~DragonKnits~

But she’ll share…..sometimes.

Oops, Spoke too Soon…..

My ears were burning and I was CALLED!  Called to the Precious PODIUM… woo hoo!

My trophy!

My trophy!

aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh the crowd is roaring, going crazy!  I’m smiling, waving deliriously in all directions, tears in my eyes…..

and, and…. don’t know HOW they managed it, but, but……

It’s raining CHOCOLATE!

Life is good.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Chocolate, Crochet, Knitting, ravelry | , , , | 4 Comments

Across the Finish Line!

dum dum da dum dum da dum da dum da dum dum………..

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Sweet Sweater Turned Cardi

Event: Sweater Sprint
Team: Team Red Heart
Finished: Saturday, August 16th, 10:26pm EST

May I present…. My first Ravelympics FO, all washed and softened up.  Just one little thing is missing, my button. I’ve as yet need to make it… but this cardi is “wearable” and should qualify for being completed, and no one has gotten in touch with me to let me know that it doesn’t.  Oh, I’m also wondering if I get extra credit for an item sized 3X!

Although…. I have not been called up to the PODIUM yet……….. Let’s just say it’s got me wondering. ha.. you can see in the photo that there it was still a bit damp under the arms after being taken out of the dryer… better that than being over dried. I soaked it in a cup of vinegar while I took my shower this morning, then laundered it to make it soft. It definitely worked.  Many, many thanks to crochetbug13 for providing that tip on softening Red Heart.  Here is her non-ravelry blog’s site. Believe it or not, and this is how naive I really am to the ways of the yarn, I never, ever washed a FO before coming to Ravelry!

How the PODIUM works is that Bobicus Maximus lists all the events and that days’ finishers. Well, I finished late last night, but nothing happened today. My first impulse was to go and grab a badge from the last batch of Sweater Sprint finishers, but I just couldn’t… guess I’ll wait on the sidelines and watch all the other finishers proudly march up the podium to make their speeches….

I’ll just make my speech now, to you guys, and skip it later.

I just want to thank my Grandma Diano for teaching me the ways of the yarn, knitting and crochet. She was a great role model! I also want to thank my neglected hubby and my equally neglected son for all the support I received from them these past several days, and not one word of complaint… well, nothing I noticed! When I showed my garment to the Drake, he did express that he liked it and uttered that unforgettable response, “Aaaah, that’s why you’ve been so quiet.”

Gotta LOVE em!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Oh, here’s a bit of news.  I’m so embarrassed, though, because I was promoted, but just noticed a couple of days ago.

I was promoted to Captain in the Red Heart Group for organizing International Red Heart Swaps and bringing Red Heart yarn to the rest of the world.  Thanks, Zeeppo!

Oh man, that Zeeppo!  He’s got something called Hulu on his blog and I just killed some hours watching some movies off his blog.

Monday, August 18, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ravelympics Sweater Sprint

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Progress in three days of pretty good work time.

Just wanted to give a quick update for this event, since this is the project that I’m putting in the most time with right now on a day to day basis.

As you can see, this is, I’d say, at least 50% done, but that is also counting sleeves and finishing that will be required.  Somebody crossed the finish line with SHRUG THIS…. a small TINY version (can I type that any bigger?), no-sleeve shrug… I can’t believe that qualifies as a sweater, but my LIPS are sealed….

Anyway, since my last post, I did decide to try this as a jacket by not joining the front to form the V-neck.  This jacket will not be long, but on the shorter side because I have a short waist and I do not like things long on me. If you can see at the bottom, I put in a sort of mesh row, formed with DC ch DC… etc.  I want to do at least three of these rows, then go back to solid DC to form the bottom edge.  MAN this thing is already pretty heavy, so I’m not sure if I should just say that it’s a jacket or keep the name as a cardigan.  I think for this event, though, it stays as cardigan because a cardigan is still classified as a sweater.  Oh, and before I forget, I will not have buttons running down the whole front.  I am just going to use one big button at the top, like in the Creative Knitting Magazine, September 2008 issue.  I can’t believe there are no photos to be had for this issue because I wanted to show the button.  My friend, Dee, just bought buttons just like the one on the cover photo and paid $2.50 a piece!  I can make them for a fraction of that… and so, I will do just that and the color will be custom, done by me.

I did manage to work on my “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A”.  Though I did not work nearly as much time on it as the sweater, I think I still managed to get done about 45% or so.  No pics yet.

Monday, August 11, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slow Start

Sweater Sprint

Cowl Jump

I am happy to report that I have started all planned projects and they have at least a few rows a piece started.

