I don't remember exactly what I was looking for on iTunes - basic sewing books, I think - when I discovered that there is a Keepsake Quilting App. In other words, THERE IS A TINY CATALOG FOR MY PHONE!! It's pretty cool.
For example, say you're on this page of the catalog in the app:
"Oh, hey, that's a pretty cool table runner. It'd be kinda cool to make that. " So, stab the table runner with your finger... and suddenly you're on the Keepsake Quilting website, right on the page to order that table runner:
That's pretty darned cool. And it's probably going to get me in trouble before too long... For example, there's this bedspread...
Yeah. This is gonna be one of the more expensive Free Apps I've stumbled across...!
So, I've decided I really, really love the Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico. Not just because it's the only Alpaca I can handle without my hands turning bright red - although that's certainly a consideration - but because it is SO SOFT. And it's just cool. Here's a video of the Untangling of the Skein - I'm sure this is a perfectly ordinary normal way to arrange yarn, but it's the first time I've paid attention when I've come across it, and I was delighted. Sadly, it's very dependent on which end you pull first - so here's a video of the exact WRONG way to smoothly unbraid the skein:
Yeah, well. If it had worked, it would have been cool.
Anyway, once I thought a bit (and pored through several Ravelry pattern searches), I realized I wanted to make a Moebius-something. The Lovely L taught me a Moebius cast-on back in the dark ages (aka the 1990s), but as I've crashed several computers and lost any ability to recover things from 5" floppy disks, I had to re-learn with my 2012 brain. Luckily, the internet coughed up CAT BORDHI - Intro to Moebius Knitting, which was all I needed to get going. Originally, I was going to knit up her free Cashmere Moebius Cowl, too, and that's the number of stitches I cast on. Went happily along for quite some time (about five rows - which on a moebius is a LOT of stitches), and then decided to put in stitch markers every pattern repeat (which is 16 stitches for this pattern).
Then a fellow Black Adder put some of her patterns on sale, and while buying several of them, I discovered her Jolly Roger Shawl. The skull motif was just the sort of thing I was looking for. And by some miracle, my initial cast-on of 288 stitches (done at random, no real planning, just Seemed About Right) was ALSO divisible by 18 - the stitch repeat for the skulls. I didn't know this as I was knitting a row to move the stitch markers down - and you could've knocked me over with a feather when I got to the final repeat and I had the right number of stitches. Very, very nice coincidence, that!
So, I knit a few more rows, and started the pattern. Here it is on Monday morning, just about to start the third lace row - the one with the 1-to-5 increases:
And here it is today:
Okay, so there's not THAT much progress. But it's still very, very soft!!! Plus I figured out there were 550 stitches a row - so cut me slack. That's a lot of lace stitches!!
This past weekend was spent inspecting potential new bedroom furniture, chairs, lighting and assorted other things-for-the-home. It was also spent examining a plethora of Things Plush that I hadn't seen before. At IKEA, there were "healthy" choices: carrots and broccoli in several sizes:
At Barnes & Noble, the offerings were more tempting. Donuts, pizza, cupcakes and burgers (is a wedge of lime "healthy"?). More my thing, really:
The plush on these things? SOFTEST STUFF EVER. Soft like fluffy little kittens soft. I picked up an Ice Cream Sandwich and my inner three-year-old refused to put it down.
Sometimes, the plush is just gonna follow you home.
So, the little Zauberwolle cowl/scarf is coming along nicely, and it picked up a name thanks to this photo: "September Sunshine."
I am now understanding that despite my use of size 6 needles, this is really shawl yarn, and knitting a scarf with it is slightly insane. But it sure is going to be pretty...
Here's the photo I grabbed Friday morning. I liked it enough that it's up on my DeviantArt account as a print - mostly so I can buy a glossy (if I don't get around to printing it out myself). It's not photoshopped or mucked with in any way (but for about 1/8 inch cropped off the bottom), and I really like the shadows and the almost-too-intense sunshine. It almost looks like the yarnball is floating... and it's the only time I've actually been able to SEE that there are two colors of yarn in this yarn. Anyway, I like the photo.
