Sunday, April 23, 2006

Day of relaxing fun

Yesterday, Steph dropped by to get her needle rolls and tote. In exchange, I got a FABULOUS massage! I really needed one too. For those of you who don't know, I work as a substitute teacher, and I do a great deal of work at my local high school with special needs students. It is very stressful at times. Steph really worked out all the kinks, and I feel really good.

We then spent the day shopping. No really great deals were found, but it was nice to get out of the house and have some fun. The weather was GREAT.

We went to Barnes and Noble and drooled over Big Girl Knits. It is $30 at B&N and $18.90 on Amazon, so we are waiting for the mail to bring us our copies. I still HIGHLY suggest this book. It is funny and fantastic! The book tells you the sweaters won't make you look skinny, but they will make you look GOOD!

I have knitting ADD at the moment. I don't even want to think about all the WIPs I have around the house. Is it too much when you have a project sitting on the back of the toilet? Do I need help?

I got a new shipment (12 Lamb's Pride Bulky off eBay for $55). My daughter's boyfriend has informed me that the first step is admitting I have a problem! :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Stash, socks, and book

Isn't pretty? My stash, somewhat knit down, and now, it is totally organized. My mom gave me lots and lots of these plastic storage bins yesterday (I have about 10 more in the living room). I knew that I was going to have to clean up the mess that is my stash with them.

Not only did I store things away in these bins, but I also numbered each one. Then I created a spreadsheet in Excel that tells me EXACTLY what is in each bin. No more creating a huge mess to find that odd skein of Wool-ease, or the missing Lamb's Pride! I just check the spreadsheet (the computer is about five feet from my stash) and find what I have and where it is located. Easy peasy. Let's just hope I can stick to it!

I know I posted about my yarn binge a while back. Thought you might like to see what $40 will get you on eBay. All the new pretty sock yarns! Enough for 7 pairs of socks. I am pretty pleased with this deal.

This last picture is of a book I got over the weekend. I was never interested in paying $12.95 for Hip Knits, but when I saw it for $5.99, I picked it up. There are some sweaters I wouldn't mind making, but I am glad I didn't pay full price.

Well, that is all for now. Hope you all had a Hoppy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Book Review -- Big Girl Knits

I am just so excited about this book; I don't know where to begin! Big Girl Knits is a FANTASTIC pattern book, no frumpy, dumpy, shapeless, unflattering sweaters! Many designers seem to think that big girls just want to cover their bodies, or the styles are just plain and drab. It never seems to occur to designers that big girls want to look pretty, sexy, and fabulous. There are no boring stockinet drop shoulder sweaters in this book.

Big Girl Knits is full of wonderful designs that flatter the 3 B's (boobs, bellys, and butts)! The styles are fresh, pretty, and feminine. These sweaters have shape and texture. There is a section that discusses common body *issues* and how to deal with those issues in a flattering way. (Suz, there is a sock pattern in the book that addresses your sock frustrations). Sizes are generous as well *up to a 4x!

One word of caution, the patterns in this book use LOTS of shaping to create the flattering fits. Knitters will need to be completely comfortable with increases, decreases, and textured stitches.

I know several knitters who need to run out and buy this book! You will be glad you did.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Because I am too tried from sewing needle rolls to write a real post!

You're the 'classic' brands. You use lots of 'just
wool'. Technique may be very important to you,
as opposed to a yarn that does all the work.

What brand of yarn are you? (Knitting)
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yarn HO

Sly is getting much better at the whole airbrush thing. I think this tee totally ROCKS!

I am working on needle rolls to sell at the Piddleloop (not piddlePOOP). So, I am a little behind on the knitting. Keep an eye out for how much sewing I get done!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sewing for Knitters

So, I have been sewing up accessories for knitters all weekend. My friend Steph is a new knitter, and a fantastic massage therapist. So, we are trading a massage for some knitting accessories that I make. Seems like a fair deal to me.

Jen has been asking me to sell some of the accessories in her on-line store. I made a dpn roll for her a while back that she just loves. While making Steph's accessories, I was also calculating cost and time involved in making the rolls in order to price them to sell. My first needle rolls can be seen on my website, but I am posting pictures of what I made for Steph.

This first shot is of a tote that I made. I am not sure I will be selling these, but if there is a lot of interest, I will. This one is about 15' by 12', with a 5' by 7 ' decorative pocket. The bag is also lined in the same pink used for the pocket. I have made a couple of these in the past. I use mine all the time to carry projects in (I have a large collection of project bags). Great for Stitch n' Bitch meetings.

Here is the DPN roll I made for Steph. It is also the perfect size for crochet hooks. This one is just a little smaller than the rolls I plan to sell (8 pockets vs. 10). There is a ribbon tie and a flap to keep all needles or hooks tucked in safe.

This is the roll with the flap closed.

The outside of the DPN roll, I love the little flowers!

