nat's scarf #2

i finished the scarf i was working on before christmas just in time. well, not really. i was knitting up until guests arrived on christmas eve, and then on christmas day until our immediate family gift exchange. even then, i was not finished. nat opened her gift and exclaimed, "HEY!! what is this!?!?!" as she pulled out a ziplock bag with an 85% finished scarf still attached to balls of yarn. it was hilarious. needless to say, i did finish it, but not until the day AFTER christmas day....when it was grey and raining, hence (please excuse) the really bad lighting job in the photos. please see the previous post for truer color accuracy.

the stats for this aprrox 72" scarf are: "slanting eyelets" stitch pattern; rowan's kidsilk haze, in #631 'jacob' (1 skein) and lana grossa's soffice, in #007 'moss' (approx 1.62 skeins)


chugging along

i have one more day to get this done! needless to say, i will present this gift on christmas and have to take it back to do the "finishing". because it's a lace-y pattern, it NEEDS to be blocked in order to lay properly.


hat for hans...done!

and just in time too, he's headed back to snow country for the holidays with plans for hitting the slopes.

i started this hat back in november and it's finally done. it's been one of those projects that i would knit and put down and pick up, then put back down and left on the back burner for a while, until this week. i tried finishing it once before, and came to the conclusion that i had no idea how to PROPERLY crochet the trim. that is, until i sought the advice of expert crocheter Marikit-dl.

the design is based on a sketch that hans and i came up with, along with the pompom on a revolving braid. hans was so cute today - this morning after i gave it to him, he immediately put it on and didn't take it off once all day. i mean ALL DAY. even while taking business calls, and wearing his headphones. it was hilarious, he reminded me of a child who chose his first pair of shoes on his own and insists on wearing them immediately. in a way, it was a great compliment to me and i interpreted that he truly appreciates what i made for him.

i used about a skein and a half of karabella's aurora 8 in pool, and lorna's lace's shephard worsted in charcoal for the detailing.


another sweet surprise

a curious package arrived today...

i had placed an order for a few last minute gifts yesterday, and am expecting that package to arrive friday, based on the shipping service that i chose. in addition, the package is to be sent to my mother's house up in northern california, so it will be waiting for me when i get up there this weekend. so, imagine my surprise when this i saw this package waiting for me...

for the life of me, i couldn't figure out who could have sent this to me. my out-of-state siblings know that i'll be up at my mom's for christmas, so logically they could send any packages to me there with the others'. one of my brothers though sent a package to me a few weeks ago, but had alerted me to expect it's arrival.

anyway, because i couldn't figure out who it was from, i had to open it and not wait for christmas to arrive. i quickly tore into it, and look what was inside!!!

sweet!!! i totally had these on my amazon wishlist, and of course had to check to see if it was removed...sure enough, someone had purchased them from the list. now, to only find out whom!!?!

whomever it was, THANK YOU!! these will be great for the sweaters i am already planning to knit next year. i have some of the yarn already but no stitch pattern so these will definitely find themselves in use.

on the knitting front, i've finally finished the Hat for Hans. it's blocking now and he'll get it tomorrow, at which time i will be sure to get some photos. it came out great and i am happy to say that i have only 3 more items to get done for christmas gifts.


block party

not much knitting going on this weekend, but i did manage to block the bunch of hats i had been knitting last week. take a look:

the closest to us, we have a baby hat made from naturwolle by black forest yarn, 100% wool in madagaskar colorway; next on the left side is a baby hat made from rio de la plata, 100% wool in a blue varigated colorway; to the right of that another baby hat made from naturwolle by black forest yarn, 100% wool in flame colorway; next in line is the last baby hat done with naturwolle by black forest yarn, 100% wool. then on the end is an adult hat made with a combination of manos del uruguay and rio de la plata 100% wool yarns.

i also did an adult "stocking cap" hat made from varying colorways of manos del uruguay, 100% wool.

i've made a lot of progress with my holiday knitting, but it's far from over!! yikes, and i just realized today that christmas is two weeks away. what?!?!! somehow i thought i had three more weeks, sheesh i can only wish!


holiday ketchup

i've finally been able to start catching up on my holiday knitting. here's a sampling of a few of the scerfs. i'll follow up with a post on the tons of hats i've started on....we'll see how far i get.

as you can see i am in a "drop stitch" phase at the moment, both stitch patterns taken from 'vogue knitting' and modified to make the scarves. they're really fun to do, and i guess it's a nice way to ease into doing my first lace project (still looking for the right pattern and right yarn match-up).


