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Archive for the ‘EtsyFAST Challenges’ Category

Trading Yarns and a Pin

In EtsyFAST Challenges, stash on January 15, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Last week, I decided to partake in a Yarn Swap.

It was so much fun! I went shopping in my yarn stash and stuffed the largest box I could find with wool, cotton and rayon. All those little balls of leftover yarn I had been collecting for years were sent off to somebody who would use them. I was left with room-to-grow space. Oh, it felt so good.

Two days ago I received a box from my swap partner, Susan of Loom It and Made 4 You by Susan.

So much for all that room-to-grow space. Such a pity.

Most are in colors that I would never buy for myself. I love blues and browns a bit too much and my stash has suffered from my lack of imagination. These yarns will spruce things up a bit.

Speaking of breathing new life into something, I finally rescued a fiber ACEO, miniature art card, I had made over a year ago. It had been languishing in my craft drawer.

Last night, I stitched a pin clasp to the back of the ACEO.

Voila. Instant pin. I plan to wear it on Saturday when I attend (and teach at!) the Pottstown Knit Out.
The nervousness is starting to set in again. I’m going to go practice in front of the mirror now.

Sore Wrist, but Worth It

In EtsyFAST Challenges, jake, Quilts on August 28, 2007 at 10:47 am

My wrist is sore from knitting constantly the past 2 days. I knit on the drive to and fro the baseball game on Sunday.

Then, I knit on the train ride to and fro Center City yesterday. Plus, let’s not forget the hour and a half of waiting for the darn train to just show up. So, I knit to keep myself from going spastic. I can only take so much of sitting and waiting. So much = approx 5 minutes. I have the patience of a tasmanian devil when it comes to waiting.

Yet, I am pleased to say all that knitting paid off. My Big Dipper Scarf is completed! As you may recall, this scarf was knit for EtsyFAST’s August Celestial Challenge. However, I won’t be selling the scarf in my Etsy store. There are 3 mistakes in the pattern. I have no desire to rip out 6 inches of knitting to fix any of these mistakes. Nor am I willing to mark the scarf down in price. So instead, I have decided to keep it for me. It will make a perfect biking scarf in the winter. It is extra thick thanks to the double knitting technique, so it should keep me warm when the 20F winds are whipping against me. Besides, I’m worth it and I don’t rightly care about the silly mistakes!

I should have completed more knitting over the weekend though. Saturday was also supposed to spent traveling to and fro a Phillies game. But, the weather was so stifling that we called it off. Instead, I stayed home (inside!) and started on my baby quilt. I finished the middle square. Can you tell what letter it is?

While working on my quilt, Jake waited patiently (his patience is about on par with mine) while I finished cutting all the squares out. Which is a nice way of saying that Jake whined constantly until I got up and took him outside. It spoils him, but I can’t help myself. He’s so darn cute!

Little to Show For

In Christmas Tree Skirt, EtsyFAST Challenges, Quilts on August 24, 2007 at 4:42 pm

I’ve been knitting several hours every day. Yet, I feel like I am not making any progress on my Big Dipper Scarf. I am convinced that after I knit several rows someone comes behind me and rips out the very same rows. It’s downright wicked behavior. If I catch who’s doing it, I’m going to draw and quarter them!


So, I need some quilting advice.

I was so proud of myself for attaching the binding fabric.

OK, I’ll admit it: I cheated. I went to Wal-mart and bought the pre-made quilting binding strips. It matched my quilt fabric perfectly and it saved me from having to make binding strips. I was sold! I attached it the same way I would have it the strips were home-made. I left the binding folded in half, lined up the open ends with the quilt edge and stitched with a 1/4 seam.

What is the problem you ask? Well, as you can see there is not enough fabric to wrap over the 1/4 seam and attach to the back. I don’t know what to do. Do I rip it all out? What is the proper way to attach it?

Onto the good news of the day:

  • I sold my 1st pattern on The Knitting Vault.
  • I am now listed as a designer on Ravelry. I have only added information on my Lucky Drawstring Purse and my Vase Cozy. I hope to add more patterns next week.
  • My entire weekend is going to be spent watching baseball. I am attending the Phillies games on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Naturally Spun sent me a picture of the Christmas Yarn. You see it here laid out to dry. The dye has set and it will be ready to spin soon. The amazing part of the spinning process is that she will be doing all of it on a drop spindle! I told her that she had the patience of a saint.

Jersey Shore

In EtsyFAST Challenges, Vacation on August 20, 2007 at 11:51 am

On the 2.5 hour drive down to Seaside Heights, I knit on my Mystery Project, the one that is being submitted for publication. There are some people who can’t knit and drink alcohol at the same time. There are others who don’t recommend knitting while tired. I apparantly can’t knit and talk at the same time. Half of what I knit on the drive to Seaside Heights had to be ripped out because I missed 2 rows in the repeat. It wasn’t a mistake that only a fellow knitter would notice. It was the kind of mistake a child could pick out. Mutter.

