Thursday, May 31, 2012

FO: Margrathea

I haven't blogged in awhile, but I swear I have a good excuse. This month I've dealt with my sister's graduation, being on vacation with my family, and a job change. Oh, and I got engaged this past weekend. Whew! (Small aside: a knitting blog I love reading is Carpal Tunnel Bride, check it out if you want to see some very ambitious knitting)

Needless to say all those events didn't leave a lot of room for knitting, but I did manage to finish a birthday present for my Grandma. Please excuse the not-so-great picture quality; they were taken at 11pm the night before it needed to get in the mail to make it to her on time.

pattern: Margrathea by Martina Behm
yarn: Skinny Bugga! in Smaller Yellow Ant
needles: 3s
raveled: Margrathea

I bought the .pdf of this pattern over a year ago and attempted to make one for myself. I don't think I managed to get past the setup lace chart; it just never "clicked" in my mind. I decided to try it again to make a shawlette for my grandma because she had liked the Cedar Leaf Shawlette I made her last year so much. Perhaps the knitting gods smile kindly on my Grandma, because this time I got it. And once I got into the pattern, it flew by pretty quickly.

The yarn was such fun to work with. I've made a couple of things out of Skinny Bugga and it's such a great yarn. In fact, my favorite pair of socks are made out of it. My Grandma loves fall colors, so I bought this yarn many months with her in mind. It cracks me up that she's wearing a color named after a type of ant.

I really like the way it turned out. The color variations look great in this pattern and it's not too lacy.

As for the rest of my knitting, my fourth sweater is languishing but I've picked up my Winnowing Shawl again and I'm making decent progress on the knitted on border. It will still take me a week or so to finish it at the rate I'm going. After that I may swatch for another sweater for a good change of pace.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Oink, Oink! FO: 3 Flying Pigs

A couple of weeks ago, my local yarn store sent out a list of summer classes that they'd be offering. One of the classes was making Oink, a softie that features a bouncy ball on the inside.

pattern: Oink, by Susan B. Anderson
yarn: Spud & Chloe Sweater, in popsicle, watermelon, and icicle
needles: 5s
raveled: Flying Pigs

I absolutely loved this pattern when I saw it, not only because of how adorable it is, but because my sister was planning to run her very first marathon in a couple of weeks. The marathon she chose: the Cincinnati Fly Pig Marathon. It was destiny.

I didn't end up taking the class to make them because they wouldn't be ready in time. It was a lot of fun to see the finished product, but actually making them wasn't exactly what I had thought it would be like.

It turns out I really, really underestimated the amount of time the sewing takes vs. just knitting the pieces. I chose to make three, and I'm glad I made all the parts at once instead of making one pig at a time. I probably would have gotten sick of sewing and given up after the second pig. The little legs were the funniest part. When I had all 12 legs finished, they looked like little outie belly buttons.

After three days of sewing, I finally finished them and sent them off to my sister. She absolutely loved them and took them on her trip to Cincinnati.

Here are some photos my sister sent me from the marathon:

Yay Kelly!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great Midwest Alpaca Festival

This past weekend my boyfriend and I went to Great Midwest Alpaca Festival in Madison. This our second year attending the festival and it was just as much fun as last year. I have a couple of pictures to share. They're cell phone pictures, so excuse the quality.

This was the main area where the judging was going on. We really don't know much about how to judge an alpaca, but it was fun to watch the process. Mostly because of the alpacas that wanted nothing to do with standing still in an arena and who gave their handles a hard time.

Around the judging arena, there were all the stalls where the animals were kept when they weren't being shown. The main thing to know about alpaca is that there are two types: huacaya alpacas (pronounced wah-kay-ya)...

... and suri alpacas. Fiber from the suri alpacas is very drapey (and hard to spin, from what I've been told), whereas huacaya is very crimpy and less drapey.

The fiber on suris looks like soft dreadlocks.

I'll admit, I'm more partial to the huacayas because they're like big teddy bears.

My birthday was Monday so as a present to myself, I got some yarn at the festival. After circling the vendor area three times, I finally decided on 900 yards of lace weight alpaca in this beautiful forest green. I've never knit lace weight yarn, but I've had Zebulon queued for awhile, so I think I'll use it for that. No telling when I would cast on, though.