Monday, June 30, 2008

The Return of the Knitting

I bring you pictures of the socks! I really like how both of them turned out.

My mother's Spring Leaf Socks:

Pattern: Ten Stitch Leafy Lace from More Sensational Knitted Socks
Needles: 1us or 2.25mm
Yarn: Sockotta (45% cotton, 40% superwash, 15% nylon)
Color: 816 - - or in my words "spring green"
Modifications: I turned it into a twelve stitch pattern so it could accomodate the size I needed.
Short row heel and Joan's Favorite Toe.

Here they are together, one on its side.

Here is a lovely close-up of Joan's Favorite Toe. I really like the way it looks compared to the "normal" toe I have been doing before. We shall see if my mom thinks it is more comfortable or not.

Here is a close-up of the short row heel. So far, I really don't have a preference over short row or heel flap.

And lastly, a close-up of the leaf pattern.

I really enjoyed making these and in the end, I do not mind the bright spring green color. I really hope my mom likes these.

Onto the next socks, these are Echo's socks.

Yarn: Knit Picks 100% Merino
Color: Echo Colorway (hand dyed by me with kool-aid and Wilton's dyes)
Needles: 0us/2mm needles
Pattern: stockinette, k1 p1 ribbing for cuff, short row heel, and Joan's Favorite Toe.

First we have both socks together.

The lovely short row heel!

I think this is a great picture that shows off Joan's Favorite Toe. I hope these fit Echo well, even though her toes have a sharper angle.

I really love these socks. I loved knitting them and watching how the colors worked together. It makes me feel a little egotistical, but I am really proud of how these ended up working out.

I am ready to cast on my next pair of socks. You'll have to wait for a few days to see a glimpse of them though. :)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Crafty Ideas

Well, I finished Echo's socks on Friday and my mom's socks on Saturday, but I haven't had time to take pictures outside due to working lots. So, we shall have pictures tomorrow cause I don't have to go in until later.

In the mean time, this blog looks like a definite hit for lots of ideas!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


There are two truly great things about finding new blogs. One, is that you get to go through all of the archives of the blog and have instant gratification of many many posts to read. Second is that you see the links of the blogs that they read or are in their posts.

Trust me, soon I will be updating the side of my blog with more blogs that I now read. Any how, isn't THIS just one of the nifitest things you have ever seen? I may have to do this with they kids that I teach summer art camp to. This is insanely adorable!!

Yes, another quiz

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Strong Democrat

Link: The Politics Test on Free Online Dating
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

I am not really surprised by this, I have always considered myself a Democrat.

Ignorance is often blissful

After my quiz yesterday my mother proceeded to explain to me today, why I am a quite domesticated house wife and I just didn't realize it. In all honesty, she's quite right, I do a lot of work to take care of our apartment and clean up after my boyfriend and I didn't quite realize it. To be perfectly frank, I am not completely sure how I feel about this. I always wanted an equal relationship and I had that up until we moved to Buffalo and got our real first apartment together, before I had moved into his apartment. Now, I do all the house cleaning, all the cooking, all the laundry, taking the garbage out, etc. This wasn't really the woman I had intended to be.

Maybe I will slowly slip back into my blissful ignorance, after all, it was working so well up to this point.

Now I must go finish making food so he has something to take to lunch tomorrow and pick up the living room. *smile*


You Belong in 1951

You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!

Not quite sure about this result. I think in general people seemed to have a greater desire to live and enjoy life, but I wouldn't be any great 1950's wife!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pods and Glimpses

The title makes it sound like this post is going to be about aliens, huh? *smile*

In all my excitement of seeing flowers on my little bean plants yesterday, I didn't even see that some of them have progressed past the flower stage! Crazy, huh? I actually have little bean pods already.

Little too much flash on this one, but it's hard to see green on green otherwise.

Another one, a little longer, altogether there were three of them on this plant!

Also, with only 13 days left until we leave for Washington State, I had decided to just sew the clothes for the doll. It would be far less stress on my wrists and be much quicker, right? So, last night I am thinking that I should try to make an orange dress since that is Justice's favorite color. I realize that I don't have enough orange fabric for a dress, which just bums me out. Then I remember I do have some orange yarn left over from Justice's socks. I didn't have enough on its own, but I do have some white acrylic baby yarn that would work perfectly with it. So, here is a little glimpse of how in an effort to make it easier, I just made it more work on myself. *smile*

I think it is just going to be beautiful though. I keep telling myself it is okay because really I am very close to being done with everything, I just need to finish a little here and there on each pieces.

