Monday, April 16, 2012

More springtime flowers.


Although I originally set out to write a post about a pair of mittens I knit up last winter, while going through my photos I stumbled across several more photos I took of the flowers that have been cropping up.  Anyway, I figured I'd just go ahead and make another flower post while some of these guys are still in bloom. The wisteria's gone, and the roses are a little less intense, but the azaleas are going strong and I may be taking some photos of the violets and rhododendrons rather soon.

This is the best picture I have of this year's wisteria blossoms. It was a little overcast, and many of the photos came out too shadowy.

...more pictures after the break.
Read more!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Has Sprung. Ish.

It's been kind of a weird winter/spring combo. The winter in GA was REALLY mild-- I hardly wore anything more than a long sleeved shirt and jacket when going outside. Now, many of the plants are blooming and sprouting leaves at the same time, which is a tad unusual. The only tree that seems to know what's going on are the dogwoods. Anyhoo, some of the plants are so pretty, and the weather has been so nice, so yesterday I decided to take a few photos. Here they are.

Here are some pictures I took of the little red dogwood.

And a few of the texas roses we have growing. No, not real roses, but still very pretty.

A bebeh peach!

A close-up shot of blueberry flowers.

The Kwanzan flowering cherry. It has double blooms. One of my favourite ornamental flowering trees.

....and that's that. Sorry for the picture bombing; I'm going to go read up on the HTML for hiding posts soon.


Read more!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

From Coat to Rug.

Hey, look!

It's me again!

So, I still make stuff, but when it comes to the world of the internet I'm a lazy mofo. Oh, I'll save and print out patterns and tutorials to knit/crochet/nalbind*/sew/etc. with. I'll even take pictures with my digital camera, and sometimes I'll upload them to the computer.

That is the extent of my online efforts, usually.

However, today I'm really excited, because this past winter I bought a big wool coat from a thrift store that has a 10 dollars per basket deal. The pattern was super pretty, but the coat itself was fugly. On top of that, it was a size 1X, so even if the cut wasn't outdated and unnactractive, it wouldn't have fit anyone in my family. So, I decided to carefully undo all the seams, remove the lining and interfacing, then cut the cloth into roughly 1 inch strips, salvaging as much material as possible so I could turn it into a rug.

So far I've made one toothbrush rug (a form of nalbinding) in the past, That one was made from some old queen-size bed sheets and I gave that to my parents for their bedroom. It's been holding up really nicely, and gone through two washing like a champ. I used this tutorial on toothbrush rugs my mother and I found while killing time on the internet. It gives guidelines rather than explicit instructions, but the videos are very clear and explained throughout. Both rugs I've made were ovals, and I increased in all four corners on each round in order to expand the ovals and make them lie flat.

Now for the part everybody has been waiting for...

Ta-da! It's only 23 inches width-wise and 28 inches length-wise, but when you think it came from and old coat that's not too shabby. Right now it's in the living room, at the foot of a rocker. It's super squooshy.

Isn't it lovely? The coat had a plaid of blue, red, and mustard yellow. The colours all blend together beautifully as a rug.




I love how I made something pretty and functional out of something gotten for maybe like 2-3 dollars at a thrift store.

Oh, and...this past new year's day, one of my resolutions was to blog more-- at least once a week.



*I'm nalbinding this, I nalbind, I nalbound that how the word is used??

Read more!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some updates


No pictures today, but I figured I'd check in to prove that I haven't died in a horrible hiking/ukulele string snapping/mountain climbing accident of some sort. Since the last post, I have:

-Finished (as in off the needles and blocked) Madli's Shawl

-Started AND finished a pair of Bayerische Socks.

-Started up in an art therapy grad program.

-Took a little vacation down to Sarasota with my family, then headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to visit my grandparents and relatives.

-Went to the neatest little fiber store while in Sarasota, called Picasso's Moon. Bought fiber with money I didn't exactly have at the time (yay credit cards).

-And have worked on some spinning and crocheting, too.

It's been a busy summer/early autumn overall. Now it's just a matter of uploading photos and making some proper posts around here.


In the meantime, go check out Knitty. The "deep fall" 2011 issue is up. Can't say any of the patterns are screaming out to be knit by me, but I've just given it a quick skim-through,


Read more!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Madli's Shawl

So, my latest major project has been "Madli's Shawl" from Nancy Bush's "Knitted Lace of Estonia". I have currently completed the bottom lace border and 19 of the 31 pattern repeats for the center. The center pattern consists of a traditional hagakiri with the addition of little nupps, making it appear almost like seaweed-- you know, the sprawling kind with little bubbles in them that would wash ashore back when I lived in south Florida. Anyway, each pattern repeat is only 12 rows...which is making it a little tedious to knit. I really prefer shawls where the stitch patterns sort of change and mutate into new stitch patterns, ala Elizabeth Freeman's "Aeolian Shawl". On the plus side is that I got the hang of the pattern very quickly, so now I really don't have to look at the chart while knitting.

