Friday, June 29, 2007

Lace It Up

The Claudia's Handpainted Silk Lace yarn that Lori ordered at TNNA came in this past week. I hustled to the store to pick up the colorway I drooled over in Columbus - Eat Your Veggies. This skein is a little lighter than the display skein was, but that's the nature of hand painted yarn, and I'm still super thrilled about it and can't wait to get started. It will become the Alpine Knit Scarf in Victorian Lace Today. I even have some Addi Lace needles that are the perfect size to get started. I'm sure I can find time to fit this in around the five baby sweaters, five pairs of socks, a handful of turtle shells and accessories, and my Central Park Hoodie... all of which have to be completed within the next five months. Sure! No problem. (I can't wait to get started! I want to start it NOW!)

Check out these great stitch markers that I scored over at HypKNITized. It definitely pays to look for new, fantabulous knitting blogs every now and then. Thanks, Kelly!

My July socks are progressing excellently. I'm on the gusset decreases of the second sock. I'll hopefully be able to gift them (and the June socks) some time after the fourth.

I figured out the perfect project to use some new Cotton Ease yarn. And no, it's not a crocheted ripple afghan. It's WAY cooler than a crocheted ripple afghan. But I can't tell you about it, because it's a surprise. (Surprise knitting does not make for a faboo knitting blog, but such is life.) I've already started with it, and it is not disappointing.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Finished Stuff I Couldn't Show You Until Now

I spent this past weekend in Wooster hanging out with my brother (Sean) and my sister-in-law (Morgan) and my niece (Maggie) and my nephew (Calvin). We had big amounts of fun and stuff. A while back I showed you tiny pieces of a couple of projects I was working on, and today I get to show you the finished things. Yay!

Here's a kidlet tank made from Manos Cotton Stria. This yarn was FAB to work with and is very very soft. I used up two skeins on a US 6 needle and altered the stitch count a bit in order to match my gauge. I also altered the straps by knitting four small i-cords (one on each side of the front and back) and tying them in a knot over the shoulder instead of sewing it to the back. That way she can let it out a bit and she will hopefully be able to wear it next year as well. I found those shorts over a year ago at a thrift store and bought the yarn to match. I'm really impressed with the outcome, and I think Maggie was, too!

I showed you a quilt project in that teaser post, too, and the finished quilt was for Calvin. That's the quilt hanging over the pack 'n play on the right. I just LOVE this picture.

Here's a better picture of the front. It's a little town with a bunch of buildings and cars, a little farm, a lake with a boat, a fountain, and even a camp site. I found the best little Fisher Price cars for him to drive around the roads. (Click any picture to make it larger.)

The back, you say?

Nope, this isn't a Magic Eye picture. It's an alphabet jumble fabric that I fell in love with the first time I saw it.

Something else exciting happened over the weekend, too. For the first time, Maggie got to choose what she wanted for her birthday sweater. She'd be the first to tell you that she'll be 5 years old on August 25. I thought 5 was a significant age (a whole hand full!), so I gave her some options to choose from for her fifth birthday sweater.

She chose a great neckdown pullover pattern from Knitting Pure & Simple and the 10 for $10 Patons Fresco I got on ebay not too long ago. This should be a fun, quick knit, and if I forget when I have to have it done by, I know just the (four and five-sixths year-old) person to call.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Pair Down

Pattern: Gentleman's Fancy Sock from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Lorna's Laces, Vera colorway
Needles: US #2 magic loop for part, DPNs for most
Modifications: minor, not worth mentioning
Recipient: a very sweet and amazing coworker

Wow, check out the differences in striping/
pooling. I loved how the first sock striped so well on the cuff, but the second one jumped into the pool from the very start. The foot is even worse.

This was another pattern that I enjoyed for not quite a sock and a half. Despite the pooling I think it looks good with this yarn. The color definitely overwhelms the pattern, but it's a fairly subtle pattern anyway, so it doesn't matter too much.

There's plenty of brownery and not much greenery to showcase my knits lately, so I thought I'd walk over to the tiny playground near my apartment to take these pictures. There were a few kids there, and clearly they had to play on the climbing "wall" since I was using it. So I took my socks over to another part of the playground and could hear the kids talking about me "taking pictures of socks?!?" It was amusing.

Can you believe I finished the June socks with nine days to spare? I even cast on for the second of the July socks yesterday. I'm eager to have these two pair done so the ladies at work will get off my back about them. It's tough to measure feet surreptitiously, so they've been hounding me ever since that fateful day.

