Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's featured blog is:

Adventures of a Desi Knitter

As you will see, her craft is dominantly knitting and she is very good at it. She has a few free patterns.

Things I enjoy about this blog:
~ I really love that she talks so much about India and explains different things about the culture, food, etc. Blogs that really let you know more about the person are just far more enjoyable.

~I like that she not only lets you know if she had trouble with a pattern, but where and why. I dislike reading blogs where the person never admits to disliking or having problems with the patterns they knit, because everyone has problems or dislikes patterns every once in a while.

~I like the fact that she gives links to the things she talks about and doesn't just leave it up to you to search for them in google or something.

~It's nice to see someone who is willing to completely frog an item and re-knit it in an effort to get the fit that is desired.

Arts and Crafts I found at this blog:

Only slight disappointment is that, as I have mentioned before, I love to read through the archives, so it is a little annoying when the blogger's pictures are no longer available/there.  I understand she switch servers a while ago and was going back and fixing the pictures and all, but I think this has stopped.  Oh well.

To wrap it up, it is becoming increasingly aware to me just how much I enjoy some blogs by the time it takes me to write these reviews. I enjoy reading all the blogs that I read, otherwise, I wouldn't read them, but some I really do love to read. This one took me quite some time to write, as have a couple others, because I like reading the blog so much that when I go back to reread the archives to prepare this post, I spend far more time than I think I will, enjoying the history of the blog all over again. I am really glad I chose this blog to review today (I choose randomly) because I was kind of not wanting to do a review today . . . just feeling kind of blah today, but this one made me realize the reason I wanted to do this in the first place. Whether you knew about her blog or you are just finding it now because of my review, I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do.

Brushing Yarn

Okay, I have to admit, I have never heard of brushing yarn. I saw this post on Live Journal and have decided I now must try this. This would be so much easier and it looks like a better effect than using fun fur. Evidently, all you do is brush the yarn after it is knitted up with like a dog brush. Nifty ideas, some things you just have to wonder how someone came up with them.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday's Featured Blog

*Sorry it's late, I started yesterday but was really sick and ended up sleeping most of yesterday*

The featured blog is:

Lost Arts Studio

Things I enjoy about this blog:
~ With her recipes she doesn't just give you a recipe but suggestions from her attempts in making that recipe.

~When she talks about her projects she always gives useful information on what book she is using, any other place she is getting her information, things she has learned, etc.

~I love that she is able to find so many of her tools at thrift stores! I never find those kinds of things at my local thrift stores.

~I really like the fact that she writes like she is just talking to a good friend or something. She doesn't seem to pretend she's someone she's not.

~She takes beautiful pictures of the flowers and plants she has.

~She seems to be more of a process knitter than a finished items knitter, which I don't see as much in bloggers. It is nice because she explains along the way.

Arts & Crafts I found at this blog:



double knitting info

home-made syrup






Additional links found on the site:
Information on how to learn netting

a netting blog

knitted swirl ball

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


All I have to say is snow fell from the sky tonight while we were out. INSANITY!


It is only 38 degrees outside!! Ugh, I know winter is not too far off with it yucky snow. The only part of me that kept warm today was my head, which had my lovely double knit tychus that I had made on it. Now, I just need to make a double knit body suit! *smile*

On a side note, is this not the most adorable little guy you have seen. Makes me miss having a hedgehog. I am just too pet deprived!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's featured blog is:


Things I like about reading this blog:

~ Lots of wonderful cooking recipes. I am not the world's pickiest eater, but I do have some dislikes and most of her recipes sound very good.

~So many different projects. I don't think it is because she really knits more than any other blog I read, but she doesn't really blog about anything in her life very much, just her arts and craft stuff. Even though, you all know I love to read about people's lives and live vicariously through them . . . sometimes it is nice to just go on a blog and read it for the crafts and the crafts only.

~She has wonderful pictures.

~Everything she knits for herself looks marvelous on her! Which I understand she is much, much smaller than me, so that is easier for her . . . but it makes me want to knit more!

