Sunday, August 31, 2008

When life kicks your butt

It's been a week of disappointment. Monday night on my way home from working late I was in a car accident. Someone turned right in front of me. There was no way for me to stop and I t-boned her. Thankfully no one was hurt, but my car sustained significant damage. Being an old car it's been difficult finding parts and someone to fix it. Not to mention fighting with the insurance company to keep them from totaling it. It may not be a looker, but it runs well and gets me back and forth to work, which is really all that maters to me. I'm not the type of person who needs to have the newest car. I just want reliable transportation. Anyway, in the end we do think we've found someone to fix it for the amount of money we got from the insurance so hopefully that will all work out.

I finished the Raven mittens. They are really quite horrible.
(Anyone looking at that picture would think I didn't know a thing about knitting.) I used the mitten pattern from the Fall 07 Knit Simple magazine. The pattern was hard to follow and produced a rather ugly mitten. The decreases all lean the wrong way, the shaping is weird at the thumb. I figured most of the problems out by the time I got to the 2nd mitten, but I won't be using this pattern again. The yarn, however, is fabulous. And I have a ton left over. So these will be snow shoveling mittens and I'll knit another pair with a better pattern for regular wear.

Milan is also finished. The collar did little to improve the final fit of the sweater though.
I love the sweater when it's layed out flat, but put it on and it's a rag. The collar will not lay right no matter how much pulling and fussing and steaming and blocking I do. The collar is knit straight out from the neckline. But I think it needs some increases in there to give it fullness over the shoulders. I've got plenty of yarn left and am thinking of ripping the whole collar and reknitting it with increases to see if that helps. I also don't like the offset front. I primped and adjusted to get that sweater to hang right for the photo. As soon as I move, it gaps open over my bust and looks horrible. I think I am also going to sew the right flap to the left front, essentially changing the cardigan to a pullover. Perhaps the structure of a seam will help to keep the front supported so the neckline doesn't pull out of shape. As frustrating as it is having spent months knitting the sweater only to have it not fit, it is still a great thing about knitting that I do have options, even now, to recover it and make it usable.

I've cast on two new projects this week. Last week I received these lovelies from my friend Jen. Two balls of Lion Brand Sock Ease and 3 skeins of her own hand dyed merino silk in a color called Vintage. The merino silk is for a baby surprise jacket, which I just didn't feel up to working on at the moment. Instead I cast on the brown Sock Ease to make plain vanilla socks. This is mostly so I have easy knitting for while I'm riding the exercise bike. So far I'm liking the yarn. I don't really notice any difference at all from the aloe that's in it. It feels and knits up like standard sock yarn. But I really like the way the colors are coming out. I like the way it's striping. The bits of color are nice and random, very similar to hand dyed.

I also started casting on last night for Fylingdales. Yes, notice the correct spelling. All this time I've been calling it Flyingdales. Ooops. As always when starting a new project, I'm super excited to see how it's going to knit up. Pictures when I get something to show for it.


In perfume news, The Midsummer Muse is closing down her Etsy shop this weekend and reopening the old Violette Market. I made sure I ordered a bottle of Guinevere before she shutdown, although I do believe she will have all her standard scents at the new site plus some of the scents from the old VM. VM was before I got into perfume so I am unfamiliar with their line. But if it's anywhere near as good as MM, it will be great. The site is supposed to go live today and I've been stalking it since this morning. There's been some changes, but still no ordering links yet. Be sure to go check it out.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Focused

When last we spoke of knitting, I said I was trying to finish up my existing WIPs before starting any more projects. And, for once, I've remained focused and have made some progress towards that goal.

Cotton Ankle socks...
DONE. Although, they don't fit me very well. Cotton remains the bane of my knitting existence. They weren't terrible to knit, but first they were way too big, so I ripped the first sock when it was 2/3 finished and started over. Then I ended up getting them a bit too short. They do, however, fit my mom so all is well.

Jack socks...DONE, finally. These originally started as Jaywalkers. I knit the first sock and hated the way it fit. So I started over with plain vanilla socks with an eye of partridge heel. These fit wonderfully. This is my own hand dyed yarn. I loves the way the colors turned out on it.

Milan...
Nearly done. The seaming on this was a piece of cake. The yarn (Caron Simply Soft) has been delightful to work with. I'm a bit disappointed with the fit so far. I've lost a bit of weight since I started and think I may have over estimate the amount of ease needed for this sweater because it seems awfully big around the neckline. I'm still working on the portrait collar, which will hopefully remedy the problem.

I haven't worked on the one row scarf at all, but I feel
pretty good about finishing 2 pair of socks and having the sweater in the home stretch.

I treated myself to casting on the Socks That Rock Raven mittens.
I'm following the mitten recipe in the Fall 2007 Knit Simple magazine. I had a little trouble deciphering the instructions, but one I got going, these are turning out to be a super easy super fast knit. I love the yarn (Korppi is the colorway). I saw an ad somewhere that there are going to be new Ravens this fall!!

Flyingdales is officially the next thing up in the queue. It was a hard decision between it and Savannah, so I made hubby decide for me. I was kind of cheating...I knew he'd pick the cabled one. But still, I'm super excited to get started. It's also knit in one piece so it will be a good project going into cooler weather.

