Friday, October 29, 2010

FO Friday 7

I'm sad to report, I don't really have a finished object this week for the first time in seven weeks. I've been working so hard on my niece's bag that I didn't get time to work on anything else. I still wanted to make sure to post so that everyone has a place to share their FO Friday's this week. Please feel free to share your finished projects in the Mr. Linky below! I promise, next week I will have something complete...hopefully that darn owl bag!

I did, however, dye yarn yesterday in the microwave for the first time! I hope to share the results on Monday.

Please make sure to have a safe and fun Halloween and weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flash Your Stash! An Ongoing Meme (Part 3)

My name is Tami, and I'm addicted to yarn. Honestly, I don't know how it started. As I've mentioned many times, I started crocheting last December. I didn't know anything about yarn and bought some Red Heart because someone mentioned it was easy to crochet with. Once I got a little better, I moved into a little softer acrylic, Vanna's Choice, Caron Simply Soft, etc. Just recently, I started visiting LYSs (Local Yarn Stores) and can't seem to walk out of one without buying at least one skein/hank/ball of yarn. Also, I've ventured into online shopping, stores like Knitpicks and Smiley's Yarn. Below you will see my stash as of yesterday. These pictures do not include the yarn I'm using for my current WIPs, so yarn for my two blankets, my owl bag, another purse and an amigurumi.

For my first FYS post, click here.
And for my second, click here.

As I shared from a previous post, below is a picture of the chest my husband bought to store my yarn at a local antique store. I LOOVVEEE this chest.

And here it is with yarn. You won't see any in this picture but I have cedar balls among the yarn to keep bugs out, and just to give the yarn and chest and overall great smell.

Most of the yarn in the chest are my worsted weight acrylic and wool yarn. From top left, going down you will see a mix of Red Heart, Loops and Threads, Berrocco, Hobby Lobby, Lion Brand, Vanna's Choice, etc.

I love how beautiful the yarn looks in the chest. I've tried not to be OCD with it, arranging by color and brand so I just left it how I originally put it into the chest.

Below is my collection of sock yarn. If you follow my blog, you know that I've recently become obsessed with sock, or fine and fingering weight yarn.

This is most of my yarn I have to dye (except for one skein of wool I forgot to add to the picture and my cotton) and the two I've already dyed. I hope to try the microwave method today or tomorrow.

Below is some yarn I got online or in LYSs. The balls, or cakes of yarn are Berocco Vintage.

Below is some yarn I got at Smiley's online or at Tuesday Morning. The little balls are Debbie Bliss. The one white skein at top is for dyeing.

This is some random acrylic I have. The bags of small skeins are for amigurumi, the Christmas colors I got at a thrift store for a total of 75 cents, and the bag of gray yarn is a project I started and haven't finished.

Below is my cotton. The white skeins are for dyeing.

Below is yarn I got for a blanket I'm making for someone as a gift for next year. I'm not going to say who, because they may see this blog. I got the blue skeins at Smiley's for crazy cheap ($1.99 each) and then will buy a skein of the tan each time I have a coupon for Joann's or Michaels.

This is miscellaneous/yarn I forgot to take pictures of with the other groups. The top is Bernat Roving which is CRAZY soft. I want to make a hooded cowl with it. Then there is a skein of wool for dyeing and 3 small skeins of Lion Brand Cupcake.

This is my crocheting thread. I have a project I'm working on that is VERY slow going with it. I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to handle it.

I would love to see how your yarn stash has grown! Share updated pics, or join in for the first time! Please make sure to use a direct link to your post, instead of to the main page of your blog. That way, we can find the stash pictures easier.

Thanks for checking out my stash! Let's hope next month it's much smaller. I am trying to not buy any yarn until the beginning of next year unless it is necessary to finish a project.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 12

I've decided I needed to start on my Christmas gifts instead of just saying I'm going to. Good plan, right? It seemed like I had so much time, until I realized we are in the last week of October and November will be a crazy writing month for me. I need to crank out about one present a week (if not more) to get done in time. Crazy, isn't it? I decided to just focus on this one crochet project this week, as I'm trying to finish it quickly, so I'm only sharing this one today.

