December 31, 2007

New Year!

Once again it's been a while since my last update. Working full time really takes up a lot of my hours. I have a few purple-ish things to share:

A few weeks back I shared the story of my sad sock knitting experiences. I made a plea to fellow knitters for a pair of socks in exchange for a scarf. Two awesome bloggers came to the rescue: Eikon and Charles.

Eikon and I exchanged our knitted items the week before Christmas. I knit him a Shifting Sands scarf in Malabrigo (sorry, no picture!) and he knit me a pair of purple socks in Araucania's sock yarn.


They're awesome! ... and, miracle of miracles (to me at least), they're the same size! They also fit me perfectly and are quite warm, so, now I have a great pair of socks to keep my feet comfortable this winter. Having this pair has actually inspired me to attempt socks once again, but, we'll see.


Charles and I will be exchanging knit-goods soon! =)
I had a bit of a purple... problem this Christmas. My cousins and I do a grab bag for Christmas now and since I only have one cousin to purchase/make gifts for I'm more than willing to knit something up.
I originally planned to knit a scarf. Because I think scarves are such a useful and basic accessory. Well, I got my job and my knitting time was severely decreased and as Christmas came closer I realized that I would only have enough time for a hat.

I had been eyeing this cool hat in a men's issue of Knit.1. It had ribs going in different ways and a brim. Tehcnically, for a guy, but, I thought it would be great on a girl too.

I ended up using some of that Vanna White yarn because I wanted something washable, thick, relatively soft, and durable. Knitting it up moved a bit slow, but, I was at a good pace.

So, I finally knit up all the pieces and began the seaming process... I got the edges done and I tried the hat on and it was HUGE. Now, I have a big head... when a hat says "one size fits all" it means it won't fit me. But, this hat... it was large. I thought maybe I could take in the seams a bit more so I pulled in a good half an inch on both sides and it was STILL too big.


It looks cool in this picture, but, in reality it's horrible.
I decided it was time to go to plan B... I actually didn't have a plan B so in a fit of terror I searched the internet for a quick hat and decided I would just do a simple hat in the round. A good 4 inches of ribbing on the bottom and stockinette all the way up through the decreases.
I ended up loosely following Crazy Aunt Purl's Brangelina Hat.


The hat was finished in time, unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to take a picture before it was gifted. I actually double stranded Vanna's yarn to get a nice, chunky gauge. For added... 'fun' I added other shades of purple into the mix... so, one strand of the original purple and the second strand was a different shade. It turned out pretty cool looking and it ended up fitting her.

I also started on the Half-Pipe hat from Son of a Stitch and Bitch:


I actually finished it, but, I'll provide you with more details on that next time because this is the Purple post... and that lovely grey, camel yarn hat is not purple. ^_^

December 17, 2007


Yikes. I went from posting every single day to posting never. A large portion of this lack of posting is that I finally have a full time job. Since it is winter the days are super short and there isn't enough light for me to snap some pictures, but, things have been moving along.

After the whole month of crazy blogging and casting on new projects I think I had a momentary knitting burn out. But, I'm back on the ball (of yarn). I'll attribute this knitting revival to Knitting Groups and to Ben who encourage me to attend. ... I've become quite the... stitch and bitch man whore.

Friday I drove straight from work to The Gifted Purl. ... well, I stopped at Starbucks along the way. There were A LOT of people. At least 20 and a few in&outs. I started off as the only guy, but was later joined by a new guy who was learning to knit that night. Good crowd, lots of food, and very lively. We sat in a large sort-of circle and there was much knitting going on. I probably arrived there around 6:30 and stayed until almost 11! Needless to say, I got a lot of knitting done. The people there were really supportive so it was cool. Definitely something I'd attend again.

On Sunday I drove over to Wool & Co. I hadn't been there for a while and I needed to grab a few yarny gifts for some people. My other LYS's didn't carry the yarn I was looking for, and, sadly neither did Wool & Co. But, while I was there I ran into Ben who suggested I stay for the knitting group. So, I did.
The Wool & Co. group was significantly smaller. It consisted of me, Ben, another guy at the group for his first time, an older woman, Anna Lisa who was running the store at the time, and her roommate's daughter. I spent a good 2 and a half hours there. It was quieter, but, still a cool experience. Plus, Wool & Co. has a huge yarn selection so there's a good amount of eye candy... I think it keeps us well insulated too. ^_^

Today, I drove straight to the Fishbed Knitting Emporium after work... well, technically I stopped at Barnes & Noble and got Starbucks coffee and a book... Deb was there and I bought some yarn and a magazine subscription and she walked me to the basement and introduced me to the girls. There were 5 there at the time. I was a little afraid at first, but, they turned out to be all really friendly and funny. As the night went on more and more women started piling in... we had a good 12 or more there. We mostly sat around a table so it made the experience more intimate, in a sense, and it was much easier to hear everyone's stories. It was cool. I also ran into DeannaC from Ravelry. I saw her walking down the stairs and I was thinking to myself, "she looks familiar."
Another woman in the group was actually at the Purl's knitting night and was like, "I saw you on Friday!"
So my first idea was that Deanna had been at Friday's group... but she came up to me and was like, "You're simplethings from Ravelry, right?" and then I realized where I had seen her. She also mentioned to me that she was pretty sure she saw my picture on the Panopticon's blog. He was doing the 1000 knitters project and he had been selling a few items... one was a knitting bag with a pictures of about 30 random knitters and I happened to be one of them. So, I got home and of course I ordered one. ^_^

Well... hopefully I'll find time, and daylight, to take a few pictures. I have a ton of Christmas gifts that need to be knitted up. Hopefully I'll set aside more time in these next few days to get more done. For the most part there won't be anymore knitting group meetings until after Christmas... so, I'll have to really focus and knit hard.

