fallingbooks: piles of books and yarn (fallingbooks)
2010-11-24 08:32 pm
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No, not me. It appears that I am to be an auntie.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, (An auntie? Really? ALREADY? I'm only...mumbletymumble... Huh.) I started digging through Ravelry for patterns.

At the moment I'm working with the specifications of 1.) it's a girl, 2.) no pink, and 3.) don't even think about skully hoodies. I am somewhat saddened by the last point, but at least the sibling said nothing about space invaders. (Mind, I didn't exactly ask, either. What she doesn't know...will possibly hurt me in the end, but will totally be worth it.)

ANYWAY. The only thing I know I'm making right now are duck feet. Yarn has been ordered, pattern has been printed, and Auntie Sarah is at the ready with her needles. But what the hell else should I make? Sweaters? Dresses? Socks? I'm kind of stumped, especially as we'll be getting into spring when she's born (which is still cold, so not a total loss, but.) I used to babysit. I remember how fast kids grow. She'll probably be wearing 6x by the fall, knowing my family.

Anyone have any favorite patterns or pattern books they can recommend?
fallingbooks: (Default)
2010-06-24 05:33 pm

2 Week Sweater Aftermath

Okay, I tried to post about my 2 Week Sweater yesterday and it got eaten and my heart was broken and the world was ending so I went off to mope and spin some SAL fiber for the rest of the evening. Let us all hope that this goes better this time.

(The post, not the sweater. It's still in a completely unnommed state as far as I know. Maybe I should go check...)

ditz inna damariscotta (my god I hate having my picture taken.)SO! I finished my sweater at midnight on Saturday morning, and almost a week later I'm still wandering around in a state of shock. I. Made a sweater. Holy freaking crap, I made a SWEATER. In LESS THAN TWO WEEKS.

(In case it hadn't clicked, I'd never made a sweater before. Sweaters were big and scary and had seams, dear God, SEAMS. Only really good knitters made sweaters.)

I honestly feel like I can take over the entire world right now, clad in my fiefdom conquering sweater and despot crushing socks. My ego is now immense and my self esteem is insanely high. I had a huge mental block and this project helped me vault right over it and now all I want to do is make sweaters. Lots of them. Right now. No, seriously. RightNow. If for no other reason than that, the project was a success, but it turns out that despite my yarn-subbing, modifying shenanigans, the sweater is surprisingly wearable as well. Huzzah!


Damariscotta from the Spring 2010 Twist Collective
Yarn: Stitch Nation Full O' Sheep in Mediterranean
Needles: KnitPicks Zephyr Interchangeables, size 6 and random sz 5s (DPN + straights)

Starting at the bottom of the list -- I decided to test drive the Zephyrs on this project. (I needed to get a size 6 circular, anyway.) I have a longstanding love of vintage plastics, (and also a longstanding history of accidentally snapping them, whoops,) so I've always been intrigued by them. Can I say, these needles are seriously awesome? I could get all pretentious and talk about handfeel and flexibility, but the bottom line is they're nicely slick so that your yarn moves over them easily, and they have the warmth and give that I've come to expect from using the vintage needles all while being pretty darn cheap. I'll definitely be adding more of these to the collection.

The yarn, however... this just wasn't the right project for it, for me personally. I had it kicking around in the right quantity and didn't want to go buy the recommended yarn (because I am lazy, and there tends to be a dearth of decent cottons around here,) so I totally take ownership for my decision. That said, the yarn halos like mad, and when I say 'like mad' I'm not indulging in hyperbole to talk about the little bit of fluff that you get on knitted objects after a couple careful wearings. No. I'm talking, 'holy crap, this looks like a carpet after a 3 am catfight between some seriously aggravated persians' before the darn thing was even worn. (Okay, maybe THAT'S a bit of an exaggeration, but not too much!) I was simply shocked by how much it haloed knitting it up, considering how smooth it looks in the skein. Me, I'm not a huge fan of fuzzy sweaters. Scarves, hats, shawls, fine. Sweaters, no. YMMV. The color is lovely and even, however, and it is fabulously warm.

