December 15, 2011

Oh I've missed you.

Dear Blog

I have missed you.  I'll be back soon.  The holidays have started eating me alive, or making me eat everything in site.  One of the two.  I hope I get a small cold next week and have to stay home with some knitting and you.

Small cold I said, small.

<3 Spitfire.

PS  there has been knitting - my god has there been knitting :-D

December 4, 2011

Quick Quick Super Quick

Quick update!

Holiday knitting is in full force except I wasn't going to do any .... yeah.  Not so hot at sticking to stuff.

I finished some cute socks - groovy socks - in some handpainted sock blank.  It turned out great - they are lace though and not thermally appropriate for the Chicagoland weather of December.  They will be hibernating in the drawer a bit.

I cast on another pair of socks out of left overs from my vacation shawl (seen below).  Rhythm Man Socks - they are a slip stitch pattern which should offer ample protection from the harsh Chicagoland winters.

I had a finishing flurry over Thanksgiving weekend.  Friend R came over for Dr Who time and she started a new sweater and I finished a ton of projects including modifications to a sweater I made this spring - a Juliet made in Brown Sheep Cotton yarn.  It is beige and a good combo with a long sleeve t-shirt.  I will go add some to my wardrobe. I also finished Grandma's slippers.  I made her socks - she won't put them in her shoes, so she said they are too slippery to wear around the house.  I got some leather soles and made these:

I keep thinking maybe I should knit another pair of socks to "line" the slippers with, but I don't think I will at this point.  I even swatched for this - a rarity - but it made me a convert.  It turned out so well - like every time it does when I swatch... jeez.  I might be a convert.

I then decided to use November's Dream in Color Club color for not the scarf designed for it.  (a little short for a scarf if you ask me).  I made a crochet shawllette from the Chicago Yarn Crawl.  It's amazing.  I need to block it.  I will do that tomorrow.  Typing it makes it true right?

November 20, 2011

A winner in every way!

I won a couple of the KAL prizes and it made up for all the little things that went wrong this week.

The headlight that went out is forgiven, as is the keyboard that shorted.

I got a call on Thursday from Skacel about the Progressive Needles KAL and I won the 5th prize!  Should be a grab-bag of goodies.  I'm thrilled!

I went to Saturday knitting at Fuzzy Wuzzy and found out I won the Fall KAL prize too!

That was a gift certificate - not really sure what I want to do with it either.  So many choices...  Maybe some Lindsey to knit out of the Norah Gaughn vol 8.  Lots of cute summery stuff.  Ogunqui?  Ogunyes.

I'm almost through a potholding pattern.  2 Oven mitts, 5 potholders and 2 skeins of wool.  I've started working two at a time, I'm excited to see how that effects the felted product.  It's looking good :)

I've also picked up the hook - we'll see how this goes...

November 13, 2011

You Can't Tell Me What to Knit

Last month was Sock-tober, a month long celebration of sock knitting.  As a celebration I didn't knit a stitch on my sock-in-progress until almost the last day of the month.

It is now National Sweater Knitting Month (a play on National Novel Writing Month) and I finished my Fuzzy Sweater, but can't find myself to start another.  It's like a toddler like instinct in me that says - NO!  I will not celebrate what you want to.  I will do what I want.

What have I been working on?  Everything but sweaters... scarf for my brother in packer colored Malabrigo Worsted, Spectra by Stephen West (so pretty), hats for Halos of Hope (car knitting - I've hit too many trains this week - long ones too - the type where you turn your car OFF because you wait so long).  I've worked on my shawl design, and I'm one skein in - about 1/2 way done!

I started 2 more projects.  A set of potholders for my Mom - who is finally tossing her 15 yr old quilted set (she quilted them herself).  She asked me to pick up a set at IKEA, but that seemed like a poor replacement for such great potholders.  I am making some felted ones, a design from Knitpicks, out of I Love This Wool from Hobby Lobby - yeah.  I do not love that wool, but I love that it's cheap, and I can get 7 potholders out of one skein.  A set of flat potholders and some mitts.  I think she'll love them - and they will last.

I also have started and finished a pair of slippers for my grandmother - I use "finished" but I just finished the knitting portion.  A pattern off of with leather soles, I think she will love them.

Aren't they fun?

