Tag Archives: swaps


17 Sep

It’s been a while, blogging world! The combination of moving back to college and a bad cold has made blogging difficult. But, I have gotten lots of packages from swapping, and since I’m too fried to come up with a real post, here’s some loot:

Araucania Ranco Multy

Claudia Handpaint Yarns Fingering

Cosmic Fibers Yarn Lyra

Frog Tree Alpaca Sportweight

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

Malabrigo Sock

Opal something that I'm not exactly sure

Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight

Regia Sock DK

The Sanguine Gryphon Sappho I

And some other, non-yarny things, but I am tired and worn out and this is what I remembered to photograph. Real post coming soon, guys. Promise.


So much to say…

31 Aug

I can’t even begin to figure out an order, so I’ll make one up.

Firstly, my friend Robin and I had spinning lessons with a lovely woman named Ashley, who we met at Webs. The lessons themselves, honestly, were incredibly frustrating until the very, very end, when I made this:

Please ignore the gross, oddly proportioned shot of my leg. Sometimes getting up to find an actual place to photography is too hard >.<

How cool is that?!?! I made yarn! Like, real yarn! A whole 12 yards of over-and-under spun-and-plied yarn! I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, other than maybe hang it on my wall with a placard that says, “Nicole’s First Yarn, Spun On August 29, 2011”. Even though it is about the least perfect yarn ever, I’m super proud of it. Also inspired, because I’ve been continuing to spin. This is what’s on my spindle right now:

It’s totally more than 12 yards, and I’m still going strong. Again, it’s super beginner-y, but that’s to be expected, since I am a beginner. Last night I was practicing my joins, so the last, say, 10 yards are extra beginner-y, but it’s worth it, to get the practice.  I’m really, really excited about this yarn; I think I might actually have enough to knit something with! I’m planning on going until my spindle is full, and I am probably completely deluding myself pretty sure that I can at least get a hat or a cowl out of it. Maybe a mobius strip cowl? I’ve been wanting to make one of those for a while.

Robin had a much better time than I did at the actual lessons because she doesn’t expect to be immediately good at everything she does and if she isn’t she doesn’t throw a hissy fit, and since she’s allergic to wool, she got to spin with things like hand-painted silk:

You can’t quite tell from the picture just how lovely the fiber is, but I promise it’s spectacular. She also got to play with things like seacell and other things I don’t remember, but were much shinier than my BFL (which I love, btw). Here’s her finished skein:

This picture really doesn’t due justice to how beautiful it is, but Robin had to go, and I was holding her up. Her skein is 11 yards, but also more evenly spun, which just goes to show that she’s more patient than me.

But, I really have fallen in love with spinning, and when I went to Webs today for the second day in a row because I am too indecisive and had to exchange my yarn even though what I got the first time was beautiful I got some alpaca top to play with, since I hadn’t gotten any in the kit Ashley made for me.

Turns out, it’s really hard to take a non-blurry picture of roving. But you can still see how pretty the colors are, all fawn-y with a little bit of grey mixed in. I’ll be trying it out later tonight I think, I might get distracted by… => => =>

Valley Yarns Huntington

Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball

I also got these to make a Daybreak like this one that I’ve been eyeing forever. I’m 99% sure I’m going to cast on tonight, but I’ll have to see. Tonight is Boy’s first night staying with us, so I might be occupied with that in a way where I want to work on something I’m already in the middle of, rather than casting on a new project. BUT. But Daybreak needs stitch markers, and these arrived in the mail for me from the uber talented LadyDanio whose name is definitely not LadyDino like I always read it, although dinosaurs are pretty awesome:

Aren’t they cute?? Mini pool ball stitch markers! I couldn’t have picked a better day for them to arrive; between these and the beautiful yarn, I’ll nearly certainly cave and cast on tonight, even though I have a bajillion other things I should be knitting, like the socks I’ve been “working on” for the past forever…

That’s me partway through picking up the stitches for the afterthought heel which I am never ever ever ever EVER doing again because, oh my gosh, it is the most annoying thing ever. But I did finally finish the heel, and I ended up wearing half a sock around the house for maybe a half hour while I got a snack and watched Bones. Taking it on and off takes an awful lot of effort, because the Taiyo I’m knitting them with is a bunch cotton (50% maybe?), so they’re not super stretchy. Once they’re on my foot they fit perfectly, but I’m worried that I’ll rip them eventually, and that would be super sad, given all the work time-and-effort whining I’ve put into them. I may end up gifting them, I’ll have to see. In any case, I have been mightily uninspired to pick these up and get shit done. I have been making myself do at least one pattern repeat before I’m allowed to do things like have a late night snack or spin, which is pretty much the only way I’ve gotten anything done on them.