Some Arts & Crafts I found at this blog:
~paper crafts
~paper crafts
~handmade journals

Links and Lists

Blah, I really dislike the way blogger does their new blog list option.  Too many sites go directly to feeds, some, not matter how hard I try won't go to their main page it automatically changes the address to their links page or something else ridiculous.  Definition of crazy is repeatedly doing something expecting the outcome to change and I have deleted and re-input some of those addresses so many times, I would be crazy to continue.  So, I will be going back to my way of having separate lists again for Knitting, Crocheting, etc.  by making just my own links list.  This is unfortunate and is going to take a while, but I feel is necessary house keeping.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Garden update

Well, here is a pic of the self-ripening tomatoes and their friends. I picked some Jalapenos and another Red Hot Cherry pepper.

I love all the different colors in this tomato as it ripens.

As for the rest of the garden, the jalapeno plant has one or two more to get a little bigger and be picked, the red hot cherry pepper plant has one more that needs to turn red, and the other plants . . . well, the squirrels or someone's cat keeps getting into them. A couple of the herbs have been completely demolished buy something digging holes in it. They haven't touched the chives yet though, which I think I am just going to leave and see if they come back in the spring, I would put them inside, but no room really. The strawberry plants will get trimmed back soon. The rose bush is dying or hibernating . . . not sure, the little buggers keep digging around in there too. I had already brought the cacti in a week or two ago since it gets rather cold at night. I will be trying to continue the life of those little guys. Pretty much, the garden is left up to the attempts during next spring.

Dyeing for the Boy

What is this you ask?

Well this is a box I received yesterday from Dick Blick to dye my boyfriend's jacket. He bought an oatmeal colored, linen/cotton thin dress type jacket this weekend. However, he doesn't like the oatmeal color, but that was the only one they had left because they were on clearance. So, he is actually trusting me to dye it for him. Nifty, huh? Anyways, as long as it turns out some med gray to black he is okay with it. So, sometime this weekend I will hopefully get to dye that. I first have to purchase a bucket to dye it in, since the only large containers I have are pots or bowls used with food making.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pheonix Rising

I have finished the first glove. All the ends are woven in and it is all set. I have even already cast on for the second glove, granted I am only like six or seven rows into the ribbing though. All in all, I have put a lot of concentrated effort into these gloves . . . basically, almost all free knitting time was put into making this glove. So, even though they are knitted on US 00 needles, it didn't really take as long as I had feared. With this, I just may get my Christmas gifts done in time this year . . . don't count on it too much though.

Here is the glove in all it's glory. I think it looks great, but I might be a little bias. *smile*

Here shows some detail on the color change of the yarn, which made it interesting since each finger is knit separately.

Some more detail of the color change on the ribbing and bottom of the glove.

p.s. If you look closely at the first picture you can see my blue socks that I knitted for myself a while ago. They have sure grown on me from my original disliking them.


Well, my mono-prints are a bit late. I really enjoyed making these samples. I learned a few things and I am definitely using this technique in my final for the printing section. Here are my samples:

Not much to say about this one, just trying stuff out. Don't particularly care for it, but it's not too ugly. Kind of like the boxes.

I like parts of this one. The yellow and green Asian looking mountain image is nice. I like how the ink is a little unpredictable in the way it will spread out. I also like the green "snakes in the grass" one, such a nice pattern contrast between straight grain back ground and the swirls.

This one was the first one I did and my favorite out of them. I really like the black and pink one.

On this one, I first ironed on stencils and then did a mono-print over the top of it. Not sure I really care for it, it might be better with more layering.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Screen Printing, Stencils, and Stamping

Our next section in my fibers class was all about screen printing, stencils, and stamping. Our screen printing was a little crude and I decided not to do anything with the screen printing. I know, horrible, but we essentially put a stencil on the outside of the screen, we weren't doing REAL screen printing. So, onto the others. We made our own stamps with foam designs cut out and glued to wooden blocks. I chose to utilize both sides of my block and put stamps on both sides. One is of a star and the other is of an odd scrap that looked like a person to me, I placed a head at one section and a head at another section because it looked to me like the person was praying in one position and then potentially grovelling in another position.

