Wednesday, December 27, 2006

From Vacation to Vacation!

I had a great Christmas with my family, full of delicious food and fun surprises. One surprise being a new camera, which was used to take all of the pics in today's post!

There's been a lot of crafting going on in the house, and not just from me. Between opening presents and eating, we've been watching some of our favorite Christmas movies while working on different projects. My sister surprised all of us with some "subversive crosstich" presents... they made hillarious presents and I think she has a few requests for next year. My other sister has been busy scrapbooking with her new toys, and my mom has been busy with a variety of projects. Me? I've been busy playing with my camera, adding linings to some of my cosmetic bags. I love the results!!:

I also have these great sock labels to share:

I made the labels a few weeks ago to wrap around the socks I'm giving for Christmas. And here we have the first gifted pair of socks being modeled!:

Ooh, and we have a gifted scarf being modeled:

I made this scarf using size 19 US needles and doing a "double loop" on each stitch. I'm not sure of the proper term for it, but I wrapped the yarn around the needle twice for each stitch. I knit two long, thing segments and then attached them with a piece of ribbon. I finished the scarf with a combination of the yarn and ribbon as fringe.

While I love making gifts, I particularly love the giving of gifts:-D

Now I'm off for a week of snow angels and skiing in Colorado!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bazaar Bizarre and More Presents!

Nikki and I had a great time at the Bazaar Bizarre in Boston! Through a little sleuthing, we found out that the BB was starting at 12 instead of 1 and that the first 300 people would receive a tote bag full of goodies! Needless to say, we made sure we arrived early, so early that we had time for a photo shoot:

Facing the sun:

The new buttons on the back of my white hat:

My big purchase of the day was two t-shirts from Birdhead Designs. One is a present, the other is for me!

The rest of the weekend was spent napping and knitting. I realized that I wouldn't finish some of the more complicated patterns I had planned for Christmas, so I experimented with a few quick and easy scarf patterns. After the weekend we had, I think it's appropriate to name this first pattern "Challah". Doesn't it look like the braided bread?

I'm going to try a different combination of cables for the second scarf, and post the patterns soon!

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Deed is Done!

Tonight was Grey's and knitting with my pals. Minona hosted, and she just happens to have a statue of the Virgin Mary in her front yard. Since winter's coming and Christmas is just around the corner, I hooked Mary up with an early gift:

I like Mary in the dark, but you can't see her brilliant crimson scarf.

SHHHHHH Minona doesn't know! At least not yet. Horray for my first venture into knit-tagging!

Between exams, I've been busy this week unravelling my first sweater and making some great hats.



I was never going to wear the sweater, but the knitting of it was a great learning experience. I love reusing the yarn and the hats are nice and cozy. Plus they are so quick that a few may be used for Christmas presents! They could use some adornment, which will hopefully happen this weekend. After I hand in my stat exam and between oohing and ahhing at the BizBaz!

Horray for holidays and the end of the semester! I'm going to be a happy camper all weekend!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

i. want. to. post. but

i've been so busy and my camera's a little crazy. there are no pics in this post, but they are on the camera. so, i'll just mention a little of what i've been up to: turning my first sweater into something even better, making some kicka$$ sock labels for christmas presents, weaving in ends on the many socks that have been knitted.

unless yarn and buttons are going to fall into my lap, i really have to make a trip to the craft store this week in order to finish some final gifts!

ok, maybe there's one pretty picture from my stash...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shining Stars!

On the tree:

AND on a baby-sized shining star hat! I reduced the needle size from 7 to 5, following the rest of the pattern as written and it seems to be perfect:

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but I decided to do it on one circular needle using the magic loop method rather than using 6 circulars. I'm not a big fan of circulars to begin with, and when a pattern calls for 6 of them I cringe.

We finally have some winter weather in Boston. Although the snow didn't last through the day, it helped to put everyone in the Christmas spirit!

Next up - 1. finishing the couple of presents that I've slacked on, 2. wrapping gifts, 3. FINALS (first one is almost done!), 4. maybe some holiday baking?...sleep.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Socks, beer, and mischief

School has kept me from blogging, but I've been able to get some knitting (and Christmas decorating!) in.

First, I finished the Falling Leaves socks (see the last post for the link). They are a knitty pattern, and I really enjoyed knitting them! They are a gift, and I think they turned out really well:

**In this shot the green heal looks small, but it's really a normal size.

Last night I went to the Nameless Coffee House in Cambridge and heard some great live music, including Three Tall Pines. They played Bob Dylan's Wagon Wheel last night, and I was in heaven. After the show, we went out for drinks and decided to take a few glamour shots of my felted cosmetic bag:

Now with "model hands":

I want to post a few of the bags on Etsy this week, but it's been challenging to take good pictures of them. I don't know if the bar shots will help, but they were fun:-D.

