Monday, February 25, 2008

Stitches West 2008 (Sibling Rivalry)

Whew! Don't get excited Jason. The first pictures are of my sisters stuff :-) This year my sister found much more at Stitches West than I did but that may have been because I was trying not to buy too much yarn since I have so much. I put her treasures first though some of theses things we will share. At the top is a picture of a circular needle storage system (zip lock type bags inside) along with a few circular needles for sock knitting. She has recently switched from double points to circular and is doing well with it. The second picture is a wrap/stole pattern we got at the Lisa Souza stall. it's by Queenie Sisters Designs and is called "Eve", a nearly reversible stole with four simple slip-stitch patterns. It is really a nice wrap and my sister is going to to knit me a stole out of the lavender Lisa Souza yarn you see a few pictures down. She has also ordered the "Mars Quake" colorway (pictured) so she can make one for herself. I imagine I will also knit this stole but I plan to use some hand spun yarn I have in my stash that I made a few years ago. Below this phamplet and a pattern for a knit teddy bear that my sister-in-law wants to have us all knit for the "Mother Bear Project". We donated $5 for the pattern, will knit a bear and then give them money to send it to any place where there are children who might enjoy such a gift. They also accept donations of supplies to make the bears. It's a very straight-forward looking type of effort and a project we can all do together. The next few pictures are sock yarn stash enhancements for my sister. This should keep her in yarn for some time. Below those is the yarn from my Eve stole and below that is blue/green silk/merino fiber from Chasing Rainbows that we purchased at the Carolina Homespun stall. Even though they are local, we always find ourselves buying from the at Stitches West because they have so many tempting things! My sister plans to spin the roving she got to make a scarf for the Winter to replace her old one. And lastly, big old skeins of wool yarn to knit one of the great nephews a sweater. My sister is going to be a very busy woman knitting. I bought the sock yarns for her, she bought yarn and fiber for me as well. This was in place of giving each other Christmas presents last year. I think we both made out really well!
My own prizes start with a cone of Xie bamboo lace weight from South West Trading Company. I got it on a whim and will see how it holds up to lace knitting/blocking. Then I have two skeins of 30/3 silk/camel from Skaska Designs (1,650 yds/95 g). It feels great but it's always so very tan in color. I may try to dye it to make things more interesting. I also got some silk/merino roving in a mostly blue color from Chasing Rainbows and beautiful BFL from Lisa Souza in colorway "Aww Tum" in honor of her first Autum in her new home. On the bobbin you can see me spinning the Chasing Rainbows into a substantial single. Once I ply, I can have my sister knit me a scarf with the end product. Not shown are a Ravelry tote bag, 2 sets of double pointed Boye needles in US 1 and US 0 and some plastic safety-pin type stitch markers. Considering all the temptation around me, I think I was very moderate.
The market place was really nice and very crowded. I got to see fleegle's Lyra and Spider King being displayed at the Yarn Place booth along with my Sampler Stole and I think they looked really great up there for all to see. The Spider King shawl was displayed against a white back-drop and stopped traffic! I mean that sincerely. Knitters stopped in their tracks to gape at the beauty and wonder of it:-) There is a lot of knitting going on and I think there is a growing interest in lace knitting. We got there at 10 AM and left around 3 PM. My sister only had $20 left in her wallet at the end of the day but she left happy! Needless to say, I had a great time. Now to justify my purchases and knit some beautiful things :-)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Itching to Start (Did I finish some things recently?)

Maybe it's the recent spate of sunny days we have had out here but I suddenly realized that I've finished a few things and can now start a few new ones. Yeah, I know. There are still projects that are old that are not yet done, but I have to admit I'm not feeling the love from those hibernating projects (WRS, Spider Mutant & Shetland Tea Shawl). I'm making some headway on Princess, on the International Shawl and Salmon Queen, but I wanted to have more projects for variety that will be active knitting. See above the center for a Niebling Tablecloth pattern I bought. It has no name in the magazine but i've heard that it might be called "Peony". If anyone knows for sure, let me know. Since I don't want to run around calling it "Tablecloth", I'm going to call it Peony for laughs. I'm knitting it on 2.5 mm needles using 2/28 NM silk from ColourMart in "Candy". I may go up another half size in needle diameter now that I'm past the first round of petals. Under that you can see that the start of Hyrna from the book "Three-Cornered and Long Shawls" using US 4 needles and the Polworth laceweight that I spun from the roving from Deep Color Studios. None of these new projects is too difficult or too long to knit so they will give me a nice feeling of accomplishment as I slog along on more long term projects like the Princess. Lastly,what is that stuff on the bottom? Well, it's not yarn. I guess you would have to call it proto-yarn. I could not resist getting some fiber from Black Bunny in spite of the fact that Stitches West is just around the corner. Curiosity about spinning something with a little mohair in it got the better of me. Besides, these colors might be nice to knit in the Summer :-) So much lace, so little time!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

So I've been tagged by fleegle and this would be the first time I've ever been tagged. The name of this one is THE POWER OF 7. In this variation of a chain letter, I'm supposed to post the rules on my blog, tag 7 other people and notify them they have been tagged so they can also participate in answering the same question.

