New Blog!

Hi to everyone who’s still here! I know I haven’t posted anything for a long, long time. Life has been crazy busy, and I’m trying to get back into it. Meanwhile, I’ve consolidated all my blogs and got my own web address. You can keep up with my knitting stuff here:

http://knitting.beingbeata.com

Alternately, if you’re interested in the other aspects of my crazy life. My general blog address is

http://www.beingbeata.com

See you there!

July 6, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Yarn Harlot

Today, I was able to take the day and travel to Atlanta to see the Yarn Harlot. I read her blog pretty regularly, but I only just read her last book, Casts Off, while I was on spring break (I borrowed Katy‘s copy). It was super funny. So I bought her latest book, Things I Learned From Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not) , recently, and it’s been a hilarious blast. I’m about half way done with it, and enjoying every word.

So back to the trip. Lisa and I left at 8:30 am for Atlanta, and we got there at 11:30 or so, just in time for a delicious brunch at Murphy’s. Their eggs benedict is to kill for, but I went with the version with spinach and mushrooms on a foccacia instead of the traditional one. Super delicious. Lisa got the French Toast, and while I didn’t try it, it looked to be about the most delicious French Toast ever (I was a little caught up with my eggs benedict). Then we had mimosas… delicious mimosas. Something about their mimosas make them better than other mimosas. No idea what it is. Just awesome.

Ok, enough food rambling. After brunch, we got in the GIANT line to get in to see the Yarn Harlot. There must have been 700 people there, it was incredible. As we walked along the line to find the back, people kept commenting “Oh I love your sweater” “What pattern is it?” etc. I love knitters! Mostly, this was directed to Lisa, who’s wearing the most awesome cardigan made from some super cool Cherry Tree Hill yarn. She just winged it – top down raglan style. It was incredible. I was wearing my Isabella – cool, but just not nearly as cool as Lisa’s was.

We stood in line probably for 20 minutes, but of course, no one was impatient because we all had our knitting. I had my monkey socks with me, and the pattern is pretty easy to remember, so I didn’t even need my chart all the time. People were commenting on each other’s patterns, shawls, socks, sweaters – you name it. I got some kudos for doing 2 socks at once on magic loop. I never thought it was that hard, but apparently it’s pretty impressive :). That’s kind of cool.

Oh, and we got free wool wash while standing in line – cool, eh?

Several muggles walked by and was like, WTF? What is with this giant line of people trying to get into Ben & Jerry’s. Here’s the trick, the theater where we saw the Yarn Harlot is behind Ben & Jerry’s with no visible sign (or a separate door). I bet it looked pretty funny having 600 people line up with their socks in progress trying to get into Ben & Jerry’s. hehe. Of course, they were probably equally, if not more, baffled by us knitting. I mean, who in their decent mind would be knitting at noon on Sunday in a giant queue?

Once we got in, we had about 2 hours to just knit and chat. Knitch did a pretty awesome raffle with really good prizes. If I had cash on me, I would have totally bought some tickets (they were donations to Knitters Without Borders anyway – a good cause). Seriously, someone got a $300 skein of yarn. I’m still trying to figure out what the heck that’s made of.

Then the Yarn Harlot spoke.
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I’ve never laughed so hard in an hours worth of time. She is about to so accurately reflect society, but in the most humorous way possible. It’s much, much better than I could ever repeat it at, so I’m not even going to try. Her blog and her books come pretty darn close to seeing her in person, but there’s nothing quite like being in a room with 700 knitters listening to her speak about knitting, all the while knitting on my socks. I think I cried about 5 times from laughing so hard.

It was also pretty amusing to hear someone dropping a dpn every 5 minutes or so. We’re a coordinated bunch, no?

After her speech, people had a chance to ask her some questions. It was such a nice and jovial atmosphere – almost like a conversation. She’s so nice and down to earth that sometimes, I forget I’m not acutally just sitting their talking to her. It’s awesome.

