A few little things

And it's not crochet! Last night at SnB I whipped up a little Butterfly Ring - I had grand visions of all the cool butterflies I would make with my leftover sock yarns.
Butterfly Ring
I made one. It is a very quick project (like I said, I was at knitting - it took maybe 30 - 40 minutes?), but was a little fiddly - so many ends! I've given this to the Lorax and I don't know that I will make more - maybe when she's older.

I heard a quick piece on the radio today - I think it was a sound bite for an upcoming interview with Marc Cohen? - he mentioned the music you hear when you're around age 11 really sticks with you and has a lot of meaning for you. For me, that would be 1989. So I googled a bit to jog my memory. From PopCultureMadness.com - The 100 Most Requested Songs - That's about right. My musical loyalty still makes me play all of these. In the time just before Nirvana, when big hair bands were still big and 80s pop was still radical... (I have to go update my iTunes now)
1. Love Shack - B-52's
2. Funky Cold Medina - Tone Loc
3. Bust A Move - Young MC
4. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
5. Like A Prayer - Madonna
6. Joy and Pain - Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock
7. All I Want Is You - U2
8. Patience - Guns N Roses
9. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
10. Kiss - Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones
11. Lay Your Hands On Me - Bon Jovi
12. Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Annie Lennox and Al Green
13. Angel of Harlem - U2
14. Get On Your Feet - Gloria Estefan
15. My Perogative - Bobby Brown
16. The Best - Tina Turner
17. Paradise City - Guns N Roses
18. Wild Thing - Tone Loc
19. Every Little Step - Bobby Brown
20. I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
21. Another Day In Paradise - Phil Collins
22. Love In An Elevator - Aerosmith
23. Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul
24. Don't Know Much - Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville
25. Eternal Flame - the Bangles
26. Express Yourself - Madonna
27. Smooth Criminal - Michael Jackson
28. After All - Cher and Peter Cetera
29. Buffalo Stance - Nenah Cherry
30. Love Song - the Cure
31. So Alive - Love and Rockets
32. Back To Life - Soul II Soul
33. Listen To Her Heart - Roxette
34. Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) - Enya
35. I Feel The Earth Move - Martika
36. When I See You Smile - Bad English
37. Birthday Suit - Johnny Kemp
38. Heaven Help Me - Deon Estus and George Michael
39. The Look - Roxette
40. Baby, Don't Forget My Number - Milli Vanilli
41. Dr. Feelgood - Mötley Crüe
42. Heaven - Warrant
43. She Wants To Dance With Me - Rick Astley
44. Me, Myself and I - De la Soul
45. Walk The Dinosaur - Was (Not Was)
46. Once Bitten Twice Shy - Great White
47. I Won't Back Down - Tom Petty
48. On Our Own - Bobby Brown
49. A Little Respect - Erasure
50. You Got It (The Right Stuff) - New Kids On The Block
51. Me So Horny - 2 Live Crew
52. Soldier Of Love - Donny Osmond
53. We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel
54. Hey Ladies - Beastie Boys
55. The Living Years - Mike and the Mechanics
56. Stand - R.E.M.
57. Trouble Me - 10,000 Maniacs
58. Your Mama Don't Dance - Poison
59. Close My Eyes Forever - Lita Ford with Ozzie Osbourne
60 Closer To Fine - Indigo Girls
61. With Every Beat of My Heart - Taylor Dayne
62. Angel Eyes - Jeff Healy Band
63. Blame It On The Rain - Milli Vanilli
64. End Of The Line - Traveling Wilburys
65. Two Hearts - Phil Collins
66. Don't Wanna To Lose You - Gloria Estefan
67. Right Here Waiting - Richard Marx
68. If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher
69. Anchorage - Michelle Shocked
70. Straight Up - Paula Abdul
71. I'll Be Loving You (Forever) - New Kids On The Block
72. Pop Song 89 - R.E.M.
73. Hangin' Tough - New Kids On The Block
74. Dear God - Midge Ure
75. What I Am - Edie Brickell and New Bohemians
76. Miss You Like Crazy - Natalie Cole
77. I Like It - Dino
78. Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
79. Cherish - Madonna
80. I'm That Type of Guy - LL Cool J
81. Cult of Personality - Living Colour
82. My Fantasy - Teddy Riley Featuring Guy
83. Electric Youth - Debbie Gibson
84. Veronica - Elvis Costello
85. Partyman - Prince
86. As Long As You Follow - Fleetwood Mac
87. Right Back Where We Started From - Sinaitta
88. Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty
89. Mayor Of Simpleton - XTC
90. Lost In Your Eyes - Debbie Gibson
91. Fascination Street - The Cure
92. Nightrian - Guns N' Roses
93. Seventeen - Winger
94. Now You're In Heaven - Julian Lennon
95. Good Life - Inner City
96. You Got It - Roy Orbison
97. One - Metallica
98. 18 and Life - Skid Row
99. Pretending - Eric Clapton
100. I Want It All - Queen