Finally, the mischief:

This item, knitted with love, is going to be put to use on Thursday evening. Any guesses as to what it is or how it will be used? Could it be a knitted octopus? Why would I knit an octopus? unless I plan on stealing the octopus from the Boston aquarium and replacing it with this... I guess you'll have to wait and see.

And finally, an excellent food tip: Yesterday I made a salad of - spinach, potatos (baked until just soft and added to the salad while warm), fresh rasberries, avocado, blue cheese. Top it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil - the dressing and cheese melt into the potatos and they warm up the rest of the salad just enough to get the flavors to blend. It's great!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving in color.

This post barely happened. My camera's out of batteries and I think my rechargable batteries are too old to hold a good charge. Anyway, I forced the camera to stay awake for the minute required to download my pics. So here it goes:

First there was the sunset that welcomed me home. So lovely:

Then, there were the silly errands we had to run on Friday:

And this is how the cats get their drink on at our house:

Oh, and knitting... there's a small story to go along with my Thanksgiving knitting. I started this pair of Falling Leaves socks the week before Thanksgiving:

As I was getting to the heal, I realized that I would need more of the purple yarn. I was SURE that the purple was Jaeger Matchmaker. So I stopped at my local yarn store to pick up more, and to my surprise, the purple shade of Jaeger did not match the purple in my socks. I was so confused that I asked the super nice lady that works there for help (I say "super nice" so that she's not confused with the super grouchy owner of the store). Together we looked through the Jaeger samples, but found nothing that matched the purple yarn I have. Now I'm stumped as to where the yarn came from and what it is. Let the lesson from this story be: SAVE YOUR LABELS UNTIL THE PROJECT'S OVER. So, I'll finish the socks and keep them for myself, but the final length may end just above my ankle.

The purple ones were to be an x-mas present, but alas, since there was no more purple to be found, I bought more sock yarn and started a second pair over break:

I'm in love with the new color scheme and am even more excited to give them as a gift!

The new yarn is Mountain Colors - it's hand-painted yarn from Montana. The colorway is Red Tail Hawk, and it's just perfect for "falling leaves".

Creative food tip of the day: spread crackers with creamy chevre and homemade cranberry sauce. It's a great little snack.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Homework Break

I'm still on vacation in PA. yay! But I'm doing homework - no yay. So, for this little homework break, all I can do is talk about what I'm working on because I can't find my camera cable (I think that I never brought it with me).

Anyway, I have a GREAT pair of falling leaves socks on my needles. The pattern is from Knitty. They're another Christmas present. I'm using a new yarn from Montana (I'll tell you the name when I post a picture), and I love it. The colors are deep reds, oranges, and browns. Perfect colors for falling leaves. To add some contrast, I'm doing the toe and heal in green. Writing about them makes me want to put down my homework and start knitting! but... I won't.

Over the holiday I also made some delicious homemade ice cream - one batch of cinnamon and one batch of peach. yum. I have a fun holiday food tip - add eggnog to your coffee. It's super tastey. And if you're not into eggnog, then add rum to your apple cider. Either way, you win.

And since I'm not a fan of posts without pictures, go plant some pansies in a kettle:

Pansies are great fall/early spring flowers. If your winters aren't too cold, then the flowers you plant in the fall will pop back up again in the spring! These were some that I had planted last fall and they looked great in this old cast iron kettle.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

friends and presents

So, Thursday was a great night. Learning/teaching to knit socks with some rum, cider, and eggnog was hillarious. I think some people got the hang of it!

Minona and Steph are foresters with knitting skills... and models too:-D

I didn't get much knitting done Thursday night, but had a great time hanging out with the knitters!

To make up for the lack of Thursday knitting, I made a lot of progress on some Christmas presents since then. I'm working on a scarf from Alternits for one sister and Argyle slippers from Weekend Knitting for another.

I'm making a lot of adjustments to the slipper pattern (mainly having to adjust everything because I'm using a different size yarn), so I hope it goes well.

I've been working on this scarf for about a year. It's a great easy pattern to work on while watching a movie, but I keep picking it up and putting it down because scarves can never hold my attention. The length is so deceiving, just when I think it's long enough, I try it on and realize it's about HALF THE SIZE it should be.

As I finish presents, I'm trying to think of some creative ways to wrap them... pictures of the wrapped gifts soon. I have so many great pictures that I'd really like to make some crafty cards for the holidays too...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Excited Anticipation!