I also really ought to be casting on Josie with this yarn held double:

I got it in a swap from Kayrun, and as soon as it arrived, I knew that it was going to be turned into something for my cousin Susie, whose husband passed on a few days ago. I knew I wanted to make something for her, and the yarn coming just a few hours after I found out he died was just too serendipitous to ignore. It’s much more raspberry-y than the picture would have you believe, and it’ll make an excellent warm, comforting hat for cold Wisconsin farm winters.

I also reeeeeeeeeeeally ought to be casting on a monster for yet a different swap, but I haven’t been able to decide on which monster and which yarn yet. I’m giving myself until next Monday before I have to drop everything and do it, and knowing me, I’ll put it off until them which is absolutely ridiculous because I love knitting monsters.

But really, I’m pretty sure having too many wonderful knitting and spinning things to do at once is not the worst problem a person could have 🙂

p.s. I totally cleaned my room today. Take that, Procrastination!


29 Aug

The bunnies, they have arrived.

And they are so cute!! I love them to pieces (hopefully not literally!). They were really easy to make, felting included. I ended up running them through the washing machine two and a half-ish times, and then doing a little bit of hand felting on the ears. I would definitely make them again, and I imagine I’ll end up with a herd in time for Christmas. I’m thinking a rainbow of bunnies? Even if I gift them, the pictures would be incredible, and the recipients super happy 🙂

Whether they are coming or going, they are just the most adorable. I did end up letting them dry while on my feet, and while it result in some cold toes, I now have slippers molded to my feet. Best. Idea. Ever. (thanks Emma!) And when they did dry, my oh my are they warm. I can’t wait to have them for Wisconsin winters! The only not-perfect thing about them is that I sort of forgot that on the non-eye side of safety eyes there’s a pokey bit, but it hasn’t been a problem so far, and I’m pretty sure as long as no one steps on my toes I’ll be fine.

The pictures are a little crappy due to awful lighting late at night, but you can see how fuzzy and soft and cosy they are. I spent a long time picking out a color, and I’m super happy with the heathered lavender I ended up with. And the 220 felted really well, as promised. I don’t quite know their personalities yet, but I can tell you that the left one has stand-y up-y ears, and the right one has floppy ears, so I can already tell they’re two distinct bunnies.

Pattern: hopsalots by tiny owl knits
Time Span: 25 to 28 August 2011
Materials: 237.6 yards of Cascade 220 Heathers, 2.2 yards of Valley Yarns Lenox (for the noses) and 6.6 yards of Filatura di Crosa North Pole (for the tails)
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annanlove19/hopsalots

This project was brought to you by the spectacular Maria (hi Maria!!), who gifted me the pattern.

Also, you guys, I have totally been working on my Devon! I hadn’t (mostly) forgotten about it, I’ve just been sidetracked by socks. But I picked it up again the other day, and I even have photographic evidence:

I’ve knit a whole, like, two stripes. And I’m thinking about knitting some more! We’ll have to see. I did just pack up nearly all of my yarn to be driven out to college, so maybe I’ll be inspired? Probably not, but at least I’m pretending I’m making progress 😛

Also, you guys, I have a Kitten and she’s really, really cute.

Beautiful, right? She’s my pride and joy 🙂

Oh oh I also got unstuck on that swap I was stuck on! What a relief! I have to hold off on more swapping anyways, since I won’t be with my yarn again until the 10th, but at least I can stop stressing about it.

And the things, they happen, sometimes.

28 Aug

So it’s been a crazy few days here, with some more even crazier days to come! Hurricane Irene is on her way, and we’ve been doing things like Preparing and Buying Food and Setting Up The Water Pump In Case Of Flooding, plus Boy has come to stay with us for the weekend, which is excellent. He’s asleep right now, but here’s a picture of our shoes next to each other:

Boy is very tall.

