Friday, February 26, 2010


Been gone a few days due to a stomach bug that the boy was so very kind to share with me. Blah. Today is the first day I've been able to really keep any food down. Small miracles. :)

I did some work on the Pay It Forward gifts earlier today, now I must get ready for work, but here is a small glimpse:

I have to admit when I saw the tutorial for these, I knew I had to make some. Each PIF person will receive one. Each person will have a different color scheme that I thought was appropriate for that individual based on re-reading through their blogs. Hopefully they will think these are as nifty as I think they are.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Interweave Knits Spring 2010

Spring 2010 Interweave Knits arrived in my mailbox yesterday. So lets have a review.

Facing Lilies Stole - - I like the delicate look to it. It is very aesthetically pleasing with all the geometric shapes. My lace patience is no where near a project like this.

Handkerchief Tee - - First, I really hate how they decided to layer this in the pictures, both online and in the magazine. The unfitted, angular look to this along with the lace is not something I find appealing. If the lace was not there and this shape was done in more of a cobweb/thin lace to make it more flowing and soft. I see potential, but just don't care for this as is.

Double V Cardigan - - I like the the V dip in the back collar. The cardigan looks nice, but the sleeves seem quite baggy which make the models arms look thick. I wonder if it even fits the model. Any how, the design seems nice and simple, nothing particularly appealing about it to make me want to make it though.

Spring Twilight Pullover - - I so very much love this. I love the transparent look. I like how the collar has an asymmetrical look to it. I also like the ruffly hems. I am scheming a way to try and make this for myself.

Chevron Market Bag - - A nice bag, with a simple and nice design. I have learned I am not a bag knitter though, so this is not for me.

Rose Window Beret - - This has a very nice look to it. The construction goes together well with the stitches used. I am not a general fan of berets.

Seaweed Cardigan - - First, I really hate the whole belted look, especially a belt that wasn't meant to go with it! Secondly, I would like it if Interweave not only told you how much ease occurred when the model wore it, but how much the DESIGNER intended to have. The top of this looks nice were the stitch pattern is pulled open. The bottom where it is more like rib pulling close together it looks like the model gained 30lbs. I think this might actually look nice as a cardigan buttoned or something, because that would pull the stitch pattern more open. As is, I don't find it flattering at all.

Aran Necklace Camisole - -I like the detail around the neck. It goes very well with the simple stockinette stitches below. I am tempted to knit this. I would increase how far the front went out as I would want to flash the side of my breasts like she would be if she didn't have so many darn layers on. Very lovely with a little work. Plus, I am a huge fan of linen. Why don't they make more plus size clothing in linen??

Braided Hood Tunic - - again with the darn belts. All it does is emphasis that either the girl doesn't have a big hip to waist ratio or the sweater doesn't. I think it would have looked significantly better without the belt. I actually like the look of the tunic. I like the hood and the detail, although the picture makes it look it doesn't fit her. Hopefully the apparent slack means she just doesn't have it pulled up all the way. This might be something I would actually wear, although the pictures are not actually helping me figure that out.

Yggdrasil - - This is a free download on I like the symbolism in it and it looks like a lovely blanket. I am not a blanket knitter myself though.

Lattice and Hollow Cardigan - - The shoulder seams make this garment look messy. I am not sure how many layers the model has on or if it is just that dress shirt, but the sweater looks too big on him. The sleeves are rolled up too. I honestly don't think there is one thing I find aesthetically pleasing about this. I am trying, really I am, but it just looks wrong.

Transverse Cardigan - - I like this. Simple and functional. It doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't.

Audrey's Cardigan - - I love the transparent dot pattern. I do not care for the whole ribbon thing. I would never scrunch it up like one of the pictures shows, but I can understand why some would. I like the non-transparent collar, which I am not sure would work without the ribbon in there. If I were to make this, I would probably keep something in the ribbon area, but seal it inside, so there would be no scrunching action, but it would give that solid look. I am definitely tempted to make this.

Ringlet Tank - - I like the look of simplicity with this tank. I like that the armholes are a round shape and not a straight square look. I even like the little keyhole opening in the back. It looks like a nice comfy tank for summer. The nice lines down the front add interest, but are not overwhelming or tacky. The construction seems interesting. I could see myself knitting this.

Jellyfish Bag - - I am not a bag knitter. I can't figure out whether this bag is ugly, a nifty construction, or a some of both. It looks like you could fit a lot of that bag, it also looks like you could loose a lot of things in that bag. Overall, interesting, but not practical.

Betty's Tee - - The construction of this uses entrelac. Which is interesting, but you are going to have to put faith that all will work out, since you can't try it on as you go along. It's like an origami creation, before it's all put together. That aside, wow, some very interesting designing going on here. According to Interweave, it is modeled with "some" negative ease, which probably means barely any. It looks a little big on the model and she has an undershirt on, so I wonder if this shirt is suppose to be worn with more negative ease. . . maybe an inch or two? I'm not sure I care for the v-neck shape in the back. Honestly, this would be something I would be interested in knitting, bases on construction alone.

