Friday, August 30, 2013

Yarn Tasting

Last night, Knit 4 Together had their first ever Yarn Tasting.  The yarns were all Cascade yarns.  The rep was male, which is okay, but I found it interesting that he doesn't knit, and seriously, I think if you are selling a product, you really should at least use the product.  I just found that very interesting.  I told, friend Sue, that when I retire I would like to be a yarn rep.  I think I would be good at it.

Anyway, the way the Yarn Tasting worked is that after we had drinks and snacks, we got to take little balls of the different yarns and knit with them.  We didn't find out from the rep until the very end that we could have kept our little balls.  Guess he should have said that up front.

I used my size 8 Knit Picks needles throughout my little sampler and just did stockinette.  I found some new to me yarns from Cascade that I most definitely want to use a little more of.  Below, I am going to give you my review of the yarns.  Now mind you, it is my opinion, others had very different opinions on some of them.

From right to left:

1. Hot Pink - 220 Superwash Aran - I loved this one the best I think.  It is a Superwash Merino Wool Aran weight and on a size 8, I loved the feel of it.

2. Black, Gray and White - Pluscious - this is a super soft chenile.  I really liked it and Knit 4 Together has it in several variegates, but my problem is what I would knit with it.  I don't really want to knit any of those lovies or an animal, but knitted up it would feel quite nice to pet.

3. Purple and White - This is Cascade's version of an acrylic - Pinwheel.  It's kind of scratchy and not one that I will ever knit with.

4. The Caribe Blue with flecks - Bentley is an acrylic/superwash wool.  It's okay.  The contrast colors remind me of a rayon type yarn would with it.  I think it might be a bit splitty, but not major.

5.  Blue - This is Sateen and a lot of people loved it.  For me, probably not, it is acrylic and just not me.

6. Orange Variegated - This is Heritage Silk Paints, and I love it, I own some and really didn't need to knit with it last night, but I added it to my swatch anyway.  It was interesting to see what the fine yarn would do on a larger needle.

7. Green, Blue, Cream Variegated - 220 Superwash Sport Multis, another okay, I'd need to knit a bit with it more to really like it.

8.  Red with flecks - Sunseeker.  I bought some of this last year on our knitting getaway in Janesville.  Mine is a darker blue, and I have Dinner in the Eiffel Tower started out of it, but I am not sure that is what it truly wants to be.  The base is a Acrylic/Cotton with the metallic thread running through.  It is pretty soft on a size 8 needle so I may need to play around with mine a bit.  

9. Light Blue on towards the left end - 220 Superwash, a superwash merino wool.  Funny, I don't like it is much as a like the Superwash Aran, but I'll have a chance to knit with it when I knit the Alligator afghan later this Fall.

10. Green on the left end - Alpaca Lana d'Oro.  What can I say it has Alpaca in it and I love anything in Alpaca

All of the prices on the skeins are pretty decent, which makes Cascade Yarns a decent yarn to knit with.    I have been a fan of Cascade 220 forever, but, the 220 Superwash Aran could be a new fave for me from their yarn line.

It was a great Yarn Tasting, I hope they do more of them in the future!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday Website

Knit Inspired Cakes

If only I was this creative!

By the way, in case you are reading this today, Tall Guy - Happy 37th Anniversary!

Monday, August 26, 2013

House Shopping Day 2

We decided to look at a house tonight down the street from the brand new house of yesterday.  I had been eyeballing it for sometime.  Nice, cute, house from the outside.  Really cool inside for entertaining.  The end.  The carpet would need to be replaced.  My bathrooms are better than this house.  Basement?  When you walk down and the Tall Guy has to bend his head, it is not good.  Then, you smell the electric candle going and you know there are more problems.  Chopped up and bad flooring and you know what?   My old basement doesn't look as bad as it once did to me.

So, as long as we are in the neighborhood, a mere block away, we go through the new house again.  Can I tell you again that I love it!  So much room, so new and fresh.  So over our price range and not sustainable, considering the taxes, should we decide to retire in five years.

My brain is mush and I am disheartened.  I think I am going to be in my current house til the end.

