Obsessed knitting geek, mother, and science teacher - not necessarily in that order

Friday, November 30, 2007

Final Swap package - and other self-indulgent goodies

What a magnificent and thoughtful package. The Manos is in the most luscious colorway - I have never knit with this so I am itching to try it out. And my long sought after lockable stitch counter that can be hung from around my neck - so perfect I started using it right away!! And then some lovely addi lace needles for me to try - I already have a project in mind.
Oh and some chocolate that barely made it to this blog post...it will not survive the weekend I am sure LOL.
For myself I also picked up some lovely sock project bags from a seller on ebay. These are hand sewn from lovely brocade and the inside is lined with pockets that are perfect for holding little sock knitting accessories like my stitch counter, chibi, scissors, etc. I even picked one up to send to my secret pal!
Then from etsy I got this cute little sock needle wallet on sale!! It holds all my sock needles in one handle little package!
I am on the brink of finishing my second Vestee. This one is for my niece for Christmas and will have a hood. This time I used Phildar Pure Laine that I had sitting around in my stash.

I can hardly wait for the next secret pal this spring!! Must start accumulating stuff now!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Random knit bits

This is my display of many straight needles that I hardly ever use. But there are some beautiful wooden ones my mother brought back with her from Viet Nam so I love to have them on display.
A cute little shawl pin I got recently from RubyVegas on etsy. It definitely makes my shawls more user- friendly.
And finally - good progress on my so-called scarf!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A celebration of FO's

My Trekking socks - no, they don't match - but yes, I LOVE them!!
My Branching Out scarf - finished just in time for MIL's birthday this weekend. It blocked out beautifully - I think I will need to make another one for myself:)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Yarn Splurge

So my LYS was having a sale....picked up a Dream in Color Kit for a baby sweater that I have been drooling over since I saw it on the Yarn Harlot's blog. Also, picked up a little something for my swap partner.
THEN Roxy Yarns had a sale on some ArtYarns sock yarn and their Cascade 220. So of course I had to pick up enough to make my husband a sweater in some nice gray. And also some pretty blue ultramerino sock yarn.
THEN someone was having a stash clearout sale - I am a sucker for a good sale - can ya tell? Snagged some Yarn Pirate - WOOHOO!! and Louet Gems for a great deal!
Oh, I did do some knitting amidst my wild spending spree! Started a So-Called scarf for my mommy. A yummy 100purewool colorway that has been sitting in my stash for awhile.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Squeee - another secret pal package!!

A sock kit from Robyn's Nest! The "Fall Fire" colorway is exactly something I would have picked out for myself, and the Robyn's nest signature colorway is totally not something I would have picked out BUT I love it for exactly that reason. It is so fun and colorful - makes me think of bubblegum :) When they become socks I will call them my bubblegum socks. This is part of why I love swaps - I get stuff that I normally would never even consider for myself and I love it!
A close up of a the lovely dangle-free stitch markers that came with the kit. A very nice package indeed - I may have to look into this sock club...hmmmm...;)
And finally a picture of my finished, felted clogs. The peace fleece felts up quite hairy but I think a nice shave will leave them with just a fine halo. I really like the shape and texture I got with these. I will be giving these to my FIL this weekend for his birthday. I will be trying another pair next for my mom for Christmas - this time with some Paton's classic merino.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More yummy yarny mail!

So I needed to order some suede slipper bottoms to put on my felted clogs. Since I got them from knitpicks, of course, I had to make the cost of shipping worth my while - sooooo I also picked up a couple of skeins of Gloss in pumpkin (very nice and beautiful sheen) as well as a book I have been wanting.

Was tempted to add some of the new Harmony needles - especially a couple of ones for magic looping socks - but resisted - maybe something to put on my Christmas list.

Meanwhile, I plan to felt my clogs tonight and hopefully sew on those bottoms by the weekend when they need to be gifted.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One down, one to go

One of my trekking socks (unblocked and slouchy looking) is done. My first self-striping stockinette sock. Really cute - I like this yarn. Now I have to get the Branching Out scarf done before I can work on the next sock.
Also picked this up yesterday. Love the Sugarplum Shrug and some of the kids knitted items (I think the teddy bear is one of the cutest I have ever seen). But I especially love the section on gifts for knitters - some really cool stuff there!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Some sock yarn indulgence

Red Bird Knits is having a free shipping promotion for October so I had to pick up some of their sale sock yarn. I must say I am thrilled by the Lana Grossa - the colors in person are exactly what I expected from what I saw on the screen - which is not always the case.

