Sunday, July 27, 2008

We interupt this knitting . . .

I know this is a knitting blog and I never discuss sewing here - I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that I can't sew - but this post is a "proud mama" post. This past week Miss K has been at Granny camp. What's Granny camp you ask? At Granny camp Miss K gets to spend time with my folks and do everything she loves. They go to the movies, the Lawrence Hall of Science, the book store, they sew, cook all her favorite meals, go to her favorite restaurants - basically it's what I imagine Heaven to be like. Most of my friends have asked if they can go to Granny Camp! This year it was extra special because my folks signed her up for a sewing camp at their LFS as her 6th grade graduation present (can I say LFS like LYS?) She has desperately been wanting to learn how to sew. She wants to be a fashion designer and as she will tell you, "you can't be a fashion designer if you can't sew!" SO she went to sewing camp 4 hours a day for 4 days and LOOK WHAT SHE MADE!!! Isn't this quilt amazing? It's the first thing she has ever sewn and she did it all herself. She wouldn't even let the instructors help her tear out a seam. They did have a few comments about what a perfectionist she is . . . . So as a totally awed and proud Mom I thought I would share her glorious (and bright) accomplishment with you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saving the World

Can knitting really save the world? Maybe not but it's worth a try isn't it? I saw a post on Firefly's blog discussing how if each of us knit just one bag that we use weekly instead of a plastic bag the numbers add up and can really make a difference. Think about it. If I use one less plastic bag a week that is 52 less plastic bags per year. If 100 knitters do that (or their giftees . . .) that is 5200 per year. If more knitters do it or you use your bag for more than one year or you use more than one bag per week - the numbers can be staggering. I like to think of it as saving the world one less plastic bag at a time. Firefly has asked for knitters to join her quest - will you?
I have decided to join and am using my gorgeous Italian yarn to do so. I'm making my own pattern and calling it the Italian Market Bag. I looked around for an open work stitch to use and found the Italian Rib which I thought was a perfect choice. I will post the pattern when I finish the bag as it is still evolving. I'm trying to decide how long to make it and what kind of handle it wants to have. I saw a cool purse on my trip with white rope handles so I'm thinking of giving that a try if I can find any. Thoughts?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lace at it's finest

I'm still here! I hope you've had a chance to check out the travel blog where I have been posting on almost daily these last two weeks. We have been having a wonderful time on our vacation but I don't have any new knitting to share with you. I haven't had much time to knit and the time I have had has been spent on the second Monkey Sock so as not to suffer second sock syndrome. I haven't gotten that far on it but I'm hoping that 4 hours on a train from Venice to Rome and the long, long flight from Rome to San Francisco will give me ample time to work on it. In the meanwhile I leave you with this photo from the island of Burano, Italy - the home of Venitian lace. Some of the finest in the world. This gives a new meaning to the term "lace shawl"! I didn't even dare ask how much it cost . . .
I did FINALLY managed to find a yarn store on my trip - Lella Bella located in Venice near Campo Menin. It is quite small and they just display one skein of each yarn. She has a metal ring with gobs, and gobs of little, tiny knit samples of the different yarns to show you what they look and feel like. Then when you pick what you want she goes to her cupboards and rifles through them to get the yarn. In truth I didn't see a lot that I was interested in but after all the effort I have put in to finding a yarn store I had to get something! So I decided to purchase a few skeins of cotton/rayon blend in a blue, green and white which reminds me of the beautiful oceans and bays I have seen on this trip. I've been working on a cotton bag pattern based on what I saw in Dubrovnik and I think I'll use this yarn to make it. I promise new knitting content soon!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

No more monkeying around

I was motivated by Janice's quick work on her Monkey Sox to finish mine (or guilted/shamed in to it - you pick) so I have been working diligently and I finished my first full size sock! Yeah!!! Now I just have one more to go - hopefully it will be MUCH quicker than the first. This also counts as my first project for Summer of the UFO. I hope you'll join our KAL and come along with me in UFO efforts.

Here it is in all it's glory being modeled by Horsey Girl (I wish my feet looked that good) in the lovely city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. Check out our trip on our travel blog!

Despite my efforts I can't seem to find any yarn to buy on the trip. I really wanted to make a vacation scarf like Jennifer made. It is such a great idea. In Rome I was told that there was a yarn store in one of the Piazzas so I took a cab there and looked around but it had gone out of business! The cab ride ended up costing 10 euros which is about $17! I sure hope the dollar gets stronger soon. I was really bummed that there was no yarn but then turned a corner and found a fancy pen shop. That is another one of my passions so of course I had to buy a pen so that the effort wasn't a total loss! Then I found a metro stop and took a train back to my hotel because I didn't want to spend the money for another taxi.
Today in the walled city of Dubrovnik I came across an old woman knitting outside her little store. I got very excited and went over to check it out. She was using something that looked like DPN's but when I got closer they were sharp like knitting needles on the end and crochet hooks on the other! She was definitely knitting but clearly these were multipurpose tools. I got our guide to ask her where she got her yarn (my guide thought I was nuts - you want what to do what?) but she spoke to her and the old woman said she only knew where to get yarn in her city which is not close. Bummer! I also saw someone selling a knit stretch tote bag like the BYOB and Everlasting Bagstopper. So I guess the cool cotton knit bag movement is everywhere!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Greetings from Rome!

We arrived in Rome today and have been having a great time so far. Check out our adventures on my travel blog I did some knitting on the plane but not as much as I had planned because I had to spend several hours doing the work I didn't quite manage to finish before I left! I brought my Cozy along as it has become my international UFO. I started it in April of 2006 on the way to Paris. It was my first lace pattern and I found it quite difficult so didn't get very far. I made several mistakes but amazingly enough with the lace pattern and my multi-colored yarn it is quite forgiving and you really can't see the mistakes. Then I picked it back up when we went to Mexico for New Year's 2007 and since I had then acquired more lace skills I found it quite enjoyable. However for some reason I did not finish it when I got home. So hope springs eternal in the eternal city and I am at it once again.

For this week's SP12 questions here we go:

1) What yarn (that you don't have/haven't used) would make your stash"complete"? I don't have a particular yarn I'm holding out for my stash to be complete. And besides, "complete" sounds like you're done. I don't think my stash will ever be done (until I am of course!) Any new yarn is most welcome to join my stash family. I'm particularly excited about the yarn that Jennifer sent me from Paris. I can't wait to figure out what it wants to be.

2) What yarn do you never want to be without? I must say that knitting my Cozy again I remember how much I LOVE this yarn. It is Curious Creek in a silk blend. Sooooooo yummy!

HAPPY JULY 4th everyone - please celebrate for me!