Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Renewed faith in humanity

Yesterday I wrote an e-mail to Susan who is the YouTube machine knitting video goddess to try and pick her brain about my Knitmaster 321. I reached out for help with my new machine and Susan graciously pointed me in the right direction. After the past few weeks of dealing with the frustrations with the post office, WalMart, PayPal, the bank, and the lost or stolen credit card folks I didn't feel like I had much to hold on to. My faith in humanity is officially restored. Thank you Susan, you are awesome.
Oh, and DHL rocks as a delivery service. I recieved my new computer today (I'm using it right now) without having to track it down like I'm Dog the bounty hunter or something. Thumbs up DHL.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Freakin' finally

My knitting machines finally came yesterday, but only after having to shift into "angry black woman" mode. I am a really mellow chick but when people do not do their jobs properly they only get two chances to interact with me in "reasonable, understanding black woman" mode. Okay, I'm over it now.
Hooray! My machines are here! They are so much cooler than my Bond machine. Now I just have to learn to use them properly. Wheee!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bitten by the Clapotis bug

I love the Clapotis pattern from Knitty. I'm starting mine tonight. I worked up a few swatches so I could "get" the pattern and now I will stumble onward with a little bit of confidence. There are some really awesome explanations/tutorials here of how to get your Clapotis to look it's best. You gotta love the internet.
I am going to be using Debbie Mumm's Traditions in the midnight color way. I know a lot of people don't like it but I am a pretty loose knitter and I try not to put too much drag on the yarn so I think I will be ok. I am completely in love with the color so I and going to risk it.
I am not knitting on my machine right now because it just reminds me of how mad I am at the post office for losing my eBay find, so my hand knitting is keeping me sane.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My cleaves of doom

I just finished the cleaves pattern from the Knitty site. I made a big boo boo but it all worked out. It wasn't supposed to have that nifty scarf-like knot in the front but in a moment of tiredness I cast on too many stitches. Instead of casting on 38 stitches I cast on 124, which is the total number of stitches I should have had for the entire cowl porting. Oh well. I still like it and I think that is all that matters. I want to start another one right away in black. Wow, I look tired in this picture. Can you tell it's almost 3am? And yes, I did wake my husband up just to take this picture.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Torture by mail continued

I have tried to be patient. I have tried not to think about it. The fact still remains that I won a knitting machine off of eBay in December and it is still not here. I actually won two, but one isn't coming because she can't find the accessories. The guy that sold me this one didn't mail it right away because of some unusually bad weather but now I am starting to think that it isn't coming either. I must have some bad knitting machine karma or something because about 4 years ago I won a knitting machine off of eBay that never came either and it was a complete nightmare getting my money back so I am hoping against hope that I am wrong. I just am so excited to try out my new purchase that it is really starting to get under my skin that they aren't here yet. I need to start a new project to get my mind off of stalking the mailman. Blah.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Homemade stitch markers

I made my own stitch markers this afternoon. Now that I know how to make socks on one circular needle I figured that my reward would be to make a pretty set of markers. They were really easy to make as well. I used bracelet hardware for the rings and with some easy wire wrapping techniques with my beads on I-pins and now I have an end product to be proud of. has an awesome tutorial if you would like to make some of your own.

Dyeing yarn with Kool aid

Okay, it's not Kool aid it's Wyler's but it's the same concept. I was intrigued when I saw the instructions for dyeing yarn with Kool aid on the knitpicks site so I decided to give it a whirl. It was fun, easy, and not too messy. I dye my own fabric for quilting so I know what a hassle chemical dyes can be. I used Sensations Kashmira 100% wool from JoAnn fabrics and it worked just great. As long and you use drink mixes with no sugar added you won't have any residue or extra scent when you are done. I however will never drink Kool aid/Wyler's again because anything that can permanently dye yarn this easily certainly shouldn't be going in my body!

Socks, marvelous socks

I get it. I finally get it. I made the sample sock from Sensational Knitted Socks and now I finally get the construction of socks. I only had one false start because I wasn't doing my ssk's correctly but now I understand. I am so excited! When my husband saw my practice sock he told me that I was going to have to cut off a few toes to fit it. Silly monkey. Anyway, I just wanted to share the excitement.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The eagle has landed

I finally got my goodies in the mail and just let me say that at this very moment I am prepared to get in my car and drive to wherever it is that they make these needles and kiss the creator right on the lips. Using these needles is like knitting with butter! That doesn't even make any sense but I don't care. I love them, I love them, I love them. I think I will call them George. The only other time that I have been this excited about a delivery I was waiting for news that my niece was born. (Hi Jazzy.)
In other news, my laptop died today. Of course, my warranty ran out a month ago. I'm just lucky I guess. Services will be held this Sunday. Let us have a moment of silence and remember the good times Lappy and I shared.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

100 Row Shrug

I just love it when a plan comes together. Yesterday I knit 4 shrugs on my Bond USM knitting machine. I fell in love with a shrug I saw on Ravelry and the construction was so simple I figured I could make a plain version fairly easily. It took three tries to get it just the way I liked it but they are all wearable. I'm going to call it the 100 row shrug.

