Monthly Archives: September 2006

Everybody’s Doing It, aka Ima Lemming

Saw it first on Grumperina, then on my knitsters’ blogs: Annette, Marie, Marie and Madge. I’m such a joiner. And yes, I would jump off the cliff too.

10 Knittery Things You Didn’t Know About Me

1. I have a shopping bag full of acrylic yarn waiting to be given away. This was my first foray into “serious” yarn buying. I laugh now, because I thought I was seriously buying a lot of yarn then, and look at me now, self-professed and embarrassed-to-say Yarn Snob. This is no surprise to those who know me, but I have become a yarn snob. Sniff. Sniff. Besides, the cost of the yarn at Michael’s or Joann’s, even with their blasted 40% off coupons, is not any cheaper than the great deals that can be had online. (Self, just stay focused on this right now and don’t click on WEBS to purchase the close-out sale of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed…) Working at a LYS also doesn’t hurt either. Heh heh heh

2. My favorite yarn lately has been Blue anything. Not in color, mind you, but rather brand. Blue Sky Alpacas – I especially love their organic cotton, alpaca sportweight, and alpaca and silk, and… Blue Heron and Blue Moon Fiber Arts

3. I haven’t fallen in love with CrackSilk Haze… yet.

4. I love almost anything with alpaca in it, except alpaca poo, of course.

5. I have tons of Noro in my stash but haven’t made anything with it yet, except two little hats. After the recipient of one of the hats called it the ugly hat, I was turned off it for a while. I’m always hopeful that I’ll go back to the Noro stash some day.

6. I love teaching family and friends how to knit, but then when I begin to do it, I am filled with self-doubt. Maybe because only a few friends have actually been successful and stuck with it. I am most proud of my sister and two nieces who pick it up again every summer when they come out for their visit. Then it becomes fibery fun. I still have to get my brother-in-law hooked on it, as he is *always* asking questions about it and trying to wrap his brain around how it works.

7. I have no interest in spinning or dyeing yarn. Nada. Zip. Nil. Nothing else to say.

8. Sweetie Husband likes that I have this creative pursuit (nay, obsession!), and I’m not just about kungfu-ing other people. That said, I’ve never knit anything for Sweetie Husband because he says he doesn’t want anything. Too much pressure, I guess. I am just starting to convince him that it would be okay for me to knit him a sweatshirt-like sweater that he can toss around and throw on the ground.

9. Silvia and I are planning our own little cross-country mini-KAL using our Artful Yarns Fable yarn. We just decided on Blue Sky Alpacas Ribbon Shell but no start date has been set yet. Wanna join us?

10. I have dreams of creating my own knitted dim sum pieces, but may need a *lot* of help with this. (hint hint Knitsters!)

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Obsession Confession

I’ve never talked about my other obsession, so it’s time for obsession confession. I’ve moved through obsessions time and time again. Scrapbooking, cooking, baking, sewing. Don’t I sound like June Cleaver? However, I have never been able to make exercising an obsession, although I have much needed to. I never expected to become obsessed with my kungfu training but I did nonetheless.

I used to think about it constantly, especially as I was approaching a testing day. I’d walk around the house constantly doing various hand and arm movements, sometimes without even realizing it. Sweetie husband would look at me funny but over time, just got used to it. Dork check! As I was driving the car, Sweetie boy would catch me with my funny hand motions (not the one-fingered kind!). I would surf the net for hours reading as much as I could about the topic. I was lucky there aren’t as many kungfu blogs as there are knitting blogs. If I could physically go to more classes, I would but the middle-aged body protested when I tried that.

Not too different from our knitting obsession, is it? Knitting every chance you get, while walking or riding in the car. Spending hours on the internet looking at patterns, yarn, blogs, anything related. When my body gives out and can’t keep training, I’ll always have my knitting (I hope!).


