Oct 24, 2007

May I Present: Baby Cables & Beads

It never fails. Any time I decide to stop hopping all aound in the WIP basket and just settle in to focus on one knit project, it actually gets done! (Shhhh...I'm having a revelation over here, resist the urge to giggle). I was really craving a finished project lately, and I had some extra motivation from Nicole & Jenny to get it done before the end of the month so I could get an entry in their October sock knitting contest. Well, I'm a believer - project monogamy works people...

Baby Cable Rib Socks 028
Yarn - Koigu KPPPM Color #400
Pattern - Baby Cable Rib Stitch from Sensational Knitted Socks
Needles - Knit Picks US 2 (2.75mm); Knit 2 at a time on 2 circulars
CO 9/9/07; Closed the toes on 10/24/07

I must state now that in the interest of blogging, I am doing these socks a severe disservice by putting them on my size (mumble mumble mumble) feet because they are not in fact for me. The are for one of the sweetest moms I know; a mom that did me the biggest favor by giving birth to this darling girl. If that's not worth a pair of handknit socks, well then I don't know what is!

Baby Cable Rib Socks 026 Baby Cable Rib Socks 027
I really wish I could take credit for this black background in the shots,
but it's just something my digicam decided to do! I dig it.

The most obvious modification is that I didn't continue the Baby Cable Rib Pattern down the foot. I realized right around the heel flap section that cables eat up alot of yarn (you don't say??!) and that I would surely run out of yarn before getting to the end of these. I made a good decision as it turns out because I finished with only enough yarn scraps to prove something had been made.

I'm now a committed member of the Koigu fan club. This yarn gave me no trouble at all, and I'm pretty confident that it will hold up well to wear.
I'm not the only crafty chick around here as you know. This weekend we took some inspiration from miss Sarah and made ourselves some beaded bracelets...

Crafty Chicks - Bracelets 009 Mizan & Adachi Oct 21 2007 Crafty Chicks - Bracelets 021
Never a dull moment with these two, and I don't mind that a bit.

Oct 19, 2007

Still Knitting (and a promo!)

Thanks to all of you that have sent your good wishes for my blogiversary - your visits and support do make all the difference!

You know how I feel about supporting our own, right? And by "our own" I mean those that put their hands/hearts/minds to all things creative. Today's post is to show some of that support for a friend of mine (full disclosure, I also wanted to show you some photo proof that I'm still actually knitting). Allow me to introduce you to Sarah's Etsy shop - 579 Jewelry

Baby Cable Rib Sock Progress
I love the color combination in these - she really has an eye for such things.
Light as a feather too - bonus!

She's offering up some beautiful goodies, for you and for your knitting! Sarah has an excellent eye for design and she's quite good at putting together great materials to make something beautiful. Turns out that her talents go beyond just knitting!

Head on over to the shop - all jewelry is on $5, $7, or $9 - and that INCLUDES shipping. Yeah...you won't be sorry you went.

As for me? I've got socks to finish before my UFO list grows legs and kicks me in the...

579 Stitch Marker
Koigu KPPPM in Color 400
Baby Cable Rib Pattern from this great book

Oct 16, 2007

BrownBerry Chronicles: Year 2

Sometimes things occur to me while I'm doing the most mundane activities. While washing the dishes tonight I had this stream of consciousness-type moment that went something like this.

What was my last blog post about? Oh yeah, the second part of the Round Table. Knitting bags. Did I put that knitting bag back in my office? I really should get working on my next post. Those comments were really good, should check my notes for the next topic. What day is it? Geez, it's October already. Feels like something is happening this week that I'm forgetting. A birthday maybe? Wait. It's October. I think I started blogging in October. Hmmm...Seems right. I think I missed my blog-iversary!

Dishes done, hands dried, and I ran in here to check. Yep. My first post was written in October of 2005. Back then this blog was called Living My Why. In retrospect, that title would still fit most of the current content, but admittedly, it was much less a knitting blog back then. I like what it was though, and I also like what it has become. The word "knit" still doesn't appear in the title or description, but you all know what I go on about - I'm still out here retelling my life tales and working through the yarns of my stash. For now, that's just the way I like it.

Finished Projects 2007

I think the best way to appreciate something is to really revel in it while it's happening. That's something I'm working on doing better - being more "in the moment". My more natural inclination is to look back and to look ahead. In my view, celebrating a blog-iversary is about all of those things, so I'll chronicle some of that here.

At the beginning of this second year, I still wasn't too set on who I was writing for out here. Me? My readers? I was just as likely to post pictures of family as I was to post pictures of fiber. No themes, not many recurring topics, and certainly no commitment to this being just a "knitting blog". I've even looked back at the way I once posted project information. Let's just say I was not the detail fanatic I've turned into now. Back then, there was no Ravelry, so my project selection was a bit more hit-or-miss. My posting was more irregular too. I do notice, however, that many of my readers from that time are STILL loyal visitors today - THANK YOU for that.


