Posted in Crochet, Finished object, Knitting, Technique, Work in progress, Year in review

2014 in review: Yarn

2014 wasn’t a productive year for yarncraft. I finally figured out why this past weekend, after Jacquenetta was gone. When she became so ill, she spent so much time in my lap during the evenings that knitting and crocheting came to a virtual standstill. I couldn’t work on projects without getting her fur all over them, but I could read, so I traded yarn for books. Snuggling her for the last few months of her life was worth every moment, and be damned to lackluster productivity in the yarn arena.

Projects finished in 2014: Three.

Wanderer Scarf 2The first, finished on New Year’s Day 2014, was the Wanderer Scarf, seen here modeled by spouse. The pattern and the yarn are from Rowan. It was intended as a gift for a friend in Washington, and finally was mailed off to said individual shortly before Christmas.

Buds and Blooms 21Next was my new favorite cardigan, A Rose in Winter, finished January 31. The pattern is “Buds and Blooms” by Alana Dakos. The pattern calls for endless endless stockinette, but that only serves as a backdrop for the gorgeous details: the buds and vine pattern up the back, the flowers on the pockets, the deeply ribbed collar. I also loved the yarn I used (Chris by Schaefer, now sadly out of business), and that gorgeous pomegranate color.

Penny's Granny 2The only other finished project was a giant granny square baby blanket, made for the new grandbaby of one of my colleagues. I grabbed a variety of high quality acrylic leftovers in my stash and threw them together to come up with the color scheme for the blanket. This is the fastest, easiest baby blanket I’ve ever made, and the pattern become my go-to pattern for quickie shower gifts.

Projects started in 2014 and not yet finished: Three.

Wildflower 6The day after the Rose in Winter cardi was finished, I cast on another of Alana Dakos’ patterns, the Wildflower Cardigan, using Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool in a deep caramel color. This is another cardigan with vast expanses of stockinette but exquisite little details that make those vast expanses worth the tedium. The back of the cardigan is finished; the right front has been sitting here in my craft room, waiting patiently for me to pick it up again. Soon, my darling, soon.

Tunisian Terror squaresAt Christmas 2013, Mom picked out a blanket pattern in one of my afghan books. In April 2014, she bought the yarn and shipped it to me. Thus, the Tunisian Terror was born. The thing that slows me down with this project is the boredom. Each square is the same: one color surrounded by a border of black single crochet. The pattern calls for some multi-colored squares, but I haven’t got there yet. And each square, once finished and assembled, will be cross-stitched, so there’s some excitement to be had down the road. The finished blanket has 63 squares. I’ve got roughly half of those done.

Ultra Pima cardi attemptCome summer, I decided I needed to knit a lacy cotton cardigan to wear over sleeveless dresses, which serves two purposes: warding off the air-conditioned indoor chill that is everywhere during summer in the South; and making said sleeveless dresses appropriate for the office. Yes, I know it’s old-fashioned of me, but some reptilian portion of my brain won’t quite accept that “sleeveless” is now in keeping with professional office attire. I am determined to use this turquoise-colored Cascade Ultra Pima that’s been hibernating in my stash for several years, but have had nothing but trouble in finding the right pattern. I think I’ve started three or four separate patterns with the Cascade and ripped each one of them out after getting roughly five inches into the piece. I’ll keep experimenting until something clicks.

Projects started in previous years but not finished: Nope, not telling. Let’s just say there is more than one (*cough*spouse’s socks*cough*)

New techniques learned:

  • Tunisian crochet: Learning Tunisian crochet (Tunisian simple stitch only) was easier than I thought. I will no longer shy away from Tunisian patterns, even if they call for something other than TSS, because if I can learn that stitch by reading the directions, I can learn them all!
  • Mitered squares: This technique was taught me in a class at Stitches South in April. I have yet to put the technique to use, but the instructions and my practice swatches are sitting right here in my craft room, just waiting.

