Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Circular Needle Organization

I really need to do this to organize my circular needles.  What a great idea!  I wonder if a similar concept would work to organize my dpns too?  Right now they are all in ziplock baggies held together with a binder clip.  Not the most clever organization system in the world.....

Source: via Pepper on Pinterest

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tweet Tweet!

Yes!  Let's Get Crafting Magazine just retweeted me.  I'm so cool!

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Project!

I saw this on Pinterest yesterday and I had to have it... immediately!!

I know, I know, I hate to crochet, but seriously... how cute is that??  Apparently, the pattern used to be free on her blog, but the designer is now selling it for $3 in her etsy shop - which is totally a reasonable price, if you ask me.  And she emailed it to me super fast so I could get started right away.

Here is what I have so far....

Can't wait until I have this baby finished!  Then I want to make a million more!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

FO: Hello Kitty Mitts

When I signed up for the Package Pals craft swap over at the C.R.A.F.T. blog, I initially thought I would knit a hat or something small for whoever I was paired up with.  That was until I learned that I was paired up with a fellow Hello Kitty fanatic!  No plain old knitted hat would do for such a unique individual, so I scoured Ravelry until I finally saw this pattern and knew immediately that it was "the one."

And now, without further ado, I present the Hello Kitty Mitts!!

yarn details
Green Oak Acrylic in White
Worsted Weight
100% Acrylic
100 g / 200 yd ball
... plus bits of pink, black, and yellow yarn for the face and bow.

project details
pattern: "Hello Kitty Mitts" by Jo Ryan, available free on Ravelry at
size: medium
finished measurements: circumference at cuffs is 6'', length of mitt is also 6''
gauge: 20 st x 28 rows over 4''
needles: size 8 dpns
yarn used: about 78 yards
time span: this was a quick two-day project... about five episodes of Buffy, October 6-7, 2012

  • Used K2P2 ribbing on the cuffs.
  • Knit both ribbing and main portion with size 8 needles, did not use a smaller needle on ribbing as called for in the pattern.... because I couldn't find my smaller needles....
  • On the bows I followed the pattern instructions for the main piece, but instead of using the little strip of garter stitch to wrap around the middle to form the bow, I just used plain old yarn.  This allowed me to pull it tighter and create a more defined bow shape.
  • I used a picture of Hello Kitty as a guide to embroidering the face rather than copying the mitt in the pattern.  The main thing I did differently was to start the whiskers at the side of her eyes, rather than below the eye.
  • For the increases I only used M1L, as I was getting unattractive holes with M1R.
And guess what?  This post was featured in two linky party wrap-ups!  Yay!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Fan Shawl on the Blocking Board

After months of putting this off, I am finally blocking the fan shawl.  See, here it is on the blocking board:

As you can see, my blocking board wasn't quite long enough, so I brought in my handy-dandy foam blocking squares in to finish the job.  I'm so glad I bought them!

Unique Gifts for Crocheters

You know who is NOT hard to shop for?  Crocheters.  Why?  Because I made you this awesome gift guide of cool gifts that any crocheter will love.  (And, of course, it includes my new crochet pinback buttons and my wine charms for crocheters!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Giveaway Fun!

When I'm not knitting I love to read craft blogs and I love to enter their giveaways!  There is an awesome one right now that I want to share with you.  It's a MASSIVE giveaway blog hop consisting of 50 blogs with lots of great goodies to win.  It super easy to earn entries, all you have to do is leave comments, tweet about the giveaway, like someone on facebook, etc.  You should do it... but be forewarned, it's seriously addictive.

I think the best prizes in this giveaway are being offered by Confessions of a Bookworm and Ashley  Brooke.  Ashley is giving away a sweet Martha Stewart Glitter Set and Stephanie is giving away a set of Martha Stewart Paint!

You might also be interested in the giveaway being sponsored by My Merry Messy Life, who is giving away a Red Heart Yarn grab bag worth $175.

Also cool is the giveaway by Tutus and Tea Parties.  She is giving away some Craftsy classes, among other things. There are lots of cool knitting classes and KALs on Craftsy so it would be super fun to win!

If you go to any of the giveaways mentioned above and scroll down to the bottom of the post, you can see a list of all FIFTY blogs that are participating in the giveaway blog hop.  All the giveaways are worth checking out!

