the *true* colours ahead of time... I'm picky like that) but this is so soft and the colours are really pretty. The skein is 220 yards, more than enough for a small pair of socks or perhaps these? Or maybe these<? I got really sick of making fingerless gloves after Christmas when I made a total of 9 (or was it 10??) pairs... but not in either of these patterns. Plus I find them really useful here. We'll see... I'm going to search a bit for the perfect pattern to use for this... it could be totally different tomorrow!

And now, for the extreme close-ups! (Apologies in advance, the weather here today is ick and my camera doesn't seem to like taking yarn pr0n pics... but these were the best I got.)

As you can see, it has all the colours of an autumn forest... my fav season, btw. Red, Green, Orange and a bit of brown... I think I'm in yarn lust!

Thanks again Knitty K8!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

new post and a new technique!

Well, I survived a weekend with my parents... but barely! (I kid, it was great, even if I still didn't get to D.C.) I've decided to post the pictures of my notions bag, plus the no-seams technique that I used to make it. Most of you have probably done it before, but hey, I took pictures of it, so I'll post them and perhaps, someday it will be useful to someone... or not...

So, here are the before and after photos of the notions bag (remember, this was my first try at felting and it was totally by hand... I don't think there's any difference...)

So, without further ado: Before:

And after:

I stupidly forgot to put in a quarter for sizing purposes, I now realize why people do that (not that I didn't really get it before, but now I will forever remember to do so...). In any case, it looks exactly the same to me, except that the dye ran a little and the colours are now softer... and possibly the edges and the triangle lie down more smoothly from having been semi-blocked during the drying process. Any suggestions on how to re-felt???

OK, and now for technique. I believe that it's called double knitting, and what you do is cast on double the amount of stitches that you would want for one side of your bag (thus it must be an even amount of stitches). Every row is the same: *K1, Sl1 pwise*. Once you have worked this row enough that your bag is the depth that you want (leaving room for shrinkage if you are going to felt) take 2 dpns and hold them together opposite the needle with all the stitches on it. Slip (pwise) the first stitch onto the front needle and the 2nd stitch to the back needle. Continue to alternate stitches from front to back needle like this: (apologies ahead of time for the blurriness of the picture)

I lucked out - because this was a variegated yarn the red stitches were all going to the back of the bag and the purple to the front in this row. when you have all the stitches on the two dpns your bag will magically open up and you can flip it inside out so that you see the right side of a stockinette stitch (up until now you would have only seen the inside of the bag, which would look like reverse stockinette or garter stitch). Now you can cast off the front of your bag and continue to make a flap on the back!

As I always ask at the end of class: Any questions??

Thursday, April 5, 2007

2 bits of sp good news

I got two emails today with SP news. The first, that my secret pal spoiler has sent my package and expects it to get here in a week... I can't wait to see what goodies I'll get from France! The second, that my spoilee received her package today and that she really likes her stuff and already has project plans for it. She also said she would post soon about it... I can't wait to see what she's going to do with it! I wish I could give more details but this is supposed to remain as secret as possible, right?!

In non-knitting related news, my family is coming to visit and should be landing within the next hour or so... they'll be here until Monday afternoon, so I'm doubting that I'll find a whole lot of time for knitting between now and then. So, if I don't post for a few days, don't worry, I'll be back!

P.S. I just realized that I've probably been boring you all with picture-less posts since flash your stash on Monday so I promise some knitting related pictures when I get back into things next week!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Well, I just tried my first foray into felting, but I don't think it really worked. First of all, we live in an apt. complex so I don't have access to a machine that would be very good for felting. So I tried boiling the wool on my stove (which, by the way, makes your house smell lovely... I'd totally try it if you like the sent of wet dog but can't find the right scented candle!) and I don't think I was agitating hard enough... of course, I didn't really want to splash boiling water all over myself either. I took a before picture... we'll see what it it looks like after it dries, hopefully by tomorrow... but seriously, it looks the same size to me as it did beforehand.

Monday, April 2, 2007

sp package

No, I haven't received one yet, but I did send one today! I can't wait to see if my pal enjoys her goodies... the only thing I'm worried about is that I didn't put a return address... I'm paranoid, you know? And the woman at the counter told me I had to and I was resigned to it, but then she put the postage on and threw it in the outgoing bin anyway... I was a bit confused but since I don't want to give too much info away about myself, I figure, what the heck?! If I don't see my pal post about it in a few days I'll start to worry though... I did pay for 2 day priority post.

In my own knitting news, I cast on the mystery present in the pink berroco touché for my friend. I'm really excited to see how it turns out... I might just want one for myself! (Geez I'm a greedy knitter...)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Flash Your Stash

OK, here it is... I'm going to flash like it's mardi gras!

