Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Settling In

The move last Saturday went really well (according to all the people who had moved substantial households) and now I'm in the sloooooow process of unpacking boxes and finding homes for my stuff. Some days I get really motivated and will tackle whole sections of a room. Other days I just feel plain lazy and maybe get one box done before I have to take a nap. The best part of the new apartment is that it has 2 bedrooms. The second bedroom is the office/music room/yarn storage area. I'm super excited to have a designated space for my yarn. Somehow those boxes managed to get unpacked fairly quickly.
The brown box is some gifted acrylic yarn from my aunt. In the clear totes are acrylics, miscellaneous odds and ends and started (and forgotten) projects. The major part of the stash is on the shelves. To the far left (not pictured) are actually 3 totes that I use for yarn and fiber that goes in the store. My swift and ball winder are set up against another wall and the skeiner is currently residing on my desk. I'm hoping to get a large folding table to take to shows. I can set it up in the office as well and use it for the swift, ball winder, and skeiner.

The office is also home to my music collection, desk, computer, and other craft related items. The closet is all for storage of lesser used items like the pilates ball and luggage. The only downside to this room is that it has no overhead lighting. I'm thinking of putting in a ceiling fan though to remedy this.

Once the yarn is unpacked the only logical thing, of course, is to get it out and use it. I finished the hat and mitten set from the Wool-Aid KAL.
I went down from a size 9 needle on the hat to size 6 needles for the gloves because I saw they were turning out much too large (had to rip back the first one I started). I also striped the thumbs of the mittens as I'm anal retentive about things like that. Please note that I'm still working on the fine art of pom pom making and, while results are getting better, this one is still a little on the sad side (I'm thinking I need to invest in a pom pom maker). None the less the pom pom kind of makes this hat so it's staying.

My hat count for this summer is now at 3 (which sounds rather pitiful considering it's been 2 months since I starting working on hats). I need 2 more for the EEROP/Project Hope drive plus a pair of socks (kid sized thankfully) and a little boy's sweater. Oh and some kid's mittens as well. All by mid-September. Where did my mad knitting mojo go? At least I was able to start on hat number 4 last night (and got fairly far).
It's three skeins of Berroco Cuzco. I'm using Grumperina's jog-less stripes technique to knit this. The only thing I wish I'd done was to cast on all in one color (instead of equal portions of all three). This will be a plain hat so I don't anticipate this taking me too long to finish. Let's just hope I don't eat those words later.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Finishing Up

There are lots of things that seem to be coming to a close around here. Most notably is my time in this (old) apartment. I move on Saturday which means this week is for running around throwing still unpacked items into boxes in the most organized manner possible before the moving truck pulls up. I can barely walk through any room now as they all have at least one open box waiting to be filled. I'm also slightly concerned about the amount of boxes in the living room vs. the weight load of the living room floor. We may be nearing capacity and I fear many of my worldly possessions may end up in my downstairs neighbor's apartment if I add anything else to the stack.

Also coming to an end is the Summer Mystery KAL via Wool-Aid. I finished the hat portion
and started the first mitten.
The next to last clue came out today and the last clue will come out this Friday. I love mystery KALs and have been trying to stretch my (sadly defunct) design legs by thinking up a mystery KAL for EEROP members. I must say that I love how the hat in this KAL came out. I didn't take gauge and I'm not entirely sure I used the right sized needles but I actually really like the slightly slouchy look that I managed to get. I plan on making this set of hat and mittens again with the reverse color scheme. This is a great quick knit!

The final thing that I'm finishing up (at least for the next few weeks) is dyeing. I packed up the last of
my dye stuffs today and they won't be out for at least the next week. But I did post three new lace weight yarns that I had previously dyed up in the store today.
and Frosted Raspberries.

Since today has been about packing and working and generally getting lots accomplished I'm going to spend the rest of the evening relaxing with some knitting. I think I'm entitled :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

My 3 Hats They Have No Corners

I've been in a hat knitting frenzy lately. I'd forgotten how quick and easy they are to make! And I picked up a set of 16" circulars which makes it go even faster (Note to self: purchase more 16" circulars). Up first is the Lumpy Bumpy hat:
Farmhouse Yarns Lumpy Bumpy in Grapes on the Vine. US size 9 circulars. 2x2 rib. Women's sized.

