Diamond Gansey begins….

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Swatched the Shibui Sock yarn for the Diamond Gansey Socks and (wonders never cease) got guage with the suggested needle size. I really like this yarn. I love the very soft tone on tone variegation and I love how, tightly twisted it seems but with so much bounce and squishyness.
To be honest, when I bought the yarn I didn’t care for it too very much.  I was very into variegated yarns and bright colors at the time, so this seemed tame and boring in comparison. I boug by it to make a pair of socks for my mother and I just never found the right pattern for them. I decided to make Mom something a little more luxurious,  a blend with some cashmere or alpaca…something fuzzy and oh so soft. Here I am, though, a few years later and I’ve fallen for the yarn completely.  I’m so ready to cast on but I committed myself to at least one repeat of the Bubble Haze Shawl (formerly WendyKnits MKAL) before anything else. I have 8 repeats to go and then I’m done with it. Time to crank out a little shawl knitting so that I can get the Gansey ‘ s cast-on.

WendyKnits MKAL…yes, STILL!

I am a profoundly slow knitter. Actually I don’t think I’m slow so much as I don’t put enough time in.  I try to get in at least 2 hours a day of “needle time” in before bed, but I want to put more time into it.  Knitting is one of the few things in life that I’m passionate about; I’m passionate about fiber arts in general; and I want to accomplish more.  I have more yarn and fiber than I will ever be able to use but still I want, nay need, more. Lmao.
I’m still working on the MKAL.  It’s an exclusive project. The first one I’ve ever worked on without an extra project to break up the monotony.  I’m at the beginning of clue #3. Another week or so and it will be donw.

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I wasn’t sure about the colorway but I have come to really like it. It will be hard to see it go, but it’s a Christmas gift. After this I’m going to finish Brooke ‘ s scarf (because it’s so close to being done I could scream), and then move on to other small gifts to knit.

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I particularly like the lace pattern on the edge.
Next time….NOT AGAIN…or how lifelines saved my sanity this summer/fall.

Kick Me….

Please, someone kick me in the butt and get me to work on these knitting goals I have set. I’ve joined the Wendy Knits Mystery Shawl Along and am challenging myself to knit 1000 yards as well as wheel spin 6 oz. of fiber (any suggestions….fiber, way to spin, weight etc. Think of me as a total noob who has the fortune, or misfortune of being able to spin only fairly thinly.)Then there is the dreaded plying part…I challenged myself to ply at least 1/2 of the singles spun on the wheel. I dread plying more than anything else for some reason. I’ve never really taken the time to get to know how to do it properly and now I’m scared of messing up perfectly passable singles while trying to “fiddle” with them more.
I got all my yarn and fiber out for a Ravelry stash update and sadly lacking fiber stash. I was going to post some fibery porn for y’all today, but haven’t gotten around to it. I got a new phone yesterday (Galaxy s5) and it’s great so far. So much to play with that I haven’t gotten down all the little tricks and shortcuts. Any tips much appreciated. ūüôā
So B having a girlfriend is a lot harder on me than even I thought it would be. I realize that he’s right in the respect that if I really love him and he really is my best friend, then I should want him to be happy. And I do. I’m just so freaking selfishly worried about what happens to me as this….relationship….progresses. What girlfriend in their right mind would be okay with her new man living with his best friend, who just happens to be a female, who just happens to be his ex, who’s kids just happen to call him dad….I just don’t see her sitting back and respecting the friendship we have. I am terrified that she’s going to make him choose and three years of friendship goes flying out the window for some chick who I doubt will still be around in 6 months. It happens that way….Living together was complicated enough when we were friends “with benefits”. There was a release for the tension that builds constantly in this house, there was a balance somehow. He thinks I was pretending we were a couple, and maybe in the ease of living way, I was. It’s easy to get into a routine. I don’t want us to necessarily be together, but I also don’t want this little family that we’ve built with me and him and my kids and his son to go away. I just don’t see how the two things: his new relationship and our little blended family can be anything but mutually exclusive. Any thoughts?
This I why I need to get the needles and wheels and fiber and yarn etc. and loose myself in it. I need to stop the brain from whirring along and turning this into some horrible situation where I feel like my whole way of life is being fucked with and that I have to fight or run. I need to learn to chill out and see what comes next. How though? I feel like I’m stuck in quicksand.
Okay, thanks for coming to my pity party. It was rather impromptu, but I appreciate those of you who stuck around. I will throw a fiber porn party tomorrow, once I figure some shit out with my new phone, to make up for this maudlin crap today. Hope you are all having a fluffy or silky or whatever floats your boat kind of fibery day…

