YO! ZMK Knits!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Finished Objects: Foliage Hat and Feather and Fan Scarf

Remember how, the other day, I promised some finished objects? Well, here they are!!

This is the Foliage hat from, and my Feather and Fan scarf from Wendy Knits.

I was saying, "you wanna see my THIGHS?" in this pic.


Gratuitous Ken shot.

Both patterns are awesome. I think Foliage is the first time I have knit a pattern from Knitty in the current issue, and kudos to Emilee to writing up such a fun pattern. It was an excuse to use the Citrus Malabrigo that has been sitting in my stash for two years, waiting for the perfect pattern. I knit this up in a weekend, mostly because I could not put down the Malabrigo. That stuff is crack for your fingers.

I had a few problems with the k2togs, and I don't think the pattern came out 100% the way it was supposed to, but it feels so awesome on my head that I don't care.

If you have a fear of feather and fan, get over it now. I always thought it was way harder than it is. Get yourself some soft Noro and do it! I used Noro Silver Thaw for mine, about 200 grams (I had two 50g skeins from Nederlass and purhcased a 100g skein from Webs). I'm sure Silk Garden or that nice cashmere blend stuff Mind's Eye Yarns is carrying would work as well (I want to say it's Cashmere Island).

Speaking of gratuitous Ken shots, it's been a while, so I have to make it up to you.


He had his paw on my fingers here, gazing lovingly at me.


Even though it looks painful, his claws weren't going through the skin. He really needs to have his claws trimmed though, but I don't know if he'll let us do it. Have I ever mentioned how strong he is? When he went to the vet and had a kidney infection, the doc told ZMrK, "Okay, I'm gonna show you how to pill a cat". He had the pill in his hand and tried to get it into Ken's mouth, when Ken's front leg shot out, smacked his hand away and sent the pill flying. Doc then said, "Let's try liquid!"

My boy is a bruiser!

He also likes to do a quick attack on the backs of my legs and run away. It doesn't hurt but it gets my attention.

He likes to play with yarn too:


I think the white arcs show the motion of his claws while he attacked the yarn! Is that cool or what?


Washing himself, because it is cute.


ZMrK caught him in mid-yawn!!!! He has such a huge mouth!

Let's get a closer look:


(note to self: take a look at those back teeth! they're yellow!)


Here he is, sleeping. Again, because it's cute and reminds me of Zelia.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Lost my Bloggin' Mojo!

Doesn't it seem as thought I've lost my blogging mojo? I haven't been around a whole lot lately; I guess I've been busy but I don't remember with what. I know I've been reading more than usual lately, and that's taken away from my knitting time (a fair trade, I think). I've also had a serious bout of startitis lately. Observe:


These are the "Poseidon" socks by the Tsock Tsarina. I bought this kit at the 2006 New York State Sheep and Wool Fest (aka Rhinebeck!), and decided that I really should at least try to use some of the yarn I bought at 2006 before attending 2007. I cast on for these in September. The pattern is well-written and Lisa goes to great lenghts to explain the techniques used, but dang! this is the most difficult pattern I've ever knit. I'm about 6 rows into the dolphins on the leg of the 1st sock, and because every row is different, it's as intense as knitting lace (i.e. I can't watch TV while I knit, I can't talk to anyone while I knit, I can't think about anything but the stitches I'm stitching while I knit). As far as the yarn is concerned, well, it's heavenly. It's Jennifer's Flock Sock from ValCalcar Acres and it has a lot of elasticity to it and a nice stitch definition. I picked up a skein in "Copper Pennies" at this year's Rhinebeck (well, ZMrK picked it up for me!) which I just realized I FORGOT TO PHOTOGRAPH! It's in with my stash, um, somewhere. Looks like I have to go stash diving again to take pictures of it, which will mean being inspired to cast on for yet another project, oh woe is me. . .

But I have other projects to show you!


These will be ZMrK's socks. I'm making basketweave rib socks in Spunky Eclectic's sock yarn "Diet Coke". This yarn is much thinner than I expected -- the label calls it "sport" and suggests a needle size of 3-4, and I'm using a size 1. I think it may be mislabeled, but it looks as though I will have enough (I hope!) for these socks, and we know it's superwash, since we put the swatch through the washer and dryer and it came out okay. That's all that matters, right?!


This is why I should blog more often. I took the above photo on November 18th, and today (Black Friday, which, by the way, no I did not go out shopping and only went out to get the mail and scurried back in and haven't been warm since!) I felted (fulled, for those of you who are purists) it. This was a really simple pattern, and I'll tell you about it when I post the pictures of it (which won't be until it is dry, as it's been molded into shape now).