Caution, I'm Crafty!

Caution - I'm crafty!
Seriously, I can't stop! A wee Safety Cone crocheted in leftover cotton.

Caution - I'm crafty!
To Infinity and Beyond? :)


I Can't Stop.

It's more practice, so that's good. Yesterday while the Lorax was splashing about in her kiddie pool, I whipped up a "10 minute Crochet Preemie Hat (in about 25 minutes).
Preemie hat
I'm quite pleased, though I still can't get over the size of it. I had spotted on Facebook a "Call to Knitters" for purple hats to benefit a charity in Canada. (Here's a link - scroll down to July 1 for more info. Certainly there are places in need of baby hats here in the US as well, so I hope this is the first of many hats.

I've had my eye on a few crochet blogs lately - SarahLondon is great for color inspiration and when I read Attic24 I really feel like "I Can Do That!". Lucy, of Attic24, has a "Granny Stripe" blanket that I can't get out of my head. It looks straightforward enough once you get past the massive chain to start with, and she uses acrylic... we have a ton of blankets in this house, but only 2 that I have made. I have an awful lot of acrylic in my stash already, so I'm thinking about making a ridiculously bright and cheery version for the family room - think nearly neon blue ("Blue Mint"), green ("Limelight"), yellow ("Lemonade"), pink ("watermelon"), orange ("mango"), and white ("coconut") in between each color. I made up a little swatch last night to practice the technique and I am in love. I had grabbed the first few balls of cotton that were in reach and the result is this:
Granny stripe practice w/ border
(That's with a border. Just to see, though there is plenty of time to think that through)
Granny stripe practice no border
(And without the border, which right now I think I love just a little bit more).

There are almost 150 projects on Ravelry - so many great color combos!



Last week I spent a lot of time in the car traveling (and luckily not a whole lot stuck in traffic). My knitting projects at the moment were either too big or too complicated to bring along, especially when you take into account the Lorax in the backseat who frequently asks me to hand her things or give me things. I decided that I would work on my crochet skills. I settled on simple crochet dishcloths / washcloths - the same stitch over and over and over again (not all that different from my first knitting project really).
2 "rags"
I made two "Everyday Dishcloths" from the book, Cozy Crochet. They are roughly 8x8 inches (my gauge changed halfway through - guess I relaxed my grip on the hook), organic cotton yarn, dyed by Misshawklet. They were great to practice on. And now I'm bored with that. So much for my grand plans to use up all that cotton. Two is a good start for now I guess.

I had another car trip on Sunday and was not feeling the dishcloth mojo, so I flipped through the "Cozy Crochet" book for another project that was equally simple, but maybe used a different stitch (I've got single crochet down! I think.) I settled on the "Cozy Kerchief" using Blue Sky Alpaca dyed cotton leftover from the Lorax's baby blanket. I had forgotten how much I love this yarn, must get more!! It's soft and squishy and was wonderful!!
Crochet Kercheif
Cute, right? Lightweight, seems to stay in place. I think this will get quite a bit of use!

Of course I had to try it on Jackson (the Lorax runs away. I make do with what I have.)
Plus he spent a good deal of time this morning barking at the vacuum cleaner. It's a little bit of payback.

Dachshund bandit?
Yes, my head is that big and my dog is that small.


