Saturday, October 29, 2011

Simply Stormen Saturday Spent Spinning

Oh what to do on a stormy Saturday? Oh what to do........
My knitting basket(s) are overflowing with ideas of what to do! Christmas projects that need completion. Baby blankets and booties and stuff I could make for my soon to be grandson!  Could I finish something, please? IF only to make more room in those baskets for more?
Could I just goof off on the Internet and come up with words for rain that start with S? Why of course! So that's what I did! Stormen Saturday! Stormen is a word from the Netherlands that really means, strong storm with wind! How cool is that? Considering that it is outside, right now, raining and windy? Pretty cool! Um... yeah.    Not really a strong storm outside perhaps, but really not a nice day to be outside! I think I shall do that too! Stay inside I mean!  So now that I've overcome a decision of what to do, or rather where to do whatever it is that I'm going to do................ onward!!

Maybe I will go sit by my knitting and wait for inspiration. Not happening for me today. It's either the OCD kicking in or it's her fault. Her.                          

Frau Holle in spinning wheel form...

It's going to be kind of hard to get anything done around here anymore....

 mostly because  of Frau Holle .....  she's winking at me.... c'mon.... you know you want to practice spinning me some more...... Yeah.
She's a bitch. It's all about her. Spin, spin, spin. That's all she wants to do these days! Never mind the knitting or the cleaning (shhhh). Spin, spin, spin.
So.... a little on  learning to hand spin..... quite fun AND really kind of difficult.... sigh! It looks so easy when other people are doing it! I can't walk & chew gum so I'm not sure what made me think I could spin! It's a bit like patting your tummy and rubbing your head at the same time! I get tired just thinking about all that together. Wow.
I picked up Holle at my favorite LYS (local yarn shop) last Tuesday. I'm thinking that I may be the customer of the year after all I'm spending there! Anyway... that's another story! How to find money for yarn!
This is what she looked like. Not much. Pretty expensive for just one box but I wasn't disappointed! I knew what was inside........
Parts. Parts and parts and parts!
Still not daunted by the task that lay ahead....... I reached for the trusty wrench ~that came in the box........... and.......
twenty or so minutes later... ta DA!! Construction of my brand new spinning wheel! She's amazing isn't she? All shiny and sleek. Every inch of her birch surface all smooth and ready..........
Ready? Ready for what?!  Ready to torment me! That's what!
 I've spun before. I've watched oodles of people. I know it can be done. I know it. I just know it!
Lesson 1 - after putting together the spinning wheel, practice treadling and making the wheel spin clockwise. Get that? Easy huh? Um... no? It likes to spin counter-clockwise.  That's the wrong way.  Wrong. Way.
So practice some more! Getting it...... yep!! How fun is this! Loads!
Lesson 2 - now can we add some fiber and make some yarn? Huh? Huh? Nope. Now try treadling and reading a book. NOT watching what you are doing, just read and treadle. OK. How hard can that be? Um yeah............... 3 days later............ still working on it!
Today I may just try (insert very ominous music....) chewing gum while reading while treadling!
Go me!!!
I'll let you know how it goes

Friday, October 28, 2011

One Done Wallaby!

It's officially over! The Wallaby KAL ends here! Ends NOW! Ends today! Woot! Hands in the air! Woot!
If you aren't done ~ tough! LOL Seriously.... I will help you finish yours! I just needed to be done with this KAL so I could start another one!! Woot! Totally doing my happy, happy dance!!  Best part is (and yes... I AM totally shouting at you!) I FINISHED BEFORE MY DEADLINE!!
Not only did I finish a project I finished EARLY!! Go me!!
This sweater really is a breeze to knit, you just gotta be persistent. It's a big project and takes a while, but the results are so amazingly worth it! I can hardly wait for Big to get home so he can model this baby!! Woohoo!!
There were a few parts in the pattern that were a bit daunting but it's so cool working in a group - you have someone else to power through it with you!
The pocket fusing was a pain! The neck edges & adding the arms is a bit weird, but.... so cool when done!
When you get to the point of FINISHING, the point of NO more Wallaby (!!) you get to learn how to (insert very ominous music here.....)
Kitchener Stitch.  The Kitchener stitch, aka grafting, aka dreaded kitchener really isn't all that bad. IF you sit still, no noise, no talking, no chewing gum AND do nothing else. NOTHING else! Once you get into a rhythm it will go pretty dang smooth!
Underarm seams "just so"
How to Kitchener... first of all........ you gotta get to that point! You have to have your underarm seams just so and your hood all finished. Then and ONLY then can you complete your Wallaby!
Here it's pretty important to follow the directions. Um yeah.. remember those? Oops please disregard the blob of something on the left side. Ewww. Sorry.
 Follow the directions on p 18 & p 19 of the Wonderful Wallaby book & you should be OK. Should be.
You start by putting all those stitches that you placed on scrap yarn and/or stitch holder (in the underarms) onto double pointed needles. 10 on each side. Be careful that you are running along the armpit hole!! Then....... following the Kitchener st directions (see them right up there?) EXACTLY. Do what it says. Seriously. Do. What. The.Book.Says.   Trust me..... you'll like it!

Can you see my underarm seam???

