Saturday, May 31, 2014

Squee

Behold!

I've been wanting these Miss L Fire shoes since the spring summer collection came out. What Katie Did had a sale so i said wth and got them :D
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I LOVE them :D
They make me happy :D
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And while waiting for them i got myself a couple of somethings to match them - did pretty good too considering I only had a computer screen memory to go by.
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I've started making the bombshell dress out of the hawainy flowered one.
But I'm not having much luck as the craftsy course is really not up to standards.  There is a pdf pattern but there arent even any instructions with it!!! wtf? and the camera angles do NOT let you see wth Gertie is doing so you can try to figure it out that way. And she even glances over much of the construction saying you can put these together on your own. uh, really? with no pattern instructions?
i managed the skirt up to the gather and here i'm stuck!
I sewed the gathering lines along the wrong edge.
And now i think i know which edge but can't figure out what to do with the drapey part when assembling the front and back!
Very frustrated. As for the bodice, I'm going to do a more simple and everyday wear plain bodice.

I took advantage of the WKD sale to pick this up too :")
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Been waning one forever but they're pretty pricey so ive held off but again with the sale...
I love how it feels on - really pulls my waist in and helps with posture but ...boobage prob as usual :/
ive kind of messed with the bonings trying to mold it to my bust's shape. It's a little better but not great. Thing is I need it to pull in right on the sides but it has no support there :/  I hesitated getting an underbust one and wish i had but i so so so want to be able to wear pretty strapless or thinly strapped summer dresses... sigh...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mad May Matterhorn

I did it! I finished something! And it's part of a kal! And it's even done before the kal is over! GO ME!!!!!
Finally lol!
Here's my Matterhorn hat designed by Ann Hanson (knitspot)
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Knit out of madeline tosh vintage in the thunderstorm colorway.
I  have already knit the hat and mitt set for the monthly adventures Christmas swap a couple of years ago.
Now i'm knitting a matching set for myself because i, like most knitters, have many handknits but they never match lol. Now come winter i'll be ready with a cute black hat/scarf/mitt set :D
I'll start on the scarf and mitts later in the year when i get some stuff off my plate.
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btw, wierd. when i look at this pic i see why so many people say my eyes are blue even though they're not.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

spinit swapit knitit swapit

I mentioned yesterday that I'm working on a project out of my friend femke's handspun.
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And also that i spun something to send her to knit up for me.
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It was actually a project that had been on me wheel for 2 or 3 years!
 It was hogging up two of my bobbins leaving me with only one extra that i had started another project on but was stuck to go further because i needed a second bobbin for that project too :/
I was very glad for the spinalong portion of this swap.  It was just the kick in the butt i needed to get my wheel cleared off and to finish off that ooooold ufo that was weighing down my spinning mojo.
The yarn is spun up from pretty little oh so fluffy batts swirled into cupcake form by Joan McGuire from The Cupcake Fiber Company on etsy.  I ordered Superwash Panda Fiber Sock Batts (Superwash Merino 60 %, Rayon from Bamboo 30% and Nylon 10% blend) in the colorway Waterfall.
The packaging is so cute (this is her pic from her etsy store)
Superwash Panda Fiber Sock Batts - Waterfall
As she mentions on the page, these 6 little one ounce cakes are "ideal for spinning 3 ply sock yarns. Simply spin each ounce before plying 3 together. You will end up with 2 skeins of soft durable yarn of equal weight."
Of course i had to try this!
I ended up with 6 bobbins that i weighed and estimated the length of thanks to my swift. It has a counter to tick off the number of revolutions, and yardage next to different pegs on crossarms so after finishing off a cake, you just multiply the number of revolutions by yardage according to pegs and you get an approximate yardage for your cake.

Each ply was different so i noted in the box under each skein's nest its characteristics and tried to harmonize the plies to make the two resulting skeins of yarn as close to one another as possible.
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Here are my notes for the skeins :
skein 1 ply 1 this was a 270 yds for 29 g mildly overspun cake
            ply 2 this was 221 yards for 29 g and while i first thought it was fairly even and well-spun, it turned   out to be a crazy mess with many loosely spun (um, unspun even lol) spots mixed in with spots so tightly spun they corkscrewed and broke!
            ply 3 178 yards for 30 g - uneven spin with lots of kinks and many breaks
total 244 yards for 86 g 
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skein 2 ply 1 262 yards for 30 g - quite overspun but evenly so throughout
            ply 2 279 yards for 29 g. medium spin with a few overspun spots and some very underspun parts that just flew apart during the plying
            ply 3 224 yards for 31 g. tight spin, loose spin, thick spin thin spin.  dr seuss material.  lots of breaks. very poorly spun.
total 302 yards for 93 g 
grand total 546 yards for 179 g. about sport weight i believe.