I also got the Knitting Pure and Simple baby cardigan pattern. I saw on someone else's blog they had knit this pattern with many different yarns. It seems like a good basic and versatile pattern to use for baby gifts. It is knit in the round with minimal seaming so that makes me happy.

I also cast-on a pair of socks - my first plain stockinette pair - out of that Trekking. Love the colorway, love the stitch definition of this yarn. I could never understand why before anyone would knit boring stockinette socks - but in this last two weeks when all hell has broken loose with childcare issues - I have found this sock to be highly therapeutic.

The fibertrends felted clogs are all seamed up and just waiting to be felted. And I need to finish up my Branching Out scarf ASAP - but my sock calls to me...

Monday, October 8, 2007

Turkey and giving thanks...

for time to knit.

This long weekend has allowed me to indulge in some tasty yummies and some knitting relaxation. I was able to finish up my hat and get some seaming done on my felted clogs.
As you can see, pre-felting they look a lot like giant smurf feet.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Okay, a long awaited update...

Some small progress on my hat. I have had very little time to knit - or even sleep for that matter. Really looking forward to the long weekend.
And some yarn porn. A few skeins of lovely Artyarns supermerino sock and Schafer Anne that I scored in a partial trade for some peace fleece in my stash. So not TECHNICALLY stash enhancement right? 3 skeins in - 3 skeins out.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The cure for crankypants Mondays.....

is an AWESOME secret pal!!!

Check out what a wonderful little package she put together for me. I think the malabrigo wants to mittens. And I think I need to cast on some new socks!! Oh and what beautiful beeswax candles in my favorite color. As well as the cutest little tissues with sheepies on them and some small packets of Eucalan. Too thoughtful isn't she?

I have been having the crankiest Monday - was out of town for the weekend, got home late last night, and feeling overwhelmed at home and at school. I know I was terribly cranky to my students today but I swear they were after my last nerve!!! But to come home and find this package really cheered me up. It's so nice to think some sweet person out there picked these things out thinking of me :)

So I guess I also owe a WIP - I cast on some malabrigo I had been saving for the cute little Foliage hat from the latest Knitty. It has just been waiting to be something special like this.
And some self-indulgence this weekend. A visit to two not-so-LYS in Calgary - picked up some koigu at Pudding Yarns (the only place I have ever seen koigu in person so really I felt obligated) and some Trekking in a colorway that just called to me at Make1Yarns. Make1 is my usual haunt when I go to Calgary. It was my first time at Pudding Yarns and it really is a cute little shop!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Too tied to knit?

I know - hard to believe. But ever since school started I have been exhausted just trying to keep up with things at work and at home. My new school is almost an hour commute each way which means getting up at 5:30 in the morning - which would not be so bad if I wasn't getting up 2-3 times a night for my little munchkin who is laso still adjusting to our new routine of early mornings.
Add to that the fact that my DH has been out of town this week.

So at the end of the day, after getting home, having dinner, and putting my munchkin to bed, I briefly ponder knitting, and then collapse into bed - sore and exhausted from my long and crazy day.

Okay, whine-fest is over. I will try to post pics this weekend of some of my WIPs and one FO that needs to be felted. Until then all you (zero) blog readers will have to wait ;)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Smitten with my mittens

So they are done and totally awesome. Of course, it's 28 degrees Celsius out today so probably not suitable mitten weather. Now I am on a total mitten kick and want to keep knitting mittens - for EVERYONE!

But alas I shall return to to gift knitting, autumn birthdays (SIL, MIL, and FIL) are all sneaking up fast so I better get a move on!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yay progress!!

A cute little ipod cozy knit with some leftover handpainted merino - so pretty I think I will need to make another one. Sorry about the sideways pic - too lazy to flip it.
Peekaboo mittens from Magknits. I have been dying to make these up and the short little camping trip we took this weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to kick start them. I could not bring any gift knitting since most the the gift recipients were coming with me so instead I brought stuff for ME!!! This colorway makes me want to sing - so bring and happy - can't wait to wear these come winter. The yarn is one lonely skein of 100purewool I have had sitting around for awhile - the softest merino - actually very similar to malabrigo.
Also finished up around the campfire is this cute little Maple Seed Hat. I can't remember where the pattern came from but it is lovely and a very quick knit. I made it for myself but it turned out too small. However, it looks adorable on my dd so it shall be hers! I will have to make another one for me. The yarn is worsted weight Misti Alpaca baby alpaca in the cinnamon colorway.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Secret Pal Contest #2

1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without?

a good project bag - perfectly sized for the project with an accessory pouch or pockets for keeping odds and ends

2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project?

