Monday, July 14, 2008

Six Flags Amusement

I've finally sat down to add to this blog. Woohoo. I have much to say & add.

Yesterday (meaning Saturday), I went to Six Flags New England with MITES, the summer program I'm working with. My boyfriend, Carlos, unfortunately does not like roller coasters because of the queezy feeling he gets. I don't like super spinny rides (like the teacups) because I get nauseous. We also both forgot our bathing suits, so how did I amuse myself at the amusement park? By knitting! I knit a portion of the shrug I'm currently working on.
I'll upload personal pictures for this shrug after I finish the back or something. This is using my first ebay purchase, and boy have I gotten addicted since.

Carlos's birthday is coming up, and true to form, I'll buy/make him things I'm more interested in than he is. Carlos's passion is cooking. (Thank God because I burn Easy Mac all the time.) He usually hates movies, but last year, he agreed to go see Ratatouille with me. Though he didn't really like the movie, he did kind of like the character, Remy. So when I saw Em's post with Remy, I decided I'd make one. Luckily, I also keep lots of my scraps (maybe not the 1 inchers, though), so I had just enough black, white, and pink. I even made him a little apron, like one of the comments suggested. It probably took about an hour to crochet up and another hour to put him together. I didn't put on whiskers yet, and I'm debating about whether or not I should. Carlos saw the original and didn't like the whiskers because they were too long. We'll see... I still have a few more days.

So, my sewing skills are really poor, though I've always loved cross-stitching. When I embroidered on Remy's eyes, I accidentally made the right eye smaller than the left eye. Funnily enough, Carlos's right eye is actually a tad bit smaller than his left eye. Here's a picture of us on the one ride we went on at Six Flags (this little sky view thingie which lifts you up into the air and gently brings you back down.) He was squinting a bit, but he still has it.

I'm definitely suffering from unfinished project syndrome, but oh well. I may have to take Em's advice of having only three unfinished projects at a time. I must finish like 7 projects then to only have 3 left. I decided I wanted to have a quick in-between project. (I was working on too many sweaters.) I picked up a book on knit bag patterns (Vogue Knitting Bags Two). The knitting part was super fast and easy. The hard part is the lining. This is my first project involving lining, so that was interesting. I just need to make several more bags or such to get a hang of this lining (pain in the neck) business.

I tried making a little card pocket inside the purse, but I realized I place the card holder a little too low. Oh well. I'll try and show the finished product when I get around to actually putting it together. The diagonal pattern was wicked awesome, though.
I wanted to post some pictures of sweaters my mom made for me when I was little, but I think that calls for another post and another day when I'm more rested.
Happy Knitting! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I like making a piece of string into something I can wear"

Hi all readers! (the number has increased to four, thanks to Joyatee for reading it :P)

Anyway, I figured I would tell everyone how I finished the "simple seed stitch" baby dress that I was working on....and I recommend that no one ever attempts to make one....this dress is made up of a knit seed stitch bodice and a fabric attached skirt, which made it seem super simple and a quick project....Actually, every time I attempt to combine sewing and knitting (cough cough, lining purses, cough cough), it ends in dissatisfaction. But if you know me, you know I will keep on sewing...cause thats what I do.
Unfortunately, the pattern for this particular dress was vague; it didnt tell you how to make the skirt or how to attach it, except to give approximate measurements and a make-do picture...

Moral of the story: simple projects are a lot more complicated than they seem...which makes me wonder....does this mean that complicated projects are simpler than they seem? I mean, knitters always say that once you know how to knit and purl you can approach any project, so my plan is to test that theory.
I am going to attempt a project that is much too difficult for my knitting level (not hard to do) and hope that since its so complicated, it has explicit instructions, rather than "heres a picture, figure it out..." On my next project, my creativity is going right out the window, and I plan on following every detail of the pattern obsessively. I will let everyone know how that goes.

Thanks for listening to my frustration with that dress, I will upload recent project pictures soon.

In conclusion, I would like to share with you the 10 principles of knitting (from Finely, a knitting party, a knitting store in PA):
10 Principles of Knitting
1. It's all about the awesome yarn choices. Simple stitches & patterns create gorgeous pieces.
2. Strive to relax and have fun. Do not strive for perfection.
3. Be clever & daring. Take a risk!
4. Every mistake can be fixed.
5. Swatch, swatch, swatch.
6. Set goals, not deadlines.
7. Never stop learning.
8. Share the legacy, teach someone to knit.
9. Put your signature on each gift.
10. Knit with love.

<3 Neha

ps. I'm still open to using everyone's scrap wool for one skein projects :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

mr. rain man can we have a rainy day?

well, i'm pretty sure that neha and i are the only other ones reading this right now, but maybe someone someday will find this whole exchange entertaining.

on that note, when i was in high school, a friend of mine wrote a blog he was pretty sure nobody read. in it, he happened to mention his dislike for a certain girl in our grade. unfortunately she was secretly reading the blog...and he named names. definitely an oops! so maybe we'll get lucky and someone will be secretly reading this. it is, afterall, on the internet.

anyway, i don't know anything really about blog life, swaps, prizes, giveaways, or stash reduction (i like my stash thank you very much) so i'll leave all that to em. i also don't know much about horses, mercury, viktoria mulliva, or solidworks but that's not really the point.

what i do know, however, is that i really liked neha's idea of calling all scrap wool. if you don't already know her, neha is the type of person who can't bear to throw anything away, from wrappers to her favorite candy to parts of long-forgotten broken toys, she puts it all away neatly in plastic bins and stores them away for safekeeping. when it comes to scrap wool though, she's the worst. anything longer than about an inch goes into the pile, the pile grows, and then out of the blue, we wake up one morning with a fantastically multicolored pompom sitting on the kitchen table. it's almost like christmas where she's the santa claus.

