Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Troubles

Anyone else have this problem?
Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Finished the Maelstrom

Well, here are the Maelstrom, a wonderful pattern by Cookie A. I got it from the Twist Collective, first edition, and enjoyed the knitting. I am disappointed in the finished socks, for obvious reasons. Look at the colors pool. Also, (this is my own fault), I should have used a solid or a semi-solid color to knit this very beautiful pattern. It is totally obscured by the yarns color changes. This is Socks that Rock in "Quiet Riot" and let's just say that it is not so very "Quiet", shall we? *grin* Fortunately for me, these socks will still keep my feet warm and comfortable. Lesson learned.

My knitting right now is consisting of various small Christmas things, and of course I am still working slowly on the MS4. Don't know when I will be finishing that. I am only just a bit more than 1/2 way done. Another project that I'm not very happy with the yarn. Hmmmm.

No real yarn shopping lately. For one thing, Danny is in AZ and it is more fun to go to yarn shops when I can drag him with me. (Don't ask me why, this is very puzzling. He is the Mugglest of Muggles when it comes to knitting) But also, there is the money aspect. I am trying to be good and use up stash. I hate to use it up, though. What if all the sheep in the world suddenly go bald? I am depending upon my stash to see me through just that type of crisis!!! One has to be prepared.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One more post with The Shawl

I had to add these pics to our little collection. Lizzie and Josh took some great shots of the shawl (and Lizzie) on their honeymoon.

Ok, it's out of my system now. Aren't you relieved? Lately it's been hard to get on the computer. We moved. We ALL moved! Lizzie, of course, moved out when she got married in June, Corinne moved in with a couple of roommates, Danny moved to Arizona to begin his new job (I will go down there later on after he is established for a while) and Danielle and I moved into an apartment here. What a lot of work it was and so emotional. Talk about empty nest! We ALL flew the coop!

But Danny emails and calls every day to tell us about what he is doing there, and the kids come see me regularly. I am working a lot...we're fine, just lonesome for each other!

Knitting: I am working on a pair of socks from the Twist Collective, the first issue, called Maelstrom. Love them so far, but I don't love the yarn. It's my second pair with Socks that Rock and I didn't like the other ones either. So, I guess I'm an odd duck, not liking the yarn that everyone on the planet is in love with!

Maybe I'm doing it wrong. I think I need to alternate rows and balls of yarn to keep from pooling. But I am too lazy lately. Oh, well. Not to worry. I will still wear them.

That's enough for now. See what I mean? No time!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Clue 2 complete

Here are my photos of Clue 2. I am now 1/2 way through clue 3, and will put them up when I get there. I am having a tough time finding much real quality knitting time, since I am packing up the house in my free time. Moving to an apartment means having to get rid of all the "stuff" we have accumulated over the years. How can 5 people collect so much junk? Since 2 of the girls are now out of the house, there are only 3 of us now. Danny got a job in AZ and so will move down there. I am staying here for a while, so it will just be 2 of us in the apartment-me and Danielle. How weird is that? Danny will visit often, flying back and forth between AZ and WA. I am keeping my job and that will help us get back on our feet after his long unemployment. (Since Feb.)

Anyway, all the details of our personal trek aside, Clue 3 is going great. No beads now, just smooth sailing through all the YOs and K2 togethers, etc. Love lace,don't you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Here are the Ribbons

I picked up the shawl from the fairgrounds today, despite the fact that my tooth is killing me. Really..killer toothache. I have to see the dentist tomorrow. Anyhow, here also is a photo of the adjudication , which to my disappointment didn't give too much in the way of helpful info. I did score 95% out of 100%, so I couldn't have missed first place by too much.
It says under cleanliness "a few iffy places on edge". I don't know if they were speaking of cleanliness as in dirty, or cleanliness as in cleaness of lines and patterns or blocking, etc. Guess I'll never know. Oh, well. I don't even know who does the judging. Hope it was a knitter, that's all. I'm sure it was. It certainly was fun entering in the fair and I will definitely do it again with another project. The best part was going down to the fairgrounds and finding where they had displayed the shawl and seeing that ribbon for the first time.

