Thursday, July 31, 2008

Knit and Crochet Show 2008

The best thing about attending the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH was the people. There is nothing like being surrounded by people who love yarn and all the wonderful stuff that goes with it. You can start a conversation with anyone - an attendee, a teacher, a vendor, a guild member manning the desk - and never know where it will end up! So much creative brain power/skill in one place.

Then of course there are the "celebrity" sightings: authors, publishers, bloggers, and yarn dyers galore. I was luck enough to chat with Jess and Casey of Ravelry fame for the second time (first was at Rhinebeck meet up last year). They are still wonderful! (Hey Caroline! Where's that picture of us with Jess and Casey?) Taking a class from Lily Chin was fun as well. If only I'd had the presence of mind to bring my Couture Crochet to have it signed. Ah, well.

And there were the hand made items sighted all over the place. Dresses, vests, shirts, skirts, wraps, all created in knit or crochet parading around on the bodies of the show goers. Yummy!

I had a real treat in spending some of my time teaching. It was impromptu. The lovely young lady taking tickets at the door to the Yarn Market wanted to relearn how to crochet. She can remember her grandmother teacher her at the age of six, but didn't remember what to do anymore. By Saturday afternoon, she was back at it with yarn and hook in hand. It was a lot of fun to teacher her, so I think we both enjoyed ourselves immensely. Hi D!

Speaking of the Yarn Market, I may have acquired a few new things!

Going clockwise:

From Adironcack Yarns: Four skeins of Alpaca Yumminess!

1) Blue - Baby Alpaca 60%/Pima Cotton 40% in a blue that will look great with jeans! I am intrigued by the idea of these two fibers together. The alpaca lends incredible softness and warmth, while the cotton lends some coolness without adding weight. I'm hoping that this will be a nice "in between" shawl or wrap to use in those warmer months.

2) Gray - I have lately been in search of the perfect grey and here I've found it. These 100% baby alpaca skeins will become an incredibly light and warm scarf for those days when digging out the car is an exercise in weather endurance!

From the Yarn and Fiber Company:

One huge skein of Helen's Laces to make the Arrows Stole! This was the one thing for which I was actively searching. I think the merino in hot pink will be just wonderful with this pattern. NOTE: To see the third lace panel, click on the pattern shop pictures

From Glory-ous Knits and Gifts comes three items all at 50% off:

Two skeins of Cherry Tree Hill and a really interesting shawl pattern (#8225) from Knit One Crochet Too - It requires the use of five different hooks which applies Faroese shaping and a shawl collar.

Lastly, on the yarn front from the Elegant Ewe came the lovely skein of Zephyr - 500 yards of Plum colored Merino and Tussah Silk. Yum. I will finally get my own Ziggy Lace Scarf from this. I've made two (here and here) and given them away. This one will be mine!

Then there are two shawl closures and the Cameo magnet meant for wearing and holding your darning needles.

From the Elegant Ewe - It matches Seraphina perfectly!

From Moonrise (look under knitting supplies)

MOON GODDESS SHAWL PEG Artemis or Diana Moon Goddess w/ Ocean Jasper. Diana was the Goddess of the wild, of the hunt. Jasper was a favorite of the Ancient Greeks, the name comes from the Greek Iaspis, meaning spotted stone. They believed it gave you the courage to speak out, and trust your abilities. Jasper is abundant and found in many varieties. This is Ocean Jasper from Madagascar named for the wavy patterns of grey/green/white and cream with flashes of iridescence, it looks mysterious and wild and each bead is different.

From Copeland Glass

I had a wonderful time and sincerely hope that this get together is in Manchester again next year!

P.S. On the crochet front I finally turned some of the left over Dream in Color from all those shawls into what my sister affectionately calls a Keppe Cover (aka kippah). It's still wet, but I let you know how the fit is once it dries! But, it is looking good so far. =-)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thank You ISE6

First, a thank you to my ISE6 pal who tried very hard to get her scarf across the Canadian/US border to me. Unfortunately, I think Customs took a shine to her work and kept it!

So, ISE6 assigned me an Angel since my package never arrived. All I can say is wow did CathyCate spoil me!! Thank you for your amazing generosity and ability to read my mind. =-)

Take a gander:
Now that I've posted I can open the lip balm and Shea Butter hand balm! I love trying new natural products. These are all local to CathyCate so I never could have gotten them here in New England.

Those skeins of Panda Cotton are currently living on my coffee table where I am hoping they will whisper what they want to be. I'm excited to crochet them as I have been wanting to try working with bamboo. These skeins are 59% bamboo, 25% cotton, and 16% elastic nylon in my favorite colors of blue and purple.

Want a closer look at some of it?

Here's the beautiful sun catcher made of copper wrapped around colored glass spheres. One of my weaknesses is glass. I love how light looks through it!Isn't the soap beautiful? It smells amazing as well!I have to admit when I saw the box with "Designs by Romi" on top my heart about stopped. I've been admiring these shawl pins for well over a year. To buy one has been on my long term wish list and now I have one! The shape of the pin is a wonderful match to the pattern in the shawl.
Oh, you want to see the shawl? Here it is modeled by CathyCate's daughter who is the same height as me (how convenient). I tried to take pictures of myself wearing it, but they didn't come out well. So, I borrowed a few pics with permission...Close up. Can you see the faint green stripes?How about now?
Yes, folks. Not only did she knit a full size Forest Canopy Shawl, she over dyed it to match my color preferences! (You can read the details here.) If you could see the finished shawl live, the green is a very subtle and beautiful accent. Think peacock feathers.
Sigh. I could not be happier.
Thank You!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells

Christmas in July!

