Category Archives: Gifts/Swap/RAK

OMG! NO you didn’t!(Yes, they did!) :)

It has been said many a time, but it bears repeating: Knitters/fiber crafters are some of the most caring, and generous people I’ve ever met. If you asked me how to spell the word ‘friend’ it’s kklmstv(each letter is a seperate link). Those are the first letters of the names of some very special people. The people who gave me THIS for my birthday!!:

OMG!! They really did it! I’m floored. I know I mentioned my wanting to get a set of the Harmony needles to replace the bamboo needles whose cords annoy the hell out of me. But I never expected anyone to actually get it for me. They all went in and did the knittyest thing! I got this hilarious card too:


Karen came up with a clever way to display all the names: It broke my heart. 🙂

I know I looked a fool dancing and giggling in the street, but girls, consider yourselves hugged tight! I don’t know what to say, Thank you is not enough.

My poor brain was aswim with ways to start NEW projects, but I’d been neglecting Icarus(stay tuned for a new podcast discussing my knitting disaster!), so I simply transfered it to my new needles! I’m using the size 5US tips and the 32″ cord. I do intend to get longer cords and some of the metal tips, but for now I’m in needle heaven!

This is the needle in Icarus. You’re looking at the purl side.

That’s it for today. The earth has made yet another revolution for me today, and I’m gonna chill out as much as possible!

To everyone sending me birthday wishes, Thank you! I love ya!


She shops.. she SCORES!

That, I most certainly did.

Yesterday, Karen and Tania and I set out to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival (Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival)l and had some good fun.

NJsheepwool 001

We landed here a little before noon, I think. I was operating on 3 hours! of sleep so forgive any errors. 😉 There were the usual staples; fiber vendors selling all manner of sheep, alpaca, rabbit and yak(fiber and livestock in some cases!); food vendors(not so much actually), and ready-made knit and woven crafts, as well as sheepherding demos and fleece and skein contests.

I’ve got a scad of pics for you right here(I know that’s what you really want 😉 ).

The other highlights of the festival were spinning on a Majacraft Little Suzie( that girl can GO!) and this: a little video I took of some ducks.

What I really wanna tell you is about that set of Denise Needles you see in the flickr set.

SCORE!! dude score!

The girls and I had heard about a lady not too far from the fairgrounds selling out her shop from her home. We did our deeds at the festival and ran straight for it. All kinds of yarny goodness, a bit of fiber(though nothing out of the ordinary–there was even an old Louet wheel!), a stack of back issues of Interweave Knit or Crochet, Knit Simple, you name it, and other non-craft related items..
And then I saw it… The Denise set. I looked in and at a glance all that seemed to be missing was the end caps and upon futher inspection(like, this morning? lol) I noticed the stitch holders are gone but damn if I didn’t get a hot deal.. All this for the sum of $3.50USD!!! Yes, you read that right. Mind you, the kind lady quoted it at a $1 but even I felt cheap too go for that so I offered $5 and we settled on $3.50!! I still can’t believe it! Granted, in the past I have mentioned that I wasn’t too thrilled with the Denise set but, I still have the long 50″ cord and right now the KP Options sets are just not in my budget right now. Maybe next year.

I was on a tight budget for this trip(it was last minute so that kept me from really binge shopping), but still managed to come home with some treats. Karen, ever so generous, had brought a box down with her and I got to take home the fibery goodies you see in the picture set. Go look! 😀

I’m gonna go play with it right now. See ya!

Happy Birthday! And FO’s!!

No, it’s not my birthday. But my little fuzzy cuddlies are 2 years old today.

