Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nature Walk

Aaaaaaaah, the wonders of Fall. The crisp, clean smell of the air......

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The fiery colored leaves perform their ballet dance to the ground....


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Mother nature tucks herself in for a long winters rest.


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Wait a second.......what is that thing?! Let's take a closer look.............


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Why....it's a rare white wild rabbit of the genus Fat Assicus! Let's move slowly. We don't want to startle him.


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Oh looook! He wants me to scratch his belly! What a friendly little guy. I think I'll adopt him. He'll make a great companion for Mr. Whiskers during the times I'm away from home.


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See - they're great friends already! What's that you say? Mr. Whiskers looks annoyed? Oh, well he can be a little slow to warm up...........but I'm sure he'll come around.

FO Details:
Pattern: "Rabbit" from First Knits by Luise Roberts and Kate Haxel

Yarn: I substituted white Bernat Baby Boucle for the recommended brown Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran

Needles: A pair of vintage Hero US size 6 straights

Started: October 22, 2007

Finished: October 31, 2007

For: The Do Something New KAL. It's the first stuffed animal I've ever knit. It will now belong to Sophia.

My Thoughts: This pattern was very easy to knit, and almost as easy to assemble. The directions said to "stuff quite firmly". I think I might have taken them a little too seriously, as my rabbit is quite a bit fatter than theirs. =) I'm not too excited about how the embroidered eyes came out. After I was finished with them, I had the thought that I should have sewn buttons on for the eyes. Ah well, we live we learn. I'm happy to have finished this in time for the October deadline which is today. It was a close one.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

KAL Rabbit

Here are all the pieces of Rabbit, knit up and blocking for the Do Something New KAL.

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I'm going to sew it together tonight while I listen to knitting podcasts. It's knit in Bernat Baby Boucle in white. Though I loved the way the example in the book looked knit in Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran, I don't have any of that in my stash. I do have other brown wool yarns, but I was also very curious how this pattern would look knit up in a fluffy white yarn. Also, the Bernat Baby Boucle was one the first yarns I ever bought, before I had discovered the wonders of natural fibers. I honestly can't imagine myself wearing anything made from this yarn, and I'm happy to have a chance to use it up. (Now what should I do with the six or seven other skeins of white, yellow, and blue that I have?) The three tear drop shaped pieces will make up the body, and the two rectangle shaped ones will be the ears. I made the pom pom tail this afternoon. After all the pieces are sewn up and stuffed, I just have to embroider the eyes and nose. I'll be using white embroidery thread to sew the pieces together, as I think using the boucle would be difficult and have a disappointing result.

Monday, October 22, 2007

It Was Worth The Wait!!!!

I don't even care how obnoxious I may appear right now with my excessive use of exclamation points. I was bored and decided to check my email. Lo and behold - my Ravelry invite was sitting in my inbox! I felt like Charlie discovering the golden ticket in his candy bar on Charlie And The Chocolate Factory. I clickety clicked my way to the sign up screen. I am now GirlMeetsYarn on Ravelry. Hee hee! And for anyone who's still waiting - oh my goodness. It's like walking through the pearly gates of heaven and discovering that everyone's a fiber-obsessed knitter who would love nothing more than to talk about projects, help you work the kinks out of your first design, recommend the perfect yarn for that sweater you've been drooling over, etc., etc.

And as if that weren't enough knitting crack for one day, I also got my invitation to join the Do Something New KAL that I've been waiting for. I have to knit something I've never knit before and post a picture of it on the KAL page before the month of October is over to be entered in the drawing for this month. That means I have about 9 days. I've picked my project:

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It's Rabbit from First Knits by Luise Roberts. I've never knit a stuffed animal before, and this is perfect because it's small, should be quick, and gauge doesn't really matter so I won't have to waste time on a swatch. This knit along continues through January 31, 2008. The idea is to knit something that's new to you each month. I plan to be a little more adventuress in the coming months, when I'm not so pressed for time to meet the deadline. Fair Isle, cables, beaded knits - there's lots I haven't done yet, but would love to learn. Speaking of rabbits, I feel like the white one on Alice In Wonderland - "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say Hello. Goodbye. I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!". Much knitting and exploring to do. =)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

That Sinking Feeling

Last night I was happily knitting away on the back of the Seed Stitch Dress. I had just completed the armhole shaping and was feeling quite pleased with how quickly this project was coming along. I paused to hold it up and admire, when I got that sinking feeling. The one where a red flag goes up in your head and a tiny voice tells you something is not quite right. Now, I've ignored that tiny voice on more than one occasion. But every time, it's led to disaster. And given the fact that I had made a visit to the Yarn Harlot's blog yesterday morning, and saw an example of knitterly denial (Scroll down through the October 20th entry. You won't even need to read the text to know which one it is.) that was still fresh in my mind, I decided to face reality right then and there. No matter how unpleasant that reality is. Here, let me show you. Here is what I've knit so far:

