Friday, July 31, 2009

First SP14 Package

My secret pal sent me a beautiful bag with three skeins of KnitPicks Essential Solid, a journal that matches the fabric perfectly, and a copy of "The Girls Book. How to be the best at everything." I love the pattern of the fabric! The yarn looks soo yummy, and also perfectly matches the bag and journal! I had seen the book several times, and I was always interested to peek around in it. Now I can ;) Thanks Secret Pal for such a great package!
My pictures aren't the best. Neither is the weather (a.k.a chronic rain) in New England for the past 2 months. Ah well. I worked with what teeny tiny amount of daylight I had.

Up Next: Saucy Swap Package. I still need to take pics. After seeing how these came out, I wanted to wait to take pics. I will post them soon.
Also, I went to a Sox game last Saturday. Stay tuned for pics.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Spring Knitting Goal Wrap-Up and New Tardy Summer Goals

I did a pretty good job with my winter goals, getting 2 of the 4 goals completed. When I decided on my spring goals I knew that summer was coming (or whatever we call the weather in New England right now) along with a lot of freelance teaching and coaching, moving, and golf, so I tried to keep my goals reasonable. I didn't account for losing my knitting mojo as well.

Spring Knitting Goals
1. Dust off and make progress on Feb. Lady Sweater.
2. Work on Bijouterie.

3. Plan baby items, using stash or pick up materials needed. (2 friends due Aug/Sept.) Currently thinking at least one pair of booties. DONE
4. Make progress on baby items (especially if sweater knitting is getting too hot!) DONE
5. Decide on next lace project ;) (work on #4 prior to casting on!)

Deadline: June 21

I've planned baby items. I casted on the booties with some Cashmerino from my stash. I casted on and made some progress on booties, but my progress was pretty pathetic. I picked up some Louet Gems (fingering wt.) at my LYS in order to make a garter stitch baby kimono. I have completed number 3 and 4 out of 5. I keep looking at lace on blogs and Rav, and wanting to knit lace. Because I want to get some baby knitting done first, and knowing what happens once I cast on any lace, I haven't decided on what I'd like to knit next, just yet. I'll make that one of my goals for the summer. (P.S. I already would have tried to knit some lace for the baby, if it was a girl. Instead, as you can tell by the booties and yarn for the kimono, she's expecting a boy.) Here's a look at the Louet Gems. I thought I'd go with washable for this mom-to-be.

Seeing that I'm posting this wrap up MORE than a month late! (WHOA! I kept waiting to have some knitting to show... and you see what happens?) Now that I'm posting these so late, I'll call them my Tardy Summer Knitting Goals. I feel that I'm on the way to finding my knitting mojo. I followed some advice that I was given in the comments when I posted the problem. I went to my LYS and I will be casting on for something new soon. :)

Tardy Summer Knitting Goals
1. At least one FO.
2. Cast on for baby sweater.
3. Complete one baby item. (booties or garter stitch baby kimono)
4. Work on Bijouterie.
5. Make final decision on next lace project. Lately I'm teetering between this, this, or this. I want to knit it all!

Deadline: September 22nd

Up Next: A SP14 package and a Saucy swap package! (I got the packages late last night and haven't taken pics yet.)
Contest held by the blog STILL coming...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Caffeine Addicts Summer Swap Final Installment

The rest of my package arrived!
First I received a handpainted skein from iWunder. It is soo soft and it is my favorite colors! Then I received this package from Greece! I had received a note in my first package saying the rest of my package was coming from a sunny place, being a secret swap I guess she didn't want to tip me off by saying how far away she really was! Once I opened the wrapping I saw just how full the package was!I found all kinds of goodies inside! A bag of Christina's special blend of coffee to try, some"extra blend" from her favorite coffee shop, two types of candies made with Mastic (a turkish delight that is from a tree that grows in Chios), two hanks and 1 skein of kangaroo (cotton?), a tea blend called "Maya" which has spices and chocolate, and also a postcard from the island of Kittira (where she vacationed last week). I couldn't avoid taking one more shot with the yarn that I had received earlier.
All of the yarn looked so pretty together, don't you think? The yarn is beautiful, I love the colors! I can't wait to try the coffee, tea and treats! I enjoyed learning a bit about greece and Mastic as well. (Linked above in case anyone is as curious as I was!)
Thanks for such a great package Christina! (Karmologyclinic on Rav)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Caffeine Addicts Summer Swap First Installment

I received this in the mail ahead of time from my secret partner from iWunder on ETSY. It's even more yummy in person! ;) Thanks Secret Pal!

Swap Update: Swaps are in full speed!
SP14 has begun!
My Caffeine Addicts Summer Swap (Ravelry) downstream partner should be receiving her package this week.
My Saucy Swap (Ravelry) downstream partner should also be receiving her package this week.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Breakfast time at the barn...

Dee just thought she'd drop by the blog...It was breakfast time, so she had trouble saying "cheese" with her mouth full, but I think she did a good job. (I love her ears in this shot, she's thinking pretty hard here.)
Daizzy was also eating her breakfast and was quite sleepy. She decided to give me a profile shot.
Pooh (my mom's horse) said his stomach woke him up, where's my grain already? (He's ALWAYS hungry)
Here's a look at Dee (and Pooh's) new home. It's still under construction, as you can see, but the horses don't mind. It's great to have Dee at home!
Once the upstairs is finished, I'll be moving in to the loft apartment.

