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Thursday, February 28, 2008

All New Yarn Must Be Approved By A Licensed Inspector Upon Entering The Premesis

Fortunately, I have a Yarn Inspector on site at all times. Just in case you've ever been curious about what goes into a yarn inspection, I was able to get some photos of the process.

It begins with a general sniffing, to determine the animal of origin and make sure there is no bacon that accidentally got wound in with the yarn.
A gentle roll on the yarn determines if it's soft enough for actual knitting use.
A full body roll checks the quality of the skein winding (and it just feels soooooo good!)
Finally, each skein is rechecked to see how it held up to the inspection. The inspector typically reports his findings and then takes a nice nap so that he's ready for the next batch of yarn that needs checking out. So far he's never found any bacon in the skeins, but he remains optimistic, knowing that he is young and his entire career as a yarn inspector stretches before him.

The yarn being inspected is my Dream In Color Classy that I got from The Loopy Ewe for the Knitalong. This is the Cool Fire color which was my original pick. She ships so quickly that she probably shipped this out before I even tried to change colors, but that's fine - this pink is a pink, not a darker berry color so it is different from what I've been knitting with. The yarn is super soft (as most superwash wools are), but I'll be swatching it carefully and washing the swatches several times because I've had bad experiences with superwash growing in the past.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One is the loneliest number

caledonianmistdone


Which is why I knit two, socks that is. I finished up the second Caledonian Mist sock. I have to say, even though I wrote the pattern, I really like this pattern and how fast it knits up!

Now that I'm done with the second socks from my most recent pattern, I've started knitting on the socks for my next pair of designs. I'm planning on getting both socks knit at the same time, instead of having to go back and finish the pairs after the pattern launch. This will mean slightly more time between patterns, but I think it will help me keep my sanity better. I'm not going to show a picture of the new sock designs until the pattern is ready, but I will leave you with this: the first design looks like a star fruit while it's being knitted. I am amused by this.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Zipping along on the lace edged cardi!

berrylacecardi2


I got a lot done this weekend on the lace edged cardi. I'm past the body lace section and am almost through with the bust increases and I've started the neckline shaping. Only a little bit farther and I separate the fronts from the back! I think this will be a nice cardi for both Spring and Fall when it's too cool for short sleeves, but too warm for long sleeves and full sweaters. I love 3/4 sleeves (unless it's really cold) because they don't get in the way of what you're doing and you don't lose your watch or bracelets either.

I haven't picked out buttons yet, but this pattern has you knit the front bands along with the fronts so the size of the buttons is already set (by the size of the buttonholes). This usually isn't the way you're supposed to do it - technically, I should have knit a gauge swatch with the buttonhole in it, or several different buttonholes so I could see which one fits my preselected button. I like to live dangerously though. Or something.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

As You Like It Felted Slipper Boots

New from Georgina Bow Creations!

Tired of cold toes as you go about your day to day activities? Knit yourself a pair of slipper boots! You knit them extra large, then felt them down to the correct size, making them dense, thick and warm. For extra fun and personalization, dye them your favorite color. They could also be embellished with buttons or other trims to really dress them up.

Knit to wear like slippers, with plenty of room for cozy socks, these boots have a folded down cuff to add extra warmth to your ankles. Like hot cocoa for your toes, you'll reach for these when you need a little extra snuggle on those cold days and nights.

Basic felting instructions (using the washing machine) and basic dyeing instructions are included as well as sizing for US Women's shoe size 3 to 12.

These are knit from the top down to the toe on two circular needles at once. Even if you've never knit on two circular needles at once, there are a number of tutorials available on the Internet if you need more information on this particular technique.


Yarn shown in the sample pair is KnitPicks Bare Peruvian Highland Wool.
$3.00
Any questions? Contact the designer at georginabowcreations AT yahoo DOT com

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Caledonian Mist on Virginia Ice



I'm zipping right along on the second Caledonian Mist sock. I'm more than halfway to the heel turn at this point. It seems to like the weather right now (kind of an icy mess), but it's about the only thing that does - even Finn is moving faster when he goes outside. And just in case you care, the yarn is Shibui Knits Sock in Breeze and the pattern is linked above. Yes, this is the second sock for the sock in the actual pattern. I keep opening up my sock drawer and I see the one sock and it would have been perfect to wear so many times, but the fact that there was only one has been problem. Once I get this one done, I'll probably wear them out - I should probably get more of this yarn...


