Friday, July 29, 2005

FOville


I finished my second Celtic Cap today. This one is for my BF. He actually went with me to my LYS to pick out the yarn and decided on this pattern. So it's truly his hat. I'm modeling it in the pictures to the right. The only thing that bothers me about this pattern in this guage is that it's shorter than I would like it. If I make it again I think I will add in a cable repeat somewhere. Anyway, I am jazzed on cables and knots now. I really want to incorporate some into my next project.

I went to kung fu and tai chi last night. In tai chi we learned some more of the seven mountain spirits form ( I have to write that down in my diary today) and did some application drills. I was paired with V and I think we went a little over board for tai chi because I have bruises on my hips. I was feeling really feisty in Kung Fu and was disappointed that we didn't do our 2 person combat drill. We did a ton of push ups (130) which I really struggled with because yesterday I worked my upper body with weights until muscle exhaustion. So my muscles were really trashed for class.

We did do some eagle claw which was cool. I hope we keep up with that. During forms I was focusing on trying to do the backwards spinning sweep that comes after the kicking sequence. I am having a hard time with it. It's my weak leg and my wonky side for sweeps. So I started seriously doing pistols today. Of course I am having to use chairs to help me, but I think I might be able to do it pretty soon by myself. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What have I been knitting?


I'll tell you. During the drive to and from NH last week I finished the pieces for the Knit1 cover cardigan. I just have to put it together and rib the front.

I also recently purchased the Celtic Cap pattern from The Girl from Auntie web store. I am on my second hat already and am enjoying the pattern immensely. By the time you've finished the hat it seems like you've gone through most types of plain cabling minus twisted stitches. I've found the pattern to be very clear. Only once did I look up something in another book. ( I checked out Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore from the library which rocks!)

The first hat was in Barlett Yarn 2ply. The cabling, especially at the top didn't turn out as nicely as I would want it to look. It's just not very distinct. I can't decide if it's my knitting ability or the yarn. Secretly I am blaming the yarn. Still it was very satisfying eventhough it felt as though this yarn was sticking to my bamboo needles.

The second hat is Jaeger Shetland. It's 80% wool and 20% alpaca in aran weight. It's much nicer to knit with and very soft.

Can you see my ghettofabulous stitch marker made from a twist-tie molded into a circle? Tres classy, don't you think?

Had kung fu last night. The drills we have been doing are making permanent goose eggs on the outsides of my wrists. owww!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Back from New Hampshire


And it was quite lovely. The forests there remind me a lot of the forests in Washington state where I grew up: faeryesque clearings lined with moss and smelling of decay. Some contain baby conifers that give a miniature feeling to these dark meadows. You can hear a creek burbling somewhere, but you can't see it. The sounds of the forest are soft.

Anyway, perhaps some of the area that I hiked through was second growth forest. It seemed rather old, developed.

The first day consisted of driving there and setting up camp. However, we found ourselves with a little time on our hands and so we went hiking. We decided to go to the tallest waterfall in NH (it's got nothing on the many falls in Ithaca). Our fearless leader said the trail was flat, so I wore flip-flops. It turns out, the trail was mostly through an old creek bed and gained an altitude of 1200 feet or so.....I had an uncomfortable climb to say the least.

At the top we tested our kung fu bravery and balance skills on a little log over a small creek. You can see me at the right.

The next day we began an early ascent of Mount Washington, the tallest peak east of the Mississippi. It towers over 6,000 feet tall and is part of the Presidential Range. I bet you couldn't guess some of the other peak's names?

We took one of the shortest trails to the top. There was a lot of up and down for a couple of miles and then a bunch of straight-upness that took us through creeks and over slick rock. At first I started with the faster hikers, but after we passed this truly lovely cascade and pool and none of them had any hesitation about stopping I realized that they probably wouldn't ever stop. And it turns out that they didn't. They had to wait at the top for a good hour or hour and a half for everyone else and the summit is the absolute worse place to be on the mountain.