Stash acquired: Um. A lot. A good sight more than I used, that’s for darn sure. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Stash used: Not very much. As noted above, I only completed three projects. I’ll never go cold sheep, because such is beyond my willpower, but this year will probably be a diminished year in stash acquisition because I’m not going to Stitches in April. It’s been moved to Nashville and the travel budget just isn’t available. So, yay for the bank account? And yay for shopping the stash!

So, here we go, 2015! New year, new crafting opportunities, new patterns to read, new AND old yarn to fondle, new techniques to learn or put into practice. It’s going to be a good one.

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Project planning, Yarn stash

This year’s Stitches bounty

Pictures speak for themselves. 🙂

Tyche 1
A Hundred Ravens “Tyche” in colorway London. 400 yds fingering weight, 100% superwash merino. Most likely destined for a crescent shawl. But could possibly become socks.

Tarte 2
Miss Babs “Tarte” in colorway Perfectly Wreckless. 500 yds fingering weight, 75% superwash merino/15% nylon/10% tencel. Such a bright colorway should probably become some highly visible accessory.

Kilimanjaro 1
Miss Babs “Kilimanjaro” in colorway Zombie Prom. 875 yds fingering weight, 85% superwash Blue Face Leicester/15% nylon. With so much yardage, I’m thinking maybe a vest or shrug, or possibly a lacy cardigan.

Eidos 2
The Verdant Gryphon “Eidos” in colorway Rivalin and Blanchefleur. 420 yds fingering weight, 100% superwash merino. This subtle colorway is perfect for a delicate evening-type lace shawl.

Nuna 1
A bag (10 skeins) of Mirasol “Nuna” in colorway 1034 Camel. Each skein 191 yds sport weight, 40% merino/40% silk/20% bamboo. A sweater quantity of yarn, definitely destined for a cardigan or pullover. Just look how the silk shimmers!

Stitches Booty 1
All the yarn booty. Except, of course, the yarn that I won, which is below.

Cowgirl Bandana 1
The Buffalo Wool Co “Tracks”, 1 400-yd skein in colorway Deep Turquoise, 2 200-yd skeins in colorway Natural. Fingering weight, 90% superwash merino/10% bison down.

And then there are the buttons:

Vintage Mother of Pearl Buttons
Vintage mother-of-pearl, approx 1″ in diameter. And when I say “vintage”, I mean each of these buttons is over 100 years old. Yes, I paid through the nose for them. But they were worth every penny. Even though I haven’t the faintest idea what pattern will be worthy of them.

Red Marble Buttons
Fun resin buttons, each about 9/16″ in diameter. I have a gorgeous red silk yarn that will work with these beauties.

Orange Blossom Buttons
More resin buttons, each about 3/4″ in diameter. They seem somewhat Asian in theme, so maybe they can go on a kimono-style jacket. I’ll have to shop the stash carefully, because I’m not sure I have the right yarn for them.

I took $240 with me to market. Out of that, I spent maybe $15 on lunch, and the rest went to yarn and buttons. I exceeded my self-imposed budget by less than $50, and only because I had to have those mother-of-pearl buttons. All in all, a very good year!

By the way, I told spouse he should consider himself very lucky, because the woman sitting next to me at the student banquet said she spent over $3,000 in the market, and she still wasn’t done shopping. Oy.

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Life in general, Miscellaneous, Technique, Yarn stash

Stitches South 2014

What’s new about Stitches South this year? New venue! New classes! New transportation options! New yarn! Well, the new yarn and the new classes are a given, but the rest? All new!

I never particularly liked the Cobb Galleria Centre, so I wasn’t displeased when I heard several months ago that Stitches had changed locations this year, especially when I heard it moved closer to the airport. The chief thing I disliked about the Galleria was the lack of easy public transportation options and the PITA of parking. Okay, parking was free, which is always a plus, but the Centre itself isn’t all that easy to drive to: exit here; no, here!; turn right, then left, then right, then omg I’m totally lost inside this corporate office park and just where the hell is the parking garage, anyway? And the conference center itself, for all its high ceilings and large rooms, felt claustrophobic because there are so few walkways with windows, and those few it has are all overhung with huge verandas, so not much natural light actually reaches the interior.