holiday sweets

wait. is it december already? wow. where did the time go. i know, i know we all say that every year. god. i guess it just seems like time flies faster and faster the older you get. well, i guess until you get REAL old and time slows down again. or at least that's my perception of it. anyway, less babbling an on to knitting. i know it's been a while since my last post, but believe me i have been busy with some knitting going on - i'll have to post those soon. in the meantime i've made a few desserts, take a look...


hat for G

well, BF came home and saw the hat i was working on for hans, and said he wanted one too. so of course, i had to drop everything and make him one. we chose the yarn from my stash, and since it was a variegated yarn we decided to simplify the pattern and just do the straight knit version. we trimmed it in orange to go with the orange scarf i have been working on for him as well. photos of that to come at some future time....

on a side note, my stash is starting to fill up with even more malabrigo...i got three more hanks for my birthday!! and amazingly enough, in yet another color that i did not yet have. SWEET!!!


sweet surprise

i checked my mail yesterday and found a cute little box shoved in my slot, piled under a mound of flyers and other unsolicited mail items...i opened the package to find two amazing hanks of absolutely luscious malabrigo yarn. this is one of my new favorite yarns. it ranks right up there with my love for manos del uruguay and rio de la plata. thanks scret pal!!

in other news, i have made progress with the hat for hans. all that's left now is the trim and finishing.


weekend f.o.'s

sunday was quite a productive day...

i finished my first knitted food item (i have been obsessed with knitted non-clothing items lately) and the first item i chose was this chocolate cookie. i have a pizza slice in the works, i need to finish the toppings and it's ready to show.

i've also made headway and completed the ribbon edged cardigan...

if you noticed, i have opted to not edge the collar and cardigan opening with a ribbon. two very logical reasons...i figure my niece would most likely fuss with it, tickling her on the neck, and the most logical...it would hold me up even longer to get it done and sent to her. i mean really, it's pretty cold in ohio and i am sure she could be using this thing NOW.


hat for hans

i've finally started the earflap hat for my snowboarder friend. it's so funny working with a fellow designer - when he asked me to do a hat for him we sat down and sketched out what the hat would look like. we used AD markers to try different color schemes, then we flipped through my PMS swatches to find the right colors. then i was off to my LYS in search of the yarn. meanwhile, he was searching the internet for a pair of snowboarding gloves.

it took a bit of calculating to figure out the pattern, but it wasn't difficult. i think it's coming along nicely, although my inconsistency in tension between knitting on straights and knitting in the round is driving me nuts. i keep telling myself that the blocking process will help hide the difference and it won't be too noticeable in the end.

my perfectionist side is causing me to slightly obsess about it and i am nearly on the edge of ripping the whole thing apart and starting again....


i apologize in advance...

for the really bad lighting.

this time of year sucks for photography...not that i am the best photographer, but CLEARLY this is not even in the right color range for reality. i guess if i was a good photographer, i would know how to compensate for this and trick the eye. anyway, we are not here to debate my photography skills (or are we?!?) so let's get to the knitting...

recently, a friend asked if would be willing to donate some of my creative work to a GPA MN fundraiser. of course, i said yes and immediately thought it would be a knitted item. being that the event was being held in october AND in minneapolis, i thought what a better way to celebrate the cold fall months than with a scarf.

i created this elongated chevron scarf using blue sky alpacas' sport weight 100% baby alpaca in natural taupe. it was a pretty easy pattern to do, just one that you had to pay attention to where you left off when you set it down to get a refill on coffee. 'cause let me tell you, it's a pain to knit a repeat and take a look down and realize that the chevron started going in the worng direction. i must have done that a couple of times...

in the end, i am glad that it sold and helped bring some money in for a good cause. i just think it's funny that my other friend was the one who did the bidding on it and won, when he could have just let that one go to an anonymous bidder and asked me to make him a custom one!!!


Halloweenie Meemie

as seen on a ball of yarn and a remote control, a halloween meme!!

1. Google "Halloween" and the year you were born on Google Images

2. Find the most bizarrely frightening photo and post it

3. Recoil in horror!

i tried it, and surprisingly i did not find a lot of photos of people in halloween costumes from my birth year. perhaps it was because they hadn't invented film yet or something. a lot of the photos i did find, just happened to have my year as part of the photo name. but there were a couple that were actually taken of people in costumes, in 1967...

gosh, it's so great to see those hairstyles, and the glasses!!! omg, i totally had glasses like that when i was kid...but that casper costume, this since that's the only costume of this style, i suppose that dreaded plastic/rubber trend started in the late 60's? i really love the kid in the gym shorts and shirt with the half mask on. really, what's he supposed to be?!?! hilarious.

