8

Happy Yarn-o-ween!

Not many tricks, but certainly lots of treats!

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Tilli Tomas Disco Lights in Black

For the “Little Green Clutch” from the 2007 Holiday issue of IK.  This will most likely be a Christmas gift for FIL’s girlfriend.

 

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Knit Picks Cadena in Cranberry

For a secrety squirrel Christmas gift-to-be!

 

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Knit Picks Shine Sport in Coral, Cherry, Blush, Green Apple & Grass

These are for this super cute pattern which will be Christmas gifties for my 1 year old and 8 year old nieces.  I couldn’t decide what colors so I bought a few since Knit Picks is so super cheap.  And I may just happen to get carried away and *oops* make an extra red and pink one for myself ;)

 

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Knit Picks Bare Superwash

For some future Kool-Aid dyeing messing around & general kitchen disastrousness….

Hope you are all getting treated on Halloween too!  Happy Yarn-o-ween!!

Edited to Add:  Finally, after stalking my prey for-freaking-ever, I was able to snag a skein of Vesper Sock Yarn from Knitterly Things!  Woot!!  AquaMelon, you will be mine!

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14

Block Party

Let’s face it.  At least half of us never get around to finishing our knits.  *twitches sheepishly* Guilty!  My latest issue is blocking.  I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing, and as much information as I’ve been able to spin out of the various knitters I’ve talked to, or books that I’ve read, I still am not convinced that I’m doing it right.  Like almost anything to do with knitting, everyone has their own way of doing it and no method seems to be any better than the next.  Mostly I’ve gotten by with a haphazard half-assed attempt at wet blocking on towels on top of the washing machine.  Oh, and that time last winter when I had lace scarves pinned out on both sides of the guest bed for a couple weeks straight.  What with all the dips from the buttons on the mattress, it’s a wonder they didn’t come out all warped like a damp old Zeppelin LPAnd it was a b*tch besides. 

But Fiberistas Beware:  There’s a new toy in town!

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Check it out:  The Knitter’s Block from Cocoknits (though I purchased mine through Knitwhits).  I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but it just sounded like such an amazing alternative for the wet towels on top of the dryer thing I’ve been doing.  You can rearrange the “puzzle” pieces to make shapes of varying sizes and you can even lay them out in a 12″ x 108″ piece that would be a perfect alternative to the old pin the scarf on the mattress trick.  I had considered blocking boards before that I’d seen on WEBS or in various catalogs, but my main problem with those was the limited variety of sizes that could be accommodated.  Sure, they’d be kickin’ for a sweater, but what about a long ass scarf?  The only benefit those boards have over this system might be the grid which would come in handy if you were blocking something to a specific measurement.  But I think the versatility in shapes/sizes of the Knitter’s Block will make up for the lack of a grid.  Besides, I can always do it the “old-fashioned” way and bust out the measuring tape.

So, (hopefully) no more fighting with my fiendish knits!  I’ll be a blocking banshee next time I’ve got a knit to wrestle into submission. 

7

Hazel Knits Shout Out

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Mmmm…… squishity Tulip-y yarny goodness from Hazel Knits

Check it out – it’s a shop shout out to my Pacific Northwest pal Wendee! She’s opened her own etsy shop called Hazel Knits, specializing in hand-dyed yarn and “luxury-with-whimsy” handcrafted stitch markers. And, even better, the Yarn Harlot has been knitting socks with her yarn! You can read about it on the Yarn Harlot’s blog here and here. Now don’t you want to run out and get yourself some? You can sign up for the mailing list on the Hazel Knits blog, and I figure you’ll want to because who knows how long her yarn will last in the shop! She’s doing a major shop update tomorrow (Friday, October 26) with loads of new colors and more of her coveted Sailor’s Delight colorway, part of the proceeds of which goes to Doctors Without Borders. I’m guessing you’ll want to snap that one up as soon as you can because it seems to be her most popular colorway with a gorgeous blend of “garnet, pumpkin, rust, and pomegranate”, evocative of a fiery summer sunset. But don’t fret, if you don’t get there in time, she can special dye you a batch if you send her an e-mail or convo her on etsy.

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How sweet are these?

She sent me a sweet little package for my birthday and I got the yarn pictured above in the “Tulip” colorway and these lovely stitch markers to go with it! The stitch markers are almost too pretty to use and the yarn is so super-squishy! I am hoarding it for the perfect pattern. Hurry up and get yours and share in the yarny love!  There will be a new color each month in the shop, so have fun deciding which one’s your favorite! 

