Sunday, June 28, 2009

Anyone remember me?

Wow! I haven't posted in over a year. It's been a busy year though. I've been wanting to get back in to blogging for a while but it has never been something I think about. I hope to change that by blogging more frequently. I won't make any promises, but it would be nice to start blogging again.
Ok, so let's catch everyone up. Over the last year a lot has happened in my life. Last September, I became a big boy and moved out of my parents house. I moved into a house with a few friends in town. Though there is always going to be some drama with room mates we tend to get along fairly well. It's nice being out on my own even with having the responsibilities of an adult. I'm not sure if I mentioned it or not, but I started a new job a little over ago. My one year anniversary was on April 21 st. I like my job though it can be boring sometimes. I basically work as data processor for out sourcing center in town. The pay is pretty decent, and in this economy I'm just happy to have a job. I am still a single boy for the time being. Though this can be depressing at times, I guess when it's my time I'll find someone.
Right now, my biggest trouble is my car. I have really old 93 mercury topaz, aka piece o' crap. There's so many things wrong with it that's it's not even funny. One good thing, it seems to refuse to die. I have no clue how it made it through the winter but it did. I'm just hoping it will hold out for another month or so. By then I should have enough for a good down payment on a new to me car.

Ok current knitting news:

Over the last week I had bit of startitis so I decide I would start the "Look sharp Socks" by Gary Skinner out of the Son of Stitch N' Bitch book. I started of the socks on my 2.5/US 1 knitpicks harmony dpn's using Paton's Kroy Sock in a dark grey and a light grey. For those who don't know these socks an argylish entrelac design, I will post pictures soon. Well I knitted all the way up to the second tier of rectangles and discover my guage was way off. The pattern states that guage should be around 13 stitches and 23 rows (on block) equqls 1 1/2 inch well I was getting closer to 2 inches. It's a good thing I wasn't too far along, so I frogged it and I'm going to start over on size 2.00 mm/US 0. The pattern calls for 2.25 mm but I knit fairly loosely any ways. We'll see what happens.

Oh ok, you know I can't be monogamous. I also have the fountain pen shawl from the last Interweave issue on my needles using knit picks shadows 100% merino lace weight, and the beginnings of what I hope to be a nice messenger bag/man bag for me using recycled sweater wool from a nice tweedish JCrew sweater I found at Goodwill. Pictures coming soon.

Ok well that's all for now, I hope to write more soon!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ok, ok......

Yes, I know. I've been gone for a fairly long time; around 3 months or so. Though that is life, I guess. Don't worry, that three month span has not been knit less. I've had several various projects going on.
Here are is one FO I finished about a month ago or so. These are a pair of 1oo% alpaca socks on size 1 needles with Frog Tree Hill sport weight alpaca (which I think is more of a lace/sock weight). They are very comfy and luxurious all though I will have to wait till fall to wear them again. They worked up fairly quick too. I must be a fairly loose knitter because on size ones I only really needed 52 stitches total.



Here is a wip progress of my own design which I will most likely write up a pattern and post it soon once I get all the kinks worked out. These are a pair of fingerless mitts with an after thought thumb that are inspired by the jay walker socks. They yarn I am using is a lace weight superfine cashmere spun up by my LYS (YarnSmiths) in the color way called "hunter's glen". I think they are very pretty and fitting for both a guy or girl. On my first one I used a size 4 needle with 56 stitches not exactly sure what my gauge was. It was fairly loose but still fit though I wasn't happy with the result. I also should have made them about an inch longer on top. I like my fingerless mitts to come up right below the middle knuckles. So on the second mitt I am using a US size 3 needle and will knit it a little longer. I will eventually frog the first one and re knit it with the size 3. I really love these mitts and am excited about sharing the patter with everyone. The cashmere is so nice too, and I love the colorway! It's gorgeous.

I also have several other wip's going as well. I am finally making myself a knitting bag out of cascade 220 which will eventually be felted. I am using a light brown/beige color and a darker chocolate brown on size US 10 needles. This project is being stranded with a diamond motif. There will eventually be pictures... I did have some but I frogged the first draft and started over. Originally I was knitting the bag on a 6 or 7 needle and that was just taking forever so I switch to 10's and I also switched motifs as well. The original bag was going to be hounds tooth, but I didn't like how it was turning out and really didn't know if the pattern would be clear after felting. So I switched to diamonds which are easy and I think will be clearer after being felted.

