Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Camp Loopy - Bluebirds and Sheep

The bluebirds of happiness visited me this morning early at "camp." I cast off the edging section and stood back to admire my work that I had thrown around my shoulders.

Now, all I have left to do is weave in the ends, block and photo this one for successful admission to the Loopy Gallery as finished first camp project. Yay! Even my sheepy assistant thinks it looks great.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Projects - Where are the New Projects?

I am happy to be making great progress on finishing my UFOs however I am getting itchy to start a new project. Right now the Cafe Capelet is calling to me. I have to keep reminding myself to stick to the plan.

My goal will be to use that project as my carrot this next month so I can start it as soon as I get the last required UFO completed.

The other new project(s) I have to start and complete are for the Knit A Thon that is going on the middle of July. I want to be able to give them a couple completed Moebius Cowls knit out of the bulky yarn for their upcoming fundraiser this fall. Then I will plan to knit one at the event as well.

I have all the yarns gathered up and the needles in a findable bag. I may actually get a couple done this weekend while I "camp out" since my Camp Loopy project is nearly completed.

Ah, so many things to knit and so little time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - May/June Update

I finished the May/June socks today.  They turned out beautifully and I really like this pattern. I will be using it again.

It is the Wollmeise Sock by Monica Jines, a free pattern at Sheri's Loopy Ewe blog. I knit them out of Socks that Rock in Lemongrass, a skein I was gifted by CatWithCats.

She is doing the same pair with me as a KAL and I understand so are some of her knit buddies in Denver because they fell in love with the pattern as well.

I hope to see finished projects from there as well, soon.

Happy finishing to all~!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

UFO Update: Felted Clogs - Done

The felted clogs for my mom are in the washer being felted (or fulled if you prefer) as we speak.

Pedro inspected them from afar when the assembly was completed. He did not realize that they would hold fish.

I hope she likes them when they are done. Even if they are a little too warm to wear at this time of year.

I hope everyone is finding satisfaction in finishing their projects~! I know I feel much better seeing the UFO project basket get emptier.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Camp Project Update: Sunshine

Dear Camp Journal;

This is a great knit. The pattern, Skewed Shawl, is easy to follow, once you get past the lifted bar make one purl that seems so foreign. And, in this knit, you get lots of practice on it.

The colors I chose are very dark, so photoing outdoors is really the only way to show this off. It makes me think of something I would see in True Blood, another of my favorite TV shows.

I am  now halfway finished with the bottom ruffle section, of course I think this was the shorter side and it looks like I am going to make the July 15th deadline for this first Camp Loopy project.

Off to look for s'more ingredients~!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Arrival to the Blog

Monsters have come to the blog. Some of you have asked about the monsters and if there is a pattern for them.

Well, not exactly a pattern, it is more like a recipe, or a concept, or guidelines, if you like.

The pattern is now loaded as a PDF and is free to my readers. See the link at the top left of the page.

I hope everyone enjoys making monsters of their own.

Monday, June 20, 2011

On the Go: Travel Games

I ran across an article in the PopUp Times magazine that had some great ideas for travel games to play with the kids or the adults in your travelling party. I would like to share them here with all my readers.

1. Slug Bug: This game can be played without the slugging, mind you.  The objective is to accumulate points over a specified amount of time by sighting a specified object, normally a certain type of car. In the example they used VW Beetles (Bugs) and PT Cruisers (Cruisers). I think that you can make up your own version and set the point values accordingly.

2. License Plate Games: There are several versions of this game, the most common is counting license plates from certain states or who can see the most plates from different states. You can use a checklist system to check off the ones you have spotted or you can go through the alphabet. Once you have seen a state that starts with A you move on to the next letter. Another fun version is to make up words with the letters from the license. The words have to use the letters or must be in the order of the letters on the plate, such as BUS could be business, bust, bustling, busy, etc.

3. Scavenger hunt: First, you have to come up with a list of items that you expect to see along the way. Then there are points assigned for each item spotted, first one to see it gets the highest value awarded.

4. Cow Poker: This one is played in teams one either side of the car. Each sighting is the total of cows spotted. There can be things that will cancel out the cow spotting, like a cemetery or a butcher shop, and some random extra points for lone chimneys, a black horse, ice cream truck and the like. These things and points should be decided before the game starts.

