Monday, June 24, 2013

Junebug Days 2013 Week Four!

I can't believe this month is almost over. Only one challenge left? Well, let's get busy!
This is my birthday week, so I chose some of my very favorites.

Let's help the bees! What is the 30th flower?
(And I hope you found a few new ones to include in your garden.)

I love language, so how exciting that this festival begins on my birthday!
Where is the "One World, Many Voices" celebration going to be held?

This site is so helpful! You do not have to sign up to do this.
Type in your favorite food. 
Look at the nutrients (you may need to click "see more") and tell me the name of your food and how much protein it contains. 

This is one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite chefs.
What are the four grains used?

Keri Smith is a favorite of mine. She makes you think and see!
What is the 55th idea?

Remember, you have until Sunday at midnight to send your correct answers to me at 

Have fun!

Junebug Days Week Three Winner!

Thanks so much to all who entered the Scavenge Challenge last week!
The winner is Kate! Big congrats!!

I am working on this week's challenge, so bear with me. I had some gardening to do and errands to run after being gone last week. More on the vacation soon!

I hope a bunch of you will play along with us for the last challenge of this year's Junebug Days!
See you soon!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Junebug Days 2013 Week Three

I'm finally back with out week three Scavenge Challenge!
Remember the rules:
Send me your answers to the challenge below at jen(at)jenhagan(dot)com.
You have until Sunday at midnight to play this week's challenge.
I have added a new twist: If you have already won a weekly challenge, you will not be entered into a second one. Play if you want, but I can only enter you once for the Grand Prize, which will be chosen from the weekly winners. You have two more chances to win the Grand Prize. Let's play!

What is the last tip under Bathroom?
(I’ve done this myself and love it!)

I’m going to do this one! Read through the steps. How does it say to attach the elastic for the scissor holder?

Great idea! What kind of thread are you advised to use?

Cute! What is the extra touch at the end? 

I’m doing this as soon as I get home. 
What are the three ingredients?

Most of these are decidedly crafty and from Country Living, but I thought they were such good ideas that I had to share! I hope you picked up some tips you can use, too!

I look forward to seeing your e-mail with answers in my inbox!

Note: For those of you who have been checking the past day or so, yes, I edited this a bit. :-)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Junebug Days 2013 Week Two Winner!

Last week's winner was Bonnie!
She has received her code for shopping in my pattern store. Congrats, Bonnie!
Thanks for those of you who played last week.

Now, for a slight apology. 
This week's challenge will be a little late--I am on vacation and the hike for the day is calling me. However, I will be back tomorrow with this week's challenge. I hope you'll check back in and play along with us.

Off to the woods!
Enjoy your day, as well!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ivy league Vest: Final Notes

She's all done!

This has been another huge learning experience for me.
Eunny Jang's Ivy League Vest is an excellent pattern and I only made a couple of modifications. More about that later.

This morning I unpinned her from the blocking board and did the second round of end-trimming.
(Yes, I really learned my lesson from that cowl.)

I also learned to make a couple of improvements on my Fair Isle technique.
I really need to tidy up those side seam floats. I seem to do okay everywhere else, but I am still making the floats a little tight in places...
...and very loose in places. 
No, those are not ends to be trimmed, but a place where I forgot to keep the float snug enough.

I also learned to pay more attention to the color pattern.
See that little center point in the middle of the picture? The one on the bottom is supposed to be like the one on top. Oops.

When it came time to pick up and knit the neck ribbing, all the pattern allowed was for decreasing one stitch on either side of the center stitch, which was waiting on a holder. It said nothing about how to do this. This being only my second Fair Isle sweater, I did not know what to do. I decided to just work a centered double decrease, because I like the look of this better than ssk before and k2tog after that center stitch. Now I realize that it would have also worked nicely had I kept that center stitch a purl in the contrast color and worked the ssk and k2tog in the main color. There are lots of other ways to do this, as well. 
What do you usually do, Fair Islers?