I am also working on two different blankets right now. One I'm going to keep secret for now because I eventually will share the pattern with you which is of my own design. The second one has a little bit of story about it. About a month ago I got huge present from a good friend. She went to a yard sale and says she has a surprise for me. So I met her after work one day, and she gives me literally a trunk load of various colored acrylic yarn. I vary graciously took it. Though now I have the problem of figuring out what I'm going to do with that much acrylic yarn. I did a ravelry search and found this basic crochet pattern for a vintage vertically striped blanket. I hoping this will cut down some of the bulk although I know it won't make too huge of dent. So are there any other suggestions out there for projects and such to where I can destash?

All right well I think I am going to end this post here. I will post soon updating on how my life is going at the moment and what's been happening with me in the last 3 months. Also I have been tagged by tycho for a meme so I will probably fill that out as well.

Vale!

Zach

Monday, March 31, 2008

Garter Stitch Hat with Square Raglan Crown

Okay folks, it's finally ready so here you go! Start knitting! I'll be sure to take better pictures because this one isn't the best.


Garter Stitch Hat with Square Raglan Crown
Designed by: Superi



Gauge: 13 stitches per 4 inches in garter stitch (Row height doesn’t really matter because you’ll just knit to measurement)


Needles: One or more of the following depending on your preferred method: size US 8 (or size to obtain gauge) straight needles, 16” circulars, or DPN’s


Yarn: Bernat Naturals Alpaca (70% acrylic/30% alpaca; 100 grams =120 yards): 1 ball or you can use any other bulky yarn that gets gauge.


Size: Adult large (This is a generously large hat because I have a large head and a lot of hair. Without any stretch, the gauge says this hat will be about 20 inches in circumference.)

Directions: There are two ways to do this hat: In the round or knitted flat then sewn up the back. Knitting it flat is great for the begging knitter who isn’t as adept to circulars or dpn’s. For the more fearless knitters, this is an easy pattern to practice working in the round.

Notes:
K2tog= knit two stitches together
Ssk= slip two stitches as if to knit with yarn in back onto right hand needle. Stick the left hand needle back into the stitches and knit the two stitches together through the back loop

Brim: Cast on 64 stitches; place marker and join for working in the round. I prefer to use long tailed cast on for the extra stretch on hats. Work in knit 2, purl 2 ribbing for 2 inches.

Body: For 4 inches work in garter stitch ending with a purl round or wrong side row.

Garter Stitch on straight needles:
Knit every row

Garter stitch in the round:
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Purl


Crown Shaping:


Round 1: * k2tog, k 12, ssk; repeat from * to end: 56 stitches


Round 2 (and all even rounds): purl (knit if working flat)


Round 3: * k2tog, k 10, ssk; repeat from * to end: 48 stitches


Round 5: * k2tog, k 8, ssk; repeat from * to end: 40 stitches


Round 7: * k2tog, k 6, ssk; repeat from * to end: 32 stitches


Round 9: * k2tog, k 4, ssk, repeat from * to end: 24 stitches


Round 11: * k2tog, k 2, ssk, repeat from * to end: 16 stitches


Round 13: * k2tog, ssk; repeat from * to end: 8 stitches


For those knitting in the round break the yarn leaving a 6 inch tail and thread through the remaining 8 stitches pulling tight. Those who are knitting flat leave at least a foot to a foot and a half tail; thread through the last 8 stitches pulling tightly. Then sew down the rest of the back with the tail. Weave in the ends and put it on your head. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It is time...

Well, I have been gone for a while and I've missed you all. This past month or so, I've spent a considerable amount of time thinking. (I have yet to decide whether that is a good thing) Post break up I've been forced to reevaluate my life, and have been trying to get back to finding myself. Some where since high school, I've lost direction in my life. I'm not sure where along the lines that was, but it occurred none the less. I really need to work on attaining more direction. I've dilly dallied these last couple of years, and there's just no excuse anymore. The time has come to work on being a person with passion, a person with purpose, and a person with direction. I haven't been growing at all and am stuck in one place. This is not helpful nor conducive to attaining my life goals or dreams. I for see much soul searching in my future. I just can't stay stagnant like I have been doing because I know I'm not living up to my full potential. How I'm going to do this? I don't know, but I'm positive this isn't it for me.



