Stitches West 2015

Stitches just ended, so it is time for a blog post!

First, let me acknowledge that I didn’t do an FO round up for 2014. I looked at how many things I had finished and the number was depressingly low so I didn’t want to rehash it. Alas. I did declare my skirt to be finished and I wore it today, the last day of Stitches. I didn’t get a good shot of it in action, or any shot of it being worn, actually. I liked wearing it and I got lots of compliments so I am calling it a success even without an FO photo.

My rule at Stitches this year was that I couldn’t buy sweater quantities of yarn, since I have not finished a sweater in… I was going to say two years but it looks like I haven’t finished a successful sweater for myself since 2010. How depressing! I did finish three other sweaters that I gave away but those don’t count. Do they? Maybe they do. In any case, no sweater quantities of yarn for me!

I started off with yarn from RedFish.
Stitches West 2015

I am going to make Color Affection with these three colors.
Stitches West 2015

The fourth green was rejected as too close to the grey by all of my knitting friends. I can’t say I disagree but I loved that color so I kept it. I will find something else to do with it.

Followed by a non-knitting purchase of two cups from Jennie the Potter.
Stitches West 2015
Only one is pictured here because the other is in the dishwasher already.

A project bag from Knerd.
Stitches West 2015
How true this is!

New Signatures and some notions.
Stitches West 2015
Mmm, Signatures.

I rounded up Thursday’s market preview shopping with a scarf from Miss Babs.
Stitches West 2015
I might be in love with this.

Yesterday I purchased some cotton tape yarn from DanDoh.
Stitches West 2015
I already started a project with it!

And today I fell down at WEBS and ended up with another skirt project.

Stitches West 2015
It’s not a sweater, right?

I was $12 away from 20% off so I grabbed these two for free basically.

Stitches West 2015
I think they will be a slinky cowl.

Last, but certainly not least, Lisa and I are splitting these three cones for a cowl.
Stitches West 2015
The booth that had this had a gorgeous cowl out of five colors, but we compromised and got three.

I also took a market session class on crocodile stitch.
Stitches West 2015
It’s an interesting crochet stitch. I think I will take the teacher’s advice, though, and work it in much smaller yarn for actual wear. It was pretty stiff in this worsted yarn on an H hook.

I had a good time, as usual, visiting with knitting friends from near and far and now my head is full of new project ideas! I should start by finishing one of my old projects, though.

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Stitches 2014

This weekend is Stitches. I have done pretty much all of my Stitches-ing already though. I registered for a class so I was able to get into the market preview. The main thing I knew I wanted to get was some interchangeable cables. I heard from some friends in my knitting group that the Knitter’s Pride ones fit the Knit Picks tips and are more sturdy. I picked up four sizes of those (the three sizes I have broken in the past year plus one size I never had). I also got Norah Gaughan vol. 13 because I fell in love with Silverberg. It’s designed in a bulky yarn but I will be knitting it in something lighter, probably a DK. We’ll see how much changing I’ll need to do for that. I might also want to knit Merle which is designed in a yarn that I can sub with All Seasons Cotton (and we all know how much I like to do that).

This morning I had my class. It was a class with Betsy Hershberg where we learned to make her Sine Curve Bracelet with a beaded knitting technique that doesn’t involve prestringing the beads. I finished mine during the three-hour class!

ABACUS beaded braceletABACUS beaded bracelet

I really like how it turned out and how it feels on my arm. I have lots of beads from my previous bead weaving and jewelry making hobby. Most of them are probably a bit too small for this but maybe not!

I ran briefly through the marketplace today and fell down and bought this.

silk colorflo

It’s so pretty! Yarn without wool that changes color like that is not very common and I was really pleased to find this one. I am thinking it can become a Dipped Infinity scarf without all the tiny balls of yarn. I have other patterns in mind too but I really think an infinity scarf/cowl is the way to go.

Right before Stitches started I finished something! A friend saw my tapestry cowl and asked if I’d make her one. I told her it took me three years and she said, “no, a plain one.” I found this Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in my stash and it was the right color and super soft. Ta da! Cowl.

cowl for a friend

In skirt news, I ripped back and started the cable section again with larger needles, extra plain rows, and regular instead of combination knitting. It’s working much better. I think I will be glad I went back.

Yay! Knitting! Yarn! Stitches!

2013 FO Round-up and a 2014 FO

In 2103, I finished 16 knitted, crocheted, and knotted projects. My conic sweater has no photo so it is not pictured below. I should remedy that.

