My Life According to Me

This blog is about the happenings in my world.

New stuff July 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 8:21 PM

So, a few weeks ago I got a Knit Picks catalog in the mail. Let me just say all the spring and summer yarns and kits are exceptionally yummy this year. They have three pretty lace shawl kits right now. I fell in love with the Seasons Shawl – Fall/Winter. The pattern is so pretty and the yarns are beautiful. I had to order it.

I told you it was yummy! Totally worth the money. I ordered two of them! I’m taking the second kit to mom this weekend. We are going to have a yarn cake party. I also ordered some cute sock yarn. Felici Sport Striping sock yarn in the Sorcery colorway.

This should make some really cute socks! I’ll have to look through my toe up sock book to find a pattern that is worth of this yarn. Shouldn’t be too hard, the book is full of beautiful patterns. I’m sure I can find one that strikes my fancy.

We are now two and a half weeks away from our Colorado vacation. I’m super excited. I have my cabin knitting project, the Fall/Winter shawl and socks (I have LOTS of sock yarn). I have some reading material if I get tired of knitting. I have some beautiful fiber on the way to spin. I even have my packing list.

This evening I finished up my black French Press slippers and got them felted. I think they are going to look real cute once I get the straps and buttons sewn on. I’ll post a picture when they are dry and finished. Cute house slippers are a must for a cabin vacation.

 

Catching up random style July 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 6:30 PM

We had an excellent 4th of July. Lots of fireworks and yummy food! My mother-in-law got a firework permit for us to pop our fireworks at her house, she also cooked a wonderful dinner and invited my parents over to partake in the festivities. It was a lot of fun.

During the day Hubby tried to dig a hole to China with black cats.

The result of the quality time we spent with the fine folks at the firework warehouse.

Some of my fireworks. I like the kid friendly fountains and sparklers.

I also managed to finish a toe up sock. The pattern is from Wendy Knit’s blog and the yarn is Knitpicks Stroll Handpainted sock yarn in the make believe colorway.

And I started the second sock.

Now for the random portion of the blog.

1. I went to my 10 year high school reunion last month. Out of 15 graduates 5 made it to the reunion. I was the only girl.

2. While in Texas we also met up with my childhood friends Ryan and Michelle. We all literally grew up together. And here we are all grown up and stuffs.

3. We also drove by the house my parents had built when I was little.

4. I read several books between last post and this one.

5. I decided to rip out my Rick sock and reuse the yarn for some basic toe up socks and use different yarn for the Rick pattern. I think the pattern will pop better in a more solid color yarn.

6. My new camera takes really good pictures. Especially of flowers.

7. I ordered two new shawl kits (one for me and one for mom) and some sock yarn from knitpicks. The order should be here next Wednesday. YAY!

8. I did some clearance shopping at Old Navy this evening. I walked away with some cute jammie pants, a t-shirt, and a super cute cardigan. I love clearance shopping!

9. We saw the following movies:

- Prince of Persia = very good movie

- Eclipse = it was okay….the book was better

- The Last Airbender = it was pretty good (the cartoons are pretty good too)

 

When one project ends, another begins June 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 5:50 PM

As my title indicates I finished a project this past week. I completed a triangle shawl. The yarn is Regia Hand-effect sock yarn. The pattern is a simple pattern I came up with on my own, though I am sure one could search on the net and find others just like it. I knit it up on size 7 needles.

A nice little shoulder shawl. With the end of this shawl, I decided to start a laceĀ  stole. The pattern is from the Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010 magazine. I’m using some knitpicks lace from my lace stash.

I’m also making progress on my Rick sock from Sock Innovation.

We did some grilling this weekend. Yummy lemon garlic chicken!

 

Respect the Spindle June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 8:12 PM

I am now the proud owner of the most wonderful DVD. Respect the Spindle the Video is a treasure trove of spindle spinning information. The DVD compliments the Respect the Spindle book by Abby Franquemont. This instructional DVD is extremely well done.

Abby does a wonderful job explaining all aspects of spinning. Starting with the technical side of spinning and the fiber. She talks about making a spindle out of anything. She also demonstrates many techniques to help you get the most out of your spindle. After watching the DVD once all the way through, I feel more confident that I will be able to actually spin yarn.

What I learned, is that when I was first starting to spin my approach was wrong. I was drafting the fiber and then spinning the spindle. Resulting in the following:

Fairly lumpy inconsistent yarn. The way Abby explains spinning and watching her spin is so helpful. The way she explained the park and draft method of spinning made everything click for me. She described it as collecting twists and then parking the spindle and letting the twist travel up the fiber while drafting it. It made so much more sense the way she explained it, I had to go and apply what I learned.

I was able to get a little more consistency and a thinner single. The DVD was worth every penny! I am so glad that I bought Respect the Spindle. Another thing about the DVD that I like is that Abby talks a little bit about the history of spinning and drop spindles. Abby says that if you practice a little each day, about 30 mins or so, after a few weeks you will get to where you can do the drafting as the spindle is spinning.

I am now more excited about spinning. At first I was feeling like I was never going to be able to spin. After watching the DVD I have more spinning confidence, and am ready to really take on the challenge!

 

Spindle on my mind June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 7:34 PM

My first attempt at the drop spindle was not as successful as I had hoped it would be. The yarn was very inconsistent and I experienced difficulties with the spindle. My very first instinct was to blame the spindle. I resisted the temptation to blame my first spindle. I figured everyone’s first yarn was this lumpy and pitiful looking.

