Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Knitting a Niebling!

Readers, Knitters, Crocheters...It's been too long since I've actually updated this blog with what's going on with my knitting and crochet projects.

Ever since bee blanket not-quite-a-disaster, I've been steering my focus away from color work so that I can work on my knit lace skills. So, I picked up some lovely lace-weight wool (Cascade Yarns' Forest Hills) and started on one of the most popular lace designs on Ravelry: Herbert Niebling's Lyra (pattern can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lyra)  :

...and I've been working on it on/off since April:

I have to say that I did make a few mistakes. They're not major ones, but they're juuuust noticeable enough that I hesitate at the thought of entering this piece in the Washington State Fair. I'll wait until it's completely finished and blocked before making any decisions, though.

As I was working on Lyra, I got an itch to start a smaller lace project. I came across Doilyheads' fabulous blog (found here: https://doilyhead.wordpress.com/) and downloaded "Fuschias" (found here: https://doilyhead.wordpress.com/about/doily-patterns-for-sale/various-publishers/fuschia/). I finished the doily just this morning!

I used 000 needles, and I absolutely love the result!

I'm also absolutely loving the yarn I used as well! I splurged on a fabulous merino/silk blend (Duchess by Frabjous Fibers) for this project, and I have about 800 yards leftover. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up using every inch by the end of the year!

Let me tell you, Readers: I had a BLAST knitting Fuschias. I'm loving this kind of lace design! These kind of patterns suck me in the same way I get sucked into a good book; I just can't put them down!

I'll be entering the Fuchsia doily in the Washington State Fair this year, for sure! I'll keep you all posted on how my Lyra comes along!

Until next time!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Beating the Heat...

To me, these berries taste like nostalgia <3
Yikes. The summer heat was beastly this weekend.

John and I live in an apartment that has doesn't have many windows; our only source of natural sunlight comes from a big, sliding door that leads out to our balcony. We have a window in the bedroom too, but we don't rely on it to light up our apartment during the day. Luckily, our apartment faces west, so our apartment just SOAKS up natural sunlight; getting nice and bright and staying nice and bright until the sun goes down.

The bright-sunshiny sunlight comes at a cost, though. The fact that we face west AND are on the top floor can make our apartment almost UNBEARABLY hot on some days.

Carl Sagan the Angry Fish seems to enjoy it when it warms up like this; which isn't surprising given that he's a tropical fish. He's been happily swimming around his tank and building bubble nests next to his floating algae ball, undoubtedly plotting his Machiavellian revenge against me for taking him out of the tank and putting him in a cup when I last gave his tank a good cleaning.

The same cannot be said for Miss Mishka, poor girl. She's been acting lethargic and has been grooming herself constantly, so I can tell that the heat is starting to bother her. We asked the vet if it would be a good idea to give her a Lion cut, but they said that it really wouldn't benefit a short-haired cat. So we made her some frozen "kitty ice cream" (yogurt and tuna fish frozen in an ice cube tray) to cool her down.

On Sunday morning, we decided that we simply had to cool ourselves down as well. So we got in our air-conditioned car and drove to Snohomish county to go berry picking.

The farm we went to, Biringer farm, had a large sign out front indicating what was ripe and ready to pick: Strawberries, Raspberries, Tayberries, and Black Caps.

When I saw that Black Caps were available, I was delighted! I hadn't seen these berries available in years!

I used to pick these lovely little jewels of delicious with my grandmother when I was younger. They grow wild near my grandparents' dairy farm in central Wisconsin, so we would pick these by the bucket-full every summer. Grandma would use these berries the same as one would use regular raspberries, putting them in pies and jams.

We picked about a flat each of black caps, raspberries, and bought a flat of strawberries.

And we made our own frozen treat using the Black Caps:

And then we got an air conditioner <3

Stay cool, Readers!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sing it, Sarah...

Whelp, readers, I just ruined the bee blanket.

Like, totally ruined it.

I willll remember youuuuuu.....
I finished the final chart, and because I didn't feel like dragging out my sewing machine, decided to use the crochet steek method so that I can turn this tube of knitting into a rectangle. What I didn't realize was that a crocheted steek only works for non-treated wool. The yarn I used for this blanket was a super-wash.

Will youuu remEHmber meeeeeeeee...
In addition to using the wrong steek technique, I also made the mistake of carrying the background color across the steek stitches in a weird way. I wanted to make sure that my floats were staggered (this makes the pretty "diamond" pattern on the back), so I kind of...twisted the gray yarn in a way that kind of made a "bump" in addition to the purl stitch that was supposed to be cut.

Don't let your liiiiiffffffe paaahaas you byyehhhh.....

So in addition to the purl stitch that the crochet stitches are supposed to "catch" when you cut them, I also mistakenly cut the gray background float.

And now my gorgeous Armenian knit blanket has a huge hole in it.

Weep not foooHOOOhooooorrrr the meeemoryy....
I'm not sure I can fix this without making more huge gaping holes. I carried the background color for most of the blanket...so unless I cut that background float, I'm not going to be able to cut my steek at all.

The fabulous ladies at The Tea Cozy yarn shop in Ballard tell me that I can reinforce my steek with my sewing machine, and that might be enough to fix the problem. But a royal eff-up like this after five months of work (FIVE MONTHS OF WORK) was enough to make me want to just take a break from this project.

For now, I'm going to put this project down. Perhaps I'll look at it again in a week or two; I find that looking at things with fresh eyes can really make things easier when I've made a major oopsie.

I guess all that's left to do is this:

Until next time, Readers.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Haiku Friday

The crocus peeks out
of the frozen ground, as the
Earth yawns and awakes.

Happy first day of spring, Readers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


We got bored on Saturday...so we made jam.

I hope you like jammin' too, Readers! Until next time! <3

Friday, March 6, 2015

Haiku Friday

Little white booties
chase sunbeams and catnip mice;
Darling Siamese

<3 <3 <3