Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Twelve Days of Christmas: The Knitting Version
Written by Laurel (who is not a knitter)
(For the sake of sanity I will only include the last verse)On the twelfth day of Christmas my sister gave to me:
12 Clover Stitch Counters
11 Skeins of Yarn
10 Needle Size ID Tags
9 Yarn Ball Winders
8 Point Protectors
7 Needle Cases
6 Sheep a Grazing
5 BAGS OF WOOL!
4 Knitting Books
3 Stitch Markers
2 Knitting Needles
And An Ashford Spinning Wheel!

Merry Christmas! May all your dreams come true!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Believe It Or Not

It's the holiday season.

I feel like the Christmas season this year came out of nowhere. Last I knew it was a gorgeous 70 degree fall day in October. But they say time flies when you are having fun - so I must have been having fun somewhere in there.

I did manage to get nearly all of my Christmas shopping done and I sent out Christmas cards this weekend. (I bought someone else's homemade cards. She did a really nice job!

And tonight, the family and I built our first (I think) gingerbread ho
use.* Even the puppies were enjoying the fun -- -- Or at least looking for some of the leftover candy that may have fallen on the floor.

Now, to wrap presents - this may take awhile...

*The glasses leaning against the roof are actually holding the roof up. It was still drying.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Finished Object

This weekend I began and finished a pair of fingerless mittens. They were really easy to make and really quick. I may even have enough yarn left for another pair!

Now, back to Christmas knitting for the little ones...

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's Official!

Today I received this in the mail: I have officially been appointed by the Secretary of the State as a Notary Public! Now I just need to order my official seal and stamp.

In other news, I have been busy knitting, as usual, and have actually completed a few projects. I've done two of the three pairs of felted ballerina slippers
which are being made for the three little girl cousins who are old enough to wear them (Madison, Bella, and Gabby). Sammy is still a little small, but she is going to get a cute little knit hat. I still have to figure out what I'm going to make for Gavin (who is just over 1 year old). Boys are definitely harder to shop/knit for - even when they are little.

I've also finished a scarf for Laurel.
Currently, I'm still struggling through the sleeves of the eyelet cardigan. I've casted on for a pair of fingerless mittens (which due to this sudden cold weather, I'm hoping to get done fairly soon!), and I have a few planned projects in my mind that I am trying hard to not cast on - Hemlock Ring Blanket; Scarf for my new kelly green winter jacket - for until I get some more WIP (work in progress) to be FOs (finished object).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween


From Piglet (Isn't Sammy getting so big?!)....And Waldo (I won 5th place at work in the costume contest! There were only 10 people dressed up.)....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rhinebeck Report - Picture Heavy Post

After months of anticipation, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival finally arrived (358 days 'til next year - I think). This was my first year attending the festival and I was accompanied by two wonderful people - Mom and Joyce.

It was wonderful. As warned, it was a little overwhelming for me as a first timer. We got there at 9:00 on the dot and scored a pretty close parking spot at the 4H gate. We hit the bathroom first thing, but then went straight for the yarn.

I must admit though, I think the highlight of the trip, for me, was being able to try two spinning wheels: the Ashford Traditional and the Ashford Traveller. Here I am testing the traveler:
Mom snapped this one without my even knowing it.

This was my first purchase -
- a skein of "Out of the Dyepot" by a company called Reflections on Roclans.* The colorway caught my eye immediately, which is no surprise considering that greens and blues are what always seem to jump out at me. What was surprising was that everything else that caught my eye throughout the day wasn't in the blue-green family.

After my first purchase we went through the vendor barns with the look of a deer facing headlights. Everything was gorgeous. It was hard to pick out what was "extra-gorgeous"... if there is such a thing. For non-knitting items, I bought a two beautiful glass buttons which will, inevidently be used for felted clutch bags or purses of some sort. And a gorgeous hand-woven basket
- to store my gorgeous yarns in.

For yarn purchases, I tried to look for things that I probably wouldn't find at my LYS. I think I was successful. I bought 500 yards of rayon silk in a gorgeous autumn colorway...
600 yards of a 100% wool hand-dyed yarn which I plan to make the Hemlock Ring Blanket with.

And being an aspiring spinner, I bought myself some beautiful fiber, which I wil
l probably hold on to until I become better with my technique (and buy a spinning wheel. This is a lot of fiber to spin on a drop spindle!). First, a half pound of a gorgeous colorway:
It is the size of a nice travel pillow. The navy in it really caught my attention, although this picture doesn't show it off terribly well. And my last purchase: 4 oz. of a similar colorway called Melted Crayons: I can't wait to be an expert spinner!

