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Archive for the ‘stitch markers’ Category

Since Thanksgiving, we haven’t really had any adventures to speak of, and since I finished my Clapotis, I don’t have any really good knitting news, either. There is the second scarf I made for my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal, Rae, which was mailed to her over a week ago. I know that she probably received it by now, although she hasn’t emailed to say so.Diagonal Knot Stitch Scarf

Completed and blocked, this is the Diagonal Knot Stitch scarf which I knit out of Malabrigo Merino, colorway Violetas. The pattern really opened up once I blocked it, but I do need to find my iron because I could have done a much better job with it. Once I find it, I will be able to block my Clapotis, and finally be able to wear it, hopefully in time for Christmas. (I don’t know what it is about that project, but I’m itching to make another!)

The second nightmare sock of the pair I started eons ago is getting additional rows added to it here and there when I have time at night, which is the only time I get to knit anything anymore. There is just too much to do during a day with homeschooling and housecleaning and cooking and now decorating and Christmas shopping. Phooey! I’d love to just sit and knit all day!

My perfect day would include everyone going out so that I was left alone in the house. The first part of my day alone would beCorey practicing his typing skills. spent in the kitchen dyeing yarn, and the second half of it would be spent in the living room knitting in silence. In fact, that’s not even a day, but about eight hours. Eight hours that I could spend doing the laundry or vacuuming or cleaning the house. Eight hours that I could spend teaching long division to my 6-year-old. Did I mention he’s learning to type, too? In the image at right, he’s practicing his typing skills! 🙂Stitch markers!

Congratulations to my good friend, Anita, who’s handmade polymer clay stitch markers are featured in the current issue of Knit Simple magazine! You can get a set of these adorable stitch markers for yourself by visiting her etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. I have a set of those sweet peas, and I’ve gotta tell ya, the real thing is soooo much cuter than the images, by FAR. Her shop also features the perfect accessory that every fiber crafter needs: little tape measures with very nice hand-crocheted covers on them. When Anita sent my stitch markers, she also include one of these tape measures which I keep in my little accessory bag and gets frequent use when I’m knitting! Wouldn’t you know it’s that time of year — the season for gift giving, and these stitch markers and tape measures would make PERFECT stocking stuffers!

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As a knitter, I love anything that has to do with knitting — knitting needles, knitting patterns, knitting stitch markers, knitting row counters — but I especially love these really cute clay stitch markers that I just received from Anita! Look at these cute little peas!!!

Gifts

Really, the photo I took doesn’t do them justice. You’ll have to see an actual product shot over at Anita’s etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. She also sent me another lovely pair of beaded stitch markers, and a very cool retractable tape measure which has a crocheted cover on it that fits like a glove! I couldn’t figure out how she did it, so I had to ask, and it’s genius! I never would have thought of it, but it’s perfect for any crafter, and she crochets these in many different color combos. These will be living in my accessory case and I’m going to show them off every time I’m knitting in public, that’s for sure!

Malabrigo worsted in Violetas colorwayBut wait, there’s more! I made an order from WEBS a few days ago and it just came in today. At left is Malabrigo worsted merino in the colorway “Violetas”, which is full of varying shades of purple with some splashes of navy blue. I actually bought this for a particular project, but now I’m not positive what it was pegged for is going to get knitted. Details on this later. For now, it will remain in my stash. If you ever wondered about all the hype concerning this yarn, it really is super soft and squishy, and does not have the least bit of scratchiness to it.SWTC Gianna yarn

And this beautiful, chunky red yarn (SWTC Gianna) came in with the Malabrigo order today, and it’s pegged for a pair of soft mittens for my SP11 pal. Hopefully I’ll get them done, but if not, I will just be sending the yarn, which was on sale, by the way! Free time is rarely found around here, but mittens are smallish, so it shouldn’t take too long to knit them. Once I find a good pattern for them, that is. I want to knit them in the round on circulars, not DPNs. Anyone out there in blogland know of a good pattern?

cupcake charmLast but not least, another little gift came in that I ordered for my SP11 pal, and I just have to show everyone. This necklace charm is from the etsy store, Popalicious, and I’m pretty sure she’s going to like it. The last package I’m sending her is going to be themed around that object which is painted on that charm. (I’m not typing the actual word, in case she does an Internet search for that word and finds me! I must remain anonymous!) 😉

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Swap stuff!