Bob Ross, I Love You!!

Now there’s a title for a blog post…LOL.¬† Being sick and forced to sleep whenever I can, I’m catching a lot of TV that I wouldn’t normally pay attention to at all.¬† So I’m flipping channels a few weeks ago (before I was really sick, but when I couldn’t sleep) and I caught the last few minutes of “The Best of The Joy of Painting” on PBS.¬† I remembered the “happy trees” from my childhood; I guess I must have seen the show when it was originally run way back then…maybe before or after Sesame Street, I don’t know.

So now that I’m having tons of trouble sleeping for more than a few hours at a time; the latest drug to help me sleep that we’ve tried, Elavil, didn’t do me a whole lot of good; I’ve been DVRing and watching the daily episode of “Best of…”¬† I’m hooked.¬† There is such a calmness to Bob Ross’s voice, it’s so soothing.¬† He seems to be totally at peace all the time, is he on qualudes?¬† And the afro, what can I say about the afro…so crazy.¬† I love the way he makes painting those gorgeous outdoor scenes seem so easy, so effortless.¬† Watching him, I keep thinking, ‘I can do that’.¬† There is a DVD workshop set that comes with the paints that he used and instruction for a bunch of his works that I’ve thought about getting.¬† Even better, though, Michael’s has Bob Ross Method classes regularly.¬† I definitely plan to take one of those one of these days.

It’s funny, I’ve never thought of myself as a particularly artistic person, but since I picked up knitting, and more importantly spinning and dyeing, I find myself reveling in creativity.¬† I want to explore as many different mediums as I can.¬† I’ve played with digital scrapbooking and I LOVE it.¬† I haven’t done it in quite awhile, but I have disks and disks of digital elements and backgrounds etc.¬† Now that I’ve written about it, I’ll probably find myself drawn back in for awhile.¬† I’ve never actually paper scrapbooked, but I have boxes of paper, stickers, elements and some tools; more than enough to get started and make several albums.¬† I have no pens, though.¬† Odd, that I forgot that after buying all the rest of the stuff.¬† As you all can see, I get obsessed with crafts and then frustrated when I’m not good at them from the get go.¬† I’ve dabbled with embroidery and cross stitch (I have a cross stitch project that I have to finish for TJ’s family.¬† His Uncle’s 2nd wife passed away early this year and she was an avid cross stitcher, they’ve asked me to finish the cross stitch she was working on when she passed.¬† What a great honor to have them have so much faith in me.¬† It’s VERY slow going, though, b/c I want to do it justice, I want it to be absolutely perfect).¬† The one needle art that I haven’t tried, but will eventually, is needle punch.¬† That looks like a lot of fun and fairly simple.

Sleep is still eluding me, but it’s giving me a lot of time for working on the X-mas scarves.¬† I was working on the one for my MIL and I realized something:¬† I’ve been using the chart for the first three or four repeats of the scarf, in fact I’ve been using charts rather than writeen directions ever since I learned how to read a chart, but last night, the way I was sitting made it difficult to read the chart.¬† Being lazy and tired, I started using the written directions instead of reorganizing all the things I had around me – being bed-bound is really annoying at times – and I got through the row much more quickly.¬† I think that I learn by reading much better than I do visually.¬† For some reason, when I read the charts, I don’t see the bigger picture, which is kind of funny.¬† For example, when I read (p3, k5) 3 times it’s simple for me to know what to do with the next 24 stitches, when I see the same thing on a chart, I take each part as a single entitiy: e.g. p3 then look at the chart, k5, look back at the chart etc.¬† I don’t know why I can’t see that it’s a repeat and take it as such from a chart.¬† Oh well, at least I can work with a pattern that has no written directions and follow the chart even if it does make me work slower.¬† I’d kill for written patterns for some of the mystery KAL’s that I’ve done.¬† I’m obsessed with mystery KAL’s.¬† I’ll actually finish one one day, I swear it!!¬† LOL