When it came time to bind off the neck, I thought there was a typo. The sleeve ribbing had been bound off in knit stitch, but at the neck ribbing it said to bind off in purl stitch. I went looking everywhere for errata, found none, and then decided to trust the pattern. What do you think? I think it's a small detail and would have been okay either way.

After trimming those ends on the inside, I tacked down all the steek facings with simple whip stitch. I liked the sound of doing it in blanket stitch, also suggested in the pattern, but by this time I was ready to get on with it and whip stitch is easier for me.
I did not need to do the single crochet reinforcement before cutting the steeks this time, so there was none of that to deal with. This yarn is so sticky that I had confidence that it would hold onto itself. It did!

Here's her back side.

And look at all the yarn I had left!
I only used close to half of everything except the silver and cream, which both have over half the yarn left over. I must use this for another Fair Isle project. I loved the color combo!
This is Black Water Abbey Sport and it works wonderfully for Fair Isle. It's properly rustic, washes up very nicely, and the colors are superb.

The only modifications I made to this pattern were to stop at the shoulders before the last peerie (my row gauge was different), to use the same size needle on the ribbing as on the body (I almost always do this), to change to a 16" circular and then two 16" circulars once the neck and armhole decreases brought the stitch count down too low to continue on the 24" circular (the pattern says nothing about this), to use the 24" circular on the neck edging (I do not see how anyone work that ribbing with a 16" as suggested in the pattern--there were 200 stitches on the needle before the decreases for my size), and to change the colors.

Other than that, it was a dream!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Junebug Days 2013 Week Two

First of all, congratulations to Marcia for winning the week one challenge! She has received her prize coupon code for free patterns in my shop!

I had five entrants who got all five answers correct: Sheralynn, Cayenne, Bonnie, Debra, and Marcia. 
Here are the correct answers to the week one challenge:

1. eleven 2. two tsp vanilla 3. Alice and Hurray for Urban Broads 4. kind and friendly 5. various

Now on to week two! Here are your Scavenge Challenge clues. Incidentally, I found all of this by jumping off the great site, Simple Mom.

Funny notes written by kids. Caution: some mature content, but certainly not intended. In his love letter, what did Julian promise to buy his sweetheart?

Play this game--you can pick any area you want by clicking on the box in the left margin. It starts with New England by default.
What was your first wrong answer?  If you got everything correct, you are a rock star and if so, your answer is 
“I am a rock star!”

Click on “the value of rest” in number 3. 
What is the quote included here by Ovid?

Which one is your favorite? Yes, you must pick just one.

Great recipe! If you don’t have a crockpot, at what temp do you set your oven and what’s the max time to leave it there?

Yeah, Blogger format gave me a hard time and I got punchy.
Have fun and I hope to hear some answers from you!
(If you're new to the challenge, here are the specs.)
Have fun browsing.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

WIP Wednesday: One Active and One Goof

First, I have good news to report!
I am in the homestretch on my Ivy League Vest. I just changed to a 16" circular from the 24" one I've been working with throughout the project. As you can see, with the armhole steeks and the V-neck steek taking stitches away, this baby is dwindling down. In a few more rounds there will be a fourth steek for the back of the neck, which will take away more stitches. 

My only small beef with the pattern thus far is that there is no mention of a smaller circular in the larger size needle. There is a 16" circular needle called for in a smaller size for working the neck and armhole edging, but none for where I am at this point. There is no way I could maintain this on a 24" circular. These are good things to know at the beginning of a project, because you find yourself in FO frenzy, searching the house for that 16" circular, only to find that the only one you have is filled with yarn on another project, so you go to the craft store to find an 18" circular, but they only have 16" and 24" (which you already have and no longer need) and a 48" and then go to a second craft store to find the same dilemma, and then a third to find...well, you get it. Oh, and I might mention that the reason I had to go to all the craft stores is because my LYS is closed on Tuesday. I know they would have had size 3 circulars in any length I wanted!

