Sunday, June 28, 2009

blocked..!!

Icarus is now blocked.. I have to say I'm really pleased with the outcome. The shawl is so light and airy and it blocked out way bigger than I thought it would. It's really pretty.. I promise better pictures in the future when I have a day or two off and someone can help with the picture taking. I've have been working every day for just about 2 weeks and although I haven't been working long hours those days I am on my feet the entire time so that when I get home I just want to sit and rest my feet for a bit.





































This spindle just arrived in the mail a about a week ago and of course I just couldn't wait to try it. I have never spun on a Turkish spindle before and it's always fun to try something new. This spindle spins at an even pace for quite a while and is very steady. Chez Plum asked me if it spun slow . I wouldn't call it exactly slow but you can only spin as fast as your fingers can't twirl it. I usually use the staff to twirl it and I have tried using the bottom part where it is bigger, but the speed is about the same. If you want speed I don't think its the spindle for you. It's more about the process than the speed with a Turkish spindle. I have to say it's fun to spin with but it does take a bit of patience. I love this roving btw. It's gorgeous to work with. I'm thinking of using it as a single for lace. I still need to work on getting my singles more even. Well I'll have plenty of practice. (^_^)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

hooray!!

This day has finally arrived... the Icarus shawl is off the needles. The only unhappy moment was on the last few rows the yarn turned most ugly color. All the beautiful bright colors and then that unexpected brownish pink and yellow that didn't appear anywhere else on the shawl...ooo well.. I'm about to go to work and when I get back I'm going to wash it and block it so it will dry over night... I'm also happy that on World of Warcraft my character finally hit lvl 80 ( the highest lvl at the moment). Finishing the shawl and hitting lvl 80 seemed to take forever.. I put this poor shawl down for months and then picked it up again. I actually started it almost a year ago... I feel like I have acheived something now..
Pattern: Icarus shawl found in Interweave Knits Magazine summer 2006
Yarn: JoJoland Harmony .. variegated lace 100% merino wool
Needles: american size 3.. I started on straight pointy metal needles and near the end changed to 2 circular needles with rubber tips on one end.




Wednesday, June 24, 2009

hemming jeans tut..

Here is a little visual tut for hemming jeans. Pic#1.. your tools. Pic#2.. determine the length that you want your jeans(I try them on and fold them up to where I like the length.I measure the folded up part in a few spots to determine how much needs to be cut off) and subtract the hem measurement + 1/2 from that measurement. Example the hem on these jeans measured 5/8" . I added 1/2 to be turned under so that equals 1 and 1/8". Cut. Pic#3.. sew 1/2 from raw edge on both pant legs. Pic#4..turn pants inside and press 1/2 right along the stitching. Pic#5.. fold up 5/8" using your little ruler and press and pin. Make sure you place pins so they well be easy to remove as you sew.(It's not really good for your machine to sew over pins). You are now ready to sew. Pic#6..I use my presser foot as a guide. There is a little line on the foot to mark where the needle will sew. I put this a little less than 1/8" from the folded hem edge. I start to sew at a point near the inner leg seam so it doesn't show. Pic#7.. when I sew up to the next seam.. right as the tip of the presser foot meets the seam edge I lift my presser foot and slid the jean-a-ma-jig thingy under the presser foot from the back and put the presser foot back down. Now it will sew nice and smoothly over the thickest part of the seam. Go slow. The Jean-a-ma-jig will just pop off the back and you can keep on sewing until you get to the last seam and repeat the process. Pic#8 .. Ta da.. you are finished.
Other helpful hints. My machine has a sleeve arm that is great for heming sleeves and pants. I use a little sleeve ironing board for pressing and a steam iron for the last pressing.I use a needle especially for jeans or denim and thread as close to the color of the original hem that I can get...(click on the pics to make them big) [wink]







Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Icarus report

Yesterday after work I picked up this little project bag at Michaels. Of course I used my 50% coupon... It's just perfect for one large skein of yarn. I has a little hole on each end so you can thread the yarn through and is long enough for a set of shorter straight needles. I was hoping it would fit my smaller glass spindle too but it's just a little short.. darn that would have been perfect. Anyway my socks or shawl projects fit perfectly inside. (^_^)




















The Icarus report: I had to change needles for the 3rd time.The first set of needles were straight with a dull finish and very pointy tips. Some where around Chart#2 there were too many stitches for these needles so I changed to 2 metal circulars with rubber protectors on one end of each. This was good for the amount of stitches and the metal tips let me slide the stitches easily.. but they slid too easily and some stitches were just sliding right off the needles and were very hard to pick up. I almost had a disaster so I changed needles again to 2 wood 26" long circulars with rubber protectors on one end of each. Now the stitches stay put.. it takes me a bit longer to slide all the stitches as I'm knitting and sometimes the stitches pile up on top of each other but now I feel safer... No more dropped microscopic stitches that are impossible to pick up again.

Friday, June 19, 2009

oo so pretty!!

Look what the mail man delivered today. It's so pretty. This is my first Turkish spindle.. I purchased this a week or so ago from the Spanish Peacock. The whorl is bloodwood and the staff part is maple. I was so excited to give it a spin.. It looks so pretty when it twirls around. It spins for a pretty long time too and is very steady.. not one wobble. You can't see it in the picture but I did get a hook.. I'm not a purist and am used to spinning with a hook.. Time for some knitting and spinning.. My goal is to knit a minimum of 4 rows a day of the icarus shawl. I would like to knit about 6 rows a day if I can. My LYS called me back and she has one more ball of JoJoland harmony for me. Yay! Nothing else interesting going on in my life right now. Lately I have just been going to work and coming home and working on my shawl.. I lead such a boring life. haha..