November 6, 2011

Couch Time

I spent almost all day yesterday in the car.  I did a Pampered Chef show in central WI and visited my cousin and her adorable new baby.  8 weeks old & 14lbs!  He's a chubby little guy who's hair naturally lies in a mohawk.  I think he is a keeper.

Today I'm sitting on the couch recovering from cat hair.  I'll be doing some laundry and maths.  Maths?  Why am I blogging about maths?  (As a mathematician I can call it maths)  I am thinking of ripping out the bleeding hearts design and starting again.  Maybe I should just cast on another and play with that?  Maybe, maybe.

November 3, 2011

Yarnie Goodness comes in the mail

It has been a good week for mail so far.  Lots of yarnie goodness, and a purple strainer

The strainer was filled with yarn & other treats.
I love swaps with the Dizzy Sheep Groupies :)  I went shopping for my swap buddy in my stash of yarn and Pampered Chef products & recipe books.  I am not a pretty wrapper - I did not send my home-made jam though, jalapeno jam is not everyone's taste :)

I also got a package from my grade-school friend Mary.  The package was COVERED in stickers and I loved it.  In it was sock yarn from Brown Sheep Co, which I haven't seen anywhere - odd.  It's called Wildefoot.  It's so soft, I'm surprised it doesn't have a silk content (no really).  It's in boyfriend's colors, so he'll get socks out of them.  A lovely grey with a ply of black. It's called Master Grey.

October 31, 2011

Vacation Day!

I took the day off today - so a bonus post this week!

My big plans included a conference call at 8:30, but I slept through that.  It's ok, I will catch up tomorrow at work.

Other plans include a chiropractic appointment, go to the chiropractor, giving candy to people that knock on my door and finishing a sweater.  My Fuzzy Wuzzy KAL is almost done.  3.3" of stockinette and I have the knitting done.  I figure 2 hours of knitting and about 3 hours of seaming to the finish line.  I even pinned the sweater together last night to try on.  It fits very comfortably and I am now very motivated.

I also have a few projects that need some TLC.
1.  A sweater that needs a button rearrangement.  I made Moonstruck with a coupon code from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and I love it.  It would be perfect as a knit coat/outdoor sweater right now.  However the diagonal button placement is insane.  I had a problem with placement, and now when I button it the hem looks great but the collar is not laying right.  I will need an assistant to do that I think.

2. I have a Juliet sweater (very similar to the February Lady Sweater) that I don't like the collar. I want to add a little extra.  I've found people that put a ribbed boarder around the whole thing - I have a lack of yarn problem, so that's not an option.  But I did see someone that picked up and put a collar with the lace pattern on it.  I will try that and pray I have enough yarn left.

3. Lastly, I have a sweater who had sleeve problems.  Oh yes, after two months of wearing it, I realized the sleeves were WAY too long.  I ripped them out - seriously, just ripped those babies right out.  Now I have to re-knit them though.  Maybe I didn't think that all the way through.  It has been languishing for about 3 months. I would like that sweater now....

Here we go!

October 30, 2011

Lightweight Lady's Beanie

A pattern for The Lightweight Lady's Beanie.

This beanie in a light weight yarn is perfect for summer or wearing indoors.  The ribbing gives lots of stretch as to accommodate a wide variety of head sizes.

1 stitch marker
US 5 needles, circulars or double pointed
Darning Needle
About 25g of fingering weight/sock yarn

15 stitches/2 inches in 1x1 rib, not stretched.

Cast on 108 stitches loosely.  Join in the round placing marker at the start of the round- careful not to twist your stitches - and work in a knit 1 purl 1 rib in the round.  Work in K1 P1 rib for 7" - 8."  Start decreasing every other row until 18 stitches remain.

Decrease rows: Slip 1 as if to knit, knit 2 together, pass slip stitch over, work 9 (7,5,3,1) in established ribbing.

Last 2 rounds - work 1 row in established ribbed pattern.  Slip slip knit all the way around the next row.  Cut yarn, and pull end through remaining stitches to secure the top of hat.  Weave in ends :)


One this about having a lot of projects going on is that there are sometimes a lot of finishing going on.

Two KAL's done!  Both small shawls are done.

