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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A post without pictures... not that much fun.  I have been a little absent from the blogosphere lately, so I feel the need to post an update.  Let's last post was about my crocheted summer sweater which was a WIP at the it's a FO! I ended up finishing that sweater on July 8th, but I've yet to take proper pictures of it.  In fact, that is actually the theme of this post...the lack of proper pictures.  I crocheted a set of lotus earrings in a deep purple the other night...but I still need to weave in the ends and take a picture or two.  (Although I think they sort of get lost in my hair because of the color...but I'll see.  They were quick and easy to make, so perhaps I'll whip up another pair soon.)  I'm also working on a summer style vest for myself in sort of a burnt orange color (pictures to come...:)).  I've also been invited to my boyfriend's niece's 1st birthday party this August.  I've decided to make her a Sheldon with a green body and a pink and purple shell.  So far I've the body and legs all finished and just need to make the shell.  This is such a cute turtle!  Annnnnnd I'm knitting a yoga mat bag for Matt!  He joined me at hot yoga on Monday and fell in love with it--it is awesomely wonderful and addicting!  So of course he needs a nice knitted yoga mat bag to hold his new mat! :) (It's blue and in organic to come :)). 

Finally, back on 6/25 I had finished the ruched tee that I had started the year before (during the interim of the CPH KAL).  It took me so long to finish it because I kept getting distracted with other project.  Well, I wore the tee for the first time on 7/2. I got so many compliments on it!  The only complaint I have is that it grew a I wore it.  Meaning it is now sort of tunic length!  Also the back is a bit saggy and baggy, which I'm not the biggest fan of.  I think that I'm going to crochet a round around the neckline to try and strengthen it up.  I've also read about slip stitch crocheting on the inside of a knitted garment to give it more strength and structure.  I think that I might do this on the ruched sections.  They sort of got as the day went on.  So, hopefully that will improve it a bit.  After I do all of that, I plan on washing it in warm to hot water and throwing it in the dryer on a hot setting, in an attempt to shrink it some.  The yarn is 60% cotton 40% modal, so hopefully the cotton part will shrink when I do this.  If not, I'll make it work as a tunic over leggings or skinny jeans.  I'm definitely not frogging this project!  I love the yarn and the look of it on me...I'm just not a fan of the sag.

I guess that's it for now.  I promise to post some pictures of all of these projects! I need to either set up my tripod or get a friend's help to take a picture of me in the sweaters I made!

Oooo and the Ravellenic Games are starting next week!! Hurray!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday

One of the things I'm working on is a light-weight crocheted cardigan for spring/summer.  I had started working on this back in April when I was flying to Vancouver.  However it was coming out too small, so I didn't touch it after my flight there.  This week I ended up frogging the progress that I had made during that flight and started again using a larger hook.  This sweater goes SO fast!  I've been trying to only craft on my commutes to and from work/school and on only two commutes I've finished the back and half of one of the front panels!  I think this will be finished really soon and I can't wait to post FO pics!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Farewell Stix-n-Stitches

On of my favorite LYSs, Stix-n-Stitches in Montclair, is closing this week.  I have some wonderful memories of going there to pick out yarn for projects, especially when I first started branching out from only using chain-sold yarn. (Not that there is anything wrong with that, I love love love AC Moore and Michaels :)).  I ended up going to "say goodbye" to Stix-n-Stitches this past Thursday.  Since they are trying to liquidate their inventory, I did purchase some yarn.  I know, I know, I shouldn't be buying yarn, but I couldn't resist.  All yarn was 40% off the day that I went and buttons were 50% off.  I ended up getting 3 different kinds of yarn in 5 different colors.  I also got some buttons for a light weight summer sweater I'm crocheting.

Presenting my new stash additions (in no particular order):

Cascade 220 in a beautiful teal color, 3 skeins:

Cotton Classic by Tahki Yarns in a burnt orange color, 4 skeins.  The beauty of this yarn was that it was on clearance for $4 a skein and then I got 40% off of that.  Amazing.

Cotton Classic by Tahki Yarns in a gray--which was also on clearance--8 skeins.