Here is the grovelling pose and the star.

This one was dyed purple, then I made a stencil out of my hand and painted it onto the fabric, then lastly I did stamps of the person, which include praying and grovelling poses.

Our stencils were made using freezer paper and ironing on our stencils. There is a tutorial on line about how to do this here. The only difference was, we used ink for doing screen printing so it'll last longer than acrylic paints.

This one was dyed orange, the sun image was a stencil that I painted on, and then the stars are from the star stamp.

This one, the rings were wax paper ironed on and then I just painted the rest of the fabric around the rings a teal color. It's a watered down teal.

This is my spider stencil. Loved how this one turned out.

This last one is from placing string and leaves under the fabric and then using a printing roller with paint on it over the top. I don't much care for this method. There may be a better way to do it, but they was we were shown in class it was very hard to control the amount of paint on your roller. I think it looks tacky in places where there was too much ink on the roller.

I think it looks like a bad abstract scene from a horror movie.

We did some mono-printing using plexi-glass and the ink paint, but I haven't taken any pictures of those yet. I will try to take some tomorrow and post about those. I enjoyed that process, even though the end result may be unexpected/random from what you painted on the plexi.

Tie-Dye Final

Well, I turned this in last week. Mine was late, due to some health issues with the boyfriend, but luckily I was given an extension. My final is the first picture, the other pictures in the link are of some of the other students who are taking the class, including the teachers other times of this class this semester.

I chose to dye three different fabrics and then sew them together in a quilt block. The completed item is approximately 25" x 25". The blocks were machine sewed together, but the rolled hem is hand done with transparent thread. My chosen season was Spring. The green square represents the fresh cut grass of spring - - I love the smell of fresh cut grass. The pink represents the flowers of spring. The blue represents the rain of spring, it shows the rain drops as they fall in puddles and make ripples. When I was young, I loved puddle jumping. I don't know how many socks of my dad's I probably ruined when we lived out in the middle of no where. Spring is not my favorite season, but being from Skagit Valley in Washington state, there are only really two season, Fall and Spring, and both have their fond memories.

Here are some of the other student's work:

I really loved this one. The person's machine sewing skills are atrocious, but the design is beautiful. They were smart enough to use matching thread so it is not quite visible.

I also liked this one, I love how it looks like trees growing from a dark spot that is surrounded by calming blue light.

I know the guy who made this and I have to admit that at first when I saw him stitching it I thought it was going to look corny or just not right. But oh, it turned out wonderful. He was a little annoyed that his leaves got cut off when he had to do the rolled hem, but I think it looks great like that.

Really drawn to the patterning in this one. The design in the middle kind of looks like synchronized swimmers to me or candies with twisted wrapper sides. Any who, coloring on this one also very appealing.

I like this one because their design was so well executed. The stitching turned out marvelously and shows so well the Halloween season. Not sure if it was on purpose or accident, but I love the gray/yellow molted background.

The colors in this are definitely fall and are just so beautiful. Not sure I care for the accordion style over the left half, I think it would be more appealing if it went across the whole block uniformly and not faded on the right side.

There were plenty more, but these are the ones that appealed to me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday's Featured Blog

Today's featured blog is Knitting Iris.

Things I enjoy about this blog:

~Lots and lots of beautiful pictures, which by now you know I am a sucker for.

~This is going to make me sound far more girly than I am, but I like hearing about her kids. I do not have children and may never have any, so I like to live vicariously through other people sometimes.

~Reading it reminds me of some good times when I was younger, living in the middle of a corn field, playing outside, hunting for mushrooms with my grandma, picking huckleberries . . . there is a large chunk of me that misses things like that.

~I love when she posts vintage pattern pictures..

~I think she is very creative and love seeing all the things she does.

Art & Crafts I found at this blog:

~knitting, more knitting, more knitting

~sewing, sewing, and more sewing.



~photography and more photography

~rock painting

~dyeing and some more dyeing

Anyhow, go and check out her blog for yourself.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Short Row Bind Offs

Lien of Little.Yellow.Different.Better blogged about Short Row Bind Offs and how she does them in her patterns. It is so nice when someone takes the time to actually explain things out for people who may not have heard of it, find it confusing, etc. I think this will be something I try the next time I do a top.