so you can imagine her inherent inability to waste even the smallest bit of leftover bits of yarn from different projects. last week, she made a lace hat out of the leftover bit from a merino sweater that my mum completed about two years ago. so listen to her call and dump those scraps you don't want onto her!

another idea for using up scraps is a friendship blanket (which i think em mentioned but in an entirely different form). after our high school graduation, my best friend and i decided that we were going to knit patchwork blankets so that when we went away to our separate colleges, we'd each have one of these blankets on our bed. we used up as many of our mothers' scraps as we could, knitting two of every square. we finished all the squares, then began to crochet the squares together into a patchwork blanket. she finished hers (and mine is on my list of unfinished projects). nothing matches, the squares are all different sizes, but the blankets still remind us of our friendship and that's what we love about them.

Monday, July 7, 2008

looking for input!

hello blog readers!  i'm hoping that someone more than shreya and neha are reading of the things i've discovered about blogs and blog life are both swaps and give-aways.  swaps are a GREAT way to share projects you've made or to find inspiration for new projects.  one website that i've found in my latest conversion to blogging is swap bot.  this is a photo of what it looks like.  you can find swaps for EVERYTHING.  things you want to make, things you want.  one of interest is a friendship afghan...every round you make 6 squares for an afghan, sending 3 to two different people, receiving 3 from two other people.  after doing this for 10 rounds, you have enough squares to make a blanket!

the other thing i've discovered are these give-aways that bloggers have.  it's a FANTASTIC way to empty out your stash.  what happens is that people post what they're giving away and maybe show pictures of what they're getting rid of.  then anyone who's interested can post a comment on that post and the blogger uses a random number generator to pick the winner, then ship whatever the give-away item is.

in an effort to get all of you involved, we're thinking about holding some give-aways.  what i'd like you all to do in response to THIS post is give us some ideas of what you'd like to win!  yarn?  needles?  other knitting accessories?  POST COMMENTS WITH IDEAS!

if you like the idea of blogging and would like to do some reading of your own, let me give you the links to my personal favorites!  i read these obsessively every day, hoping for new posts :)

futuregirl makes amazing bags and other crocheted items.  she also has a bunch of good tutorials and links to other crafting blogs.

the purlbee is a blog from a store and has AMAZING tutorials and patterns for knitting, crocheting, and quilting.

i hope to hear from you guys soon!

best stitches and happy knitting!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

calling all scrap wool!

Well, since Em and Shreya both posted, I figure I should too....

So in efforts to pick up the pace of this blog, as well as get new ideas for projects....we would like to know what is everyone working on? What wool are people using? and who has the most unfinished projects? I'm gonna take a wild guess and go with Em or Shreya, but I'm sure someone can beat them :P If you read this blog and dont post a comment about something, you should feel guilty. I need project ideas! I am almost done with mine!

I am currently making a baby sundress, with the top part knitted and the bottom part a fabric skirt, it is adorable and I hope to post pictures soon! However, after using this pattern, I have come to appreciate patterns that are clear as to what you are supposed to do...isnt that the point of a pattern? I wasnt even sure whether to knit the pattern in the round or not....and only after completing it in the round did I figure out that the pattern meant knit it straight....even though it said clearly to use round needles...

I have also been making lace edged hats from projects that had leftover wool. They have come out excellent, and are super easy to make, as well as a nice change from the normal hats we have been all making for the sale. Also they don't use much wool....which is nice. Anyone who wants the pattern just let me know. (Also, anyone who isnt sure what to do with scrap yarn, just send it along, I will happily turn it into something and send it back to you or donate it to Dana Farber...)

And, in conclusion, GO FEDERER!


i was inspired by shreya's post, to post myself.  we'd really like to get this blog up and running, a bit more lively with comments from all of you! 

i just thought i'd share some exciting news about my own knitting projects.  first of all, i promised myself that i can never have more than 3 unfinished projects working at the same time, where i define "finished" as having finished the knitting...since i currently have two sweaters which need to be made up and two shawls that need to be blocked...

which brings me to my SUPER exciting news.  i finished knitting on the PEACOCK SHAWL!  i'm sorry i don't have a picture, but i'll upload one as soon as i get home.  i now need to block it and it's complete!

i'm working on an argyle stocking which is really exciting.  i wanted to work on both my color work (using one color per hand and carrying ever >3 stitches) and i've always wanted to make something argyle...this is a great project for both!  i've turned the heel and now have to knit the toe.

sorry this is short; i'm on a family reunion-y vacation in burlington, vermont, so i have to get going to the chocolate factory!

best stitches and happy knitting!

ps please feel free to post comments, demanding pictures or more information or sharing how your projects are going!  we'd love love LOVE to hear from you!

bad karma

so in my email last week, i poked a little fun at ripping out fifty rows of a project. well, guess who just did what? (hint: look at the title of this post)

the men's final of wimbledon is currently playing and has been since 9am. my sister and i sat down to knit around 10 this morning. we were merrily knitting and watching until the dreaded rain delay. the ball boys and girls are trained to cover the court in 10 seconds, and that's about how long it took me to rip out a total of about 15 inches of armhole shaping. i tried it again, then realized the lengths BEFORE the armhole shaping didn't match on both sides. and off came the stitches once more. by the time play resumed, i'd ripped out another three inches. twice. now, halfway through the fourth set (and four hours later), i'm nine inches of knitting behind where i started this morning.

in other words, a net loss.

meanwhile rafael nadal is fighting a much tougher battle - looking for his first wimbledon title (but four time french open champion) against roger federer, defending wimbledon champion five times over. c'mon nadal!!