Tuesday, August 16, 2011

WIP it Good: Clap Edition #1

And now... THE CLAP!!!

Please ignore the wrinkled bed >__>

This is the most current picture I have of the Clap. 

For those wondering why I keep referencing an STD (or STI as they say these days -__-) it's this pattern. I believe it is the most worked pattern on Ravelry... if not in the top three. I like to be crass, so calling it the Clap is just an awesome bonus, You should see people's faces when I talk about it in public XD

Whew! I made it to the straight rows! I actually did one less repeat than the original pattern called for. I, uh, also am using thicker yarn and bigger needles so I had to compensate (...and I am a lazy hoar. Sue me). This is gonna be huge.... the right ride of the triangular shape in the picture (which will end up being an edge/end) is already 19"... after two dropped columns. Yikes. I got  1 1/2 straight rows out of the first ball of yarn... meaning I am probably going to end up doing about 18-20 straight rows in all. 

This is going to be my favorite fall/winter scarf! I can hardly wait! Nummy nummy thick yarn in an awesome pattern... the knitter's equivalent to a wet dream. It is going to be heavy... ~1lb. It is already kinda heavy now.  Good thing it's my home project--- heavy pjs do not make for good subway knitting unless you can grab a seat 100% of the time... in other words, never. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

WIP it Good: Sock Edition #1


Squee :D
 Yes, I have big ass feet :P
I even managed to do a half assed kitchener stitch... it wasn't hard, just a bit tedious. 

I call this my mistake sock. I still love it though :) I am casting on for the second sock tonight. 

It's official---I am hooked on making socks!!! It's a good thing I have a sock yarn stash of 30+ skeins already :P 

I started this on 7/31. It has taken me a little more than two weeks to finish the sock. I have done most of the work on my work commute... the only reason it has taken so long. I could have finished it a week ago or so I reckon. But, per usual, I am doing a zillion different projects at once (fucking a. I still have that damned featherweight cardigan to finish. I might end up frogging the sleeve I started too... I was using magic loop and there is laddering and epic FAIL. *sigh*).

Hell, I was even tempted to CO a pair of fingerless mitts last night, but I talked myself out of it and decided to work on my Clap some more instead. I am up to my third straight row, second ball of yarn. The KAL moved the deadline up to October, but I want it finished juuust in time for the first few weeks of Fall :) The socks will be done by the end of the month---sooner, if I can manage to not add any more projects to my WIPs. And cut back on the embroidery :P

I already have the yarn and pattern for my next pair of socks lined up (lol). I will do monkey by Cookie A and I plan to use my Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Blue Yonder. ZOMG That yarn is sinfully soft, and the blue tones are gorgeous! I crocheted myself a pair of socks using it,and they are the softest, warmest socks I own. Looking forward to making a knit pair :)

Progress update on the Clap tomorrow.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Store Review: Michael's Madness... Sort of

I went to Michael's on Friday.

I've always wanted to go to one; when I lived upstate, I'd heard about them but never stepped into one (Joann's was my go-to back then). They opened one in the city (aka Manhattan) a few years ago, but I always put off going. It's all the way on the Upper West Side, and I live smack in the middle of Brooklyn. As you might have guessed, I have a major case of the lazies.

Thing is, there just aren't any decent craft stores I know of in Brooklyn.

Well, there's Save-a-Thon... they have two locations here. The one closest to me is a total shithole. They have a very limited collection of things, and no one that works there knows anything. Seriously. I only go there if I need some sewing needles or something basic. The second location is near Kings Plaza (another trek for me; nearly an hour on a bus to get there. There are no goddamned trains near the place -__-). That one is HUGE. They have three floors chock full of stuff, and a decent selection of (acrylic) yarns, fabrics, and assorted crafty goodies. I don't get out there too often, mostly because of the journey it necessitates.

I get out early on Fridays, so (still gripped in the throes of cross stitch ecstasy) I decided to head out there and (finally!) check out Michael's.

 Check out this yarn bombed bike rack in front the store.
Close up view; a little frayed, but still awesome..

It took me awhile to get there (~1 hr) and it was an up hill walk from the train station to the street the store was on. The store is on a lower level (so no cell phone service past the entrance...boo). The store was bright and reasonably neat. It was a medium sized space, chock full of stuff. It seemed like they were in the middle of switching over to Halloween shit... there would be a kit here, some banners there, and a witch hat mixed in with the yarn :P

Speaking of yarn, they had a disappointingly small yarn section. They had your standard fare of acrylics (red heart, Lion Brand, Caron) and some Paton's wool worsted. There was a small corner of sock yarns (90% Paton's, 10% house brand), none of which were worth the purchase. I, however, was not there to purchase yarn, so I didn't linger long there.

I asked someone if they sold embroidery hoops, and someone briskly pointed me in the right direction. On the way there, I passed more holiday stuff... what is it with stores putting up stuff 2-4 months early??? I get it, you wanna get rid of it before the date, but Jeez. Let me enjoy what is left of the summer! //tangent

So I get to the embroidery section.

