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!