My mind also wanted to start working on my Raspberry Truffle Vest(more in a later post about that) again too last night, I had good ideas racing through my head and I was able to contain them and only stay up way too late working on the doll dress. *smile*

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gardens and Doll

Well, the little rice plant did not survive transplanting. It was too bad, but it was just an experiment so I am over it. The plants are growing beautifully, some better than others.

My bean plants have lovely little purple blooms on them! I am so excited about this, but now I am going to have to learn how to do canning!

My cacti are growing well, even if they are super tiny so far.

A little close up

My first rose bud! And the aphids have found it about the same time I did, so that will have to be taken care of. I am hoping some soapy water will work well enough, I have garlic-soapy water-homemade pesticide but I have to research whether or not the rose bush can live through that.

A pepper bloom! Isn't it lovely! Now if only I could convince the aphids to leave these plants alone, one bloom may make it past this small stage!

I have been working on my projects, but a little on this and a little on that. It's been busy at work the last few days and my wrist is giving me lots of pain. I have finished Justice's doll except for her face though.

Here she is all together! Some times during the construction I questioned whether or not my color choice was any good. I just didn't want to do her a bleach white color, it's just so unrealistic, but after she is all put together, I think it works quite well.

A profile of the head.

A straight on view.

I sewed her little legs on closer to the front so she would actually have a butt.

The little orange stitch marker is for me to mark around the middle of her face, it kind of looks like a nose ring. *smile* I really actually enjoyed making this doll.

I changed a couple things from the pattern. On the hands, I did a row of even of sc stitches between the increase and decrease row for the thumb, because I wanted the thumb to be a little more pronounced. I also did about 4 extra rows on the legs, this was accidental on one leg and there for had to be repeated for the second leg. *smile* I really like how the hair line worked out, it was a bit of a pain in the butt to figure out just how I wanted it to look, but it was worth it.

All I need to do now is make her some blue polymer button eyes, embroider the face, make some undies, and make a dress. I am very happy with it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Yesterday was a wonderful day. My boyfriend and I celebrated our anniversary by going to see Kung Fu Panda with Jack Black. It was a cute cartoon. I am not a fan of 'so stupid it's funny comedy', but I do love Jack Black. We had dinner and also we to a discount bookstore where he bought me this book. *smile* Such a wonderful man he is. Granted it only cost him like nine dollars, but still he is a good man. The day was finished of with late night snacks and playing video games. He's quite the keeper.

* * * * *

On another note, I ate my strawberry yesterday. It was a little bitter, but it was going to drop soon if I didn't pick it. I blame the odd weather and lack of sun on the balcony. Oh well. I have mushrooms coming up in my strawberries. I pull two out and three more grow back. Maybe this time I will just leave them. The ants have stopped attacking my peppers now that they are higher up.

* * * * *

I am still working on my crafts, but my hands haven't been doing so good lately. Too much ice cream scooping . . . that's my theory. Besides my normal shaky issues, I have been getting blood clots in my hand so I have been trying to take it easy. I read up and I believe it is called Superficial Phlebitis. I am not too worried, as I use to get them when I was younger. They are just painful and irritating.

* * * * *

That's all for tonight. Now to continue cleaning. . . blah.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Eye-candy and gardening

Isn't this scarf gorgeous?!? I love the home-made look to it. I have to admit, I probably couldn't pull of those bright colors, but it is so appealing looking. It was woven, which is something I really want practice doing. I need to make myself a loom first.

Also, aren't these some of the niftiest socks you have ever seen? They come from this pattern. Such an interesting idea. Plus, I am a fan of short rows.

It was a nice day today, but the thunder storms and rain came about an hour or so before I was suppose to get out of work. Just walking about a block home got me soaked. It was good though. I love a good rain.

I worked a little on the garden today. I transplanted my little sweet pepper plants and my lavender. I think I am going to try to plant some more lavender as it didn't work so well last time. I have about five little cactus's. I had to change the position of some of my plants. I seem to have an ant problem . . . go figure living on the second floor. The love my little pepper plants. Some of the blooms are beginning to grow little peppers and the ants just swarm them. What is up with that? Since when do ants love green bell peppers and are willing to attack them while still in bloom on a second floor balcony? Any how, I moved them higher up and put the tomato plants on the ground since they don't seem to care about them yet.

Well, that's all for tonight. Hope you enjoy the eye-candy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Socks and Strawberries!