2/21/13 finished honey cowl French Press Cozy Clapoktus finished magrathea Chemo Caps more bunnies are better Posh Lintilla
Bunnies! ArtFibers Brogue Cowl Mouse for W Husky Stripes Paracord! Teacher Gift crochet jar cover

I guess this is about my speed these days, since it’s almost exactly what I made last year. Although, some of these photos are of more than one thing. For example:

Bunnies!

I made two bunnies and I organized, knit part of, and sewed up part of the blanket under the bunnies in this photo.

crochet jar cover

This photo is of two but I made five of these crocheted jar covers.

Teacher Gift

I only made one of these, but look how cool it looks with a color-changing LED candle in it…

White Red Green Yellow

I skipped calculating my stash total last year but here is this year’s: as of today I have 74,438 yards, or 42 miles of yarn. That is only (“only”) 3,000 more yards than at the end of 2011. I do have a confession that I went to ArtFibers for one last hurrah and came home with 700 yards of Tantra and about 340 yards of Ginko.

tantraginko

Aren’t they gorgeous? Lucky for my wallet they did not have sweater quantities of the yarn I wanted to use to make a sweater in a color that I thought would be good on me. Whew.

Moving on…

My most recent FO is not knitting but cross stitch.

i love you in robot

I got the kit from Alicia Watkins on Etsy. It is so cute and was so much fun to do that I want to make all of her patterns now. I should mount this finished piece, frame it, and figure out where to put it before I do anything else, though.

Really, I should be knitting one of the projects on my needles. I might be time to cut my losses with a couple of projects and frog them. I have one sweater that I think is going to have to be totally rethought. At least the yarn won’t just sit in my stash that way.

NaBloPoMo Day 25: latke success and closing yarn stores

The latkes totally worked. They took a bit longer to hold together in the pan but it was fine. I think that if I were trying to do eggless latkes again I wouldn’t add any water (the potatoes let off plenty of that) and I’d add some cornstarch. I used more than the 1/4 cup of gluten free flour and still felt like I should have added more starch. Most importantly, though, they tasted good. My son’s class also enjoyed the other Hannukah themed activities. Another parent in the class used to be the youth services coordinator at a synagogue so she was able to talk about the holiday from a much more informed place than I usually do. She also read them my copy of The Trees of the Dancing Goats. I generally love Patricia Polacco books and that one is one of my favorites. She writes so wonderfully about cross-cultural friendship and understanding.

In sad news, today, I got an email from Art Fibers saying that not only is their storefront closing but they will also be closing up their dye studio. No more usual and gorgeous yarns! I might have to make a pilgrimage up there to say goodbye. I haven’t bought a lot of yarn from them but I have wanted to. Maybe I should splurge on a jacket’s worth of Brogue. We’ll see if the post-Christmas budget can handle it.

NaBloPoMo Day 23: yarn moving day

I know I missed two days. Whoops! Today, though, I did something kind of exciting: we rearranged the living room a bit and I moved my yarn. When I did the Apartment Therapy January Cure this year there was an assignment about getting a fresh perspective. I tried to do that in my living room and didn’t get very far. Nothing has changed in the past 10 months and I’ve been wanting to move stuff around and just not doing it. Today my husband suggested on a whim that we move the sofa to by the window, so I took him up on it.

Here’s what it used to look like.

Living room

We shifted things around, including pulling back the rug and steam cleaning underneath it. (The husband gets lots of bonus points for doing that!)

homeless yarn

Which left my yarn homeless. It used to live in this corner.

this corner is much better

I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I didn’t like having the bins stacked in the corner because it was hard to get to any but the top bin. I have been considering the idea of getting a 1×5 Expedit which would also hopefully keep the yarn acquisition to only what fits in those five cubes. I’m not sure if that would work and it’s still a possibility.

For now, though, the yarn is above the closet in my bedroom.

new home for the yarn

The bins should be easier to pick out one at a time since they are (mostly) not stacked but I have to stand on the bed to get them. We’ll see if it’s better or not.

The living room clean-up has already degenerated but I think I like it better anyway.

new living room arrangement

NaBloPoMo Day 5: something I never thought I’d want to knit

I am going to skip over my apologies for missing yesterday. Clearly, this is not going to manage to be a daily event.