Absolutely, I always take at least one sock project, one larger project to make progress on, and depending on how much car travel time usually one more small project that I try to start and finish on the trip for a sense of accomplishment.

3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot? I have travelled to California, Mexico, and various parts of Western Canada - never been out east yet but would like to someday soon. My favorite spot is still the good ole Rocky Mountains - beautiful and serene - could not ask for a better place to knit.

4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it? My favorite book that i currently own is One Skein - so many projects I want to tackle in it. The other favorite I am lusting after is the IK Favorite Socks book - just the pictures are like sock pron to me ;)

5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)? yes, my current favorites are Stash and Burn and She-knits.
6. If you could only knit with 1 color for the rest of your life, what color would that be? RED!
7. If you were far into a project and then noticed a mistake near the beginning what would you do? Frog it back and start again. I have tried just continuing to work forward but it always just ended up bugging me so much I had to frog it anyway (and then ended up having to frog more) :(
8. Where is the most unsual spot you've ever knit? In front of the campfire (with my trusty headlamp).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A few new goodies

Well I was aimlessly wandering through Michaels the other day and found this new shipment of knitting bags/project bags, etc. And very reasonably priced, too. So I had to snag one of course to try out, and I think I will be back for more. I like being able to see the yarn inside and this bag also has grommets on both ends for feeding the yarn through which I think will be perfect for working from two separate balls of yarn. Can't wait to try it out! (The project inside is the very early beginnings of the Tilted Duster from the most recent issue of IK)
Also got some blue sky alpaca cotton that I ordered from the Knit2purl2 store closing sale. I THOUGHT I had also snagged enough malabrigo for a sweater project and some lion and lamb for clapotis but, alas, they were actually sold out. So while I am happy I did not spend that money, a part of me mourns the loss of my great yarn bargains. Oh well.

I just entered a contest from the She-Knits podcast - would be totally cool to win the prize of one of her bag kits - her bags are sooooo drool-worthy - I especially love that sunflower one. And her podcast is pretty good, too. You can check out the contest here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Some more gift knitting and a sock

First a lace project - Branching Out from Knitty - in Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool for my MIL for her birthday (or maybe Christmas) - undecided as of yet. Very pretty even unblocked.

And then some Tofutsies knit into a spiral eyelet pattern (my reincarnated Flicker sock that had to be frogged). This is my first sock on magic loop and I have to say I do like it. I think the sharp, metal tips will be much better for doing the lace sock patterns, but I will not abandon my DPNs. Those I will probably save for my plainer socks. Oh, and yes, the colors are pooling terribly but I don't care - I just need to finish some socks. It's been far too long.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Malabrigo, Lorna's Laces, Koigu, Blue Sky Alpaca, Misti Alpaca, most merino, cascade 220, Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran

mohair and itchy wools or acrylics

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Ummm...my WIPs? Just joking.
Have my straights in a vase, DPNs/crochet hooks in a Della Q silk case and a Namaste hard needle case, and my circs in a Knitpicks binder

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Knitting for about two years - self taught out of a book. I consider myself to be about an intermediate - have done socks, small sweaters, some lace, and cables - but no colorwork yet.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, but it's on Amazon.ca

5. What's your favorite scent?

fruity, citrusy scents

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

Anything chocolate (drool)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I crochet and sew.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

My music tastes are eclectic so may be safer to avoid this one.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

LOVE red - not a big fan of orange.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

Have a young daughter who spends her days tormenting our small dog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

Yes, yes, yes, and depends in the poncho.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Socks, and just about anything that has a unique design, not too fussy, clean and classic styling, and preferably minimal seaming.

13. What are you knitting right now?

see blog

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Metal circs (knitpicks or Addis) and bamboo or ebony DPNs

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

Yes and yes

17. How old is your oldest UFO?

Almost a year but really it is just awaiting a good frogging

18. What is your favorite holiday?


19. Is there anything that you collect?

Ummm, does handpainted sock yarn count? oh and knitting bags, too.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to IK but would not mind getting some back issues as I have only recently started reading and purchasing them.

Other things on my wish list include:

A good sock knitting book of patterns (IK Favorite Socks, Sensational Knitted Socks, etc)
kacha-kacha row counter that locks and can hang around your neck - have not found one yet
Handmaiden sea silk
lace Addi's to try

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Would like to try more felting projects

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

Yes, I wear a ladies size 7 shoe - foot lenth is approx 9" heel to toe.

