Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
First, I have to thank Anja in Germany for sending me this marvelous sock yarn. I joined a swap for a skein of sock yarn. She not only sent the yarn, she sent a sock-making kit! Needles, stitch markers, needle point protectors, and even a hand-made bag to keep them in. And just in case I feel the need to relax after all my knitting, she included two bath cubes (which aren't in the pictures) .
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I fell in love with this yarn instantly. How I found it is part of a longer story, so read on.
Knit-A-Yarn is a Web channel for knitters. I am the Channel Producer. I have been spending almost all of my time working on the content for the site. There will be video PodCasts for your viewing pleasure, a blog (I'm calling it Loose Threads) about what we're doing and how it's being done, a Projects page with links to stuff to do, a Knit For A Cause page with info on charity knitting, and more. I want to have a page called "Goat Herd - for kids who knit." You can tell I have a slightly skewed sense of humor. A big part of what we will be doing will be driven by input from the knitting community. So where does that luscious skein of yarn (Seacoast Handpainted, 100% merino, 560 yards in Truffle) come in?
Part of my mission is to visit all the yarns stores I possibly can within reasonable driving distance to find out what makes each one different or unique. So I started close by - The Knitting Room in Arlington, MA. I almost stumbled over this yarn, because it was part of a display that had been set in a basket on the floor. The colors just drew my eye. I loved the fushcia and the subtle shading into lavender and gray, and the golden browns gave just the right balance of contrast. But I didn't buy the yarn. I was laid off in August and was trying to be financially responsible; but I did talk to Jackie, the owner about the possibility of filming a PodCast (filming is scheduled for Thursday).
When I went back for a location scout with my sister, Melissa, Knit-A-Yarn Executive Producer (my family believes in nepotism), the yarn was still there. I gave it more fondling, but still didn't buy it. There was also a laceweight yarn in the same colorway...
I finally went back last Friday, and almost had a panic attack because when I walked in, the yarn wasn't there! (took a couple of deep breathes), then after some fast searching, I located it. Jackie had rearranged the yarn displays. So now it's MINE! (happy dance).
So come on over to www.knitayarn.com, and let me know what you think!
Monday, September 24, 2007
I appreciate the quick response and will appreciate the new ball of yarn when it arrives.
If they know which yarn to send me, it means that they did check out this blog (I included the blog info in the e-mail).
It should be interesting to see what they send.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Can you see where the yarn actually changed? This is not a gauge change, it is a different dye lot, or something. Pisses me off good. Tofutsies is gonna hear about this.
On a happier note, I finally dyed the yarn for the Gryffindor socks that I am knitting for the Hogwarts Sock Swap 2. I found a really great pattern at Blue Moon Fibers, which I can't reveal until after my swap pal has her socks. But here's the yarn: Knit Picks Bare dyed.
I've cast on for the first sock, and am enjoying the process of knitting. I really like working with this yarn.
The Aran sweater looks better all the time (such modesty, ;-) ). I'm almost up to the armholes on the back, which should be nearly complete by the end of the weekend. I did take a picture, but the quality of the shot was terrible. So no pic for now.
I have a project, a to-be-felted tote bag, that sits next to me at the computer, and as I wait for something to upload, or read a long post, I knit a couple of rows. I ask you, who's afraid of a little color? I keep a basket of yarn (Lopi) next to me, and randomly pick colors to knit, most of the time.
I'm knitting it side-to-side in garter stitch, and I like the back, where the colors overlap more, almost more than the front!
Moving on to knitting related news, on Mondays the Malden Stitch 'n Bitch meets at a local pub. This Monday, I took my 7-year old niece with me. She's a knitter, too. I taught her last year, and after knitting in fits and starts, this summer she began to focus in. On a recent trip to New Hampshire with her parents, she knit in the car, and finished her first ball of yarn!
The SnB was a small affair, one other person showed up, but the three of us sat, knit, and chatted away. Jasmine loved it. I'm not going to bring her every week, but I think it's good exposure for everybody.
