Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Hub Swap Scarf

Since receiving my blog hub swap gifts, I have had the mochi plus yarn sitting on my desk and I had to break down and cast on for the Short Row Multi-directional Scarf.  The yarn is a thick and thin single and I can see that the yarn will definitely felt.

Here is the progress on the scarf.
I'm using US 7 needles after looking through Ravelry and I think that I will be using more than 2 skeins of yarn.

I find this pattern very easy to follow.  I had previously taken a class on shaping which recommended using short rows but I had a mental block and never started the project.  After this scarf, I should be an expert on short rows and can think about pulling that project out of the closet.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Projects Completed and Cold Sheep Status

For September's update, I was able to finish two projects for a total of 1,050 yards of yarn knitted.

I finished knitting Merope, one of the 7 small shawls by Romi Hill of Bitterroot fame.  I used left over sock yarn and it turned out great with the colorway of Army girl.  Now I have another shawl that is washable without falling into a felted mess.

I joined a Knit a Long with the Shepherdess Beads in Old Town for the Schieffelin Point Shawl and was able to stash dive for the yarn.  Although the sample was knit in a blend in a solid color, I used a variegated yarn I bought in Alaska.

Here is the finished shawl.  Since it is made with 100% superwash merino (it can be washed and dried by machine), it is super soft and squishy.
I was disappointed in this yarn.  While I was knitting the shawl, the yarn was soft and easy to use.  I had previously used this yarn without mishap for the first Bears on Glacier scarf that came as a kit.  After washing the shawl, I was appalled at how much red bled.  As you can see from the above photo, the red bled on the white portion so the shawl looks alot like a christmas shawl.  Here is the before wash photo.
So for September's cold sheep progress - knitted 500 yards for Merope and 550 yards for Schieffelin Point Shawl.

Total yardage for September is 108,727.

A side note:  this is only purchased yarn for knitting.  The yardage does not include fiber purchased that may end up becoming yarn nor does it count any yarn purchased specifically for weaving projects.

I also finished cross stitching my pin cushion which is working great!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Avatar: Katara

I have decided on the project to make with my Avatar: Fellowship pack.  It will be a woven item with all of the batts spun up and plied and then woven into a scarf.  This will entwine all of the "characters" into a whole which will represent the teamwork of all the elements together.  It seems apropos since it takes everyone inputting their strengths to win the day.

I'm still contemplating the warp and a recommendation made by a fellow weaver suggested the base weave to start light incorporating the character batts and then end with dark (black) especially against the red of the fire nation.  She is also a fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Here was the Katara batt:

Alpaca (magical line), organic merino, mill end wools, bamboo rayon, milk protein fiber, and firestar.

Here it is in a single on the bobbin.

Here is the two ply.
I ended up with 104 yards of 20 wpi.  I was very easy and smooth to spin.  I can't wait to start spinning the rest of the batts.

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 7

"Totally Random" is the last note on the last gift from Dina.

Ah, the last gift in the queue.  I'm sort of sad to see this end.  How great a life would it be if everyday you could open up a new little gift each morning and have a cool pick me up.  It is especially great when the gifts are tailored specifically for you....I have loved everything that I have gotten from Dina.

So here is the last opened gift.  It is a little eraser in the shape of a dog.  

It looks a little like a wiener dog, but the coloring matches Bailey so I'm going to imagine that it is a eraser of him.  It is too nice to use so I will put it in front of a small picture of Bailey when he was a puppy on the window sill in front of my desk so I can see it every day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 6

"I "felt" you might like these" is the note on Gift 6 from Dina.

Felting is something that I have not tried as yet, because I am a little squeamish about blood and with all those needles running amok - a disaster in the making was what I always pictured.

Dina must have been channeling my fear/resistance and she sent me some felt buttons.  How cute are they!  I think I already have a project to stick one if not more on.  Remember my felted bag?  I think it would be a great complement to the handle or maybe the rim?!  Think of the possibilities!
Only one more day to go....

Artisan Trade - I think I won! aunt is a painter.  She has been generous in the past with letting me pick some of her paintings for display at my house and has gifted me a few of her pictures.

When I talked with her earlier this year, she had seen my blog post about the bears on glacier scarf that I had made which was snatched up at Starbucks.  She expressed an interest in receiving said scarf.

