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My Favorite

If you’ll remember, today is my favorite holiday ever. Hopefully in a few days, I’ll give you some photographic proof of this holiday’s awesomeness in the way that my family celebrates it… but I have to remember to take photos. In the meantime, this holiday involves:

  • a smattering of my 50 aunts and uncles (on one side)
  • A selection of my 59 cousins (on one side) and 12 second cousins (I think that’s the term I want. Second and third always confuse me).
  • Tons of food. Including beef from the cows my parents raise (with no chemicals or gross stuff)
  • Raspberries. From my mom’s bushes. That means they’re free and all-I-can-pick.
  • A boat regatta. Of the cardboard variety. Yup. We really do that.
  • Swimming, boating and general frolicking in the best lake ever.

Oh! I almost forgot! I have a contest winner to announce!

Winner

Comment number 32 was….

Winner2

Blogless Angela Noel! She’s been sent an email!

In other news… please everyone be safe with the big fire-exploding-making. Fireworks are not toys. They are fire. Just thought it was worth a review. Um. Yay!

Quickies! The Best part of life!

NOooo! This is a knitting blog. Silly.

I’ve started on the dishcloths. A few people suggested the colors that I ended up using – but ultimately, it was my mom who called (after reading that blog post – check it out, there’s a contest goin’ on) and told me that the bride’s maid (what a funny word linguistically… why did I never notice that before?) dresses were going to be brown with little pink accents. I like the combination, but there’s a fine line before one gets into neopolitan ice cream territory (which I’d like to avoid). And so I made the following dishcloths:

My creation

They’re not my favorite, but I suspect that’s because I’m not a huge fan of the color combos. Oh well. They’ll do.

I’ve also made another Velvet Oblivion. I make tons of these. So much so that I have a system for naming them. This one, for example is VO version 6.08 (month, year). They’re like my stand-by gift because they’re awesome, decently affordable (I can get 3 out of the ball of Touch Me) and SUPER quick since I’ve long since stopped knitting the furry border – a single round of double crochet just goes soooo fast. These are also like the ONE thing, IMO, that I’ve found as “acceptable use” of eyelash yarn.
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It’s difficult to take a photo of yourself with a blindfold on. Here’s a few outakes.

I’ve made this version for a family auction that will occur over the holiday weekend. Benefits go to a great cause (you’ll learn about this later) and I’m sure that my auction item will bring in lots of dollars!

Yay!

And I’ve also made something for me!

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($20 bucks says my mom leaves a comment asking for one/a collection)

I didn’t use a pattern for this. I was inspired by Annie’s (Ravelry), but after about 4 different attempts at knitting my own in the past few months, I had to give up on the knitted wire idea. Until… I went to a bead store and got some 28 Gauge silver wire. Tried again. Failed.

So then… I tried some crochet! Yay! It worked! Should I write up a “recipe” for this so you can make your own? Keep in mind that I don’t really know much about crochet… or writing crochet patterns (hence, the “recipe” idea).

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In other news. It looks like texture wins for the upcoming sock design – for those of you who wanted lace or colorwork, keep in mind that this tutorial/design will definitely be adaptable for your own colorwork/lace – trust me – it’s just that in this case, the finished product will be texture. I’ve got some swatching ideas comin’ up… I’ll post an “intro” post and step one after the holiday.

H’okay. What kind of sock do you want?

(Check out my contest.)

It seems as though people are pretty evenly split with the whole “what should I design for you as a series of tutorials” with a lot of people being intrigued by the quilt-inspired scarf.. and socks.

Now… If I’m going to do socks, that’s going to be a big, long process because at the same time, I’m going to include excel tutorials for those wanting to write their own sock patterns.  Yea.  I’m probably too ambitious.  But what can you do?

So… since the sock will be a series of posts… that may infact stretch a few weeks, I think I’ll do the scarf along the way (I think I too am intrigued by this idea).

But first…

I need to know what kind of socks you want me to design.

So… leave a comment…

Do you want: Colorwork?  Lace?  Or textural?  Let me know and I’ll do some swatching over the holiday.

Secret Projects do not make friends

Or good blogging. (See contest below!)

Man. I have been totally absent lately. There are two big reasons for this. The first is that I’m working on lots of secret stuff. And I can’t do progress shots for various reasons. I’ve got a graduation gift for the sister, a blog reader, in the works. Another present for a friend who also reads this blog. (Actually, both of these can be viewed on Ravelry for those interested). Gifting. Reason number one for boring blog death.

Reason number two? Designing.

First… I’ve got this super, awesome fantastic sock pattern that I’m designing for the Three Irish Girls new and exciting sock club. It’s a really, really great design that I’m super proud of – inspired by some of Cat Bordhi’s ideas… with a twist, of course. Hahaha. That’s funny. Anyway, so that’s a secret for a few more weeks.

And then I’ve got 2 other designs mostly worked up. One is a great anthropologie inspired scarf, and another is a non-sock pattern requiring two skeins of sock yarn (because we all have tons of that around).

Being Silly

Reason number 3 for blog death? Lack of photos. I hate blogging without photographic content. I feel it’s boring. Here’s an arbitrary photo of silliness just to add some visual interest.

And then… Of course, there’s this big project that my knitting group and I are starting to think about… and of course that has to be a secret until we get all the kinks worked out! Oh. And lets not forget that I’m going to be test knitting for both Huan-Hua and Kalani! So many secrets!

Contest

I had to get your interest somehow. Photos work. That’s like design 101.

So what can I blog about? Well… I guess two things… and we’ll make it a contest just for fun. Winner gets a custom dyed sock blank in the colors you specify (if you so wish – I can also surprise you) and a copy of my BASKE mitten pattern and maybe a few other exciting things. How can you enter this contest? In the comments below, do one of the two options (or both, in two separate comments for double the chances)!

