Thursday, November 28, 2013

I'm Back!

Hello readers. I apologize for two weeks of silence here. While I have a very small amount of dedicated readers, I must say that you're all wonderful and a big THANK YOU for hanging in there. I also reached over 10,000 page views in my absence so thank you for that as well.

This time around, I did a system update on my tablet that ended up crashing it and rendering it incapable of turning on. I rock at technology. HAHA. So once again my wonderful husband swooped in, worked his programming magic, and here I am again. So if you were anxiously awaiting my return, thank my husband.

Happy  Thanksgiving to you all! Have a very relaxed and blessed day. I hope everyone finds so much to be grateful for this year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 10: Regia Angora

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

I finally have a Yarn Review post for you. My excuse is that my tot smashed my tablet screen, causing the touch screen to stop working.  Since this is my primary and preferred computing device, I took a break from everything for the entire month of October. This review has been in the works weeks before I finished the sweater though (October 8, thank you Ravelry for keeping track of things).
So without further adieu, I give you the first yarn review since September!

The yarn: 
Regia angora merino
10% angora
25% nylon
65% merino

The project: The body of my first fair isle sweater, made for myself.


What I liked: I loved how soft it was in the skein and during the knitting. The yarn itself is very beautiful and I love how nicely it knit up with the Lanett Babylull and the Malabrigo.

What I didn't like: It is depressingly scratchy against bare skin. Feels nice in my hands but once I put the sweater on I was itching like crazy. So the little amount of angora did nothing, or maybe I discovered I actually do have allergies...
Also, there's not a lot of stretch to it. It didn't change size much when blocked. If I had known the sweater pastern would be so form fitting I would have either used different yarn or made the next size up. Or made a gauge swatch...

Where you can buy it: I bought 4 skeins at a local yarn shop, well, not so local for me but it was at the Lakeville, MN store Yarn Palette.

Affordability: I purchased mine for $10/skein. This is on the higher end for my budget.

Overall rating:
I think this would do really well as socks, smaller accessories and shawls since there is less contact with bare skin that way. I really couldn't believe how scratchy it felt against my bare skin. Maybe I'm just getting sensitive. I don't know. 

Previous Yarn Reviews:
Bernat Boa ( Eyelash yarn; "unofficial" yarn review)
Berroco Vintage (TM) Chunky
Caron Simply Soft Solids and Simply Soft Light
Cascade 220 Sport Weight
Deborah Norville's Serenity Chunky Sprinkles
DGB Confetti
Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand
Paton's Classic Wool
Plymouth Yarns Galway (TM) Worsted
Vanna's Choice by Lion Brand

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas Knitting v. 2.0

I think I've figured out how to get all your Christmas gifts done by Christmas.
The second after you resolve to knit gifts, cast on. I don't care if it's December 24, the first day of school for your kids in September, our if it isn't even Easter yet.
This has worked for me so far. People started asking me to knit them socks (ugh...) and as soon as I decided to actually do it (1-3 months later) I cast on. I'm making great time too.
I have a persistent three year old who keeps asking me what I'm making, and when I tell him I'm "making socks for Daddy" he always replies "You making socks for me Mommy? Socks for me?!" To which I reply, No. Might sound mean but this kid has a sharp memory and I don't want him disappointed if I can't actually make some for him. So I think if I still have time I'll have to make a pair of socks to go with the sweater I also made for him as a Christmas gift. I have almost three full skeins of the DGB left from it.

The blue is more accurate but the green looks more
like a kelly green than lime like in the photo.

My Christmas gift progress as of right now:
Saroyan for my sister
Saroyan for my mom
Saroyan for my M-i-L
Narcissa socks for a friend (1 sock done - Ravelry link for pictures)
Fred and George socks for my husband
Stargazing Shawlette for my sister in law

Post blocking, with the extra length I am loving this!
Wish my lighting wasn't so bad so the colors could be accurate.
I must say this: the Stargazer for my sister in law is so so perfect. That was my first experience using Madtosh and I was annoyed and unimpressed about the size of the finished shawl and how it hung. However, after blocking, the thing is the perfect size. It drapes beautifully. She's been having it rough lately so I hope that this perfect shawl puts a smile on her face. She totally deserves it and I don't think I could be more excited about giving an expensive handknit away. Plus, she's been wearing a lot of silk scarves lately so I know it will be loved and worn.