The Momijiari from the Dream in Color Club was finished up this week.  I had a couple extra rows in my base triangle, which meant I was low on yarn.  As it became evident I would not make it to the end of the lace edging, I began thinking of options.  Well, I found an error on the edge of the lace, and without a chart (I am a chart lover) I really couldn't visualize how I messed up.  So I ripped the whole edging out and started picking up stitches again.  It wasn't too bad because they pattern created loops to pick up!  Very nice feature of this design, and very decorative too!  So I picked it all back up - and after the setup rows, I took up the pattern where I was (without adjusting for the extra stitches I had).  I skipped the "stem" rows but completed the leaves.  I really think that this shawl embodies fall.  A base of amazing colors with leaves falling off of the edge! Way to go Beth Kling!

I finished the Progressive Needles Shawl on Saturday.  I added an extra 4 rows of the last pattern, but I probably could have done 8 with what I had left in yarn.  The picot edging was a nice touch, but a pain to complete.  I have to say my Triplicity Shawl was challenging, but in a good way.

Two other items left the needles - two pieces of headware.  One Hallowig for Halloween, I went as a witch-doctor and as I cannot wear facepaint - I wore the blue/green hallowig!

I also finished a hat for Halos of Hope - they are looking for 200 women's hats before end of year.  I was starting one hat and ended up losing the instructions and winging it.  Here's a picture of my Lightweight Lady's Beanie

I'll put up a pattern next blog post as I've already cast on another in a great DiC purple!

October 23, 2011

A week in which I make progress

I made progress on some KAL's this week.  I ripped out some others.

The progress! Progress was made on both the Progressive Needles KAL and the Fuzzy Fall KAL.  The Simplicity Shawl has made it to clue 3.  The yarn is so very soft and these stitches are very challenging.  The pattern does keep me engaged.  However, I'm not making amazing progress because I'm not printing the pattern - I'm only working on it in front of the computer.  I highlight the row I'm on and work it, then highlight the next.

The Fuzzy Fall KAL is moving along.  I'm done with the sleeves and now am working down the back.  I worked about 5" over the Packer game today, only about 11" left and I'm ready to seam!  Wow, I'm pretty close.

The ripping.  The dream club Momijigari isn't going well.  I am knitting at a loser gauge than in the pattern, but I like the fabric a lot.  I love the color, but as I started the boarder I thought I might run out of yarn.  As I got to row 10 of the 20 row boarder I knew I was going to run out of yarn.  There are 15 of us all knitting the same thing, with the same yarn, I would probably be able to bribe someone for scraps - but every skein was very different, no chances of looking cohesive.  Well, the decision to rip back was made for me as I found a mistake at the edge pattern.  I missed a SSK and a YO 2 or 4 rows back - and it looks so different from the other side.  I couldn't figure out the pattern well enough, I needed a chart.  I ripped back and created a chart.  It makes more sense.  Now - I'm re-starting the boarder - but skipping a few rows - it will work out and I won't run out of yarn.

I did attend a stellar event this week!  The Yarn Harlot is on her book tour, and she made it to Chicago-land!  I made it and this picture says we look like we could be related.  It's the round cheeks and fluffy hair.  It's a look we rock.

I re-started the first book of her's I got for Christmas last year.  It is so funny, and very hard to put down.  I understand knitting humor, knitters should right for knitters.

October 16, 2011

A grand Knit-A-Long indeed

So I talked with my mom last night.  We needed to chat over how the merging a 3rd dog into the household was going.  Not good at all, and the dog went back was the answer to that.  However, she asked me what I was up to, and the obvious answer was that I was knitting all the things in the world.  "In the world?"  "Yes, Mom, in the world.  Let me give you a run down of what I've got on the needles/hooks."

I pulled up my rav page and began rattling off all my projects.  Whoa boy - I've got 8 or so and some hibernating.  I'm happy to report grand progress on the knit a longs!

My Dodgson sweater is over 1/2 done!  I've now joined the collar pieces, and moving down the back.  It's a cardigan with a one piece construction starting at the bottom front worked up and over the shoulders then down the back.  I've started down the back, now only using one working yarn and the working the broken rib on the ends of the sleeves.  I have a hunch that once the shaping is done this sweater is going to be very boring to work on....

I did start the Knit Purl Hunter's Progressive Needles KAL.  I have some aqua colored Simplicity Yarn.  The yarn is a mystery to me, it's a Merino Wool, Nylon and Acrylic blend.  It feels like a Merino but I feel like it acts like a cotton.  It isn't very stretchy.  I do love the color though, and it is working well with the pattern.  It is a "simple" triangle shawl with sections of stockinette stitch and sections of texture.  The texture has been stitches that I have never done before.  So far it's been the knit 1 below and the knot stitch.  I can't wait to see what comes next!

