Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Update!

Life has been a bit busy with reading lately. I found a copy of Parasite by Mira Grant in my local Barnes & Noble a few days early, and spent the last couple of days devouring it. Mira Grant takes precedence over everything. :)


I have started work on the Bigger on the Inside. It is still slow going, but I am hoping to be done with the increase section by the end of the week. I get tired easily knitting with such small needles. It is looking great though. I am curious how big this shawl is going to be when it is all done, because so far it isn't too big. Of course, I need to block it to truly see its length.

Knitting Television

I watched Supernatural while working on my shawl tonight. I have gotten a bit tired of the show; however, this episode had two (!) female characters that were pretty awesome. Also, the episode's villain was a witch, so there were three female characters and three male characters. This is crazy! In all seriousness, it was a breath of fresh air to have female characters on this show that weren't love interests for Sam and Dean.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cowl Girls by Cathy Carron: Book Review

Title: Cowl Girls: The Neck's Big Thing to Knit
Designer: Cathy Carron
Publisher: Sixth&Spring Books
Publication Date: Oct 2010
Number of Pages: 136
Series: Stand Alone
Reason for Discovery: I love Cathy Carron's hat patterns.

According to GoodReads:

Forget tired scarves and bulky turtlenecks-funky, chunky, hip and happening cowls are where it's at! Following up her hit book Hattitude, author and designer Cathy Carron weaves a fashion statement that puts in-the-know women head and shoulders above the rest. Among the more than 35 patterns provided here are a cozy neck wrap featuring a built-in iPod holder, a lacy drawstring hood, and a woven necklace sparkling with Swarovski crystals.

First Impressions: It is a Cathy Carron book! Yea! I love her hat patterns! I love cowls, because they keep my neck warm but do not take ten million years to knit. This will be the best book ever. Hmmm, these patterns are interesting. I am not sure who is supposed to wear these cowls. They are pretty, but they seem a bit large.

The Details: This book contains 41 cowl patterns. The majority of these patterns use bulky yarn. Because most of these patterns use bulky yarn, these are large cowls. These are statement pieces, not just cowls to keep your neck warm. I don't think I have ever seen a man wearing a cowl, so I am going to assume that these patterns are for women (the models are all women). In regards to range of difficulty, there are patterns to fit all levels from beginner to beyond. This book assumes that you know the basics. With that said, the patterns are short and fairly straight forward, so once you start knitting some of the patterns, you should be able to branch out to the more complicated patterns in the book. The yarn used in this book comes from your friendly, neighborhood yarn store, not your big box store.

Final Impressions: Cathy Carron patterns are always fun. This book is no different. There are definitely some fun patterns in this book; however, I think I am not the demographic to wear most of these cowls. There are a handful that I can see myself wearing (a 30-something year old), but for the most part, I think you need to be a teen or in your 20s to pull these cowls off. Because most of these cowls are made with bulky yarn, you could knit up a bunch of these and hand them out to the younger girls on your holiday present list, if you don't fit the "cowl girls" group.

I give this book 3 out of 5 balls of yarn.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Friday Update (on Saturday)!

 Today has been an amazing day. It has been one of the best days ever. On the way to Wal-Mart, my husband and I stopped by Barnes & Noble to check out the books and games. In the new science fiction and fantasy section, in the far bottom right corner, was a few copies of Parasite by Mira Grant. The whole world stopped for a moment. I have been reading it, since we got home. It is so good.


So my Bigger on the Inside shawl hasn't grown since last Tuesday's post. I know you are surprised by this. It will get longer. Soon.

On the other hand, I have been knitting! I made yet another ruffles scarf (this is #5 if you are keeping count). I knit this one last night while watching my regularly scheduled television shows. It was so much longer than I was expecting. I think with this yarn (forgive me, I don't have the yarn band handy) I am going to have to cast on five stitches not four. I could have had two scarves of reasonable length with one ball of yarn. The scarf is really pretty though.

Knitting Television

I watched the pilot episode of Dracula tonight. This show is so ridiculously cheesy that I cannot get over it. I think I am going to watch all the episodes when it hits Netflix, because it is that perfect level of cheesiness that would be perfect for a Saturday afternoon with popcorn and knitting.