Today I received this sweet little package from Sarah Lou of getStitchy! fame for the Handpainted Yarn Swap.

Swap stuff

She sent KnitPicks Bare superwash worsted she hand-dyed with Wilton’s royal blue and teal (beautiful colors and very soft), some magnets, pens, a travel pack of surf board tissues (going in the car), some slightly melted coffee Hershey kisses, and the cute stitch markers below. All the stitch markers I’ve made, and I’ve never considered using charms instead of beads! A novel idea, indeed — one to keep in mind for the future.

Swap stitch markers

When I read the card, she said she used Wilton’s, and I was amazed the blue and teal didn’t separate, so I asked her how she dyed it, and she let me know she first soaked the yarn overnight with a bit of vinegar, and then added vinegar to the mixed-up dye and the water the yarn was dyed in. Hmm, I might have to try this method, for sure, and I might just do it tomorrow, since I’m soaking three skeins overnight to dye tomorrow anyway.

Thanks so much Sarah Lou — I love everything and I’m already looking for a pattern to use with my new, cool yarn!

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There is quite a bit going on in Furryland recently. So much that I just want to sit in the chair and knit for a few hours… and think. I need a game plan.

We homeschool our boys, and I need to get curriculum and a school routine planned before our first day of school, which is August 27th. I’ve got most of the schoolwork I need for my 1st grader, except a cassette tape player. I know they’re outdated, but when I was yardsaling with my sister a couple weeks ago, I found a complete set of Hooked On Phonics in pristine condition, so I asked the price and the lady only wanted $5.00 for it! Whoooowheeee!!! I like yardsaling!

Deciding on the classes for my teen is going to require a little more intensive thought, and I guess that’s why I’m blogging about it, so I can start brainstorming on this. In the public school system, he would be in 9th grade. But from what I’ve found, he is in 10th grade math. Having just finished Algebra I last school year, he will be in Geometry this year, and I want to add in some type of consumer math course, as well (if I can find one).

This past week, we spent a lot of time getting organized. Last year, my teen was in a spare bedroom with the laptop working on schoolwork, and I didn’t get to use my sewing machine once. I had taken it to get it serviced early last year, and then it just sat there on the table with the cover on it. So I decided to reclaim that spare bedroom for my craft stuff; mainly yarn, dyeing supplies, knitting books and my sewing machine/supplies.

Then we got the computer room/school room prepared and cleaned up. We organized and threw away old papers and other junk we didn’t need, got some boxes ready for the Good Will and the Salvation Army, and decorated the room for our little guy with a fun learning calendar, small chalkboard and a map of the U.S. He has his own little desk too, so the room is coming together nicely. Now if I could just keep my own desk straightened up…

I’m also gearing up to open my Etsy shop, Sand in my Stitches, where I will be offering my growing inventory of handpainted yarns for sale, along with some beaded stitch markers. I still have a few loose ends to tie up before I open the shop, but if you want to see what I’ve done, I’ve got all my yarns listed in Ravelry. If you’re in Ravelry, go have a look, and tell me what you think! If you’re not in Ravelry yet, here are some of my newest yarns:

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Blackberry (acid dye)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Hibiscus (acid dye)

Acid dye and Kool-Aid handpainted yarn

Jazzy Blues (acid dye and Kool-Aid)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Jungle (acid dye)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Bubblegum (acid dye)

Acid dye and Wilton’s handpainted yarn

Waves (acid dye and Wilton’s)

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Mason Dixon ballband dishclothThe day before Mother’s Day, I spoiled myself and bought the Mason Dixon Knitting book because after browsing around the many knitting blogs and forums, I found there were a lot of patterns from it that I wanted to try. Plus my Secret Pal knit one of these for me and I had to know how it was made. That was a purchase I’ll never regret, as my boys and DH got me a wonderful knitting accessory for Mother’s Day: a swing/hammock with a canopy! Very wonderful, indeed… I will be able to sit and knit these dishcloths outside while enjoying the beautiful warm weather (which will soon be blistering hot) and watching the Furryland children playing in the backyard. DH is going to put it together today and it’s gorgeous outside — I can’t wait!

