Archive for January 2008

Bountiful yarn

January 27, 2008

If you read my post a few days ago you know a few of us traveled up the turnpike to participate in the 30% off sale at Stitches of Tulsa. I bribed my shopping buddies into letting me take a picture of all the yarn that was purchased that day. Here it is:

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Let me give you some hints. One half of the table is the yarn “the winner” purchased. Impressive huh? The other half of the table is the yarn the rest of us purchased. And here is another hint: I have the smallest little bit dividing the two bunches. Keep in mind that the Mission Falls (which probably makes up 1/3 of the yarn) and a few other selections were 75% off. You can’t beat that unless you are winning it! lol

A few of us traveled up to Guthrie last night to attend Terri’s son’s wedding.   I bet Terri will be blogging about that so that is all I’ll mention except about meeting her sister. It turns out Terri’s oldest sister is a knitter and has read my blog. (Hi Arlene!) Arlene wanted to know who the “winner” was. When I pointed the winner out the winner grabbed my finger and pulled my hand down. lol Gee, you’d think she wasn’t proud of her haul, huh?

And it has crossed my mind I haven’t shown any pictures recently of my Lexi. Here she is resting while watching her mama clean.

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Isn’t she precious? I think so.

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Yarn Dreams

January 24, 2008

Do you ever dream of yarn?   I do, in a way.   It is probably more of daydream only I do it as I’m trying to drift off to sleep at night.   I think of projects I want to knit and think of what yarn I want to use.  Sometimes I am trying to crowd out those negative images and thoughts that swoop in when I’m trying to go to sleep and I visualize beautiful yarns.

The other night I visualized a yummy shimmery yarn of chocolate browns with a medium aqua almost turquoise blue.  The image had a shiny twisty look to the strands so I am thinking silk or maybe a rayon.   I know it would have a nice soft drape.   I don’t recall ever seeing this yarn so I am guessing it is my “dream”  yarn for now.   lol   Who knows?  I might find it tomorrow!

I’ve also got another project haunting my head.   You’ve seen the pictures of my clapotis.   I used Noro’s Silk Garden and I do love my clappy.   In fact, I’ve used it alot with these frigid temps.   I like to wrap it around my neck and throw it back over my shoulders before I put on my coat.   The problem is I made it longer to use as a wrap and I really don’t like the mohair up around my neck and face.   I love it best as a wrap around my shoulders.   But since it keeps my neck and upper chest so warm I think I need another to use as a scarf.   I’ve come to realize that I don’t like bulky heavy scarves.   Remember my Irish Hiking Scarf I knitted out of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran?   Love the yarn but my scarf is too thick, too bulky and I don’t use it because of that.   So with all those “issues” in mind, I’m thinking of knitting the next one out of Lorna’s Laces.   I don’t want to shell out $120+ for the Lion and Lamb the original pattern calls for so I think I’ll use the Shepherd Worsted.   It will be half the cost and I’ll still have those yummy colors Lorna’s Laces is so famous for.   I’ve seen several clapotis’ on Ravelry knitted with this yarn and they are beautiful.   I think it will give me a softer scarf to wrap around my neck.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue my yarn dreams…..they are wonderful.

The Ways of a Knitter

January 21, 2008

How do you explain knitting and knitting habits to a non-knitter?

My boss has a 7 year old daughter, B. who is into fiber. She wants to learn how to make things with yarn. I gave her a knitting lesson a few months ago and she did pick up on some of the process. Our problem is we don’t have a consistent time to meet and practice together etc. I suggested her mother enroll her in a knitting class. She did just that and now the daughter is starting a new project. So the mother told me that she informed her daughter that they had bought several different types of yarn and a couple of sets of needles, when is she going to see a product? I couldn’t help but laugh. The mother is wise and is already noticing something many of us do without thought. So I had to help my young friend the best I could. I ask the mother: what is your hobby? Reading? Ok, do you have books on the shelf that you have not read yet but those same books bring you comfort by just BEING there? Bingo!! I made a homerun. She understood immediately. Then she asked me: How many items have you started that are just sitting around? (Damn, does she know how to go for the jugular or what??? lol) I then take the crayon approach. I explain that you have a box of 64 wonderful brand new sharp crayons. You remove a color and start to color with it. Do you keep coloring with the same crayon? Or do you grab another so you can use a different color? She grasped that concept pretty quick also. I walked out. Whew! She asks tough questions. So I gave myself some time for my breathing to steady and returned to her office. I then confessed: I probably have 25 different items on the needles right now. She immediately said: well, she’s not that bad yet! lol

B., I hope I helped sweetheart. I’m in your corner and will try to smooth the way so you can become a stash hoarding, multi-project girl just like me. Amen.

Confession is good for the soul….

