Sunday, December 28, 2008

Almost Finished!

Here I am, the Sunday after the holiday, and I finished almost everything. What a relief!! Susan loved her shawl, Lauren loved her bag, I think Carla liked hers.... The sock-monkey hats were a big hit, made everyone laugh, which was what I intended! Ian seemed to like his sweater, and to appreciate the I in lieu of B for Butthead. I, however, did not finish the slippers for UJ. He doesn't know about them, though, so no problem!! Roberta LOVED her stocking, and Brenda went nuts for her bag, both gratifying reactions.....
I look back, and I am pleased with the reactions. But I can't help saying, THAT was all the presents I made?? Seriously?! Since July??? It seems like a lot of obsessive knitting for such a short list. Maybe that is the anti-climatic after-holiday blues talking.... All in all, that just reinforces my vow to knit only for myself this coming year!
Now, we all know that probably isn't true.... I still have to finish the bag that Brenda commissioned. And I still have to sew Meredith's sweater together, though the knitting is done and it steam blocked beautifully! And I have the 2/3 done Nantucket jacket for Mom to finish. So, see, there will be knitting for others thrown in there.... I started off the vow right, though, by immediately knitting four blocks for my afghan. That makes me so happy!!!!
AND, Christmas presents from Mom, Susan, and UJ have done nothing but encourage me to knit for Me, Me, Me!! I got the fair isle bag kit that I wanted, and the yarn is great!! I can't wait to start that. I got the yarn for the Minimalist Cardigan for our knit-along, which I am also very excited about.... Though, since Mommy is making one for Anna, it may be a while before she wants to make another one....
That's ok, I have other stuff to work on!! Because I also got two, count 'em, two gift certificates to Webs!! Now I can finish my afghan and more.... It will require some strategy. I got 100$ in certificates, and I need four more skeins of Kureyon for the Lizard Ridge. That leaves me with bunches of certificate money left!! AND, it only makes sense to get at least 125$ worth in a single order, because they offer 25% off after that amount. So not only will I get 100$ worth of yarn, but I will get an EXTRA 25%.
What do I want the yarn for? The Sylvi? I am in love with that project, but I got discouraged by working the swatch... Hmmm.... Like I said, this will require some strategy!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Eaten by a giant mound of knitting.

Of course, instead of finishing something that is already mostly ready to be delivered, I started a new project last night... I cast on the first of two felted slippers for UJ for Christmas. I am apparently allergic to finishing anything. Oh, well, at least the first one is going fast. I am very skeptical that this isn't going to be so very tiny that He Who Must Be Kept couldn't wear it, but we shall see. I am felting the first one before I cast on the second. (Or is that a mistake? Will that result in two radically different sized slippers? Hmmm, something to ponder.)

Does it seem weird that the only socks I have made have all been gigantic? The very first one was Roberta's stocking, and now giant socks for felting.... I seem to have a thing for gigantic socks.

Stephen (from work) and I coined a new term today, finding "second sock syndrome" to be a bit cumbersome. We have decided to call it Sock-holm Syndrome. I like it. I think it could catch on. You know you are a knitter when you have coined a phrase.... even if no-one else uses it!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Apparently I cannot knit and blog at the same time.

So, here I am again, all this time later. Now it is a perfectly good time to be obsessed with Christmas knitting! I have made it all the way to the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I still feel like there is a mountain of work to be done! Here is the Christmas list update:

1. Color Block Cardigans-done and delivered to Brenda the Friday before the holiday. They were adorable, and have cemented my hatred for tying in ends!

2. The sweater formerly known as Butthead- done but for tying in ends. Did I mention how I feel about tying in ends? I am not putting a picture here, because Butthead himself reads my blog. My one and only follower.... And he can't see his present until Christmas! (You thought I would slip up, didn't you??)

3. Lauren's bag- Changed this to a Brea bag. I still have to line it, but I found the BEST fabric for it! I got MONKEY fabric. It is so funny!! I am a little scared to start trying to line it, but I will have to bite the bullet soon....

4. Sock Monkey Hats- yes, that is right, hats! I decided that it was so funny that I had to make two. Uncle Jim, henceforth known as UJ, is lucky recipient number two. They still need their ears and their little faces embroidered on....