I'm on vacation this week so hopefully there will be a bit more time for blogging, knitting, and maybe even beading, along with riding, golfing and hanging out with my niece, nephews, brother and sister in law! Stay tuned for a contest as well!

Monday, July 6, 2009

SP14 Questionnaire

Bit of housekeeping things first.
Life has impeded with my knitting and blogging lately. Stay tuned for an upcoming contest (super late blogoversary contest), a wrap-up of my Spring Knitting Goal's with new Summer Knitting Goals, and a Spark update!

It's that time again... let the swaps begin!
SP14 Questionnaire

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I would have to say my love right now is Malabrigo, but I also really enjoy mohair and other yarns. I like soft yarn and I like wooly yarn. It depends what I'm making. I do not like 100% acrylic yarn, but I have no problem with a mixture of acrylic. I do not like fun fur or eyelash yarn. I'm always open to trying someone else's favorite.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? Knitpicks Options in their own binder/pockets. Straight needles in a roll. (Gifted from Christmas swap)

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for about 3 1/2 years. I guess I am somewhere in intermediate. I have done some work with increases/decreases, K2TOG, some cables, and YO's. I always like when I pick a new pattern and it has a few new skills for me to pick up along the way. Thinking about socks sometime soon. My first sweater is currently languishing OTN.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes, amazon. (see sidebar)

5. What's your favorite scent? I LOVE lavender. It's sooo relaxing. I also love the smell of fresh roses. I also like "clean" scents.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes. I like most sweets. Including snickers, dove chocolate, swedish fish, gummi bears etc. I dislike really dark chocolate (over 70%)

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I do not spin. I love making stitch markers. I have also started doing some small sewing projects. I don't mind sewing by hand but now that I have a machine (thanks SP13 spoiler!) I think I'll be doing a lot more... Once I unpack it out of storage. (See #10) I have a lot of ideas. (tote bags, needle organizers, etc.)

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I have a love for most music. I love country, top 20, jazz (esp. miles davis), most everything except really heavy metal. I can listen to MP3's in my car.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love yellow and blue. I also really like pink. I have something against purple. I still end up wearing it a lot and sometimes I find myself persuaded to use it or buy clothes that are purple.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am currently living in an apartment (see a previous SP11 response). I have a percheron/thoroughbred horse named Dee. Sometime during this swap I hope to move into a new apartment above the barn where my horse is currently living. (Spoiler for SP14: There will not be any change in mailing address. I've already started receiving mail at the new apartment because my horse is there already!) I will then live with my own horse, my parents horse, and some boarders as well. I currently live with my smooth Collie Daizzy, Daizzy's sister (a rough collie), and my parents cat Dusty. Once I've moved into the new apartment I'll just be living with Daizzy and the horses. The cat, Dusty, is debatable. I haven't decided what he'd think about becoming a barn cat just yet.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I wear scarves and mittens ALL the time in winter. I wear baseball hats a lot and wool hats or headbands in the winter. I don't have a poncho, but I have considered making myself one.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? I really enjoyed knitting an amanda hat. I have enjoyed making mittens, washcloths, and scarves so far... Thinking about socks sometime soon. I have a few bags on my to-do list. I don't have too many completed projects so I don't feel like I have a "favorite" yet. So far I'm enjoying working on my first sweater. (FLS) I made my first shawl (a forest canopy) and got bit by the lace bug pretty badly as well.

13. What are you knitting right now? Since May, my knitting mojo has gone for a field trip. I hope it comes home soon! I haven't made a ton of progress lately on some baby booties. I'd like to cast on for another lace project but think that if I do that, the baby booties will never get finished. We'll see what happens next, if I give into my lace urges or if I get the baby booties done first. I'm also considering switching gears into a baby cardigan instead. I also have a February Lady Sweater languishing on the needles until the weather is cooler.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? YES!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I think each type has it's place. I have a fair amount of bamboo straights in my collection and lately I have been adding both aluminum and plastic circulars to my collection. I am preferring circular over straight these days when I have the option. (Knitpicks options and random others)

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? I have a winder (YAY for lovely center pull balls) Naturally, I've put a swift on my want list.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? Clogs (OCS... one clog syndrome)

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? It would have to be Christmas. I love finding/making just the right gift for someone.

19. Is there anything that you collect? Yes, I have a fair amount of books ranging from horseback riding/instruction to cooking/baking to animal rights to various "fun" novels and of course Knitting books. I collect Miles Davis books and music. (I became obsessed with him and Jazz when I played flute and trumpet and sang during high school.) I also collect the little shell "animals" that touristy shops sell everywhere. I have probably 6 different animals from my travels. It's sort of an "incidental" collection, I can't stop myself from buying them when I see new animals. I also have a collection of Painted Ponies.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Thanks to Ravelry, my books are mostly posted there. I think there are several missing because they haven't been posted on Rav yet. I am trying to decide which magazine to get. I keep swapping between Knit.1 and Knitscene. As far as patterns that I would like, they are in my sidebar (along with the free patterns that I want to knit.) I noted if I have them or need them.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? Off the top of my head, learning long tail cast on's. Would like to try toe up socks, maybe try two at a time socks now that I have the book.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? Not yet, (see #21). In general I am a size 8. Will post measurements soon. (I know I said I'd do it earlier, twice actually. I will, promise!)

23. When is your birthday? June 3rd.

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? ponyknit