Saturday, December 24, 2005

Simone's Scarf or the Double Whirly

simone's double whirly by Miriam MackYarn: Blue Skies Alpaca sport weight (2 skeins)
Hook: L

  • Crochet a no-chain, single crochet base for desired length (I alway use my couch as a scarf length gauge) Here's a tutorial for making the chainless foundation stitch. You can also find excellent videos on Youtube. It's a wonderful skill to add to your crochet repertoire and makes that first row so much easier.

  • R2: Increase row, single crochet (SC) into each stitch twice

  • R3 SC across
  • R4: Increase row, SC into each stitch twice

  • R5 SC across

  • Fasten off

  • SC across caston edge (same number of stitches as in caston)

  • Repeat rows 2-5

  • fasten off and weave in ends

  • block if desired and twirl up both sides of scarf

simone's scarf, by Miriam Mack

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Worried Sheep T Shirt!

Worried Sheep Shirt!

I am giving this to my mom for Christmas. Isn't it cute? Beth, who made the knitted ammonite from the Ithaca Stitch'N Bitch makes them. I had no idea until I came upon them on her etsy site. I was just looking to what other cute little creatures she was knitting up and selling. I think my mom is really going to like it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Some Holiday FO's

Vintage Bubble Bag for my gift elf, Cayli1

Vintage Bubble Bag, lots of different yarns
Another gift for Cayli1. My version of Flourish. Free Pattern

KSH Spiral Scarf>Kid Silk Haze Spiral Scarf

Holiday work party gift. Spiral scarf made out of Knit Pick's Suri Dream

Knit Picks Suri Dream Spiral Scarf
Knit Picks Suri Dream Spiral Scarf

Friday, December 16, 2005

Snow Day!

No school Today!

You know what that means?

A day of glorious knitting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What kind of knitter are you?

A secretive one! I have been working on holiday knitting. Especially my KR gift elf package. I've had loads of trouble with one of the knitted gifts and decided to restart from scratch with a good dose of positive energy.

And with that in mind it's turned out lovely if I do say so myself. In fact, maybe this was the design I was supposed to send in the first place but somewhere along the line I didn't listen to my inner voice? That sounds rather true. I feel very at peace now that everything is ready to go and headed in the mail today.

Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum

But the real inspiration for this post came from the quiz result below:

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

If you look at the stats, most knitters are gurus. That's just because knitters rock!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I passed my kung fu test!

And my official kung fu name is now Red Haired Dancing Crane. It's a nice name that happens to contain a good natured insult or two. Red heads -> temper -> dancing -> sometimes I look more like a dancer than a martial artist.

The exam was 5 hours long! I won't go into particulars as I don't want to bore anyone, but it was physically demanding and I was so hungry by the end!

Overall, I made some mistakes here and there, but I am particularly happy with the way I performed one of my sword forms. I think I did a pretty good job with technique for my level of swordsmanship. I haven't got any feedback yet about that. But I am pretty sure my spirit while doing the form was right on the mark. My fellow students said I looked nice and firey. That's means a lot to me as I tend to look like I am dancing and skipping a lot of the time.

Someday I will get a picture of me and a sword.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Dear Gift Elf!

I love it, Cayli1!

Truly, I am so impressed. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I love how you said that you enjoyed the whole process, but in your case it really was the whole process: your own sheep, your own spun and dyed wool, hand knitting. Amazing! Really, it touched me. I am so glad that I participated in the exchange. It's a wonderful thing to wear something that someone knit for you. It's just infused with their energy or chi or something. Awesome!

I was lucky that it is so sunny here today. It seems to me that the sun must have come out just for this, like a Thomas Hardy novel.

First I would like to reveal the loveliness of Cayli's Yarn. She's gifted me with ~200 yards of rambouillet from one of her former sheep which she dyed and spun. When I look at this yarn crocuses popping up through the snow fill my mind. It's so soft, too. Unfortunately my pictures aren't capturing the subtle colors in the yarn. Imagine, if you will, the presence of light indigos and lighter green-blues mixed in artfully with colors that you see already. And as your hand caresses a skein, you feel the smootheness of the wool and notice its lustrous sheen. Now you know Cayli's beautiful yarn.