That being said, my WIPW post this week is a bag for my niece. You may remember, I made this reindeer for her birthday this year. At first she didn't really know what to think of it, but now every time I see her she's asks what I'm making and has a huge list of items for me to crank out for her. She doesn't know I'm making this, and hopefully she'll like it. She requested a dog amigurumi, but I told her it would have to wait until after Christmas. Hopefully she isn't expecting that! I am already doing two dog amis for my mother-in-law (representing the two dogs that passed away this year that she had for 13+ years).

I first saw this owl bag pattern (Ravelry link) in the September/October issue of Crochet Today! I loved it right away and showed my sister, who thought Lily, my niece, would like it as well. When finished, I hope to line it with this adorable pink fabric I got in the remnants section of Joann's. I'd love to sew in a few pockets as well, but it will only be my second bag lined, so I don't want to get ahead of myself. Originally I wanted to use the pink camo yarn with pink solid, instead of tan but couldn't find a pink I was quite happy with that would look good with the camo. Over all, I like how it's coming out, though after crocheting the bottom and the initial color change, I decided to increase the strips by one, so it's three before a color change instead of two. It didn't seem to be reading as well as I hoped with two, and I think it's much better now. What do you think?

Don't forget, tomorrow I'll be flashing my stash again (that always sounds so dirty, doesn't it?). Please join me if you have the time! There will be an ongoing Mr Linky provided, where you can update your stash each month when I share mine. :) This time, I'll be showing off my yarn inside my new wood chest!

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Randomness of the Week

Today's post is going to be full of random stuff, but it seemed silly to make several posts about a bunch of little things.

As a few of you found out due to my Ravelry page, last Wednesday was my birthday. I decided that I would buy myself something in honor of turning 31. I'd wanted to make an order to Knitpicks for awhile now, and what a better time!

Right away, I knew I wanted a ball winder after the mess I had after dyeing the Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool. I've also been buying yarn that comes into hanks rather than skeins. One of my LYSs will wind the yarn for you when you purchase it there, but I didn't want to have to rely on that. So, I noticed the Knitpicks ball winder is only $19.99, so I couldn't pass it up. I have yet to use it (as I got it yesterday), but I'm sure it is going to be a HUGE help!

Here is the yarn I also decided to purchase. I didn't want to get a lot, since this was my first time ordering and I'm always leery of not being able to see/feel the yarn.

1 ball of Blaze Heather Andean Treasure (It was on sale and I wanted to see what it felt like)
1 skein of Silver Sage Shine Sport (It was on sale and I wanted to see what it felt like)
3 hanks of Frog Prince Imagination (for socks for my husband. He actually picked out this yarn)
1 Natural Bare Superwash/Nylon Fingering (for dyeing)
1 Natural Bare Superwash Worsted (for dyeing)

Speaking of my birthday, despite my husband already getting me my present, my sewing machine, he said I needed a gift to open on the night of my birthday. I had no clue he was coming home with a gift, let alone Thai for dinner (YUM!) and a pumpkin cupcake! Here is what he bought me! He got the white cotton for me to dye!

My mother-in-law sent money to buy something for my birthday that I wanted. Of course, more yarn! Weirdly, I had yet to visit any of my LYSs in San Diego, so I thought it was as good a time as any. We headed to a great one I found out about through Ravelry, Two Sisters and Ewe. They had a great selection of yarns, most I hadn't seen before. It was so hard to decide what I wanted. I had $50 to spend, and knew I didn't want to go over that. Unfortunately, the yarn I loved a ton was a little over my price range, $20-30 a hank/ball/skein. They had an amazing selection of hand-dyed yarns I couldn't help but fondle. The ladies were very friends and they even put my hanks into balls for me. When I came into the shop, one of employees was even helping a customer with one of her knitting projects! I thought that was awesome.