Ok, now, just for the fun of it, here is my daughter Corinne's guinea pigs, Lilly and Minerva. Cute in their little outfits. Such little hams for the camera.
Sorry girls...poor piggies only got machine made sweaters.
Happy knitting!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mystery Stole 4

Just completed 1/2 of clue #1. (We have to knit it twice, since the stole is knit from both ends toward the middle and joined by grafting-yes, my old friend lace grafting)

Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

The yarn I'm using is Malabrigo Laceweight in Sealing Wax. Very beautiful with ruby red beads. I'm enjoying the pattern, designed this year by Melanie's Mom, Georgina. I haven't done any of the previous Mystery Stoles, but Melanie is of Pink Lemon Twist fame and was the designer in the previous years. Georgina is her Mom and designed this beautiful piece for this years KAL. Their patterns including previous Mystery Stoles are available for purchasing on her blog site.

The yarn I began with was the Shadow lace yarn from Knit Picks in the Oregon Coast colorway. It is such beautiful yarn and I'm certain that I will use it for something else, but I didn't like it for the MS4. I'm linking it for you, though, because this yarn is simply wonderful to knit with. It is smooth without being slippery, soft as butter (100% merino wool) and it has a halo to it when you knit that gives it a beautiful look without the hairy-ness of a mohair. Plus, it is only $2.99 for a 50 gr. hank. All that said, it wasn't the color I needed for this stole in order to make me happy. So, I reached into my stash and pulled out the Malabrigo. Big name yarn right now, you hear about it all the time. I bought it some time ago at Churchmouse Yarns on Bainbridge Is.

I had stashed a bunch of this pretty yarn which is softer than anything you can imagine and spun loosely. Problem? My dry hands. My hands are such a mess, dry skin and cuticles that are so embarrassing. Answer? Well, for the short term, I pulled out my St. Ives Apricot Scrub. Got my hands wet and then scrubbed with about a tablespoon of the stuff for a few minutes. Rinse, rinse, rinse, then lotioned with Vaseline hand and nail conditioning lotion. Long term, though, I went to Walmart and bought myself a present. I had been listening to the podcast "The Knitmore Girls" and Jasmine had said that she bought herself a Paraffin wax bath for her hands. I couldn't wait to get to Walmart for mine. I wanted one of these a couple of Christmases ago and when it didn't materialize under the tree, I just forgot it. Now was my time. I had some tip money left from last weeks tips and so I went for it. It will help the arthritis, too.
So there is my answer to knitting with Malabrigo yarn. Lots of hand pampering. This yarn was catching on every little spot on my fingertips. It will be better now. Here is another tip for the Malabrigo: it felts so easily. Just placing it in your knitting bag loose and letting it sort of bounce around sort of "felts" it with itself. It sticks to itself very easily. Solution? Place yarn in a sandwich bag or knit from the outside of the ball not a center pull. Very helpful to me.

Ok...thats it for today. Got my Wool Gathering in the mail and it's calling my name.

Keep knitting!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quite a While, I Know...

Well, remember this?
Here is the shawl today...

Yes, that is a second place ribbon at the Puyallup Fair in W. Washington. I'm very pleased and proud. I am looking forward to receiving the adjudication paper (Judges opinions on my knitting) and learning how I can work at better lace knitting. I know that my grafting needs work, for instance. At least my lace grafting. Kitchenering a toe is easy....complicated lace patterns, are another! And try to find a book or website that has very much help with that!

Thought you'd like some wedding photos...we still don't have the "official" photos back yet, but these are some pretty good snapshots that someone took. That first one is Lizzie with her Josh and her Mom-in-Law and Dad-in-Law, Lynnette and Tom.
Then, our friend Jean and Lizzie holding the shawl, and the third pic is of the wedding party.. from left to right, Danielle, Corinne (Lizzie's sisters), Lizzie, Josh, Brandon (Best Man and Josh's cousin) and Jason, Josh's best friend from his band.
Lately I have been knitting on the Mystery Stole 4. I had gotten quite far into clue #2 and just didn't like my yarn choice or how the fabric looked. So I frogged and began again with some new yarn. I will post a picture when I get a bit further along. Maybe when I finish clue #1. Of course now I am behind the group, since Georgina the designer just released clue #3 on Friday. Arrrgh! Oh, well. It is not a race, just a fun knit. Right?
Glad to be "back"...I hope I can post more often now. Life has sure gotten crazy around here. But I miss blogging and since I got a new phone that takes great pictures, I'm hoping that will inspire me to blog more often!
Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A New Sock is Born