The first one I made was this one:

It's a bit snug but very wearable. I used Wool Ease in avocado.

The second one isn't technically a 100 row shrug because it is actually 110 rows which caused the ribbing to roll and create a tiny shawl collar.

This one is also made up in Wool Ease, in paprika. I'm going to give it to a friend as a gift because I made her some fingerless mitts already in the same yarn.

The third one was the charm. I like the way it fits. It is just right, baby bear style. I added a few stitches in width in order to get the "sleeves" to cover my shoulders more.

Yet another Wool Ease creation but made in oxford grey. I made the matching gauntlets a few weeks ago. They are an elongated and adjusted version of these. I made one more shrug in black too but my photographer went to bed on me. Making these shrugs was a nice distraction from my frustration with the postal service and my excitement as I wait for my new toys to get here.

Remember Caboodles?

When I was a teenager all of my friends and I had a Caboodle. A Caboodle is a girl-y tote-like thing that you can put your makeup in. Well today while at Walgreen's filling a prescription I found a Caboodle tote that is perfect for carrying knitting supplies. It is crazily similar to this tote I saw on the knitpicks site. I might even go out on a limb here and say it is the same design except it cost half as much. So girls, if you are looking for a knitting bag that doesn't look too "crafty" run, don't walk, to Walgreen's and pick one up.

Slow torture by mail

My knitpicks needles haven't come yet. I am sad. I am never opting for "free" (ie. SLOW) shipping ever again. When I order products online I want them yesterday. Apparently they send the free shipping orders on the back of a blind, lame mule named Moe from Istanbul. My knitting machines aren't here either. One isn't coming at all because the seller can't find the accessories so I got a refund but I didn't want a refund I wanted a knitting machine. I passed up other machines I could have bid on because I knew I had two coming, grrrr. I did take a field trip to Chix with Stix today as retail therapy before my dentist appointment and I bought some sock yarn. It's so pretty that I don't want to use it just yet. Is that crazy? I do this with fabric as well. I buy really nice silk that I have no intention of ever sewing and I caress and love it and then put it away.
I also went to the eye doctor today and had an exam and ordered new glasses. With the addition of knitting as yet another close up activity for my eyes it's getting a little harder to see these days. My new frames are really cute, I can hardly wait until next week when I get to pick them up. With my run of luck lately they won't be ready in a week either! This whiny post has been brought to you by the letter I for impatience.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Patience is a virtue

I should be getting all my knitting goodies in the mail on Monday and I am so excited. Mostly I am looking forward to getting my nickel plated circulars from KnitPicks. I need them, I need them or I will explode. I am really getting fed up with my current set. I want to be knitting socks right now but I want to wait for the new needles before I start another project.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Loose chick

I think that my re-entry into to knitting and loving it is mostly due to me learning how to knit continentally. I used to knit so tight that I would get tired and frustrated and stop before I finished many projects.
I love that in the world we live in now that there is so much knowledge being shared. I would personally like to thank every person who took the time to make a video or a tutorial online because I have progressed solely due to the fact that there are people out there willing to take the time to share what they know. Big cookie for you.
I feel so relaxed when I am knitting and I fall into that meditative state that makes crafting so fun. I have a set of knitpicks nickel plated circulars in all the sizes on the way. I am so excited. I ordered them the day before Christmas and I can't wait until they get here because the circulars I have now don't have a smooth join and it is seriously frustrating to get a snag when I am on a roll.
I also have a couple of new knitting machines that I bought off of eBay on the way as well. an SK 301 and a Brother 585. I'm going to try them both out and see what I like better. I have an Ultimate Sweater machine right now and I really like it as a starter machine but now that I understand the mechanics of the knitting stitch a lot more I'm ready to take it to the next level. I love learning new things.

Careful there is gushing

I just had to create a knitting blog so I had somewhere to gush about my love of knitting. I love knitting. I am not afraid to admit it. There are very few crafty things that I have taken to with all my heart and soul. Sewing is my first love. I quilt for a living so sewing is not my relax and release craft of choice anymore. Now I knit to relax. I am a woman obsessed!
I recently bought a hobby knitting machine and something in my brain just clicked and it all made sense to me all of a sudden. I have been crocheting since I was about 7 and I have knit a few very short scarves in the past, but my technique was poor and my attention span short and I quickly lost interest. Now I am a busy knitting fingerless mitts, socks, leg warmers, hats, and let us not forget felting! My husband is just baffled at how deep I bury myself (and our money) into my craft. Oh well! Knit on!