The GINORMOUS needle roll. I make them roughly 15' x 25' with 16 pockets! This bad boy will hold a full set of needles, and it is portable (just roll it up and toss it in a tote). There is no loosing needles with this guy. Also, it is easy to tell which size needle I am getting because I place them in the roll in order of size. No guess work!

Here is an inside view to show off all the room, and the cute fabric Steph chose!

Please, let me know what you think! Would you be willing to buy these? Thanks!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The yarn binge

Okay, time for me to fess up. I have bought yarn, and I don't mean a skein. I have purchased enough sock yarn to make SEVEN pairs of socks! I have no will power. I should be banned from eBay. How could I resist, seven pairs of hand knit socks, all for the bargain price of $45!

So, here is the tally of what I knit before I fell off the wagon.

1 sweater (it was for my niece, but it doesn't fit)
7 hats for Dulaan (Steph says charity knitting counts double, so I am claiming 14)
"I Skinned the Muppets" throw (I should post a picture, but it is so UGLY)
Finished sweater for Cindy
3 pairs of Wee Sockies
1 pair of Bell Lace Socks

Started but not finished:

Sly's Denim Style sweater
My Wool-ease sweater
Galway vest for me
2 pairs socks for me
Mr. Dangly (contest winner)
Fairy doll

Started and frogged to re-start soon:

We Call Them Pirates
Skulls of Fury

In addition, I have found a new knitter in need of a stash, so I gave Steph around 18 skeins of yarn to help her build a stash.

So, I guess I wasn't too bad. Just a little bad.

Sorry, no photos today. I spent all day knitting needle rolls and dpn/crochet hook rolls. I'll post pictures tomorrow. I am kinda beat now.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I have been a bad blogger. I just couldn't think of anything to write about. There has been so little progress on knitting, mostly because I have started about 100 new projects. I just seem to keep starting things and finishing nothing. Anyway, I do have some new stuff to show off, even if it is mostly not done.

First, two days worth of "We Call Them Pirates," which some of you may remember won the contest. It is made out of Modadea Sassy Stripes and some red Bernat Hot Sox. Both were purchased way back on clearance somewhere or other. Both have been in my *sock* drawer for a while (sock drawer here means a place I keep sock yarn, not actual socks).

I had to wait to start it because I didn't have a size 3 16 inch circ. I waited and indulged in an Addi Turbo. I am glad I waited. Love the needle!

Then I had to wait for
Erin to show me how the heck to do the cast on! Actually, she didn't show me, she did it for me. I am so ashamed of myself. I wasn't getting my head around it.

I got to this point, and my gauge is just too tight. I don't want to buy a larger Addi (I am not made of money!), so I have to frog the whole thing and cast on enough stitches to include another panel of skulls. Sigh, this is the second cool skull thing I have had to frog.

The worst part is, I am going to have to figure out how to cast it on all on my own now!

These I am pretty proud of, if I do say so myself. They are "Wee Sockies" (you have to imagine me saying that in the WORST groundskeeper Willie voice you have ever heard). I always wondered what the heck I was going to do with those dozens of small balls I had left over after making a pair of socks. Then, Tara had a baby, and I knew the answer! Wee Sockies for babies! I'll work through a few more pairs, then post a pattern.

Here is the start to a lovely vest from some Galway I purchased for $20 on eBay. It is a vest because I don't have enough for sleeves!

The two pairs of socks I am working on are progressing. Slowly! The Wool-ease and Denim Style sweaters are inching along too.

Tomorrow, how I binged on the yarn diet!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Knitting Book Review

I am catching up on all my knitting after my female and cold issues, so I have no new photos to show you today.

I did, however, want to discuss a new book full of knitting patterns. Classics Knits for Real Woman
is a new book from a couple of Rowan designers. The fact that the authors normally design for Rowan should be a hint about this book.

First, the patterns in this book are BORING! They are plain, drab, and frumpy. "Classic knits" do not have to look like something a church lady would wear. Rather, I was hoping for simple, tailored styles with a bit more sophistication, rather than a collection of drab sweaters that I could knit up without a pattern.

Second issue I have with this book, each sweater is made with $300 of yarn. Now, I know how to substitute yarns. I do it all the time, but not every kniter out there is comfortable with making adjustments to patterns.

Third, and the biggest issue I have, the "sizes" in this book are 36 - 46! While some of the sweaters are designed to have a *relaxed* fit, with finished measurements of 50 inches, these styles are not for *plus size* woman. That lovely drape in the picture will not be there on a woman with a 50 inch chest since the pattern was a relaxed 46! Simply put, yes, you may find something to fit you in this book, but your fit will be different than the photo, and frankly, while it may fit your body, it won't suit your figure. In addition, a 50 inch chest only accommodate a 2x (and not well). There is NOTHING in this book for a 3x or higher!

I was totally disappointed with this book. I am eagerly waiting for Big Girl Knits to come out. I believe that book will address these issues.