Now, my trip to Rhinebeck would not have been complete without a little bit of
Ravelry wiggled in there. I was able to retrieve my t-shirt that I had ordered from them a month or so ago. I was also given this awesome pin to sport wherever I go. If you are on Ravelry, come friend me!

*The pictures do not do the colors of these yarns justice!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Plan B

I've been working hard to finish the eyelet cardigan in time for this weekend. But I keep hitting dead ends. I finished the fronts and the back of the cardigan, so I'm so close to the finish line, but the sleeves have been giving me a lot of trouble. I'm not really sure why.

So, unfortunately, I've decided to take the pressure off for this weekend and am setting the cardigan aside until after Rhinebeck. Instead, I will try to work on and finish the market bag so that I'll have something neat to carry all of my fun purchases in. At least with this project I will have the hour and a half car ride to work on it as well if I don't finish it by Friday night.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Obsessions

I have quickly realized that my 32 hour work week is getting in the way of my knitting. Is there a way to be paid for one's obsessions?

The process of finishing the eyelet cardigan for this weekend is still in motion. I finished knitting the back of the sweater and casted on/knitted 2.5" on one of the sleeves. It is gonna be close, especially since I keep getting sidetracked with the idea of knitting one of these to carry all my treasures from the wool festival this weekend (mine would be in a pretty blueish-gray).

Speaking of getting sidetracked.... I have discovered a new addiction - spinning. Back in August I received a drop spindle from my wonderful Secret Pal. I took a spindle lesson and am getting the hang of it (and once I finish this sweater, I'll have more time to dedicate to it). Except now I have to feed that obsession, and that obsession is calling for a spinning wheel. I knew I wanted a spinning wheel even before I wanted a spindle, but for reasons like finances and availability, etc. the spindle arrived into my hands first.

I have been told that in order to find the perfect spinning wheel you need to try different ones out - which is ONE of the reasons why the NY sheep and wool festival will be so wonderful this weekend. However, I must admit that I have my eye on one of these:It is an Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel. I think she is beautiful, and while I haven't spun on one like her yet, I am sure that we will have an instant bonding.

Wish me luck as we will probably have our first meeting this weekend, and first impressions are so important!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I really am alive

I know, I know... it has been way too long since I last posted... but here is a quick little post to let you know I have not forgotten about blogging.

Rhinebeck, aka The New York Sheep and Wool Festival, is in less t
han two weeks (or 10 days!)... I have hopes of wearing the Eyelet Cardigan by Alison Williams that I have been working on for the festival. I have ten days left and I have the back of the cardigan to finish, a sleeve cap to finish, a sleeve to start and finish, and then I need to sew the pieces together and block it. (I have the two front sides of the cardigan complete.)

So, needless to say I will be knitting in my spare time... if I can pull myself away from my latest discovery/soon-to-be obsession - spinning. I have taken one 1-hour lesson to learn spin on a drop spindle. I have been practicing and feel like I am improving (I am window shopping for a spinning wheel at Rhinebeck. The obsession begins.)
I've been turning this: into this: So needless to say, it has been hard to pull myself away from my obsessions to blog. I also have legitimate excuses, like not have a working computer for nearly two weeks.

Hopefully my next post will be sooner than later.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Secrets Are Wonderful!

This summer I joined two yarn swaps. The first - Yarn in a Tea Cup - was a rather small swap, but rewarding nonetheless. The second swap I am participating in is through the website Ravelry.com and had a summer camp theme. Yesterday, I received my package from my secret pal. She is from California and sent me the greatest package ever! She must have done her research because the things she included in her package fit me to the "t"! I nominate her for "Best Swap Pal Ever!"

This picture includes everything she included in the package!
And a few closeups: Everything in this picture is Non-Yarn Related: a few fruit drinks, so as to not suffer with Bug Juice, Trail Mix, Home-made soap, a moth-repellent sachet, and a note card from home. This picture is everything knitting related: two pairs of circular needles to make socks, sock yarn, and Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. And lastly, a spinning related picture. No, I don't know how to spin, but I've been wanting to learn and my pal included everything I will need to learn. A handspindle, some gorgeous roving, and Teach Yourself Visually: Handspinning.

I am so excited to dig my paws into everything that she gave me! Thank you so much!

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Family Reunion

As usual, the family reunion was wonderful, despite the fact that it is in the Middle-of-nowhere, PA. It is the one time of year that the majority of us are together. There are quite a lot of us.

