Friday, April 29, 2011

Stuff I Started in April

So, I never really posted my March Stuff Finished... and I didn't do a collage, but trust me, seventeen things (12 of them Braided Balls for my failed Arithmancy OWL) came off the list in March. April... April is going to be another story. I finished one thing in April. I had some leftover hunter green acrylic, and knit up what I think will be a totebag handle at some point. But that's it. That's the April finish so far.

There is, however, a bunch of Stuff I Started In April:


It's out of my Dobby's Sunset yarn. I kept waffling back and forth on making the embossed leaf entrelac, but I really like it so far.


On one of the recent trips to Fibre Space, two balls of Mochi Plus came home with me, and they're slowly turning into entrelac mitts. If I find more Mochi Plus in this colorway, I'll add to them... and eventually get a shrug. Or a sweater. It's just that soft and cuddly!


That's StellaLuna out of MadTosh lace in Fathom, and she's about 2/3 of the way finished. The whole "have this shawl finished for Easter" did not, as you can tell, happen. Sigh. But it's going to be really pretty, and I'm getting good a spit-splicing (there was an UNBELIEVABLE tangle somehow in my center-pull ball!)

I got some Patons Lace because I liked the colorway. Turns out it has AMAZINGLY long color runs, so I'm knitting a triangle shawl from the long edge down to the point (an idea I got from StellaLuna). Making up the design as I go, and charting same; will probably put it up (a) when it's finished if (b) it turns out well.

Then, there's the shawl I started the day I got the Color Changing Cotton from Looped Yarn Works. It, too, is about halfway done now, but here it is in an earlier day:

There's also my Slytherin Crest Bag, which will be amazing when it's finally finished. This last week of April was spent cutting up the lining, getting all the pockets Just So, and handstitching everything together. NOT EASY. But worth it... hopefully I'll be able to finish it up tonight and tomorrow, turn it in for April Stitch-Along class, and then use it as my identifyer at MDS&W on the 8th. Anyway, progress pics - Bag:

Knitting done...

...then, the ritual bag wetting...

...then, figuring out how to block this thing. Turns out, a piece of floral foam was the perfect width and depth, and just a wee bit short. But I figured out how to make it work:

Yay! Okay, May can start now.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Stitches Needlework

And, finally, the last stop of my 2011 Yarn Crawl.

When & Where: Saturday, April 16 - In Stitches Needlework

Now, I knew two things headed into In Stitches: one, the cross-stitch and needlepoint things probably *weren't* going to be part of the yarn crawl; and two, all I really needed (that they had that other places didn't) was yarn to start stitching my Charley Harper squirrel canvas. So, got that. Because, you know, that was The Plan.

Then, since I was in the store, I looked at the New Things.

I like emery bags - and these little Stars & Stripes strawberries would be adorable, yes? And c'mon. The other chart - it's a SQUIRREL KNITTING. That had to come home with me. It's... A SQUIRREL. KNITTING.

I like Ink Circles, of course, but, as usual, I'll be unfaithfully rendering the designs with brighter metallics and jewel tones. Because I'm like that.

Then, this little Haunted House jumped out at me, so it got added to the pile, too.

The really sad thing? I went back the next week to get the Squirrel Colors I forgot (yes, my mental picture of the canvas was, in fact, inaccurate), and to find that the new Mirabilia Pirate Lady was back in stock. So, I got all that, too. In Stitches is a dangerous place for me, which is why I'm usually limited just to going after Woodlawn each year!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fibre Space (as usual)...

When & Where: Friday, April 15 - Fibre Space

So, Friday of the Yarn Crawl, I went back to Fibre Space, just to see if my Miss Babs Yowza! in Russet was in. Sadly, it wasn't (drat - it would've been 20% off!), but, since I've got a Slythern Crest Sweater Idea running around in my head, I picked up another skein of Oyster, and some Yummy Toes for matching mitts.

I also got three sets of size 7 needles (one circ, two sets of DPNs) to make said Slytherin Crest Sweater, which I'll be knitting for HMC, Quidditch, or a class, if I can find one that fits this month. (Yes, this time next week, I'll be blathering about Hogwarts again. I'm a rising Fourth Year, and hopefully still in Slytherin, but if not, I'll rock whichever house I'm in ... and still make things in Slytherin colors.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Random Fun Things Tuesday

Yes, there are two more stops on The Yarn Crawl, but I thought I'd take a wee break and show you some Cool Internet Stuff. First up, a video...