Simply put, I'm a knitting blogger who spouts off about life in general. Now I've got the Round Table, and From the Mouth of Babes, Super Saturdays and These are the Good Old Days as recurring topics. Now I can't wait to photograph an FO and fill in every little note I can think of, in the hopes that it will help the next person who might want to make what I've made. Now there IS Ravelry, and that has shaped my current To Do list for crafting in a BIG way. I'm suddenly very aware that what I post here about a project can be seen by hundreds (thousands?) of other knitters and crocheters at any given time. Now I feel funny when more than a week has passed without a new blog post. A special treat is that my blogger buddy list has grown too. It still catches me off guard just how much time I can spend peeking into the world of others through their writing. What a treat! Now I feel more adventurous in what I'll say and do in general here at My Place. I think I owe that last part to those of you who keep coming here and sharing your thoughts and encouragement with me - THANK YOU for that too.

Ribbed Beanie

Another year of blogging feels like the right thing. I'm in no way tired of this habit, and I'm grateful for where it has taken me. I'm positive I wouldn't write this much if it were just left to filling pages in a journal. This feels like a good direction, so I'm going with it. Next in knitting? Who knows? So much more is out there. That's at the heart of this art - it really could unfold forever. What promise that thought holds! Next hobby? Methinks a podcast! Would you believe it? I've had this bug in my bonnet for a while now, and I've come up with a name, an outline and a Master Plan for a podcast to run next year. It's my goal to do it as a one year project exploring our Creative Community (oh yes my non-knitting friends, this will most certainly include you too). I get all goose pimply just thinking about it.


Thanks for reminiscing with me. This journey really IS more fun with you along for company.

Happy Blogiversary toooo meeee....

Oct 11, 2007

What's (In) Your Knitting Bag? Interview Part 2

This is Part 2 of my interview with Sean on the subject of Knitting Bags and the goodies inside them...Feel free to go back and read Part 1 and answer in either post (or both!) to be part of the round table discussion)

I can't get enough stich markers. What do you keep buying more of?
I take it yarn is a given. ;-) I will second your stitch marker vote, although my Bubbie gave me ALL of her knitting supplies since she can't knit anymore and I now have like 10 little cases of them, but can I find them? Course not. And even still, I find different KINDS of stitch markers that I HAVE to buy like the little purple and green rubbery ones from Clover, surely need those. I always lose my blocking pins immediately after purchase, too, so there's probably 80 boxes of those in my apartment. And needles.... I can't ever seem to have enough needles!


Anything missing? What's on your wish list for non-yarny goodies? A Namaste Messenger bag!!Speaking of which..... I normally buy myself a pair of shoes for my birthday, but this year might just be my new Namaste bag! Hmmmm! I'm getting all tingly just thinking about it! I would like to expand my Susanne's Needles, too, but would also like to expand my KnitPicks Options needle kit, especially now that they have wood, those cheeky buggers. Other than that, I think I'm set until the next time I go browsing online. OMG DUH! SWIFT AND WINDER!!!! Need them SO BAD. SO VERY BAD.

If/when you go on a yarn diet, do tools and patterns count?
Heck no. How could one possibly survive a yarn diet without the occasional magazine, pattern, or other yummy fiber-related treat? It's cruel and inhuman to even suggest it!

Matching Knit Bags 2

Any recommendations or advice on supplies for the newbie fiber fanatics? Well, I would say once a newbie is certain they are planning on sticking with knitting, they should really invest in one of the KnitPicks Options kits and while they're at it, get to know and love KnitPicks in general. I would have saved a small fortune had the kit been out a couple years ago; and just about all of us know how amazing KnitPicks' prices are for yarn. Make that one of the first stops. ;) Also, for knitters on a budget,it is imperative to find and visit a real yarn store (or 10) even if only to fondle and sniff, and that is actually a segue into my last recommendation, which is to find knitter friends because they are some of the best folks you will EVER meet. Most knitting stores will have social gatherings just for knitting, ideally with no pressure to buy or anything, and the friendship and sharing is truly one of the very best parts of the craft. If not at a store, find a group somewhere! We're everywhere! And, just keep knitting, just keep knitting, knitting, knitting! :-D OH! One last one, that I can't leave out: Show some love to the boy knitters! :)

And that ends our interview. Thanks a bunch Sean!! Thanks to you, there will be more of this type of thing to come!

You can freely chime in here dear readers or say your piece over in the Part 1 post -

What's (In) Your Knitting Bag?

What’s (In) Your Knitting Bag? Let's Discuss...

Every fiber fanatic knows that this hobby comes with a wealth of “goodies”; accessories, non-yarny bits and pieces that become necessary implements the longer we pursue this art we call a craft. For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll refer to these items as tools, the little bonus items that supplement our actual stitching. Yes I’m talking about tape measures and row counters and those adorable little rubber socks that we squeeze onto the ends of our needles to keep stitches from sliding off. There’s the stitch markers, the nail files, and the folded copy of our current traveling pattern.

I purposely titled this discussion “What’s (in) Your Knitting Bag” because I really want to hear about 2 things – What is your preferred type of knitting tote? Is it big and felted, or just small enough for a single sock project?
Secondly, just what have you got in there? If you’re just starting out as a knitter – dream big! What would you stock your ultimate knitting bag with if you could?


