VKN Success!

We had our first Virtual Knit Night today and it was pretty fun. TheRovingLampman and knitinsanity showed up and we had ourselves a grand time. Therovinglampman is working on a really pretty shawl that began looking like a napkin because it was on such small needles and knitinsanity is working on some Catching Butterfly mits by Tiny Ow Knits and she just started her first toe up pair of socks. I also found an awesome Lord of the Rings esque book of sock patterns that I need to buy. I moved my So Square socks onto my Karbonz needles and really loved them once I got used to the density of them. (I’ll do a review once I finished the sock)

I would really love for this to be a weekly or bi-weekly event. Maybe a weekday and a weekend event would be nice. My new job is scheduling me some pretty random shifts right now so I won’t be able to make a definite schedule but I would love to schedule it in whenever it would work.

Right now, I’m working on felting my Hopsalots bunny slippers. I really hope (and doubt) that they will dry before Easter, but we shall see. I’m hopinh to finish Clarus and get some work on one of my pairs of socks this weekend, but I doubt it since Easter is a busy family time for me.




I got some new gold stitch markers from Knit Picks when I ordered the yarn. There’s a lot, they’re super small and light and thin so having the 30 or so there are on the shawl isn’t weighing it down at all. I think I’ll save these for my next shawl pattern.

I hope everyone has a good Easter Holiday. I’ll try to blog during the weekend, but if not, see you Monday!

Episode 5: Sleepy

e05 from PenguinSoup on Vimeo.


Wips:
My large Clarus Shawl isn’t finished. The pattern is by Laura Nelkin and I’ve taken the Craftsy class for it.
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Canopy Colourway
Correction: Actually size 4.0mm needles, not 5.0mm, Knit picks harmony wood interchangeable

Monkey socks by Cookie A.
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Make Believe colourway
Knit Picks 2.5mm nickel plated needles

Portulaca sweater by Carol Feller via Craftsy class
Patons Classic in the Jade Heather colourway
Knit Picks interchangeable 5.0mm needle

Hopsalots by Tiny Owl Knits aka Stephanie Dosen
Cascade 220

FOs
Spinning 
What’s Next
Laura Nelkins MKAL


Review Something!


Cool Stuff
Knit Picks is replacing my swift after it being broke for two years! It hasn’t worked properly since I got it. I called because of the “quality swift” add on their site and they offered to replace it or even give me a refund or credit.

I changed my ravelry name to PenguinSoup!

Laura Nelkin is having a Mystery Knit-Along! I’ve set up a thread in the Penguin Soup group for those who want to join and possibly win prizes. If you finish your shawl on time and post the finished product in the group, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a shawl pattern of your choice!

**Event Alert** Thursday, March 28 @ 12:00 CST I’m hosting a virtual knit night (more like an afternoon) on google+ hangout. Look me up at penguinsouppodcast@gmail.com or Ginny PenguinSoup as my name.

I was mentioned by knittenwolf in her Wolfe Farms Group. Episode 86: Talk About Soup!

Enabling
Storybook Yarn & Fiber Co. Luxury Sock yarn in the Mist colourway.
She’s a Manitoba dyer that has quality yarn. Hurrah for supporting local dyers.

Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles. Review coming soon!

Contests
We’ve gotten to 50 in the Ravelry Group so I’ve drawn for two sets of five owl stitch markers. The winners are:
1. Number 2: BunniPhish
2. Number 25: raspberrycattgirl

We have our first sponsored giveaway! Jstlaurent has offered a Terdis through the ages sock sized project bag up for grabs.
Rules:
1. Must be a member in the Ravelry Group
2. Go to her site and post in the thread which bag you like best or which fabrics you would like to see her use in the future.
**FREE SHIPPING CODE: trekinthedark**

New Yarn and MKAL!

So apparently I was a really good girl today because hubby got me a new yarn! It’s Storybook Art & Fibre’s Luxury Sock in the Mist colourway. It looks a little summin summin like this:

It is dyed locally (ish) in Teulon, Manitoba and all of her colourways remind me of Manitoba in some way. I’ve used this yarn before but in her sunset colourway for a pair of socks before. The yarn really does make me think of a Manitoban sunset. This Mist colourway makes me think of a misty Manitoban morning when the sun hits the mist that’s hanging low upon the wheat crops. And yes, I have been up that early, and yes, it was terrible!!

