Monday, December 31, 2007

New Niddy Noddy

I bought a Niddy Noddy yesterday at Acorn Street Yarn. I got it to straighten out my unraveled yarn. Despite hanging my yarn after I washed it and putting full Diet Dr Pepper cans at the bottom to weigh them down, I still had curly yarn.

Ialiuxh put some of my yarn that I brought to the dye party a couple of weeks ago on her niddy noddy, sprayed it with water, and then let it dry. Wah la! Nice straight yarn.

Now I have a lot of unraveled yarn, at least 2 men's XL sweaters worth, so I'm not sure I'll be doing this with all of it. But I figured, I could start on it and over time end up with it all straightened. I may try it on my swift too, but I'm worried it will ruin the cloth straps.

The reason I was even near Acorn Street Yarn yesterday is that Amy and I went over to University Village to go to the Mac store. Amy's iPod's headphone jack is broke. We had to wait 3 1/2 hours, so to kill time we had lunch, went Storabable where I got some great baskets for my new Ikea bookcase, and hung out at Barnes and Nobles where I bought a blank writing journal and art journal. We still had an hour to kill so using our new GPS and my uploaded list of yarn stores, we headed over to Weaving Works because the lady at Seattle Yarn told me they would most likely have a Niddy Noddy (something others in my knitting group told me too). But they were closed. Boo hoo!

So we headed back towards University Village and drove up to Acorn. The ladies there guessed that Amy wasn't a knitter when she plopped down on a chair and started reading her e-mail!

I looked around but didn't buy any yarn, just the niddy noddy.

Oh, and at the Mac store, they told us they don't repair iPods. This is after they lost our 4:30 appointment. Now, couldn't they have told us that when we told them we needed the iPod looked at because of the head jack at 1 pm? Let's just say that Amy was so mad she gave herself a headache! Poor thing.

Afterwards we drove down to Tacoma and went to the Point Defiance zoo to see the Zoolights. The women in charge of all the lights is a fan of Amy's Xenacast podcast and gave us free admission. Isn't that sweet!

The lights were awesome and so beautiful. Plus the aquarium was open so we got to see sharks too.

And by the time we were through, Amy's headache was gone.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

101 Things To Do 1001 Days

After seeing a post on Miss Violet's blog about the 101 Things in 1001 Days, I've decided to join and create my own blog for it, Rhonda's 101 Things To Do In 1001 Days. I haven't done goal setting in a long time. I'd forget about them mostly so I figure if I have a blog that shows up on my Blogger dashboard every time I go to post, I'm more likely to keep it up front in my consciousness.

101 Things In 1001 Days is a project where you come up with a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. There is a group on LiveJournal that is starting next week on January 1, 2008. 1001 days later, September 28, 2010, the idea is to have all the items on your list completed.

On my my list, I have quite a few knitting related items. Creativity is the category with the most items because it is very important to me. I also have some art related things because I'd like to get back to doing more of that too.

I won't go on more here about the rest of my list, I've done that on that blog. But I'll be keeping more detailed progress on the knitting things here. And here's the list:

58. Complete Level 1 of TKGA Masters Program
61. Dye Yarn
62. Go on an Art or Knitting Retreat
63. Knit Brian a Pair of Socks
64. Knit Amy a Jayne Hat
66. Knit Mittens
67. Knit a Fair Isle Item
68. Knit an Intarsia Item
69. Steek a sweater/vest
70. Knit mom socks
75. Knit 5 Japanese Patterns (0/5)
76. Update Japanese Knitting Site Twice A Month (0/66)
79. Knit 5 pairs of socks for self (0/5)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Mr Greenjeans Swatch

Last night at knit group, I cast on my swatch for Mr Greenjeans from the Fall 2007 Knitty.

Ialiuxh, Charity, and I are starting a sweater-along after the new year. But Charity has already started on hers. So I need to catch up!

I'm using Knit Pick Swish Superwash, which is 100% Superwash yarn, in Jade.

It looks like a got gauge the first try. But I've found before that I have to use a size 7 needle with worsted weight yarn so I didn't even try with an 8.