23. When is your birthday?

June 28

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?

yes, My ID is Purlybird

One of a few WIP's

I have a few others on the needles right now but here is a pic of just one of them. It is Argosy from Winter 06 Knitty - made with some Patons SWS. I actually like how it's working up and the yarn gives a nice halo effect. Not my favorite yarn to work with but it does look pretty. I know this yarn has gotten some mixed reviews so it will be interesting to see how it holds up.

I am also currently working on some socks from Tofutsies and some Fibretrends felted clogs for a birthday gift.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Buzz Lightyear and Bear have a serious discussion

about current WIPs.

So I looked over tonight and somehow they had both been placed on the shelf and looked like this. I swear they were not posed like this on purpose - so of course my DH had to take a pic.

Anyhoo - just an update that I have been on Ravelry for about a month now but am ashamed to admit that I have just not had the time to really take advantage of all it's great features. The good news is I am making a lot of progress on my gift knitting (both for upcoming birthdays and Christmas). My munchkin is transitioning to a big bed out of the crib so I have been spending many, many nights at her bedside knitting her to sleep. Ah well - could be worse right ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Another FO

Originally uploaded by Purlybird

The color is really off in this photo - it is really more of a soft purple-blue. I really liked this pattern and this yarn. I am planning on making another Vestee soon - with a varietgated this time to see how it shows up in this stitch pattern.

I like how this pattern had a simple stitch pattern to memorize but not boring stockinette - and it worked up really fast.

First in a few FO's

Originally uploaded by Purlybird

A birthday present for my SIL - in October - a cute little headband. I plan on including some knitted dishcloths, too - she has requested these in the past.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wheee - vacation and birthday yarn!!!

Holy cow this past week has been amazing. I kicked off our vacation with the summer solstice sale at Make1 Yarns - hubby even bought me a $50 GC as part of my birthday present to give me a head start on the enabling (like I needed any help). So here is some pictures of my haul:
Some lonely skeins I got for a whopping 50% off including
Lorna's Laces fisherman's wool in mixed berries
RY Cashsoft aran (to make Nakiska for my SIL)
Regia silk in black
malabrigo in a gorgeous blue/black (will be mittens)
Blue Sky Alpaca organic cotton in soft purple (to become a baby bolero from One Skein)

Some Schaefer Anne and Schaefer Lola at 20% off.
And a most luscious skein of Scheafer Esperanza in the Indira Ghandi colorway (at 50% off!!). I had to knit it up right away into a cuddly wrap - feather and fan pattern.

I also arrived home to the Knitpicks order I had made for my first real sweater project. I also threw in some memories sock yarn to try and a set of needles to try magic loop for socks.
I think I will try making Viveka with the Wool of the Andes in Iron Ore or maybe the Orgami Cardi from this summer's IK - undecided so far.

Here is the knitting progress I made during my vacation. In addition to the Esperanza wrap, I also
finished a sock and a half for my hubby
made some progress on my Tofutsies flicker sock
front and back and part of both sleeves done on Vestee
And a good start on my Chevron scarf. I used one skein of STR in the Carbon dating colorway (that refused to be Jaywalkers) and one skien of Zen Strings Lotustoes in the Cherry Mocha Java colorway. I LOVE the combination - the blues with the browns (some burgundy and purples and grey thrown in) are marvelous - very ME!!

It's been a great vacation and birthday and so now I must settle into my yarn diet!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Yarn sale - uh oh......

Okay so I told myself I would be on a yarn diet until June 24 when I leave on holidays (and also happens to be my birthday week) - double the excuse to go on a yarn buying binge when my not-so-LYS will be having its annual summer solstice sale.

But then knitpicks AND my LYS decide to have sales and well you see the damage done (my KP order is on it's way). I picked up some WofA from KP to try my first big person sweater. I have made many baby sweaters but have not yet tried one for myself so I am really looking forward to this - and decided the $1.59/ball price tag meant it would be okay if it wasn't a stellar result.

Above are four balls of Lily Chin Chelsea (3 green/1pink) which I LOVE for summer tops, and four balls of Regia. I have never tried Regia but have heard good things and at less than 5 bucks a ball I picked up enough for two pairs of socks.

I also picked up a nifty little sock project bag. I love because it's got a cute pattern but is still clear so I can see what's in it - and it comes with a little matching accessory pouch.
I cast on some Tofutsies with my new Lantern Moon sox stix and I have to say I love both! It is the Cookie A pattern Flicker. PURTY!
Here is a pair of socks I cast on for my DH out of the grey Regia - he prefers solid colors and with all the handpainted stuff I am normally drawn to - this is the first sock yarn he actually said he might wear socks from! It is a modified version of the Thuja pattern from Knitty. I made the DPN stitch holders myself - cute eh?!