Friday, December 29, 2006

My habit is getting out of control. I have lost control of my ability to stop buying yarn. I browsed the Yarn 4 socks website and ended up buying stuff. 40% off of my favorite self striping lana grossa who could resist!? Certainly not me... and well, if you order $50 you get free shipping, so spend and save right!? I order a couple of other things, but sadly in my frenzy, I cannot remember exactly which things I ordered, duh!! Pathetic. I am like an addict and after I got my fix I blacked out...

So my mom and I tried to go to this place in Fremont that a gal my mom knows owns. It is a yarn store, sort of Stitch Paradise Studio. Read their website, maybe you can figure it out better than I. It is some concept place and the owner offered me a free kit of some sort if I came by (remember that old Camel commercial, "I'd walk a mile to smoke a camel" I'd walk a mile to get free yarn!) So we went by and no one was there, no signs or anything, it is the weirdest thing despite it being listed as their "Open Hours." It is bizzarre because it is totally a residence and has NO signage what so ever and we were knocking and calling one the phone and could hear it ringing inside and no one was there. If they want people to come, don't you think they should at least have a sign? Harumph.

So then we cruised over to the Yarn Place. Whoops big mistake, right!? I bought too much stuff I certainly didn't need. I picked up 7 skeins of the silky nylon yarn in red. So soft and wonderful. I also got 2 dark chocolate brown skeins of Gentle and a blue and purple graduated skein of Graceful. My mom also picked up a yummy deep red of Gentle that she wants me to knit into a shawl for her. Crazy. They have started carrying this really nice bamboo yarn that is SO soft and wonderful. I would like to pick some up next time I am there.

I Totally thought I posted this entry. But I guess not. Today, 12/30, we went to the house of Teenuh and swapped Christmas presents and had a generally nice time. The kids had a good time playing Guitar Hero 2. I got a wonderful dish cloth knitted by Teenuh which is a really pretty pattern and also a most yummy skein of Jitterbug sock yarn. Yaye, thanks Teenuh! I can't wait to knit with it!! Yeah!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Yippy Yay for Christmas. What took days to carefully wrap and place artfully under the tree was dismantled, tossed aside and laying in a heap in a matter of just minutes. Presents opened, children happy. It is all good, until that is, you have to open that evil store shelf packaging all toys come in. Insane numbers of nasty finger tearing twist ties and tape spackeled across surfaces and materials that should NEVER come in contact with tape. It is an evil plot to destroy the confidence and dexterity of parents the world over!! The packaging is ridiculous.

That said, since this blog is about knitting, I should comment on the wonderful Knitting based items I received as gifts. My mom and dad got me the most beautiful books Nickey Epstein's Knitted Flowers. I am in love with EVERYTHING in the book. I think every thing I make for a while will be adorned (or tortured) with flowers!! Yahoo! They also got me the gorgeous and lovely book Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby. It is such a pictorially wonderful book that even if you didn't knit it would just be nice to look at. I can't wait to make everything in the book (though I know this will never happen based on the fact there is a HUGE circular cobeweb weight shawl that I will NEVER knit. Once bitten twice shy on giant circles. I don't know if I can afford another 5 months of my life!) So many things... so many!! My mom also got me a huge bunch of yarn she got on clearance at Walmart that will become various things, though I am not sure what. My sister's gift was a Yarn Meter. "It sure doesn't look like much." she says. "I think they forgot to put your present in the box," says DS. What, no! I am very happy this device is wonderful! Once I figure out how to use this right I will be able to divide a ball of yarn in half exactly so I can make my sock (or whatever) as long as I possibly can and know I will have exactly enough yarn left over for the other half. I will be able to gauge how much yarn I have spun as well so now I know exactly what I can do with it. This is a very useful tool I have been DYING to add to my repitoire! DH may find me sleeping with my new knitting friends tonight....

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The lovely kid silk scarf is finished. I think that the people in the yarn store were wrong. Once blocked it was the same width as the one in the store, but upon using both rolls of Fiesta, the scarf was normal scarf length of 64" not the stubby 20 some odd inches they had in the store. Well it was a lucky surprise anyway. Longer is always better than shorter. The close-up pics came out too blurry to post though, so you'll have to settle for just one pic.

As promised here is the picture of the Shawl Kit I purchased at Knitting Arts for $35. It has the multicolor hand dyed mystery bobble wool, which was obscurely labeled "100% wool $36.00". The mystery multicolored shiny nylon or acrylic fancy. The purple is Rowan Kid Classic a lambswool/mohair/nylon blend and the green is Soft Kid a super kid mohair/ nylon blend/wool blend both are very nice and soft. I think I will likely make the seafoam shawl out of it, just because it all goes together so nicely and then I won't really have to think about what to do with it.