Well, it's in the process, anyway. My Mom-in-law, Sylvia, bought me this sock yarn when I was down there in June. It's Opal Yarn, and the label is mostly German, so I can give few details. It is 75%superwash virgin wool and 25% polyamid. It's colorway is called Inspiration #1129. It looks so different when knitting it into a sock than it does in the skein. I love it. So cute. It was on sale at Mom's LYS. If you go to this Opal site, you can preview their new yarn colorways for fall (such as Harry Potter. They have one named Tonks, one named Ron, one named Dumbledore...and so on. Very nice and if you're a Potter fan, it's a lot of fun to knit socks named for your favorite characters.

So today I am knitting away on the sock and listening to the latest Knitmore Girls podcast. I love hearing Gigi and Jasmin gab about their knitting. If you want some fun, download their little podcast to your ITunes and give a listen. You don't need an Ipod to do it. Just download ITunes to your computer and you can begin downloading all kinds of nice knitting podcasts! I listen to so many podcasts. Danny bought me an IPod for Christmas and I use it everyday. As I have said, I knit at work on my breaks instead of watching the stupid TV that is always blaring in the breakroom. So I just plug my IPod into my ears and enjoy my podcasts or some nice music while I knit.

I finished the little Hug Me shrug. It is kind of funny looking, since a shrug is really just a big rectangle with arms formed out of the ends. But here is a photo:

I like the way it turned out and I hope I can get a picture of it on it's recipient someday. Speaking of pictures, still no wedding photos. UGH!! It's killing me that I don't have them. As far as the Shetland Tea shawl goes, though, I have a new plan. Lizzie and Josh are going to help me re-block it so it is nice and fresh and then we are going to enter it into the Fair!!! At least that is my plan. I have to find out the details about how and when. So more about that later.

Bye for now! Keep on knitting!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hug Me!

I have no pictures today, since my camera has disappeared. (I think my daughter has it somewhere) But I have a pattern to pass along. I am furiously knitting on a little "Hug Me" shrug. It is the most adorable pattern and was FREE on the internet. Don't you love free stuff? I like the blog I found it on: Let Me ExplaiKnit. Sara explains knitterly things. This little shrug is for a toddler size, but really, it would be a simple pattern to make in any size you wanted if you wanted.

I finished the plain grey socks and gave them to Josh. No word yet if they fit properly. I had forgotten how long I knit the foot on the previous pair I'd given him. I have also (seems ages ago) finished the Monkey socks. I haven't washed and blocked them yet, but they are sitting there behaving themselves, waiting for me to find time and inclination.

I have missed Knit Club for a few weeks now since my schedule at work has been changing constantly. I am frustrated at not being there and miss it greatly. Hi, girls, if you're reading this!

Ok, this isn't much of a post, but I have a dentist appointment in an hour, so I'd better get ready.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here's a cool link

I only have a minute, but wanted to pop in and post this link to a nice little online magazine. Their 6th issue is out and here is the link to it. Knit on the Net is a fun read and cute patterns. It is a UK production and I quite enjoyed looking at this issue. Thought you might want to have a look.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day trip, new book...

Took a day trip today. My hubby and I just had to get out of the house and go somewhere. We drove to Bainbridge Island and I got to visit Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, one of my fave knit shops. I took the socks I am knitting for keeping busy in the car while Danny drove.

