Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Contest Time!

I re-wrote the pattern for my Picasso Socks using sport-weight yarn and Mary Moran at The Knitting Zone is carrying the pattern.

WooHoo! To celebrate, I'm having a contest. Here are the particulars (I confess to borrowing heavily from Margene when I made up these rules).

Who's linking here?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Weekend Fun

DH got a new car on Friday and since it's been unseasonably cool, we took a ride to Park City on Sunday to see if the leaves have started to turn in the mountains.

There was only a little bit of color here and there, but it shouldn't be much longer now.

We walked up and down Main Street and stopped at my favorite place in Park City, the Old Territorial Jail & Museum. It's a interesting little museum filled with information on the history of mining in Summit County mixed in with some history of the ski industry in Park City. The best part, though, is the old jail in the basement. Totally cool. One of the cells has this amazing graffiti created with candle smoke by a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (the "Wobblies") when he was imprisoned in the jail after a labor dispute.

After the jail, we stopped at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. DD got her braces off a couple of weeks ago and has been begging to go here for a candy appple. This is a chain with stores in Snowbird, Park City, Sun Valley, and Jackson Hole so it's a bit of a tourist trap, but the caramel apples are to die for.

Ah, finally she gets to take a big-ass bite:

DH (standing to the right in the picture) kidded her that she was violating one of the sacred rules of eating: Never eat anything bigger than your head.

Scarf Directions

I haven't forgotten my promise from Friday. Here are the directions on how to make the scarf modeled by the bride in last Friday's post.

Continue in this manner until you run out of yarn or the scarf is the length you want. That's it! Clever, huh? But, Chris, you already figured it out!

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Fickle Me

So, after posting about how anxious I'm feeling with all my WIPs, I went ahead and joined two new "alongs." One is a Poncho Along that I joined to motivate myself to make DD the poncho she's been bugging me about. One of the members has provided links to tens of poncho patterns, which saved me a lot of time. Thanks! I've decided to crochet DD's poncho since she wants one that's "holey."

Then I joined a German sock knitalong
that's patterned after the Six Sox Knitalong that I'm hosting. The first pattern isn't unveiled until October 1st so I can relax about that one for now.

I finished this crazy novelty scarf at Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday night. Here's a lovely bride doll modeling it for you.

It's for a friend who loves Halloween; but you already guessed that, right. I used a clever technique taught to me by a friend to knit this. You knit one row with one color, and the next with the second color. You may ask, "How in the world did you do that since the yarn would be at the wrong end of the needle?" Well, I'll tell you on Monday since I'm writing the directions up this weekend when I have a minute. If you know the trick and want to post it in my comments, be my guest.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Need to Get it Together

Now that summer's almost over and the kids are back to school, I'm trying to tie up some loose ends. That led me to organize the shelves on which I keep my current knitting projects. Oooops, I may have started too many. Let's see, there's my second pair of Making Waves socks for the knitalong, a felted bag that I'm swapping for a hand-made lampworked necklace (more on that amazing swap some other time), the second of the socks I'm knitting in the German knitalong, two baby sweaters (perhaps I was foolish to knit a pattern calling for fingering weight yarn and size 2 needles), the Gracie Shawl, a crocheted shawl from a Fiber Trends pattern, and the sock from the pattern I'm writing. Oh, and the second sock from the next Six Sox Knitalong pattern (sorry, I won't be posting a picture of that). Rather than making me feel better, I feel a little anxious now. Well, at least I have a handle on things and can start to prioritize. I should probably finish one of the baby sweaters first; I'm making the 6-9 month size and the the child is already 2 months old. Crap! I should probably also clean up my sidebar, but first things first.

This And That

We had a wonderful, small Stitch and Bitch group on Tuesday night. Plus, the weather was beautiful and cool so we didn't swelter in Bruce's shop. Margene gave me a fabulous bag of goodies for my birthday.

They're produced by her sister's company, Cedar & Sage, and I can now vouch for their loveliness. My advice is that you can't go wrong with the Salt Scrub. Thank you, Margene.
Oh, and a big thank you also goes out to Steph, who ROAK'd me with a fabulous gift certificate.

Someone wrote and asked about the cuff on my new sock pattern. The sample sock I knit has a Latvian Twist edge (adding this edge is optional in the pattern).

I think it's pretty. Although the directions I've written explaining how to work it are somewhat verbose, it's really very easy to do. Just one of those techniques that's much easier to pick up when you see it done than when you try to figure it out from instructions.

Oh, and to the person who wrote and asked me to send her the pattern for the bath poof crocheted from tuille, I don't know what you're talking about -- sorry.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

New Shawl

I finally started the shawl I intend to knit for Leandra's Shawl-Along.