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It is no coincidence that there is a measuring tape in that picture. Want to know what that tiny voice was saying to me? It went a little something like this -
(I hold the dress at arms length with a happy little feeling of accomplishment)
Tiny voice: "Wait a second........does this thing look a little wide? If I'm not mistaken, it looks to be about the same size as one of Sophie's shirts."
This is the point where I decide to use my impressive reasoning and problem solving ability, honed through many years of f**king up projects. See if you can follow along with my incredibly complex thought process:
The Facts
a) I am knitting the dress for a size 6-12 month baby.
b) This dress is just as wide in the chest as one of Sophie's shirts. (See exhibit 1)

exhibit 1:
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c) Sophie is 5 years old and wears a size 6 clothing.

The Conclusion

Bekki better have a seriously fat baby.


You may have noticed in the first picture that the back measures 11 inches wide. If I subtract the two stitches for seaming, that leaves me at 10 3/4 inches. Multiply that by two to get the total chest circumference, and we have 21 1/2 inches. That sounds pretty damn tiny to me.......... However, here's a close up of the first picture:

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See where it lists the actual chest measurements for the different sizes? 21 1/2 inches puts me at just a tad smaller than the 12-18 month size. Some other important things to point out: There is no 6-12 month size - I altered the pattern to knit a 6-12 month size, as that is the size I made the bonnet and mary janes. Also, if you look at the bottom left corner, you'll see the gauge given for this dress when it's knit in Baby Cashmerino - 25 sts and 34 rows to 4 inches. I'm knitting it in All Seasons Cotton with a gauge of 20 1/4 sts and 28 rows to 4 inches. So I also altered the pattern to be knit with my gauge. And somewhere in all this fiddling with the pattern, something has gone horribly wrong. I am left with no choice but to rip it all back, figure out what the hell I did wrong, and start all over again.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My Seeds Are Growing

Well, it's been a week since I requested your votes on the Seed Stitch Dress/Beaded Cardigan dilemma. And while quite a few people have visited this blog during that time (there's a page visit counter), only three spoke up and voted. Thank you craftybernie and string theory blog for your input (the other person who voted was anonymous). Which means I have a bunch of lurkers in my neck of the blogging woods. I'll bring you out of the shadows yet, I will. What will it take? Giving away free yarn? ;) While I do understand lurkism, as I read blogs for the longest time without ever leaving one comment, the biggest reason I started my own blog was to be part of a crafting/sewing/knitting community. And until I can get you guys to comment and participate in this here little blog, it's kind of like having a one sided conversation where I talk on and on endlessly. Anyways, I'm just saying.......

So, since there weren't enough votes to go with a majority's decision, I chose to go with the Seed Stitch Dress. Why? For a couple of reasons. But the biggest one is that there are so many other projects I want to start. I want to get this one finished, wrap it up all pretty, hand it over to it's recipient, and be onto the next one. I'm just not one of those people who likes to have ten projects on the needles at once. It bugs me. Plus I very rarely knit a pattern exactly how it's written. And if I have projects all over the place, it's hard for me to keep track of which alterations I made on which patterns. And anyways, I cheated. I actually cast on for the dress late Tuesday night. Hee hee. =) But in my defense, there were still only three votes at that point, and it didn't seem very likely that eight of you were going to be reformed from your lurkitis before Thursday. And I've been knitting on this thing every chance I get. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the back. As you may recall, this dress has no sleeves to knit. So I'm hoping to have a finished project within the next 3 - 5 days. It would be even sooner, but I have to work Friday and Saturday. >:( Apparently my employers didn't get the memo that there's important knitting to be done.
Here's a picture that was taken this morning, and I've knit on it since then. Those are the buttons I bought to go on the bonnet, mary janes, and at the back neck opening of the dress. On my monitor they look bronze. But in real life they're an antiqued silver. Can you see the flower design etched on them?