December 7, 2007

ravelry tea swap goodness

I received my Tea Swap box from my once secret swapper Chelle aka nosheep4chelle on Ravelry.
The box actually came in yesterday but I guess I wasn't home when Sonia, our delivery person, brought it to the house so she left a note that said to pick it up at the post office after 8:30 on the 7th. It was about 4:00pm on the 6th and I rushed over to the post office (because it closed at 4:30) and, while standing in line, realized that today wasn't the 7th... I checked anyway and my other favorite postal worker said that Sonia had not come in yet and I'd have to pick up my package tomorrow.
So, tomorrow is actually today and I woke up all early and picked it up. ^_^

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A pretty blue theme straight from Canada.
A few things were wrapped and a few others were not. The unwrapped items include two tins of tea from T in Garden Party and Vanilla Bean. They both smell delicious and come in really awesome cannisters. After this post I'll be putting the kettle on. =)

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I also got two boxes of Bacetti. I love these! I love chocolate and I LOVE hazlenuts. This is the best of both worlds. ^_^

On the yarny side of the package I have 2 skeins of SWTC Soysilk. Which, interestingly enough, happened to be the same yarn I sent to my swap partner. =) I was tempted to buy some for myself but decided against it in order to save money... luckily I did because now I have some for my own!

I unwrapped all the other packages and here's what I found:

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Some Lush bath bombs! Yay! Chelle had obviously been doing an awesome job of keeping an eye on my blog because I'm totally going through a Lush phase right now.

On the bath theme I also received some almond handmade soap:

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And finally the last two things, which are easily the coolest things ever:

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This is a bag of flower tea from Steeps Tea. Basically it's a hand tied ball of tea that blossoms when you begin steeping. I've been eyeing these for a while and now I can finally try them! I'll have to get a glass teapot though for the full effect. I saw an awesome set on-line that I might just have to purchase. I'll definitely take pictures once I brew it.

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Last, and definitely not least, is a gorgeous skein of Hand Maiden Sea Silk! I have been coveting this yarn for a while now. It was totally out of my budget so I just gazed at it from a far... but, now it's in my hands and I'm blissfully happy. I originally wanted to make that Montego Bay Scarf that had been going around, but, now I'd rather make something for myself. Any ideas? Yum. =)

Big thanks to Chelle who did an awesome job choosing gifts! Now it's time to have a cup.

December 3, 2007

Almost done with number one!

I'm almost at the halfway point with my first mitten. It is taking looooooong. No major mistakes though, and my double knitting skills are definitely improving.

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Aside from a simple 3x3 check this mitten is my first... foray into the world of color work. As well as my first attempt at designing color work. ... I swear it looked better on my Excel spreadsheet. o_O
Maybe it'll make more sense once I add the thumb and finish the rest of the body.

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Yum. Don't the insides look all soft and warm? Mmmmalabrigo. =)
The brown stitch markers are the ones from EarthChick. They look almost like wooden beads. The pearly one on the left I purchased from Zero's etsy shop a while back.
Right now the brown markers are placed where the thumb should be coming out from and the white signifies the start of the main color work pattern. I decided that the back of the hand would have all the design and the palm would be very simple. I hope I calculated the stitches correctly.

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I'm estimating another two days of good, hard knitting to finish this first mitten. And maybe the 2nd will go faster. Sort of like when you're driving to a place you've never been to--it seems like it takes forever to get there, but, when you drive back home it seems like the distance was cut in half. =)

On a completely unrelated topic... I've mastered the art of sounding awake when a phone call takes me out of a deep slumber. ^_^ It spares me the shame of people knowing that I actually wake up a 1pm. ... oops. I always thought the only person I wouldn't be able to trick was my mother, but, this morning she gave me a random wake up call and her first words after hello were, "I'm glad to hear you're already awake."
The only things that give me away are my one word answers, my excessive agreeableness, and the fact that I barely remember the call once I fall back asleep and wake up again. Most of the time I'll have to call the person back when I'm actually awake and have a real conversation with them. I've left a notepad by the bed though to jot things down during these dream-like phone calls. This doesn't always help though... I seem to write down really random words that obviously mean a lot while I'm on the phone but mean nothing to me when I wake up. For example, some of the words on my notepad are: period, kitten, olive garden, embarrassed, violin!!, general. Hmmmm.

Knit hard(er). =)