Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can She Finish?

I feel like Dory from Finding Nemo...

Just keep knitting. Just keep knitting. Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting.

(Just today and tomorrow left in the Knitting Olympics!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Felted Purse Session II: Recap

The second session of Get Knittin'@the Library: Felted Purse was last night. Not everyone from Session I returned, but there were also a couple of newbies. 24 total.

The class was a little more fragmented than I would have liked. The students were all at different stages. My overhead presentation went over how to seam up the purses, but not everyone had completed pieces to seam up. Some of them were still working on their knitting, or needed "triage" done on their pieces. So I put the seamers at tables, and the knitters in chairs. I went through the presentation, gave a felting demo (using a coffee cup cozy), and then showed them samples of customizations for finished purses. Then I just spent a lot of time running around doing various things...I think I got a little scatterbrained. I hope that the students were not overwhelmed, and I especially hope they don't feel I neglected them.

On the positive side, I have heard back from two people who have already felted their purses, and they seem very pleased with the results. I am going to start collecting pictures of the finished products to put up in an album here on the blog.

I didn't finish all of the samples I intended to before the class. I only got 6 done, and I had 8 planned. Here are the six:

A. Felted Bangle Bracelet Bag with Silk Flower Embellishment

B.Purple and Lilac Striped Purse with Flap

C. Rust and Black Purse with Variegated Ribbon Accent

D. Variegated Standard Purse

E. Black and White Two Tone Purse with Button Flap and Scroll Pattern Button

F. Large Mocha Brown Purse with Flap and Stone Button

[By the way...all 6 of these are going to be for sale...if you are interested, please email me.]


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tomorrow, Tomorrow...

My class is tomorrow...'s only a day away!

(Get Knittin' @ the Library: Felted Purse Session II is tomorrow night at 6:30...5 samples done...2, possibly, to go!)

The obnoxious thing is that I made a completely amateur mistake on one of the purses! It is too late to fix it properly, I should have noticed it sooner. I can "fix" it still, but it will involve changing the design a bit. I think I will leave it until after class so that I can use the sample as a sort of warning to my students.

And, after tomorrow night, it is all cinema shawl all the time in the Knitting Olympics!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Why I Love Housesitting

I have access to a laundry room with a large sink and full size dryer in which I can felt a parade of purses!

...also, I have the constant joy of warmblooded company.

(Sadie tends to ignore the knitting process, but Tara tends to get curious!)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Knitting While Petsitting...

...has its difficulties.

I have to convince Sadie that german shepherds are not lapdogs, and Tara that cats are not supposed to sleep in my knitting bag!

Still, at least I have cable...I can finally watch the actual Olympics while doing the Knitting Olympics!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Becoming a Bi-Athlete

Just as the real Olympics have the knitting Olympics are also swiftly turning into a combo-event. Only instead of skiing and shooting, I am juggling multiple projects.

I initially signed on to knit the blue mohair cinema shawl for my Knitting Olympics project. I waited patiently, and then cast on during the And it is progressing at a snail-slow but steady rate.

However, at the same time...I have a stack of felted purses to finish as samples for the class I am giving next Wednesday at the library. And by stack, I mean seven...which are at various stages of done-ness. (I couldn't count the purses as my official Knitting Olympics project because many of them were in progress before the Opening Ceremonies.)

I have been alternating back and forth...mohair shawl, purse a's strap, mohair shawl, purse b's body, purse a's strap, mohair shawl...etc.

Now I am starting to worry that not only will I not complete both tasks by their respective finish dates, I might not complete either one.


(I comfort myself with the fact that the shawl doesn't have to be done until the 28th, and the purses (finished or not) can be set aside after the 24th. That gives me FOUR WHOLE DAYS of non-stop (except for work and school) shawl knitting to play catch up in.)

Monday, February 15, 2010


I spent the majority of today:

-Working out on my exercise ball

-Reading a biography of John and Abigail Adams for the senior book club I facilitate

-Drinking coffee

-Listening to the mellow saxophone sounds of the Nuclear Whales

-Knitting felted purse samples for the second class session at the library next week

What's more...