It's been 21+ days since I've bought any sock yarn, as well. I can't say that I haven't looked at sock yarn online, but I haven't purchased any. I'm proud of me.

My favorite thing about Lorna's Laces? The small ball of leftovers. You never have to wonder if you're going to have enough with this stuff.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And So On

I know it's not quite time yet, and I know I usually try to keep these things quiet before Mom sees them in person, but I'm just so pleased with this little hat that I had to show you today. To give you an idea of scale, a film canister fits perfectly inside the hat and helps it keep its shape. And who knew scrapbooking was such a helpful hobby? The little stars are actually scrapbooking brads that couldn't be a more perfect size. The shell is finished, too, but I will keep that secret until closer to Independence Day.

The June sock trudges on. I have three more (9 row) pattern repeats before I can decrease for the toe.

You've heard of a bad hair day, well, today was a bad head day, but I still wanted you to see what I accomplished over the weekend. I know you know that sleeve #2 is harder than sock #2, but it's finished AND seamed to the sweater AND the stitches have been picked up for the hood AND I've already knitted about a fourth of the hood. After it's done, all that's left are the button bands. Is it cold out yet?

Every so often I get brave enough to give my cats flea baths. Tonight was one such night and I have the battlescars to prove it. Since I'd completely betrayed her, I couldn't get Chaka to look at me, but here she is in the afterbath. Does anybody out there have cats that enjoy a nice scrub in the tub?

And since I know how much you all love my jokes:

Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool?

She had mittens.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Good Start

The sock challenge is off to a good start.

Here's June. I'm pretty happy that I only have half a sock to go with over two weeks left in the month. Of course, we all know that

overconfidence gets you nowhere.

Here's July. This sock is not as large as the June pair, but it (obviously) stretches to fit over the sock blocker. This sock gave me a bit of a fright when I was about four inches from the toe. I was convinced I'd never have enough yarn to finish. I ended up with maybe two yards left after the kitchener. Let's hope the second skein isn't lacking any yardage.

I haven't decided what pair I'm going to do for August yet. Decisions, decisions.

While not exactly the perfect summer knitting, this is a good time to get my sweater finished so I can wear it the second the weather turns this fall. I finished sleeve #2 last night, so all I have to do is attach this sleeve, pick up and knit the hood, then pick up and knit the button bands. Every time I pick up this project my excitement is renewed. I can't wait until it's done. I'll have to crank the AC so I can at least wear it at home.

Lastly, just in time for Father's Day, I'm finally remembering to post a picture of Knit Knack in his Mother's Day outfit.

Unfortunately there won't be a Father's Day outfit this year... but we do have to save some things for next year, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

TNNA 2007

I was fortunate enough to attend The National Needle Arts Association trade show again this year in Columbus. It was, of course, overwhelming and fun, and for a few days afterward, every time I closed my eyes I could still see miles and miles of the most colorful yarns you can imagine.

Awesome People We Talked To

If you're a little introverted and need a friend to pave the way to talking to famous folks, you need a Wendy. My BFF Wendy was very excited to meet some of our favorite folks, including:

Amy Singer (from Knitty, of course!) I had met Amy at the TNNA trade show last year, and she was distressed to learn that I had been stalking the Yarn Harlot instead of her. I assured her that, of course, I stalked everyone equally, depending on how how close they travelled to Cincinnati. We got copies of No Sheep For You signed on Saturday, and my book has a map to Toronto and an invitation to visit. Road trip anyone?

We also got to hang out with Jillian Moreno for a bit on Sunday. She's the editor of Knitty Spin, if you didn't know.

We also met THE Claudia (not her sister) of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. This was exciting for both of us since Claudia's sock yarn is definitely one of our favorites. Not only did we get a picture, autographs, and hugs, but we also convinced Lori (our shop owner) (Hi, Lori!) to order some sock yarn and silk lace yarn for the store. Sweet! I can't wait till, umm, December, to buy some of that sock yarn.

I also got to meet and talk briefly with Cookie A of the amazing
Pomatomus sock pattern on Knitty. I got to tell her that her pattern is brilliant and that I can't wait to try more of them. I think she thought I was silly to ask for an autograph, but anyone who can write sock patterns like she can is my hero.

Oh! I almost forgot. A lady at the Mango Moon booth recognized me as Stalker Brooke from the Yarn Harlot's blog. I'm so proud.

Excellent Yarns Coming Soon

Along with the Claudia's lace and sock yarns, Lori allowed us to help make choices regarding some other great yarns for the shop. Here's a list of some of the yarns I'm really excited about.

Malabrigo, tone-on-tone worsted weight AND lace weight yarns.

