Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bag Style KAL

I really enjoyed the One Skein KAL that Interweave Press did, so when I saw the Bag Style KAL I joined that too. I don't have my book yet, but Knittingdaily put out a free excerpt of one of the bags in the book - the knitting needle knitting bag. I grabbed some yarn from my stash to make it with - no label, but I think it's Galway Bulky.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Revelry and Ravelry


With a little help from Baltimore, the Red Sox clinched the Eastern Division Title last night-

The champagne flowed!

And Ravelry

I've done some exploring on Ravelry and added some friends - even added a picture of a project, after finally figuring out that I had my flickr album set not to show to the public. I still have a lot to learn about it though!

Ellsworth, Maine was celebrating Autumn Harvest Days today, and there was a big craft fair on Main Street. One of the booths had scarfs made with about 20 strands of all different kinds of yarns, ribbons, and strips of fabric, just tied together in knots at intervals. Probably not something I would wear - but I think I'll try to make some and see how they go over with the teen set. I'll let you know how they come out!

My LYS was having a 20% off sale today, but I think I behaved very well. I bought some creamy soft baby alpaca which will probably become fingerless gloves, and some bulky yarn for kids hats.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

frecklegirl has invited you to Ravelry!

Frecklegirl? Yup - Frecklegirl has invited me to join Ravelry - so now I am among the thousands and thousands who have been invited. I'm 'grammieknits' - (did you guess?). I haven't checked it out yet - but maybe I'll see you there soon?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

This Knitting Blog has been temporarily interrupted by a very stressful week of baseball

But, okay, I'm still doing some mindless knitting while I watch. Or, truth be told, I'm doing the 'C' word. Have you seen the cute crocheted "Make it Yours" clutch purses on lionbrand?
So cute! There is a knit version too for those of you who don't do the "C" word.

And I'm also knitting something I haven't seen since the 50's but I'm seeing all the time now - a kerchief! Also mindless knitting - CO 6sts. Knit 3 rows,
Next row - K 3, YO, Knit to end.
Repeat that row until it is as big as you want it to be. I'll post a picture when it's finished.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

KTC prize and some FOs to Share

I received my prize for my KTC Tender is the Night Project. It's three skeins of Cascade 220 in a beautiful purple color. And as a bonus, I found out that the moderator who sent me the prize lives practically in my back yard - well about 45 miles from me, which around here, is practically in my back yard! We've talked about getting together and finding some yarn shops visit - that will be fun!

This is the shawl that I knit from the Schaefer yarn I got at the Fiber College in Searsport a couple weekends ago. I loved knitting with this yarn! It's soft and squishy, and even knit in a simple garter stitch created a great pattern. I love the colors in it too.
I'm becomming addicted to knitting these beaded bracelets. The first one was from the kit, but I've been modifying the pattern. I'm using metallic DMC embroidery floss, and Mainstays glass beads - they come in tubes available at A.C. Moore and I'm sure many other craft stores.

I made this one with some of the leftover beads from the kit mixed with the Mainstays beads, and changed the pattern to begin each row with a slip stitch, which made a much neater edge. I'm using size one needles, and casting on six stitches, knit a few rows, and then start adding beads after the slip stitch, every other row. Of course you have to string all of the beads onto the embroidery floss first - about 200 of them! But once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast. Then you just pull up a bead next to the needle, knit the next stitch, pull up another bead, knit the next stitch, etc. This one is a little gaudy, but I have a friend who will love it!

This one was made basically the same, but with just the Mainstay beads in a pink/purple mix. when it was finished I folded it lengthwise and stitched the two edges together, so it is narrower and rounded. I really love this one. It's probably going to me mine! The toggle clasps are also from A.C. Moore and are just sewn on to each end.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Contest Winner

Thanks to all of you who entered my contest - now at least I know who some of my visitors are! Some of you were so close...but only one guessed the exact number, which was 33. Now, that's kind of spooky, because there are 33 comments to the contest post! And the winner is....
MaryLynn! Congratulations - a set a handmade stitch markers will be on it's way to you (as soon as I make them >VBG<). This is a little bit intimidating because some of the stitch markers in that glass were made by MaryLynn and they are gorgeous!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bead Soup