Tissue Cardigan - - I like the lace pattern in the yoke. The sweater seems nice and simple. It looks good modeled with positive ease and looks like that is how it is probably meant to be worn, which means the sizes aren't meant as much for bigger chicks. The simplicity of the design could probably be easily sized up if needed, but that not really why most people use patterns. Overall, okay, nothing too special though.

Mona's Jacket - - I don't care for this. I think the garter lines make it look messy. I also don't care for the chunky yarn, it might actually look nicer in a thinner yarn, not sure though. I think the clothing it is modeled with is a poor choice, because it makes it look cheap.

Hopscotch Jumper - - I like the stitch pattern, but overall I don't much care for the jumper. I could maybe see it as a nightgown. It seems a little big and flowing for something meant to be played in. Also, it's kind of a little messy looking. Is it too big for her? It just doesn't look right. Honestly, it'd probably look better as an adult top, than it does as a child dress.

Wasabi Peas Socks - - It's disappointing that these socks get only one picture in the magazine and it's small and tucked away. I like the simple look of the socks with a insert of pattern. A nice design.

Corona Camisole - - I like the flowing look of the camisole, the hippie-ish look to it. However, it is meant to be worn with a ridiculous amount of ease, around 16". The way the camisole fits, the model can't wear this alone as the front dips so far down that she would get arrested for indecency. What they heck were they thinking though when pairing it with that outfit though? Any who, I think this has potential, if not made with quite so much ease and the straps shortened.

TECHknitter wrote a wonderful article on Kitchener stitch.

Overall view point of this issue.
~I don't care for the photo format. It appears like they are trying to make the magazine look more "artsy", which takes away from the more practical. Sometimes the full length picture is one of the tiny pictures.

~What the heck is up with the stupid plasticy tacky thin belts??

~As always I have issue with how Interweave chooses to display the knits. They tend to layer in the ugliest ways and with many layers. They might try either finding models that actually fit the knits they are displaying in their magazine or ask for the knits to be knitted in a range that actually fit the models they have. It's ridiculous that they fail so horribly at this simple task.

~Also, when will they learn that we aren't stupid. If you fail to show the back, side, etc. of an item both in the magazine and on the web, we realize there is probably something about it that they don't want us to see. Their job is to make us want to knit an item, to bring patterns to us that we want to knit . . . how can they achieve this when they don't even show us the item very well. Such faith some knitters must have.

~I really want the magazine to include how the DESIGNER meant for it to be worn and not just how it is worn in their pictures, which is sometimes vague anyways.

In the end there are some nice knits I would knit, but I am not any happier with how Interweave chooses to bring them to us.

*I chose not to include designer's blogs in this review and maybe all further reviews because Interweave is doing a better job at including them in their magazine and fewer designers seem to have either a blog or a current one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pink Parade

Chan is asking for people to wear pink in memory of someone dear she has lost due to breast cancer. Be part of the Pink Parade.

I looked all through my clothing and evidently the only clothing I own that are pink are underwear and since I am not posting a picture of me in my underwear. I knitted up this pink wrist warmer to wear this weekend in support of Chan.

Gluten Review - Cherrybrook Kitchen Fudge Brownie Mix

Earlier this week I made brownies with Cherrybrook Kitchen Fudge Brownie Mix. Preparation was simple. Baking time says 12-14 minutes on the box, web page says 14-18, however, my baking time was 19 minutes for gooey-ish brownies. Probably would have needed 4 more minutes or so for cake like brownies. This was unusual for me, because my oven tends to run warm and I usually have to cut the time short, so watch for the time.

Were they as good as regular brownies? They were extremely close! If they didn't have the some-what grainy texture they would have been perfect. I will definitely be trying more of the Cherrybrook Kitchen items. Even the boy ate a few of them.

p.s. It's okay to lick the spoon, but it's not a must. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Newly spun yarn

I finished some roving I started spinning a while ago. It is from my hand-dyed roving, from this session.

Here is the roving after it was dyed:

And the spun up yarn:

Oddly enough, the water was clear for this yarn, but while spinning, the roving would turn my fingers highlighter pink. Just an interesting oddity.

It made a nice little skein of heavy lace-weight or light fingering-weight yarn. It's a deep dark-chocolate brown with teal highlights. It turned out quite lovely, I think. ** forgot to add: It is about 40-ish yards or so of 3-ply (Navajo plied).

It's got my mind going with dyeing ideas this spring/summer. Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New sock knitting . . . .

Thursday the Knitty surprises showed up and I immediately cast on for SKEW.

It's a very nifty pattern. The construction so far is interesting but these will be socks that are either gifted or donated. The "anatomical" toe doesn't fit me because my toes do not have that severe slant that most people's do. My toes make more of a rounded shape. Plus, my gauge is a little small.