It's good to hear that others are falling down the rabbit hole on this KAL. (See yesterday's post.) It will be fun!
Spellchecking is back! WooHoo!


Have a great weekend. There might be a surprise later this weekend!

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've fallen down the rabbit hole!

I've been pretty good lately, only knitting from yarn I had in stash or yarn I had spun from stash. I'd ordered some sock yarn, but that was it, and it was for patterns. Overall, that's pretty well behaved for a Pink Lemon. Yesterday I caved. I was wandering around reading blogs and I got to Michelle's. She has a new dog who is trying to find his place in a family of cats who are pretty sure the dog isn't necessary, so there are lots of fur-baby pictures right now. She also mentioned though, that The Loopy Ewe is having a knitalong. Actually Sheri, the owner of the Loopy Ewe is having the knitalong and it's basically to knit any sweater design you like, using Dream In Color's Classy yarn. Classy is a worsted weight yarn so the range of possible patterns is pretty wide. I went to look at the colors and I really liked several of them, but I couldn't think of anything off the top of my head that I wanted to knit that I didn't already have in my stash, so I figured I was safe. I wandered over to the Ravelry group (TLE is the group name if you're curious) to see what everyone was doing and then I remembered- I had seen another really cute sweater design* over at the Drops website (FREE!) that I wanted to make. The pattern calls for 21 stitches over 4 inches, but since Classy is also a superwash yarn, I knew I'd be happier knitting it slightly tighter than it calls for. (In my experience superwash wools tend to relax and grow after washing, but if you knit it tightly, it can't really go anywhere.)

So I wandered back over to The Loopy Ewe to place my order (she's offering 20% off on the Classy for this KAL) and I ordered the Cool Fire colorway. Then I got to thinking that I'd done a lot in pinky berry colors lately and even though Cool Fire is lighter than most of the berry yarns I've got, it's in the same color family, so I called The Loopy Ewe to change the color and SHERI ANSWERED THE PHONE! It was like talking to The Loopy Ewe herself, except that sheep aren't allowed to answer the phone usually, particularly in a business situation. She said it wasn't a problem, but to put a note on the order saying what color I wanted. So here's the fun part: I'm not sure what color I'll be getting! I think I asked for Into the Mystic for my first choice, but I might have asked for Go Go Grassy as my first choice because I was going back and forth on them and I just can't remember. Basically, it's a knitalong and an adventure, because I don't know what color yarn I'm using! I have no idea why this is so amusing to me, but now I've shared it with the whole Internet so the polite thing to do is nod and smile and act like you're excited too.

*If you decide to knit this pattern, make sure you choose the correct size. Because of the A line shaping, the cardi should fit very closely through the bust or it will look way too big and make you look pregnant. Also, it needs to be worn with pants (or a skirt) that are fitted through the waist and hips or you'll get the pregnant thing again - no pleats or fullness at the top of the pants (or skirt). Just my two cents worth of fashion advice for this shape.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scarborough Finished


I am now officially done knitting both pairs of Scarborough Fair socks. To recap the why, the what, and the other gory details, I knit the first pair of socks in the Yarn 4 Socks December Sock club yarn. Since that was an exclusive yarn, I knit the second pair of socks (for the pattern that's available to the general public) in Louet Fingering Weight Merino in Soft Coral (it's definitely a warm pink color). I knit this entire sock without referring to the chart once, which for some reason is really exciting to me (hey - I'm easily amused).
I will now knit the second Caledonian Mist sock, but since that pattern is easier to work, it should be knit up pretty quickly. In the meantime, I've started designing and I have all the yarn for the next set of sock designs.... (cue dramatic music)...

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Pear Cozy, No More!