GICC 2The new location at the Georgia International Conference Center is everything the Galleria is not: easy access to and from the interstate, easy parking (you pay for it but the Stitches discounted parking rate is $5, the same as a round-trip MARTA ticket; either way, the best deal in town, or darn close), easy public transit options by taking MARTA to the Airport Station and the Sky Train from the airport to GICC. The center’s concourse is bright and airy, with lots and lots of windows all the way around the building, and art installations in almost any direction you look. You can’t really see them in this photo, but scattered throughout the curved concourse are round leather ottomans of varying sizes, perfect for sitting and knitting alone or in groups. Some are even big enough for three adults to lie down across them — which is what I saw one giggling group of women do while having their picture taken.

Speaking of art installations, take a gander at this mobile. It’s huge! And fascinating! I stood and studied it for quite some time. It’s too bad there wasn’t a convenient bench or giant round ottoman in the vicinity, because I could have sat and studied it for at least a good 30 minutes.

Mobile 1

(And now that I say that, I see in the first picture above there was in fact a giant round green ottoman that was behind me when I took the second picture. *sigh* Next year. Actually, I just found on the GICC website that an audio art tour is available, so I may do that next year, too.)

If GICC has a drawback, it’s that the only food available within the convention center is the one concession stand inside the exhibit hall and various vending machines scattered throughout the building. The closest real restaurant isn’t within an easy walking distance — it’s close to a mile away, and you’d have to know where you were going in the first place, something that many Stitches attendees, including me, won’t necessarily know. XRX provided a remedy to that situation with a free shuttle to local restaurants at mid-day and during early evening hours. I didn’t take advantage of the shuttle — with only one day at Stitches this year, classes morning and afternoon, AND a ticket to the banquet that evening, the only time I had available to shop the market was mid-day. Again, maybe next year.

This year I took two classes: Secrets of the Sleeve Cap with Patty Lyons; and Mix-It-Up Miters with Edie Eckman. Both are utterly delightful, and I highly recommend anyone to take one of their classes.

ClassroomClassrooms were spacious, if a little dim. “Secrets of the Sleeve Cap” was in the morning, with no knitting involved, just math, making it a good class to take first thing in the morning. But it was cool math: algebra and geometry and engineering combined. I mean, who knew the Pythagorean theorem and the point of inflection were crucial to making a sleeve cap, right? Anyway, the gist of the class was to teach us how to design a well-fitting sleeve cap as part of designing or altering a sweater pattern; and also how to adjust the pattern for an already-designed sleeve cap when row gauge isn’t quite on track. Very informative and not as difficult as one might expect! I also learned about a thing I didn’t know existed: a bendable ruler. I will be stopping by my local office supply store soon to pick up one of these nifty tools.

Between classes, I shopped the market, but that story will have to wait until I get all the pretty yarn and button pics edited and organized.

Classmates“Mix-It-Up Miters” took up the afternoon, and this class was hands-on and practical, so we did bring out our yarn and needles. By the way, those two lovely ladies on the right are Becca and Lori, who flew in from the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the sole purpose of attending Stitches South. I didn’t know them before, but I’m glad to know them now. Girls, if you’re reading this, make sure you come back next year, y’hear?