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When I was picking out the buttons, I also looked for a zipper to finish up the circular knitting needle case. I need one that's at least 32 inches long. The only choices they had in that length were black and brown. The colors of the case are dark denim blue, white and red polka dots. Since I am just not feeling the thought of black or brown with those colors, I'll have to look again elsewhere. In knit along news, I'm still patiently awaiting my invite. Does it normally take this long for KAL hosts to respond to a request to join? This being my first, I wouldn't know.
Until next time, I wish all of you an abundance of yarny goodness.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Going To Be Knittin' Along

I've found my knit along. I just got done sending my request to join. I'll let you know when I choose my project for the month of October. I think it'll have to be something small, as the month is already half over. Weee! I'm excited to be doing my first KAL. =) Hmmmm, I just had a thought - if I knit the beaded cardi from the last post, that would count for my October project because I've never knit with beads before. By the way, thank you to the ladies who've left feedback about that. I really enjoyed hearing your input.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

If I Wanted Your Opinion....

I would ask for it. And I am. I'm stuck in a rut of indecisiveness about the gift-for-friend-having-a-new-baby #1. I can't decide between knitting a seed stitch dress, or knitting a sweater and sewing a dress to go with it. Here's the seed stitch dress:

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It's from Debbie Bliss Special Knits. I would make it in the same yarn (Rowan All Seasons Cotton) that I made the bonnet and mary janes in. And though it's called a dress, as you can see in the picture, it actually fits the model more like a long shirt or tunic. I would lengthen it slightly so it did fit like a dress. Here are my pros and cons for this option:
Pros:
  1. It would knit up fast and easy, and I could be done with this project.
  2. It's convenient that it's done in seed stitch, so the whole outfit will looked planned and well matched.
  3. I just think it's a really cute dress. =)
Cons:
  1. Part of me feels like it will create a blue seed stitch over-kill. The outfit will look, well, just kinda "flat", in comparison to option two.
Here's the sweater (also from Special Knits) and fabric I would use to make the dress ( a simple A-line). It's 100% cotton with a floral print panel on the bottom. :

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Pros:
  1. I think the different texture and fabric of the dress will add visual interest to the outfit.
  2. Having a dress and a sweater makes it more versatile to accommodate cool or warm weather.
  3. I would get to knit something with beads, which I've never done before.
Cons:
  1. Obviously making two more articles of clothing will take longer than making just one, and the lazy bastard part of me keeps reminding me of this point.
  2. For some reason that I can't figure out, Debbie Bliss wrote the pattern for the sweater so that you knit it first and then painstakingly hand sew each bead on one-by-one. I flat out refuse to do that. So I would have to re-work the pattern so as to knit the beads in. I'm a little intimidated by that, because as I mentioned before, this would be my very first ever beaded knit project.
I would really like it if you would let me hear your opinion on this matter. Which do you like better? If it were being given to you, which option would please you more? Leave your vote in the comments. If I get at least eleven (I chose an odd number to avoid any ties) votes by next Thursday, I'll go with whatever the majority chose.

So this is what Sophia and I did after school yesterday:

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Decorated the mantle above the fire place.

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Soph wanted her room to look "Hallo-weeny" too, so we put a giant spider web across the corner with the bookshelf. Can you see the spider?

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He's stuffed with leaves and sitting on our front porch.

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Our spooooooky front door.

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Sophie's jack-o-lantern. She drew the face, and I cut it out. The things you see on the sides are his ears. =)

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The pumpkin I made. It's teeny tiny compared to hers - about a tenth of the size.
She was so excited about all of the decorations, and had so much fun doing them. Having kids makes holidays so much more meaningful, and their excitement's contagious. =) I haven't enjoyed the holidays the way I do with Sophie, since I was a kid.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