Anyway, another one from my group caught up with me and we hiked and enjoyed ourselves. We eventually ran into another fast-group drop out and had a good chat. We waited for the others to find us and we all scaled the mountain together: laughing, talking, appreciating the beauty of our climb.

Near the end of the steep part you end up in the alpine zone. It was so cool. There were mats of trees covering the ground, both coniferous and deciduous. There were little white flowers growing in the lees of large stones. Saxifrage. It was adorable. Clouds were gathering on us at this point and wisps of fog were following us along the trail. Eventually we made it to Cloud Lake. A lovely spot to have elevenses. It's a small mirror lake with boulders scattered through its demense. After our repast we wondered exactly what were the definitions of lake and pond. For this surely was a small lake.

Our next stop was the summit. We still had about 1200 vertical feet to go and a mile and change of trail. The sky had become much darker during our stay at the lake and as we ascended the final slopes our visibility was about 150 feet, completely obscuring the views.

At around 12 we made it to the top. It was tourist madness. There were cars, vans, a train and people galore. You could purchase food, souveniers, and visit a museum. I was violently thrown out of my hiking experience. I had just been wholey immersed in a world populated to perfection by rock, moss, lichen and cloud. Now I faced coal smoke, generator noise and the clamor of the masses. I wished we had stayed at the lake.

Anyway, the obligatory pictures were taken and after lunch and we began our descent on another trail, one we thought might be kinder to our knees. Meanwhile it had cleared up and our new trail was free of trees for quite some time. It also meandered startlingly close to the edge of the mountain side.

We all made it back to camp that evening satisfied with our day. And after showering I felt calm and relaxed. Of course I didn't know that I was about to develop a terrible sunburn on my legs. I had put on sunscreen but apparently not soon enough. My legs are still red (6 days later), but they don't hurt. I am just very itchy.

The next day we went for a morning hike on a trail called the Basin and Cascade. It was a beautiful hike up a small creek replete with waterfalls, pools and mini-faerie, moss landscapes. At the beginning of the trail, the creek bed is in granite bedrock worn smooth over the years. There are a sprinkling of boulders, but mainly one is able to walk up the channel. Further up on the trail the granite is hidden by downwash and regolith and so the creek takes on a different character. with more enclosed pools and vertical cascades. After some time I and a couple of others decided to turn around and enjoy the lower portion. A few people were even meditating in the water. I, of course, was trying to doze off.

Later we spent the afternoon lazing in the river by our campground. There weren't any nice rocks to sit on so myself and another moved a picnic table into the middle of the river (it's a shallow one). We were cool and bug-free. The minnows, however, kept nibbling on our feet.

Friday, July 15, 2005

What type of wool am I?

I always wanted to know....
You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by
Quizilla

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I am going to miss the big event

I agreed to go camping this weekend quite a while ago never realizing (until yesterday) that Saturday was the release of the new Harry Potter. ARGH!!!! I am going to have to wait until Monday night to lay my hands on it. I really hope this turns out to be a good trip and that I don't accidentally find out who the half-blooded prince is.

In Kung Fu tonight instead of doing the two person combat drill, I got to go at it using swords with another student. It was really cool, but difficult since I really don't know how to attack someone with a sword yet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Hey, I went-a-felting!


And these are the results. The Silk Garden and 220 sword bag felted okay. I think it shrunk a little more than a third in length: maybe 40 percent or so. I really like how the 220 looks. It's nice and soft with the Silk Garden, though. I was quite worried about it felting down to small, that it wouldn't be long enogh for the sword. Now I think that it's not wide enough. Oy, I feel stupid. It was going to be a gift. No I might use it for sticks instead.

One thing I would like to add here is a laundry list of things that one should bring to the laundry mat to do their felting:

1. a bucket to hold your project if you want to take it out before the spin cycle etc. It will make a wet mess everywhere otherwise and you need to support all that wet stitchery.


2. a bunch of yarn scraps to use to fix any holes that may develop during felting. This seemed to happen more when I used lots of different colors in a work and with tweedy yarns. hmmmm....

