January 30, 2011

Birthday Present!

I have a wonderful boyfriend. He finds my knitting habit adorable, puts up with my quirks, and loves my cat. He also knows what I like (well... most of the time). For my 24th birthday, he got me something I've been wanting for a really long time.
I managed to fit about 90% of my yarn stash in here. It's going to be so nice to be able to see what I have without having to dig through the trunk.
The drawers are larger than they look in the photos, which is how I managed to fit so much yarn in there.
This summer I am planning on stripping off the original finish and using a darker stain to make it match the rest of my furniture. I also would like to sew new drawers for it, but I'd have to get a sewing machine first. 

Here's a photo of the mason jars on top of the shelf- the smaller jar has my first attempts at spinning yarn, and the second has my button collection. The best part about having a new shelf is that it gives me more space to put knick-knacks on top!

January 23, 2011

January in Santa Cruz

I complain a lot about where I live. I complain about the traffic, the cost of living, the stupidity of tourists... but I really shouldn't. Numerous beaches are a short walk or an even shorter drive away. Today is a prime example of why Santa Cruz is one of the greatest places in the world to live - 70+ degrees, blue skies, a slight breeze...this is why most of my paycheck goes to pay my rent. And you know what? It's worth it.

Fan Appreciation Photos

Just in time for 20 degree New York City weather, here is Amaya modeling her new knitted goods. The original post is here.

January 22, 2011

Overload

Since my last post, my brain has been on knitting overload. Basically, my mind is overflowing with all the things I can and want to do, but I haven't picked up yarn and needles and started anything. Hopefully that will change soon.

January 19, 2011

My First Pattern!

I am extremely excited (dorky, I know) to announce my first knitting pattern!! It's not really a big deal, but I am excited about it nonetheless. I've been knitting for almost ten years, and have been making up patterns for a while, but up until now have never taken the time to write them down. The cable design is adapted from the Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.


Here's the pattern: 
Criss-Cross Cable Headband
Size 8 Needles
Worsted Weight Yarn
Notions - Button, Thread, Crochet Hook

Key:
K1FB = Knit stitch in front and back (increases by 1)
K2Tog = Knit two stitches together (decreases by 1)

CO 5 stitches
1. K1, P3, K1 (RS)
2. P1, K3, P1 (WS)
3. K1, P3, K1
4. P1, K1FB, K1, K1FB, P1
5. K1, P5, K1
6. P1, K1FB, K3, K1FB, P1
7. K1, P7, K1
8. P1, K7, P1
9-14. Repeat rows 7 and 8 three more times each
15. K1, P7, K1
16. P1, K1FB, K2, K1FB, K2, K1FB, P1
17. K1, P10, K1
18. P1, K1FB, K2, K1FB, K2, K1FB, K2, K1FB, P1
19. K1, P14, K1
20. P1, K1FB, K3, K1FB, K4, K1FB, K3, K1FB, P1
21. K1, P18, K1
22. P1, K1FB, K4, K1FB, K6, K1FB, K4, K1FB, P1
23. K1, P22, K1
Cable Pattern
1. P3, K18, P3
2. Work each stitch as it appears (k the k's, p the p's)
3. P3, *Slip 3 to Cable Needle and hold in back, K3, K3 off cable needle*, repeat from * to * two more times, P3
4. Work each stitch as it appears (k the k's, p the p's)
5. P3, K18, P3
6. Work each stitch as it appears (k the k's, p the p's)
7. P3, K3, *Slip 3 to Cable Needle and hold in front, K3, K3 off Cable needle*, repeat from * to * one more time, K3, P3
8. Work each stitch as it appears (k the k's, p the p's)
REPEAT CABLE PATTERN 6 MORE TIMES (7 PATTERN REPEATS TOTAL)
Begin Decrease
1. P1, K2tog, K4, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K4, K2tog, P1
2. K1, P18, K1
3. P1, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K4, K2tog, K3, K2tog, P1
4. K1, P14, K1
5. P1, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, P1
6. K1, P10, K1
7. P1, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, P1
8. K1, P7, K1
9. P1, K7, P1
10-15. Repeat 8-9 3 more times each
16. K1, P7, K1
17. P1, K2tog, K3, K2tog, P1
18. K1, P5, K1
19. P1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, P1
20. K1, P3, K1
21. P1, K3, P1
22. K1, P3, K1
Cast off, leaving a 12 inch tail.
Finishing
Using a crochet hook, chain 6 stitches with tail and slip stitch chain in other side, creating a loop.
Using needle and thread, sew a button on other side.
Block if desired.

Here's the link to the PDF:

Here's the link on Ravelry:


One person is in the process of test-knitting it, but if anyone else wants to I would be greatly appreciative. Let me know if there are any mistakes, or if anything doesn't make sense.

Happy Knitting!

January 15, 2011

I said I wouldn't buy any more yarn...

But I didn't say I wasn't going to buy any knitting books!! After looking at 2 local bookstores, I was forced to go to Borders to find this:
I've made a few pairs of socks in my life, but only a few. The problem I have with them is that once you finish making one, you have to turn around and make another one. That is hard for my ADD brain that wants to move on to making something new... the last thing I want is to make another of something I just made! So when my mom asked me for a pair of socks the other day, I went on a quest for this book because I knew that was the only way I would be able to complete a pair. 

I was planning on starting them tonight (yes, I am using stash yarn - a ball of Trekking XXL that I bought from my favorite yarn store before it closed), but after drinking a beer or two I decided I was better off typing than knitting.

January 14, 2011

And I Thought My Stash Was Huge!

Check out this lady's! There is enough yarn in this photo to open a yarn store... and I am sure there is more outside of the frame. I can't even imagine having enough space to store this much yarn!