So, y’know how sometimes knitting happens? Well, it’s been sort of happening. In between bouts of hurricane prep, there has also been bouts of preparing to go to college, and also a whole lot of swapping (more on that soon). But, I also have been knitting some, like the hopsalots, which are slowly but surely being completed. I was gifted the pattern in a swap (yayayay!! :D), and since it would cost a bajillion dollars to felt at college because hand felting doesn’t exist, they need to be finished before I leave. Here’s the first one being modeled by me with Andrew Zimmern in the background (aka my natural habitat):

But, I’ve also finished the second slipper, and I’m halfway through the first ear:

I may try to felt them tomorrow, but if the power went out mid-felt, that would be bad, so I also might wait. But it would be excellent to have them Monday night when I’m going to visit my friend in Maine overnight, but we’ll have to see. (disjointed thought is disjointed >.<) I’ve also been doing some work on my Outside In socks, but not much:

I keep having other things come in between me and these socks, and it’s starting to make me sad, because somehow I went from OH NO NOT THE SIZE ONES O.o to socks being my comfort thing to knit, and I have been in need of some comfort (or stress relief at any rate). Still, bunny slippers first, then some socks, then knitting a monster for a swap (oh no, not a monster, that’s the worst thing ever to knit :P), then finishing socks. I think.

On a Happy-Swapping-Note, this wonderful bag came for me in the mail today from the fantastic Melanie (hi Melanie!!):

I had wished for a notions case and was given a choice between blue/grey and turquoise and lime, and I just had to go with the bright and cheerful colors. Little did I know I’d be getting a Vera Bradley case!! It’s so beautiful and bright and cheery and is actually big enough to hold my things, rather than the glasses case I had been using. Plus, I get to reclaim my glasses case and actually use it for my glasses. But not only did Melanie send me the one I had decided on, she also sent the blue/grey one because she is an absolute sweetheart. It was gorgeous and felted, but I only needed one, so I sent it along to someone else in need of cheering up, along with some Tension Tamer tea.

See see see?? Bright and cheery! And it holds everything, with room to spare!! It’s absolutely what I needed, down to a T. I love it 🙂

But, alas, swapping is not all fun and games. Well, it is, but sometimes it can be a stressful game instead of an entirely fun one. There’s one swap in particular I’ve been holding up for quite some time now; I keep offering things that nobody wants and switching it out and offering something else that nobody wants and switching it out…I know it’s just a matter of the right yarn at the right time (which is possibly not in the middle of a hurricane), but it’s still a little stressful. I will keep y’all updated as it progresses, because I just know that someday soon somebody will want some yarn I have.


And here comes to an end perhaps the most disjointed, poorly written, whine-y blog post yet! Note to self: no more blogging at one-thirty in the morning.


25 Aug

It’s busy out, did you know?

A big part of that is my own fault. I recently dived head-first into the world of swapping in a really big way, and it turns out that takes up way, way more time that you’d think. There’s stalking the boards, deciding if you want/can fulfill, pouncing, offering, packing, mailing, receiving, stashing on Ravelry, and that’s if you already have everything made/on hand! If additional items need to be purchased, or knit from scratch, heaven help you. Here’s my current To Mail pile, though it’s short two packages that need to be added before I can head to the post office:

It might not look like much, but I swear it’s a lot of coordination/thinking/generally being on the ball. Plus, I mailed two more earlier this week. That is a lot of packages, friends. Butbutbut look what I’ve gotten in return!

That right there is an indie-dyed MCN fingering weight blend for more socks. It was waiting for me when I got home this afternoon, and oh my is it gorgeous. It’ll probably be a while before I can get it on the needles, but that’s just fine with me. Part of what I’m trying to accomplish with my swapping is to acquire a sock yarn stash, since socks are the best things ever EVER, and until very recently I had absolutely none. I have a bunch more coming in the mail, some to home and some to college, and I promise I will post pics just as soon as everything arrives!

This came yesterday, and was the very first thing I swapped for. I’ve wanted to try Frog Tree Alpaca for a long time, but it does things like Money, so I held off. But lo, now I have some, and in a lovely raspberry/maroon color! (brighter than this pic) It is just as soft and cuddly as I always imagined it would be and I am super excited to knit something I haven’t decided yet with it!