A Garden End

Well, unfortunately, the garden has pretty much come to an end. I have already pulled up the tomato plants. I hated doing it, but it's just getting too cold here, the tomatoes were no longer ripening any, just hanging out and I didn't want them to start to rot or anything else. So I pulled them off before I dumped the plants into a compost pile in the corner of the yard. I was hoping maybe they would ripen if they sat in the sunny window . . .

And look there. They were all quite green when I picked them and one is an orange-red color now. *smile* Small joys of life.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Praying Mantis

Ah, back to the art. This is one of my recent projects in my 2D design class. We had to choose a bug and exaggerate it to make it more visually interesting. It could only be in black and white, no grays. I chose a praying mantis and decided to exaggerate his head and front arms. My intent was to make him look a little scary like you are about to be lunch, but really he just looks a little to friendly and cute. Oh well.

Paint: acrylic
Colors:black and white
Paper: Bristol board on black matte board
Size: 8"x8" Bristol board, 12"x12.5" matte board

If I did this project over, I would try to find a detailed pic of a praying mantis's head and make it look scarier. I think the head just looks too cute. I also would make the head a 3/4th view or 2/3rd view. Straight on, it looks a little too much like he's posing for a picture, even though I wanted it to appear like he is staring you down.

My Cowl

It's coming along slowly, but I like it. However, it is getting awfully cold awfully quick, so I think this will need to become a priority in the knitting line-up.

This one shows the pattern better, but is not true to color. Ignore the shiny light, it is light from my speaker reflecting off the wooden surface of my desk.

This one is pretty true to color.

I know some people dislike ribbing and moss/seed stitches because they switch back and forth, but I actually like the repetitiveness of the pattern.

emic vs. edic

My boyfriend thinks I purchase a lot of craft magazines . . . I think I am very choosy about the craft magazines that I purchase. This is a view that I don't think I will ever completely make him see, as I have tried . . . sometimes it is hard for outsiders to understand. *smile*

Any who, I got the new Fall 2008 Spin-Off. I will admit that most of the time this magazine only slightly interests me. I am sure it would interest me more if I actually spun more. However, this one has some useful information that I am highly considering right now. It breaks down the spinning wheels and their differences. Not that I would have probably been swayed from the one I want to have, but just to be more aware if I am actually making the decision I am thinking I am making. Basically, I purchased it because it has a lot of good basic info in there this time. Information about using a drum carder, about the different parts of a spinning wheel, comparisons of different spinning wheels, worsted vs. woolen, and about washing wool.

All of this information is nice because I think sometimes magazines forget that not everyone who reads their magazine is a pro. It is nice for the rest of us to receive some useful information. In all honesty, I am very much a person who would rather buy a magazine than a book. I know this seems somewhat odd, but I blame my dad. Economically, it is the wiser choice as far as I am concerned. In magazines there are less repeats of information, a wider variety of patterns, information is often explained in different ways as to not "repeat" articles, more compact in size, and many more reasons, but basically you get more bang for your buck. I don't buy many pattern books because I have to spend 39.95 for one or two patterns I am interested in or buy a book that has a couple of great patterns but the rest of the patterns look just like a whole bunch of things I have already seen from other people or in other places. I just don't need that much space taken up on my limited to non-existent bookshelf space anyways.

Anyways, I also picked up Knitting. This is usually i magazine I feel is worth purchasing, but not always. This is one of the magazines I would like to subscribe to, but yikes, expensive for an all in one payment.

There is almost always useful information in this magazine. The article on Adjusting a Garment is useful. Enchanting Designs article was a very nifty and quite beautiful article on Teresa Searle's felting work.

Adele Jacket - - I think this has a lovely stitch pattern. I think the garment could have a little more of a structure fit though. It looks too big on the models waist and then possibly a little snug at the hips. Potential for a very warm and nice looking coat.

