Saturday, June 20, 2009

Working without a pattern

I am knitting with shetland spindrift and I have finally committed to my colors. I am doing blues and brown. There was something about the pink and brown that was not inspiring me.

I have been using the pink double stranded to make a vest for Bonnie. I am basically just playing around trying to figure out what works and what doesn't. This is exactly what I wanted out of this project. Freedom. I love the soft light almost airy quality of shetland. It makes me brave.

So the idea in my head is to make the back of the vest in brown then pick up from the sides and do horizontal stripping and making a v neck. I will then pick up with brown and make my arm holes. Wish me luck!

Fashion Show July 18th!

I am knitting my last project for the fashion show. I am really excited about the fashion show.

As I reflect back on what I have made for it I am proud that I took risks and tried new things that I would not normally try.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Ok I am scrapping my artsy idea cause I am way to anal to do what I challenged myself to do. I want a working garter vest that I can wear. So 5 rows pink 5 rows brown. I made a swatch and I like the look of it.

I have no inspiration to finish the mistake rib stitch vest that I am making for work. Ya know other then it has to be done SOOON for the fashion show. I am trying to work on it for like 15 minutes at a time or watch something super interesting on tv.

My bias tank made with cotton that I was soo excited about has gone wrong. I was going along very well and then realized I did my decreasing wrong. It looks weird sewn up and has already started growing... I did manage to get a few pictures of me in it before the growth. I'm filing it away as a learning experience. I will post pictures at some point. I am tempted to make it again in 1824 cotton (machine washable and beautiful colors)

My house is a mess. I am trying to decrease the clutter and sheer amount of stuff that is everywhere. I so far have 2 large garbage bags filled with stuff. I have things I don't need like a random TV sitting in my closet taking up room. It's just sitting there.. Seems to me like I need a trip to the salvation army...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Garter Stitch

I have been reading a lot of Elizabeth Zimmerman lately and she mentions two things a lot 1. Shetland Sheep wool and 2. garter stitch.

Well my curiosity has overwhelmed me. I have spent about 1 month starring at spindrift shetland wool. rose pink and chocolate brown. I love the contrast between these two colors. The chocolate brown is a natural undyed color...

So after hours and hours of searching through patterns... and trying to be inspired I have settled on a vest worked from side to side. This will create vertical stripes. I want it to be artsy and freeing... I am not going to plan out how big the different strips will be I am just going to go and change the colors when I feel like it.

I am using as a template the Asymmetrical Vest from Sally Melviles the knit stitch.

Right now I am working on my swatch. I plan to wash it and get a true measurement. I will be documenting this experience since it is allowing me to express creativity as well as challenge myself to not be afraid of color. If it comes out beautiful yay if it doesn't it is still about the experience not the end result so I will be proud either way.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Long awaited picture post. I know there are more things on my needles then what I took pictures of but I just wanted to do finished objects.
FO 1: 

For some reason this picture turned out a little ratter then I intended but this is the blue eyelet shruglet that gave me such a huge pain in the arse. But Whoo it's done. Currently being blocked which is why it is on the weird looking towel.

FO 2: 
Please excuse me and my vanity. This is my favorite wearable knit. So here are more pictures of my beautiful cardi. I may be teaching a class on how to make this at Mosaic Yarn Studio so.. if you like it you can make one of your very own. If I am not teaching it you can still get your supplies and pattern from Mosaic in Des Plaines, IL. Mine cost a total of $12+ tax in Encore.
I felt a bit artsy in this picture so... yeah... I kept it in... plus it shows a bit of the tie dye effect that the cardi has.

This is a nice picture of how the cardi lays and some of it's detailing. Best part of all.. It's top down!!

On my needles I am doing "Simple Mistake Rib Vest" from the designer 101 skien wonders book and the fan from japanese inspired knits is still waiting to be worked on a bit.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Frustrated but not stopping

I am working on the eyelet shruglet in the one skien wonders designer series. It's very cute but it is pissing me off because of all the pattern corrections. That aside I think if I make it again it will go much quicker.

I found double pointed needles that I love. Bryspun. They are inexpensive, have great points and are plastic so my knitting tension doesn't change from my plastic dense to the bryspun. My hands are happy. So the project is looking up... all I have left to do is the two sleeves and then block. YAYers...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Local Yarn Stores

When I was a new knitter I could not understand why anyone in their right mind would spend close to $100 on yarn to make a sweater when they could buy yarn at Michael's for a 1/3 of the cost. Two things happened during that transition period from new knitter to an intermediate beginner.

the first is I made my first sweater. It was out of lion brand fisherman wool that I hand dyed with koolaid. I thought I really knew something since I was making it out of wool. It was an Aran sweater with intricate cables and I pushed through it making the pattern which was on the ball band make more sense by writing it out completely on 5 pages of paper. I kept it up for around 7 months. Putting it down only for a moment. I brought it everywhere. Got compliments on how it was going. How talented I was.. yadda yadda... and then it came time to put the pieces together. I was lost. All the directions said were sew pieces together. Finish by blocking. What the heck did any of that mean? So I researched... and finally settled on using whip stitch (it was the only one I understood) and then I blocked it (by wetting it and pulling a lot then letting it dry on carpet). Finally the moment came it was dry and time to try it on! I put this itchy labor of love on and it looked horrifyingly bad. So I went to the boards and asked people what I did wrong. I showed pictures.. I was frantic. I didn't know how to fix it nor did I know what to make of the monstrosity I had spent so many hours on.