Is there a better combination that socks and strawberries? Maybe, but not today. As much as I dislike how time consuming using thin yarn and small needles are, I have a confession . . . I really, really like using thin yarn and small needles. In fact, I am getting so use to using smaller needles that even 6us or 8us needles feel huge when I use them! The odd things we learn about ourselves. I really want to try some miniature crocheting too, but that will have to wait until gifts are done.

Here is the first Echo sock:

I used the round toe again from Joan's Favorite Toe. I really like the way this toe looks compared to the toe I have tried it the past. We shall see if my sister thinks it is as comfortable as I think it looks. I really love the way the colors work together, except close to the toe there is a little pooling of green, it's not overly noticeable, but still looks a little off to me. You can see it on the sole of the sock right before the toe decreases happen. I am thinking of using the rest of the yarn to possibly make her some gloves of some sort if I have enough left. But those will probably be a Christmas gift . . . long way away.

And a few plant pics, WARNING: I am a huge plant nerd evidently and will try and grow almost anything! First off we have the strawberry and it's almost done:

And last, here is what the warning was about. We bought some rice at the food co-op to try something new. In all honesty, not the best rice, but not the worst. Any who, some of the rice pieces were still green and not brown. So in my quest for knowledge, I wanted to see if I could get one of them to grow. I put about three in a little dish with a good amount of water and a paper towel. One started to grow and I added a little dirt. See for yourselves:

Isn't that just so nifty!! Well, I think it is. My boyfriend looks at me like I am from Mars. I get so excited about some things, like a small child, and he looks at me like I am a weirdo. Anyways, it's not like I really expect anything grand from this little seedling. Just an experiment. I will probably put him in a little peat pot or something tomorrow.

Well, that is all for tonight. Lots of crafts to do and so little time!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Progress, but no pics

I have completed Echo's first sock and have cast on for the second one. I forgot to take pictures while there was daylight though. I will try to remember tomorrow when I get off work. I think it turned out well.

My strawberry is turning red and I am so excited. Most of my plants are doing well. I gave a few away to a girl I work with who is moving to New York City. Sometimes I think the most meaningful thing you can give someone is something you made or had a part in its existance. The plants I gave her were all ones I grew from seeds this summer, except one of my strawberry starters. I hope she enjoys them.

Will hopefully be back tomorrow with pictures!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Interweave Crochet!

Almost completely forgot to mention I also got my new Summer 2008 Interweave Crochet magazine in the mail the other day. This is such a nice thing, since I am not my craft diet this summer. I am not "allowed" to buy any crafting items this summer . . . it extends until school starts back up in the end of August. This has been annoying at times and somewhat difficult, but having subscriptions to Interweave Crochet and Interweave Knitting and the emails from Knitting Daily do make it easier. Because then I at least have some sort of new craft satisfaction. I am mostly doing this because my boyfriend and my mother think it is absolutely impossible for me to stick with it. Hah! I will show them.

Any how, the new Interweave Crochet,
I like:

Santa Fe Shawl: I like this one, but then I am very partial to granny square type items. I don't think I am girlie enough to wear this, but I could see some other people I know potentially pulling it off.

Midsummer's Dream Camisole: I really like this one. I like how it makes the crochet look so delicate. This is girlie, but it is still appealing to me, except the buttons up the back - - not so sure about that. This is a maybe.

Diamond Sage Wrap: This is lovely and delicate, but I am not really a wrap/shawl person.

Flirty '30s Tank Top: I must say I really like this top. In fact, I like it way too much. This will definitely be something I try once I can shop again for yarn.

Boucle Bath Mat: I like the theory of this, but do not know if I would have enough patience to do that boucle stitch for all of that rug.

Article on Crocheting as a Spiritual Medium - I liked this article. I also liked the Yarmulke next to the title and would love to learn how to make something that beautiful. Carol Ventura - Tapestry Crochet

Strung Shells Top: I like this, but it is a little similar to the Flirty '30s Tank Top.

Gladiolus Vest: I think this vest looks nice , but I do not care for the closure options. I would probably make this larger and add a few buttons instead.

Baby Trio: The baby stuff is nice, but I don't have a reason for any of it. The bunny is rather cute though, maybe I will make that for my niece.

La Mer Scarf: It is pretty and a little too girlie for me. Plus, I don't really see it holding up to a Buffalo winter and I wear enough scarves in the winter time, I don't want any if I don't need them.

I dislike/ feel indifferent about/ or would modify:

Match point skirt : I think it is a good idea but think the top of the pleats are very ugly! I think if it was knit a little longer and without the top part of the pleats it would actually look very nice.