Gotta go and e-mail Tofutsies.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
I was thrilled when my Sockapalooza 4 socks arrived; and the timing was perfect because I actually got to wear them several days later when I went to see my niece perform at the Open Air Circus - where she had learned to walk on stilts. It had been raining during the day (it cleared up for the performance at a local park), but it was cold and wet, and a nice pair of wool socks kept me quite comfortable.
Here is a picture:
Thursday, August 9, 2007
I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finally can put something in the mail that I've knit for someone. Case in point -- this felted purse for Int'l Tote Exchange IV. My patient swap pal finally received it more than a week after it was due. The whole thing was an adventure. I'd never knit a trellis pattern - it's fun, and then the embellishments - flowers, vines and leaves, and a knot-and-frog closure, put this project over the top for me. If I'd had more time, the purse would probably have ended up looking like an overblown rose arbor.
What has really been distracting me is "Knit A Yarn." I am the Channel Producer for this upcoming, new video-podcast. I'm working with Realization Pictures to produce this new show. It doesn't hurt one bit that R.P. just happens to be my sister and her film-making husband. Melissa kept hearing me talk about knitting, knitting blogs, events, knit-a-longs, etc., so she finally turned to me and said, "That sounds like it would be a good video-podcast." -- we're aiming at a focused group - knitters, and the podcasts will be relatively short. The first one has been shot - it's me demonstrating how to make your own swift and will run about 7 minutes. That doesn't sound like a lot of time, but it took about 4 hours to shoot it. The second one was just shot last Thursday - now what happened in the Boston area last Thursday - the Yarn Harlot was in town, and I got to interview her before her "launch" at Borders in Burlington, MA. I saw the rough cut, and Stephanie is great. I need to polish my interviewing skills, but Stephanie gave great answers. If you checked Stephanie's blog - I'm the laughing lady in the front row, but I didn't throw any panties.
We're planning to debut within the next couple of weeks, so keep checking for more info.
As I get my picture uploading skills using my sister's borrowed camera sharpened, I will have more things to show you. I've gotten a great pair of Sockapalooza 4 socks, and my ITE IV pal sent me the nicest bag - perfect to put a sock knitting project in. As you might have guessed, I love joining swaps.
That's it for now!
Friday, July 20, 2007
1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?
2. Shoe size? Foot length? Foot circumference?
SHOE SIZE – 7-1/2, FOOT LENGTH 9”, FOOT CIRC. 8-1/2”
3. List your three favorite sock yarns.
a. vanCalCar Acres Flock Sock
c. anything soft
4. Would you like to try a new brand of sock yarn? If so, which brand? I’ve used a limited selection, so anything nice!
5. Do you prefer variegated or solid sock yarn? I like solids, color tones, and long colorways
6. What colors would you like to add to your sock yarn stash? Happy colors – red, pink, yellow, oranage.
7. What kind of sock patterns do you gravitate toward? Lace? Ribbed? Fair Isle? I like lace and patterned.
8. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, animals, etc.)
No allergies, and I have 4 cats, and don’t smoke.
Friday, July 6, 2007
The good news is that as I sit and read all the posts, I do my mindless entrelac knitting on a tote for the Summer KAL CAL, and I've completed two tiers in two days!
On another tack, I do knit on my commute to and from work, usually on a pair of socks. I have noticed that sometimes people seem hesitant to sit next to me. While I'd like to think that maybe they are just being considerate and don't want to disturb me, or maybe they're intimidated by my plastic needles; I think the truth of the matter is that I hum to myself as I knit - not loudly, but it might be audible. I've turned into the crazy lady on the train!
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
2 pieces of ¼” x 1-1/2” wood cut to 37-1/2 inches long, plus the end pieces that are left after the cut.
2 pieces of ¼” x 5” pegboard cut to 37-1/2 inches long
1 fencepost cap (to use as base)
1 piece of 3/8” threaded rod (it was precut, about 12 or 18 inches long)
At least 2 3/8”-spacer hex nuts (about 1-1/2” long, or longer), you can get more.