Lil' ladybug

My needles suddenly feel free and empty - another project was finished last week! I made Ladybug from Petite Purls for a little lady born last Sunday. I could tell in the making of this sweater that it was going to be quite big for her, but I pushed ahead to finish it in time for our first meeting this weekend.
Ladybug Jacket
I really enjoyed knitting this - the red yarn is Berroco Comfort DK, the black is Sirdar Snuggly DK - so soft and squishy. I knit the smallest size (6-18months), but I do think that my petite Lorax (who is 2.5) could fit in it.

To make the spots you are instructed to knit bobbles. I have issues with bobbles, so I looked on ravelry and noticed that some knitters crocheted circles instead - great! - I started crocheting, but that too sort of drove me a bit nuts. I was flipping through a back issue of Interweave Knits and found a cardigan that had spots embroidered on to it. Brilliant! If I did it that way, the spot would be made and sewn on to the jacket at the same time. A quick online search also lead me to this knitty article that had pretty good instructions too.
Worked out great - so cute!!


Longest Project Title Yet

I mentioned previously that I was switching my SnB "Shawl-Along" project from the swirl shawl to Herbivore. Now I am pleased to report that my "Herbivore of Spring Flowers at Twilight" is finished! I even wore it a bit last night at SnB - between the AC and the lemonade, I needed it!

I really enjoyed this pattern - right when I just starting to think "Oh this is never going to end" and "I want this big enough but I don't want to run out of yarn", it was the right length to bind off. AND I didn't even use the whole skein - I still have about 100 yards left!

Shawl Flower
Before blocking, I rolled it up to put out of the way, and I just thought this looked like a little flower. How appropriate.

Pin Heads = Short Circuit?
This pin heads make me think of Johnny-Five from the movie "Short Circuit" (Dude, the robot has his won webpage?!) or Wall-E.

Herbivore blocking
Pinned out.

Herbivore Fronts / Back
Not the best photo, but I'm feeling to lazy to edit it right now. Shows the large triangle section and the two smaller sections well enough.

Herbivore Shawl
How I will usually wear this shawl - I like the bandit-style. It stays put mostly, and isn't too heavy or bulky.

I'm super pleased with this project! I'm wondering about doing another one. With my needles "free" I can feel some start-itis setting in!


Happy things

Things that make me happy right now:
New Yarns!
Susan from Schaefer Yarn Company, in the "Laura Ingalls Wilder" colorway. This is likely going to become Storm Cloud Shawlette, Calais, or Traveling Woman. (Is this picture ugly-pretty? I was playing around with fabric and while I don't love it as a background for the yarn, it makes the some of the color in the yarn come out a bit more).

100g of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Ysolda Red. Tricky to photograph - there are many subtleties to this colorway. I love it. It will likely become socks as I don't know if I can pull off a red shawl / wrap... but it would be stunning!

I finished a pink Milo for a baby girl who should be here any moment now. She's the intended recipient of the ladybug jacket I'm working on (all the knitting is done. Just have to make all the spots and sew them on, weave in ends) - but the jacket could fit the Lorax. So, this will fit her this fall - I used Cascade 220 and knit the newborn size, hoping for a 0-6 month size, following the example of another raveler. This was a really quick knit and fun - the pattern has sizing up through size 4, so I plan to make one for the Lorax as well.

I'm taking a break from my Swirl Shawl - it lost it's mojo. I am unsettled as to what I want to do with it. In the meantime, I have started a new shawl which has been graced with probably my longest project name ever: "Herbivore of Spring Flowers at Twilight"
Shawl Progress
Herbivore pattern and Indigo Moon superwash merino fingering yarn, colorway "Spring Flowers at Twilight" - I'm loving this yarn - I keep stopping to admire the colors that pop up on the needles.

I've also got a new project to start - a sample knit and it's hush-hush, but the yarn is luscious and the pattern is gorgeous!



Someone picked up a sweater for the Lorax at a recent school bazaar. The thought was lovely, but this sweater? So not for the Lorax, style-wise or size-wise.

To Be Undone
She ran away from it, so I don't even have a real idea of what it would look like on her. But it's wide. And there's a bit of floofy collar.

To Be Undone
If I could get it on me, it would be a elbow-length crop top.

