Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What could be better?

What could be better than combining BOTH babies and my hat knitting obsession? Fortunately two colleagues have recently presented me with the opportunity to knit baby hats. Wasn't that thoughtful of them? One of my partners just had his second daughter and so I have made a cute multicolor hat for them from Katia Jamaica cotton which I bought in Boston when I was yarn crawling with Jennifer. That makes the hat double special! Next another friend at work is expecting so I made this lime green diddy figuring it could go for either a boy or a girl. Baby hats are really fun since they knit up so quickly. Now I just need to find someone else who is expecting . . . . . Also a thank you to all who sent good thoughts and prayers for Miss K's tonsilectomy today. All went well and she is resting comfortably. Can you hear my big sigh of relief? Hey - I even got some knitting done in the waiting room (but I'm not telling what I was working on!)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dish Rag Tag

I've been having lots of fun playing Dish Rag Tag. Emily started it and had 200 people sign up. She formed 20 teams of 10 and each thought up clever names like Skanks with Hanks and the PostKnits. My team was the 13th team so we are LUCKY 13. You receive a box with a dishrag, 2 skeins of cotton and some goodies. You get to keep everything in the box and you pick one of the two skeins to knit a dishrag for the next person. You then put the new dishrag in the box with two new skeins of cotton and a few goodies and send it to the next person. The first team to get their box all the way through the team and back to Emily wins. My team is pretty darn competitive and we're doing well but we're not currently in first place. Keep your fingers crossed - I want to win! I received the box from AllyB and she sent me all these wonderful goodies. The colors of the dishrag are even more vibrant than in the photo. THANK YOU AllyB! I love everything. I picked the green and white cotton in the box and made the traveling vines dishrag for Katy who received it on Saturday. I can't wait to see what she makes out of the cotton I put in the box for her. This is definitely some fun and competitive knitting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's in the Bag!

I have always liked the look of felted bags made with Noro Kureyon but I'm not crazy about how the yarn feels when you knit with it. But Jennifer made a gorgeous Lucy bag out of Noro and ever since then I've been suffering from bag envy so I decided it was finally time to make one. I bought this yarn in Oregon and made this Sophie bag from my friend. Yes - another Sophie bag - but I find you just can't go wrong with them. I got her to pick the yarn thinking she was just helping me make a decision. Also I found this really cute button to top it off at the Sunriver Quilt festival. I can't wait to give it to her but first my wonderful Mom is lining it for me. Also given my obsession for felted bags I decided to join the Fall Felted Bag Exchange. So here are my answers to that questionnaire:

How long have you been knitting or crocheting? For 5 years

How did you learn? or from whom? My Mom taught me how to knit. I was pregnant with my son and decided I wanted to make him a baby blanket. Mom is now my knitting buddy.
What was your first felted object, and why did you decide to try felting? I actually disliked to look of felting when I first started knitting. Also I couldn't understand why you would spend all that time to knit something big just to shrink it! But now I'm hooked. My first felted item was a bag I made.
What are your favorite colors? Any you hate? Purple and red are my favorite colors but I like most colors other than dark green and maybe grey.
What are your favorite styles\types of bags? (Long straps? Short handles? Handbags? Totes? Embellished? Plain? I like bags that are usable, prefer long handles and am happy with just about anything.
What handbag or bag are you carrying today? I have an XO bag that is white with light pink and blue that is fun for summer.
Do you use a separate bag to carry your knitting? Yes, I have a few depending on where I'm going and how much I'm taking with me.
What other things do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? I have made lots of scarves, fingerless gloves, I'm currently addicted to hats and am making my first ever sweater for my son.
What sort of needles do you enjoy working with? (straights vs circs, bamboo vs aluminum) In general circular but for a smaller project like a scarf I like straights. I'm prone to really nice wood but have some great addi's when I want to zoom.
What’s one project you’ve not yet tried but are dying to make? Lately I've been collecting patterns for some cool complicated vests.
What’s one yarn you’ve not yet tried but are dying to work with? SeaSilk
What other hobbies do you have? Do you spin? Sew? Garden? I love to take photographs, scrapbook and garden. Also I suppose blogging could be considered a hobby . . . .
Besides yarn, do you collect anything? Not really.
What kind of goodies do you enjoy? Sweets? Salty? I am a true chocoholic and I also love some of the chewy candies like swedish fish, gummy lifesavers, etc.
Anything you hate or are allergic to? Nope.
Do you have any kiddos? (Furry kind count!) I have 2 daughters, one son, 2 cats, a bearded dragon lizard (she's not furry) and a husband who acts like a kid.
What kind of project best personifies you and why? I hope that any project I make for someone else personifies my love for my friends and family.
What is your favorite part of Autumn? I love Saturday soccer games, the smell in the air, falling leaves and harvest festivals.
Tell us 3 things you would do if you won 10 million dollars in the lottery. First I would buy something special for every member of my family. Next I'd make sure that my kids' college educations are provided for. I would pick a charity to sponsor and then I would invest the balance for early retirement. Oh yeah - and I'd buy LOTS of yarn!
So now you all need to tell me what YOU would do with the $10M dollars!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Oh Baby, Baby

