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Spin, Knit May 7, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, Etsy, knitting, spinning.
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I managed to wrench my shoulder a couple of nights ago. I’m not really sure what I did or how I did it – I was sitting on the floor in the guest room-cum-Michael’s office-cum-studio and turned to my left, reached beside and behind me with my left arm to pick up something fairly light, and it must have been just the wrong angle as a pain shot up my arm when I did it. Ever since then it’s been punky. I can put weight on it, I can do most things with it, but I can’t reach out and, say, pick up a gallon of milk with it, or comfortably reach behind me to hook my bra. Trying to wrestle Mim to get her diaper on this morning was just short of torture. It’s just certain angles – one of which I discovered is the force exerted in pulling a hank of yarn taut and twisting it into a skein. That sucked, I actually had to stop and take some deep breaths, the pain was so sudden and unexpected. So yeah. Fantastic.

I am every so thankful, however, that it was my left shoulder and not my right because anything involving pressing with my fingers such as opening a childproof cap would hurt a lot. Being a righty that would make just about anything painful. Fortunately as well my typing is not affected so I can still work.

Speaking of which I do have some yarn photos – here are those two skeins I finished a couple of weeks ago but took crappy pictures the first time around. These were both spun from roving I got from Frog Hair Fibers, I love her colors, especially the second one.

This is superwash Merino wool, I spun it quick and squishy so it would make a really poofy warm yarn as I’m trying to break out of my tendency to spin teensy weensy perfectionist style.



Roving: Superwash Merino color “Candy” from Frog Hair Fibers

This is superwash Blue Faced Leicester, which frankly I was worried about as the BFL I’ve spun has almost been too soft, drifting apart easily while spinning and being kind of a pain in the ass. I was glad that this stuff was still soft, but not without substance. Maybe the superwash process toughened it up a little bit? Anyway the resulting yarn has a fantastic drape, I’m tempted to keep this one for myself.

Handspun BFL

Handspun BFL

Roving: Superwash BFL colorway “Antiquity” from Frog Hair Fibers

In the “making things” department I’ve been dinking around on this Chevron Scarf for a couple of weeks, now. The stitch pattern is so easy that sometimes I start to nod off while working on it. It’s also in fingering weight yarn so it feels like it is taking forever. I think that’s further exacerbated by the fact that I only get a few minutes here and there to rattle off a couple of rows. Or I fall asleep :) Anyway I had these two random skeins of Koigu KPPPM and this was the perfect project for stashbusting them. I’m just about halfway done.

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Chevron scarf WIP

Pattern: Chevron Scarf by Joelle Hoverson, from Last minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM, color P204 (red) and P426 (purple)

It obviously needs a lot of blocking so it’ll lay flat once it’s finished. My plan is to wear it as a headscarf, if I can figure out how to get it to stay on my slippery hair without sliding off. Maybe I need to invest in some bobby pins as I really want to wear scarves on my head and can’t seem to figure it out.


Stuff and things. March 30, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, food, knitting, spinning.
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I’ve made a couple more baby blanket squares. The directive was No Pink, so I’ve had to make do with derivatives of blues and greens.

Blanket squares

1. Intarsia heart – my first complete intarsia project. It wasn’t all that difficult once I got the hang of it, but all those separate bits of yarn – eugh, so not worth it. I still haven’t run the ends in yet and I am not looking forward to it. It’s cute, anyway.

2. Just another patterned square. Still loving the hell out of that Dream in Color Classy. Yarn love.

While we’re on the topic of crafty things, look what I got the other day…


Whatever could be in this big box? I didn’t order any medical supplies.


Fiber! This is 22# of roving, tightly banded together. I’m afraid of cutting that band to let it free. Joy is egging me to do it. I’m skeered!

Proof I’m not completely hopeless:

Proof I'm not a total screw-up.

I baked yeast bread! I probably should have kneaded it more, but it still tasted good.

Knittin’ March 12, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, knitting.
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Got some pictures.

First, I knitted a square for a baby blanket. I am in LOVE with Dream in Color Classy – it looks so nice knitted up and it’s superwash. I think I’m going to stock up on this stuff whenever I see it on sale, it’s just so great!

Pattern: Crystal Sparkle (minus the beads) from 200 Knitted Blocks
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, superwash worsted weight, color 150 Happy Forest

Baby blanket square

Cheesecake shot!

Baby blanket square

I’ve started a second one in intarsia, not sure if I like it yet – once I have progress pics I’ll post em.

Thank you to Kemma for the book recommendation, it’s been perfect for baby blankets!

I’m also getting there with the cardigan for Mim. I spent most of our D&D session last weekend running in ends, there were a billion of them. I hate running in ends but I was able to do it mindlessly while playing so I hardly noticed it. I think I’ll use this strategy, save my end-running for game night from now on!

I mucked up the edges down at the bottom front corners – oh well, I think a lot of it will block out and it won’t matter because Mim’s going to be so cute in it anyway no one will notice. All I have left is to finish that second sleeve, then do the attached i-cord for the neck and ties. It’s going to be huge on her (it’s the 12-18 month size) but it is so cute! She can wear it this Spring and into next Autumn.

Pattern: Tulip Baby Cardigan by Dream in Color
Yarn: Dream in Color Classy, superwash worsted weight, colors 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160, 170, 180

Tulip Cardigan

Tulip Cardigan

It worked up so fast I’m seriously considering putting one on my list in boy colors and watch the sales.

My next project once this is done (and hopefully a couple of other mid-sized projects and a few more baby blanket squares) is Fern, a child’s coat from the book Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines:

I’m hoping if I start it now I’ll have it done in time for Autumn. It’s all fingering weight wool on 2s and 3s, though, so it’s going to take a while.