EdieI took this mitered squares class because the remnants of many skeins of sock yarn are floating around my craft room — well, technically, they’re not “floating”; they’re stored in a plastic box — and I just can’t bring myself to toss them out because there’s still so much yardage left on each. Some of them may have up to 25 or 30 yards left. (Even if there were only three or four yards left of each, I wouldn’t get rid of them, but that’s beside the point.) I’ve looked at several patterns specifically for sock yarn remnants, like The Beekeeper’s Quilt, but it turns out the patterns I liked best that suited my parameters — (A) free and (B) relatively non-fussy — involved either entrelac or mitered squares. I learned entrelac last year or the year before, but hadn’t learned mitered squares. Thusly, a need and a class that suited said need! Edie (to the left) was most helpful in talking us through the anatomy of the square, or rectangle as the case may be. I can now safely say I understand the whys and wherefores of the mitered square and feel confident about creating my own “crazy quilt” type blanket with all that leftover sock yarn. (The practice swatches below were made with worsted weight, BTW.)

Mitered Squares 1

At the banquet, the menu was as follows:

  • Mixed Field Greens with Fresh Raspberries, Candied Pecans, Crumbled Goat Cheese and a Champagne Vinaigrette
  • Blue cheese crusted beef tenderloin with truffled mashed potatoes and a port demi-glace
  • Fresh fruit tart with sliced seasonal fruit and berries on French pastry cream in a fresh baked tart shell

All of it was delicious.

I entered the Student Fashion Show and modeled my “Rose in Winter” cardigan (see this blog entry, and this one, too). Lots of amazing projects were entered, including one by a woman who, although not a professional knitwear designer, teaches fashion design and merchandising at a local university. She created the most intricately designed colorwork tunic-length cardigan I have ever seen. I wish I had a picture. Keep watching the Stitches website because I can almost guarantee that one will make the grade for publicity shots.

And, in other news, I kept the four-year winning streak going and got a door prize!

Cowgirl Bandana 1

I don’t know that I’ll use the yarn to make the intended pattern, but we’ll see. It’s lovely yarn, though: a fingering-weight merino/bison blend with a tight twist. With 400 yards of each color, I have lots of options.

There’s yarn booty from the market to show you, and buttons, too, but that’s another blog entry. Watch this space!

Posted in Blog Week, Knitting, Life in general, Project planning


How did two months go by without a single blog entry?  Well, tomorrow I’ll be at Stitches South.  I’ll have stuff to show you when I get back, so expect an update (with pics) sometime in the next few days.

In the meantime, I’m quite pleased to know I did NOT miss Knit & Crochet Blog Week. It’s next month. You can read all about it over at Eskimimi Makes. Join us!

Posted in Blog Week, Yarn stash

4KCBWDay4 — Color Review

2013 Blog Week Banner

What are your favourite colours for knitted or crocheted projects? Have a think about what colours you seem to favour when yarn shopping and crafting.

After writing this part of your post, look to see what colours you have used in your projects. Make a quick tally of what colours you have used in your projects over the past year and compare it to the colours you have written about. Compare this, in turn, to the colours that are most dominant in your yarn stash – do they correlate?

Now think back to your house animal – do the colours you have chosen relate to your animal in anyway – if you are in the house of peacock, for example, are your projects often multicoloured and bright?
Dragonfly TattooWhen I was at Stitches South a couple of weeks ago, I remarked to another yarn shopper standing next to me that I always seemed to choose the same colorways. This was said as I reached for yet another skein of handpainted sock yarn in blues, greens, and purples, which happened to correspond rather nicely with the cardigan I was wearing. Made of a bulky yarn in blues, greens, and purples.
Striped Sweater
My favorite color is green. Not a bright Kelly green, but a soft green. That isn’t to say I don’t like bright greens; I just don’t care for Kelly green. It’s a nit that I pick.

When making things for me, the color palette I prefer is the color palette of the sea: blues, greens, grays, whites, creamy yellow; or jewel tones, especially ruby, cranberry, or other deep pinks and reds. When making things for other people, I usually gravitate toward neutrals, because who knows what else is in their wardrobe?

