What's on my needles?

Entries in tech square afghan (4)


Let's get it started!

I'm psyched out for this year! Is it too early to start talking about Stitches West 2009? This will be my 2nd visit and I can't wait, I tell you, I can't! All the wooly goodness makes me super-uber happy! I have alot of sharing to do, and geez, just don't know where to start? So excuse me if I'm all over the place 8-)

Since I'm talking about Stitches West, last year I saw Jennifer Hansen from Stitch Diva Studios there demonstrating her stash busting Tunisian blanket, which was totally gorgeous! I quickly bought the Jenkin's Tunisian Crochet hook in S with a stopper, thankfully, her blanket was such a hit that Jenkin's has these on back order still because of demand. After Stitches I went to a knit along for this blanket at Knitting Arts and started my blanket. I worked on it and found the method very easy and great "mindless" crocheting, or a cross between crocheting and knitting. I finally finished this, and am so proud of it. I love it so much. There are 9 different yarns in this, including Alpaca silk! It's so soft, and warm, this is fast to make if you actually spend the time working it, for me I put it away and finally decided to bring it out again.

Tunisian Crochet Blanket

Tunisian Crochet Blanket

Tunisian Crochet Blanket

Tunisian Crochet Blanket

I've been steadily knitting along on my Tech Square Afghan blanket, and finally, oh finally finished my Pocket Square! There are 3 pockets to it, a Kangaroo, Ribbed, and Pouch pocket. All are different methods and pretty darn interesting. I went on faith when following the directions, and thankfully the designer didn't fail.

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

In the middle is the Kangaroo pocket, method is fairly simple, you knit the center stitches to the desired length of the pocket, while leaving the sides on waste yarn, when your ready to knit the back of the pocket, you start knitting the live stitches on the waste yarn and when you get to the pocket front, pick up stitches in the back of it, in a straight line then continue knitting the remaining live stitches on yarn, and when you reach the same length of the front pocket, you use 2 needles, one for the back stitches and one for the front pocket stitches and knit the front and back stitches together, creating one seam stitch. Here's a close up:

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

This is the Pouch Pocket, the angle is looking at the inside or opening, that is lined with Red yarn. To start it off you take waste yarn and knit 2 rows of X amount of stitches you want for your pocket width, and then continue re-knitting the same stitches of waste yarn with the working yarn, and continue on your piece. When your ready to work the pocket, you remove the waste yarn, leaving 2 rows of live stitches, top and bottom row. You take these stitches and knit in the round, picking up a stitch at the corners to close the gap, and knit for however deep you want your pocket. You knit in stockinette so when you push the pocket inwards, it's knitted inside.

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

This is the back of the square:

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

The last pocket is a Ribbed square, you do a YO every other knit stitch, and then the next row you knit the knit stitches and transfer the YO's to waste yarn. When your've ready to knit the back of the pocket, you knit the YO's thru the back stitch, knit tightly, and keep going until you've reached the ribbing. You then seam up the sides.

Opening of pocket:

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

Out of all 3 pockets, all methods are pretty interesting, I like the Pouch pocket for being a loose change pocket, you really can't loose anything in it, the Ribbed one is nice, but you need to seam nicely, and the Kangaroo I love, very pretty and so many designs you can incorporate with it, I just don't care for picking up stitches on the purl bump side. I was so happy to finish this square, it had be hibernating for awhile because I was knitting other things or got stuck in the holidays.

I quicky cast on for my next square, the Entrelac square. I've made leaps of progress with this, almost done, but need to buy more yarn. It has 2 of my fave colors, green and red, oh my! I've never done Entrelac before, this is my first attempt, and I admit when I was first looking at the instructions, I was like, WTF, but mainly because the picture was far more confusing then the actual method. Anyways, I followed the instructions like a good little knitter, and sure as day, was speeding along in no time. This is why I love this project, you get something of everything and your smack ready for a real garment, like a sweater, or vest.


I'm loving the color combo, my hubby picked the 2 to go with out of my entire color scheme. So far these are all the squares I have done, the Entrelac is not shown yet cause it's not yet finished.

Tech Square Afghan

From a previous post, I never got the chance to post a picture of the Dayflower gloves I knitted for my daughter for Christmas, here's her pose (note she wouldn't let me show her face, kids??!??)

Dayflower Gloves

This is yarn scrumptous!

I also participated in a Christmas Stocking Swap with Yarnwhisperer on Ravelry for the Death By Socks group. All the members thought it would be nice to knit a stocking, no competition, but a way of knitting something nice for someone else.