Still and all, I love the pattern, I love how the Black Water Abbey Sport yarn is working up, and I am hoping to finish up before hot weather hits. Maybe by the end of the week?

Now for the second part of this post, I must report on an unintentional WIP. Yep, it's one I thought I had finished months ago. I was so sure it was good to go that I entered it into a fiber arts competition... the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, no less.

We love and subscribe to the Mother Earth News magazine, so when I saw that the fair was coming to Puyallup, which is just right up the road from us, I knew we had to go. Then when I noticed that they were having a fiber arts competition, I knew I had to enter something. I've never entered one before--why not?And what better item to enter than my Kathy's Cowl made with gorgeous Washington-grown Ravenwood Cashmere? And it looks all finished, right?

Wrong! Look what was lurking inside, ready to embarrass the heck out of me? Not one, not two, but THREE pesky yarn ends that had not been woven in.

Allow me to explain how this horrible thing happened. My usual process is to finish up, weave in ends (leaving a bit of end to allow for stretching), wash, block, and then go back and hide all the ends. I can't tell you how many times I have forgotten to take care of that last step, because you know and I know that when that sucker is dry, all you want to do is wear the darned thing. That's usually okay when it's something that doesn't then get entered into a competition. Dagnabbit!

So I am here to make you feel better for all those times when, like me, you made a silly mistake, a rookie mistake, an humbling mistake. We all make them.

I don't think I stood much chance of winning anyway, but it would have been great to get a good score. As you can see from the previous picture, I got a 25.5 out 30 because of the silly yarn ends. The winner of my category was a free-form bag with all sorts of beading and a beautiful lining. Here is a picture of the competition tables on the MEN Facebook page and surely soon they will post pics of the winners there. The Grand Prize winner is in the foreground of that picture and was a beautiful lace shawl with all sorts of fall-themed motifs--sheafs of grain, pumpkins, witches on brooms, etc. It was amazing!

All WIP's aside, thanks to the three folks who have already entered this week's Junebug Days Scavenge Challenge. We need a few more to make things interesting, so don't delay! This one stays open until Sunday. On Monday I'll be back with a new Scavenge Challenge! Join us!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Junebug Days 2013 Week One

Thanks so much for joining me today to kick off this year's
Junebug Days!

Hey, remember those fun parties when you were a little sprout and the adults would make you go 
door-to-door asking for things, otherwise known as a 
Scavenger Hunt? 
Well, I'm going to do the same thing this month, except that we're going to do it virtually. Let's play the
Junebug Days Scavenge Challenge!

Here are the rules.
Every Monday in June I will give you a list of five "things" to gather by searching the internet. For each item, I will start you off with a link. Once you reach the required site, you must find the answer to a specific question. Then once you have your five answers, e-mail them to me at jen(at)jenhagan(dot)com. I will answer each e-mail to let you know I received your entry. At the end of the week, all correct entries will be put in a drawing. That week's winner will receive an e-mail with a code to use to receive two free patterns in my Ravelry pattern shop.

But that's not all!

At the end of the month, I will put all four winners into a drawing to win this little prize:
That's five skeins of Cascade Soft Spun in color 2811,
five skeins of Cascade Dolce in color 956,
and Cathy Carron's book, Short Story: Chic Knits for Layering!
There are some mighty cute shrugs, short jackets, and crop tops in this book and you could make a couple of them with this prize yarn.

Okay, let's start this party!

Week One Clues

Go to the SuperNaturale site and look up “How to Upholster a Tree Stump.”
How many steps are in the process for upholstering a tree stump?

Look up her Lemon Lemon Loaf recipe.
What is the 12th ingredient?

What HKF did she wear for the second anniversary of HKF?

What kind of personality does the Saanens goat have?

Click the link. Tell me which one was new to you. Enjoy this very informative site!

I hope this also leads you to some really helpful and/or inspiring Web sites to bookmark for visiting later.
I received no compensation from the chosen sites for promoting them. I just like them!

Have fun and I'll see you soon!