Friday, October 30, 2009

October 2009 Snowstorm

I got welcomed back by a blanket of 23 inches of snow (according to the newspaper). My sister and I arrived at the Philadelphia airport and learned that our flight was delayed for 2 hours. No worries, we sat and knitted. Then we found out that there were no more planes leaving from Denver to Fresno after 9pm. My sister made a beeline to the counter and off she went to catch another flight with connection through Los Angeles. Still in Philly, I waited and knitted and knitted.

And this is what it looked like from my bedroom window the next day, where I was sitting and knitting.

And this is from the same angle on Friday. Believe it or not, that is what the weather is like in this part of the world.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stitches East 2009, here we come!

I have attended almost all Stitches events - East, West, and North - except for the new one this year in Atlanta. And every time I have asked Rick Mondragon, the editor of Knitter's magazine "Why not Denver?" The answer has been that Denver probably will not attract as many attendees as the more populous cities. I will keep asking the question - you will never know, maybe some day.

The policy was changed a few years back, so we are not allowed to take pictures inside the hall anymore, sigh!

As I said, I am a "seasoned" Stitches participant. But I am still amazed every time I walk onto the market floor. This year was no different, but I learned to pace myself and not to buy the first skein of yarn that smiled at me (may be the 2nd one?). So we started down aisle 1, up aisle 2, and so on and so forth....a very  well-planned expedition. That was Friday from 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m. with maybe a half-hour lunch. I think if our feet had not complained, we would have stayed longer. We went back Saturday for an encore, but this time we just stopped by a few booths that had stood out the day before.

Webs was our favorite because they had the most yarn. They occupied a space equal to 10 booths, so it was hard to miss. My sisters and I filled our rolling cart (yes, a cart), then moved next door to Yarn Barn of Kansas. A dear and talented friend, Boulder's own Ann McCauley, was signing her latest book, "Together or Separate" there at noon. Her book was sold out, by the way. The "photo police" graciously allowed us to take a picture with Ann.

I think I went a little overboard as usual, but I kept saying to myself that this is once-a-year kind of thing. And that worked really well. So here are some of the new additions to my stash. For some I had a specific project in mind, others I just had to have because the color was so incredible.

I fall in love with every hand-dyed yarn I touched there, but settled for these because of the intense colors and the "melt in your hand" softness.

 The maroon-colored yarn in the middle is Madeline Tosh worsted, meant for the Farmers' Market Cardigan by Connie Chinchio. I walked by it a few times and finally succumbed to it. But at least I have a specific project in mind. The multicolored yarn at the bottom left, Jojoland Harmony, will be a challenge because it is thinner than thin. It will be someday  be a shawl.

Last but not least, I bought these two by the bag. I am planning to use Rustic Wool for the Mondo Cardigan KAL.

I am back home, but I think I am still up in the yarn clouds somewhere. I keep stroking, and touching these yarns.

I hope someone is cooking dinner.

My trip to Yarn Heaven

Well first, the trip through Connecticut to the Webs yarn store took much longer than we anticipated, but overall it was a blessing in disguise. If we had more time to spend at Webs, the damage would have been  much more than it already was.

Webs yarn store was about 45 minutes from Hartford where the Stitches Convention was located. So Thursday morning at 10:30, with my brother in law (bless him) at the wheel, my two sisters and I took off for Webs. The 4 hour trek turned into 7 hour agony due to traffic on the Connecticut freeway. I was ready to beg for the store to let us in, but lucky for us they open late until 8 that night.

It is so true when they say the store is a destination in itself. Even spending two hours there, I am sure we missed a lot of things because I kept saying for days after, "Oh, no, I forgot to look for..."

The place is full of yarn and anything you can think of related to yarn. I could see myself in that store all day, eating my breakfast, lunch and dinner with the yarn.

This is the front of the store.

And as if that is not enough, the backroom where shelves after shelves of  bargain yarn make you squeal. My brain has never been challenged as much since elementary school because I felt a need to come up with a project for each of the yarn I touched.

If you ever in the Northhampton, Mass. area, you have to put this store on your must visit list. The staff  was very gracious and knowledgeable. You can tell instanly that they love working here (who would not). 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My sisters' Vine Yoke Cardigans

 It took me a while to finally get around to posting these pictures. We will all be wearing them to Stitches in Connecticut soon.

The yarn for the orange cardigan is Lorna Laces Green Line Worsted. It was my sister's birthday gift from my other sister and I. I have not worked with the yarn, but apparently it is very soft and lovely to work with.

The blue yarn is like butter in your hands, Schaeffer Yarn Marjaana. And the best part is my sister will give me the leftover yarn so I can add it to my long "have to knit with" list. Hurrah!