Here's the stocking I sent her:

Holiday Stocking 2008

And here's the goodies and stocking she sent me:

Stocking Package from Death By Socks Stocking Swap from Yarnwhisperer

I love the stocking, good color choice, and I love the Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn! All the goodies she sent, plus the lovely magnets and ornament.

Oooh.. and last, but not least, I received my Scout's Swag shipment, "Red Pear Tweed", I'm loving this color! Great for the upcoming Valentines day!

Scout's Swag Club 'Red Pear Tweed"

Scout's Swag Club 'Red Pear Tweed"

Phew! Sorry for the long post, but gosh I just needed to share all this, I have more, but I'll spare you and save it for another post.

8) R


I don't know where to start, guess with news. It seems like lately there has been just bad luck circulating in my family. I had a cousin pass away over the last week, she died before her time. Still young, and much more to live for. I attended her funeral yesterday, and have scattered memories of times I spent with her as a kid. I admit that we weren't in touch lately, more of the time I had with her was as a kid. When I go to funerals, I just get all these awful thoughts in my head about the ones closest to me and how I just can't bear to go through it, even though I know someday I'll have to no matter what. Hopefully, later... much much later. I will think positive thoughts **emitting positive feelings now**

In other news, if you can believe it, my hubby, kids and I all have tried at least 3 x to go to the Pumpkin Patch to get some pumpkins, everyone we've went to has been closed! At 8 p.m. no less! Were going to try again tonight, this time at 6 p.m., and we'll see if we finally get pumpkins, if not, off to the grocery store.

For my Sports portion, a good friend gave me a couple of great Lower Reserved tickets to the SF 49ers game this past Sunday vs. Seattle Seahawks. My hubby and I had such a great time, but the game overall was just a mess for the 49ers and horrible at that! I wish they were at least decent or showing signs of improvement, but geez, it's hard being a fan. Only the most faithful of fans stick around during the hard times, my hubby and I being faithfuls, for sure!

Here's how the 49ers make their intro for the game, I love all the fireworks, and huge display they put on, so cool:

SF 49ers Game 10/26/08 vs. Seattle LOSS

And here's the guys huddling up on the field:

SF 49ers Game 10/26/08 vs. Seattle LOSS

Lastly, my FO 8-)...for the Tech Square Afghan. Another square down the "Monogram Square".
I zoomed past this one, totally fun! But hard because you have to pickup stitches that aren't slipped, so it was somewhat tricky, other than that, easy-peesy.

Here's the square pre-monogram

Tech Square Afghan Monogram Square

Did you notice that I have begun to incorporate another color into my blanket? Red I thought was needed to add a little kick to all the neutral colors I'm using. I'm really like the red now.

In the book, that middle tan square is where the monogram goes. The author doesn't provide any instructions, stitch patterns for letters, nothing. Kind of dumb if you ask me cause it's whole purpose is adding a monogram, hence "monogram square", duh! So I had to do some knitting math, number of rows across vs. number of columns (stitches) vertically. Then I had to come up with a stitch pattern for my initials "RM". It was easy, but just alot of tweaking to get my letters to fit within the stitches I had. I did look for some monogram patterns, and there are free ones out there, only problem is there all for a larger amount of stitches, so not much help there. In the end, I'm just super-uber happy with how it turned out. I let my hubby choose whether to use Red or Olive Green yarn for the monogram, you'll see here what he choose:

Tech Square Afghan Monogram Square

I took this picture early this morning rushing, so I didn't have any time to flatten out the piece so it looks wavy, but isn't. He choose the olive green obviously, which I think looks good and is probably a better fit than having gone with a red monogram. I'm liking how it came out, but I think I might raise that "M" about 2 rows up, what do you think??? Should I leave it or move it up a bit??? Hmm... what to do??

I've also started the next square in line, the "Pocket Square", which has 3 different types of pockets plus a knitted cord. First in the pattern is the Kangaroo pocket. The instructions don't really tell you very well how to form the kangaroo pocket so it took some thinking on my part, but I made it work, and so far, I'm happy with it. I'm currently knitting up the back stitches (wall) behind the front pocket that is already knit. Once the wall height is the same as the front pocket stitches, I'll then do a 3-needle bind off to join and continue knitting until the next pattern change comes into play for the other 2 pockets.

Tech Square Afghan Pocket Square

Now you tell me, but doesn't it resemble a woman's thong??? When I laid it out to take pics, I just though, "thong"! Guess I know how to make a thong now 8)

So far so good for it, for now. I also have a secret project I started, very late, last night, which is supposed to be for Halloween, and I hoping I can get it done by Friday. Either way, look out for pics, I'll share even if I don't get it done!