I have so much grading to do tonight that knitting is not in the picture, but that's ok because --- Tomorrow is knitting night at my place and I'm going to do a little "sock workshop" for everyone! No one knows how to knit socks and they are all excited to learn, so I'm going to help everyone make one of the mini socks pictured in previous posts. I think it'll be a great way to show everyone the basics of toe-up sock knitting and in the process they'll make a cute ornament!

While I'm at school tomorrow I might try to put together a sock worksheet!

It's so much fun having a group of poeple to knit with, particularly since everyone is working on different projects!

And a picture of sheep:

Good night!

oh and I've been thinking - I'm hoping that in my knitting future will be a larger garmet - possibly Knit and Tonic's Somewhat Cowl, or the Enid Cardigan from Interweave Knits Winter 06 mag... we will see!

Monday, November 13, 2006

as promised!

The Shining Star hat!

first stitch - approximately 12 pm
last stitch - approximately 12:35 am

Yarn - Elsebeth Lavold, angora - bronzed green color (i lost the label for the blue color)

and between stitches I graded 30 papers and quizes, tried to go to the gym (it was closed), ate, ate again, did one sun salutation.

This is a picture of the top of the "baby" version I knit yesterday - just to show you the great view all tall people will get looking down on my head.

This picture is thrown in for your amusement - doesn't it look like I have no neck... or that I glued my head onto another picture?! hehe

I just really wanted to complete a fun project for myself. And the weather took a turn for the cooler side today which really motivated me to get this done so that it could be worn to school tomorrow!

I'm happy with it, although I'm wondering whether ending it with a row of a contrasting color was a good idea. Any thoughts?

*warning - as mentioned in my last post, for some reason, this hat knits big. at least for me. Again I used the kneedles called for (US 7), and the propper yarn, and I knit the "Toddler" size. (I think there are 5 different sizes from baby to large adult) Anyway, this one turned out perfect for me, but I have to do some serious adjusting to make the baby versions.

Ok, now that knitting something fun for me has been accomplished, I have to be a serious student this week. Which means minimal knitting Mon-Wed, serious knitting with friends on Thursday, and then we'll see what next weekend brings.

Next Project - the leather-bottomed slippers from Weekend Knitting!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

seeing stars.

Yesterday I worked on the Kate Gilbert Shining Star hat pattern. It's a great pattern for a hat and I'm really excited to have one for these mild early days of winter.

It's also a perfect pattern for a baby cap. Following her directions for yarn and needle size, I set out yesterday to make a baby hat, and all was not well. The baby hat came out 4 inches larger in diameter than it was supposed to. I'm not a loose knitter, so I don't know what the problem was. I'm going to try it again with smaller needles...

As for a hat for me, I'm almost done! If I put my mind to it, I may finish tonight and have a happy picture for you tomorrow!

Friday, November 10, 2006

knitting along and alone...

Last night was a very productive knitting night while I watched Grey's Anatomy. Unfortunately, it was spent alone. Usually I get together with a group of friends to knit and watch Grey's. Last night, my car was stuck in the driveway behind my roommate's car - and neither he nor his key were home, so I couldn't get out!

Since I was home around all of my knitting supplies, I got quite a bit done:

1. Finished two pairs of socks that are Christmas presents:

These are the Diamente Socks from Knitty. This pattern was easy enough to do without being boring.

These aren't from a pattern, I just made them up as I went along. The one thing I might change in the future would be to have the cable go up the full length of the sock (right now it's only on the foot). Although, the person receiving these socks prefers simple designs, so I think these will work just fine!

2. Worked on some baby "workman's" socks:

How big are baby's feet?! I don't have a clue, but these socks are so quick and easy to make that I'll just have to make a few pair in different sizes. The smaller sock is almost definitely too small for a baby, but will make a great christmas ornament for the tree. The larger sock to the right seems just about perfect for a small foot, plus it's super stretchy, so it should conform to a variety of lengths and widths (I hope).

After finishing off the two pairs of socks, I only have one project in progress - a scarf which is another christmas present. This means that it's time to start something new today!! Maybe something for myself... maybe a cashmere star hat?

Yummy food tip of the day: This morning I ate my cereal with blueberries and POMEGRANET SEEDS! try it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

oh baby, baby!

First - I found out that two of my friends are expecting babies! Both due in May. I'm so excited and happy for both of them. And this means that I'll have plenty of baby projects (caps, blankets, and sweaters, oh my.) - after I finish with the Christmas presents!

I just finished a HUGE stat midterm, which I've been working on for the past week. So, I haven't made much progress on any of the projects I'm working on, but I did participate in a craft fair on Sunday!

