Cute & Creepy

I was knocking around Ravelry recently, when I noticed one of my friend’s project page showed a picture of some adorable Pac Man stitch markers.  The note said she had not made them, but had actually purchased them on etsy.  I immediately followed the link (I am a devoted Ms. Pac Man fan) in search of my own set.  Oh my.  There were so many cute, creepy, and funny stitch marker sets to choose from!  Naturally, I got distracted from my original search and ended up with two sets of stitch markers in my shopping cart.

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This set was so cute that I went immediately  from mailbox to knitting chair in order to get them onto on of my wips asap.

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Not only are these markers fun, they are well made.  I haven’t experienced any snagging or loosening that can sometimes happen with stitch markers of this type.  These whimsical creations are handmade to order, and so worth any wait you may have to endure.  Check out Scary Merry’s etsy shop to see what you might fall in love with.

Beaded Beauties

Another component to hosting a knitting party is to invite talented and generous friends.  Everyone brought delicious vittles to share, highlights of which were the largest tiramisu I’ve ever seen, a caramelized onion quiche, delicious breads and cookies, chili, pizza rolls, and veggies with dips.   Mmmm…  And I have leftovers!

Lady’s Slipper brought Ravelry name tags for everyone, which was a huge treat. Nutmeg Knitter brought a book and some llama yarn for the raffle.  There were several other raffle prizes donated as well; thanks to everyone who brought something.  I think just about everyone went home with a prize!

Pixisis brought her stash of beads, many of which were handmade. She taught people how to make their own stitch markers, and some of us were fortunate enough to have her make them for us.

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Turquoise beads were handmade glass, red and yellow beads are Swarovski crystal.  She doesn’t mess around.

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We’ve been nagging at her for ages to set up an etsy shop to sell her beaded wares, so if you like what you see, go nag her here!

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I may have to cast on a new project just so I can put some of these beauties to work!

Getting Started: Sweater #2

I started a new sweater project last week: Baby Cables and Big Ones Too by Suvi S.  This is a more involved pattern than my previous sweater, involving 5 cable charts, a backward loop increase, and pages of instructions.  I found myself feeling a little discombobulated when getting started.  Over the course of the first several rows, I came up with a few ways to make the process a little bit easier on myself.

The yarn is Stockbridge from Valley Yarns, a nice alpaca and wool blend in a slightly heathered grey.  It sheds a little bit, but is knitting up beautifully.  The sweater is knit seamlessly from the top down, with the arm increases magically hidden within the garter stitch background.  All of those things are great, but the main reason I wanted to knit this sweater is for the cables.

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There are 5 cables spread across the yoke of the sweater, and 4 charts for these cables.  That means a lot of stitch markers!  I did the first couple of cable rounds with the stitch markers as is before I realized it would be helpful to label them.  So I got out my trusty Dymo label maker (yes, I’m that nerdy) and got to work.  I printed out the coordinating chart letter for each cable and put it onto the marker.  Voila!

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Now I can knit along mindlessly until I see that “B”, look at the chart, do that cable, and continue on.  Of course, after a few inches I knew which cables were which, but this really helped me get a handle on things in the beginning.

There are also stitch markers on each side of the sweater to demarcate the raglan increases for the arms.  These are orange and the cable markers are green.  Again, a lot of stitch markers, but they really help you along.

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I put the pattern in a plastic sheet protector to keep things tidy (again with the Nerdy).  Then I’m also using the green highlighter tape to keep track of what section I’m on on the charts.

And this is how I got started on my second sweater!  Organizing yourself for a project is as individual as the knitter, and these are just some of the ways I have found that help me stay sane.

Do you have any suggestions, tips, or tricks for project organization?

Yarn Jewelry

Monday night some women from my Stitch ‘n Bitch group spontaneously decided to get together for a stitch marker making party. We had a wonderful time thanks to Nancy and her vast collection of spectacular Swarovski crystal and handmade beads. There were literally hundreds of different colors and types of beads to choose from. I decided to make a set of 4 with some gorgeous crystal beads.
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Aren’t they gorgeous? Quite a step up from my cheapo white plastic stitch markers! Why shouldn’t your knitting have jewelry? We knitters take such care to choose beautiful, sumptuous yarn and needles. Why use run of the mill accessories? I put these on my lace scarf project, and already I want to spend more time working on it. It’s a pleasure to get to the sparkly crystal marker, slip it onto the needle and keep knitting, a beautiful milepost to make me smile.

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Nancy made this glass bead herself, then created a stitch marker especially for me. She also put together the leaf below. She should have her own Etsy shop, don’t you think?
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If you’re interested in making your own stitch markers,
check out this site.  We pretty much made ours in the same way, except we wrapped the wire a few more times to ensure a strong stitch marker and a snag-free finish.