Well, I'm not sure I got gauge exactly. When I use my ruler, I get 9 stitches for 2 inches and 12 rows for 2 inches. But when I measure across the stockinette stitches which is 22 inches, I get 5 1/2 inches which is 4 stitches per inch and I get 28 rows in 4 3/4 rows which is 5.9.

I need 18 stitches by 24 rows. And I know if I change needle sizes down to a 6, I'll probably end up with too many stitches per row. So, I may end up recalculating the pattern to use my gauge. So much for following the pattern exactly!

Carrie said to wash my swatch. Her experience has been that superwash gets bigger when washed. So that might be a good thing, in this case.

Also, at knit night, Ialiuxh gave me her skein of Socks That Rocks yarn that she got from the sock club. She doesn't like blues and teals much and she knows I do. Isn't she SWEET!!!!

The colorway is called Bella * Coola / Nuxalk. The pattern that came with it is called Salish Sea Socks by Cat Bordhi. It looks like a fun pattern.

And it even came with a little emergency key chain skein. The label says, "Don't Leave Home Without It".

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Seattle Xmas

We had a white Xmas at mom's house. Amy, being originally from Texas, has never had a white Xmas (I haven't seen one since I was a kid living in Louisville, KY), so she is a little more then thrilled!

Look at the two knitting books I got:

My brother got me the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary, Volume One, Knit and Purl and it wasn't even on my Xmas list. Way to go, little bro!

Mom got me the dog gone cute. Pachebel is going to look so cute in her very own sweater! But after I knit one for me, of course. Ialiuxh, Charity, and I are starting a sweater along after the new year. I'm going to do Mr. Greenjeans.

RJ seems to approve too!

Oh, and I think my mom liked her cardigan. I'm not completely satisified with it. The button seem too small. But other then that and some other little things I don't like (I must find a way to weave in my ends so that they don't pop out, grrrr), I think it turned out okay.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Noro Sock Yarn

Yesterday, in our quest to get out and check out different neighborhoods, Amy and I went driving around West Seattle. So, of course, I had to stop at Seattle Yarn on California and get some Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn.

It is color no S40, dye lot A. 100 grams, 420 meters. 70% wool, 30% Nylon

While we were out, we also got me a Garmin nĂ¼vi 200 GPS. I was really hesitant about getting one because they are really pricey but I'm so glad we did.

It is weird but since we've moved here I have been less willing to get out and explore on my own. And I really love to travel and learn new areas. So this hasn't made sense to me. I think the problem is that, unlike when I'm traveling and have time to kill, when I need to go somewhere or think I'd like to check something out, I have limited time. So I don't want to get lost.

So it is easier to stay at home and not get lost?!? WTF?

I think this disturbed Amy more then it did me. She is used to me being so self-reliant and last week when we got lost trying to get on the viaduct (there is only 2 exits from downtown,grrrr) and I got so frustrated that I stated crying because I nearly ran over some guy riding his bike in the crosswalk who came out of nowhere and then honked at me like I was the idiot who came out of a tunnel into a crosswalk, she insisted that we get me a gps, one that tells you turn-by-turn directions.

The GPS comes loaded with over 6 million addresses and locations. It can show where the closest restaurant or gas station is. It also has the phone numbers and addresses for lots of different businesses. And once you select a destination, it calculates the route and then talks you through the directions as you arrive at the places where you need to turn.

And the best featured? You can load your own map locations. So I converted my Seattle Yarn Map to the right format, uploaded it to my GPS, and now I can be anywhere in the greater Seattle area, turn on my GPS and see the closest yarn stores. Cool!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wickedly Foolish (Just In Time for Xmas)


I'd have given up on this is it wasn't for Amy. Every time I said it looked like crap and that I just couldn't give it to my mother, Amy would try on the cardigan and tell me how great it is.

And when I would complain that the button band rolled in on itself and I should just throw it in a bag and get my mom something else for Xmas, Amy would say, "but, you can block that out right?" (she's got the lingo down good huh?)

So I perservered and last night I finally finished knitting and weaved in the ends. But again I lamented about the button band and again Amy reminded me about blocking.

Well, today I washed it in Soak and pinned it out on my "new" blocking board from Ialiauxh. And if it the blocking takes, then the button band rolling problem could be solved. Will know later after it dries.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Finished Dyed Yarn

Here's a picture of all the yarn from the dyeing party this past weekend.
These are the ones I ended up with.

