28 April 2011

Perfect.

Today, it is sunny. I haven't seen the sun since I left Georgia. It's beautiful, and I don't care if it's 52°F outside, it's amazing! I'm tired of going to bed wondering if I'm going to drown or get blown away by a tornado.

Anywho, I got a small bit of sunshine in the mail! My Kitchen Sink Dyeworks that I ordered from Stitches South arrived! It's delicious. I couldn't remember for the life of me what it looked like, and now that I see it, I know why I loved it. Have a looksee.


And just because, look how cute it was bundled!

24 April 2011

You don't eff with tradition.

In my family, as long as I can remember, we've had the crocheted topped towels danging from a drawer beside the sink. Since I started crocheting again, back in 2006, I've been slowly collecting my own collection of towels. I didn't know when I was getting married, so I didn't work on them. Now, that I'm married, I can start creating them! I churned out four of them yesterday, two for me and two for Mom, mainly, because Mom doesn't have any Easter ones. I'm pretty proud of them.

Don't mind the footboard railing there.
I think they're cute and cheery! I'm pretty proud of them, being that I haven't created any in a while. Also, a small note, this was the first thing I crocheted on. Mom was making one one day, and I asked her how she was doing it,  she showed me, and let me finish it. I was hooked. (lololol. Pun intended) So, it's kinda a tradition in both ways. Being that all my family has them, and it's my first project. I mean, who'd let such cute towels go to waste?

22 April 2011

Like a fat kid loves cake.

So, yesterday, I went to the big city of Atlanta to go look at a car that my husband's interested in. I took my friend Alicia with me, because 1. She knows the area better than I do and 2. I don't like roaming around Atlanta by myself. Well, honestly, it wasn't Atlanta, it was Norcross, but to us small town folk, anything above Conyers is Atlanta.

After my Garmin routed me through the ghetto, I finally got to Alicia's house. We started off with some lunch, my bribe to get her to come with me. We found The Flying Biscuit Cafe, which is a cute little cafe, that's spreading through out Georgia and North Carolina. I'd seen it a couple of years ago, while doing something with my husband. And then I somehow got the cookbook. Since then, I've wanted to try it. I thoroughly enjoyed my fried egg sammich and rosemary potatoes. If you ever see one, they're worth a try!


I figured, since I was in the area, I might as well stop by Eat. Sleep. Knit.'s headquarters. Best. Idea. EVER. I walked in, and a chime rang out, sending a very nice girl my way, welcoming me, and explaining how everything was set up. First stop to my right, was a room full of MadTosh. Alicia's not a crocheter or a knitter; her medium is glass. Therefore, she could appreciate the colors and wasn't too bored. Or so she said. Anywho, after drooling over a room full of MadTosh and only selecting one, that I hoped would match a skein that PJ and Kate got me for my birthday, I moved along. (While it does match, it's two completely different weights. Damn.) I past by bottles of Soak, a bunch of mannequins just hanging about, and then I moved into the next room, where there were Knit Pick needles, Lorna's Laces, and a wall full of alpaca yarn, to which I avoided, and various other goodies laying about. Didn't see anything I needed, I moved to one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen, the warehouse. The warehouse was FULL of yarn. Shelves and shelves of the stuff, just waiting for me to fondle and oogle at. Two rows FULL of Malabrigo in all weights and colors, Blue Sky Alpacas, Dream in Color, Squoosh, Sweet Georgia,  more needles, etc etc. I feel to my knees and called out praises to the yarn gods. It was a beautiful sight. Alicia just shook her head and helped my short self reach high yarns and helped point out pretty colors. Such as this beautiful Dream in Color, Everlasting in Tart. I won't lie, I kind of bought it for the name, too. Everlasting Tart. Bahahaha. I almost got a Dream in Color Starry, which I've been drooling over for a while, but I would have been over my limit that I set, so I put it back, now knowing what it looks and feels like, and will purchase at a later date. I promised it that I would. After spending 30 glorious minutes in there, I took my two beautiful new yarns and proudly took them to the checkout and marched out with my new loves in a bag, while thanking the very kind staff profusely. I'm sure Alicia thinks I'm nuts after that trip, but I think she understands what it's like to be passionate about your talents.  I mean, after all, who volunteers to take pictures of me acting like a looney in a warehouse full of yarn?