I'm knitting it up using yarn from my stash. It's a lace weight yarn called "Alpaca Cloud" by Knit Picks, which I think has been since discontinued. The colour is a warm red called "Tango" with the occasional yellow or dark blue fiber sprinkled throughout the yarn. It's a shame that it's no longer sold, because so far it's been a pretty good knit. It's slightly more energized that I'd like it to be, so it does occasionally twist up on itself, but what the hey, the shawl's gonna get blocked once I'm done. Also, I haven't encountered any bumps or knots, which is great. Knots in yarn fill me with rage...even though I'm more than capable of just cutting out the knot and grafting the two ends back together. I only have two skeins of this particular colour, but I think 880 yarns should be more than enough to finish things up. I'm over halfway through knitting and I just grafted on the next ball of yarn. If I ever knit this pattern again, I think I'll do it in a nice yellowy green. Like seaweed :D

Here's a pic of it exactly at the halfway mark:

Madli's Shawl

Can't wait 'till I'm done with this center pattern! Only 12 more repeats to go...if tomorrow's a slow day at work I may make some good headway on this baby.
-Cat Read more!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Socks!

A while back I had purchased two skeins of Knitpick's "Imagination" handpainted sock yarn in the (now discontinued) colourway, "Woodsmen". It was a mix of dark olives with the occasional streak of gold-- colours right up my alley! I was at a loss of what sock pattern to knit it up in for a while, though, because I usually like to knit socks with all sorts of crazy cabling and lace going on, and I knew that the colour shifts probably wouldn't make those kinds of patterns stand out very well.

So it sat in my stash....until one really cold winter day when I was possessed with the urge to KNIT MOAR WOOLY SOCKS to keep my perpetually cold feet warm. After poking around ravelry a bit I finally decided upon the ultra-famous (amongst sock knitters, at least) Jaywalker sock pattern by Grumperpina.

It was a super easy knit-- one of those patterns you can take pretty much everywhere and not worry about losing track while chatting with people or watching tv. All through the leg every other row combined two stitch increases and one center three stitch decrease per repeat to create this fun little chevron pattern. Something giving the sock a little visual interest without being overwhelmed by the handpainted yarn.

I did it in the smallest size because I have small feet, but while knitting the socks up I was thinking about how unisex the pattern is. For a really large-footed man I think it would be incredibly easy to adjust the stitch quantity to accomodate a much wider foot. So many socks are designed for the woman's foot in mind, and while that's really no problem when they're so frou-frou that 98% of the male population wouldn't be caught dead wearing them, I find the knitting pattern world is sorely lacking in some interesting looking sock patterns that include instructions for making them wide enough to fit a larger man's (or woman's!) foot. This sock pattern, however, is honestly simple enough to adjust the size, even if you don't consider yourself an "advanced" knitter in any way.

Although for the most part knitting this sock was a breeze, I did have a freakout moment when I reached the toe and it came time to graft the stitches closed.

I really passioned over this. Many times before while knitting through other patterns that required grafting, I'd pull out one of my ratty knitting manuals and study the stupid kitchener stitch chart. With the instructions within sight, I'd try my hardest to needle my way through the stitches, only to find that whatever I was doing wasn't freaking grafting. So...I'd rip it out and cheat with a three needle bind off. Yep. I was the knitter who'd rather knit a sock toe-up (I honestly don't get why people are so leery of toe-up socks, by the way) than kitchener stitch a toe closesd.

BUT. This time I decided it was time to grab the bull by the horns and just master that damned stitch already. Instead of using that stupid knitting manual I found a Godsend of a grafting tutorial on knitty.Using that tutorial just made everything click into place. It was...dare I say...easy???

Anyway, I'm not afraid of grafting any more (hooray!), which makes me feel really accomplished. Now onto the photos!

Here's a closeup of that magically seamless kitchener stitch toe.
Closeup of Kitchener Stitch Toe
Here are some more pictures of the socks on my feet. It really was such a pretty colourway.
Jaywalker Socks
Check out those chevrons. And my pale leg.
Jaywalker Socks
Well, that's it for now. Now I've got a tree I'm working on for my cousin Lisa, as well as a shawl from Nancy Bush's book, "Knitted Lace of Estonia". The tree is almost finished; I'll probably get to taking photos of it soon.
Read more!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cue Cricket Chirp

Wow. It's been quite a while since I've done anything around these parts.

Part of the reason why is because I've been going through a lot of stuff in the past two years. I've since graduated from college, sat around wondering what to do next, sat some more, got a part time job because I became penniless in a literal sense, then sat around both at home and at work wondering where the hell everything was going...

See, this blog is kind of a happy place. And what I've been isn't exactly happy. And since I couldn't exactly express positive things, I just avoided writing. However, I really would like to get back to being happy. Writing makes me happy. Yapping about textiles makes me happy. If I'm gonna start some place, why not with those?

I could go on and on about all the crap I've been going through, but rather than do that, I think I'll just send whoever may be reading this post to go and listen to some very depressing country music. Preferably the kind that involve whiskey and a lot of sorrow. Then when you've had your fill, you can come back here again and hopefully I'll have some sparkly yarny goodness to share by then.

Read more!