I love the pattern. I'll probably use it as a base for a fistful of other sweaters. The directions are clear and concise, comes in a variety of sizes, and it's easily moddable to adapt to your personal wants. Personal mods: lowered the neckline by 8 rows (still legal, but will layer better over some of my other tops,) subbed in 6 rows of seed stitch, bound off in pattern for the rolled hems on the arms, and 8 rows, split at the side seams for the bottom hem. The main things I'll probably do the next time is tinker with the decreases coming out of the bust, and add an extra one for a slightly snugger fit, and not move to a smaller needle for the hems.

I'm thinking a slightly longer body with long sleeves that switch to a complimentary color at the elbow for the next one.


In spinning news, I currently have two SALs on tap. The ITW one needs to be completed, um, soon, (It went on the wheel last night!) but the Fiber Fancy batts arrived yesterday (accompanied by Laffy Taffy and candy buttons!) so I think I'll put them aside and work on them as part of the Tour de Fleece insanity.

(I may have a poll on what I should work on for TdF this weekend, because I seem to have acquired quite a bit of fluff, and my decision making capabilities are a bit overwhelmed by all of it. It does not help that I essentially have no plan for any of it.)


Into The Whirled SAL fiber - Inspirations 'Starcrossed' & 'Teal'

itw-starcrossedITW - Teal


Fiber Fancy SAL fiber - Wonka 'Fizzy Lifting Drinks'

fiber fancy - fizzy lifting drink


I'm thinking about including some book reviews and whatnot on this blog. I used to maintain a yearly list of new books I'd read and some capsule reviews elsewhere, but let it lapse about a year ago, but I'm starting to feel love again. I read mostly urban fantasy, romance, graphic novels, and gobs of YA, as an fyi/fair warning. ;)
fallingbooks: Schact Ladybug #51! (spinning)
2010-06-20 10:09 pm

Oh, my poor bathtub

First off: SUCCESS! I finished the sweater in the week smalls of Saturday morning (possibly fueled by some boxed riesling,) and will try to get some pictures and notes up about it later in the week. I gotta wash and block it first. Which reminded me:

I bought a couple bags of unwashed alpaca (gorgeous natural greys and blacks, which are my favorite,) at  a show this year and decided that in order to have it ready for the Tour de Fleece, I needed to wash that sucker asap. I have a pound of it, and I have plans to get through it and about a pound of other miscelleaneous pretties while watching Dr. Who avidly.

(I admit, I am not so much into bicycling races as I am into having an excuse to be single-minded about a project for a set period of time. I am on teams Tardis and ITW on Rav.  Join us!)

(Incidentally, I now have 'Doctor, doctor, gimme the news' rattling around my head.)

I had no idea the sheer amount of ick that would come out of this stuff. Oh. My. Unspecified Deity. I threw a few ounces in a large mesh laundry bag and started rinsing it out with a little shampoo and I'm quite frankly not sure my tub will ever recover from this. As it stands it's still not perfectly clean, but it's good enough that I should be able work with it without watching the ick build up on my hands in horror.

I think this may cure me of my fleece-lust, at least until a get a bigger place (and a scrub sink) to work on this stuff in.

On the other hand, I now desperately want a drum carder and some silver angelina.

It's always something. ;)

Edit: Alpaca with his own personal wading pool. Very funny.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
2010-06-09 07:37 pm

I blame Twitter. Twitter is bad for you.

Hi, my name is Sarah, and I'm out of my freakin' mind.

I follow the Twist Collective on Twitter. And Twist Collective Kate who tweets, has issued a challenge: she has to knit up a sweater in two weeks, so why not see who else can do it.

Me, being a complete nutcase with a penchant for starting new projects, leapt on the project like it was made of coffee Timtams. (Which is to say, rabidly.)

I cast on a Damariscotta last night using Stitch Nation sheep in Mediterranean. I was wondering how it knits up. (The answer: Halo-y.) I'll try to check in with this project regularly so you can place bets for when the breakdown happens.