I have to (seriously) shut off the TV, turn off the kid, stop chewing gum and concentrate. Concentrate! The Kitchener makes me bonky unless I do it right! It's pretty easy to screw up! I even talk out loud when I'm doing it... k off, p on, purl off, knit on, knit off.... on and on and on........

When you are done with both underarms ADMIRE IT! Try it on!! Pat yourself on your back and then...... move on! Get up to the hood! Go you!!! Oh wait.... forgot to tell you about the little itty bitty holes that may still be in your underarms.... oops! Just take an end of yarn and weave it in on the underneath (inside of sweater). Double check by looking on the outside to make sure it looks the way you want it and wa-la! NOW you are finished!
Now you can head up to the hood!!!
Oh crap! Now that you are at the hood..... how the heck do I put all those stitches onto DPN's?? Ugh. Don't take them off,  just smoosh them all onto the points of those circular needles & evenly space them! 1/2 on each! (Pull the cable out a little so it dangles off to the side) And then.................... Kitchener those babies right off those needles and then thread your ends and then....... get ready........... dance!!! Yay!! You're done! Done! Finished! All over except the dancing!!!
AND of course sewing in all your ends! I do mine throughout the whole process rather than wait until the very end because they bug me.... but..... you may have some left over!
Don't forget to admire your work! AND take pictures for me to post! 
IF you do your Kitchener just right you won't be able to see your seam
IF you mess up a bit like I did...
you can see it a little!

Two Done Wallaby!!
No way was Boy letting a photo-op go by without him in it! 
Big & Boy Wallaby Wearers

Wallaby Progress(Progression?)

This is just a little more than progress on that ol' Wallaby that's hanging out in my knitting bag; waaaay more! Because the KAL has been interrupted I'm just going to start over and condense it all into one post. Whew... get ready because it's gonna be a long one!

So we started with a pattern......
and a little inspiration.......(you knew I was going to put a picture of my handsome kid in here right?!)
AND  some good competition! "I bet I can finish mine before you do!"

We all got our yarn (this is only some!)

And we knitted, and ribbed our way through a sometimes confusing pattern!
Some of us are overachievers (OVER) and added stripes.... She's way past this point but this is the ONLY pictures I have! Ahem... hint hint Christen!
See that pouch? That pocket right there in the center of that Wallaby? Cool huh? It was a bit confusing in the directions, but ALL of our Wallaby's have wonderful pouches for hands to stay warm! Wonder what else we will find in there? Hmmmmm
We also learned, or rather realized what 6 inches really does look like!
We learned a lot on the way! But mostly that knitting is fun and it is way more fun with a little bit of competition just to keep you going!

We've all made a lot of progress on our sweaters! We're almost done!!!
This is what mine looked like a week ago! Just getting ready to attach the underarms and then knit up and around for shoulders and a yoke!
A couple of days after starting the yoke, here I am knitting up the hood! It goes really fast!
 I did go ahead and do the hood in stockinette stitch (knit row, purl row) rather than garter like I did with Boy's sweater! Have to say the results are soooo much better! 
It's been sitting around now for 2 days waiting for me to start grafting (aka dreaded Kitchener Stitch) the underarm and hood seams!

I felt like I had to get everyone up to speed and the blog back up and running so I've totally neglected Wilbur Wallaby!
My deadline of November 1st is fast approaching so maybe tonight I'll finish! What else is there to do on a Friday night anyway?

Are You Ready For This?

Man oh man I'm so tired of waiting. Seriously tired of it! Waiting, waiting, waiting......
Waiting for Christmas, waiting for it to snow and still waiting for the place I had my original blog(s) to correct whatever mistake I made and bring back Crusty Cupcakes!! C'mon bring back the Cupcakes!! ~Just in case they are listening?!
It's been 2 weeks + and feels like years since I sent the blog into cyberspace with just a flick of my hand! Grrrrrr. He he he.... I think it's only been like a week, but seriously..........I can't stand it anymore!
There has been No word from "them" on how to restore my blogs and I'mtired of waiting! I guess maybe (maybe?) I must have too much to say so....... I'm starting a new blog~ just for all my yarn & crafty stuff...........insert drum roll.............

Crusty Cupcake Knits!

NOT to be confused with the Crusty Cupcakes by any stretch of your imagination. (Insert snort & laughter here!) I tried to just restart everything, but I couldn't use Schi-Schu Knits. The dratted system wouldn't let me! I geuss because even though it's all deleted and in cyberspace (grr) that name is running around out there.......
all alone....
and obviously you can see where that's gonna get us (alright, gonna get me!)......

I guess I'm just so danged impatient, but I have no choice but to start a new blog!
Really no choice!
I have so much to share (SOOOO much) and really (mostly) I just want to finish the Wallaby KAL and be done with the blasted thing!
So, rather than wait for the powers that be (IF they exist) decide when and IF they will ever give me back my deleted blogs...... I've started this one! Just so you can keep up with me and all my yarn! Nice of me huh? (Insert happy smiley face and happy dance!)

So stay tuned to Crusty Cupcake Knits for lots of yarn and Wallaby Knit Alongs and, and, and, and, and Heck! It's free so you never know what you're gonna get here in Cupcake Land!!