5

The Marathoner and The Celebrity’s Son

 Or:
What I did on my summer vacation

My husband came home one night in June with this bright idea to train for a half-marathon with some co-workers.  Not being one to do something half-assed, that half-marathon turned into a marathon quicker than you can say “welcome-knee-injury-with-foot-pain-come-on-in, never mind the fact that he hadn’t run in over 3 years and was having trouble running a couple laps at the track those first few nights.   Don’t get me wrong.  He wasn’t out of shape.  He just wasn’t in running shape. 

At first his training schedule was barely a ripple in our domestic life.  A few extra minutes in the evenings he’d be off doing his thing and I’d putter around the house.  Didn’t take long for that to change.  Soon, it was an hour each night and then a long run each week working up from 4 miles to a final grueling training run of 20.5 miles.  Sometime in July we bought Bluebell.  Since I wanted to keep R. Darling company as his runs got longer and longer, but I can’t run anymore (thanks a lot craptastic knees!) and the robot knee is still cranky, a bicycle seemed like the best option. Pretty soon I was logging in almost as many miles as he was. 

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Here’s me on Bluebell wishing I could multi-task

Some days I didn’t want to go.  Others, maybe I kept him going with the promise of a Robek’s smoothie on that day’s finish line.  In the end, don’t let anyone ever tell you that “being there” for someone isn’t that big of a deal.  It takes time and sacrifice and a whole lot of cheerleading.  But when your spouse has a dream and you help them achieve it, that’s a little bit of relationship magic right there.   

By the end of 13 weeks worth of training, and plagued with injuries, my husband completed his first marathon.  On a cold miserable day the first weekend in October, he crossed the finish line looking none the worse for wear after 26.2 miles in soaring winds and threatening rain.  Congratulations honey!  I’m so proud of you!

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Marathon Day – Just as bad as it looks…..

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26.2 miles and feelin’ no pain (yet)!

And lest you think there’s nothing about knitting in here, I’ll leave you with something interesting.  I’ve discovered that knitters and “knitter-friendlies” surface in the darndest places.  During all this running business, my husband found a store in town that sells shoes to runners by examining their old shoes, diagnosing their body mechanics based on the wear of those shoes, and helping them find the right ones to keep their alignment as it should be.  When I needed new workout shoes, we headed there for some expertise and ended up chatting with a very nice fellow who helped fit me for my shoes.  In the process of idle chit-chat, he revealed that working at the running store was only his part-time job but that he loved running and talking to other runners which made it really fun for him. 

Out loud, I likened his situation to how I would feel if I could work part-time at a knitting shop (oh joy!).  He asked me if I was a knitter and after responding wholeheartedly “yes!”, he told me to check out the site y2knit.net  Apparently, his mom is the brains behind the site and she puts together all kinds of retreats and events for knitters and is a bit of a knitting celebrity (though I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know much about her, but I have heard of her book YNotKnit).  Her sister is also apparently a well known knitwear designer in San Francisco.  It kind of made my day to run into someone whose mom probably has knitterazzi following her every move, and the fact that her son works in a running store, in my town, just made me smile with wonder.  Knitters and knitter-friendlies in the darndest places!  Who knows who I’ll run into next……

P.S. 

That crazy marathoner guy I married is already planning his next marathon.  Oy!

9

Projects Big & Small

It’s been a while since I’ve posted pics of what’s been on and off my needles, so here’s the 411 on the fiber.

I get a grand total of about 2-3 hours knitting time during the work week which puts a major cramp in my knitting style.  That’s pretty much all accumulated during my lunch breaks on workdays.  And at home?  Keep dreaming chicky.  There’s just too much other stuff I have to get to first.  And somehow, in a new evil plot to rob me of sleep and knitting, I have to magically find myself another hour each day for exercise!  If only I could get used to flabby thighs and biofilms in the kitchen sink, my WIP’s might be persuaded to show me a little more love.

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This here’s the most that I can show you of the Something Exciting that I mentioned a while back. I finished it a while ago, sans weaving in ends, blocking and adding the buttons, but it’s been tragically anticlimactic because I still can’t share it with you yet. I’m not even sure I’m allowed to show the sleeve, but I figure you can’t tell much from a photo of the sleeve and besides, Stefanie has a full photo on her blog and in her Flickr set. I knit it with some Berocco Nostalgia from my stash and it was an easy pattern to follow, I just got kinda bored of knitting monogamously so it took me longer than I’d hoped. I think that Stefanie is a bit overwhelmed right now because I e-mailed her a couple weeks ago to tell her I’d finished and I haven’t heard a peep. From reading her blog it sounds like the pregnancy is really wearing her out. Heck, I’m tired all the time and I don’t even have another person growing inside me! She deserves some rest.  So, I’ll finish it up for reals soon and then when she’s ready maybe I can show you more of it. Honestly though, and this is totally not a reflection on Stefanie or her pattern, but it looks terrible on me. Really terrible. A Grade-A Milk Chocolate Nightmare.  But it was fun to do her testlab even if I never get to do it again.

