Saturday, March 31, 2007

alpaca love

today, my friend and i went to alpacapalooza! i've been wanting to go for months, ever since i first learned of the festival from a fridge magnet on my office refridgerator for a previous alpacapalooza. i think the festival lived up to the enormous hype i'd built up in my mind - there were SO many adorable little alpacas, and tons of alpaca yarn for sale too. i was well behaved and didn't buy any yarn (or alpacas for that matter, though i was tempted), but i definitely fondled a lot of yarn, watched some being spun, petted some alpacas, and even got a kiss from one! we decided we definitely want an alpaca farm one day - i want a fluffy tan alpaca, to be named butterscotch. :) here are some pictures from our day.

(sorry for so many pictures...i couldn't pick just a few)

ooh! i also got some exciting mail yesterday. a month or so ago, i commented on kristie's blog that i loved the green yarn she was using for a pair of socks. she responded that it was one of the few australian sock yarns that she thought was really good, and would i like to do a sock yarn swap? knowing what an awesome swap partner she is, i was quick to agree. and she sent me the best stuff! the yarn is gorgeous and so soft, and lots of lovely shades of green - i like how it is labeled as 'cheerfully handpainted'! and then she also sent me a cute brooch that i've already worn twice, a little fabric pouch, a sweet little roll of trim (i'm so excited to find something to use this with!), and a cd of australian bands. i love it all! thanks kristie!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

fake it 'til you make it

i'm sure you've all been sitting on the edges of your seats, waiting to find out if the sock fit my bro's foot, right?! well he called me yesterday to say that in fact, it's way, way not going to fit. at this point, i'm ok with it. i think i've recovered. but i'm not feeling the urge to start over right away...he's moving to vancouver in august for grad school, and i've promised to have them done by then...that seems fair, right? he probably wouldn't be wearing them now anyway since it's warming up. but when i do start over, i think i will go up a needle size (or rather, switch to the addi turbo size 1s that i recently bought, which are bigger than the inox size 1s i was using), and i think i might use a different heel flap. i think the pattern has a dutch heel flap, and it looks cool, but i feel like even with a bigger sock, this heel isn't going to fit right. so that's my plan, and i'm sticking to it....when i feel like it, that is!

moving on...last week i had a miserable cold and i still am suffering from insane sinus pressure. no fun! it's left me absolutely exhausted in the evenings, and completely uninterested in knitting. still, i managed to knit one half of my fake-a-gamo bag last week. i'm making the bag in a pretty yellow called buttercream, and if all goes to plan, this will be my first yellow-green-pink project for the next two months of project spectrum. i am way excited to be starting the new colors...i have a lot i'd like to get done in those two months. i have an orangina that i started last july that it would be nice to finish (it's a lovely fennel green), i have two sock yarns that would make perfect green and pink project spectrum socks, and i also plan to make some endpaper mitts as a birthday present. plus i do have some gray and white projects to finish as well!

anyway, back to the bag, it's such a fast and fun knit! i love the part where you double-wrap the stitches, then drop the double wrap on the next round and knit all 11 of the stitches together. it's such a cool trick. i'm using cotton fleece instead of the called for classic elite provence, and as a result it's knitted up quite a bit smaller than the pattern's called-for dimensions. i think i'm ok with that though, and i think this is going to look pretty cute when it's all done. i'm going to line it with this fabric, and i still haven't decided on handles. but the big question is, curlicues or no curlicues?

Friday, March 23, 2007

winning the battle...

...but unfortunately, not the war.

here we have one completed, giant boy sock. awesome! i'm half way done with what turned into a pretty boring project.

but here's where this story gets sad. when i finished the sock, i was so excited, and quickly coerced my husband into trying it on for me. he kind of grumbled a little, then obliged, taking off his sock and shoe and pulling on the new sock. and he tugged and pulled and kind of twisted, and finally sort of managed to get the sock on his foot, but clearly, it was a bit too small. the heel is fitting weird, and the sock just looks, well, stretched. and the sad part? my husband wears size 12s. these socks, for my brother, were supposed to fit a size 13. my excitement very quickly turned to panic and just....aaaaaiggggghhh! how could this happen? it's not a gauge issue, and i used a sock size card to figure out how long to make it. where did i go wrong?!

so my brother hasn't actually tried it on yet. we're seeing him on sunday (for his birthday dinner...i am officially not getting these socks done in time), and i'm going to have him try it on. maybe my husband just has really fat feet (sorry honey!). but if not, and if they don't fit, then what? i've never ripped back a sock before. i don't think i'd know what to do. it can't be that hard - these are just plain stockinette afterall, but when i make a mistake in my knitting, i have to admit, i usually will either ignore it or just start over. that's terrible, isn't it? so i'm looking at this as a potential learning experience. i don't want to start over!

wish me luck (or wish for my brother's foot to fit...)!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

yay, yarn!

thanks everyone for all the well-wishes on the home-buying front. it's pretty exciting! though this is a prime case for my true worry-wort self to show through.

