Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Sylvester!!!

Happy Sylvester/New Year's Eve, y'all!

Today is a day when most people clean the house, organize their finances, and otherwise prepare for the new year. Or else they reflect on the year soon to be over, and on what all happened in the past 365 days.

Instead, I baked.





Two loaves of fine banana bread, which I enjoyed with a cup of English Breakfast tea. It's seriously yumtastic, if I do say so myself.

I also worked some more on my Guido scarf, which is coming along nicely, albeit slowly, and there isn't much progress to photo-document.

Last night I met with Deborah, one of the knitting ladies here in Portland, and we had a wonderful catching up on all the news of the group (and our own crafting triumphs) since Thanksgiving, when I saw them all last. And, as Deborah does, she gave me a wonderful Christmas gift of a scarf, some nice lotion and other dorm necessities, yummy PB fudge, a gorgeous jewelry box, and, of course, lots of lovely yarn.

We have some more gorgeous Yarntopia Treasures Rayon Boucle, this time in the Coral Reef colorway:



And a big hank of the Yarntopia Treasures Summer Cotton Boucle, in the Corsage Colorway:



Deborah has given me a fantastic amount of fine yarns, including lots of gorgeous sock yarn, and some lovely lace weight yarn. Now, I can handle sock yarn, since I always manage to have 2 or 3 pairs of socks on the needles at one time. But I never knew what to do with the lace weight yarn. Which was a shame, since it's all so gorgeous. BUT NO MORE! I went researching last night in search of what to do with the lace weight yarn. I don't wear shawls, since I wear so many hoodies, and those just don't go all that well with shawls worn over the shoulders and back. BUT I saw how a lot of knitters would wear their shawlettes wrapped around their necks like scarves, and it's just gorgeous! SO! I'm making myself a shawlette. More specifically, this this shawlette (Ravelry pattern page). The center is all stockinette stitch, with a gorgeous lace pattern along the two shorter edges, so it'd be nice and warm to wear like the model in the picture does. :-) And I'll make it with this yarn:



That's 500 yards of the Yarntopia Treasures Rayon Boucle (another gift from Deborah) in the "Blue Lagoon" colorway, a gorgeous purple/turquoise color. I wrassled that hank of yarn for a good 45 minutes last night to get it into that lovely little ball. You see, as a poor, starving college student, I don't have the funds for a swift or yarn ball winder, so I wind hanks into balls by hand. My usual method is to sit on my bed/a chair, put my feet up on the bed/another chair in front of me, unwrap the hank, and drape the big, fat, O of yarn over and around my knees so it doesn't get all tangled while I wind it into a ball. Now, this particular hank had been busy tangling in the bottom of a stash bag somewhere for a few months, so it wasn't particularly eager to untangle into a nice, neat ball just yet. 45 minutes, a good deal of cursing, and a surprisingly rigorous ab workout later, and I had this little ball to show for it. Now I can't freaking wait to cast on!

Why not cast on, you ask? Well, I've discovered this amazing social group on Ravelry called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup , where you join, get sorted, and for each 3-month-term you take "classes," participate in Quidditch, and hang out in the discussion forums of your house (or, for Not-Quite-First-Years, like myself, who missed the sorting deadline, we hang out in the NQFY common room). For each class (8 per month, 3 months in a term), you make something that pertains to the assignment. If you complete it within the month, you earn points for your house (or just kudos and funsies, if you're a NQFY) with extra points for creativity. Then the house with the most points at the end of the 3 months wins the house cup! It sounds like an awesome way to motivate each other to get projects done in a timely fashion (I know I've got one too many WIPs that need the extra kick to get done). Also, everyone I've met in the forums and chat rooms is really nice and encouraging.

Classes start tomorrow, so I've been keeping myself from starting any new projects so I can see if any of them fit the class criteria so I can submit them for that. One important rule is that you have to start AND finish your project within the month of the class for full points.