Heathered lavender 220 to make hopsalots with! My parents bought me the yarn, but the pattern was gifted to me in a swap, so it still totally counts. I am really, really excited for these, and will probably be starting them tonight, if I can get my act together. Since the slippers are felted, it is a high priority to get them done before college, since laundry at school is expensive, and you can’t just run the wash cycle ten bajillion times. I’m leaving on the 10th, so I (theoretically) have plenty of time, but only if I get my act together which will definitely happen soon. Theoretically.

I have also done some knitting, though some of it has been for swaps, and thusly won’t be posted about until packages have been received. But I can safely show you Rudy,  the Deformed Bunny:

You can’t tell how badly deformed he is from this picture, which is the entire point. He was supposed to be for a swap, but instead was adopted by my mom, who is a big fan of rejected stuffed animals. Not that he isn’t loved; don’t get me wrong, I adore him. He’s just not swap-ready.

Pattern: Knitted Bunny by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer
Time Span: 23 to 24 August 2011
Materials: scraps of Malabrigo Worsted
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annanlove19/knitted-bunny

Also, I’ve cast on a new pair of socks with my Taiyo and they are coming along slowly but surely. They’re knit inside out so you can’t really see the pattern from this picture, but it’s there. Half a repeat left, then it’s heel o’clock! Not sure when I’ll get to it since I really need to knit my slippers first, but hopefully before school starts which is absolutely completely realistic I don’t know what you’re talking about. Outside In Socks pattern link!

But there have been non-yarny things happening too! Like back-to-school shopping:

And back-to-school hair salon-ing:

All in all, it’s been a good busy, but I feel a little bit like I’m running around with my head cut off. I’ve been needing to actively take time to sit down and breathe, which in and of itself is a little stressful, but it’s getting done. Other things on my to-do list include packing for back to school with needs to be done by Monday (and buying boxes to put my things into), spinning lessons on Monday, some more errand-ing, and also surviving the hurricane that’s supposed to hit this weekend. I’m outside the center of it, but hurricanes are big, man. It also might get in the way of some of my other to-dos, which is extra stressful. But! I will prevail.

Here’s a blooper reel picture from yarn photoshoot:

Susie thinks ALL of the pictures need to be of her.

Today Is A Good Day

15 Aug

After a succession of truly awful days, today was a good day. No, wait. Today was a great day. ACTUALLY. Today was an absolutely fantastic day that’s just going to keep on getting better and better. Have some photographic evidence:

Completed Socks

To be fair, these are actually from a few days ago. But still! I finished my first pair of socks. I am even wearing them right now, because it’s cold and grey and rainy out which means it is the perfect time to wear hand knit wool socks. I have every intention of knitting more of these because they are deliciously easy without being mind-numbingly boring, but I think next time I’ll take out a pattern repeat or two; apparently I have skinny ankles. They are absolutely wearable and I will never, ever take them off, but they are a little loose.

The heels are stripey and it makes my life.

The yarn, Fleece Artist Trail Socks, is so incredibly comfy and cosy and soft, and the colors are spectacular. I have since washed (but not dryer-dried yet) them, and they are still as beautiful as always. I love the variation from one sock to the other; the first is much more straight up purple and grey, but the second has some bluer sections, and just more light-and-dark than the first. Stunning. This might be my favorite yarn ever which would never ever mean I went out and bought a ton more today. *ahem*

Obligatory artsy sock picture.

Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock by Glenna C. (best blog ever, btw)
Time Span: 11 July to 12 August 2011 (all but the first two and a half inches of the first sock were knit in about four days)
Materials: 230.8 yards of Fleece Artist Trail Socks
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annanlove19/a-nice-ribbed-sock

And then, two days ago, I cast on these beauties:

Rainbow socks!!

I stayed up until four-thirty in the morning last night finishing it went to bed at a reasonable time last night and the sock magically finished itself. I really, really love the pattern (see below for the one exception) and the yarn (which is nowhere near as splitty as people like to say it is) is absolutely lovely. And, since it only took me two days to knit the first, I’m hoping to have these done by the end of the week. I should have plenty of knitting time tomorrow if not sooner, so hopefully I’ll get to have a FO post soon. And in the mean time, strpiey goodness! I really have to say, during the worst part of the drudgery of the foot that goes on foreverrrrrr, the stripes definitely help to make it less awful.