Aren't they cute?

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Thirfting Around Ballard

Amy and I have decided to check out different neighborhoods in Seattle on the weekends to see where we'd like to buy a house eventually. I'm hoping we can buy next year but we may need to save another year before we can afford the down payment.

So this last weekend we went over to Ballard and went to a couple of thrift stores. The first two sweaters I got at Value Village. The third at Goodwill.

This first one seems to be a handmade cardigan. If it didn't have fuzzy novelty and eyelash yarns in it, I might even keep it to wear. I like the colors. But the real reason I bought the cardigan wasn't to wear or even for the yarn. I bought it for the buttons.

Aren't these great? Dichoric buttons like these could easily cost $2 to $3 or more. The sweater has 5 of them.

This second one was $2.50, half price from $4.99 because it was yellow tag day. It is a women's large and the yarn content is; 35% wool, 28% viscose, 15% Nylon, 9% Silk, 3% Cashmere, and 3% Other fiber (hmmm?). I wasn't really sure I wanted it, but Amy kept saying "it is only $2.50 and stop stressing about it." The yarn will be good for small projects.

The big find of the day though was this:

It is a 100% Alpaca sweater. Look at all those cables and different stitches. I'm going to get a lot of yarn out of this one. Really soft yarn. The label says it was hand knit in Peru. So I'm trying not feel bad about ripping it our for yarn. It is too big and bulky for me to ever wear.

Aren't these great finds? Oh and Ballard is pretty cool too!

TKGA Membership

I opened up my mail yesterday to find a membership to The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) yesterday. I had it on my Xmas list, but I didn't really expect to get it. Sometimes I put things on my list just so I'll remember. This was one of those things.

Amy said she didn't get it for me. And I don't think it is a gift my brother would buy me. So it has to be my mom.

I'm torn about calling her today and asking her or waiting until Xmas. But I know her so she'll want to know it arrived.

Now that I have the membership I plan on signing up for the Level I Masters Knitting Program. It is a:
"non-competitive and rewarding achievement program for advanced knitters."

I'm not what I consider an advanced knitter but I'd like to be better then I am now. I probably won't do all 3 levels but I want to do the first level to improve my knitting skills in a structured way.

The program requires knitting swatches and garments plus answering knitting related questions. Your work is then evaluated by a committee before you "pass" and can go onto the next level.

I think it will be fun but challenging. I'm on the TKGA board on Ravelry and most everyone says they learned a lot by taking the program and that their knitting experience and projects improved tremendously.

What a great Xmas present. Thanks Mom! (You did get this for me didn't your?!?)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Yarn Dyeing Party

Charity gave us a Yarn Dyeing 101 Class yesterday at Ialiuxh's yesterday. We used both Kool Aid and Jacquard fabric dyes.

First we soaked the skeins (premade by Charity, Ialiuxh, and Elizabeth. I brought some of my reclaimed yarn from a sweater I ripped out last month):

Here they are after they soaked:

Then Charity mixed up the Jacquard fabric dyes:

Here's Tara spooning her dye onto the a skein (pretty!):

And Charity (isn't this a great color combo):

And Ialiuxh (with her favorite colors!):

And mine (this turned out much better looking when it was done):

After we dyed them we wrapped them in Saran wrap and microwaved them for *2 minutes, waited 2 minutes* (3 times)

When they cooled, the skeins were rinsed and hung to dry.

Ialiuxh is going to bring the dried skeins to knit night on Wednesday so I'll have more photos then.

Next, Charity is going to teach us kettle dyeing.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Finished Gifts

Yesterday I finished My So Called Scarf for my MIL's birthday which is next week. I need to send it priority this week so it will get there on time.

I also finished Hedgerow Socks for my mom which I gave to her today for her birthday.

I had her try on her Wickedly Foolish cardigan and I'm really bummed because it isn't wide enough. It is okay at the bust but I need to add about 4 more inches around the stomach and lengthen it by another 4 inches. So I'm going to have to rip out a ton of rows. I have no idea if I'll get it done for Xmas now.

I just can't face the ripping and reknitting right now. So I startd the Hoodie Scarf to take my mind off it. I'm using Cascade 220 in Maroon. I wanted a smallish project that I can carry with me and knit at knitting group.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hello Dolly!


