Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Do Not Agitate!

I just bought some yarn from - it's a gorgeous cashmere which I just love. I think I'm going to use it to make something from Scarf Style. When the yarn arrived I quickly opened the package and felt this wonderfully soft yarn. Then I started reading the label. On the back it said, "Hand wash - do not wring or agitate." For some reason that just struck me funny. Don't agitate the yarn? You wouldn't want to piss it off now. Angry yarn is a dangerous thing. But the more I think about it this really explains alot. When you're sure you have followed the pattern exactly but it just doesn't turn out right? You must have agitated the yarn. When it constantly splits? Must be agitated. When the finished product just doesn't look like it should? Serious agitation. I once read that if Abalone is killed in a traumatic way it doesn't taste good and is rubbery to chew. So I wondered - how do you actually kill an Abalone without traumatizing it? Lull it in to a false sense of security and then sneak up behind it? But I digress. So my advice of the day is DO NOT AGITATE YOUR YARN! Speak to your yarn lovingly, stroke it, appreciate it and it will knit good things for you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Thanks and Relay For Life Update

My GR8 SP8 sent me another package. Thank you - thank you thank you!!! It is so exciting to get packages in the mail. So first I opened the mailing box and there was a note inside that said to read it after I opened the little box inside. This is the adorable box I found inside the mailing box . You can see by its size next to the flowers it is very tiny. Now my pal doesn't know this but I actually LOVE boxes. I know - it's strange. But I'm always collecting cute or useful boxes with the plan to use them at a later date. This is a box I will DEFINITELY be using again! My husband even made fun of me when we moved because - you guessed it - we moved a box of boxes. They were good boxes though - perfect for this, that or the other! So next with great anticipation I slowly opened my tiny little digidex box and found this - a beautiful light blue silk pouch. And inside it I found these! Aren't they great??!! Brooke made me these really cool stitch markers. Can you believe she said she's never made any before? I think they are so cute. And they even have a dragonfly which I love. She made them a little larger so you can use them on large needles which is perfect. This is going to be such an upgrade for the green and purple plastic thingies I have been using. It makes me want to go find a pattern that calls for lots of stitch markers. Maybe I should start another clapotis!! Also - to show we have even more in common in her letter she mentioned that she is coming down to my town for the Yarn Harlot's visit in September. Brooke we will DEFINITELY have to get together!!! I'm so excited that you will be coming here. It should be lots of fun. Actually the owner of the LYS who is sponsoring that event is the one who set up the Relay for Life chemo cap knitting last weekend. My Mom and I went from 10 p.m. - 1:30 a.m. and had a blast. Together we donated 5 chemo caps (we had started them before that evening) and there was a big pile on the table. What a great idea. Thanks to Holis at Full Thread Ahead!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Knitting for Charity

This weekend is the Relay for Life in our area. For 24 hours people will walk around the High School track to raise money for cancer research. Many groups have formed teams to take turns walking throught he 24 hour period. They have also been selling luminaries which will be used to light the track in the dark and honor cancer survivors and those who have not been so lucky. My LYS - Full Thread Ahead - formed a chem0 cap team. Rather than walking around we will "knit around" and make chemo caps for donation. My Mom and I decided to join the team and after all the dance shows on Saturday we'll be "at the track." My LYS gave me the yarn - some fuzzy fun stuff for the bottom of the cap and some really soft yarn for the hat itself. I decided to get a start because I didn't think I could knit an entire hat in 2 hours or so. Now I had several patterns but no exact pattern for the yarn I have. One pattern said cast on 90 stitches - another 110. Since I have a big head (size not ego) I decided to make my hat on the big side. Since my yarn is thin - I cast on 120 stitches. Well - it's looking EXTREMELY big! Last night I reduced around a few rounds to reduce it to 90 stitches - hmmmmm - we'll see about this. I may have to start over . . . .

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Whirl that was Purl (of SoHo that is)

Several weeks ago I went to New York for some business meetings. I got up at the crack of dawn, flew to JKF, sat in horrible traffic from the airport to Times Square, endured a rain, thunder and lightening storm and arrived for my meetings. The meetings were already underway when I arrived on Thursday, went from 8 a.m. Friday until 11 p.m. and started again at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning. Now I figured that if I was going to fly all the way to New York I at least needed to do one fun thing so I researched yarn stores before I left. I found out that Purl of SoHo was a mere 2.9 miles from my hotel so I figured that was perfect. Now I knew there wouldn't be time to walk so I figured I'd take a cab. I snuck out of my meetings at 11:25 and figured - 15 minute cab ride over (way more time than you should need for 3 miles right???), 15 minute cab ride back and a full hour in the store. I had to meet one of my partners at 1 p.m. to ride to the airport together. Well the ride over went pretty well although it seemed much further than 2.9 miles I must say. SoHo is very cute and we quickly found the store. My first shock was just how TINY it is. But boy do they pack in a lot of yarn! They have some yummy stuff too. I got the Mongolian cashmere that is in my earlier post (the one with the pink and white scarf), the Lorna's Laces washable wool above in teal for a baby blanket - it is sooooo soft, and this adorable silk with sequins - I also got one in pink for my Mom. I think they will become light and airy scarves. There was tons of other stuff but I didn't want to go broke so I left after about 45 minutes (you can shop much quicker in store where you can see all 4 walls at the same time) and caught a cab back to the hotel. I was feeling pretty good about myself. Then I realized my mistake. Apparently there was some parade closing one major atery and an art faire closing another. I sat and sat and sat and watched the time tick away, 12:45, 1:00, 1:15 - I started calling the hotel and e-mail my colleague to tell him to go without me. I just about had a heart attack in the cab as we were moving at the rate of one block every 5 mintues and we were 18 blocks away!!! But bless his heart my cabbie got me back to the hotel, waited while I claimed my luggage and then drove like a frickin maniac to the airport. I caught my plane and collapsed in to my seat. Can you imagine if I had to tell my husband I missed my plane because I went to a yarn store??? I'm thinking alien abduction is a better excuse . . . .