I received my 'bead soup' bracelet kit from Earthfaire yesterday and made it last night. I admit when I read the first direction - string 200 beads on the thread, I thought it was going to take a week just to do that, but once I got started it went pretty quickly. Here is the result:
It's tedious work, but easy and kind of addicting. I went to A.C. Moore today and bought more beads, gold thread and toggle clasps and started another one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Knit The Classics

Thanks for your post KTC Swap Pal - I'm looking forward to this swap!
We are swapping children's books - how could I resist this one!

And..guess what? I won the Tender is the Night project contest with my bottle bag (lots of alcohol issues in that book).
The prize is three skeins of Cascade 220 purple - one of my favorite yarns!

This month's book is The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, which I have already finished reading. I haven't come up with an idea for a project for this one yet.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fiber College on the Penobscot Bay

This weekend I went to "Fiber College!" It was held at a campground in Searsport, Maine, an absolutely beautiful spot, a little more than an hour's drive from my house, on an absolutely perfect day. I went by myself, which is a good thing, because I really don't have any local friends who would spend a whole day petting wool with me and I wanted to be able to spent as much time with the wool as I could. And wool there was! bags full, bins full, baskets full, and even real live wool walking around! It was fiber heaven! Above are some bins of carded bunny blend (50% angora and 50% wool).
Colorful bunnies - aren't they! Here are some in their natural state.

The owners assured everyone who asked that their bunnies are never killed or harmed for their wool, and by the way they cuddled them, talked to them, and called them by name, I can tell that is true. They are so cute and fluffy! I would have loved to take one home! Instead I settled for some bunny blend handspun yarn. It's enough to make a scarf - and it is so soft! I have to find the perfect pattern for it. And it was easy to tell that these 'dollies' were their owners babies! I even got to feed them - so cute!

Besides all of the wool and spun yarn, there were classes and demonstrations going on. I hadn't signed up for any of the classes, but did enjoy some of the demos, like the spinning wheel, which I got a chance to try - now that could be addicting! And relaxing!

I also tried spinning with a drop spindle, and although I was definitely all thumbs, I'm determined to learn how to do it with the spindle that Vicki sent me in my ITEIII package last year. I even bought a bag full of angora/wool blend carded wool to practice with.
This was carded on an electric carding machine. The colors in my bag aren't
showing up very well in the photo, but they are different shades of purple and blue.
At other demonstrations I learned about dyeing wool with acid dyes (I think I'll stick with Kool-aid, although the colors were beautiful), and about mixing colors, combining colors according to the color wheel, etc. There were also a needlefelting, beading, silk dyeing demonstrations, and weaving demonstrations. There were also handmade items for sale. One booth had felted hats for dolls - and they were adorable! Another had necklaces made with many strands of a boucle yarn all gathered into a clasp - they were really pretty and would be so easy and quick to make. Others had felted items, hats, scarves, gloves, etc.

My shopping goal was to find very soft, locally, handspun yarn, and after many trips around the booths these are the yarns I came up with. At the top is

the bunny blend yarn dyed in shades of mauve. The blue/green yarn is a silk/alpaca blend and about the softest yarn I have ever felt. It's 300 yards of lace weight, enough for a scarf.

Although my goal was to buy local handspun yarn, I fell in love with the yarn on the right. It's a hand painted Schaefer yarn, 95% wool and 5% nylon, called "Nancy." It's made in NY and each colorway is named after a memorable woman. Mine is named Renata Tebaldi, after an Italian opera singer.

It's a textured yarn and the sample shawl that was in the booth was gorgeous! It was pricey, but it's a 600 yard skein, and the shawl pattern was included. This is what it looks like wound - I can't wait to get started on the shawl to see what it looks like knit up.