Chemo sunhats 1So let’s take a look at what’s been made in the last year…The Ravelry project page shows mostly blues, greens, and neutrals. The hats I made for my sister-in-law and a friend, both of whom were undergoing cancer treatments, were blues, pinks, and neutrals. The socks I made for my sister were a jade green.
Bellatrix sox 2
A quick look at my Ravelry Stash generally agrees with the self-assessment above: a few yellows, a few oranges, about a dozen reds and pinks, more than 50 blues and greens, half a dozen or so greys, same for whites, and roughly a baker’s dozen of neutral tans, browns, and taupes. And a few balls of plain old black, because black yarn comes in handy now and then.

Yes. That’s a freakin’ lot of yarn. Don’t even get me started on the crochet thread, most of which I inherited from my grandmother after she passed away.

So, why do I prefer the ocean-hued palette? Two reasons, neither of which have anything to do with belonging to the House of Monkey. First is vanity, darling. Blues and greens make my eyes look fabulous. And those colors suit my skin tone. Second: I love the ocean passionately, and since I no longer live within spitting distance of my beloved Pacific (nor am I likely to live there again anytime in the foreseeable future), I keep those colors near me as solace. If I can’t soothe my soul with salt air and sea mist, I’ll soothe it with beautiful yarn that brings to mind the cry of the gulls and the crash of the waves.

To read other posts from those taking part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, simply perform a Google search for the tag 4KCBWDAY4, or click here.

Posted in Crochet, Knitting, Project planning, Yarn stash

Stitches South is bad for my bank account.

The title should tell you everything you need to know. But, this is a blog entry; therefore, more typing will be involved. And pictures. I’m sure you can handle it.

Ella Rae Lace MerinoI picked up my friend Kelly, who came in from Baltimore, at the airport Wednesday evening. We picked up her rental car Thursday AM, because she signed up for the whole package. I had registered for just a few classes, given that back in December when I made the reservations, I had no idea what our financial situation would be, what with the move and finding a place to live and potentially making two house payments (which actually did happen for a few months), and all the other general iffiness that was going on during the grand transition to Georgia.

Silky Wool ThundercloudBut I digress, as usual.

Anyway, I had classes Thursday afternoon, all day Friday, and Saturday afternoon. No classes tomorrow. Thursday afternoon was Knitting in Both Directions with Gwen Bortner. Let me just say, knitting and purling backwards is far easier than I ever believed. The class was small, and marred only by one woman who must have put her obnoxious pants on that day. Gwen was good about keeping her in line, though, so although she was annoying, she was more or less contained.

Starry NightYesterday’s morning class was All About Steeks with Sandi Rosner. Before this class, I was scared spitless by the thought of cutting my knitting down the middle. On purpose. Now, though? Gimme the scissors, baby, I’m ready. Well, I will be after practicing Fair Isle on a swatch. I took a Fair Isle class at Stitches two years ago, and haven’t used it yet. Now I can combine the two techniques! Woo!

Dragonfly TattooYesterday afternoon was all about Curvy Knits (Plus Size Knitting) with Marly Bird. Marly is a hoot. Yes, that was a deliberate attempt at a pun. (Bird? Hoot? Never mind.) The class was a lot of fun. We laughed at ourselves, but got a little serious about body issues, too. I learned a lot, and even feel emboldened enough to tackle the job of customizing a pattern to suit my particular body shape and maybe even finally designing that cardigan I’ve been envisioning.

Silky Wool Greyed BlueKelly bought me a ticket for the Friday night dinner and fashion show as a thank you for letting her use our guest bedroom instead of staying at the hotel, so we sat through that with great interest. I saw several designs I really liked, but was also reminded why I let my subscription to Knitter’s Magazine lapse: lots of novelty yarns — which I detest — and rather staid designs. XRX designs are notable for a gifted use of color, I’ll give them that. But during the year that I subscribed, a bare handful of patterns from those four magazines caught my interest and, of those, I knit just one.

