A Good Yarn

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Now that it's officially fall, I'm keeping busy, but most of it is not really good blog material. It's election season, so I've been doing some volunteer work for the DFL and watching hours of political/news coverage. The debate was really fun to watch and I can't wait to see the VP debate this week. Most of my readers are progressives like me, so do what you can to make sure things change this time!

It's football season too. The Vikings have been pretty disappointing, but thank goodness they won last week or else I'd really be depressed. You feel like such a chump when you dump so much money into season tickets and then the games suck. My fantasy football teams are doing pretty well. I'm in first place in the league I care the most about, the one I've been in for the last 10 years that my brother is also in.

The new television season has started too. I haven't seen anything new yet, but it's good to see some old favorites return. With the writer's strike last year, it's been a while for some of these shows, and I'm happy to see them. I'll do my usual fall tv post in about a month or so.

With all that extra tv watching, I have been doing some knitting. I finished up the first of my Vikings Froot Loop socks:

The yarn (Chestnut Bay Fibers) is a little thinner than I'd like, so I hope these don't wear out too quickly. I didn't want to mess around with changing the numbers in the pattern, so the gauge isn't as firm as I'd normally like. They do fit very nicely though.

I'm also knitting one more pair of socks for the Knitters for Obama drive.

I'm using Woolease for this pair and am almost up to the toe right now on this first one. I'm starting to collect stuff for the Minnesota group now, so I should be able to finish up the pair in time for my delivery to the Veteran's group.

And finally I'm doing a knitalong on the Elsebeth Lavold Ravelry group. I decided to make the Borghild sweater in a Silky Tweed I had in my stash:

I love this yarn. Soft and silky and also just gorgeous. It's gray and cloudy today, so I couldn't get a good shot of it without the flash and the flash overexposed it, so hopefully next time. But it's a lovely green with flecks of orange.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Show and Tell

I had a special request to see that necklace I'm wearing in the Mr. Greenjeans photo, so here it is:

I did not make it, but I got it at a craft fair last year. It's actually two-sided:

I love the colors on that side - the bright blues and golds are gorgeous. But I actually wear the other side quite a bit because it matches some tealish blues that I wear occasionally and don't have any other matching jewelery. I thought it was really a good value to get two pieces of jewelry in one!

Since I'm sharing, here's some stuff that I did make. Last weekend I made my yearly trip to the Scrapfest. Every year this event gets more and more popular. The lines for the make and takes were out of control. So, I took my classes and did fewer make and takes this year, so I have fewer completed projects and more works in progress, since the classes are only 45 minutes long, so you can't finish most things:

There's a couple of small books, some pages, some cards and a couple of other random stuff. I'm not sure I'll go back again next year. I do like the classes, but the crowds are just not fun for me. I took a vacation day to go Friday and it was super fun to sleep in and be off of work, though.

I'm also doing a knitalong for the Football Along group on Ravelry:

As I said when I first posted this yarn purchase, this isn't really blue, it's actually a beautiful purple. They're actually the perfect Vikings colors. I really like this yarn - it's from Chestnut Bay Fibers. It's very thin, but the fabric is nice. Very soft and cushy. The pattern is the Froot Loops pattern. It's an easy one to memorize and it keeps things interesting. Obviously, a solid yarn would show off the pattern better, but I actually don't mind the pooling look on these. Here's a close up:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Actually, I have two FOs! Exciting, huh?

Project Name: Mr. Greenjeans
Pattern Source: Knitty, Fall 2007
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Peru in Thraven Colorway
Yarn Source: Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth
Date Started: 5/25/08
Date Completed: 9/7/08

Comments: This sweater didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped. I definitely think the top half is too big and the bottom half is about right. I should have adjusted the pattern and knit a smaller size on top. Or really, I should have started the cabled rib earlier so it start right under my bustline, like the pattern shows, instead of at my waist. I may try throwing it in the wash and see if I can shrink it down a little bit.

The pattern was pretty clear and easy to follow, although I did have trouble at the very beginning. The number of cast on stitches and the number of stitches in the set up row didn't seem to be the same, so I just adjusted on the back. I did adjust the measurements a little bit. I knit more of the cabled rib portion because I didn't want the sweater to fall right at my widest part and I wanted it to be more in balance with the top stockinette portion. I think if I had started the cable rib earlier, I wouldn't have had to lengthen it. I have short arms, so I didn't change the length on those, but they end up being regular long sleeves on me instead of bracelet length as shown on the pattern.

I had plenty of yarn left over, even with the longer length. The yarn has a very nice, soft feel although the alpaca is a little itchy to my very sensitive skin.I wore a tank top underneath and it wasn't too uncomfortable. I originally sewed a pretty pewter toned button on, but I didn't like how it looked like it was pulling, so I sewed the buttonhole shut and I'm going to use this brooch to fasten it closed.

Here's the back view:


Project Name: Veteran's Socks/Obama Socks
Pattern Source: I sort of mixed the Knit to Fit Ankle or Calf Socks pattern by Nancy Lindberg, the Ragg Hiker pattern from 2-at-a-time Socks, and my own random choices to create the pattern
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Yarn Source: Knittin From the Heart
Date Started: 8/12/08
Date Completed: 9/12/08

Comments: These were knit for the Knitters for Obama group. They are being donated to a Homeless Veterans shelter here in Minnesota. I really love this color of Encore - it's a beautiful chocolate brown with flecks of blue. Hopefully they will keep some veteran's feet really warm this winter. If you are interested in knitting some worsted weight men's socks, I'd be happy to send you my final pattern.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mid-Day Post!!

Hey, look at me! Blogging in the middle of the day, just like old times. Things have turned weird in the sleepy town of St. Paul. Things may get dicey with the last day of the convention today, so I was able to leave work early and get out of Dodge. Well, sort of, since I live in St. Paul too.

The other plus side of having the convention in town is that I got to go to a taping of The Daily Show on Tuesday. It was really fun to see how a show like that is put together and see Jon Stewart interacting with the staff and how much he gets into even the taped bits. It was really great. I had to stand in line for about 4 hours beforehand, but it was worth it.

Afterwards, a big protest with about 2,000 people was right outside of the theater. They kept us in the theater for about 10 - 15 minutes and then if we wanted to leave, we could go out the back door and take the risk ourselves of something happening. I figured it would be best to get out while I could, so I did. It's weird to see so many cops all around downtown St. Paul. Cops in riot gear, cops on bikes, cops on horse. I was parked on the other side of the crowd, so I headed around to circle around and be able to get in front of them. There was a big group of police officers strapping on gas masks and then rushing right at me, but luckily I got through and got to the car and out. One of my friends who left after I did ended up getting maced and the biggest clash between the police and protesters happened right in front of the parking ramp my brother used, so I was glad we left when we did.

While I was waiting in line, I finished up the first of the socks I'm knitting for the Knitters for Obama group:

I cancelled my sock club membership and joined a new one - the Artsygal Sock Club. Here's the July selection:

I love this yarn! It's a merino superwash and is super soft. The red semi-solid is really beautiful too. I think it'll be great for some sort of textured pattern.

The August selection was a bit different:

This one is a mix of bamboo, merino and nylon. The colors are a little more subdued than I'm usually attracted to, but I do like the pretty sheen of the bamboo with the softness of the merino.

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