Sunday, December 27, 2015

2+ years since my last post...ooops

If you haven't noticed yet, I'll go ahead and let you know,  I pretty much suck at consistent blogging....well blogging period. Not new news to me since I pretty much sucked at keeping a diary, journal, etc.  But I am great at doing other types of documentation...go figure. Honestly, I do think about blogging a lot. Quite often, I have a great post swirling in my head, unfortunately, there are lots of other things swirling around in my head at the same time and the great blog posts never make it to my blog.

Hmmmm, what was my last post about? Oh yeah, that great idea to do 13 in 13 which somehow became 39 projects.  Didn't happen. I did manage to go through every single magazine, book and pattern, which is what prompted the mission impossible goal in the first place. I did get about 15 (some rather large projects done) so it was not a complete bust. I am quite more conservative in my goals now.

But I need to update you on all of my fiber fun. Let's see, just a few years ago, I was just learning to crochet and knit. These days, I dye, spin and weave as well. There is not fiber activity that I won't take on....except dealing with raw fleece. I'll get into my weird quirks that prevent me from diving into that in a later post.

I won't promise to blog on a regular basis, but I will give it my best to at least do a monthly post.  Really I will give it my best.

Talk to you later.  Krapht On!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I don't wanna grow up...

You know all of the grown up duties are getting in the way of my fiber fun.  The 13 in 2013 is of to a slow start...a very slow start.  Now I can't blame it all on the grown-up duties completely, but they sure do suck up a lot of time.   Add in issues like dyelot maddness and chipping needles and my goals for January are shot right out the window.

On the chipping needles issue, Knit Picks got the package out to FedEx quickly. But the package has been handed over to the post office. {sigh}For the 3 months, I and several others in my area have had problems getting packages delivered by the post office. All other carriers come in a timely manner, but the post office...grrrr.   I had one package sent by my parents who live in the western part of the state about 220 miles away, out in limbo with them for over 2 weeks before I got it.  My last Knits Picks order from Black Friday decided to go on a tour of the mid-south before getting to me, 5 days later than it should have.  Other packages have been left in odd places with odd people (well not odd people, don't know why the post office takes it up on themselves to leave my packages with neighbors without my permission or without even leaving a notice that they've done so. Teens really don't care when a package arrives that's not for them.  They sometimes may delay before letting anyone know "hey a package arrived that should have gone to so.)  Whoo...ok mini rant over.  Need-less to say, I didn't get over to a craft store or LYS this weekend, so the clutch is on hold until the new needles get here.  I could go up a needle size, but since the sides have to be grafted together, I didn't want the gauge to get wacky.

Since, I only have one complete project two currently on needles, I'm going to have to pick all small...really small and quick projects for February. It looks like Sarai won't happen until March.  But, I'm not down and out by these setbacks.  That's life, things happen.  I can sit and moan over it, or I can move on to the next thing.  And moving on to the next thing is just what I'm gonna do.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chipping away

I am sitting and knitting away on a new 13 in 2013 project...the cute little Downtown Clutch.   Even thought it's offered for free on Ravelry, I'm still counting it since I found it first in my  Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Small Indulgence book :)

Everything is going smooth (it's a really easy knitting project) when the tip of my needle decides it needs to start flaking off some parts. {sigh}  This is the size 4 from my Knit Picks Interchangeables.  I love these needles, but I was not a happy camper. (Not in a boiling mad rage or anything like that, just not happy)



But, people have said that if you call Knit Picks with a problem with one of their needles, they will replace it.  I've had the needles about a year, don't think I've used the size  4s.   But I called anyway.  As always, got a pleasant customer service rep who apologized for the issue and said they would get a needle right out to me...what????

I just love this company.  Not just because they are sending the needle free of charge and not requiring me to return this one,  but their overall desire to provide great customer service to the customer.   This is not the first time I've seen this excellence.

During the Black Friday sales, they got slammed but we fiber fanatics looking for a great deal.  I had questions about my order because it was taking so long.  When I called, the rep was awesome.  I mean not only are they slammed with taking and processing orders, they were slammed with the instant gratification folks like me calling.   I told him take a breather and click on his keyboard like he was really doing some intense work on my request.  He laughed and thanked me for being so patient and for putting a smile on his face. I do know that some people reported getting abrupt or less than helpful reps.  I'm not discounting their experience, but I think the overall CS experience with Knit Picks is positive for most people. If they were a LYS, they'd see me coming though their doors on a regular basis.

But back to my current dilemma, in my excitement of the great customer service, I didn't ask her how long it would take. Oh well, I've filed the tip as smooth as I can get it to finish the row.  I don't have another size 4 circular at home, so looks like I'll have to pick one up in the meantime.

I really should be working on the Dayde Mitts anyway.  This one is not going so well for a number of reasons.  I'll update you how I've been bumbling along on this project.  Casting on and ripping out one mitt 3 times should tell me the chalk it up..but I'm not throwing in the towel yet.