The second thing that happened was I walked into my first local yarn store and touched fiber that was what I consider at the time "snooty". That did not win me over. I didn't understand why the price. Why the local stores? What was the difference? I had to find out. So I purchased a cashmere wool cotton blend to make a pair of custom fit gloves for my then boyfriend and a pattern. The first thing I noticed was the yarn did not split. It actually made my hands happy and while the pattern was not that much of a challenge I was very excited about the results. (just a bit afraid to wash them). The first yarn shop I walked into did not have nice people. They did not look at me. They all sat at a table knitting. I thought it was weird. When I asked for help it seemed as if I was bothering them.

One thing a person has to understand that has not found their store is that like finding a shop that has the right pants cut a yarn store is the same. It has to fit your personal style. Some are cozy with helpful grandma like women, some have new and trendy things to look at, some will hook you with the excitement about knitting and will be eager to talk knitting and help you learn, some will be organized in interesting ways. 

When I finally brought up my courage after going through a lot of the wrong fits and found Mosaic Yarn Studio I was already a bit jaded. But from the first moment I walked in and was greeted like an old friend I knew this would be my new knitting home. I have loved the staff and the yarn selection for 5 years. I love that the store encourages learning and pushes for new skills. There is never a moment to be bored in the store. From the shop models (that everyone wants to purchase but can't) to the exciting pattern books and leaflets the entire store is exciting and fun. 

Now that I work there I have learned an unbelievable amount. Looking back I have learned a lot about my first sweater and how it could have gone better if I had found my local yarn store earlier. What is the largest difference about a Yarn store and a Michaels? The hands on passionate people that inspire you and help you create something beautiful and that will be wearable. A wearable work of art. You are only as good as your supplies and Mosaic gives you both the supplies and the know how to make your creations work. The best part? If you run into a snag the store will help you fix it, figure it out and you'll leave with knowledge.

I wish every knew knitter would not have to learn the hard way like I did. 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Project Madness

So I have been trying to figure out a way to not add to my stash. It's rough working in a yarn store with all of the pretty yarn everywhere. But I am trying to just add up what I spent from the first couple of weeks working there and pay myself back. I think I have 2 more pay checks and then um... I want to buy the entire store. 

I would list the projects 
I have but out of embarrassment I will only talk about what I am either finished with or currently working on. 

I am making for work a cardigan called the fan. I am using Bouton D'or's Songe (I know this means nothing) It's a beautiful lace weight yarn with a bit of a shine. 
 This is what the fan looks like in the book. I am using lace weight yarn with tiny needles. I keep trying to tell myself to focus on the finish line cause I am only on the third repeat of the fan pattern after two weeks of work.

For the fashion show at work we are making a lot of stuff from the one skein wonders. These patterns are quick and you learn some great new techniques. I have so far made the bunny blanket, the cross stitch scarf and I will be working on the cowl and eyelet cardi.  If you haven't checked out the one-skein wonders designer series you are missing out. Buy the book. You won't be sorry. If you want to see some examples of the patterns or see how things look in different colors stop by Mosaic Yarn Studio in Desplaines, IL. We can help you pick out yarn and show you what we found to be the most popular patterns. :)

I need to take more pictures....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Cool New Job!

I am working my dream job at Mosaic Yarn Studio! I am so excited to be working with fiber on a regular basis. 

We have some really neat events coming up like on June 20th we are having "Just get me started" class offered for free. You can learn to knit or crochet. The best part is we are having a sale on beginner books. Check out our website for more info if you are interested.

Also we are doing a fashion show for knitting on a budget on July 18th!!!! I got the yarn today for two of the projects. It is so friggin awesome. We are using a lot of the one-skein wonder books. It's 20 dollars (down from 25 last year) and we are serving wine and appetizers. 

I love my job. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bonnie and other knitting

I have been knitting and plarning. I took a wee break for about 2 weeks and got out of the habit of updating my site. (slaps wrist). 

To date my ufo's are beginning to take over my life since I am now working in a yarn store. Whoo my dream job! And yes it is as awesome as it sounds.