The Herringbone stitch is so tight and slow going for me, so I feel that I have a handicap right here.  I have about 5 rows done and knitting it on size US 13 straight needles.  Jumped over to the “Red Fuzzy Cowl” and had a couple of starts and stops with this one.  The red Caron Bliss yarn is SOOOO, so soft, but a little hard to work with… so put that down after just a couple of rows to move on to the next project, “Softest Neck Warmer Ev-A” and I’m happy to report that this has gotten off to a good start, after a lot of false ones.  This project was originally going to be one of two Herringbone Neck Warmers, but it was not working out.  I had combined Wool of the Andes in Blue Bonnet with Caron Bliss in Peacock… such a beautiful combination and the blues in these two yarns just BELONG together.  Alas, stitch definition was lost in the fuzziness of the Bliss and because it’s such a time consuming stitch, I had to give it up for this project and adapted a regular stockinette stitch to the pattern… Is this cheating?  Not sure, but all changes were made before the start of the games, and I deleted the original pattern, to say that it’s not any pattern.  Oh, and I plan on making my own buttons for both neck warmers.

Oh… I am remiss.  I just realized that I’ve not started my Blue Caterpiller Cowl yet.  I originally wanted to use home spun yarn, but looks like I won’t be able to do that.  I am still searching for yarn to use with this.  The pattern is called Abstract Caterpiller Cowl… and this is a RAVELRY link to the page, so those of you not on ravelry probably will not be able to access it.  Sorry about that but it looks like its a free Ravelry download and a file and not a link.

On to my next project……the Sweet Sweater (SS).

Well, the Sweet Sweater is a crocheted object and the pattern is not really a pattern, per se.  It’s more of a formula to get you started making a top-down sweater, then leaves a lot of the designing to the crocheter.  This is what I love about it.  Gauge is really important.  You are setting your own gauge by choosing the yarn and size hook you want to work with, but once you make a swatch, which is essential, you need an accurate gauge.  Row gauge is not really important here because you are working from the top down, and you decide how long you want the sweater, midriff, hip length, tunic?  You decide.  But the stitches per inch gauge is really important.

Anyway, my gauge came out to 3 stitches per inch, working with a US-K hook on Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Lavender.  This is for Team Red Heart, and so it must be Red Heart yarn.  Originally, I wanted to use Red Heart Soft, but I could not find the colors I wanted to work with, and that bummed me out… so at the last minute I turned to my stash and this is what I found.  Since it’s worsted/aran, I decided to make a larger pull over or cardigan… though I really don’t need to decide until I get to the point where the V-neck is closed.  When I get to that point, either I close it, and it becomes a pull over; OR I don’t close and continue to work back and forth and it becomes a cardigan.

So, I managed to get a minds eye picture of what stitches I wanted to use, do swatches, calculate the formula, in what took the better part of the afternoon…. in between interacting with my kiddie.  Then really got into the beginning of it.  I completed about ten rows when I noticed that two rows back, I placed an increasing shell in the wrong stitch.  I was so, so tempted to just leave it and move on, but it was eating at me so I ripped back two rows to the offending shell and fixed the mistake, then continued.  I spent the evening crocheting while watching the Horse Whisperer… not the best since there is a lot of suspense and must be seen by-the-eyeball scenes, but I managed since this was not my first viewing….. whew.  Today my crochet group is getting together for our monthly meeting and I’ll have the day to work on my Ravelympics projects…. woo hoo!

No pictures yet, but soon… once I get enough on all my projects to be worth taking pics.

Oops, I’ve gotta run… don’t want to be late!

Saturday, August 9, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting, Patterns, ravelry | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the Games Begin!

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

Ravelympics 2008 Team Jersey Button/Badge

I love the Olympics coming along to spice up our lives very four years. Unfortunately, we do not have a television with cable access, or any access, since you pretty much need a cable connection to get any kind of connection at all with the exception of a couple of Spanish channels. ah… so I knit, crochet, spin, to the sounds of music and podcasts. Not so bad. Now THIS year…..

I have the opportunity to actually participate in Ravelympics. I will be the star (in my own mind) of two events, the Sweater Sprint and the Cowl Jump. I entered a long sleeved Sweet Sweater for Team Red Heart and a few different cowl projects in the Cowl Jump for Team Jersey.

Right now, I’ve got to get myself going, so I’ll make this short, but I’ll try to give daily updates. Hubby’s vacation time is going to cut into my knitting this coming week, but the upside of that is that tomorrow is when my monthly crochet group is meeting… I’ll be at it for most of the day…. weeeeeee!