So after all that, we went back to Knitch to browse. The store is absolutely amazing. Yarns in all colors from top to bottom. In all amazing fibers. There’s quite a few cashmeres that I’m surprised didn’t jump in my bag to come home with me. I did end up with this though. 2 oz of camel down. RIDICULOUSLY soft. It’ll be interesting to see how well I can spin it. Current plan is to make it into lace weight and knit Wisp – since Knitch had a really nice sample knit in 100% cashmere, and I really preferred that to the Kid Mohair that the pattern is designed for. Problem is, I don’t want to spend $50 on cashmere, and the camel was only $6 for the same amount. Let’s see what I can do! They fall into the same fiber category, so surely, it can be done. Now, my spinning skills…

So after the yummy yarn shopping, we got in line to do the book signing. The Yarn Harlot is super wonderful. She takes time to talk to everyone, and takes care to sign her entire name instead of just initials like some other celebrities would do. And she has a long name. (Refer to this blog post of hers). I even got to take a picture of her while she’s signing my book. Yay!

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So after the book signing, or mission for today was basically accomplished. We had dinner at Neighbor’s (Shrimp Caesar Salad) and drove home. Here I am blogging. It was a good day.

April 7, 2008. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

PVC Swift/Skeiner

So I’ve been eyeing a skeiner for a while. Babe’s sell one for $35, which isn’t bad. But I wanted it to be free standing, and I also wanted it to function as a swift too. So in comes DIY.

My hubby is a seasoned PVC builder. He grew up playing boffer and and built numerous weapons. So I asked him to help, and when I showed him what I wanted, he said, “Oh! That’s ridiculously simple.” Whee!

We spent about $10 at home depot for the materials, and an additional $8 for a PVC cutter to make it easier. I’ve used it a few times already, and I absolutely love it. Check it out

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The arms are adjustable to fit skeins up to 2 yards. It functions both as a skeiner and a swift. When I use it as a skeiner, the extra arm in the middle is the handle I use to crank it around. The cup hooks at the base helps to feed the yarn in to the skeiner – useful when I’m winding from a cone into a skein. When using it as a swift, I take the middle arm out to make it more balanced. It spins more freely that way.

I’m thinking of writing up a tutorial to build this, since it was really easy and cheap, and I think it works great. Anyone interested?

Edited to add: Tutorial now available!  Check it out here.

April 4, 2008. Uncategorized. 8 comments.

Etsy

I started an etsy shop!

For those of you who don’t know, Etsy is a place where people buy and sell handmade goods. I’ve been making stitch markers lately and have been really enjoying them. The big problem is that I don’t need a bijillion stitch markers! So to rationalize my new beading hobby, and to perhaps fund an expansion of my yarn stash, I decided to sell stitch markers online.

These are two I have up right now. Yeah, that makes the store pretty empty, but hopefully I’ll have more time to devote to filling it up after this round of exams and projects coming up.

Anyhow, check it out at http://bdeitrick.etsy.com. Hope you enjoy!

January 29, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Another Baby Cardi

So here is the second of the baby clothes that I’m knitting. This was made specifically to go with a Christmas dress that baby received.

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Pattern: Mossy Jacket
Yarn: Knit Picks Crayon, double-stranded
Needles: KP Options size 9
Size: approximately 22″ around the chest
Gauge: 3.5 sts / inch

I modified the pattern to make the opening centered with buttons going all the way. It is turned inside out to give it a reverse stockinette stitch. The mom wanted the nubbly texture, and reverse stockinette featured the boucle texture much better. The bottom 5 buttons are generic maroon colored buttons. The top one is a jeweled, super-sparkly one. I really like how it looks almost like a brooch.

I started knitting this on Thanksgiving day. It’s a quick knit because of the gauge, and also because I’ve made the pattern before. Finished on 12/10, and took 4 more days to go shop for buttons and tack it on.

The yarn is wonderfully soft! I might make a bath mitt or something with my leftovers. It’s a 100% Pima Cotton boucle texture yarn. Cheap too. It took approx 3.5 balls for this cardigan. Not bad.

(Oh wait – I’m supposed to make baby mitts & bootees… gotta remember that!)