No Cutting In Line

So I finally jumped on the Ravelry bandwagon a month ago. I checked today, and it says I am:
  • #31,972 on the list (Wow, that's a lot of fiber lovers.)
  • 8,683 people are ahead of me in line
  • 7,589 people are behind me in line (It makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere by the fact that there are nearly as many people behind me as there are ahead of me.)
  • 58% of the list has been invited so far
Now, I can't help but wonder if the whole "waiting list" was a publicity scam. Did you ever hear the story about the guy who wanted to open a restaurant, but was well aware of how competitive the whole restaurant business is? So he decided to make his restaurant a "Members Only" type of place. He handed out memberships to several hundred of his co-workers. The only way other people could get into the restaurant, was if a member decided to grant them a membership. The restaurant turned out to be a smashing success. Of course the food was delicious as well - you can create all the hype you want, but if you don't have the product to back it up, people will quickly lose interest. Anyway, if the waiting list was implemented just to create the effect of thousands and thousands of fiber fanatics beating down the door to get in, well it worked. And I say kudos to the founders for finding a way to stand out from the millions (billions?) of websites that make up the world wide web. As to whether they've got the "product" to back up the hype? If you're behind me in line, I'll let you know when the 8,683 people ahead of me have been ushered in.
I've been working on the hand puppets that I blogged about yesterday. For all purposes of comparison, making the heads of these puppets is the same as making a doll's head. Let me say I have found a whole new respect for soft doll makers. It is a lot harder to make a doll's head and not have it come out looking like a lumpy mis-happen potato than I had first imagined. I became very frustrated with the one I was working on last night. I set it down on the kitchen table and busied myself with other things. A little while later, a friend came over, saw it, and made the comment that it looked like a stoner/skater doll. This was soooo funny to me because I had had the exact same thought, but she hadn't known that. I was intending for it to look like a cute-little-girl puppet. I think what had made it look like a stoner/skater was that I had knit it a hat, which was too small and looked more like a skull-cap, I hadn't used enough yarn when making her hair, so it looked thin, limp, and greasy, and her face was very long and slumpy looking. I wish I had thought to take a picture before she got her make over. I think you would've laughed. Anyway, it was definitely a learning experience.
I mentioned awhile back that I was going to be searching for a KAL to join. Well I have been looking, but I just can't find one with a project them I'm dying to do. And yes, it did cross my mind that I could start my own based on whatever project I want. But I'm still up in the air about whether I want to take on that responsibility. I have a huge perfectionist's streak, especially when other people are relying on my efforts. I hate the thought of starting one, and then dissapointing people because I don't have the time to make it a really well hosted one.
And since I don't like to post without offering some visual candy, here's a Karabella pattern that has been in my must-knit (someday) pile for about a year or so. Isn't it gorgeous? It's called the Glimmer Lace Top, and it's knit in Glimmer - 90% Rayon, 10% Lurex. Has anyone knit it before? Or know someone who's knit it?
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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Bits, Pieces, And Body Parts

That's what you'll be getting today. Random bits and pieces to update you on, and the body parts part...........well, read on to find out. It's not as scary (or creepy) as it might sound. I want to say thank you to FiddleLee and Amanda for being brave enough to guess what those polka dotted thingies were from this post. While FiddleLee's answer (pockets to be sewn onto a diaper bag) made me consider new possibilities I could use in the future, Amanda's answer was right. She guessed that they were part of a case for circular knitting needles. They're pockets to be exact. And they'll be 24 of them inside of an outer case that zips up. I really wanted to have the completed project to show you before I revealed the answer. And I would have, except last night when I went to put the zipper on, I discovered that I don't own a zipper that's long enough. Which was kinda surprising considering that I have a plastic box full of zippers. Let me explain. You see, like most crafters I like to hoard/collect crafting supplies similar to the way squirrels stash nuts in the fall. Except unlike squirrels and nuts, my habit is not a seasonal thing, done only in preparation for dropping temperatures. I'm constantly on the look out for new stash enhancements. But I feel that it's necessary to have a very large stash, simply because of the way I go about creating most of my projects. I very rarely choose a project, write a list of all the materials needed, go the store and buy those things, and then start the project. 99% of the time I get an idea out of nowhere and want to start on it while the inspiration is there, in other words, right now. Or I'll impulsively decide that Sophie doesn't have enough sweaters in the middle of the night, and want to start on a new one. Since I can't exactly drag her out of bed to make a trip to the 24 hour yarn store that doesn't exist around here, I have to have supplies on hand. A large variety of supplies, so I'm not limited because I don't have the materials I need for a project.

I'm about to reveal how much of a dork I really am, by how excited I was to discover this! Pink Hat SEO featured my blog on her Sunday Blog Review! It's the first time (to my knowledge) that anyone's ever written about Girl Meets Yarn on their blog. I've only been blogging for about 2 1/2 months, and it made my blog feel a little more real by being acknowledged by somebody I don't already know.

I'm always on the look out for craftistas with amazing style who blog. Last week I found Pinka's blog. I ADORE her creations. Very original and bursting at the seams with cuteness. Also, check out the Flickr Gallery of Cupcakes For Clara's work. The cupcake aprons on the second page fill me with the irrational urge to buy 20 or so of them, and figure out what to do with all of them later.

Last night when I came to the frustrating realization that yet another project would be added to the "almost done pile" until I make a long overdue trip to the craft store, I did the only thing a person can do in that situation. I started a new project. What you see below are the makings of 4 hand puppets. They still have to have their personalities added. You know - hair, noses, mouths, maybe a hat for one, glasses for another, their own unique outfit, and whatever else my impulses dictate. So one day soon, maybe I'll have a finished-project-showing extravaganza.

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This photo caught my eye when I logged into Photobucket today. It actually caused me to say "Aaaaaaaaw", aloud, so I thought I'd share. Doesn't it make you want to go hug your kitty? =)

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