These are my two at a time socks. Plain grey socks knitted with Fortissima Socke for Josh, my new son-in-law. He won't wear any socks but Plain Grey Socks. So here they are. And no, I am not knitting them on two cirular needles, or even one long circular needle. I am knitting them at one time on DPN's. The "old-fashioned-and-yet-comfortable-because-circular-needles-for-socks-drives-me-crazy-way". I really have tried. More than once. And it isn't that I can't do it. Even just the plain Magic Loop drives me nuts. I can do it. But do I want to? No. Let the knitting world make all of their socks on circs. I am resisting. And my daughters will tell you how hard it is to change my mind once I have made it up. *grin*

Ok, enough of sounding so defensive! So, I'm in the car, knitting. The perfect day. And 45 minutes at Churchmouse. I bought two small skeins of the Regia Kaffe Fasett sock yarn, in the Landscape Caribbean 4260 colorway. I browsed, picked up some tea for my daughter, Corinne, and also bought a book I'm quite excited about. It is Folk Knitting in Estonia by Nancy Bush. The book has beautiful projects in it, nearly all of them stunning colorwork-mittens, gloves, socks. Hilia's Mittens on page 75 are so sweet and so pretty. Also intriguing me are Anv's Christmas Gloves. I have never made gloves OR mittens, so it will be fun to pull this out one of these days when I am through with all the socks in my plans. Here is the "thing" that sold me on this wonderful book however. More than the patterns and the pages of history (which I always love to read in any knitting book) was an Estonian Folk Song titled Beautymaker. I won't type out the whole song here because of copyright, but here is one line: "Joy tucked between burdens." What a wonderful way to describe knitting. Of course, knitting can also be a joy "tucked" between joys. But when I think of the joy that knitting brought to me when I first had learned it, while I was still so challenged by the burdens that I had to bear, this song fits so very well and makes my heart glad.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Secret Desire

I have an unspoken theory. It is my personal belief that everyone secretly wants to be a knitter. There. I said it. I have thought long and hard about this and yes, I believe it to be true.

There are several reasons I have for thinking that knitting is the secret desire of every person. For one thing, since I began knitting I have made it a habit to work on my projects on every break at work. Instead of sitting in the employee dining room, I like to sit in the break room, plug my Ipod into my ears and knit. I knit on socks, shawls, sweaters, whatever I am currently knitting gets spread out over the table as I while away my 30 minutes. This attracts a certain amount of attention as most of my co-workers are not knitters, but secretly desire to be one. They will walk by on their way to the smoking "porch" and sneak looks at what I am working on. Or openly check it out. Sometimes a brave one will sit down and begin asking questions. "What is it?" or "That looks complicated...I don't know how you do it!" or the classic, "I would never have the time to do that." (Never mind that they see me working at the same full time job as themselves-guess they think I sit around on my keester when I'm off work.) Then, most times, they get reminiscent about a knitter that they know and love...a grandmother, a mother, a favorite aunt. They speak lovingly about a knitted item that they treasure. See where I'm going with this? Deep down, they have the heart of a knitter. An appreciation for the time and effort that went into that sweater or scarf that their loved one made them. Deep down, they would like to knit.

When I give someone a knitted item, it is appreciated much. Non-knitters who receive knitting often marvel at it's complexity. Mind you, that means a simple garter stitch scarf. But I still remember those days when even the simplest knit patterns seemed like magic to me. (Come to think of it...they still do!) They wish they had the ability to make such a wondrous thing. And for one fleeting moment, they wistfully contemplate knitting in a way they never did before. Time seems to stand still as the thought is formulated in their minds.

"What if......?"

Then, almost as quickly as it came, the look is gone as they dismiss it as impossible, thinking, "I would never have time to do that!" But I know that deep down, they would like to knit.

Several times, I have inspired someone to take up knitting again. Perhaps they learned to knit as a child or teen, sitting at their grandmother's knee. They see me knitting and it get's them thinking about knitting again. Next thing I know, they are showing me their latest project, having a blast knitting a scarf or a pair of socks. You see, deep down, they wanted to knit and yet it was repressed for years. Only after being a witness to someone elses knitting were they set free. Deep down, they wanted to knit. (Yes, I know that this sounds a bit like Sleeping Beauty, but you must remember that Sleeping Beauty had been spinning when she fell into her deep sleep. That proves an "intent to knit" and I'm sure she was up and searching the castle for some fleece when she was awoken from her sleep! A knitter cannot be detered, even by an accidental hundred year nap!)

I'm sure you are thinking, "But not everyone knits. Some people never think of knitting. What about them?" Here is the thing. Knitting itself creates a peace of mind-a state of being that is enviable. When knitting, the knitter finds him/herself relaxing and allowing the troubles of the day to melt away. No, not everyone has found this out. Yet.

