Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Aches and Pains, Tofutsies, Stitches

So, apparently I knit too much. My daughter informed me of this last month, as I went back to the house to retrieve my knitting as we were leaving to go run errands (one never knows when one will be able to get in a couple of rows, eh?)
"Mommy, you don't have to knit all the time!" she said, exasperated.

"That's what I tell myself!" I replied, as I fetched my socks. "But it doesn't work," I added.

Well, now, my left arm and shoulder hurt. I know it's from knitting because it only hurts on that side, and I'm a picker. I also know I don't sit right when I knit, that I don't stretch enough, etc. I actually had to stop knitting for a few days. I don't know how I accomplished it. (Yes, I do. It actually hurt to knit.)

I'm back knitting now but trying to take it a bit easier. Still, I did get a significant amount accomplished during my knitting frenzy.

More on the Yarntini Jaywalkers for my girl...

A pair of Tofutsies:

I'm not sure how I feel about this yarn. On the good side I love the colors, and the yarn works up into a very nice, soft, dense fabric that I'm sure will wear well (I tend to knit all my socks on zero needles, though, save for thicker sock yarn like jitterbug). Also, there's an INCREDIBLE amount of yardage, so it's a good value. I believe I could get a whole other pair of adult socks from what I have left. On the bad side...well it's incredibly, terribly splitty. Splitty with a capital "S". Splitty, splitty, splitty.

I also worked on Terrie's sweater. I'd put that down for a bit in favor of other projects, but it's back again, and almost finished save for one arm and the collar. I am not liking my finishing job on the one arm, though, so I will probably pull that and redo it. I don't know how, but I will.

Then there's some new and ongoing first log cabin blanket, for my daughter in Knit Picks Sierra, a yarn I see they've discontinued. Yeah, it looks a bit wonky, but I'm getting the hang of it. I'm going to block the hell out of it when it's done, and hopefully the wonkiness will disappear. I was sort of playing things by ear at the beginning.

I got the Sierra at a great price, about $2.99 a hank for 100 grams. It's a decent yarn but I was expecting it to be softer because of the alpaca. Still, my daughter really likes the colors and I know she's going to drag it around all over and cuddle under it. At least once it gets under 100 around here.

I've started the beginnings of a mitered scarf, too, in Patons SWS...

One of the things at Stitches that I did was take an all-day class in mitered knitting, taught by Ginger Luters. Very, very good class. I'm a visual learner, but also a kinesthetic one, and books alone don't do it for me. I bought Ginger's book as soon as I got home.

Stitches overall was an incredible experience, especially the market. I didn't buy much (some Blue Moon Lightweight in Jingle Bell Rock, and some gorgeous mohair/wool from Textiles a Mano). But I spent hours there, just browsing. Louet had set up a booth and I even hand-dyed a bit of yarn there. Lots of fun.

The other class I took was about gauge, and I can't fault the class but I knew everything already. Next time at Stitches I need to take more particularized classes, like the gansey and the miter class.

Also in Chicago I had big fun with my grad school pals Doris and Scott, who both loved the jitterbug socks I made for them. Had Thai food three times, which was still not enough for me!!!


And of course I had to order more yarn from Woolgirl. Some Union Center Knits in Woolgirl...

Some "Three Irish Girls" in Maureen:

Some Zen String Serendipity Fingering in Dahlia...

And I'm also expecting some Miss Babs as well. Jen's service is the best! I do have too much yarn, of course, but I am eyeing the Dashing Dachs (all sold out) greedily, and plan to make another purchase then.

I love knitting socks, and I give most of them away, so I can't be too angry with myself for buying yarn. I do need to buy more in masculine colorways, though!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We have a winner!

Thanks so much to everyone that entered the contest...

After several perusals of all the entries (which were all really funny--it was a tough decision), I decided on Sharon's:

"See kitty, that's how baby lambs are made!"

Wicked. I love it!

Of course there have been more yarn purchases and more knitting, but I think I will wait to post pictures of that. It's the first week of school and I'm beat.

Congrats again to Sharon! I'm sure she'll write all about her project on her blog.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

EZ BSJ, Yarn Pr0n, and this month's contest...

I should have posted the latest giveaway last month, but last month was…er…busy.

What with the roaming around everywhere and the airports and the driving and the…well, lots of knitting was accomplished, but no blogging.

My latest little masterpiece is this: The baby surprise jacket. Only it is not my masterpiece; it is EZ’s. It’s just the first time I’ve done it. It is a work to be taken completely on faith. Especially since EZ’s “instructions” are rather free-form, to be honest. Free-form but brilliant, just like the little jacket.
It’s for a wee boy named Jack, born just four days ago. Done in Zarina, which is just achingly lovely to work with. It’s supposed to be “reversible” but I didn’t make that choice. I could not seem to graft the seams properly, at least so that they didn’t look messy. So I just did a running stitch on the wrong side. Now there’s a seamy bump all along the shoulder and arm on the inside, but who cares? It looks beautiful. Did two lines of crochet along the neck just to neaten things, and added little pearly buttons. It’s so soft. Lucky Jack!

More. Yarn. Pr0n. For real this time. Just look at these two. They look completely innocent, don't they?

Jen from woolgirl assured me they would behave themselves. But the minute my back was turned...

YARNTINI! Get away from that Cherry Tree Hill solid, you naughty boy!

I gotta watch that Yarntini every second. Especially the variegated. I caught the chocolatini in my sock drawer yesterday putting the moves on a pair of navy jawoll knee socks.

But enough about the sex life of yarn. Here are some very nice skeins that aren't the least bit naughty. The following were bought last month during the 40% off sale at fullthreadahead. Some madil kid seta in a soft, girly pink...

Various skeins of CTH solids for some mitteny colorwork I am planning...

And some tofutsies, Interlacements Tiny Toes, and CTH in Serengeti and Monet...

And now, for the contest! Well, first, the results of last month’s (or rather June’s) contest…

Jo took the Cabin Cove and turned it into….

Retro Rib socks from IK Winter 2004. Great choice, Jo! Here’s a link to her blog so you can see them for yourself. The socks are under the entry for July 26th.

This month’s giveaway is….(drumroll)

Interweave Knits, and yarn!

Yes, it’s the Fall 2005 edition of Interweave Knits, including Nancy Bush's pattern for rib and cable socks, and the weekend getaway bag. And the yarn? It's a superwash merino sock wool from Karen Jordan.

As with the previous contest, my aim is not to add to anyone's stash, but to put yarn (and other knitterly prizes) to use. Thus, if you do enter, it is with the understanding that over the next month you will use the yarn, or the magazine, or both. (You don't have to knit Nancy's pattern with this yarn, but you could.) Then, you blog about using the yarn/magazine on your blog (which I will link), or send me pics so I can put 'em on mine.

As I really enjoyed the recent caption contest over at Mason-Dixon knitting, I've decided to have a caption contest as well. Funniest entry (judged by moi, of course...) wins. You may enter as many times as you like!

I will have to insist, however, that due to recent changes in cost and customs for packages going overseas, that this contest is only open to those in the US, as once school starts again (I teach, my daughter attends), I won't have the time to make a special trip to the p.o. to fill out a customs form.

And here is the picture you have to caption...

I'm going to give it until August 14th. Email me at with your entry/ies. By then I will be back from Stitches Midwest and can give a report on that, as well as reveal the winner of the contest!
Good luck!