Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Now You See It...Now You Don't

Now you see it...
Now you don't...
In keeping with two of my knitting resolutions for the New Year you might notice that I am blogging more often. I know a few of you are reading so would you please leave me a little note! I appreciate getting them.

Another New Year's resolution I am trying to keep is FROGGING projects I don't like for whatever the reason. Pictured is the first in that category. This lovely sport yarn is called Lord of the Rings (I think) and I don't remember the maker but I got it from The Loopy Ewe which has a wonderful on-line selection of yarns. And service is top notch!

I was knitting the so-popular Monkey Socks. I didn't like the ones I was knitting. I think the problem was that I chose sport weight yarn which is just too heavy for the design. It is a lovely design and fun, fun, fun to knit. And a FREE pattern from Knitty an on-line magazine. Cookie A who is a very creative designer graciously allowed the magazine to publish this design and it has been a huge hit with knitters for the past couple of winters. I also really love the rich colors in the yarn so decided it was time to frog and do a standard pair of socks. They will be started soon.

We are waiting for snow in Central PA. The Goldens and I would love to play in it and I would really like to get some video of them. I haven't taken any in way too long and life just passes us all by. I hope the ice doesn't arrive, too. We have had too much of it this winter and I worry about falling and also about one of the dogs hurting themselves. I saw a handsome Rottie at the vet today. He hurt his back leg last night on the ice. Hope the boy is OK. He was very stoic and sweet.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Knitting Progress

Not much time to post today but wanted to share a photo of the fingerless mitts I made for Celeste for her birthday. I altered the pattern to her specifications which mainly was a longer cuff. They fit her perfectly and she loved them.

OTN now is a sock for me, a scarf, and a shawl that isn't getting touched except to move it from one knitting bag to another...sigh...

Today I got two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in a specially dyed color Mt. Nittany. It is beautiful tones of purple, blue and green. See...I think it only take one skein to make a pair of socks for myself but I didn't want to risk not having enough so I purchased two. I will use the second for mitts or something that only takes 200 yards of sport weight.

Will take photos of knitting progress for next post. ... assuming there is progress to be photographed.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Alpaca Yarn and New Bag

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my friends Monica and Dennis own an alpaca farm in southeastern PA. They have gorgeous animals and the result is fabulous yarn. See here. I am going to make a shawl and will post photos during the process. Be patient as I am going to finish a few other projects before I begin. I think I found the right pattern but am still contemplating.
I fell in love with this knitting bag from Namaste called a Knitube. A model they came out with several years ago and I think are discontinuing. I bought mine at a big discount at Dream Weaver Yarns. I was really pleased with the prompt service and will shop there again.
The outside is a nylon fabric and is possibly waterproof. I'm not testing it. Each end unzips and is lined with the beautiful fabric you see in another photo. One end is for yarn storage and the other for your work-in-progress and knitting tools. Then there is a side zippered pocked that could hold a small wallet, cell phone and keys. Also love the neat strap. Cool, huh? I think so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Mystery of the Missing Fingerless Mitt

Photo is of guilty party.
Name: Teddy Bear
Age: 5 1/2 years
Favorite hobby: laying upside down in daddy's lap as seen in photo

I have one fingerless mitt completed and the other 2/3 finished.
Celeste's birthday is Saturday but I won't see her until Sunday so I will be done in time! Yeah!! Double Yeah!!!
I hit a snag this morning when I could not find the finished mitt. Not in the pocket of the knitting bag where I keep it, not in the rest of the knitting bag, no where to be found. I thought I let it at Keith's apartment when we were in Harrisburg for the weekend, but knowing the birthday was this week was positive I brought it home. Well, I did. It was stolen but fortunately recovered in a good condition.
I will post photos of the finished mitts later in the week. I forgot the camera in the office today.

Also, I was gifted with some fabulous alpaca yarn on Saturday. Very special...the cria spin from Lucio my very favorite alpaca. Two skeins of fingering weight in a gorgeous white. Making it extra special was the additional two skeins of a beautiful rich medium brown that is spun from his mother alpaca's shearing. I am going to do a shawl from the two. The yoke will be the brown, I will knit as much as I can with the white and then do a pattern repeat or two with the brown. Can't wait to start.

Lucio belongs to my friends Monica Kline and Dennis Balban who own a Suri Farm in Lebanon County, PA. I saw them at the Pennsylvania Farm Show and received a cute gift bag with a tag from Lucio.

Photos will be in next post.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's (Knitting) Resolutions

As I am nearing my mid-50s I have come to the realization that I won't live forever. No one does. Which means I need to focus my knitting, yarn purchasing and pattern choices. I'm going to get a bit selfish with my knitting in 2009. I mainly am knitting for myself, a few gifts and some items for the Golden Retriever Rescue to sell at fund-raising events.

So, in addition to my other personal resolutions, here are a few knitting-related ones:

1. Work to de-stash. I have so much yarn stashed in rubbermaid boxes I could open my own one-of-a-kind shop! Plan to go through yarns and make a nice collection of those I know I will never knit. I am doing a yard sale in late June (the community townwide sale) and this will be a good place to recoup some $$$ of what I spent. I have been inspired by an article in Knitter's Review which is a wonderful email publication I receive. Read this article to get the jist of their term "slow stashing" ... a realistic view -- no we knitters won't stop buying yarn but we must think a bit before purchasing more. Knit from stash if there is something we love and then buy only what we love. Wow! Was I ever inspired today....

2. Be more particular when purchasing yarns. Don't buy so much until I'm sure I don't have something similar. Guess doing a yarn inventory will be a good idea ... particular of the fingering weight. As I mainly knit socks, that is primarily what I purchase these days.

3. Knit only what I truly love in yarns I really like. Socks, fingerless mitts, scarves and a few shawls. Maybe a baby blanket or two, too. As the saying goes Too little time...so much yarn or something like that!

4. Raise money for Golden Retriever Rescue by knitting some specialized items -- fingerless mitts and ornaments. This is already begun! Had to purchase some yarn from Knit Picks -- nice but not my favorite -- to keep the price points reasonable. The yarn has arrived and actually is lovely.

5. Use the computer less and the knitting needles more! Computer time is cutting into my limited knitting hours.

6. Frog what I have started and don't love. Frogging is not an offense punishable by law! Enjoy what I am knitting. Don't look at it as a task to be completed.

7. Challenge myself a bit with some more lace knitting and new techniques. I never knit a thumb gusset until this fall (thanks Libby!!) and now I love making the fingerless mitts in Libby's pattern. She owns Mad About Ewes yarn shop in Lewisburg, PA.

8. Stop knitting when my neck and arm begin to bother me.

9. Organize the books, magazines and patterns. Yikes! They are becoming overwhelming but if I would take a day and work through it 2009 will be a much more productive year. While I'm about it I must complete the sock yarn organization project I began nearly a year ago.

10. Blog more often!

Happy New Year all!!!!