Saturday, June 30, 2012

Let the spinning begin!

Today is the first day of Tour de Fleece! I'm excited as its my first time participating. I have two simple goals: spin everyday, and finish the merino I've been slowly working on. A few posts ago I was talking about spinning a superwash BFL in the "Story book" color way. Well I started that and it's been...disappointing. Only because I bought this braid for the screaming bright colors. Well when I went to split it I found that it wasn't dyed all the way through, so there's big chunks of white in the middle. This is toning down the color a lot when I spin it. Now, the listing may have mentioned that, I don't recall and I'm too lazy to go look. I'm not enjoying this at all. I don't know if it's the actual fiber or the color, but I catch myself trying to rush through it. I also decided to spin on my heavy spindle, an I'm having a hard time keeping my singles consistent. Oh well, if anything it'll become a monster.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dusting off the stamps

It's been a good 3 years since I did any paper crafting. It used to be my number one hobby before I really got into knitting. So today I decided to break out the rubber stamps and ink, and make a few cards to throw in some swap packages. This is the first card I've made in three years and i must say, I'm very pleased with it. I didn't struggle or have any artist block at all. It's as if that three year gap never happened. I'm not going to list dimensions or instructions for this card because I'm pretty sure I don't have many paper crafters following me anymore. However, if I get enough requests I might start doing tutorials again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weigh-in #2 and Camp Loopy

I know, I didn't check in last week and I said I would every Sunday. I got on the scale last Sunday, hoping to be at 250 lbs, and I was back up to 253.4 lbs, exactly where I started at the week before.  I was seriously discouraged and felt like all my efforts were for nothing. On top of that I got hardly any knitting done, so my stash dash "weigh-in" was less than impressive also.  So I just didn't feel like posting. However, I am happy to report that this week was much better.

  • Weight loss - despite the blow that came last week I did not give up, and today I weighed in at 249.2!  WOOHOO!  I did a little dance in my bathroom, I'm not gonna lie.  That brings me to a total of 4.2 lbs lost, which is 14% of my 30lbs goal I'm trying to reach by September.  Still behind what I had projected, but I am very happy to have lost this much so far.

  • Stash Dash - I finished another swap square, two hats for charity, and my Camp Loopy #1 project, bringing my running total to 418g.  That's 16.7% of my goal.  Don't worry, Camp Loopy project #2 is going to put a big dent in my stash dash efforts.  I think I may be insane.

  • Camp Loopy - Finished project #1 this week!  I should have finished it long before now, but I hadn't been working on it.  I did the Little Pumpkins sock pattern out of Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in the Woodlawn color way. I LOVE them.  This pattern had been in my que for a long time, and when the challenge for the camp was to knit 400yards in a pattern by a designer in another country, this was the first thing that came to mind.  I hate the summer, and can not wait until the fall. This project brought a little bit of that fall feeling into my 100 degree days.  I had a hard time getting a good shot of the pattern, but you can check out the pattern page on Rav.

I'm really enjoying the Camp Loopy Challenges.  This colorway is gorgeous (all of Lorna's Laces are) but it's not a colorway I would have grabbed off a shelf in a shop just because.  However, it is PERFECT for this project.  The colors are different shades of orange with a little olive green here and there, but all beautifully muted. I also ended up making them a little taller than usual in order to meet the 400yard requirement, and I really like them.  I think this will be my new sock length. For the second camp project, we have to knit 800 yards in a color that's in our country's flag.  After much thought I decide to go with a 1750 yard cardigan in navy blue.  I know, I'm insane. I normally would be drawn to knit my cardi in black, so this camp is pushing me out of my comfort zone by going with navy blue.  I think I'll really like it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"We're all mad here...."

I got this fiber from Woolen Mill St Yarns on Etsy.  The colorway is called "Storybook" but I instantly thought of the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland when I saw it, and just had to have it.  It is 4oz of a super wash BFL.  I have no idea what I want to do with it.  It's the dead of summer here right now, and most days are too hot to spin because my hands end up felting the fiber a bit, so I thought I should start spinning this super wash.

I can't decide if I want to spin it on my heavy or light weight spindle (which will help determine the weight of singles I get, which will determine what I end up making with it.)  I'm leaning toward the heavier spindle and making a beanie of some sort.  I'm not sure a shawl would look good in this colorway, and I am in no way prepared to knit hand spun socks, so that's why I'm shying away from the lighter spindle. 

These colors are just so crazy I would probably never where them, but I HAD to have it.  You know how it is.

