Saturday, 23 February 2008

Stitches West

Stitches West:

I went to Stitches West today. It's a knit & Crochet conference. I've never seen so many hand knit sweaters, scarves, socks, and there was even a girl of about 15 in a knit skirt. Interesting pattern with bold stripes and such, but if you can't wear that to a knitting conference, then where can you knit it!? But I almost felt like I didn't belong! I wasn't wearing a single thing I've made. I was wearing an AE sweater actually. I felt like a sell out. And I've never even made myself a sweater! 
I want to remedy that, and was looking for a nice, plain knit cardigan pattern, but (get this!) I couldn't find one. Well, I couldn't find one that I absolutely love. My work office is freezing! In winter, spring, summer and fall, it's always freezing. (I totally hate air conditioning!) So I have a cardigan that I keep at work and wear almost every day. The one I have at work now is getting holes in it. It needs to be replaced... 
I thought the conference would be a good place to find both yarn and a pattern. I think that it would have been if I hadn't been so tired. Actually, I think my problem was that there was TOO much stuff there. I was a little bit on overload. Too many patterns to just choose one. Too much wool to figure out which one I like best. Wool of all kinds and styles. Wool from every beast imaginable. People were there and spinning it right in front of me. I'd never seen that in real life before.
So in the end I didn't buy anything, although I was ready to. I just figured I'd be more upset with myself if I spent a ton of money on patterns and materials that I didn't use in the end. I will scour the public library next time I can go and then just go to my LYS and figure something out. Or really, perhaps I will just buy more yarn online.

But, I should include these little guys too. They are the real reason I went to Stitches West. The Mother Bear group had a booth there and I was delivering them. I figured the $8 to get into the conference was a better use of money than however much it could cost to mail them to Minnesota. 
I'm not very happy with these bears actually. I think they are superlatively boring. There's nothing interesting going on at all with these guys. Sure, one has stripes, but that is still really boring.
But the women who run Mother Bear were there, and very nice. I even got to sew the hearts on my bears. Normally they have to do that once they receive the bears that have been sent, but I offered since I was there anyways. And I grabbed some hearts so that if I ever make more (which I'm sure I will thanks to all of the random yarn I have now...) I can sew the hearts on myself. 

So all in all, a fun few hours at the conference. And now I really want to make myself a nice sweater. 

Thursday, 14 February 2008


It is finally complete! 
(sorry for the horrible picture. I will put it on for a real picture when I'm not gross and sweaty from soccer)

I'm so excited that it's done! I'm pretty happy with it for he most part. But... (Here's a well known fact about me: I'm somewhat of a perfectionist, so it'd hard for me to ever really LOVE anything I make. Whenever I make something I have to comment on the one thing that I think I did wrong. In this case...) I think I was right - it is a little "flashy". Or at least it's too in your face, for my mom's purposes. There's too much contrast between the blue and the pink. I think that the colours in the pattern (green and pink) somehow worked better. It was a little more muted. But who knows, I have been surprised before, so maybe she'll like it.

I've already started on the knitted purse/bag in off time from sewing the sweater together. I was working on that while reading the last few days. It's not as easy as crafting while watching TV, but it is possible to knit and read. (Not possible to cross stitch and read!) I tried it out for the first time during the summer when I was reading HP7 for the 2nd time and crocheting that Ravenclaw scarf (fitting. I know.) and it worked okay, so I'm trying again with this book. You have to stop knitting to turn the pages and you can only do it with books that can stay open on their own (or you can prop open), so this will not always work.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Old School

How old school am I?
This is what I did to create my latest cross stitch design. I saved the picture that I found online, put it into visio and a grid over it, printed it in b&w, coloured it in and traced the outline, took blank grid paper and by hand turned the colour into a counted cross stitch pattern.
So ghetto.

Do I think this is going to look all right in the end? I'm not sure. Here's hoping.
And I like the flower, but I still have to decide where to put their names. To the left? Above it? I'm thinking to the left. I should probably figure this out before I do it, but knowing me, I'll figure it out afterwards...