so today has been so good! i wish all saturdays were like this. we started out by spending a few hours with our realtor looking at places, then i've just spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting free yarn! i went to my favorite yarn store to spend the final $10 on my punch card ( i got two balls of jamieson's shetland spindrift for some more stranded mittens or fingerless gloves) and with my filled card, i got a few skeins of cotton fleece to make
fakeagamo. free yarn=free purse!

when i got home, i had a package waiting for me from my friend aruni. aruni and i both frequent a music message board, but on this board she and i and a few others have secured a tiny little corner where we can talk about knitting. and we all decided to do a little secret pal swap type thing. so aruni was my swap person, and she sent me the best stuff!

aruni (who has a blog by the way...
go check it out!) lives in nyc, and she sent me some gorgeous silk/cotton blend yarn from school products, in a great burgundy color. she also sent me some noro aurora that i'm really excited about, and some habu textiles silk/mohair blend that i'm seeing as a cute little lacy scarf. and she also knitted me a dishcloth! i really scored. thanks aruni!

and on top of all that, i get to go to the theater tonight to see this play. hope you all have a good weekend too!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

bits and pieces

i'm finally working on the foot part of the first of my brother's socks! i don't know why these are taking so long...i mean, i thought the long part would be the size 13 foot part, not the leg, right? needless to say, i don't think these will be done for my brother's birthday on the 26th...hopefully it won't be too long after that though. also, hopefully the stockinette will even out a little with some blocking. i'm not feeling too jazzed about these at the moment

i've also been working on clementine...this is such a fun knit! it's easy, and i think it's shaping up nicely. i'm about 10 rows from being done with the increasing of the first half. i don't know if this is a common feature of lace shawls or not, but this shawl is knit in two identical pieces, then kitchenered together at the end. i'm a little freaked out by the prospect of so much kitchener stitch...that will be about 70 stitches, which right now seems daunting. i've done it before, and it's not technically hard, but it still scares me!

other than that, i haven't been working on much these days. we're in the process of shopping for our first house (more likely condo or townhouse), so that is taking up a lot of my free time at the moment. it's exciting but scary - wish us luck!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

cocktail coasters

i promise i'm knitting...really! but i've been wanting to make these for a while, and receiving some cool new fabric in the mail this week seemed like the perfect excuse to finally do something about it. so no knitting for now, but instead some cute new coasters for the living room:

my sewing machine and this project just did not want to play nice together. i don't know what the problem was, but it seemed that i spent more time re-threading the machine and un-stucking jammed up threads than i did actually sewing these. so if you look closely (please don't), you'll see that their construction is pretty sloppy. but if you look big picture, i think the results are pretty great: i LOVE these fabrics and colors together. i think i'll give these a test spin and have a big ol' icy adult beverage to celebrate!

Monday, March 05, 2007

trekking to shoreline

this weekend i bought...more sock yarn and another sock book! two things i definitely don't need, but i oh-so-wanted them, so there you go. they are mine!

first up was some trekking xxl in shade 100. i believe this shade is somewhat famous, and i can see why - it's so cool and stripey, and the colors are perfect. on friday i braved the horrible rain and made my way over to village yarn and tea in shoreline to check out the store and also to say hello to yarn pirate, who was having a trunk sale there that night. though the shop is a bit out of my way to go there regularly, i'm glad i got to see the place and try out a new yarn store - i tend to only buy yarn from one or two shops here in seattle, and sometimes i forget that there are actually lots of great places here. i picked up some yarn pirate (not for me!), and then somehow that trekking found it's way into my hands and just wouldn't let me put it down. it was love at first sight - i'm having dreams of rainbow stripey loveliness, possibly in the form of another pair of ribbed socks from knitting vintage socks. and as the predominant color here seems to be green, i think these may have to be made for april/may project spectrum - we'll see!

and then there is the new interweave sock book, favorite socks. i went to get it a week or so ago at weaving works and was told that they couldn't keep it on the shelves. but they put me on a hold list for when they got more copies in, and saturday i finally picked up my copy. i don't think i love all of the patterns, but i do love a lot of them. i'm thinking the padded footlets will be one of the first i make - they sound so cozy and cushiony, and they look pretty quick to make as well. i'm all about the slipper sock, so i think i'll get a lot of use out of these. and meida's socks, and the embossed leave socks, are beautiful too. and the bonus of buying this book is that it has put me ten tiny little dollars away from filling my punch card at weaving works! i guess that means i've spent quite a lot of money at weaving works over the past couple of months, but never mind...i get free yarn next time i go!

no knitting of consequence to show off...later this week i'll have a turned heel to show on my brother's socks (which are taking forever), as well as the clementine shawlette that i've started, and some quilted coasters that are going to be so cute!

i'll just leave you all with a little taste of the springtime that seems to be settling in it was easily 60 degrees outside, and when i was walking home tonight, i found this beautiful tree, filling the air with the smell of flowers. yay!