Friday, April 25, 2008

You Can Never Have Too Many Knitting Bags!

I had the misfortune of working all day when my husband and my parents got to take an entire day to go shopping at the outlet mall near us. They were outside in the sunshine while I toiled away in my home office. I was so touched when my husband brought me some gourmet chocolate (oh yeah - he loves me) and my parents brought me this:

It may look like just a purse but I was told it was a knitting bag. They searched each store for something special for me. It had to zip on the top and have room for patterns and yarn. Plus room for a wallet and a cell phone. I think they did very well - especially since it only cost $19!

The coolest thing about this bag is that everything you see on the inside can be removed. That way I could use it as a purse with just one project or I could put one big project with all of the yarn in it. Very thoughtful!


Today I went back to AC Moore to pick up the rest of the yarn needed to make a knitted rug for my in-laws. They didn't have enough so I had to head over to Michael's. As I was leaving a quilted bag caught my eye. I've seen so many of these before but never one that was perfect for what I wanted. This was the perfect color, perfect design and only cost $6.99!

Great deal for a great bag. It has already been designated as my knitting bag for the knit rug using the Sugar'n Cream yarn that was on sale 99 cents each at AC Moore.

I can't wait to get started on this. I found a full skein of the yarn as well at Michael's and used my 40% off coupon for it. I'd like to throw in a couple hand towels to match. It works so nicely! I may have to just make this my summer purse and take my knitting everywhere!

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Packages

I was ready to take pictures of the 2 charity packages I was expecting to get in the mail today but neither showed up. Blech! That means I should have the entire weekend to work on the v-neck hoodie for Will. Not bad.

I cleaned up my yarn again and re-thought my next couple projects. By doing that I had to update The List. I get overwhelmed if I'm not organized and The List helps me stay in a good place mentally whenever I start thinking about all of the yarn I own. Here's The List in it's current state:

The left column above the dotted line is everything that I have yarn for. This doesn't include my left overs or random balls of yarn that I get from swaps. This is stuff that I purchased for a specific reason. I'm noticing a trend for scarves . . . I have a feeling that this time next year I'll have a similar list for sweaters.

Below the dotted line on the left hand side is stuff that I have been either asked to knit or want to knit for someone else AND the yarn isn't purchased yet. This helps me when I hear of a sale or have a really good coupon to use. I may see if I already have yarn that will work for the two scarves requested.

The right hand column are the charity projects that will be coming my way in the next month or so. So far I've got six listed with 2 that should have arrived today. These take 1-2 nights each to work on so it's a great break from a main project.

As I organized the cats slept in my office cuddled together. . .

And Samson snored, I wish I could get that on film sometime . . .

I tried to get a close up of Gracie's face but she perked up as I got closer . . .

Can I be a cat now? I think it's time for my nap too!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

V-Neck Hoodie Progress

Have I mentioned lately that I just love patterns from Knitting Pure and Simple?

The last pullover I did was a breeze. This one is still fun and simple but there are a few things added that are keeping my attention. The v-neck is so cool looking, I'm approaching the section for the side slits and I can't wait to see how the hood is made.

It's so relaxing to just knit in the round. I've got about an inch to go before I have to start thinking again.

The color is very rich but I think the first skein of yarn that I'm using might have been sitting at the LYS for a while. There are long sections of normal yarn and then I run into a patch of thin bunched up yarn that feels like it could break easily. The LYS was closing so there's nothing I can do about it now. I'm just hoping that everything will fluff up once it's washed.

I'm next in line to get a few charity projects from my Knitting Help charity groups. I'm looking forward to getting those in the mail this week and adding my sections. It helps break up my knitting time and gives me a chance to work with different types of yarn that I'm not normally using.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

08 Resolutions?

I got thinking about what my knitting resolutions were for 2008 and I think I'm off track.

1. Learn how to knit using two circular needles
2. Knit a project using color work techniques (more than one color in a row)
3. Finish the Great American Aran Afghan

Let's just be honest. I will not finish that afghan this year. If I did, it would be the only project I worked on for the rest of the year. I would be miserable. I'm going to modify that to completing half of the squares needed to finish GAAA by the end of this year. If I happen to do more, that's cool.

That feels better.

For the knitting on two circular needles goal I'm going to need to buy another set of interchangeable needles. Do I buy another older set on eBay like the one that I have now or do I splurge and get the Knit Picks Options? If I do that, what's it going to be like working with two different types of needles?

I definitely want to knit myself some funky socks. I've gotten bit by the sock knitting bug and it's really, really bad. I'm shopping online and finding socks that will end up being around $22 a pair because the yarn is so lovely. I'm too cheap for that right now.

A project with multiple colors is actually possible this year. It could be a small hat that I just play around with until I feel comfortable. I was reading up on the TKGA guidelines for what Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced are and I think adding color work to my techniques would make me a solid Intermediate knitter.

For next year I think I'd like to look at taking some of the TKGA classes and possibly signing up for their Masters program. To do that though I'd have to make sure that 2007 has lots of stash busting projects because I have no room for more yarn.

Overall I think I made some good goals for this year. It helped me look at my knitting skills and assess where I'm at along with where I want to go. It's a long road but I'm definitely enjoying the ride!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Birthday Booty

I turned 30 last month and got completely spoiled by my family. My parents took me shopping for some much needed clothes, both for dressy and casual. My husband bought me a Giants football jersey. I was very excited because it's actually cut for a ladies measurements. I was floating in the men's jerseys and it looked like a dress going all the way down to my knees. He also took me bowling, we had a steak dinner and then went to a movie. Quite the perfect day!

