Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Knitting from the Fair

The fact is I have been kitting all year. I just haven't been good about detailing things here. But here is some photos of the rest of the things I entered in the fair. Pink Shell

Purple Felt Bag

Kitty and Socks
Not the best photo, but Kitty just had to get in the action.

Charlotte's Web

Sewn Tote
It's not knitting, and it's not very well made but I love it. I am still just learning to sew and I think it is a good first effort.


Felted Blue Bag

Dibs on RibsDibs on Ribs

Blue Ridge RaglanClose up of Blue Ridge Raglan

The Montgomery County Fair

I was first introduced to the fair last summer. I had been to a couple of state fairs when I was younger, but this was a new experience for me. A member of my knitting group helps run the home arts section of the fair and wanted us not only to enter things in the competition, but also to volunteer at the fair to act as guides and do “demonstration knitting.” She stressed that they wanted entries both good and bad. Even if you thought something wasn’t your best effort, enter it. That way maybe someone else would see it, think they could make something as good or better and maybe they would enter the next year. So I downloaded the fair catalog, entered some stuff and my obsession began.

The MoCo Fair is divided into two parts: the fair, and the carnival. Don’t mix the two up. Both are on the fair grounds, but the fair has real farm animals raised by kids in 4H
the carnival has freak show with a two headed cat.

I don’t raise any animals that can be entered at the fair (apparently Kitty does count) and so I entered my knitting instead. This year I won a grand champion badge WooHoo!
Mo Co Fair 2006
for best men’s sweater
I also won The William F. Smith Award for the Best Entry Men’s Sleeveless Sweater
Dad's Vest
Both are sweaters I made for my father.

All told I won 5 first place ribbons, 6 second place ribbons and 2 fourth place ones. Yay!

Here is my sweater on display and my friend’s champion shawl is there too.
Mo Co Fair 2006
Here we are knitting at the fair. Yes that is the lovely Laura sitting next to me. BTW I need to thank Laura for the fair photos. As per usual with me, I brought my camera, but didn’t take many pictures.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'm so excited!

I literally wait all year for it to be the first weekend in May. Yes, of course I am talking about the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I am going to the festival on both days this year. Hooray! I posted an entry on my knitting groups web site listing some tips in case you are interested. It is just some advice and things I have learned over the years. The one I almost forgot to add was the importance of having a calculator. I am always trying to figure out gauge and yardage and price. Indispensable.

On a sad note, I ripped out 80% of my Green Gable last night. I was in the home stretch and tried it on. It was huge. I debated for a while as to which was more important, having it finished for sheep and wool, or having it fit the way I want. Practically prevailed. Sheep and wool is only one day but the sweater will be worn a lot IF it fits right. So I ripped and ripped and ripped. The sleeves were huge too so I took out a couple of inches of the "with sleeves" part out as well.

I think I have it to a better bust size. I thought about using short rows at the bust but decided against it because of the sleeves. So I think I am just going to add more decreases after the bust to nip it in at the waist. Boobs and knitting are such a pain. Either the fabric is all stretched at the boobs or it is too loose at the waist. I know I know short rows. . .

Sunday, April 30, 2006

I'm not dead, but my old computer is

Long time no see I know. But hopefully I am back for good. My old lap-top was just getting slower and slower and it was time to put it out to pasture. So I bought a great new desk-top and I am back in action (I hope).

I still need to get a lot of photos off the lap-top so I can tell you about what I was up to the last few months. You didn't think I stopped knitting did you?

Right now I am working on my not so Green Gables. This is a great little summer sweater that the folks over at Zephyr put together. I love it.

Green Gables

I am making mine up in KnitPicks Shine worsted in Crocus. I love the color of the yarn but I am not so sure about the yarn itself. It is slubing off a lot as I work with it and I am afraid that it will shed all over everything when I wear it. Still I love the color and I think the sweater is turning out great. I am hoping to have it finished to wear to Sheep & wool next weekend but it might not happen. I think a lot of people from the KAL are going to be wearing them too so it would be fun to connect with them.

Check out the KAL over at Green Gables KAL

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kiparoo Autumn Shawl

I finished the shawl.

Here it is blocking.

It took about a million pins but I got all the points stretched out. I think I over blocked it a bit on one side. See I have the yarn-over problem. The way I wrap results in a longer YO between two knits than between purl and a knit. Thus there is some unevenness. I know if I wrapped in the other direction it would fix the problem, but I can't seem to force myself to change the way I knit. Sorta like trying to learn to knit continental. I just can't seem to force myself to do it.

