Thursday, June 28, 2012

Winner, Wingspan Finale

I decided to draw one name to make one happy fiber artist, and the name was Denise who blogs at Voie de Vie. Denise, I will get in touch with you shortly.

Project:  Wingspan
Pattern Wingspan by maylin Tri'Coterie Designs, Ravelry free download 
Yarn:  Kauni 8/2 wool, about sports weight, purchase at Stitches West 2011 
Yardage 437.4 yards (400 meters) 
Needles: Size 6
Cast onApril 19, 2012
Cast off: June 20, 2012
Cost: $28
Previous Entryhere
Notes: This is my foray into popular pattern territory. I liked the pattern as soon as I saw it, asked my friends on Facebook if anyone else wanted to knit it, started a Knit-along group on Ravelry, which now has 280 members. It took me two months on and off to finish it, because it's all garter stitch and became my carry around project. I did forget to cast on the 16 stitches at the beginning on each triangle, which took a little time to fix as well. I ran out of yarn with less than 40 stitches left to cast off, but you can't tell I used a different yarn to finish the job.
end of Kauni
Happy Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blogTami's blog, and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

500! And A Giveaway

This is my 500th post on this blog, which started April 2006, and I'm showing a few pictures from that era. The blog started as a collection of my random thoughts, to reflect bits and pieces of my past and current lives. Over the years, other contents slowly filtered out and knitting stayed. Now Fiber Arts Friday keeps me and my knitting organized, and I'm grateful for all the friends I met through the blog, Ravelry, knitting, dogs, and life.

Bucky was 10

Trinket was 11

Frode by Elsebeth Lavold

Henry was 6

Now the fun part. The GIVEAWAY! Since the blog has been around for awhile, and I have been using this format for awhile, I'm thinking about making some changes. Last time I picked a new template I spent days editing older posts. I hope this time it will be less painful. I want to hear from you in the comments: is there something in particular you like about this blog, either content or format; is there an entry you particularly like; any tips and tricks you want to offer.

A few guidelines:
1. Entry starts when this post is published, and ends next Thursday June 28 at noon California time (PDT).
2. Each comment generates an entry, unless otherwise specified, namely for Ravelry China group since some members can't access Blogger thanks to the Great Fire Wall.
3. Please have something concrete to say in your comment. Just telling me "Nice blog" so you can have an entry would not count.
4. Leave your Ravelry ID or email address in the comment, and the country you live in if not US. If we are Ravelry friends most likely I will be able to find you.
5. Prizes include yarns, books, magazines, patterns and possibly more. Sorry I didn't have a chance to take pictures, but I do have things set aside for this giveaway, I promise. I have been knitting and stashing for a long time, there is plenty of good stuff to go around.
6. Drawing will take place next Thursday afternoon.
7. One, two, or three names will be picked, and I will decide what to send you based on how well I know you and your geographical distance. 
8. Winner(s) will be announced in next Friday's entry.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Got My Very Own Mannequin!

I have been looking for a mannequin for a long time. I need something that I can hang my knitting on, play with lights and draping, and generally treat it like a doll that I never had. So when my friend Hollis, who used to own Full Thread Ahead in Los Altos, posted on Facebook about her upcoming destash of store supplies, I immediately jumped on it.

Here we are, properly dressed and accessorized. Now I don't have to hand the camera to one of the guys and hope he'd be in the mood to follow directions.

wrap her any way I like
See the purple skirt in the first two pictures? I used to fit in it, and it's too small to button up on the mannequin. I used to be smaller than the mannequin! I don't even want to think about how my skirts fit on her now.

This post is my 499th post on this blog, so next week will be my 500th. I started the blog a little over six years ago. Over the years a lot have changed, the group of friends that started blogging with me have mostly fallen apart. But I have met many new friends through this blog, and I want to celebrate with a giveaway. I have never done a giveaway before, and I'm contemplating what's the best way to do it. If you have ideas, suggestions, warnings, do tell me.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment! 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Project Planning -- Nightsong, London

Project planning process:
1. Shop the stash. Most of my stash lives in my closet, tightly packed into plastic bins. Shopping means peel off the top layer, set it aside, grab something from the first box, "Oh, this is so pretty, I GOT to make something with it!"
2. Search Ravelry patterns. Go to advanced search, filter down to what I have in my library (I've loaded all my books, magazines and some booklets in the library), the right yardage, weight, and sometimes type of garment I have in mind.
3. Find the hard copy pattern, read through it if I'm in the mood, put the yarn with the pattern, see if they look right together.
4. Look again a few days later. Many a times they disagree, start over from #2.
5. When there are no good options in the library, change the filter to free patterns.
6. Repeat every few days until I get tired of the yarn, put it back to the box, start over from #1.

So you see, this is very unscientific, time consuming process. I argue that I get good "play time" out of the yarn and pattern books, so it's time and money well spent.  And I learned to appreciate a perfect match when the right yarn speaks up for the right project.

Next up, Nightsong, a free pattern on Ravelry, in Ellen's Half Pint sock yarn.

The complicated lace will be so much fun to knit.

London Olympics will be lightening up in less than two months. In 2008 I knitted Chinese Red Vest for Beijing Olympics (sports weight yarn on size 4 needles), it was a nice challenge. This time I will be knitting with the China Group on Ravelry, Team Made in China.

I plan to knit Elizabeth of York from Tutor Roses, using alpaca yarn wound off a big cone. At least that's the plan for now, but remember how that planning process goes, so don't quote me on it.

Thanks to Ally's inspiration, I made some pulled pork sandwiches the other day. Around here there is never enough pulled pork sandwiches! Whatever I make the guys gobble it all up like hungry wolves. I use Chinese steamed buns (from the freezer section), so they are a bit like steamed BBQ buns too.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday! Join the party on Andrea's blog and leave me a comment!