Knitting with 1,000 Strands at once:

And then, I was pointed to some lovely photos of guerilla crochet - including some industrious climbing rats, which are my favorites: The Lionheart Project. (This site also has interesting stuff about the Three Giant Lifelike Crocheted Lions that are being made for the 2012 Olympics. Worth looking through, and the finished project? Hope it tours overseas as well!) Click through to see public objects covered in some really cool guerilla crochet!

Then, some photos I've been meaning to share for a while, and "now" seems good:

Yeah, my "filing system" isn't standard. But every time I see that sticky, I giggle. Yes, I'm a geek. You knew that.

This is a book I spotted (and went back and bought a month later) in one of the local bookstores. It's a 1930s account of a family trip to DC, which was a lot of fun, apparently. It's also lovely source material for the period (for writer-me) and just a COOL counterpoint to some 1940s photos my mother found of her and her family's trip to DC.

Then, you know sometimes you ask for a sign about what you should do? I was wondering if I should really plunk down good money for a gym membership earlier this year... and, seriously, I'd just finished the thought when I noticed this on the sidewalk in front of me:

Needless to say, I took the hint.

Back with more Yarny Goodness tomorrow!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Knit + Stitch = Bliss!

Glad everyone's enjoying the vicarious Yarn Crawl!!

So, the Thursday of the Yarn Crawl, after work, I hit another yarn store. Originally, I'd been thinking of going to Fibre Space, but decided to hit Knit & Stitch since Thursday was its Late Open Night.

When & Where: Thursday, April 14 - Knit & Stitch = Bliss

I used to hit K&S when it was The Needlework Loft, and dealt primarily in cross-stitch and painted canvas. The market for those crafts has been falling - they're not cheap hobbies! - and more stores have added knitting (like In Stitches) or switched entirely, like K&S. When I worked at the tippy-top of Georgetown (Glover Park, really), I could take a bus to the Metro, Metro to Bethesda, Walk to the Needlework Loft, and get back in just under an hour. Now that I'm on the river, it's an hour just to get there... so I haven't been in ages. The shop looks about the same, with a few cute differences (or at least I think they're differences?) on the way in. The new sign is 3-D, which is cool.

And the sheep crossing sign is adorable. (It's possible that was there before, but I can't remember.)

Then, the two prints - a sheep turning into a sweater; yarn turning into a cat. I LOVE THESE PRINTS. They are so cool!!

If anyone knows who did EITHER of those prints, and knows where I might be able to get a copy, drop me a line please. They're adorable!

I did manage to find some things to buy, of course. (And I'm still in the database. Come to think of it, I'm in the database of every yarn store I went to on the Crawl. Like you may have guessed - they know me.) Once again, I got something I was looking for - the last of the Elizabeth Zimmerman books that I didn't already have:

And, since I had to go by the sock yarn shelves to get to the book shelves, soem Claudia Hand Paint sock yarn kinda jumped out at me. I almost got the Chartreuse as well, but decided that two pairs of eyebleedingly bright socks would be sufficient for my Evil Plans. (Trust me, said plans are quite diabolical. And involve wearing said socks in bright sunlight.)

The OMG-What-Did-I-Do? purchase of the entire yarn crawl was this:

Yep, that's a skein of Cashmere/Bison. Yes, I'm still allergic to Bison - but not as badly as I expected, due to the cashmere, most likely. This is, officially, the most I've ever paid for a skein of yarn. (No, I'm not telling you the price. It was half the total of what I paid. Do your own math.) I have NO idea what I'm going to make with it, but whatever it is, it's going to be (a) spectacular and (b) most likely a gift for someone else that isn't allergic to large quaduped fibers. (And yes, I knit stuff like this with gloves on. Won't be the first time, won't be the last. Yes, I'm a bit crazy like that.)