As of right now, I made the decision to take some time off school to work on becoming more independent and to reevaluate my life. I'm not really sure I was ready for college right out of high school. I think I went because that's just what is expected of you today by society, family, and just in general. Now don't worry, I don't plan on never going back because I realize the importance of education. One can not thrive nor succeed in the modern world with out some further education. I just really need to take this time and determine what I want to do with my life. I believe, I was just waisting my time and money being in school because I wasn't succeeding at the present with out knowing these things. I've always said I wanted to be a biologist, but looking at it now I'm not sure if that's for me. I do love science and all but I'm not sure that that is what my passion is. So this is what I need to discover for myself. What am I passionate about and can I make a living for myself doing it? As of right now though, my goal is to find a better job, and hopefully move out on my own or maybe with friends. Once I am ready and have some sort of direction and more financially stable. I will continue with my schooling.



Now as for the break up and my romantic life, let's talk about that. It has been a little over a month since my relationship with Wes ended. It's been hard, but these things always are. Now, I believe I'm in a place of me. I don't really feel the desire any more to have a relationship most of the time. I think this has to do with the getting my life in order decision. I can't really be in a healthy relationship when I'm not truly the best person I can be. Really, how can I ask some one to love me when I am not sure of who that person is? I don't think it would be fair to myself nor the other person. Now this doesn't mean I am opposed to a relationship; I'm just not actively seeking one. If the a good guy came along and was good to me I would definitely infer further. For I have discovered that in life one can't force a relationship into being anyways. I have never had much luck when trying to find guys to talk to and maybe date when actively seeking them. From all the relationships I've had with any meaning, I did not meet these people by looking for them. They were either friends of friends or I had some sort of social network connection to them. Being in rural Ohio, I have resorted to finding love on the net via myspace, facebook, etc because it's hard to find gay men in my area otherwise. Though I believe this is my down fall. Let's face it, dating is hard, and there's a lot of crap out there. In the gay world it seems to be exponentially so. Not that I don't believe there's good guys out there, because I know there are. Just finding them is really hard to do. You have to wade through all the superficial, self-absorbed, and sex obsessed to find them. I just don't know if I have the energy for that right now, and what energy I do have I think is better directed towards my own growth. Maybe this is selfish, but I don't care. I think it's for my own good. Though I'm not giving up hope. I'm putting it out to the universe now. If the powers at be see it fit for me to be in a relationship then he/she/they will provide it for me. All I can do is work on myself for the moment and hopefully build some good chi.



All right onto to my first purpose of my blog: knitting! Though I have decide I'm going to start sharing more than my knitting, because I believe it will be helpful and maybe make me seem more personable. Also because it's my blog and I can do what I want.



I think my knitting slump has finally worked it's self out, or at least starting too. In the last month, I have finished the jelly bean socks for I was working on for my bff Sarah and given them to her. I also have casted on and off a pair of fingerless mitts for her birthday which was last week. Though they are sitting here waiting for the ends to woven in and maybe some embroidery, I don't know. I used the knucks pattern from knitty.com with some teal, sport-weight, 100% alpaca by frog tree hill on size US4 needles. This was a very fast pattern to work up. I would say one can very easily accomplish a pair in a weekend if he/she worked continuously. It took me a little about a week or two picking them up and down, though I did finish the second one from start to finish in one day. Also I did a twisted ribbed cuff instead of the textured one in the pattern. I might have to make me some of these in the future because I like them much better than the one's I am using now because they have no fingers what so ever. Here are a few pictures of them:





I have also been working on my giant pi shawl inspired blanket, but that is just a got to project when I don't feel like working on anything else. I did work on the collar of the smokin' jacket by Jared Flood aka Brooklyntweed last week two. I only need to do the left side button band and collar and I think I'm going to shorten the sleeves a little by cutting and knitting back the other way in garter stitch. Then I should be done. I could have had this project done sooner, but I got bored with it for a little bit when I realized it might be too big for me. Right now I'm thinking it might not be as big as I thought it would be. Either that or I'm just getting fatter, lol. I also have casted on a cable sock of my own design in the teal frog tree alpaca on size four dpn's. I'm knitting these from the cuff down which I've only done a couple times. I really want to design myself a either a top down/bottom up seamless cabled raglan cardigan in this bulky acrylic yarn I got a couple months ago. A design that will probably be inspired by Cable Guy in Son of a Stitch N' Bitch by Debbie Stoller.