Friday Update: Postponed

My Friday post is a going to be a little late. As you can see, it is Saturday. To make it up I will have another post this week. Also, here are videos of cute cats.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Update!

I have been having lots of fun this week. I rewatched Pacific Rim and went to a Halloween party. Overall, it has been a pretty fun week! Oh, yeah, I even got some knitting done!


I finished the Chroma Stripped Scarf! Finally! I am a bit disappointed in the final result. The project itself looks pretty. There is just a handful of mistakes that I can see that bother me. None of them were worth fixing though. No one will notice them when I am wearing it. I just don't want to give it out as a gift. I can always deal with having another scarf though!

I started knitting on the Bigger on the Inside shawl again. It is slow going, but it is getting bigger. I am just focusing on getting through each section (increase, main lace pattern, decrease, TARDIS). I feel if I just focus on each section, I won't get overwhelmed and give up. My mother-in-law asked my husband the other day how the shawl was going, so I best be working on it! [When taking the picture for the blog, I realized that my adorable kitty bit the yarn between the project and the ball. *sigh*]

Last night at knitting group, I knit a complete scarf! I made an entire scarf in two hours! Okay, it was a ruffles scarf, but it is a whole scarf. It felt so nice to knit an entire project that was not a washcloth in one sitting. Isn't it pretty? I love the green.

Knitting Television

I decided to break down and watch The Vampire Diaries. I wasn't planning on it. It was getting a bit silly, but then I wanted to knit, and I had nothing to watch! It is definitely silly. I feel like I am watching the season of Buffy when she goes to college.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ocean Breezes by Sheryl Thies: Book Review

Title: Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea
Author: Sheryl Thies
Publisher: Martingale & Company
Publication Date: 2007
Number of Pages: 80
Series: Stand Alone
Reason for Discovery: Cruising the knitting books online

Initial Impressions: This book is really pretty. I actually want to knit most of these patterns. Why haven't I heard of this designer before? The patterns are all unique and pretty. I want them all.

The Details: This book contains 25 patterns: 21 scarves, 1 cowl, and 3 shawls. There is one color work scarf. The rest of the patterns rely on texture or lace. These patterns range in difficulty from beginner to more advanced. As an added bonus, at least three of the patterns would work for more "manly men." There are even a few more that I could see knitting for men that I know. This book uses a range of yarns; however, these are yarns that you are going to find in your friendly yarn store, not your big box store.

Final Impressions: I love this book. There is a ton of variety in the patterns, and I know I wouldn't get bored, if I decided to knit every pattern in this book. There is a pattern for everyone in this book. There are scarves for the more adventurous to the more conservative of your friends and family.

I give this book 5 out of 5 waves.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday Update!

I have been having a nice week, but I am looking forward to the weekend. My husband and I have a lot of plans including seeing Jack O'Lanterns, rewatching Pacific Rim, and going to a Halloween party. I am looking forward to all of the fun that we are going to have!


I feel like I have failed you. The scarf is still incomplete. There is so little yarn left; however, it doesn't seem to end. Every time I watch television, I dutifully pull out the scarf to work on, but it never ends. It never ends. :( This will be my last scarf for a little while.

Knitting Television

Instead of knitting television, I need to share this post by the Yarn Harlot. She needed one ball of yarn to finish a baby blanket, and she got it through the love of the Internet. It will make your afternoon.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Update!

This has been a much better day than last week. My meeting with my dissertation adviser had a much better outcome than last week. Hurray! Maybe I will graduate one of these days.


I spent this weekend reading, so I didn't get a lot of knitting done. I did work on the Chroma Stripped Scarf, so I should hopefully be done this week. The balls of yarn are much smaller. The end is definitely in sight! Although this scarf is boring to knit, it really is pretty. I know that this will not be my last Stripped Scarf. I would like to do this scarf again with two yarns that are a little bit more colorful. The brown stripping yarn that I used does not have as much variety as I was hoping that it would have. I haven't worked on the Bigger on the Inside shawl. Once I finish my scarf, I am going to start working on this shawl double time.