I do have good news to share about my Mystery Project. My MIL found more yarn for it! What a sigh of relief. I can stop biting my nails now and just relax. I’ll have more than enough yarn to finish now.

As promised, here are some pictures of the trip.

Me playing Bubble Hockey with Hubby (Hubby took pic)

The view from the Sky Ride

A swarm of seagulls picking up tossed pizza crust

Over the weekend, I made some progress on the Big Dipper Scarf. It is now 15 inches long. I only have 45 more inches to knit.

Did I mention how much more slowly it is to double knit? I feel like the Little Engine That Could. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

I also made a sleeve for the Chili Pepper quilt and attached the binding to the front of the quilt. The rest has to be done by hand: the attaching of the binding to the back of the quilt and the attaching of the sleeve to the back of the quilt. As the quilt is “virtually done”, I can move onto the baby quilt. Woo!

First Pattern on The Knitting Vault

In EtsyFAST Challenges on August 18, 2007 at 7:31 am
My knitting pattern for the Lucky Drawstring Purse can be found at both my Etsy store and at The Knitting Vault.

Have you heard of the Knitting Vault? It is a collection of Knitting and Crochet patterns. All the patterns are searchable by Designer, Category, Yarn Weight, Skill Level, and Keywords. I am pleased as punch to be a part of such a collection.

Regarding my submission for the August Challenge by EtsyFAST, Tracie was right! The beads are supposed to resemble the Big Dipper. When it is all said and done, it will be a Big Dipper Scarf. And it will be a very warm scarf at that, thanks to the double knitting.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Hubby down at the Jersey Shore. We had a lovely time bouncing from arcade to arcade, playing air hockey, bubble hockey and skeeball. I’ll post pictures on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

The August Challenge by EtsyFAST

In EtsyFAST Challenges, Mother-in-law on August 16, 2007 at 11:23 am

EtsyFAST challenged all its members this month to create fiber art items with a celestial theme.

I have cast on for my contribution.

Can you tell what it is?


Hubby guessed right, but I told him in advance what it was going to be. So, I don’t think that counts.


As you can see from the back-side, it is being knitted with a technique called double knitting. I love this technique because both sides look the same. On the flip side, it takes twice as long to knit an inch than it would if I would just knit it “plain”. Well, I suppose that is what I get for trying to be fancy. Hopefully, I’ll get it finished before this month is out.

More knitting news: I am steadily working on my Mystery project. Because I am certain to run out of yarn before I finish, I have the Best MIL in the World hunting down more yarn. You see, I purchased the yarn from her favorite store in Maine. And I can’t find it down here. I’ve looked everywhere – even on the web! Ackk! So I called her in a panic (I don’t sound panicky, do I?) and she said she wouldn’t mind tracking it down. It would give her an excuse to go yarn shopping. I think she’s wonderful!

Vase Cozy to Hide the Lack of Flowers

In EtsyFAST Challenges, Vacation on July 18, 2007 at 4:09 pm

It took 2 tries, but I finally got it right.

A Vase Cozy
when flowers just aren’t enough

The trick is to make the cozy a little bit longer than you actually want it. The extra length will be used up in the curves of the vase.

Right now, I am working on writing up the accompanying pattern. I have the pattern completed if you wanted to knit it the way I did: on straight needles. But, I’m a rare one and prefer to seam rather than knit on double pointed needles. Most people would sell their pets or significant others or whatever else is nearby and handy before volunteering to seam anything. So, I want to include instructions to knit in the round so they can keep their husbands/wives and pets nearby. The goal is to finish it tonight and post it tomorrow morning. Otherwise, it won’t get posted until Monday because I am going on vacation!

I haven’t taken a vacation since … well … I’m not sure. I just checked my pda. Last year, June 18th through the 24th, my sister and her 2 kids visited. We haven’t been on vacation since. This will be my first time away from Jake (4-year-old golden retriever). Thankfully, we found a wonderful pet sitter in the area. She is going to spoil him rotten; I just know it!

So, where are we going? Cooperstown, NY! Upon arriving, we will stop by the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a must-see! On Saturday, we are attending a brewfest. And not just any brewfest, but the premier Belgium-style brewfest hosted by Ommegang. It is the best Belgium-style brewfest in the States. Last year, the ladies were not invited, since the gents attended in honor of a Bachelor party. This year, we’re coming. There will be no running around the campfire with the shirts off this year. Poor boys. I don’t know how they are going to make it through.

I will be away from Friday, July 20th through Sunday, July 22nd. I will return with pictures galore!

