Sunday, September 30, 2007

Awesome Autumn

You guys are in trouble now! I downloaded Picassa from Google and now I'm learning to make collages. I can impose even more of my photos on you this way! This collage is meant to signify Fall.

What brought this all on? Well I'm participating in the Fall Felted Bag Exchange and they now have a weekly question we are supposed to answer on our blogs. This week's question is:

As of this weekend, the season has officially changed on the calendar - but what makes Autumn feel like Autumn to you, and why?

First of all- the word Autumn is very special to me. I grew up on Autumn Drive and was probably one of the first in my class to be able to spell that word. So truly the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word Autumn is the street I grew up on. I had a wonderful upbringing and remember it fondly. As for the Autumn that comes to everyone else's mind - in California one season pretty much blends in to the next but this weekend I went around looking for signs of Fall. First of all - soccer is on every field every moment of every weekend day. This is probably the most prevalent indication of Fall. Now that I have 3 kids playing soccer it is also an indication that all of my weekends are occupied! There are also changing leaves on some trees, especially the Liquid Amber which can be truly beautiful. Then there are apples and pumpkins waiting to be picked. I love the Autumn and am looking forward to the cooler days and nights but that won't be for awhile yet.

What do you like best about the Fall?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Beware the Cephalopods

The what you ask? Cephalopod - a word known mainly to marine biologists and mothers of little boys - are the family from which come octopus and squids. After having two daughters it was a whole new world having a son. I now know more about the mating habits of crocodilians than any human should really know and I am coming to know much about the little man's current obsession which is none other than Cephalopods. So imagine my surprise when I found the most adorable patterns for the little critters at Hansigurumi's Etsy store! They are called amigurumi which is the Japanese art of knitting or crocheting small stuff animals. Who knew? I have borrowed this picture from her store so I hope that's OK. She makes the most amazing little animals and I purchased the pattern for the Octopus and the one for the squid. I really had to restrain myself from buying others as well but there are only so many hours in the day and no matter how cute I think the seahorse is he really isn't interested in those! She makes all of them out of Cascade 220 and so I was just planning to sift through the stash as I have lots of Cascade left from a broad variety of felting projects. But noooooo, I had to go to the yarn store to get some more yarn for my pal's FFBE bag and there was this gorgeous purple malabrigo in slight variations that just looked to me like a sea creature. Pair that with some ultra soft white Cascade for his underbelly and I was sucked right in! But I swear I'm not going to start him until I finish the shawl that never ends and another hat I'm working on. Really - I mean it!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sock it to Me

My work on the Boot Socks for Horsey Girl is ongoing. I have not worked on it non-stop but it still seems to be going very slowly and I still have another entire sock to knit! I know that many people get hooked on socks but so far I'm not feeling the attraction. Maybe after I turn the heel - I hear that is a monumental occasion. I do think the sock will be pretty when it is done but I'm bummed at how the striping is turning out. The stripes were looking nice and then the pattern calls for a decrease from 80 to 70 stitches. As you can see, then the yarn started pooling. Oddly enough, when I decreased from 70 to 60 it started striping again. It seems amazing to me that a mere 10 stitches - barely over a 12% change - can make such a difference. I think this pattern should come with a warning to use a solid color. I'll let you know if I'm hooked after I turn that heel!

Also many thanks to Janice for teaching me how to post a button (it was a seriously remedial course that I needed!) I have also just started a blog roll. I've only had time to add a few but am planning to add several more. I'm so excited to learn these new technological tricks.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rock On!

I'M SO EXCITED!!! My good buddy Bonnie nominated me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger. You like me, you really, really like me! OK maybe I got carried away but I saw Sally Fields on the Emmy's the other night and I was really hoping she would say that in her acceptance speech! It was so sweet of Bonnie to nominate me. I have gotten to know her so well since we started the International Tote Exchange and I feel very lucky to have a friend like her. I just hope that I get to meet her in person some day soon! Thank you Bonnie - I really appreciate the nomination.

So now I get to nominate five more Rockin' Girl Bloggers!

I'll start with Jennifer who is another friend I met in the International Tote Exchange. She was my downstream pal in the second exchange and I made the surprise backpack for her. We stated exchanging e-mails during ITE and then when I went to Boston we met in person. She is a wonderful writer and the mother of 5 - yes FIVE kids. I'm so impressed with how she does it all.

I also want to nominate Brooke who was my SP9 secret pal and what a great secret pal she was. She sent me so many wonderful things and I really enjoyed getting to know her in the exchange. Her humor is just so fabulous and I love reading her blog. Then we got to meet in person when she came to the Yarn Harlot visit at my LYS. Turns out that even though she lives many hours away she grew up in this area. We have stayed in touch and I think she Rocks!

I also met Alison at the Yarn Harlot event and have gotten to know her through mutual blog comments and e-mails. She has written this fabulous book Wrapped in Comfort and if you haven't read it you should totally check out her gorgeous shawls. Her blog shows all of her amazing knitting and it is clear that she is a very generous person.