Anyways, I talked hubby into this yarn because I’m joining Laura Nelkin’s new mystery knit-along! I’ve decided to use this colour combo:

The solid colour is Dream in Colour Smooshy in the Bermuda Teal colourway and some Malabrigo Sock in the Rayon Vert colourway. I won the Malabrigo sock in a Sock Bunny giveaway about a year and a half to two years ago. I’ve been saving it for something special for myself but it was the only colourway that I had that worked with my solid yarn for the mkal. I was so sad to use the special yarn that I needed to replace it with a new special yarn, hence the Storybook yarn.

I’m having amkal knit-along (yes, kind of redundant) in my Penguin Soup ravelry group. Those who finish on schedule and post a picture are entered to win a shawl  pattern of their choice. Go sign up!

Also, those are some sa-weet Knitter’s Pride Karbonz needles!! I’m pretty excited to try them out since they’re supposed to be flexible and warm and pointy and just slippery but in a good way and all those things a good set of needles should be. (Run on sentence, I know. Ignore it.) I’ve heard that they’re super awesome needles and have a good price point. I would love to some day try Signature needles but at $50 a pop for a set of 5, I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon. Although, if they would like to send a pair for me to review, I would like the 2.5mm needles, thank you!!!

I realize that this is a bit of a badly written blog post. Sorry about that. I’ve got sweater calculations on the brain and a puppy trying to get his face as close to mine as possible.

Kind of like he is doing to my Cloudlover fibre as I was trying to photograph it.

See you Monday!

Resistance May be Futile

Humans, as a species, are inherently against change. I finally got my blog looking how I want it, my podcast is working (ish, still trying to get better quality) and things are fine. I’m just worried that I may run out of space sooner rather than later with hipcast and then have to make a change in blog hosts after I already have a good following and number of posts here. And that would make the change a lot harder.

My other alternative is to switch to a wordpress blog and use videopress. The issue with this is that I would run out of space after about a year or so and have to upgrade every year after that. It’s a huge pain. Another downside is that I would have to pay the lump sum up front and I’m more comfortable with the monthly thing for now. The biggest downside is I don’t like how the wordpress blogs look. And you can’t leave a comment unless you have an account and that’s a pain in the rear.

I really wish that blogger would make it easier for podcasters by enabling us to put our videos into our posts ourselves then we can do the feedburner thing and go from there. Grr. Maybe I’ll try a new program and see if I can shrink my video. But I’m sure blogger has a space capacity too.

Podcasting is hard!

UPDATES:
* I am having a Juego knit along group with prizes! It’s a Laura Nelkin Mystery Knit-Along that Starts April 12. Check the Ravelry group for more info.

* Thursday, March 28 at 12 CST I’m having a google hangout virtual knit night! penguinsouppodcast@gmail.com is the e-mail address or you can find me at Ginny PenguinSoup. Add me and we can have a cup of tea, chat, and knit together.

*Only a few more days to get the group to 50 members for the two sets of stitch markers to be drawn during Monday’s show. I’ll also be announcing our first sponsored giveaway then!

That’s about it,
Happy Crafting!

The Swatch Gods

I know you already know this (because you are smart knitter), and that I’ve already mentioned it in a previous post, but it must be brought up again. The importance of swatching and how it always always lies to you! That’s right, I swatched for my large Clarus shawl (at least I think I did), and I did it my proper cheating way. I even ran all my yarn through my yard counter thingy and it said I had about 5-10 yards more than the project called for. It was going to be close, but I should be able to finish it.

Well, last night the unthinkable happened. I ran out of yarn on the 13th row out of 26 for the boarder of my shawl. I guess I should have seen it coming, but I purposely made sure that wouldn’t happen. I was so confident in my swatching and counting abilities that I never ever checked how much yarn was left until it fell out of the bag while I was recording Episode 4. Either I was destined to fail, or I failed because I did see the amount of yarn left and started to doubt myself. I’m choosing to believe it was because of the ladder.

Hubby is being nice and breaking my yarn fast so I can get the yarn I nee to finish this damn thing. I think he feels sorry for me since I’ve been working on this thing forever May 18, 2012. And this past week and a half I’ve been talking about how awesome it will be to have it finished. And last night I get to the end of the row and let out an exacerbated f***.

Here’s a picture of it stretched out as far as my cable will let me.