I have a few FOs that I don't have photos of: the Feather and Fan scarf by Wendy Johnson, and Foliage by Emilee Mooney. They're both really fun, easy knits, and Foliage is a really good excuse to work with Malabrigo, which is like crack for your fingers. It had been about a year since I had used any, and I forgot how amazing it feels. I get the same sensation as I get from licking the bowl of brownie batter clean -- it's that good.

I need to move on before I get all yarngastic on y'all.

I did some dyeing a few weeks ago! I also made a big fuckin' mess doing so, but I've cleaned it all up. I had some old yarn that I had purchased in a big lot at the beginning of my knitting career, and I was at a loss as to what to do with it. I had swatched some of it to see if I could make a felted cat bed out of it, but the sumbitch wouldn't felt! So it sat there for a while, and I realized that my problem with it was that I hated the color. So I got to soaking up the four skeins of it, spread out the newspapers and plastic wrap, and got out the Wiltons. A couple of canisters of sky blue mixed with a tad of violet yielded this:


Do you notice anything there? When I put the skeins in to steam, I did two at a time, with one on top and one on the bottom. The two skeins to the left are the two that were on the top. The two skeins on the right are the two that were on the bottom. The two skeins on the right are much more vivid, and have a pool of really intense blue at what was probably the bottom section.



(Dude, you can, like, click on the photos and go into Flickr, choose "all sizes" to select the largest size if you really want to see these LARGE.)

Here's some of the darker:


Here's some of the lighter:


And, just to show you what did NOT inspire me one bit, a kept a couple of yards of the yarn in it's original color.


Believe me, the camera does it justice. It looks like heathered dishwater.

My problem now is what to do with the four skeins that are slightly off in color. Should I just use two each as separate projects, or should I use all four and just alternate skeins every few rows so it won't look so unmatched? There's a shawl in one of the two issues of Crochet Today that I was thinking of using it for -- it's a shell pattern that just could look nice in various shades of blue. Of course, I can barely crochet so there's that to think about. The other problem is that the yarn is not the softest, so I don't want anything that I would wear close to bare skin. I was tempted to donate it to the thrift but my inner cheapass always wants to give something a chance to be something else. I think I'll find the person project for this yarn.

I had six skeins of the same brand of yarn in a dusty pink that I want to overdye, but I don't think I'll do the spray-bottle-and-steam method on it. I want all of the colors to come out fairly even, and am thinking of a deep dark red. I don't know if I'll be able to do it with the tools I have, so I may have to find an enamel roasting pan to "cook" 'em in.

Well, that's this week's post. Hopefully before the weekend ends I'll have photos of my scarf and two most recent hats to post. I'll have to catch Ken doing something cute as well, like biting the shit out of dad's feet.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Seasonal Cupcakes!

Last weekend, ZMrK and I were expecting some friends over. (Yes! We have real-life friends!) We made some cupcakes with the idea of making little mummies (inspired by Martha Stewart, but we went with the decidedly un-Martha-esque Betty Crocker cake mix and buttercream frosting).


Towards the end, it was decided to put green food coloring into the frosting to make a bunch of Creature from the Black Lagoon cupcakes:


We made 24 in all.


They were delicious.


I also was inspired enough to draw an old Halloween decoration.


I used watercolor pencils and pen and ink. I'm really rusty in the drawing department, but I took my time and did a decent job. I usually rush myself because I'm really impatient.

I got a couple of good photos in my 'hood recently. It was about 7:20 in the morning, and I had gotten out of the house early so I could take a walk and get some pictures. These were taken at the top of a hill not far from my house:



I really like how the photos are a little out of focus. I don't know if that's because of the early morning light, or because my camera was about to break. Oh yeah, my camera is at Best Buy because it shit the bed and there was still a year left on the warranty. They're going to try to fix it. If they can't, I just might get a new camera.


I hope you've been enjoying the photos, because you may not see any for a little while.

Seasonal Dye Job

While I wait for ZMrK to come back from buying more Wilton's so I can finish my current dyeing project, I'll share some seasonal stuff with you.

First off, my last dyeing project! A few weeks ago, my blogless friend Lisa came over and we dyed some yarn and fiber together. I decided to call this one-off colorway of sock yarn "October".



I used the same dye batch to dye some blue-faced leicester:



The inspiration for this dye job was the trees in October in the northeast. This year, they still retained much of their green-ness while changing to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges.




I'm hoping the sock yarn looks great knit up! I think it will. I'm not so sure how the fiber will look spun up, but I will hope for the best.

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