Monday, January 7, 2013

The new tenant might get evicted

My new roomie Marissa might get evicted.

I came home the other night walked down the hallway and flipped on the light switch. I had just stepped into my bedroom door reaching for the light switch when I saw a body standing on the other side of the room.  I froze in fear.  My first thought was to grab scissors, knitting needles or a pen. Then it dawned on me, that it was Marissa the new body form.

Holy crap, she'd better learn to start saying "hey welcome home" before she ends up with some object stuck in her.  It's funny now, but at the time, I immediately went into survival mode.

Here's the really funny part.  Men apparently think differently from women.  I saw a body and thought whole person, he says I would have been more concerned that it was a headless, legless body floating there.  Not much a pair a scissors would do you in that case.  Men really are from Mars. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New tenant

I have a new tenant. Her name is Marissa. She moved in with the  purpose of helping me size items I'm knitting and possibly sewing (rolls eyes a self, like I really am going to start sewing clothes again).

Even though the dress form is listed as adjustable on Amazon, there is no way to mimic your exact body...which is really what you want.  So, Marissa is getting a little help here and there.

{Whispers} Shhhhh...come closer so I can let you in on a little secret  if you haven't noticed yet.  Marrisa is a   much curvier that when she first arrived.  {Looks to the left, then to the right} Yup she's got on a bra.  One of mine, and stuffed {giggles}.  I'm still working on her.  She needs some plumping in the ab area and I've got to figure out how to get much more junk in her trunk.  If I make a sweater or top based on her current shape, I'll never be able to wear it.





I still wonder if I would have been  better off getting a group of friends together, a few bottles of wine and some duct tape and make these body forms.

I figure between the wine and the craziness either they would come out awesome, or we'd be in the emergency room with an explanation starting with "See, what had happened was...".

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dyleot madness

Here I am, just knitting away on my first project.  I began winding the 2nd ball of the Mini Mochi and noticed that things just did not look the same.  I mean the colors were very different.  I grabbed the labels to verify that they were the same colors. And yup all three were color #105.   But the dye lot on one was different.

I didn't verify the dye lots when I purchased them or before I started this project...duh!

What are dye lots, you ask?  Dye lots are used to indicate the batch that the yarn was dyed in.  Why does this matter if you are using the same colors for dyeing. To insure that colors are uniform across the skeins of yarn, they are dyed on batches.   There are many factors that can affect the dying process, such as temperature, dying time, the phases of the moon, the groundhog seeing his shadow...yada, yada, yada.  (When I started dying yarn, I learned this the hard way.) It won't matter if you're making a project that only uses one skein.  But if you are using more skeins, dye lots will be very important to you.

How different are the colors of the skeins I'm using for this project? Have a little peek the picture below, the little fellow on the left is the odd ball dye lot.  That's a huge difference in color from the one on the right.





So what do you do when you have different dye lots?

1. You could try to find additional skeins/balls in the same dye lot.  In my case this would not be worth it. I purchased these over a year ago and the store no longer carries this yarn.  I could start a search on-line.  Ravelry would be a good source. If you are going to find it, the ISO and Destash group would be the best bet.  But this project is just not that serious.

2. You could frog the project.  If I were to consider frogging, I'd rip it out but start over and cast on with fewer stitches, to make the scarf longer. Not in a ripping mode right now.

3. Throw it in that UFO (unfinished object) corner we all tend to have and dread. The corner is not as crowded as it was last year, so I'm not trying to add to it.

4.  Keep going as is and make it work with what you have.

I'm going with #4. I really like this scarf, but not enough to rip it out and start over.  I think the two balls will be enough for a short scarf that wraps nicely around the neck.  Once finished, I'll figure out how to wear it to make it look it's best, despite the fact that it is shorter than originally planned.

Oh well, things happen, life goes on and so do my knitting needles.

Toodles!



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Project 1 of 13(actually 39) in 2013


And we're off!

My first project of 2013 is The Erika Scarf  from Sock Yarn On-Skein Wonders by Judith Durant. This is a fast knit and I LOVE the stitch pattern.  It is one of those projects that you can carry around easily. The stitch pattern is easy to remember.  If you are a social knitter, this one will work while you sit and chat with your knitting and crochet buddies.  At this rate, I'll be done in a couple of days.  I'm not sure if I'll block this or not. I guess I'll wait until I'm finished to decide.

I choose Crystal Palace's Mini Mochi in Tapestry Rainbow for this project. I love the  long striping  of this yarn.

Kraphti's Ericka Scarf

Toodles!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

13 projects in 2013 equals 39....is this new math?

I signed up to take the 13 in 2013 challenge over on Ravelry.   Now a normal person would pick 13 projects and make that a goal.  But somehow, I'm in a challenge to finish 39 projects in 2013....yeah I understand that blank stare you are giving  your monitor trying to figure out how 13 equals 39.

