Sunday, April 28, 2013

Looking Forward - 4KCBWDAY7

Today is the final day of Knit/Crochet Blog Week. The prompt is "One year from now, when the 5th Knitting & Crochet Blog Week rolls around, where do you hope your crafting will have taken you to? What new skills, projects and experiences do you hope you might have conquered or tried?"

In terms of techniques, very little scares me in knitting. I'm the kind of person to push through until I get it. Most of my knitting challenges are design based these days. And the only design element that intimidates me at the moment is grading sleeve caps for sweaters. Although I won't hold myself to reaching this goal by next year, sometime in the future, I'd like to design a sweater that requires sewn in sleeves. And I'd like to grade it. Until then, we can just all admire the very first sweater I ever knit, the Fireside Sweater. I even sewed in the sleeves.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Tool To Covet - 4KCBWDAY6

We've reached day 6 of knit crochet blog week. Today's prompt is to "Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers."
Well, today I managed to bruise the finger I use to tension yarn with when I knit. So I was reminded that my most favorite knitting tools are my hands. (There are no pictures of my hands because the finger is a little unsightly at the moment.) I'd talk about what happened, but it's one of the more embarrassing experiences of my life. Maybe one day when my ego has mended itself, I'll be able to share. I'm treating the finger with ice. If anyone has any suggestions on how to mend a bruised ego, I'm all ears.

So my second most favorite knitting tool combo is my ball winder and swift. I blogged about them the day I got them and we've been inseparable ever since. I'd say that I use them at least once a week, if not more.

The reason I invested in a ball winder and swift was because I realized I was spending more time winding yarn than knitting. And this realization came when it took me a whole James Bond film to wind a skein of worsted weight yarn. Perhaps I should name the pair "James" and "Bond".

Friday, April 26, 2013

Something A Bit Different - 4KCBWDAY5

It's day 5 of Knit Crochet Blog Week which means "It’s the annual challenge to blog in a way different to how you normally blog. You may choose to create a podcast, or vlog, create a wordless post or write in verse."
I peruse pinterest quite a bit and I get a kick out of images with a few words placed on an interesting picture. The better ones have images that actually relate to the words rather than the random picture/quote combo. So for today's prompt, I put together a yarn themed composition.

It's a bit of a motivational image too. See if you can spot all the symbolism.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Color Review - 4KCBWDAY4

Today's prompt for Knit Crochet Blog Week is "What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects. Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting."
This one is a little tricky. Much of my knitting time is dedicated towards designs. And because many of my designs have themes (ie Celestarium is the night sky, so it needed to by blue) I choose colors that would enhance the theme. After looking at my ravelry project page, I also found that I have knit a lot of gifts recently and those colors are chosen based on what the recipient would wear. So I picked through and looked at the last 6 projects that were by me for me and not related to a design. Let's have a look shall we.
Scooter's sweater got included because even though it was a gift for him, he hates sweaters. It really was a gift for me.

Well, yesterday we learned that I am really into buying green, blue, and brown yarn. And as it turns out, green shows up in half the projects and blue is in a third of the projects. So it does seem that I like to knit what I buy. I had previously had a red yarn buying phase, which has presented itself. Most of has been knit up now, so it didn't show up in yesterday's graphs.
What's funny is that yesterday we also learned that I also really enjoy fingering weight yarn. Two thirds of these projects are using a fingering weight yarn. The remaining two projects are made of worsted and bulky weight respectively.
I imagine that if I were to go through my designs, the ratios of yarn weights and colors would skew in a  completely different direction.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Infographic - 4KCBWDAY3

Today's topic for Knit/Crochet blog Week is: "There are many ways of conveying information on a blog; text and images being the two most widely used. Many infographics combine both these elements to provide a visual way of presenting text information.
I decided to make some charts based on my stash. And by stash, I mean active stash. I didn't include scraps, skeins attached to current WIPs, and that one box of Cascade yarns that I had used for my animal hat patterns. What I was left with was 98 skeins of yarn. But getting that to come out in a pie chart was a nightmare, so I included 2 skeins that was part of a semi-abandoned project. 
I knew that I liked fingering weight yarn, but apparently I like it more than nearly any other weight of yarn. I have 48 skeins of it. So I will be working on socks for a long, long, long time.

I've been going through a bit of a green phase in my yarn buying, so no surprise there. And I've always bought blue yarns. What I had forgotten is that I have two sweater amounts of brown yarn. I don't have too much variegated yarn though. (That rainbow part of that chart represents variegation.)

And here we've got how the colors and weights are distributed in my stash. The only color that I have in nearly every weight is green. Who's surprised? No one.

Well, I went a little wild with the graphs, but it was quite fun to see what I had lurking around the stash. I've also learned that I have to not buy any more fingering weight yarn until I knit some of it. We'll see how long that idea lasts.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Mascot Project - 4KCBWDAY2

Today's prompt for Knit and Crochet Blog Week "is to either think of or research a project that embodies that house/animal."

