Friday, February 22, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Whew ! My first Stitches yarn orgy, I mean festival. Yes there was yarn you wanted to roll around in, so orgy did come to mind.
We arrived before 9 am and waited in line for the ticket window to open. We - my DH and I. This was my Valentine's present. DH drove and stayed with me during the dazzling day. He was great company and help.
First stop was of course, Ravelry. Casey and Jess - delightful to meet these friendly founders!
Had to have a couple of tie tack pins. Bob and the Ravelry logo. They did have bags, and shirts and stickers, but I just kept to the pins. We received a passport to collect rubberstamp'd logos from participating vendors. This was DH's responsibility and he did it admirably. We turned in our passports for a drawing chance to win prizes. DH has a terrific sense of direction, so I could say where did we see the ... and he would remember!!!! Happy, happy valentine's treat for me.
I love Mountain Colors yarns and met the owner. Lovely lady and she too laments that the superwash yarn does bleed a bit. She had colors I hadn't seen in my lys's and wow. I need some of the solid colorways of Bearfoot.

Jane Thornley was gracious and we sure enjoyed peeking at her book of Tuscany pictures and her knitting kits.

What a fantastic adventure. I got to lust over Koigu and Claudia Handpainted and qivuit and alpacas and hearty Irish yarns and books. Ok, you're probably wondering if I actually bought anything!?! Yes, look at this!
Sock yarn for my DS's girlfriend: this luscious red orange color Wasonga from Curious Creek. Yep, that's a real orange for color comparison.

And this lovely aqua Jitterbug for a pair of socks for me.

Bad color in the photo of the Colinette Jitterbug - it is more turquoise/aqua. My favorite!

I also treated myself to some 24" 00 Addi Lace needles and a new book on Norwegian knitting.

But the most tempting was a kit from Catherine Lowe of Habu. I love, love, love her Hipari Jacket and her Body Wrap. (hard to navigate the website, but trust me her yarns and designs are incredible.) Ok, severe $$ saving time. Hence the serious control on my spending today.

Last but not least. I got to say hello in person to my Ravelry & blog friends: Catmum and Purls Just Wanna Have Fun. Sharing the joy adds to the fun!

Off to kitchener my wip sock so I can free up the needles for a sock out of the new yarn!

Monday, February 18, 2008

What a wonderful world!

There is joy in blog land! at least in my blog land! Marisol over at : Purls Just Wanna Have Fun posted this:

Now I see, as in get it, the instructions that baffled me for the beginning of Evelyn's Shetland Triangle. Marisol, thank you for your generosity of time and patience to document this tutorial.

Blog land is the greatest! I have to confess to a HUGE list of blogs. (would you believe 272 blogs? mostly knitting. And I keep finding more!) Here's why I love 'em: When the knitting 'tickles' my carpal tunnel, I drop the WIP and jump to the computer for a change of activity. With so many blogs, there is always something interesting to read about a knitter or the knitting project. Can't think of too many better way to rest the ole wrist! (Don't even go there with the housekeeping suggestions!)

Knitting blogs inspire and teach - about knitting and life. I add my prayers and the best wishes for my blog friends when they or theirs are hospitalized, or smile in admiration when they complete a FO. Yarn to drool over turned into fabulous shawls and sweaters and socks - it is all a wonderful world. Knitting blogs dazzle and keep me excited to return to the needles. Mostly I lurk as they don't know me, I may have found them from another blogger's list of favorites. But wonder of wonders if I have commented, by golly, they email back. What a wonderful world, our knitting world!
and the incredible Louis Armstrong singing this classic. (sorry, I wanted that to be the youtube little tv to click on. but my copy just got a link.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

A change of heart

Branching Out was my first lace project and I loved the challenge and the result! The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. Lovely to work as it is soft and just stretchy enough to make the YO's and k2tog easy.