then there's this one, hmmm. not really into the costume spirit, are they? and they are supposed to be at a halloween dance?!?!?! how funny. well, i guess i shouldn't talk - i hardly ever wear a costume for halloween. although, when i have i gotta say i really had some great ones...i'll have to dig those up and post them later.


chocolate swap

my package from my pal rachel finally arrived....

i was so excited as i was getting anxious about it not being here yet, along with our receptionist who i am sure was sick of me going down to her desk every day to ask if a package had arrived for me. finally, she was just starting to roll her eyes at me as i approached because she knew what i was going to ask!!!

i waited until i got home to open it, because i didn't want the wrapping to go flying all over the office as i tore into it. plus, i am greedy and didn't want to share any of the chocolate with my co-workers. d'oh!!

inside, my super pal from alaska filled it with some locally made assorted chocolates, which i haven't opened yet...and three different kinds of dark chocolate (my favorite type of all chocolates), one of which is a very strange "bubble chocolate" - which at first i didn't quite care for, until that first piece completely melted in my mouth...then i was hooked. i devoured the entire bar in one sitting...which explains why i haven't yet sampled the alaskan chocolate! then there are two types of hot cocoa mix, which is PERFECT for these cooler nights, and of course i can't forget the yarn. a very luscious new england highland wool...in the color cocoa!! i think i am going to make a scarf out of it, which will co-ordinate perfectly with a sweater that i PLAN on starting soon.

thanks again rachel!!


SP9 update

i just updated my SP9 questionnaire.

i was at my LYS today to buy some yarn for a project that i was commissioned for - an earflap hat for a snowboarder friend of mine - when i saw a few things that i just HAD to have. which means i needed to update my questionnaire before SP9 officially begins. while i was there, i saw the new Malabrigo yarn that i was told was coming...and i absolutely DIED for it!!! god, and the colors they come in are amazing. it took everything that i had to resist buying it, simply because i am full to the GILLS of yarn in my stash. i really should not be buying full priced yarn that i have no intended project for. especially since i want so much of it. HA!! well, that and i just wouldn't know HOW MUCH of it to pick up and in which colors!?!?!

ok, anyway, the earflap hat....my friend is a designer too, and he specified the color scheme he wanted, and we even discussed the look of the hat he wants. i think it can be easily achieved by following an existing pattern and changing the stitches to what he wants. it's just that i have never done an earflap hat before, i just hope it goes smoothly....am i being foolish by not making a prototype first just to see what hiccups i may run into?


back to my knitting....

after a brief hiatus, i have finally gotten back to knitting this week. my eyes are much stronger now and can handle looking at all those small stitches again without them feeling so tired and dry.

i have started yet another project....a slip stitch scarf. i bought this noro silk garden back in the summer, and had no idea what i was going to do with it...i just saw it and fell in love with it - it had to be mine. so, as i was going through my stash i realized it would be a perfect fall scarf!!

i've also been chugging away at the collumn of leaves scarf. here's my progress so far...i can't wait to finish and block it so i can really see the pattern pop.

now i gotta get back to that ribbon edged cardigan, and the little chicks baby hat before those babies outgrow them before i even get them done!! i was putting that off since i was having a bit of a time focusing on all those small stitches!!


SP9 questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
i like wool, wool blends, cotton, mostly any type of natural fibres. i don't care for angora or mohair, too itchy and alpaca usually has too many loose fibres. if it's an alpaca blend, it could be ok. i also don't care for novelty yarns.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
right now i have the clover needle case. i like it because it's not fussy, although...it's PLASTIC. but so far that is the nicest thing i could find (from a product design standpoint)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
i started knitting about 5 years ago, my room mate at the time was an avid knitter, and she was always making some very cool things. so one trip back home to visit my family, i asked my mother and grandmother to show me how to knit. when i returned home i was excited to sit and knit with my room mate. we discovered though that when i came to problems and/or questions, she was not able to help me because she didn't know how i was knitting. so, she basically she taught me her way of knitting (continental). i would say that i am probably an intermediate knitter now, i have done a lot of scarves, blankets and a few sweaters, but i am currently doing my first lace item....still not advanced enough to even THINK about intarsia!!

