Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Taking A Break

I snuck in here to take a quick break from packing and thought I would put together a post while I am thinking about it. So far I’ve packed 68 boxes. Basically all that is left is the kitchen, bathroom and clothes in the bedroom. It’s going to take anywhere up to a full week to get our POD delivered once we get to IA; which makes some of the packing decisions a little tricky. We can only take what will fit in the cars, but I envision needing to cram a whole lot of stuff into the cars to make sure we survive the time between our stuff being picked up and delivered. I’ve already had a few oh %#@ moments when I realized that I might actually want something that I already packed but have absolutely no desire to open a box to get it back out… like my sock blockers (duh!). There’s also stuff like the TV that can’t be packed until the very last moment, even though we’ll be packing the stand it sits on before then, I’m thinking it might end up on a box until then??? So you can tell it’s just fun and games here in Nana-land. It’s a good thing that I can knit. And speaking of good things, I promised to tell you about Stitches.

As trips to these big events go, this one was pretty laid back for me. I didn’t attend any classes, I didn’t go to any luncheons, dinners, fashion shows or any of the really cool stuff, but I did go to the market. And I went with a list. And a friend to make sure I stuck to the list. I think I actually did a pretty fair job of not straying too far off my list. Here’s a quick peak at my goodies:

I’ll start with my impulse purchases and then tell you about what else I got.

Impulse purchase #1: as I was standing in line to purchase a beverage for lunch (since I packed a sandwich and didn’t need to purchase overpriced vendor food) I noticed the person behind me wearing a really cute necklace. I complimented her on it and then she told me where she bought it and oh-so casually mentioned that the person had a booth here at the market. Well, I thought it couldn’t hurt to look. I caved…. See:

Impulse purchase #2: you saw the yarn bus in the previous post about the fabled Flying Fingers yarn shop being at the event, well, that booth became a must see… and then they did it… I had not bought one ounce of fiber the entire time we were there, even with tempting offerings around every turn. My friend didn't even have to talk me down from the bargain bin that had five skein bags of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn for HALF price. (pitter-patter). Because I had a LIST. On my list I had given myself permission to purchase yarn if I saw a certain brand and it called my name, well we visited the vendor who sold it and I kind of went “meh” at the colors (sometimes they just don’t talk). I also had a back-up suggestion which I couldn't find. Since I knew I shouldn’t go back for the Kuryeon, when we got to the Flying Fingers booth, it was sort of “game-on” … they had Crazyfoot a new sock yarn by Mountain Colors. I have a secret soft spot for Mountain Color. The Bearfoot sock yarn has a little mohair blended in which makes it really soft, but a little on the fuzzy side. I love the colorways though. So I was casually looking through the bin when a beautiful fall colored skein begged me for a ride home… who could resist that?(see skein on right side of above picture)

Oh, and, the shop was offering a free tote with purchase and it was PURPLE, nothing was going to stop my wallet at that point. So that is  the impulse stuff.

My other purchases were mostly tools of one sort or another.   I bought the Intwined Knitting software, a set of Signature dpns in size 2.25 (my favorite); a new needle case for my interchangeable needle set and cuteness of cuteness in a practical way, the Iddy Diddy Bag from Nantucket bags to use as a take along when the bucket bag is way too much. 
The most amazing thing in my mind, though, for the whole day was the amount of really nice freebies and samples that vendors were giving out.  At the Mission Falls booth they gave out generous samples of each of their yarns.  I made about a 4” cabled swatch out of the cotton.  There was also a mini skein and free pattern from Malabrigo yarns, a mini skein from Miss Babbs and the two most amazing things:  The booth where I bought the software from also had a designer who made pins and accessories out of wire and she was making a stitch picker tool for anyone who came by wearing a Ravelry pin. Mine is heart shaped and my friend got the swirl.  The other amazing thing was that when I got home and started putting away all of my purchases, I discovered that along with the purple tote, Flying Fingers had tucked in a set of purple (size 13) needles with my yarn! (Not that I knit much with that size, but, um, purple... free)

So I feel like I got far more than I planned and stayed well within my budget 

I’m still slogging along on the same two pair of socks I was working on before, not much progress to report.  I finished one Sandalwood sock and am still making my way through the first Staccato.  Both socks have presented me with different challenges calling for much frogging and re-knitting.  But I did do a quick little project for a new baby who made his debut last week.  Sometimes you just need a little instant gratification:

Pattern: Baby Sheep Hat by Melissa Burt
Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Grass and Seafoam with some scraps (Sprout and Mission Falls Cotton). 

I suppose I had better go do some more packing now.

Happy Knitting!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Stitches 2010

Originally uploaded by nanaknits21

Flying Fingers was in the house! (And the parking lot too!) The fabled yarn bus :) was the first thing that we saw upon arrival at Stitches and Flying Fingers was the last booth we shopped at before we left. Possibly the only place I made an "impulse" purchase too! I'll have to do a full update when I get a chance to take a few pictures.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aack! Packing

I’ve been busy getting the house and all our stuff ready for the move, and the time has come to pack my craft area.  I’m not a real happy camper having to put all of my lovely yarn into boxes.  We still have over a week!  But, what must be done, must be done, so I spent most of yesterday and some of today working on it.  My craft area now looks something like this.

But at least I have help:

And, I have another FO to show you.  I finished the Red Hoodie for the twin nephews and sewed on the buttons, DH took some stuff out to IA so he’s going to drop these off before the boys grow too big to wear them: 
Red Hoodie:

The pair

Pattern:  Daisy by Stephanie Pearl McPhee
Yarn: SRK Butterfly (super 10) cotton

I've also got a couple of new socks in the works, I'll try to tell you about them soon
Happy Knitting!


Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Li’l Pink Socks

I think I’ve mentioned in this space before that I’m a big fan of the comic strip “Mutts.” So upon finishing my latest pair of socks, I had a bit of fun. Saucey and I decided that a tribute to Mooch and his “passion” was in order.
Here are the results:

" What? You Never had a crush before??"

And here are the finished socks.

Pattern:  Lovely Lace Socks by Karen Baumer (IK Spring 2006)Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda Cotton in color 205 Pink
Size 2.25 needles Magic Loop

Happy Knitting!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Big Ball of Joy

Big Ball of Joy
Originally uploaded by nanaknits21

Here's anther photo showing some of the other sides

Big Ball of Joy

Big Ball of Joy
Originally uploaded by nanaknits21

This is just a quick post to keep the crickets quiet. I finished one thing this week. I seem to be quite the busy bee lately hopping from thing to thing to other thing to do. I have managed to find a little knitting time, but taking time to report on my activities seems to be of far greater difficulty. So, I just wanted to show off some knitting that I've actually done. This is the Big Ball of Joy from Fons and Porters Love of Knitting magazine. The pattern called for an acrylic yarn, I used a washable cotton. I was a little surprised that it came out as big as it did. You can just see the corner of my ball-winder in this pic to give you an idea of the finished size. This was a pretty basic pattern and not too difficult in the knitting department. I have an aversion to sewing seams together so with the number of seams required by this project, I chose to do 3-needle bind-off to join the pieces together. I'm happy with the finished effect. That's it for now.

Happy Knitting

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Done, the Almost Done and the Undone

Whew!  August is here and I can’t believe all the stuff DH and I packed into July. Much driving; house selling, house buying, family visits, a festival, a fair, and a LOT of knitting!

First up, since there were several comments; yes, we sold our house in three weeks!  (Five if you count the week and a half it took waiting on the offer-counter-offer transactions).  Unbelievable; we truly didn’t expect it to happen so quickly.  If you read the paper or watch the news you will know that it is still very much a buyers market and from our recent house-hunting I can tell you that buyers can afford to be very picky and they will be.  (At least we were!)  The only thing I can say is that it helps to have a really nice house in a good location, to clean it really well before any showings and to price it right.  Those are my real estate tips for the day.  On the buying end, we did find a house in Central Iowa on our last trip and are waiting on the final acceptance from the seller; I’ll have more to tell when everything is solid.

So in-between all of that excitement we packed in a lot of travel.  The big trip was the Family Reunion for my Mom, her Sister and their offspring.  There were 5 kids in my family and my Aunt has 4 kids.  All in all we are a big group.  Here’s a group shot of my Mom, Dad and 4 out of 5 of us kids with spouses, 10 of 16 grandkids (plus a couple spouses) and three great grandkids. 

My youngest brother couldn’t attend because he is still over in Iraq but his wife and sons did.  Some of the nieces and nephews couldn’t attend due to work/life etc.  (One niece was on pregnancy-related bed rest / baby born July 28th). Only my biological daughters attended from our family since the step-daughters weren’t available.  Still a big group with missing family members!  We had a weekend with my cousins and a whole week with our clan.  Great fun; and of course much spoiling of my two grandkids who were there.  

Now I’m sure that you are ready for some knitting right?

I got the Flower Child sweater done:

(and a shot of the recipient modeling it!)

Pattern: Flower Child by Nora Gaughn
Yarn:  Berroco Pure Pima in Nectar
Size 6 Needles

I actually had to let DD do the neck edging in the car on the way to the airport (for her flight back home) because she crochets much better than I do.  This was a fun pattern, but way too much seaming involved in the construction for me.

I finished some socks:

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A (Knitty)
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted in Eat Your Veggies
Size 2.5mm needles /dpn

The Lone Monkey is alone no more! I knit one sock originally as a shop sample and when the shop closed I picked up another skein of the yarn to knit sock #2.
Then I finished the July Challenge socks from the pre-empted Summer of Socks II Challenge. 

Pattern: Angee by Cookie A (Sock Innovation)
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential Kettle dyed in gold
Size 2.25 mm needles / Magic loop 2 at a time

I also got a new job teaching at a shop that just opened in a nearby city.  Of course I broke the heart of the owner when I told her I’d be leaving after August.   But, she asked me to do a sample and I couldn’t resist the yarn or the pattern:

Pattern: Design 26 from Noro Designer Mini Knits by Jenny Watson
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, color 87
Size 6 / 8 US needles

This was a really quick knit and I may make one again for me someday.  It’s missing buttons because I didn’t have any in my stash that worked and I’ll be taking it in to the shop tomorrow, so I’ll pick some out then.

I also finished one of the two hoodies I’ve been working on for our twin nephews. 

Pattern:  Daisy by Stephanie Pearl McPhee (Knitty)
Yarn: Super 10 “Butterfly” Cotton, color Midnight / Scarlett
Size 5 needles
This also needs buttons because I didn’t have a needle/thread with me on that trip. I also cast on for the next one which will have the colors reversed.

I started a pair of anklets:

Pattern: Simply Lovely Lace Socks by Karen Baumer (IK Spring 2006)
Yarn: Panda Cotton
Size 2.25 mm needles magic loop

And I think I might have shown you this project or maybe mentioned it, Big Ball of Joy – I’m making this for a friend at church who is expecting (soonish).  I have 5 out of 12 pentagons knitted.

Hmm, there might also have been a square for a swap and bazillion dishcloths for the ladies at the family reunion, but now things are getting hazy.  Anyway, that’s what I’ve been doing; I can already tell you that August is going to be a wild ride, so I’ll do my best to stay up to date.

Happy Knitting!