2 hex nuts for the top and bottom of the threaded rod (3/8”), one of them could be a wing nut.
A packet of washers (1/2”)
One nylon or plastic 5/8” spacer that is ½” to 5/8” long and has a ½” hole
3/8” doweling, cut into 3” pieces
C-clamp to hold swift to table
Drill with 3/8” and5/8” bits.
Staple gun with heavy-duty staples, at least 3/8”
T-square angle ruler
Drill a 3/8” hole in the center of the fencepost cap.
Screw the threaded rod into the fencepost cap. Make sure it goes all the way through. If there is enough clearance underneath, add one of the hex nuts to the bottom of the rod.
Screw one of the long spacer hex nuts all the way down the threaded rod so that it snugs up to the fencepost cap and keeps the rod steady.
Screw the other spacer hex nut so that it is a couple of inches down from the top of the threaded rod (Note: I could only find two spacer hex nuts at Lowes, but if you want to add more to fill in the space from bottom to near the top on the threaded rod, you can).
Glue the pegboard onto the wood, making sure that the ends are even, and positioning the pegboard holes to be clear of the wood on either side.
Staple through the wood to hold the pegboard and wood together
Mark the center of each arm, measuring from end-to-end and across.
Drill a 5/8” hole at the center mark for each arm
To make braces to hold the swift arms at a 90° angle, use the miter saw assembly to cut a 45° angle at each end of the two leftover pieces of wood. IMPORTANT: make sure the angles are cut along the SAME long side of the piece of wood, so they both lean towards the center and towards each other.
Place one arm on top of the other, aligning the center holes. Put the nylon spacer in the hole to keep the arms lined up. Use the T-square on the bottom arm to square up the top arm.
Take one of the wooden braces and slide it against the wood, under the pegboard, with the short side of the brace towards the center of the swift. Since the pieces of wood for the arms are not even with each other, this has to be fiddled a bit. Mark the point on the arm and on the brace when the brace is set to hold both arms squarely. Put some glue on the brace and slide it back into place. Staple it on one arm of the two.
Repeat this on the “other” side of the swift arms, so the two braces are opposite each other.
Turn the arms over, and secure the brace to the “unsecured” arm.
To make life easier, I numbered the pegboard holes with indelible magic marker, to assist in even spacing of yarn hanks.
ATTACHING THE ARMS:
Put a washer on top of the spacer hex nut (you can add a nylon spacer on top of the hex nut, as I did) on the threaded rod.
Add the swift arms.
Fit the second nylon spacer over the threaded rod and through the center hole on the swift arms.
Add another washer on top of the swift arms.
Add the second hex nut or winged nut to the top. Screw it down to the swift arms, but DO NOT screw it down tightly. The arms should move freely.
SPACER DOWELS FOR YARN PLACEMENT:
Using the miter saw, cut the dowel into 3-inch pieces.
Use the pencil sharpener to sharpen one end of the dowel.
Push the dowel gently, using a twisting motion, into the holes in the pegboard to hold your skein of yarn. As I wound the skein, I found it loosened a little, so I kept readjusting the tension on the skein by moving the dowels.
As I wound yarn, the spacer nuts would loosen or move a little, so stop every once in a while and make sure that everything is secure.
Guarded by Dickens.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Just to prove I can knit some lace:
this is a scarf I am currently working on. I adapted the Knitty pattern "Convertible" by Rebecca Hatcher. I've done some lacy socks...now I'm beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of the shawl.
On the good news side - I won a book from Wiley, the publisher of "Charmed Knits" as part of the Charmed Knits KAL. Since I don't buy lottery tickets, I rarely win anything, actually, even if I do buy lottery tickets, I very rarely win. I was given a list of their craft books to chose from, and choose one on spinning. Winning could be dangerous.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
We went to WEBS, and I stood in line to have Stephanie sign my copy of "Cast Off," chatting all the while. The woman behind me pulled out a sweater she was knitting of Noro wool, and I truthfully said, "that was the best pattern I'd seen for Noro." She generously gave me the pattern. I promise I will knit it up.