5. Susan's Clapotis- Oh, so beautiful. She has been copiously admiring my mom's version, so hopefully, she will be thrilled with hers. Now I want one made in the same yarn!
6. Vintage Bubble Bags- I ordered the Noro Silk Garden today to make one of these for Carla and one for Brenda from work. They work up quickly and I think they are very nice.
7. Stocking for Roberta- done but for tying in the ends and doing a hanger. (Those damned ends!!) My first large scale fair isle project and also my very first sock. It is not perfect but I am proud of the way that it turned out!
8. Hat for Chalmers- have to decide on something.... I will make this from yarn I already have, but I have to nail down a pattern this week! Very tempted to do fair isle again....
9. Brea Bag for Brenda's sister- I got Lion Brand Fisherman's wool in a beautiful taupe-y brown for this, and she is going to help me pick out the lining next week. I have one side done and can whip up the rest of it pretty quickly. I will use a belt for the handle, which I believe I found at a thrift store. I love this pattern!
10. Nantucket Jacket for Mom- finished the first front panel this morning. Since she knows about it, she is aware that it might not be done by the 25th. I am steaming away on it, though. I like this pattern, too. It is made form the Debbie Bliss Cashmarino that she bought on sale, that beautiful bright red. It is a very complicated, textured pattern, but very easy to knit somehow.... I hope it is as great as I think it will be.
11. Clogs for UJ- Don't know why I committed to knitting YET ANOTHER project before the holiday, but UJ is coming for Christmas (yeahhhh!) and we decided to beef up his present! Gotta get a pattern, will knit from stash.
Now it is clear why it has been months since I have posted, right? I haven't put the needles down for five minutes! (And Ian just fixed my wireless Internet over the weekend, thank you very much!!) I will be here... knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting, knitting......

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christmas in July.

It seems like an odd time to become obsessed by Christmas, but I was checking out my queue on Ravelry today, and I have a LOT of knitting to do before the big day. I mean a MOUNTAIN of knitting before me.... I decided to get everything ordered in my head, to try to make sure that I get the knitting done, so here we go:
1. Brenda's grand-daughter's Color Block Cardigans- they have to come first because she has paid for the yarn and will pay for the knitting. They go pretty quickly, thank goodness!
2. Ian's B-for-Butthead sweater- I know, I know I am not allowed to actually put a B on it, but that is what I choose to call it.... I am going to get the supply list to Susan this week.
3. Lauren's Adventure Bag- in red as ordered... :-) That one should be a pretty quick knit, too, though lining it will be its own adventure!
4. Sean's Sock Monkey Hat- quick and fun, and involving very little yarn.
5. Susan's Clapotis- no that is not a social disease, it's a shawl. She has mentioned wanting one, and this one is pretty and basic. I am not up to massive lace knitting, especially with a queue like this!!
6. Vintage Bubble Bags for all! I still haven't decided who and how many people are getting these, but they are on the list.
And that is it. I am not knitting for a bunch of people who won't appreciate it.... I have done too much of that in the past! I have to decide what to do for a bunch of other people, but that is probably all the knitting I can handle.
I looked for a group on Ravelry where I could organize this mess and talk to people about it, but they all looked cutesy. Nothing against them, but it wasn't the kind of thing I am looking for. I will work it out here, talking to myself! That is what that is for, after all, right??

Monday, June 23, 2008

Knitting binge.

Ok, so I haven't managed to post in ages because I have barely put down the knitting needles or the Ravelry forums most of this month!! See to your left the completed home-made blocking board on its inaugural run, showcasing the lovely first Lizard Ridge square. It worked VERY well, the block dried in less than a day this time! Lets hear it for moisture wicking qualities! Exciting stuff....
I have knitted and knitted on the Lizard Ridge until I have only three skeins of my birthday yarn left. I have enjoyed myself immensely, though, so I consider it well worth it! Trying to prolong my pleasure, I took a break, however, and knit....
An entire sweater for Brenda's granddaughter. It has turned out great, except for the truly frightening neon green color she chose. That green puts highlighters to shame. It hurts me. The sweater, almost completely sewn together, is very cute.... And too small. Fortunately, Brenda has three granddaughters, two of whom are smaller than Zadian! We are going to re-order yarn and start over on a larger size! I am so glad that Brenda likes it.... Zadian wanted to keep it today even though the pink sleeve isn't sewn closed yet! No finer compliment, that!
To be fair, abject poverty did give me some extra time to work on various and sundry knitting projects... I think the trip to Italy has been longer for those left behind than those seeing the sights!
I am gonna go block another square!! Whoopie!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Adventures in Home Improvement Land.

I got a square blocked, and I am very, very pleased with the results. It is much more supple, slightly softer, and significantly uncurled. The "bubbles" are not completely flattened, and I kind of like that effect. All in all, it is a worthy transformation. I am newly converted to the cult of blocking.

Which brings me to my recent foray into the world of the home improvement warehouse. I found a reference on Ravelry to a home-made blocking board, which interested me due to the 80-90$ prices I have seen on store bought ones. So, I found the instructions on and proceeded to gather the supplies. It called for 2-2' squares of homasote, one inch thick plus cover fabric and the stuff to stick it all together. (According to Wikipedia: Homasote is a type of wallboard made from recycled paper that is compressed under high temperature and pressure and held together with a glue. It is the stuff that ceiling tiles are made of, and they conveniently come in 2x2 squares, pre-cut.) I got the gingham fabric and staple gun at Hancock Fabrics and when that came to 30$ I began to wonder if I wouldn't be better off in the long run to buy a blocking board. But I persevered, and off to Lowe's I trotted.

In Lowe's, I asked the first red-vested person I came across and she gestured vaguely towards the complete other end of the store and said that ceiling tiles were in Building Materials. Duh. So, there I stood all tiny and lost staring at a sea of section signs, none of which actually said Building Materials. Gamely, my mother and I marched in that direction and the length of a football field later, we asked another woman where to find ceiling tiles. She, more specifically, offered that they were on isle 17. We traversed the entire length of isle 17, and alas, no ceiling tiles. We wandered vaguely around in the wall board section for a time, and managed to flag down a passing employee. He said that isle 18 is what we were looking for... Notice that at this point, not a single CUSTOMER SERVICE person in this place has offered to take us to the product we were looking to purchase? So, isle 18 it was and we FINALLY found the ceiling tiles. The bad news was that none of them were 1 inch thick (1/2 or 5/8 only.) and all of them were labeled for sale as whole boxes even though each selection had an open box on top. And there we stood in isle 18, alone and unhelped.

My mom left me standing in front of the ceiling tiles in case anyone came close enough or cared enough to see why I was standing alone staring at the ceiling tiles for so long and went the length of a football field back to customer service to ask someone to come help us. She made it there and back without me seeing anyone who worked there, and someone finally sent a sweaty 13-year-old boy who supposedly worked there to ask what we needed. I explained that I needed the homasote for a blocking board, and it therefore needed to be moisture wicking and hold up to pinning, etc, and he told me that he doesn't know what homasote and could I use plastic coated insulation board? I told him that homasote is the stuff that ceiling tiles are made of, and that is the reason we were standing in front of the ceiling tiles asking about ceiling tiles, and that plastic coated insulation board would be waterproof, not moisture wicking. He said that ceiling tiles were only available by the box and he doesn't think they sell any of that homasote, because he has never heard of it. After more head scratching and sweating, he went to find someone else to ask.

He brought back three other guys (where were they when we were searching the warehouse for help???) and they all said that they don't know what homasote is to get some of it cut for me. No matter what I said about what homasote is, apparently. I got the insulation board suggestion again, was told I could buy a whole box of tiles, and even after I explained that I would be pinning wet wool to dry on it and it needed to be portable, one guy suggested sheet rock. Soggy, dissolving plaster... very portable! That is when I gave up on Lowe's.

At this point, I was wondering if fabric could be returned or someone would want 3 yards of lavender gingham, but we decided to give Home Depot the old college try. I went in alone, asked the first person that I found, and he (much to my surprise) walked me right to the ceiling tiles, helped me decide that since the thickest they had was 5/8" that I could duct tape two together for each board, called three different people to find out the sku for a single piece (since the box sku was the only thing on the shelf), wrote it down on a piece of paper so that I would have it when I checked out, walked me to the duct tape (will wonders never cease), and helped me decide which size I needed for my purpose! The whole thing didn't come to 11$, and now Home Depot is my favorite new store!!

And by the way, homasote is available in sheets at Lowe's stores. I just checked the website.

Now I am exhausted. It was such a trial to get the stupid stuff that I haven't wanted to come home in the evenings and mess with it to actually assemble my blocking boards. I am happy to report, though, that today is Friday and I will get this puppy all fixed up tonight! Then maybe this weekend, in between cleaning like a maniac, I will get some more squares blocked.... I love this project!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I take it back....

This is the world's most beautiful knitted object!! I have finished 7 squares from matching skeins and this is the one that I got out of the scraps from those skeins.... I was really worried that the scraps wouldn't go together in a harmonious way, but I think it worked out well! Notice that the big ball of acidic lime green didn't make it into the square? I didn't have enough colors to go with it... somehow that earthy lavender looked better with the olive.... Anyway! I can't wait to get more yarn. Ian is giving me 6 skeins of it that I found on sale at They are on the way, but it isn't happening fast enough!! And realistically, that will only take me a week to get through, anyway!!! Someone is going to come across me on the street wearing a sandwich board that says "Will work for yarn...."

So, today due to lack of Lizard Ridge stimulation, I have focused on Ian's Weasley Sweater for Christmas... I searched for charted letters. We have finally laid to rest the idea of B for Butthead and I have resigned myself to a plain old I for Ian.... That one will be easy, since I can just use the H chart that comes in the book and whack off the parts that don't comprise an I. I also searched for yarn. I don't think anybody wants this sweater to cost 200$, and the Silkroad Aran that is called for would get close to that. Plus, Ian said that he doesn't like wool. I have convinced him that he should compromise and use a wool blend so that he still gets the same kind of rustic hand-spun look, or it won't really be a Weasley family heirloom! I am thinking either Lion Brand Woolease or Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweed. I lean toward the patons but I don't know if I could get gauge. We shall see... I have both at home and can swatch at will!

Isn't your birthday the perfect day to win the lottery? Like a birthday present from Karma... I will dutifully trip off to get the ticket. Keep your fingers crossed.... Dreaming of all the yarn I could buy! Sigh.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Only knitting can tear me away....

So, while working on the world's most beautiful afghan, my Lizard Ridge Love, I have been having a hard time tearing myself away to blog! I started at the Duran Duran concert, only put it down when I couldn't see anymore to knit. The pattern is easy to master and easy to memorize. I swear, this is the most addictive and most beautiful project I have ever worked on... I want to knit squares at all times!! I haven't even been able to make the time to take pictures of my lovely work! I thought that I would be satisfied with a couple of skeins every month, but I have developed an addiction. I am trying to get Ian to get me a couple more for my birthday this weekend!! Bright colors please, no pastels! ;-) This yarn creates a craving... I love the colors and the thick and thin texture.... I madly love this project. Sigh!
Learned to spit-splice, on a related note. Kind of gross, but very handy when the yarn has a knot... The texture of the afghan is going to be so smooth that I don't want to be seeing knots all over the place!
All other projects on hold, of course. I am carrying the Should-Have-Been-a-Kimono sweater around with me for when I run out of Kureyon, but it is a last resort! (Though I am one and a half squares from being out of luck, I do believe.) I am also pretty excited about starting the sweaters for Brenda's grand-daughters.... I have plenty to keep me busy for a while, I will not be suffering for want of yarn, that is for sure!!!
Just decided yesterday to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in October. Roberta generously allowed me to change my vacation , and mom and Vicky are going to go with! I am very, very excited.... I will sign up for the workshops that I want to take after payday! I am seriously considering Basics of Feltmaking and Fair Isle Knitting 101. I can't wait to see the displays and the vendors, too. Maybe there will be sheep ice-cream!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The worlds most beautiful knitted object!

Is that not the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen?? How can I resist starting that?? This picture is hijacked from someone else's blog, btw, since I have not yet embarked on the journey of knitting the Lizard Ridge afghan.... I have so much else to be working on, but I am strangely hypnotized by the beauty of all those Noro Kureyon colors. And BLIND to the price tag, since you can buy one skein at a time... One skein equals one block, and every block can happily be in another colorway! So, I believe I am going to give into my weakness for beautiful things and buy two skeins on my way to Raleigh on Wednesday to see Duran Duran. (See me pause to let the roar of the appreciative crowd subside....)

Real progress was made on the Vogue sweater over the weekend... Not like LAST weekend, but that may have set some kind of land speed for knitting record! I am three quarters done with the front now, and I may let the sleeves languish while I knit a child's sweater for Brenda. On the other hand, if I just bite the bullet, I would be done in no time.... I have no willpower! Then Roberta's sweater is waiting patiently to be made somewhere in the mix.... Who knows where these chips will fall??

Not an exciting turnout at the meeting this weekend, just me and my mom, but two new people have emailed me and I have a couple of new members of the group on yahoo! It was just too pretty for everyone to stay inside and knit, I guess.

I was going to cancel and go to the beach this weekend, but I just was reminded by the radio that it is bike weekend there this weekend, so I believe that is a nix. I will wait and go my birthday weekend, especially if I can get some Noro on Wednesday!!! Too much knitting, too little time! :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bad stasher, bad!!

I suck at burning through my stash. The only thing I have done for it, maybe ever, is use the extra Wool of the Andes yarn for my lovely French Market Bag... And I still have 2.5 skeins of that!

So, what do I do about that? Plan Christmas around what I already own? Noooo, not me! I find that Webs has Cascade 220 on sale for 4$ a skein and buy enough of that to keep an army in felted bags!! At least I can say that I ordered every ounce and yard with a specific Christmas present in mind.

Then we come to the difference between writing a journal on paper and producing a blog that other people know about.... I can't organize my Christmas present thoughts here! Ian proved that by commenting on this Harry Potter sweater plans!! ;-) Same goes for Ravelry, two of my beloved Christmas present recipients can view my projects!!

Is worrying about Christmas presents at the beginning of May the final sign that indeed I have moved into middle age? Thirty-seven looms ahead of me, and I have become my grandmother!!

Since Brenda still hasn't pinned her granddaughters down and measured them for their sweaters, I swatched for Roberta's sweater last night. It is a pattern that you just cannot memorize, so I will have to watch the pattern closely, but it worked up well. I got gauge with the recommended size 7 needles, and it is an easy knit.... Once I can start it, it should work up quickly!! But I am being disciplined about this, and today I am going to cast on the front of my should-have-been-a-kimono sweater in progress.... It is going to be great, and apparently I can finish it pretty quickly!! Pictures coming soon....

Monday, May 12, 2008

Go Speed Knitter, GO!

The yarn came to make sweaters for Brenda's granddaughters... Since I am making those at someones request, I really want to start them. The yarn is great, too, Puffin from Crystal Palace! Soft and fuzzy. I can't wait to see how it is going to knit up!

Since I already had the vogue sweater on the needles, I HAD to wait, though... I love this yarn and didn't want to end up with a ridge through it from leaving it sitting on the needle while my attention wandered to something else. SO.... I knit the entire rest of the back of the sweater in a day and a half! I was a knittin' fool. It was a complete marathon session, slowed down only by the fact that the pattern called for decreases on EVERY row... Never ran across one that called for decreasing on the wrong side. And never did figure out how to get a decrease done on the purl side to lean to the left.... Oh, well, the little stitches are really hard to see, and I don't think it takes away from the over-all beauteousness. It came out beautifully, and now I am ready, nay ITCHING, to do a gauge swatch for the color block sweater in fluffy cupcake colors! Brenda hasn't brought me the measurements yet, but I can swatch!

Kind of a sad turnout on Saturday, just my mom, me and Brenda. We had fun, though, and knitted the afternoon away. I don't know what will happen next week, since we have made movie plans with good friends, but I will squeeze knitting in there somewhere. And try to attract the crocheters who emailed me last week, too! I am just really enjoying having some time dedicated to being social AND to knitting. It is great!

Mom made a sweater that turned out SO great. It is lipstick red, which is definitely her color, and has a yoke knitted in the round. Now I want to make the exact same sweater.... I envision cream or olive.... I will never have the time in my entire life to knit all that I want to!! (Or the money... ) I guess I just have to keep adding to the queue and dream of retirement when I can knit all day.... :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

All fibers should come from beech trees.

Red bag done! Whoopie!! I madly love this pattern and will make more and more of these French Market Bags. Seems to be a popular choice, as many, many people in my bag group on Ravelry have expressed their own mad love for this pattern. I started using it before I let it dry. That did result in slightly damp pattern pages, but it was worth it! It is my new favorite knitting project bag, which I am carrying to work every day with my knitting and my lunch inside. Now I want to make one with the contrasting colors the pattern actually calls for! Ohhh, and wouldn't it be great to do it like my mom's bubble bag, with one strand of Noro Silk Garden and one strand of wool. I can picture that, and it is a lovely fantasy.... Oh, the possibilities!

On a slightly less "mad love" kind of note, I had to frog the kimono. I am very disappointed, but I refuse to let it dampen my enthusiasm. The yarn, the aforementioned beech tree fiber, was absolutely gorgeous and silky, so silky in fact that it wouldn't hold the stitch pattern when I used big enough needles for gauge. It was a loopy, floppy mess. I am not giving up on my desire to make the lovely fan kimono, I just need a yarn with a better texture for the project.... And maybe a color that would harmonize beautifully with black.... Back into the queue it goes!

Because I love the fabulous, satiny Shine Worsted- the wonderful beech fiber- so much, I have already started an alternative project with the kimono yarn. It is cotton and beech, so I wanted something summery. Plus, I want to wear it! Who wants to wait until Fall?? So, I cast on an elbow-length-sleeve, square-neck tee from the most recent Vogue Knitting. The pattern calls for a slightly lighter soy bamboo and stripes, but I am using worsted and no stripes. The gauge works up almost exactly right, only about an eighth of an inch off, so I am making a 40 instead of a 44. I fall between those measurements, anyway. It makes up into a great fabric... I am excited, and the melancholy brought on by frogging begins to fade!

Knitting group meeting tomorrow! I am very happy that everyone is so eager to meet. I set the yahoo group to do an automatic reminder, which is ultra cool... The best-hoped-for thing finally happened! I got an email from a stranger who found the group on yahoo!! She said she and her friend crochet, and asked if we would include them! I emailed back that she is certainly welcome and I really hope they come.... Plus, my mom has invited another teacher, so our ranks are growing. I am so pleased!

I am trying to organize our first field trip as a knitting group.... June 14th is World Wide Knit in Public Day, can you believe it?? I found a group on Ravelry who are celebrating with a meeting in a park in Charleston, and I am trying to convince at least one other person to go with me. I am too shy to go alone, but maybe I will have the guts to go with someone else. Besides, Charleston is great and I hear good things about their LYS, Knit.

Who would have thought that I had so much to say, so often about knitting?? :-)

Monday, May 5, 2008

... but for the finishing!

Ok, the red bag is done all but the tying in... I hate tying in ends! I am ABSOLUTELY determined, though, to get it done before I start anything else. Since I am home sick today, I should be able to do it. Right now I am sitting on the couch with it tucked under my arm, hoping that some strange magic will occur and it will just be READY for the washer! I had a terrible grafting problem, but my genius mother was able to explain it way better than some book. I have to finish, though, because I can't wait to start the kimono!!

Had the meeting again on Saturday, Cathy and Sharon both came in addition the the people there the first week.... It was just exactly what I wanted it to be!! Peaceful, relaxing, fun. Mom did a way better job teaching Brenda than I did, but the important thing is that Brenda seemed very happy to have gotten the hang of the knit stitch!! I look so forward to meeting again this coming Saturday!
Ordered the yarn to make a tunic sweater for Roberta. She just loved the yarn for my kimono, so I couldn't resist ordering the very same yarn. It wasn't too expensive since it is from Knit Picks, and since I have to hand make it, I don't feel too much like my grandma buying Christmas presents in May! If that one works out, I may make more for people for the holiday. Since I am also doing sweaters for Brenda's grandkids and a Harry Potter sweater for Ian for Christmas, skully goes further down the list.... I am holding aside the pink mohair for just that project....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Knitting a pleasant end to a rough day....

Ah, the stress relieving properties of my favorite hobby... A welcome relief from download software and impatient insurance agents!!

I am very excited to report that the yarn arrived yesterday for my Fan Kimono. I am barely, barely restraining myself from starting it!! I got a gigantic swatch started. I ripped it out about 1000 times, but I think I am finally getting the lace pattern. Practice makes perfect.... The yarn is DIVINE. I will make many projects out of shine worsted! It is soft as a cloud and the color is wonderful.... Love....
I remembered to send out the invite to the Stitch n' Bitch this weekend. I am pleased that people wanted to meet again this soon. Cathy should be there on the correct day, and Sharon said that she will be there with bells on. I am looking forward to it, especially since it means that this week will be OVER!! And I am very pleased to realize that we don't need a leader or agenda to have a good, relaxing time with friends.
I got a tripod so that I could take pictures of my knitting projects in the various stages of completion.... Maybe Ravelry should count as an entirely new obsession?? I don't mind, though! A very nice lady has already helped me with the pattern for the fan kimono!
Remember, if you are reading this, feel free to join the group through the link at the left!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Knitting Group Launched!!

It was such a good weekend for knitting!! First, the knitting group met for the first time this weekend. My mom and I were there really early, had my little sign up, all ready to have a meeting. At about 3:15, Melissa showed up. I had never met her, was really glad to finally get to know her... She brought a knitting loom, which I had never seen anyone use before. Man, did that thing go fast!! Brenda got there not too much later and we had her first knitting lesson. She did really well, just needs to leave the yarn in the back! Took a poll of attendees, few though they were, and we decided to meet again next Saturday. I can't wait!

On Sunday, I got my invitation to join Ravelry. I am so excited I can't stand it!! It is AWESOME, may never get any more knitting done because I will be networking about knitting!! It is great to be able to view projects that other people have done from the same patterns as me, to see the wonderful variety that people can bring to the same set of instructions.... And if I have problems, I know there are people who have done the same things I have.

Finished my mom's vintage bubble bag yesterday, too. It's true. She thought it would never happen... And after two years in the knitting bag awaiting the sewing on of handles, who can blame her?? It looks really good, and she has decided I should make one for everyone for Christmas... I want to do other color combinations and leather handles. I may even try my hand at lining this one. I can't help it, I just love knitting bags. Heck, apparently I love knitting red bags!

Found out that the yarn for the kimono should be here today or tomorrow, the website said that it was shipped on the 22nd. I am very, very excited about this one, too. People did BEAUTIFUL versions of this pattern and posted them on Ravely, which makes me eager to start.

Ravelry is just going to feed my knitting obsession, I can tell!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The countdown....

I have this fear that it is going to be me and my mom sitting at Barnes & Noble knitting away tomorrow at 3PM. I guess worse things have happened, since our Saturday would have somehow involved coffee and sitting together knitting, anyway, but I want more people to get interested!! I have printed flyers with the blog and the contact information for the group to give out if someone asks during the meeting, and I have a sign holder to put on the table to let people know that it is ok to just jump in and introduce themselves.... I just need to remember that we will have fun and knit either way, and if I am persistent with the whole thing, it will happen!

Didn't knit a stitch last night, got sucked into the land of computer mah jong and became zombified. I seriously think that psychologists should do studies on the hypnotic effect of that game!! I will literally match tiles until my hand aches from clicking or I realize that the same show has come on again in the middle of the night as I saw earlier! I just had to have a break from the same stitch for a day.... I have the bag here at work with me today, so I can show off and knit at lunch. It keeps me motivated! Plus, if people see me knitting, maybe they will want to join the group!! Always thinkin'....

For many reasons, I am ready for this week to be over! The most exciting of which is that the yarn we ordered should be here today or tomorrow! My mom ordered yarn to make a shell to take to Italy (lucky dog!) and I ordered a beautiful cotton blend to make a kimono! I am SO excited about making the kimono, I can't wait. I must finish the bag first, but yippee!! I can't wait to see the yarn. It should be interesting to make too, being a lace pattern and will be the first one that I absolutely cannot avoid blocking. Ah, a challenge!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Knit, knit, knit, knit....

Around four inches done on the red bag. It is shaping up to be very basket-like, which makes me happy. I am at work now, very sincerely wishing I was knitting instead!! Sadly they frown on knitting at the IT help-desk.... I keep trying to tell them of the stress relief benefits of repetitive motion and mindless crafting, but they don't buy it! Sigh.

I am excited and nervous about the group meeting for the first time Saturday.... What will my duties as host/organizer be? Hopefully, it will be like a great, laid-back coffee party where even new people chat and relax. I am going to be teaching some people to knit gradually in these meetings, so even if I get really nervous I will be occupied, I guess! Good practice for the upcoming class!

Unfortunately, we did not win the lottery last night, so I cannot devote myself full time to spreading knitting joy around the area like Johnny Appleseed! I have my fingers crossed for Saturday night!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All good things come from knitting.

So, all this started from my desire to gather knitters together locally... That seems to be happening slowly, and I am trying to be patient with the process.... BTW, if you are reading this and want to sign up for the group, the link out to it is on the left hand side of your screen! I am also finding, however, that this desire has set into motion a chain of events that so far has been great! To create the Yahoo group, I had to get a Yahoo email address. I decided that since Yahoo is free and my email at the time wasn't, that I would switch. As a result of switching emails, I sent a giant group email to everyone on my address list to let them know about the change. The exciting part is that I have heard from a bunch of people I hadn't talked to in ages! My friends Tamara and Paul crawled out of the woodwork, and Bonnie-baby emailed me for the first time in YEARS! We are going to have coffee soon... Tamara and Paul are out-of-town friends and have nothing to do with my fiber obsession, and yet my reconnect with them comes right out of that! And Bonnie!!! She is local, and I will attempt to lure her to the group! Even if she doesn't want to stitch with us, I am back in touch with one of my favorite friends of the past! Whoopie!

Plus, I have created this blog, which I am enjoying very, very much. It has been a long time since I have focused so clearly on the things that make me happy and excited or really clearly laid out what I was thinking about. That can only be good. :-)

Another great consequence of my push to excite the natives about knitting is that I finally got brave enough to make the effort for a teaching gig at the adult education center. I had given it some thought in the past, but chickened out every time it came time to do something about it.... Now, I figure that the best way to grow a group of knitters is to get newbies knitting! I am very intimidated by the idea of standing in front of students with needles clutched eagerly in their sweaty hands, but I am going to soldier through and do it! It can serve as practice for becoming the art history professor of my dreams.... I have a syllabus and everything! It doesn't start until August and I can hardly wait!! Maybe they will even pay me....

As for my knitting last night, I have only one thing to say: knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, slip marker, knit, knit, knit.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The historic second post!

That was relatively painless, so here it goes again. First, thanks to my ever supportive Mom for posting a comment so that I don't feel so adrift in the blog universe! You are awesome!

Next, I have added the link for the knitting group, whose meeting is this coming Saturday, so, if you are reading this, join the group!! Look left, intrepid reader! The group is how I will send out announcements about when and where we are meeting. I am hoping to snare some newbies to the group and meet all kinds of new friends. I want to keep adding to the circle until there is a great stitching community in Florence and the surrounding area.... I have a dream.... :-)

On to knitting news, the part you have all been waiting for... I did remember to take my knitting home last night, always a step in the right direction! I worked on the red market bag, however. I am a little concerned that it is not going to felt well because the guage is so tight and small. I think I read somewhere that the guage should be loose to let it move enough in the felting process. Oh, well. Even if it doesn't felt, I have a feeling that it will be sturdy enough to stand on its own as knitted. I am using two worsted strands of Wool of the Andes on size 7 metal needles. It is nice and snug. I have moved on to the part of the bag where I just knit straight up the sides for eight inches. While certainly easy and ultimately rewarding, it is boring the snot out of me. Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, slip marker, knit, knit, knit, knit.... You get the idea. I am plowing onward, though, in hopes of a truly adorable basket-like bag. I guess if it gets too monotonous I can always work on the lovely olive bag. Or the lovers knot afghan. Or finish the two sweaters I have almost done..... Anyway, I am close to two inches down, six to go, then handles.

I had the alarming idea this morning that I have turned into a Victorian spinster, knitting at home with my mother and my cats... I guess I don't have anything else to say about that, just a moment of horrified silence for the idea.... Shoot me in the head the next time I suggest a doily!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Ok, here goes post number one. Since I am new to this and not much of a creative writer, you will all have to bear with me! Assuming, of course, that anyone but me is reading this....

My primary reason for creating this blog is for my own amusement and to publicize the knitting group I am trying to get organized in Florence, SC. Surely I am not all alone here in the wilds of South Carolina!! My Yahoo Group is snbFlorenceSC where you can find the calendar of events. Right now, it is just the first meeting on 4-26-2008 at the Barnes & Noble Cafe on the list, but I have high hopes. SO, if you aren't a member already, join the Yahoo group and join us for coffee and stitching! Everyone is welcome.

I left my knitting at work over the weekend... A recipe for madness! Since Vickie was here and she and my mom were knitting away all weekend, I had to start something new. I just could not resist.... So, my beautiful olive cabled purse is just destined to take the rest of my life to knit! I have already ripped out 66 rows and started over, due to the famous handle-hole incident, and now I have fallen in love with a new bag. Ah, the fickle allure of the new project. (The new one is going to be fabulous, though!)