First up, the "serious potential" stash:

Four balls of Lily Chin superwash merino. Destined to become the Space Invader Socks from Knitty Spring '07 for my little bro. (Whom I'm like 99% sure doesn't read this but if you do, try to act surprised....)

Schafer Yarns "Anne", wound with a single strand of bamboo in the same teal colour I made my lace capin. I've had this since just before christmas (I bought it with a gift certificate my lovely roommate got me) and I really want to make it into the Last Minute Knitted Gifts Tank top. (the only picture I could find is here) I'm worried about the weight of the yarn though, I think it might still be too thin, so I may have to double strand the bamboo. I should really get around to at least trying a gauge swatch on this someday! Also, the picture really doesn't do justice to the variegations in the schafer anne yarn.

Finally in the "serious potential" category is 5 skeins of pink Berroco Touché. This project will probably be on the needles soon, because it is a gift for a friend that needs to be done before mid-May. But the potential that she reads this blog is proportionally higher than my brother, so I can't say too much about it right now!

In the "full (or practically full) skeins with little to no current potential" category we have:

Oh dear... 1400 yards of Rayon. Yep, you read that right. Bought at stitches, I had plans to make Viveka from knitty fall 06... but it just sort of never happened and I've lost interest. I'm sure at some point I'll figure out what to do with 1400 yards of hot pink rayon...

2 skeins of bamboo... the pink is triple stranded (also from my roomie for christmas) and the left overs of the teal from the lace cap... at least 3/4 of a single stranded 50g skein. I might have to use the teal to gauge swatch for the LMKG tank, just to see... but other than that I have no plans for these right now... but I'm thinking, 'cause I did like working with the bamboo a lot.

3 skeins of christmas-y coloured cascade 220. I used these to make a stocking for the OSCBF for Christmas... sadly I don't have a picture of any of the things I made him this year. I keep bugging him, maybe I'll finally get some when I go home for the summer! (Same with my family, actually... I forgot my camera at Christmas time, so I didn't get any pictures of people wearing their knitted gifts...)

Now for the "leftovers":

I pictured all the little bits of leftovers from projects past together, so I'll do my best to explain what is what.
Top row (left to right): Some icky acrylic something (I can't even decide what pukey colour it is...) that I've had for ages and somehow moved across the ocean and then again down the coast with me; Sprinkles left over from the blue baby booties; Some variegated wool/metallic I found at home at Xmas time; blue Berroco Touché left over from my mom's Xmas present; black acrylic; Malabrigo Aquarella left over from the ribbed scarf; a 1/4 skein of brown sport weight superwash merino and a tiny bit of brown wool/sari silk used in the OSCBF's Xmas gifts; a tiny bit of purple Berroco Pure Merino left over from the sample scarf for Lovelyarns; about 1/2 a skein of Trendsetter's Dune, used for the skinny scarf

Bottom Row: 2 tiny bits of Cascade Fixation left over from socks made for christmas (1 black, 1 variegated blues); a bit of berroco touché in black; some handpainted ribbon yarn purchased at stitches and made into the drop stitch scarf from SnB 2 for my Nana; Berroco Ultra Alpaca wound with Blue Heron's Metallic Rayon in Blueberry, used for the cindy lou who mittens; the rest of the blue heron metallic; Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Grey wound with Crystal Palace Kid Merino (note to self: do NOT wind together anything with a mohair again... use two separate balls held together while knitting) used for leg warmers; Berroco Ultra Alpaca use for the brim/top of the birthday hat for my dad as well as some wrist warmers; a teeny tiny bit of Ice Yarn leftover from another pair of baby booties.

And finally(!) the "stash on needles" category:

2 skeins of Red Heart + a bit of some fun fur, donated to the owner of the LYS, who then gave it to me to participate in the Graknitti experience(last time touched: approx 1.5 weeks ago); a skein of Irish Aran Wool, being used for the LMKG Hourglass sweater (last time touched: approx. 1 month ago... I don't think my gauge is right :S); 3 skeins of Cascade pima silk being used for a toe-up sock (last time touched: couple months ago, maybe? I don't think I'll have enough and I'm not sure I really like the colours); grey Lett Lopi for the OSCBF's vest (last time touched: technically yesterday, but it was only one row and I don't think I'm going to have enough to finish... I'll need another skein but it can wait until May); 1 skein Classic Elite Inca Print being used to make a felted notions purse (so I stop losing tapestry needles and measuring tapes) (last time touched: about 2 minutes ago while waiting for the pictures to load... it's 100% Alpaca and I can't stop touching it... yum!) I wish I could afford enough of this to wrap myself in... it's so soft and the colours are gorgeous!

WHEW! That was a lot of work. Now, I've shown you mine... it's only fair that you show me yours!