I frogged the pear cozy. I just wasn't feeling the love and I started questioning the way it was going to fit, so it got frogged. Then I had to find a new pattern for the yarn (Cascade 220). So I wandered around Ravelry. I wandered around the Internet. I wandered around blogs and finally I stumbled my way back over to the Drops website. (If you've never checked out their website, go give it a peek. They have a HUGE selection of free patterns!) They have their new Spring and Summer designs up for 2008 and I found this one. So here is where I am at on it:

berrylacecardi1


I've made one tiny change already. The pattern calls for a bobble in the center of the lace diamond shape. I usually have issues with bobbles on people over the age of 12, but there were so few in this design, and they were placed so well in the pattern that I decided to give them a try. I worked the first bobble and realized that it looked like a weird, little growth on my sweater. You know, the kind of growth that makes you call the dermatologist. So I frogged the bobble and started thinking of options. I could have worked a Yarn Over (and a decrease) at the center, but for some reason I didn't want a hole there. I could have placed a bead there, but I didn't have any beads the right size and color around and I wanted to keep knitting. I decided to look through my books and see what I could find, or if I could find some different bobble directions. What I found was a knot. It's basically a tiny, more tasteful bobble for grownups so I've got the same basic look as the original pattern had and I'm much happier with the look of it.

A couple of completely non related, random things:

1. Someone asked what kind of needles I use for socks - I like the Crystal Palace 6 inch bamboo needles. The bamboo flexes in my hands, they're very smooth, and the 6 inch length isn't too long (7 inch DPN's get caught in my left sleeve if I'm wearing long sleeves.)

2. For the last few mornings, Ramius has been sitting on the kitchen table next to Balto when we come downstairs. Balto is fine and Ramius hasn't taken the lid off, but I'm starting to wonder what's going on. Of course they could be teaming up against Finn, who knows.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Why TV is dangerous

Over the weekend I watched a certain Gardening and Home Channel on the TV. If you've ever watched (and I'll bet you have) these shows, you know how they go into a house, repaint the entire thing (which is usually some unfortunate shade of pink to begin with), rip up the shag carpeting from the '70's, replace the tacky florescent light fixture in the kitchen, redo the countertops (granite of course), and replace all the window treatments for under $100.

OK, so that might be a stretch, but I really did see them replace some counter tops with granite for around $400 once and while it wasn't a huge kitchen it was big enough that no one outside of the industry would be able to get that kind of price legally.

Anyway, when I watch these kinds of shows, I tend to get ideas, and then I think - hey, I can do that! But about the time I start making sketches and lists for the hardware store, I realize that I actually do NOT have a crew of strong, helpful men who will do the grunt work (I do have a strong, occaisionally helpful man and a small, very helpful man, but I digress), a carpenter set up in the backyard at my beck and call, and someone to sew the huge sizes of fabrics that window treatments entail. (Yes, I can sew, but one of my biggest pet peeves at the sewing machine is wrestling with large pieces of fabric. It's fiddly and irritating to me.)

They should have a disclaimer at the start of these shows, kinda like the "What you are about to see is done by professionals, please do not try this at home without the consent of your doctor" type of things. Maybe something along the lines of "We realize you can probably do this at home, but you don't have our work crew, our access to ridiculous prices, or the actual intestinal fortitude to tear down and rebuild your house over the weekend, so put down that sledgehammer and plop yourself on the sofa with a mug of hot cocoa and watch us work." I'm just saying.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sock On!


I have some ideas for some new sock patterns and RIGHT THIS MINUTE there is sock yarn on it's way to me to knit up for these new patterns (ooooh, the drama), but I have to finish up the pairs I've started before I can cast on for new socks. So last night, I sat down and made it past the heel turn and I'm working on the gusset decreases on my Scarborough Fair/Four sock - doesn't it look kind of squinky and sad in it's unblocked state? The foot really moves pretty quickly on this pattern so hopefully I can get a lot done and get it off the needles. Then I need to knit the second Caledonian Mist sock, but that is the more portable of the two patterns, so I should be able to finish it pretty quickly if I drag it around with me.
The new designs will be similar to the Scarborough Fair/Caledonian Mist pattern with one simpler design paired with a more complex design in each pattern collection. The feedback I got from that idea was all positive and you guys seemed to think it was a good idea, so I'll continue pairing up designs like that.
Happy Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Spinning

This is a small spinning project that will probably be spun and done before we all know it. This is the Merino/Angora/Silk top that I had started spinning on my beautiful Pink Lemon Bossie Spindle (Pink Ivory whorl and Pau Amarillo shaft), but I'm so out of practice with a spindle and this is so slippery, I decided to put it on the wheel instead. I've only got 4 ounces of it, but of course angora and silk will make it go farther than it would if it were just the Merino. I don't have any definite plans for this but I'll spin it as a 3 ply. I might make some mitts out of it, or maybe a soft, fluffy scarf - who knows?

