January 31, 2010

Picture Perfect

My sister sent me an email with a photo of the scarves I made for her and her daughter. They were a big hit and I'm so glad I chose the blue as it does make my niece's big blue eyes pop!

My Classic Elite One Fifty arrived yesterday - I'm loving the color and will share it with you tomorrow.

January 30, 2010

Little Ruffles for a Little Girl - Also, Still Need Your Advice!

When my sister asked for a scarf and mentioned her daughter loves to wear an old scarf I made a while back, I decided Abby needed her own scarf. I found this Nashua Paradise on sale and thought the color would be perfect for Abby's big blue eyes.
Then after searching Ravelry, I found this pattern which has a wonderful little ruffle on the bottom - little ruffles for a little girl. I packed it up and sent it off the other day - hopefully she'll get it in today's mail. I do love when someone asks for something handknit and love even more to surprise someone with a gift made just for them with love.
Now, I still need your advice on whether I make Coraline or the Drops Tailored Cardigan as discussed in my last post. As it stands right now, 3 votes for Coraline and 2 votes for the Drops Tailored Cardigan. The yarn hasn't arrived yet (they ran out of the Tide Pool color so I picked a color called Blue Aster). I'm leaning towards Coraline as Kimberly's vote has extra weight because she knows me and what looks good on me and how I knit.
Have a great weekend - it is FREEZING here so I'm expecting a bit of knitting will be happening.

January 27, 2010

Help Me Decide...Please!

A few days ago, I got an email from Webs about their latest closeout items (Jennifer even forwarded it to me knowing I love a sale). I saw they had Classic Elite One Fifty at a great price and was on the fence about getting some.

Then Webs announced 5% of their sales were going towards helping Haiti...well that was that. I purchased 9 skeins after reviewing a few patterns and chose this lovely color called Tide Pool.

Now the question is which pattern should I make? The yardage and gauge will work for either of these patterns.

I don't know how to to a poll button but would love your comments.


Or Drops Tailored Cardigan?

Help me decide...please!

January 25, 2010

Help for Haiti

I'm amazed at how the knitting community can find ways to help others in so many ways. I had read about the Ravelry Help for Haiti designer effort where many designers are donating proceeds of their sales to Doctors Without Borders, etc.

So I did some virtual shopping and started with Ysolda Teague's patterns. I've always wanted Whimsical Little Knits 2 and purchased it right away (80% of her sales are going to charity).

I've wanted to make this from the moment I saw it.

Miss America would love these mittens.

This is just lovely.

I also have always wanted to make Coraline so I added that to my shopping basket.

I then branched out and found Connie Chang Chinchio was doing the same with her sales...so I purchased the pattern for her Mountain View Cardigan.

And her Cayuga Mitts.

My last purchase was for the Laura Chau's Monday Morning Cardigan. I've had this in my queue for ages and it was actually on her blog, Cosmicpluto, that I learned about these generous acts.

Now for the next step in Help for Haiti. I read on Leslie's blog about this Etsy shop. I'm going through my FOs and donating some to this great idea. Isn't it wonderful how little acts can make a big difference? Quick addendum...they aren't taking donations right now for 2 more weeks but you can always shop on the site. They've raised $20,000 for Doctors without Borders!

January 24, 2010

Ravelry Rave

On Friday I was finally seaming the pockets to my Farmer's Market Cardigan. The directions very clearly tell you to do one of the seams using a mattress stitch and then for the other seam they say "Sew longer seam..." with no indication of how to do it. Wanting to do it right, I went to Ravelry.

First I searched the two Interweave Knits groups by typing in "Farmer's Market Cardigan"...nothing. Then I looked at other people's FMCs to see if they had any notes...nothing.

Not willing to give up I had a lightbulb moment...send a message to the designer, Connie Chang Chinchio. So at 11:18 am I sent her a message...at 11:45 I had my answer from Connie herself suggesting I use mattress stitch. We had two more quick notes including her saying she can't wait to see my FO.

Now, I ask you...what would I have done without Ravelry to help me with this problem? I LOVE RAVELRY!

P.S. Thank you for all your concern and good wishes for Missy. She's back to her usual self and wanting to go on long walks. She still gets mushy food for a few more days though.