Teardrop Necklace : I think this is a little too tacky looking. Maybe if it was done in finer yarn with a much smaller hook, however, this is a large maybe.

Queen Anne's Lace Blouse: I like the stitch pattern used in the shirt and would actually wear the shirt if it wasn't for the collar that is on there. That is quite unappealing looking. This is a maybe, but the collar will definitely be changed.

Shifting Panels Tunic: I kind of like the shifting panels but this looks like a little mu mu, not the most flattering.

Ocean Pearls Cardigan: Not much for this cardigan. It's simple and nice, but does nothing that jumps out at me. Also not much for the ribbon closure.

And lastly, the article in the back about Crochet on the Runway. I have to say, I think most of it looks somewhat hideous. Two out of the three models look uncomfortable. Although, I will give in and admit, that I think most runway fashion is unappealing to say the least.

Well, that's all of my opinions for today. I kind of like writing down my opinions about the new patterns, that way I can reference back to them when I am looking for something to make. Plus, it makes me think about what I really feel about each design.

New Knitty

Well, the new Knitty is out and I have to say this one is quite enjoyable. Most of the time there are a few items I find appealing, but not most of them. This time most of them seem appealing.

*In warning, with most patterns my mind wants to deviate at least a little from original, so read these opinions with that in mind*

Shetland Shorty - - I think this is very simple and nice. I can see this being something to wear over tank tops. At first I thought it looked way too simple, not appealing, but in the end I think that is what is so appealing about it.

Inverness - - I think this is an attractive top from every angle except head on. As a larger person, this seems to only emphasis what stomach the model has and I don't think I would want that for myself. However, I think it is just because the front pattern part comes to a point like that. If it was all done in the pattern or alternating panels of that pattern and the reverse stockinette, I think it would work much better and would probably be something I would wear.

Gigi - - I think the design for this is nice. I am not much for the over large sleeves and if I was to knit this it would most likely be shifted into a vest with no sleeves or a top with closer fitting short sleeves. I think the use of slightly variegated yarn looks really nice with this piece.

Thira - - This has a lovely design to it, but I would probably make the top into straps over the shoulder due to the fact that I dislike things on my neck like that. Otherwise, I really like the pattern.

Eloping - - Not really a need for me right now.

Chevette - - Not a choker, necklace person.

Seascape - - This one is very lovely, the pattern is nice. I am not yet much of a shawl/wrap knitter, but I could see making this for myself.

Helena - - I think this is adorable and would consider knitting it if I knew any babies.

Muscari socks - - I think the pattern looks okay, but I am not a fan of variegated yarn with most patterns. Unlike the designer, I don't think the pattern stands out very well in the yarn.

Spring forward socks - - I love these socks! I think the yarn goes very well with the pattern. I really like the winding pattern of the socks and will most definitely be making this pattern in the near future.

Ziggy socks - - I liked these socks the first time I saw them, but the more I look at them I don't like them. I think this is mostly due to the colors used for the sock though and I think these would be worth making in another color.

Couvercle - - I am not much of a hat person, especially not a hat with brim person. This hat would only make my head look bigger.

Autogyro - - I don't think this is a type of hat that should be knitted, doesn't quite look right to me.

BYOB - - I love this bag. Probably mostly because of my love of moss stitch/seed stitch type patterns. Definitely considering making this bag!

Well that's all of my input today, here is a little quiz thing I did. I think it fits me well enough.

you are mediumturquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Holy Heat!

Well it has gotten quite warm here in Buffalo and threw everyone for a bit a loop. My plants are happy and yet a little in shock and my body is freaking a little as I am having trouble sleeping, but it's suppose to cool down a little here. I gave up and pulled the radishes and carrots when I just had to admit to myself that there wasn't enough sunshine for the root parts to really grow adequately. Go figure, then we have a heat wave. Oh well.

I have been working on my crafts. Crappy in house lighting taken because when I was ready to take pictures a thunder shower was occurring, that's what you get with this kind of heat and humidity. See how Justice's doll is coming:

I have been making some little birdies:

I think it is weird on this on how part of the flower looks like an eye and beak.

I am making these as kitty/ferret toys. The pattern comes from this site .

I have also been working on my mother's journal:

I know the journal isn't very far, but it's taking me a while because I want it to look just right. The amount you see here was all that was accomplished during 101 Dalmatians cartoon. Oh well, better get working.

