Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Enjoy the day, but remember those who fight to keep us free. Please go read the poem One Soldier's Life, by R. Widing, at

Friday, May 25, 2012

OWL Progress

So, over the weekend, I was able to get everything up through Row Six finished. (I have to do through Row 13 and the corners to be at 50%.) Here's how they looked about halfway through Row Five:

I then decided that no, I really really wanted to do the sun-through-window color & intensity gradation starting with palest in the upper left to darkest around the bottom and right borders. So, I needed to put in for approval to add more colors to my project (but otherwise not change the actual design or product.

Basically, I'm adding bright-bright yellow, orange and green, pastel peach and pink, and dark red and purple.

Here's one block up with Row Twelve started (thirteen will be dusky pink outside it). I think at least the pastel blocks are going to look phenomenal; I'm hoping the rest do, as well!!

Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Plein Air Tote, started

New Project: This is what I started for class - the Plein Air Tote from a 2010 Interweave mag.

First side finished.

This thing is a YARN HOG. The first two balls of yarn are gone completely, used up in the creation of the aforementioned first side and getting about 3/5 of the way through the first (of three) sides of the bag.

That's the end of the third and fourth balls there - I'm REALLY glad I got six balls of yarn now! The whole thing is going to clock in around 1,350 yards of yarn (which STILL puts me over the "600 yards for a class project", since yardage only counts once for held-double projects).

Front and back finished

I'm hoping to finish the knitting-of-the-three-sides today and tommorrow, so that I can start planning the sewing of the inside. Here's what I have planned:

I need to get some gray canvas this weekend (and then I can finish my Slytherin Crest bag, as well). It looks like I'll need one big (metal) zipper, then two medium (plastic) zippers and two small zippers, a ton of heavy-duty gray thread, and, assuming a 48" fabric width, three yards of canvas and a yard of parachute material (to line between the canvas and the knitting to make the insides waterproof).

Hopefully next week will have pictures of the Finished Thing, since it's due on Thursday!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mini Sock Challenge - WIN!

So, the first round of Challenge Quidditch was a numbers-participation based one - the more Housemates that turn in a project, the more points for the House. (So far, Gryffindor appears to be WAY ahead.) I decided to do little tiny Superhero Mini-Socks (GL and Cap). They're on size 0 needles, using thin sock yarn left over from other projects, so they're actually 28st around (which can be my stitch count for MY socks on size 8 needles with worsted yarn!!) - they're real socks, just really small!

I started the Captain America sock early on Friday, and the Green Lantern on Saturday:

The actual sock part for each took about 4h total (yay for Friday Night TV and the All-Star Showdown & Race on Saturday!), and about an hour each for the duplicate stitch.

It's a simple toe-up sock with a short row toe and heel (the first kind I learned making my first socks, Nutkins; still my favorite because it's just SO darned easy!). That made the "where to change color" really easy (toe, heel, cuff!). I totally winged it on the duplicate stitch, figuring it out as I went. I think it worked well.

Now, if I can just finish my Plein Air Tote (more on that Wednesday), I'll be all set for May!

Friday, May 18, 2012

This term, I'm trying Transfiguration.

Well, new term, new OWL attempt. I'm going for Transfiguration this time, and making a Stained Glass Window Afghan. I made my swatch (which, I guess, is now a Pillow Top) from leftover last-OWL yarn.

The yarn intended for this OWL survived the flood, mostly by virtue of having been tied tightly into plastic bags to keep it from getting separated and lost in the house until May 1.

These are the colors I chose, although some others may get added (same company yarn, same weight, just darker) to give a light-through-window effect. It might work, it might not, we'll see.

That's through Row 4, about to start the first bit of surface crochet. (Once that's done, the "blocks" look like tiny yarn shuriken.) I need to get past Row 13 for my 50% mark, so I've got to get hopping!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's a little nuts.

First class of May done; I wasn't going to do Potions, but I love riddles, and that was the assignment. Solve a riddle, and craft an answer. There are a bunch of possible (and valid/correct) answers to this one, but I decided to go with "surprise" as mine. So, I made a little acorn (shamelessly copying someone else, but I don't know if they used a pattern or not. I just winged it).

Inside, there's a shiny copper egg; not really what you'd expect from an acorn (see? a suprise!)

... and inside the egg are some pretty stitch markers! (Totally not what ususally comes out of an egg!)

Monday, May 14, 2012

New headphones!

