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Shamefully Unproductive

At the most, I think I’ve picked up my current WIP just a handful of times.  Even my sewing machine is collecting dust once again.  Oh well, starting a new job is taking some getting used to, especially adjusting to my new schedule while trying to get over a nagging cold.  I am keeping a project at work to knit during lunch, but for some reason I’d much rather read during that hour than be handling yarn.  Heck, I’ve even been visiting knitty.com and ravely.com minimally.  When I do log on to knitty, it’s mostly to visit the Gallery to see what other knitty heads have been creating.  The other forums hold little to no interest, particularly the Vented Spleen which I avoid completely. On a positive note, my yarn stash has not grown at all since even my interest in yarn has subsided quite a bit.  Yay says my bank account.

Knitty’s winter issue is up and even though I have yet to read the articles, I quickly scanned all the new patterns.  While I found some of the patterns in this issue quite silly, ugly or just not my style, there are several patterns worthy of my “to do list.”  Chevrolace socks are my favorite from this issue.

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Clown Socks Finished

I’m relieved I got my knitting mojo back and was able to finish my clown socks this weekend.  Overall, I am thrilled with the end result.

Clown Socks finished

Yarn: Opal Feelings’ shade 1705 for the leg and foot and Opal Uni’s shade 1413 for cuff, heel and toe. 
Why I like this yarn: 1.  The colors are bright and happy and the coordination is awesome. 2.  The yarn is self striping and in big bands.  Yep I hate weaving in those loose ends. 3. Provides lots of yardage.

Clown Socks on

Pattern:  My own.  The cuff is a 2×2 rib, the leg and foot stockinette, Folk Sock’s provided the Dutch Heel and Star Toe.  Since I wanted to utilize as much of the yarn possible and have a longer leg, I CO 96 stitches (because of my ginormous calves 😦 )and decreased 8 stitches at the beginning of every band’s color change until 68 remained. 

Clown Sock closeup

Needles: Size 0US 5 set dpn’s

Clown Sock side

Even though I did make these with a longer leg, there is plenty of yarn left over for a small pair of socks. DD has been asking me since I first started these if they were for her. Well I guess she’ll get her socks after all and they’ll actually fit her right. 😉

I’m In

Ravelry sent me their invite to join sometime in October.  I accepted, signed in as bufanditas and began touring the site at once.  Overall I like how easy it is to see other people’s projects, their comments on said projects and the yarns they used.  A nice feature is the ability to link projects to published work and the database of yarns is pretty amazing as well.

I’ve begun adding current projects to my notebook.  There’s no way I’m listing all my previous FOs nor my yarn stash because quite frankly I don’t feel like taking the time to upload all the images to flikr nor recreating something that I’ve already blogged about.  I won’t take the time either to add to the “to do” list because I’d rather waste my time doing something else.  I will try to list future projects whenever possible but knowing me, I’ll probably do that in spurts, just like I do when it comes to posting here.   

Yes, I’m bad when it comes to posting, but I’m trying my best to keep current.   I’ve also been kind of bad on the knitting front.  I managed to complete the first Clown sock but for the past week or so the second sock has been placed on hold halfway through the heel.  I’m sure I’ll finish it by the end of the year.

clown progress

Since I haven’t been knitting, I’ve been sewing a lot more.  I’ve made a couple of small project bags, (click here for closeups)

project bags

a makeup brush case,

makeup bag

a pinafore and skirt for DD.

pinskirt

 Next on my list are curtains for DD bedroom.  I have one week to complete them before I had back to the real work force on a full time basis.  I have a feeling once I go back to work, my posting will be even less frequent given how undisciplined I am.  Time will be sure to tell how it all pans out. 

My Kinda Deals

Not only was I able to get two sets of these for less than $25 after using passwird.com’s special 20% off code, I also scored some great book deals at a local Barnes and Noble.  This summer I received a $25 gift card from B&N and had held on to it because I hardly drive near one of these stores.  I’m glad I didn’t use it right away because after my trip to LnT to pick up the pillows, I paid a visit to the B&N which is in the same shopping strip. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked through their doors was a cart partially filled with books and other merchandise.  A big red sign advertised a 75% off sale.  A magnetic force pulled me immediately to the cart to check out the selection of clearance stuff.  To my delight I found two cookbooks, two children’s books, one kick-ass leather bound journal and this baby:

30678.jpeg

It ain’t no Barabara Walker, but for $7.50, it is guaranteed a spot in my library.  In all I’m pretty happy to say that I only had to fork over $1.80 to cover the difference between the gift card and purchase total.  I love finding good deals like these.

Dusted It Off

My sewing machine that is, because it’s been months since it was last used due to the lousy tension which I couldn’t fix.  I figured I’d give it some time off with the hope the problem would take care of itself. 