Baby's and knitting just seem to go together. There is nothing like a new baby on the way to inspire one to buy yarn and break out the needles (like we need any inspiration!) Awhile ago I started the Big Bad Baby Blanket pattern from Stitch and Bitch just because I liked it. I knew that somewhere along the way there would be the perfect baby to cherish it. It has been a bit of a start and stop project but I have recently found out that a friend is expecting her third child, a baby boy, in the end of December. So I have "dusted it off" and am reinvigorated to finish it. I really love knitting it. It slides so beautifully on the needles. I'm using Lorna's Laces superwash wool so it can be thrown in the washer and dryer (or so the label says . . . .) I'm just over half way done so I'm hopeful that it will be done in time although it has taken me quite awhile to get to this point. Now the question is whether or not I can give it away! I may just have to make a second one for myself.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I have Succumbed

I swore I wouldn't do it. I had no desire to do it. Everyone else is doing it but not me. I WOULD NOT KNIT SOCKS. Why would anyone knit socks? You can just go to the store and buy socks. They are knit on those itty, bitty, tiny needles. They are knit on double pointed needles. I hate DPN's. I don't even wear socks! So why is everyone knitting them? And not just one pair - they knit pair, after pair after pair. Just look at their blogs. There are so many socks being knit out there. But despite my best efforts to refrain from knitting socks I now find myself knitting them. Why? Am I a sheep? Must I knit what everyone else is knitting? I really don't have a good answer except I have become more and more curious to find out what all the fuss is about. But of course can I start with simple socks? Ankle socks? Baby socks? Nooooooo, I have to start with knee high boot socks. I saw them in the summer Interweave Knits and decided I just had to give them a try. I am making them for Horsey Girl. Won't they be cute peaking out of the top of her high boots? I sure hope they fit and that she likes them. My main concern is that when and if I ever finish the first one I won't get the second one done. How many single socks do you think are sitting out there in knitland?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Pay It Forward

Remember that movie a few years ago with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey in it called ‘Pay It Forward’? I liked the concept but must admit the ending to the movie made it so I could never really recommend it to anyone. But the message was a good one that you should not just pay people BACK for favors they've given you. Instead, you should try to do a good thing for someone and ask that the person for whom you do the good thing, do something for someone else. In other words, rather than a "pay back" it's a "pay forward." Well, I found a variation of this on Bonnie's blog today (she got it from someone who got it from someone, etc. )

