Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yummy Yarn Received

Thank You One Skein Secret Pal!!! I just got my lovely skein of yarn in the mail this morning before work at my post office box.

I won't have access to my camera until later this week when I'm back at home, so I can't post a picture today of this beautiful yarn.

It is Buckwheat Bridge Angoras Hudson Valley Worsted Spinning Mill Yarn. It is 50% Mohair and 50% Wool. It feels so soft! And the colors are purple, blue and greens! Just lovely.

I can't wait to get it in a ball and knit up a swatch. Now the hard part begins. What to knit with this special yarn?!?!

Knit, Check Pattern, Rip

I've been trying to knit a sock for the last 5 or 6 days now. I'm using the sock yarn my SP8 sent me but I just can't seem to find a pattern that is knitting up the way I like it.

My SP8 did send a great lace sock pattern, but I figured it would be a good idea for me to start out with a basic sock. I went to an online sock pattern generator, but the sock was too loose.

So I found another pattern and started knitting on that. Well, that pattern was too tight!

Right now I'm knitting to just be knitting anyway. And not to really get something accomplished, although that would be nice. It is helping me get through this week.

Amy's grandfather died on Sunday morning. We've been staying in Austin with her Granny. I've been going to work but when I'm at the house, I'm knitting. It helps pass the time and keeps my hands out of the cookies.

Looks like the funeral will be on Thursday morning. The final arrangements are being made today.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Knitting At Work

I'm stuck at work today watching computer process run. We are trying to get ready for a demo of our program on Tuesday.

I started a sock last night with the yarn my secret pal sent me knowing I'd be waiting around a lot today. I've gotten about 3 or 4 inches done.

I'll take a picture tomorrow and post it. I love how this yarn (Lorna Lace's Shepherd Sport) is knitting up. Beautiful!

Knitty Article To Be Published

WooHoo! An article I submitted to Knitty.com is being published in the Summer 2006 issue!

I submitted it back in March or April and hadn't heard anything, so I figured I hadn't made the cut. But yesterday I got an e-mail from Amy Singer, the editor of Knitty.com, saying I was in!

Not sure if I can write about the topic of the article before it is published, so I'll wait to reveal it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


 I've started working on my next project, a cardigan sweater. I'm designing it with the help of The Sweater Workshop book. I used their worksheet to figure out how may stitches to cast on. The book also show me how to work a slip stitch edge and how to do the button holes.

I'm using Andean Silk yarn from Knit Picks. It is 55% Alpaca, 23% Silk, and 22% Merino Wool. It is so soft and a dream to knit with. The color scheme is based on the Tubey sweater pattern from the winter issue of Knitty.com.

I had originally bought the yarn to do the Tubey, but decided I'd rather have a cardigan instead of the body hugging sweater.

I'm almost to the arm holes and then I'll need to decide how I want to do the sleeves and the yoke area. I'm not sure how it will look as a ragalan with the stripes going around the yoke but not the sleeves. I could do a drop sleeve instead. That might make the stripes work out better. The book shows how to do both. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Japanese Knitting Books

Oh no! I'm may have found another knitting related obsession. First, there was the yarn, and then there was the patterns, and then there was the alpaca, and now I've discovered Japanese Knitting Books.

I had bought some Japanese bead books about 10 or so years ago. They are just wonderful. And late last year I was reading about Japanese craft books but I didn't see anything about knitting ones.

But today while I was reading some blogs and I saw an entry about Japanese knitting books and before you know it I was down a rabbit hole where I ended up on the Amazon Japan website ordering two books/magazines of knitting designs/patterns. It is crazy because I can't even read Japanese. But if the knitting books are anything like the bead books, then there will be some high quality eye candy for sure!

Here are the two books I ordered:



I think the second one is a crochet book. There is no English descriptions on the Amazon Japan site. It is pretty much a crap shoot. But several people had great things to say about the first.

I used a online tutorial on how to order on the Japan Amazon site. It made the whole ordering thing a snap.

There were a lot more that I would have liked to get but they are kinda pricey. And the shipping cost me more then the two books. All told it is about $30.

My mom lives in Seattle and I read on a couple of blogs of a book store there that sells Japanese Knitting Books, so I just might be asking for that for my birthday (hint, hint mom!)

It will be 6 to 8 weeks before I get the books. I'll post more when I get them. If you have Japanese knitting books leave a comment and let me know which ones you like best. Thanks!