Guess what? It did.  Maybe something settled down during the time it stood still or maybe I just had more patience to figure out the problem.  Who knows.  I’m just glad it’s working better.

Given that I’d been knitting more socks lately and having to run more errands which required sitting/waiting patiently while my name was called, these two activities merged perfectly together.  Well almost.  You see, I’ve been carrying my knitting in either bags that are too big or too cumbersome. 

For a time now I’ve had my eye on those little pull string bags, aka, sock project bags, but since I’m a cheap ass and couldn’t bring myself to spend $10+ on some rather sad looking ones nor the $20+ on the nicer ones, I made do with what I had.  My philosophy of course was why spend more money when I had the materials and some of the skills needed to construct what I want.  But I was being lazy and used Ziploc bags instead to carry my knitting.

That of course changed when I the sewing bug hit me hard.  I took out my sewing machine, dusted it off, rummaged through my fabric stash (which I’m embarrassed to say could be a tad smaller) and found fabric remnants I’d purchased a while back. 

After some planning and pattern making based on sample bags I liked, I began to cut, sew and assemble.  Here’s the end product.

project bag

DH was nice enough to comment on the fabric’s “happy” colors but their assumed association doesn’t bother me. Let’s face it, I’m of Mexican decent and like the majority of my people, I love color and the more of it, the better.

I forgot how much fabric I had, but was able to make a total of 4 lined bags.  The simple drawstring handle made from ribbon I found in my stash keeps the bag nicely closed and is the perfect length to carry from your wrist to knit as you go. Needless to say, I was rather pleased with the end product even though there are little adjustments here and there planned for a few more future bags.

project bags

Given how inspired I was, I even managed to sew six pairs of pants and start a bathrobe for DD to wear this winter.  Might as well but a dent on that fabric stash and take advantage of a working sewing machine.  For my next sewing projects, I’m planning  storage cases for my dpn’s and my makeup brushes. 

Poor yarn, poor me.  These socks started out as socktopia’smystery socks  but after knitting two up to the gusset, I came to the conclusion that it was not a happy marriage between the yarn and the pattern.  So poor yarn gets frogged and poor me lost all those knitting hours.  Oh well, many a knitter can relate and I’m sure you’ll agree I did the right thing given how the pattern is lost in this colorway. 

bad mystery

The pattern was put to rest for a more appropriate yarn and the yarn was knit into a simple 3×1 rib.  I think this was a better alternative given how “busy” the variegation on the yarn is.

3×1 rib on3×1 rib

To be honest, I’m not thrilled with the color of this yarn.  The colorway is one of those that looks better on the skein than knitted up, but as long as my feet are warm this winter, I won’t make a big fuss. 

Pattern:  My own.  The cuff is a 1×1 rib followed by a 3×1 ribbed leg and foot.  A modified slip stitch heel flap from SKS was used and Folk Socks provided the instructions for the round toe.
Yarn:Skacel’s Trampoline #235
Needles:US1 dpn’s

Everlasting Bagstopper

It’s only appropriate that after my last rant I knit something environmentally “friendly.”  Ms. Singer’s Everlasting Bagstopper was a good choice especially since I was gettng grocery shopping done at Big Wally’s, who for some reason does not understand that more than two items can be carried safely in one plastic bag. 

My god, the number of plastic bags they hand out to customers with each purchase is ridiculous.  But shopping there is occuring less frequently.  I’ve opted to shop elsewhere after all the recalls, the amount of Chinese originated stuff they sell and quite honestly, their produce sucks.  (Personally, I have a theory that the Chinese are trying to kill us off and what a better way than through all the crap we buy and consume, but that’s for a different post.)

Anyway, let’s get back on track and talk knitting.

Le Bag

Yarn:  Cherry Tree Hill Rainbow Ribbon in “Life’s a Beach”, acquired over two years ago during a grab bag sale, hence the crappy color.  The yarn is great to work with and is so soft but the color leaves much to be desired.  The hanks come in 530+/- yards, so there is enough left over for another bag.  The question is, do I really want another anything in this colorway?

Pattern:  Knitty Summer 2007 with modified handles.  The idea of carrying a load on my shoulder was not very appealing so I opted for short knitted handles.

Verdict:  If I really intend to stop the entry of plastic bags into my house, I’d better start cranking at least 5 more of these bags.  They also work quite well when it comes to pecan picking.  Not only does the bag expands nicely to accomodate a good picking of pecans, (and believe me, with 6 of these trees on our property and all the rain we had this summer, we are having quite a harvest) but the YOs allow for air to circulate around the pecans making it less likely they’ll turn moldy as they dry up completely.    Fortunately this is a good “no brains needed” kind of pattern so I don’t have an excuse not to make more. 

Good for Pecans