Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes!

I decided to try a new pancake recipe fitting for the season - Pumpkin Pancakes. They came out great!


Happy pumpkin season!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The State of the Stash: 2010 Reorganizing

At our last State of the Stash I'd bought a dresser to hold my overflow yarn. I don't think that my acquisitions have really taken up a lot of space since then, but I needed to organize again so I could find things.

So Paul found a roll of blank newsprint I'd stashed in the basement and I hauled every speck of yarn into the garage. Every bin and bag from the basement, every bag and box and all the yarn from the dresser. Every WIP. Every bit of spinning fiber. Even the bag of squares for the collaboration blanket I'm assembling. EVERYTHING.

Here it is as of Monday, all jumbled together because I had to borrow bins to carry in the dresser yarn and pile it up to get it all in one picture.

yarn stash as of Oct. 24, 2010

By Tuesday night it looked like this:


And my dresser was nicely organized again!

Scraps (on the left) and WIPs (on the right):


My prettypretty sock and other special yarns:


My fiber stash:


Now I just need to rearrange all the furniture in the craft room and swap out my desk for something smaller and I might as well mop while I'm in there..... busy busy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

WIP Wednesday, October 27

Hmmm. This didn't look as blurry on the camera phone....


My Herbology OWL is the cabled sweater pieces we see here, and the right front piece is coming along. I just put the underarm stitches on waste yarn and have some more to go before retiring to the sleeve to try to hit 50% before the end of the month for my midterm points!

Upper right we have Spike's sweater... coming along through stockinette at stop lights....

Upper left we have my spindle and my remaining fiber and the singles I've spun so far. But speaking of spinning, I have a little confession to make. I bought a spinning wheel and it will be here Friday (that's the day after tomorrow!!!) or Monday! So in an effort to have somewhere to put it, I've figured out how to rearrange my craft room and reorganized my entire yarn stash. But more on that tomorrow!

Hello, Mr. Turtle

In September's Potions class in the HPKCHC, the topic was beautifying potion and they were accepting repairs and sewing projects. I decided to repair a stuffed pillow creature that my mom made for me when I was a baby named Mr. Turtle. My turn-in post is here.

Well that doesn't look so bad.




That doctor (Doctor FRANKENSTEIN) should be sued for malpractice! (Sorry Mom! ;) )


Mr. Turtle just wants to go outside without shame. Or even stay inside without shame would do.


The supplies: a 99 cent pillow from Ikea and a pile of cotton flannel scraps of fabric.


First I cut apart the shoddy stitching holding parts of Mr. Turtle together that didn't belong together. Then I ironed 1/4inch hems down on the back side of flannel scraps to patch the holes on the top (less of a mess) side of Mr. Turtle. Then I pulled his old stuffing out and threw it into the trash, and stuffed the Ikea pillow into the giant freaking hole left behind by clipping the sutures of Dr. Frankenstein. I then pieced two panels of flannel scraps on my sewing machine to cover the giant holes, and used more single-piece patches to finish the job.

It took sixteen patches, hand-sewn with a needle and thread, to close all the holes. That is a LOT of beautification potion!! Hand-sewing is not a skill I am proficient with so I made up my own rules and made it as sturdy as I could.


Mr. Turtle's new back


Mr. Turtle's new belly


Hand-stitched, obviously, but it came out better than those Frankenstein sutures!


The two machine-pieced patches actually ended up overlapping a wee bit on Mr. Turtle. Double application of Beautification Potion ensures that the ugly will not shine through.


He's still smiling, but this time he means it.




Friday, October 22, 2010

Rhinebeck Recap 2010

This year was my fifth Rhinebeck, properly called the New York Sheep and Wool Festival and held the third weekend of October every year.

Weather permitting, people get decked out in their wooly finest.

rhinebeck knitwear collage
(L-R: Mystery sweater I quite liked and a green shawl roaming the Ravelry meetup Saturday; a fetching knitted viking helmet; a gorgeous Citron shawl; dinosaurs on a hat)

This sheep is on the way into the arena...


We had a great weekend...