It was really a wonderful day, and I plan to go again next year. Maybe I can entice a few of my blogging pals to come along with me?
Maine knitters (and spinners) are the friendliest people in the world - and September is a beautiful month in Maine!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

My Virtual Vacation in North Carolina

This morning I found a large mailing envelope in my mailbox and I was very surprised to find out I had gone to North Carolina on my virtual vacation! It was from Jana, who had been so secretive during the swap that I had no idea where I would be going. In the envelope there was a beautiful skein of superwash wool yarn that Jana dyed herself, a Carolina Tar Heels t-shirt and peds (I have to admit I have no idea what a Tar Heel is!*), a cute little package of tissues and a small photo album. I still don't know what I saw or what I did in NC, but I must have been there because I got the t-shirt! Thanks Jana!

*Update - I googled 'Tar Heel' and now I know!

"Tar Heel is a nickname applied to the state and inhabitants of North Carolina, as well as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's athletic teams (see North Carolina Tar Heels).
The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most experts believe its roots come from the fact that tar, pitch and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were one of North Carolina's most important exports early in the state's history.[1] A town in Bladen County, North Carolina, is also named Tar Heel.

Friday, September 07, 2007

TGFF and Amazon

I made it through the first week of school. The kids were great - but we were all (teachers and kids) very glad it was Friday! I
Came home to a package from Amazon - always a welcome sight. It was my 2008 Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar, and the Whoduknit October book,

Slipknot by Linda Greenlaw.

The other book, Lobster Chronicles is a non-fiction story by Linda Greenlaw that also arrived today from Paperbackswap. I've been browsing through the 2008 calendar (no - I don't wait until the day comes up on the calendar!). There are a few cute things I have seen so far that I may knit. January 2nds Taos Tee Top is cute, I love January 23rds Felted Basket, May 15ths Felted Flare-top Tote Bag is adorable, as is May23rds ruffled clutch. There are a few cute sock patterns, baby sweaters and stuffed animals. There are also a few strange things, like January 4th's string bikini gloves, and Feb. 14ths turtle hats. Then there is the Raspberry Rush Scarf - I don't think I'm breaking any copyright laws when I tell you that you CO 10 sts, knit until desired length, and BO - Duh????

(I hope the designers of the last three patterns are not fans of my blog!)

I'm only up to May - I'm sure there are more good (and bad) patterns to come.

For Carolyn - here is my OTN Fan & Feather scarf knit with Paton's SWS in colorway #70610. And for Joan -Thanks for being such an enabler!

I just ordered a bead soup bracelet kit from Earth Faire.
I have a friend and sister-in-law who would just love one of these for Christmas.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Whoduknit Summer Swap Package

For our Whoduknit Summer Swap, the challenge was to take $10.00 and see how much we could buy with it at yard sales, thrift shops, etc.

When I got home from work today I found a package from New Hampshire waiting for me. My SP was Joyce - and what a bargain shopper she is! When I opened the box the first thing I found was this wool sweater.

Joyce suggested that I might want to felt it and make a bag out of it. It's a beautiful sweater - but wouldn't it make a beautiful felted bag!

Next was this tote bag - nice and big and roomy with a big zippered pocket in the front. What a great project bag this will make!

And look inside! Two skeins of Navy wool yarn, one skein of Dazzle ribbon yarn (the two of them together would make a great felted something!) Three skeins of a cream colored yarn, and two skeins of a multi-colored yarn. Then there were some vintage knitting magazines and booklets. I just love looking through old knitting patterns - so many of them are classics that just never go out of style. And there was more! Three books - two Agatha Christie's and one Anne Perry - both authors I love and books I haven't read. Not done yet! In the pocket of the tote bag there were some raspberry chocolates (no I'm not sharing them) and an invitation to come to her house and knit and nibble on a bowl of them, and some beautiful stitch markers that her DD made, and a cute little pen to go with the notepad.