That is my dream shopping basket full of Malabrigo.

21 April 2011

Ta-dah!

Remember this teaser post? Well, I finished last night! So I can reveal it to the world now!



Behold! This is the Tendrillon Shrug from Addydae Designs It can be adapted to any shape and size! All you have to do is a little measuring and a little math. Well, I didn't do the math. PJ did. She's brilliant at it. I can balance my checkbook, convert fractions and that's about it. Moving along, this is a great pattern. It consists of single crochets, double crochets and back and front post double crochets. Fairly simple. The stitch definition on it is fantastic! It has great texture. This yarn (which I am not fond of) created a very soft, squishy feel to it. It's also stretchy, but returns to it's original state. 

Changes to pattern? Well, I single crocheted around it three times, instead of the suggested two for adults.  I also didn't comprehend what it wanted me to do after I sewed it together, so I just single crocheted around the body opening until I ran out of yarn. I like it better. Helps it fit better, too.

I also added some "decorative design" to the single crochets around the body. 

Racing stripes?
I felt it needed a little something to help all the single crochets.

Regrets? Yeah. I think I could have made the sleeves a bit shorter, and should have added a tighter stitch around the arm cuffs. That can always be fixed, though.

Overall, I love it, and I'm very proud of it! What I want to do now, is to crochet it again, but this time, create a throw pillow out of it. No idea why, but that's what this screams to me.


19 April 2011

LIKE A BOSS.

Today, I  have been fully taking advantage of not having shared wifi with 100 other people. I've been using Netflix Instant. I have enjoyed today
-Bill Burr: Let It Go

-Jo Koy: Don't Make Him Angry
-Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious

Yes. All stand up. I loves it. While I was watching the above said stand up, I decided to get off my ass and try knitting again. This time with bigger needles and less annoying yarn. I whipped out my 10mm (US 15) and The Spun Monkey: Monkey Spun, which is 102 yards of handspun wooly yummyness. I tried doing a row of knit stitch, then a row of purling, but I really, really suck at purling. Even after the really nice lady at Bijou Basin showed me what I was doing wrong. So, after ripping everything apart approximetly 15 times, I gave up and just started doing the knit stitch. After ripping that out at least four times, I finally got something going. Behold! All four inches I have knit today:


Check that miracle out.


Oooh. Ahhh.

I don't even know what happened here with the bottom,
I gave up after the 20th try.

And there you have it. My first halfway successful attempt at knitting. It's not perfect, but I'm proud. Perhaps I'll actually finish this soon to be scarf?

18 April 2011

Monday, Monday. Can't trust that day.

Being that I have access to things I normally don't have access to this week, I'm taking full on advantage of it. 1. A sewing machine and 2. An awesome oven and supplies.

Now, being that I have these things, doesn't mean any good will come of it. Well, Half Good. Or Half Fails. Whichever you prefer.

My first attempt of the day was sewing. Since Vanessa interviewed me over on her blog, Mixed Martial Arts and Crafts, I've had an itch to sew something. I couldn't figure out what, though. So I started digging through my cedar chest, which is FULL of fabric, and I came out with three choices: a black Hawaiian print, a preppy green and white stripe, and flannel donut fabric. Guess which one I chose? The donut fabric. Duh. I've had this fabric since 2006. I love it, and I was determined to make pajama pants out of it. Little do most know, but any sort of bottom that involves a crotch and legs is my mortal enemy. I was feeling confident today, so I decided to tackle shorts. I googled something like "pajama shorts pattern" and came up with this. Well, AFTER I printed out the pattern, cut that out, then cut the fabric out, I failed to realize that I didn't have the directions. Crap. So, I attempted to do it myself. Which ended up in the Fail of the Month. I'm quite embarrassed by them, that all I've decided to show you of them is this picture:
You can kind of see the crotch fail in the bottom right hand corner, but I'm not going any further. The color's terrible, because the green's actually a more pleasant color. Why is this a Half Fail? Because, I can rip out the stitches and try again. No worries, for I have found a better tutorial. 

