Saturday, June 30, 2007

Trip to Connecticut

On Wednesday, I headed up to Connecticut to do some wedding planning. I was hoping to get some quality knitting time in on the train, but having just come off night shift, I pretty much slept the whole trip up to Connecticut. Almost everytime I come up here, I manage to sneak into a yarn store. There is one about 1.5 miles from my parents house in Old Saybrook called Saybrook Yarn that I love to pop into. Especially since I really don't have to go out of my way at all to get there.

Another place I love to go up here is Yarns Down Under in Deep River. They have the most luxurious yarns. I love touching all the yarns in this store and the staff has been very helpful everytime I go in.

My sister, Becky, who knits but doesn't believe in patterns and doesn't understand the merits of high quality yarn mentioned another yarn store that she had passed by in her travels of the backroads in Connecticut. She offered to show me where it was on Thursday. So I went and picked up my grandmother (also a knitter) and we all went over the this beautiful yarn store in Haddam called Woolie Bullies. It is in this beautiful old church on a hill, and you would almost miss it if you weren't looking. The woman who owns it runs it out of the front of her house. She works mostly by appointment, but luckily was around when we stopped by, as we had no appointment.

Woollie Bullies has a large selection of yarns and a lot of things I had never seen before. They also had Farmhouse Yarns, which I learned about recently in a podcast I was listening to. Such beatiful hand-dyed yarn. It was about $18 for a 200 yard skein though, so I decided to hold off. With a lot of wedding expenses in the last few and upcoming months and the current size of my yarn stash, I decided that the Farmhouse Yarn could wait for another day.

I did pick up a skein of Maratona Extrafine Merino and a skein of Kid Mohair for the Bunny Beanie Hat I am going to start on soon. I will post pics of the yarn when I am at my own computer. My sister also discovered Alpaca, and spent a lot of time pinning over it in the store.

I also received some knitpicks yarn in the mail before I left Philly. I ordered a variety of colors of Shine Sport for Fair Isle Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby, and 19 skeins of Wool of the Andes for the Vogue Knitting Bell Sleeve Jacket.

To top off the weekend, in the midst of the programs, checking in with the tux place, the favors, the trial hair run and the wedding gown fitting, I managed to get a fair amount of knitting done this weekend in the car and while waiting for it to get dark enough to go see the fireworks on Long Island Sound tonight. I am about 3 inches from finishing the hood for Not Your Standard Issue Sweatshirt and then it is just the I-cord and a small amount of seaming to do and it will be complete. I should be done with the knitting after the train ride back to Philly tommorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What type of knitter are you?

Here is my knitting personality.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.
Take this quiz!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

I want it!

I don't wanna wait! I want Ravelry now! Okay, so I understand why I have to wait, but I am very excited to get my invite for Ravelry. They are only releasing about 150 invites per day, so it may be a little while. However, just from the screen shots, I can already tell it will be my new obsession once I do get my invite. It looks like it does everything one could possibly want and more. It tracks projects, organizes stash, links you to other projects completed by other users with your yarn, and the same projects from different users. You can import your book library and it will show you the patterns you already have all in one interface. Plus it will "read" your blog so that you can use both together!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Easy Poncho

Done! This pattern is Easy Poncho from the back of the yarn label of Caron Simply Soft. The Caron Simply Soft is Acrylic (eeekkkk!) but is soft and has a nice drap and sheen to it. I bought it a few months ago when Dave was unemployed and my yarn budget was, oh, $0. It is knit using size 13 needles and the crocheted neckline with a size M-N (9mm) crochet hook.

As easy as it is to do, I have decided I hate fringe. Not only do you have to cut all the strands and attach them, then you have to cut them to even them out! What a pain. Looks nice though.

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Beginning of Lace

Based on the comments of a fellow knitter, I decided to post the beginning pictures of the the Branching Out lace scarf that I started. It will look much better after blocking, but you can kind of see the leaf pattern in these photos.

The yarn is Alpaca Cloud on Size 8 Needles.