I decided to consult my fellow knitters and ravelry addicts. I joined a couple spinning groups, one group specifically for drop spindles and a group for beginning spinners. Both groups said the same thing, it’s probably the spindle. The problem was that I was having to physically twist the spindle with one hand and then park it between my knees to draft more fiber and then pick it back up. The whole process was extremely awkward. The spindle was a cheaper one that could easily be recreated with parts from walmart, and it was very light.

The solution…….buy a better quality spindle. And that is exactly what I did. I went to Etsy and found a wonderful spindle. Hand crafted with love and tested for spinning quality. If you are on Etsy stop by Dragoncraft’s shop, she creates some of the most beautiful spindles! I had to have this one!

It is absolutely beautiful, and sparkly, and pink!

It has a very nice weight on it. And let me tell you, it spins wonderfully. I could give it a nice little spin and work the fiber with both hands. This makes for a much less awkward time. I still experienced some inconsistency issues, but they were not near as dramatic as my first spindle was.

Dragoncraft also sends some fiber with your spindle purchase ready for spinning right out of the box. She also sent along a wonderful pamphlet from Interweave on getting started with the drop spindle. It was very helpful!

So apparently Etsy is a wonderful place where you can buy handcrafted items. The knitting and fiber related stuff is just so fun to browse. I could spend hours browsing this site. (personal experience)

I also found a lot of fiber artist selling hand dyed and hand painted wool rovings ready for spinning. Beautiful stuff! I found this one shop that offered 20 different colors of wool roving, a total of 5oz all together. I saw this and instantly thought this would be great for learning to spin on! The price was great! This would also prevent me from getting bored with one color of fiber. Plus I will be able to try plying with all this fiber as well.

In knitting news, I’m working on another sock from the Sock Innovation book.

The pattern is Rick and the yarn is Stroll Handpainted sock yarn from KnitPicks in the Cartoon colorway. It’s a little hard on the eyes close up, but the pattern is going to turn out so good once the socks are completed. I love this particular yarn and all the colors in it!

Now that the summer time is here, our schedules are starting to get busy. This weekend we are heading down to Texas for my 10 year high school reunion. I can’t believe it’s actually been 10 years already. It just does not feel like I have been gone that long. I’ll have more to write on this particular topic and pictures (I got a new camera this week just in time for the occasion) next week. We are also planning a vacation in Colorado with hubby’s family in August. I expect to take a ton of pictures there!

Hopefully next week I will have some more progress pictures of my knitting. Until then…..Happy Knitting!

 

Look what I got May 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 5:48 PM

A month or so ago I gave into the tempting new spring yarns at knitpicks. The stroll tonal sock yarns were just too much to resist. I’m only human! And now I am a human with pretty pretty sock yarns and a new sock book!

Lets take a closer look, shall we?

Stroll Handpainted Sock yarn in the Cartoons colorway:

Stroll Tonal Sock yarn in the Gypsy colorway:

Stroll Tonal Sock yarn in the Canopy colorway:

Stroll Tonal Sock yarn in the Royalty colorway:

These yarns are so much more beautiful in person. I also picked up another US2 circular needle (it’s next to impossible to only knit one sock pattern at a time, trust me) and I got Wendy Johnson’s “Socks from the Toe up” book.

This book has a bunch of wonderful patterns! I can’t wait to start knitting on them!

I’ve also done some more spinning, it’s turning out to be a long slow process. I’ve decided to invest in a little better quality spindle that I ordered today. It’s a very pretty pink top whorl drop spindle. If you are Etsy.com check out Dragoncraft’s shop….she makes some beautiful spindles! I also plan on ordering a 20 color sampling of roving on Etsy to practice my spinning. I figure I should start with some reasonably priced fiber to spin while I am learning.

The issue with the spindle I have now is it’s so light I have to literally hand spin the spindle to twist the fibers and then hold the spindle between my knees and draft more fiber. The new spindle will be heavier and will be better able to spin while I draft, that’s the theory anyway. I’m still new and learning about all this. I plan to pick up a DVD called Respect the Spindle that is supposed to be an excellent source to learn to spin on a drop spindle.

In knitting news, I’ve been working on shawl. I wanted a basic lacy shawl to throw over my shoulders when it gets chilly in a room. I’m always cold so it seems like a good idea to knit up. The yarn is knitting up beautifully. I love how the stripes are coming on it. It’s a basic pattern that I just kind of threw together. I didn’t want anything too complex.

It should turn out to be a nice little shoulder shawl once I block it.

I also started another pair of socks from the Sock Innovation book using the Cartoons sock yarn. However, I ran into a little issue. I started the sock on Us2 needles, however I am going to have to rip that and start again on US3s. This sock only has 60 stitches and therefore is a smaller sock. Translation – I couldn’t fit the stupid sock on my huge foot! It’s not a total loss of time though. I only had a few repeats of the leg chart. I’ll get it back in no time. I didn’t get any pictures, but I assure you the sock is going to look extra awesome once it is completed!

~~Happy Knitting~~

 

Drop Spindle Spinning May 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 7:01 AM

I gave spinning my first shot last night. It feels a little awkward right now, and my yarn is turning out fairly lumpy. But it looks to be lining up with the pictures of other peoples first hand spun yarn. My hope is that it will get better as I continue to work at it.

Spinning day 1:

 

 
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