As you can imagine, the plying was a little tedious what with all the breakages and flyaways and having to overlap the strands back in. but all counterspun up together, well, it really didnt look quite that bad!  I did add in a new cake as each strand ran out and pull from both inside and outside of final cake to maximize ply usage. You can see in photo up top how little yarn i wasted in the end :D!

And once i got my bobbins cleared i was able to go ahead and finish off that other mini-skein i had been working on :D
i love it!
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I was using a beautiful sample i got in a phat phiber box to practice fractal spinning on.  This is something i had been envisioning and then actually heard about the technique on ...a podcast or two... and found that it was an actual technique with anactual name and actual steps to it lol. So i did what they spoke of and love how it came out :D
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I am feeling a little overwhelmed with my stash and ufo pile again.
Thanks to a little picture treasure hunt going on at eat sleep knit, my fave online yarn store (see sidebar for link), i had to get a picture of myself with my whole stash in my eat sleep knit shirt.
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This motivated me to organize it a little better. I had gotten lazy with new additions. Also ravelry didnt have the "stored in " info on the stash page the last time i organized so going through it all i was able to be a little more specific.
I'm still in the process but much happier as things fit better and look better and i have a big shopping bag full of stuff to give away again.
AND i took advantage of this organizing time to reevaluate all the ufo's i had hanging around.
I have decided to give a few more up - yarn and all.

After all of this here's what i have left for my WIPs (works in progress).  NB : i have been informed i'm an alongaholic. I think this is a very accurate accusation :") and accounts for the high number of WIPs :P

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This is my matterhorn hat, knit out of madeline tosh vintage for the madmay kal.
I am nearly done and really want to finish this up +++

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This is my 3 in 1. i looooove this sweater! i ordered mad tosh sock just for this with baltic, which i find to be one of the most beautiful MT colors, as the main color. Thing is the colors didnt play well together :( so i had to rip out a good bit and start over with some greenish malabrgo silky merino i had in stash. MUCH better. but i kind of got annoyed with it because i could have been near finished if i hadnt had to rip out so much and too i look at how much i have left and i go... aaaaghhhh!!! this is a fall sweater anyhow so once i get a few wips and projects i have buzzing around in my head out of the way, i'll get back to this.

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I got my wheel back out!!!! Thanks to MA spinning and knitting swap :D
This is some massam that julia sulkycat gifted me a while back. i like how it's spinning though i had a little trouble at first with drafting - first because of loooong fiber length but mostly because of a slight felting prob from the dying process.

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whoa!!! this is one heck of a challenge for me lol. takes a lot of concentration so it hasnt been getting much attention lately. my brain is a little busy with kidd-o probs and getting my ped nurse school applications going and doing my career counseling and and and sigh.... i hope to finish this by Christmas for Rémi.
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SCREAM!!!!!!!! this is the bane of my existance, the reason i havent touched my machine in months, the cause of all my sewing angst...It's the same dress as my red starry dress. since red starry fit me this should too right?! wrong :(. The mods i made on red starry didnt work on this one. thing is red starry isnt perfect. i had to have a friend help me with the bust. even after fiwxing it i noticed it still didnt fit just right. the bust darts are a little off and bust still a little tight but with a little bag underneath.  the cotton quilting fabric has some give and drape though so it's ok.  the fabric in this dress is ... wierd?  it's, well, i dont know what it is. i had assumed it was cotton. or a dotton blend. but it feels kind of stiff and almost waxy. and the bust darts being in the wrong place is blatant on this one!!! i have to take the timeto figure out how to redraft the whole darn bust again :'(!!!! so i just stare at the machine and feel nervous and queazy lol.

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this is a sweater i bought and love other than the fact that it didnt fit quite right in the bust. i had to purchase a larger size because of the bust but as is often the case this makes shoulders and neck not fit right. usually not a big deal but in this top's case, since the neck and bust is so unique, that did make a huge difference.
I think i've managed a decent fix on it.  So far it's just basted. All i need to do now is go in and sew the seams correctly.

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This is my newest WIP and a huge flick off to the butterfly dress lol.  I made the skirt of the red starry and butterfly dresses and for the top i decided to draft my own like the red top i had been fixing.  i messed up on the top but like how it tirned out anyways. i have basted to see fit and style of top. now i need to go in and sew it up correctly.  i did the whole thing in one afternoon!!! cutting and basting and all! pretty proud of myself. but now i have no idea how to go about the finishing.
it's a knit. and whereas i LOVE how it's so forgiving!!!!!!!! i mean, no fit probs with this baby!  i don't have any inkling how to do the neck and sleeve hems!