Friday, August 8, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crochet, Knitting, Patterns | , , , , | Leave a comment

Clap for the Clapotis

Yep, I’ve completed my first clapotis, or “the clap” for short. Ha… when I first saw that I had to take a second look. Duh…… RIGHT…. “clap”…. RIGHT…. clapotis. What can I say, but that I’m 47 years old and thankfully did not get that right away. This is a link to my Ravelry project page for those of you who are on Ravelry. Please note that if you’re not on ravelry, you probably won’t be able to access that page, so here is a posted pic:

Clap spread out on the bed

Clap spread out on the bed

Well, i did try to knit this last year but there was an issue with the yarn I was using. I wasn’t sure if there would be enough of it; so I thought I’d cut it down to scarf size. I had heard of a lot of people doing it in less than full size, so I thought I give it a try. Forget about the fact that I had not a clue as to go about doing this. Forget about the fact that you just can’t stop increasing with you feel like it. Weeeell, that just what I did, and I went on like that for several dropped stitches.

This was knit with almost two skeins of Caron’s One Pounder in Jet Stream colorway. She is knit on size US 8 needles. There is a small amount left over and I’m going to see if I can make either wrist warmers or a head band… something like that.

She was really a lot of fun to make- once I got the pattern down… though you still really need to keep track of what row you are on because when row six comes up, you get to prepare for the drop down in row eight. I lived for those rows! My one suggestion would be to use a yarn that is silky and slippery. The kind that will fall right down when you want it to. Otherwise you will be fighting with the fibers to get it to drop all the way down. How I did it was to let the stitches drop down several rows, then I knit the rest of the row. Only when that row was done did I go back and make that stitch drop all the way down. So much fun. It doesn’t take much for me to have a good time, and my DH will tell you that I’m a cheap date…. free even. This Caron was giving me a hard time with the stitches dropping, so I had to really tug and pull to get it to go all the way down. But then, I can imagine that if you had some nice bamboo or silk yarn, that your pleasure would not be as prolonged as with my One Pounder. You could say it’d be a premature climax…. over almost before it started.

Oh, almost forgot to mention something I didn’t realize until I actually got up to that part in the pattern. In the Decrease Rows you need to drop two stitches, not just one! Wow. I was floored and ecstatic. You might have known that automatically if you realize that it’s knit on the bias. But I still would not have known this because I am mathematically challenged… severely challenged. This section was the most interesting for me… to watch the corner emerge, then realize that stitches were being dropped so that they meet in the middle with the very last one, which is also the last corner to be formed. After all the patterns that I’ve done, knitted and crocheted, this one was the most amazing to watch the form come into view. Silly, I know.

Close up of Clapotis Pattern

Did I say that I absolutely love these colors? I really LOVE these colors~! Ah… I got a lot of satisfaction and sense of accomplishment making this baby. I used the cheaper yarn because I intended on this one to be a trial run because of my failed attempt. This time around, I had two things going for me. One was that I was not on a deadline; and two, I made the full pattern without trying to skimp. Now that I’m done, part of me wants to make that other, more elegant version; but part of me can’t stand the thought of casting on another one… well, not just yet, anyway. I guess my aversion hesitation will give me plenty of time to get the money required for the amount of yarn I’ll need. OR I’ll have plenty of time to refine my spinning skills to make enough yarn for one… OR I’ll just keep dreaming about it.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 ~ Posted by | Knitting | , , | 2 Comments

Wow… Here I am Again!

ell, thought I should at least list some of my FO’s since I last posted. I’ve finished many, but I’ll try to just remember some from memory, and post some pics. What I am the more proud of than the actual objects is the fact that I’ve learned something new that was required for each one. That is what I believe this craft is all about; and that is growth. Maybe I’m not growing in a conventional way, but I am expanding my knowledge of technique and fiber. I love how each little thing overlaps onto the next new project that comes along.

My first cotton market bag.

My first cotton market bag.

Okay, the most recent FO is what I call my Cinnamon Bag. This is the Fantasy Naturale Market Bag, by JoAnne Turcott. I used Sugar ‘n Cream Confectionery Colors in Cinnamon. I just LOVE this color, and all of the Confectionery Colors. I purchased, just for this project, Knit Picks nickel plated circular needles in US 13 and US 15. I simple adore this pattern… I am looking at it as the precursor for starting lace work. I set it on my kitchen scale when completed and it weighs in at 6 oz. It turns out I can actually make another one from this same ball of cotton… which I’m so happy about because I had decided to give this one away to my sister-in-law, JoMarie… don’t tell her! I don’t know if it was the tension of my knitting or if this is just the size of the bag, but man, this is some kind of gigantic bag!