In other crafty news, I managed to do some spinning these last few weekends. Not much since I'm still nursing my bum heel. But the foot is improving and I've gotten the hang of single treadle spinning so some progress was made. This was spun from a merino silk batt that Jen custom blended for me. I'm calling the color Enchanted sky because that is exactly what it reminds me of. Spinning the fiber is heavenly. It practically spins itself. The silk leaves tiny white slubs occassionally like little bits of cloud stuck in the sky. Fantastic. I've got a bunch more to spin and then it will be knit into something special.

I'm still jonesing on the perfume oils. Everyone is starting to come out with their fall scents. I picked up 4 from Pixie Potions (Witches Brew, Winter Solstice, Ultra Violet and Sleepy Hollow). The service was terrible (took forever to arrive), but the scents are fantastic. I got in on a decant circle for the Hal
loweenie scents from BPAL (Samhain and Fearful Pleasure). Most of the scents didn't sound all that appealing to me so I definitely didn't want bottles of any of them. Those will take a while to arrive, but at least I knew that up front. I also tried some sample sets from Velvet Moon Bathery (Evening Shadows and Momento Mori). She has a very gothic style. Everything labeled in black. The scents are all strong and rich. But none has grabbed me that I need a bottle. Midsummer Muse is hinting there's a big announcement on the horizon (I speculate she's moving from Etsy to her own webstore) and that her fall scents will be out next weekend. SQUEE!! I did snap up a bottle of Guinevere since she alluded to some scents disappearing and I would be crushed if I didn't have a bottle of that one. And I'm still anxiously awaiting the Possets fall scents. There's been a lot of chatter on the boards about what might be in store. Alas, she said they won't be out until mid-September. Ugh!! But that might give my wallet some time to prepare.

To house my ever growing and somewhat unmanageable collection of perfume oils, I made myself a perfume box.
Cigar box painted with acrylic paint.Lined with fabric and cardboard strips covered with fabric and glued in place for dividers. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Hubby loves it, says it looks like a potions box. I tend to agree. And in a way, they are like little potion bottles.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Possets

As you all well know, I'm on an indie perfume kick. Bordering on obsession really. Perfume oils are so much more pleasant than traditional cologne or perfume. The scents are pure and delicate, never harsh or overwhelming. And what's more, they are quite affordable. I've discovered a few more fabulous perfumers these last few weeks and will post about them another day.

Today I want to talk about Possets.


Possets is run by Fabienne Christenson. Her fragrences tend to run towards the sweet and often "foody" end of the spectrum, although she does have more perfumey blends as well. She gives fabulous descriptions for all her scents and there is a lively forum where fans discuss all things Possets. Over there there are user reviews of just about every Possets scent so you can see what others are saying about how a scent smells on them. Fabienne offers the standard 5ml bottles and sample "Possettes" of most of her scents. Her prices are very affordable, service is second to none, and she always tucks a little gift in with every order.

So, this sounds an awful lot like a commercial, doesn't it? Well, it's Possets 2 year anniversary and to celebrate, she's giving away gift certificates for every new referal. If you mention I refered you in your checkout comments, I get a gift certificate. If you refer someone else new and they mention your name in the comments, you get a gift certificate. And on and on. You can refer as many people as you like, however a new customer can only list one name as their referer. You need to mention the referers real name (I'm not listing my full name here, if you need it, please email me at peacecat30 AT yahoo DOT com).
If you need help picking a scent, let me know and I'll be happy to help you decide (although you really can't go wrong with any of them). Much as I would love to earn some GCs, I would also love for people just to find out about Possets and share the sniffy goodness. But be warned, once you try perfume oils, you'll never want to go back to standard perfume again!!

This ends our commercial inturruption.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pile of Potential

Thanks to my new dedication to getting healthy, I've been spending an hour a day on the stationary bike. To get myself through this monotonous task, I knit. Mostly socks because they are small and don't get in the way. But, let me tell you, I'm getting seriously burned out on socks. This summer I made the Darvoset and Twilight socks and have 2 other pairs of socks 3/4 done. I think my problem was to get too many pairs of socks going at one time. I do like to always have a pair of socks going so I have easy knitting to pick up at any time, but I let it get a little out of hand. Now I'm burned out and am having trouble getting motivated to finish these up. So I decided to give myself some enticement...Here is my fall knitting queue. A pile of potential just itching to get on the needles. The white yarn is for Savannah, the purple Country yarn is for Flyingdales, the pastel yarn in the front is my own handspun for the Narragansett Bay Hat from A Fine Fleece and finally the STR Raven yarn from last fall for a pair of mittens. These are all projects I am dieing to get going, but am determined to finish up some of the current WIPs first. In addition to the socks, I've got mom's scarf (now in it's 4th incarnation, but this time it's working so there's a decent chance I'll finish it this time), Milan is still slogging away (I'm working the Spur stitch panel which requires a fair amount of attention on my part so it doesn't get picked up much.) I had stared a Baby Surprise Jacket, but it wasn't working at all so I wisely ripped it back and set the yarn aside to eventually knit into one of the sweater patterns that came with it. My goal is to finish up the socks by Labor day and switch to mittens for my mindless knitting for the fall. When Milan is finished I'll start one of the sweaters, I may have to flip a coin, I want them both very much. When I finish the scarf, the hat goes on. I'm hoping this plan will give me encouragement to finish all the projects. We'll see how well this plan works!

Monday, August 04, 2008

My new favorite website

If you think this is funny...

cat
more cat pictures

or this...

cat
more cat pictures

here's one for the knitters...

cat
more cat pictures

one for the dog lovers (and HP fans too)

dog
see more dog pictures

I could lose HOURS on this site. Click here now. Be entertained.