Anyways. I'm really excited about that! Classes are announced tomorrow, and I can't wait to get started. Also, a side effect of this is that it's motivating me to re-read the HP books by listening to the audiobooks while I knit. :-)

In other news: The brother and sis left this morning for a trip to NYC for New Years, so I've been given the enormous responsibility of caring for Toki, Nora's rat, for the duration of her trip. Also, Mom Dad and I are going for dinner and a movie tonight. We're going to see Tangled, that new Disney movie based off the Rapunzel story, and I am sooooooo excited! :D

One final parting thought: I've been thinking about changing the name of my blog to something that is more representative of what I and my blog are about. YoungKnitter is somewhat apt, as I'm still young, but I won't be young forever (and I'd like to keep up this blog for at least that long), and I knit. But it doesn't say anything about who I AM. And also, I have had the experience that a lot of more "mature" knitters don't take me seriously because of my age. Sales clerks at LYSs will show me straight to the bulky yarn and learn-to-knit books. Even some knitting friends have offered to help me learn to knit, even after I've shown my proficiency in our sit'n'stitch get-togethers. So I'd like to find a name that's more demonstrative of who I am and what I blog about. A thought is that I travel quite a bit. I travel between home and school, I love traveling on breaks and long weekends. I've traveled to lots of places in my childhood, and those places have all made me who I am today. And I plan to travel and live internationally for a living, starting at graduation. So this blog will still be mostly about knitting, crocheting, and spinning, as it always has been, but I'll also start including travel stories and pictures when I have them.

So! With this in mind, I have thought of some possible blog names. In every situation, Knitter and Fiber Freak are interchangeable, as I haven't decided which one to use yet.

Musings of a Mobile Knitter/Fiber Freak
Musings of a Migrant Knitter
Memoirs of a Migrant Fiber Freak
Thoughts of a Traveling Knitter/Fiber Freak
Typings of a Traveling Knitter/Fiber Freak
Tale of a Traveling Knitter
Tales of a Nomadic Knitter
Narrative of a Nomadic Knitter (yaaay alliteration!)
The Wandering Knitter

I'm not sure why I'm so fixed on the "Noun of an Adjective Knitter" format, but it sounds right to me.

Anyways. I welcome your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions, and I hope you all have a lovely New Year's Eve and a great start to 2011!
Signing off for the year,
~YoungKnitter

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Knitting round 2

The Uncles are visting for a couple of days, and I finally got them to sit still long enough to take pictures of the hats I made them for Christmas!

The Alexander Hat, whose pattern I designed and wrote down and just sent off to a friend to see if she'll test knit it. If anyone else is interested in test knitting, let me know!





Dale's hat's pattern I found on Ravelry here And it turned out quite nicely!





Then there's Toki's new house!



Toki is my sister's new pet rat, who is really adorable, but rather difficult to photograph.



Our house is kind of cold, so I figured I'd make her a little basket to hang in her cage in case she got too cold. I made it using Vanna's Choice, which is 100% acrylic and machine washable (a must), and it's cute and she likes it, but she doesn't quiiiiite fit. So I figure I'll make her another one that's a bit bigger. I improvised the pattern the first time around, too, so it'll be nice to fix the kinks on round 2 and maybe even write down the pattern to put on Ravelry. Can you believe there are very few rat house patterns on ravelry? ^^

More crafting news: I said in my last post that I went to the yarn store. Here's a pic of my spoils:



That's a bunch of worsted weight yarn (lion cotton, vanna's choice, red heart soft, and I think a bernat brand cotton), some felt in assorted colors, a bunch of embroidery floss, the book, and "Poly Pellets." Those are little plastic pellets that look kind of like lentils that you put in the bottom of your amigurumi creations (then fill the rest with regular polyester stuffing) to make them more bottom-heavy and stable.

Here's my progress so far on the Ninja pattern:



That's the body and part of the head.

I've started on my Guido scarf, which is a plain gray-and-red argyle scarf I'm making as a favor for my friends Laurie and Sherlynn. They're the costumers for the show I've been working on all semester, called Nine. They apparently looked high and low for a proper scarf for the lead, Guido, and couldn't find exactly what they wanted. So they came to me! Here's what I've got so far:



It's a pretty simple argyle, but I designed it myself! It's worked in the round, so it looks the same on both sides, and it's gonna be really cute. I'm excited! :D

And now that the crafting news is over with, I'd like to post some pics of my cooler christmas gifts!