An actual knitting post

This post is actually going to be about knitting and only knitting.¬† It won’t be super long, as I’m in the midst of WIP’s and have no real FO’s at the moment.

Having finished my Christmas knitting, sort of (I still have the shawl to finish, but am working on it rather slowly b/c I got so sick of it in those last months of trying to finish it in time), I’m not really in the middle of anything, rather at the beginning of several things.¬† I’ve gotten one of a pair of Fetching mitts done in Alpine Pearl Malabrigo (there should be a law about wool singles that butter soft) and I’ve been totally slacking about finishing number 2.¬† It’s the knitting ADD I tell you.¬† I know it would only take a day at most to finish, but I’m all caught up in trying to pick patterns, yarns etc. for new projects.

First up I have Secret of the Stole ii.¬† (BTW, Emily, it is still open for sign ups, in case you didn’t already check for yourself)¬† I’ve chosen my yarn:¬† a rayon/silk blend from Over the Rainbow yarns.¬† It’s listed as sport weight, but feels a bit lighter than that to me.¬† The colorway is Vanilla Parfait and it’s gorgeous.¬† The instructions say we shouldn’t use varigated yarn for this shawl, but the varigation is so subtle that I think it will be okay.¬† Even if it’s not, so what?!?!¬† It’s my shawl and I can do whatever I want with it, so there!!¬† LOL¬† It’s a blend of cream and some very pale taupe and tan.¬† I really love this colorway and plan to snap up more of it if/when it’s offered.¬† I’m thinking about socks with this yarn, but I don’t think that rayon/silk is a great combination for socks; not enough elasticity and I think they would sag terribly.¬† We’ll see.¬† I’m in the process of swatching it right now, from written directions that I copied by hand b/c the printer is being a butt.¬† LOL¬† I like the pattern thus far and I think that I’m going to like the number 4 Harmony needles for this, although I have to finish the swatch before I’m sure.¬† It may not be lacy enough.¬† This will be my first mystery knit-along.¬† I’m going to be gone for 3 weeks of it and I’m not sure if I’ll have my laptop with me as it has some “issues” (like it’s falling apart and I need a new one, but won’t be getting one before I go) and I’m worried about getting behind, so I’m going to make sure that I’m up to date before I go and hope that I’ll be able to borrow an aunt or cousin’s computer a few times a week to check in on stuff.¬† My email alone will get completely out of control with me not checking it for 3 weeks.

Next project in my mind:¬† The Silken Cowl from Sensual Knits.¬† This is a pattern and a garment that I REALLY love.¬† I used to have a silk tank top just like that.¬† I loved that thing and have no clue what happened to it.¬† I’m guessing one of the roommates from hell has it in her collection of clothing at this point.¬† I started swatching with the same rayon/silk yarn that I’m using for SotS ii but in a different colorway, but the gauge is off.¬† The weight called for in the pattern is worsted/aran and the rayon/silk is more like a heavy fingering to light sport weight, so I’m having trouble getting to where I need to be gauge-wise.¬† I don’t want to spend all this time and yarn on something that isn’t going to look right.¬† I have a fingering weight 100% silk that I might use, doubled in two different, but similar colorways.¬† I would just double one colorway, but I don’t have enough of it and I bought it at least 2 years ago from Ebay and doubt I could get an exact match for it, or even a close one.¬† It kind of sucks, b/c I really had my heart set on the colorway in the rayon/silk blend.¬† Any suggestions on using a much different weight yarn for a project like this?¬† My only real concern, other than weight, is that the pattern states that the yarn is un-elastic, which seems to be true of the pure silk yarn that I have as well.¬† The rayon/silk combo, however, does have some stretch to it.¬† Will that be a problem in the wearing of the tank top?¬† Any suggestions/opinions are appreciated.¬† Thanks.