Fast forward to spring of this year, when we were both at my cousin's wedding banquet and to kill some time before it started, we went to a few furniture stores in the same shopping mall as the restaurant.  They had some cool 3 and 4 panel screens which I had been looking into buying for separating the space between my bathroom and bedroom.  When we asked about the cost, they were prohibitively expensive.

Fast forward to early summer when my aunt absconded with an old 3 panel screen that belonged to my uncle who had purchased it at some garage sale.  It was in dire straits and the wood was also distressed.

A bargain was struck.  She would refurbish the screen and add her paintings and I would knit her the scarf.

I finish the scarf before I left on vacation and she finished the screen (painting the frame and mounting her paintings on the panel this month and my parents drove it down when they came for a visit.

Here is the scarf.
Front View
Slanted View

Here is the screen - she had two different themes on each side.
Fancy gold fish and wisteria

I think I won in the trade.  Don't you agree?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 5

"One for a treat and one for transport (made by me)" was the note on gift 5 from Dina.

Wrapping aside, I found a sewn project bag in a flowery orange and green pattern with a ribbon draw string.  Inside the bag was a package of Godiva Dark Chocolate Almonds.  Yum Yum!

In my new sewing mojo, I have been wanting to make project bags for my knitting (instead of using the dreaded ziploc bags) so this is a great inspiration and sample to start sewing up a storm.

Dark chocolate is always appreciated!  I use to take notes in class for people who paid in chocolate....those were the days when I was swimming in dark chocolate....

Can it get any better?  I really hope so!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 4

Gift 4 from Dina had a note that stated "sort of a "knitting GPS" to help you find your way."  I'm all about GPS gadgets.  I have one in each of my cars and wonder how I ever lived without them!

When I tore the wrapper open, I found this - a two-fer.

The main gift is a small portfolio with post-it notes.  I may be infringing on post-it since these may be impostor sticky notes.  This is a great gift since I invariably can't seem to find the stack of sticky notes that I put in my knitting bag.

Also, there are stitch markers by Angela.  I just started working on a sweater pattern using size US 10 needles and most of my stitch markers are for smaller needles so these came in a timely and happy manner.

GPS indeed - these tools are great for keeping my place on a pattern and in my knitting as well!

What will be unwrapped tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 3

Gift 3 from Dina had a note that stated "to help give you a "pick me up" so I was maybe thinking it was a snack.

When I opened it, I found a KA mini bamboo crochet hook.  It is for picking up dropped stitches in case some of them fall off the needle when you aren't looking.  This happens to me quite a bit - like the stitches are not really happy with their position and want to escape. 

It is a very handy tool to have in your notions bag.  Looking forward to gift 4.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 2

Another gift to open from Dina.  Gift number 2 was a long cylinder.
When it was unwrapped, a pattern for a Short Row Multi-directional scarf was revealed.  It is by Ann Norling.
The samples in the photos are beautiful and I had to get a skein from gift 1 to place next to it.  I think two skeins will end up being this scarf with an extra two skeins destined for something else fabulous.
I can't wait until tomorrow to see what gift 3 is.....

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Hub Swap - Gift 1

The UPS carrier made a delivery that came from Indiana.  Once I opened it, this is what I found.
The package is from my blog hub swap buddy, Dina (aka DinaGay on Ravelry) and she has a blog at

Dina is a participant in a swap that was organized by Eskimimi at  A swap is where people send other people things.  Sometimes it is reciprocal, when you are sending something to the person sending something to you.  In this swap, I sent a package to Sara (aka Silkworm77 on Ravelry).  She has her blog at

So the plan is to open one gift each day and blog about it (since the group is all about blogging).  My gifts from Dina are numbered.  The first one is in a light green bag from Cottage Knits.  A little note states that this is from Dina's LYS (local yarn store) where she has the luxury of hanging out at every tuesday.
When I opened in, I found green yarn (can you tell by now that my favorite color is green?).
This is Mochi Plus which is a machine washable 80% Merino wool and 20% nylon blend.  The color is a beautiful variegated green and brown.  Supersoft and lovely!  Now I need to have it sit on my desk for a while so I can see and touch waiting for the right project that will use up 4 skeins of this yarn.