It's the Gracie Shawl from Myrna Stahman's book, Stahman's Shawls and Scarves: Lace Faroese-Shaped Shaws from the Neck Down & Seamen's Scarves. I believe the book is out of print, but if you ever have the chance to get your hands on a copy don't hesitate a minute before buying it. The shawls are knit from the neck down so the sizing is extremely easy to adjust. The only con, of course, is that the number of stitches increases as you knit, making those last few inches seem like they take forever! I picked the Gracie pattern for the selfish reason that it was pretty but easy, and for the sappy reason that my middle name is Grace. I'm sure you'll be seeing a lot of this shawl in the next few weeks and it probably won't look much larger each time!

More Stash Enhancement Pics

Here's some more of the yarn I got on my trip.

It's two skeins of Classic Elite Montera yarn (50% llama, 50% wool). I made a scarf from this yarn last year and really liked it. Then I saw a pattern for mittens that used this yarn and I immediately regretted that I'd already knit up the skeins I had in my stash. Well, now I have the yarn again but can't, for the life of me, remember where I saw the pattern for the mittens. They had cuffs knit from Chincilla or some fluffy yarn like that. Help . . . please!

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Squiggle Scarf

Wow, thanks to everyone who sent birthday greetings my way. What fun to get so many messages from all around the world!

Here's a look at what I knit this weekend.

Nothing special, just a scarf for my friend who drove me into Logan Airport last week. She's a huge Parrothead so I thought the colors would be appropriate for the next time she goes to a concert. She was a dear to take me to the airport as the alternative was public transportation. But, then again, she has been a friend since 1966 (!) when we took a tap dancing class together.
The yarn is Crystal Palace Squiggle. I like the way the scarf came out, although the yarn was a little more difficult to knit with than some other novelty yarns.

More Questions, More Answers

The Secret Pal II staff sent out another list of questions while I was away. Here are my responses:

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Probably Cherry Tree Hill supersock, Mountain Colors Bearfoot, or Inca Alpaca. I'm starting to become addicted to alpaca. However, I'm thinking that Manos I just bought could turn out to be a favorite.

What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Hmmm . . . I can't say I'm really obsessed with knitting anything. However, it may be fair to characterize me as obsessed with acquiring knitting-related items.

What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks have always been my favorite item to knit. The yarn choices are great, they're inexpensive, and there are only two ends to weave in at the end. Plus, I'm really short so I can never get a good fit with sweaters. On the other hand, I have very average feet so socks fit without much alternations to the pattern.

What are you knitting right now?
Socks and shawls from lace-weight yarn. This will probably change as the holidays get a little closer and time becomes more scarce.

What do you think about ponchos? (this is really a curiousity question
for us)

I don't like the way they feel since, personally, I like to be able to move my arms freely. Plus, I just can't get past the avocado green and burnt orange ones my mother knit me when I was a kid. That said, I'm under constant pressure from DD to make one for her so I suspect I'll be making another.

Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circular. Although I strongly prefer to knit socks on bamboo double-points.

How did you learn to knit?
I taught myself from a book when I was about 10.

How old is your oldest UFO?
My oldest UFO is a pair of simple, st. st. socks that I'm knitting using the Magic Loop method that I started about 5 months ago. I actually don't know why these are a UFO since I really like the way they're working up and I've turned the heel on both socks (which I'm knitting simultaneously). They just keep getting pushed to the end of the line for some unexplainable reason.

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

My Manos

Here's a first glimpse at some of my recent yarn acquisitions.

It's two skeins of Manos Del Uruguay yarn in colorway #109; not quite so pink as it appears in the photo. I've never owned a skein of Manos and it's just beautiful yarn. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have it because the color reminded me so much of New England fall foliage. I just Googled and saw that the colorway is very appropriately called "Woodland." At first I balked a little at the price because I had promised myself that I wouldn't spend more than I had alotted for yarn on this trip and this was the first LYS I visited. But my birthday is Saturday so my mother, who came to the shop with me, gave me the cash as an early birthday present. I haven't decided yet whether I'll use it to make a hat and mittens or maybe a scarf since I'm not much of a hat person.

I bought it at the Franklin Mill Store which is in Franklin, MA. The shop was easy enough to get to but on the way home I went the wrong way on I-95. I didn't realize my mistake until I passed the "Welcome to Rhode Island" signs. Yikes, inadvertantly traveling into a neighboring state is not something that happens with any frequency when you live in Utah.

Who's linking here?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Thanks, Secret Pal!