Still Vine Yoke Cardigan

There have been many inquiries about my mod for the sleeves, so I decided to put some of my notes here . I hope it will help. There are many ways to do short rowing, I am sure, but this works for me, so here goes.

I cast on 52 sts for the sleeve, according to the gauge of the  sweater body.
Knit one row.
RS: knit until 12 sts before Vine border at cuffs, W & T
       Knit until 10 sts before then W & T
       Knit until 8 sts before Vine then W & T

So this is a total of 8 rows. Then I repeat the short rows, starting with 8 rows left for the other side of the sleeve in the reverse order . In doing this, I keep track of the starting and ending rows of the Vine pattern so that when I am ready to pick up the stitches for the body, it will be the same at the yoke and the border.

The number of sts and short rowing works for my size, but you can decide to add or subtract to them.

One thing to keep in mind is whatever you decide to do with one sleeve, keep detailed notes because you will need to repeat the same for the 2nd sleeve.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Knit Nite

Last night we had a huge turnout at Barnes and Noble. I hope we were not too loud for the regular crowd there. It was so much fun to see everyone's projects. And we were all amazed, as usual, at how fast Amy can knit. She had a ton of baby bibs whipped out in a week's time. And she is knitting a sample sweater for Malabrigo at the same time. She reminds me of my sister who lives on the East Coast. My sister started the Vine Cardigan two weeks after mine and last night I learned that she only needed to sew the buttons on. And, by the way, they both hold down a job, accountants by day, knitters extraordinaire by nights. Sigh! If only I did not eat and sleep like those two, I would accomplish more.

I also very lucky to have two sisters who love to knit. The three of us will make our annual trek to the Stitches Convention, this time in Connecticut in October. Details to follow, of course!

The finished product

The sweater is finally done. I brought it to the Knit Nite last night (details to follow). I think I am most proud of the buttons my daughter helped pick out at Elfriede's. They are copper colored and have a dragon in the middle.

I am a firm believer in blocking and this one really pays off. I was a bit skeptical and worried that the Vine at the bottom would not look right. I even pulled my stitches real tight, but it still looked wavy. I panicked for a minute, but after I lightly wet blocked it, it stayed flat and nice .

Monday, August 31, 2009

Another great Isolda pattern

These days I try to just work on one project at the time and not adding anything else to my unfinished pile, uhh.. basket. It helps a lot that this one is an Isolda Teague called Vine Yoke Cardigan. It is her brand new pattern, published with Twist Collective. As with her previous patterns, this one is also "hard to put down" because I always want to get to the next part of the body. The construction is an interesting one for me. The cardigan starts with the right side buttonhole band then goes across the right sleeve, the back, the left sleeve, and ends with the left front. I am sure the finishing will be very fast too.
The yarn, Malabrigo Worsted, does not have a lot of bounce like Lorna lace's Green Line used in the pattern, but I think it will hold the shape well.
It is a little bit cloudy outside and cool, so I think I will just sit by my window and knit for a few hours.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The day after Purl Knit Cafe

It just dawned on me  that how much PKC really means to me when someone said to me : " you were only at PKC for a few days a week anyway". Three days, to be exact, or a mere 15 hours. That is all the time I could spend there without neglecting my family, my dog and my friends.

I am sure they do not agree because everyone who knows me will tell you that my work did not stop there. I would happily work on some samples for the shop, planning classes, etc. at all times of the day (yes, exploding hard boiled eggs happened more often than my kids can remember). Then I get on the phone and chat with my two knitting sisters who I wish would lived here so we can start a store called "My three sisters knit" (seriously).  I probably bored my non knitting friends when all conversations turned into a yarn story. They all stayed away from me or pretended not to see me at the grocery stores in fear that I would talk them into taking up knitting. And my knitting friends carefully picked the day to come in PKC when I was not there. Trying to be polite, they cannot bring themselves to refuse to touch the new yarn I just got in and ended up walking out with one.

It has been a really fantastic run of a year and a half for me. I met so many interesting and talented people, and some will remain my friends for a long time.  I learned to "branch out" on my tastes like the time I forced  myself to use certain ugly yarn with some crazy patterns just so people would buy them. And often I was pleasantly surprised with the result. So, just as I always believe... there is no such a thing as ugly yarn.

Speaking of making friends, we have a group of wonderful knitters that get together every Wednesday night. We talk, knit, and admire each others' projects (that is the most fun for me). With PKC gone, this group will be my lifeline!

OK, so that is it! I will post some pictures of my current projects soon. TTFN!