My next Half Fail was a pre-Easter food trial. Which, I will always test my recipes before serving them to others after an epic fail earlier in my life. I've been watching cooking shows more recently lately, and I've noticed lavender being put in things. I was intrigued. So, I bought an 1/8th pound of culinary lavender (very important) and it arrived today! After the Half Fail with the shorts, I figured I'd try again with cookies. Everything was going smoothly. I had all the ingredients, I knew how to do everything, a simple cookie really. It told me it was a drop cookie, and just to plop teaspoon fulls onto my cookie sheet. I used a Pampered Chef "ice cream scooper" in the smallest size, and stuck them in the oven. 15 minutes later, I pulled them out, and was mildly confused. They were still in the shape of the scoop! I don't know why, but whatever. I let them cool for a few minutes and then I tried one. Not bad. They taste like they're missing something. Honestly, I think they're meant for tea, and if you love having tea and cookies, you'd enjoy this. Mom said it tastes like she was eating her lotion. I thought it taste just fine. Kinda a fragrant taste.  Nonetheless, I'm on the search again for a new Easter desert.





Try, try again. Tomorrow.

17 April 2011

My name is Amber, and I'm addicted to Stitches South.

It was a dark and stormy night, Friday. As Mom and I were glued to the 52" flat screen TV in our swanky Hyatt Place hotel room ($67 a night? Yes, please.) we watched the Weather Channel (which was interestingly enough, about five miles away) tell us that we were under a tornado warning. THEN THE POWER WENT OUT. For like two minutes. I was mad that the Chuck E. Cheese's across the street had power and we didn't. Then, the power came back on! YAY. We weren't going to die! lol, just kidding. The tornado sirens started going off. Awesome. Mom and I grabbed our valuables, and headed down to the lobby. The lights were flickering, the bar was busy, people were everywhere. Thankfully, the sirens stopped, and about 10pm, Mom and I deemed the weather safe and went back upstairs. We prepared ourselves for bed and crashed. Only to be woken up by another tornado siren at 2am. I'm pleased to announce that we made it through the night, with no tornadoes. Only severe weather and winds up to 55mph.

Despite our interesting stay that night, Saturday, we were bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. Well, after I had ingested some breakfast, and Mom had her coffee. Why? Because we were headed to Stitches South! We got there a little after the doors opened, and we wandered in. Simply a sight to see. My eyes welled up with tears, as I completely ignored my "Plan of Attack" map I had created, and just started wandering down the aisles. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. So much so, I COMPLETELY forgot to take pictures. Way to go. So, you'll get a wordy post, with pictures of what I got.

First stop, we stopped at a button booth. Actually, the aisle seemed like it was where all the buttons were located. Being that I have enough buttons to last me a century, I was very picky. I did come out with two cute ones, though! A sheep and a pair of scissors. I wouldn't really call the scissors a button, but more of an embellishment.

After spending quite a bit of time drooling over all the buttons, toggles, clasps, and what not, I hit my first major "point of interest", Kitchen Sink Dyeworks. KSD has fabulous color choices! I was so giddy, I couldn't stand it. After mulling it over, I picked up two skeins of blue faced lace in Peabody, and ordered some custom dyed worsted. I, for the life of me, can't remember the color I picked out, but damnit, when it arrives, I'll gladly show it off.