But, the Tall Guy had a great comeback tonight.  "If" we bought the new house, there would be no need to go out to the shop every weekend, I wouldn't be able to do fun things like that.  Hmmmm, yarn shopping vs big entertaining spaces.

What a perspective!  Out of the mouths of a husband who knows how much I like my yarn!

I think I'll go knit on something, that should help for now.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

House Shopping

Today, we went to see the first of several houses that are on our list.

The first one was outside of town and I went along just to appease the Tall Guy.  Thank goodness, he removed it almost right after we went into the garage.  No basement, only a crawl space, lots of gaps here and there and the backyard-an almost deal breaker for me -  butts up to a know what the means.  The kitchen and  living room were really open and the dining room wasn't bad either.  But, it needed some updates in the bathroom and like I said before no basement struck it from the list almost from the get go.

The second was a brand new house.  I was in love the minute I walked in.  Big open spaces with living room, dining room and kitchen all right there.  Main floor closet for washer/dryer.  Nice master with it's own bathroom and walk-in closet.  Two other bedrooms that have closets that would keep spare clothes in one and the yarn collection in the other.  Unfinished basement to do with whatever we want.  I loved  loved it!  Only thing was the cost.  It really was more than my already bumped up figure.  But, I loved it.

The last one was just for fun.  It was on the lake, and there were people just lazying around on their tubes this pretty Sunday.  The windows and back porch went the whole length of the house, which for us was the best part of the house.  The rest we didn't even bother with.

It was an interesting first outing and although I really liked the new house, one has to be eats into the yarn budget big time.

We have two more on the short list that I am going to call about seeing tomorrow.  This house hunting thing is a lot of work.  But thank goodness, we don't have to move tomorrow.  We can take our time til just the right one comes along.  Even though, I am anxious to be somewhere before the snow flies this year.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I Have The Best Friends

Look what my friends gave me!

New stitch markers.  And I love them!  Not just because the color is just right.  Not just because they made them.  But because they really are quite easy to move from needle to needle when you come to them.  Some stitch markers can be quite pretty, but get in my way when knitting.  Not these!

I am hoping they decide to sell them, because I would heartily endorse them.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Baby Shower at the Knit Shop

Last Spring, you may remember I was knitting on a couple of stealth projects.  Both of them were heart blocks for surprise afghans.  One was for Meg's afghan for Knit Camp.  The other was for Erin's baby afghan at the knit shop.

Tonight, we had a baby shower and gave her the afghan that we all had knitted blocks for.  I think she really liked it.  Mine was the heart block on top.

I was amazed at the finishing of the afghan.  Jalayne, sewer up of knitting things extraordinaire, sewed all of the blocks together.  I am sure glad she did, if it were me, the baby would be lucky to get it by his wedding.

The afghan was knitted out of Pacific Worsted in green, purple and light gray.  It is so squishy soft.  Just perfect for cuddling up with mother and son!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wednesday Website

I am having so much fun!

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I could listen in my car through Bluetooth, audio books that were on my IPhone.   Actually, that is not true.  I knew I could, I just thought that it would cost me money to do this and I wasn't 100% sure that I knew what I was doing.

Then, I was going down the road, messing with going from a CD to a local radio station when I happened onto options and I pressed it.  All of a sudden, my audio book from audible, was playing while I was going down the road.  How cool.

After finishing a book this week, I was, yet again, messing around with it, and voila, a podcast that I listen to every so often on our way to Iowa with my headphones on.  You have to check Benjamin out-

This week I have listened to his interview with Susan B. Anderson and today started listening to the interview with Franklin Habit.  What fun!  I even find myself doing the speed limit just to hear more of the interviews.

You really need to check this one out!  I am lovin it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Technical Tuesday

This is a SSK.  A SSK is a left slanting decrease.  

Years ago, I used to have a lot of problems figuring out if a SSK was left or right slanting.  Then, a teacher at some knitting event explained it so well that I have not had forgotten.  The S has a \ as part of the formation of the letter.  The \ slants to the left, hence SSK slants to the left.  Amazing!

So the opposite would be true of K2tog.  It would be a right slanting decrease because the 2 has a / as part of the formation of the number 2.  And the bar in the number 2 slants to the right.

