Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My spinning homework for March

Before: a jumbled pile of Merino fiber from Ashland Bay

After: 2 skeins of jeweltone Merino yarn

Before: carded long wool of unknown breed

After: 2 skeins of sage colored yarn

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I caved in

It was just too much pressure. I read Jared Flood's blog. You see, aside from being a gifted photographer and knitwear designer, he also sells yarn. Not just any yarn but American-made (spun) yarn from American wool shorn from American sheep. What stopped me before was the price ($12.50 per 140 yard skein plus shipping of course). Here's the picture of what I bought. I'm just going to try it and see what the hype is all about. It's not as super soft as Merino but not scratchy either. I will let you know how it knits up. I will design a one-skein pattern because I really don't know if I can afford a sweater using this yarn. One or two skeins is it for me because I'm cheap that way.

This is what I'm designing with the fingering weight yarn I bought from Great Northern yarn. One skein is 360 yards, so it should be enough for this cowl. So yummy to knit with.

I had one skein left of the Merino cashmere yarn I used for my cardigan and this is what I knitted. A simple ribbed cowl, using 136 yards of DK weight yarn.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm an avid reader of Anne Hanson's blog, Knitspot. She has some stunning patterns for lace and socks. One day, I read about the Great Northern Yarns company. So, I ordered me some:

These are amazing, soft, huggable yarns. Craig is the owner and he sells these at affordable prices. He ships really fast too. These are blends of yak and cashmere, mink, milk, and cashmere, and 100% cashmere. So many to choose from.

I have great plans for these yarns. Next-to-skin goodness.

Friday, March 11, 2011

An earthquake happened last night, in Japan, with an 8.9 magnitude on the Richter scale. A 23-foot tsunami followed almost immediately. Huge devastation in Japan. I can only imagine the fear and need for help. I don't know how other countries can help since the airport is closed due to damage. We will help, I'm sure.

I experienced the Loma Prieta quake in 1989 while I was 7 months pregnant with my oldest. That only lasted a few seconds but brought destruction. Having grown up in the Philippines, I'm used to earthquakes but you still feel fear.

Prayers going out to Japan and its people and other countries also affected.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

In search of...

the perfect podcast. Okay, so here goes. I went to iTunes and did a search for "fiber podcast".

I came across this one-- American based, hosted by 2 girls. I heard a hissing noise in the background. The girls giggled a lot, said a lot of "yaaayys".

So I move on to the next episode. This one had clacking noises, more giggles, more "yaayyys". And why do they end each sentence with a lilt, like they're always asking a question even if they're not?

For example: " I like this yarn?"; " It is a little snaggy?"
Oh wait, here's another: " We will be reviewing yarns that contain cotton content." he, he, he (the laughter is mine)

or another: " Ooh, this is our 100th episode. yaayyy! It's like.......... yeah."

moving on to the 3rd episode and I ask myself, "Why?"

Disclaimer: Podcasting must be hard. I admire people who do it. It takes courage to speak in front of an audience.Plus, there's the technical aspect. I can't do what they do. Kudos to them. But there is this one word they must remember.


moving on to the next podcast...

Monday, March 07, 2011

Half a century

Yes, my friends and those 7 people that read my blog, I turned 50 yesterday, March 6th. Man, just hearing that number makes me feel old. The good thing is, I don't feel old. I feel the same as when I was 30. However, I don't remember how it felt to be 30. The memory is the first thing to go, yadda, yadda, yadda.

My dad gave me a card that says even though I turned 50, I looked 35. Yay, Dad! I'll take your word on it (but then, he's my dad).

My gosh, I'm a 50 year old woman with a 10 year old daughter. When she turns 40, I will be 80 (shudder). I don't want to think about it.

I read somewhere that when you turn this age, you stop being politically correct. So then, I'm having cake for breakfast.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

I've succumbed knitting the Cobblestone pullover by Brooklyn Tweed. The Electric Sheep keeps talking about it, how easy it is to knit and how wonderful it is to wear, even for a girl. So, I will knit it for myself.

