Friday, October 20, 2006

O is for Oh, It's been a while

Hello again!

Back at the craftiness. The camera battery is pretty low, seeing as all the photos it's been taking lately! I'm in a real crafty zone this month, I'm not sure if some planet is in retrograde or has entered the house of whatever, but DAMN, I've been spending as much time at Michaels as I have at the LYS!

Of course, first up is the knitting. Socktoberfest continues! We've got another pair fresh off the needles. I love these socks! They look huge (and kind of are), but I wanted a big, sorta slouchy, plain ol' striped sock. Ask and ye shall recieve.

Yarn: Patons self-striping (ha!) sock yarn
Pattern: my own, toe-up on 2 circs, stockinette with a 2x2 rib at the top
Needle: US 3 Clover bamboos

I love big sock needles. And US 3's are HUGE. Bamboos are among my most favorite to use- they are warm, durable, grippy but won't slice up your yarn. These socks flew by, I was able to churn out the pair in a week! Score!

Next up, there is an FO of a different kind. My Funky Scarf Swap Pal has come through! I got a great scarf- blue and white with little brown bows. It's long enough to wrap around my neck, but thin enough it won't strangle me or overwhelm me. I love it! As a bonus, my pal sent along what looks to be a handmade beaded necklace. I have already worn the necklace out, and it is just fantastic. Here, take a look:

I just love these two FO's. They are just my style. (I signed up for a Funky Swap, but I'm a Preppy gal!). Thank you swap pal!

Finally, onto more hard-core craftiness. The wood shape painting continues, with some new additions. I purchased two beading kits at the Ben Franklin on Tuesday. One kit had a charm bracelet, the other had two pairs of earrings. Look how cute they turned out! Each piece has a space for little stickers, then a piece of plastic sticks on top of it, making the picture pattern "pop" up. There's lots of stickers and patterns to choose from in the kit, making it truly a unique bracelet. There's also eyepins and matching beads included as well. The red beads on the red earrings are mine, everything else is stock. These are for my sister for christmas. I think she'll love them.

The wood shapes are "before and after" shots. I wasn't digging the christmas tree colors I had chosen. I have used the paints in other stuff, but the trees weren't working. So, I painted over the colored stars with a metallic gold color. SO much better! I love it!

Last, there's a new additon. I found the perfect sized unfinished wooden jewelry box for my cousin. (She's 5, keep that in mind). I envisioned a pretty princess box, pink with jewels and girly phrases and words. She's really into the Disney Princesses now. So I paint it up, and I take a good look at it- one coat of peptol-bismol pink, combined with the plastic sequin charms, it was hideous. Even with the silver words. (Trust me, it was much worse in person). Casey couldn't even comment on it when I asked him about it (it was that bad, I couldn't even get a snarky comment!). So, back to Michaels and out with a "champagne gold" paint. The box is now much more like I wanted it to be- a treasure chest waiting to store goodies, baubles and anything else. The holes on the front are actually picture frames, for pics of friends and family- the plastic holder comes out, so you can paint it. I think this will be a hit. I'll touch it up and then give it a good coat of clearcoat spray before gluing on the baubles. I think I'll leave the inside clearcoat only, since the outside is gilded enough.

Sigh. I think that's it, for today, at least. Whew! Now back to sock knitting (I've got two more pairs on the needles to finish before the end of Socktoberfest!)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

N is for numerous photos!

So much stuff to write about! Things are crazy around here. I should be blogging as I go, because otherwise it is just one huge posting!

First up, it's my birthday today! Hooray! Happy birthday to me! I have got some wonderful gifts so far: roses and diamond earrings from my fiance! The earrings are very pretty. I'd post a picture, but they're in my ears, and well, it's hard to photograph your ear. Dinner tonight at a new restaurant, which I hear is tasty. The house is all spic and span in case the relatives want to see it. (Plus, how good is it to have a super clean house for your birthday! I almost don't want to mess it up...almost)

Next up, it's spinning! I ordered some handdyed roving from the Handpainted yarn folks a while back. This is a blue and white colorway, which is exactly what the sky is outside today. There's some soft blues, bright blues and bright whites in it. This roving is a bit more rough than the plain roving I get from my LYS. It feels soft when you hold it, but almost rough when you actually get inside it and start breaking it down. I'm guessing it's more of a straight-out wool, rather than the softer blend I'm getting at the LYS. But, it sure does make pretty singles! I can't wait to ply it up. It think I want to make something small but useful out of it, like mittens. The yarn isn't nearly tough enough to stand up for something like socks, since there's no superwash in it.

Blue is my favorite color. Can you tell?

Look at all those pretty colors!

I've got more FO's and WIPs to show! I finished the scarf for my Funky Scarf Swap secret pal. It's in some leftover Louisa Harding Impression. I cannot say enough about this yarn. It looks good in everything I can imagine it in. I still have two balls left! Louisa just put out a new book that shows this yarn in all sorts of sweaters and cardigans. OMG. Just looking at the pictures gives you all sorts of ideas, plans and wishes. I equated the book to the "gateway drug" of knitting at the LYS, which earned me a laugh.

Drop stitch scarf shining in the sunlight

I've finished a pair of socks, just in time for Socktoberfest and my special day! This is another sock yarn I can't say enough good things about. It's soft but very tough. I was worried about how strong the strands seemed to be when I first started using it, but it softens up in no time. It seems there's another blogger out there who beat me to the socks and pattern- take a look! How funny, there's two of us in the same month with the same colorway and general pattern idea! (Hers are hand dyed, apparently. Amazing!) Sock knitters unite!

Happy birthday to me socks!

I've also started another pair of socks (good idea, huh!). This yarn is Paton's Kroy, in what is advertised as a self-striping. Yeah, not so sure about the self striping, but it sure makes a pretty colorway to knit up. These are on US 3's, which are making the socks super speedy. This is all the knitting from just last night! By the time I'm done today, I may have another pair off the needles! So far, I can't complain about the yarn other than the striping. It knits up softer than it feels on the skein. The yardage is good (192/ball) and they will be washer-friendly (75% superwash, 25% nylon). All that and a US 3 makes me a happy kniter.

Self striping is a misnomer, I think

Knitting isn't the only craft I've been working on lately! I've made a lot of wood-painting progress too. The birdhouse barn is nearly complete:

Birdy birdhouse!

I also added a new piece of woodwork to the Christmas stash. can you tell what it is?

Pegs + shapes = fun!

I'm making her a little peg set that has her name on it, in different "princessey" metallic colors. The shapes are easy to paint, but needed a little TLC beforehand. I thought at first I'd just use some paint markers, since they were on sale cheap and the letters were so small. Not a good idea. The letters weren't sanded down nearly as much as the other wood shapes, so after a couple coats from paint pens, I realized that they were in desperate need of a sandpapering and acrylic paint after all. So, another trip to Michaels, and I'm very happy with the result. They'll get a nice shiny shellac of clear coat spray when they are all done. I've still got the sticks and base to paint, (as well as finishing up the other shapes) but I've got two more months, so I should be A-OK.

The only bad part of today was finding out that my schedule is radically changing! Apparently, the schedule is way, way unbalanced, so I'm going to have to go to Graveyard shift next week until the rest of the year is up. Suck! But that may mean more 3AM blogging (with poor inside photos), so we'll see how that goes. Netflix is your friend on graveyard, that's for sure! I watched more TV on DVD this spring when I worked nights than I think one person probably should. Oh well.

I think that's it, for now. I'm going to get to work on those socks, and see if I can turn the heels before we leave for dinner. Wish me luck!