Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Don't You Love....

Ravelry! If you haven't gotten on that thing, you must. Many people believe that blogging has fallen by the wayside since the advent of Ravelry. Plus there are so many other places to connect on the web nowadays (Twitter, Facebook, Flickr). I just keep my life simple and do the blogging and Ravelry.

And why do I like Ravelry so much? It's the perfect time waster. I could look at patterns for hours and hours, swoon over the yarn choices, laugh at the cooky avatars, and add a ton of new projects to my queue. It's not that I plan on doing these projects today, it's almost like you save it right away so that you can get back to it a few months later. It's a great way to organizes oneself (especially when you're not organized yourself).

Another reason why I like Ravelry is because it's a great way to get some knitting done. I'm sure your thinking "What on earth do you mean Kelly?" I'm what they would call a product knitter, so I could give two shits about HOW something is done, just as long as it is done. However, whenever I don't have the time to knit, I go to Ravelry to get that knitting itch scratched. I find great pleasure in looking at other people's FO's and dreaming up FO's of my own some day. Am I the only person that feels this way?

So why do YOU like Ravelry?

Friday, June 26, 2009


I love taking pictures. It's easier to take really good ones when you have a good camera. One thing that makes me stay reading a blog is to check out the fantastic pictures. Now I'm not saying that I'm going to quit what I'm doing to become a professional picture taker (I'll leave that to the experts). What I am saying is that taking really good pictures are as satisfying as finishing a knitting project. Luckily, I have both here for you.

This is a cowl that I started and finished in 1 week. The yarn is Creatively Dyed Yarns and I got it at Stitches Midwest last year. I was going to make socks out of it but decided that the fabric was too stiff. I found this pattern on Ravelry. It's called A Nobel Cowl and it's super pretty.

Clearly it's huge and cannot be used till fall. I have never really worn cowls before but it makes sense when you just want your neck to be warm. Plus it doesn't take as long to make as a scarf and they don't get boring either. Dare I say it, cowls are a great holiday present and they bust stash like crazy.

But what I really think that's super great about cowls is how they make me feel so cozy and warm. Like when it's a super cold day outside, billows of snow and hail falling from the sky, and you have a cup of hot chocolate or tea, some great easy knitting, and some football or your favorite movie on the TV. Yeah. That's how a cowl makes me feel!

But back to my original point about pictures. Even though content is very important to a good blog, excellent photography just makes the story pop. I mean, a big factor on whether I buy a knitting book or not is if the photography looks great. Even if it's plain seed stitch, nice pictures make anything look spectacular. What's your opinion on this matter? Does good photography really matter to you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Time Warp

So this is what has been taken up much of my time lately:

Looks like a weird science project, eh? Actually, I've been growing zucchini seeds in them for 4 weeks. And FYI, there is absolutely no dirt in the container. Just SumiBalls. These seedlings were actually ready to be planted by week 2 but I've been carrying them around town showing people how cool this stuff really is. Check out the blog to learn more about these SumiBalls.


In addition to cool science projects, I've also been casting on. I started these socks back in May. Look at them now:

The yarn is Indigo Moon and you can get it (where else) at the Loopy Ewe. The pattern is Paraphernalia (rav link) and I got the yarn during our travels to a magical land called Lanigan back in May of this year. It's in Saskatchewan (that's in Canada if you weren't paying attention in geography class back in high school) and the landscape reminds me of all the other boring plains states like the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, etc.

It was so much fun being up there with 4 dogs, 1 cat, several different humans, lots of alcohol, and of course knitting. It was my husband's family reunion so we had a good time. The yarn is super cool to work with and is from British Columbia, Canada. That's why I got it. I know, I know. I told you a few post ago that I didn't need any more yarn. But vacation yarn doesn't count! Besides, people always buy t-shirts that say "I went to __________ and all I got was this stupid t-shirt" even though they don't need any more clothes. And who of you out there need another shot glass that shows famous landscapes and iconic structures of whatever city you are visiting? I didn't think so.

I can't take the Empire State Building home with me, but I sure can go to Purl in Soho and pick up some cashmere. Now THAT'S my type of souvenir.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Raining Cats & Dogs

So last night it was raining like buckets. The thunder was so loud that it actually woke me up! My husband couldn't sleep either. Poor thing is a light sleeper so even a cat meowing can wake him up.

When I woke up this morning, the sky looked like it was done peeing on us, so I thought it was appropriate to let you guys know that we have added some new family members. No I did not have a baby during my hiatus. These family members have four legs and are hairy.

You all remember my first cat. Here she is all grown up:

Well then we got a dog for my husband's sake (he loves those things). His name is Abby (short for Abigail, which I will explain in a later post why we named him that):

Then for good measure, we picked up a stray male cat and named him Jackie Chan (can you tell why?):

Now we have 3 animals and a house that is always in shambles. Good thing we don't have white carpet!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What? You Finished Something!

Yes. I do have an FO. I actually finished these socks Saturday night. I've been working on them for like 2 months. Not to say that I'm a SLOW knitter. I've just haven't been a FOCUSED knitter.