I'm sure you've all heard of the boyfriend sweater curse. I'm not superstitious and I don't believe in curses but I'm not one to challenge it. I am knitting the smallest size, 39 1/2" across the chest, the smallest size for a man. Now, if my husband wants to borrow it, of course, I will let him use it but it is not for him at all. Hubby has muscles and is wide across the shoulders, so, I don't really know if it will fit him. It will be tight for sure, he, he.

As you may know, I have been listening to British podcasts and the BBC Radio 4 network on iTunes and I believe it is affecting my accent (not in a good way). Like I told my son, I am having troubles pronouncing my words. Having lived in the US since the early 80s, speaking English more than half my lifetime, I've been Americanized. Once in a while, I still speak Tagalog to my dad, and my sister, and sometimes, my hubby. I have the normal American accent down pat. Listening to Brits speak is wreaking havoc. But I can't get enough of it. I am so fascinated by the accent.

I want to live in London for a year. Then, a year in Hawaii.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I was at Joann's when I saw these 2 lonely skeins of chunky yarns. They're 100% acrylic but very soft, the Debra Norville brand called Serenity Chunky. I simply couldn't resist. Plus, they were on sale too. So, I did this simple fair isle neckwarmer or cowl which turned out really warm because of the stranding. This pattern has not been tested so feel free to email me if you find errors. I just wanted to share it with you all, asap.

2 Chunky Skeins Cowl

2 skeins chunky yarn in contrasting or coordinating colors
109 yards Main Color (MC), white
109 yards Contrast Color (CC) brown

US size 10.5 circular needles

Written out instructions: (see following chart)

1. Cast on 84 sts using MC. Join in the round without twisting the stitches.

2. k2 p2 to the end (MC)

3. * k2 MC, k2 CC, rep from *

4. * k2 MC, p2 CC, rep from *
Repeat 3-4 one more time

5-6. K around using MC

7. *k1 MC, k1 CC, k2 MC, rep from *

8. * k3 CC, k1 MC, rep from *

9. repeat round 7

10. k around using MC

11. *k3 MC, k1 CC, rep from *

12. *k1 CC, k1 MC, k2 CC, rep from *

13. repeat rnd 11

14. k 1 round using MC

You can repeat rounds 7-14 until you're ready to do the ribbing or until you're almost running out of yarn. Or, as an alternative design, switch the colors, making brown as the background color.(see sample picture)

15: K 2 rounds using MC

16: repeat round 3

17: repeat round 4

18-19: repeat 3 and 4 one more time

20: k2 p2 to the end using MC.

Bind off in K2P2



Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why I listen to British podcasts

...more than I listen to US made podcasts:
1. I love love the accent
2. I like the dry sense of humor
3. they are more interesting
4. they are more professionally made

For example: I was listening to this American mom who knits. First, I found her funny and witty and her experiences, similar to mine. Then, her child started crying and talking in the background. Okay, I can handle that. I have 3 kids and they were once young. Mommy picks up her cup of coffee and sips. The sniffles came next.

You know, runny nose and all (mom's, not the kids). She swipes are her nose with her hands and sniffles some more. That is where she lost me.

Example number 2: Two knitter girls talk about knitting. Girl #1's voice is okay. Girl #2's voice is tinny and whinny. argghh. Then, she proceeds to speak with this Valley girl Cindy Lauper accent which I cannot stand at all.
One minute into the podcast and I'm gone.

Now wait a minute. The Cast-on podcast is made by an American! I love her voice. Low, well modulated, soothing. Perfect for radio. And she is funny. She lives with her partner, Tonia, in Wales. And she wants to build her own house. That one episode where she talks about her dream of building her own house was very poignant because it doesn't seem like she'll be able to fulfill her dream. But then, she's keeping the faith that one day, it will happen.

And she doesn't have a British accent. whaddya know.