I also picked up the October Dream in Color Dream Club stuff.  The yarn is a blend I haven't seen from them before (to my knowledge), a Mohair Merino blend in a very fun color that is exactly what the changing leaves look like.  There was a kick-off of sorts in the store and we all cast on at the same time.  It was interesting to have such a wide variety of skill levels in one group.  Fun though.  This shawl is a triangle shawl worked sideways in garter then we'll come back and pick up along one edge and do some great lace work. SO EXCITED - the garter stitch portion of it is working up quickly but those rows are getting a bit longer now.

The garter stitch portion of the shawl reminds me of Fit to be Tied.  It's a cute free pattern and here's what mine looks like.

On Saturday I cast on a new project - to celebrate I Love Yarn Day - because I love yarn.  I started something that my knit-friends and I have been plotting for months now - Spectra by Stephen West.  Very clever Stephen, very clever.  I picked out a Dream in Color Starry in Deep Sea Flower as my boarder color and a Lang Jawoll Magic in pinks and oranges to go in the "windows."  The contrast is great so far!  Or at least I thought so in the not-so-natural light. What do you think?

So - that's enough of chat - I'm going to run to the grocery & the post office, and then snuggle down for some good Wisconsin sports & the Walking Dead tonight, with my knitting of course.

October 9, 2011

Teaching Time

The first time I taught someone to knit it ended in tears.  That's not an exaggeration or a lie.  My godson and his twin sister came to visit me for a weekend when I was living in GB.  We did fun GB things like Bay Beach and the NEW zoo.  It was a great time, and on the morning before they left the sister asked me to teach her to knit. I had been knitting while they were video gaming making something I can't remember and enjoying it.  I grabbed a pair of needles and some yarn.  I cast on 20 stitches, and showed her how to move them from one needle to the next.  As a young type A, she expected for it to be easy and got easily frustrated.  Made some disparaging comments and when I told her it was ok and she was doing good.  But she didn't believe it and we ended with tears.

Now I realize that she was a little too young to learn, on the boarder but still not ready yet.  I did send her a crochet kit a year later for her birthday along with a note saying how I felt crochet was a little easier and was what I started with.  She took to it like water.  She made a blanket for our mutual cousin's new baby.  :-D

Since then I have taught 4 people to knit and one to crochet.  I think I've improved my teaching skills a little.  Being upfront that it's not hard, but is tricky at first I think is key.  Having an enthusiastic student is also a great help.  Good tools is helpful too.

Last two was at charity knitting at one knitter came in followed by two non-knitters who wanted to learn.  With the all staffers busy, I jumped in to teach them.  It looked like a mother-daughter team of new knitters.  And I sat next to one, taught the knit cast on, and then I moved over to the mother and showed her.  The knitter who convinced them to come in hadn't done a knitted cast on before and wanted to learn too.  I will say that it was so cool to see how two brand new knitters knit differently.  Both knit English, but one propped her left hand needle against her stomach so it was perpendicular to her and worked only the right needle.  It was so fun!  :-D

Needles news:  I started the Progressive Needles KAL last night.  It was quick and the K1B stitch was easy to create but difficult to read.  That is to say, when trying to read my K1B stitches it was hard to figure out.  Yikes!  It will take a few more projects to get it down.

I also started a halloween costume, more to come...

October 7, 2011

I need a few more knit along's please?

I don't think I realized how many KAL's I've committed myself too.

What's on my needles?  Everything and I must knit all the things.

First is a Fall KAL for Fuzzy Wuzzy's Berroco KAL.  I picked out a 3/4 sleeve sweater called Dodgson out of Berroco Boboli.  It's a lofty one ply yarn, very short bursts of color and it's working up very shiney and fluffy.  I do like the pattern, no errors so far.  It's a different construction starting at the bottom front, over the shoulders and down the back.  The sleeves are knit as we go.  I'm unsure of how I will like the fit of the sleeves knit sideways.