In other fiber news, I've been practising with my drop spindle I won from BuduR on MWK. I'm getting better at it. I think I'm starting to achieve some sport weight singles though they are still slightly thick and thin in places. One was spinning at my knitting group last Wed. and one of the ladies said she was going to give me some green roving she had and didn't want. She said she had tried spinning, but couldn't get the hang of it. I'm excited because I love green, and who doesn't love free stuff? Yay! Hopefully I can get really good at spinning too.

I recently discovered the knitting podcast gem that is Cast On by Brenda Dane. It is so inspirational and indie. I love the music she plays. I just can't help myself now going back through all the old episodes and listening to them one by one. Rock on Miss Brenda! I want to leave you guys tonight with a quote from one of her shows which I find quite enlightening and I'm going to start trying to apply to my life.

Begin as you wish to go on!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Slump

Hey everyone, I know it seems like forever since I last blogged, but really it's just been over a week. I don't know, lately I have been too productive with my knitting. I think I'm in kind of a knitting slump. It may just be life right now, but I have feeling it'll turn around soon. Ever since the break up, I'm not always in the best of moods which affects my knitting. Though as everyday goes by I'm feeling better and better. So things will turn around here soon, and this slump will be over. Yay! Until then knit on my fellow knitters!

Ciao!
Zach

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Presents and such.

So, Yay! I got presents in the mail today from my lovely friend, Rave over at menwhoknit.com. I entered into a drawing of a few members who were giving away extra drop spindles and I won. I feel so lucky. Not only did Rave give me a drop spindle but gave me some roving to go with it. Yay I need lots of practice but that's to be expected of a newbie spinner. Just look at how awesome the spindle is and the lovely roving. Thanks again, Rave!!!!


Oh, and more detail on the briefness of my last post. I shared pics of the bday scarf I made for my friend Carlynn last weekend. It was a simple crocheted scarf where I did rows alternatively of double crochet and then single crochet back with bulky yarn and a size K crochet hook. The yarn was Bernat Naturals Alpaca in natural (which is a alpaca/acrylic blend), and Lionbrand Jiffy in Green Apple (100% acrylic). It only took me about a day to crochet and was completely last minute. Not too bad for my first real crochet project. Kyle (from Kyleknits) also asked about the hat I was wearing in the picture which is my version of swell made in the Lionbrand jiffy. I just changed the stranding design. I made that hat back in August 07 and it gets a lot of wear. I know the scarf matched perfectly with it, but I feel good giving it away to a good friend. I know she'll love it.

Now I am also making two toe-up socks on one needle using lionbrand sock yarn in the jelly bean stripes color way which were also pictured. I am about half way up the legs in 2x2 ribbing. Theses are very belated v-day pres. for my bff, Sarah. This technique is a little fidgety but once you get it down it's not bad at all. This was my first time doing magic loop and two socks on one needle. I think it came out all right, even though I think I screwed up the short row heel cause there's slight holes at the ankles.

Also last week, I finished the ugly yellow, orange, and red hat for my sisters friend.

My current knitting is: I'm working on completing those socks, and I'm also working on a pi shawl blanket in a silvery grey acrylic. I think the yarn might be caron simply soft and I'm using size 10 needles. I have laid off the smokin' jacket even though I need to get back to it. all I have to do is the button bands and the collars then I'll be done. I think knowing that it'll be too big has deterred me from working on it. But I will eventually get back to it. I may double breast it so that it fits better. We'll see. Okay well that's all for now and I know there has to be some readers out there so please leave comment cause I love them!

Monday, February 25, 2008

WIP's/FO

Here's a few WIP/FO's: more detail later.