Simply amazing and I have used it ever since, just wish I could remember which teacher said that.  It was worth the whole class whomever it was.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up

What a quick and fun weekend!  Saturday, I got to drool over yarns and patterns that my knit friends got at Stitches Midwest.  I was envious of them, but lets face it, I really didn't need to buy any more yarn, and I had a hoot of a time with Miss Mona Lisa.

I had some help on Saturday for picking out what yarns should go with the peapod on the left that I found in the yarn room last week.

I have some leftovers that I can use from the other baby afghan I knitted for my hair dresser on the right.

 I think I am going to use the same pattern as I did for her.  It was fun to watch the colors evolve and a pretty quick knit.  The new one is for one of the guys I work with. I normally don't put this much work into stuff for co-workers (unless they are real friends)  He is going to be a grandpa for the first time and for some reason, I just feel like this is something I want to do.

On yesterday's blog, I said I was going into the yarn room to look at some patterns for my Lost City Knits Silk.  That didn't happen. Tonight, I happened upon Girasole.  I think this might be in contention.  It is very pi like and has been on my radar for some time.

 I am not making any rash decisions at the moment, as I still have my big pi to finish before embarking on a new one.

I did cast on what I think will be my last Summer Sweater for 2013.  I am hopeful to have this Casual T-Shirt finished by the end of this week.  I am getting a little antsy to work on some Fall stuff which includes some September Shawls (since the Summer of Shawls was a great idea, but not great on execution).

The weekend buzzed by and Monday came too soon, but if all of the days go by as fast as today did, we will be having a weekend before we know it...and a three day weekend in just a couple of short weeks!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Haunted and Compulsive

and a lot of times obsessed.

I am haunted by my yarn and the quest for just the right pattern for it.  You know how it is.  You obsess over it and spend more time looking at Ravelry then knitting.

 Right after camp, I bought this lovely yarn from Denise over at Lost City Knits.  It is 1000 yards.

Then, when I knew she was going to be at Stitches Midwest, I asked her to bring me another skein of the same yarn, same dye lot.

 For some reason, I thought I was going to need 2000 yards of lace yarn to do a pi or semi pi shawl or some other really cool lacey shawl.  And for about a week now, I have been looking at Ravelry, trying to find just the right pattern.  It would seem 1000 yards would have worked for most of the ones I might want to knit.

But...many years ago at Camp, Joyce Williams had this really cool circular shawl on.
It was from these wonderful books and it really was a table cover, but she knit it to wear as a shawl.

 I fell in love with it and bought a wonderful lace yarn for it and the Saturday market day.  The yarn was once  designated for a wedding shawl for Baby Boy A, which never came to fruition (the shawl not the wedding)

In my search for the right pattern, it has brought me back full circle to the Joyce Williams idea.  But, I have to say, once again, I am spending more time trying to make the right decision on this than I am on knitting.

Right after I finish posting this, I am shutting down the computer, (way too much time is being spent on it) I am going to go into the yarn room and do a little research on what patterns I have, I am going to wind a skein and play with it.  Maybe, in the playing, and my books, I'll come up with something that will get me off of this roller coaster, so some real knitting can be done.  Or maybe, hopefully, it will be one I already have.

But, if you all have suggestions, I would love for you to post them in a comment.  I could use them!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Back To School! Already?

School started all around here this week.  Next week will be the first full week for most of them.  I don't know about most of you, but I remember the day when we started like September, which was a sign of Fall coming.  With the super decent temperatures we have had here this week, it is no wonder that I have been thinking about chucking my current knitting projects into bags and adding them to the tree.

But then, errrrrrrrrrrrrt!  A friend turns me onto these beauties.  They are so Summer.

And I just so happen to have a yarn that if I hurry up and knit it, it could really be worn into the early Fall.

But, wait, I have this yarn too!

Is it possible to knit these up and be able to wear them before Fall really comes?!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday Website

In case you wanted to know how many repeats of a stitch pattern you would have  -

Monday, August 12, 2013

Might As Well

I discovered that I had lost a marker on my Swirl Jacket about 9 welts later.  I left it hibernate for a bit to think it through and see if there is anyway that I could not rip back all that way.  All those rows, all those stitches.  