Here's the yarn I bought:

Berocco Vintage in (the green was in the 25% off bin!)
Knit One, Crochet Two Ty-Dy Sock yarn (Also in the 25% off bin. I couldn't pass it up because it would normally be too much money for me)
Kraemer finger weight (for dyeing)

We then headed to another LYS not too far from the first (these are both about 15-17 miles from my house), Needleworks. The weirdest thing about this shop was the culture shock. It's next to a Hooters restaurant and it was Sunday, so the outside and parking lot was full of smoking and drinking football fans. Totally weird to then walk into a crochet shop. They had a group knitting, but their yarn selection wasn't too big. They also sell stuff for needlepoint, so the store was divided. I did get a skein of Berocco Sock yarn, which I had yet to see in the stores.

I recently received Amazon gift certificates from credit card bonus rewards (don't you love those?) and wanted to get a few craft books along with a graphic novel and a novel. Here is what I ended up getting on the craft side of things.

I showed you my first small skein of hand-dyed yarn, but haven't shared my second batch. I've been waiting to share my second when we have some better light. It's been raining here and just totally gloomy. I used Kool-aid for this skein and then over-dyed with teal Wilton's Icing Dye.

Friday, October 22, 2010

FO Friday 6

Happy Friday! The weeks keep flying by! I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

You may remember, if you were visiting my blog back then, that I shared bits and pieces of a giraffe for WIPW 1. I have yet to show the finished product, and decided now was the time. Originally I made it for a friend of mine who just had a baby. I now feel like too much time has gone by for it to be a baby gift, so I think I'm going to keep it until Christmas and gift it then. I will either send it to said friend, or to my step-sister's baby boy, Hudson.

Below is the picture from WIPW 1.

Materials used:

3.75 mm (F) hook
Red Heart Super Saver (body- Bright Yellow), spots- Light Blue)
Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn (mane/horns/tail hair- Navy)
Yarn needle
Poly Fluff stuffing

And the finished product:

Share your FO projects!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 11

It's that time again! WIPW 11. Crazy, I know. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of time to crochet this past week because one of my kitties (Roxy shown here in FO Friday) is still sick. All she wants to do is be held, and is not happy when I'm doing anything else. I can't resist her cute little face, even when she's sneezing all over me. It also doesn't help I spent most of Sunday dyeing the yarn I shared here.

Before I get into my projects, on a separate note, I will be updating my Flash Your Stash post next Thursday, October 28th. I wanted to give everyone ample warning! Please join in if you have the time! It's ongoing, so each month I post the same Mr Linky with my updated pictures. Feel free to do the same! It's always fun to see everyone's yarn, even if still in boxes and tubs!

I apologize for the flash on the pictures, but we never saw the sun yesterday in San Diego or since Saturday for that matter.

Last week, in WIPW 10, I shared the start of my sock. I've done quite a bit on it, but had to frog the heel because I didn't realize there was a slight error in the pattern until I finished that portion of it. The heel ended up on the side of the sock, not the bottom. That could be a slight issue. LOL Anyway, after frogging the heel the first time, I had to figure out how it's really supposed to look. At least I'll know of the issue for the second one! I'm in love with it so far, so I'm excited to start on the second one least once I finish the first!

My ice cream blanket has been neglected for a little while, so I decided to pick it back up and keep trucking on it. I can't wait for it to be finished, especially since we've had cold and rainy weather. I think once I finish both projects, I'll be able to concentrate on what I need to get done for Christmas.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!

Monday, October 18, 2010

To Dye or Not To Dye

I've been dying to dye yarn for awhile now, and yesterday I decided to take the plunge. On Saturday, I bought some Kool-aid packs, as well as a 12 color kit of Wilton's Icing Dye. I didn't know what color(s) to pick, so my husband told me to pick a number and he assigned each color a number. I ended up picking Kelly Green and Royal Blue Wilton's Dye. I searched the web, reading a few tutorials, as well as a few threads on the Ravelry group, What a Kool Way to Dye. Below are pictures of my process, which I did in the Crock Pot.