Many, many people are still searching for that kind of peace. They plug into music or watch TV. They play video games or walk the dog. But we who are knitters know that it is only a matter of time. One day, when they least suspect it, someone will hand them a knitted item as a gift and the wheels will start to turn. Because it is an irresistible force, knitting. Deep down...yes. Everyone wants to knit.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Monkey on the Fence

The fence that divides our yard from our neighbors was the perfect place to hang the Monkey Socks today when I wanted to photograph them. I have been having fun knitting these socks once I got the yarn sorted out. It is such a fun and interesting pattern. The heel is sort of baggy.
I am hoping that it will block nicely and be a better fit. Here is a close up of the stitch pattern. My camera cooperated today! Yaaaay! Close-ups are usually not a thing I can accomplish!
Ok, this next shot is crooked so you can see a bit of the trees in my neighborhood. These trees are on the other side of our house, too. Even closer, though. So you can imagine my nervousness when there is a wind storm!! A big piece of one them fell into our backyard only a couple of months ago.
Other acquisitions....the cute knitting bag is from Josh and Lizzie. They honeymooned on the Oregon Coast and found this little basket bag in a shop there. Perfect for a pair of socks in the works! The mag from the UK and Charlene Schurch & Beth Parrotts' Little Box of Socks is a purchase I made today in Seattle when my sweet hubby and I went for a nice knitting drive. No, I didn't say I "knit and drive". He did the driving. I did the knitting. A knitting drive! Sounds more exciting than "a knitting ride", don't you think?
As soon as I get wedding pics, I will post them, I promise. The wedding was wonderful, marvelous and more. But I will wait to tell about it until I have photos.

Happy Independence Day, and happy knitting!!

PS....I linked The Little Box of Socks to Knit Picks for a reason! 40% off all books right now. Their big Summer Book Sale. And free shipping with purchases over $50. Need I say more? Now get over there and shop, people!

PS....sorry for the advertising. But whoa! Good deals like that can't be ignored, right? Right?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monkey in the Middle of the wedding craziness!!

Just a quick visit to the blog today...we are so busy getting ready for the wedding. But I took some pics of my current project "on the needles".
This is a "Monkey" sock, a pattern made famous on Knitty in the Winter 2006 issue. (Link here) Cookie A, the designer did a terrific job of making lace look exactly like cables, don't you think? I love the pattern so far, however I have had problems with the yarn I'm using.
The yarn is Socks that Rock by Blue Moon Fiber Arts in medium weight. It is a colorway called "Barney Rubble". First of all, it pools. R-e-e-e-e-a-l-l-y pools. See that pink? It is all pooled together in that one spot. The back of the sock is blue and yellow. The biggest problem I had with this yarn however, is its tendency to twist on itself. I wound it in to a center pull ball using my ball winder and started knitting. Before the cuff was done, it had twisted on a piece of itself and begun to tangle. I didn't realize the extent of what tangling was happening, though. I kept knitting and pushing the twist back into the center of the ball. Then I decided to pull the center of the ball out and rewind just that. Mistake. It was a tangled mess that took me about 1 1/2 hours of work to fix. And I had to cut the yarn in two places. Yuck! I have it wound in a regular ball that pulls from the outside now, so I shouldn't have any more troubles. Hopefully!
This is the little turtle stitch marker I got from Yarn Lust. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Shawl for an Important Day

I have been hard at work since February knitting a very important project. A wedding shawl. Josh proposed marriage to Lizzie in December and she said "Yes!" They will be married on June 28th at our church. Shortly after they became engaged, Lizzie asked me to knit her a Pi shawl that she would wear instead of a traditional veil. Of course I agreed. We began searching for shawl patterns that would work well for this purpose, finally settling on the Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace. The picture that convinced Lizzie was a photo of the completed shawl we found online by Knitabulous. This very nice person had substituted the Spider Webs and Diamonds pattern for the Diamond Madeira pattern that is in the original shawl. I corresponded with her a bit to find out where she had found the extra pattern, and low and behold, she had gotten it from the very next pattern in the Gathering of Lace book, which is a Sampler Stole. We decided I would add this pattern to the original, in order to make the shawl a bit larger. So, I was "off and running". It was February. I have been knitting lace like a Granny on steroids since then, barely stopping to breathe, hauling that shawl everywhere I went, praying that I didn't spill tea or Starbucks on it, hoping that I was a clever enough knitter to pull it off. Finally, on the last weekend in May, it was completed, and last weekend I blocked the thing.