Two for Tuesday

I have two cool things to share with you this Tuesday, plus I'll also introduce my puppy, or doggy really, but I like saying puppy, cause she's still a pup to me.

Here is my puppy "Rosie", she is a 3 yr. old Full Bred Golden Retriever from Kentucky. I worked with a great breeder a few years back, and was lucky to get Rosie, who was the premier pup of the liter. It all came down to timing and chance really that we got her, cause typically you pay top $$$ for the premier pup, but through some unfortunate events, her original intended owners had a death in the family and couldn't go through with the purchase, which is where I came along, literally the same day the breeder was notified, and voila, I had my puppy about 2 weeks later! Course, she was ever more cute and irresistible then as she is now.

She had a spa day at "Spa for Pets" in Los Gatos, CA this past Saturday, believe me, she needed it! They gave her the cutest tie with glow in the dark ghosts, great for trick'o'treating this year.


What she doing here? Well she's got her eyes on some squirrels in the back, she goes nuts for those squirrels!


Here she is just being her lovey self, and cuddling next to me. I have the spa use Oatmeal soap for her skin, if you know Golden Retriever's, they have sensitive skin, and usually go well with Oatmeal. Her coat is so soft right now...**petting her right now**

Ok and now to the two things I want to share. I received another great swap package! This time for my "Day of the Dead" swap. My spoiler did her work good, she gave me some great stuff! Here's a full view of all the goodies.

Day of the Dead Swap Package from Devotion to Knit

Do you see that green chinese food box? There were 2 of them, both filled with homemade Peanut Butter cookies! My absolute fave cookie! The other box, well, aheemm..., didn't make it to the photo shoot, courtesy of my hubby and kids. This box I stowed away for Lil'o me 8) Cheryl even provided the recipe she used for these cookies! I'm so lucky for this!

Cheryl included everything in this package, fresh peanut butter cookies (can you tell I'm crazy about them?), yummy skully candy (gooey skulls, candy bones, skull rings), BFL roving, Dinosaur pattern, handmade soap in the shape of skulls, fake tattoos, 2 Marigold skull planters, a pencil, and a handmade knitting bag.

Day of the Dead Swap Package from Devotion to Knit

It's all just fabulous, one of my faves, and I just can't thank her enough, so so nice and awesome, is this knitting bag! Look at this, black, my fave color, and that fabric! I did a post on it awhile back because I saw some clothes she made with this fabric and I thought it would be awesome for a knitting bag, and now I have one! The bottom of the knitting is reinforced, and keeps a nice square shape, and there's 3 buttonholes to string yarn through. The strap is comfortable and stretchy, she totally outdid herself. Check out her site "Rocka-ma-baby creations for mama and baby" over at Kavelizrd.etsy.com. It's an awesome job she did, and she's quite a seamstress!

Now onto the BFL! I now have in my possession, BFL roving! I love BFL, and always wanted some roving to spin with. I love greens, and this "Jonquil" is just pretty, I can't wait to spin it. She got this from Etsy shop "The Fiber Denn", such great fiber there.

Day of the Dead Swap Package from Devotion to Knit

BFL Roving "Jonquil 2" from The Fiber Denn on Etsy

My "Day of the Dead" soap came from "Queen of Queens" on Etsy, there so cute, I can't use them, I'll have to stash them next to my sheep soap!

Again, thanks oh so much to my spoiler "DevotiontoKnit"! You rock!

Second to share, is my progress on the "Tech Square Afghan" KAL. I had this project on hold for awhile, and finally finished the Tree Square. It's basically a pattern of a tree you make, out of variations of cable stitches. For some reason it took me forever to get this square knitting. This is is now the 2nd square completed, and leaves me 9 squares left to knit. I also got all my leave buttons sewed on the other night.

"Tree Square"Tech Square Afghan KAL

"Tree Square"Tech Square Afghan KAL

If you look at the top of the tree, you'll see towards the end I switched to just garter stitch, what I was supposed to be doing was a 3 stitch garter stitch border and reverse stockinette for the inside stitches. Well, I was watching the ever so painful 49ers game, and umm..fudged it up. I was so thankful to be done knitting this square though, that I just binded off and called it finished. Who knows, I might rip back and fix it but I don't think it's too too noticeable.. we'll see, it will have to wait until I'm done with all the squares though.

In the picture above, I tried to get the completed Domino square, Tree Square, and the starter I've done so far of the Monogram square.

Here's a closer look at the Monogram square, in the beige'ish center square, I'll be using Swiss stitch to add my initials, RM, or I might just add M for my last name. Not too sure yet. I should get this square done by tomorrow, it's going super fast.