Well, since the animal I have chosen is a Bee Monkey, this makes things a little more challenging. But I think a pattern mash-up of my own pattern, Free Bees, and Cookie A's pattern, Monkey, could look quite attractive. The foot of the socks could be the Monkey pattern and the leg portion of the socks could have the bees from Free Bees. The project would be called "Free the Bee Monkeys."

Monday, April 22, 2013

The House Cup - 4KCBWDAY1

It's that time of year again. The 4th Annual (and my third year of participating in) Knit and Crochet Blog Week hosted by Eskimimi. Today's prompt is to choose a House to join. I narrowed it down to two.
There is "The House of Bee: Bees are busy and industrious, but can flit from one interesting project to the next as bright and shiny things capture their interest." or "The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting." I am nothing if not indecisive when it comes to making silly decisions like this. But there wasn't a house for that.

So I have decided that I am The House of Bee Monkey. Bee Monkeys are busy and industrious and like to try something new and interesting with their projects. They also like to make up their own rules when existing ones don't suit them.
Zippy the Bee Monkey

I'm a fairly monogamous knitter. (Three WIPs max) And although I am multicraftual, I tend to only have one project out at a time. I'm also unwilling to stick to "The Rules" when it comes to crafts. As long as the project looks good at the end, it doesn't matter how I got there. So I identify with the unconventional House of Bee Monkey this year.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rocking Socks With Sandals

Shoot number 8 out of 10 was completed today! Each shoot presents different challenges and this shoot  was no different. In order to get some of the shots I needed, I had to stand in a rather busy road. But my Mum and model were rockstars. Everyone held their positions while we waited for the mini breaks in traffic. Each time there was a break, I'd back up into the road, quickly focus the camera, and hope the shot was good. 

I had sent a message a little too late to my model suggesting that she bring slip on shoes so that we could keep the socks clean while we walked to different areas. Luckily my Mum was wearing clogs, and she had nearly the same shoe size, so they switched. Mum really rocked the gladiator sandal/ crazy sock combo. Wonder how long it will be before we see this look on the runways.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Knits Of Bomb Girls

The moment I got home from vacation I have kept my nose to the grindstone. Emails are left unanswered for what feels like an hour, but turns out to be days. To keep my spirits up during marathon knit sessions, I have turned to marathons on netflix. Today I finished watching Bomb Girls, which is an addicting program to say the least. It covers Canadian girls working in a bomb factory during WWII. And it has the same fast pacing as Downton Abbey. I only wish season two was available in the US.
As I've been watching, I've had the pleasure of spotting some really lovely knits. First off is Lorna's sweater.

Just look at the lovely edging to the shawl collar. It almost looks like a knit-on edging. I must try that one day.

And now Skip McCallum's raglan sweater. It's got cute inset pockets and sporty stripes.

This one has a garter stitch shawl collar, which I find quite charming. As for his hat, I quite like the way they chose to make the earflap ties. I usually make i-cord ones. The knitted strips look quite good.

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. What kinds of fun did you have?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Poppies, Floating Rocks, and Smilodons

I just got back from a wonderful vacation. My parents and I went down to see my brother's guitar recital. On the way down we went to check out the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. This is the time of year when the hills are supposed to be covered in poppies. I was a bit skeptical as we drove up because the hills looked a little too brown. Turns out the rains didn't come, so they all died. Dad bought a postcard and we walked up to see where the poppies would have been. 
 There are more poppies in our backyard than in Antelope Valley this year.

The next day, after the recital, we visited the La Brea tar pits. We all thought that the constant bubbles coming up from the pits was some sort of Disney magic. Boy are we used to a manufactured world. The bubbling occurs because of built up methane gas under the pits.

Before we checked out the Page Museum, I noticed that we were next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. There is a piece out front called Levitating Mass, which consists of large granite rock displayed over a lowered walkway. The opinions on this piece are extremely polarized: you either think it is the best bit of art since Michelangelo's David or that it is a waste of money. I just think it is a very difficult piece to get a picture of it if you've left your wide angle lens in the car.

The Page Museum is pretty neat. There are a large number of skeletons, including these two Mastodons. It is a mum and her baby that got stuck at the same time.

I learned that Smilodons, or Saber-Toothed Cats are often incorrectly called Saber-Toothed Tigers. They aren't tigers, they are cats. 

My last day in LA, my brother and I went to Disneyland. There are no pictures because the only thing I brought with me was chapstick. We were there nearly the entire time the park was open. Highlights include getting seats closest to the edge of the water in my favorite restaurant, the Blue Bayou, beating Christopher at Astroblasters after he bragged about what a great shot he was (95,000 points to his 69,000), and the sad whimper Christopher made when his sunglasses disappeared on the last turn of the Matterhorn. I think the highlight of Christopher's day was when we went on Splash Mountain and the wave missed him, but entirely drenched me. 
I didn't knit or touch the computer the entire time I was in LA. It was a true vacation and I savored every moment. Now back to work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Celestarium's Sister

It has begun. Celestarium's sister, Southern Skies is now being test knit. 

It won't be long now...
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