I have been working on some other things too, but not enough that it warrants any pictures. Well, that's all for today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Polymer Clay Jar

I have always wanted to use polymer clay on glass. So last night I decided I might as well try. I did something a little abstract looking, but love it! I made some different canes using a light pink, a light purple, and a dark purple. Then I took the canes and squished them in different ways to create different looks. I like it because when you look at it you can see different shapes in the patterns.

I left a few spaces open so one can see in the jar. I think I might put coins in there, but not sure.

I am definitely going to do this again, but do more of a structured pattern.

Cover for the Swiffer

Well, this all started because back when we moved into this apartment, almost a year ago, we bought a Swiffer because our apartment has hardwood floors and it would work better. The one we purchased you can also put wet Swiffer rags on to mop the floor, nifty, not for the hardwood, but for the tiled kitchen. My bf usually mops as he is a little more clean orientated than I am, he prefers a mop. I went to mop a couple of days ago and I don't care for the mop, so I was going to use the wet swiffer rag that came with the swiffer. You cannot used it on non-sealed tiles . . . which our apartment building is cheap-o and our tiles are unsealed. So, I created a cover that I could get wet and then mop the tile and hard wood using the swiffer. Yeah! Technically I guess you could also use it to sweep when it's dry.

It was quite easy. My swiffer is 10" x 4 3/4"
I used Sugar & Cream in the color Cornflower.
Hook size: D/3mm
My gauge was 5sc=1" / 5.25rows=1"

Cover for Swiffer Pattern
(always work through both loops unless indicated)
Chain 24+1, turn
sc across, ch1, turn ( do this 10 times total)
sc in front loop only across, ch1, turn (this makes the fold easier)
sc across, ch1, turn (do this 50 times total)
sc in front loop only across, ch1, turn
sc across, ch1, turn (do this 10 times total)

fold ends over and sc around outside, including around folded edge, only sc through the loop that sticks out from not being used. ( I will include some pictures of this when I make the next one.)

It fits well and works well. I had seen some other patterns for such thing on the internet, but I wanted a more dense fabric.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Big Progress, Little Progress

First off, I have finished the first Spring Leaf Sock. As I mentioned in the previous post, I have changed my mind about the feeling of the Sockotta yarn. I think it didn't help that when I started these socks I was also working on a scarf with merino and silk and lets face it, nothing feels as good as that. I made a lot of progress on the second sock last night and am half way through it, so it is very close to done.

After a few different attempts with the toe I decided to to a round toe from the description given here: Joan's Toe. Which I think worked out wonderful. My mother and myself do not have the dramatically sloped toes like most of the rest of the public, with the toes being more of similar height. So I think this should work well for her and I am definitely trying it next time I make myself some socks.

* * * * *

Also, I finally got a shot of the small amount of the shawl I have done, which lets face it, is not much, but it is 400 stitches across. It's roughly intended size is 3 feet by 6 feet. My mother is tall and this should be a good size for her. All that I need to do is clean up my chart for the frog pattern and knit like the wind (to quote Brenda Dayne of Cast On.

Both of these pictures, especially the first one really get across the depth of the color in this yarn. It is a gray that is made up of other colors and close up you can see it and it just looks so nice.

* * * * *

I also took some pictures of my little balcony garden today. I have the start of my very first strawberry! I have to admit, I love "gardening" just as much as I love any other craft I do, it all fits into the principal of the ability to help create something which is just such a magnificent feeling. Any who, onto the pics:

Herbs on the back ledge, a tomato hanging planter, tomato plant underneath, three pots of varying peppers, and radishes to the far right. (In the window, inside, are my rescue plants - I had this weird desire to save discount/dying plants when I worked at Lowe's.)

Far right are tomato plants grown from seeds, then cucumber plants from seeds, garlic plant in the butter bucket started from a sprouting piece from my fridge, chives in the milk container from seeds, behind are the strawberry plants, very bottom right are green bean plants from seeds. In the little containers are lavender, chamomile, cilantro, sweet peppers, and cactus - all from seeds. Three bottom containers are my radish experiment.* In the front bucket are carrots(from seeds) and to the far left is my rose bush.

* = My Radish Experiment. I read online that if you plant a radish again it will sprout a plant and flower and produce seeds. So, a few times I purchased radishes in bags, there were sprouting radishes and I figured what the heck, I can try this. So far they are growing like crazy and blooming beautiful little flowers. We will see if I actually get any seeds though.

My first strawberry, the beginning of my harvest! :)

Well, that is all for today folks. Hope you enjoyed my little garden.