3. other laundry to do while felting for the second or third time. And hefty items to add to your felting load.

4. another project to felt in the same washer. It really is not economical to felt items seperately.

I guess that's enough for now.....

Okay the second item I felted, the vintage bubble bag, was pretty much done on the first wash and spin. Lamb's Pride felts very well. I knit it with 13's and one strand of worsted. It shrunk down so small. It's a mini bubble bag. I love its smallness. I really wanted to make some flowers for decoration ala trellis bag in Vogue, but I haven't found the right color for it yet.

It's so teeny and cute :)

Prefelted Vintage Bubble Bag


I am pretty sure that I am going to do a little bit of felting today. I have two items to transform. One is a vintage bubble bag from Pursenalities and the other is a sword bag. Well I hope that's what it turns into.

Last night at kung fu class my forearms got really beat up. First we did conditioning which is just banging different parts of your arm against someone else's arm. Then we did two person drills where we were blocking a punch with the same part of our arms. We did variations of this drill for something like a half hour. My left arm is bruised and swollen today.

Not a great picture, but you get the idea.


Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Main FO Gallery

Click to go to the hat gallery

Hats




Click to go to the bag gallery

Bags




Click to go to the shrug and sweater gallery

Sweaters and Shrugs





Click to go to the socks gallery

Socks




Click to go to the scarf gallery

Scarves

Sunday, July 03, 2005

So Soft Scarf



Description: I bought the Patons Carment and had to use it for something because it is soooooo soft. It's amazing. It's also the devil to knit with and can only be realistically done with a strand of something less insane.

Yarn: Patons Carmen and Galway worsted

Pattern: My own. It's hard to tell but it's ribbed

Gauge: ?

Needles: US 17

Jelly Bean Scarf



Description: A child's scarf knit for a friend's little girl. My first use of "novelty yarn."

Pattern: My own

Yarn: Lion Brand Boucle in Gelato and Fun Fur in pink

Needles: US 17

Vintage Bubble Bag



Description: I originally bought this yarn for a hat, but couldn't resist the felting bug. I'm really glad I did. I used this purse all summer. Blog entries here and here.

Pattern: Pursenalities Used single strand of yarn throughout.

Yarn: Lamb's Pride worsted in Brite Blue

Needles: US 13 cirular 24 inch

Not So Vintage Bubble Bag

Not so vintage bubble bag

Description: I made this as a gift for my sister-in-law. More in these entries here and here.

Pattern: Pursentalities

Yarn: Cascade 220 and Noro Silk Garden 87

Needles: US 13 and US 15 circulars 24 inch

Comments: I made the flower with a modification of the flower pattern here. Before picture below.

Swatch Bag

swatch bag after the third felting trip (maybe the 9th total wash)

Description: My first felted bag. For its story see this blog entry

Pattern: My own

Yarn: Lots of different stuff

Needles: US 13 circular 24 inch

Comment: see pictures below for its felting evolution

Prefelting

After the first felting trip ~ 3 washes

After the second felting trip ~ 6 washes

Close up of fabric after third trip to the laudrymat

Bartlett's Yarn Booga Bag



Description: Sorry this is kind of a sucky picture. I gave this bag to my mom for mother's day. She loved it. It's made from some of the first yarn that I ever bought! (I gave my first FO to my mom so I knew she would recognize the yarn)

Pattern: Booga Bag from Black Sheep Bags with minor alterations.

Yarn: Bartlett's 2 ply yarn from various times and places. I used it single stranded.

Needle: US 13 circular, 24 inch

Comment: I had a terrible time felting the peach and yellow colors. Green and blue were fine. See the prefelted version below. I wish I had taken measurements.

Celtic Cap 2


Description: This is the second version of this pattern that I knitted. The yarn I used this time was very well suited to the pattern. I knit it for my BF and he really liked it. See my blog entry
Here
Pattern: Girl From Auntie Celtic Cap

Yarn: Jaeger Shetland Aran

Gauge: 4.75 sts / inch

Needle: US 7 Circular 16 inch