Ravelry has so many beautiful lace shawls. Tempted I was. Yes, that's right - was. The plan was to knit a silk shawl for our trip to the Pacific islands. First start an easy pattern with wool then with that skill level developed, progress to the silk. Time was spent looking, yarn was purchased, stitches were cast on. Fun? not really. Although I felt committed, the yarn was longing to be a lacy sock. So after consideration, I realized that I would wear a sock more often than I would wear a shawl. Yes, there actually is a blue stole in the closet and ok, you're right I hardly wear it. So the fantasy of elegant me drapped in a to die for shawl sipping some cool drink has gone to be replaced by the practical me.
Yep, I'm just fine with that. In fact I can hardly wait to complete the current sock to cast on for Pomatomus. So many sock patterns, so little time.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year

Yikes - just looked up my Chinese astrological sign characteristics and yowsers they are right on !

In case you wanna look up yours.


When knitting my socks, I didn't think about ease, I just knit and tried on and adjusted without any logical planning. Instinct knitting? I guess you could call it that. Wasn't calculated, more improvised.

Ok, this casual sizing plan came to a halt when DS's foot lives in another town. All the reading about negative ease skipped my mind about 5 socks ago. After carefully measuring, I knit the first attempt exactly 10" long - just like his foot. Oppsey. Too large. Frogged the toe decreases and started again. Still too long and baggy around the foot. Another weekend measurement, a little delving into the references and I think I have it.

Yesterday I cast on for the second sock and am trying 28 stitches on the instep needle and 32 stitches on the sole needle. Knitting away and hoping this works. Also hoping I don't run out of yarn. At least let me get down to the point where the foot hides in the shoe. Then I could change color. Oh, no, what if he wants to wear these with his sandels. Oh, well cross that bridge when I get there. See my knitting style. Jump in and adjust later. Truly knitting by the seat of my pants. (I need to google that - how did flying by the seat of your pants get started? I'm picturing some skater named Hans sliding down an icy canal at top speed with rump on the ice. Or maybe it was a comment from a chair lift as a ski-less skier slides rumpus style down the hill.

So now you know why there have been no blog entries - there have been huge blocks of time with no or negative progress while we wait for a fitting. Oh, I did complete the afghan. if you ravel too.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Keepin' the faith

After viewing so many lovely designs and FO's in Ravelry and knit blogs it is all I can do to keep my chin up and be proud of the progress I'm making. Yes, I am proud. I've come a long way in my courage to try new projects. But along with the learning a dis-ease creeps in when I compare my work to some of the master knitters who share through the internet. They have families and jobs and yet they are turning out gorgeous shawls and lacey socks. Where are they finding the time and mental creative go power?

Is knitting just that addictive? Seems to be. Most of my projects are practical and I use every one. At any one time in the winter I'm probably wearing socks and pulsewarmers and possibly a hat - yes inside. We've chosen to keep the furnace off and it gets chilly. Yes. Even. in. California! smile. House has been 59 F today - so not so bad. Opps, how did I wander so far off the topic. Oh yes, coveting those marvelous lace projects.

Ok, self, listen up. They are inspiration and you too can create lacey things. (once you get through the practical stuff, her conscience says chortling under her breath)

So, chin up. Stop blogging and get to knitting.

Ready to close the toe on Darling first son's sock. I hope it fits. Picture as soon as I do.

Well, first I need to pull out some glass canisters to put yarn in and visit a new to me group in Ravelry. All thanks to a new friend across the nation whom I've never seen, but like a lot. To visit her great blog, see:

See how addictive the online knitting community is ! ! ! ! !

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Resolutions ?

Time to check in with the Resolutions made 31 days ago.

First the good news, I have worn my hand knit socks every day. On the day I needed to 'dress up' it was rainy so I wore my 'dress' boots and my casual sock secret was safely hidden.

As to the exercise before knitting. Well . . . those exercise resolutions are always a challenge. I have tried to walk more, but have to admit that on the rainy days I didn't get out. (Wait, does walking in Costco count?)

So resolutions for February? I think they should be about love - since this is St. Valentine's month. Try to love walking? That's easy to fudge. Try finishing the afghan? That's do-able.
And yes, keep knitting and wearing socks. Sweet!