After a month, I gave it up decided nothing could be done, but pull the needle out and pull it back to the end of welt 5.

But, before I did that, I took my locking pins and placed them where all of the decreases were and where the markers were on the needles.  Then I ripped it back.

It took a while to get the stitches back on the needles.  Thankfully, the diagram in the book, told me not only how many stitches I had in the entire round, but how many stitches I was supposed to have between markers.  What a great lifesaver that was.

As long as I was ripping back, I figured I might just as well rip it back to the start of welt 6 so I could do the condo stitch on that round that I had skipped the first time around.  So, now I am feeling pretty good with my Swirl Jacket that I can continue on.  I may be wearing this one before the year is out!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's A Quiet House Today

No little ones waking up.  We miss it.  But it was a great weekend for family.

Mona Lisa is growing so fast!  She now is eating real, but really healthy and organic food whenever possible.  Fresh fruit, no processed foods.  I might have to adopt her food philosphies.

She is still crawling around and VERY inquisitive.

She will stand with help but still not ready to take off on her own.

She has the cutest smile and has her four front teeth!

My great- niece was her yesterday to visit too.  Baby Boy A ( Mona Lisa's Dad) is on the left with Bella and Baby Boy B is on the right with his niece Mona Lisa.  I cannot wait to see these two little girls at Christmas and in the Spring together, won't that be fun when they both are toddling around!

So, now I am looking towards Fall and Christmas.  I think these two little lovelies need a knitted sweater for Fall!  Into the yarn room, I go today.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Things Sure Are Different

when there is a baby and a large dog in the house,
when you have 9 adults, 1 baby, a one year old and a large dog in the house.
I am not complaining, I love having a houseful, I just really dislike my small house.

First I have to shove everything in a corner, I haul stuff downstairs, in closets, in drawers, move furniture to other rooms right after Miss Mona Lisa wakes up, bring chairs in from the porch, add leaves to the table....then when everyone leaves you have to put it all back.

Our living room becomes the play room and everyone is forced to sit on top of everyone else after they eat.  There is no room to get away from anyone...

So after a super fantastic weekend,  the consensus here at Chez... is we are actively going to start looking for a new house.  Which for both the Tall Guy and I, we have to start thinking about what it is going to be like to have a house payment again.  Because once we find the "perfect" house, we will come back and do the much needed remodeling that the current Chez using strictly sweat equity.  Then put ours up for sale or rent it.  In my mind, that will take sometime, probably in the new year or spring of 2014.

It's going to be a lot of work and other things, but I'm kind of excited about it all.  It will be so nice to be able to have lots of family together all at one time!  Now, the hunt begins, it may be a little hard to find just what we are looking for!  Stay tuned.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Finally Finished Friday

A new feature, well at least for this week.  I've got a couple of finished objects to show you.  And way before the baby's birth in November.   My hair dresser is having a boy and I wanted to something special for her.

The Ensemble.  Both pretty quick knits, which I totally love and I am pleased with the way they go together!

The pea pod.  I am telling you, these things are so super quick.  This one from AslanTrends Lecco was cast on, knit, and bound off in one day.  They are so stinking cute and everybody loves them!

The worst part?  Finding the dang buttons for it.  They had to be fairly big and go with the pod.  And not so darn expensive, but I would have settled for just some decent buttons.  I am telling you, I really want to investigate having a little hallway in a yarn shop that has decent buttons that you can buy onesies and twosies out of!

The blankie is from the new 60 Quick Baby Afghan Book from Cascade.  This book was selling off of the shelves at the shop and I have several that I want to knit on.  Just need the babies to knit for.  Mine is done out of Pacific.  This is doubled and this is so darn soft and cuddly.

One strand is the same throughout and is a lovely light aqua, the others are variations of blue held with it throughout the rest of the afghan.  It is knit and seed and was a great project to work on at night.  I loved seeing what the next color would look like while knitting.  There were a couple that I wasn't too sure of.  The first looked really good and then when it came time for the next color, I thought it looked really dark.  But by the time I was done, I liked the way I had almost randomly did a great mix.

The final color was a light blue, but when paired with the aqua, it turned a lovely lavender.  Surprised me!

