Thursday, March 31, 2011


Well, since my last post, I finished a second Eco Cloud cowl, this time casting on 75 stitches, and a pair of fingerless mitts. Both are for me. Thank goodness this week has been Spring Break from School so I could do all these things!

These mitts are based on the Jacoby pattern, but I made the top part longer and added several rows to the thumb. This way, I can keep more of my fingers warm, but also can fold down the top if I need to use my fingers. Now, I need to finish a pair for R so we can wear them to Opening Night of the Oakland A's season tomorrow! (Baseball season has started -- Hooray!)

What you see below are my pair, and the one on the needles on the top left are for R. Mine were done on 60 stitches, and his are on 68 stitches. You can see how the striping pattern has changed, and how the addition of the thumb gusset changes it too. (Claudia Handpaints fingering weight in the A's colorway.)

But in addition to 2 pairs of fingerless gloves, I've got a major case of startitis! I've been a good girl and swatched to check gauge.

Girl Friday -- I've had this rosy peach Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool since Dec. 2009, and I've finally found a good pattern for it!

Cassidy -- working on this in Cascade Lana d'Oro, color 9923, an alpaca/wool blend that I've had for almost 3 years now (sorry no pics, yet).

Chad (Ravelry link) has been calling my name! You know how you've acquired quite a stash, but nothing matches the patterns you want to make, either in gauge or quantity or color or ... I've been wanting to make this for a while, but didn't have anything in stash with the quantity that I needed. I'd almost resigned myself to buying some Greenland, the called-for yarn in the pattern. But then, while I was hanging out at Purlescence, I noticed a skein of Dream in Color Classy in the Plum Paisley colorway. You may remember that almost 2 years ago, I bought 5 skeins and then found the perfect buttons for it. But subsequent dye lots of this yarn were very, very different. But this one was the same as my previous purchase. Buying one additional skein was the right decision and I'm loving the knitting of the waffle pattern for Chad!

And then, along came a pattern a couple nights ago from Debbi Stone, a Goddess Knitter from Blue Moon. Her Octavia lace shawl pattern just jumped at me and onto the needles. The lace pattern has violets in it and calls for about 350 yards of fingering weight yarn. In going through the stash of sock yarn, I pulled out a few that I thought might work. Asked the DH which one he thought would work best and he chose the semisolid Socks that Rock Lightweight in .... Vancouver Violet. Perfect match!

I'm still spinning the Abstract Fiber silk/merino on my KCL drop spindle, but Kelli and I decided that the colorway should really be called Brazilian Carnaval, not Poppies.

I've spun about half of the baby camel/silk from Stitches, and have also started some Ashland Bay merino top that will be plied together, half in Cranberry, and half in a yellower/deep gold blend.

And yesterday, I got a new wheel! She's a new-to-me Louet Victoria. Help, I need a name for her!

To make matters even more interesting, I've also started up on Twitter as @PurpleYarnQueen.

Like I said... Startitis!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


So what else is new?

I just need to keep reminding myself that life will get a little less busy in a couple weeks when my school goes on Spring Break. However, since Stitches last month, it has been non-stop, go-go-go-, keep going, oh-but-don't-forget-that-project-either, madness at work.

--- 4 straight weeks of researchers in the library, 100+ students every day, in addition to the regular classes.
--- 2 presentations at a conference (oh, I agreed to help out at two of them? Oops, I thought I'd only said okay to one...)
--- 1 presentation that was cancelled at the last minute (rescheduled for next month)
--- need to make sure all your budget is spent (in your spare time)
--- what the heck am I teaching this week to this grade?
--- Second Grade show rehearsals onstage start next week, right after the researchers finish; show is less than two weeks away, so also need to keep the librarian-in-charge-of-show sane
--- which reminds me that I need to reformat my copy of the script because I'm the stage manager

No wonder my down time at home has often been spent staring off into space instead of crafting!

Nothing has been finished since my last post, but the projects are heading closer to completion. I've told myself that I have to finish one project before I can cast on another.

1. Susie sweater -- moving along on the first sleeve. The cuff is done and I'm almost 17" up the length. I just need to try it on the recipient and see how much farther I need to get it. Maybe I'll start the cuff of the second sleeve now.

2. Lost in Transit scarf is about 2/3 done. I'm almost done with the second repeat. It still looks the same as last month, only longer.

3. Purple Vanilla socks - 1 sock is done, the toe is cast on and I'm now knitting around and around and around for the foot.

4. The little bit of crafting brain that I have left is focused on spinning! Right after Stitches ended, I had to try out my new fast flyer on something intended for laceweight. Well, gee, I just happened to have this gorgeous baby camel/silk blend...

But then I got a KCL Woods spindle at Purlescence. I resisted going by Ken Ledbetter's booth at Stitches, but the Purl Girls didn't and brought some spindles into the shop. One came home with me, and the Abstract Fiber silk/merino blend in "Poppies" was immediately started onto a leader. This spindle (one of his "beginner spindles", nothing fancy) spins like a dream - love it, love it, love it!

Talk about addiction! In the last 2 weeks, I've almost spun 2 oz, solely on a drop spindle. I will say that the more you use a drop spindle, the less you drop it! I'm going to ply it into a 2-ply laceweight. Can't wait!!!

Oh, and the last thing that has eaten my brain is my new iPhone. My old iPod Touch was a first generation and wouldn't upgrade any further to iOS4, therefore not syncing my calendar etc, with my computer. After a bit of hemming and hawing (on my part) and a bit of research (on his part), he told me to upgrade to an iPhone4. [Darn, he made me do it!]

So we're standing in the Apple Store and looking at cases, but I can't get any of their purple cases because everyone else I know has one of them. I stood there and said "this person has this one, and this other person has this one..." So I went home, looked around online and didn't like the other ones I saw. Then Tapmouse mentioned making a custom case - bingo! I went to Zazzle, uploaded a photo that The Dork had taken a while back, and here's my new case. It won't be mixed up with anyone else's! The flower is actually more purple than this. It's Vinca Minor (aka common periwinkle), in case you're wondering...

I'm trying not to let a month go by before I post again, but we'll see what happens...