Birthday Hammies

Three sons and one daughter from the pair I had, Batman and Catwoman. Sadly, they and their father are all that remain. Mom and their sibs all passed away. I love me my hammies. I didn’t even know Catwoman was expecting until hubby woke me up and said, “Is it too soon to call you ‘Gramma’?” I jumped up, peeked in her cage; there were 9 little pink thingies in her nest and she was off looking for food. I wanted to ring his neck, I swear. But it’s all good now. 🙂

I have some FOs and a new WIP for you. You like that, huh? 😉

First up:
gradient PurlBump scarf

I know, It’s not blocked. I’ll get around to that. I promise. There may even be a pic with someone WEARING it. *Groucho eyebrow*. I was winging this as I went, with the dyeing. I tried my hand at the gradual immersion technique and well, I don’t know if I like it. I tried adding the whole thing and pulling some out over time so that it would be various shades.. Then I tried adding just the end and putting more in over time.. I really don’t think it matters much. I simply didn’t get enough shade changes. Maybe it was the fact that I used Wiltons, maybe it was because it’s blue. At least I got to use my handspun! 🙂
Pattern:”PurlBump” scarf
Yarn: Handspun SheepShed- Brown Sheep mill ends in ecru/undyed
Needle: US 9(5.5?mm) Bryspun circular
Started Aug.7, 2007
Finished Aug. 9, 2007

I think this is the fastest I’ve finished a scarf. Woo!

Then there’s:
VLTdyed 001

This is the Victorian Lace Today scarf I’d been working on the past week. The book states you should work the border 4 times but I only did it 3 and had to work out the numbers to pick up the right number of stitches for the center panel. It worked out easily. This is the first time I’ve knit something with this type of construction; knitting a border, turning it sideways to pick up stitches, knitting up from there, and then knitting-on the second border. I need to do more of these! I don’t know how the hell I’ll block this thing; it’s bigger than my blocking board.. *sigh*
Pattern: Scarf with open and solid diamond lace edging from Weldon’s, 1904, from Victorian Lace Today
Yarn: KnitPicks Bare Laceweight(which I dyed pink-ish with Wild Berry Tea Kool Aid)
Needle: Inox Express 4.5mm(US 7)
Started: Aug. 3, 2007
Finished: Aug. 11, 2007(including dyeing)

But wait, there’s more! I’ve got a new lace WIP going as well(did you really think I wouldn’t? 😉 )

sagitarria shawl 002
Sagittaria Shawl

Another Ravelry find. I love that place. Worry not if you haven’t received your invite yet, it’s coming!!

This pattern is woooo… Let me tell ya. Valerie referred to it as ‘Icarus(shawl) with a kick’. She wasn’t lying; this bad boy was kickin’ my ass! Look at the charts and you’ll see what I mean. I had to do some serious marking to get Chart 2 to work to my advantage. Once I got a feeling for the pattern repeat, I simply marked off the sidelines with the number of stitches left after you’ve done the right number of repeats. So far, it’s paid off; just a missing stitch from a dropped YO but that’s easily fixable. I’m not complaining though. Sagitarria’s going to be a knock-out!

It may seem like I’ve been cheating by knitting with Bare and then dying. But sometimes I just don’t know what color I want the FO to be until I’m done with it. I still have yet to take some of my handspun and make a lace shawl. I’m still hoping to get that done before the year is out. My spinning whims are all over the map lately. I’m still working on the black stuff so there’s nothing new to say about that.

And for all the crafting moms out there, a moment to brag about SugarBoogers:

Beanlet Giftwrap

And in the wrapping?
Beanlet Gift

Littlest Bean is enjoying a short break for what’s left of summer, and then it’s back to the grind for her(and all of them 😉 ). She’s improved in her speech some, and her vocabulary is soaring! I’m so proud of my little Beanlet. Hee.

So, that’s it for this post. Happy Sunday!

BeanKnits and Spins podcast is on hiatus until it’s quiet in the house AND I’m awake.. at the a same time. 😉 (school starts)

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

There I go messin with stuff and trying to be cute again..

I called myself customizing the Pi shawl from EZ’s Knitter’s Almanac. The pattern in the book isn’t bad, but I figured I’d try my hand at ‘re-designing’ it by replacing the stitch patterns there with something else. I rummaged through my Treasury of Knitting Patterns, book 1, by Barbara Walker for something different and yet not too difficult. The pattern had to have an intermittent row of purls, since the shawl would be in the round. That narrowed it down some, with most of the remaining contenders being some variation or another of what’s in the EZ book.