I didn’t have nearly as much trouble with the sleeve join this time around.  Instead of picking up one stitch, I picked up 3 stitches so that it has a smoother underarm join.  I reduced the decrease from every 4 rows to every 3 rows and it worked out pretty well.  Of course, maybe it’s just the boucle texture hiding my mistakes, but that’s fine by me.

December 18, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Foliage Hat

I made this hat to go with My So-Called Scarf. It’s out of the same yarn (Manos wool) but in a solid color.

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(excuse the hideousness – it’s exam time which means jeans and t-shirt time)

Pattern: Foliage
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool, Color 57
Needles: KP Options size 10 for body, 8 for ribbing, 11 for bind-off
Size: Chunky

This was such a quick knit and wonderful pattern! I love charts, and there was a lot of charts and minimal directions (although directions in words are provided for those who don’t like charts). The lace pattern was just relaxing enough, but still engaging. The ribbing was a little boring at the end, but I was able to do it at SnB using the continental method, which meant I got to practice something new, chit-chat, and get it done without much dreading. I finished this in just one week – in the middle of finals too! Needless to say, I loved knitting this hat.

On another note, I blocked the My So-Called Scarf to be much longer and slightly air-ier. The result is nice and soft and drapey. I love it more now than even before. I’ve never blocked a hat so I’ll have to figure out how. Maybe I can get this one to open up a little too.

I now have half a ball of this yarn left… can’t decide if I’m going to add fringe to My So-Called Scarf with it or not. I think if I do, it’ll tie the two colors together better (it doesn’t really show in the pictures, but they’re ever so slightly off). But I’m not sure if I want fringe… decisions…decisions…

Now I just need some mittens to finish up this set of hat & scarf. I can’t imagine doing mittens in Manos though, so off to the LYS I go (tomorrow… after finals…)

December 6, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

My So-Called Scarf

So I joined the My-So Called Scarf craze. I never really intended on knitting it, since I didn’t think it looked that good. However, it was about the only pattern I liked for a scarf out of Manos, so I decided to try it anyway. As it turns out, it looks way better in person than in a photo. I’m quite happy with it!.

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Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Wool, Color 118
Needles: KP Options size 11
Size: 20 stitches wide

This was such a quick knit! I bought the yarn on Black Friday and started it that weekend, and I finished it just now. It’s really quick to memorize and a very enjoyable stitch pattern. I made it a bit narrower since I plan on wearing it doubled-up. I used up one entire skein of yarn (with about a 3/4 in. tail at the end!) and it’s just a tad shorter than I like. I’m going to block it to be longer, since that’ll also give it a more drapey feel.

The yarn is scratchier than I like, but maybe it’ll soften up after washing. As it is, it itches my neck a little. Maybe washing & blocking will help?

I still need to weave in the ends and block it, but right now I’m obsessed with the hat I’m knitting to match.  We’ll see when it gets truly and completely done.

December 2, 2007. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Ridiculous Gigantic Stash

OK – my stash is seriously getting out of control. I bought all that kitchen cotton when it was super cheap on Amazon. Now, I found a bunch of worsted superwash wool (Sensations Tesoro) on clearance at Jo-Anns for $1.50 a skein. Of course, I went and bought a bunch. In fact, I bought about 50 skeins of it!

Recent Ravelry stash inventory count puts my stash at 25 lbs.  Yikes!

November 28, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Baby Cardi

I’m going on a baby knitting spree in the next few months. My friend wanted some sweaters for her baby for this coming winter, so I agreed to knit her some. Here’s the first finished project:

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It’s currently being modeled by my teddy bear since I haven’t given it to mom and baby yet, but when I do, I’ll try to snap a better picture of it being modeled.

Pattern: Mossy Jacket
Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun and Tiffany, double-stranded
Needles: KP Options size 10
Size: approximately 20″ around the chest
Gauge: 3.5 sts / inch

I really like the way it turned out, especially the fur trim around the edge. It was a super quick knit since I double-stranded the yarn. It’s really soft too. I’m not sure how warm it is, but I guess we’ll find out. I used Tiffany to trim the cuffs, collar, and the bottom edge. The button band is knit in the main yarn so I could get the button holes cleanly.