When my folks and I go on a road trip, mom and I spot license plates and then try to come up with the state bird or flower. After our long drive back from GA a couple years ago, we had gotten pretty good at those so now have to find another state related item to learn.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

UFO Update: Two of Four for June - Finished!

I think that taking on the camp project really got me motivated to get these UFOs done. I finished my Summer Cardi this weekend and I blocked and trimmed the shawl for my mom today. I received the blocking mats and pins on Thursday and had to wait for a day I was home and could lock the cat out of the bedroom so he could not pull the pins out of the work.

I feel pretty good to have these two finished and still have time to get the others that are on tap for June done also.

As an aside, we are under a WINTER Storm Warning as of midnight tonight and into noon tomorrow. They are calling for Thunder Snow Squalls the day before the start of summer. How fun is that~!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Camp Project Update: Fresh Air

Dear Camp Journal,

By the end of this week, I am happy to report that I have 12 repeats out of 15 done on the Skewed Shawl. It is looking very nice and is a lot of fun to knit.

As pictured, Little Loopy and his camping buddy think it is fun to go to the woods and anticipate camping in the newly repaired popup. I think there will be knitting in the camper coming up soon. And, thanks to Sheri at the Loopy Ewe blog, we have a new s'more recipe to try out soon.

I hope everyone is having a great time planning their summer projects~!

L'il Loopy and friend visit Belinda in a future camping spot. They are sitting on the Skewed Shawl main color section in MadToshDK in Thunderstorm.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - May/June Update

I am to this point with the second sock for the May/now into June sock.

I really like this pattern - Wollmeise Sock by Monica Jines. I found it free at the Loopy Ewe blog site. It adds just a little texture which makes the yarn really pop.

The adjustments I made to the pattern have worked for me. I have high hopes to get this one off the needles by the end of next week.

Then it is back to the sock box to pick out one for July.

I hope everyone has great projects to keep their minds jumping and their fingers working~!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Camp Project Update: Let the Games Begin

Dear Camp Journal;

This morning I got very early in Cabin 2 (that is where the Greet the Day group is staying - sounds like a cult, doesn't it?) and cast on my Skewed Shawl pattern. I was able to get 2 repeats done before I had to start the rest of my day. Loopy and a friend joined me to show off the beginning, the piece sort of looks like a tent.

I am knitting this out of Madeline Tosh DK in Thunderstorm and Black Currant. It took about six tries to get a gauge that is close enough to the one suggested. As the pattern mentions, gauge is not usually important for shawls however for this one it does matter if you want the size of the finished project.

In preparation for this first project, like packing to go to camp, I printed my pattern and read it through, wound the main color skein as soon as it arrived, found my needles and did a test swatch over three needle sizes until I reached the conclusion that it was going to be on 9US needles. I also familiarized myself with the garter tab technique of starting this particular shawl. That required hunting around for a video on the technique and watching a couple different versions, then reading the description again in the pattern.

Then I put it in my new Loopy Ewe project bag and set it near my knitting chair since I could not cast it on until this AM, June 15th.

So, this morning as I am getting through the garter tab cast on and set up row, I realized that I needed at least two stitch markers (more like four). So I had to hunt around in my sock knitting bag for the markers, found them and off we go. Then I decided that I would be happier if I typed the Shawl Body instructions into a document so I can use my highlighter tape and not try to read it in paragraph format. This pattern gives me the initial impression that I will not easily memorize it, so this will make it easier to follow.

Once I got all those things done I got back to the knitting. Note for future camp projects: gather all the supplies before cast on day and don't forget to put your name in your underwear. Happy Camping to All~!

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's Official: I'm A Loopie Groupie

I am so excited. With my order of yarn for Camp Loopy project one, I became a Loopie Groupie.

I'm a Loopie Groupie - I sang that little ditty all the way home today after I opened the package.

My order came with a project bag, a Romney Farms calendar, some candy, and the exclusive sock pattern for LGs with some Loopy Ewe sock yarn in Memories of Oregon. It was just like Christmas opening this box when all I expected to find was three skeins of Madeline Tosh yarn to make a shawl.

I hope everyone had a great Monday!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

UFO Update: The Plan

I have gathered all my known UFOs and now have a plan to get them finished.

The summer will be filled with knitting and some of it will be new knitting, like the Camp Loopy projects, and my self-imposed sock club.

So, here is my plan, forJune, July and August: I will have two house projects going at a time and will split my available knitting time between the Camp Loopy Camp project and a UFO. Then I will have a car project that is whatever sock project is going on for the month.