The yarn I used was Araucania. It's from Chile, and like the wine from that region, it's nice yet cheap! I have another skein of this in a dark plum color that I'm not sure what to do with. The semi-solid colors in this sock is gorgeous. The pattern is Baudelaire without the cable. I did a short-row heel instead of what the pattern called for, which some purest would say that what I made was not Baudelaires but something else. Sometimes I like learning new knitting techniques, but that day when I got to the heel, I said "No thank you!" and kept it moving. In other words, it's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

Too bad I got to wait till October to start wearing them. Off to the storage bin it goes!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Lately, I've been longing for simplicity. Simplicity in my career, in my marriage, and in the way that I relate to my loved ones. So quite naturally I've also been longing for simplicity in my knitting. Unfortunately, whenever I actually start to do the knitting, I find myself changing my mind for more complication, with the excuse that it will be boring if I just do plain old stockinette. The only problem with this is that it's not great for TV knitting or waiting on lines or for helping me pass time.

Do you ever struggle with this? You definitely want your knitting to be interesting, but you do need something to occupy your hands as you are occupied talking on the phone or doing a long distance drive. I mean stockinette is great for long car rides over night, because you can't see anyway, and if you can't sleep, you can do a couple simple rows before you drop your head again.

The simple solution is to have a few complicated projects and a few simple projects on the go at all times. The problem that I tend to run into is I always have grand plans for my knitting (don't we all) and I really want every project to be spectacular. But at the end of the day, whenever non-knitters compliment me on my work, they don't know the difference between intarsia and cables. They just say, "Wow! That's so cool you can make socks! I can't see myself doing that!" (don't you hate when people say that they can't learn how to knit for whatever excuse. You learned how to brush your teeth, certainly you can learn how to knit).

So in honor of my new found need for simplicity, I started these Sunday night:

I love the bright colors of Perchance to Knit by Susie. This yarn actually was gifted to me by her a little over a year ago when she was doing a destash sale on her blog and I opted to take some yarn off of her hands. I thought I was getting a sweaters worth of yarn and enough sock yarn to make a pair of socks, but when I got the package, she through this lovely skein in as well.

I have to admit that as a skein the colors looked really garish, like something I would have loved in the 5th grade but not as an adult. But as I'm knitting this up, it makes me so happy! The colors are stripping really well and I can see myself pulling these socks out on cold winter days when I need a little pick me up. I'm looking forward to this being done in a few short weeks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Marriage

So you're probably wondering when I signed my life away (i.e. got married). February 2, 2009 was the date we did it (my brother-in-law's day of birth). It was the cheapest wedding I've ever seen - $60 (for the license and the judge to come and perform the ceremony). It was great! I wore a turquoise cocktail dress with shiny red stilettos and one of my hand-knit scarves (a Clapotis actually). He wore work clothes (he's a man, not a peacock). Here are the obligatory pictures:

As you can tell, we were happy that day.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In Like Forever

Blogging shouldn't be that hard, you know? I mean your just saying a few words about your day and having people come by to read up on you. Unfortunately, for me, I need to be inspired to write, and as of late, I haven't been.

The last time I talked to you all was November of last year. Since then, I've gotten married to this guy:

I now have another cat and my husband just got a cute all black dog. That brings our animal count to 3. Lord help us all!

Don't worry, I'm still knitting. Not as much as I used to though. That pesky thing called work keeps me busy (which I guess is a good thing because it does support important necessities like food and my yarn habit).

Last month, my husband, his brother, and I went to Canada (Lanigan, SK to be exact) and I was able to get some souvenir yarn, under the agreement that when we got home, I would count all my skeins of yarn and not be allowed to exceed that number ever again. So that means, I would have to knit up a lot of yarn before I could buy anymore to replace it.

Tell you the truth I was scared to face my stash (has that ever happen to you?). So on Memorial Day, I did it. I counted my stash. My results were frightening:

Total Skeins - 140
Total Projects - 38
Total Pairs of Socks - 28
Total Shawl projects - 10

In other words, I have enough yarn to make 28 pairs of socks and 10 shawls. Not to mention the one skeins of worsted, chunky, and cotton yarns I have. I also did not add the yarn for projects that I have on the needles (which right now is about 3 sweaters, 3 socks, and 1 crochet baby blanket for my sister who is having a baby in July).

Thankfully, I learned a lot from this experience. One major thing is that I really like sock yarn (that's an understatement) and like buying lace weight. I'm always looking for slick deals, and in my mind, $20-$25 for a project isn't as bad as $100-$150 for a sweater. Lately, however, I've been wanting to make more sweaters. But the yarn just sits there. I wake up every morning to a beautiful display of colors in my bedroom. Whenever I get stressed, I literally go up to my room, and start petting the yarn.

After I counted everything, a thought came to my mind. I hate to admit it, but my husband was right. I don't need anymore yarn! I already barely have time to work on the projects I do have on the go right now (hahahaha)!

At least if the world really does come to an end, I'm prepared with enough projects to keep me occupied for years.