Isn’t it so pretty? I really do love this green.
And here’s my pitiful pile of yarn that’s left.
Yes, those are penguin pjs 🙂

And no, at this point I don’t care if the dye lot doesn’t match. It’s the border so no one will notice, right?

Episode 4: Llama Sheds Like a Llama

Show Notes:
Wips:
Clarus (large) by Laura Nelkin
Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the Canopy Colourway
Knit Picks Interchangeable nickel 5.0mm needle

So Square Socks by Anne Hanson
Malabrigo Sock in the Alucauil colourway
Knit Picks Harmony wood 2.5mm dpn

FOs:
Orchids & Fairy Lights by Tiny Owl Knits (a.k.a. Stephanie Dosen)
South West Trading Company Luxury Llama (two skeins)
Knitters Pride 5.0mm 16″ circular

Spinning:
Cloudlover February club shipment: Poison Apple

Review Something!
Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2013 issue
*Rebecca Danger Interview
*Tubular cast on and off
*Black and white garments
*Spring and lacy tops

Cool Stuff:
Spinning Bunny Spinner’s Gague
Gifted Sock Blockers!
Shout out from LemKnitCrochet

Giveaway!
When the Penguin Soup Ravelry group has 30 members I will give away a set of 5 owl stitch markers. If we get to 50, I’ll give away two sets.
*Must me a member of the group
*Must post a comment describing the Penguin Soup Podcast in one word.

*I have a really really super awesome sponsored giveaway for you to be announced next week!!!

Too Tired to Title Today

It’s been a rough few days. I started my trip out snowboarding and tried to go up a hill before my lessons. I then had a panic attack and was made fun of and rode the lift of shame back down. With my confidence shattered, I attended my first lesson in a terrible mood. I did ok though, they said I was a level two or three out of six. 

My second day I did a run before my lesson and the heel edge of my board caught and I fractured my tailbone. I was unable to attend my lesson that day but after lunch I went and did two more runs anyways. 
Day three I tried to switch to skiing. I went to a lesson and cried like a baby. I was on the conveyer for kids and they stopped it and I jerked forward wrenching my poor tailbone. This happened three times. Yes, I did cry more than the kids on the hill. My instructor made me go to ski patrol where they poked my tailbone then tried to get me to take oxygen all while yelling questions at me. When I got back my wonderful father in-law told me to book myself a spa treatment. I had the Glacier which consisted of a rose moisturizing wrap, a soak in a tub and a one hour massage. Afterwards I felt like a million bucks, just a little crinkled. 
Day four I rode the timber (really long lift) to the Lost Boys diner at the top of one of the peaks. It was freaking cold (did i mention it was snowing… a lot) but fun and we had good good and good conversation (but a terrible view). I rode it back down and froze some more. Then went to explore the shops of Fernie with my aunt … In-law (is that a thing?) it was lots of fun and there were some really cool shops. I got some fudge for Ji and Rose bought me a present! I got 16″ size 5.0mm needles so I can start my hat and sock blockers!! I no longer have to use my misshapen coat hangers. I’m so excited! 
Day five is tomorrow and I’ve got packing and leaving to do. It will take us  three days to get home. I’m really hoping to do an episode tomorrow sometime and then a real one on Monday after I get home. 
Just a few updates for you. And here’s some pictures my hubby took at the top of the mountain. 

 

Some of these are screen shots from a video so not the best quality but still awesome. 

 

Unsuccessful Knitting Day 2

We left yesterday shortly after dinner. This meant that there was no way I was getting at knitting done since I like to be able to see my stitches if I need to. I’m not quite so pro as to be able to knit in the dark…yet. (Movie theatre knitting, here I come!) We ended our first day of driving around midnight. 

This morning we left pretty early, which I was pretty excited about. (A whole day of knitting) I started strong and soon faltered. I decided to start on my shawl with the goal to finish it today. It turns out that bumpy Saskatchewan roads are not conducive to lace knitting. I then decided to work on my llama hat. Apparently I brought the wrong cable length. If it was shorter I could knit circularly and if I’d have brought a longer cable I could have used the magic loop method. I thought about working on my Monkey socks but the ssk and other stitches I needed to knit together wouldn’t  be easy to work on the bumpy road. So I’m stuck working on the second So Square sock. There will be no shawl or hat for me, but there may be a new pair of socks for Ji. I’m a little upset about this. 
Oh well. Look, a wheat field. 