Cayli's handspun yarn

Lace ScarfMy next gift is a beautiful lace scarf made from a black mohairy type yarn with a glittery accent. I love the pattern. The stitches are so delicate and it feels great on. What's amazing to me is just yesterday I was thinking that I needed to make another black scarf because my usual one is getting ratty. Perfect! It's my first lacely scarf ever and I really like it. I definitely could wear it to something fancy-shmancy but I think I will probably end up wearing it everyday.

Shadows and laceI also noticed that lace does cool things in the sunshine.

The hat that Cayli made
And the last lovely gift I pulled from the box was a handmade, ribbed hat. This was also made from wool from one of Cayli's sheep. This time a finn. It's handspun and hand dyed ( how did you make the cool stripes?). The colors remind me of cherry blossoms. Now I feel like I am a walking cherry blossom. And it's a lovely feeling. The fabric is warm and dense and the hat fits my head perfectly snug. Isn't it awesome?
Me in Cayli's hat

Thank you so much, Cayli. I love your presents and appreciate the time and thought that went into each one. I feel so lucky that you were my partner!


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Kung Fu

I have a test coming up next Saturday. It's a big deal because it is the only one that will happen for a year. It's funny because my teacher feels that testing is not really important and that the class should know who is the best. Yet the examination will be hard, long and thorough. He thinks it will take something like 5 hours to complete. It won't all be physical though. There is a written portion.

It's really unfortunate that I have had an injury. I was so strong just a couple of months ago. I could do more than 40 pushups at a time. I've had to give up training pull ups and pushups for my shoulder to heal better. Now I have a hard time doing 20. So there is part of the test that I will fail: push up hold. We have to hold a pushup in the down position for 30 seconds. There is no way I can do this. There are a couple of other shoulder intensive exercises, but I think I will be able to pull them off.

My goal: All of this week I am going to practice my forms in the morning. I'll only need to present two, but I want them to be excellent. So doing all my forms everyday will build up the cardio endurance. I will do some stance work, but I want to be careful not to over tax my muscles this week (outside of class at least). I need them to be fresh. A lot of the grit it takes to hold painful stances for long periods of time is mental anyway, that's what I need to train.

What I don't need to do is injure myself. I had this feeling today before heading off to class that I just shouldn't bring my sparring gear because doing so would tempt fate. I always get hurt so why risk it? But I didn't spar last weekend and I told myselft I could decide at the studio. Well of course I decided to go for it. And of course I got injured. There is a pulled muscle in the back of my neck from getting put into a guillotine choke.

It's so frustrating. I am mad at myself. I should have listened to my inner voice saying, "this is a bad day to spar. don't do it." But no. Before we even began I asked my teacher to go easy on me because I didn't want to injure myself before the test. This was probably even more of a jinx.

I tapped right away when he sunk in the choke, but my neck still got pulled like like a hank of taffy. I didn't know right away that I was hurt. It took a couple more punches to figure it out. I think adrenalin blocks all my pain. My teacher rubbed the muscle really well which helped a lot. Tiger balm helped too. Now I am going to ice it. I hope I am okay for weapons class tomorrow. I love stick fighting.

Friday, December 02, 2005

FO: Cabled Panta

I posted pictures of it blocking, but since sometimes it can take me months to seem, I thought I'd show the actual finished panta. This is the first time I have actually been happy with the way I sewed something together. The cables matched up nicely!

Pattern: I adapted the Panta pattern from the thread and mixed in an adapted version of Alice Starmore's cable pattern for her Kittiwake hat from Aran Knitting.

Yarn: Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted 75% wool 25% alpaca 220 yards in a 100 gr ball

Needles: US7

Gauge: 5st/inch and 6 rows/inch

Comments: I really loved knitting with this yarn and I can see myself knitting a lot more with it in the future. I would use it just as I normally would use Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride. As for the pattern, I would leave out a couple of border stitches that I used in future ones.