Then the task was to find something that would jibe with the current stitch count of 288 without too many left over stitches. I figured I’d just make sure that edge was the part that got folded over when I wore it. I thought I’d found something and set to work.. After a while I started doubting my choice.. not because it was a 44 row repeat, but because it just seemed too.. loose. Yes, I know lace is supposed to have holes but these just didn’t seem right. I kept on. after about 22 rows in I decided to spread it out and take a look. Sure enough, it wasn’t going to show well even after blocking.. The needle I was using, a size 4.5mm, was too big for the laceweight and this design. I wasn’t about to knit the whole thing on 3.25mm’s, especially if I had to rip the whole thing.. and I didn’t think the shawl would look right with part of the thing done on 3’s and the rest done on 7s. *sigh*

This is all there was after I took out the needle:
disaster strikes!

A little over 15 inches wide. I’d actually missed the part where I COULD have started using the EZ pattern suggestion but I didn’t to do that so I didn’t rip back to pick up where it would start. So, it’s all a ball of yarn again. At least I used a lifeline.

But all is not turmoil, for yesterday I received a nice morsel of knitting goodness. Cristi sent me some Socka solids!! ThangQ Cristi!!

Socka!! Solids!!

I wanna jump in that burgundy first, it’s so nice.

I have quite a bit of yarn similar to this already but it’s this boring oatmeal beige. I could dye it but since it’s not a plain white the colors will be muted. I will still dye those up someday though..

So, I can eagerly get to planning for all those cool sock patterns that call for solid yarns..

All in all the week wasn’t too bad.. I have other WIPs so maybe I should just concentrate on them for a spell..

Caught in the Knitty-jar…

I’m trying to remember the last time I had two patterns from the same source going at one time. I’m drawing a big blank.

There’s the bmp socks, and now I’ve added the Daisy sweater.

daisy1wip 001

A close-up:
daisy1wip 003

So far, so good, though I was off to a bit of a rocky start.. (what is it with rocky starts, lately?).
I swatched on two needles before I gave up and decided to just go for it. With a smaller needle even. Thankfully, it’s a flat work because I don’t know if I could hack a 16″ needle in the round. But that means knitting backwards for a firmer, more consistent fabric, which luckily isn’t killing my hands with it being made of cotton and all.

This is the first of two of these, for a former supervisor’s(she’s still there, I quit) twins which are yet to be born. The other one will be lavender. I don’t know the sex of the babies so I’d rather use neutral colors than to wait and see what they are and THEN pick colors.

It’s been 11 years since I last worked on a baby sweater/clothing. Back then, I’d crocheted an ensemble consisting of a blanket, hat and a one-piece pantsuit. My daughter was 6 lbs and the pantsuit was STILL too small. I was heartbroken. I’d worked so hard on it and there were errors in the pattern on top of it.

Fast forward 7 years, to 2004. I picked out a bunch of layette patterns to crochet something for my best friend who was expecting her first child. I hemmed and hawed at the possibility of screwing this up too.. I was also working on a gigantic granny square blanket for her, but sadly the blanket was all that got finished. So it is with trepidation that I begin these sweaters.

Wish me luck!

Miss me?

I’m back got dammit. Hurt up and recovering but back. Just give me a little time. Surgery went well, and according to the doctor, everything in question is benign! I did lose some blood, and being anemic just makes that worse, but nothing along the lines of needing a transfusion.

Spinning by wheel(my preferred method) is still out for a bit so I might have to feed my crafting insanity with some new crochet(yeah, you read that right!) projects. I am also stewing up some sewing, though not a whole lot, as I don’t have a huge fabric stash (yet 😉 ) and pressing the pedal is tantamount to treadling a wheel. At least when I need to rest I can stitch or hook away while sitting up in bed–no feet needed.

The Gift of Friendship is truly that, as while I was recuperating in the hospital I got some lovely and exciting gifts from knitting friends. Among them were a beautiful bouquet of flowers(damn, why didn’t I take a pic!?) and “Teach Yourself Visually… Handspinning”! Thank you ladies, so much for your generosity and kindness. You made my heart smile! I’ve browsed the book and will do a more involved review in a future post.