Here's how it works:Pay It Forward meme I will send a handmade gift to the first three people who leave a comment requesting to join this Pay It Forward exchange. I don't know what that gift will be yet, but you will receive it within 365 days. The only thing you have to do in return is "pay it forward" by making a similar agreement on your blog. My gift might be something I've knit or maybe even baked! I also love to take photographs so maybe it will be something photo related. Per the rules on the email I found: The "gift" you send doesn't have to be handmade -- it can be anything you wish to share with another person. If you want to join, leave a comment with your email addy (so I can reply -- spell out the email if you don't want it harvested). I'll contact you with more details. And for some knitting content - I finally finished the purple Sophie bag I started awhile ago. I call it Sunriver Sophie since I finished it in Sunriver, Oregon on our vacation. I really love the Sophie bag, it is such a simple and quick pattern (or it should be) and it looks so elegant when it is finished. I think I'll be making many more of these. This one will be making a trip to someone special very soon.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Which is Better?

Does it feel better to start a project or finish a project? At first most would say it feels best to finish a project. After all, when you're done you have a completed knit object to wear or gift or donate and there is a sense of satisfaction when you have completed something. However under the theory that "actions speak louder than words," I'm going to say that most of us like starting projects more than finishing them. That would explain why I have so many projects on the needles and so many UFOs. It is also my excuse for starting yet another project! We are on vacation in Oregon and I brought more projects with me than one could ever finish in a week. Even if I planned to spend the entire week knitting which was certainly not the plan. So of course I took a visit to the yarn store up here to buy yarn for a hat (don't say anything) and came back with an entire bag full. And then to make matters worse I took some of the gorgeous Noro I purchased and cast on a Sophie bag for my friend. What was I thinking? We'll here it is riding the whale at the lake while we were out on the Sea Doos. And here is just a gorgeous photo of the Deschutes river for you to enjoy. I love it up here!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Yarn Worthy

WARNING - This post contains some R rated content. Well actually with what I've seen at the movies lately this may be considered PG-13 but you have been warned!

For those of you who are Seinfeld fans you may remember and episode where Elaine was upset because her chosen contraceptive method - the sponge - was being taken off the market. She went to the store and bought everything they had left. However, it had an unintended consequence. She found that she was having difficulty dating guys because she was now scrutinizing them so much more carefully as she was deciding if they were "sponge worthy" before she would agree to go out with them. Not many guys were found worth the dwindling supply. Why am I discussing this on a knitting blog? Well I was thinking the other day of some gorgeous yarn that I have purchased with no intended project in mind. Despite repeated promises to myself that I will ONLY buy yarn if I already know what I'm going to make with it, I continue to buy yarn simply due to it's beauty figuring I'll decide what to make later. But the problem is I love the yarn so much and it is so beautiful it is often hard to find the right pattern. Is that scarf yarn worthy? What about those gloves? A hat? A bag? A pattern that you loved and couldn't wait to make is often "not good enough" for the gorgeous yarn. So the yarn sits in the bins being admired from time to time but yet to be made in to something wonderful. I guess it will just have to wait until the right pattern comes along and sweeps it off it's skein.

Sorry if I have offended anyone but at least I'm not talking about the "master of my domain" episode!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Stitch and Pitch

I've started something new - can you guess what it is? Not that I needed yet another project but I came across this gorgeous and soft alpaca yarn and I just had to start on it right away. Don't worry - it's not another hat. Oops - admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Hello, my name is Allison and I'm knitting another hat! But really, it's a top down hat rather than a bottom up hat so truly it's different. Oh well, I don't think I want to be cured anyway. Last week Mom and I went to the Giant's Stitch and Pitch and had a wonderful time. 23 major league baseball parks are holding Stitch and Pitch events this year and over 1,500 people attended for the Giant's event. We were in the nose bleed section - only 3 rows behind us at the very top of the park, but we were just to the left of home plate and had a good view. I feverishly worked on Miss K's green hat (shown in the Harry Potter photo) and finished it so she could take it to camp the next day. However when she saw it she decided she didn't want to take it to camp because she might get it dirty! Oh well - now that it's done I can start another hat . . .