I did all of these things simultaneously!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Opening Ceremonies

I decided to go with the mohair cinema shawl...

...I cast on during the opening ceremonies, knit for 4 hours, and barely have 4 inches...

...this challenge might be harder to complete than I thought!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Knitting Olympics 2010

The Knitting Olympics will begin tomorrow.

Here is how they work:
  • Cast on a project that will pose some sort of challenge for you during the opening ceremonies.

  • Finish said project by the time the Olympic torch is extinguished 16 days later.

This has posed a bit of a problem for me...I really want to participate, but with work and school pressing in on me I don't see how I'll be able to take part to the extent I would like.

I would like to be able to cast on a sweater, or an intricate pair of socks...I just don't have the time to devote to knitting that those types of things would require.

So instead I am making a bit of a compromise. Instead of choosing a project that is a time/skill challenge, I am choosing a project that I have been procrastinating on. I will knit something that has been in my stash for years. This is a challenge for me. I have a lot of back log in my stash. There are many projects that I was in love with when I planned, but being the fickle person I am, I dumped them and moved on without a backward glance.

Nominees for Olympic Knitting include:
  • A cinema shawl out of some blue mohair I purchased when Sweet Stitch was still open(so...4 years ago...)

  • A mobius cowl neck vest out of some blue heron cotton that I also purchased at Sweet Stitch.

  • An earflap hat out of the periwinkle and white llama yarn that, yes, I purchased at Sweet Stitch.

  • The Candleflame cashmere scarf out of the GORGEOUS cashmere yarn guessed it...I purchased at Sweet Stitch! (In my defense, I was making a scarf out of this, but the stitch pattern didn't work with the variegation...)

Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Public Displays of Knitting: Florida Edition

Here are a few of the pictures from my Florida trip...a few of the knitterly pictures that is:

Knitting the Gotham Socks at a Starbucks in Temple Terrace.

Knitting Beret Pour Moi on my mattress on the floor of Blondie's dorm room.

Proudly wearing handknits in the college student center with Blondie. (Shortly after the picture was taken, I went back to knitting socks.)

Jester, looking clearly relieved that we have arrived at Knit 'n Knibble in one piece.

The 100% sugar cane yarn that I purchased at Knit 'n Knibble

All in all...I finished 2 projects on this trip, and made significant progress on 2 more. I also wore at least one handknit every single day...a scarf, a beret, socks, or wristwarmers!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Knit 'n Knibble

Jester stole her boyfriend's car while I was in Florida, and took me into a Tampa yarn shop...Knit 'n Knibble. (Isn't that a great name?) It was raining so hard that we could only see a few feet in front of the car, and were driving 20 MPH down the interstate. The roads in town were flooded. We passed some smaller cars that were stalling out in the deep water...luckily we were in an SUV. It was pretty scary. (I bought Jester a Krispy Kreme to make up for the terror that I put her through!)

We eventually found the yarn had moved, and google hadn't updated the address for it. It was on the same street, just a few blocks further south than we thought.

The shop had two major drawbacks:

The staff were obnoxiously intrusive. When we walked in, Jester and I were greeted by a chorus of hellos. That was fine. An employee asked if they could help us find anything, which was also fine, and actually nice. But then I said no...I was from out of town and just wanting to browse. This means, to those of you unfamiliar with the English language, that I just wanted to look around and see what they had. I wanted to squeeze the skeins and meander about. However, rather than letting us be, two other employees, essentially back to back, came up and asked us the same questions. Now, had this been a large store, like a Michael's or JoAnn's, I would have understood. But it wasn't. I could hear all of their conversations, and knew that they could hear Jester and I turn down help. They went from being friendly and helpful, to being annoying and obnoxious. (Jester actually asked me why they wouldn't leave us alone, and if they thought we were going to steal something. I don't see why they would think we were non-knitters...I was wearing a handknit beret, scarf, and socks...I even told them which book the beret pattern was out of...ugh.)