See more beautiful projects by clicking below:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Just a reminder that today is Veteran's Day. If you don't know any vets, take time to appreciate what the armed services do for you every day. Visit a cemetery and pray for the souls of the deceased vets. They put their lives on the line for us so we can continue living they way we want. You don't need to agree with what they do to appreciate the sacrifices they make for you.

The last time I went on vacation with my mom I was flying out East to visit family. It was August of 2008. I don't remember the exact date. We took the MSP airport. While walking to our terminal we passed a huge group of uniformed individuals waiting at a terminal. They were watching the people go by. I waved, along with a couple random strangers around me, and these men and women immediately began jumping up and down, cheering, and waving.
I couldn't help but cry. I couldn't help but think about how happy all those people were, because they were going to fight for me, so that I can live the way I want, and they had no idea who I was. I couldn't wrap my head around the idea of dying for someone I didn't know.
If someone from that group is reading this, that was the first time it really hit me, the first time it really sunk in what you do for us. I am so thankful for that.

Many people blame the troops for unjust wars, and they only see political lines when wars are fought. I'd like to believe this doesn't happen anymore but I would just be kidding myself. If that's you, put all the political issues aside and just think about someone else standing up for you, leaving their families for months and years at a time, witnessing terrible, atrocious things during wartime, so you don't have to.
Their suffering doesn't end when they get home. The injuries, the PTSD, the difficulty getting back into normal society, are all things the servicemen and women are willing to suffer with for you, so you can live a normal life.
The armed services are not about politics. The armed services are about defending our personal freedoms and our Constitution.

Thank you, veterans, for the sacrifices you have made for me. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I'm on a Roll!

I think I broke a personal record this week. I have not one, not two, but three finished projects this week!

They are all what I like to call One-Skein Wonders.
First, the Saroyan scarves:

Which I know you saw on Wednesday.
And now, the Stargazing Shawlette:

I seem to have an uncanny ability to wear scrub tops that match my
shawls whenever I actually finish them... See my FO page for the first one.

I tried to minimize the curling of the bottom point by increasing in the garter stitch border, and even though it still curls I literally just cast off so I'm guessing blocking it will fix that.
The thing is also G*d awful short. If blocking doesn't help enough I'll have to buy a shawl pin for it too. I know this is the season of giving but I get aggravated when I spring for freakin' Madelinetosh and follow the directions to a T, and things turn out the exact opposite of what I thought.

At least the photo kept the colors true this time. I loved the color way (Mala).

So in the Christmas knitting line up, I can cross another gift of my list.
Saroyan for my sister
Saroyan for my mom
Saroyan for my M-i-L
Narcissa socks for a friend (1 sock done - Ravelry link for pictures)
Fred and George socks for my husband
Stargazing for my S-i-L

See more finished projects by clicking below!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Marathon

I feel like I've been on a knitting marathon lately...
Mostly because my new tablet screen just came in the mail/got replaced by my awesome technically-inclined husband on Saturday/Sunday. So I haven't had computer related distractions from getting this knitting done.

I finished both the second and third (of three) Saroyan scarves that I'm giving away as Christmas gifts this year. I made them narrower and slightly shorter than the pattern instructs. If you want those details, they are all on my Ravelry page. The two projects are combined since I knit them at the same time. They just need the end woven in and a good block.

I am also working on the next Christmas gift in the lineup, the Stargazing Shawlette, which is also a free pattern on Ravelry.

My Christmas gift progress as of right now:
Saroyan for my sister
Saroyan for my mom
Saroyan for my M-i-L
Narcissa socks for a friend (1 sock done - Ravelry link for pictures)
Fred and George socks for my husband
Stargazing Shawlette for my sister in law

For one month of work I think I'm making good time with all this gift knitting. The one sock took almost the entire month of October though, so I think I'm going to save the second Narcissa sock for the very end of my gift knitting. I also need to figure out how to knit two socks at a time so that I can get my husband's socks done faster.

See more beautiful projects by clicking below:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Christmas Gifts: An FO

I finally have an FO for you guys.
This is the Saroyan. It is a free Ravelry pattern.

I think the pattern is really beautiful. This is a photo post-block and will end up as a Christmas gift for one of the women in my family that I decided to knit for this year.  I made the scarf half as wide as the pattern calls for, and the increase and decrease tapered ends are 3 leaves long instead of six. Both adjustments were made due to yarn supply. Or lack thereof.
This is a fast, easy knit and I have two more on the needles, one in ruby red and one in a light rose.

See more gorgeous finished projects by clicking below.