Munchie is on the table where she should not be. However she is so cute I don’t have the heart to shoo her off.

Naughty kitty!

Some actual progress. February 23, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, knitting.
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It’s been a LONG TIME since I wrote about anything crafty, namely because the past month or so has been a big steaming pile of suck when it comes to free time. With the dog being sick and dying, the kids being sick (though thankfully not dying), me being sick…I’ve had to do so much catch-up with work that there has literally been no time to do much of anything. Housework has fallen by the wayside and now that everyone is better we’re still trying to get caught up.

Anyway I have managed to do a little here and there – no spinning, sadly, and only a wee but of dyeing of things I owed to people – mostly knitting. First I wanted to make something for myself, so I knitted a cowl out of the handspun I fell in love with and bought from Joy. I was trying to think of something useful yet simple to show off the colors in the yarn. I really like it.

I like how the colors are different depending on which side you’re looking at.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I plan to take the remaining 15 yards or so and rig some sort of cord so I can cinch it into a slouchy hat.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I look like pan-fried ass in these pics because this was the day before I relented and went to the doc for strep.

Second I told myself I must finish at least one thing that I had sitting in my WIP pile so I did that, I finished knitting the Entrelac Scarf I started back when kidlet was a baby. I need to run in the ends and block it so photos will be forthcoming.

Thirdly I had all this Dream in Color Classy I bought the middle of last year so I could make a Tulips Cardigan for Mim, only once I had it in my hot little hands I got all intimidated and put it away.

DiC Classy: to be Tulips Sweater

I found it while cleaning up and said to myself, “Self, you really need to get over this and knit the damned thing before she’s too big to wear it.” The pattern goes up to 6 years old, but I wouldn’t put it past me. So I bit the bullet, caked all the yarn and jumped in with both feet.

Tulips Sweater for Mim

Tulips Sweater for Mim

Surprisingly and to my joy this is a very easy and quick knit! I don’t know why I was so cowed by the idea of making it but so far I am really loving it. I’m nearly done with the body and I doubt the arms will take all that long to finish, the only thing I’ve never done before is the applied i-cord that goes around the neckline. I love this yarn and plan to make a matching hat. And just imagine, I may actually have it done so that Mim can wear it this Spring! What a concept.

Baking and crafts and yarn, oh my! December 23, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, food, kidlet, knitting.
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Mmm cookies

Yummy. It took a little doing to figure out the right proportion of flour + dough so that it didn’t stick to the mold, yet didn’t immediately fall out, either. I used a standard Springerle recipe, except instead of anise oil I substituted 3-4 tbs of vanilla extract. It damn near killed my mixer as it calls for nine cups of flour, in addition to the other ingredients – the dough gets very stiff toward the end so I had to take the bowl off and finish mixing it by hand. Ooof. Love my mixer. You’re supposed to let them age but I can attest that they taste good 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, a day later, two days later…they’re awesome with milk, dense yet sort of fluffy, if a cookie can be such a thing.

Paper garland

This is kind of a dark photo but Kerry wanted to see what I made with kidlet and I was testing out the A mode on my camera. I need more practice.

Paper garland

This was fun – we made a paper garland out of some acrylic yarn and punched out shapes – you can recycle greeting cards for this purpose, or, in our case I grabbed four random sheets of scrapbooking paper to try it out. It was a good project to do with kidlet, I punched out two sizes of each shape and he had fun gluing them together. Thank you, Martha!

Paper treat cones

Another Martha project – these are ornaments to be are hung on the tree and treats are put inside the cone. I figure we’ll bring a bunch to my MIL’s and hang them on her tree.

I am not at all ashamed to admit that I love Martha Stewart. I realize that she doesn’t possibly come up with all the cool stuff in her magazines and her website, but still, it’s the kind of organization and “everything-just-so” that a Virgo like me drools over. If only I were half as put together. She’s the modern day June Cleaver.

Therefore I must tell you all about the Martha Stewart website. If you’re not familiar with it, go NOW and get yourself an account. Why? Because everything that is published in her magazines is on the site for free and you can bookmark things in your “collections” which is so amazingly useful! I have Firefox bookmarks but they’re not organized at all and half of them have sketchy descriptors so I don’t even know what they’re for any more. The MS website is just so slick and pretty and I’ve been clicking around saving recipes and craft ideas and I LOVE IT. LOVE.

Like OMG Puffy Maine Pancakes LOVE.

Ironstone Fun

I’m working on some last-last minute scarves for xmas due to finding some gorgeous super bulky yarn called Ironstone Fun for a steal at WEBS (Kemma, take note) – $3.99 a skein, marked down from $12.99. I got three skeins of three colors each. My idea is to make a scarf/hat/mittens out of each color, but we’ll see how far I get. I could always make a mess of scarves. It will hopefully knit up very quickly.

Speaking of xmas prep, things are moving along pretty well, all told. I finished the Springerle cookies and Michael was a HUGE help in getting a good chunk of gifts wrapped tonight, as well as putting the kids’ photo into some photo ornaments I picked up.

Ginger spice cookies

I moved on to ginger spice cookies – oh mah gah, y’all, these might seriously have unseated Snickerdoodles as my Favorite Cookie, Ever. I really love simple cookies with few ingredients that are easy to make, yet so irresistible. The only PITA with this recipe was chopping up candied ginger – it sticks to the knife – but oh WOW these cookies are good. I’ve really had to steel myself not to eat them all and instead save them for gifts.

Well, I think that’s plenty of blah blah blah for one day.