The question?

Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

1) I have never passed-on a chain letter. Since tagging is sort of the same, I won't be picking anyone to answer the question, but I think the question is a cool one and anyone who wants to just go ahead and post 7 facts on their blog about themselves should go ahead and do so :-)

2) I am allergic to alcohol.

3) I'm a Scorpio.

4) One of the reasons I wanted to learn how to spin was because I thought it would be ironic to be a spinster who actually knew how to spin.

5) I took two semesters of swimming and never did learn how to breathe while swimming (though I could swim the length of the pool on one breath).

6) I co-wrote a Regency Romance novel that was published by Ballentine Books when I was 20 years old.

7) I got a tattoo of a tiger on my shoulder when I turned 40.

That's it! It's much harder than you might think to come up with 7 things about yourself that have nothing to do with my knitting but I had fun reading fleegles.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sampler Stole Finished (finally)

You have all been very patient waiting for a few pictures of the Sampler Stole now that I finally got around to blocking it so here we go :-) My lovely model is my niece who got to help me out before we left to go to Yarn Place so I could give it to them as a store sample. The first two shots are in daylight so you can see what it looks like in natural light. The rest are shot with flash. For those in the Sunnyvale area of California, Yarn Place is moving their storefront so they have everything in the store on sale ! And yes, that is a Mummy Kitty tee shirt she is wearing. Don't ask. Since I was at the shop, I got to get a look at fleegle's Spider King and her Red Lyra. The are spectacular! Her Lyra has no binding at all since the yarn she used has more elasticity than mine (mine has a very little bit of binding in the area of the arch around the flowers"). Too bad they won't let people take pictures at Stitches but I can't wait to see them hung up on display. That's it for now! Hope you are all having a great weekend :-)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Night Blocking (Sampler Stole Crawl)

I finally got around to blocking the Sampler Stole on my hands and knees using foam tiles, blocking wires and lots of pins.Bocking at night means that it will not be dry until some time tomorrow unless I get impatient and hit it with the hair dryer :-) I once again showed that I can knit an entire stole and still manage to screw up the grafting on the edging. Other than this, I think I did OK. Once I get a few shots of it off the wires, it will go to Yarn Place as a shop sample. and I can go back to knitting the Princess Shawls edging. Whew. No more stoles for awhile. I am still knitting on the "International Shawl" and there was some difficulty in and around row 105 just as fleegle predicted. Stuff just wouldn't line up as it should but I finally got through that patch and will continue on. Not the prettiest fixes but they will just have to do. My sister always warned me that patterns for knitting almosts always have errors in them but finding them while you are knitting lace really is not fun even with poor fleegle leading the way. I will try to get pictures once I make a little more headway. I am on a spinning jag so I started in on the Blue Moon merino/silk I got at Stitches West 2007. Yes, I held onto it for a year but that's nothing compared to some other things I have waiting to be spun. I plan to finish a few more things and then I hope to start a whole new slew of projects all at the same time so I can have lots and lots of variety. I have to make a decision about the two projects that are just sitting there, WRS and Shetland Tea Shawl. This weekend I'm going to pick them both up and try a few rows to see if I can kick start to finish them. It would be really nice to be able to get them done so I won't feel any guilt with new projects . Until my next post, have fun with whatever you are knitting!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Winter Is Hard on Dexterity ( I miss my cartilidge)

I am finding as I get older that Winter is not my bodys friend. Everything is stiffer on me, knitting is just a little less smooth, the joints in my fingers, hands , ankles and knees a little less responsive when I spin (snap crackle and pop) and everything wants to seize up the colder and wetter it gets. Winter doesn't lie about my age. It doesn't flatter and it has absolutely no sense of humor. Well, "feah" to you Winter! See above my spinning of the 4 ounces of Polworth and up to row 96 of the International Shawl. When the going gets tough, the tough get to knitting and spinning. Winter just reminds me that if I want to knit the good stuff, I have to get cracking. I have no idea how much yarn I got out of 4 ounces of fiber, but maybe I can break in that yarn yardage counter that my sister got me last year. And that brings up the fact that Stitches West 2008 is coming soon. Though I don't plan to buy yarn, my sister has informed me that she is more than happy to "gift" me with yarn in order to ease my agony. I have the best sister in the universe :-) Just a short post tonight as e-blogger is acting out and refusing to "spell check" anything for me. Good evening and good knitting!