I got back late Tuesday night from my trip and there was a package waiting for me from my Secret Pal. Look at the wonderful goodies:

There were two, 50g skeins of Jawoll sock yarn in a beautiful pink/black/grey color. I usually don’t like pink, but this yarn is just gorgeous. The muted neutral colors are right up my alley! I know exactly the pattern I’m going to use for this yarn, too. There were also some really unique dpn point protectors and a nice handwritten note. Thanks so much, Secret Pal; what a great package of goodies. How did you mange to find three things I’ve never even seen before!

Recent Acquisitions

I managed to visit 4 yarn shops while I was in Boston (well, 5 if you count the lame one on Newbury Street). I haven’t had time to take pics of my haul yet, so I’ll do that in the next couple of days. On the plane, I worked on a new sock pattern that I’ll be offering for sale in the next few weeks.

It knit up much quicker than I thought it would and since I neglected to bring the second skein of yarn with me, I could only knit the first sock. So I listened to the CD of David Sedaris’ book, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, on the plane ride home. OMG, the story “Six To Eight Black Men” is soooo much funnier when he reads it. Iwas laughing so hard I started to cry. Kinda embarrassing on a crowded flight. But then the woman seated next to me started to eat package after package of Goulden’s mustard so I didn’t feel so weird.

If you’ve been reading my blog from almost the beginning you may remember when I
posted about my husband’s brilliant suggestion to use a golf stroke counter to keep track of rows/stitches. While at my parents, I was helping my mother clear out some drawers and look what I found:

Yup, the old “adding machine” she took to the store to keep track of her grocery
purchases. She thought I was nuts when I began to beg her for it, but eventually let me take it. It’s much better than the golf counter since it has three displays instead of just one.

Shawl Pattern

Several people left comments on my blog or emailed me about the shawl I knit for my
mother (see post below). The pattern is a shop pattern that is complimentary if you buy the yarn to make the shawl. If you want the pattern, you can contact the Needlepoint Joint in Ogden, Utah and ask about “Carol’s Clever Shawl.”

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Acrylic Shawl

Well, I finished the acrylic shawl for my mother; and just in the nick of time. Here's DD modeling it front:

and back:

I love the way the front closes so I will definitely knit this pattern again, but most likely not in acrylic. Gosh, this stuff has no memory. I'm not even going to try and block it 'cause it just grows and grows. Oh well, my mother will be happy.

Check out these quail that are nesting in the evergreen tree on the side of my driveway. Aren't they cute?

I swear I saw them again two days later and they were twice the size.

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Weekend Fun

Since moving to Utah from Massachusetts 17 years ago, I’ve found that I miss the following things most (in this order):

1. The ocean,
2. Good bagels, pizza, and subs, and
3. Major league baseball

Let’s face it; it’s impossible to grow up in the shadow of Fenway Park and not be a Red Sox fan. Several years ago, Salt Lake got a AAA baseball team, the Salt Lake Stingers. At first, it was a Twins farm team now it’s the Angel’s farm team. Since the beginning, we’ve bought season tickets and split the games with two other families. After the second or third season we were able to switch our seats (which were on the extremely hot and sunny third base side) for some prime seats just to the right of the netting behind home plate and three rows from the field. Can’t complain about those seats! Plus, we now have an amazing view of the mountains while we watch the game. Unfortunately, my kids aren’t quite the baseball fans that my husband and I are (he’s a die-hard Mets fan but I’ll forgive him for 1986), so many times our tickets get used by friends or co-workers. I attribute the kids' disinterest to the fact that there’s no major league team here. Well, on Saturday night Andres Galarraga suited up for the Stingers and all four of us went to the game. Yikes, what a rout. The Stingers scored 22 runs and easily beat the Omaha Royals (who scored 10 runs of their own). The weather was perfect and it was totally fun to see so many hits. Plus, I also got some knitting done! I worked on my “Making Waves” sock for the Six Sox Knitalong and managed to finish the gusset decreases.

Can a weekend in Utah get any better than that?

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Friday, August 06, 2004

Likes and Dislikes

Yipee! My Secret Pal has commented twice on my blog. Hi, Secret Pal! I can't believe you live in the Boston area (my old stomping grounds). I'll send vibes your way when I'm there next week. Oh, and I should add that I'm taking your advice and visiting A Good Yarn instead of the shop in Cambridge. I planned to go to the MFA or the Gardner Museum so I'll just hop on the Green Line to Brookline Village afterward. Thanks for the recommendation.