Cinnamon Bag pictured with deodorant for visual scale of size.

More often than not, I’ll get my patterns from leads I get from Ravelry. AmAzing place. If you ever have the inclination to open yourself up to all there is to offer for the fiber community on the internet, you’ve GOT to sign up for ravelry. At last check, there are well over 150,000 members… and that is in just about a years’ time. There is nothing that I can add to what’s already been said about the place, but I can tell you that I love it over there. I just ordered a couple of pins and a teal blue T-shirt from their mini store and I should be receiving it in a couple of days… I’ll post a pic. Really. I’m surprised that I even got to order one as merchandise flies in and out of their store in a matter of no time at all.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Knitting | , , , , | Leave a comment

My New Toy

Wow… I’ve been away for quite a while and so many changes to WordPress… way to GO!

Well, thought I’d pop back in to try and make this more of a knitting ugh…. no, crochet errr, FIBER blog or journal. Though I’ve not been writing about it, I’ve been pretty busy with knitting, crochet, and now spinning fiber into yarn. Just to prove it, here is a pic of my new top whorl drop spindle:

My new toy

My new toy

Oh, and here you can see my very first spun yarn!

Forgot to mention where I got my spindle. I spied this baby [and she IS my baby] in Spinsanity’s Etsy shop. She has such beautiful stuff there. This is a Purple Stained Flower Top Whorl Drop Spindle.  It weighs just one ounce… wow.  I particularly like this one because I do want to learn how to spin light-weight or lace-weight yarn, and lighter spindles are just right for that kind of spinning.  I think her daughter, Em, dyes roving… but not sure about actual yarns. You can browse her shop here. Go check it out!

My First-Born, First-Spun.... its all the same!

My First-Born, First-Spun.... it's all the same!

The fiber was given to me by Karen, a buddy from Ravelry and who comes to my local knitting/crochet/spinning Tuesday night group. Yeah, I’ll have to make some major updates to this blog… but at least I have a lot to write about now. Karen heard that I was interested in spinning, and she promptly supplied me with some beautiful purple-ish, olive green, with a dab of gold fiber. Of course my first attempt is grossly uneven, running the gambit from very fine lace weight, right up to fuzzy and bulky. Not pretty, but I am endeared to it. They say that you simply MUST take your first spun and DO something with it for yourself, so I’ve decided to make an amigurumi turtle and make the shell out of this, if not the whole thing. This way, I can ensure that I use this for, at least, the shell part. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

My dear readers… whoever happens to stumble upon this blog, I thank you for reading. I wish that I could commit to more regular writing, but the truth is that right now I just don’t have the time…. but what I will promise is that I’ll try to at least post updates on my finished projects.

ciao

Monday, July 28, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crafts, Crafty Tools, Spinning | , , | 2 Comments

New Yarn Things

So, what DOES the dragon really listen to? Well, lots of things, too many to list here, but maybe that will turn into another post. For now, I’ll stick to the fiber stuff.

Just a little background. I am constantly downloading and subscribing to new podcasts almost every day. The thing is that there are only a couple that I really like and will listen to with any sense of regularity. The very first one was Cast On with Brenda Dayne. I was kept busy for quite a long time catching up on around two years worth of episodes. Now, I am like the rest of you, floundering until the next one comes around. The one that came after that was one that is not being broadcast any longer, and that one is Unwound with Kelly Robinson . I was so gullible because it wasn’t until I got to the last one, her goodbye one, that I realized that she was giving it up. Sometimes I am so clueless. Seriously though, it’s still worth the listen. There are twelve episodes to go through and their still accessible. Another podcast that I can’t do without is Sticks and String with a “bloke” from Australia with the most attractive accent I’ve ever heard, David Reidy. Then I really got into Stitch Stud and His Bride, with Charles (forgot his last name) , only to find that he also had to give it up for professional reasons.

***NEWS ALERT***

Just found out that Stitch Stud and His Bride is back on the air!!!! I was searching around for his last name and found out he’s back… too excited to pursue his name because now I’ve GOT to get this post up.

After that came another real favorite, It’s a PURL, Man! with Guido, the man from Boston with yarn issues…. and that monkey still appears to be on his back, though not really because I believe he never finished it.

Gee, this is turning into more of just a little background, but so what!