(L-R: me with a very unique display scarf; Spike traipsing through the sawdust; Spike, Paul and Zee in the stroller headed down the hill to the gate; very sound advice not to bend the dragon)

(L-R: Spike and his long-awaited balloon animal snake; Paul and Zee; Zee taking a stroller nap; Spike checking out his new water cup)

Met up with online friends and made new ones...

Picnik collage
(L-R: Saturday HPKCHC meetup; Spike and his favorite sheep; fabulous fall foliage; Kara/dnatheory getting friendly with some merino)

I made it to the Ravelry meetup too and took pictures of my HPKCHC buddies with a knitting superstar, Ysolda Teague, and Casey of helping-invent-Ravelry fame...


I also kinneared author Clara Parkes (on the left), who runs and authored a couple really awesome books, The Knitter's Book of Yarn and The Knitter's Book of Wool.


This was my first Rhinebeck since I learned to spin, so I wanted to see it all again for the first time with fiber in mind. I got a little yarn too that was just too good to pass up. Click through for notes to see what everything is.

Rhinebeck loot

Not pictured here is some rustic green wool I bought at closing on Saturday. While we just sat in our parking spot (*not* moving) and let the kids watch Cars on DVD,


I paced around outside with my new green yarn draped over my wrist, winding it into a ball,


and then got a start on a hat for Sunday before we even got to the hotel. I finished it at breakfast the next morning.


Pattern: Divine Hat - I made it twice last January so I was going from memory. My Rhinebeck is Divine project page.
Yarn: I lost the card!! I know, I know.... it's around here somewhere.
Hook: 5.5mm/I hook

I think this was the best year so far. Time to start stashing away for next year!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WIP Wednesday October 20

WHEW this past week has been really nuts! My family went to Rhinebeck last weekend for the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, which really needs its own post (or many) to describe. Getting ready for the festival meant doing a lot of laundry and prepping the family for a weekend away, plus getting my crafting queue in shape so I knew what I should look for at my biggest shopping opportunity for the year. Then when we got home there's more laundry to do and photographs to upload and dentist appointments and preschool and food to cook... well, basically, that's what I've been up to for the past week.

Also, this stuff.

IMG_4372Align Center

I've made a lot of progress on my Fireside Sweater there in the red, now several inches into the second piece of the front.

To the right is the latest in the pile of squares for the secret project I'm coordinating. It rode in my bag through two days of Rhinebeck with zero progress.

Squirrel mitten #2 is above the thumb and I submitted my proof of 50% progress for this OWL, so it's officially to be ignored for the rest of the month now that I know I can easily finish it in November.

Proof of 50%.

My spinning is coming along - the ball of top left to spin is at least getting smaller, even if I don't really see much change on the spindle, but this project has dragged on so long that I can't wait to spin something else. ANYTHING else!

Lastly, the brown sweater at the top there is the beginning of a sweater for Spike. He is always curious about what I'm making and one day I asked if he would like socks or a sweater. He said a sweater. So I started it on the drive down to Rhinebeck this past weekend. The pattern is Henry's Sweater, and it's worked in mostly stockinette in the round, so I finally have the easy computer knitting I planned for my Quidditch sweater to be. I'm glad to have my brainless project to work on while I skim the boards!

Brainless magic loopy sweater.

My first post on the Harry Potter Knitting & Crochet House Cup blog went up today too. It was a lot of fun and I'm happy to be able to contribute!

Look out for my Rhinebeck recap coming up soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday, October 13

My parents and sister visited over this past long weekend, which meant I would either get a ton of crafting done or very little. It turned out to be a ton!


Squirrel mittens? I'm past the squirrels on mitten two already. Star blanket? Half done already. Spinning is coming along slowly (15 minutes a day and it's a guarantee). I'm most pleased with my progress on the Fireside Sweater right front piece, which is already above the bust shaping and well into decreases for what I think is the yoke (and that's after having to rip back three inches yesterday).