These are awesome teapot earrings my sister made for me in her glassblowing class:



Then here is an adorable keychain my brother found at an artisan fair in Portland, OR. Pretty cute, huh?



And, last but not least, some gorgeous roving from Santa. It's a cool gray-and-purple blend of "Locker Hook" Alpaca roving. SO LOVELY! I can't wait to get back to school and my drop spindle so I can start on this beautiful stuff.



Now after this abnormally long and picture-heavy post, I shall wish you all adieu and enjoy the rest of 2010, as I get started on Holiday Knitting Round 3. :-)
Happy Knitting,
~YoungKnitter

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Knitting revealed!

Well, folks, I have successfully survived the madness that is holiday knitting! And with some sanity to spare, too...

Nora's Jayne Hat (Ravelry project page) was well recieved:



As was Harrison's Blanket (which I finished in time, but still have to weave in the stupid ends, which I hate):



And my dad's hat :



That's round 1 of holiday knitting. Round 2 is for my Uncles, who are coming to visit tomorrow. They each get a hat, one of which I've finished (but not photographed... ooops) and the other I'm still working on... This is the one that I'm designing, and will hopefully have posted in the next couple of days.

Round 3 is for my friends at school, which I'll start whenever I get around to it, I guess. :-) Joe is getting a Hufflepuff scarf, Melanie a Ravenclaw one, Erin a hat, and Tessa some arm warmers.

I also went yarn shopping yesterday. My brother still doesn't understand that "too much yarn" is an end goal, rather than a deterrent, for yarn shopping. My quest on this particular yarn shopping trip was to get the materials necessary to start working on the awesome patterns in a book I got for Christmas from Erin called Creepy Cute Crochet. It's full of adorable amigurumi patterns of zombies, ninjas, vampires, spartan warriors, cuthulus, and all that great stuff. I started on the ninja yesterday (finished the body and started the head), and will take some pictures when I get a little farther along.

Christmas itself was as wonderful a family event as I could have hoped for. We spent the day in our PJs, except for a brief snowy hike in the woods. I got some great loot, including a good 100g of gorgeous Alpaca fiber, dyed a nice dusty purple, for my next spinning adventure. Darn, I left my spindle at school! I got lots of warm clothes and pretty jewelry (including cute teapot earrings that my sister made out of glass! SO COOL!) And also a brand new tea infuser mug and some lovely loose leaf tea. Yum!

But, as always happens, I almost have more fun watching my family open the gifts I made/bought for them than opening my own gifts. Next year's goal: make gifts for the whole family, and START EARLIER so I don't drive myself crazy at the last minute.

More to report (including pictures) soon!
Until then, Happy Knitting!
~YoungKnitter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

FINALS :-(

That's right, folks. Our very own YoungKnitter is currently locked in a battle to the death with that most fearsome of beasts - end of term finals. *quake in fear* This means that I have no regular sleep schedule, I eat the most unhealthy of things at the most unusual of times, and most of my days are filled with procrastination and other attempts not to study. But alas, my last two exams are almost upon me, so I must put down my facebook and crochet hook in favor of a textbook and some flashcards. Observe:



What you see here is everything a girl needs to dominate her Japanese final. Well, not everything...



Luckily I have Ozwald to keep me from going insane and to guard me from the fearsome 日本語のぶんぽ (Japanese grammar) and the mountain of Kanji (Chinese characters) flash cards that threaten to eat me.

In other, more exciting news, IT SNOWED IN NASHVILLE!!!!! Basically all of Sunday we were graced with a gorgeous, almost constant dusting of snow. We ended up with a good inch or so! Here is the view out my sadly dirty-and-foggy dorm window:



Another fun piece of news, the costumers for the musical I've been working on all semester, Nine, have decided that our lead, Guido, needs a scarf. So! Who do they come to but the fearless YoungKnitter!!! We picked up two different yarns (a burgundy RedHeart SuperSaver and a dark gray Patons classic wool) with the intent that the scarf would be mono-chromatic and we'd choose the color later, but then I got all experiment-y with colorwork, and I produced my very first Intarsia!!!