January 22, 2010

A Little Retail Therapy

Yesterday morning I had to take our dog to the vet for a complete physical and teeth cleaning. Since she is a rescue dog she has a few problems with the vet and they usually have to knock her out even to give her a checkup. This left my whole day wide open while she was at the vet.

Fortunately, the next town away has Katonah Yarn. My non-knitting sister had asked for a scarf to match the hat I made for her birthday two years ago. I had bought the hat yarn at Katonah yarn so off I went and got 2 skeins of Lornas Laces Superwash Worsted and I'm going to make her Just Enough Ruffles with it.

I also noticed the Berroco Blackstone Tweed booklet and had to get it as I do want to make Nuss one day (maybe a summer project to make?). I was surprised they had the booklet but not any of the yarn to go with it. I'm thinking I might use KnitPicks City Tweed HW anyway.

I then had lunch with my godfather in Ridgefield and afterwards went in search of Nancy O yarn store. I had heard about it on my LYS Ravelry group (our LYS is closing and people were mentioning other shopping options) and wanted to check it out.

Of course, I always check out the sale bins and found this wonderful dark gray Tahki Montana which I might use to make a cowl (Ravelry link). I also picked up 2 skeins of Nashua Paradise to make a fun scarf for my niece (daughter of the non-knitting sister who wants a scarf). I was torn between pink or blue and opted for blue to match her lovely blue eyes.

All this retail therapy helped me deal with the call I got mid-lunch saying our dear dog needed a tooth extracted. Poor thing is in a bit of pain now and is laying low. I'm hanging out at home today to keep her company and give her some TLC.

January 19, 2010

Good Morning Baltimore!

This weekend we drove down to Baltimore to visit with some dear friends who we usually only see during the summer at the Jersey Shore. Miss America loves the movie "Hairspray" and every now and then she'd break into the song "Good Morning Baltimore" much to DH and my delight but #1 son would groan each time.

While the boys were playing squash, the girls went window shopping. I noticed a yarn store called Lovely Yarns while walking through the Hamden section of Baltimore. We went inside and I browsed but didn't buy. As we walked out, I saw this FANTASTIC knitted tree cover...it was lavenders, whites and soft greens with all sorts of textures. It bore the words "Hug Me!". Much to my delight I noticed quite a few people hugging the tree.

We also went to the National Aquarium - perfect activity on a dreary rainy Sunday. The dolphin show was much too short for my liking - I would have sat for an hour of dolphins. I decided what makes them so lovable is they always look like they are smiling.

On our way out of town, we stopped at the restaurant where our friend works...Atwaters. If ever in the area the soups are made from scratch and the bread is delicious!
No knitting to show but I have progressed on my Ulmus and Shifting Sands scarves.

January 13, 2010

WIP Wednesday

Okay, here's what I've been working on (in addition to a test knitting project that I'm not allowed to show on my blog). Ulmus by Kirsten Kapur. I'm using KnitPicks Stroll and unlike the original Ulmus mine has a variegated yarn. I really like how it is turning out. It's quite long and probably halfway done.

Miss America got a new coat - brown - and my DH pointed out she needed a new scarf. I had this yarn waiting for something for her so I cast on Grumperina's Shifting Sands. I think it looks a bit dense and I'm not crazy about it...she loves it so I guess I'll plug on.

The only other WIP is my Farmer's Market Cardigan which is awaiting some seaming and some knitting. I'm getting distracted with my WIPs and dreaming of something to knit for spring....I've been surfing Ravelry a lot trying to find good cardigan for spring.

January 12, 2010

Getting Organized Online

Today I was subbing in 6th Grade LA and the kids were working on a project quietly and independently. I was there to maintain the peace. Usually, I knit and read or knit and watch them but today I decided to organize myself online.

It was bothering me that my Ravelry "Favorites" were not all tagged. Some were and most were not. Those that were "tagged" were done so without thought or order. So I went through my list of 500+ favorites and tagged them all. I made sure to include tags for type of project, weight of the yarn called for, free or not and it it wasn't free how much or what issue magazine, sleeve length, etc.

I also took the opportunity to weed out some things that I have NO idea why I chose to save them. Now I only have 366 favorites AND all the projects are tagged.

I know I owe you some knitting pictures...tomorrow WIP Wednesday. Don't hold your breath for great excitement as I haven't been working on a lot BUT my arm is feeling 100% better.