My dad is the youngest of six.
Each of his siblings have 2-3 kids, and now some of them are having children. There are 42 of us (I think) plus Grandma and Grandpa - including husbands and wives. We are quite a group when all of us are together. This year there were about 25 of us -- -- still quite a crowd!

Bella, Gabby, Laurel, and I had a great time together.
We played play dough together and Bella made me a beautiful necklace (which is the small green spot by my hand).

And this post wouldn't be complete without a new picture of the Samantha - the latest addition to our family.
This picture was taken three weeks ago roughly, and even in that time she has gotten so much bigger!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Angels and Demons

Demons (since the bad news should always come first)

Today I put my first copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into the trash can. This wasn't because I hated the last book. I still have a copy of the seventh Harry Potter book, but my first copy - the copy that I stood hours in line waiting for the eve of its release - has been destroyed. The culprit? Miss Shelby Lynn.Mom and I were out to dinner - just the two of us, a rather rare occasion - when it was interrupted by a phone call from Dad. "Where are you? Well... you might want to pick up another copy of your Harry Potter book before you come home." So I bought another copy without knowing how bad the damage to the book was. The only thing I knew was that Dad is not one for spending money necessarily and so the fact that he was telling me I should get another copy was not a good sign. I came home to this: and this: The last 40 pages or so were torn to pieces and little chunks were missing from pages throughout the whole book. Needless to say, I kept my new copy by my side at all times until I finished it. It is now on my bookshelf - safe and sound.

Angels (so much cuter than demons)

Like I mentioned in my previous post, Samantha Grace got christened this past Sunday. She slept through the whole ceremony and most of her celebration picnic afterwards. But she was still as cute as ever!This coming weekend is the family reunion which means I get to spend 4 whole days with her and all the other cute little second cousins I have (and all the other favorite cousins, and aunts, and uncles, etc.). More pictures to come, of course!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tea and Yarn

Last week I received a package in the mail from my "Yarn in a Tea Cup" swap partner, Megan. It was a nice surprise. I tend to get so involved with the giving part of the swap that I often forget that I will also receive a gift. I loved the tea cup and the ball of yarn. I really have to get good at my sock knitting so I can put this sock yarn to good use! Thank you so much Megan!

Tomorrow, Miss Samantha is getting christened - so excited. Pictures will be posted, I promise. In the mean time, I am still working away on the blanket. Maybe it will be done in time for Christmas?

Next swap, Summer Camp Yarn Swap!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More Knitting Knews

My knitting time has become more consistent in the past month or so. Although I've been back home for over six months now, I finally have (at least somewhat) figured out how to manage my time. Working 9-4:30 and then having the entire evening to myself is something college students do not understand and has definitely taken some getting used to on my end.

As a result finished objects are again becoming more frequent. Two weeks ago I finished the envelope clutch. Last week, I finished the first half of my pair of socks.
This week I am finally back to working on the Hoover Blanket - although I am embarrassed at how little has been done on it.

And because I've been de-stashing my yarn collection by finishing projects, I have been awarding myself with purchasing yarn - thus continuing the never-ending cycle of a knitter's life. After my last sock class, I bought myself two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn at a one-time only 25% off discount*.
I have heard it called the Cadillac of sock yarns.

On Saturday, after a lovely day of blueberry picking, I bought three skeins of worsted weight 100% wool from the farm where we got the blueberries.I plan on using at least one of the skeins in the secret swap I have signed up for in the month of August. The shear the sheep there, and then send the wool away to be cleaned and dyed, where it is then returned to the farm so people like me can enjoy and purchase their yarn. I have some that I bought there last year which is currently a work in progress. When finished they will be felted bowls.

Lots of knitting ahead of me - as always.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Knitting Knews

It seems like quite a while since I had a finished object... so here it is. It is called the Envelope Clutch (no, it isn't the pair of socks I had been working on). I started it on the plane ride to Seattle back in April and only got a few rows on it done. On the plane ride down to Orlando, after quickly getting frustrated with having to concentrate so hard on the Monkey socks (I am so not used to size 2 needles), I picked up the Envelope Clutch and finished it shortly after we got home on Friday. I felted it yesterday. Today I put the finishing touch on it by sewing on the button. I am in love with it already. I used one of the two skeins that my secret pal from the One Skein swap gave me last July. The button was given to me by my aunt to be used on a felted purse. I think it fits this one perfectly. (I have another button that the wonderful Holly gave me - and I have finally decided what felted purse I will make to fit that button!)

My knitting class was rescheduled for this Thursday! Yay, I will have a finished sock. Then I'll need to start (and finish) the second sock. I also need to get back to work on the Hoover Blanket. Samantha's baptism is in less than a month. I have about 6 inches completed so far.
Think I can finish it for then?