First, I made a Swifter, from these directions found online. I don't have the money to spend on a professionally made one, and this worked just as good. I bought most of the items at the 99 cent store, the only one I didn't was the lazy susan (from Walmart) and the coffee cup. I had the hangers, but those could be bought at the 99 cent store as well.

Top down of the homemade swifter

This is the yarn I decided to dye from my stash.

The whole skein on my homemade swifter

This is the whole skein- 465 yards. I realized it was too much, so decided to separate it into smaller hanks.

This is the amount I decided to use at first. I have no clue how much it is, but not a large amount.

The yarn in the Crock Pot, waiting for me to fill with water and vinegar. Put just enough to cover the yarn.

I soaked the yarn in a mix of water and vinegar. Then, I mixed the dyes in a cup of boiling water, and poured it in. The green on the right, blue on the left though it kind of merged into one.

After the dyeing process is over, I pulled the yarn out of the Crock Pot (with tongs) and laid it into the clean sink

A close-up of the yarn in the sink straight out of the Crock Pot

This is the yarn after cooling and squishing the water out with a towel.

A close-up of the yarn, wet but not dripping

In this picture, you can see the variation of the skein. It has areas of green, blue and lighter areas the dye didn't hit.

This is my attempt at twisting the yarn into a hank.

Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out. There are darker and lighter areas I'm not crazy about, but for my first time, you can't go wrong. I'm currently dyeing another section of the skein, which I'll share in a post later this week.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FO Friday 5

Since I showed this in this week's WIPW, it's probably no surprise what my FO Friday is for this week. I asked you all if I should frog the scarf, and for the most part, everyone said no. I decided to take your advice, but I had even more incentive to finish. I found someone who loves it even more than I do.

Meet Roxy, my 8 year old baby

She decided to curl up on it while I was working. I didn't have the heart to move her, especially since she has a cold right now. Once I saw her fall asleep on it, I knew I had to finish it. Who cares that it isn't perfect? She doesn't!

Materials used:

6.00 mm (J) hook
Vanna's Choice (scarf- Rose Mist)
Yarn needle

Share your FO projects!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Trip to LYS and Swap

Okay, not the best blog post title, but I'm really really tired. As many of you read, my husband and I went on a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles to see the Eels in concert for the second time in a few months, this time at The Music Box on Hollywood Blvd. It was our first time there, and an amazing little venue. I love all of the old venues in LA.

We were only there for about 21 hours, but it was well worth it. We got in for a late lunch at one of my favorite Mexican take out restaurants, Mission Burrito. YUM! Not sure where we wanted to go next, my mom solved the problem (I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, a suburb of LA, where my parents still live) when she handed me a coupon to the LYS, The Close Knit Circle, I had yet to visit. Last time she also had a coupon, but we were unable to make it since we were busy Saturday and they're closed Sunday. They just opened this July, so they have been putting coupons in the local savers and newspapers to let people know they're there.

How awesome is this? They're giving them as a promotional item. It's a pen and a tape measure

First off, I must say, the place was well organized, yet felt homey. You could tell they were new, as everything was pristine. There was a group of knitters in the store working on projects and everyone was friendly. The ladies who worked there were crazy nice, almost too much so! Finally they joked that they were going to stop bothering me until I had a question. Since I'm new to LYSs (this was my second one, my first the store in Las Vegas), and fancy yarns, I love to walk around and feel all of the fiber. I have crazy sensitive skin, so I can't just buy the yarn that is the prettiest, but one that I can handle itch-wise.

When I would pick up a yarn, the ladies would help me out, telling me a little about it. Normally that would annoy me, but I actually enjoyed it. They had swatches of most yarn, and even had a few knit and crochet projects out of certain ones so that you could see how it knit/crochet up into a sweater/scarf/ etc.