  1. I’ve got to make some dishcloths for a wedding shower present. There is no dishcloth like the Ballband pattern and so that’s going to be the pattern I use (unless you can convince me otherwise). I have no idea about colors though. I feel like I did the rainbow thing really well last year… Name a few color combinations that would work well together.
  2. I think it’s about time for a free pattern. But what should it be? Pick one of the following options and explain why you want that one: A). A sock pattern. B). An argyle hat pattern. or C). a quilting inspired scarf pattern. In any case, I’ll document for ya’ll step by step what the design process is so that you can follow along and maybe learn a few things (keep in mind I’m no designing expert – but I do think I’m getting better).

Ps. How cool is this?

Pps.  I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner on my favorite day of the year.

…and I suck at sewing.

Hi! My name is Nicole and I suck at sewing (and the crappy photography doesn’t help).

Anyway. I was inspired/jealous/peer-pressured/whatever by my knitting friend’s fabulous infinity dress. And I wanted to make one too. So I stopped at Jo-ann’s and bought some knit fabric (polyester, yuk) to make my own.
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I was not as successful and I would have hoped. The dress involves ONE seam. One. Sewed. Seam. And I couldn’t even get it right. Here’s my timeline of the project (not a recommended avenue for your own dress):

  1. Cut straps. Say to self “there’s tons of extra fabric at the end. I’ll be able to make a skirt, no problem.
  2. Cut waist band. Wish really hard that there was some sort of direction in the “recipe” for how thick the waistband should be (clearly, my first attempt, 4 inches was too wide). Otherwise, the recipe was very helpful.
  3. Hold up the remaining rectangle shape. Think to self “Hmm. this is going to be a short skirt. This might be a problem.” Consider the possibility that the other large chunk of “leftovers” might be the skirt section and then dismiss this possibility upon closer examination. Decide to continue without serious concern.
  4. Make the rectangle more rounded, hoping to preserve as much length as possible. Decide that instead of cutting a hole in the skirt, a slit would preserve the most length in all directions. Cut a slit large enough to go around hips.
  5. Step into skirt (to make sure the slit is wide enough) and consider again the fact that this is turning out to be a bit risque.
  6. Remember Huan-Hua’s advice and attempt to pin all the pieces together, all the way around the waist.
  7. Begin sewing. Curse the long straps (that get in the way). Have general frustration.
  8. Finish the seam, hold up the dress, right side facing… and see 3 giant spaces where the seam did not go where it was supposed to and there are giant gaps.
  9. Attempt 8 times (or so) to close these gaps, in the process shortening the skirt by milimeters each time. Finally decide that 2 of these gaps are now small enough that they are not important, particularly when the straps can be wrapped such that the seams essentially disappear.
  10. Try on dress, realize that it shows a LOT of leg. Like a lot. Also realize that I may be a bit too… busty to wear the dress low enough to cover leg without sacrificing support and side coverage.
  11. “Grrr.”
  12. Decide to call it a learning experience and not obsess, move on to next project.
  13. Just before closing out the firefox tab of the recipe, read that this dress could be worn as a top. Genius.
  14. Decide that next time, I will make the straps wider (for less revealing side boobage) and double check the width of the fabric before I buy so that I can be sure the skirt will be long enough.

Here’s another photo, this time of the back.

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Belated Father’s Day Post

*sigh.

My dad just called me, laughing hysterically.  This is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi dad.

Dad: What happens when a cat eats a ball of yarn?

Me: It gets a really bad hairball?

Dad: No.  It has mittens! *laughs*

Dad: Isn’t that funny?

Me: No.  It’s terrible actually.

Dad: No.  It’s funny.

Me: No it’s not.  It’s terrible.  It barely even makes sense.

Dad: Nuh uh.  It’s funny.  I bet you tell it to someone within 24 hours.

So there you have it.  I guess I told a lot of people.

The more important thing:  Is it in the “Father’s Manual” to tell lame jokes?  What’s the protocol to get that chapter amended?

Thrifting

I went home for the holiday weekend and my mom and I spent a few hours garage-saling (a word I made up just now, verb; shopping at garage and yard sales). I had some great finds! The best? Check this out:
Best Thrifting Find Ever

I got a pair of these – and the best part is that they rock back and forth. I would guess they’re from the 30s

or 40s at least and they’re super solid, in great, sturdy shape. My parent’s were pretty jealous and threatened t

o steal them. Why am I so excited? What do

I plan to do with them? Well, I think I’m going to knit new covers for them. Annie Modesitt has a pattern that is sort of like what I want to do – you can see to the left. I’m not a fan of the pattern itself. The instant I saw these chairs, I instantly thought of an Interweave Knits pattern that features lots of cabling designs and a gorgeous natural look. I’m not sure when I’ll ever have a pair of finished chairs… but I think there’s some good potential in these chairs. Check out the IK version (different chair):

I got a few other good finds: Some neat retro pyrex, and… a ton of sweaters! There’s a university back home that does a huge garage sale of all the stuff the students leave behind. I got a bunch of sweaters to felt for different projects, and a few to take apart for the yarn. The best was a hand-knit Irish Aran sweater. It was on the top of the pile after I’d walked away – I saw it and almost killed 3 people trying to grab it.

Yay for used wool sweaters

There’s a ton of wool in it – I already took it apart and balled it. If I had a scale, I’d weigh it to get an idea of how much there is… but I know it’s a lot!

And finally, I got some old knitting and crocheting booklets. Follow the jump for more photos and some smarmy comments.

Cool Old Needlework Stuff

Continue reading ‘Thrifting’


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Monkey
Raindrop Lace

Other
Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs

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