I did manage to eek out a dress before going into the hospital:

wrap dress 003

This is my rendition of the One-seam Convertible dress, as found here. Keep in mind it’s not HER pattern but rather her interpretation of such type of dress and showing us how we can make our own. ThangQ Rowena!!
It’s been a long time since I sewed clothing for myself and after seeing the many dresses made from her tutorial I had to give it a shot. I cut my head out of the pic because I was tired and deranged looking.

The dress(or rather my skills in making this dress) need improvement. I’ve since picked up some tips on how to get better coverage for an undergarment, and I also learned a little more about fabric stretch and how it can really fark up a pattern 🙂 I had another RagShop coupon to use so I just grabbed what I liked. I need to slow down next time I go fabric shopping.

As for knitting, speaking of the Gift of Friendship, I took the scarf with me so I could work on it while in my hospital room. No, I’m not crazy taking lace to work on while on strong pain meds; the pattern is easy enough to remember that you can tell when you are in the repeats so as not to make a mistake. I spent more time zonked out than knitting anyway, but managed to put some miles on it, so it’s definitely longer than the last time you saw it. I probably won’t photograph it again for the blog until it’s done.

In the meantime, I’m also making progress on another pair of plain socks. Gotta use up that stash! Koigu PPPM in a color I don’t remember. Bought this way back in 2005 when I was full of that shop called Purl. I tried knitting something with it before, so I’ve since lost the ball band. (I need to stop DOING that!).

Well that’s it for this one. On with recovery!

ETA: OMG these pain meds must be better than I thought! Where’s my brain? To all the blogging, crafting moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!(US)

Goody Two-Knits

Been busy this past week or so. I will just get to the point pictures.


The Quilted Lattice Socks, in use. It’s not often you’ll see an FO ON me, or in use. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s time for a change. I like how they fit snug in the shoe so I don’t go slipping around. And the clogs were so cheap it wasn’t funny. I had to have them. Bring on Spring!


I ripped the Sheri’s Lace sock and restarted a size down. These are knit on 66 stitches and were way too big for me. I might have wide feet but not THAT wide. As usual I’m exchanging heels. The pattern calls for a heel flap get-em-up and I’m not all that fond of that. I prefer either a short row heel or an afterthought heel, and with the more precise customizability of an afterthought heel I’m liking it even more.

This past weekend I got the pleasure of meeting up with Bezzie, Stephie, Erica, and several other Knitties at the Point to kick off a yarn crawl. We sat, sipped, nibbled, knit and chatted; while there Karen gave me this:


Cotton/silk fiber to spin, and some luscious teas to drink: Chocolate Chai(WhyTF doesn’t my local market sell this Celestial Seasonings? They sell every other *uckin flavor!), and oh-my-stomach-gasmic Key Lime Colada!! I haven’t used any of it because for days, I can’t seem to make up my mind WHICH one to drink first! Decisions, decisions. ThangQ K!

Just to show you I haven’t stopped spinning(did you really think I did?), here’s a pic of the rest of the SheepShedStudio white roving, in various stages of completion:


I’ve already 2-plied some and I have a little left on another bobbin, plus that full bobbin you see there. I plan on spinning the rest onto that last bobbin and 2-plying that too. Then perhaps I’ll dye it some wild colors!

Not to be forgotten is the Merino/Tencel blend I received a bit ago:


Navajo plied of course. I promise I will measure these. I just got my yarn meter in the mail last week and unfortunately it’s not meant for me to measure straight onto a niddy-noddy(dammit!) so I need a wingnut(butterfly nut?) to secure my ballwinder to the table and do the swift and ballwinder thing. Then I have to turn around and wind it BACK into a hank for storage. Ah well, it beats trying to count the strands of yarn and then being distracted and having to start allll over again. You don’t know how often that happens here!

Worry not, I’m still working on that video of me spinning. It’s a-comin!