Still basking in the glow of enjoyment, I was recently talking to my sister about the event, when she told me that as we were leaving the theater, she had made some comment to me about not having much interest in looking a wool, and the woman behind her, with whom she had been talking, said, 'Oh, you're a muggle." Her tone implied distain. My sister felt insulted. By the very fact that she was there, she was NOT a muggle. She may not knit, but she is a strong supporter of knitting. She respects knitters for their creativity and work; she appreciates hand knit items, and encourages her daughter to knit.
Any stereotype is dangerous and can be hurtful, so please consider who you're calling a muggle.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
I do like colorwork, and started this Baby Norgi sweater from Knitty when I learned that my SIL was pregnant. I also had scheduled a class on two-color knitting and thought that this would be an interesting display to promote the class. When the class was cancelled, I slowed down, but now the baby is here, so I once more have a greater incentive to finish.
I have managed to finish a couple of things for my new niece: a bib from "One Skein" using Classic Elite Bamboo; a "Pi" jacket out of Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton, which was a delight to knit with; and a Vine Lace Baby Hat from "knittingdaily." Since the family is up from Nashville on a visit, I can hand over the finished items, and hope that they will be put to some use.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
There's the Ruffles scarf from ScarfStyle in a multi-color mohair blend that lives in a plastic bag hung from one of my drawers at work (for the 45 minutes on hold with the IT help desk).
The Hourglass sock pattern that travels to work with me on the T is a test run for my Hogwarts Sock Swap sock - I use one circular needle (magic loop) to reduce the chance of stabbing someone.
I take my responsibility as an aunt very seriously, so I'm working on the Vine Lace Baby Hat from Knitting Daily for my new niece, along with the bib from One Skein. Mom is getting the Comfort Shawl from Knitting Daily. I used Misti Cotton - a beautiful soft fuscia color in the softest cotton and silk blend (that one, at least, is finished). I'm preping the six different colors of Lara yarn I ordered from Elann for an intarsia sweater for another niece, and my oldest niece (who'll be seven soon) will be getting a pair of socks, among other things.
I just finished a pair of socks for afghans for Afghans. I used Lopi light, since they want warm items. I am de-stashing my KnitPicks Yarn of the Andes and using a double stand (one strand amythest, and the other strand changes color every three rows) for a soft, but warm baby blanket. Then there's the cabled hat for the Yarn Harlot's appearance in Northampton, MA, next Wednesday.
I do knit things for myself, at least I start them. I recycled some purple/blue dk yarn that started as a shawl...and will become the ribbed Tee from Knitty. One half-done glove in blue/green Silky Yarn is safely in a shoebox.
There's more, but guilt prevents me from including it now.
Once I figure out how to post pictures, I will., but I'm hampered because I don't have a camera. I just wanted people to know that I do knit on the rare occasion when the spirit moves me.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Since I am going through a charted pattern phase as a preliminary to a knitted lace phase, I've found that post-its let me work my way through a chart without constantly losing my place, and they're not displaced if I close the book, fold the pattern, or am interrupted by a cat.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Over the years, I've drifted away and back, knitting occasionally, as the mood struck. I did a couple of Aran sweaters, a Norwegian sweater, then Norwegian mittens. It wasn't until I became an aunt, that the full weight of my knitting responsibility descended. While Jasmine has been the recipient of a baby blanket (now with Hurricane Allie, another niece), a sweater that was too small (also with Allie), and one that was a little too big, I also branched out - socks, felted bags, entrelac - suddenly I was finding all these fun things to make. Now there are nieces and a nephew and samples for classes, family gifts, and even stuff for me. I have projects at work - a ruffled scarf from ScarfStyle - to work on during conference calls, projects I work on during my commute, promised items (Art - your beret is coming, trust me!), and things for me, unless I give them away.
So this blog is my attempt to Share the Joy (and the occasionall pain) of knitting.