Other things I’ve been playing with:¬† I’ve got yarn and needles chosen for a pair of Jaywalkers (my very first pair of socks).¬† The yarn is also from Over The Rainbow Yarns (do we have a pattern here or what?¬† LOL) and it’s rainbow colored. In the skein it transitioned from red to violet ala ROYGBIV and wound into a yarn cake it’s just as spectacular in a different way.¬† I’ve been holding onto it for about 2 1/2 years or so.¬† I wanted to make sure my knitting skills were up to par for sock knitting and not end up wasting the yarn on a non wearable effort.¬† I bought the Giselle pattern from Stitch Diva; I’ve been stalking the site waiting for this to come out for a LONG time.¬† It’s also one of the Sexy Knitter’s Club KAL’s this time around.¬† I’m going to do it.¬† In fact, I might put my thoughts of the Silken Cowl aside for now and concentrate on Giselle or Belle Paquita (the other SKC KAL choice for Jan-March).¬† I figure three weeks in CA without a computer to speak of will allow me to get a lot of knitting done – I hope.¬† At least I’ll have 5 hours of plane ride each way, if Jake cooperates.¬† I’ve also got the pattern for Fiber Trends Felted Clogs and lots of Cascade 220 and Philosopher’s Wool also, as well as the first SotS pattern, Guenivere.¬† It’s an unusual stole in that it’s got a forked end, like a renaissance¬† banner or flag.¬† Very pretty.

I guess that’s it for now.¬† Oh, I also got two spin your own sock kits from Fiber Fiend that I can’t wait to work on.¬† I have two of my three Spinsanity spindles (She does AMAZING spindle work, btw, go get a spindle from her right now, you won’t be sorry) full of singles right now waiting to be plied.¬† I also want to be a little more proficient at sock knitting before tackling them.¬† Any advice for spinning yarn for sock making (I have one braid of superwash Merino and one of Angora to spin) would be much appreciated.

That it for me.  I hope all of you are doing well, and 2008 has been full of joy thus far.

Happy New Year

Howdy folks.¬† Just wanted to take a minute to wish y’all a happy and healthy new year.¬† Nothing at¬† all exciting going on at Casa Dwire tonight.¬† TJ and Jake have gone up north to spend a few days debauching with Unkie and Kay.¬† After having over a month of 24 hour Little Man care while TJ worked overtime, I’m thrilled to have a few days to unwind and just veg out.¬† Since I don’t really drink (why is that?¬† I used to enjoy it so much), New Year’s Eve hasn’t been that important of a “holiday” for me.¬† Right about now, TJ is putting Little Man to bed and then he’ll begin to imbibe until he falls down.¬† That’s not much fun to watch and I know he doesn’t have as much fun worrying if I’m having fun or bored etc.¬† Besides, having this time to unwind is going to be great for when he comes home (without L.M. who is staying with Unkie and Kay for a few days) and we have some much needed and missed time alone together.¬† We haven’t been alone since we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary last December.

I’ve had a few offers from some friends to come by their places tonight, and I actually considered going, but TJ took the car and I didn’t want to inconvenience friends by asking them to come and pick me up and then get me back home.¬† I do enough of that.¬† That should be another one of my New Year’s resolutions:¬† drive myself around more.¬† I’m tired of feeling like a mooch all the time and having to ask Shannon to pick me up for knitting etc.¬† I’m going to drive myself to the next meeting I go to (unless it’s Guild b/c I have no clue how to get to Marshall or what to do once I’m there).¬† I really want to have more freedom and be able to do things that don’t include having to be picked up.