I realized after yesterday's post that I hadn't explained why I knit two pairs of the Scarborough Fair socks, and sure enough, someone asked in the comments. The pattern was originally released for the December design for the Yarn 4 Socks Sock Club. They had a custom dyed sock yarn done by Madelinetosh (really lovely sock yarns if you haven't tried them yet), so I worked it up in the club yarn for that version of the pattern for the first pair. Since that yarn was exclusive to the sock club, I wanted to show the design in a yarn that anyone could get for the public (non sock club) version of the pattern, so I knitted it again in Louet fingering weight in the Soft Coral color. You only need one sock to get pictures of it for a pattern, so now I'm knitting the second sock in the Soft Coral, which will complete the second pair/fourth sock in that design. The first sock was completed back in October, but I didn't start the final three socks until right around Christmas or so. Does that answer your question? Are you sorry you asked?

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scarborough Four

It usually happens that feet come in pairs. This leads to the common occurance of socks coming in pairs also (convenient that way, huh?) When you knit two pairs of socks, you must knit four socks. When they are all the same design, by the time you get to the fourth sock, you can knit without the chart. Kinda makes the knitting go faster, but I'm to the point that I'd really like to knit a brainless kind of sock right now. I'm almost done with the leg of the fourth Scarborough Fair sock and the foot moves pretty quickly, so hopefully I'll be working on brainless socks soon!



By the way, for some reason the spell checker on my blog isn't doing any actual checking of the spelling (kinda defeats the purpose of having the thing in the first place). I apologize for any misspellings, as I can't spell worth a flip on a good day, and since I tend to blog first thing in the morning, well, it isn't pretty. I'll keep pushing the button and hoping that someday it will check the spelling again, but in the meantime, I'll try to stick to words that are easy to spell.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

A New Craft!

Yes, you read that right! We've got a new craft over here at Pink Lemon Twist - Plastic Canvas Lids! This one is stitched together with two strands of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Icehouse. OK, before you all run for the door and trample someone, I'll explain. This lid is actually for this little guy:
His name is Balto (yes, he's named after this Balto - Caleb is doing a section on Alaska in school right now.) It's probably ironic that we have a dog named Finn and a fish named after a dog, but I try not to think about that too much. We got Balto over the weekend and as soon as Ramius saw the bowl (it's sitting in the middle of the kitchen table), he thought it was a new water bowl for him - with one of the new flavored waters in it! (Fish flavored of course.) I honestly don't think the cat has even noticed that Balto is in there, but clearly we needed a lid to keep the cat from drinking Balto's water. Fortunately, I had some plastic canvas sitting around because I used it between the wire shelves in my closet and the sweaters I stack on them. (The wire leaves lines in the sweaters and the plastic canvas prevents this, but doesn't block the air flow either - it's low tech, but it works.) This will probably be the only time you see Balto - I don't forsee a career as a knitwear model for him, and with the way fish don't have high survivability ratings, I don't want you all getting attached to him.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Berry Colored Merino

I got the berry colored merino all plied up this week - 965 yards when it was all said and done. This will be enough for a sweater since it's somewhere around DK to worsted weight. The red cardi I did recently was between DK and sport weight (finer than this yarn) and it took less than 900 yards, even with the addition of hems.

To recap what it is: 1 pound of merino roving from Ohio Valley Natural Fibers, purchased at MDS&W last year. They gave it the color name of Red, Purple, and White which is accurate, because those are the colors that were blended together in the roving, but I've been calling it Berries a La Mode because it looks like the swirly mess you get in your bowl when you stir a warm berry cobbler together with vanilla ice cream. YUM!

Thanks for all the Happy Birthday and Happy Blogiversary wishes from yesterday! You guys are great. Oh, Bianca? You're right - Ramius got his name from Sean Connery's character in The Hunt for the Red October.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Happy Birthday and My Blogiversary!