Swatching

I know that you’ve already been told by multiple people and cited multiple sources that swatching is necessary, if not mandatory. You already know that it’s important so you can see how the yarn will react when blocked and worn, and to get a proper fit. You probably also know, because you’ve done it’s happened to you because you’re smart people, that swatching is the only way to avoid a situation of pure knitting doom. Doom I tell you!

For all the reasons mentioned above, including avoiding the doom, I’m sitting here on a snowy day (I will not say lovely because I hate the cold, but it is quite pretty) swatching for my Orchids & Fairy Lights hat when I should be packing. That’s right, I haven’t even started packing yet. All of this god awful snow has given me a migraine for the last three stinking days!

But I digress… I hate swatching almost as much as I hate the snow. I know it is necessary, and in some cases mandatory, but that doesn’t keep me from hating it. Swatching feels like a giant waste of yarn to me. I know that some people make blankets out of their swatches and others give them to the birds. There are a variety of things you can do with your swatch but it still takes up yarn!

 I think my hatred for swatching might also have to do something with my fear of running out of yarn on a project. I’ve been really really close before. I’ve come so close that I’ve only had about two or three inches left. That’s barely enough to weave in the teeny tiny little end. If I’d have done a proper swatch first then I wouldn’t have had enough yarn! And I know, you can undo your swatch and use that yarn to finish your project, but that’s a huge pain in the rear.

So how exactly do I do my swatch so I’ll know if I’m able to avoid a doomy situation and still save the yarn? I shall tell you my cheaterly ways. I knit up my swatch like any good knitter trying to avoid a knit-splosion. But I don’t cast off. I then take my swatch off the needles and measure it. Sometimes, I’ll even block it if I feel that the odds just aren’t in my favour. Then, this is the magical part, I just unravel it and start my project with the swatch yarn! This is my little way of beating the system and feeling like I’m not wasting those precious bits of yarn that could save me in a knit-pocalypse.

Thanks for reading through the huge block of text. Here’s a picture of the last Orchids & Fairy Lights hat that I made for my mom last year.

Procrastination and Packing

I hate packing because you never know what you’ll need or what you’ll feel like wearing that day. I always get made fun of for how much I actually bring, but this time it will probably be worse. I’ll pack either my large or extra large suitcase full of clothes and sweaters and what not. Then my big duffle bag  that my sister gave me as an overnight bag for when we stop. Then there’s my Lug Puddle jumper for my laptop, iPad, 3DS, and other entertainment devices. And, of course, my L.J. Kaelms for my knitting and purse needs.

Packing the clothes would be ok if I could get everything I might want to wear through the washer. The toiletries aren’t that hard either, but they need to be last so I can get ready the morning we have to leave. The knitting is the hardest part. For this trip, I’m not sure exactly how much knitting time I’ll have. The drive there and back is about a day and a half in the car so I’ll probably spend a good portion of that time switching between knitting, reading, and playing games. I’m not sure if there will be a lot of time for knitting, or if I’ll even feel like it after a day full of snowboarding and falling on my butt. We might also visit some friends on our way home, which would increase the drive but might lower the amount of time to knit because I’ll be visiting. It’s quite a dilemma.

I know for sure I’ll be brining my So Square socks, Monkey socks, and an extra skein of sock yarn, just in case. I’ll also be bringing my shawl and maybe another project of the like, probably my Orchids & Fairy Lights hat. My biggest issue is the sweater. It’s quite a big project, uses two skeins at the same time, and has quite a few pages of charts to work from. I feel like working on this in the car could go splendidly or could go catastrophically. And since I can’t decide whether or not to bring my sweater, I have put off all of the packing until I can make up my mind. I guess I better figure that out sooner rather than later.

For those of you wondering about Waffles and Miles, our friend Gord is coming to stay at our house and look after our animals. I’m leaving detailed instructions on what to do in certain situations with Miles since we’re clicker training him and things have to be done a certain way. I’m sure it will all go swimmingly, and the worse thing that could happen is a few puddles on the floor. But I’ll be worried and texting Gord probably a few times a day just to double check. I’m leaving my poor little puppy for the first time, and I hope everything goes well.

I’m looking forward to bringing you pictures of the rockies and whatever else amuses me during the car ride, and also trying to podcast from the mountains.

Until tomorrow,