Thank you Joyce - You are a super bargain hunter and a super friend!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Little Contest

The counter on my blog shows that 500 people have visited my blog since Aug. 27. I have a hard time believing that - who are all you people? But that's what it says, so I'm having a little celebration contest. Guess how many stitch markers are in the glass and you will win....a set of stitch markers! Leave a comment on this post with your guess before Sunday, Sept. 9.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Labor Day

Although Fall doesn't officially start until September 23, for a lot of us, Labor Day signals the last of summer. Here in Maine, the mornings and evenings are quite chilly, the leaves are already beginning to change, the apple trees are loaded with ripe apples and school starts tomorrow! We celebrated Labor Day Weekend with a backyard barbeque with friends and family yesterday, where the kids decided to hang out in a tree.

I celebrated the beginning of fall by signing up for this Back to School Swap on Knit the Classics. Just couldn't resist this one. And by officially ending my yarn diet (which was a big flop anyway). My not-so-local A.C.Moore has finally started carrying Paton's SWS which I've been wanting to try, and they even had it on sale Saturday, so I picked some up in great fall colors to try out.

It's very soft and I think it will be perfect for

the Misty Garden scarf in

Scarf Style. I'm also working on another Patchwork bag from Easy Knitted Accessories in fall colors, and some Red Hot Necklaces from One Skein Wonders, which are going to be Christmas presents. They are easy to knit
Just a three row lace pattern,
but the beaded tassles take forever to do.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Christmas Around the World Knitters Swap Questionnaire

How long have you been knitting? About 40 years on an off.
Would you consider yourself a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced? Somewhere between intermediate and advanced.
Do you have any other hobbies besides knitting? Reading, scrapbooking, a little jewelry making.
Favorite color(s)? All shades of blue, green, purple. I like them all!
Do you collect anything? You mean besides yarn? Books, Maine lighthouses, Snowmen.
Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? I'm allergic to cats, smoke, perfume.
Do you have any pets? A beta fish, and a dear Maltese grandpuppy.
Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate? Yes!
Cookies or Sweets? Yes! I'm a chocoholic.
Do you knit socks? I have knit a few pairs of socks - not my favorite thing to knit just yet.
If not socks then what? (tell us about your favorite knits) Felted bags, scarves, dishcloths, baby gifts, shawls (but not with laceweight yarn) - mostly projects that I can finish quickly.
Do you put up a Christmas tree? Yes
Favorite holiday treats? All those yummy baked Christmas cookies.
Favorite holiday smells? Cinnamon, pine, spice.
Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional or unconventional way? Fairly traditional.
Please elaborate. Family, presents, Santa Claus, stockings hung by the chimney with care, too much food, etc.
What are your favorite holiday traditions? We all go to my daughter's house on Christmas Eve for dinner, then the whole family comes to our house for brunch Christmas morning. After brunch we open presents. During the week between Christmas and New Years we have a party for friends where we do a "yankee swap."
Finish the sentence: “For me Christmas is all about....” Family and friends.
If you were a Christmas ornament you would be…….? Hmm - maybe a snowman - but it would have to be an indoor snowman!
What was your favorite gift you've ever received? Or given? I have to think about this one - check back later!
When do you start your Christmas? Well - knitting begins in the summer, shopping begins in November. I teach 2nd grade so we start doing Christmas units, like Christmas Around the World, and making Christmas ornaments (yes we still celebrate Christmas at our school)at the beginning of December. Our Christmas concert and Christmas party all happen the week before Christmas.
Do you send Christmas cards? Yes
Do you make them or buy them? I make them.
What is your favorite Christmas dish? I like everything!
Carolers are at your door. What do you do? Give them some figgy pudding?
When do you open presents? Christmas eve or Christmas morning? Christmas morning.
Do you celebrate with family or friends or both? Both

A Dream Come True

Years from now, there will be hundreds of thousands of folks who'll say they were there. Memories will dim and wannabes will exaggerate and it will be impossible to prove who really sat in Fenway Park Sept. 1, 2007, and who watched it on television or heard it on the radio.
It was a night dripping with fate, fame, and circumstance.
Clay Buchholz wasn't even supposed to pitch at Fenway Park last night. He had only one game of big league experience under his belt and he was still in the minor leagues Friday.
And then last night, he was back in the Show, pitching a 10-0 no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in his second start in the big leagues. At the age of 23. And he told us, "This is what you dream about growing up."
(Boston Globe)