January 19, 2008

Something occurred to me this evening. I can’t say that it was a 100% total new thought. This is my observation. I have this group of friends (you know who you are). Over the past year or so we’ve traveled to several states and visited many yarn shops. We travel very well together and we shop well together. This is a grand fact. If you’ve ever had friends who were not good travel companions or who did not shop at the same pace and spots that you enjoy then you know what I’m talking about. But back to my friends. Several months ago we took a trip south. We visited several yarn shops and every single one of us “tasted the waters”. As I spent my money and bought different yarns (to support my habit) it occurred to me that I could make this a game. A game that I’d be very happy to “lose”. We could make our trips a competition. We could tally up our purchases in each store and at the end of the day/trip/event and see who “won”. I think the first time I introduced this idea was last March in Fort Worth. Everyone was game and everyone contributed by giving their totals. I have to insert here that these contributions were based on the honor system so there may have been a fudge or two or complete omissions. But based on the totals entered, there was a clear cut winner. She knows who she is. We all know who she is. Each and every yarn shop we visit together she “wins” every time. And I love letting her win. Our other friends love it that she wins. I think the biggest shopping trip of the year was our Stitches East trip. She won that competition hands down. We’ve all made half-hearted vows that we didn’t need to buy anymore yarn and would try not to buy anymore yarn for “awhile” after that trip. Some of us were more successful than others. We’ve had several local yarn shops have sales during this time span of last October until now. Again, this friend outspends each and every one of us. Today, three of us ran up to Tulsa for Stitches 30% off sale. Wow!! Did we clean up! There is something about that store that makes all of us spend, spend, spend. I think it’s the fact that they have a sale area that always has some great yarns on sale. They have more than novelty and chunky stuff that doesn’t sell well at most shops. They have Classic Elite, Nashua, Berroco, Reynolds, Elsebeth Lavold, Mission Falls and many others. The minimum discount is 30%. There are always yarns at 40% and 50% discount also. Today, there was a75% area and we cleaned up. There were two full shelves of Mission Falls 1824 Wool and when we left I don’t think there was enough left to fill one shelf. Who can pass up Mission Falls at 75% off??? Not me. And not my friends. I checked out first. I had two bags full of yarn. One friend left the check out counter with four bags full of yarn. And then the winning friend comes away with SIX bags of yarn! You would think we were finished, right? Not us, we’re diehards. So we hurry on to another shop down the road, Loops in Utica Square. I wanted to look at their selection of Knit Col. There is one colorway I had become obsessed with and L & B here in Norman had sold out by the time I decided I had to have it. Shelley at Loops had posted about a week ago that she had gotten in a big shipment and that was my target. I found my color at Loops and my friends focused on the other sock yarns. We all made our selections and checked out. Once in the car we dug out our receipts. It was a close one. I was the clear loser (thank God) but it was so close that the other two were within pennies of each other. Once again this same friend won.

We drove back to Norman with a trunk full of yarn. I wish I had taken my camera. It was such a wonderful sight. That was when my observation hit me and I shared it with those friends. I believe one of them called me an enabler. I reminded both of them that I was not the enabler. When we ran to the Koigu at Stitches we were quickly told that was the only yarn in the shop that was NOT included in the sale. Bummer. So I put back what I had selected. Our practice at this shop is this: we pick up yarns that we want or are considering and we go to the back table and sit it down while we go shop for more. Then we sit down and look our selections over to see what we HAVE to have and what we can put back, review our book of patterns to see how much we need and see what each other is getting. There was no Koigu on that table. After I check out the winning friend asks me if I bought any Koigu. I knew she was looking for “permission” but I told her no, I did not get any. A little later one friend comes back with her purchases and there is a wad of Koigu (big enough to choke a horse I might add) in her bags. Well the winning friend was behind her in line and saw the Koigu and without hesitation she received her “permission” and she was at the Koigu display making her selections. So who is the enabler here? Not me! lol

There is a shop in Winipeg Canada that has a yearly 30% off everything sale. Last year I made the mistake of waiting until early morning to make my selections and barely got anything because some “hawks” had swooped everything up when the clock hit midnight and I was asleep. This year I planned on staying up until midnight (on a work night!) to make sure I would get some sea silk. Well my winning friend noticed it before I did but the sale did not officially start until 10 AM that Tuesday morning. Darn! So it slowed us down a bit but we still made our purchases after the 10 AM hour and guess who “won”? You got it!! My winning friend!!

I could go on with many more examples. But it is late and I am tired. It was a long day and I have yarn to fondle and squeeze. A girl does have her priorities you know.

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Knitting: Obsession or Addiction?

January 7, 2008
This is the definition of obsession per the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
1: a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>2: something that causes an obsession
And this is the definition of addiction:
1: the quality or state of being addicted <addiction to reading>2: compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful
Knitting is certainly a persistent preoccupation but I disagree that it is disturbing or unreasonable.   It is a compelling motivation in that it makes me want to knit more.
I do have a compulsive need to dip my hands into yarn, to grasp the needles and start the rhythmic movements.  The bigger question is this:  Is knitting habit forming?   Hmmm…I think it is definitely a habit.   And I do get antsy when I can’t knit or go hours or days without knitting.   So that could be a symptom of withdrawal.  Is it harmful to me?   It might be harmful to my bank account.   It could be harmful to my living space if I don’t stop buying yarn.   lol
Which do you claim?   Obsession or addiction?
I think I claimed mine when I started this blog.  It’s an addiction.