I am currently making a cardigan out of Encore worsted, a shop model tank top with Haze (a very cool yarn made from corn and cotton) and 1 knitted plarn bag made from Barns and Noble bags and trash bags that were the wrong kind and just sitting around looking at me.

My projects that are waiting to get on the needles are a necklace made from 101 designs one skein wonders (if you haven't checked this book out.. look at it. It friggin rocks), a beautiful pink yarn that is stripped with several different pink shades (it makes me happy to look at) and Elizabeth Zimmerman's Butterfly shrug made in green. So yeah I have been busy. 

I have finished knitting Bonnie's (my bunny stuffed animal from build a bear that I sleep with. Yeah that's right I sleep with a stuffed animal..) business suite. Here are some pictures of her looking all sassy.
The buttons are little sheep. :) I love how this turned out. Plus because it was so small it wasn't intimidating to experiment with. Bonnie will have a lot more clothing in the future. Right now I can't stop staring at her and telling her how awesome she looks. :D

Thursday, February 19, 2009

WIP the never ending pile

I am making a great dent in my plarn (a new term coined by someone else and it's all over the internet about plastic yarn). My drapes are looking good. :) I have people collecting bags for me as I run low.

I am planning on starting to refurbish another drawer Saturday. I need to take a picture of what the drawer looks like put into the dresser. It's kinda crazy how much more ugly the dresser's original state looks next to the beautiful natural wood.

I have to take a moment to brag about my latest purchase, The Wonder Wash from http/ I got the mini dryer as well and now my bathroom is used for more then just cleaning bodies. This washer and dryer gets my clothing cleaner then when I send it out to the "laundry lady" that charges a dollar a pound and cleaner then the Laundromat I used to take my clothing to. It is unbelievable how dry the clothing comes out from the spin dryer. I love this contraption. 2 loads of laundry in 51 minutes including drying? That is rock star cool. Plus the washer doesn't use electricity and uses very little water. It's right up my green alley! 

My roommate and I have agreed to start "You On A Diet". It should be interesting. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have some finished objects to brag about!!!

Remember the drawer I was refurbishing?
Tada! Here it is completely sanded, cleaned and finished. As you can see I took off the middle piece and it actually looks more beautiful.

This is a bath mat I made a while ago and finally got around to putting the boarder on. The tile is hideous but the bath mat makes me happy. So I can finally check off bathroom redecoration.

I finished my winding plastic bags into a ball to knit with. Here is a picture of all my bags.
Here's the ball that has been made from all those insanely annoying plastic bags!!! 
I can't wait to make this into my curtains. 

Monday, February 9, 2009

DIY: Make Old New!

I have been trying to figure out what I can use at home to make the things I need. For example I really want to get curtains to cover my closet. The doors came off a long time ago because they kept getting stuck... but now I am stuck with looking into a messy closet all the time. 

My roommate and I keep all of the plastic bags we get. It's turned out to be an insane number and taking up valuable space. I am currently making strips out of the bags using the "peel like an orange method" which basically is cutting off the loops and the bottom and making it into a cylinder then cutting it in the round like you would peel an orange. It's great because it reduces the amount of tying. I can't decide if I want to bead it or just leave it as is....

I am also thinking about making a backpack for school. I do have a ton of fabric from when I thought I was going to be a quilter but I just never had the passion for it that I do for knitting. I was thinking I could still make something but since Marty is going to be moving in soon.. I don't think he'd appreciate anything pink. So yes backpack may be the answer.

I also have a bunch of mugs I don't use and I have been interested in mosaics... The mugs would be perfect to break into little pieces. But the question is... what would I make then?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sick, advances, and setbacks

I have this horrible cold. I lost my voice (which is like a nightmare because I LOVE to talk) and I've just had a general feeling of being out of it. It has unfortunately gotten in the way of me finishing my first drawer. But it's all ready to be sanded and put the finishing coats on. 

I went to the hardware store and got myself a fancy mask and some goggles. I have been having trouble with the fumes from the nailpolish remover mixed with whatever the heck it is I am scraping off.

I finished my scarf and I am in love with it. I will have pictures soon. I know how much more exciting entries are with pictures.

The marty is about 1/2 way done. It's actually really exciting because at least now I know it won't be cheesy.

I bought some really gorgeous yarn at my LYS but I feel weird designing with it. Since I am going to go though a huge learning curve I almost feel like it's a shame to waste such pretty yarn on what could turn into a horror. So now I am stuck again. Do I buy cheap stuff and practice? Or do I make something I'll actually wear but potentially mess it up? It's weirdly a lot of pressure. 

I'm thinking about taking on the Shred challenge. By Jillian Michaels. Maybe I'll wait and see.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

I am still experimenting with my icorded yarn to see what I want this scarf to look like.