YAAAY! More progress on that later, but most likely after Christmas. I still have a bunch of hats to make.

Finally, what blog post would be complete without another progress report on the monster blanket! TA DA!





59"! Just 13" left until it's a good 6' long. Wow. O.O It keeps amazing me how freaking huge this blanket is... But I'm almost done! And none too soon, either. I'd like to get it finished before I head home for Christmas, since the brother gets home before I do, and I would be forced to crochet in the dead of night while locked in my bathroom to avoid him discovering the blanket!!! Then I've got a 2-day grace period so I can finish the sister's hat before she gets home, then its just the two Uncle hats and I'll be done for the holidays!

Well, back to the books, and hopefully a break to go see Tangled tonight! Wish me luck on exams...
Happy Knitting,
~YoungKnitter

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Progress and new hats!

Thanksgiving break is almost over, and I've made TREMENDOUS progress on Harrison's blanket! Observe:





40"! Wowie Zowie. I plan on making it a good round 6' long, so I've still a ways to go, but I'm fairly confident I'll have it done in a few weeks. :-)

Other than crocheting, I've been sleeping more than is healthy, reading like a madwoman, hanging with my family and my sister's new pet rat, Toki, and baking and eating a LOT. It's been heavenly. I head back to school tomorrow, so I got a bunch of yarn shopping done today! Other than Harrison's blanket, the only knitted Christmas gifts I'm making for my family are a hat for my two uncles that are coming up to stay with us for the holidays and a hat for my sister.

My sister wants a Jayne hat, like the one that the character Jayne Cobb wears in the TV show Firefly. I got some good yarn for that:



Unfortunately, no one type of yarn at the shop I went to (the Stitching Mantis) had all three colors I needed, so I got 3 different yarns.

The hat for my Uncle D is just like a hat I made for myself last January or so. Here's a link to my ravelry project page for that. It's just a plain beige yarn, very warm, that's in a simple k2p3 rib until the end of the brim, then the ribbing kind of swirls around the hat. It's a super-simple pattern but it's really cool looking. :-)

The other hat for my Uncle A is gonna be something of my own design! I'm so psyched to make this. It's gonna be pretty simple, nothing too fancy, but it'll be a good baby step to get me started on writing my own patterns. The yarn I got for that is here:



Along with my sad excuse for a gauge swatch. That's Shepherd's Colour 4 me 100% wool yarn in navy and teal. Should be exciting!

No other news or progress, other than a wonderful Thanksgiving break and my imminent return to Vandy for the last 1.5 weeks of classes and 1.5 weeks of exams, and then back to Maine for Christmas break!

I hope everyone is getting into the Holiday Spirit (Christmas knitting! YAY!)!
Happy knitting,
~YoungKnitter

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Projects, Projects, Projects!

Hello, Internet!

Long time, no blog. It seems it's easier to say I'll blog every day when I'm bored over the summer than it is to do when I'm at school and running around like a headless chicken. Let's just say, 15 hrs of classes, 10-12 hours of work, and rehearsals 5 nights per week, every week makes for some interesting schedule juggling.


HOWEVER! My time has not been wasted, and I have lots of crafting progress to report :-)

First and foremost: I've finished one of my 3x1 ribbed socks out of the Plymouth Happy Feet!



Yaaaay! I stopped at the one because my shipment of regulation yarn from Socks for Soldiers had arrived and I got started on a pair of regulation socks!