There are a lot of patterns out there for knitted skirts. Lots of them are cute on the right figure and lots of them look like interesting knitting. I never thought I’d find one that looked like interesting knitting but also like something I could wear but I think I have. Dickson, by Norah Gaughan (of course). I won’t be knitting it in the alpaca/wool yarn it calls for but I have enough of a cotton/acrylic Berocco yarn called Love It to make it with that instead. It’s blue, just like the denim skirts I wear all the time.

berroco love it

I’m pretty excited about the idea of this but I need to finish my sweater first… right? I’m almost done with the first sleeve so I’m going to go work on that.

Stitches 2013!

It’s that time again, the time when a knitter’s heart turns to thoughts of yarn. Okay, a knitter’s heart never strays far from thoughts of yarn but we’re even more obsessive when Stitches comes around. Last year I said that Stitches was going to be my only yarn purchases. It wasn’t, of course, but maybe I can stick to that this year. No promises, though.

That said, let me show you what I did get. First, I ran to the Southern Yarn booth to buy Signature Needles.

signature needles

Her booth was full of nonwool yarns but none of it caught my eye. My rules for shopping were that I could only spend the cash that I brought and that I had to love what I bought. I already love these needles. I got a set of 7s two years ago and sometimes knit projects just because they can be made on those needles. They really are wonderful.

Then I visited the ArtFibers booth and discovered that they now have recycled cotton denim yarn.

art fibers dnmy

This red one had to come home with me. I think I already know what to make with it and it can be made on one of my pairs of new needles, so that’s a plus.

I also succumbed to a skein of RedFish’s new sport weight Silk Floss.

redfish silk floss

This picture doesn’t really do it justice. It’s very pretty. I am looking forward to knitting with it.

I was hoping that A Verb For Keeping Warm would have Paso Dolce chocolates again. They didn’t but they did have tiny Tcho samplers.

chocolate and free lotiony stuff

Love Tcho chocolate. The other item pictured above is my door prize! It’s a travel pack from Bar Maids: a cuticle stick, lip balm, and lotion bar. They are yummy and lanolin-free. I am so pleased that I finally won a prize! Maybe this means it’s my year for the grand prize.

In other news, I finished a cowl. It’s the Abby cowl from KnittySpin a couple of years ago.

2/21/13

I love how light but still warm the silk lace yarn feels. Again, I don’t love the color. It is the other half of the hank of silk I used to make the Annis which I ended up giving to Teenuh. She has hinted that she’d take this off my hands too. First I want to take it back to Stitches and show it to owner of RedFish Dyeworks, since it is her yarn. She said she’d love to see it.

Yes, that does mean I plan to go back to Stitches. I still have some of my cash left and if I want to win the grand prize I have to be there, right?

wet leaves and new yarn

It has been incredibly rainy here and for about a week my back patio and front walk were covered with wet leaves. They have been following everyone into the house. Usually our townhome complex’s gardener’s take care of the leaves but I guess they didn’t come because of the rain.

wet leaves

I got tired of them and cleaned up the back and front of the house. Leaves: 0; Me 1. So there.

I am also making progress on the baby sweater.

one front done

Knitting a wrap cardigan means that both fronts are almost the same size. It’s still super fast, though, because it’s a baby sweater in aran weight yarn! (Also I think it’s turning out to be very cute.)

Last but not least, my friend Jill gave me a gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe. As soon as I looked at their site, I knew I wanted to use it for Hand Maiden yarn. I settled on Swiss Silk: 100% silk laceweight.

Hand Maiden Swiss Silk

So pretty! Now, what should I make with it?

yarmulkes for sale!

Let’s start with apologies: I’m a bad blogger, you know it, I know it, I just don’t do it regularly. Okay, I’m glad I got that off my chest.

Now, what have I been knitting? Not a lot, actually. My husband had a gallstone attack on Mother’s day and I spent that evening with him in the ER, knitting away on my blue Etesian sweater while leaning awkwardly in an ER chair. The next day, my elbow started to hurt. Then I did a bunch of data entry for my job and it hurt more. And my forearm hurt. And… it hasn’t totally gone away. A mom at school who is a doctor told me that she thought it was tennis elbow, I’ve had acupuncture three times for it, which has helped, but it still aches and my forearm muscles are still very tight.

It sucks.

(My husband is fine now, though gall bladder-free and on a doctor ordered low fat diet and kind of sad about that.)

So, I took a break from knitting, mostly. I have been crocheting quite a bit, though.