There were no snacks. The shop is called Knit 'n Knibble. It actually says on it's webpage :“Knit” in a comfortable place where you can enjoy a latte or cappucino while you “Knibble” on cookies and biscotti. This led me to believe that it was a combination coffee shop/yarn shop...also known as heaven on earth. But when we arrived, though we saw lots of tables to work at...there was no "coffee shop" area. Jester finally saw a coffee pot/espresso machine in a corner, but it was a standard home use one. And we never saw any food. (Another reason for the Krispy Kreme run on the way home.) False advertising? Definitely.

Despite this, it was a nice yarn shop with a great selection. Their exotic fiber collection was especially impressive, as was the wall of sock yarn. I bought some Cascade 220 for felted purse samples since they had it priced way below anywhere out here in CA. I also bought two skeins of black fingering weight that is 100% sugar cane. (Blondie licked it when I got back to the dorm. She said it didn't taste like sugar...) They also had some gorgeous samples. Jester fell in love with a sample beanie that was just beyond her was essentially an adult version of the Envy beanie, so I am going to make it for her. (Well, I am going to make a version of it, since the sample was made from an alpaca, camel, silk blend that was $60/skein...)

To sum up: nice selection, annoying staff, no food...but an afternoon well spent with a wonderful friend!

I didn't take any pictures in the shop...the staff made me too uncomfortable...but I found the one's here on another blogger's site.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun in Florida

I am on another vacation...

This time I met my Dad in Florida for a lectureship at Jester and Blondie's college. So, rather than my usual 2 hour flight, I had approximately 8-9 hours of flying/airport waiting both ways.

Woo-hoo! The opportunity to finish an entire audio book AND a portable project or two...

There were some tough decisions to be made...

Which book? I ended up loading two onto my phone. I went with Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers, and Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer. (The Myers book is for the Teen Book Club I coordinate...the Colfer book is just for fun.)

Which project? I packed 2 felted purse class samples, Beret pour Moi, Gotham socks, and Cornrows. All of the projects are fairly small/portable, but they take varying levels of concentration. Also, none of them required me to bring a pattern...just a few notes typed into my phone.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Celebrating Sis-In-Law with 80's Dance

Sis-in-Law just had her birthday on Monday...and since I was seeing her last night, I decided that a day-late-gift-delivery was perfectly warranted. (I did call her on the actual day, and left her a message and everything. I even let her know that her present was arriving with me last night. I did my due diligence.)

But back to the subject at hand. She just had her birthday. And I have known for forever what I was going to give her, since she had asked me flat out several months ago if I could make legwarmers for her sometime.


I love knitting for people. And I especially love knitting things I know that they want!

So I made her:

The Misty Dawn Legwarmers!

For inspiration, before and during knitting, I watched:

Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Footloose, Fame, and Center Stage (which isn't 80's, but is very legwarmer friendly).

Gotta love the library's great DVD collection!

I also did a lot of knitting at the movie theater during Edge of Darkness, the new Mel Gibson movie. Since the Misty Dawns are in-the-round stockinette, they made for perfect knitting in the dark. Also, the action and pacing of the film made me knit faster...heart rate up, needles flashing!

I was thinking about writing up the pattern, but I think I'll wait and see how they work out for Sis-in-Law fit-wise...since I totally knit them on the fly...that way I can make any necessary adjustments before posting it.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Soft and Pretty

I finished 2 sets of wrist warmers on Saturday as a commission for my friend, Lovely. She asked for a luxury yarn, and was okay with the resulting price increase. I went with a merino silk blend. The silk made them incredibly soft, and the merino gave amazing stitch definition and warmth.

I decided that as long as I was upping the swank factor on the yarn, that I should up the swank on the stitch pattern as well. (It felt wrong to subject silk to a 2x2 demeaning!) Once again, I was grateful for my stitch a day calendar!

I did a mini cable rib on the cream pair. I have used this stitch on socks before. It is very simple and fast, I just need to count my rows so that my cables are a consistent length...the socks I made previously have some "charming" deviations!

On the black pair, I used a corded rib stitch. This was a new stitch for me, and very fun to do. It looks a lot more complex than it really is. Also, since it "knots" itself every other row, I didn't have to count rows as precisely. It was more intuitive. Better television knitting.

I delivered them last night, and Lovely seemed to really like them! (One more thing crossed off the "Queue that Should Never Have Happened"!)