I started each sock from a different skein. The insides of each one just happen to begin at the same spot in the self-striping pattern. So far it looks like the sock will be identical.

I decided to knit both at a time. I think I might do this more often. Both socks have my full attention and are moving at a nice pace.

Yarn: Sensations Soles & More
Content: 75% wool and 25% nylon
Color: Purple/Pink/Grey
Needles: US 00 / 1.75mm (metal)
Gauge(approx): 9.5 sts per inch / 13.25 rows per inch

Definitely enjoying making these socks. Think I might try these Arch-Shaped Socks next.

Will be back tomorrow with some newly spun yarn!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A successful learning experience...

All experiences are learning experiences . . . yet not all are successful experiences within themselves. This one was definitely a successful experience and I am quite proud of this experience. I am sure my sister would have preferred it in a more timely manner, but we all know I don't work with time well.

Purple cotton thread
Purple cotton fabric
Patterned cotton fabric
foam - filler for purple stripes up bag and padding in top portion of handles
hemp cord - 4 strands together provided filling for cording
4 small D-rings

These first two pictures are washed out. It is just too darn frustrating to take good pictures in winter, when it's snowing.

Here is the bag, sitting on it's own. It is rectangular shaped tote-bag. I made it large enough to easily fit 8x10 items. The purple stripes up the front and back of the bag come out a bit because they have foam padding it them so they are more than just flat stripes.

Here is a detail shot. It's the details that I really love about this purse. All seams are the purse are corded. This is the first time I applied cording to anything. Boy is that a frustrating process, quadrupled my time spent easily, but I definitely think it was worth it. The top purple trim was hand sewn both on the inside and outside with an invisible hem stitch.

The lining is the same color as the outside.

Here is a full length shot. The handles have foam padding around the top arc for comfort.

D-rings connect the stripes to the handles.

The boy was a big help when I went shopping for this fabric. I wanted to use a different purple and he suggested I use this one. He is getting to be such a useful helper.

I really love the way this bag turned out. Would I make another one? Most definitely, at least this time I would know just how much work would go into it. Definitely worth making it have all the details that I wanted it to. I am sure my sister will like it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I am back

I am back . . . I wasn't around for the week because I was healing and making decisions. I am doing much better. Just some lingering cough and pink eye, but everything seems to be healing well. Decisions . . . I have withdrawn from student teaching. I am going to take my bachelor in arts. Since I was a transfer student everything should work out perfectly and I won't need to take anymore classes. There were certain aspects of being in a school environment that I knew would just never sit right with me, it wasn't a place I would be happy being.

I have been trying to craft while getting better. I have Garren's frog done and all of the boy's family gifts will be sent off tomorrow.

Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky
Color: Hot Lime
Content: 100% acrylic
Needles: US 5
Gauge: n/a
Pattern: Ribbit from Spud & Chloe by Susan B. Anderson
Modifications: I didn't make the toes, I don't think they are needed, nor do I think they would be appropriate for a toy for such a small child.

As always, it was a quick knit, when I was actually knitting on it. His eyes look a little funky, but that is because I am still learning with the whole french knot thing. In the end he's about 6" high when sitting down. He seems like the perfect size for little hands, not too big and yet not too small. I hope he likes it.

* * * * * * * * * *

On another crafting note, I have joined TAST 2. Each week there will be a featured stitch to work with and be creative with. I want to do more embroidery and try out some crazy quilting. I think this will be the perfect thing to inspire my creativity and help me learn more.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Trying optimism

The doctor says:
~On the good side, I don't have pneumonia
~I have bad "flu-like" symptoms
~maybe mild bronchitis
~she's concerned that I've been sick as long as I have
~my pink eyes is viral and part of my virus, so no medicine for it
~that my bronchial tubes are pretty raw and I am weak to other infections

She told me some specific medicine I should be taking and some things to hopefully make me feel better. I am not sure why, but she said she isn't allowed to specifically say I have the flu. Maybe because everyone is so scared of the flu and H1N1. Maybe because she thinks I might have more but it's inconclusive. Who knows.

The medicine is making me feel better though. Not significantly, but little bits here and there. At least I am blowing my nose and coughing less, which means less rawness and less blood.

I am going to try to return to school tomorrow. It is a half day and none of the classes I teach will be tomorrow. So I can see how it goes and hopefully get some work done.

* * * * * * * *

Onto something more interesting . . . crafting goals. Holy heavens did I overestimate my crafting abilities/time when I thought I could dedicate each day to a craft. Well, lets just that hasn't happened. I haven't worked on any crafts since I started student teaching and have been sick. So, I have new goals for February:

*Finish Echo's purse handles, so her and the girl's Christmas presents can be mailed off.
*Finish Pay It Forward Gifts and mail off. (These are going to be a little late due to having been sick.

Simple goals, but they are important ones for me to finish.