I am so pleased with this ensemble.  Later this weekend, I'll block both pieces and they will be good to go for my Wednesday appointment.

Now, what unfinished object in a bag should be for next Friday?!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Double Dose

I'm sorry but I have to share a website with you today, even though it is Thursday and even though I have talked about it more than once in the past.

Chic Knits

So many want to pronounce it Chick Knits, but I read somewhere that Bonne Marie pronounces it Chic   Knits.  Which makes so much sense to me, since I truly believe her designs are all so chic.

Years ago, I knit my first one the Chic Cami and I have to say again it was the best fitting knit I have ever done.  Even though, I knitted it out of a much finer yarn, I just loved the shaping.  More than once,  knit buddy Linda and I have commented on how Bonne Marie just gets the whole shaping thing.  Her sweaters are just spot on.  And I have used that shaping more than once on other designs from other people.

She has a brand new design out and I think I have the perfect yarn for it, some Arroya that I purchased last February when we were up in Lake Geneva for our winter knitting trip.  The Arroya started to be a Heidi Kirrmaier design and then one from Mel, but I think it may just work for Bonne Marie's new Elizabeth card.  Head on over there and check it out along with any of her designs, I am telling you, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Monday, August 05, 2013

Have Fun

Nancy out at Knit 4 Together turned me onto this refreshing drink for Summer.  1/2 ice tea, 1/2 Minute Maid 15 calorie lemonade.  It makes a great switch up to your normal ice tea.  Put it my flip flop Tervis mug and enjoy with some knitting.

My work project is the top down Summer Cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple out of Boku.  Aren't these some great Summer colors?!  And so doable of a knit for yet this Summer.  I am having some fun knitting it and watching the colors make their way out of the skein.

The young gal who does mine and Baby Boy B's hair is having a baby boy in November.  I knew I wanted to knit her something and I started off by knitting a peapod for her. Those things as I have said before are the life of the shower and I still am not 100% sure why.

The afghan I am knitting for her just sort of happened.  There are several in the 60 Quick Baby Blankets book that I want to knit, but an afghan can be a bit of time consuming project.  I have to say this one is not, hence I suppose it being in a book with a title of 60 Quick... 

I am having so much fun with this little afghan, using 5 colors of Cascade Pacific, two strands being held together at a time.  This yarn is so soft and cuddly.  Originally, it was going to be my shop knitting, but right now, I can't seem to put it down. I want to see what the next color is going to look like, so I have a feeling that it will be done before I know it.

I'm having so much fun with my knitting right now, I hope you all are.  And if you are not, you should be!  Knitting is suppose to be fun.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

I Couldn't Resist

I had a whole different post ready to go today, but by accident when starting to pull up the box to type the blog, I pressed new blog instead.  And I saw some new templates and I thought, what the heck, lets just experiment.  I wasn't super keen on any of them, until out of the side of my eye, I saw this one.  It had all the right colors, so I said lets give it a try.  Best of all, I didn't have to do anything but apply it to my blog and there we have it.

I cannot believe that it is Sunday already!  The weekends go way too fast.  But last week at work went way too fast too.  I finished a project that was not on my massive wip list.  Well, actually, finished knitting it, I am just waiting for the good fairy to come along and sew it together and really finish it.

  Miss Mona Lisa and Baby Boy A are coming home for the weekend, while her Mommy is out of town.  It has been a whole month since we have seen her, and I am sure she is going to be doing all kinds of cool new things.

I am only working four days this week since they are going to be here on Friday.  So, hey maybe this week will be even shorter than last week felt!  Have a good week all.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

My Secret Is Out

A few weeks back, I made the mistake of telling knitter friend, Becky how many projects I had on the needles.  She rewarded me today with this t-shirt that she found on her travels up North.  It is so dead on!!  And of course, today, we had a really full house at the shop so she let everyone else in on my secret.  Do you know now why only a select few will ever see my yarn room??

Why do I have so many?   I am not sure how it happened.   It is kind of like having the right black shoe, you know what I mean?  There are flats, there are sandals, there are casual, there are dressy, there are pumps, there are loafers, there are strappy ones, there are super comfy ones and there are ones that just look too good to pass up.  And you want them all, well at least a true shoe fan does.  Case in point, choose any of the Kardashian women, have you seen their shoe closets?

