Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mr. Greenjeans Progress Report

After my Ravencroft yarn arrived I cast on for Mr. Greenjeans right away. I'm using size 8 knitpicks option needles for the stockinette section and just swtiched to size 7's as called for in the pattern for the change to the ribbing/cabling section. I finished one repeat of the ribbing/cabling when it hit me just how close Christmas is and just how little time I have to finish all those presents! Mr. Greenjeans is officially on hold until I finish all my Christmas knitting and get the Christmas cards in the mail. I'm loving this sweater so much that it has spurred me to knit up those presents very fast and I'm halfway done with them already! You'll just have to wait unil after the holidays to see how well they're turning out.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Time Flies

I missed posting for a while and then it was Thanksgiving and whoosh, it was gone, I swear, it happened just like that. I have so much to catch up on! First I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend for those of us in the US. I have many things to be thankful for this year. Wonderful friends and family, a good well paying job, a home in a city where so many are still without, and a stash that seems to keep multiplying like tribbles! I can't really complain.

We went to visit my Dad and Step-mom in northern Alabama over Thanksgiving and it was nice and low key. My Grandmother and Uncle were also supposed to visit but my Grandmother had a small stroke the weekend before. She is doing much better now and should be released from the hospital soon. Unfortunately we weren't able to go and see her due to the distance and I know she was disappointed. I miss you too Grandma.

During our visit I did get to go to an alpaca farm! My Step-mom knows a woman who started raising alpacas a couple years ago and started Tuscany Valley Alpacas. I got to feed them and pet them! She had some amazing fleeces for sale but alas until I get a spinning wheel I thought it best I stick to the yarn she was offering. My Step-mom asked me to knit her a scarf with the brown/tan color with the added boucle and she also purchased the dark, dark gray color for me as a Christmas present! This yarn is so soft and luscious, I can't stop petting it! The yarn and fleeces aren't listed on their website yet but if you call or email Carol I'm sure she'd be happy to tell you more about it.

Before we left for the trip I finished this pair of Fuzzy Feet slippers for hubby. The pattern is from and the yarn is Crystal Palace Carnival, Bulky weight and used every bit of 2 balls. They were a super fast knit, finished in one very dedicated to knitting weekend.I forgot to get a pre-felted pic as I was so excited to get them felted. While I was felting I also stuck my bunny slippers, from last year, in the machine with them, as they've always been too big and I was hoping some additional felting might shrink them down a little. It worked, partially, one slipper seems to have felted better than the other, oh well, they keep the toes warm. I think I may make myself a pair of the Fuzzy Feet out of all my left over bits of feltable wool and just make them crazy stripes or something.

I also got in some good knitting time over the Thanksgiving weekend and finished up my Lenore socks. These are from the October shipment of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Loved this color, which is from the new Raven Clan series of colors from Blue Moon and loved the pattern, which was designed by the Yarn Harlot. I can defintely see knitting the pattern again and I've already gone to the Blue Moon website and ordered more Ravens, which came today! I have some heavyweight in the Ravenscroft color for a Mr. Greenjeans. I can't wait to cast on as soon as I finish this post! I also got a skein of Laci in the Haida color for Anne's Irtfa shawl. If you haven't seen this shawl, go check it out, it's amazing! And finally, a skein of Twisted in the Rook-y color. Not sure yet if this skein might become a Clapotis or if it might become the contrast color on a ribby pulli.

I also went to the New Orleans Aquarium before Thanksgiving with a friend and her child. I get a lot of questions about the condition of New Orleans and visiting New Orleans. So, I just wanted to say that the tourist areas of New Orleans are for the most part rebuilt and most visitors aren't going to notice if they come to visit our beautiful city. There are large sections of any problems from Katrina the city still struggling and even entirely empty but the tourist areas are back. The aquarium did lose a lot of their fish following the storm due to no electricity but they have been brought back and it was a lot of fun getting to visit an old favorite. If you have any questions about New Orleans or are planning a visit be sure to let me know!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Day to Dye For

Last Friday I had a little yarn dying party at my house! Sarah and blogless Pierce came over for lesson in using acid dyes. I prefer lanaset dyes and order the Lanaset Dye Kit from Sheep Hollow. But there are many other places to order from as well. I mix up the dyes into a 1% stock solution.