There isn’t much to say about my kungfu obsession on my blog, but I think I remember mentioning somewhere that I would talk about it some day. Seeing this old picture of Sweetie Boy with our Sifu (master) our school’s website made me want to share it with you. There aren’t too many pictures of me doing kungfu and the ones I do have I’m *certainly* not going to share, except for my teeny tiny profile picture up top. That was taken about a year and a half ago, and I’m in a pose from the fan form.

Do you have other obsessions you’d like to confess?

Enhancement

The beaded evening bag is moving along fine; thanks for asking. Stealth project #2 is also on track, so both should be done by their deadline of next weekend. I’m happy to report that after turning my sixth short row heel, the little holes are finally getting smaller and smaller. I’ve been waiting for my new camera to arrive, and when Fedex didn’t deliver it on Friday, I was bummed. Tonight was the last straw. I couldn’t take it anymore, so pulled toward blogging I was. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I pulled out my very first digital camera dating back to 2000 (which I’ve since given to Sweetie Boy) to take a few pics. Witness stash enhancement:

This weekend I went to a new LYS, Abuelita’s, with Jillian. Small but very cute store in a revitalized funky part of South Pasadena. Super friendly owners, Samantha and Aimee, who were nice in how they suggested yarn without being too pushy. I really enjoyed the shop and their yarn selection, albeit limited for now. I thought the shop showed definite promise, and they have a frequent shopper card too. Buy 10 skeins and the 11th is free! They had some yarns that I’d not seen before but been curious about, including Berroco Pure Merino (I loves me my merino) and Brown Fleece Superwash. I ended up with a ball of the Superwash for some footies in a beautiful emerald green color with undertones of blue. Jillian got the purpley ball. Pretty!

My one frustration at the store was the lack of prices on the yarn. There were some prices on a few stickers or small signs posted on the actual shelves but even those were hard to see. I had to ask the price a few times, and after a while, it just gets awkward, especially if you’re not intending to buy the yarn right then but just wanna know for the future. I hope they can remedy that in the future.

For gifts, I’ve decided to make a couple of scarves knit up in super soft and squishy Malabrigo kettle-dyed merino. The colors are vibrant and beautiful Cactus Pink and Buscando Azul. These are from WEBS.

This summer, my sister and I had combined a WEBS order and hit the sought-after 25% mark, so I decided to try a skein or two of this and that. I was mostly interested in alternatives to wool. I purchased some Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, Southwest Trading Company Karaoke (soy silk and wool) and 2 balls of Plymouth Royal Bamboo in an olivey-grassy green color. While I haven’t yet knit with the Hempathy or Soy Silk, I swatched the Royal Bamboo for the Simple Knitted Bodice KAL that’s part of the Sexy Knitter’s Club. I loved how the yarn felt through my fingers while swatching. I love the fact that it’s bamboo which is renewable source. I love the drape of the fabric.

That said, I didn’t choose it for the Simple Knitted Bodice, but I couldn’t turn my back on it. I knew it would be perfect for a garment some day, so I bought a few more balls from WEBS. When serendipity comes a-knocking on my door with that perfect project, I’ll have enough. I swatched on two different needle sizes, but can’t remember what they were… maybe sizes 5 and 6? Oh well, hopefully I’ll remember when the time comes. The picture on the left shows the color more accurately than the picture on the right, although I’d say it’s a bit more olive toned. I just liked the picture on the right because it shows the sheen and stitches nicely.

WEBS’ customer service was really great because I wanted to match dye lots as much as possible. When I placed the order online, I included a note asking for as many of the balls in a specific dye lot. They emailed the next day asking if I wanted their last 2 from that dye lot and the remaining from different lot. Nice!

What did I chose for the SKB, you ask? It’s Anny Blatt Merino in Chocolat that I got at the Yarn Lady Bag Sale this past June. The feel of the yarn and drape of the knitted fabric are incredible. The color is this perfect eggplanty purplish chocolate. That’s what’s next up on the queue. Same thing about the color. The picture on the left is a more accurate portrayal of the actual color but I like showing pics of the stitches close up and personal.

