Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Tote is Off

I finally finished my bag for the International Tote Exchange. I decided to make a backpack so my pal could get a lot of use out of it. It doesn't look so great in the photo but in real life I think it looks pretty good. Hopefully my pal will think so too! I found some wonderful, soft Malabrigo and knit and knit and knit. You can see the cool stitch pattern here. Also there are some neat diamonds at the top. This is what it looked like before felting. The alligator is there as apoint of reference. After felting the bag is the same size as the gator. I'm very happy with how this turned out with the one exception that the felting all but obliterated the stitch definition. I really loved the stitch and the inset diamonds and it's a shame they sort of went away with felting. Then when you look inside you get a surpise - a deep blue interior (sorry for the blurry photo). So now it is winging its way around the country to a hopefully happy recipient! Enjoy.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I got my Scarf Too!

It was a banner week - not only did I get my tote from the Tote Exchange but I got my scarf from the International Scarf Exchange! Christy knit me the most beautiful purple scarf - my favorite color! It's a really cool stitch and it is warm, soft and snuggly. I love it. She also included postcards of the various places my scarf went to visit before it came to me - what a cool idea? She also sent along some other goodies including some yummy chocolate drink mix and a magnet and card she made herself. She's a stamper too! Thank you, thank you Christy - I love my new scarf and I feel so spoiled this week!

Tote Received!

Thank you so much to Tabitha for my tote from the International Tote Exchange II! It arrived this week and I am so excited to finally see what it looks like. Tabitha has been knitting less than a year but she did a great job. I love the yarn and the colors - they are perfect for fall. She wrote me the sweetest note about how she tried many different patterns and yarns trying to find just the right one. I am so touched Tabitha that you spent some much effort on the tote for me. The bag has a really great pin to hold it closed. She also sent me a beautiful cotton and lace handkerchief style bag with a dragonfly on it. It's very delicate and beautiful. Also a cool notebook and some peppermint tea. I really appreciate all of her efforts.

Friday, October 20, 2006

When Yarn Finds Its Calling

It's a beautiful thing. Some yarn is clearly meant to be something basic. For instance cotton is usually a blanket, dishcloth or sweater. Cascade 220, as much as I love it, is usually a felted bag or maybe a sweater or scarf. But some yarns are just beautiful works of art waiting to break free. I hear that some sculptors will stare at a block of rock for days trying to determine the sculpture waiting to come forth from the rock. My purple yarn is one of those rocks. I bought this yarn to make my scarf for the ISE but it was definitely too thick for the Matthew scarf. I tried several other patterns but nothing was quite right. I couldn't bring myself to return the yarn as I loved it too much so I bought the Koigu for my Matthew scarf. Then one night surfing the web I found a description of the turkish lace stitch. It said it was lace for the lace impaired. That is definitely the truth. Well I tried it out and viola - mu Turkish Delight Scarf was born! I believe I have found the true calling of my purple skeins of yarn. I am so happy with this scarf which is destined to be a Christmas present. However I love it so much I'm making one for myself!

Monday, October 16, 2006

It Takes a Village (or at least Mom)

I'm done - I'm finally done! At long last my Berroco suede tote is finished! It was the August Oh Bag Me KAL project and come October it is finally finished. I finished knitting it in August but it has taken this long to do all the finishing. And I must admit that I haven't done most of the finishing - my wonderful and talented mother has done it. She sewed it up for me and put in the lining and the rest. Isn't she great? THANKS MOM - you are wonderful. Now I can use my bag with pride. I'm so excited that it's done.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Definition of Insanity

I once read that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. I think I can be declared officially insane. I continue to think I'll just "quickly knit up a baby blanket" but of course that is NEVER the case. The very first thing I knit was a blanket for my son but despite the fact that it was just garter stitch it took me 7 months! I seem to have a passion for knitting baby blankets. Not that there's anything wrong with that - just that it takes so darn long. I think the excitement of a new baby causes me to take leave of my senses and think that I can become Super Knitter and knit up a blanket in a jiffy. Maybe if I used thicker yarn or a simpler pattern but no - I usually am using yarn on a size 6 or 8 needle and a more complex pattern. I once again have taken leave of my senses and decided to make a baby blanket for a friend who is adopting a baby girl from China later this year. Never mind I still am not even half way through the other baby blanket I'm working on and have a dozen UFOs! I think I can be declared officially insane but hey - there will be lots of time to knit at the funny farm!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Deadlines in Knitting

Most of us have taken up knitting as a way of relaxing and taking a break from our high pressured lives. It is rythmic and takes your mind off a multitude of problems. So why is it that we find ourselves taking on knitting projects with deadlines? A baby hat or blanket for a baby on the way? A holiday present we decide to make 2 weeks before the holiday arrives? A scarf exchange? Well I'm no exception and constantly find myself with at least one item of deadline knitting in my bag. Currently it is both my tote exchange bag and my International Scarf Exchange Scarf - both of which are due this month! Pictured here is my scarf on the way to completion. It is the Matthew scarf and I have really enjoyed making it. I'm using two strands of Koigu Painter's Palette held together. I've finished the 8 repeats up one side, the ribbing that goes round the neck and now I've come down the other side and have only 2 repeats and the edging to do. My goal is to finish and mail it off this weekend. I'll actually be ahead of schedule - imagine that!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Manos del eBay

Why is it that if something is for sale in an auction we automatically think it must be a good deal? We start bidding low and then keep going as we get out bid and decide that if someone else wants it then we must have it! I think that is the secret of eBay's success. They concept behind eBay is that it is an on-line auction where you can get good deals or find hard to find items but there are lots of things for sale that are no cheaper than if you bought them in the store. Some of them are even more expensive! But I fell for it and bought some Manos del Uruguay yarn. It seemed like a good price - $4.50 for a skein. But then of course there is $6.00 of shipping! But that $6 stays the same if you buy 2 items so I bought 2 skeins . . . Now all in all I think I did get a good deal because for $15 I got two skeins of Manos delivered to me but unfortunatley the color is not at all the same as it was in the photo. On eBay this yarn is a very deep dark purple. However in real life it is this light motled purple. It's still pretty but not what I thought I was buying. So is it still a bargain? I suppose that depends on what I decide to make out of it. Any suggestions?