We had a ton of yarn from Knitpicks Dye Your Own line. First the yarn soaks over night in vinegar water so I don't forget to add the vinegar later. I have 3 crock pots for dying, all from thrift stores for <$10. For handpainting, layout same saran wrap and place the yarn in the middle, then go to town. I like experimenting. You control how dark the color is by how much water you add to the 1% stock solution, and a little for a really deep color and a lot for a very light color. If you want pink only use a little bit of red and a lot of water. Then wrap it up in the saran wrap. Then put that into a ziploc bag. Have the crockpots cooking with some water in them and then you can just float the ziploc bag in the water or you can use an upside down colander or some other set-up in the crock pot to keep it out of the water.

I also did the last two pictures showed using vat dying techniques where I put the yarn in the crock pot directly, covered in water and then poured the dye onto different sections of the yarn and let the colors mingle at will. The ones pictured here are just the ones that I dyed. I didn't pictures of Sarah's or Pierce's unfortunately but I think Sarah has some pictures of her on her blog that you can check out too!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Giving Thanks

I've gotten some great packages in the mail lately and I have to say thank you to the wonderful people who sent them. First up, I was in a Tea Swap on Ravelry a while back with Fiber Dreams. She sent me 2 packages, the first one had two wonderful boxes of tea, which I forgot to take pictures of before I took them to work, but trust me they are very lovely. The second box came this week with these beautiful skeins of Lorna's Laces sock yarn in the Tickled Pink color with some really cool stitch stretchy stitch markers too. I couldn't be more tickled pink! You have to check out the blue socks she is working on, that is the yarn I sent for the swap and she is making up the pattern. Isn't it great? Thanks Laura for the great swap!

Next up, I won a contest over at The Silver Fork Saga. Lesley's been very busy lately but she found time to put together this wonderful package which included a skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock yarn in the Wildflower color, absolutely stunning! Then there's a huge summery tote that will be great for a big project bag. The journal and the pens are very nice as well! And the thing that looks almost like a giant candy corn is actually a deck of cards, how cool is that? Thanks again Lesley!

And last but certainly not least, I was in a crafster swap with Leah (xladyluckx) and she totally out did herself and deserves a huge round of applause! If you don't know what craftster is you really need to check it out! It's great site totally devoted to crafting of all sorts, knitting, crocheting, sewing, paper crafts, polymer clay, stenciling, glass crafts, art, you name it, if it's crafty, it's on craftster! And they have some of the best organized and most fun swaps I've ever done.

Anyways, back to the package. So, Leah knows of my love for Rob Zombie and particularly for House of 1000 Corpses and Devil's Rejects. So she was able to get me personalized autographed pictures of Sid and and Bill! As well as a copy of the script to House of 1000 Corpses. But that wasn't all. Nope she kept on rocking it with this awesome apron and towel set to match my kitchen and this awesome altered Slipknot tank. And I totally love this fleru d'lis hoodie she made. The pink fabric she used is awesome! Not pictured is the scrabble bulletin board, the System of Down tote bag, an awesome pendant, the two skeins of Knitpicks dye your own lace weight, and a skein she dyed her self that I used to make the fat bottom bag pictured in this post. Thanks again Leah for all the wonderful goodies, you rock!

Halloween was quiet here. Not one single trick or treater. At first I was blaming it on everything else in New Orleans. Who would want to trick or treat in the neighborhoods around here? But then I hear that it was a slow year in most places though. Maybe it was the daylight savings thing. Oh well, I dressed up as an Andorian from Star Trek and had a little fun anyways! Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Everything But

Everything but knitting that is. That seems what I've been doing lately anyways. Korn was a blast! We rode the motorcycles out to Biloxi and spent the night there. It was a beautiful ride. The concert sounded great although I haven't been thrilled with Korn's latest album they did play a lot of their older stuff so it was good. Forgot the camera though, sorry no pics. I'll have to find out if I can take the camera to Rage on Friday!