Anyway, back to the shawl. This was a fun easy knit. The yarn was a bit scratchier than I thought it would be and it also resulted in a lot of striping which I didn't like. It also looks a lot more like a granny shawl than I thought it would. I took it to work and throw it over my shoulders when my office gets too cold. I give it a C+


The Feel for Felt

I finally did it. I have been wanting to felt something for ages now. For my first project I decided to try a Booga Bag from Julie. I have seen several of these and thought they were cute. I also wanted to try out some Noro yarn.

Here it is pre-felting

I am not entirely happy with how this bag turned out. It is much deeper than it is wide and sorta reminds me of a lunch bag in its size and shape. Also the Noro didn't felt to well. After 4 washings there si still more stitch definition than I would like. It is however a nice size for toting around small projects like socks and the yarn doesn't shed all over everything. I give it a B.

For my next project I decided to make the Mitered Square Tote. A while ago a bought a one pound grab bag of yarn from Kiparoo farms. I really liked the colors (bright lime green and deep purples) I was worried that the mohair wouldn't felt right, but was I wrong! It probably felted better than the wool. Even the bouchle mohair turned out great.

I love this bag. It felted really well and was fun to just change colors whenever I ran out of yarn or felt like it. I knitting both sides at the same time in order to ensure that the color hangs happened at the same time and that I didn't run out of yarn. I also made it slightly smaller than the pattern called for. After felting the strap is the perfect size to wear diagonally across the shoulders and is about the size perfect for holding magazines and patterns. I get SO many compliments on the bag. People stop me on the metro and street to ask me about it. I totally give this project an A+.

For my third bag I made another mitered square tote. This one is much smaller and more of a purse size. I cast on the same number of stitches for the side and bottom of the bag but less for the squares. This gave me a smaller wider bag. I then added I-cord handles. I ran out of yarn so the handles are smaller than I would like them to be. Still I like how it turned out. The yarn was again from a grab-bag but this time from Dancing Leaf Studios.

I used the eyelash just around the top and I think it looks cute. At the bottom I used a triple plied yarn that was mohair, wool and some sort of metallic. I should have unplied one of the strands because it is a lot bulkier then the rest of the yarn esp after felting. Live and learn. What I don't like about this bag is that the top is a bit floppy and the handles are too short. I give it an A-

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Shep and Jenn's Wedding

I just had to blog about this fabulous wedding I went to on Labor Day. I love this couple and they have a wonderful group of family friends. Here is Mr. and Mrs. Shepard sharing their first kiss

The had such beautiful weather and the country club was one of the prettiest sites for a wedding I have ever been to. So far it all seems normal right? Well the craziness began when we learned what the judge who married them does in his spare time.

Yup that is him at the reception. But that was only the beginning. The wig also made an appearance:

I feel I should point out that this is not a wig the DJ gave us, but a wig that has been making the rounds for a while now.

Even the groom needed to wear the wig.

Baby Ryan felt left out so he got to wear the wig the next day. Scary, but he kinda reminds me of Gene Simmons in it.

The real highlight of the night came when all of our furry friends arrived. There is a long tradition of these guys going to weddings. Best man Mark explained it like this "We knew we their visit wouldn't be a surprise, but we thought the sheer number of them would be a shocker"

First up was a visit from Bricky (Waz) who is the mascot of the school Shep is principle of.

Next we have Spongebob (Craig):

Since both live under the sea I guess they are old friends.

Barney (Mark) made an appearance:

Followed by Big Bird:
I just had such a great time at this wedding as I am sure everyone did.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Katrina Relief

First Katrina
I haven't posted about this tragic event becasue this is really a knitting blog and I don't want to bring too much politics into it. But since the knitters have come together . . . I want to say I finally added my donation to the Give a Little knitter contribution to Katrina relief effort. I think it is neat that there is a tally being kept for the knitter contributions. My friend and I are currently working on a way to donate some handmade blankets to the relief effort. It's hard though since they don't seem to want anything but money. I just heard that some of the refugee's are being sent to the Red Cross in Rockville, MD. I am trying to figure out if there is anything I can do to welcome them and help out.

Kristie over at Breaching the Web has collected some really interesting links to blogs with timelines and quotes about the governments involvement in disaster relief. So sad to see our relief efforts fail so completely.