That is a 12" leg right there! Rather impressive. And tedious, but it feels like I get more good karma every stitch :-)
Unfortunately, I keep putting off picking up stitches around the heel for the gusset, so I haven't gotten any farther than the heel flap. And started on the leg of the second sock. But then I got distracted by the arrival of yet ANOTHER shipment of lovely yarn! I ordered a bunch of yarn to make my brother's blanket 2.0 (the first attempt got lost and/or stolen by the US Postal Service. I'm still a little bitter. Link to a post about blanket attempt #1 ). I got 3 skeins each of Black, Light Gray Heather, and Teal Red Heart Soft yarn. And here's the progress so far:





And a closeup:



It's a simple ripple afghan pattern, with 3 rows of each color. What you see in that picture is just about a whole skein of each color, so I'm worried it's gonna take way more yarn than I thought to finish. Is it too wide maybe? I guess I'll see. :-) I want him to have and enjoy this blanket forever and ever! So a few extra skeins are worth it. :-)

I hope to finish it by Christmas, so it will be his big gift this year. It seems like a lofty goal, but I've found a surprising amount of time to crochet. I'm Assistant Stage Managering (ASMing) for Vanderbilt Off Broadway (VOB)'s musical this year, Nine, and that means I have to be at every rehearsal (3 per week, about 3 hours each) to help out. Normally I don't do much other than help with line cues and move chairs around sometimes, so I have lots of time to crochet. :-) Also, I'm heading home on Saturday for Thanksgiving weekend, which will mean a whole week to crochet. :-) Unfortunately, my brother won't be able to come home for Thanksgiving (just a 4-day weekend, and it's not worth it to fly across the whole country for just 4 days), but that means I won't have to hide the blanket from him while he's there. :-)

I also bought yarn for some Harry Potter house scarves! I finished mine yesterday:



Using a skein each of Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice yarn in Brick and Mustard. I thought the colors would be weird when I saw them at first, but they look great together! I also got these:



for my friend Joe's xmas gift, a Hufflepuff scarf! That's Lion Brand babysoft in lemon and black. Now, my scarf was done in a hurry (for the movie premier tomorrow night. I'M SO EXCITED AND I'M DRESSING AS HERMIONE AND I CAN'T BELIEVE ITS ALREADY HERE AND I CAN'T CONCENTRATE ON HOMEWORK CUZ IM SO EXCITED YAAAAAY!!!!) so it's just plain ol' garter stitch the whole way along. Simple but I like it :-) It's also nice and warm, and pretty comfy for 100% acrylic yarn, and I haven't taken it off since I finished it last night in rehearsal ^^ Joe's scarf, on the other hand, will be knit (stockinette stitch) in the round all the way along and then flattened and tassel-ified so it looks more legit. :-) If you're on ravelry, follow this link for the pattern.

Those are all of my current projects (other than the Vilai socks, which are hibernating). I've made some GORGEOUS impulse yarn purchases recently:




Those are two different colorways of Crystal Palace Yarns' Mini Mochi, turned in the picture to see all the color changes. Unfortunately, the light in my dorm is not that great, so the colors aren't quite true in the picture. But they're SO GORGEOUS and SUPER DOOPER SOFT (80% Merino, 20% Nylon MACHINE WASHABLE YAY) that I just couldn't resist. And I got 2 skeins of each colorway, and I have NO clue what I'm going to do with them. :-) For the purple/brown colorway (on the left), I was thinking of maybe some socks for yours truly, and the one on the left I haven't figured out yet. I was thinking maybe some arm warmers. My brother wants me to make him some armwarmers, but he wants super-long ones and made with all-natural fibers so he can wear them when he's spinning fire poi (don't know what that is? Check out this Youtube video. It's phenomenal.) Then I thought maybe my sister would wear them. The colors are a little more neutral than she usually wears, but I think it could work. It's worth pondering, at any rate. :-)


Other than crafting, not a lot has been going on in my life. The usual school, work, and extracurriculars. I turned in my application on Monday for a summer study abroad program in Japan. It's a 2-month-long intensive language course in Kyoto, and it's pretty much PERFECT for me. So I stressed and stressed and stressed over the application, but then I submitted it on Monday:



YAAAY!

I get to go see the midnight premier of Harry Potter 7 tomorrow night at our local mall, for which I am SO INCREDIBLY excited, and I head home for Thanksgiving this Saturday (I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving!) and I will have a glorious weekend of relaxing, SLEEPING, crafting, cooking (YAY) and stuffing my face with yummy Thanksgiving food. :-)

And now it's off to homework and crocheting and sleep <3
Happy crafting,
~YoungKnitter

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another Video!