I also had my first Stampin' Up party! It was a success and everyone had a great time. We made Christmas/Holiday cards like the one over in the picture there. I also got my own Stampin' Up website, please check it out and let me know what you think.

Things have been very busy lately on top of concerts and stamping. Remember way back in March when I told you about the fiasco that was our electricity situation? Well, we finally passed the electrical inspection. Only to have the electric company back bill us $1800 for all the electricity we've used since January. This is on top what we have paid for the work to get ready for the inspection and for the inspection fee itself. We still haven't passed the gas inspection because we found out that we have a gas leak under our slab and had to have our gas lines rerun. We are almost ready for the that inspection but now we know that they are going to back bill us for that too and with the leak who knows how much that is going to be.

I also tried to vote on Saturday only to be told that my registration was never received and that I'll have to wait and re-register after November elections are over. I've still been struggling with my migraines. The Topamax is helping but I'm struggling with side effects again even at a very low dose. But I have gone from daily headaches to less than 1 a week which is a huge relief.

Then my motorcycle was acting up and running bad and sweetie finally got to work on it this weekend and worked some on his bike too and then we went for a ride on Sunday and he picked up a screw in his back tire. When it rains it pours, and yesterday it rained so hard it started pouring right in our back door! That was a mess to clean up. Anyways, I'll stop whining now, just wanted to let you know why I don't have any new knitting to post about. It is only supposed to get into the 60's today so I'm dying to cast on for some new sweater or shawl or just about anything at this point! Hopefully I'll have more knitting news next week!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Moving Swiftly

It's been almost two weeks since my last post! I have been busy! Last week we found a used motorcycle for sweetie. So, we've been busy getting it legal and riding! I also found a new dining room table on craigslist which I love! We have tickets to two concerts this month, Korn in Biloxi on the 14th, and Rage against the Machine at Voodoo on the 26th. I also decided to become a demonstrator for Stampin' Up and have been busy with my starter kit and getting ready for my first party! So, if you're looking for any Stampin' Up products be sure to let me know! There has also been knitting. I'm about halfway done with the Chevron scarf now and I've done a few more repeats on the Maltese shawl too.

Then on Friday I got my new tattoo! Check it out! What do you think? For those asking why would I get a devil fighting a rose, here's the story. My parents got tattoo's together when I was very young. My mom got a rose on her chest and my dad got a little Hot Stuff type devil on his hip. Can you see where this is going now? Well, after almost 25 years of marriage my parents got divorced. When my dad saw the pic his response was, "Well, if I'm supposed to be the Devil I see you got my pot belly right, but you sure made me ugly enough didn'tcha." My Mom hasn't seen it yet (Hi Mom).

Ima, asked about how to make a DIY swift. Yes, I built my own tabletop swift. Actually I've built one and half. I built one in California following Craft Diversion's directions and it turned out wonderful. Then somewhere in our move back to New Orleans the top half of the swift got lost. So, I ran out to the hardware/lumber store, grabbed a couple pieces of wood, assumed I remembered how I did it the first time and got to work. Not such a good idea and I'll show you why.

The first time I made it, I carefully measured and remeasured using the directions I linked to and cut everything perfectly. The old saying, "Measure twice, cut once," that was my motto. I sanded everything smooth. It turned out perfect and it was balanced and sturdy and stable. When I put the yarn on it, it spun beautifully. The second time I made it. I figured I had done it once, I knew what I doing now, right? Wrong. My measurements were off. It turned out lopsided. See the end there with marble taped to the end of it. That's my improvisation to get it somewhat balanced. So, yeah, I still use it but it's not nearly as nice as the first one. It shakes and rocks and goes crazy, but it'll get the job done until I get the time/money/energy to go get more wood and remake, yet it again, and do it right. So, what I'm trying to say, is that it's not hard to do but follow the directions, you can subsitute type of wood or whatever you need to get it to work, but remember, "measure twice, cut once." I've included some more pics of everything so you can see how the bits and pieces all fit together and how you can break it all down for storage too if you don't have a lot of room. I like to set it up on my ironing board because then I can set it out in the middle of the floor without it banging into anything. Here it is winding up some Socks that Rock lightweight in the Covelite color into two balls for socks that I may or may not be casting on for some monkey's soon.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Harlot and More