Paca Peds, superwash alpaca sock yarn. (20% alpaca, 65% superwash wool, 15% nylon)

Schaefer Yarns Anne, 560 yards to a skein of this colorful sock/lace weight yarn.

YarnPlace, the distributor of the cobweb weight yarn I bought Memorial Day weekend. I think Lori ordered Touch for the store.

So, lots of sock yarn and lace yarn will be arriving soon.

Cool Swag We Stuffed In Our Bags

Magazines, from left to right:

Crochet, July 2007; Knit 'N Style, August 2007; Vogue Knitting, spring/summer 2007; KnitSimple, spring/summer 2007; Knit.1, summer 2007; and Adorn, summer 2007.

Books, from top to bottom:

1. The Kid's Knitting Notebook, by Cindy Craig. Not only is this a great introductory knitting book for kids with instructions and patterns, but it also includes pockets for notes and swatches, places to journal, and checklists to mark knitting progress. I got my copy signed for my niece, who has already asked when her aunt is going to teach her how to knit.

Knitting With Gigi, by Karen Thalacker and Mindy Dwyer (signed). This is a cute picture book with some beginner knitting patterns to get kids started knitting.

No Sheep For You, by Amy Singer (signed). Since Amy is allergic to wool, she's compiled a ton of information about other fibers to knit with, including bamboo, silk, hemp, and cotton, as well as a bunch of sophisticated patterns to knit with these alternatives to wool yarns.

Knits From a Painter's Palette, by Maie Landra (signed). All of the designs in this book are knit from Koigu wool yarns. Wendy went to get her book signed while I sat and watched all of our bags. She came back telling me to hurry and go get my book signed, because everyone who got a book got a FREE SKEIN of Koigu sock yarn. She told me later, between peals of laughter, that she'd never seen me get up off a couch so fast. Well, wouldn't you?

Knitting Never Felt Better, by Nicki Epstein (signed). Comparable to her Knitting On, Over, and Beyond the Edge books, Nicki has come out with a book of knitting patterns/swatches for felting. The book features stitch patterns and colorways that are pictured both before and after felting. We may have the privilege of having Nicky come to our shop to do a book signing and a class. That would be pretty sweet!

The Yarn Girls' Guide to Knits For All Seasons, by Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs (signed). This is the fifth book by the Yarn Girls. I'm going to have to pick up their Knits for Older Kids book some time.

Romantic Hand Knits, by Annie Modesitt (signed). Turns out Annie is an Ohioan, too, and she was happy to talk to folks from her home state. She seems like a great lady, and she has some amazing and creative ideas. I'm looking forward to getting into some of these designs.

Maryjane's Stitching Room by Maryjane Butters. This was a freebie from Potter Craft with great ideas for knitting, crochet, embroidery, sewing, and other needle crafts.

Twist and Loop, by Annie Modesitt. Another freebie from Potter Craft, this Annie Modesitt book is full of knitted jewelry patterns using wire and beads. I don't know how much of a wire&bead knitter I am, but this is a fascinating book to look through.

Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (signed). I'm SO excited about this book... I already have a pattern picked out for the Claudia Hand Painted silk lace yarn that Lori ordered. I need to pick one for the cobweb lace I bought at the fiber festival.

Yarn and Random Goodies, from left to right, sort of:

On the far left are a bunch of samples from Louet. The brown yarn at the bottom is 100% alpaca DK from Kraemer Yarns. Right above the alpaca is my FREE KOIGU. Did I mention I got FREE KOIGU? I'm convinced there's no better way to start off a no-sock-yarn-buying challenge than to get FREE KOIGU the first weekend. Hehe. Above the FREE KOIGU are a couple of yarn samples. The one on the right is from Material Whirled. They had some crazy skeins in their booth, including yarn spun with Easter grass and little toy chicks, yarn spun with ladybug beads, yarn spun with fake flowers, and all sorts of other awesomeness. Check out their website for other examples. Then we all got a free pair of size 9 needles from Clover, and some samples of Soak wool wash.


All of that and I got to hang out with Wendy, Lori, Lori's sister Kari, and Kari's friend Jen for the weekend. TNNA is definitely one of the greatest perks of working for a yarn store.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to the Noid? Nope.

Happy Birthday to Sigmund Freud? Nope.

Happy Birthday to the employed? Nope.

Happy Birthday to Christopher Lloyd? Nope.

Happy Birthday to the Void!

It's my big brother's birthday. You can drop him a line by clicking on the above link to the void, his blog.

We used to be pretty cute, didn't we?