I can't wait until tomorrow when I can open gift 2.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Silk and Pepper

My girl dog, Pepper is in love with silk.  I can't quite figure out what it is about silk that she craves.  A little while back, I came home from a long vacation to find that she had chewed up some Tilli Thomas silk yarn.  See the post here.

Well this time, I went out to dinner with friends and when I got home, my pile of knitted items were on the floor.  This pile of knitted items have been on the counter of my china cabinet (where I store my yarn) for nearly three months without any mishap.

However, out of all the items, I had a knitted silk scarf in a pretty blue color.  When I unraveled it, this is what I found.
Section 1
Section 2
You can see she chewed two different sections that are not even close together.  Not a total loss, but hard to repair.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it now.  I do still have one ball of this yarn left over so in theory I could fix it by unraveling and grafting the new yarn to reknit the eaten sections.

What a bother - I can now truly conclude that Pepper has silk tastes....she doesn't even have the decency to look repentant.
Mug Shot 1
Mug Shot 2
Bailey trying in vain to look innocent and unaware.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Avatar: Fellowship Pack

Another great postal day.  I received my second package of the Avatar from Roo at Moonwood Farms.
When I opened the box, this is what I saw.
There are 5 rules to follow:
  1. Have fun
  2. Please have your yarn completed and pictures posted in the special photo thread in the Moonwood Farm Ravelry Group by midnight 31 October 2010
  3. On 5 November at 12:00 CST, the photo thread will be locked and the participant whose yarn photograph has the most LOVE will win a full refund of their SAL package
  4. Try to spread the word once the photo thread is opened, the more people visit, the more LOVE buttons will be clicked!
  5. Have fun!!!!
It is very exciting to see the fibers that Roo associated with each of the individuals in the "fellowship."  I liken this fellowship to the Lord of the Rings fellowship which I love so much because it is about unlikely heroes doing what they must to save the world.
Aang - the Avatar who has been sleeping for a hundred years
Appa - the flying Bison who was with Aang
Katara - of the Water tribe who finds and releases Aang
Sokka - Katara's brother also of the Water tribe
Price Zuko - of the Fire Nation, an enemy who becomes a friend
MoMo - the monkey who saves the day
Roo remembered to leave out the mohair from MoMo
Toph - the blind earthbender who teaches Aang how to earthbend

I'm excited to get started on this project.  I will now need to think about how I want to spin up these luscious batts and dream up a project that will incorporate these fibers into a cohesive unit to fully represent the "fellowship" that wins the day and saves the world.

PS:  I asked my parents about the air character since it is so much bigger in this package and was told that it is feng which actually translates to wind.  It has been great that we have video calls on Windows Live.  When they visit me next week, they will write the character of air for me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Avatar: Uncle Iroh's Tea Pack

I was looking through Netflix a few months back and found some on-demand videos on the Avatar: The Last Airbender series which are animated.  This was before the M. Night Shyamalan movie came out and was totally addicted to the entire premise of the series.

For kicks, I decided to do a search on Ravelry on the Avatar and was expecting some discussions on the series and some lively conversation.  To my surprise I found that there was a Spin A Long (SAL) just like a Knit A Long (KAL) which I have joined in the past, but instead of knitting with others, this would be spinning with others. 

Moonwood Farms (aka Roo) was putting together a few packages of fiber batts for spinning inspired by the Avatar series.  The "club" was a limited time offer of a few different options.  I chose the Uncle Iroh Tea Pack which included some fiber batts and a handmade tea mug with cover and some tea.

Well, I'm excited to say that this package arrived today in the mail.  Here are the photos I took once I got the box in the door and past the dogs.

Special touch with fiber depicting Zuko's pony tail as a wrapper.

Another special touch with gold fiber binding the White Lotus robe.

Also, a key character trait of Uncle Iroh was his tea obsession.  The mugs were especially made by Suzanne Rehbock.  Her Etsy shop has other cool pottery.  

She even made a point to include all the elements on the bottom of the mug - in order is water, earth, fire, and air.

I recognize the first three of the characters - shui, tu, and huo, but I don't know the last one.  I will have to ask my parents when they visit next.

Daniella Cortez at Goddess Teas provided the pele black tea which smells wonderful.
I'm excited about the other package I ordered which is called the ‘fellowship’ pack which consists of 7 1-ounce batts, each batt depicting a character in Aang’s travelling party.  I can't wait to receive the next shipment.