My mother & father in law sent a check to my husband with specific instructions. He was to cash the check and take me directly to Sheep Thrills. I was to purchase a set of fancy-schmancy Lantern Moon needles. We had visited this LYS at Christmas time and we all just drooled over those luxury needles made in Vietnam. My husband decided to buy me a pair too:

Super cool. I got a pair in Rosewood and another in Blondwood. So pretty, such a luxury that I would never purchase for myself. I'm the type of knitter that waits for a coupon for Micheal's or AC Moore to get the needles I need. Never have I ever spent $19 on a pair of needles.

My birthday was a great weekend that really helped welcome me to my thirties. I had a great time and enjoyed spending time with my family. In the past there were times where I had to stop and think how old I was. This birthday made me feel special and I loved that my family took time to do that. I look forward to the next 30 years!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Finished Object - William's Pullover

Two finished projects in a row! So exciting!

I have to say that I absolutely love the Knitting Pure & Simple patterns. I love the clear way that they're written. I love how easy and quick they are to knit. I love that they are straight forward and not something that you have to figure out. I love that they are a basic pattern that gets the job done - nothing fancy so you can let the yarn be the main focus. I made a mental note to buy several of these patterns every time I visit a yarn shop since you can't get them online. If I could have ordered them online I would have bought almost all of them by now.

Here's my finished Children's Neck Down Pullover # 9730:

I ran into no issues knitting this up. None. How many times can you say that about a project? The most challenging task was picking up stitches evenly which is normally hard for me. BUT in amazing form, the pattern spells out exactly how many you should pick up in each section instead of just giving you the total number. GENIUS!

Love it. Love it. Love it!

I think I'm going to keep this pattern handy for future charity projects. I am always looking for quick and simple patterns to make with the bargain yarn I get. I can't say enough about how much I love knitting patterns from this company. Maybe that's why I've already cast on for the Children's Tunic # 232 . . .

I was able to get Will to try it on for about half a second, then he tore it right off. He was not in the mood to try on clothes and model for me. My mother swears that it is a good size for him while I can only confirm that the neck hole and sleeve holes are at least big enough for my big guy! I'll definitely take a picture on his birthday when he's finally ready to wear it for me.

Pattern: Children's Neck Down Pullover # 9730
Yarn: Dark Horse Fantasy yarn in cobalt
Needles: US sizes 6 & 9 in circular & DPNs
Notions: stitch markers, scrap yarn
Time frame: 3/24/08 to 4/12/08 (many charity projects interfered so probably only 2 weeks to finish)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Finished Object - Elizabeth I, Glorianna

I took out the pins and blocking wires this morning, tried on the scarf and it now has my seal of approval for my ISE6 pal. I was worried that it wouldn't be long enough because it looked so good blocked out wide and doing that shortened it up. I don't know why but blocking is the scariest part of knitting for me. I'm terrified that all of my work will be ruined if I do the wrong thing and it felts. I can't even imagine steeking a sweater yet - but I will do it eventually.

This pattern never became automatic for me. I always had to look at the pattern but eventually it was just a glance instead of studying every stitch. I like working with the Alpaca Cloud yarn from Knit Picks but I would like to try other brands and eventually make something bigger like a stole or a shawl. I will probably do a few more lace scarves for practice before I take on a project like that. I did love the Autumn color with the Alpaca Cloud and how it was sometimes a dark red and other times a mixed brown. So cool.

Knit Time - 9 months on and off (travel project)
Needles - US 5
Yarn - Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Autumn
Pattern - Elizabeth I, Glorianna variation

Monday, April 7, 2008


I have actually taken a sick day today from work. I am sick but I also just needed to take a day to breath and get some personal stuff done.

My progress on Will's sweater for his second birthday (May 5th) is actually inspiring. I should knit stockinette sweaters for him more often. I'm finishing up the collar now and just have the sleeves left. Super fast!

This morning I finally blocked out my Glorianna scarf. It's so beautiful. It matches my swap pals criteria almost perfectly for the 6th International Scarf Exchange. When I started it I just wanted a nice travel project to work on while in airports and I didn't have anyone in mind for it. It seems now that it's destiny was to be finished at the perfect time for the perfect swap pal! I'm going to wait until it's completely finished before I decide for sure though. I did already buy yarn for a different pattern but this one works best in my opinion.

In the meantime, the heavens have opened up and it's raining charity projects! I sign up for these occasionally through the Charity section in Knitting Help and they normally give me a nice break from my regular projects. Somehow I now have 3 charity projects at my house. I finished one last week (just got the next person's contact information yesterday), I should have the second one done today and then the last one should take me about 2 nights to finish. After this I have 3 more to go so I'm taking a hiatus from signing up to do anymore for a month or two. I need time to get back on track with my personal projects.

I have a v-neck hoodie that I'd also like to make for Will's birthday and I've been trying to find a pattern for a clergy stole for my friend that's getting ordained in late May. My Google searches haven't been helpful so this will probably end up being my first ever designed from scratch project. It's intimidating but I want it to be perfect.

Excuse me while I head on over to the couch for some knitting and TNT movies for the rest of the day . . .