Quilt Progress and Vase Cozie backwards progress

In AWHF Shawl, EtsyFAST Challenges, Quilts on July 16, 2007 at 1:11 pm
Saturday, I spent the afternoon finishing up the Vase Cozie I am making for the EtsyFAST’s July Challenge. Then, not only did I manage to seam the cozie together inside out, but I also realized that I made it several inches too short. So, I’m back to the halfway point. It seems as if I didn’t accomplish anything. Although, I have learned another valuable lesson: it takes more yardage to cover curved areas when making a snug cozie. So, don’t look for the cozie in my Etsy store today. It’s not there. It’s still on the needles.

Saturday night, I went with my husband to see a live MMA show by BoDog fight in Trenton, New Jersey. No, he didn’t drag me to see it. I really like to watch the shows with him (so long as there isn’t any blood involved). We watch, UFC, BoDog, and IFC at home all the time. This was our first time watching a live show. The fight card listed 9 fights. There ended up being 10 fights. Some were amazing, such as the Women’s Title and the Lightweight fight of Masvidal vs. Edwards. Masvidal ended up spraining/breaking (?) his ankle in an amazing kick to Edward’s head – dropping Edward’s to the ground. Which leads me to my 1st of 2 complaints: no instant replay. The 2nd complaint: it was way too long of a show. We got there at 7:30 pm and didn’t leave until 1:30 am.

I woke up normal time on Sunday, since Jake won’t let me sleep in. He has tags on his collar that jingle. So, the trick is to walk heavily on his feet, jingling his tags, until somebody gets up – normally me. He’s lucky he’s so cute!

Sunday I spent the afternoon quilting. Here is what I accomplished:

Lots of ironing! Plus, the 28 blocks are halfway completed. The squares are just as they look – awfully small at only 1 inch. It has made piecing them together a bit of a pain, but the sewing goes quicker. Once the blocks are completely done, I’ll move onto the triangles. I’m only slightly nervous about that step.

More knitting news: I cast on for the mystery project and for the AWHF Shawl. I am nervous about my measurements for the mystery project. I measured the gauge several times before ripping it out to get the estimate yardage needed for the whole project. I am now having a anxiety attack about the gauge. I think I am going to knit the gauge back up, wash it, and block it just so I can double check my measurements. The last thing I want to do is knit the whole project only to realize that my measurements were off ever so slightly. The shawl is going much better. I’ll post a picture later this week of my progress.

Happy Knitting, All!

Stringing Beads and EtsyFAST July Challenge

In AWHF Shawl, EtsyFAST Challenges on July 12, 2007 at 3:57 pm

I don’t know how many beads I strung last night, but here’s hoping I strung enough. I don’t think I realized how tedious a simple, little task could be. I even tried to bribe my husband into it. He just laughed at my pain. Although in his defense, he did bring me a glass of port.

The good news: I am ready to cast on and begin the Alpacas at White Horse Farm shawl. I suppose it was worth it. Well, two hours of stringing beads does seem a steep toll, but the memory is already fading as I write this. Why I might even trick myself and become excited the next time I have to string beads, assuming that I don’t try it for another year.

Once I had all the beading I could take, which in fact ended sooner than it ought to have with the alpaca wool objecting & snapping to the strain of so many beads being yanked onto it, I started the EtsyFAST’s July Challenge. This month the challenge allows much more artistic freedom than last month’s challenge (Create an ACEO). The only guildelines are for EtsyFAST members to submit merchandise with a Flower & Garden theme. I decided to make a vase cozie.

It is halfway completed. I will be submitting both the finished product and the knitting pattern via my Etsy store. Although I haven’t finished writing up the pattern (much is being written as I knit – my favorite way to design), I am fairly confident that the pattern’s recommended skill level will be at Easy. The technique used to knit the cozie, woven ribbing, and the shaping required for it to fit the vase snugly will keep it from being at the beginner’s level. I hope to have everything completed by Monday of next week.

ACEO Challenge – Take 2

In EtsyFAST Challenges on June 20, 2007 at 2:39 pm

As mentioned earlier this month, EtsyFAST challenged all its members to create a Fiber ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals).

I am much happier with my second try at an ACEO. My first attempt came out very muted; the colors blended a bit too well.

Determined to create an ACEO that I would be proud of, I decided to try again. This time I cheated (by adding a ribbon rose … I don’t know that it falls within the “fiber” rules). I think it is better for it though.


The ribbon rose was made by me. (It’s a folded rose, tucked in half to lay a bit flatter than it normally would). The background was knitted in a herringbone pattern with rayon yarn, taken from my leftover stash. The ACEO was then hand tacked to a piece of felt to provide some stability.

I must say I enjoy making these ACEO’s, though this will be my last. They are quick to make thanks to their small size (3.5 inches by 2.5 inches).

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