Kauni Sweater - - First criticism of any article of clothing is that it will always look better if it actually fits the model. It is baggy on the model and looks a little too short for her. I like the unique looking cuff/sleeve. I think the neck is a little too big and gapey for real warmth. Not sure I care for the way the stripes worked out either.

Hardwick Sweater - - Looks okay, nothing inherently special or appalling. The color work looks nice.

Autumn Tank Top - - it's really a vest. The subtle cables in the ribbing look nice and seem to work well with the variegated yarn. I think it would look a little better if it had some waist shaping.

Pinstripe Rib Jumper - - I like this sweater. Not so much the flowers around the neckline(a little too showy for me), but the stitching of the sweater looks nice, it's a subtle ribbing.

Soft Beret - - As said before, not really a hat person. On the other hand, I think this is a nice looking hat. I would easily make it for someone else.

Alpaca Wrist Warmers - - not sure, but it looks like an awfully bad picture of them. Bad photographer.

Ballerina Bunny - - a cut little toy. I would probably try to make her head a little rounder though, if I were to make it. Otherwise, cute and looks easy.

Scandi Chic Cardigan & hat - - Red is not this photographer's color. The cardigan looks okay on the little girl, a little more than a tad bit too big on her though. Not at all a fan of the hat she is wearing though, it's like a big poof ball.

Matelot Sweater - - Nice looking little kids sweater.

Winco Hat and Scarf - - Very much not a fan of the bull's eye image on them. The scarf looks a little less like a scarf and more like a shrug and long sleeve mittens hybrid. Don't really care for them.

Stripe Sequence Chenille Throw - - eh, just a blanket with stripes.

*As always, just my opinions.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Ah, a lovely Birthday

Today was a lovely birthday. We hung out, did a little shopping. The boy bought me some clothes for my birthday and this . . .

My Engagement Ring! It's an opal, I can't wear it yet, because it has to get re-sized, but soon enough.

We had a nice dinner at a new place we tried called Smokey Bones, great food. We got these combo platters that were very yummy. Well, see everyone tomorrow.

Stitch My Square

My September Stitch My Square:

Yarn: Jiffy
Colors: Grape, and a green and yellow that I don't know the "real" names to because I lost the ball bands quite some time ago.
Content: 100% acrylic
Needles: 3.5mm
Gauge: 5st per inch
Pattern: Soft Curves stitch pattern on page 190 of the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.
Blocking: has not been blocked at all

Thoughts: I actually liked this one so much, I didn't really want to give it away. Horrible, huh? I like the way the stripes look, although the stitch pattern is a little hidden in the dark of the purple. I was a little concerned in the beginning that as a lace stitch it wouldn't show up well in the Jiffy, but it worked well. I actually think this stitch would look good in a top, maybe as an accent ribbing on the bottom of the body and sleeves, but I think it could look good as a main stitch, maybe along with a cable or two in between the repeats. In a smaller needle though, I think it would help it look more delicate.

Red on the Brain

Ah, some more WIPs:

First off is what I am calling Phoenix Rising, we shall see how the name actually ends up panning out since the colorway may or may not end up as I think. This is a variegated yarn with reds, browns, tans, and black.

Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit
Content: 70% wool, 25% polyamid, 7% PBT
Color: 716
Needles:US 00/metal needles (first time using double zero needles and a long, long time since I have used metal needles, but they are working well and it was easier to find them smaller in metal)

Pattern: Ann Budd's book The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, I am not really using one of hers completely as my gauge is smaller than any of the ones she gives in the book, but I am figuring it out as well as I can with this info.

This is kind of an experiment to see how well her pattern-ish fits than the ones I am making using no pattern, but my own logic in my head. We shall see, these gloves will also be for my sister Rhoni. Evidently, she likes gloves a whole heck of a lot. She's one of those people though that never seem to get warm enough. Any who, so far I am really loving making these.

Word of caution: they did not photograph well, because it is just too cold for me to go out on the balcony to take pictures in natural light, I tried my best in the living room and by an window in the kitchen. After all, it was only 37 degrees when I took these pictures.