So, a nice haul, despite my inexplicable weakness when faced with a lovely soft skein of Cashmere/Bison. (In my defense, it's from Prince Edward Isle, which is just far enough away and exotic-sounding that it struck some sort of "Titanic" chord or something. And yes, I know most of the Titanic victims are actually in Nova Scotia. But still, it's the only explanation I've got!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Looped Yarn Works

Tuesday and Wednesday involved "going to work" - and allergies. But by Thursday, I was feeling quite a bit better (and it had rained!), so I hopped the bus up to Dupont Circle, and went to Looped.

When & Where: Thursday, April 14 - Looped Yarn Works

Looped is another go-up-stairs shop. I grinned a lot when I got to the door - they have a Gretchen doormat, too! The shop has three rooms, with a class table in one and a lovely little sitting area in another. Since it was lunchtime, the store wasn't super-crowded (I guess *all* the yarn stores participating in the Yarn Crawl were crazy-crowded on Saturday - lines out the door, down the hall, etc.!!), but it wasn't slow, either. I still got personal attention - one of the ladies not only showed me The Cool New Thing (some four-stranded untwisted color change cotton), but showed me the shawl she had started knitting with same. Naturally, I had to get a ball...

...and it *is* really cool.

I searched through Ravelry and found the Nancy & Judy Shawl, and it seemed perfect. It would work with cotton, it was interesting, and it would also work with a gradual color change. Since I'd just finished, right after breakfast, the Thing Then On My Needles, I even had some lovely Addi Lace Needles to start the shawl right away. Which nicely solved the problem of "nothing to knit during the long commute home".

As usual with Looped, something at the point-of-purchase display got me. This time, it was little pewter stitch markers with things like "SSK" and "M1" and "KF&B" in them. Since I'm starting to get a bit crazy with the shawl & sweater knitting, these will come in handy!

I was fifteen minutes late getting back to work, but, luckily, I could stay late & make up the time. (I didn't, though. I just had a short lunch on Friday.) But at least I had a project to start on my commute that evening, which was MUCH longer than it normally would have been!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


After hitting Aylin's Wool Gatherer, I hit the "Main Street" area of Vienna.

When & Where: Monday, April 11 - Uniquities

I first found Uniquities because the old Scarlet Thread (cross-stitch & needlepoint) used to be just up the street, and since I was there fairly often, it made sense to hit the nearby yarn store as well. (Not financial sense, mind you, but a logical sort of "well, I'm buying things anyway, might as well go!") If you click through to their webpage, there's a lovely bowl of Claudia Hand Paints Silk Lace just sitting there. Yes, this is where a lot of my Silk Lace stash comes from. And a lot of my knitting needles. There's a whole WALL of knitting needles. And patterns. And a whole room of yarn. And another whole room of yarn. And a hallway with more yarn. And buttons. (Not in the hallway, sorry.) Since I'd already bought some yarn and patterns earlier at Aylin's, I was Being Good and Just Looking For Stuff I Needed/Had Been Looking For.

Stop giggling. It could've happened.

Anyway, what I got was, in fact, a book I'd been looking for:

I took one of Margaret Fisher's classes at TKGAcon, and it was really, really helpful. I meant to get the book at the market then, but I think I opted for a sheep umbrella with the last of my cash instead. I also got one pattern - for the Southwest Shawl. One guess what my Russet Miss Babs laceweight yarn is gonna be...

I think I would've been okay with just that, except I looked at the yarn. Hence, the lovely little ball of silk on the left in the photo below. It's going to be a Wisp. Yes, I know, Wisp is supposed to be all about the mohair, but after the hell (lovely hell, yes, but hell) that was the Forget-Me-Knot shawl for my sister, I'm off mohair for a while. This lovely Kelly-green yarn will do just fine.

Even that would've been okay, except... next to the register... they had something I'd *almost* ordered from Lantern Moon, a something I actually needed. So, meet my new inside-the-door-really-get-that-mud-OFF-your-feet door mat. Her name is Gretchen. No, I don't know why, that's just her name.

I like her. She makes me smile every time I step into the house!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Aylin's Wool Gatherer

Okay, now, on to the Yarn Crawl!!

