Wander the Web 13

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Spinzilla is already half over and I’m still spinning along. I’m over halfway through 6 oz of Perendale which smells delightfully wooly. Hope it’s all spun up by Sunday! During the moments I haven’t been producing yardage, I found some interesting links. Got to give my wrists a break some time. Good luck, fellow Spinzillians! 

Observing Earth: Satellite Photos from European Space Agency

Handknit Socks in Space!

Interview with knitting extraordinaire Leethal AKA Lee Meredith 

Learn a little about Foula Sheep

An emergency home built in 5 hours to last 15 years 

The Yarndale Bunting - Over 6,200 crochet triangles from 31 different countries decorated the Yarndale Wool Festival. The before and after photos are wonderful. (via KnittyBlog)

Diablo Trio

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On May 15th, I was one of those people who stayed up to 12:01 AM Pacific Time (3:01 Central) to play Diablo III. I ended up knitting for an hour instead. Error 37, anyone?  After finishing a pair of socks and getting a few inches done on a hat, I went to bed. I spent the next couple of days alternating between trying to log on - AKA knitting a hat - and fighting my way through Sanctuary. My Demon Hunter did eventually level up enough to wear a pair of pants.

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Pattern: Pup Tent by Catherine Gamroth

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

I should call this hat Tristram Cathedral since that’s where I spent my time when I wasn’t knitting. I didn’t modify the pattern since I just wanted to knit. The cable rows where fun and I learned a new way to do work two stitch cables just by working from a k2tog or ssk. Can’t wait to try it out on something else.

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Pattern: Waffle Hat by Gail Bable

Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool

Needles: US 6 (4mm)

While Hat #1 served to keep me entertained because I couldn’t log in, Hat #2 exists because I could log on. I cast on while waiting to play with friends and got a few inches of ribbing. I knit on it to keep me from playing 30 mins after I just logged out to cross chores of my to-do list. I knit on it to give my hands a break. I also knit on it to use up the rest of the skein. Cast on 96 sts, knit 24 rows of ribbing, and worked the waffle stitch for 5.5” before decreasing. It’s a big, warm hat and I still had 5g of yarn leftover.

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Pattern: Stuffed Ball Cord Pull by Lee Meredith

Those remaining 12 yards turned into palm sized ball that I’m going to use for plying yarn. 

Isn’t it amazing how much is possible with 242 yards of wool? I got 2 hats, a plying ball, stress relief, patience, and hours of entertainment. Wool is awesome.

Anyway, back to killing demons for me. Iskatu is going down. 

Mystery!

*Warning! Spoilers ahead!*

I've never done a mystery knit along before since it's hard for me to follow most knitting patterns blindly. Changing large and small details is usually the name of the game. I just can't help myself.  This time though, I decided to not worry so much about the small stuff and let Leethal do all the work. I don't even know what I'm making...except that it's an accessory of some sort. I could peak but where's the fun in that. Guessing is half the adventure.

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The first clue arrived last Thursday and it wasn't long before I cast on. It helped that I had already surveyed the stash and knit up a swatch. Anyway,The pattern uses a waving rib and suggests randomly moving the 'waves' up and down, or side to side as I've been seeing it, without any set repeat. I couldn't help but make a game out it since Lee also pushed the concept of game knitting awhile back. For this pattern, I didn't stick to any particular show just general tv watching. Commercial Break (or fast forwarding through one)? Changed direction. Changed the channel? Changed direction. New show coming on? Changed direction. I did knit, just a little bit, along with the shows I was watching too.

Mythbusters: Myth intros, high speed video, "confirmed or busted", and explosions (of course)

Good Eats: Puppets, explanations, new recipes, and whenever something comes out of the oven

The Simpsons: The couch gag, pop culture references, guest stars, and internal monologues

The first clue was a pretty quick knit so I'm catching up on my gift knitting until this Thursday and clue #2 rolls around. Can't wait.

P.S. Stayed tuned for something awesome tomorrow.

Game Knitting!

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Buttoning Headband from Game Knitting by Lee Meredith

@rav

Even though I finished this headband as Winter was ending, I feel like I finished it right on time. After all, it'll still be there when Fall and Winter come around again. Second, the knitting helped me stay warm, cozy, and laughing through the last of Winter's doldrums because of Game Knitting. Its premise is simple but powerful - knit a basic pattern according to a set of occurrences in TV, movies, or daily life. So, I to kept myself happy with tea and knitting along to the Red Green Show. Whenever someone used duct tape, something exploded, or someone got hurt on Adventures with Bill, etc, I made a cable. Some episodes had more cables than others but it was a great time and I was sad to bind off.

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Game Knitting is more than just a headband and cables though. It's more than hats, scarves, and mitts. It's more than short rows, bobbles, ribbing, eyelets, and color work. It's all of these things thrown together with randomness and spontaneity. You might not know what to expect when you begin but it's a lot of fun finding out. The ebook showing you the way is full of colorful photos, patterns, detailed explanations, and lots of inspiration. I can't wait to use it again.