Knitting Television

Instead of discussing my television shows for the week, I want to draw your attention to an awesome cartoon, Bee and PuppyCat. It is this amazing little show. The show was created by a woman and has an awesome female protagonist. There have been two episodes. The video below has the two of them back to back. There is now a kickstarter to make more episodes. I want to encourage you to check out the kickstarter and make a donation if you are so inclined.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Knitting New Scarves by Lynne Barr: Book Review

Title: Knitting New Scarves: 27 Distinctly Modern Designs
Designer: Lynne Barr
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang Publication Date: September 2007
Number of Pages: 144

First Impressions: The patterns look so sleek and sophisticated in this book. I am noticing lots of how-to pictures throughout the book. I wonder, if this means that everything is super complicated.

The Details: This book contains 27 scarves. Although the author states that the book contains a range of skill levels, the scarves are for the adventurous, advanced beginner and beyond for the most part. The scarves take advantage of texture-based stitches and patterns to make them visually interesting. Many of the patterns rely on the knitter knitting stitches out of order or arranging the stitches on multiple double-pointed needles. Looking through the patterns, these scarves have a bit of a more feminine flavor to them; however, they could be made to look more stereotypically masculine with the right color choices.

Final Impressions: These scarves are gorgeous. They look like they should be in a museum, not on a person. Although I want to wear almost all of them, I am concerned that they all look fiddly to knit. If you love to knit scarves and like to try new techniques, this is the book for you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Update!

This has not been the greatest of weeks. My adviser is pushing my graduation date by another semester. I just feel really trapped, because I am so close to graduation; however, I don't know if it is worth it anymore. Hopefully, the next few days will bring better results.


Just like my life, my knitting has been having some ups and downs! I cast on the Bigger on the Inside shawl from Knitty. This is my second attempt, because I over-thought what the increase was supposed to be. It is just a backwards loop; however, she labeled it as an m1. She defines the m1 as a backwards loop, but with the m1 label I got confused. I started a normal m1, but I didn't knit the stitch, so the working yarn was just been carried over the created stitch. It was working fine and no one would notice, but I got worried that the loose working yarn would get snagged. I had only worked two repeats of the increase lace stitch, so I thought it would be better to start over once I realized my mistake than keep going and questioning my method. I am glad that I did this.

I am starting to get into the zone with the lace pattern, so I hope that it starts to go faster. The lace only grows to 52 stitches per row, so I think this shawl will go faster than my typical shawl. The second part of the shawl with the TARDISes has lots of long rows, but it is mainly just knit or purl stitches, so even though that section will have longer rows, I think it will go fast.

I am STILL working on the Chroma Stripped Scarf. The scarf is longer and the balls are smaller, but I feel like this project is never going to end! The scarf is long enough to wrap around my neck, even though it may not look like that from the picture.

Knitting Television

This week marks the official start of all the TV shows that my husband and I watch. Our Tuesdays and Thursdays are now jam packed with TV and knitting! Tuesdays are now filled with Agents of SHIELD, Supernatural, and Face-Off. This is my lace knitting night, because I only really need to watch the TV when the final make-up is shown on Face-Off. During the rest of the shows, I just peek up once and a while. On Thursdays, we watch The Big Bang Theory, Grey's Anatomy, and Scandal. On Thursdays, I work on my scarf, because too much crazy stuff happens (and those Grey's doctors are pretty dreamy), so I need to keep my eyes on the screen and not on the projects.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Tuesday Update!

 I cannot believe the weather here in PA! It is still warm out. I am just wearing a sweatshirt when I go out to deal with the air conditioning at the stores. I guess my knitting is keeping winter at bay. :) I must admit that I am a bit concerned that this means winter is going to be colder and longer than usual; however, I can't do anything about it. I just need to keep knitting scarves, hats, socks, and mittens!


I am STILL working on the Chroma Stripped Scarf. It is never ending. The balls are getting smaller, but the scarf doesn't seem to be getting any longer. I know when I get to the end, the scarf will suddenly grow but this in-between time is awful. I think this is how things work, right? Items look like they aren't getting any bigger and then one day they are magically huge, right? Please be right. I could have sworn that I only used two balls for my other Chroma Stripped Scarf.

I decided that I am going to start the Bigger on the Inside shawl from Knitty. This is a much smaller shawl than I usually knit, so I think I might actually finish it! Let me tell you, winding this yarn was a bit of an adventure with my kitty. She wanted to attack all of the yarn. I was so scared that she was going to bite through the yarn, but luckily no yarn was harmed in the winding process.