I went and saw the Yarn Harlot talk about her latest book last Monday night. She is hilarious in the written word as well as the spoken! Oh, to be so witty! It was awesome being in a crowd of others who "get the knitting thing." Sarah was there and I gave her the first 3 preemie hats (these 2 will be added to that soon). I even got my pic up on the famous author's blog! What a treat it was! For a Canadien knitting author who was in New Orleans for all of one day, I think she hit the nail right on the head. And for more on her time in New Orleans and perspective from a New Orleans native, check out Dez's blog. When I read the Yarn Harlot's blog about her trip to New Orleans it was very moving for me. The 2 year anniversary of Katrina passed quietly here. I wasn't sure how I felt about it and I was even more unsure of what I wanted to say about it.

When I search for "shooting", I get 559 articles returned. There has been gunfire down the street from my home more times than I care to remember this past month. Not too long ago the burned out, flooded, shell of a car sitting across the street from my house was finally removed. My elderly neighbors haven't quite gotten back into their home yet but at least progress is finally being made as they still mostly live in their FEMA trailer. Lots of volunteers helped to rebuild the playground at the elementary school in my neighborhood last week. Slowly, ever so slowly the abandoned houses are being torn down around us. The Family Dollar down the road just reopened recently, the rest of the shopping center still vacant. These are the day to day facts that come with living in New Orleans. Sometimes it's hard to see the reasons we decided to come back and I question our choice almost daily. But you suck it up and keep living.

And part of living for me is knitting! This weekend I finished the two preemie hats above and my 3rd Fat Bottom bag from the Happy Hooker pattern. I also can put the FO stamp on the Summer of Love Lace socks from the Rockin' Sock Club of Blue Moon Fiber Arts. This was the August shipment for the club. The yarn is Socks that Rock Lightweight in the Flower Power color. Finishing all these things brought my lace knitting mojo back and I completed 6 more repeats on the Maltese Shawl! I now have 15 of the planned 68 repeats. Even the Chevron scarf got a little love this weekend. Stay tuned for pics of both Maltese and Chevron projects as hopefully more progress (worth showing) is made.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Charity - From Miriam-Webster online, noun - benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.

Saturday morning I headed out to the Harley Davidson dealership in Slidell to participate in a motorcycle poker run to benefit Toy for Tots. The poker run was 110 miles, plus the ride to Slidell and back, put me in the seat for almost 200 miles. This was my first time riding with a group. I had a blast, everyone was super friendly and no one cared that I was the only sportbike there. Everyone gave me some good natured ribbing about not being able to reach the ground with my short little legs but it was all in good fun. There was food, an auction and some door prizes after the ride and a good bit of money raised.

I was tired the rest of Saturday and sore but first thing Sunday morning we got up and headed to Audobon park for the Annual 5K AIDS walk. We parked on the wrong side of the park and ended up getting there right as the race started but we were still able to register and jump in towards the end of the group. We didn't get pledges of support but rather made a donation out of our own pockets. If you'd like to add a donation yourself, click here.

Treated myself to a big juicy cheeseburger after all that hard work, too! I did even get a little bit of knitting done this weekend too! These 3 little preemie hats were all made out of little bits of leftover cotton and soy DK weight yarn from my stash. I've started on a 4th hat in dark blue with cables! They were all knit without a pattern and only took a couple hours each. But if you would like to see any of these written up as a pattern to use just leave me a comment and I'll write them up. Now you may be wondering why I'm knitting preemie hats. Just read Sarah's blog and see if you don't want to knit some preemie hats too! She's even giving away yarn if you do!

And don't forget that the Yarn Harlot is in NOLA tonight! I'll see you at Border's on Vet's at 7pm!