I've got yarn to start Knit Purl Hunter's Progressive Needles KAL.  I don't know that I will start, as I've also got yarn coming for the October Dream in Color kit.  I've been working on a prayer shawl for a girlfriend of mine who's going through a rough time.  However, I've been struggling so much with the pattern that I think I should rip back and try something simpler.  So I was thinking of gifting one of these instead.  I know that the pattern I picked out would take about a year to complete and I think that she deserves a little comfort sooner than that.

Maybe we need a KAL for the blog?  Socks?  I love socks?  Who wants to knit the Groovy socks with me? I just finished the ribbing!

I've also been working on a design of my own - working one with beads and one without.  It's called Bleeding Hearts Shawl and here's a preview.

I've also been working on Christmas gifts, but not very hard.  I think I'm going to make slippers for the grands.  I know my grandparents have all the stuff they could ever need.  So I like to craft them something, and I know that my dad's parents have enjoyed the socks I've made them.  My grandmother on my mom's side likes them but needs more stability.  I will make her some with leather soles.  I also knit for Greg's grandmother last year too.  She's a crafter as well (actually - all of my family is crafters) so she knows the effort and uses the items I gift.  <3  I think Greg's mom will get a pair of slippers too - they should work up real quick.  I hope I have some quality colors in my stash for this!

See - look I'm planning more projects too!

But I really wanted to tell you about teaching others to craft and I'll do that tomorrow because I'm now itching to knit!  

September 30, 2011

Meeting Goals and Deadlines

Have you made your September goals?  I completed 2 projects at work, one over 3 weeks and one with 2 weeks of work crammed into one.  I feel I might be bored at work next week....

While balancing that - I have been doing Single Skein September done by Stash N Burn.  Idea is to look at your stash and use up that yarn that you bought one of to try and never really touched.  So I had some Peruvia from a random stash swap a while ago - ruby in color.  I made a Filipi scarf with a matching hat.  Someone's Christmas will be made!

Check out that SAS book!  I started the scarf to KAL with a work friend who wanted to knit again.  She learned as a child in China, but had since put it down.  It is funny to work with translations, for example she knows how to do a purl stitch, but not that it is called a purl stitch :-D  It's great fun, because she's on my work team too.  I'm delighted.  She did beat me (it's not a race) finishing her scarf in about a week.  Working every night while watching TV with her family.  I would work on it at work, while on lunch or while programs were running.  I had some report writing that took priority....

I also completed a pair of socks - amazing simple color work pattern:
The pattern is Shenandoah Socks by Cailyn Meyer, there were a few errors in the numbers of the pattern.  Mostly every time the row started with a slip stitch.  It's easy to forget to count that first one as a stitch.  I messaged her and she will correct them.  But more interestingly, she said these were her first sock pattern published!  It made me feel special.  It's an odd construction, the instep and sole were knit flat and then there's a heel flap too!  I did about 14 repeats on the leg - but still had a smidge of blue/black sparkles left.  Yet it's better to have a smidge more than be a smidge short.

Lastly 2 head pieces from the yarn crawl.  A headband with a flower from Closeknit and a Sweetie Pie Hat from Knitche.

So, what can you do in a month?  Knit over 1000 yards for sure!  

September 23, 2011

Saw these socks from a friend at work

I want to make these - anyone recognize these socks?  Pattern or source.  How about the toe technique?


September 20, 2011

All in a day's work

Knit report is thin.  I've been listening to the whooshing noise that deadlines make as they pass you by.  Work is swamped and with so many of us accessing the SAS server it's not happy and runs super slow.  ugh.  I did have a great open house for my pampered chef biz. What a great time - I'm such a perfectionist though.  I need to chill a little.  I had everything prepped and ready 2 hours early.  Not that it's that bad... I was done with Christmas knitting in October last year.

The last couple days I've been obsessed with spinning and spindles.  And I did spin for an hour last night.  I had the bug bad yesterday.  After talking with my doctor about it that morning and reading my Spin and Knit magazine properly in the waiting room, it was time.

Last week I finished the practice slub that Annette gave me to mess around with.  It was some easy to work with wool something in purple.  And here is purple yarn!

It's amazing isn't it?  *Sigh*

So yesterday I grabbed the llama I got from a family friend.  It's light and fluffy and a bit like air.  Annette saw it tonight at knit night and told me I was brave.  She said llama is kind of slippery.  Well, I hadn't really noticed that much, but I guess it is.  It's harder to get back together if it breaks.  But.... I love it.  It's spinning up so well.  I'm getting really good on the spindle she gave me, but I'd like one with a hook.  The spindle I'm using is a bottom whorl with no notch or hook.  It's challenging, but I got a GIANT hair rubber band and put that top of the spindle to secure my yarn.  Alright, it's a small hair rubber band but giant compared to the tiny braces rubber band that was on it when she gave it to me.

