Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Winter Doldrums Weekly Topic #2 and My First Meme!

This Weeks Topic:
There are many people who ADORE receiving hand-knit or crochet items; but there are just as many who have no appreciation whatever of how much love, work, and time goes into a hand-made item. Share a story of a hand-made gift you gave to someone and how it worked out - good, bad, or ugly!


I'm a fairly new knitter and gifter, so I can't say I've had an ugly story yet... I have seen how appreciative my good friend was with her Purple Purl Scarf. (that is a Ravelry link, here's where I posted about the FO here.) After spending the weekend with her last week, I found out how happy she was with it. She has been commuting back and forth from NH to MA and she has brought her scarf back and forth with her! She is not a knitter, and it is nice to see how much she appreciates the gift. I did not take a long time to select the pattern, when I was browsing Last-Minute Knitted Gifts I knew that I needed to make that one for her. I put a fair amount of thought into which yarns I wanted for the scarf, to get the desired look and color purple with multiple yarns held together throughout, and I was happy with the finished product. The Malabrigo and Kidsilk were perfect together! I am glad that my gift came out as I wanted it to, but I'm more pleased that she likes it and is using it! Her mom has already requested that I teach her how to knit sometime!

I've been tagged! YAY! Moriah tagged me for her first 7 Random Things Meme, this is also my first one!

Here are the rules, and they must be posted to your blog. Link to the person’s blog who tagged you (see above). List seven random and/or weird facts about yourself. Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by posting a comment on their blog and also so they can look at your blog and not tag the same people all over again!

My 7 Random Things:
1) I had 13 baby teeth pulled (not all at once) when I was growing up
2) I used to have hair long enough that I would sit on it in elementary school
3) I have one older brother (6 years). One time that came in handy was when I was moved up to the "big" kid school in 6th grade and he was a Senior ;) (It may also help that he is 6' 4")
4) I was almost named Victoria.
5) I was named Alicia after a sign my parents saw on the way to my C-section appt.
6) My middle name was chosen after my grandmothers first name.
7) I chose my horses name off of the name I gave my great-aunt when I was little. Her name was Grace and somehow I arrived at calling her D.D.

I am tagging:
Nichole
Rachel
Bekka
KT
HapaGirl
Jennifer
Maggii

GO PATS!!!

Couldn't help myself with this one. Good ole' New Englanders, we keep loving the Pats, Sox, and whoever beats NY ;)
Hopefully actual knitting content to post next time!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Winter Doldrums Weekly Topic and Contests!

First Defeat the Winter Doldrums Weekly Topic:
Dishrag. Dishcloth. Face cloth. I've seen folks get all fired up in forums when someone refers to their knit or crochet creation as a dishrag, as that's somehow offensive to them!
When you're working on yours, what do you call them?
Is there a difference between a dishrag and a dishcloth? How bout a facecloth?
Are they all really the same thing?
I actually had issues when I first knitted what I thought was going to be something used on your face or body. I couldn't call it a dishcloth, it didn't seem right. I finally settled on facecloth. When I saw the name dishrag or dishcloth, I thought about the kitchen and dirty dishes or counters. For kitchen-type cloths I use the term dishcloth more often than not until I participated in Dishrag Tag this summer. (Anyone know of another one taking place? It was so fun! I'd love to do it again!) When naming my new project I felt I needed to make a separation for the cloths you use in the kitchen and the cloths you use in the bathroom. Personally, I don't think there is a difference between dishrag and dishcloth for me. I do feel that facecloth is something for your face or body, and that dishcloths belong in the kitchen. However, I do not mind which use a gifted cloth gets when it is a gift from me, as long as it is being used and enjoyed.

18-0, one more to go!!! GO PATS!!!
It is great to be a Boston Girl!
Too bad we're going to have to do a bit of beating on Manning in the Super bowl... Right Nichole? (She also has a cute joke on her post) :)




Contests:
Hop on over to mariknits and enter her 100th post contest. Deadline: Tonight! (Jan. 21st midnight)
Also, Cass at Shut Up I'm Counting is holding a #444 contest. Deadline: Jan 27th

Please let Mari or Cass know ponyknit sent ya, and if I win it will mean that we both win something! (Hey, sharing is caring right?)

Fun Quiz, found on Mommy + Knitter:






What kind of yarn are you?




You are Dishcloth Cotton.You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.
Take this quiz!








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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Mail Bag x 4!!!!

First, I am pleased to report that the mail man and I have found some sort of understanding, and I did not have any issues with the receipt of any of these packages. (Is he messing with someone else's yarn and packages? I hope not...)