Blame those 39 projects on my ambitious, un-employed muse.   Kraphti has nothing to do all do but sit and come up with creative things for us to do.  Dez is a working individual that spends at the minimum, 9 hours 5 days  dedicated to non-creative duties that earn money for Kraphti to go spending willy nilly on creative stuff.

Um why is she speaking of herself in 3rd persons...as in more than one?  Because there appear to be two symbiotic beings living in my head.  Dez, the logic responsible one and Kraphti...well....yeah, she's creative but knows no limits.  

So about these 39 projects I've come up with.  Both my creative and logical sides love books....of all kinds.  And since I have taken up fiber arts, my knitting, crochet, spinning, felting, etc books have grown at an alarming rate....thanks to Kraphti.  And while I buy these books...and actually read them, I rarely use projects from them.  Now I know better than setting the unrealistic goal of not buying anymore books, not gonna happen.  Instead my initial challenge was to knit 13 projects from 13 different books.  Normal and rational right.  Of course, I couldn't stop there.  I also love magazines, but rarely use them for projects.  So this leads to 13 projects from 13 different magazines also.  Still not bad...26 projects in a year...doable.  But then here comes Krapthi feeling guilty about her over purchase of patterns on Ravelry during black Friday (the logical Dez has to admit the deals were awesome).   Hey lets throw 13 projects from those purchases in also.

Wait...what...that's 39 projects?  Are you nuts?  (I really did have this conversation with myself)  I debated about it...Dez lost and Kraphti is in some creative euphoria. So the past week, Dez has been using her organizational skills to line up the projects for the new year.  I've got the 1st 12 picked out and yarn allocated to those projects. I'm sure I can get the 1st 4 completed this month.

January's projects:
The Erika Scarf
Sarai
Downtown Clutch
Dyade

Look for future blogs on each projects since one of my other challenges is to blog at least 13 times a month. Oh...this just gets crazier and crazier...right.


I've been asked if I will actually make these goals.  To be honest, I'm not sure, it is a big challenge to finish 1.3 projects a week.   Instead of thinking that I've set myself up for failure, I look at as a way to motivate me  to use the resources I have.   Even though this is quite a challenge, I plan to have fun as I race to the finish line.  I'll probably set up some rewards along to way, for a pat on the back.


Well back to the daily grind. Toodles!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

LYS....can be a dirty word

When I first started knitting, I purchased my yarn at chain stores like Michaels, Joanns, WalMart...etc.  Now there is nothing wrong with the yarn purchased in these stores.  And I was content to stock my stash from the lovelies found on their shelf.

But hanging out with a bunch of enabling yarn lovers (yes my lovely ladies of the Wednesday night knitting and crochet group, I am referring to you), I soon learned a new dangerous term....LYS, short for Local Yarn Store.  Yup as whole store for yarn.  Well most have other fiber related goodies, but yarn is the star of the show. And the yarn, well you don't get these goods at the big box chain stores.

Now I'm not a yarn snob, and the yarn in the chain stores has a happy home in my hoard stash cabinet.  But the first time I visited a Local Yarn Store, I lost my ever-loving mind.   My oh my....who knew such lushness  could be found stocked is these small retail locations.  I'd done some web surfing and even jumped out on a limb and made a couple of on-line purchases.  But there is nothing like stepping into a brick and mortar  yarn shop.  The colors and textures sweep you and your wallet up into a euphoric frenzy...in a good way...I think.

The good....hands on interaction with lots of fiber goodies.  I mean really, there may be something very wrong with fiber lovers, the way we moan and sigh as we touch and pet a skein of yarn.  In a yarn store, such behavior is overlooked. If we did this on the street, people would likely give us a wide berth.

The bad...at least for me...there is no calculator automatically keeping a running total of purchases.  Talking about sticker shock when my total gets rung up.

So how does one go about finding and LYSs in the area:

1.  Enablers....join a knitting or crochet group and I guarantee, they'll help you out there (see paragraph 2 for an example)
2.  The Internet...do a search of "local yarn store".  You can limit the search to your area or do a city, state, country or global search.  Google, yahoo, yelp and other such sites are great ways to locate LYSs
3. Ravelry.....the mecca of yarn related arts.  Yup you'll find out about yarn shops there...but be warned, once you get into Ravelry, you can't get out :)
4. Smart phone apps....um-hmm.  There are a number of LYS related apps for both Android and iphone. I am not sure about Windows phones, since it's been eons since I've played around with one of these.
5. Old fashioned yellow pages...I guess you could use this.  But since it's been eons since I've used them, I'd probably have to use the internet to look up tips on how to use the yellow pages.  Sad, I know.

In some upcoming posts, I'll talk about some of the LYSs that I've had the pleasure of visiting. I'll also talk about LYS crawls.  OMG....what's more fun than visiting yarn stores...taking a friend or friends and hopping to several in a day!