I had some small troubles with the armpit section. I think there is either an error in the pattern or I’m just stupid. I didn’t get the right number of stitches in the sleeves, so that probably contributed to why the sleeve and the body didn’t join quite right in that area. I went in after the sweater was done and just sewed it up. It’s not completely smooth but looks OK. It feels fine too, just not quite as seamless and smooth as it could have been.

November 28, 2007. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

SAFF

I went to my first Fiber Festival on Saturday. It was quite an experience! I had never been around so many people who love all things fiber related. There was so much yarn and fiber and various equipments that I couldn’t take me eyes off of. I was quite overwhelmed by it all.

I went with m a friend I met at SnB. We drove down to Asheville very early in the morning and got there at about 10 am. We walked into the main arena and this was what we saw:

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Major yarn-yummy-goodness!

We spent about 6 hours just walking around looking at things that we wanted. There were so much awesome yarn and roving and various fiber-goodness. I couldn’t help but touch everything. There were people spinning and felting and weaving. I was vary intrigued by the weaving looms. They get pretty big!

I also played with some spindles and got to try a couple of louet and ashford spinning wheels. I didn’t end up getting one though, since I still wanted to try out the Fricke S-160DT, which looks to be the one that I might like to get.

I also bought a bunch of amazing yarn & fiber. Here’s a showcase of my purchases:

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Silk Hankies. I read a tutorial on Knitty about spinning silk hankies when I first started spinning and was intrigued. I haven’t really had a chance to buy one until now. I tried spinning a couple this morning and it’s pretty hard work! Maybe I’m not quite doing it correctly, but the drafting took a long time and was much harder than usual. Maybe I’m one of the odd ones that just prefer slippery silk top to this catchy hanky. It spins up beautifully though! I’m going to spin it all eventually and hopefully have enough to make at least a lacy scarf. I only bought a 1/2 ounce.

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1 pound of hand-dyed merino roving. Super yummy softness. Amazing colors. It’s mainly green with some orange and blue mixed in. I bought it for a scarf, hat, and mitten set, since I don’t have a whole set that matches, but now that I put it up against my main big winter jacket, I’m not so sure it matches the jacket. Maybe I’ll still do it because I can still wear it with my other jackets, but I can’t decide yet. Either way, I won’t be spinning it until I get a spinning wheel.

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1.5 pounds of 70/30 merino/alpaca roving. Ridiculously soft. Naturally variegated colors. I absolutely love it. I bought enough for a sweater, but don’t have any definite plans for it. When I got home though, I realized that it would make a pretty good Tilted Duster from the Fall Interweave Knits. I calculated the weight from the pattern, and it’s just enough. I’m not sure if I should spin it and hope for the best, or not risk it and plan something else for it. I guess I can always spin it and see if there’s enough yardage. I also dont’ know if I can be trusted to spin consistently enough to make an entire sweater! Guess I’ll figure it out when I get my wheel 🙂

I bought the above roving from Rivers Edge Weaving Studio and I just have to give a shout-out to them. The ladies were super nice and helpful.

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320 yards of worsted superwash wool. The softest yarn I have ever touched! I originally wasn’t going to buy it, but my friend did and I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I just bit the bullet and took it home, even though I have absolutely no plans for it. I was thinking some comfy house socks, but I’m not sure I want to risk ruining it and wearing it out. Maybe I’ll just have to find some reinforcing thread to make myself feel better. For now though, I’m keeping the skein next to my laptop on my desk. Whenever I feel stressed, I just pet it. It makes me feel much better. oh so soft!

The yarn came from Brooks Farm. They have an amazing booth! Their yarns are all super soft and are all in amazing colors. Next time I go, I will have to plan better so I can buy more from them. The owner was super nice too.

That’s it for purchases. I did pretty well considering. The only thing I didn’t buy that I’m slightly regretting is a skein of 600 yds of alpaca for something like $20. What a super price. I just hit my budget though, so it’s probably better that way. Besides, I already have way more than I can spin/knit.

While we were there, we also some some llamas. Look at these cuties!
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That’s it for my SAFF adventures!  I’ll report back when I’ve made something from all my loot.

October 28, 2007. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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