January 13, 2011

A Very Productive Sick Day

So remember how Amaya started buying me yarn so I would make her stuff? Well, when I was home sick the other day I finished two projects for her.

The first is a headband/earwarmer. I saw a bunch of these when I was in NYC and thought they were really cute. This one is crocheted with a crocheted flower attached to one side. I didn't follow any pattern, I just winged it while on the couch in my PJ's watching Law and Order. I believe it took me two episodes from start to finish.

The second is Foliage from Knitty. It turned out much bigger than it was supposed to, but looks cute as a floppy tam. The reason it turned out too big is because I am adamantly against gauging my projects. Gauge is the number of stitches per inch for a specific project. Pattern designers include a gauge before each pattern that you are supposed to knit up. If what you made doesn't match their specified gauge, it's a sign that you should use different needles or yarn. I hate it because it is more work you have to do, and up until now it hasn't really been a problem. Well, I learned my lesson this time! I did like the pattern, so I might make one again someday.


This last project is just a hat that I made using stash yarn, because I am slowly (VERY slowly) but surely working my way through my yarn stash. I wore it to work today and got several compliments on it. It's made with the leftover yarn from Ryan's Snowboarding Hat

January 10, 2011

Knitting is not like Softball

A week or so ago the boy gave me the best compliment ever about how he wanted me to teach him how to knit. It was flattering, of course, but I didn't actually think he would follow up with it. I mean, I joke about playing baseball with him but we all know that is never going to happen...although, when he met me I was enjoying (i.e. suffering through) a brief stint as a softball player on a co-ed rec team. Don't believe me? I wouldn't if I were you, because softball is the last thing you'd ever expect a gangly, un-sporty girl with no coordination to play. But for your viewing pleasure, here is proof:
Yes, this is me... swinging at the ball, hitting the ball (kinda), and getting thrown out at first. As you can clearly see, I am no good at softball. 

But back to my main point. Boy and I like to say we are going to do things that the other person likes, but it usually never happens. Boy always says he will watch my favorite musicals with me, but always finds an excuse at the last minute. He tries to get me to go to reggae shows with him (and succeeded once), but that's not really my thing and I try and get out of it. When we do actually try something the other one likes, things like this happen and I have mini panic attacks on cliffs.

So when he expressed interest in knitting I blew it off. Why would boy want to knit? I mean, when we first started dating he told me that he thought knitting was for grandmas. Boy is a manly-man (most of the time). He plays sports and drinks beer and has lots and lots of chest hair. Manly-men don't knit, and they tease grandmas like me who do. He gradually warmed up to it when I started making him cool things, but I think he still secretly judged me for a while.

Fast-forward to Saturday night. We finish eating dinner and I ask him what he wants to do. "How about we watch that movie you've been wanting me to watch forever [that movie being Rocky Horror Picture Show] and you teach me how to knit?"

I was flabbergasted. Not only did he want to watch my favorite ever musical about transvestites (can we take a moment to admire the fact that there is more than one musical about transvestites?), but he wanted me to teach him how to knit! We chose the yarn from my stash and settled down for his first knitting lesson. I cast on for him, and showed him how by slowly knitting the first two rows. He took over from there and over the next hour and a half successfully knitted about 3 inches of what he hopes will become a scarf (without paying any attention to the movie, which I realized was his plan all along).

There are the typical new-knitter errors, like starting out with 15 stitches and all of a sudden having 17, then 14, and somehow magically finding that there are 15 again, but he didn't let any of the frustration get to him. He took my most important knitting advice - when you get frustrated with whatever you are working on, put it down. If you keep going, you are bound to make a mistake, which will make you even more frustrated. He put his knitting down a few times, but always picked it up and kept on going.

He even worked on it on Sunday!

I am not sure how long he will stick with it, but so far so good. The only problem I see arising is that when I want to go and do something, he wants to knit. This already happened on Sunday, and if it begins to interfere with our day to day lives, I am going to have to stab him with a kitting needle.

January 7, 2011

Cafe au Lait Mitts - Fan Appreciation Photos!


Here is the lovely Anissa enjoying her mitts! As for the amazingly cheesy photos, she said "it's hard to take pictures of yourself in mittens!"

January 5, 2011

This is Going to be Harder Than I Thought

I had a dream about buying yarn the other night.

Luckily, three skeins of yarn showed up from Amaya the other day. I am starting a hat for her tonight.

January 4, 2011

Chevron Scarf - Finished

After working on and off (mostly off) on this project since the beginning of June, I have finally finished my Chevron Scarf (I would link to the pattern, but it appears to be gone). I started this project intending it to be a small project that I could work on in various places - this scarf has been to softball games, friends houses, family dinners, and on various road trips. It came to be out of one of my random fits of retardation, when I bought two skeins of different colored sock yarn and realized I could do nothing with them except make two different colored socks. I threw the yarn into my stash and forgot about them until last June, when I realized they would work perfectly with this pattern.

I wasn't too sure on the color combination, but once it started knitting up I realized that it looked great!
It kind of reminds me of a peacock for some reason...
I'm not too pleased that it took me 8 months to complete... but that is neither here nor there now that it is done!

January 3, 2011

The First Fan Appreciation Photos of 2011

Here is Ryan enjoying his new Snowboarding Hat (although he didn't take it snowboarding because he didn't want to ruin it)

Here is a (blurry) picture if K with her new Fear of Commitment Cowl

Here are my legs and feet enjoying the warmth of the Cable Comfort Throw that took me forever to make. I don't know if I can count myself as a fan, but I am doing it anyway.

As for my stash busting, I made a scarf over the weekend that used up two skeins of different yarns. Yay!

January 2, 2011

A Wonderful Compliment

Boy - "You write so well about knitting that it makes me want to learn. Will you teach me?"

Stay tuned for stories and potential photos.