Ok on to knitting before I start making this a total political rant.

I haven't had much to say lately. I updated my sidebar to include stalled projects. Maybe seeing it there will make me do something about them and finish something. I really tried not to start anything new, but I was upset about something this weekend and either I was going to eat a ton of chocolate to make myself feel better or sublimate with yarn. So, I bought this amazing silk yarn a while ago from Knit Happens. It is La Luz from Fiesta Yarns in the Rainforest colorway. I bought it for use with the Starbust Scarf from Art Yarns. It is this gorgeous 100% silk yummyness.

I like how this is turning out, but the pattern is a real pain. The diamonds are made by turning the work back and forth to work each triangle. So you knit one whole diamond. Then knit the next diamond etc. Not sure if I am making sense, but all that turning gets old fast. Also I cast on too tightly at the begining so it curls at bit at the end. I am not willing to rip it out now so it is just gonna have to stay that way. I still think it is gonna be pretty. I just hope that one skein will be enough to make a decent length scarf. The yarn is wonderful, but certainly not cheap.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I've been tagged

Mel over at Knitting and me tagged me with this:

Ten years ago I was:
I had just graduated from Smith College. I think by this point I had managed to turn my boring summer internship into a 1 year temp position at SmithKline Beecham as an analytical chemist. I was filling out grad school applications and living in North Wales, PA with Kathy and Dana.

Five years ago I was:
I was in grad school (Brown University) and suffering from severe depression. I was a mess and it was a really difficult time for me. I was living on my own in East Providence, RI. This is when I got Kitty who was my anti-depression cat. I love her and she was a big help to me.

One year ago I was:
Hmm. Not much really changed between this year and last. Living alone in Gaithersburg, MD. Working for the Army as a post-doct. I guess this time last year I was just getting really into the MeetinDC thing. I think I am over it now. I haven't even looked at an event posting in ages. It was a lot of fun while I was into it and I did make some great friends.

Five snacks:

  • Anything that comes in chip form
  • Ice cream
  • Nestle treasures
  • Cheese and Crackers
  • Diet Coke

Five songs I know all the words to:

This is tough, I know all the words to a million songs, Many I really wish I could get the brain cells back from but I am going to change this to my favorite / personal theme songs

  • Miami - Counting Crows
  • American Girl - Tom Petty
  • Rockin the Suburbs - Ben Fold's
  • Cecilia - Simon and Garfunkel
  • Don't Suppose - Erasure

Five things I would do with $100 million:

This is Hilary's favorite game. We played it all through Shep and Jen's wedding. $100 is great because it is huge money even after taxes.

  • Go to spa (fat farm) for a month and collect thoughts and get in shape
  • Pay off all my debts
  • Give $10,000 each to family and friends
  • Set up scholarship / trust fun for nephew and best friend's baby
  • Quit job and open yarn store

Five places to run away to:

  • Why am I running away? If it is really bad I would go to my parents
  • Am I going somewhere fun? London and Edinburgh
  • Dream vacation? Alaska
  • Just for the weekend? To Lewes, DE to hang out with Kris
  • If I had a guy to run away with? St. Martin

Five things I would never wear:

Tough, I kinda wear anything . . .

  • Lizard or animal prints
  • Anything religious
  • A shrug - so unflattering on someone my size
  • Fake nails (I don't know if that counts as wearing)
  • Yellow or orange. I think I look awful in all shades

Five favorite TV shows:

I watch an enormous amount of TV so I am going to split this into still on air and off the air

Off air now:

  • Coupling
  • Twin Peaks
  • Sex in the City
  • Seignfield
  • Gidget

Still on Air:

  • Monk
  • Inuyasha
  • Mystery!
  • CSI
  • Scrubs

Five biggest joys:

  • Being praised. I love being told I did good.
  • Starting a new knitting project
  • Hanging out with my best friend and her baby
  • Laughing with friends
  • Eating a really good meal

Five favorite toys:

  • Knitting
  • DVR (Comcast's version of Tivo)
  • My car
  • My digital camera
  • CD burner

Five people to pass this on to:

I am not really sure how this is supposed to work and I don't really like chain letters. So I am gonna post the names of some blogger that I read and if they read this an want to join in, I would love to learn more about them.

Kristie at Breaching the Web

Yarn Girl

Nikki knits

Crafty Snargle