Good luck!  Tell 'em the Spicy Knitter sent you!  lol.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yarny Gift Goodness

How cute are these new ready-to-wrap yarn gift boxes from Knit Picks?  Seriously, what a fabulous idea.
Boy, I sure would love to receive one of these for Christmas....  like this one full of handpainted sock yarn ... or this one full of those pretty tonal sock yarns that I love....

Because we all know that what I really need in this world is MORE YARN!

New Fiber-Lover Buttons in my Etsy Shop!

I listed two cute new items in my Etsy shop over the weekend....

A second set of funny buttons for knitters:

And a set for crocheters, because I know y'all were getting jealous:

The sets are only $6 plus FREE shipping!  Can't beat that.  Oh wait, yes I can!  "Like" my shop on facebook and you'll get a discount code for 10% off.  Neat, huh?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weekend Update

My creative juices were flowing this weekend, but not exactly in a knitty way, so I spent a lot of time this weekend on other crafty pursuits such as scrapbooking and button making.  Still, I got some work done on my brother's scarf on Saturday.  I finished up the "s" and got started on the "m" in "smokinskip" (Yes!  I have a lot of letters to go!)  Here is a pic of my progress so far:

So far, working the "intarsia" in the round isn't going too badly.  I put "intarsia" in quotes because I'm actually stranding the yarn behind the work, but I'm knitting it "flat" and then connecting the ends together with wrapped stitches, as per the instructions for intarsia in the round.  The joined areas were looking a little sloppy, but I found a little trick that works for me:  on the first stitch of the row you are purling, pick up a leg of the stitch underneath the first stitch and purl it together with that first stitch.  This tightened up the tension for me to make it a much smoother join.  You can still tell there is a "seam" there, but it's not very noticeable. (I used a lot of quotes in that paragraph, no?  Clearly I'm not 100% sure of the terminology of what I'm doing here.  I just know that it works.)

Oh, and, working from a color chart can be hard.  That's why I have a special helper to help me read the chart.  She sits on it, then tells me what to knit.  Works flawlessly...


Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Pillow Mania!

I was browsing through my Ravelry queue this morning and I was reminded of how many super cute pillows I've been dreaming about knitting for a few years now.  Pillows are a great option to knit when you are looking for a small project but you are tired of knitting hats and scarves.  I've got a few too many things on the needles right now, but I think as soon as I finish something up, I'm going to start on one of these pillows.  A few of them even have the potential for some stash busting, which would be oh-so-awesome.

I'm torn about which one to knit.  I think the Plushy Pillows and the Fair Isle Pillows are my favorites, but they also have the least stash-busting potential.  On the other hand, the Bespoke Pillow has the most stashbusting potential.  I'll have to mull it over some more.  Of course, none of these can ever top my pillow tribute to Star

What's your fave?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Miss Me?

I just got back from a wonderfully relaxing and *romantic* vacation in New Hampshire.  We got in lots of leaf-peeping and tax-free shopping, but NO knitting!  Can you believe it?  It was our anniversary, so it was all about doing things together and knitting is kind of a solo sport.  But now I'm home and ready to get back in the game.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

"Who" Has an Owl Obsession?

I just spied this ADORABLE blanket on Ravelry and I had to share because it makes me smile.

Cute, eh? I am rarely inspired to crochet, but this is doing it for me.  Not only is it darling, but it uses Knit Picks Chroma yarn, which I love.  The pattern is only $6 at the designer's Etsy shop, TheHatAndI, so go check it out.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Update

I spent most of the weekend working on a super secret project that I cannot reveal until later, but I also got a little work done on the baby blanket.  I'm exactly at the half-way point now.  I'm a little worried I'm going to run out of yarn because I bought 6 balls, and I started on ball #4 about two rows before I hit the half-way point.  It seems like that is a pretty definitive sign that I'm not going to have enough yarn to complete the project, but I think I'm just going to keep on going to the end and see what happens.  Maybe there will be some sort of miracle.  Anyway, the baby isn't due until January, so I'll have plenty of time to order another ball of yarn, if need be.  Sometimes I just like to live on the edge.

