Hello, My name is Bethany and I'm a Yarn Addict. I've struggled with/enjoyed my addiction for 20 + years. I'm on about the 12th step of my pattern and I have no intention of kicking the habit. I have a large stash (of yarn) and I've been known to share (knitting) needles. My Fiber of choice is lace. Yes, I am a yarn addict, and this is my story...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Late for a Very Important Date!

As most of my friends know, I'm kind of, sort of, a little enamored with Alice in Wonderland.  (Yes, I can hear the sarcastic  "Oh, Reaaaaaaallllly"'s even over the internet.  Thanks.)  I knew it was only a matter of time before my obsession with Lewis Carroll's perky little heroine and my obsession with all things knitty came together in a massive collision of fiction and fibers, therefore I joined an AAIW swap group.  Hey, at least now I can justify merging two infatuations AND kick my butt into finishing projects that may have previously lingered on my needles for far too long.


This month's theme was "The White Rabbit".  The general rules are that you have to spend less than $35.00, and at least ONE of the items in the care package from swapper to swappee was hand knit or crocheted.  Here's what I came up with:
 Sorry for the poor quality photo.  Now you know why my blog is about knitting rather than about photography.  There's a stuffed White Rabbit, a pair of Rainbow-dyed birch needles from Knit Picks Harmony Line, an Alice and White Rabbit notebook and a White Rabbit Pen.  The hand knit White Rabbit themed project proved to be a more challenging feat, but here's what I came up with:

I thought the Cowl's lace pattern was vaguely reminiscent of rabbit tracks, and that was about as close to the theme that this project appeared.  I knit this quick little project with  size 8 needles, out of Cascade Yarns "Cloud 9" yarn in white, 50 % Merino, 50% Angora.  Hopefully the recipient doesn't mind that it was made OUT OF white rabbit...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's a Good Thing This Pattern Was Easy...

Let me just start by saying I absolutely LOVE my job working at my LYS.  It allows me so many opportunities to see fabulous needles, yarns and patterns...This, too, is my constant downfall! So many neat knitting things!  Darned stash enablers.  But I digress.  I'll simply say I saw a nifty pattern for a cute sweater and had to try it =)

This is Plymouth Yarn Company's Quick Top Down Jacket in Baby Alpaca Grande yarn, pattern # 1756.  Quick is definitely a plus with my currently busy schedule, and I had always been intrigued by that particular yarn.  Of course those who know me also know that I do NOT like working in bulky weight yarn.  Ah well, no matter, I'd try it anyways.

I was in lean times, so at the pricey cost of the yarn and my poor decision making in what size I am I decided to make it in 2 strands of worsted weight in a cheap yarn just to see if it turned out well and in a size that would fit.  I ultimately made a purple and black combo sweater in what I thought would be an appropriate size, for a 36" bust, the smallest size on the pattern.

Of course, for that to work smoothly would be waaaaaaaay too easy.  It DID knit quickly, in 2 days, and the purple and black yarns made it have an awesome tweed appearance!  Too bad even though I knit it exactly according to pattern with a comparable weight of fiber and exact needle sizes it was SO not my size.  Boo.
Fortunately it fit my best friend Robbin, and she loved it!

So, back to the proverbial drawing board.  I decided to make the same pattern in only one strand of worsted this time, and on one size smaller needles.  I also omitted 4 stitches from the back section of the pattern, thus altering the size to a 32" bust.  Success!  Result!  This time the finished product fit!  An added bonus was that it only took 145 yards to complete!  And, I don't know if this was a bonus or not, but since I had already made it once the day prior it only took me 1 day to complete this time...

It's a good thing that I got more proficient with this simple project and was able to complete them in less and less time.  Another friend saw me in mine and wanted one, then so on and so forth until I had made 4 in one week.  I have a feeling that I could make them in my sleep at this point.  Maybe that's why I look less than thrilled in my photos.

Good thing I liked the pattern!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mil Besos Shawl, A FAB Designer, & My Love Affair With Madeline Tosh

I know it's been quite a while since I've posted anything here.  Life got pretty hectic around the 'ol Junaidy household from March to April and sadly many of my recent projects that were completed were never posted.  In March I married my wonderful (now) husband and I was finally able to let go of MONTHS of pent up wedding-related stress.  We spent a lovely, albeit rainy honeymoon in Monterey on the beach.  Month after we took our family's annual pilgrimage to Disneyland for my son's spring break.  As soon as we got back from THAT adventure I was hit with a MASSIVE illness that landed me in the hospital for a few days.  But, putting that aside, time has passed and I'm finally back to blogging!

So, where to begin?  Oh, yes, my fabulous new shawl:
 This pattern is yet ANOTHER fabulous free shawl pattern on Ravelry.com, entitled Mezquita.  Not only is this shawl adorable and easy to make, but the pattern's designer Roxanne Yeun is quite possibly one of the sweetest people I have ever e-conversed with.  I started having issues with the way the shaping of the pattern was written and said so under a comments section on the pattern.  In less that 24 hours I had received an email from Roxanne outlining a simplified explanation, tutorials and incredible words of encouragement.  And not just one email:  Multiple responses to each time I wrote, thanking her, asking questions, etc.  She is certainly one talented lady.

AND!!! (yes, as you can tell by the multiple explanation point used there that I'm REALLY excited) When you look up her Mezquita pattern, my project and sweet little mug (LOL)is on the designer's page!  WOOT!
I named my finished shawl 'Mil Besos' (Thousand Kisses) after a song by Patty Griffen with the same title.  It has a bit of a flamenco flair to it, and has always struck me as a very powerful love song.  The first day I wore this shawl out in public I was told by one lady that I looked like an old-fashioned flamenco dancer.  I don't necessarily think it was a true statement, but now I can't wear it without thinking of that comment!

I made this project out of Madeline Tosh's "Tosh Sock" Yarn.  I had previously bought some of the Madeline Tosh Lace yarn, and this sock weight only reinforced that I have a secret knit crush on Madeline Tosh (Yes, I know the actual producer is Amy Hendrix, but I'll just refer to the yarn's moniker as my yarny love-interest).  Seriously.  She induces yarn-lust.  The lace I bought was called 'Nebula'.  She uses words like 'Lucious' to describe her fibers.  I ADORE her!  My husband is aware of this infatuation, and other than the fact that the down side is her growing effect on my yarn stash, he only seems lightly amused rather than threatened.


This particular colorway is called 'Tart'...
Again, this causes quite the turmoil in my head.  Is it called that because it is the perfect shade of a crisp apple, or  is it called 'Tart' because it is a shade suitable for a brazen hussy?  But as I knit I realized something rather important.  She could actually call one of her yarns 'Brazen Hussy' and I would buy it and wear it proudly.  Sigh......