Wednesday, April 09, 2008


so this is my 100th post.

it is amazing to me that i have been babbling about knitting and various other things for 100 posts. and that there are people who read these babblings, for which i am forever grateful. i have been inspired, challenged, encouraged and well fed by some amazing cyber friends.

i always thought i would have a celebratory contest for my 100th post but the planning of it is just beyond me at the moment. perhaps by the time i am done babbling on this post, something fun and quirky will arise.

but until then, i think i will babble about what started this blog in the first place, sticks and string...

so i was very sick a few weeks ago. like fevers of over 102 and lying in bed doing nothing for 5 days straight. i was so sick, it hurt my head to knit. and at the time i was in the middle of knitting a garter stitch potholder that will be felted, which is knitting at its easiest. as soon as i could pick up needles again, i finished it. it is knit out of some blue paton's merino and a green cascade 220 i had in my stash. of course i did not want to knit 3 potholders out of the same colors so i purchased another skein of cascade 220 in an deep aqua blue that would complement my two stash yarns. (yes, the yarns in the picture are the same, the color is different because of the lighting, booklyn tweed i am not.) this project got derailed for a bit when my cp size 10 straights began to split at the tip. very annoying. i had already done the sandpaper and wax paper thing to no avail. plus, the needles are a bit short for the amount of yarn that needs to be on them. i thought brittany needles would be the perfect solution. of course the LYS has every size but 10 and none of the other yarn stores in the area carry brittany's. grrr. after much hemming, hawing and gnashing of teeth, i traded the cp needles in for another non-splitting, longer pair of cp's and i am off and knitting once again.

once the potholder was done, i went straight to the cute husband's socks and finished the first one, finally. this is out of lorna lace's shepard sock chocolate stripe colorway. can i tell you how much i love this yarn. i love this yarn. i love the feel of it, the way it stripes, how easy it is to work with, even in a darkened theatre. i cast on the second sock immediately and knit on it whenever i can.

the next item to be finished was the lace capelet out of ry cashsoft baby dk, colorway 502, sweet. it turned out pretty well. when i asked my sweet friend to try it on for size, she did not want to take it off because it was warm and soft. which i took as a good sign. i immediately frogged the boring ruffle scarf also being knit out of cashsoft colorway 517, donkey, to start the second lace capelet. these are for two very dear friends who i usually give the same type of present to. i found the pattern on ravelry and it is quite easy. my personal challenge with it was keeping the correct number of stitches consistent. for some reason, whenever i did the yarn over rows i would either lose a stitch or add a stitch. it was maddening. i frogged the finished capelet down to practically the beginning to correct this, just to have it happen again! i finally decided it was one stitch. it really wasn't going to make that big of difference. and, of course, it all turned out ok in the end.

still on the needles is my sweet friends short ruffle scarf. as you can see, i have picked up the stitches on the short end and added the ruffle, but the long ends has 297 stitches to be picked up which is a daunting task to me. plus, i was expecting the ruffle to be more ruffle-y. since i will also be making this scarf for me, i may experiment with repeating the ruffle pattern. and if i have enough yarn in which to do so. but i need the needles so i better get on with finishing this one.

there are babies. i had never made anything baby so i decided to do hats. the first one was for baby alison, a beautiful and amiable baby at work (i work at the local ymca where there are plenty of staff babies around). much to my sweet friend's chagrin, i decided to knit up the sprout hat pattern by leigh spencer which i found on mag knits. it called for mission falls cotton, which i had never worked with before. i really liked it. i chose colorways 206-peony and 404-indigo. the yarn was easy to work with and lovely when knit up; it complemented the moss stitch well. unfortunately i did not get a picture of the hat before i gave it to baby alison, so here are all the ingredients, you will need to imagine what it looked like. fyi, peony was the dominant color, indigo the accent; picture it in your mind.......ok next.

the second baby hat was for rachael and ryan's baby. they live in the city (s.f.) where the coldest part of the year is coming up, summer, so hat's for a baby are totally appropriate. while doing an east bay yarn store crawl, i mentioned baby hats to the person behind the counter at k2tog. she suggested crystal palace puffin, a bulky polyester fleece ribbon yarn. one ball makes a hat, and she provided the pattern. what more could i ask for? the colorway is dotty circus. and though i was a bit skeptical about the polyester once i started to knit it i was quite pleased. this yarn is so soft and will be so nice for a baby head. and it looks really sweet knit up. can't wait to finish it and give to baby callum.

in the way of yarn, this past januray cheryl had a comment contest on her blog. by lucky circumstance i won a couple of skeins of yarn from it. some beautiful crimson kilcarra in which to make a tudora; and some homespun yarn from craftspun. the original thought was to try my hand at dyeing and dye the homespun, which i would have then shared on the blog. but i am now leaning towards keeping it undyed. it is really lovely but i am not sure what to make. and to be the non-metric american, how long is 250 grams? so i shall see.

and though i have been trying to knit from my stash, temptation is strong, so very strong. so i confess i have been collecting sock yarns. i figure they are relatively inexpensive and one skein equals a pair of socks so it is not like going it?

the first sock yarn purchase was via the grey's anatomy knitters group on ravelry. sknitches had a "seriously" colorway. if you are a watcher of grey's anatomy you know the various ways this word gets used. the colorway had sold out but sknitches was willing to dye a special batch for group members if they pre-ordered and pre-paid. score! had to have one! and i love it! seriously. i am hoping to score another one for my sweet friend. she would like legwarmers. we will see what happens.

the second sock yarn purchase was from sockpixie. this woman owned a lovely little yarn store in petaluma, the town above mine. if my LYS was not within walking distance of my home, i would have become a regular in her shop. she offered wonderful classes and beautiful yarns. then her husband was transferred to boston so her yarn store closed. she kept in touch through her blog which morphed into sockpixie, which offered sock patterns, and eventually sock yarn. she and her daughter dye a different colorway selection in various types of sock yarns each week so when the yarn is gone it's gone. this colorway came from the week she was inspired by famous women and named her sock yarn colorways after them. this specific colorway is colette, a writer i met in college, became enamoured with and have read over and over again. so, of course, had to have it; love it; can't wait to knit it up.

whew! i think that is the latest. and i am sorry to say, something quirky is still beyond my reach. perhaps at blog number 150! so stay tuned. many thanks to all of you who amaze and inspire me. it's a lot of fun.
(it is a bit sad that life is so busy this post took three weeks to put together! yeesh!)

Monday, April 07, 2008

a gap is forming

my local LYS is closing.

i met some great knitters there; i learned a lot from those knitters; i was inspired and challenged by those knitters; i took classes from them; i had the opportunity to teach beginning knitting and introduce new knitters to the satisfaction of making and sharing something beautiful.

the owner is trying to sell the business but i am not sure if there will be any takers. which is sad because i think the community can certainly hold a knitting store.

but the saddest thing is i feel like a comfortable old friend is going away. i will miss all of the talk with the girls, the sharing, the ooohhhing and aaahhhing, the catching up with friends. all within walking distance of home.

so it goes. everyone will move on to other things. but i will always be grateful for the time i had there.