I'm also going to nominate a relatively new friend Lisa in Alaska. We have been visiting one another's blogs and she gave me some good tips when I went to Alaska. I'm hoping to get to know her better. You have to check out her blog and see how great she looks in all her beautiful knitted items.

Finally, how about the Yarn Harlot herself? No one seems to have nominated her. Can that be? She is the ultimate Rockin' Girl Blogger so I'm going to try to nominate her.

I would nominate Janice as well but she's already a Rockin Girl Blogger! Janice participated in the ITE and we've gotten to know one another through our blogs as well. I love visiting her blog for yummy recipes and just because everyone there always looks like they are having so much fun!
I would also nominate Hakucho who leaves the nicest comments and has such a beautiful outlook on life. In fact when I went to her blog to find out if she had been nominated yet I actually found out she nominated me awhile ago. I'm so embarassed that I hadn't seen it before but thank you Hakucho!
Now as Bonnie said I REALLY have to figure out how to post this button on my site. Janice explained in Bonnie's comments but it still sounded pretty technical to me with lots of HTML involved!
As to your questions and comments on the shawl that never ends, never ends, never ends - thanks for all the great feedback. WELCOME to all the new commenters and I believe I used the 42" length cord from options. That was perfect in the beginning but now it's a little on the long side (as is this post!)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Shawl that Never ends

I have been working on my Elann Pacific Waves Shawl for many, many weeks. I have not been working on it full time for sure but it is the shawl that never seems to end. I really like how it is turning out but wonder if I'll ever get to wear it! It started with casting on 541 stitches which in and of itself was quite the challenge. Then it reduces by about 2 stitches each time you knit a row. I've knit about 50 rows by now so it's now only 441 stitches per row! As funny as it seems, that really makes the rows go much faster - but not quite fast enough. I think about 20 more rows and I'll be done. I will hang in there - I will!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

In the Eye

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You know what I mean. You could give the same felted bag pattern to 5 different knitters and you would end up with five totally different bags. So different sometimes that you wouldn't even know they started from the same pattern. They would be different colors, someone might add beads or fringe or something totally wild while someone else would tell you they hated fringe. They say that your taste buds change every seven years - can your "beauty eye" change too? For instance, when I started knitting I really didn't care for felted bags. I thought they were ugly and I couldn't figure out why someone would spend all that time knitting something big just to shrink it down. Now I love felted bags and make lots of them. I find the same goes with color. I have never particularly liked green and I find lime green a very unappealing color. However I recently went to a big sale at a LYS and kept finding myself drawn to this lime green Malabrigo. I went back to it several times and finally decided I HAD to have it. I convinced myself I would use it to make something for my daughter who loves the color green. But you never know - you may see me wearing something lime green very soon! So how is it that my visual taste buds have changed so much?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fall Felted Bag Exchange

Yes, I've done it, I've joined ANOTHER felted bag exchange! I'm not quite sure what I was thinking but I like making felted bags, there are only so many I can use myself and it's so fun to make new friends in these exchanges. I have decided to make something that is very functional so I will be making the Little Coco bag. The bottom, top and handles will be purple and the midle will be the multi-color yarn in the photo which has blue, pink and purple in it among other colors. It is the new Cascade 220 painted yarns and I'm excited to see how it looks. Hopefully my pal will enjoy having something functional and maybe I can even convince Mom to line it for me! Anyone else joining me in the exchange? Hope to see you there! For those of you waiting to be adopted by Mom - it's like ravelry - the list gets longer but you never quite make it in the door . . . .

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mom You Rock

Yesterday when I was buckling my little guy in to the car he reached up, kissed me and said, "you're the bestest Mom ever!" Well that certainly made my day! But I didn't have the heart to tell him that my Mom is actually the bestest Mom ever. She is probably about the nicest person you could ever meet and everyone who knows her just loves her. I certainly know my kids think that Granny is about the best thing since sliced bread. I must warn you though - the list of people wanting to be adopted is already quite long. So today's post is all about Mom. She has recently been making these wonderful hats out of some chunky yarn called Jumbo Merino. They are so adorable. You may wonder about the hat thing - could knitting choices be hereditary? As they say, "insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids!" In addition to her cute hats, my Mom has found time to line the felted bags I have been making. I think bags look great when lined - it really finishes them off. But unfortunately I don't sew. So every now and again I impose upon Mom to line them for me. Recently she lined three. I think she did a great job and I just love the fabrics. She found some perfect tennis fabric for the noro Sophie bag which I made for my friend who is as obsessed about tennis as I am about knitting. The purple Sophie got some wild te floral fabric I found at JoAnn's and then Mom found the perfect pink floral fabric to complement the brown and pink ballband bag. THANKS MOM! Isn't she wonderful???!!!