Anyway,  I love it.  I'm sore in odd places though, I need to pay attention to how I position my body when I work.  I think I'm twisting, my shoulder hurts a bit today - my tendinitis.

ION - flickr sucks.  They updated their iPhone app & now it won't read my library.  I can only upload pictures immediately after I take them.  I'm bad at that.

September 13, 2011

Awesome News & Stitches Midwest

I must congratulate Lion Brand Yarns & Yarncraft podcast on 100 episodes! And for Ep 99 they gave away a crochet book and a mini loom. I won the mini loom! Hurray. That really brightened my day of training. It was a rough day and this was a highlight!

So August was great for another reason - Stitches Midwest. A friend of mine hosted a weekend up at her cabin for the knitting gang. I did not go, I had volunteered for Halos of Hope & I had paid for events & a class at Stitches. So a handful of knitting friends went up to the cabin, but a good group of them were in Schaumburg IL for Stitches Midwest. I went to the Market Preview on Thursday, which was a nice way to shop. They open the market place a day early for students. Shop in a quieter environment. I would say if you are looking to shop with ease, Thursday or Sunday afternoon is the way to go.

Thursday was good shopping, I did 75% of my shopping then, buying sock yarn in pairs, some Lorna's Laces Solemate, Socks that Rock Lightweight and Holiday Yarns. All different and amazing. :-D I met up with a knitting group friend who had a class and didn't go up to the cabin for dinner. We ate in the hotel and dang - tasty and reasonably prices. We talked about a bunch of stuff & she introduced me to the Knitting Pipeline and Paula was at Stitches! I found a new podcast. I love her voice & she's so nice. Listen to her if you've got room on the mp3 player!

Friday I popped in to drop off my raffle ticket for Fri & see if I could find my knitting gang/Stephen West. BTW - one of them is stalking him. Anyway - It was crowded and parking was bad, so I didn't look - just walked out again & grabbed bite to eat. Then back to work. I came back to the hotel in the evening for the PJ party. I hung out with the Halos of Hope Prez and the gang from Fuzzy Wuzzy and sat with the family of Cascade Yarns! Shannon is so sweet, her mom and grandma were so nice. I had so much fun with the knitting gals. The PJ contest involved animal calls. I should have done better. :-D Next year I'm making some slippers too :)

On Saturday I came in early to meet up with Ms. Knitting Adventures and visit Halos again and shop a little. My shopping technique really was to shop stuff the drew me in. I would not enter every booth and examine every object, but be selective. It worked well, but I do wish I had gotten a drop spindle. I hung out until it was class time and then I went to my Design Your Own Triangle Shawl with Brooke Nico. Brooke is a great, high energy, enthusiastic, make it work kind of teacher. She was great. A few people sitting next to me got up and left, as though designing is easy. It is not. I walked out of the class with tons of ideas and nothing on my needles. I wanted to sit down with my compy immediately and start playing in excel/knitting software. Yup, I got that last year after stitches. I haven't used it much, but I love it. I like excel, as a math nerd, but it has limitations.

I then shopped a little before the Saturday Night Student Banquet & Fashion Show. I sat with Lily Chin & she told me she thought my Stephen West KAL shawl was classy. :-D I was glowing, she's so talented and wonderful. My table was nice and talkative and fun. The fashion show was great, such talent. But I swear the women who won the prizes for the fashion show this year, won them last year too. Big colorful shawls and sweaters seem to win. Maybe Rick's predictable. Totally not my thing, but I loved all the ideas and pride that everyone showed.

My Saturday haul was 2 pairs of free socks and packer sock yarn and a Lucy Neatby Sock DVD. <3 Sunday was my volunteer day at the Halos of Hope Booth. We talked about Shark Hats, gave away free hat patterns and took pictures of the Fuzzy Wuzzy mascot at Stitches events & booths. :-D Then I stuck around for the cash drawing - which I did not win, but a Fuzzy Wuzzy gang member did! Excellent! Then I went to the Ms Babs booth and took a skein home. Yeah :-D She does amazing things with color. My Stitches Haul:

Haven't worked with any of it yet. What would you work with first?