Growing Pains

I am back in good ol' Connecticut after a wonderful time in Disney World with the family. We had a lot of fun (even Dad!) and have been trying to rest in the last day and a half since we have been home. Disney World is not the type of vacation you take to revive yourself. Instead, you are most likely going to need a vacation after your vacation to the "Land of Happy Mice". I am so grateful that I have this weekend to recover before heading back to work on Monday.

Speaking of work.... although I have been working for this town full time (it was technically considered on-call part time) since January, as of July 1st I am finally considered a full time employee. And with full time employee status comes... my own insurance policy!!!!! It sounds silly, but this is one of the bigger steps towards "becoming an adult" and "being on my own".


Along with health insurance, I will also begin paying off my student loans this month - something I am not as excited about. But, like I said, it's all apart of growing up. Right?

P.S. Knitting news to come tomorrow. I have a FO and I got my assignment for my Yarn in a Tea Cup Swap. Plus, I think I just signed up for another yarn swap.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Good News Bad News

First, the bad news. My last knitting class - the one that would have finished the toe - has been postponed. Currently, I have a one toe-less sock.

The good news is I still made it to the yarn shop today and bought myself some sock yarn!

The family is taking there first and probably last huge family vacation. We are going to Disney World! And I HAD
to have something to knit on the plane, so I HAD to make a trip to the yarn shop to fill this need.

I started a swatch tonight in the Tofutsie yarn for the Monkey pattern. I am very excited, but for now I need to go to bed. Too many late nights admiring yarn on Ravelry.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Yarn in a Tea Cup

I picked up two wonderful habits in the four years that I was away at school.

First, I learned how to knit (and now I am so addicted I can hardly put it down to sleep or eat or work, etc.)


Second, I learned of my love for tea. Granted the girls I lived with may have been a little bit more into the tea drinking than I was, I have learned what makes great tea. I've learned how great it is to sit down with someone over a cup of tea. I've learned that cinnamon graham crackers are the best side snack with my tea!


I have just found the best way to combine these two habits: a Yarn in a Tea Cup swap, hosted by
Zoe. I learned about the swap through the greatest website ever: Ravelry (which is not currently open to the public although invitations are being sent out for beta testers. I STRONGLY recommend signing up for an invitation if you are longing for a way to organize your yarn and projects as well as find out what other people are making).

In this swap I have to send a tea cup and a ball of yarn to someone who I will soon be assigned. Someone else will be assigned to me and they will send me a ball of yarn and a tea cup. I did a yarn swap last year and loved it so I am very excited to be doing another one.


(Yarn in tea cup picture above is not the one I will be sending to my partner.)


Sock News:
My first sock is almost done. I have my last knitting class on Thursday where we will learn how to finish the toe and then sock #1 will be done! Wahoo! I have done more knitting on it since the last picture posted, but it isn't enough to post a picture. Will post one when there is more to see.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

It's True

I've heard it said over and over again that once you learn to make socks you will never go back to buying socks from Target or Walmart or any other generic sock place. Although I haven't quite finished my first ever pair of hand-knit socks, I do believe I may be on this pathway to "homemade-only socks allowed".

Tonight I went to my first knitting class. My first home-made sock now looks like this:
or for those who can't quite picture it yet... a picture of the sock on my foot.

I am very excited. I have about 1.5 - 2 inches left of homework to do before my next/last class. I think I will be casting on for the second sock of the pair before next Thursday. Granted, they are a little big (I think they will make great indoor winter I-want-to-mope-around-the-house socks)... but these were class socks, meant to learn the technique of Magic Loop which I hope I have conquered and will never have to touch DPNs again! Oh, the excitement.

AND... I've already picked out the pattern for my next pair of socks which will most likely accompany me on my plane ride to Disney World in nine days.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Roving to Yarn

Happy Father's Day! To celebrate Father's Day, we, as a family, decided to do what Dad wanted to do. We went to the flea market. I think it may have been a more successful trip for me than for anyone else in the family.

I came across this wonderful treasure:
A Remco Little Red Spinning WheelIt was a toy made in 1961 for girls (as the box suggests it would be great for). It was there in the original box (a rarity) with all the parts (another rarity).

It was one of the first things I saw at the flea market and about halfway through the huge market, I realized I had to have it.

In the meantime I've been working away at my sock.
So far I have three inches and I need to knit another three and a half more inches before class again on Thursday. So far I'm loving it and cant wait to finish these socks so I can start another pair!