Japanese Knitting Patterns and Japanese Knitting Books

Monday, June 12, 2006

Processing Fiber

Yesterday, Fay and I started going through the alpaca fiber that was sheared last weekend. There are a ton of grass burs in it, so it is slow going.

We watched the videos on wool prepartion on the Joy of Handspinning website. It is very informative.

We are going to purchase some carding paddles and drop spindles. We are going to try our had an making yarn so that we can knit/crochet/weave it.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Second Sock Done - Pair Complete

Just finished my second sock. Now the pair is now complete! I worked on the second sock today on World Wide Knit In Public Day.

I had several errands to run this morning. I had to get my oil changed and get a set of new tires put on my car. So I took my knitting with me and worked on my sock while I waited.

I didn't get to finish the sock until I came home this evening because I didn't have the pattern with me and I couldn't remember what I needed to do for the decreases at the toe.

I like how this socks turned out. But the toe on both don't seem tight enough. You can see my toes through them and I'm worried that they will go right through. I either need to knit tigher or find some way to reinforce the toe.

I think I see a future of socks which I swear I thought would never happen. I just didn't get the appeal of knitting socks. But they knit up quick and they are fun to do.

And I also now understand why sock yarn is sold in balls only big enough for one ball. I always thought it was the yarn companies trying to get more money out of you by selling you two balls. But the yarn I used, Lion Brand Magic Stripes, has a ball big enough for two socks. The problem is that you don't know when half the ball is done. So you don't know if you have knitted too much or too little on the first sock. I could have knitted more on the first sock and made the pair a little bit longer. Now I have sock yarn left over that isn't enough for much of anything.

So with one ball for each sock you know when you need to stop on the firsth sock and you also know that you have enough yarn to knit the second sock with out running out of yarn. Posted by Picasa

Secret Pal Goodness

Look at the lovely yarn my Secret Pal sent me. It is by Lorna's Lace. It is Shepherd Sport, Color #12, Iris Garden. I love how this yarn feels. And the colors. Well you know that purple's and green's are my favs, so this yarn is just perfect!

My secret pal also included a pattern designed by Judy Sumner called Purple Iris Socks. The sock has a lace design on the top.

I love iris and this yarn. It will be fun to get it into balls. Can't wait to knit this yarn up.

Thank you secret pal!!! Posted by Picasa

Sunday, June 04, 2006

After Pictures of Alpaca

Coco before and Carmel After
Coco After
Carmel After

Ah, don't they just look pitiful? But cute too.

Both Carmel and Coco put up fight when they were getting sheared. But Billy and Sherry were real good with them and kept them mostly calm.

They had to give up on Coco because he was so upset. He bayed just like a horse. It sounded awful. So he looks a little raggedy.

Billy says the fleece we got off of them isn't worth much. Coco's was much softer and prettier then Carmel's. But Fay and I are thinking we can still can do something with it. But Bucky just wants to throw it away. Hope that doesn't happen.

Next year should be better. Hopefully, we'll have gotten them more used to us. And they'll trust us better when they get sheared. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Alpaca Day One

Here is a better picture of the Alpaca. It is much clearer then picture from yesterday from Amy's phone. But you can see how dirty they are so maybe it is too clear.

Last night when I got home it was dusk and almost dark. I got to see them but they wouldn't look at me and turned to look the other way.

They seemed less scared this morning and by the end of my picture taking they had sat down and the light colored one was even eating grass.

I'm not sure what else they eat besides grass. I doubt they have alpaca food at the feed store. But you never know. There may be something that other animals eat that they eat too.

Tomorrow they are getting sheered. Fay has found someone who sheers goats, llamas and alpacas. He told her to put the fleece in a box rather then a plastic bag. I'm not sure why. But okay.

I'm hoping he knows someone that can process the fleece for us. I've been reading on the internet how to clean it and turn it into roving and how to spin it. I'm not sure I'm up to it but Fay might be. I can help her and we can learn together.

And of course, they are her alpaca so she gets to decide! Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 02, 2006

Alpacas Arrive

This is a picture of the alpacas that just arrived at home. Aren't they cute!

The picture isn't to great because it was sent to me through a picture phone. I can't wait to see them in person after work tonight.

They are both male and fixed. So no baby alpacas for now. But maybe sometime in the future will get a female and another male.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My First Sock!


Every one deserves a sock,
Every sock deserves a friend,
Sock Friend! Posted by Picasa