Monday, June 14, 2010

of birds and bees and sealing wax and cabbages and kings....

ok--mostly birds
so, we had a lovely little robin build a nest on our back porch when we were gone for the weekend.  so for the last month or so we've been watching the babies as they come along.

here's the eggs in the nest... it took several weeks before they hatched.   

Here's the proud and protective momma sitting on her nest.  we tried to stay away, but couldn't resist a few pictures. 

Here's those babies right after hatching, if they hadn't been breathing i'd have thought they were dead.

 When they feathered out they got much prettier altho one had definitely lighter feathers, and was quite a lot smaller and weaker. 

so, here's the day they left the nest. by the time i noticed all but the smallest weakest one was gone.
 she (i call her she because she looks like a she to me) hung around almost all day before the mom convinced her to fly away.  even then she came back in the evening and hung out on the porch for several hours.  the funny thing--she is apparently a partial-albino robin.  she's very pale tan rather than the dark brown of the other two and the mom, and her breast rather than bright red, is sort of strawberry blonde.  i think she's a blond robin.  hope everything goes well, and i'm glad to have my porch back. 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

shawls and such

I started a new shawl awhile back.  i have a center panel done.  yesterday i put all the stitches on yarn and blocked out what is done.  unfortunately, what i found was that the center panel is really awesome... and the rest is NOT.  damn.  so, i hav to rip back (ugh) to the edge of hte center panel and rethink it.  apparently i did not pick up enough stitches along the center panel.  the side is much narrower than the center is.  this little sketch is an incredibly crude explanation of what i'm working toward:

the lines in each portion show the direction of knitting--i have the center done--the part with the swallowtail bottom--and i love it.  unfortunately when i stretch out the center, the part i have done on the side is not nearly as wide as it should be.  i guess i need to add stitches after the initial pick-up.  oops.

i'm alternating between feeling a bit overwhelmed with the upcomign move and thinking that it will all be fine.  i haven't done any packing yet.  i guess i figure we'll deal with it saturday and sunday.  :-)  instead i'm working on getting everything skeined out that i can, since my biggest concern with the new shop is that it won't look full enough. 

as luck would have it a lovely guy showed up yesterday that does signs asking about whether i needed a sign at the new shop.  he's going to bring in an estimate next week.  YAY!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

More Knitting TIPS

always keep a crochet hook in your bag to pick up dropped stitches.  (altho i mostly pick mine up with a small double point). 

lifelines can be a real lifesaver if you're knitting lace.  every so often, when you know that your lace is correct to that point, take a contrasting color of yarn and a yarn needle, and run a strand through all of the stitches on the needle... leave it there, then when/if you make a mistake you can rip back only to that lifeline!

put all your little doo-dads--tape measure, needle gauge, crochet hook, stitch markers, etc.--in a small pouch, then you can just grab your pouch, grab your needles and yarn and pattern and start knitting!

post it notes are great ways to mark your place on charts.  put them from the top, so you can see where you've been!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

knitting tips

so, when i started knitting i did lots and lots of things wrong, because well, no one told me not to.  so, here's a couple of tips i've learned.  post a comment if you've got some you've learned that i haven't listed.

always slip stitches purl-wise unless told otherwise.

except in ssk, for which you slip knitwise. 

always slip the first stitch in every row unless told otherwise.

if you want to untwist a stitch that is laying on your needles wrong (unless you knit combination) knit/purl in the back loop.  it'll automatically untwist it. 

so... what's you fave tip?

how often?

how often do you check blogs for new posts? i'm curious what other people's blog reading habits are. i often check a couple times a week. if i check too often and find no new content i tend to stop checking as often.... maybe only once a month.

what kind of content do you like? knitting? personal? stories? dyeing? more pictures?

this blog has been a variety of those... and i'd like to know what my readers actually want from a blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

free pattern

i'm trying something a little new. i've been considering switching from selling patterns to giving them away and putting a tiny bit of advertising on my blog instead. i hope that this will make it so that i can offer more to my readers. :-)

so... to start, here's a simple free pattern. i've had tons of requests for it. i have the sample in my shop. it works really well with left over bits of yarn, or with handspun--which if you're like me, you tend to produce in lots of quantity, but also, in tiny bits... i have a really bad habit of picking up an ounce or so of fiber that i'm enthralled with the color... which makes it so i can have l0ts of different colors/new fibers--but makes it harder for me to make stuff out of what i spin.

Sideways Scarflet

If you’re like me, you see little sample size bits of roving and can’t resist spinning them. I know even as I’m spinning them, that they won’t be big enough to really make much out of, but they are so pretty that I just have to spin them up. So I have quite a stash of tiny skeins around my house. They usually weigh between ½ and ¾ of an ounce. This scarflet is the perfect way to put some of those tiny skeins to use.
This simple two color scarflet is easy to knit, finishes fabulously, a little unusual, and needs very little yarn to create. I started out with 1.4 ounces of yarn in two coordinating colors. It is spun up softly at about worsted weight (12-13 wpi).
What you need:
1.4 ounces of worsted weight (or so) yarn in two or more coordinating colors.
Size 10 ½ knitting needles
If you want to do random stripes reserve 10 yards yarn of Color A. If you are going to do random color stripes, switch colors every 10-15 rows. Color changes are not in the pattern other than at the very end.
Row 1: Cast on 1 stitch in color A.
Row 2: Knit, Purl, Knit into that single stitch
Row 3: K, P into the first stitch (making a stitch), then K,P across to the last stitch, K, P into the last stitch (making another stitch.
Rows 4-15: Continue as in R3 until you have a total of 29 stitches
Row 16: K, P into the 1st stitch (making a stitch), K, P to last 2 stitches. K 2 together.
Row 17: K 2 together, K, P to end of row, P, K into last stitch (making a stitch)
Rows 18 and on: continue repeating rows 16 and 17 throughout; switches colors as you like.
When you run out of other yarn you are ready to finish.
Take the 10 yards you reserved and knit one final row of 16 or 17 (which ever you are on).
Row A : K 2 together, K, P across to last two stitches, K2 together. (decreasing 2 stitches in this row)
Knit Row A until there are 3 stitches remaining. Then knit all 3 stitches together and break yarn and run through final stitch.
Wash and Block as normal.

Loop it in half and tuck the two ends through the loop for a unique look … or wear it as usual… either way a unique and lovely scarf!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

confession time

I must confess, i'm not only a bad blogger... but i'm also a bad knitter. let's talk...

i am easily distracted by new pretty, different stuff. there's nothing exactly WRONG with this, but it does make it harder for me to finish, well, anything.

so... here's just a few of things i have in progress at the moment. i say a few, because this does not include pictures that are so far back on my flickr page that i can't find them.

this is my most recent is going to be a shawl... i mostly wanted to show off the colors so it's pretty simple. unfortunately i'm bored with it because it is too easy.

i could go back and finish the second Twist Baby Twist... but i don't want to.

Here is the Olympic sock that i have finished, but have not finished. i want the second sock finished, but i sorta don't wanna have to do it. GAH!

this little flower hat is much more done than the picture shows, actually it's been frogged, and the first half is done, which unfortunately means i have to repeat the exact same thing again. oh no.

unfortunately, today i saw this:
and i have this:
color 5


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Doctors without Borders

If you haven't checked out YarnHarlot's blog lately... you migh not know that Knitters without Borders--the brainchild of Stephanie aka Yarn Harlt has raised $1 000 110 for Doctors without Border. that's just amazing. i've been donating for a while should too!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Roving with Rita

so...i've spent the last several days dyeing roving. and i've got LOTS more to dye! can't wait....

here's the first few... these are already up at the shop!