Swan PrincessDinner was notable for three things. One, I should have checked the menu because both the soup and the entree featured mushrooms. Ick. Kelly ate my soup and I easily picked the mushrooms out of the sauce on the entree. Two, I won a door prize! Lovely skein of sock weight from Miss Bab’s. It’s called “Cosmic”, and the colorway is Swan Princess. That’s a picture of it at the beginning of this paragraph. Isn’t it pretty?

Baby Camel SilkFinal notable item? Obnoxious woman was at our table. And unchecked, she’s a nightmare. She dominated the conversation; she had a story to top everyone else’s; and she made fun of my dislike of mushrooms. Okay, that last bit was perhaps a little nitpicky, but I tell you, she was awful. I told Kelly later that it didn’t matter how much money her husband made, or that she had traveled the world: you can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t necessarily take the trailer park out of the girl. (Disclaimer: I’ve known some perfectly lovely people who’ve lived in trailer parks. But sometimes the stereotype, unkind as it may be, rings true.)

Big Round ButtonsKelly and I shared the last class this afternoon: Casting on for Toe-Up Socks with Sarah Peasley. Sarah is a doll. Very sweet. And pretty thorough, too: I learned some great techniques to cast on, useful not only for toe-up socks, but for hats or bags or anything that has a bottom/top that requires grafting. Sadly, though, Sarah’s sweet dollhood was insufficient to the task of controlling THAT WOMAN. Yes, she was in the toe-up sock class, and thought it revolved around her, to boot. When she looked through the list of techniques, she remarked that the only one she wanted to learn was being taught last, and looked at Sarah as if she expected her to rearrange the class. Then she talked virtually non-stop over most instructions being given, causing me and several other people in the class to lose track of where we were in the short rows or some other bit of the cast-on being taught, and had the gall to be offended over her story being interrupted when Sarah asked for everyone’s attention. Two people left the class early because of her. The only bit of peace we had was when THAT WOMAN left the classroom herself because her friends were getting on the bus and she HAD to go see them off. Sarah mentioned that we were about to do the cast on she had been waiting for. She left anyway; and when she came back, we were all but done, and she didn’t get to learn her precious technique after all. I call it poetic justice.

Glass ButtonsBut enough about that. I suppose you noticed all the pretty pictures scattered throughout this ramble. And you took note of the title, right? Yeah. Serious damage to the bank account. But I’ll tell you what they are now. And click the picture if you want to see a larger image! From the top: Ella Rae Lace Merino (which, despite its name, is fingering weight), colorway 122 Cocoa Teal; Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, colorway 79 Thundercloud; Dragonfly Fibers Pixie, colorway Starry Night; Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga!, colorway Y096 Dragonfly Tattoo; Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, colorway 104 Greyed Blue; Miss Bab’s Cosmic Handpainted Sock (scroll down just a bit after you click the link), colorway Swan Princess; Wild Orchids Fiber Arts Swiss Mountain Baby Camel & Silk, undyed; large round vintage plastic buttons that screamed “Take me home!”; and small glass vintage buttons that did likewise.

It occurred to me as I was entering these yarns into stash on Ravelry that I now have five different colorways of Silky Wool, and decided one of these colorways will be my next project. Now to find the right pattern: one that requires as close as possible to 1900 yards of a DK tweed. Wish me luck!

So, anyone else out there in Atlanta this weekend? What all did YOU buy at Stitches?

Posted in Project planning, Technique, Work in progress, Yarn stash

WIP Wednesday: Something new!

WIP WednesdayI’m still plugging away at weaving in those endless endless ends on the afghan. The other day my mother was at the house. She cast her acquisitive eyes upon it and declared I should give it to her because it matches her bedroom. (It does not, by the way. Well, one color matches her color scheme, and that color is not the predominant burgundy.) I’m tempted to hand it to her as is, and say, “If you weave in the rest of the ends, it’s all yours!” I made it for me, though, and now am struggling with daughter-guilt over wanting to keep it for myself.

Moms. What are ya gonna do?