Raspberry Bramble
The next WIP is actually a WIP of the past. I started working on these socks back in like May or something. I took them with me to Washington State when we visited and messed up on turning the heel and just let the sit on my shelf until about a week ago. I ripped it completely back and started anew.

Color: SY-26 Blue Blood Red
Content:75% washable wool, 25% nylon
Needles: US O / 2mm
Pattern: My own. I am using a stitch pattern from a book for the front of the sock, but the sock is my design. I continued the ribbing on down the heel and they are only anklet height.

They were originally intended to be for my mother, but she may need to wear special sock and may not be able to wear these, so we shall see.

Accepting Limitations

Well, here is a new WIP that was just started a couple of nights ago:

Everyone meet Jeanie from Knitty's Winter 2007. Jeanie is replacement knitting. I have decided that for now and maybe forever, the Frog Shawl that changed into another shawl, was just not meant to be. I love working with fine yarn and small needles, but I ignored the shawl once I actually started on it. I have made myself accept a few things with the shawl: 1) my mother doesn't even care for wool, I am the one who loves it, 2) It is not superwash, so she would have to hand wash it and pin it out, which is probably just not going to happen, 3) I will probably never finish it knowing it is not something she would probably use and love, and lastly 4)I liked the idea of it and the planning too much that I didn't see how it wasn't really a shawl for my mom, but something nifty I wanted to make. I will leave the tiny shawl type knitting to my wedding veil and make my mom something I think she will enjoy and use a whole bunch.

So, unfortunately, Jeanie has a lot to live up to at this point. *smile* My mom likes cable and loves green, so it should work out nicely.

Yarn: Red Heart Sport (feels nice and soft and will be easily washed)
Content: 100% acrylic
Color: Pistachio
Needles:US 6 / 4mm
Gauge: not a concern here

I am using a size six because I can't comfortable go up as many needles sizes as the pattern would like me to, but I refrained from going down from the recommended needles size to a needle that would make a denser fabric(which is what I usually do), since the pattern is suppose to be nice and drapey. I have high hopes of this WIP.

Friday's Featured Blog . . . on Saturday

Hey everyone, I am a little late with the featured blog. The boyfriend's doctor's appointment took forever yesterday and I wasn't feeling good. Came home took a nap . . . like a 3 hour nap . . . got up and played some video games and went back to sleep. However, I am bringing it to you today. This is one of my favorite blogs . . .

Canary Knits

If you have never seen this blog then you are really missing out.

Reasons I enjoy reading this blog:
~She has Indie Designer Days in which she features an Indie Designer. I like this because it lets you know about people you may not know about or may let you know a little more about someone you do know.

~I like the fact that she has all her completed items on the side bar of her blog, that way if I am looking for something I liked I don't have to hunt in past posts, they are right there to see.

~beautiful pictures of her canaries.

~I enjoy the fact that she is honest . . . honest about how she feels about the yarn, honest about how she feels about the pattern.

Kinds of Arts/Crafts I found at this blog(with links to an example):

~knitting - - I love all the info she gives when she finishes an item.



~a smidgen of cross-stitch

~a bit of cooking

~a dash of clay


Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Spindlicity

New Spindlicity!

I am so glad this web-zine is back! I love quite a few of the articles and am going to highlight a few of them, as everyone should definitely go and have a look for themselves!

Spinning from the fold video. The video is great and shows the technique well. I like it because it is not a technique I understood well, but I will have to try it out now that I understand how to use it.

Needle Punch tutorial was very interesting and makes me want to try this. I have seen stuff for it before and there was no interest sparked, but this explains it well and it looks like something interesting to try. Will have to look into getting a few of the supplies.

Blending roving with a limited palette to make a variety of colors within a certain theme. Very informative, makes me want to have a drum carder. *smile*

Any who, lots more information over at the

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Link Question

Question for anyone who may know this answer:

When I put The Plucky Knitter's address into my thing for my blog list on the side it changes it to her RSS feed, which is not what I want, I want the actual blog. Does anyone know how to override this or some how stop it?? Her blog and a few others are doing this.

Also, why does it want me to download something when I try to go to The Nerd and The Needles website link from the side, is this an RSS feed thing too?