The photo up top is the pre-blocking photo. It looks all small and shrivel-y. Now here are some shots of the "after blocking"...

I purchased Knit Picks "Bare" yarn for this project, and loved working with it. It took one whole 880 yard hank to knit all of the body of the shawl and a small part of the knitted on edging. I had ordered two hanks just in case, so I had more yarn to finish with. It is a lovely merino wool laceweight and was just right once blocked for the shawl. We wanted something that was heavier than a cobweb weight, but still delicate enough for wedding wear. After knitting the "horseshoe pattern" which is this one here at the bottom of the photo,

I got a bit worried about the size of the shawl, which I was knitting on size three circular needles. I changed to a size 4 and completed the shawl on those. It turned out to be about 69" in diameter when finished, which was a few inches short of what I would have desired, but still fine.

This is my second Pi Shawl and is much more "intricate" than the first, most of it being true lace knitting. I didn't use a lifeline, but only frogged back once during the whole thing, and that was because of the needle size thing, and only lost 5 rounds of work.

The funny thing is, having just finished this shawl and spent nearly 4 months on it, you would think I would be tired of it. But really, after blocking it, praying over it ( I wanted to pray during the knitting of it for an enduring and blessed marriage for my daughter and her wonderful Josh, my new son) I really was thinking to myself, "Gee, don't I have some pretty JaggerSpun Zepher Silk Wool laceweight that would look fantastic in this pattern? Hmmmmmm..." So you never know. I may end up knitting a fraternal twin shawl for myself someday!

If I have left out any info you'd like to know about the Shetland Tea Shawl, please leave a comment and I will be glad to try to give it in my next entry or email you if you leave your email address. Thanks so much to "Knitabulous", and to Meg Swansen, and of course, to Dale Long, the designer of this spectacular shawl. Lizzie's wedding will be all the more memorable because of you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Blurry Socks

Ok, that first picture is EXTRA blurry. I need a new camera (or a photography course, maybe). But you can get the general idea of the socks I am knitting. It is Cascades Heritage handpainted sock yarn in Isle of Skye Paint #9825. I bought it at my Ben Franklin and am very happy with how beautifully it knits up, however, it is a fine fingering and I am using size 1 needles, instead of my usual #2's. I guess the yarn I usually use for socks is a bit thicker. So these socks are going to take a bit longer than usual, but I like the colors. Plain "vanilly" real pattern, just measured my gauge, and my leg, and cast on.

Yes, I have been slacking off when it comes to blogging again, but I have been knit, knit, knitting away. Next time I will share the big project I have been devoting all my time to. It was finished at last after 4 months of work, just this past weekend.

I got to knit this past weekend as I visited my Mom-in-law, Sylvia. So nice to sit and knit together. She is knitting socks and I wish I had had my camera with me since the cute pair she was working on were turning out so wonderfully. We also got to visit her knit store there in Crescent City, CA. It is called "A Perfect Stitch". Just a small small store, but I couldn't believe all the wonderful yarn they had managed to fit into that small space. Mom bought herself some great sock yarn and also made a gift to me of the yarns I had chosen! So you will see those yarns on the blog one of these days.

Meanwhile, I have been asked to reproduce a pair of socks that I knit for my Dad a couple of years ago. He wore them out finally, and needs a replacement pair. So it looks like socks are the summer projects for me this year. And since I just finished the shawl, (whoops! there is a hint...) I am ready for smaller projects for a while.

More about that shawl next time. Happy knitting!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Yarn Fix

That's right. Got a yarn fix today. Danny drove 3 of us to Fancy Image Yarn in Shelton, WA. Myself, Danielle, and Lizzie. Corinne worked the early shift today so she missed this trip. What a nice shop! I was impressed from the moment I walked in the door with the beautiful colors I found. Most of the yarns are hand dyed by the owner, Myra Hansen. I bought a few skeins...