Damariscotta - In Progress


In the meantime, I would like to offer proof that I do occasionally finish projects. I present my Emerald Starling stole, in a 2 ply fingering weight Romney I spun up. I really liked this pattern for hand spun, particularly the semi-stripey because it really shows off the yarn while adding some visual interest to the piece with the lacey cross sections.

frank's shawlfrank's shawl

Fiber Fancy - Mustard and Herbs
fallingbooks: (yarn)
2010-06-06 09:14 pm
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I took a good hard look at my stash the other day. It is not a small stash, and although I don't have to stuff yarn into the arms of winter jackets or other out-of-season clothing to hide it from an SO, I do have a tendency to shove as much of it as possible out of sight when I know Non-Yarn-People will be coming to visit. I have a bin of fiber the cat could go swimming in and I'd never notice.

It's getting bad, y'all. And Rhinebeck is only four months away.

(Oh, you THINK that's plenty of time, but no. No, it's really not.)

Anyway, I was looking at the stash and realized that I have to do something about it before I bring anything else in. Some of it is up on Rav right now for sale. Mostly the odds and ends of things that I bought on impulse with no real plan at the time and 6-24 months later, I'm still lacking one. I also signed up for a spinning fiber stashdown in July. I am going to spin the living daylights out of my stash. Or at least some of it. Definitely parts of it. Every little bit helps, right? It may not minimize the stash that much in terms of actual fiber content, but sheer fluffy volume has to count for something!

I am also going to knit sweaters. I have been been meaning to for a while and avoiding it like the plague, but a week or so ago I finally got up the gumption to make the ubiquitous February Lady Sweater like I'd been meaning to for the last year and a half, and you know what? Sweaters aren't all that scary. (Says the girl who just frogged about 33% of a Cecchetti because she screwed up a count somewhere. Oops!) I've queued up a bunch of cardigans, but there's not a whole lot of pullovers that I've found appealing. I'm thinking I may have to figure out how one of the various raglan generators work.

(If anyone has any recs in this area for patterns - I don't care if they're not free - I'm looking for a wide boat or scoop/sweetheart/square with cap or full-length sleeves and a long body...and a 50"-52" bust. Designers ARE getting better about including larger sizes (Mostly. If they're indie. ::scowls at Ella Rae and Louisa Harding, among others:: It's not my fault I'm 6'0" and busty!) so I'm not going to complain overmuch. It's killer when you find THE. Perfect. Pattern. And it stops at a 44" in bust, though.)

And finally, (back to the original topic,) there will be no more buying of yarn until Rhinebeck. I will refrain from acquiring anything other than what I've got coming in from the club. I will stand fast against wooly temptation! I will shop the stash! I AM ON A YARN DIET.

(Unless I get forcibly dragged to Webs against my will and find glorious charcoally grey worsted alpaca shoved into my hands with the instruction that an angora bunny will die for every second that I stand there with it unbought. Because clearly at that point it was meant to be. Think of the bunnies!)

I am a tower of strength and willpower.
fallingbooks: (yarn)
2010-04-14 09:52 pm
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I'm SAL-ing away...


So. There are these things called Spin-A-Longs.

(There are also Knit-A-Longs and Crochet-A-Longs and even Dye-A-Longs, but these are not causing me angina right this second.)

You have your favorite fiber crack dealer. They have a Ravelry group. They go 'Hey! Let's have a SAL!' Everyone else goes 'Yay!'. You go and buy a minimum 4oz chunk of themed fiber from their Etsy shop and are supposed to spin it up and post pictured to said rav group by a specific deadline. Winners get accolades and goodies from said crack dealer.

Guess which idiot is supposed to be spinning for THREE SALs right now? I mean it. RIGHT. NOW.

(Guess who also has a 8oz project on the wheel eating up all of her bobbins and has NOTHING to do with any of these SALs?)

I have one set done. It is the small and easy one. One is a 4oz set that requires some thought and another is a 8oz that, dude, I just do not know what I'm gonna do with.


::runs off in a panicked fit::
fallingbooks: (yarn)
2010-03-06 09:04 pm
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Panic in 3...2...

AUGH. I just bought 5 lbs of BFL top for dyeing.

More later when I'm done hyperventilating.