To relieve myself of the guilt, and to celebrate finishing the TARDIS shawl (pictures forthcoming on Friday!), I retrieved from stash a yarn I’ve been dying to use ever since I bought it at Stitches South in 2011.

Dolce by Cascade Yarns, colorway 980

I fell in love with Dolce at first touch. It’s a worsted-weight alpaca/wool/silk blend that feels like heaven. The color I chose is a soft grayish green that reminds me of the deep forest at twilight. As per usual, I had no idea what I would do with it when I bought it, but I bought a sweater quantity anyway. Just in case.

So, now, I had to find just the right pattern. The yarn screams “Cable me!” After scouring Ravelry and my pattern library for days, looking at every pattern with cables that fell into the right weight and yardage categories, I finally found the perfect project.

Button-Back Shrug from Knitter’s Magazine 101

I subscribed to Knitter’s Magazine for only one year. I let the subscription lapse because I wasn’t overly impressed with their patterns, but they had a few gems in that year. This was one of them. I love the casual drapiness and unusual construction. I especially love that button-back detail, which gives me the opportunity to use some spectacular buttons I also bought at Stitches South that year.

Of course, now I have to find those buttons again. They’re here somewhere. Buried. *sigh* It’s probably a good thing we’re moving, because I’ll be forced to reorganize the stash at one end of the move or the other.

Anyway, I cast on Sunday evening. With luck, I’ll have it finished by the time cold weather sets in around Thanksgiving. Well, maybe Christmas.

(Click the badge at the top of this entry to see what other folks are up to this week.)

Posted in Book stash, Crochet, Finished object, Project planning, Yarn stash

Oh, look! A finished project! And other new stuff to show off.

While not writing in my blog, despite my New Year’s non-resolution to update more often, I’ve been doing a number of other things, such as watch lots of TV series via Netflix I never saw when they were first aired, like, umm, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel — not done with either of those two series, so no spoilers please — Dollhouse (so I’m on a Joss Whedon kick, what of it?), and the first season of Downton Abbey; read books (12 so far this year); and make stuff. Mostly stuff I (a) haven’t yet finished; (b) finished but haven’t yet taken pictures; or (c) finished AND taken pictures but haven’t yet downloaded off the camera or uploaded to the web.

Remedied one of those last items today, though! Feast your eyes upon the Lacy Winter White Blanket:

Pattern: Lacy Lilac Blanket by Katherine Eng, Crochet Today! Mar/Apr 2009
Yarn: Bernat Berella 4, 4 skeins. The best acrylic worsted ever.
Colorway: Natural
Hook size: H

This sweet little blanket was finished in February. The pattern calls for 35 squares, if I recall correctly, but I made it with 20 squares only because it’s intended for a baby: my sister’s newest grandbaby, a little girl expected to arrive in early May.

Spouse lost his job at the end of January and thus far has been unsuccessful in finding something else. Fortunately I’m compensated well enough in my job that we’re able to make all our monthly expenses without trouble, but the loss of his income put a serious crimp in our travel/discretionary spending. Wah. I know. First world problems. I’m lucky AND grateful not to have to worry about losing our house or our vehicles due to his lack of employment. Still, I had to miss attending Stitches South this year. However, I was able to afford to run over to Atlanta for the day yesterday, meet my friend Kelly for lunch, and make a quick dash through the market. I came home with a few nice goodies.

First, the book Knitting Plus, which I found in a booth for half off the cover price.

I’ve been intending to buy this book forever; well, at least since it was published last year. Some beautiful patterns in here, and lots of good fitting tips for those of us in the larger size ranges.

Then, some gorgeous glass stitch markers from Tanya McGuire.

Omigosh, I love these. There were so many other pretties in the booth, it was hard to limit myself to just one set.

And finally, yarn. Of course. You don’t think I’d drive all the way to Atlanta and NOT buy yarn, do you?