And now something that helps with the knitting/crocheting, but isn't actual Of That Sort: My shiny new Skullcandy Aviator headphones! I love the way they look, and they're super-comfortable. The sound quality is quite good, and plenty good enough for me an my relative-pitch ears.

The weirdest thing? I totally wanted to do a cool color-splash photo, but with the limited image manipulation capability I can access, I discovered that my hair is pretty much the exact shade of both the headband *and* the clear amber plastic over the earphones. Which is cool, I guess, but made for some Photoshop-style annoyance.

At least they look good with my coloring, right? (And I love 'em anyway!)

Friday, May 11, 2012


Found a nice place to knit for much of the afternoon just outside the 4-H building. There was a conveniently-located traditional/Irish/Appalachian band to listen to, too! Had a nice view of everyone coming into the Festival, or leaving (and all the stuff they were leaving with!)

One of the big bits of fun was the HPKCHC meetup. It was nice putting names to faces. Mom had an event she wanted to see, so we didn't stay very long past 1, sadly. But it was fun while it lasted!!

This was supposed to be a shot of all the people taking pictures of all the people at the HPKCHC meetup. Instead, it's an incredibly short video. iPhone, I love you, but sometimes I don't understand you!

And of course, I got loot. I got a lot of comments on my "Please Don't Let Me Buy Any More Yarn" totebag, too. I'm definitely taking it to shows & conventions from here on out!

First, we got in line EARLY to get t-shirts and a totebag. I was also able to get a pin for this year *and* one from last year (I went, but didn't get pins because the line was ginormous)!

Then, it was on to wandering-through-everything. I knew what yarn I was going to buy from the get go, but the display at Fiber Optic Yarn stopped me in my tracks, because of this shawl:

The pattern's pretty close to Go Fly A Kite, but what got me was the yarn. It looks like it's ON FIRE. I got 2000 yards, and I'm going to design a Girl On Fire shawl with it. (I have the picture in my head, now I just have to figure out how to make it!)

I also got some vintage knitting needle ads (for wall decor), a LOT of music (Maggie Sansone, Walter Turpening), my first set of Signature needles, the 2013 Sheep Incognito calendar, and two hanks of BRIGHT chartreuse ribbon yarn. The Wild Fibers magazine was free, since Wild Fibers sponsored our bus trip. I also got a little pin ("Even if it DOESN'T move, crochet something for it"), and a big pewter pin ("Lost in Fiber Space").

Then, the What-I-Planned-To-Buy: two skeins of Miss Babs Yowza! in Fraser and Oyster to make my Catkin. And six lovely little pewter buttons for it (I'll be doing the six-button variation, clearly).

So... I didn't do *too* badly, all things considered. The most expensive single purchase was actually all the MDS&W gear, which is actually pretty good. Plus, we got surprise gift certificates at Nature's Yarns for going on the trip in the first place!!

Yes, I'll be on the bus trip next year, most probably!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Today, here's some of the faboulous entries in the Skein and Garment Competition.

This was my favorite sweater and favorite woven thing, placed together by chance (but hey, it made them easy to photograph!).

There were a LOT of yarn skeins entered - several tables' worth. It was all amazing!

This was my mom's favorite sweater. She really liked the yoke design.

I liked these socks:

Finally, there was an INCREDIBLE felted footstool. It's festooned with ribbons, and wow... I think it totally should've gotten them. I was really, really impressed. (At first glance, I thought it was an actual stuffed-like-taxidermied sheep and was a wee bit creeped out. It's that good.)

Everything was pretty darned cool. If you get to the Festival, it's definitely worth putting aside some time to go through and see all the amazing things entered in the contests!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 2012


The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival was this weekend! Here's the list of vendors. There was a LOT of fun to be had!

I was on the bus trip from Nature's Yarns, so we got there early enough to watch the Sheep to Shawl competition.

Here's the Sheep-to-Shawl CPW team from Cloverhill Yarn. They were using (of course) huge Canadial production wheels, which tend to make thinner yarn, but they were going pretty darned fast! Here's how the competition works: Details

You can see the finished product on Ravelry, here. It's lovely, and this was their first time out!

And here's the obligatory Wandering Sheep Shot:

More tomorrow!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Hey, folks, life is really kicking my tail the last couple of weeks. I think as of next week, I'm going to switch to M/W/F posting; the daily just isn't going to be happening, and I'm totally out of "post this when nothing else is handy" fodder. Be back next week (hopefully), with the new schedule, and some cool new projects and goodies! Hope everyone else is well; I'm OK, I'm just rattled!!