I tried my hand at Kool Aid dying on Thursday night. I used Orange, lemonade, and Strawberry. I have noticed that the lemonade tends to come out fairly pale so I added about 8 drops of yellow food coloring to the mix to make it more vibrant. This is a dk weight 100% Merino skein from knit picks. Not superwash though. The superwash was more expensive so I decided I would try first on the cheaper merino. I used 4 Kool aid packets, plastic wrap, a casserole dish and my microwave. I figured out though I have to watch the trasitional areas because I didn't cover them enough at the reds, I was afraid it would bleed a lot, but it didn't and I got areas that are very pale pink almost white. As I type I have another skein in the ol' wave heating, it is a superwash that is planned to be mittens to my demanding dd. I do appreciate that they like what I knit for them now, I can't imagine it will last too long. My only problem now is that I can't find a store that has blue or purple Kool aid in stock right now!! ARGH! Now I am just Dye-ing to knit something up!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Lana Grossa socks for DH were a hit, he liked them quite a lot. He eagerly jammed them on to his feet. I knit them entirely in front of him, but he had no idea they were for him, so he was totally surprised. I decided to rip out the entire top of the sock, from bound off ankle to below the heel. It looked quite a lot better after, much better than that GLARING tacked in stitch.

I have now started the Kidsilk Haze/Fiesta scarf, with a 36 st cast on in the feather and fan pattern. I think the one at Commuknitty must have been 54 sts because mine is coming out quite a lot thinner than theirs was. That is good because it will be longer theirs was freakishly short, though only intended to be a demo and not a wearable item, unless you have a pencil thin 13" neck or so. Which was totally working for them, since once I saw it I HAD to have the stuff to make it...

My family (UGH kids in a yarn store!!) and I swung through Knitting Art in Saratoga on Sunday and I picked up a "Shawl kit" with some beautiful yarn in it. I had to fend off some other woman who seem to have her eye on anything I picked up. I was somewhat disappointed when I realized that the instructions for the shawl (a Seafoam Pattern) they had hung up to demonstrate the yarn kits were NOT included in the bag, but instructions for a straight, knit top to bottom rectangular and triangular shawl were. Now if I didn't know that was the Seafoam pattern and I didn't already have a copy of it, I would be pretty darn P.O.'d. Harumph.

Found a new place to obtain yarn from. I'll have to check it out. News to follow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Swallowtail shawl #2 is complete. With just a few dedicated knitting hours yesterday (okay, it was probably like 9 hours of knitting in one day) I finished weaving in the ends and blocked it, putting in the the last pin at about 12:15 am. It was dried and beautiful this morning and ready for the teacher's gift bag tomorrow morning! Yes! Now I only have to finish a scarf or two for the other teacher by tomorrow (not nearly as difficult!) But I guess I had better get to it now or I will be up late again!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Teenuh and I took a quick jaunt to Commuknity this afternoon after a day of hanging out and peddling CTMH scrapbooking and stamping supplies. It was a good thing that Commuknity was closing when we got there or I think I would have spent more money. Whoops!! Fifteen minutes in the store and I come out $65 poorer, and that was with 20 % off!! It is a nice store. It looks very nice and cozy. They have some couches that keep calling out to me to go and sit on them. But both times I have been there I didn't have any time to sit around and relax. Their sock yarn selection doesn't compare at all to Purlessence. But they have lots of nice stuff, lots of Rowan and Debbie Bliss, Noro and other nice stuff, as well as books lots of beautiful books.

I TOTALLY want to start a scarf I saw there, yummy fuzzzy scarf. Mmmm.... Rowan Kidsilk Haze (shade 606 a brilliant fuschia) knit together with Cascade Yarn Fiesta (color 9488 Purple and blue rattail type, appearing mostly purple in the picture) making it shiny and fuzzy at the same time! But I have other stuff to finish in time for Christmas and birthdays etc... So I need to keep on track. "Focus.... Focus..." I also found some yummy hand dyed Schaefer "Anne" sock yarn in muted blue, greens and yellow, with shocking brilliant orange, and another skein of Lana Grossa (color 5121) pink, white, purple and yellow striped. I picked up the Interweave Knits special Holiday Edition. The Interweave mag was interesting. It was shorter than a regular mag. I compared it to the last regular one. It wasn't because it had particularly less patterns. It had about 1/2 as many pages of ADVERTISING!! Cripes, once I was comparing I noticed how much friggin' advertising there was in the regular issue. Sheesh. I am TOTALLY going to knit the purse. It is from Knitting Beyond the Edge I think. I have some Patons Wool sitting around I bought to make a felted bag but never found a pattern i liked. Now I have one, when I bust out the yarn sometime this week, I bet the colors are all going to be so off that I am going to go out and buy some new yarn to make it!!!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

I fnished most of the sewing yippie, ALL the blankets down (that would be 6!) and just some pajamas to go, though let me tell you, the procrastination bug is a bitin'!

Well, I finished 1 and 3/4 of the Lana Grossa socks. I was so happy with the way it turned out. Then... I put the sock on my foot for the second time and noticed a runway dropped stitch escaping from the side of my heel! ARGH!! I had to pick that stitch up, hook it back to the top. So now I am starig at it, should I sew it back in then every time I see it I will hate it, or should I frog the entire top of this finished sock and redo the whole darn thing. I will just get through the last quarter of the second sock then decide I suppose. Either way, I am quite annoyed.

I have also started another IK Swallow Tail Shawl out of a purple/maroon Alpaca Cloud, a colorway that apparently they don't make anymore. In this picture it looks totally brown but it is really more maroon. I'd better save the rest for something really special. Which is just what I need, another reason to keep something in my stash and not use it, right? I think I have 4 more skeins of it. It is very, very PRECIOUS. I should probably hide it somewhere special... Right next to that beautiful lavender kid mohair....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I forgot to mention I finally made it down to Commuknitty yesterday. It is such a nice store. Very spacious with lots of yarn (though not NEARLY enough sock yarn) and full of beautiful things. They were preparing for a signing that is occuring tonight by Mel Clark, Tracy Ullman's co-author of the book Knit 2 Together. Full of very cute things, I was tempted to head down there tonight. But alas, this book's patterns are all made for people of an extraordinarily small size! (Not hefty gals, such as myself). The largest sweater pattern in the book has perhaps a 40" or 42" bust. Which is really too bad, because the stuff is CUTE!! Plus they were having a 20% off all yarn sale to boot. I just bought 2 skeins of Lana Grosa self striping sock yarn (tans and browns and a denim blue mix, seen here already assaulted) yesterday and scurried away, bummed to know I couldn't attend today. Regardless it is a very nice store, I highly recommend it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, this will be our first "Normal" weekend since Labor day when soccer season started. So it will be a relaxing weekend only consisting of a couple of birthday parties (yeah, so it's not so relaxing is it?) and a baby shower I think I am going to dodge out of. I have a cold and I don't want to make the expectant mother sick. This is a terrible phlegmy nasal cold which does not go away. I have been sick since last Saturday the majority of the time having no voice and honking like a goose. In spite of this Thanksgiving was excellent. I enjoyed spending time with my family again. Pictured here with 3 members missing who left quite early. Imagine all of these folks crammed into a 4 bedroom house, with a small kitchen, smallish living room and *gasp* only 1 (yes folks, that says 1) bathroom! Also note DD having a fit during the picture taking. Nice right?

On the up side. I have finished socks for DS photographed here on the leg of sleeping DD so as not to let the cat out of the bag on this birthday present for DS. This is Shoeller and Stahl yarn I don't know what color way. Great stuff to work with and the more you wash it the softer it gets, very nice.

Also finished is the Cashmere "Swallowtail Shawl" (Fall '06 Interweave Knits). I was blocking it and I didn't quite get it stretched as far as it was supposed to be. it is 22 inches tall by 43 inches wide. Intended to be a Christmas gift for my mother. She knows what a prize the yarn was so I am SURE she will appreciate it in spite of the smaller size. She will probably wear it all crumpled up around her neck, anyway It should be okay because my mom is just not that large a person. I hope that she will enjoy it. The variegated colors look like some wierd pixelation issue on the screen of my computer. Actually there are stripes of fuschia, purple and dusky gray all blending together. It looks quite nice, maybe you can tell better if you click on it and view the large picture. It is currently drying on my living room floor. My house is SO terribly cold it may take a week to dry. We FINALLY lit the furnace today, when I got up this morning the house was 49 *damn that's cold* degrees F. I could practically see my breath. It made it quite difficult to get out of bed and even worse to get out of the nice hot shower. But now folks (we had a little furnace filter changing fiasco going on for a bit) my house is a much more reasonable 68 degrees. Ahh... it is practially like summer in here.... practially.