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plain old self striping afterthought heel socks just to have something mindless to knit when i cant think farther than "knitknitknitknitknit"

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a pair of socks i test knit and need to finish and send info back to designer (thank you elliebean for opportunity to test knit for you)

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the spinalongknitalong swap i'm doing. this is yarn my friend femke spun and i'm knitting it up to give back to her. this is to be finished by end of may. YIKES!

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this is a very very old ufo. i love it sooo much and will one day finish it. one of the few old wips i have kept.

PHEW!!!! do you have that many wips dragging you down hanging around? How do you deal with your UFO's? Do they stress you out or not bother you at all.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ten on Tuesday : books books books

This week's Ten on Tuesday topic is The Ten Last Books You Have Read.



1. God will make a way by Dr. Henry Cloud  and Dr. John Townsend 
This is the only book I'm actually reading with my eyes while holding a paper book in my hands.  I'm reading this with a group of ladies for our bible study group.  It's...ok.  Not much to say about it. Would never read it on my own. Seems a little too new age spiritual for my tastes. And the authors seem to live on some kind of spiritual cloud outside of the real world all the while trying to convince you that you can be as holy as them in the midst of craziness whereas they seem totally sheltered and disconnected from life's true tribulations and trials.I'd say pass on this.

The rest of the books in this list have been listened to on my ipod or on my smart phone with the audible app. I have an audible Gold membership where i get 1 credit a month for  14.95$.  You can get a free trial membership if you've never signed up before. I really enjoy my audio books as they let me "read" and knit at the same time. Or wakl the dogs and "read" or clean house and "read" or commute and "read" - you get the picture! And too you can have a ton of books without junking up your home ;)


2. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is book 2 of the outlander series.  Not enjoying this one as much as Outlander though as i get further into the book I find myself getting caught up in the story again. In fact I think as long as Jamie's in the picture, all's well ;).  I dont see how you could listen to part 1 and not want to listen to the next in the series but i wish i had stopped while i was ahead ;)
Whereas i loved listening to Diana Porter's character portrayals in Outlander, though i cannot attest to the authenticity of her scottish vs english accents, I will say that her attempts at an american accent annoys the bejeesus out of me. She really hits some words like momma, roger but the rest sounds artificial, stilted, and contrived. Thing is if she said momma and roger in the same manner as the rest of her "american" accent it wouldnt bother me so bad but those two words sticking out like a sore thumb in the rest of Brianna's dialogue annoys me to no end.

3. Outlander also by Diana Gabaldon
 Book one in the series. I have heard about this for years.  A lovely ravelry friend suggested it many years back but i dont know..."scottish porn" didnt really catch my interest. But my friends in the group started talking about it again and i was looking for a book to spend my next credit on and voilà! Only when i went to purchase it it said it was in my library lol.  Apparently I ordered it back in 2012 and promptly forgot.
Wow! I loved this!  I was so engrossed in this beautiful though improbable love story set against a historical background that i didnt even notice the erota until a large part of the story line unfolded and the plot started dragging and then i was all "geez! this is nothing but sex scenes" lol. Defnitiely a good listen though.  I think this is much better in audiobook form as you get the accents and lilts and can really submerse yourself in the context.

4. The Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage
"Who is Septimus Heap? A lost child? An ordinary Hero? A powerful wizard? The Magyk begins here.
The first book in this enthralling new series by Angie Sage leads readers on a fantastic journey filled with quirky characters and magykal charms, potions, and spells. Magyk is an original story of lost and rediscovered identities, rich with humor and heart."

Loved loved loved this!  So much fun. It's teen fiction. It's Harry Potteresque.  Needs great suspension of belief. It's a little predictable.  It's not "great litterature" . But it's captivating, a lively listen, imaginative and just plain FUN.

5. Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Freedom. In 1776 New England, that word is on everyone's lips. But for 13-year-old Isabel the word holds a different meaning, especially after the only mistress she has ever known dies, and instead of receiving the freedom promised, she and her sister are sold to the Locktons, a wealthy New York family. In a matter of hours Isabel has to leave Rhode Island for the hustle and bustle of colonial New York City - a community divided and caught up in the American colonies struggle for independence. 
WOW! This is a great book! Characters are so touching, story-line gripping, historical context heart-wrenching!  The only down side is the ending. NO! It cant end!!! Not yet! MUST LISTEN or read!

6. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
The young soldiers at Valley Forge are suffering from hunger, cold, and the threat of the British army. Their newly forged bonds of friendship might be enough to help them survive. But the chains of Curzon’s past threaten to shackle him again. Surrounded by the fires of ignorance, mistrust, and greed, Curzon can’t risk sharing his deadly secrets with anyone. Does he have the mettle to hold on to his freedom? To claim his rightful place as an American? 
Well, Ive never downloaded a book so fast before! After the rather abrupt and unsatisfying ending of Chains I had to listen to this sequel! Right away!  Stop while you're ahead. It's disappointing.  Too contrived. The characters lose their appeal and depth and realism as they're forced into a sequel for sequel's sake.  They behave "out of character".  I had wanted to love it though. I loved the fact that this sequel was told from a different character's point of view and pardonned the incongruities with the reasoning that now things were told from a male perspective but no, the main characters seem off, out of sync.
Quit while you're ahead and make up your own ending for Isabelle and Curzon.

While looking through other titles of LH Anderson i'm quite perplexed. She definitely has an ecclectic writing style.  Feel like Chains was the novel of her life and nothing else will be up to par.  Would love to hear opinions of any of you who have listened to or read some of her other works.

7. Daughters for a Time by Jennifer Handford
Feelings of abandonment filled Helen at a too-young age when her mother died and her father walked out. Left in the care of her sister, Claire, she moved on, but never truly healed. Now thirty-five, married, and starting her own family, she must confront her inability to bear children by accepting the idea of adopting. But just when Helen experiences holding her new baby for the first time, she is blindsided with the worst possible news: Claire has cancer. Helen’s wounds are again torn open as she balances the delight of parenthood with the grief of her ailing sister.A poignant and probing exploration of life and loss, Daughters for a Time is a tale of unconditional love, the destructive and healing powers of family, and the search for solid ground between pain and joy. 
Stop reading this post and GO BUY THIS BOOK!  Shivers shivers shivers. Tears abound. And laughter.  And hope and dispair.  Beautifully written.  A story full of life, full of love, a beautiful tribute to sisterhood.

8. Winter Turns to Spring by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman
This audio will focus on Brad and Ashley Hanes, young newlyweds who are facing their first season of winter. Opposite work schedules, differing views on finances and when to start a family, and Brads selfish and immature habits are forcing the young couple apart, causing them to question why they ever got married in the first place. It will take a whole lot of help - mostly from their nosy but well-meaning neighbors - for Ashley and Brad to pull their marriage out of the winter blues and into a hopeful spring.
Eh, why not lol.  It's sappy, goody-two-shoes, drippy, but heart-warming and love-inspiring.  I am listening to this seasons of  love series one season at atime. i listened to fall in fall of 2013, this one in decemberish, and will soon listen to It happens every spring. Ive read Gary Chapman's wisdom -filled 5 love languages and these fictional books illustrate in everyday situations the concepts from the book, so it's good to see the principles put into actionand how they work with each other. Enjoyable for a week's worth of walks.

9. Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin
In a time long forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons off balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. As the cold returns, sinister forces are massing beyond the protective wall of the kingdom of Winterfell. To the south, the king's powers are failing, with his most trusted advisor mysteriously dead and enemies emerging from the throne's shadow. At the center of the conflict, the Starks of Winterfell hold the key: a reluctant Lord Eddard is summoned to serve as the king's new Hand, an appointment that threatens to sunder both family and kingdom. In this land of extremes, plots and counterplots, soldiers and sorcerers, each side fights to win the deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
I'm sure you've all read or at least heard of this series or maybe watched the HBO series.  LOVE IT!
Can be a little hard to follow as there are sooo many characters, plots, sub-plots, intrigues... Might need to listen to the whole series and then relisten as i am doing ;)
And can i just say it's both refreshing and enfuriating that an author has no qualms about killing off your favorite characters and letting good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.
I also like that none of his characters are all good or all bad (well excpet Ned Stark who is a perfect example of a Christ-like figure)
My faves are Ned Stazrk, Jon Snow, Arya Stark and Tyrion Lannister. How about you?
Are you as impatient as me for the final installment?

10. Desparate Marriages by Gary Chapman
This is a non-fictional work where Dr Gary Chapman expounds upon his 5 love languages principals as they apply to seemingly doomed marriages. Excellent.  Dr Chapman really understands people and has a God-given gift and mission to help couples work through their problems and seek perfect love.

Any books on my list tempting to you? Have you read any ofthem already? What did you think about them if so? Do you prefer listening to or reading your books? Reading a traditional paperback or hardback or reading on a kindle type device?
Check out Carole's list and at the bottom of her post link your own and check out other bloggers' lists to find some future good reads (or ones to avoid).