When comparing it to the store in Las Vegas, they didn't have as big a selection of type/brands of yarn as the Vegas store did, but they had more colors of each it seems. A lot of the yarn seems to be specialty yarns that I'm not sure I would ever use, but I found some I loved. I had a hard time choosing what to buy. I didn't want to spend too much money, so I picked these two.

As I've mentioned, I'm fascinated by fine and fingering weight yarn right now, mostly for socks. They didn't have a huge selection of it, but I found one I love. The Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine was soft and came in great colors. I bought it in Blueberry Mix, a color that is amazing (as you can see above). It's a deep, rich blue with a tint of raspberry color running through it. Has anyone used this yarn yet? What did you make with it?

My second purchase was easy. Alea was nice enough to order me a skein of Berroco Comfort Worsted in Crypto Crystalline (as you can see next to the gray in the picture above. Won't they look great together!?). The yarn is SOOO soft, yet I wasn't sure what to do with it since I only had one skein. When I saw that they had the yarn, I wanted to get a nice color to compliment the one I had to make a scarf with. I decided on Smokestack. I thought a nice gray would look great with it! It's a very pretty gray.

Before I move onto my post regarding my swap, I have to ask a question. Why does it seem like crochet is the ugly stepchild to knitting? It seems like everywhere I go, people assume if you're buying yarn, especially nicer yarn, that you must knit. Why??? It drives me insane. I almost feel like I'll be looked down upon if I mention I crochet. I just nod my head and keep my mouth shut.

I mentioned a few posts ago, on FO Friday 3, that I was doing a swap with my writing critique partner. I sent her this hat, and she was going to make a necklace for me. I had a great time making the hat, and it turned out great. She seems to really like it, despite it being a little snug. The great thing about this swap, I don't make necklaces, and she doesn't knit/crochet. It's always great to get something that you can't make yourself in return! I wanted to share the necklace, even though it's not crochet. I hope you all don't mind! Look at how beautiful it is!!!!

Work-in-Progress Wednesday 10

Wow, we're already to double digits for WIPW! Awesome! Today I'm going to share two new projects, well, one brand new and the other old but I forgot about it. Sorry for the short post, but I'm on my way to LA for the day (to go to an Eels concert!) and had to write this post early Tuesday morning.

Monday I pulled out all of my yarn to start putting it into my new yarn chest. This included a box I had under my desk, containing projects that I'd forgotten about, got frustrated with or was thinking of frogging. That includes this pretty scarf! I started this scarf back in January or February. I bought the yarn (Vanna's Choice in Rose Mist) for the project because I thought it was pretty (it was before I really knew anything about yarn) and also before I knew about Ravelry. It's a basic double crochet and if you notice, it is not super straight, and a little wide. Part of me wants to frog it, but I'm so close to almost being done, and it was my first scarf, that I'm not sure I have the heart to. What do you think? Finish or frog?

I've been wanting to make socks SOOOOO bad, having bought some fine yarn (my next pair will be made in fingering), yet had too many projects in the works to start them. Monday, I gave in. After arranging my yarn in the chest, I couldn't resist the pretty yarn. It was too tempting. I'm using this pattern, and so far, so good. I think I'm going to get really confused once it comes time for the heel and going into the cuff, but I'm just taking it one stitch at a time. I'm totally excited. I decided to make the sock the biggest size possible, because I crochet really tight and everything I make seems to be on the smaller size compared to the pattern. I figured if it's a little big, no big deal, but too small and I have nothing to do with it. The toe is a little odd on it. I think if I were to make this pattern again, I would make the starting chain a little wider, but maybe it will all come together in the end. Isn't the yarn SO PRETTY! It's Premier Yarns Garden Serenity in Sea.

For those that are new to WIPW, to share your WIPW post with us, just fill out the Mr. Linky below. Despite it saying you must comment, don't feel as if you do. That is something Mr. Linky automatically adds. I just ask you to check out a few of the links posted to see what everyone else is working on and comment there if you can. Everyone loves feedback and a little encouragement on their projects! Also, please link back to this post in your post to get the word out! The more the merrier!