Happy New Year 2008!

January 1, 2008

 Blogging today was one of the first items on my list today.   It became impossible when my mouse/trackball took on a life of it’s own.  lol   No matter how I tried to position the cursor on this thing it had a life of it’s own.   I was convinced I had a virus or bug on my computer.   I ran Adaware and did a fresh virus scan, nothing.   Ran McAfee’s Stinger and still came up with nothing wrong.   So then I had to dig up the Dell mouse that came with this computer and try it.  Viola!   It worked.

The trip back from Colorado was uneventful until we hit I-40 leaving Amarillo.   It was around 5:30 and the sun was sinking when we hit the first of many icy spots.   We slowed to 25 mph and made a pitstop in Shamrock.   Gathered our wits and got back on I-40 for a few more icy sections and made the Oklahoma border where the road was D-R-Y!  Yay!!!!!!

There’s no place like home, right Dorothy???   I was soo glad to be back in my own bed with my own shower.   Michael was glad to have a real bed to crash in and sleep to his heart’s content.   And Lexi was very glad her mama was home even if THAT boy was here.   lol   Have I mentioned that Lexi is v-e-r-y selective about who she lets see her not to mention who she will let pet her?   lol  She’s a persnickety girl for sure.

My sister took me around to the yarn shops in Colorado Springs the day after Christmas.   The Knitter’s Kove had moved and downsized from when I’d been there a couple of years ago.   She still has a great variety of yarns but I did not see the great selection of sock yarns I’d seen before.   Also it was a bit difficult to see all the yarns with ease because of the cramped quarters.   It’s still a nice shop just not as large as when it was on Tejon.   This is what I got there:

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One skein of Cascade Eco + in purple.   I only snagged yarn I had a project in mind for use.   I will knit the Hemlock Ring throw with this.   Yum.

The next shop we visited was Green Valley Weavers and Knitters.   This shop also has weaving supplies in addition to yarn.   They have a great selection of Brown Sheep.   I did see some gorgeous gloves knitted out of Laines du Nord Cash-silk.  I wanted some of that yarn but walked out without buying any.   Stupid move.   I also saw the standard felted clog but this pair had some cute pizazz.   This pair was knitted with fun fur in the upper foot section.   I know, I know….fun fur yuck.   But these were so darling and really did make the slippers look cute.

Next stop was Needleworks by Holly Berry.   This shop is both yarn and needle point supplies, although I think the yarn is taking over.   Yay!    They carry Debbie Bliss, Lorna’s Laces and Blue Sky Alpaca.   And many more that I can’t recall right now.   My sister, who is very attracted to felting, loved this shop.   She is still learning and isn’t comfy in knowing what yarns felt and which don’t.   This shop had small tags above the yarns that would felt.   Makes it very easy for the novice felter.   This is what I bought there:

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Three hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca and Silk in a deep teal.   This yarn is destined to become gloves.

As you can see I really didn’t buy much.   Losing my debit card to the ATM before I could leave town really took a bite out of my after Christmas shopping plans.   lol   Talk about an enforced yarn diet!!!   lol   Oh well.   That only meant that I had more money to spend when I got back home and went to the sale at Gourmet Yarn.

And this is what I scored at that sale:

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Two skeins of Rowan Handknit cotton for Sweet Pea Hats; two skeins of Rowan Tapestry for a neck gaiter;  four hanks of sock yarn, two Mountain Colors and two Cherry Tree Hill.   I think the Moose River by Mountain Colors is not shown in this picture because I had already cast on a helmet hat for my nephew.   The variegated Cherry Tree Hill will become a pair of socks for my  niece who told me no less than 3 times that she wanted hand knit socks.   lol   The other two sock yarns will become socks for me some day.

For some odd reason I did not have Bunny Tail out for pictures.   That’s ok, the ribbon on the ears got wrinkled on the trip back from Colorado so I’ll fix that and take some pictures later.   Oh, I did not put the tail on the hat.   I figure most babies sleep alot and having a bump of a tail digging into the back of your head wouldn’t lend itself to a nice nap.  lol   But the hat is still darling even without a tail.

And here are some pictures of my niece, Caitlin, modeling my finished Clapotis.

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Please take my word for it, the clappy is much prettier than  photographed.   I guess I need some special lighting to get the colors to show correctly.   But it’s finished and I LOVE it!

I have the black eyed peas on the stove and will have some before the day is over.   I hope you have a wonderful 2008 that is filled with lots of fun and knitting.

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