Cotton yarn, obviously handknit. I set about to take it apart and find a way to reuse the yarn. This is the first time I have undone a sweater like this. I actually felt quite a bit of guilt in frogging this - some other knitter somewhere put in their time and energy to make a gift (which the owners ended up giving away). I think that in the end, the knitter would see it as for the best that another knitter got a hold of the sweater and was able to reuse the yarn. It was a great project to have around the Lorax - I could pick it up and put it down as needed. (Side note: I also feel bad when I see books at the consignment shop / used book store that have inscriptions "To Timmy on your 5th birthday - our pokey little puppy" or something like that. While I'm all for clearing out space and giving books I don't read to libraries / shops / etc. - if it's got an inscription, I can't get rid of it! You would think then that I would be sure to write an inscription in any books I give as gifts - and sad to say, I don't. I should work on that.)

So now I have this cotton to "upcycle". I am thinking about reusing it in a garment for the Lorax or even just washcloths.


Knitting In Advance

Last summer, I test and sample knit a sock for The Unique Sheep's Lord of the Strings club. Frequently, my test / sock knitting projects are done under a rather tight deadline (most recent record holder? A sock for Cookie A's new book in 5 days!) - but this project was for the June 2010 installment. And, since now we are in July of 2010, I can finally share!

Dunedain Socks by LoBug
Dunedain Sock
This was my first time to knit such a large sock (on purpose!) - I knit the largest size, and two yarns are held together. Isn't that cable something? I worked really hard on that - learned a lot about cables and reading charts. Side note: If it wasn't for this project with the charts and cables and working my way through it with LoBug's help, I would not have tried to get the cookieA sock gig - something totally clicked with me on this project!

The color is best in the first picture (or even the ravelry link) - the yarns were very pretty.
Dunedain Sock
As I knit the largest size (Size 11, the "Big Foot" option), obviously the socks didn't fit too well on my foot (I wear a US9, women's) or my sock blockers:
Dunedain Sock
Dunedain Sock
Check out LoBug's blog - she talks about this sock and her "LOTR Sock Pattern Booklet"!


Yarn, Sun & Kool Aid - a knitter's summer

Two weeks back a streak of hot weather and sunny days and leftover yarn from the blanket and a rediscovery of Kool-Aid / Weyler's in a cabinet make me want to try solar dyeing. My first experience with Kool-Aid Dyeing came out pretty well, though I still haven't worked up that yarn (or dyed the other skein).

I started with this:
Pretty, but I just didn't love that brown-gold section.

I started just before 10, and the grape smell was delicious (4 packets of Wylers that I bought at Big Y - I checked Big Y today and they don't have kool-aid packets.) This was on the front porch.

Around 12:30 I moved the bowl to the driveway - I think that temperature is acutally the temperature of the driveway, not the bowl - it was hard to hold it and get the focus on the camera and take the photo at the same time. Anyway, it was very warm.

Around 2:30, it clouded over and maybe 5 minutes later we had a HUGE thunderstorm with downpours.

Ta-dah! There is still a little hint of the brown-gold, but it doesn't bother me so much any more. I adore the shade of purple this came out. It might become a Sunday Market Shawl for around the house, or Koolhaas.


Hike in the Heat?

So, we're in the early stages of what's looking to be one serious heat wave this week. I'm not leaving my AC if I can help it, though I do love to spend time outside. This is pretty much the only "mountain" I can handle this week:
Connecticut Mountain
It's a Micro Mountain from the Knitting Mochimochi book. I used some "Connecticut" yarn (J.Knits Superwash Sock) that is leftover from the Scowl I knit for Sara. The white is NOT fingering weight, but I went ahead with it anyway and snapped the tip of a dpn in the process. Oh well. I've decided to name this little guy "Bluff Head" after a hiking spot near my parents home - Connecticut has some great places to hike, but mountains? They are micro in my opinion.

Random note about that photo? I went through all the coins in the house to find a Connecticut State Quarter - I couldn't find one in any of the loose change, but lucky us - my MIL had given us a nearly full State Quarter Folder - it's only missing one (Alabama? Arkansas? it's an A state and I'm too lazy right now to go double check.)

Bluff Head (the knit version) is entirely appropriate for Jackson:
A Dachshund  & A Mountain

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