In other news, I'm now an author on the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet Cup blog. I don't know what I'll be saying just yet, but I'll be saying something!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Goodbye for now, Quidditch sweater

There comes a time when working on some projects when that nagging feeling of doubt finally cracks through and you realize that the project just isn't going to work. Sometimes it's that the gauge swatch lied and you're staring down a sweater that would better fit a cat or a train. Sometimes it's a little something you changed and it's not working. Sometimes it's that you fail at operating a tape measure to begin with. Sometimes it takes a while to realize that a v-neck looks great on a model and not so much in your wardrobe.

And sometimes it's a little of all of these, so with a heavy heart I have to report the death of my Quidditch sweater for this term. I'll never wear it if I keep knitting what I've got, and restarting now will sabotage my OWLs for the term with no guarantee of finishing anything. So after I autopsy the remains to determine cause of death, it will become a ball of yarn once again.

The Perpetrator.

In other news, I've finally picked up my Fireside Sweater (Herbology OWL) again. Only another couple inches before the bust shaping on the right front! And I'm into the "poles" section on the second squirrel mitten. Colorwork is fun to watch unfold.


And that's all my news!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WIP Wednesday October 6

It's already the 6th of October, and with Rhinebeck coming up in less than two weeks I came up with an idea to work up some yarn, fast, to help achieve my goal of more yarn out than in for the last four months of 2010. I'm making a couple things (like the giraffe) for a friend to auction to raise money for her run for charity. I made a star blanket a few years ago for Spike in the car and decided to make one in purpley colors for auction. Nevermind how far behind I am on my OWLs - inspiration struck and there was no stopping it!

I did at least manage to finish one squirrel mitten and start the next. No thumbs yet. But I FINISHED (sort of) THE FIRST MITTEN!!!!!


Clockwise from the squirrel mitten we have mitten #2 just cast on, the beginnings of a square for the collaborative square project, the purpley star, a wavey Hufflepuff sock that is not coming out as well as I'd hoped, then my spinning progress (not much) and a traveling scarf for which I knit the section on the top.

In other news, my husband has a cold that has kept him home from work yesterday and today, and the kids and I aren't feeling so hot either. But we're coping and eating good food and taking our vitamins, so I hope it blows over quickly. This past weekend I was cooking up a storm. I made tomato sauce, apple sauce, pasta from scratch, and yesterday I made banana applesauce muffins and tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. It's been chilly and rainy for days - who knows what I'll cook up next?

Monday, October 4, 2010

September Stashdown Report

As we all can see, my goal for 2010 of more yards of yarn out than in is pretty well sunk. I am weak! But as I mentioned last month, starting September 1st I hope to have more yards out than in for the rest of the year. Smaller bites, you see. I'm going to try smaller bites and if that fails maybe I'll make it a 5 year goal instead. ;) KIDDING. That's ridiculous....

September yarn in: 4,475 yards (WHERE does it all come from?!??)
September yarn out: 793.3 yards

September to December challenge in: 4,475 yards
September to December challenge out: 793.3 yards
Break Even in 3,681.7 yards

Year-to-date in: 53,333.25 yards
Year-to-date out: 12,748.9 yards

I was contacted on Ravelry by someone looking for a little yarn to finish off a project, so a little of the yarn out went to her. But the rest of it was all worked up in September!

I'm already excited for WIP Wednesday - I can't wait to show you all what I've been up to since last week!

Friday, October 1, 2010

October's Big Plan

I try to set reasonable goals for myself - really, I do. As it turns out, I'm just not all that reasonable. It's a process.

So in the interest of, what else, imaginary points in the Harry Potter themed knitting game, I'm not going to go crazy in October. I'm going to focus on getting to 50% on both of my OWLs first, since that deadline is October 31. Meanwhile, pair of mini-socks is in order for my Reducio Sock swap partner and something else mini and inspired by Hogwarts teachers. I haven't come up with the right thing yet, however.

I'll also start these rockin socks in Hufflepuff black and yellow.


Sock photo courtesy of naztazia on flickr


I don't know if I'll finish them in October, but I can turn them in for Quidditch so I have until November 16 for that just in case. See? I'm sensible! That is an improvement.