On the knitting front:¬† I finished the first of my Malabrigo Fetching mitts last night and I love the way it came out.¬† I did it on DPN’s b/c I was nervous about the 2 circs or the Magic Loop method.¬† The second one, though, I’m doing using 2 circs b/c I was annoyed with the dpns.¬† I’m going to go look up ways to cable without a needle b/c the cable needle irritated me, the regular dpn was even worse and the short dpn, while better, still bugged me.¬† It’s only a C4B, so it should be pretty easy to do.¬† I love working with the Malabrigo.¬† It’s just as great as I’ve been hearing it is.¬† Soft like butta and the colors are so pretty.¬† No real pooling and the slight effect of striping without actual striping.¬† I really want to get more of this and make a sweater for myself.

I really need to get busy swatching for the Secret of the Stole ii.¬† I have several different yarns that I want to try; different colorways as well.¬† I have some fingering weight silk/rayon in a variety of colors.¬† They aren’t solid, but I like the variegation and it’s fairly subtle.¬† I’ve also got some cashmere and some bamboo I’m considering.¬† I’m looking forward to swatching and playing with color and size of needle until I get a fabric that I like.¬† This is my first mystery a-long and I’m very eager for it to start.¬† I’ll be doing much of it once I’m in California visiting my mother, so I’ll have to have her get the cable modem for the month or so that I’m there.¬† Come to think of it, I’ll have to consider a new laptop – I’ve got a fairly cheap on in mind; I’ve realized that I really don’t need the bells and whistles to be happy with a laptop – since this one is falling apart and I don’t think it could take the journey, to be honest.¬† This one can become a desk top with the laptop portion as the “tower”.¬† I’m already using an external keyboard and want a mouse as well.¬† It’s totally falling apart.

I’ve gotten totally off topic here.¬† So I’ve got to swatch for SoTS ii and I also want to play with a market bag pattern.¬† I’ve been talking to TJ about it and then read a post on Holly‘s blog that spurred me to want to do something about it.¬† I’ve had the patterns printed for awhile, but have never really paid much attention to them.

I also just got a few new book:¬† Big Girl Knits, , Sensual Knits and Romantic Hand Knits.¬† All great books and some great patterns for tops, cardigans, and sweaters.¬† This is a big goal of mine, but I seem to continuously find reasons to put it off.¬† It’s either something else that needs knitting (market bags, shawls for gifts etc.) or I don’t have the right materials (even though if I dug hard enough I bet I could find them) etc.¬† I need someone to keep on me about making a garment.¬† I know I’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment once I do it, but I put it off.¬† There’s another resolution, one garment for myself this year, be it a tank top, cardigan, whatever.¬† I must knit something to wear for myself this year.¬† Another knitting goal I have is socks.¬† I have TONS of sock yarn, dpns, sets of circs, long circs for magic loop (even Addi’s in the long ones).¬† I really want to knit socks, badly.¬† So come on knitting pals:¬† bug me, nag me, tease me, do what it takes to help me keep my goals. ūüôā

Finally, I want to thank everyone who is in my life for what you’ve added in the last year.¬† Everyone I know, especially my newer friends (read knitting friends) have added so much to life, more than I can say.¬† I’m thrilled and grateful¬† to know you gals and hope our friendships continue to grow in the new year.¬† To my “older” friends:¬† I’m sorry I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to spend with all of you.¬† You know that I love you now and always and promise to make more of an effort in 2008.¬† Happy New Year everyone!!!

Secret of the Stole ii

I’ve joined my first mystery knit-along. I’m really kind of excited about it. I wish it was already January so I could start. I’ve been reading people blogging about the mystery knits that they are involved in for over a year now and I’ve always found out too late. BAH!! This time, though, I found it early on – the supplies aren’t even up yet – and I’m going to find a way to stay on top of the clues! It’s Secret of the Stole 2 and I’ve heard really good things about the first KAL so I’m looking very much forward to this one. I’ve been obsessed with lace knitting for about a year now and I’m finally getting the hang of it, I think. I’m about 1/5 of the way through the Blue Jean Lacy Leaf shawl already and no major boo-boos so far. I can’t wait to see how many other people, especially bloggers that I read, join this KAL.