Berroco Weekend in a spring green color, 4 skeins.

Berroco Weekend in a light purple, 3 skeins.  I know it looks a little blue in this photo, but it is not.

I also got 8 metal buttons with a black shiny center.  They sort of look like they have little suns on them.  I knew that I needed buttons for a new sweater that I'm making, but I couldn't remember how many I needed, so I figured 8 was a safe number.  I think I need 5 for the pattern, so I'll have 3 to use somewhere else!

I will definitely miss Stix-n-Stitches, but I hope that this ending for them only brings wonderful new beginnings!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ravellenic Games 2012!

This is the year of the London summer Olympics!! How exciting!  I honestly LOVE the Games and have watched them every since I can remember.  I think my favorite are gymnastics followed by swimming!  The online knitting and crochet community that I belong to, Ravelry, has been celebrating the Olympic Games with a knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, etc. competition.  This competition is used as a means to challenge yourself in the craft of your choosing.  Prior to the beginning of the Games, you select the "events" that you will enter--possibly knitting an entire sweater during the games, or finishing a bunch of projects that you have yet to finish--something that you find challenging to your self.  Formerly this was known as the "Ravelympics," however the USOC recently informed Ravelry that the use of this word was copyright infringement and that it must be changed.  The USOC also said that: 

"We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."

I personally was very upset by the statement that we were disrespecting the Olympic Games and the athletes by knitting and crocheting along with the Games.  I, as well as the multitude of Ravelers that commented in our community on this situation, are very respectful of all of the hard work that the athletes put into training for the games.  This is more a means of celebrating and enjoying the achievement of the athletes and most definitely NOT a means of disrespecting anyone.  You can read more about this here.  In the end the USOC apologized for what they said.  Ravelry also changed the name of the event to the "Ravellenic Games" which still encompasses the original meaning plus more.  When I discussed all of this with Matt he made a great comment about how the USOC holds the copyright to the word "Olympics" and all of the related sounding words.  He was quite curious if Hercules signed off on the agreement allowing the USOC to hold the copyright ;).  Gosh Matt, you're the best!

Anyway, I digressed a bit on this post.  This will be the first Ravellenic Games that I will participate in and I am a member of Team Designers Challenge (which is one of the groups that I'm a member of within Ravelry)! There are a whole bunch of different events, but I think the ones that I will enter have to do with frogging a few projects that I am no longer interested in (aka taking them apart), knitting a sweater that has cables in it, and dyeing some yarn that I've been meaning to dye.  I hope that I'll be able to accomplish all of this during the Games!

The sweater that I am planning to make is the Owls sweater by Kate Davies.  I fell in love with this sweater a few years ago when I first saw it and have been planning on making it for a while. This seems like the perfect time!  I already have the yarn for it too :).  I plan on using Brava Bulky in Solstice Heather from Knit Picks.

I also plan on frogging one or two projects.  I started knitting myself a cowl maybe a year and a half a go in an alpaca yarn, but I just did not like the way the colors were pooling.  This yarn was pricey and I think it would be suited for something better.

The other project I'm thinking about frogging is a baby blanket that I started back in 2008 or the beginning of 2009.  It took FOREVER to crochet, it feels sort of heavy, and I'm just not in love with it anymore.  I'm sure that I could use the yarn for something better.

And finally I want to try dyeing some more yarn again.  Last time I dyed yarn I used Kool Aid that I mixed into water and then put the yarn into this mixture.  However I've seen tutorials about how to sprinkle the dry Kool Aid onto the wet yarn and dye it like that.  This is what I'm hoping to try!  As part of my Ravellenic Games training I'll need to locate this online tutorial!  I have some worsted weight wool and some fingering weight wool as well.  I'm not sure which I'm going to dye, but I'm sort of leaning towards the fingering weight.

Oh one last thing!  In preparation for the games, I've made my new Ravatar to represent my team association and my participation in the challenge!  It might still be a work in progress, but at the moment I'm happy with it :).  (Oh, and that animal on the side is a chizzard, our group's mascot!).