Saturday, June 27, 2009

New knitting goodies

A few weeks ago my parents came home with this yard sale purchase (plus five 50g balls of high-quality-looking yarn!):  a set of bamboo dpns, straights, and circulars, all size US7; a pair of Susan Bates needles, size US8; Clover crochet hook, size J; three markers; and--the gem of the lot--a Clover Kacha-Kacha counter...


...all for $1!

My moms and pops da bomb.

I'm already using the counter, and it's the coolest thing.  Will show you what I got soon!

Friday, June 19, 2009

FO: (slightly) backwards Baktus

Here, as promised, is the full-on photo of the Baktus scarf.  Please nevermind the unwoven ends. 

baktusfullshotPattern: Baktus scarf

Needles: US3 Addi 16" circular

Yarn 1: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Camouflage

Yarn 2: ShiBuiKnits sock, Moss

Yarn 3: Regia, olives

Mods:  I basically did the increases and decreases at opposite ends of the work, resulting in a diamond rather than triangle shape.

The width maxes out at 65 stitches across, which is substantial enough for me!

You'll notice that there are three yarns used.  I ran out of my main yarns with 15 stitches on the needles!  Luckily I found a stray leftover skein of the Regia that was in the same color family, so the difference is subtle.

Going through my sock leftovers all at once has shown me that I've knit a lot of socks--at least 20 pairs!  But, I rarely wear the three pairs of socks I have for myself.  It could have something to do with SoCal weather and the fact that I'm in flip flops most of the year, but I've learned that I'm just not a knitted socks kinda gal.  So: no more knitted socks for myself (no matter how cute the pattern).  And much thanks for this pattern!

I leave you with a snapshot of some Queen Anne's Lace that I picked up at the farmers market last Friday (yes, I buy weeds).  I've always loved the daintiness of this flower; I even enjoy its slightly weedy smell.


You should know one thing, though...

lacedroppings's hella messy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hit-and-miss knitting

Remember the yarn that I got for myself on my birthday?  It's been through several iterations of summery shawls, all without success.  For some reason, I just can't seem to find a pattern that matches the colors of the yarn.  So sad.

I'd settled on making a long, rectangular scarf, and after a Ravelry search, decided on the One Skein Stole (Rav link).  But it ended up too airy for me.

aerang attemptNext, I discovered AeRang, and thought that the geometric pattern would be really neat.  I didn't want the stockinette triangles on the borders of the shawl, but for the life of me could not figure out how to continue the pattern and maintain the proper stitch count.  Saved by Ravelry again: someone else knit the shawl without the stockinette triangles!  In contacting that person, I made a new friend who very generously shared with me the chart she made to reflect her modifications.

By the third repeat, I was getting the hang of the pattern but losing my initial passion for it.  The geometric pattern seemed entirely obscured by the color variegations, and I felt that it would be a more worthwhile venture in a solid color.  I was getting frustrated by frogging and rewinding the yarn...

baktus attempt

...but I frogged nevertheless.  And then started the now-ubiquitous Baktus scarf.  But (again) right after I started knitting it, I realized my poor matchup of yarn and project: this scarf is really best suited for stashbusting, and I wanted to preserve my pristine skein of yarn for something special -- as well as something I knew I'd use.

I didn't have the heart or energy to tink even this little bit, so it sits on my shelf as you see here, patiently awaiting its next incarnation.

Another jaunt on Ravelry (Obsessive? Me?  No way.) and I've got my eye on the Maja shawl as a possible contender.  I'm pretty hopeful, but, honestly, after so many misses my color confidence is a bit shot I'm hesitant to cast on.  Anybody out there have any suggestions?  Lemme know -- I'm all ears!


In the meantime, I dove into my stash of leftover sock yarns to cast on for Baktus.  I grabbed the remainders of the Lorna's Laces Camouflage from my dad's recent socks, and the ShiBui Knits yarn left over from a pair of gloves I'd made for DC last winter.  I'm alternating every two rows; the green of the ShiBui yarn is more semisolid so you don't see a distinct striping, but I quite like it.

At this sitting I'm already done with the scarf (garter stitch = perfect brainless bus knitting).  Instead of doing the decreases at the end of the row, I did them at the beginning, resulting in a parallelogram-shaped scarf.  (Weird to explain, I'll snap a pic soon.)  It looks neat, and will be a nice gift for someone.  I know, I know.  But it's too masculine to be a Knitting For Me FO...

bakti to be

Of course I have some softer and more feminine-colored sock yarns just itching to get on the needles.  What's pictured here isn't even all of it, but it's a good start. (Did I really make that many socks?  Sorting all the colors has been a nice trip down memory lane!)  I'm so glad to have discovered this pattern; looks like it's gonna be a garter stitch summer.  Well, it's back to Baktus-ing for me!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

More old apt. pictures

I decided that I don't need the internets at home so cancelled my service when I moved to my new apt.  Since then I've been blogging in my mind, jotting drafts in my journal, and uploading at work.  And I'm taking pictures on two different cameras, so it's a juggling act to remember which pictures are on which memory stick.  DC has a mobile wireless device that he leaves with me when he's not using it, but it's been acting kinda wonky these days, so we've opted not to use it rather than be frustrated about it.  Needless to say, then, technical difficulties abound these days.  Luckily, I've been saving this post in draft form for such a rainy day.  In lieu of all that I've been doing these days (not a whole lot, admittedly), I give you more pictures of my old apartment.

Last time I showed you pix of the common areas.  Voila the private areas--my bedroom and bathroom! 


Here's my old desk area, next to the east facing window.  The table is one of my best purchases ever from Ikea.  It's solid wood and collapsible for storage, the perfect writing desk and small dinner table--alas, it's no longer available.  Could do with a refinish.  Maybe this summer.


Here's where I used to sleep.  But if you know me, you also know that this was also my work station.  Books, yarn, stationery all within arm's reach.  Sometimes they even shared the bed with me!  Yes, the bed's at an angle.  I decided that centering it on the wall meant a lot of wasted space, but didn't want to square the bed up into the corner (too college dorm room style for me).  Now that I'm looking at it here, I'm thinking that my current setup could use a similar refresher to open up the room a bit more...


The closet, which I tried my best to keep organized by color.  As you can see, I am a firm believer that a gal can never have enough pairs of black trousers.  In the move I purged less than a dozen pieces from my wardrobe, but I think I can do better this summer.  Would like to add more purples, by the bye...


And finally, the bathroom.  Luckily, the old apt. had 1 3/4 bathrooms, so I didn't need to share.  I made this my "Japan room" by putting up all the gifts I'd received from various friends over the years.  The one you can see up close here (in the cubby above the toilet) is most dear, hand-painted by a friend and taiko team member.  Over on the wall are a Japanese translation of Psalm 121:8 ("the Lord will watch over your coming and going now and forever more"), gifted by the pastor's wife on a missions trip; a framed calendar; cute Japanese sayings; and a message on a photograph from a very good friend, given to me the first time I left Japan.

Reminiscing with these photos reminds me that my new place, although already dear to me, still needs a lot of work to really reflect me!  Luckily my landlord will put up my art for me (they want it done their way, it's an old building), so I'd better get to arranging it soon!

And yes, this is still primarily a crafting blog.  I've haven't been particularly successful of late, but will post an update as soon as technologically possible!  Byefornow (but not for long, mehopes)!