So, being somewhat confused as to what day of the week went with which date in September, I went to FibreSpace on Wednesday. (I thought it was Fashion's Night Out, which was yesterday. And the 6th, not the 7th. And today is the 8th... no, the 7th. Drat, it's going to be one of those months.)
I didn't really need to get anything, but things managed to follow me home (as they usually do). I did not get a full set of knitting bags decorated with cheerful turquoise owls, a feat of restraint for which I should certainly be rewarded with a cookie, if not two. This is what I did get:
First up, size large Bryson stainless steel sock blockers. I've wanted a set of these for quite a while. I will still have to stuff the toes of whatever socks I make for my husband because they don't MAKE sock blockers big enough, but these will at least help a WHOLE lot. (And I've got about 60% of a pair of socks for him finished; it might happen this year!)
Next is a lovely shawl pin from Rajkovich Designs; this is the second one of theirs I have, but the green and silver really kinda cinched it for me. I have a lot of green shawls...
Finally, two skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas "Metalico" - shiny soft baby alpaca/silk stuff that is just WAITING to be turned into a fluffy cowl or hat. Normally, I can't really touch alpaca, but this blend didn't bother me at all. (Since I managed to self-innoculate into being able to handle most wool without a problem, it's time to start on the camelids, right?)
Looked through Ravelry, but nothing jumped out at me as Perfect for This Yarn as yet. Which means I'll probably be winging it into something at some point...
So, there's this lovely iPhone/Android game calle "Book of Heroes". It's horribly, horribly addictive. It's a MMO in your hand, complete with guilds, social interaction, specialization, adventure... anyway, it's fun. Lots & lots! The art is a lot of fun as well. This is a screenshot of one of the Enemies: a pirate.
Screencap from the game
This is my knitted interpretation of same... thus far. It's mostly cotton (so it will be washable and get softer with age) with polyfill. It's bigger than I had originally anticipated, in part because I'm using cotton dishcloth yarn, but also because the stripes on the pants would have been a REAL challenge done any smaller. As it is, I actually figured out how to make them follow the picture, which I'm pretty proud for having done.
Stripes down one leg and around the other? NOT EASY!
Originally, I was thinking I'd do a pattern to go with it, but it's not my starting image, and I'm winging it so much I can't really remember what I did!!
Christmas Lights Garland by Jean Herman, a free Ravelry download. I just found this, want it for my tree. May put actual LEDs inside the tips and wire them so they glow... or is that too geeky?
This is Knitblue19's photo of her garland-of-lights
Bigger on the Inside Shawl by Kate Atherly. Free pattern from the Spring + Summer 2012 issue of Knittty. This was supposed to be my Ravellenics project; I never actually started it due to the Ailment That Ate August.
This is Amy Singer's photo of this lovely shawl
Plush Pegleg Pirate - sort of a soft chibi toy version of some of the artwork from the Book of Heroes iPhone/Android game, just for fun. I found this delightful Grisig the Cat pattern (downloadable here from Knotart.wordpress.com. I like the way it’s constructed; I think it will work well as a base. (And I’m totally making something vaguely Hello Kitty-based for my niece for Christmas, too. It’s an adorable pattern!)
This is PaintedMagnolia’s photo of her lovely little kitty
Something with my red Wild Hare Fibers Galaxy yarn (OMG there's an Etsy shop! Eeeeeee!). No idea what. Something pretty and special, though; of all the yarn out there, this is my favorite. It's just so springy and sparkly and happy!
This is my copper Galaxy; photos of the red forthcoming once I figure out what to do with it
Of course, there’s another 200 things in my Ravelry queue, and I’m sure there will be more shortly. And there are some things I actually want to start more, once I’m sure I have the skillset (I’m looking at YOU, adorable HandMade Awards Sweet Grandparents!)