Thursday, August 30, 2007

Amazing blogs for creativity!!

There are some amazingly creative people out there! My favorite blogs tend to focus on knitting projects, but in the process of reading, linking, surfing... I am equally enamored of some great general craft sites and I offer them to you... Enjoy!!

CRAFT Magazine's blog
CraftyPod - blog and podcast
Etsy Labs
IKEA Hacker - just like it sounds!
My Half of the Brain - lots & lots of tutorials
Not Martha
Whip Up - handcraft in a hectic world

And if you haven't tried - I highly recommend it! Set it up to pull in the updates from all your favorite blogs and have one place to check for new posts!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's another Mystery!

And this time it's called Secret of the Stole! I signed up as soon as I heard about it on Lime 'n Violet's Daily Chum and I can't wait!! Actually, I'm glad it doesn't start until October - too many things to finish first, but the host has given out the supply list and a small chart to swatch.

I'm going to use this project as an excuse to purchase a cone of Zephyr wool/silk. I've had it on my wishlist for a while and even ordered a color card. Now to just choose the color. YAY!

In the meantime, I'm about to block the Siren's Shawl. I still love the color and didn't need the extra ball of Cashsoft. 3 balls had the yardage the pattern called for, but I was concerned that the the different gauge would make the shawl too short. The softness and pretty pale green of the extra ball will be great for a baby hat or maybe booties. So soft...

Pics soon...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

She-Knits for Purse Ideas!

One of my favorite podcasters, Sharon of She-Knits, is having a fun contest. Sharon's been great at keeping her listeners aware of different contests in knitting blogland, and now she's hosting one herself.

She's asked for suggestions of bags/shapes that we'd like to see in a felted bag. I love the shape of this bag on eBags.

If you have other suggestions, send them to Sharon.

In the meantime, on the bag front, I have completely frogged the Landscape purse back to the starting blue hem/edge. Although I still love the design, it was so incredibly 'fiddly' to knit I hated the knitting (and bent 3 dpns trying to loosen stitches to get the colors to line up correctly). Current plan is to knit the same approximate size & shape, but use a modified Jaywalkers' stitch pattern.

Happy Knitting!
- JavaNut

The Bees are waiting... and waiting

... and waiting.

I couldn't resist the Bee Fields shawl. Even though I already started another large, lace, triangle shawl (Lily of the Valley) a long time ago, I had to get the Bees. I've only knit one border edge and it's been languishing in one of my knitting bags waiting for me to find someone to check my chart-to-text translation. I know many people prefer reading charts, but I hate them (it's nice to have the visual for the pattern tho'). I find I have to constantly count the squares for stitches and that drives me crazy...

And since I was in such great company, it took several weeks to get my order with Anne's pattern and the Willy Wonka fibers... and what a pattern!! I've never seen such details!

And then I joined the Bee Fields KAL and have seen all the wonderful posts and photos of cast ons, WIPs and so many finished shawls! BUT... I must finish the Siren's Shawl first for a gift (timely). Unfortunately my knitting pace has caused some wrist pain and I've got to take a break. Ever since a long bout with tendonitis, I have to be careful with how much time I spend with the needles (and the keyboard!) and it's caught up with me.

So tonight, I had to satisfy myself with winding my Bee Fields yarn... Isn't it pretty??? And the progress of Siren's Shawl. I don't know if the 3 balls will be enough (the right yardage, but different weight). I'll block it and if it's not long enough, I'll start the extra ball I found (just in case!).

I think it's going to be even nicer once it's blocked! The Cashsoft had knit up so soft and goopy... I hope the recipient enjoys it as much as I do (I think she will!).

Happy Knitting!
- JavaNut

Friday, August 17, 2007

Christmas Swap...

There are 15 spots left in the Christmas Around the World Swap... it's going to be fun!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Golden Purl's got a Contest

Golden Purl has posted a fun contest to celebrate her 6-month-blogiversary. As a new blogger, I think it's a great idea and definitely something I'll think about when I get to that milestone!

Some great prized and a creative contest about dates... check it out and tell her I sent you (for an additional entry for me!)

Now I have to start thinking creatively for a contest idea...

Creative Pursuits...

I found this on BingeKnitter (she's after me in the Knitting Blogs ring) who found it from Grumperina, but originated from Bella Knitting... and thought it was a fun idea.

4. Love it! This is my thing:
Knitting, Altered books, quilting

3. I do or have dabbled in it:
Beading, photography, home decor, card making, scrapbooking, stamping

2. Would love to try it:
Yarn dyeing, cooking, ATC, cake decorating, mixed media collage, book making, soldering

1. I have no interest; complete lack of creativity in this area:
Spinning, painting, drawing, gardening, flower arranging, paper making

Tag, you're it!
- JavaNut

Friday, August 10, 2007

Siren's Shawl...

I wanted to find a lacy, but warm, and most importantly - quick!, shawl to make. After searching through my binders and books, I randomly grabbed a copy of Knit Simple (Spring/Summer '07) and immediately opened to this pattern for Siren's Shawl. Perfect!

I cast on with Cashsoft 4ply and am praying that 3 balls is enough. The yardage is sufficient, but it's a different gauge. I would have bought a 4th for insurance, but there were only 3 in stock at my LYS. Fingers crossed!

It is a wonderfully simple pattern. 9-stitch, 4 row repeat. And every other row is straight purl. And of the pattern rows, they are the same stitch pattern, just off-set by one stitch. ONE STITCH PATTERN to remember... that's all!! It had the potential of being a quick knit. HAD the potential.

For whatever reason, I can't seem to keep it straight and for every 4-6 rows, I end up frogging a couple. I am so annoyed with myself, but at this point, I still like the pattern. Really. Even if by the time I finish I will have knit 2x as many stitches as there are in the shawl! Really...

Good thing I really like the feel of Cashsoft - I'm going to be feeling a lot of it before this is completed and the Siren's call will be answered!

Keepin' on -

Monday, August 6, 2007

Decisions, Decisions...

What to work on???

I'm battling the call of Icarus (and in all honesty, really want to have a picture to post here!) ...

The new socks I've just cast on - they will be embossed stich from More Sensational Socks, but haven't even finished the ribbing on the first cuff.

Finishing existing stocks (Jaywalkers, Monkey, Widdershins)

Re-starting the Landscape purse - which I frogged back to the hemmed edge. I love the pattern on the bag, but frankly it's so incredibly, annoyingly fiddly to work to get the colors to line up the way they are supposed to to get the right design. So I frogged. I hate that. But I hated the knitting process for the Landscape bag more. I'm thinking of knitting it without worrying about the color patterns and perhaps do it in Jaywalker stitch pattern... So now I'm anxious to test that for appearance.

And now I'm also wondering if I could possibly get 2 lace shawls knit within 6 weeks for gifts. They don't need me at work, do they?