...which was a total DUD. There were plenty of crafters, but no customers. The few that were there were not interested in buying. While the craft fair itself was a dud, I had a great time preparing for it and hanging out with my mom, sister, and best bud Nikki (one of the expectant mothers!). Our table was full of Nik's crocheted goodies, my sister's jewelry, and my knitted bags and stockings. Check out the cute crocheted baby kimonos in the picture. Nikki also had a great collection of scarves, hats, and bags.... now all she needs is her own blog:-).

I was excited to finish a pile of cosmetic bags in time for the show and am going to post a few on Etsy. I'd like to work on adding linings to some of the bags, but that may be a project for the spring.

The weather was beautiful this weekend and I took a few more "winter foliage" pics...

Now I just have to catch up on school work and enjoy a few free hours of knitting before the next stat exam!

ps. we know that our table looks a bit busy, but what can you do when you have so much great stuff and a tiny table?!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

SOCKS and socks

I've been working on BIG socks and little SOCKS. The big socks are going to be a Christmas present, so I still have some time to get those done. The little socks are mini Christmas stockings. I think I'll use some as packaging Christmas presents, and I'm going to sell some at the Craft Fair this weekend!

The purple socks are a Knitty pattern (although I can't remember which one right now!). The mini stockings are my own toe-up pattern. The mini stockings are super simple and super fast!

Just 12 more months until the next Socktoberfest!... how many pairs of socks will I knit until then?

so much life going on!

I have so many fun things going on and I want to write an entry about each, but I may just have to do the condenced version until I have more time!

First - I had a great trip to England! We stayed in the Peak District right outside of Sheffield. For the first few days we were in a "self catering" cottage surrounded by beautiful landscapes and fields upon fields of sheep. I was in wool heaven. With that many sheep, I thought it'd be easy to find some local, handspun wool. Unfortunately there was none to be found - they raise the sheep for the meat, not the wool. We had plenty of deliscious meals of lamb... lamb chops, lamb shank.... yum yum.

The wedding was beautiful! It took place in these huge teepee*. One half of the tent had a fireplace surrounded by benches and tables, the other half had the dancefloor and stage. It was an amazing wedding and if I get a chance, I'll give more of the fun details later.

Finally - Happy Halloween! We had a fun bowling and costume party last night at the Milky Way:

It's also the end of Socktoberfest! I have some fun sock projects I've been working on and I'll try to get a few pics up soon.

Now on to November and more fun, deliscious, harvest-y foods!

Monday, October 23, 2006


There are so many blooms around me! The lilly in my office, the christmas cactus at home, and THE TEA COZY!

Now I'm officially off to England. Lots of fun posts when I get back:-D

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Leaving on a jet plane...

I'm not leaving for 2 more days, but I'm so excited for my trip! I was looking for old data that I have stored on some zip disks and came across these two great pictures from past trips. The first is looking out onto Stenkul Fiord, on Ellesmere Island, Canada (!the arctic!). The second is me in a large wooden shoe in Amsterdam. I don't know who the little boy is with me, he just crawled in on my lap, so I took a picture with him. His parents are standing right outside of the shot, laughing at the situation!

I'll have another knitting post tomorrow, and loads of fun pictures from my trip in a week!

Monday, October 16, 2006

TO DO...and do and do and do

I have a busy week coming up... After I made my to-do list, I realized there may not be much time for knitting. But I shouldn't complain since the week is going to end with a flight to Manchester, UK!

My goal is to finish these by the end of the week:

Excuse the white fuzzies. I took the picture outside and didn't think about sweeping the porch first. These are just basic toe-up socks with wide ribbing and a cable in the middle. Made from Pattons wool on 3.5 mm Addies (sp?). I just have to finish the 2x2 ribbed cuff and then I can wrap them for a Christmas present! I'm really excited to give these as a gift. They are super stretchy, so I have no worries about them fitting anyone who may receive them. They're also super warm and cozy! The only bummer is that they aren't superwash... but I have plenty of superwash ready to take on my trip. I love knitting socks while traveling because they are so portable and with circulars, there's no DPNs to lose!

Saturday, October 14, 2006


October is one of my favorite months. A step into the crisp air is enough to warn you that winter's just around the yet you can still enjoy the last bits of beautiful summer weather. The leaves are turning bright colors and falling, giving off a sweet smell. I love baking "fall foods", anything with apples, pumpkins, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, etc.

I had all of these thoughts today while I went for a long walk from my apartment to school. It was a perfect break from work. Of course, along the way, I took pictures and stopped at a yarn shop to pick up another ball of wool for the wedding project I have to finish this week.

Here's another sneak peak of the wedding gift

I had such a hard time getting a good shot of the flowers with my camera...

And here are some sailboats that I passed on my walk:


Happy October!