Friday, June 16, 2006

You Can Lead a Horse to Yarn but you can't make him Knit

Have you ever noticed that? No matter how much or how often you expose the horse to knitting and fiber it just shows no interest in it? Now there are always excuses - I have 4 feet and no hands - the yarn would get really dirty in the stable - I don't have opposable thumbs . . . . But I truly believe if the horse really wanted to knit he would figure it out. This is the case with my oldest daughter - who - you guessed it - is a big time equestrian. This photo is of Snickers, the horse she rode in last weekend's show. Well anyway - despite my continuing efforts I can not seem to interest her in knitting. I know that she CAN knit - I've seen the evidence. I know that she has opposable thumbs - I've seen those too. Yet somehow knitting holds no interest for her. I even took her yarn shopping. She spent lots of time in the store, picked out some wonderful Cascade 220 and fun yarn to make an Oregon Tote, I paid for all of it but alas - almost a year later it is still sitting here.

Worse yet - the first skein and some nice size 11 circular bamboo knitting needles which started the project have gone missing! Maybe they are at the stables. Maybe Snickers is knitting when we're not there. Now my Mom who is usually the most selfless person in the world is in love with this yarn. She loves the colors and keeps asking when I'm going to admit that Horsey Girl is never going to use it and let Mom have it. The other day I said, "maybe that's a good idea, I'll give it to you and you can make the bag for her." My Mom looked at me and smiled and said - that's not quite what I had in mind! Mom also has opposable thumbs - maybe I should give it to her!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My SP8 is SP-Gr8!

I am having so much fun with the SP8 exchange. As I've mentioned before - this is my first time doing one and it is great. I have been e-mailing my spoilee and have sent her one package. I'm about to get the second one in the mail. But even more fun is my spoiler. I believe her name is Brooke and she works in the legal field. I THINK she is a paralegal for a Wills and Trusts firm in Sacramento. That's my guess so far. Anyway - she has sent me cards (both paper and e-cards) and several e-mails. It has been fun getting to know a total stranger who shares several common interests. Then on Monday I got this!

It is a gorgeous, glittery hand bag in a beautiful blue-ish yarn. The photo doesn't do the colors justice. The colors in the photo below are closer. Anyway - I just love it. My 10 year old also loves it however so the fight is on! Also the handles are really cool - she crocheted around them and so they are covered with the yarn as well. It looks great! I have no idea how to do that so I'm going to need a tutorial! Anyway - I just love it. Thank you so much Brooke (or whoever you are . . . . .)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Did somebody say New Project??!

As I've mentioned before - I already have WAY too many projects in the works but alas - I needed to start another one. I tell myself it is due to the fact that we were flying back East and I needed something small for the plane. Or perhaps it was the lure of the soft, soft mongolian cashmere I bought when I was in New York a few weeks ago. Whatever it was - I've started a scarf. Just a little scarf. That doesn't really count as a new project does it? This yarn is so wonderful I really love working with it. I had a hard time picking a pattern - I started and frogged it about 5 times before settling in to a simple double seed stitch. I like how it is turning out although the white is pooling oddly. I really couldn't do anything about it on the plane because (a) I only had one skein with me and (b) of course I wasn't allowed to have any scissors but I might splice in from another skein going forward. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Blanket Progress

Well at least I am making progress on something. This is the baby blanket for my friend Charles and his wife who are due in August. It is a blanket I designed so we'll see if it turns out OK! It's knit from the outside in and is sort of along the mitred squares line. The plan is that it will actually be square when I am done! I'm using Lions Brand Microspun which I have never used before but I came across it in the store and it is SOOOOO soft! Also you can throw it in the washer and dryer which I think is a must for a baby blanket. I have looked high and low for some gorgeous multi-color or handpainted type yarn that is really soft and can be washed and dryed for a baby blanket but I can't find anything! I have found solid colors but no multi- color. Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe I'll just have to start my own yarn company- hmmmmm - one more thing to start!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

There is something in my Yarn!

I've decided that there must be some drugs in the yarn I am buying. Something that wears off on to my hands, soakes through the skin and in to my blood stream. What else could explain the fact that I keep buying yarn, keep starting more projects and keep thinking I can get it all done? I believe it is a devious plan by all yarn companies. There is definitely SOMETHING in that yarn that gets me every time. First, I am currently working on my bag for the Tote Exchange (carfully photographed so as not to give too much away).

It is coming along well but I have only finished one side. I still have the other side and the strap to knit. The strap is actually quite long, several hundred rows for that matter so I still have quite a ways to go on my tote. In addition, I am working on a Cozy (pattern from, a throw for Horsey Girl, an Irish Hiking Scarf and a "Here and there Cables" scarf from Scarf Style. Also there is the Baby Blanket for Vicky so why did I think it was time to start ANOTHER baby blanket???

Well the baby is due in August so of course I need to get started. By Vicky's baby is due in August and the Tote Exchange is due in July, and, and, and . . . I'm usually a practical and logical gal but when it comes to knitting - that all goes out the window. I'm sure it is something in the fiber - couldn't possibly be that I've taken a leave of my senses. I don't know about you but I'm blaming the yarn!