Heidi sent out a message to all the Secret Pals suggesting that we post a list of answers to several questions to help our Secret Pals.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I confess, I'm a yarn snob. Give me a nice hank of merino or alpaca over a case of Coeur d'Rouge any day. Plus, I'm a sucker for almost any skein of handpainted yarn.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I don't spin, and I crochet only when I have to.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I have a hypersensitivity to smells like perfumes, smoke, etc. I get horrible migraine headaches. I can't even walk near the perfume counter at Nordstrom.

4. How long have you been knitting?
Hmmm . . . I guess this means I have to confess my age. Well, I've been knitting since I was wabout 10 years old (i.e., 1971)

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No. Wait a minute, I might have a wish list at theknittingzone.com. Can't remember.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
See my answer to question 3.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
But for sweets, I think I'd be dead from starvation. Although I hate hard candy.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?
I love black, blue, purple, and red-orange. I dislike pastels, especially pink.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married with two kids and one cat (who loves me best).

12. What are your life dreams?
Hmmm . . . Can my Secret Pal really make my life dreams come true?

There, that's more than you probably ever wanted to know about me.

Who's linking here?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Need Recommendations

I'm going to Boston next week and am trying to decide which yarn shops to visit while I'm there. I won't be there long and I'm not in a position to travel great distances from suburban Boston so I've narrowed it down to Creative Warehouse in Needham, Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge, and The Franklin Mill Store in Franklin. I'm hoping to find some Cherry Tree Hill yarn (including their great sock yarn) or some Schaefer yarns (love their Anne yarn) since I covet both but neither are available at the LYSs near me. I'm also on the prowl for a copy of the Charlotte's Web pattern (but maybe that can wait 'til Rob and Matt are back up and running).

If someone from MA is reading this, can you give me some feedback on my list. Is there any "to die for" shop that I shouldn't miss?

A Shawl From Acrylic Yarn

Yes, you read the heading right, I'm making something out of acrylic yarn! It's a shawl for my mother who absolutely refuses to wear wool. Here's why: she's allergic to cats and somehow thinks she is a fortiori allergic to wool. OK, she's pretty old so I'll just indulge her with an acrylic shawl. Here's the in-progress picture:

The pattern is a shop pattern from a local LYS and it's knit from end to end. I'm knitting like crazy to finish it 'cause I need to bring it with me on my aforementioned trip to Boston. I actually made a lot of progress after I took this picture so I may have a finished shawl to show off on Monday.


I'm grading the Utah Bar Exam tomorrow so I won't be posting. But, I want to remind everyone that tomorrow is the anniversary of the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Please, please register to vote and make sure you vote in November.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

More Info On Felted Bag

I got a lot of comments and emails about the felted bag pictured in my last post. Thanks for all the compliments! The bag is made from Cascade 220 yarn held doubled throughout. I blocked it over the box that my fabulous German sock yarn came in. Just slip a plastic bag over the box, then slide the wet, felted bag over the box. I usually choose a form that's slightly smaller than the felted bag and really force the bag over the form by stretching and pulling it. Then I leave it on the form until it's almost completely dry. I've found that this method makes the bag hold it's shape much better after it's dry. Here's my favorite bag that I've made to date:

It's another Janet Scanlon pattern called "My Little Companion." It's knit from a double strand of NatureSpun Worsted Weight yarn and I knit some novelty yarns in at random intervals. Unfortunately, I don't have this bag any more. I gave it to a non-knitting co-worker who carries her lunch in it every day. So it has a good home.

Secret Pal

Yipee! My Secret Pal left a comment on my blog. Hi, Secret Pal!! If you missed out on Secret Pal II, a Secret Pal III group has already been organized. To join this one, though, you must have a blog. Check it out.

Who's linking here?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Felted Bags and Secret Pals, Oh My

At the beginning of the Six Sox Knitalong, I promised to make a felted bag to give away in the final raffle. I immediately regretted it, only because I am so bad at meeting deadlines. I envisioned myself felting the thing the day before I needed to mail it. Well, with a lot of help from Margene, it's finished 10 months early. Here she is:

Hope the winner likes purple as much as I do. The pattern is Janet Scanlon's Oregon Tote pattern. I've made lots and lots of these over the course of the last few years. I've also made her Constant Companion tote and the Special Companion. I've found all the patterns to be extremely well-written and the finished bag can't be beat. You want to make one, too, I know it.

I got the name of my Secret Pal on Friday and sent a package off to her. Hopefully, she'll receive it today. What fun! She's a blogger, too, but I've never been to her site before. It was fun to read through all the archives and get some ideas for her special surprises. Now I wonder who got my name?? The suspense is killing me. Are you reading this? Reveal yourself, I say!

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.