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Man, I finally finished my socks for my first SITM Swap pal. I don’t know why but the second sock was a b*tch to finish. I seriously re-did the heel on it about 10 times. No sh*tting.  Talk about major suckage. I have no idea why it gave me so much trouble, because the first sock knit up without a single hitch and I am one of those people who follows instructions like nobody’s business (yeah, I’m boring like that).  I kept ending up with the wrong stitch count and it just kept getting worse the more stressed I got. I’m already almost a week and a half late with these, so I was sweating to get them done. Now they’re all blocked with my fancy new blockers from here (gorgeous by the way – buy some if you can!), packed up, and on their way to Virginia. Next up: the second pair since I’m an “angel” and have an extra partner. I’m being incredibly unimaginative and am knitting the same pattern for my second pal in a different color yarn. Time to renew the “Mystery At Heel’s Turn” (sounds like a good Nancy Drew, eh?) and if I find the stitch count off again I might have to throw something.  Or throw up. Either way, something’s getting thrown.  I’m a little bit farther along than what you see below, but not much.

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This pair’s in STR Heavyweight in the Midsummer’s Night colorway. Pal #2’s favorite color is blue, so I hope she digs these. I’m a little afraid the color’s not deep enough since she says she doesn’t like “baby” colors of anything. Didn’t find that out until too late though. 

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Knit this as a little extra sumpin’ sumpin’ for my SITM pal’s package. It’s a free pattern from here and I made it with Sugar N’ Cream in the Pool colorway. Super cute and super easy.  Smariek has tons of them to choose from and they’re all so pretty!  It looks a little wrinkled because I was too damn lazy to take another photo after blocking.

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This is an almost finished baby hat that I got at my new LYS when they opened up.  Kind of a cool deal.  They’re called “Apple Yarns” and this little hat was a promotional deal they put together for the shop.  Knit the little hat, they put it in the window for display, and then when they’re finished, the hats go to charity.  I’m all for the charity stuff, though lately I haven’t had much time for it.  I took this one to the coast with me and just have to finish the leaves and sew ’em on and voila!  Baby hat.

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Nope, this funny looking thing is not half of a halter top.  Good thinkin’ though.  It’s actually the baby sweater I was working on in Vegas (see previous bikini photo from Vegas posts).  The pattern comes from the Greetings From Knit Cafe Book and I thought it would be fun to give it a try since I just happen to know someone with a new baby girl.  She doesn’t dig pink like I do, so I’m using Valley Yarns’ Longmeadow in Seafoam and I like the yarn pretty well so far.  The sweater is kind of interesting in its construction since it’s knit from side to side in one piece.  I’m looking forward to finishing my socks so I can finish this one up.  I think it will be pretty cute when it’s done.

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Finally! My freakin’ Louet Gems showed up!  I ordered this yarn from one of my less-than-usual LYS’s because I had a gift certificate there and I wanted to change up the colors and thought it might be nice to have a little advice.  The sample book came in handy too.  Hadn’t even thought about needing that to help me decide. Anyhoo, after waiting for over 3 weeks it’s finally here (Note to self: They are lying through their teeth when they tell you it will only take a week to arrive.  Don’t believe the hype.).  The KAL actually started October 1st so I’m already late, but unfortunately, Mirepoix’s just going to have to wait a little longer.  I’m kind of excited to swatch though.  I’m curious to see if the new color combo will be crack-a-lackin’ or just plain old lackin’

So, if you made it to here, you must really love knitting!  That’s the 411 and thanks for stopping by!

10

Bloggyversary!

Today is my first bloggyversary! 

I cannot believe that I’ve been blogging for a year now.  Though today is my official bloggyversary, I’m not going to have a major celebration (contest!) until February because I consider February to be my true bloggyversary.  February of this year was when I really started to get serious about knitting and sharing, and finding my way in the world of KAL’s and groups out there in blogland.  But today deserves a post all its own :)

So, I have to thank all of you out there for your comments, your perspectives, your thoughts and camaraderie.  Without all of you I would have quit the “blog business” a long time ago (and I have considered doing this many times).  I appreciate each and every one of you that has taken the time to stop by.  Your comments and the fact that you’re even reading my random chit-chat means more to me than you’ll probably every know.  Because of you, I actually made it to my first bloggyversary and I can’t thank you enough. 

So here’s to you bloggy peeps!  Thanks so much for always being there.