I hope to finish two UFOs a month because most of them are past the halfway point. Watch for weekly postings on the progress.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Birth of a Monster

Let's all say a resounding Happy Birthday, Elphabina! She was born today at 6:58 a.m. when her momma glued her feet on her, the last step in her creation.

She as incepted on April 1st at the Mystery Knit in Buena Vista, the first night of our knitting retreat.

She is absolutely adorable and her momma could not be prouder of her offspring.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Camp Loopy - No Bugs

For more information, click HERE

I have convinced myself that I should go to camp this year. It involves in no travel (darn), no bug spray and no tents or camping fees, according to the Head Counselor Sheri at the Loopy Ewe.

What a fun way to knit some things this summer where there is a group on Ravelry to share camp stories and possibly create some new s'mores recipes. Yummy!

There were some rules and deadlines to meet, which I managed to do this evening as soon as I got home. I ordered my yarn for the two color shawl that I will be knitting. I chose the Skewed Shawl  and ordered Madeline Tosh DK for my first camp project. I hope the colors I chose are as yummy as they looked online.

The project cannot be started until June 15th and must be finished by July 15th and a picture posted to the Loopy Gallery on or before July 17th to be in accordance with the rules. Obviously this goes against my first version of my finishing plan and my only two projects at a time rule. Oh well, it's summertime and the living is fine, or something like that.

I guess I will be reviewing my UFO roundup-finishing schedule. I will report back when I have a new plan to share.
My goal will be to post a weekly progress update on the camp project and post any camp worthy, fun ideas or suggestions for camping as I think of them. I also hope to work on the project while camping in Belinda at least once this month. I think that adds to the fun and photo opps for Little Loopy.

Thanks, Sheri, for coming up with a fun way to spend my summer. You da Bomb!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Is It Time For a De-Stash?

And, if so, what? I have four buckets of acyrlic that I would like to say good-bye to however --- I am one who likes to test a pattern on something cheap, errr less expensive. 

When I go through my yarn I usually look at it for what projects can I do with this. And for the last couple years I have been trying only to buy things that I have a project in mind for. Then I bring it home and package it with the pattern so I remember later what I am going to do with it. That helps me keep the stash under control.

I do have some yarns that have been gifted to me and remain in the bags they came in so I can review them later to match up with patterns.

So this summer I am going to go through my stash with a fine tooth comb and reduce what I can to the local church to knit up things for the homeless. And I am going to knit up some things that will be sold at an annual fundraising Christmas Boutique in Teller County to raise money for teens in life-altering situations. I think that will be a fine use of time and yarn.

So, until then, realize that my stash is in transition, again.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

UFO RoundUp

The first step finishing the UFOs is to round them up.

I have a new collapsible basket I found at WalMart that I am going to use as my UFO corral. It sits next to my knitting chair in a prominent position so I cannot forget what it holds.

Currently I have the Summer Cardi, a pair of Felted Clogs and the Baby Surprise Jacket, all projects that now need to be finished because the classes are finished.

For the Summer Cardi, I just have sleeves to finish. The Felted Clogs need to be assembled and felted. And the Baby Surprise Jacket is about 25 rows away from the bind off.

Then I have the Mother's Day gift that needs a few more repeats and I will be ready to do the fancy crocheted bind off. This one is not for photos yet, since it is still mostly a surpise. More on it later.

I also have dug up a Spiraluscious cowl and handwarmer project that have been sitting idle for about a year, these are for me and probably got set aside so I could do gifts for others. It will be added to the finishing list.

All in all, I have had a very productive six months so far, I think it is time to finish what I started.

I hope everyone is finding great projects to start or finish~!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Art of Finishing

I found myself violating my own rule of a max of two projects at a time during the month of May. I started my May sock on May 4th, and I started a Mother's Day gift on May 1st with high hopes to finish each project by the obvious deadlines.

I failed and I also now have 6 active projects on the needles going into the month of June. Egads!

I can say that my class planning was partly to blame however I have three nearly finished projects that acted as demos for class and will be two gifts, and a new sweater for me this summer. So all good and productive.

I also did an impulse knit of the Simple Vest by Lion Brand and have had many compliments on the finished project. So all of my hard work of managing this many projects has not all been in vain.

Now I am on a schedule to finish all of these that I can before the end of June. I better press on.