Look what came in the mail today! My early Xmas gift to myself: an adjustable dress form!

I've been wanting one of these for awhile so I can see how my knitted garments are going. I hate trying them on in the mirror not really able to see how they look from the back. Now I can get a 360 degree view.


And my mom's Wickedly Foolish Cardigan got to break her in. I was able to adjust the bust and hip measurements to match my mom's. I think the cardigan fits pretty good. I was a little worried about the hip area. I do think it would be tight if it wasn't a cardigan. But mom will mostly wear it open so that won't be a problem.

The other nice thing about seeing the cardigan on the dress form is that I can see that I don't have miles of sleeves to knit. With the raglan style the upper part of the sleeve has already been knit. I was really worried I wouldn't have this done by Xmas, but I think now it is doable.

Besides the sleeves, I still have to do pockets. I haven't decided what the placement will be or how I'm going to do them yet. I need to check out my Sweater Workshop book to see tips on pockets. I know there are directions on an after thought pocket which requires cutting the fabric. I may do that or just knit some squares with the ribbing on them and sew them on. Or somehow knit them on. Anyone know how to do that?

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Urban Craft Uprising Goodies

Today we went down to Urban Craft Uprising at Seattle Center. I picked up a couple of really cute bags. The first is B.O.B (bag of bags) by Don't Quilt Your Day Job. I especially like that it has Breast Cancer Awareness bags in it and the pink handles. Too cute!
I also bought this great DPN needle case from valutree. She also makes messenger bag style knitting bags. I wanted to buy one but I didn't have $50 cash with me. Luckily, she has an Etsy shop so I can order one later.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thrift Store Finds

Amy and I hit a couple of thirft stores today. First, we went down to the Goodwill Outlet on 6th Avenue South in Seattle. Amy found a filing cabinet there but I didn't find any sweaters worth buying even at 99 cents a pound. I didn't like how the clothes are all thrown into binds that you have to sort through.

So then we drove over to a regular Goodwill store at Dearborne and Rainer. It was HUGE with two sides, one for clothes, and the other for everything else. Plus they had a room in the back where they were having a special vintage sale.

I found 3 sweaters, one in the women's section, and 2 in the men's section. I seem to have better luck in the men's department and because men's clothes are usually bigger then women's clothes, there is more yarn in the sweaters. I ended up just buying one of the sweaters. A natural wool women's sweater. The label says: "100% Wool, Boston Traders, Hand-Frame Knitted in Hong Kong". It has a lot of textured stitch patterns on it so I should get a good amount of yarn out of it. I'll probably dye the yarn too.

I also scored some great looking and great fitting Naturalizer shoes for $3.99. The best part is that I can wear them with my hand-knitted socks and you'll be able to see the socks!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Reclaimed Yarn

Last night I got out my swift and wound up the yarn from one of the wool sweaters I unraveled. I got the sweater, along with a couple of others, last month at a thrift store with the intention of reclaiming the yarn to add to my stash.

It is a sweaters worth of yarn at least since it was a men's large sweater with lots of cables on it. I need to wash and hang it now to get all the kinks out. Then I plan on dyeing it but I'm not sure what color(s) or how. I'm going to a dyeing party on the 15th with women from my Wednesday night knitting group. So I want it all prepared by then.

After dyeing it I'm not sure what I'll do with the yarn. It is kind of scratchy as wool goes so it would be best as an outer garment. Or I might use it for felting projects.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Knitter's Book of Yarn Rocks

I just got done writing a review of Clara Parke's new book, The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn for the Knitting News Cast website.

If you can only buy one book this season, I totaly recommend it. I won't go into all the details here so you can read the review of The Knitter's Book of Yarn here.

However, I have to say that I love how this books covers the subject of yarn (much better then other books that have come out in the last year or two). I learned so much by reading it from cover-to-cover, which isn't something I usually do with knitting books.

And some of the patterns in the book are really GREAT!!! Jennifer Hagan who taught my cable class last week has several patterns in the book. I especially love the headband and fingerless gloves she has in there.

GO BUY THIS BOOK NOW!!! Or better yet put it on your Xmas list! It ROCKS!