The drawer is ready to be lightly sanded and have finish put on. Now I just need a nice day out so I can keep the windows open for 2 hours while it's drying. I think after working an hour and a half on it today I will try to finish it tomorrow. 

I went to my LYS and went a little bit yarn crazy. I have a crush on my two kinds of yarn I bought and I totally went outside of my comfort zone for colors. I am really proud of myself. 

I like Elizabeth Zimmerman's approach. Let the yarn dictate the pattern not the other way around. So I am armed with books, supplies and a rough sketch. Nothing left but to take a big deep breath and dive in.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

drawer drama

I realize I was a little bit over zealous thinking I could finish the drawer by my next post. To date I have finished getting the gunk off and now need to do a little bit of detail work. I decided to ditch the fancy brass keyhole middle for the drawer. Once I pried it off the dresser became that much more beautiful. 

I keep eyeing it when I pass my work station in wonderment that I did that. 

Progress on the scarf is slow. I had to frog it because my twists were causing the scarf to actually twist up onto itself. I have a new idea but I am still icording away. 

I am going to be visiting my LYS today. I have an idea in my head for a bed jacket with a hood and removable ear warmers. We'll see. I need to start sketching. Don't worry pictures to come soon!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am nearly done with my first dresser and I stopped by the hardware store. The Crafty Beaver (I know I laughed at the name the first time I heard it too) is wonderful! The sales guy knew exactly what I needed and advised me. 

Tomorrow I hope to finish stripping the dresser drawer and put on the finish!!! I am so excited. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project madness

I have made some progress on my projects. I went a little picture crazy. 

First up is my refurbishing. The only way to explain how hideous the bed set is would be to walk around my room. The next best thing of course is a picture. I have 3 pieces in this set but since the dresser was the one easiest to photograph I decided to go with it. Please disregard Bonnie the Bunny She begged to be pictured... who could say no to something so cuddly? 

I don't know if the picture properly shows it but the paint is a light peach with some scary peach highlights. This was the best one I could get due to lighting difficulties. Don't worry. You are not imagining things the right drawer is taken out and is currently being stripped.

This is currently my work station. See that beautiful wood underneath the paint!! I know. I was excited too. But that's not the best part. The ornate parts of the dresser are also a beautiful brass.
As you can see the left knob has not been cleaned of grossness but the right one has. OMG this is going to be so beautiful!
I could resist adding this detail from the drawer I am working on. It's different and neat. I can't wait to see what it will look like without all that gunk ahem.. I mean paint on it.

My next project is taking shape. I felt the need to be creative. I wanted to make a scarf that screamed to the world I AM NOT VANILLA I CAN BE RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE RUM! Ok I realize that would be a nasty combo and it is not the name of my new knitting project. So without further ado.. 
I took this ball and turned it into
I cord. I did some google searching to find out if anyone else had this bright idea and what they came up with. Unfortunately I did not like anything I found. I searched my pattern books tried a few things but I kept thinking how much I wanted something twisty. 

My WIP. I know the picture isn't the clearest but you get the general idea. Don't worry much more updates to come!!! 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Where Did She Go?

Hiya everyone,

I took a little break from knitting because of summer and then well.. I just got lazy. 

I am currently working on three projects that I am pretty excited about. I am breaking my own rule of not doing more than one project at a time. I unfortunately do not have pictures and I am kicking myself in the butt for that. 

Project 1: Knit a hat and scarf combo that will be fashionable and actually cover my ears/ keep me warm. I have been using yarn from my stash. So far the hat is perfect and I am working on the scarf. 

Project 2: Crochet a blanket. I decided to go back to my roots of fiber work and crochet. The blanket is stripped with brown, tope, and forest green. The inspiration for it came from my boyfriend. He seems to have an unnatural obsession with stripes. So I have dubbed this project "The Marty". I plan to make matching pillows and have this be a bed spread.

Project 3: Refurbishing my bedroom furniture. For some crazy ass reason my mom decided a long time ago that she would make her bedroom peach and cover the beautiful wood dresser, night-stand and upright dresser with peach paint and peach accents. It's horrible. I have lived with this furniture since I was about 12 years old. I have always wanted to change it but thought it would be too big of an undertaking. Well it's 6mo until moving in time with the boyfriend and I have decided the peach has got to go! I am about 1/2 way done with one dresser drawer. I've been using nail polish remover and a tooth brush to get the yuck off. It's been working great. I will never understand peoples need to paint wood...

Project 4: Organize and reduce clutter. This is a mini project. It actually is taking a lot more time then I thought it would and I am getting a bit tired of it. My room alone is on day 4 of organizing and I'm ready to pull my hair out. I am dreaming of the day when it's all done and I can just sit in bed and read/ knit...

So those are my three and one mini currently working on projects. I want to update more frequently and post pictures. I love reading blogs and the more I read them the more I want to update my own. Perhaps it will stimulate my creative juices. :)