NOOOOOOOOO

I tried to post a video, but this is all that happened:

video

The audio remained the same, but the video sped up to double-time and cut the whole thing short! Yikes! Maybe this means I should stick to super-short videos from now on :-/

The only news I have is that my mom texted me this weekend to let me know that a shipment labeled "Stash" came in for me from Socks for Soldiers, so she's going to send that to me soon, for which I am VERY excited!!!! It's the regulation yarn for the regulation uniform socks that I have been itching to make since I got involved with SFS! So maybe that new yarn will kick my rear into gear and get me back in the habit of knitting every day :-)

Pictures to come when I get the shipment!
lots of Yarnlove,
~YoungKnitter

Saturday, September 18, 2010

VANDY!

Hello Yarny world!

Again, I don't have a lot of knitting progress to report :( But I owe a few certain lovely people some pictures of my dorm and university campus, so I figured I might as well do that tonight :)

The weather here in Nashville has been super-gorgeous, so I set off one afternoon a bit early for an errand, and took some cool pictures on the way!

Here is my lovely dorm:



It's a gorgeous building, built in the 60s, and I just love it.

My front door:



With some love notes from my friends and some other door-art XD

Then this is Kirkland tower, arguably the most often photographed building on campus. And a sample of the bazillion trees we have, too. It is nearly impossible to take a clear picture of something without having a dozen gorgeous trees in the way. ^^



And last, but not least, this is Buttrick, the building where I have most of my classes. Yet another example of a bajillion trees. ^^



I also want to let a certain someone know that I finally tried one of your magnificent microwaveable dinners:



It was quite tasty. ^^ The others are currently employed in holding down and flattening a couple of posters that I had kept rolled up in storage over the summer, along with some other heavy things I had conveniently lying around my room:



Well, that about sums it up!

Except for a small bit of exciting news: I've finally landed my first "real" job! For the rest of the semester (and hopefully for the rest of my time at school here) I will be working about 10 hours a week at our school's bookstore! I had my first day today, so I basically got to learn the ropes and meet some people. Looks like it's gonna be fun! And the extra income can't hurt, either. ;)

I'll hopefully have some good knitting time this weekend, so I'll post some progress pics soon.
Until then, happy knitting!
~YoungKnitter

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Video blogging?

Video blogging? Let's try!

video

WOW! Long time no blog D:

Good grief! So much for posting regularly!

Needless to say, the past few weeks have been full to the brim with beginning-of-the-semester fun and craziness. Auditions are over, choir and Vanderbilt Off Broadway (VOB) rehearsals have started, classes are in full swing, and I'm finally settling into some semblance of a routine. :-)

Unfortunately, all this fun business means not a lot of knitting progress :(

The Vilai sock has seen about 2.5 rows of progress in the past 2 weeks:



But I have done pretty well on my simple k3p1 rib sock:



That's just past the heel turn, and I'm ready to pick up the gusset stitches.



I'm just about all settled in my dorm room, too! (And after over 3 weeks, I sure better be!!) I have my lovely crafting basket:



Including some great yarn that I don't think I ever took pictures of:



This is 100% cotton weaving yarn from Halcyon Yarns (Astra brand? O.o Can't remember) This photo doesn't do the color justice, though. It's a gorgeous deep purple. It's destined to be a DRESS YAAAY!!! I have been eying this one dress pattern for at least a year, and I'm finally ready to start working on it. :-)

I haven't taken a lot of pictures of my dorm yet, mostly because it's been a mess up until today when I finally did some serious cleaning, but also because my friends Erin and Joe are over right now to do homework (and blog! yay!) and didn't quite feel like modeling for my blog photos ^^

But I did take this:



I feel like this picture sums up my interests: Star Wars, X-Men, reading, knitting (see pattern books at the bottom of the stack!), my teapot, and a boatload of TEA!!!! :D

And now I'm going to take advantage of the fact that I'm done with homework before midnight and go to bed early! I'll try to blog more often now that I've got a life-rhythm going :-)

Until then, happy knitting!
~YoungKnitter