Today is Ramius' 13th Birthday! He is such a wonderful cat and has been a really good sport as we've drug him on our adventures over the years. I've never had a cat who road trips as well as Ramius does. He's moved four times (not including the move from his mother to our house when he first came to live with us) and has settled in very quickly each time. He's had to deal with a new baby when Caleb came along (which of course led to the inevitable day that Caleb got strong enough to carry him, whether he wanted to be carried or not), he lost his first doggy, Bear a few years ago, and now has to share HIS house with silly Finn.
He has virtually no gray hairs and has handled everything we've thrown at him with a superb display of feline grace. If he feels the need to lecture us the middle of the night sometimes, well that's his perogative as a cat. He meows at us if we take too long in the shower, if he sees the bottom of his food bowl, and occaisionally, just on general principle, for no apparent reason. He's always up for a new adventure, whether it's taking Caleb to school in the morning (Ramius rides shotgun of course) or taking a tub bath (yes, he does climb into the tub and sits on your lap in the water), and when we travel, he comes running to make sure he isn't left behind (he likes looking at the 18 wheelers).
Happy Birthday Mr. Kitten! I hope we get to have many more adventures with you!

Also, three years ago last Saturday (Groundhog Day), I started this blog. It wasn't until Ramius' birthday that I started blogging regularly though - so either Groundhog Day or Ramius' Birthday is my blogiversary. Whichever date you count from, I've been babbling online for 3 years now and you guys are still stopping by. Thanks so much, from the bottom of my heart for reading my uncaffeinated meanderings for 3 years!

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

You would think that having a name like "Gray Mist" would be my first clue that I should knit it in daylight...

bohusgraymist2



I've gotten a little bit more done on the Bohus Gray Mist. There are several increase rounds in this area, and after I got confused on the first increase round, I realized I need to use lots of markers and work when I won't be distracted by riveting tales of Noodle Hockey from PE. Needless to say, this has limited my knitting time a bit. I'm on round 22 (or 23 - I can't remember), but I know I have another increase round on round 25 and round 30, then there's a bit of straight knitting (but with colors) so I should be able to get going again once I clear the increase rounds. The other thing that's currently slowing me down is that the colors of the yarn are so close (the round on the needle and the two right below it all have two different colors of yarn) in this section that they don't show up as different in artificial light. If I really look at them, I can tell, and the yarn balls are marked with color numbers, but just by knitting along, it takes more than a glance to know which color I'm using and which color I need to use. I think it would be best to knit this section of pale, creamy grays in daylight, when I've got truer colors.

Last time I showed this, someone asked in the comments what yarn it was - this is the wool/angora blend yarn included in the kit. For more information about ordering a kit I've put links in previous posts (I'm feeling a bit link-lazy today), and if you click the Bohus Knitting tag at the end of the post, you can see all the Bohus posts, including the one with the purchasing links.

OK, I have to admit that last night I saw an Appleb**'s commercial and got a little freaked out by the talking apple - anyone else get the heebie jeebies from that one?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Giant Fruit Cozy!

berries pullover2


Remember this? It's supposed to be a pullover with some shaping to it. Right now it looks like a wool pear cozy - for giant pears, the kind Alfred Hitchcock would have written about: Day of the Ginormous Fruit: Terror at the Produce Stand! Of course there would have been some bimbo who fell down and just lay there screaming while she came nearer and nearer to being smooshed by some giant fruit. If I was doing the writing, she'd be toast, but I believe I've discussed my feelings about stupid screaming women in the old horror movies before, so I won't get all worked up today.

Anyway, back to the sweater (sounds like a newscast doesn't it? "We've got rampaging produce out here on the streets. The damage is unbelievable, and yet doctors say we should eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables every day - I don't know if I'll ever be able to look fruit salad in the eye again after this kind of destruction. Back to you in the newsroom Miffy, how is the sweater coming?"

OK, so anyway, I'm past the waist shaping and now working increases again for the front porch area and I've made a few decisions:

1. Assuming we aren't attacked by giant fruit and I don't need to use the sweater to subdue an enormous pear, I plan to do set in sleeves rather than raglan sleeves.

2. I don't really have a number two for this list, but do you think if fruit did try to take over the world, it would roll or just "walk" on it's little fruity bottom? Rolling would be faster and more scarey, but it might get more bruised that way.

OK, now that you all have mental images of giant fruits doing Godzilla-like damage, my work here is done.

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