6 skeins of the fabulous Riveting by Kollage, in one of their new marled colorways, Red Denim. I’ve lusted after this yarn since it was introduced. It’s intended for a lacy tunic-type top. I have a couple of patterns in mind, and saw at least one in the new book that might be suitable. I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, those last three photographs were taken by my husband in his nifty tabletop “light booth”. Expect lovely photographs of small projects henceforth.

Posted in Miscellaneous, Project planning, Yarn stash

The Big Win

Hi, my name is “Grand Prize Winner”.

$750.00 in cash. No, I can’t believe it either. But I made some Stitches South vendors very happy. Wanna see?
The black bag on the left and the canvas bag on the right were complimentary. The hot pink bag in the middle is my new favorite project bag.

Yarn and stuff:

    Top row, left to right:

  • Cascade Yarns Dolce, 10 skeins, Color 980, with antique mother of pearl buttons. Intended for a cardigan. Yarn and buttons bought with prize money.
  • Araucania Itata Solid, 10 skeins, Color 2013, with lime green resin buttons. Intended for a cardigan.
  • Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 10 skeins, Color 70, with antique glass buttons. Intended for a cardigan.
    Second row, left to right:

  • Schaefer Yarn Chris, 4 skeins (with 3 on order), Color Pomegranate. Haven’t decided whether this is destined for a cardigan or a pullover. Bought with prize money.
  • Austermann Step, 1 skein, Color 28. Sock yarn, complimentary from the Skacel booth.
  • Indiecita Alpaca Sport (distributed by Plymouth), 8 skeins Color 220, 4 skeins Color 1440. Intended for a colorwork cardigan which I may design myself if I can’t find exactly what I have in mind.
    Bottom row, left to right:

  • Girl Scout Cookies, Samoas. Prize money.
  • Addi Lace Clicks. Prize money.
  • Fiesta Ballet, 1 skein, Color Caribbean 110. A door prize. Will probably use for a scarf.
  • Addi Natura Clicks. Prize money.
  • Mondial Surf, 2 skeins, Color 816. A gift from my roommate. Will probably use for a scarf or maybe a lacy market bag. (This must be vintage yarn….I can’t find any web info about it.)
  • Addi Turbo Clicks. Prize money.
  • More Samoas for symmetry.

Below the needles are the cards of buttons I had to have. The four cards of black and silver antique buttons were purchased with prize money. The three cards of resin buttons were purchased a day or two earlier. I’ll post closeup photos of the buttons in the next couple of days because I know you’re dying to see them. And a comprehensive Stitches South wrap up post, complete with (semi)decent pics will be forthcoming as well.

For now, I’m awfully glad to be home.

Posted in Knitting, Miscellaneous

Stitches South Day 2 and 3

Just a quickie update because (a) I’m exhausted; and (b) my laptop battery is fading fast….

Yesterday’s classes were “The Joy of Finishing” and “Fearless Fair Isle”. I have conquered mattress stitch, and am no longer terrified by Fair Isle.

Yesterday evening we had the Knitter’s Magazine Fashion Show, with lots of gorgeous knits, some of which were given away as door prizes. I did not win. And cameras were not allowed either. *pout* While we were safely ensconced in a nearly hermetically sealed hotel, a thunderstorm was raging outside, complete with tornados. We were blissfully unaware until the power went out in the middle of the fashion show. After about 15 or 30 seconds, the backup generators kicked in, and the show was back on.

By the time the show was over, the electricity had been fully restored and we went on to dinner. Grilled salmon and wilted spinach on a bed of….grits. I was surprised at how well the textures and tastes blended. Because I don’t eat grits. Or spinach. 🙂

After dinner, Kelly and I attended the 2nd Annual Stitches South Pajama Party….again, no pics right now because I used the digital camera. As soon as I get home and have access to the USB cable, I promise.

Today’s classes were “Cut and Paste” and “Double Dare”. I can now graft with relative ease and have the basics of double knitting with multiple colors.

More details on all of this stuff when I get home.

I do have a few crappy cell phone photos from today….