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
yes, i have an amazon wish list.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, etc.)
i am pretty particular about scents. for example, i love almond scent. but depending on the quality of the product, it sometimes can smell more nutty other times more like cherries. i think in general, i like things that smell "clean" and i don't mean necessarily like soap, but not heavy and perfume-y, or too complex. right now, i am loving the fall scents that are out, like the toasted chestnut one from illume (actually i love most of the illume products), or the golden clove and a la mode candles from pier 1.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
yes, i love chocolate mainly. chocolate covered nuts, any kind. especially dark chocolate. probably my favorite candy though would have to be a toss up between salt water taffy (all flavors) and black licorice (licorice all-sorts)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
i do not spin. i used to be into rubber stamping and card making, but since i have gotten into knitting i've kind of ignored all my paper craft supplies!! lately, i have had an interest in needle felting, but so far not enough to go out and buy the required supplies to make a project.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
yes, can play MP3s. i like almost all kinds of music. i mainly listen to KCRW a lot, they have some great music shows, i love the independent and eclectic stuff they play but i also listen to pop, rap, classical. like i said, anything, oh... EXCEPT heavy metal.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
don't really have favorites. i am the type that i like things depdending on my mood at the moment. this applies to color too. but, some colors i really don't like are the flourescents that were really popular during the 80's. teal and burgundy combinations, peach and mint, hahaha....i guess all the bad stuff from the 80's. that's not to say i wouldn't go for something burgundy or mint or teal, there are a lot of good colors out there but it really depends on the intensity, richness, the undertones that make up the color.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
my family situation? well, i am single with a partner and a cat!

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
i wear scarves. but remember, this is los angeles so by scarf i mean as a fashion accessory. no ponchos or hats for me, mittens or gloves...only when i am in minneapolis, but i do avoid the midwest during the winter.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
i don't really have a favorite item to knit. it really depends if i come across an interesting pattern or a particular yarn that will inspire the object.

13. What are you knitting right now?
oh god. a ton of things...right now i am ACTIVELY working on two scarves....i need to finish up a sleeve to be done with a sweater, i have some seaming to do on another sweater, and some embelishment work left on a hat. god, i am so terrible with my knitter's A.D.D.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
depending on what the item is. i am not really into things that are 'crafty'. but if they have a designer-y look and feel to them or if they are more artisitc, than yes.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
i prefer straight needles, always bamboo. i don't mind circs though.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
yes, i own a winder but not a swift

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
hahahahah. it's got to be my cardigan which i started probably a year and a half ago. i think the problem with his project is the pattern is SO repetitive. and not a very interesting pattern to knit a ton of. basically, i will probably never do a rib stitch sweater again unless it's for a baby or small child.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
well, for some reason i love the idea of halloween. i have halloween themed mugs, a couple of decorations, but i don't really care for halloween itself...does that make any sense? i don't like dressing up, i don't like trick or treat....maybe christmas. or valentines day, fourth of july...maybe what i like are the colors of the different holidays. that could be it.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
no, for the fear of obtaining too much junk in my house. well, i have been accused of being addicted to buying sets of cups, or mugs, or teacups and saucers....and sets of bowls. i guess i am borderline "collecting" those things? speaking of which...i just saw the new halloween collection at starbucks...i know, cheezy? but i have been thinking about picking up a couple of the mugs/cups they have for this season!!

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
i have been wanting the jo sharp magazine knit, issue 1, and i have been searching for an issue of vogue knitting magazine spring/summer 05. currently, i have no knitting magazine subscriptions because i haven't found any that i really love. my LYS just received their shipment of Malabrigo today...and as they were unloading them from their shipping boxes my hands were already in the plastic bags....i love Love LOVE that yarn!! omg, and the colors are amazing!!!

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
right now i am learning lace, but nothing else that i have been wanting to learn so far. that can easily always change.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
oh, i guess this makes me a liar in my previous question....i have been thinking about learning to knit socks. so far though, it hasn't hit me strong enough to actually try it. i am not sure what my technical measurements are, but i am a size 8, 8.5 depending on the brand of shoe, in men's.

23. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
november 14.



i haven't been doing much knitting since my intralase procedure since it's been hard to focus on detailed work for extended periods of time (each day it's getting better and better, it's actually really amazing that i can notice the changes), but i have been able to work little by little on my pal's scarf for the international scarf exchange (ISE 3) and get it finished.

i started blocking on friday, the scarf is too long for my blocking board so i had to do it in two passes.

this is the first time that i have blocked a scarf this way, not using the hot steam iron...but since i read in vogue knitting the best way to block different fibres, i figured this is the better way to do it taking into account the fibre mixture of this yarn.

given the color variation and the nature of the texture of this yarn i decided to do a simple ribbing pattern. i had a really difficult time in the beginning starting my pal's scarf, changing yarns and patterns a few times. after reading her blog and seeing a few shots of her i got to see her hair color and skin tone, so when i walked past this yarn in my LYS the colors really caught my eye and i thought it would look perfect on her. so i picked up a few skeins and THEN...had a *BLEEP* of a time choosing a pattern. i must have started over at least half a dozen times or more before finally realizing i needed to go with something simple and let the yarn speak for itself. now i only hope she likes it!!