 Frankly, I love casting on and seeing where the pattern is going to look like.  Sometimes, they get finished, other times, they do a little time out until they make their way back into my good knitting graces.  My knitting venues do change and so that may contribute to the many cast on projects.

I've got my purse project.  It always is there no matter where I go.  It is a little shawl out of sock yarn.  I used to have socks all the time, but since this Summer of Shawls, I have got a little shawl going.  You know for those times, when your knitting is somewhere else or there is a bit of a problem with your current knitting and you need something else to work on.

My air condition project or for these cool summer evenings when we sit out after dinner, I've got my Pi Shawl.  It is mindless knitting.  It is getting a bit large so when I am inside and there is no air on, I don't work on it.  This has got to be one of my oldest unfinished projects from around 2008.  It will be finished this Fall!

I've got my car project.  This one lives in the car.  I use it for knitting in construction zones when we are at stand still or when I am at a really long stop light.

My work project.  This is one that only goes to work for the most part.  It is another mindless project so on the rare time when I actually get a lunch I can grab my bag and go outside or upstairs to the cafeteria and do a bit of knitting.

And finally to around out the first five, there is my Knit 4 Together bag.  This knitting sometimes gets some knitting at home, but for the most part is knitting from yarn that I have purchase at Knit 4 Together.  You know my feelings on knitting with yarn at their shop from their shop, so that is why I have this bag of knitting!

I love my t-shirt and I will wear it proudly.  I know there are those who concentrate on one project at a time, and hey, thats okay, but for me what fun would that be?!

Friday, August 02, 2013

August Already

Next week, our new batch of medical students arrive.  How did that happen?!  Where has the Summer gone?

I  know that we will be having really warm weather for at least another two months.  And there is still plenty of time to be wearing some Summer sweaters that are on the needles if I work on them.  But, I really want to cast on a new little shawl.

One that has been on my mind since I saw Sally Rainey knitting on it at Camp was Imagine When.  Of course it didn't hurt that she was knitting it in my color either. Check hers out over at Sally and Susan's blog.

I'm tossin around what I have in my stash that would work for it.  I need more than 500 yards and what I do have is my Zauberball that I bought a week or so ago at the shop.

This was originally bought for the Color of Affection Shawl.  Knit Camper, Renate used Zauberball in red for her  Color of Affection.  I thought it was such a great idea to let the yarn variations do the work. I tried casting it on last week, but I just wasn't in the frame of mind to deal with those pesky make one right and left increases.

I am still dyeing to cast on with my Lost City Knits yarn that I got in the mail a week or so ago.  I just cannot figure out what I want to do with it.  I have been pretty sure that I didn't want a stole type of shawl until tonight at Walmart, when I saw two young gals walking down the aisle in front of me.   The one had a shorts and a little cami top on with a really lovely stole across her back. Was she placed just there at that time for me for inspiration as to what I could do with my 1000 yards?

Denise who dyes the yarn has some lovely patterns I could use, and her latest Flight of the Wild Silk Moths was created for this yarn, but it has nupps and I am not sure I am ready for them yet.  I would certainly entertain your suggestions as to possibilities if you want to leave them in the comments.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

When Drop Stitches Fall Off of the Needle

Or is that also known as when two worlds collide.  For just a moment tonight I panicked when three of my end stitches popped off the needle of my  Dalyan.

I've had a few times in this sweater that I have had to pull the knitting off of the needles, because the head was not paying attention to what the hands were doing.  Then I would just rip it back to a plain row, because frankly I did not want to take the time to figure out how to fix it in the row after the drop stitch.

It would seem that I should have taken a little time to figure it out, because all they really need to have done to them, is to turn the needles around, pop them back on the needle and knit them.

Voila, the row is fixed and now I can knit on my merry way on the sleeve.

I have to admit I am ready for this sweater to be finished.  I'm getting anxious to move onto something new, but first this thing is  in pieces and will need to be sewed up and finished.  That may take awhile and might not be a pretty sight.

Better have a glass of wine before I am embark on this one!