I was kind of bare... a lot of stuff was out of stock (including white 14 ct aida cloth! Reallly? Seriously?? Grrr...). I did manage to get a pack of 105 embroidery threads (house brand. Damn skippy. DMC is expensive. They are $1.30 a sk for their plain cotton colors. Compare that to the multipack I bought for $15. Exactly.), sz 24 needles, 4" and 6" embroidery hoops, and some fancy silver thread. I really wanted that aida cloth... I was all  T__T about it being out of stock. They had every other count but 14 in white. If it's so popular, why not order more 14 ct white than any other one?? Well, they had 14 ct in "oatmeal"... I could have gotten that---NOT. Ugh.

After than I lingered and dawdled. It was like being in Toys R Us, man. I wish I could have afforded to get more things... there many other crafts I could have added to my repertoire... like clay sculpturing. Or tie dye. *sigh* I sauntered over to their beading department. The selection was alright, the prices varied from cheap to WTF. I got some findings I needed for making stitch markers, and hopped on the checkout line (conveniently right by the beads. I apparently did a 360 degree tour :P) The cashier was a little blase, but she did like my hair color, so I guess it evened out?

Check out mah new embroidery swag:

Squee! :D

All in all, I am ambivalent about my experience there. It was out of the way and I didn't get everything I came for. I probably could have gotten this shit cheaper online as a matter of fact. Sure, I got some nice things, but was it worth the trek?  Eh. Would I ever go back? The jury is still out on that one.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Stitch Markers! :D

I haven't made any markers in a while.

I have to be in the mood to make them... after I got the findings I needed yesterday (head pins and jump rings), I decided to make some.

My favorite is the one with the stars, of course :P I specifically made a set of six for the next time I make a Clockwork :)

I have made many more to sell; I need to take good pics and put them in my (now) empty Etsy shop.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This is How I Feel Sometimes...

Ahh, if only I could get away with it...

But-but---this is why I craft. Escapism. If I didn't... I'd be behind bars.

Just saying.

Knitting Update #1

I have been knitting up a storm.

I have knit more than I've done any other craft this year so far... which is great 'cause I have gotten so much better at it as a result. I made my first sweater this year, and am almost done with a second, I Plan on making at least one more before the end of the year... and I promised my sister a sweater too :P

If you're on Ravelry, you can check out my project page to see what I have been up to, but there are two projects I especially want to share.

In progress; this is the Clap's increase section, three repeats from the end of the section.

This is my second one. I love this pattern! It is mindless knitting, but not boring.

The best part is unraveling the stitches! It is an excellent pattern for any skill level, and great for people who detest pooling yarn colorways. My only regret is not trying it sooner. There will be more Claps made in the future, both for me and as gifts. I promised myself not to repeat any patterns (with the exception of amigurumi, of course) this year, but I had to make an exception (Plus, it's for a KAL).

This is right after the heel turn. I am 75% done now. 

This one is special.

This is my first attempt at knitting fingering weight socks :D  I love it. I looks like a fucking sock! I've made socks before; I made a pair of worsted weight socks using an online tutorial. It was easy enough, but I was scurred to touch le fingering weight.

This year has been one of milestones for me. Before, I wouldn't have touched needles below a #7 if you paid me. I made a scarf using fingering weight and sz 6 needles, and it was awesome. Then, I made one using fingering wt and sz 4... it took me almost a month to finish (it was my commuter project) but the results were worth it. My gauge was nice and even too; I knew I was ready to try socks again. I dithered and dawdled. I treated myself to some nice sock yarn for my birthday, and decided to use it for my socks. (This is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Sock YarnOriginally, I was going to make a shawl from this yarn, but the label said it striped.

I love striped socks.

What better, thought I, than striped socks that I made myself? I was going to crochet them, but I decided to be brave and try to knit them.

So far... I have made a few mistakes. I am from the "fuck it!" school of knitting so I didn't frog and I didn't let it deter me from chugging on. None of the mistakes are that noticeable (certainly not to a non knitter...) I have gotten progressively better though; the sock's twin won't have as many mistakes as this one.

I have a decent selection of sock yarns, so I am officially in the sock making club!

I am working on two other projects, but they are currently on hold and I can't find any pictures, so another post I'll share them. Maybe.

Embroidery: (Yet) Another Obsession? I Think So.

I bought a kit from Subversive Stitches a few weeks ago. I started it on Sunday during True Blood.

I surprised myself: I really enjoy cross stitching!

When I was younger, I used to cross stitch pillowcases with flowers and ducks...but it was kinda boring and I gave it up. But this---this ain't your mama's cross stitching.

*evil laughter*

Isn't it awesome?  I have to iron this and get a frame for it, but stick a fork innit!

I got the deluxe kit with the hoop. It took me four evenings to complete. By the third night, I was a total pro at it :P I plan on ordering more patterns and kits. I've even downloaded some software to make my own patterns... I have so many ideas.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New and Improved!

*que sparkly jingle*

Howdy y'all! I have decided to start blogging again... craftwise, anyway. I don't think you WANT (or care... *sniffle*) to know about my personal life. I have been obsessed with my various projects, and since I have nothing better to do (and all my non crafty friends must be sick of me telling them about the shit I make...), Voila! Back to Blogging.

I couldn't begin bringing you to speed since my last post... so we'll start where I currently am. Posts with picture SPAM to follow.