Knitting Television

I watched Despicable Me last night. It was so cute. The little minions are so adorable; I just want to hug all of them. I am excited to watch the second one. :)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Knit Scarves! by Candi Jensen: Book Review

Knit Scarves!: 16 Cool Patterns to Keep You WarmKnit Scarves!: 16 Cool Patterns to Keep You Warm by Candi Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First Impressions: There are so many different types of scarves in this book. They are so pretty and colorful. The yarns being used in the book won't break the budget!

The Details: This book contains 16 very different types of scarves. Techniques range from simple garter stitch and dropped stitches to cables and fair isle. Almost every single scarf showcases a different techniques, so the book grows with your knitting skill base. As a bonus, the book reviews almost every single technique you need to be able to do, so you can just take this book with you (and not ten extra technique books). Although there are a few stereotypical feminine scarves, most of them can be made for either a man or a woman (or a child). For most of the scarves, the designer also recommends different yarns to try, so you get different looks with the same pattern. The yarns are even knitted up using the pattern, so you can get idea of what the scarves would look like.

Final Impressions: This is a great book. I have made a few scarves from this book (Feather and Fan and A Touch of Fur), and they have turned out lovely. This is a great book to give to a beginner or to a more experienced knitter. There are so many techniques in this book that I guarantee you that your knitter probably hasn't made every single type of scarf in this book. As an added bonus, the book showcases a range of yarns for the scarves and then even suggests alternative yarns to try too.

This little book might look silly, because it is shaped like a scarf; however, it is one of my favorites. Unlike other pattern books that sell you on a lifestyle (yes, I want to live in a Rowan pattern book), this book has at least one (if not many) scarves that you can wear in your daily life. The designer also wrote patterns that you can follow easily, so you can start wearing that scarf in your daily life sooner rather than later.

Publication Date: 2004 (a re-release may be coming, because two books in this "series" have been re-released with new yarn recommendations)

Friday, October 04, 2013

Friday Update!

It has been a slow knitting week. I have been battling a little cold or something and have been super sleepy. Whatever it was, it has passed.


I finished my Odessa hat! It was down to the wire whether one ball of Knit Picks Elegance (discontinued) was going to be enough. You can see in the picture how little yarn I had left. I was supposed to start the decreases at 5.5 inches; however, I wasn't paying attention and had knit 6 inches before starting the decreases. I was concerned that I wasn't going to have enough yarn, but there was! Hurray! This hat is made of alpaca and silk, so it is super soft and will be super warm. I am glad that I made the hat a bit longer, because it covers my ears nicely.

Knitting Television

I watched The Pirates! Band of Misfits last night. It was very funny. The movie had received lukewarm reviews when it came out, so I never saw it. I am glad that it watched it, because it was quite clever. It isn't the best knitting show, however, because there were so many little visual jokes that you could miss by looking at your knitting.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Tuesday Update!

This weekend, my husband and I took a drive around the area checking out the changing colors. Although I do enjoy warm weather year round, it is neat to see the effects of fall on the trees. That is, until it rains a few times and the leaves are all on the ground and making a mess. :)


I have to be honest, I haven't touched my Chroma Striped Scarf, since I last posted. I know. This is not going to help me get it off the needles. I promise to have a better story on Friday. I promise!

I have been working on my Odessa hat. It should have been completed already; however, I was playing D&D with my friends (see below) while knitting on it, and apparently I wasn't being careful enough. I have decreased more stitches than I should and I need to rip back a round or two. I am going to look again to see, if I can just drop a stitch down and fix it, but right now I can't see where I had my misstep. Isn't it pretty though? I really like the purple and pearl beads. 

Knitting Games...?

This weekend, my friends, husband, and I started playing D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) again. Because D&D is a "theater of the mind" type game, we are able to play D&D over Google Hangouts with just a few apps. I like playing D&D, because I like to play a character and to fight orcs. I usually play a thief, but this time I am playing a bard who is trying to make it big. She wants to see her name in lights. During our games, I knit. My friends are crafty, so they don't make a bit deal about my knitting. I enjoy knitting during the game, because it helps me focus on the game even when my character isn't doing anything.