September 7, 2011

I crawl along

Wow, I can't believe it's Wednesday already!

I'm prepping for a Pampered Chef Open House at my place in a week and a half. Almost all the invites are out. I'm so excited - but drained.

But let's talk more about August Adventures.

The second big inspiration was The Chicago Yarn Crawl and I loved it! My LYS's all had big events during the opening weekend. Three Bags Full in Northbrook IL had Stephen West visiting on day one of the crawl. Mosaic Yarn Studio in Des Plaines IL had a pizza party on opening night of the crawl. Yes - I started the crawl out with Stephen West and a pizza party! The next night Fuzzy Wuzzy Yarns' in Arlington Heights IL had a dinner. YUM.

The first day I could crawl was day 2 Saturday - I lost my partner due to family emergency (Melissa) but I got a call from StarFruitKnits and we made plans for the next day. I had already mapped out a route and she navigated with her TomTom. Thanks Tom! We hit almost every yarn store in the Northwest, West and South West burbs participating in the crawl. The only ones we didn't make were the one in Norwood Park, Mosaic & Three Bags - since I at the last 2 on the day before. I bought at about 25% of the stores that day and at my second to the last store - Knot Just Knits - I bought retina seer-ing pink sock yarn. At that point it was the only thing making it in my brain. The day ended with store #15 and my first drawing slip at Fuzzy Wuzzy. woo hoo! I had been to most of those stores before. I knew which ones I liked and which I would just get stamped at. It was a very quick day but draining with the miles put on. We did make it down to the region 5 store.

I went home and cast on a new project!

Got up the next morning to meet up with my coffee shop knitting group - and crawled downtown and up the north coast. There are some swanky shops downtown. The most unique shop was Sifu - which was more of a craft store than a yarn shop. So many hand crafted item - hand dyed - hand spun - art pieces - embroidery. So so cool. Our group was big enough to take 3 vehicles and ended up splitting up after the shops downtown - traffic and parking being rough - we went at our own paces. My car partner R drove and I navigated. She was an ACE at parallel parking and we made all the downtown shops, met up with the other girls at Mia Bella. The rest of the group ended there - we thought we could hit Evanston before they closed. We burst into Closeknit at 1 minute before CLOSE! It was such an adrenaline rush. Bought more than I had hoped - but love everything I got. That store was so small but so sweet. The other Evanston shop - Montoya - was tiny. We had about 6 people in there - 2 of us - 2 owner and 2 other regulars of Fuzzy Wuzzy! It was so nice to see friendly faces around the crawl.

I had hit 26 stores at this point. I got my second raffle ticket for all 5 regions at Windy Knitty. But I only needed one more store to get my 3rd and final ticket! I needed to make it to Woolly Lamb.

Tuesday Three Bags Full had a Knit In - I went and won a door prize. It was totally unnecessary to give them out - but Lynette was so sweet. I don't think anyone left without one! Thanks!

I had a lull during work in Wed so I ran off to the yarn shop. I clocked out at 3 and scampered to the store so I could get that last stamp. I was lucky and my boss let me leave early. It was a great store, it looked like it was breathing a sigh of relief. Apparently the store was in chaos not 15 minutes prior to my arrival - as they had a booth at Stitches Midwest (to be blogged about later). I found DIC's December Club color - rock. I was on a high after I hit the last store. I called R - she was on a high after she had JUST finished the crawl too! High FIVE!

I then took pictures of my haul.

Soon I'll tell you how I did in the 3 raffles :) I've knit two items already from that pile of goodies. I'm using the bag right now for my brother's Christmas Scarf.

So my assessment of the Yarn Crawl - so much fun you can't stand it. Overall - I purchased at 66% of stores at an average of $20 per store. I love LYS's! Some unfortunate health issues caused a couple stores to close early or for a few days. It messed some people's crawl schedules since communication wasn't at a maximum. I understand their frustrations, but I also don't understand the huge IRE expressed constantly by the same few people. This event is to celebrate our local small businesses that love yarn & knitting & crocheting, it's not the end of the world to miss one, nor is it a contest for a million dollars. It's a raffle for about $150-$300 in prizes. The complainers wore on my nerves, and I hope those few negative nellies don't discourage the organizers from doing it again.

Next time - Stitches!