And on the subject of running out of yarn... my friend Sarah and I have noticed that when we're running out of yarn, we start knitting faster... as if that's going to help!  lol.  Anyone else do that?

Friday, October 5, 2012

FO: Diagonal Lace Socks

Hooray for my first pair of toe-up socks!  This was a super-simple knit and I think they turned out really cute.  I enjoyed knitting toe-up because it was really easy to size the foot, but I wouldn't really say that I'm a total convert now.  I never thought that knitting top-down was really a problem, so knitting toe-up doesn't really solve any issues.  Still, it was fun to try something new.  And isn't this yarn pretty?  I'm such a fan of these tonal yarns from Knit Picks.

And here is a close-up of the lace pattern:

yarn details
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in Springtime Tonal
Fingering Weight
75% Merino, 25% Nylon
dye lot 01759
Washing Instructions: machine wash, tumble dry low
$7.99 for 100 g /462 yd ball

project details
pattern: "Diagonal Lace Socks" by Wendy D. Johnson, available for free here.
size: Medium

finished measurements: leg of sock above heel flap is 5.75'', leg of sock from bottom of heel is 8'', foot length is just shy of 8'', circumference of foot and leg is apprx 7.5''
gauge: 16 st x 24 rows over 2'' in stockinette (this is, amazingly, the same gauge the pattern calls for, but that's mostly just a coincidence, as I didn't swatch...)
needles: size 2 dpns (set of 5, bamboo)
yarn used: 0.7 skeins = 323 yards
time span: January 2012 – March 2012


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Sale at Interweave

This is a little late, but if you make a purchase today or tomorrow from the Interweave store, they will donate 30% of the proceeds to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

I'm thinking about buying some of the Sockupied mags.  I have the Spring 2011 issue and it's really cool.  The only thing that's stopping me is that I don't know if I should buy the versions for the PC or the ones for the iPad.  I don't actually have an iPad, but I'm pretty sure I'll get one for Christmas...  *hint, hint* @Mom + @Eric....

Oh, and because I can't help plugging myself...  check out the pink ribbon wine charms I sell in my etsy shop...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Doin' it the easy way...

I picked up the scarf last night with all the tangled bobbins and got completely overwhelmed.  Rather than untangle them, I just ripped out the whole thing back to the lifeline I (luckily!) installed right before I began the lettering.  Then I began again and I'm just stranding the yarn along the back.  I know this is cheating, but what can I say?  I prefer to do things the easy way.

I'm only about four rows into the first letter.  I'll post a pic for you once I get a little further along and the picture starts to develop.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So it begins...

I began the intarsia portion of Scott's scarf last night.  The whole intarsia in the round thing is pretty easy. I am using the method demonstrated in this video by Planet Purl.  What sucks is that intarsia in the round is still intarsia... and I forgot how much I hate that.  It's not that it's hard to do, it's just a pain in the ass dealing with all the bobbins hanging off the work.  I only got four rows done and already my bobbins are a tangled mess.  Rather than dealing with them, I just threw the whole thing in the drawer and went to bed.  :(  The idea of stranding this entire thing is sounding less and less crazy as I go along... lol.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OMG... Martha!

FYI: Martha Stewart makes yarn now...

It's Smokin'!

I began my brother's "smokinskip" scarf yesterday and I'm already a good nine inches into it.... yay!  Here's a pic, taken around the five inch mark.  I'm not going to start the wording until I'm 10'' in, so I decided to add two purple stripes to the end for decoration.  It's a little hard to see the contrast between the black and purple in this pic, but it's easier to see in person.

You can see my "S" chart in the pic... you have NO IDEA how long it took me to chart this thing out!  I tried using the intarsia chart generators out there, but I just couldn't get them to do what I wanted them to, so I ended up making the chart in excel.  Maybe I'll do a tutorial some day on how to do that.... it's not a very fun process, but it's a good thing to know, I suppose.

In other news, I've been doing some research on how to do intarsia in the round and I think I'm up for the challenge.  (I was originally just going to strand the yarn all the way around the scarf to knit it fair-isle style... but that's just so obviously a bad idea that I know I need to try something else).

p.s.  I can already tell that I bought WAY too much yarn for this thing and I'm dreading the thought of adding more yarn to my completely out of control stash (138 balls and counting...).  *sigh*