The LYS is having a wonderful sale that ends today. Can you believe 30% off all yarn?! What I didn't realize was the sale loft was also included. Yes folks that means 25% off the original price, then another 30% off that!!!

Now, would you believe I just went in to look around? Would you believe I was fully prepared to leave empty handed? Well, I was prepared, but I knew better! Here are the goodies. =-)

From the sale loft came these three skeins of sock yarn that I have been admiring for a while. They are actually a deep green, but nothing I did could make the color come out right. Just trust me when I tell you it is pretty stuff. There is enough here for a good sized project. Don't ask me what. I haven't a clue. I felt very lucky to snag these. There was almost none of this stuff left and the color with the greatest quantity was the one I wanted! (I secretly think it was waiting for me.)

I fell in love with this yarn last time I wandered in, but had no project in mind and didn't think I could wear these muted colors (photo is a bit dark). I looked more closely yesterday and realized there was some purple in there.

See the purple mixed in with the brown and honey tones? Eureka! Purple = good. I headed straight for some sunlight and soon discovered it would work. Yup.
Love, love, love this yarn. So soft to the touch. It is my first ever Claudia Hand Painted and is in the Butter Pecan colorway. Now all I need is a pattern. I am considering Annette Petavy's shawl Celeste Shawl. (Shhhh. I know. I know. I remember Shawl-a-Holics Anonymous. I've admitted there is a problem, but do I have to recover from my addiction?)

How does 100% silk block? If it won't block nicely, then this shawl will not work. Anyone out there know?

So, that's the goodies. Saved $33. Totally worth listening to Christmas Carols in July. Off to pet the silk again and try to banish those darn carols from circling in my head...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Heads Up!

So, I really liked this pattern when I saw it on Kirsten's blog way back in November. If you don't read her blog yet, you should. She has adorable kids and creates wonderful knitted and crocheted items! This hat was very very quick to work up. In fact I made it in less than an hour before going to work yesterday morning! I want to try it in something softer so I can donate them as Chemo Caps. I'll be sure to buy coordinating yarns so I can add the flower to the next one. This yarn was hanging in the stash and I was curious how it would work. (Don't ask me where it came from - I have no recall of buying it or having it handed to me by someone! LOL)

By the way, like the model?

Status report:
The Crocus Bud shawl has now grown beyond this size to nearly three feet in length! A little each day and it will reach 70 inches in no time. =-)
I also fell down and went boom on the shawl thing again...
More on that next time!

ETA: O.K. my cat loving friends...Look familiar? More here. Thanks to Guido for the intro to this on-line comic!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Bunny Tale

As we all know, Ravelry is a dangerous wonderland of inspiration that sucks you in won't let go! It got me this morning with a suggestion. Looking for a beginner project for kids? Why not make Artsy Fartsy Mama's knitted bunny? Knitted? Wait, I crochet! Yup, had to try and create a crocheted version. Not bad...
Lion Brand Pound of Love in White & Turquoise
My fabric was approximately 6.25 inches square

Foundation: ch 31
Row 1: Sc in bump of 2nd chain from hook, sc in each stitch across (3o sc)
Row 2 on: Turn. Ch1, flsc in each stitch across until piece is square
Follow directions on original pattern to sew up.

I'm not quite there with this little guy yet. I think next time I'll use thinner yarn and work out a better way to stitch the back so it will be smooth, but secure.

I didn't make a pom-pom for the tail because I worry about the little pieces of yarn with young children. Tried to make one of loops which is O.K. but not great. If you have a good idea for a kid safe replacement, please leave a comment. =-)

Part of the reason I will be making more? This was the smallest bag of stuffing I could find at my local craft store!

Anyone need a bunny army? LOL

Friday, July 04, 2008

Shawl-a-holics Anonymous

At knit night last week Caroline and I were discussing what appears to be my recent shawl addiction. I counted it up and since March, I have made SEVEN shawls! Now, only three of them were mine, however, I think I am addicted. The last was made in just three days (Seraphina)!

MARCH: Dream in Color Smooshy in Midnight Derby
My Blue Jeans Shawl (severely stretched)
MARCH: Dream in Color Smooshy Nightwatch
My Blue Jeans Shawl (severely stretched)
APRIL: Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue
Annie's Attic Quick-to-Stitch Pray Shawls "Prayer for Comfort"

MAY: Dream in Color Smooshy in Gothic Rose
My Blue Jeans Shawl (severely stretched)

JUNE: Dream in Color Smooshy in In Vino Veritas
My Blue Jeans Shawl (severely stretched)

JUNE: Dream in Color Smooshy in Some Summer Sky
My Blue Jeans Shawl (severely stretched)

JUNE: Shakespeare color 09

Seraphina Shawl

And of course what was the next item I began stitching?

#205 Crocus Bud Crocheted Shawl (scroll down) in Zweena's Earth Friendly Yarns Lace Weight in color Sweet Pea

I may need help...