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap
Right before I went away I received my Winter Wonderland Package from MaggiBleu. She knitted me a beautiful Angel ornament. She also sent me a cute mug with some chocolate and cookies with Starbucks coffee. Thanks so much Maggii!


Originally uploaded by ponyknit



Originally uploaded by ponyknit

Stitch Marker Exchange
I received two of three sets of Stitch Markers from the Stitch Marker Exchange Winter Swap.
My first set was from Margaret. She sent some stitch markers in a beautiful box and even included extra beads for making more!


Originally uploaded by ponyknit
I received a second set from Lisa. She also included some tea!


Originally uploaded by ponyknit

I participated in the previous Stitch Marker swap that was hosted on the same site as the winter one I am in now. I had one partner flake and not send any stitch markers. I started to forget about it, and I received THIS envelope! Thank you so much Risa! (She did not tell me her blog or etc, so I am unable to thank her directly.) Not only did I receive some beautiful stitch markers but I also got one skein of microspun and two skeins of Jiffy Quick in my favorite color! Thank you for sweeping in and being an awesome Angel!


Originally uploaded by ponyknit



Originally uploaded by ponyknit

WIP
Casted on My So Called Scarf before leaving for my visit to Florida. It looked like this:


Originally uploaded by ponyknit

I didn't think it looked right, but towards the end of a long day I kept knitting through my flight. It still was not right. I figured I wasn't knitting the even rows correctly, and glanced at the pattern. Turns out that I stopped reading the pattern after the first row. There was another row in the pattern. I had the pattern with me the whole time, but kept thinking I needed to knit a little farther and things would look ok. Not the case...


So Riiiibbittttt, to the frog pond it went. Casted on again. Knitted the "correct" even and odd rows, and things still didn't look right. This time I at least stopped knitting before things got too out of hand. I re-read the pattern. WOW... I still wasn't reading the pattern right.

I was knitting:
*K1, Sl1, K1, PSSO* Knit last stitch

INSTEAD of:
K1 *Sl1, K1, PSSO* Knit last stitch

DAMN those * * and me not seeing them...

So Riiiibbittttt, to the frog pond it went again.
So then I am at what felt like my billionth attempt, and things are starting to look ok. I nailed down that there was a two row repeat instead of just one. And secondly, I realized just what the pattern was really telling me to repeat. I am glad I got things figured out by my trip home because sitting in the airport waiting to see if your flight home is even happening due to severe weather, can stress a girl out. Good thing I had my knitting to be actually resembling a So Called Scarf at this point. I am very glad that the snow did not disturb my afternoon flight plans, and it slowed by the afternoon. It wouldn't have been horrible to be stranded in an airport with nothing left to do but knit, but I think the two dogs and cat waiting at home for their cuddles and dinner would have been a bit upset. I had issues trying to knit looser, I must have been taking out my stress on my scarf. The tension seems to be evening out on it's own. I'm loving the Malabrigo ;)


Originally uploaded by ponyknit
Lesson Learned: Pattern may look simple, but read and re-read before you *think* you know what your doing ;)

Defeat the Winter Doldrum's Dishcloth Swap
Want to join me in a fun yarn/dishcloth/soap/goodies swap? Sign Ups still open (until Friday the 18th). My Questionnaire can be found here.

Site Update
Just got a cute blogiversary button. Saw it on Margaret's page, and had one for my own page in minutes! (Stop by her blog, her Blogiversary is coming up soon!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mini-Post

Few things...

1. I just received my Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Package from Maggiibleu. I will be posting pictures as soon as I get back. Thanks for a great package! The Noro is lovely! I'm already getting an idea of what I want to make!

2. I received my first set (of 3) stitch markers from Margaret and I will be posting pictures of those ASAP.

3. I casted on for a My So Called Scarf with the Malabrigo from my SP that was burning a hole in my stash. It is perfect for travel knitting! I just read on The A.D.D. Knitter that there were 1779 knitters on Ravelry working on their own So Called Scarves when she finished hers yesterday, and this morning the counter is at 1789! Wow!

4. While reading my Bloglines this AM I noticed that Gina House is hosting a "Do the Amanda" KAL/Contest starting now until Feb. 21st. I've had my eye on this pattern, but I don't think I have any spare Malabrigo that I would like to use for this pattern. Maybe I'll just have to go shopping...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Defeat the Winter Doldrums Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire


I'm swapping again...
I can't say I'm having a case of the Winter Doldrums right now, the weather in MA is unseasonably warm and near record breaking! But, there is plenty of time until then and it's a perfect theme for a swap!