In other knitting obsessions, I am having yarn fever. Knitpicks has some sale yarns to make room for new colors. I want to buy yarn to do the Bell Sleeved Jacket from Vogue Knitting's Holiday 2006 Issue. So many projects! I also need to buy yarn for baby projects including the Fair Isle Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby.

A Knitter Crochets

I just returned from the Tuesday knitting group and had to share. I started an easy poncho awhile back that had a crochet neck. There is only one problem. I don't crochet. I tried once. It didn't go well. I had been waiting for a week where my friend Jacquie was at the knitting group so she could guide me through it. This time, it went very well. I think with the larger needle size , it was easier to see what I was doing.

I finished the whole neckline at the group, and it actually looks pretty good!

Now I want to put crochet edges on everything!

I have a few more sets of fringe to put on the poncho and then I will post pictures of the whole thing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Knitting Rings

This is blog is shaping into a very knitting focused entity. I am actually considering changing the name of the blog to reflect its primarily knitting composition. This week I added an element to the page: knitting rings. This is an interesting concept where a link on your page links to other members of a ring with similar content of some common theme. I added two knitting rings: Philly Knitters and Knitting Bloggers. I think this may add some exposure to other knitters across the globe, who, unlike my non-knitting friends and family, may actually be interested in the content of this page. It will also allow me to find ideas and advice from other knitter's blogs.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Fruit Caps

Everyone is having babies! I picked up the Ann Norling Fruit Cap pattern recently, and set out to make these adorable hats for all the girls that I work with who are having babies. I was a little nervous about the color knitting after Dave's Bengals Hat, but it went very smoothly, and now I want to try some Fair-Isle! So cute.

The yarn is Cotton Classic, 100% Mercerised Cotton. This is machine washable. I also bought yarn to do strawberries, but the lemon is perfect for little boys or unknown sex as most of my coworkers don't know what they are having. Size is 6 months. It is knit using Size 8 double-points. I must be a tight knitter because I find that pretty consistently I have to go up a needle size for almost all patterns.

2 skeins of yellow and 1 skein of green will make 3 hats. I have one more lemon to make, but yarn to make 3 Strawberry caps, plus some leftover green as I bought 1 skein of green to each of the contrasting color when I really only needed 1 for every 2 skeins of color.

Tuesdays with Morrie

Started Tuesdays with Morrie this morning and will probably finish it sometime tonight. What a tear-jerker! I highly recommend reading this book. The basic story line is a dying professor and his prior student sit down on Tuesdays to discuss life. I can't put it down! It is a very quick read, so I think I will read it cover to cover in 1 day.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Lacy Success

So I finally got the hang of Branching Out. I am stubborn, so on Friday I picked it up again after color-coding the lace chart and taking out the dental floss. I read online that if you periodically place dental floss through your stitches, if you make a mistake, you can rip back to the floss and start there instead of frogging the whole thing. So far so good. No pictures yet, as I think it will look much better after blocking, so I will wait till I am done to post any pictures.

Friday, June 01, 2007

In My Knitting Library

Stitch 'n Bitch
Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics

Last-Minute Knitted Gifts

Mason-Dixon Knitting

Debbie Bliss Simply Baby
Stitchionary, Volume 2


So, I was feeling pretty confident about myself as a knitter....until last night. Yesterday I found this gorgeous lace pattern called Branching Out. I have a skein of lace yarn from Knit Picks called Alpaca Cloud that I was going to make Airy Scarf from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. However, when I saw Branching Out, I decided that this was what I should use this skein for. Knitty even states that this is a great first lace project. So I sat down last night and put Not Your Standard-Issue Sweatshirt aside and attempted to tackle lace.

After ripping it out 4 times, I gave up. First I had trouble with the counting aspect of it. After consulting a great lace tutorial called Majoring in Lace, I successfully fixed the pattern reading aspect and started over. Then I just had trouble seeing what I was doing and had no idea how to begin fixing dropped stitches and mistakes; something I have quite proudly mastered in non-lace knitting.

Perhaps I will use that skein for Airy after all for a truly beginner lace project. I may return t0 Branching Out, but may try it in a larger yarn such as sport weight until I get the hang of lace so that I can actually see what I am doing.