Keep your fingers crossed that I’ll finish both projects before next weekend. Have a great week!

Update

SnB was, as always, a ton of fun. Check out Annette’s blog for great coverage of our meeting and projects.

My camera is still on strike, but Canon is sending me a replacement. I should receive it tomorrow, so we’ll have pictures soon. I promise. On Saturday, I’m going to check out a new LYS, Abuelita’s. There have been mixed reviews on it so far, so I definitely need to check it out myself.

The second heel on stealth project #2 is almost turned, and then I’ll just have to do the ribbing on the leg ’til they’re done. Not too bad. I’m on schedule. The first half of the beaded evening bag is almost done. I just have to do one more row of beads. Then I’ll cut the yarn, set it aside, and cast on side 2. This one is definitely zipping along. I love how quickly it knits up, but even more so, I love the effect of the beads. It’s so fun just to pet the wrong side because the yarn is so soft and then pet the right side which is bumpy with beads. Can you tell I’m a tactile person? Hopefully, I’ll have pictures taken from my new-ish camera to show very soon. Ooh, can I start thinking of my next project yet? Have a great weekend!

Casting On (Again!)


Stealth project #1 is complete, and I’m casting on for stealth project #2. If I have time, there will be a stealth project #3 but it’s iffy. Doncha just love deadline knitting? I am that kinda crazy person who does, and then I add another project with the same deadline, just to mix things up a bit. Challenge, mi amigas cheetahs, challenge. That’s the name of the game.

Stealth project #1 was really cool because the little bits and pieces I’ve learned about sock knitting have kinda jelled together. Turkish cast on for toe-up socks. Check. Short row heels. Check. However, I know I have so much more to learn, so my mantra is… just keep knitting, just keep knitting, just keep knitting. That’s me, Dory the forgetful blue fish. Casting on for stealth project #2 is pretty much the same as for #1… same toe-up cast on. Just perfecting it.

There is exciting news that I can talk about and even show you. The beaded evening bag by Patty, Ms. BasicKnits Coffee and Knitting herself. The bag will match a pair of killer steel grey fancy schmancy beaded high-heel sandals. Patty designed the pattern and teaches the beaded evening bag class at Unraveled. It’s really a delightful new sensory experience, knitting with beads.


The deadline for the evening bag? September 30th. Did I mention the deadline for the stealth projects is October 1st. Heh heh heh. Nutso. I know.

Special thanks to KnitDevil herself for taking these marvelous pictures. My camera is on strike, maybe because it did not appreciate being dropped… a coupla times.

Knitsters

Thanks to all of you for the kind words about being an inspiration. “Aw shucks” and “I’m not worthy” are all I have to say! I really appreciate the compliments for Pam; she really deserves it.

I have a few Knitster friends from our Pasadena Daytimers SnB group that have recently begun blogging. I’ve linked to them on the left, but wanted to give them shout-outs and words of encouragement.

Won’t you be their neighbor too?

Way to Go!

These were knit by my lovely friend, Pam. Pam learned to knit about 6 months ago, and this is her *first* sweater. She did an absolutely amazing job, because that’s the kind of person Pam is. She’s my girl scouts co-leader, runs her own business, fabulous wife and mother of 2 young ‘uns. Pam is one of those great people you meet who just “gets it.” After taking beginning knitting, she was off and running, knitting caps and scarves. About a month ago, I was working on the One Cable Scarf from One Skein. While we were at the soccer field for our Sweetie Girls’ practice, I quickly showed her how I slipped the stitches for a cable. She went home and tried it out on her own, and voila! Cables! Two weeks ago, she told me she was ready to move on to a more challenging project. I lent her The Yarn Girls Guide to Kid Knits, and one week later she showed me this sweater. Wow! While she says I inspired her to learn to knit, I am awed by her innate ability. Seems she was born to knit. I am so proud of Pam. Won’t you join me in giving her a hand?