After KSD, I found the Halos of Hope booth, and got lots of information. I'm excited to have a place to mail some hats to! They were also giving out free hat patterns, so I snagged a few so I have something different to make.
Being lazy and not wanting to unbag it.
After that, I about tripped over Woolstock Yarn Shop, who always has the giant bin of sweater quantity yarn that I want to go swimming in. I had four different bags, and then realized that I was only on the second aisle, so I picked out one, Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in a beautiful green, and moved on my merry way.

I passed books, notions, WEBS, and ladies demonstrating spinning wheels (one day, damn you!) and all sorts of wonderful things. But I had a budget and a plan. I kinda stuck to my plan after the Woolstock stop, and only visited booths that I had written down. Like Lisa Souza. Holy Crap. Kate had informed me about Lisa Souza, but I was not prepared for the awesomeness that is Lisa Souza. Lisa Souza PERSONALLY helped me pick out yarn. I explained what I was looking for, how it was going to be used, and that I was allergic to alpaca and goats. I came out of that booth with one of my favorite yarns. It's the white one that looks like Funfetti cake. I will personally cut off your hand if you think about taking it from me.  The other one is a beautiful silky feeling lace weight in the color of Sourball. Mom also hit the jack pot at this booth and picked up four skiens of Lisa Souza's new yarn, which is 85% Polworth Wool and 15% Silk Tussah. Beautiful. You can find mom on Ravelry as MarshaTM. She's never really on there, but you can at least view her stash, when I get it uploaded.

The next stop was Sanguine Gryphon, which always has an amazing display, yarns, and costumes. I'm always in awe of their costumes. Sadly, I did not find anything I needed, so I rounded the corner. And there was Dragonfly Fibers. One of the places PJ requested yarn from. After much deliberation, texting and help from the Dragonfly Fiber's owner's mother, who was very sweet and patient, I picked out Dragon Sock in  Firecracker for PJ. I also scored and got two skiens of Dragon Sock in Winter Woods. Beautiful. It's delicious and I can't wait to see what it looks like "knitted" up. Even though it'll be crochet. Whatever.

After that, I wandered down and found MacKintosh Yarns, which I met and talked to the dyer and her mother for about an hour. Turns out she's my age! She was very awesome and helpful, and I got two great skiens of lace and one sock yarn for a future pair of socks for Brian. She said that particular base is great for Man Socks, because it's very durable, yet comfortable. I picked out the manliest color I could find and went with that. Those two skeins of lace? $24 a piece with 950 yards. I find that quite reasonable!

From the MacKintosh booth, I spied Bijou Basin, and made a bee line for it. After recently using their yarn to create my first "sweater", I was determined to get more, mainly because it comes in colors now! Also, I wanted to see if they had one of their new crochet patterns displayed, and they did! I really want to make this pattern: Wrap Front Shrug. It's even more amazing in person. I was talking to one of the ladies at the "yarn tasting" table, which was basically all their yarns available to try, and it turns out, she was the person who took the pictures of the model in that wrap! I told her that I was first attracted to it, because the girl looked like she was having an amazing time. Then she told me a secret. She told the model a really dirty joke. I couldn't have been more proud. Just for that, I'm going to buy the pattern soon. After "tasting" the yarn, and laughing at the knitters not really knowing how to crochet, the lady explained that she was a "crocheter who knits." I liked that. I explained to her that I was trying to knit, but the purl stitch was kicking my butt. THEN, she very sweetly SHOWED me what I was doing "wrong." It was how I was holding my yarn. Oh, well, duh. It clicked and I'm going to try knitting again, soon. I picked out some Bijou Spun, because I loved the way it squished. I also had a 15% off coupon, AND they had show prices, so I feel I got a great deal.

I went to Miss Babs last, mainly because I knew I could get what I wanted online, if she sold out at the show. I drooled over colorways and decided just to get one skein. I'd been drooling over PJ's skein for months, and decided that'd I'd go outside my "color comfort level" and grab this beautiful skein of Squash Blossom. Yellow looks awful on me, but this particular color is just an amazing golden yellow, that even if it doesn't become something that goes around my face, it'll be fantastic as a pair of socks. Or just to put on the shelf to display. Either way, it's delicious.