14-point star dishcloth

The ballband dishcloth took me two days to complete, and I used Peaches & Creme 100% cotton in two colors. The variegated red and white was leftover from two of these 14-point star dishcloths that I knit last year at a friend’s request. She wanted to use them as hotpads, but the two I made weren’t of equal size, so I couldn’t sew them together. They work well enough as a single layer, thankfully. If you are interested in this pattern, please email me.

Regarding handknit dishcloths… I can’t bring myself to use them on a dish, but as a washcloth for the bath… I think I really like that idea. In fact, my Secret Pal sent me that knit ballband washcloth wrapped around a sweet bar of soap. I don’t think I would have thought of that idea, but it’s perfect for gifts of all types.

In other craftiness, I’m still working on the “nightmare sock”, as I’ve come to think of it. There is a Delmarva Knitters group gathering today at the local Barnes & Noble, and hopefully a sock-experienced person will be able to help me overcome my sock issues!

There is a Round Ripple crochet-along at crochetville.org, and while I don’t want to join the -along, I have wanted to make one of these baby blankets for a long time now. Now that I have a pattern, I will be able to start on it and use up some of that baby yarn stash that Granny gave me a few months ago, but considering my track record in finishing large objects, only God knows how far I’ll get with this one!

My FBB (fat bottom bag) has about six rows on it, but it’s currently on hold because I need the proper stitch markers for making this bag. The ones I’ve been creating are for knitting purposes only, as they slide from one needle to the other. However, stitch markers for crochet are actually for stitches themselves, as they are placed in a stitch of a project. Perhaps an earring would work from my jewelry box; the kind with the hook that slides into your pierced ear. Hmm, since I don’t wear earrings anymore, I do believe I’ve just recruited them back into service!

Thanks to my MIL (Nana, as we like to call her), I’ve also pulled out a cross-stitch project that I started working on a couple years ago that’s been lurking in a dark closet. Slowly, I’m adding stitches to that, but now I have so much going on that it’s going to be hard to devote a lot of time to any one project. Plus there are a bunch of stitch markers that I like to make to keep busy when I don’t feel like working on anything else. After they’re photographed, I will be posting them, and perhaps selling them at etsy.

I have more to write, but my DH is pestering me and I can’t concentrate. ARGH!!! Everyone’s outside and I’m trying to write this post, but he keeps coming over and bugging me… and he’s doing it on purpose because he knows he’s driving me nuts! ARGH! So I will finish for now… but there’s so much more that needs to be posted…. maybe later!

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A new hobby

Crystal beadsI do believe I’ve found myself a new hobby (in addition to knitting, crocheting, taking pictures, reading and yarn fondling): making beaded stitch markers for knitting. It’s a quite satisfying activity, and Michael’s has a pretty good selection of beads in a wide range of prices. You can get cheap, plastic beads, or you can buy more expensive glass beads, and the really expensive crystal and gemstone beads. I’ve found that I love going there to look at the beads, then I always find some I really like, so I search for others that would accent those. And sometimes this whole process can take me hours in Michael’s. Really. That’s without me going to the yarn section even once. When I’m looking at beads, I don’t even consider yarn. It’s bad. Might be as bad as when I go into a nice yarn shop and make four or five rounds of the entire shop taking in the eye candy and just fondling all the fiber goodness (and that’s even before I decide to shop for the yarn I might need)… is it a sickness? Well, maybe, but it’s something I really, really, really like. Beads and yarn… I wonder if there’s a support group for this…

Speaking of beads, I just remembered that there is a fancy bead shop in Seaford, Delaware, called Sand and Stone Creations. My sister and I visited them last summer on one of our “Sister’s Day Out” excursions. If I can remember correctly, they were in the process of moving from one side of the building to the other, and were going to turn their previous side into an local artisan’s gallery. Perhaps I will stop in soon and see what’s happening.

Stitch markers I made for my getstitchy.com swap partner.This set of stitch markers is the set I made for my swap partner for the getstitchy.com stitch marker swap. (This picture is a scan, hence the rainbow light reflection in the beads.) The large green beads are peridot tiger’s eye, and the gray and white ones are freshwater pearls. I found some flat, ridged silver spacer beads to fit between them. And all the supplies that I have — beads and split rings, jump rings, head pins, pliers and wire cutters — all came from Michael’s.