Stop by the
"Defeat the Winter Doldrums" Dishcloth Swap page to check out the details. Sign ups close Friday Jan 18th.

1. Do you knit, crochet, or do both? Knit only for now. I am interested in learning some basic crochet sometime.

2. What types of needles do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? Bamboo mostly

3. What types of cotton do you enjoy using for making dishcloths? Is there any that you've been wanting to try? I usually use Peaches 'N Cream and Sugar 'N Cream. I have some Knitpicks Cotlin in my stash that I haven't used yet.

4. What color(s) are your kitchen and bath decorated in (if any)? Blue and Yellow

5. What are your favorite colors for yarns? Least favorite? I like most colors. I personally dislike purples, but as you can see on my blog, I don't hesitate to knit purples for gifts. (Purple Purl Scarf)

6. Do you like Winter, or do you count the days until it ends? I'm very much a New Englander and I love snow (I think you've heard enough about that by now.)

7. What's your favorite way to brighten your day when you're down in the dumps? Make time for myself to knit or bake. Or, I'll go to the barn and play with my horse.

8. What is your favorite treat to indulge in and when your down in the dumps? Chocolate ;) Super indulgent would have to be Cafe Mocha. Chocolate meets coffee, can't beat that!

9. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Cocoa? All three.

10. If you could take a vacation starting tomorrow and go anywhere for one week and money were no object, where would you go and what would you do? Hard to chose just one, Italy or Australia. In Italy, I would see Venice and other parts of Italy that I didn't get the chance to see when I went last time. In Australia, I would play tourist and meet some Koala's and Kangaroo's. I've always wanted to go there.

11. Do you have any allergies or aversions your pal should be aware of? No allergies. Aversion: I don't like ultra dark chocolate.

OTN: Airy Scarf
I'm headed to Florida tomorrow for a long weekend to play with my niece and nephews. Currently trying to decide whether to bring my Airy Scarf or to cast on for some travel knitting.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Going... Going...

Gone!
The Purple Purl Scarf grew significantly over the Holiday. It was off the needles and blocked the weekend after Christmas. This project was a quick knit on such large needles, (US 17) too bad I haven't had the time to actually stay put and knit it!



purpleall
Originally uploaded by ponyknit

purplefringe2
Originally uploaded by ponyknit

Pattern: Purl Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Weapons: US 17
Yarn: 2 Skeins Worsted Malabrigo (Velvet Grapes 20-04-07) and 1 Skein Rowan Kidsilk spray (shade 574) (N.B. Fair amount remaining from both skeins of Malabrigo and Kidsilk)
Size Pre-blocked: 48" x 5"
Post Blocking: grew 9" (57" x 5")
Start/Finish: December 2007
Gifted: Friend for (belated) Christmas/B-Day gift

Notes: Casted on with size 13's and too tight gauge. Casted on again with 17's. Also CO 18 sts (up from 16) called for in pattern.

Quick project! Plenty of yarn left over. I could have made it longer but I felt the recipient would prefer this length.

Fringe: I made 12" pieces (6" when tied in 1/2) instead of 16" the pattern called for because I had made the scarf a bit shorter than the pattern, I felt 6" fringe would be just right. I had never "fringed" before, it was as simple as anticipated with a crochet hook.


Airy Scarf has grown since it was last posted, but it took a little break while I finished the Purple Purl Scarf.

airyprogress
Originally uploaded by ponyknit

Speaking of Christmas, LOOK at what Moriah made for me for Christmas! I guess it's a good thing for me that she can knit and take notes in class at the same time, otherwise I don't know what "free" time a med student would have for knitting gifts! :) The color is so perfect for me, I love blue! The fingerless mitts fit perfectly and together they make such a cute set with the scarf. Good thing we're getting some super cold weather out here for me to wear them. Here's for hoping for more snow! ;) (I know, I'm such a New Englander) Thanks Moriah! I love them!



moriahsgift
Originally uploaded by ponyknit

mittscloseup2
Originally uploaded by ponyknit


Swap Updates
Christmas Around the World swap downstream package was received before Christmas (YAY! I hope you liked everything!)

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap Package is on it's way to my downstream partner, I am waiting for mine :)

To Do: 3 sets of Stitch Marker's need to be made for the Winter Stitch Marker Swap

OTN: Airy Scarf and I'm casting on for a belated Christmas Gift, Urban Necessity Gloves in Cascade 220.

P.S. Yeah PATS, let's go all the way!!! I agree Nichole, It sure is great to be a Boston girl!