September 2, 2011

Too Drunk to knit

Parents came to visit today. Bored at work all day - until 15 min before they called to say they were 15 minutes away. Yeah.

Now I've done same really bad knitting that I will have to rip out tomorrow.

Thanks mom & dad!

August 31, 2011

Down the Knitting Hole

Ok - maybe that title isn't so cleaver but more dirty.

Anyway, I've found myself less enamored with my significant other as of late because he is not a sheep or make of wool or dyed in pretty colors. I think it's all about living in Chicago in August.

There's so much fibery goodness happening around here this month!

First there's friends pressuring you to knit the Stephen West Mystery KAL run on Ravelry. My knitting friends got a little Stephen West crazy about 6 months ago when he visited Loopy Yarns in the South Loop downtown Chicago. Great store but I was doing a show that day (I sell pampered chef ( so I made some yarn money instead of spending it. They came back with books and patterns and a billion ideas and started making his entire collection (exaggeration par for course). I thought they were very nice but kept making my socks and doing my own thing - as I am one to do.

Then I over hear - "Did you see that he's doing a mystery shawl?" And I perked up. I love a good mystery knit, the SKA mystery socks are tons of fun. I love them. I grouped many a collection of 3 yarns for the shawl. Looked at yardage - got a yardage counter for my yarn. And settled on 2 combinations to make 2 small versions of the shawl. I felt that if I didn't like them - I could give them away and it wasn't a complete waste of time. I picked out a black, red and white combo and a pink, green and lavender combo which looked like this:

So every week Stephen put out a clue and I would knit them along on both shawlettes. It was a quick knit and I learned a new way to Make 1 Right and Make 1 Left that greatly improved the look of my shawl. It was very sleek and modern looking. And here's what they turned out like:

Delightful. Stephen got to see my WIP and Lily Chin saw my black white and red shawlette and said it was sleek and classy. Squee! And this was only the beginning of my August Fiber Fun!

Project Pages:
Composition in Black White and Red
Mystery KAL #2

August 30, 2011

A Spinning Story

I did visit the Windy City Knitting Guild at their new home in the library. The library in my town has meeting rooms available for residents for free!

It has great lighting and a wind open space. There were about 7 women there with wheels all spinning away on various fibers. It was very cool to hear the whoosh of all those wheels. My friend R and I came as newbies. Annette offered to teach us if we came and she had tons of drop spindles if we visited. R came with her own spindle and roving from her last attempt at it. Annette also brought a wheel for us to take a spin on.

I had a good time on the drop spindle and one of the women came over and corrected me on my drafting. It was like a lightbulb went on in my head. Everything started to come much smoother. R was really struggling and it hurt to watch her do so. After some time on the spindle we each too a ride on the wheel. R had struggle with her roving. it was far too thick for the wheel - it wanted skinny yarn, and she was feeding it thick chunks of roving and it wasn't drafting too well.

I got on the wheel next and found the treadle difficult to master. It was single and I don't know how the double works - but I'm guessing it's smoother than this. By the end I was FINALLY getting the drafting to work well, and spinning some rather smooth yarn. Although with the wheel I was finding that I over spun a lot.

Assessment: I'll go back. I ordered some wool from Miss Babbs & will be getting some llama roving from a family friend who raises them. (4 ounces of each) I'm excited and my arm is a little sore from holding up the drop spindle but in a good way. Tomorrow while at the hair dresser - I might bring my new spindle instead of my knitting!

August 29, 2011

A New Resolution

A post every week.

I'm going to use this knitting blog - to blog. I can't podcast. I just wont' make time for it. Dude, I'm so bad at making time for anything but knitting - even some knitting related things just don't happen.

So. I intend to do a couple things in this space.
1. Talk about my knitting projects and how they are working out.
2. Talk about my designing expeditions
3. Talk about my knit group & the stuff we do.
4. Muse poetic about crafting topics in general.

The facts that are essential:
1. I knit well.
2. I crochet ok.
3. I live with this guy who likes that yarny goodness makes me happy.
4. I am a math nerd at heart.

So with that in mind. My first post is to say that I'm leaving in 10 minutes to go to the library and experiment with spinning for the first time.

Yup. Not only did I already have a ton of yarn, I'm going to go try my hand at making a little bit of it. As a perfectionist - I don't know how this is going to go. Reports later this week, if I can get a spindle out of my hand ...