Pattern loveliness exception: for the leg of the sock, after each repeat of the spiral pattern, you move the beginning of the row one stitch over, which you accomplish by slipping the last stitch on each needle one needle over. There’s no problem with this, until you get to the foot, where you have 16 sts on the first and last needles for the bottom of the foot (stockinette) and 32 sts on the second needle, which you continue to work in the spiral pattern. However. It just says to continue with the pattern, and doesn’t mention the fact that you can’t move the beginning of the row anymore. I kind of fudged it, and I think it looks fine, but I have no idea if I did it “correctly”, and it would have been nice for the pattern to clarify.

But other than that, these guys have been smooth sailing, and are a good mix of not-so-hard-I-want-to-rip-my-eyes-out and not-so-easy-I-want-to-rip-my-eyes-out. Plus, the pattern compliments the yarn perfectly. A good decision.

So remember how I said up there that I would never, ever go out and stock up on Trail Socks? Well…

Fleece Artist Trail Socks in Berry

Fleece Artist Trail Socks in Nova Scotia

I’m aware that two skeins isn’t exactly stocking up, and I already know what I’m going to knit with the blue-grey one (Kalajoki), but I also got this guy:

Iron Horse Farm Hand Dyed Fingering/Sock Yarn in Black

This is a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon blend from Iron Horse in Natick (also where I got the Trail Socks). It’s from their very own farm, and kettle-dyed by the owner (I think?) of the shop, who is one of the nicest ladies ever, and explained the entirety of the kettle-dying process to me today. The yarn is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo incredibly soft (more “oo”s necessary but restrained), it feels like butter, and the black isn’t solid at all, but more like soot. I’m thinking maybe Cinderella-inspired socks, or perhaps Spirited Away soot spirits will be my muse? I’ll have to see.

Then my mom and I went to the delicious bakery across the street for lunch (get the raspberry truffle and egg salad on croissant, trust me) while my yarn got wound, which they delivered to me in the cafe because they are absolutely ridiculous. So already a pretty good day, yeah? Then I got home and this was in the mail for me:

No stalking for you!

My package from the tiny owl knits Summer Swap! I had nearly forgotten about it was absolutely on the ball about it, but since packages aren’t due until the end of September and I have had such a rough couple weeks, I still haven’t gotten mine together yet (sometime in the next few days, I swear). But lo, here was mine, all the way from Vancouver! As you can see it has tons of goodies, plus a lovely letter from Paula (hi Paula! thank you!!!!). Here are the delicious (sometimes literally) details:

Another Coco to join my monster family! She’ll fit right in, I’m sure, as soon as I let go of her long enough to introduce her to the other monsters. This one’s a guy, and he always seems to be waving at me! He’s also much smaller than my other monsters, so this gives him an advantage in the cute department. Between the big smile and the wave, he is just about the sweetest monster ever. I’ll be sure to get a picture of him with his brothers and sisters soon.

Geocaching coins! I haven’t talked about it much here because I haven’t been in a while, but I’m actually quite the cache-r. I can’t wait to get it all registered and drop it off, I’m thinking in Concord. Coco just informed me that he’s invited himself on this trip, so I’m sure plenty of cute photo opportunities will arise. As soon as the weather clears up we’ll head out; as much as I love rain, I think my woolen friend is less fond of it 😛

This morning, as I was getting dressed, I thought to myself, “Man, I don’t have enough necklaces. And none of them go with this yellow-and-blue-and-turquoise outfit I’m wearing. *sigh*” And then! And then I got this super cute owl necklace. It’s on the back of a domino, and I cannot stress how absolutely adorable it is. And how well it goes with Jen, which I happen to be wearing today! Fate, I tell ya.

A picture frame for my cats, which I will fill and bring to college with me and keep nearby at all times. It’s hand-painted by a local artisan in Vancouver, which makes it extra special. Made in Vancouver, photograph from Massachusetts, and kept in Wisconsin. I’ve got myself quite the travelling frame!

Green tea KitKats from Japan. Need I say anything else? I haven’t tried them yet, but I will keep you updated.

And lastly, handspun, corespun yarn from Etsy. It’s so bright and colorful, I’m going to have to do something absolutely spectacular with it. I’m thinking maybe a hat, or maybe a monster? It might be a little thick-thin for the latter and I’m not sure I have enough for the former, but it will become something epic, I’m sure. How could it not?

And that, my friends, is how to stop a multiweek bout of terrible anxiety in its tracks!