Then I sort of drifted through all those other podcasts that everyone else was listening to and was impressed by nada. Then I turned the page……

Recently, I started culling my 270+ podcasts on itunes and noticed that I hadn’t heard most of Yarn Thing’s episodes and decided to get the most recent one a listen. Well, all I can say is that I just LOVE her laugh! Marly, it was your laugh that kept your podcast within my radar, so keep it up! Ha.. I know you don’t need encouragement from me to laugh, but it’s so enjoyable to listen to. I love to laugh and I really don’t get to do much of it anymore. Nothing sad, just that my hubby is quite the serious person and if I try to pull a joke, he takes it seriously and gives me a serious answer… ugh… there’s nothing more pitiful than that! If I can’t laugh, then let it be yours that I listen to. Hopefully, my son will grow a sense of humor and then I’ll have someone to lighten up with. He’s three years old, BTW, and it just might happen as he’s serving me up some green eggs and ham right now from off the tray of my Hot Chocolate recipe book that he seems to gravitate to at every chance he gets.

Anyway, I had subscribed to Yarn Thing’s podcast a while ago, listened to a couple of early ones, but had so many to listen to, that she just got put on the side board (sorry, Marly!). The whole reason I started this post is Marly. Sorry that it’s turning into a more generalized post about all the podcasts I listen to, basically just a list; but when I listen to more of you, I’ll have more to talk about… only because I’m really still unfamiliar with your podcast. I’ll just say this: Check out when the last time it was that I posted anything here, OR on ~Dragon’s Yen~, and this should be evidence that you have impressed me quite a bit. Enough to come out of hibernation to post…. or maybe it’s because Spring is definitely here!

Marly, Marly, MARLY!….. You seem like such a wonderful person and someone who would be a great friend. With someone a person could really be herself with and just I wish I lived closer to you… ha, then YOU’D have to change YOUR cell phone number!

Through Yarn Thing, I found (again) the Crochet Dude’s blog. Crochet Dude (I love that name!) has a new Crochet Dude blog and an old Crochet Dude blog. Take your pick, both are very enjoyable to read.

All the podcasts I listen to are so different from each other, so I can’t really say what it is, exactly, that will draw me to a podcast. Music, Voice, Personality, Useful Information? Some or all of these things. I won’t state which podcasts I don’t care for because, well, though they might not be my cup of tea, I admire the fact that they exist; and I appreciate all the work that goes into making one of these. It’s a definite commitment, there, people; and I am grateful to have the luxury of so many choices… which were not available just a couple of years ago.

Thank you, everybody!

Friday, May 23, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Knitting | , | 2 Comments

Christmas FO Alert!

Yep, I just mailed out the Hogwarts scarf to my nephew. To me, he always looked like a young Harry Potter so I guess that’s why he ended up getting the Gryffindor Scarf. Here is a pic… that’s the Drake doing a little modeling for me:

The Drake modeling Gryffindor Scarf Matching hat? I’ll have to wait and see if Peter even likes the scarf before I do something like that. Doesn’t the Drake look cute?

Notice the child-safe implements of safety in just one piece of furniture. That’s the Drake, you can never have enough implements of safety to keep prying little hands OUT of our stuff!

Next up is something called a Helmet Hat I am making for Little D. It’s not a FO yet, but will be in a couple of days. I’m making it with Red Heart Mexicana yarn. It’s feeling much softer than other RH yarns I’ve used lately and it’s pretty bouncy stuff, too. Here’s a pic of what I’ve got so far:
Mexicana Helmet Hat

Cool… until I realized tonight that I better get my hynie in gear because this will be the only few months that he’ll be able to actually wear it. So, I am thinking tonight who else can I give it to, after LD grows out of it. I really don’t think that my SIL will let her daughter wear something like this. At any rate, I have six more rows to go before I need to start shaping the head.

1DominicaMuneca (Lamira) over at Ravelry said that this hat looks an awful lot like helmet liners that some folks are making over at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. I’ve included the link because I think this is a great way to donate your time and talent to our people stationed in the cold areas on the planet. It’s also a great way to show our support in our own special way. Please go over and check it out. Hey, if I can make one of these, I think pretty much anyone can!

Okay, one more… though patterns keep finding their way onto my needles and hooks… I have been involved with a Vintage Vertical Stripe Blanket CAL over on Ravelry… see I really DO spend too much time over there. Well, I am almost finished with it, only 5-10 more stripes to go, then will finish it off with a black border. Here are some pics:

Gabe and VVS Blanket

Little Drake just loves this blanket, but it’s already spoken for. I’m giving it to my friend, Charlene. I can mention her here because I doubt she even knows I have a blog.

See, he just loves it!

Well, I guess that’s about it for now.  Next time, I’ll be writing a little about my crochet group, I think.  I’ve got PICS, Dee!

Thursday, February 21, 2008 ~ Posted by | Crochet, Gift Knitting, Knitting | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment