A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

After the final felting...

Yesterday, I gave my clutch a second felting -- and I really like how it turned out:

After felting... Posted by Picasa

All I need now is to sew on a snap to keep it closed. Technically, I made the clutch for the wedding last weekend, but I also made it as a test -- because Mom wants me to make her a felted clutch for Christmas. The yarn that I got for her is different -- and it's a worsted weight instead of bulky -- but I'll make it work. I just happened to have this yarn sitting around, so I gave it a shot. I have to say -- I'm a *huge* fan of Kraemer Yarns (and not just because of the name). The chunky, especially, is fantastic for felting. And the colors are amazing.

I've been getting all kinds of stuff in the mail lately! So far this week, I've gotten a shipment from KnitPicks -- featuring yarn for Mom's felted clutch, two Christmas stockings (for Paul and me), and three hanks of dye-your-own for our dyeing party on Sunday. Yesterday, I also got a package from CafePress -- with two of our new Peace Love Knit shirts. The ones that showed up are Barbara's -- so I'm guessing that mine will arrive today. Also yesterday...the UPS guy dropped off my review copy of AlterKnits. Not sure how I feel about it yet -- but Paul will tell you that the book is ridiculous (and I must admit that the patterns for, say, knit screen doors and crowns knit out of crepe paper are a little...impractical).

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wedding finery

The Bride and Groom Posted by Picasa

This weekend, our friends, Jay and Lisa, got married -- and we got to be a part of it. Paul was the best man, and I got to do a poetry reading. It was an honor to be able to be included in the marriage of two such wonderful people.

It was a gorgeous but freezing cold day, so Lisa and I got to show off our wedding knit-wear:

The four of us in wedding finery Posted by Picasa

Lisa's wearing a shawl, made out of Brilliant, which I knit for her this spring. It was stunning -- and I'm not just saying that because I made it. It really was beautiful. I'm not sure how I got it to be the perfect size, since I made it 500 miles away from where she was, but it really did look great on her. I was relieved. Imagine how horrible I would have felt had the shawl made the bride look frumpy. But it didn't. She looked great -- with or without the shawl. Heck, she was the bride. When does the bride *not* look great? (Okay -- I do remember one particular wedding, but I won't go into that here...)

I finished my shrug in time, too. I was worried that I was going to freeze to death -- which I almost did -- but at least I looked stylish doing it. The sleeves were a little long, since I added an extra repeat to them, but it was actually pretty cool that way (except that I had to be really careful not to drag my long bell sleeves through the Alfredo sauce every time I went for a sip of wine). No one even knew that I made the thing myself, but I must say that I was pretty darn proud. I knit lace -- in black! And it worked (mostly)! I found myself staring at my arms all night, admiring my work.

I also carried a really cool clutch, which I decided to start after finishing the shrug. I decided to felt it once more before taking a final picture, but here's the Before picture -- before I felted it in my MIL's washer while Paul was golfing with the guys...

Before felting... Posted by Picasa

I decided to go with the strap, just for comfort's sake, but it can also be tucked inside to make it a real clutch. I totally made up the pattern as I went, giving it shaping and working it all in one piece (except for the strap, which was an afterthought). And I love how it turned out. It really was perfect...

On Friday, I got to do my Yarn Shop Crawl. Actually, I only went to two shops, but that was tiring enough. I returned to Romni, and then I checked out Lettuce Knit. Romni reminded me a bit of our store -- only way more overwhelming. I remembered the sheer size of it from before (which is overwhelming by itself). But this time, the shelves were full, and the floor was covered with new yarn, still in the bags. I could barely walk through! It reminded me of the store, where you can't get through the back room because there are so many boxes that we still haven't checked in / priced / put out on the shelves. But at least at Romni, I didn't have to worry about doing the work myself. While I was there, I hit the basement sale room, where I almost hyperventillated. I honestly could have sat there all day, but poor Paul was sitting in the car, listening to the radio and waiting for me, so I bought a couple of little things and moved on.

After our yarn shop experience, we hit IKEA. Ah, how I love IKEA. You'd think, if they have three in the Toronto area, they could have one in Columbus, too. But no...we have to wait until we visit the in-laws to stock up.

Once again, the weekend was a whirlwind -- but it was fun. We got to spend time with family and friends -- and I got to go yarn shopping (I also got to eat at Pizza Pizza, which always makes me happy). What more could I ask for?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Knitting for chickens...

I just got an email about the new Carrie Kabak blog. Carrie wrote a wonderful book called Cover the Butter, which I reviewed for N&W.com (check out the review) -- and we gave a few copies away to our readers. Apparently, Carrie has a new book on the horizon (which I look forward to reading), and to promote it, she's sponsoring a knitting competition.

But it's not just any knitting competition. We're not talking scarves or baby blankets or hats here. We're talking about knitting a sweater for a featherless chicken. Yep. That's right. A sweater for a featherless chicken. Check it out at carriekabak.blogspirit.com.

In my personal knitting news...last night, I finished the shrug. I have a feeling that it would have been a little more perfect if I hadn't been rushed to the point of no longer reading the directions. But it'll work. Right now, it's drying, pinned down to the basement floor. Keep your fingers crossed...

After I pinned and sprayed, I came back upstairs to start a felted bag to go with my ensemble. I figure I'll finish it in the car on Thursday. And I'll felt it in my MIL's washer on Friday. On Saturday, it'll be wedding-ready. I love felted stuff with bulky yarn. It's so instant...unlike lace shrugs...

Monday, September 19, 2005

Girls' day

I've been trying unsuccessfully all morning to get in and edit this picture, but I just can't do it, so I'll post as-is...

Yesterday, Barbara, Julie, and I hit the road to Yellow Springs, a town this side of Dayton, for their annual Wool Gathering festival. It was my first fiber festival, and I was so excited that I couldn't sleep.

A day away with the girls... Posted by Picasa

It was a relatively small show, but it was so much fun. There were two tents full of vendors, and there were plenty of llamas and alpacas and angora bunnies to pet. And the yarn was amazing. I ended up with two skeins of cotton -- one for a One Skein Wonder for me and a variegated neons skein for something for my niece. I also got two small balls of roving -- because Barbara promised to teach me to spin it. And I got a skein of wool for a mini shawl. On the way back, we made our plans for our big Dyeing Day in a couple of weeks. I need to get on the ball and order the dye-your-own stuff from KnitPicks so it'll arrive in time for us to dye it!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Peace, love...

Peace, Love, and Knitting! Posted by Picasa

Check out the new shirt design! You can get all kinds of hip Ts and baseball shirts and stuff here: http://www.cafepress.com/peaceloveknit.

And...in case you haven't seen the *other* shirts (the ones that Barbara and I so proudly wear to work), check out:
Barbara Knits
or Julie Knits
or even Jan Knits...

I just found out that Cafe Press is having a new sale -- $2 off women's ribbed apparel (Baby Doll Tee, Jr. Raglan, Jr. Tank Top, Women's Cap Sleeve Tee, and Women's Tank) from now through the 21st. Just use the coupon code Breeze2.

In other news...I've been a hockey-watchin' fool for the past couple of days. Last night, I went to watch Paul play (they lost again, I'm afraid). I worked more on my shrug -- which will be finished this weekend. I'm determined. And then I came home to watch the Rock Star INXS elimination show, which I'd taped (GO MIG!!), while working on my big felt bag. Today, Julie, Elise, and I hit the Ice Haus to watch the Blue Jackets practice. Words can not even express how excited I am about hockey starting again. We had a blast -- knitting (I worked on my bag) and scoping out the team. We'll be there for their first regular season game, and we can't wait!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's amazing how quickly one can get ready...

...with a little bit of motivation.

I was busily working at 10 this morning when I got a call from Julie. She and Elise were in the car, headed in my direction, to check out the half-off needles and books at Hobby Lobby -- and they were wondering if I wanted to meet them.


In the time that it took Julie to drive from her house to the highway exit ramp, I was made up and looking somewhat presentable. I hit all the lights red, and I was still there before they made it to the knitting section.

What did I get? Needles, size 17 and 19, straight. A Yarn Requirements card. And a booklet of baby afghan patterns. All for $12.

Then Julie headed out to take Elise to lunch before dropping her off at pre-school, and I took my work to Starbucks, where I hooked up to my caffeine IV so I could fly through writing a few reviews.

Tonight is hockey night. Don't tell Paul, but I'm going to be working on lace, so I may miss a bit of the game. But I can't help it. It's now Wednesday, and I still have quite a way to go on the shrug. I need to get it done in time to block it, and if that means not paying attention to the game, so be it. At least I'm going...

Julie and I are checking out Blue Jackets practice tomorrow. We're bringing Elise, our knitting, and our lunches in a bag. I can't wait!

Monday, September 12, 2005

I won!

Yesterday, I got an email from the Give a Little blog, saying I'd won! Two skeins of Fiesta yarns -- La Luz in Arctic Ice and Rayon Boucle in Sapphire -- are on their way. I was totally shocked that I'd won, and I'm so excited! I've always loved Fiesta yarns, but I've never had any of my very own.

Through the Give a Little blog, knitters have already raised over $80,000 for Katrina Relief. If you haven't done so already, please join in and give a little to help the hurricane victims...

Quick knitting update: I worked on my shrug a little more this weekend. I finished a couple more repeats, and I have 1 1/2 more repeats before the flat knitting and 4 half-repeats to work flat. I'm almost done -- I'll definitely finish in time to block that baby.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Oh dear...

The new fall Knitty is up. As if I didn't have enough on my knitting wish list already...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Give a little...

I've always known that knitters are some of the most wonderful people in the world. Check out this site, where knitters are joining together to donate to the Red Cross fund to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Weekend knitting...

What a wonderful weekend! On Friday morning, I battled the insanity -- loads of laundry gone dreadfully wrong (an ink pen left in a pants pocket), a programming glitch on the site (the host's fault -- not Paul's) that messed everything up, not to mention last-minute work/packing before heading out for the weekend. But when we got on the road at about 12:30, nothing else mattered anymore. Paul took the first leg of the trip, so I navigated while doing a bit of knitting. I didn't do a lot -- I worked on the lace shrug slowly, one repeat at a time, to prevent the car-sickness from hitting. But I finished the first half, so I was happy.

We made it to the cottage by around 7 -- and Mom had dinner pretty much ready. Smoked grillers and homemade potato salad. Yum!

Over the weekend, Mom spoiled us rotten. We ate lots of junk, and we spent a lot of time just lounging. We drank sodas while sitting on the patio. We flew around the lake in the boat. We took naps on the beach. We made S'mores. We stayed up late. We slept in. We went out on the neighbors' Sea-Doo. And it was all over much too soon.

I didn't manage to do a ton of knitting, though I did manage to plan some future projects. I did some work on the shrug, but knitting lace and socializing aren't all that easy to do. So I started my big felted bag. Then I ripped it out. Then I started it. Then I ripped it out. Then I started it again. I finally decided on the size to make it and the needles to use. So now I've finished the base (it's grey), and I've started the first stripe, which is an absolutely gorgeous blue -- KnitPicks' Wool of the Andes in Blue Bonnet. Gorgeous!

So now I've got two more weeks (not even!) to finish the shrug to give me enough time to block it before we pack up and go. The clock is ticking -- but I'm now over half-way, and I know what I'm doing (in other words, no un-knitting 10 rounds, one stitch at a time). I think I can do it...

Friday, September 02, 2005

More on Cotton Ease...

Okay, so I have a pretty decent stash of Cotton Ease. But now I have a problem. I refuse to use it. After all, it's discontinued. I can't get any more. So I can't make just anything with it. It's got to be a project that's Cotton Ease worthy. I know. It's pretty sad.

Everything is packed and ready to go to the cottage. As usual, I've packed way more than I'll ever need. I have my main bag and my backup bag, along with a bag of wool, in case I want to start that big felted bag, a bag of random stuff (like some Fixation and some Cotton Ease), and a bag containing that felt-strip bag I finished and now need my mom to line. I put all the extra bags in one giant suitcase-like bag. Pretty sad for four days, but I can't help it. I think I have the yarn for three dishcloths, a mini bag (for the store), my shrug, Mom's alpaca scarf (which will have to stay in the car so Mom won't see it), that pair of socks I still haven't finished, my giant felt bag, the ballet top from Loop-d-loop, and some stuff to start three yet-unknown projects, just in case.

I think I should be okay for the weekend. And if not, there's a yarn store ten minutes from the cottage...

Have a great weekend!

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