Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Greys Have it!

Most of the voting went with the Grey Knitpicks Shimmer! It looks like that's what the Swallowtail shawl will be made of! Thanks for voting... I'll be drawing for a winner later today, Saucey said she'd help, but there's naps to be taken! I'll post the name in my next post.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spider Patrol

Hey! I think there’s a spider in there…

Yep, pretty sure I saw one
I’m gonna get you
Whew! That was a lot of work

Psst! Don't forget to vote... Grey or purple?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Shot with Me Wearing It!

Okay, not a very original post title, but hey, it's Monday!

As promised...
Here’s a picture of me wearing the Purple Passion / Summertime Shell (please disregard amateur model with wet hair…professional models are expensive!)

In other knitting, I have several things OTN, but nothing close to finishing. I didn’t get much knitting time (or time for much else) last week because I worked additional days at the shop while the owner took a much deserved vacation. Things will hopefully get back to normal this week. Not much knitting happened this weekend either. I had to play a little catch up around the house plus spend some time with DH who was feeling neglected because of the previously mentioned extra work shifts.

When I did finally get to knit, I had planned to make enough progress on my t-shirt to post a picture today, but last night’s knitting amounted to negative progress when I had to frog back about ten rows due to missing an increase in every increase row (that’s 5 missing stitches if you’re counting). Sheesh! What else could I do?

So, instead, you’ll have to settle for yet another pair of socks in progress… these are the second pair from the Noro sock yarn. I’m still having fun making these stripes. The way these colors are mixing, I probably should have called these socks the Sunrise/ Sunset Quartet since that's what comes to my mind when you put the two pair together…
Oh, and unbelievable as this may seem, there is one or two colors in the yarn that don't show up in the socks! AND! I think I may have enough yarn left for a small pair of anklets or maybe a pair of funky socks for my grandson… we’ll see.

Reminder! Don’t forget to cast your vote for the grey/ knit picks shimmer or the Purple / Mini-maiden for the swallow tail shawl. Drawing is this Thursday

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Purple Passion ... and a prize?

The Summertime Shell is finished! Here’s a pic of it blocking… maybe once it’s dry I can talk DH into taking a picture of me wearing it. I hope it’s dry soon because I really want to wear it. I finished it just in time for the hottest part of summer! I really like the way it turned out. I did a couple pattern modifications and am glad I did. The only other modification I would do if I knit this pattern again (and I might) would be to knit everything in the round up to the armholes. I knit the lace sections flat and it was kind of a pain to seam them (I think it took me almost as long to seam as it did to knit the armhole bands!) Here are the specs:

Pattern: Summertime Shell by Melissa Leapman from Creative Knitting July 2008
Yarn SWTC Beyond Bold (Cotton) in Purple
Size 5 Needles

Cast on June 23rd / Finished July 21st

Now on to a decision…
Remember the yummy Mini-maiden lace weight I showed off in the last post?
I can’t decide whether to use it for the Swallowtail Shawl or to use the Knit Picks Shimmer (Alpaca/Silk) I originally picked out for the shawl.

Both yarns have their merits and are highly touchable, pretty colors and so forth… So dear readers… I’m asking your opinion. Which one would you use? And why?
Everyone who leaves a comment to this post with a vote/opinion will have their name go into a drawing for a special prize package. I will hold the drawing on July 31st which just happens to by my 1st blogiversary and also the end of my first official year of retirement.
So tell me what you think!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fun Weekend

I had a fun and busy weekend. On Saturday, I headed out to Crystal Lake, IL for the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival. Boy, I could have used two days to really look at everything there was to see and do, though. But, thankfully for my wallet...

But, really, I think I did well in terms of staying within my budget. I went on a cash-only basis and managed to come home with a quarter of the cash allotted still in my wallet. No … I don’t mean a literal quarter… after buying food, drink and a few knitting goodies... I mean that I still had enough money left over to tuck some away for the Stitches market (yeah!) Not that I didn’t find lots of luscious things that I wanted to buy. And, can you believe, that in a total blog-dork moment, I um, only took a total of one picture at the festival. (new friend "alpaca") ! So you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that it was a fiber wonderland. There were so many wonderful fibers and colors to look at and touch, that it was nearly overwheliming! I also took a class, so I didn’t spend the entire time there shopping. The class was called “Getting the most out of Variegated Yarns” taught by Penny Cetner of Wool, Warp and Wheel. It covered using variegated yarns in different contexts. We started a project using both Fair Isle and intarsia techniques to create designs and textures within the project using both variegated and solid yarn; we also learned how using shaping techniques like short rows can really highlight the qualities of a variegated yarn. It was an interesting and thought-provoking class for a designer-wannabe like me.