January 10, 2010

Ready To Go Pouches

Here they are...two ready to go pouches for my knitting projects. I dumped all my knitting bags out and consolidated my stitch markers, row counters, cable needles, etc. Then I added some key items and I think I'm good to go. Are they complete? No, but they are better than scrounging around my various bags of stuff to find what I need.
This pile includes the stuff for my "Main" knitting bag - it's more thorough with scissors and my Chibi needles, needle collection chart, and my special try on tubing. I need more scissors to spread out in all my pouches but this will be for the main project I'm working on at the moment.

This is the basic collection for the simpler project bags. I like having post it notes for projects and I also use a highlighter to mark which size pattern I'm making and all the corresponding directions.
I feel VERY organized right now! Now if I could just clean up the rest of the mess in my knitting space.

January 9, 2010

What's a Girl to Do???

I got an email from my LYS, Knitting Central, this morning and it's changed my day entirely. They are closing their store! They've decided to just keep some products online.

What are we local knitters going to do? They have lovely products, great staff and they are one of the very few stores in the area. What am I going to do when I need another pair of Addi needles for a project? I will have to wait and order them online?

Now, most of you know I love to buy things on sale...in fact, I once told a woman I know that I never pay full price for clothing (she was shocked and I figured she must only pay full price). I hate missing a good sale but I feel like a vulture swooping down on the pickings when a store closes.

Since they are going to stay open online, I guess it really won't be totally vulture-like to go and see whats there...and I do need a set of size 5 Addis - 30% off is a lot better than full price.

Oh, this is just a bummer to have no LYS.

January 8, 2010

Sometimes I Amaze Myself

After my last post I went looking to see if I saved the other "Toothcase" pouches from our kids visit to the dentist. I DO amaze myself...of course I saved them and they are now waiting to be filled with various notions. I listened to a great KnitPicks Podcast about what notions you need and that was what made me think of having these grab and go pouches ready for next time I start a project.

I've also been working on my Farmer's Market Cardigan - this is the pretend side seam from the inside and the turned up back hem.

Here is the whole body of the sweater with the pockets awaiting seaming...lots of mattress stitch in my future.

The sleeves are done and now I have to make the band that works from the pocket up and around the neck. I do want to get this done while the cold persists as it should be very warm.

January 7, 2010

Always Thinking...About Knitting, Of Course

Okay, so I'm not knitting much but I'm always THINKING about knitting. Today I had my teeth cleaned and as I left the dentist they handed me this cute plastic pouch - extra toothbrush, toothpaste sample, dental floss and a reminder card for my next appointment.

I take it and say how cute it is and that I can't wait to use it to keep knitting notions in it. Now the dentist who knows I'm a kook looked at me and laughed. They hygenist who knits a bit looked at me like I was the most brilliant person she's ever met!

To think I disposed of the ones my kids got last visit - I was knitting so I wasn't THINKING about knitting. My husband went to the dentist yesterday...I'll have to ask where his cute plastic-meant-for-knitting pouch is!

Okay, back to thinking...about knitting, of course!

January 6, 2010

Needlepoint is Not The Answer

Out of desperation to keep my hands busy while watching movies, football, etc, and trying to avoid the pain I'm having in my left arm/shoulder, I pulled out my needlepoint from years ago. My godmother gave me this and I do love it and love the colors. So, I started needlepointing on Sunday and last night and realized that it isn't the answer to my need for busy hands/no pain. I realized that the way I keep my left arm up to hold the canvas keeps it in the position that hurts while I knit. Darn!

Maybe I need to bust out the sewing machine...any way I can put it in front of the boob tube while watching football this weekend? My husband can't understand why I feel compelled to always be doing something with my hands...what is it with the need to always be productive. I find knitting relaxing, engaging, challenging, fun and I love having my hands productive.

January 3, 2010

Scary Button

I was scrolling down my blog page and noticed my Knitmeter button said something SCARY! It's a new year and it is reset. I know I hit over 20,000 yards for 2009 which is a lot.
I have knit so far this year - good knitting time in the car yesterday but that pain in my left arm is worse. I'm taking a few days off, tending to my knitting wounds and have decided to clean up my stash, my knitting space, etc.
For now...the meter will continue to be scary.