Dave, from Chub Creek, posted on Twitter that someone should make him a coffee carafe and mug cozy, so I did.

Mug and Coffee Carafe Cozy set

Completely by accident, it arrived just before his birthday. He sent me a thank you Chub Creek mug in return.

Chub Creek Mug!

Which is enormous. I use it in the morning to pretend I’m drinking giant mugs of coffee, even though I can’t drink real coffee any more because it makes me insane. (It’s hell getting old.)

Next up in the FO parade: little bag for Brenda Dayne‘s A Memorable Yarn project.

Memorable Yarn bag

I used yarn from Karen’s stash and embroidered a pink K on it since pink was Karen’s favorite color. The Memorable Yarn event that I attended at A Verb for Keeping Warm ended up being held on the anniversary of Karen’s passing, so it was quite appropriate.

Speaking of pink… I finished my impulsively started Annis.

Annis FInished

I was knitting it one evening with my knitting friends and I said I didn’t think I’d ever wear this pink shawl with a beaded edge and my friend Teenuh said that she loved it. Her birthday was coming up so… problem solved! And the shawl has a new home with someone who loves pink and sparkly beads. Perfect.

When I was working on Dave’s cozies my younger son commented that he loved that blue color and would I please make him something with it? When I asked what he’d like he decided on a blankie for his stuffed dog, Snowball.

Snowball likes it!

Stuffed dogs are easy to please. My son liked it too.

Last, but not least, my friend Pam’s son is having his bar mitzvah and at some point earlier in the year she mentioned that she might need help making yarmulkes. I decided that knitting them was a) too hard on my elbow and b) too time consuming. After knitting three I settled into crochet and made eight crocheted yarmulkes (plus the three knitted ones).

Yarmulkes for sale!

I stacked them at knit night and it reminded me of Caps for Sale, a book I loved as a child. I’m still thinking that I need to write Yarmulkes for Sale! I just need an illustrator.

Whew. Are you still with me? Good. I have more pictures. This time of yarn that I bought while visiting my brother and his family in NJ. Did you know that in NJ they don’t charge sales tax for yarn because (like clothing) it is an “essential”? A belief that yarn is essential: I like that in a state.

I got some Berroco Origami on sale for a sweater I’ve been wanting to make for two years.

yarma

And then I got some single skeins of Rowan Cotton Jeans that were also on sale.

yarma

yarma

yarma

I am not sure what I’ll do with those. I thinking maybe some crochet coasters or something similar.

There was also Rowan Calmer in the sale bin.

yarma

yarma

The colors are more different than they look in the pictures. I see hats and mitts in that yarn’s future.

I don’t know if anyone stuck with me through this long, picture-heavy post. Maybe if I posted more often I wouldn’t have so many pictures to share at once. Maybe.

knitters rock

I posted my finished objects for the hat, scarf, and bootie drive I organized with my friend Karen’s yarn a while ago. I am not sure that I finished anything else with her yarn since then, I kind of ran out of steam. The other knitters didn’t, though. Here is the pile we ended up donating to Breast Cancer Connections for their comfort bags.

items made with karen's yarn
I was really impressed with what we pulled together and the woman there told me more than once that it was a really generous donation. Yay, us!

Meanwhile, I have one skein left of Caron One Pound and am going to knit as many 7×9-inch pieces as I can for Warm Up America with stitch patterns from Barbara Walker’s first treasury. So far I have made two.

warm up america square 1: little check
Little Check

warm up america square 2: King Charles Brocade
King Charles Brocade

We’ll see how many pieces I get before I get tired of it. If there is enough yarn left when I’m tired of squares then I hope to knit a friendship shawl for their project as well.

I also finished at hat since I last posted. It’s the binary cable hat.

binary cable hat

I started sweater sleeve from the pattern booklet I got at Stitches.

sweater sleeve  beginnings

And the yarn I ordered with my WEBS free shipping code from Stitches came.

berroco seduce in sea spray

It’s a little less blue and a little more green than in this photo. I think it’s really pretty. It’s going to be a Pucker. I knit a Pucker once before in a different yarn than recommended and it was awful. I’m hoping the right yarn will make it work because I think it’s a very cute top. The one that didn’t work I offered up on Facebook and I’ll be giving it to a friend for her daughter’s teacher. My son’s teacher piped up that she’d take one and so I’ll be giving her a different sweater that I knit that didn’t work on me! I just need to weave in the bazillion ends. I can do that, though! I just need to, you know, DO it.