ISE3 - it's here!!

i have been out of commission for a while due to my intralase procedure, so not much knitting to report on. the actual procedure was friday, and i took monday off as an extra day to recover, and upon my return to the office at 7:30am this morning look what was waiting for me on my desk!!

that's right, my ISE3 pal came through and sent me my scarf. dang, she's a fast knitter!!! it's a gorgeous silvery-grey made from euroflax original 100% linen. it drapes beautifully and it's a nice light weight, perfect for L.A. weather.

i was wearing it around our air conditioned office and was getting TONS of compliments on it, all thanks to Cate out in virginia.

as far as my knitting goes, i have made little progress on the scarf for my pal, but hopefully as soon as my eyes settle down a bit more i can get back to it.


ISE 3 - not yet convinced

here's my 5th attempt at starting my scarf. this is the third stitch pattern with this second yarn, and i am still not convinced that this is THE right fit for my pal.

even though my pal said she likes earth tones, i think the colors work great for her skin tone and hair color (from what i can tell from her blog), but i am feeling that the yarn is looking a little "craft store" like....even though it's not!! at my LYS, i thought the yarn looked so gorgeous wrapped up in it's skein AND it seemed to be calling to me as the perfect yarn, but now that i have knitted with it - i am not loving it anymore.

i am going to sit on it for a few days and see if it grows on me. if not, back to the yarn shop on tuesday (since they are closed mondays it buys me some time!!)


what's left of "my so called scarf"

as you can see i've decided to frog the whole thing. i knitted a bit more of it this weekend and just thought too much about it. and for those who know me, once something bugs me...even just a little bit, i'm not going to rest about it. so i just decided get rid of it and then i won't even have to worry about it anymore.

so, instead i started working on column of leaves scarf.

i think it's coming out GREAT. and it will be my work in progress while i decide what to do with that lusciously lovely Manos yarn that i was using for that "so called scarf". i guess it's because i am such a visual designer type person - one who notices ALL the details - that causes me to be so picky about the backside of the so called scarf. perhaps that stitch pattern would be great for a pillow or something like that and there wouldn't need to be the hint of sarcasm in the name of the item?

i've also begun the finishing process for the ribbon edged cardigan. i have the collar knitted in and one sleeve sewn on. in addition, i have worked more on the little chicks baby hat....i just need to sew on the little white chicks and then add the feet and beaks, and it'll be ready to send out.

i know, i know i have a lot of projects going on - i must have knitter's ADD or something....


"my so called scarf"

it seems that a lot of us are on the 'my so called scarf' bandwagon. hey, i guess it's a testimonial to the designers of the pattern. i have been wanting to knit this scarf for a while now, and since i am starting my holiday gifts now...i figured this would be a good pattern to try.

so here's my dilemma...i love how the stitch pattern is coming out on the RS.

but since this is a scarf, and you will be able to see the WS as well, i was hoping that the WS would have more of an interesting stitch pattern than it does. TO ME, it looks like a convoluted purl pattern (which essentially is what it is), but not one interesting enough to be on a highly visible "other side" to a scarf.

so before i frog it all, what do you think? am i just being too picky? i mean in all my scarf creating experience, i never really demanded that the RS and the WS were the same, but i feel that the WS has to be as interesting as the front, even though it may be a different...


bunny hat - done!

well, the bunny hat i mentioned in my previous post is done....here are pics of it pre-blocking (so please excuse the uneven-ness). i mentioned below that it was going to go to my niece along with the ribbon-edged cardigan. i lied. it was actually a birthday gift for justJENN but i couldn't lead on since she reads this blog. HA!! for those of you stitch snobs, check out her blog to see what it looks like after blocking and on an actual human head...hers. oh, and leave her comments about wearing it - i am trying to convince her to wear it on her first day of work next week.


almost there...

so i've finally gotten all the pieces to the ribbon edged cardigan done. last night i started the blocking process...

now that i've blocked all the pieces, i have to join the shoulder seams, pick up stitches and start working on the collar. then attach the sleeves, and sew the ribbon and buttons on. whew. with the ten-thousand other projects i am working on, i wonder how long that's going to take me?

oh, speaking of other projects, i've finally finished sleeve #1 of my cardigan (sans hood). i guess that is on the backburner of my non-urgent priority list since it's JUST for me.

also, iv'e started a striped version of the "bunny hat" that i am working on to send my niece with the ribbon edged cardigan...