After spending three and a half hours wandering around and just drooling over everything, we realized we were hungry. So we bid adieu to Stitches South, and vowed to save up even more money for next year's. I would like to say that it wasn't very crowded at all, though at time, in some booths, you'd get a claustrophobic feeling.  Today's the last day, and I'm sad I'm not there, going back over and seeing if there's anything I missed. Nope. My mission was accomplished. Stock up on things that weren't readily accessible and find birthday gifts. Oh, yes. There's even more yarn I got that I can't show you. Guess you'll just have to wait.

13 April 2011

Bow chicka bow bow

Since it seems that I know some dirty enablers, (I'm looking at you Darcy and Karen!!) I started another small project. Just to give me a rush and hopefully finish a project before Stitches. And because they're dirty enablers, all you're getting is a teaser.

Whatever can it be?

08 April 2011

Teaser post.

Whatever shall it be?


You'll just have to wait and see!

I mean, I've gotta have something to do to keep my mind off of Congress failing to pass a budget.

03 April 2011

Day Six and Seven: Something to aspire to AND my Knitting and Crocheting time.

The weather here in Kentucky has been AMAZING. Yesterday it was 61°F, and today it's supposed to get to 75°F. AND be sunny. I'm THRILLED. This is the Spring I know. So, now that you know that, forgive me for not posting yesterday like I was supposed to. Instead, you'll get TWO posts for the price of ONE. What lucky, people, you!


First off, yesterday's post: Something to Aspire To.


Well, since I've discovered Ravelry, I've discovered that crochet is more than blankets and towel toppers (even though I still love those.) I've discovered that some lovely things CAN be created with crochet, and a few things can make my knitter friends drool. (Being that I'm constantly drooling over their projects.) Recently, I conquered one of my White Whales, creating a "sweater" (a bolero) that doesn't look like it belongs in the 1970's. And I'm thrilled to announce that it turned out perfectly. (I posted here, if you don't remember.) And it has inspired me to attempt more challenging things that I wouldn't ever dream of doing, unless I was a knitter. Because of this, I'm definitely seeking out more crochet sweater patterns. (Oh, a note. Anything made out of yarn and worn on the upper torso is a sweater to me. I realize that they all have proper names, but I'm just being lazy.) I'm really into shrugs and boleros right now,  because I'm constantly cold, and these are easy and cute to throw on. So, I'm slowly browsing Ravelry for those. Why slowly? While I have a few lots of sweater quantities for yarn, I don't always have the proper weight. So, I'm resiting until I can afford more. Moving along, my next White Whale is socks. Yes. Crocheted socks. Once again, my knitter friends have BEAUTIFUL socks (see here, here, here, here, and here [all Rav links]) So, I will attempt some crocheted socks, and perhaps show them up? Probably not, but still. I'll have SOCKS. And I love socks. I love socks so much, that I named one of my kitties growing up Socks. (Well, I mean it LOOKED like she was wearing socks, but that's besides the point.) So, to complete my very own pair? I think I would have to frame them. 
And my very next White whale? Knitting. I'll figure it out one day. Perhaps with less cussing.


Day Seven: My Knitting and Crocheting Time.


My knitting time, as seen above, involve lots of cussing, ripping, pouting and throwing things across the room, only to retrieve them and apologize profusely. Moving along.


My crochet time depends on what I'm crocheting. Something mindless? A movie, something I can actually watch and pay attention to. Something I need to concentrate on? The radio. If the TV's on, I tend to try and pay attention to it, and that normally leads me to ignore what I'm working on and screw up somewhere. I don't do anything fancy like tea or coffee (mainly because I don't drink those.) But, I'll normally have a glass of water beside me, my feet propped up, and enough time to churn out a few productive rows. Back in Georgia, when the weather was nice, I'd go sit out on the porch and listen to the birds chirp. That's peaceful. Hopefully, I can find that in my new home. In Texas.