Of course there’s always the possibility of branching out from stitch markers because there are so many different things you can make with beads and wire. Wine glass charms, for instance. Personally, I think this is a brilliant idea. Although I haven’t found a wine I like, I have a whole cabinet full of nice stemware! And of course, jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings — and anything else that might need a little fancy bead embellishment — including yarn. Yes, I said it… YARN. Yarn and beads were made for each other. So much so that there are yarns manufactured with beads already in place. Did you know?

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Our youngest, Corey, who will be the big 6 by the end of this month. Photo by Nana… bring forth the May flowers. Or so the rhyme goes. At the moment, I’m not so sure about that because it’s been super windy and cold with occasional rain showers throughout this day in April. Windier than it’s been all year. So the weather forecasters were just about right regarding yesterday’s weather. I’m not sure how many inches of rain this area got, but there are a lot of flooded fields and yards out there!

It’s just miserable outside if you have to go out in it, as we did this afternoon, to take our youngest to his six-month dental cleaning and check-up. All’s well. His six-year molars are getting ready to emerge and he’s already lost one of his front, bottom teeth, and a couple more are a little loose. The whole time he was in the dentist’s chair, he kept looking back at me with these cute little grins. He was so happy because he loves going to the dentist (and his endocrinologist, and his eye doctor, but not so much his pediatrician). The next time we go, I’m taking my camera.

Even though it rained all day yesterday, it wasn’t a complete washout. Our local knitting group, Delmarva Knitters, was scheduled to meet at Barnes & Noble at 2:00 p.m. By the time I got there, it was almost 3:00 p.m. because I couldn’t decide if I wanted to venture out in all that rain, and I had previously decided I wasn’t going to, but then there was a lull and I took off. There was a nice group there too, and when I sat down, one of the ladies introduced herself and it was someone new (D.P.)! And she brought FOUR people: her daughter, her friend (C.C.) and her friend’s daughter, and her mom. I was so surprised. We did a lot of talking, and I helped D.P. understand how to do a cable stitch. They were such a cheerful bunch, and I feel blessed that they came. And C.C. officially joined our Delmarva Knitters yahoo group, so we’re growing in numbers; that makes 20 members! If you live in the Delmarva area and knit or crochet, or some other fiber art, or would just like to learn, check out the link in the sidebar and join our little group… we’d love to have you.

Stitch markers from my swap partner at getstitchy.com

Today’s miserable day was brightened even further because I received a package in the mail from my stitch marker swap partner (Knitchik) over at getstitchy.com. She sent me handmade stitch markers which are beautiful! She really did a great job with them… and I love the colors. Also included in the package were things to pamper myself with: a cute smiley face emery board/keychain (which I’ve already attached to a zipper inside my purse), a spa fabric face tonic and a pack of tired leg gel; thoughtful things she included because she knows I’m a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). Thank you, Knitchik… I just may use the face tonic and leg gel at the same time when I sit down to knit tonight and soak my feet. But before I do that, I’ll make sure there is no camera to be found anywhere in the house… 😉

Knitwise, the garterlac washcloth is not getting done. Period. At least not anytime soon. Before I went to the above-mentioned knitting group yesterday, I sat down to make some more progress on it and then planned to take it with me. To my dismay, I noticed that one of the squares had nine rows of garterstitch instead of the required eight rows. I frogged it back down to that point and tried to continue on, but there were some loose picked up stitches from a side triangle that were just hanging out with no place to go, and it was impossible for me to figure out how to rework them into the piece. And so it has been frogged for the FOURTH time. Yes, that’s right… the fourth time. This is definitely something I need to do when there are no distractions whatsoever.

Crochetwise, the market bag I’m making is coming along well. Did I mention that I had to frog my first attempt at this project too? Yep, because the first time I worked on it, I noticed that one side was increasing so it was slanting out like a “V”. After rereading the pattern and restarting it, all is well so far, meaning the sides are straight up like they should be. I’m currently working on the mesh part and should be about an inch from the top. Once I figured out the side, it’s something I can do without giving it much thought because I’ve had much more practice crocheting than knitting. I will post a photo when it’s completed.

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