I also saw knitting friends old and new and I hung out with Sheri from Wednesday Kaffe Klutch, who I also did the Stitches market with last year. We helped each other resist “impulse” yarn purchases a little better this time. (But she did show me a book that is now on my wishlist).

So you’re staring at your screen thinking “get to the good stuff woman! What did you buy???” (right?) Well, even if you’re not, I’m prepared to show you now.
Behold, the lot…

I bought some mills end Louet Euroflax in a sort of grape-silver heather; some organic cotton (show special half-price); there were also a few “fun” trinkets that I also found; a little knitting pin; a funky knitting needle bracelet; some Lauren Burch Buttons (to match two I already had); a hand carved shawl pin; and some handmade soap.
My one big splurge was some silk Mini-Maiden in a totally “me” color: (Hand Maiden Lace Weight 50% Silk, 50% Wool; amethyst) I cannot stop touching this!!!

And on the knitting front, yesterday was just a typical Sunday (Church, brunch, Softball) with time for knitting in-between, so I almost finished my Summertime Shell; hopefully I will have FO pictures to show off tomorrow!

Monday, July 14, 2008

No Cigar for Me

I came close to my knitting goal for the weekend, but fell just short of finishing the Mis-matched Socks. I tried, but bed-time arrived and I just didn’t make it. While I actually finished the knitting, there is still the grafting and weaving in of ends… So, close… but … I’ll graft toes and weave in the ends later today.

I did finish the skinny stripes and in a fit of addiction, I immediately cast on another pair with the leftover yarn … I think these will be relegated to be an on-the-go knitting project though, because I really need to work on other things. They really are fun though! And speaking of close, I tried to get the colors to match on these and I got close…
really close… but not quite exact!

Next up, the Bamboo tee, finishing my Summertime Shell… and maybe I’ll just put some pattern names into a hat and pull one out!

Friday, July 11, 2008

SNP Recap

Whew! I had to take a day of rest after the late night Wednesday! Even though the Brewer’s lost we had a fun night. The one thing I would change is that next time our group would try to organize itself better so we could all sit together. Here’s the quick run down. DH and I arrived at the park with plenty of time to find a decent parking space and avoid the mad rush to get our ball caps and project bag. While in line, I spied no other than Jean-from-last year. Too funny. She disappeared before I could catch her so DH and I found our food and then meandered down to our seats so DH could watch the teams take their batting practice. After we settled in I saw Jean again and we had a nice visit. She’ll be at Stitches the same day as me again, but not in the same class. Oh well, it would have been way too funny if she was! Paula and Ray arrived next, followed by Vanessa and Brian. We eventually located Carol (with her first sock) and her crew a row down and a few seats over... and Chris and her crew a couple more rows down and a few more seats over. There was a brief Jessica sighting, but just then something terrific happened on the field and the cheering drowned us out so we couldn’t catch her attention. I worked on the Skinny Stripe socks… finished the gusset and got a good part of the foot knit on sock #2... Here’s the socks-eye-view of the park:

Have a nice weekend. I’ll be trying to get the skinny socks and the Mis-matched socks done this weekend. Think happy knitting thoughts for me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Already?

So, what have I been doing to let the whole weekend and one day sneak past me? Working on these…
Skinny Stripes
Yarn: Noro Kureyon Sock

I have totally frogged and reknit the leg on the second sock three times because:
A) yes, I’m that fussy and had a hard time finding the right spot in the purple to start the second colorway
B) yes, I am sort of anal
C) I actually like the stripe sequence and decided I really wanted them to match as closely as possible

Also, DH and I celebrated our anniversary (yesterday). This is one of the flowers from the bouquet he bought me…

(purple roses!)

Tommorrow... Stitch-n-Pitch Milwaukee!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

No Knitting Today... Just Cats

Well, yes, I have been knitting; there’s just not much progress to show on any particular project, so today; instead, I give you a few recent (um) action shots of the cats…
Zelda sleeping

Saucey surveying her “Queendom
Both cats pretending the other doesn’t exist… (That's about as close as they get to eachother unless they are eating or fighting, sigh...)

Happy Thursday!