When & Where: Monday, April 11 - Aylin's Wool Gatherer

I like Aylin's. It's up on the third floor of an office building in a big two-story strip mall. There's the main room, the sale room (where you can, if you bend around a post, also see the Storage Room - yarn heaven!), and classrooms. This is the place where I keep finding my mother-of-pearl stitch markers, pattern books & magazines I Must Have, and, of course, yarn. I think the first stuff I ever bought here was the Feza stuff for my Tailored Scallops Jacket from Lace Style - which I ended up frogging due to not quite enough yarn. Good news - if I lose six inches off my hips (getting there!), I suddenly have enough yarn again. I *do* want that jacket!

Anyway, here's what I got there this time, and please note my restraint.

The first and third patterns in this photo - I have a weakness for Dale of Norway sweaters, especially the, well, Nordic-looking ones. And a weakness for geometric patterns. The sweater on the right? Almost bought the pattern last time, but it seemed "tricky" - now I know it's a snap. Just have to decide on the colors.

I also got the ball of yarn on the right. It's lovely and autumnal and I'm totally making a long-edge-to-point triangle shawl from it - or a trapezoid, if there's not quite enough yarn in the skein. The beauty of designing my own shawls as I go? Whatever I end up with is Correct, because I Say So.

I don't get to Aylin's as often as I'd like, since "driving" and "weekends" have to be involved, but I'm glad I went when I had a chance. There's a good stock of Basic Stuff on hand, the pretty shiny new things are always different & fun to see!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

But before the crawl, Miss Babs!

Whee, yarn happened - and other things, too! Last Monday, I had the day off - dentist (yay, I still have teeth) and plumber (boo, didn't show - how can an entire plumbing company call in sick, I ask you? I know they've got more than one guy), so, with the afternoon opened up, I was able to start my Yarn Crawl. (I'd not felt great over the weekend, which is why the first two days of the Crawl were un-Crawled by me. You know missing "yarn on sale" isn't natural.) But wait... some of the yarn I got last week won't make sense unless you see the yarn I got BEFORE then. You see, Fibre Space had a Miss Babs trunk show on April 2. I love Miss Babs yarn, you see, so HAD to go. I'd fallen in love with the "Russet" colorway, and had decided to get four skeins with which to knit my Rogue hoodie. (I had it half-done in acrylic, you may remember... and decided that NO, i was going to do it in wool. Plus, I'm much better at Celtic cables after taking Melissa Leapman's class at the TKGAcon last year.)

The Russet Yowza! was sold out (don't worry, it's on order), so, instead, I got (thanks to an unexpected gift certificate):

Some laceweight in Russet

Enough silver and green to make a $5 in Paris sweater

The remaining colors to make another pair of Winter Twilight Mitts, except with a sort of Winter Dawn and lots of lovely colors idea. And another skein of Russet Yummy Toes. Because I just love Russet as a colorway.

Of course, the silver and green up there is what's left after I started knitting a Slytherin House Crest bag as part of a between-terms knitalong. More on that next week (when, hopefully, it's finished).

Okay, really, TOMORROW we'll start the Yarn Crawl!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'm back!

I'm back, more or less! So, gotta catch you up on what's been happening in April so far. The big event was the DC Metro Yarn Crawl, which happened from April 9 to April 17. For just a wee bit of cash, you could get a totebag:

A link to the website: (okay, that was actually free) that had links to all the participating stores and - most importantly - DIRECTIONS!

You also got a card. Seven stamps on the card entered you into a drawing for a Fabulous Prize at the participating store of your choice. I only got six stamps, but decided I'd rather have the pretty card as a memento anyway:

I'll be sharing the loot I got over the next six posts. The stores I got to, in order, were:
Monday, April 11 - Aylin's Wool Gatherer and Uniquities;
Thursday, April 14 - Looped Yarn Works and Knit & Stitch = Bliss;
Friday, April 15 - Fibre Space; and
Saturday, April 16 - In Stitches Needlework
I didn't get to anywhere I hadn't already been, but I *will* be getting to the four other stores at some point, just because I now know they exist!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We interrupt this blog (temporarily)...

Life is still being very hectic at me. I'm not finding much time to do any crafting just now, so I'm going on hiatus until April 18, at which time things MUST have calmed down.

See you back here in twelve days (or sooner, if things lighten up unexpectedly). Sometimes, life really interferes with blogging!

Friday, April 1, 2011


Totally meant to post something and work hasn't given me breathing space and I'm still here and AAAAAAAAAAA. More next week.