Sunday, 10 February 2008


I should just never set a schedule for myself - I never meet them. I wanted to be done the sweater by this weekend. I'm not. I'm tired of even writing about it, its taken so long. 
The first step (so says the instructions which I vowed this time to follow since I've so recently had a bad experience with not following instructions and this is for my mother of all people. this has to look good!) is to pin the pieces to the right size and put a damp cloth over them and let dry. Well, that's where I've been... for the past like 5 hours. Waiting for cloths to dry. And it isn't even like my gauge was so off. It was pretty close. It's not like any of the pieces are getting stretched or anything. But I'm going to follow the instructions. I will.

In other knitting news: I bought more yarn. Am I the only one who forgets how expensive yarn is until you get to your local yarn store? It's always a shock to me. Knitting is definitely not the hobby of the poor. Well, some yarn can be reasonable, but I couldn't find any in the colour/thickness that I wanted in anything reasonably priced. I even looked at... walmart. Then I went to the yarn store and found these nice ones to try. At least this time I had $20 from my yarn cards to offset the pain at the cash. 

Friday, 8 February 2008

On the Horizon

The sleeves are done! (Thank you LOST for not being so crazy that I had to stop knitting.) & come Monday the sweater should be finished. I’m sure I’ll post a picture then.

And so I’m already looking forward to my next project. Did I just use the singular? I meant to use the plural. Projects.

I’m thinking about making this bag for myself. Very easy from the looks of it, but I need a new set of needles to be able to make it. It uses much larger needles than I’ve ever used before. But I need a new bag and I like this sort of style of very simple satchel to carry my stuff around.

The other thing I’m thinking about starting, or at least starting to design, is my next wedding cross stitch. It’s for a friend of mine who lives in Alberta, and since Alberta is wild rose country, I thought that it would be a perfect thing to put on it! I looked through my books, and there was one wild rose amongst all the other flowers but I didn’t really like it. I liked this MUCH better, so I’m going to make it into a cross stitch design, and I’m going to do it old school styles. I put a grid over the flower, printed it out, and using pencil crayons (well, once I purchase said pencil crayons this weekend) I’m going to figure out exactly what colours to put where. I hope this works. I’ve never exactly tried to do it this way before… but it should work right? & while I’m sure that there are software programs out there that do this, I think it’ll be kind of fun to do it this way.

Well, we’ll see how frustrated I get while doing it.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

being slow

I think I have a problem. A knitting problem. I may not be a great knitter or a fast knitter (I'm actually really slow), but I love starting projects. Or dreaming of projects. I just don’t always finish them all. Maybe I'm not the only one...

So, I’m almost done the 2nd sleeve for the sweater. I’m planning on finishing it during LOST tomorrow night. (well, unless LOST is so good that my hands stop moving as I yell at the screen ‘don’t go back with them!’ or something along those lines) Then all the parts will be done. Come the weekend, I’ll be able to wash, measure, and whatever else is necessary before sewing it up! Then there will just be the step of going to the USPS and sending it off! Hurrah.

But, here’s my problem… I’ve started another bear. Oops. I think I felt bad somehow that the other one was so boring and I messed up the head on it. So this time I *will* look at the pattern and make the head big enough. I promise! It’s a second chance to get it right. That and the bears are just sooo easy. Can you knit? Can you purl? Well, even if you can’t purl, then you can make these. You can do them in garter stitch if you want! 10 rows for the feet, 20 rows for the legs, join the legs and another 12 for the pants. Add 20 for the top, knit the head and then repeat in the opposite order. Add some arms at the end. Sew it up. And voila. Done.
Plus, it’s such an easy way to use of orphan yarn that you have no other use for and/or is too little to be used for anything else. And do I have lots of orphan yarn!

So now I have the two (active) projects on the go. I keep them in different parts of the apt so that they each get worked on. One by the tv, one by the desk. Hopefully they’ll both be done soon. Maybe