Next is a mohair hat:
Farmhouse Yarns Roxanne's Mohair in Arizona. Us size 9 circulars. 4x2 rib. Women's sized.
 I was a little worried about how this hat would turn out. The mohair isn't especially soft and there was a ton of vegetable matter stuck in it. I've tried it on though and it turns out that it is not nearly as scratchy as imagined. In fact, after a good washing this should be nice and cozy.

I've also started a third hat. This is part of the Wool-Aid Mystery Knit-Along.
This is turning out to be a very nice hat pattern and there are a set of matching mittens that we'll be making to go along with the hat. I have another ball of each of these colors so I'm thinking about knitting another hat and mittens set in the reverse color combo.

All these hats (and any accompanying mittens) will be going to EEROP's summer knitting campaign for Project Hope. As I've mentioned before, Project Hope provides support to mothers in Romania who would otherwise have to give their children up for adoption. They have a center in Cluj-Napoca for the mothers and children. In the surrounding area are also large Gypsy populations. Project Hope is now venturing to provide knitted items to the members of these communities as well. Again, without help from organizations like Project Hope these families would have to abandon their children to state run orphanages. Adding the Gypsy communities to the Christmas drive has been a challenge: trying to contact these communities and earn their trust, trying to get names and ages of children, coordinating with multiple people in several states and countries... We have had amazing success in getting the mothers and children taken care of for the Christmas drive so now it's time to start thinking about the Gypsy people. To keep interest high I've started some contests through the EEROP Ravelry group. One contest is for prayer shawls. The person who knits the most prayer shawls between June and September 18th will win a wonderful yarny prize! The other contest is for children's items. Same concept, the person who knit the most kid's items before the deadline will win a prize. There are a few more guidelines for knitting for the kids (to make the contest fair) so be sure to check out the threads for more information. And tell a friend (or 2 or 3)! The more people involved the more fun this will be!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another Year Older

Last week was my birthday and, as you may remember, I asked for only 1 thing: a motorized skein winder. Well, my parents came through big time.
This is the deluxe edition: it can wind 3 skeins of yarn at a time, has a rotation counter, and is adjustable up to 2 feet. It has increased my productivity by 200%. I used it to reskein some yarn that I had dyed earlier in the week and I was done in half the time. I can't wait to use it more! A big thanks to my friend Erick who came over and assembled it for me. He was quite helpful in that he is stronger than I am, more patient than I would have been, and didn't curse once, a feat I would have failed miserably at. And all I had to do was buy him dinner.

Other than playing with my skeiner I've been working on a simple hat.
Farmhouse Yarns in Lumpy Bumpy in Grapes on the Vine on US size 9s. 2x2 rib with a nice cuff. Women's size.
I think I'm in love with this yarn. I absolutely adore the texture and it's all I can do to restrain myself from rushing to their website and ordering more. I bought this yarn eons ago when I had first started knitting from Wild Fibre in Savannah. I had the hardest time settling on what to make with this but I think a hat is just perfect. I have some Schaefer Yarns yarn that's been spun with a binding thread (I think that's what it's called) but I don't think it's thick and thin spun like this is. The texture should be similar though, which leads me to believe I will enjoy that yarn as well.

Also cast on for the second Ron Weazley Banana Holder Sock (a.k.a the Skew sock).
And no, I have not fixed the fair isle sweater. I don't have the stomach or time at the moment. That will be done on a night when I'm home alone watching a movie and can devote all my attention to the matter. It will be done for the mid-September cut off of the Summer Knitting Challenge. Which reminds me, I need to do a post about that. The more ambitious types can click the link above and read up on it for yourselves. The rest of you will be stuck waiting on me. In the meantime I'm going to start another hat.
Another simple ribbed hat in the above yarn (another Farmhouse Yarn-Roxanne's Mohair in Arizona (there doesn't appear to be a link on their website this yarn)). I woke up at 4:15 this morning and could not for the life of me get back to sleep for the next 30 minutes (luckily after tossing, turning, and getting up to use the restroom I was able to get more rest). For some reason my brain was fixated on this yarn (maybe because I'm enjoying the Lumpy Bumpy so much) and I started to formulate the next hat I wanted to make. This hat will be a 6x4 rib with a cuff. And I'm going to try and find a smaller size circular needle tonight at knit night. I'll be casting on fewer stitches and it will be easier if I have a smaller cord.