"Tree Square"Tech Square Afghan KAL

In other news, I bought the "Central Park Hoodie" pattern, finally! Now for the yarn. I've finalized on going with tweed, but am still indecisive on whether to use Green tweed, brown tweed, or gray tweed...hmm? Plus I need to get a good brand, that is less than $10 a ball and is soft to touch. I've been browsing Knit Picks, and will probably purchase it at the end of this month. It will be my November project. I plan to start and finish my CPH during November **fingers crossed**.

That's all for now... see you hump day 8)

Current Events (**Malabrigo Alert**)

What can I say, I heart WOOLGIRL!

Saturday I received my August installment from the Woolgirl Sock Club, and it's just wonderful! Check out the big bag! This is perfect for large WIP's or just many smaller WIPs. See that baggy of goodies? It has the cutest rubber erasers shaped like sandals! I so will not use these, I'll have to place them on my shelf in my office to display. I just love the clever packaging, the way the skein of yarn was stored in the cute orange water bottle. The yarn is just refreshing and pretty, it isn't a colorway I would choose, but it is one that I like alot, which is a perk of joining a yarn club, I think it allows you to broaden your yarn color choices.

Woolgirl Sock Club "August 08"
Woolgirl Sock Club "August 08"
Plus.... SQUEE!!!!..... I got an email from Jenn letting me know that I won the "Georgia O'Keefe" Contest from the Woolgirl Sock Club. Not only did I win, I won 1st place! That's 3 skeins of the soft Mama Llama sock yarn of my choice coming my way. Getting my club package, and then finding this out, was just too good; it was kind of like a late bday present.

For the "Georgia O'Keefe" contest, we had to write a post of our favorite Georgia painting. She has such a beautiful collection of art, I just couldn't settle on just one painting, so I did one post with a few different paintings, with a quote of why I like each one. Here is the one that scored me the 1st prize.

Jack The Pulpit by Georgia O'Keefe

My quote for this was:
"Jack in the Pulpit IV"
Rich dark petals bring a feeling of comfort & security...soft blue center of fire reminds me that my sole is strong.
~Yo me siento vivo/I feel alive~

To see my full post, click here.

For my Mama Llama Sock Yarn, I choose these colorways:
Fall Leaves

And now onto other events, when I was GPY the other week, I found out from Beth (GPY owner) that they were to start a "Tech Square Afghan" Knit Along, starting 8/17/08. I quickly signed up, because the knit along is not like any other knit along. The Tech Square Afghan really is a unique experience. In this Afghan alone, you'll learn almost every technique under the sun. Techniques are: Entrelac, Intrasia, Provisional Cast-Ons, Seaming, Cabling, Increasing, Decreasing, Half-Hitch Increases, Double Decreases, Mattress Stitch, Circular Knitting, Knitted Cord, Traveling Stitches, Sewing, Waste Yarn Opening, Pockets, Embellishments, Steeking, Hemming, Duplicate Stitch, and much more. It really is a great project. I'll take some pictures of my WIP to show where I'm at in the Afghan, here's a look at the completed Afghan from the book.

**Malabrigo Alert**
I came across a thread on Ravelry, and the wonderful Gonzo, gave a link to a shop in Germany that is well stocked with the coveted Malabrigo Sock Yarn!!! YES ITS TRUE! All you need to do is choose your colors, send an email to bestellungATjuergenweidnerDOTde, they'll process the order for you via PayPal. The online store is Juergenweidner...it's all in German, to translate, use the Free Translation website.

Last, but not least are both the Ravelympics and Yarnsmackdown Events I'm in. I'm sorry to say but I'm just falling behind on my Ravelympics. I'm so upset. Yarnsmackdown has just eaten up my time. And Sock Wars III is still on, but now it's just getting old to me. I've been in this competition for months, killed 4 so far, just received a cake of Mountain Colors sock yarn from my previous target, but really have no desire to cast on another pair of Sock Wars Detonation socks. I've knit so many socks, not just for Sock Wars, that I'm just UGHHH! about it now. I've now decided that both Sock Wars & Yarnsmackdown are going to the bottom of my list, and from today on I'll be focusing on the Ravelympics, the Tech Square Afghan and Secret of the Stole III. I will say that I managed to score some points in Yarnsmackdown, killing with 2 Diamond Lace bookmarks, 1 pair of Starry Starry Nights socks, 1 Avocado w/Dollup of Sour Cream Toast, and 1 set of Diamond Lace Dishcloths = 10 points!