Nevertheless it's going to be a 2 ply.  I did something I little different with this one as far as prep goes.  Usually I split the roving length wise down the middle, so I have two really long pieces of fiber.  Well, when I was about to split this particular roving, I noticed that the color repeats match up PERFECTLY if folded in half.  So instead of splitting it length wise, I just cut it in half smack in the middle, so now I have two identical mini braids.  (I did not cut the braid in the middle, I unraveled it, cut it, then braided them separately.) As a new spinner, I am very interested to see how this will look once it's plied.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weigh-In #1

I had mentioned in last Sunday's post that I was going to try and tie in the KnitGirllls Stash Dash for this year (which being measured in weight, not yards) with my actual weight loss goals  So every Sunday I will post progress for both.

  • Stash Down - This week I am down 155g, which is 6.2% of my goal.  Not bad considering this weeks knitting was minimal.

  • Weight In - I'm down to 251.8 this week, which is 1.6 lbs lost.  Not bad since I wasn't trying to my full potential, but not good enough.  I won't meet my goal at this rate.  Although, that's 5.3% of my goal, and when you look at it that way, it doesn't seem as bad.  Stupid numbers.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Free Pattern: Checkers Afghan Square

I came up with this simple square for a swap.  This can also be used as a simple dish cloth pattern with different needles and cotton yarn.  Please leave a comment on this post and let me know how it works for you.

Checkers Afghan Square
Blocked size : 12in x 12 in *To adjust size for your requirements, just cast on in multiples of 5 plus 8.
Gauge: about 5sts per inch
Worsted Weight yarn (I used Berroco Comfort)
Needles to obtain gauge (I used size US 8 /5.0mm

CO 48 sts
knit 4 rows
Next row: K4 *K5,P5. Repeat from * to last 4 sts, knit last 4 sts.
Repeat last row for 8 rows.

Next row: K4*P5, K5. Repeat from * to last 4 sts, knit last 4 sts.
Repeat last row for 8 rows.

Repeat  the last 16 rows until your piece is half an inch from desired length.
Knit 4 rows.
Bind off loosely and block to size.

I hope those are easy to follow instructions.  If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And I shall call him...Roger!

I made three of these little guys yesterday. I gave two of them to my best friend and kept one. We ended up taking mine to the bar with us. He was quite popular.

He may have a bit of a drinking problem.

(Psst.  I have a small crush on this boy)

This picture makes me laugh every time.
It's ok.  He's a skeleton.

Running the Karaoke

This guys is a fireman and asked me to make him one for the fire truck!

We had a blast.  I highly recommend bringing FOs to the bar :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Vodka Orange Creamsicle Drink

One of my favorties.  It's a sweet one, so it makes a great dessert!
  • one part vanilla vodka*
  • three parts orange juice
  • add ice and whipped cream, shake
*you can also use whipped cream flavored vodka instead of vanilla. Or, if you're feeling fancy, you can check out this blog and make your own vanilla vodka.  I've never done it, but have friends who infuse their own vodka all the time and love it. Skittle flavored vodka, anyone?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Things have been crazy...

I haven't knit (or crafted) at all since early March.  Life got a little overwhelming for a minute there.  But things are calming down and I've picked up my needles again.  So let's get down to business, shall we?

  • Stash Dash - TheKnitGirllls Stash Dash 2012 has officially begun. This year you set your own personal goals in grams (not yards) and check in weekly with your progress.  Think "Biggest Loser" style.  My goal is 2500 grams.  I hope to BEAT that goal actually.  I'm using this challenge to help motivate me to finish up some WIPs that are long over due, and after that I hope to eat through some of the junky yarn that's hogging up valuable storage space.

  • Camp Loopy - Camp Loopy started May 27th.  This is my first time participating and I really hope I can pull it off.  So far so good.  The first project challenge is to knit at least 400 yards in a pattern from a designer from a country other than yours.  I went with some cute socks that have been in my queue for years. Here is my first week's progress:

  • Personal Bits - I've been exploring different avenues of spirituality recently.  Mostly for educational purposes; I find it fascinating. Tonight I'm going on a nature walk/full moon picnic with a small group of ladies that find their spiritual beliefs through nature.  Should be fun.

  • Weight Loss - Anyone who knows me knows I've struggled with this my entire life.  I should count it as one of my hobbies.  If I can lose 30 lbs in 3 months I will be happy.  My birthday is in 3 months, and I'm going to be 30.  I want to look like I did 5 years ago.  30 lbs should get me there. June first I checked in at 253.4.  Ugh.  That's still 20 lbs lighter than my worst, but still terrible.