Oh and there are two free patterns from the book out on the internet. They are Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes and Princess Mitts by Jennifer Hagan

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday. So besides having the day off from work (yeah!),I'm having my mom and hopefully, my brother over (double yeah!).

I'm not much into cooking so we bought a prepared turkey and sides along with rolls and a pumpkin pie. Amy is making some kind of mushroom dish to eat since she is vegetarian and also some stuffing mix without meat in it. Plus she bought fixings for green bean casserole (yum!)

We also bought a sugar-free cherry pie (they didn't have sugar-free pumpkin) so I can enjoy desert afterwards with everyone else.

Hope y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving too!

P.S. While my mom is here, I'm going to have her try on her Wickedly Foolish Cardigan to see if it fits. I've knitted to just below the bustline. Let's hope it fits!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Japanese Knitting Books, Finally!

Last night we went to Uwajimaya near downtown Seattle and the International District. We had dinner in the food court and walked around the grocery store looking at all the Asian food they have. I bought some sushi and and Udon noodle bowl for lunch today. I also bought some edamame chips which tasted somewhat like Bugles but not. They were good. I still have some shrimp flavored chips to try for a snack today.

Amy got some chocolate covered macadamia nuts which would kill me so I wasn't even tempted to have them. But there were a lot of interesting looking sweets. I had red bean buns when I was in Japan my last year in college for Xmas holidays and I was tempted to buy them. But they have sugar in them at the 2nd or 3rd level ingredient so they are off my list. I try not to eat anything with sugar in it but if I do then it has to be the 5th or less ingredient. And even then I don't often consider it. Oh well. I really don't miss sugar. For me, the less sugar I have, the less I want it.
However, the main reason we went to Uwajimaya wasn't for the food but so I could look at and buy some Japanese Knitting books at Kinokuniya. Therese had brought one she had bought last week to knitting group. It reminded me that I had wanted to buy some Japanese knitting books and ordered some from Amazon Japan but somehow the order didn't go through and it had been such a chore trying to figure out what books to buy, that I never went back and reordered them.

These are 3 of the many books I wanted to buy. I had seen the Guernsey and Aran Sweaters book on someone's blog last year but couldn't find it to order. I saw My Favorite & Mens Knit yesterday on a Japanese Book Site which has previews of pages from the books. And the last one with no English title was one that looks interesting because of the entralec cuffed gloves on the cover as well as some other great patterns.

The ABC's of Knitting site has several great resources for reading and using Japanese knitting patterns. The Basic Stitches, the How to Read Japanese Graphical Knitting page, and the Basics of Japanese Knitting are going to be very helpful for me to decipher the patterns because it all looks Japanese to me! ;)

I'm going to start off with a neck warmer from My Favorite and Mens Knits. It seems to have an easy cable pattern that I can figure out with my new knowledge of cables from my Cableology I class this weekend. I think the yarn that is used is a sock weight because it appears that you should have 32 sts per 10cm (4 inches). I think I have something in my stash that I can use.

I just found a Japanese Knitting and Crochet group on Ravelry and it looks like they have some more resources for translating patterns. Plus I'll be able to ask questions if I get lost.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cableology I Class

I took a cable callas today from Jennifer Hagan of Figheadh Yarns at the Yarn Stash today. It was a lot of fun and I feel a little bit more confident about cable knitting.

Jennifer had a very informative hand-out on the definition, history, and classification of cable knitting. It has great information on reading charts and a cable stitch glossary which spells out what different kind of cables like C4F mean. I know I'll be referring to it often!

As part of the class we started on a Cableology I Headband. I've got the first of 3 sections about 1/2 way knit. There are several noticeable mistakes but it is a class project so I shouldn't expect to perfect! I'm using Cascade 220 in White so the picture doesn't show the cables very well.

Jennifer had on a beautiful zippered cabled cardigan that she just finished the pattern for. It is called Sarah. It has 3 different kinds of cables on it. I'm think I might not make the same collar. I might make it as a hoodie or just a simple collar like the icord edges she uses on the rest of the pattern. But that is one I'll have to graduate up to when I get better with cables!

While I was at the Yarn Stash, I also bought some Superwash Cascade 220 so that I can make a Hoodie Scarf. It has both right and left cross cables. It shouldn't be too hard now that I have a little bit more experience knitting cables.