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Quick Knit for the Win

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Pattern:  Argyle Cuff by Lee Meredith

Yarn: Cascade 220 - 801

Needle: US 7 (4.5mm)

Date: Feb 14, 2010

@rav

Last weekend, I wanted to cast on to something new and the Quick Knits Club came to the rescue. One of February’s patterns, the Argyle Cuff, looked fun so I dug up some scrap yarn and got started. The 2 stitch cable made it a fun project that was finished in an afternoon but the finishing took a bit longer. Blocking was definitely required and the cuff seemed to take forever to dry. The wait was worth it though. The cables really popped and the width was perfect. Once I sewed on two orange buttons, it was perfect and quite cozy. 

February's Quick Knits Club

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My love affair with the Leethal Quick Knits Club continues. Being February, this month’s theme is Valentine’s Day but it’s really about the act of giving as an act of love. The patterns and yarn are geared to a multitude of people but aren’t boring or bland like one might expect. Both patterns are for wrist cuffs which,through some strange coincidence, I’ve been thinking about a lot. The first offering. the Argyle Cuff (@rav), is a buttoned band done up with small cables in an argyle motif. Bolt (@rav), the second pattern, looks like a bolt of lighting tied to your wrist and it seems like a pretty fun project.

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The yarn for these cuffs really grabbed me and I really wish I had a few more yards of both. The dyed yarn stripes red, blue and green and has a slight halo that I find irresistible. Also irresistible - the matching buttons. Anyway, the spun yarn is 100% cotton and a combination of grey, blue, purple, and yellow. It has a wonderful barber pole look and it’s hard to resist hanging the skein up as a piece of art. I think I’m going to put both of the skeins aside for a special project because, as I’ve been thinking about cuffs, I don’t wear them often and would rather use the yarn for something I’d really enjoy. 

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I’m also really enjoying the goodies this month - a dinosaur card, nice paper, some fun foam stickers, and even a double sided crayon. I think the dinosaur card and the octopus sticker are going to stay with me but I can’t wait to do some crafty things with the rest of it for gifts.

On the whole, I’m going to have a lot of fun with this package and I can’t wait for March’s fun to show up in my mailbox. 

Distractions

Lately, I've been perusing two very fun websites: Crafty Leftovers and Leethal. Both sites are creative, inspiring, and not just about knitting. They make me want to drop all of my current projects and start something new RIGHT NOW.

Crafty Leftovers, which is the web adjunct to the Crafty Leftovers Zine, covers a variety of crafts and tutorials utilizing those pesky scraps from other projects. The Earth & Sky Mini Sock Ornament has already proven to be a major distraction. If only some of my sock leftovers matched. Guess I'll just have to use worsted weight yarn. On the non-knitting front, these little matchstick notebooks have already taken up a bit of my time.

Leethal, which also has some focus on repurposing scraps, has a very different aesthetic than Crafty Leftovers and is no less awesome. The patterns, projects, and tutorials are so inspiring that I want to try the lot of them. After all how can I resist such things as the Before and After PhotoRecycled Sweater Wool JewelryGradient Mitts, and the cute Zippered Coin Pouch. These projects do more than demand me to make them. They throw my mind on a tangent and I can't help but think about how to change and adapt them.

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Unfortunately, my creative spirit has to go on the back burner.  There's still Christmas knitting to be done and this yarn won't knit itself. Oh, have I also mentioned the packing?

November's Quick Knits Club *spoilers*

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I first found out about The Quick Knits Club a few months ago and I kicked myself for not signing up when it started. The previous months have included such fun patterns, yarns, and goodies with a unique aesthetic that I could resist it no longer. In October, the projects were a knitted mustache and a superhero/villain mask. Cute goodies like monster finger puppets and repurposed sock wristlets just sealed the deal. Signing up for November was a forgone conclusion.

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While October focused on costumes, November is all about gift giving. The Wee Gift Bag is horrendously cute and I love the halo of the accompanying yarn. Hopefully, there will be time for me to make a couple for the tiny gifts I'm sending out this year. The other project, Winter Leaves, is a cute little project(s) that can be used as an ornament or an off the wall necklace. Mine are going to end up as ornaments. Maybe I'll even finish them in time to put them on the tree this year. Blasted ever growing Christmas knitting list...

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The goodies this month don't disappoint either. I love the vibrancy and color of the photos. Eventually, they're going to be part of a large yarny mosaic. A mix CD, I wanna be buried in snow, rounded out the package. It's already become my soundtrack for the season. Most of the songs and artists are new to me and that makes this mix even better. My personal favorites are White Flower Hymnal by Fleet Foxes and This Year by The Mountain Goats. I've already bought the Fleet Foxes  EP, Sun Giant, and I can't decide which Mountain Goats album to get. Dilemmas, dilemmas...

Anyway, I'm really happy I signed up for this club. It's a monthly shot of creativity and fun and who doesn't need that?