Love me a good swap!

Swaps are quite popular over at Ravelry.  What is a swap?  Join a group in the forums that has a theme you enjoy, sign up for a partner, and follow the rules.  Usually, swaps have a dollar limit, and requirements, such as an edible treat, a crafted project, and yarn.

For example, I recently participated in a Boardgame Swap with the Nerdy Swaps group.  I listed my likes and dislikes, what boardgames, card games, etc that I enjoy, and was assigned a partner.  Above is what my awesome swap partner sent me.

  • Tea as my edible treat.
  • A duct tape notions bag in the style of a Carcassonne tile (I’m a beast at Carcassonne.)
  • A dice bag feature the Forest mana symbol from Magic:  The Gathering.
  • Yummy alpaca yarn.  Alpaca is my favorite fiber of all time.
  • Dice erasers
  • Blank cards for the game Fluxx
  • Playing cards with a Lego motif
  • A note from my partner, which is on an Ed Hardy card, and I am a fan of Ed Hardy’s work, but I don’t think my partner knew that, so it was a happy surprise!

This was a very pleasant swap experience.  My swap advice?  Be a pleasant partner.  Communicate.  If you cannot meet deadlines, let the person and your partner who you are coordinating with know.  Get tracking numbers when you ship.  Basically, follow the rules and you will be fine.

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Three Projects

I am behind on updating my FO’s, and here are three that I have completed and want to share with you guys. 

1.  Murky Waters Scarf

 I’ve knit this scarf a few times, and I felt like doing it again for a Ravelry project.  I also spun the yarn a while ago.  I think it turned out quite nice!  I’ll probably put it in the pile to sell at a craft show.

2.  Raven Collar

I love it when I can knit something out of Vogue Knitting, or at least adapt one from there.  In the Spring/Summer 2013 issue, there was a series of collar that looked fun and fashionable to knit.  I gave on a shot, and here it is!

Below is a closeup of the actual lace pattern.  This one is modeled after “Tango.”

3.  Lovegood Square 3  I always thought owl cables looked difficult, but they really aren’t and I gave on a shot for one of my Hogwart’s squares.  I had some lovely yellow Plymouth Encore Worsted that made for nice knitting and made a lovely background for my owl here.

Well, those are my three projects that I wanted to share with your this evening?  What have you finished recently?  Tell me!

Bored? Knit a square!

And that’s pretty much what I did this weekend.  I also needed squares from my Lovegood blanket over at Hogwarts at Ravelry, where I am a member of House Ravenclaw.  Harry Potter for the win!

So, I decided on two different squares.  The first is a horseshoe cable square.  I like it!  Cables are fun, especially when you read you pattern correctly and it comes out correctly.  Interested in trying it yourself?  Here’s the link to the pattern on Ravelry.

The purple one here is out of my beloved 201 Knitting Motifs, Blocks, Projects, and Ideas by Nicki Trench.  It’s her Kiss block.  It’s quite easy to do.  Here are the project details over on Ravelry.

I’ve also ready elsewhere that knitting blocks is a just a good way to learn new techniques, and I hope to do that here with my blanket squares.  It’s a good exercise in technique and keeps you from getting bored.  Squares are fun!

Owl Puff

I knit an owl tonight!  I actually did for a group at Ravelry, Hogwarts at Ravelry.  You guessed, I’m a closet Harry Potter nerd.

I’m only now reading the books.  I’m on the fifth on in the series, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.”  It’s a bit dragging, but is picking up.  Overall, I’m adoring the series.

As a part of the group, you can knit/crochet your school supplies, including your pet.  Here’s the owl I whipped up tonight.

Cute, huh?

Camaraderie

I recently completed a knitting class to learn how to do the Wingspan scarf/shawl pattern that can be found on Ravelry.  It was fun and I will post pictures of my project when it is done.
I’ll admit something.  I could’ve easily have figured out this pattern on my own.  The real reason I took the class?  I wanted some knitting camaraderie!  I love hanging out with other knitters while we are working on a project and just shooting the breeze.  I paid money for that.  And I don’t regret it!
Last night was the final hour of the class.  Three of us sat around a table, knitting, and talking about life.  One big topic was movies.  It was another common thread between us and it was refreshing.  I need to hang out and knit with my fellow knitters more. 

Adventures with DPN’s and Tie Dye

Double pointed needles, which shall be called henceforth DPN’s, were a frustrating mystery to me.  They seemed clunky and clumsy, and I deliberately tried to avoid using them.  But, I had a few patterns in my pattern binder that called for them and those patterns would mercilessly mock me every time I paged passed them.  In my frustrated shame, I would quickly turn the page. 
I tried teaching myself on metal needles, and, though I kept my cool, just couldn’t get it.  So, a trip to my local yarn shop, henceforth known as an LYS, was in order.   And I’m glad I did.  First off, a set of WOODEN or BAMBOO needles were recommended.  Stitches won’t slide off as much on wood or bamboo.  After the patient owner of the shop worked with me, I realized I had the basics down, I just needed a nudge in the right direction.
In my excitement, I bought a set of Brittany DPN’s and some double-knit weight yarn, and, yes, that shall now be known as DK weight.  I got some more DPN’s later that week, and started making hat using the Moonset Hat Pattern, which is free, and you can get it on Ravelry.  I even attempted basic lace on this one!  And the results, I did it!  And I have a cheesy grin on my face as you can tell by the photo here.  I was so proud of myself.  See my project details if you’d like.
The moral of the story….don’t let patterns mock you.  Get help.  It’s out there and you might discover a new technique.  Conquer your fears!
In other crafting news…..I dug out of my closet this morning a shirt I had tie dyed a while ago.  I like to break out a tie dye kit every now and then make a mess in the kitchen with all the pretty colored dyes.  I used a “camo” kit for this shirt.   I attempted to make vertical stripes here, and I was happy with the results. 
Until next time, keep on doing what you do best.  Whatever that may be.