Thursday, June 18, 2009

running out the door

A quick update on the WIP's. These socks are now the travel-in the car project. I work on them when I can't work on the Icarus shawl. As far as the shawl.. I am now on chart #4 which is the last chart and on row 6. Every row is starting to eat up quite a bit of yarn. It's really hard to tell right now if there is going to be enough yarn to finish. I will probably know in about another 6 rows whether or not I will have to try to find another ball of yarn. I say find because I already called my LYS and she doesn't have it anymore. Well that was my quick update. I'm about to run out the door to work. (^_^)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

a refuge..

Watching the news lately is very disturbing. So much crime.. so many people loosing their jobs.. the cost of living rising so high... .. it can be very unsettling and harder to find good things happening any more. It seems the good is found in smaller ways these days like family.. My grandson gives me great joy and I'm glad to be able to see him every day... I think he grows bigger every day right before my eyes. My daughter has grow into a beautiful caring woman.. although it is hard for me to think of her as a woman... she will always be my little girl.. I find joy when I get to talk to my son's .. they will be my little heros forever... well they are rather big now.. I feel joy when I see a strangers act of kindness to another and the great kindness that my family has shown me in these hard times. .. I find comfort in knitting and spinning. It's soothing and I find pride in each achievement and joy every time I sit with other knitters and spinners. I guess it's the sharing. The conversation doesn't even have to be that great...heheh.. So lately I kind of cling to these things and enjoy each moment ...
Here is the knitting I'm working on this morning while listening to some music before work. My Icarus shawl is growing little by little. You can now see the little lacy edging.. I'm almost finished with chart 3... I love how the lace looks all crunchy before it's blocked.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

little toes..

Time to start some bright summer knitting. I casted on the Salis Socks yesterday morning before work. I used the easy toe method found on knitty.com.. and it was very easy and pretty. I love the color of this yarn.. it reminds me of all the colors of citrus or melons.
The Yarn: Yarn Treehouse Melody.. 100% wool.. color # Y23
The Needles: Knit Picks Options Nickel Plated Fixed Circular size 1.
Although these needles are very slick.. the join where the cable meets the needle part is very smooth and the yarn never gets caught up on it. Makes knitting fast and smooth..
I'm trying to finish the toe before work this morning.(^_^)

Friday, June 12, 2009

OOO happy day!!

Wooo hooo.. finished at long last!! I think these were a case of major procrastination on my part and trying to make too many knitted gifts for Christmas when I'm working 2 retail jobs. There just was not enough time. These were to be a Christmas present for my BF. I put them down to finish knitting all the gifts that would have to be mailed. Then I had planned to pick them up again and finish them before Christmas. But that never happened because I didn't finish my gifts that had to be mail until way after Christmas then the socks just got put to the side and I bought him something instead. Anyway they are finished as of last night for his birthday today. It's a miracle.
These were knit from the cuff down one at a time until after the heal and heal gusset were completed. Then I knit them magic loop style both at the same time until finished.
Yarn: Patons Kroy socks and Patons Kroy strips
(The yellow and orange for the flames was left over handspun sock yarn)
Needles: size 2 1/4 (2)
Pattern: Hot Rod Socks



Saturday, June 06, 2009

a quick update





















I say quick because I want to spend some time on my knitting today before work. So I will make this quick... Everything I do lately seems to be quick or in little time slots.. well any way the socks have grown just a little. Both heals are finished and I'm working both socks at the same time now until they are done which will be hopefully soon.... When I'm not knitting on the socks I'm working on the shawl...I am now almost 1/2 way through chart 2.. although you can't really see it in the picture... As this thing grows bigger each day I'm getting worried about having enough yarn to finish. There seems to be enough left by the size of the ball but each row is starting to eat up more and more. With my luck I'll need to purchase one more ball on the last row..

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

catching up !!

Yesterday was a day of catching up. I went to work in the morning... after work grabbed a bite to eat at Tropical Cafe in the Loop near the DSW.. just my usual lunch of a Baja chicken pita and the Aqui berry smoothy... ran to the post office and mailed out the little sundresses and a few other gifts...mailed my router back to amazon (it was defective).. mailed my other router to a friend to get it re-programed and working properly which left me broke until pay day. Wow the prices really went up at the post office. Now I will have to rethink how many gifts I will be sending in the future. When I think about it.. I paid for the yarn... the fabric... the hours of making it... and then the SHIPPING!!!! Well dang I could have just given a nice gift card from babies r us or something or toys r us. Or better yet just order online and hope for free shipping. I walked out of the post office yesterday shocked at how much it cost to mail 3 small boxes. Well to continue .. after the post office I headed to BAM ( Books a Million) at the Loop and sat and knitted for 2 hours while waiting for my knitting group to arrive and in that time I was able to turn the heal of my sock.. find out where I added a stitch on my shawl .. fixed that and knitted 2 more rows. I must be a slow knitter because it takes me about 30 minutes to knit one row now. By the time I finished all that the ladies were starting to arrive for the knitting group. It was nice to see Jody again. She caught us up on all her wedding plans and showed us a picture of her beautiful gown.

I saved my spinning for the meeting and finished plying the rest of this yarn. I can't believe it is finally all spun up. I ended up with a total of 344 yards of sport weight yarn. Not sure what I will do with it yet.. as of now it will go into the basket with all my other handspun yarns. I'm still working on getting more even singles.. the second skein was better than the first one so I am improving a little. The puffy slubs bother me... The rest of the time was spend chatting with the girls and knitting. Jen and I stayed a little later than the others and we discussing her famous "vintage yarn" and what she should do with it and the economy and how bad it seems.