So I’m changing up the round table a little bit this time…I’m going to kick off the discussion with an interview, which I will post in two parts**. My darling
Sean agreed to help me out by answering some of my questions related to his Knitting Bag. This gives me the chance to highlight him as one of my knit blogger buddies, and to shed some light on what this particular knitter can’t do without.

Where can we find you in blogland?
When did you first start blogging?My very first fiber-related blog post was November 7, 2005.
How long have you been knitting?
I never get this right, but if my first blog post was November 2005, that means I started knitting that year and it was around Mother's Day I was first inspired, but it didn't stick until the men's issue of Knitty. Let's go with just over 2 years.

Are you double dipping? Do you crochet too?

I knew how to crochet long before I knew how to knit, but don't do much anymore. It does come in handy that I know both, though, and I do like it for quick charity projects.

What has been the primary thing that has kept you working with fiber so far?
I guess first and foremost, it gives me an excuse to buy pretty, soft, colorful yarn. ;) This is the longest I have ever stuck with any hobby, though, and I think the thing that really keeps me going is I never feel like I am a "complete" knitter; there are always new things for me to learn and try, whether it be techniques, tools, fibers.... Also, this is really the very first crafty hobby where I can look at my handiwork and allow myself to admire it and really feel like I've done something well, and that's huge for me.

Stitches MW Yarn 027

Let's talk totes – do you have one knitting bag or many?
Many. I do have a primary and secondaries though. ;-)

If you could have any type of knitting bag, what would it be like?

I really just want a Namaste Messenger bag!!! To me, that seems perfect for many reasons. I of course love all of the pockets for tools, needles, and accessories, patterns, etc., but far more important is that it is CUTE. I also think it's a great size. My primary bag now is almost too big and I lean towards trying to stuff 40 projects in there with yarn, needles, and patterns for all of them, and wind up with balled up, tangled, and knotted messes. That's not cool.

What "must have" items that I'd find in your knitting bag if I were to dig around in it right now?

I am ashamed to say that few of the must-haves in my knitting bag are knitting related. (giggle) My other obsession outside of the fiber arts is beauty products, what can I say? Of utmost importance is lip care. #1 is kiss me by philosophy (haven't tried it? buy it, try it, love it, thank me later,) and then #2 is My Favorite Lip Balm by C.O. Bigelow in case #1 gets buried. We knit with our hands, of course, so that is also crucial. Burt's Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter and Hand Salve can always be found in my bag. Again, others will be there too, Kiss My Face Olive Oil/Aloe and Dionis Sugar Hollow Spice that a darling friend gave to me and I LOVE. I can't forget the contact lens drops, knitting can dry my eyes sometimes. ;-) I also like to keep gum because I get in people's faces a lot when knitting, helping them with stuff or just laughing obnoxiously. :) Now that that's covered, I actually had to look in my bag to see if I had any fiber-related must-haves and there are NONE. I must stipulate, though, that my bag is a mess from a lot of traveling recently. On a good organized bag day, I would have at least one little box of the thin stitch markers, a measuring implement of some sort, and at least one tapestry needle. I also like to keep at least one sock in progress or yarn and needles to start one because you just never know when it's going to be time to knit socks. :)


Thanks Sean – now it’s YOUR turn dear readers. Share with those of us sitting here ‘round the table:

What’s (In) Your Knitting Bag?

**Part 2 of the interview can be found here.

Oct 9, 2007

For the Knitter Who Has Everything

...and finds herself on a yarn-buying diet (57 days and counting).

What could be better than NEW YARN?!

No no, I didn't cave in, I actually won some scrumptious Artfibers Kyoto yarn by knitting - the irony. I won by turning this yummy yarn into a neckwarmer:

Schulana Cashmere Trend 006

At the beginning of September, I started knitting some quick projects and entered them in the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest. Very simple concept - just knit and submit. With other fervent knitters like Crafty Carolyn in the pool (she knit 16 items!), I really didn't think I stood a chance. But apparently one project is all it took.

Luxe Neck Warmer Complete

So let me take this opportunity to thank Nicole and Jenny and to promote their most excellent podcast, their Flickr group, and each of their blogs - Jenny is here and Nicole is here. There's a Stash & Burn Groupies group on Ravelry too, so choose your medium. There is a contest for October to knit with sock yarn - make sure you enter!

Luxe Neck Warmer Complete 003
Luxe Neckwarmer from Knit2Together book
Schulana Cashmere Trend Yarn (100% Cashmere; 63 yds/ball)

As for me, I'm so pleased that I could do a cartwheel.

As a matter of fact...I think I will.

Oct 5, 2007

Got My Answer

In my last post I asked for some advice on how to break this knitting slump... and I got some very good supportive answers in here and via email. But life is funny. "Ask and you shall receive" they say.

I just found out that my sister is MINUTES away from having my second nephew!
So how will I break this knitting slump?

Crochet Baby Blanket

I'm gonna do some crochet.