Got one more for Lizzie, and a cute bag for Danielle, too. My camera can't possibly do these colors justice. There were so many beautiful yarns and I will definitely go back for more when I can add some $ to the budget for yarn. In fact, Myra has a Yarn of the Month Club that would be so fun. She sends out a different DK weight yarn each month, each dyed especially for the Club members. During that month, the special yarn is also available for purchase if you wish to buy more. Fun! And at $179.40 for 13 months, you get a good deal on the skeins. (normally only $14.95, which is already a great price for 250 yards of hand dyed machine washable merino wool.) I bought a skein of this wool, in the red and gray colorway, also 2 skeins of her fingering wt. Couldn't resist the blue know me!

When I walked in the shop, I was greeted by a cheerful woman who showed us around and Myra came in after while and even offered to wind up the skeins of yarn I was purchasing. If ever in or around Shelton, WA be sure to check out Fancy Image Yarn. It is a fun place with friendly people. And enough hand dyed yarn to make you drool!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ties That Bind

A big hello! Just thought I would "check in" before heading off to work. I want to thank those of you who have left me comments lately. I am surprised that anyone at all is still checking my blog after my "disappearance" and am so pleased that you are. So thanks to Tina and Jenni, and also to my knitting idol, Kelley! See the sidebar for their blogs and for other interesting and fun blogs to read. I have so many more in my favorites that I read regularly and need to make some time to add them here. One of these days soon, I promise. Thanks also to the FNKC, (Friday Night Knitting Club), who give me a hard time if I am not blogging! I need their encouragement! You girls are so great!

I have been working on more of the fingerless gloves for Mom (step-mom, if you will) She asked if I would make some for her, and also for their friend. So, a black pair for the friend are all done...

And the yarn that looks a bit like a Yorkshire Terrier there is SWS (Patons). I am using that to make Mom's pair. It is kind of weird to knit with. First of all, it is slippery. Not too bad though, since I am using my Brittany wood dpn's. Made from wool and soy, it has a wonderful shine and the colors are beautiful. But it isn't a twisted ply and therefore splits easily. I have to knit a bit more slowly as a result. It reminds me a bit of Brown Sheep yarn, but prettier.

Here also is a picture of one of my projects I did this winter, a scarf. The pattern was in last years "Knitting" page-a-day calendar. Berroco's Ultra Alpaca was used and it turned out very nice. Ultra Alpaca is a very springy yarn. I have used it before for a shawl and liked it very much. It is very affordable and Berroco created some lovely colorways for it, also. I used the Light Gray, since that is what I had in my stash, having picked up two hanks while shopping last year at the Acorn Street Shop in the University District of Seattle. Wonderful store, by the way. I make a point to drive up there and browse every so often. I always find something to take home. They have lots of yarns, including sock yarns, laceweight, specialty type stuff, and loads of "everyday" type yarn. They also have spinning stuff, needlepoint and embroidery stuff, needles, and friendly helpful staff.

That is my Great Grandmother's quilt in the background of the picture. I use it a lot when I photograph my knitting. It makes me happy that a grandmother I never knew (she died a few years before I was born) and who never would have dreamed of a thing called a blog has a little "presence" here once in a while. She pieced that quilt in 1940, and then never quilted it. I did the quilting in 1992, which again gave me a thrill, working on a project "with her". I knew a bit of how Natalie Cole felt when she recorded "Unforgettable" as a duet with her father, Nat King Cole. Just thinking of my hand quilting, tracing her own invisible "handprints" on the fabric, made each stitch special and each hour spent on the quilt enjoyable. It took me 6 months to quilt (it was only my second quilting project or it would have been a bit faster). I love the feather pattern and the sawtooth piecing of the quilt. I no longer quilt, knitting is the passion now. But I know that with each heel I turn, with every row of ribbing and each dropped stitch, my Great Grandma would smile and say, "Yes...I was also a Passion Knit Girl. Knit on, Honey, knit on!" Knitting, quilting, sewing, embroidery,'s in the blood of the women and men in my family. And is one more tie that binds us together through the generations.

Until next time, keep knitting!