Friday, August 26, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

So, I've been rather quiet lately, but not without results to share! (We'll get to those...) I've been settling into my new environment. I have a few new knitting groups, a lot of new friends, and it's a great way to learn about Portland! I also have a job interview next week -wish me luck!- for a position I would LOVE. My days typically start off with just me and my kiddos, and every afternoon not long after naptime begins, their Daddy comes home and when everyone is awake we either watch a family movie, or go explore the area, or take care of errands.

The best part? Lots of time to knit! I get my housework done while the kids are up and have uninterrupted time when they nap and then later when they sleep!

And here's what I have to show for it...

NOTE: If you are my mother, your Christmas Gift is below. Close your browser and walk away. Please. Thank-You

Here is my completed Earth and Sky by Stephen West, I participated in the knit-a-long and all that's left on this baby is to weave in a few ends and block it. The yarn is The Fibre Co.'s Canopy in Quetzal, Tanager, & Orchid.

Here are the socks that my Signature Needles have bewitched! They're still moving along, but the Mystery Shawl took over for a bit. My husband is really eager for them to be done, but it's been to hot to wear socks around the house lately anyway.

This is a Noro Striped Scarf, knit with Silk Garden Color 8, which has blues, greens, and purples. I started in two different colors and the stripes should go through all of the alternating all the way! This will be my Christmas gift for my Grandmother, I'm trying to get them all done early this year as you can see!

I've been dying to try SpillyJane's Mitten patterns for a while and this one especially. I wanted to make these last Christmas for my mother, but it wasn't in the cards, so this year she should be delighted with them! I'm having great fun, and every time I start the next row I cheerfully nudge my husband and show him the next bit of gnome-anatomy and wait for praise. ("Look! The beard!" "Wait, Eyes!!!" "Hey! There's the Hat!!")

Last of all, I got sucked in. Perhaps you've heard of the new knitting craze? The Beekeeper's Quilt. Hundreds of hexagon-shaped puffs, or 'Hexipuffs', knit over an extended period of time, stuffed, then quilt-tied together in to a ready-to-use quilt! Each one gives you the gratification of finishing something, and let me tell you, it's addicting. I can share a few with you every Friday, until you are sick of them too, hehe.

If any of my reader's are interested in mini-skein or puff swaps, let me know in the comments and we can get something going!

So like I said, I've been quiet, but I have a LOT to show for it eh?

Also! Don't forget to vote for your favorite color choice in the Cardigan Project! You can click HERE or here, or even here if you prefer!

You can also vote in the poll on Facebook, so if you haven't 'liked' us yet be sure to do so! Afterall, who doesn't want to be 'liked'?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cardigan Project

You voted and the results are IN! After counting all of the Facebook votes, Blog comments, e-mails, and even word of mouth we have a winner!

Cria! Isn't it cute?! It looks simple and that makes for a great first sweater project. And if your choice didn't win, no worries! I intend to make all four of them in the next year so at some point they will ALL be featured! See? Everyone wins! (Especially me, I get four sweaters!)

Now, your next challenge! After a lot of weighing of opinions and browsing the information-filled interweb I've decided Madelinetosh Pashmina is the perfect yarn for this project. It's a little pricey but it should hold up well. But the color? Well, I can't choose it without your help!

I've narrowed down the colors, and of course I have a favorite but I'd like your input as well. Take a look!
Maple Leaf

These color shots are borrowed from the Happy Knits Website, I will be purchasing my yarn from them as they are my Favorite Madelinetosh Retailer!

Voting will Close on Saturday, August 27th at 8 PM PST. Vote Away!

Friday, August 19, 2011


Hey everyone! This is just a friendly reminder that Tomorrow is the last day in the great Cardigan Vote!

You can vote HERE and if you've forgotten your choices, they're right there as well!

I can't wait to see what you all have tasked me with, and then the color vote commences!

(This is kind of a 'choose your own adventure' experiment)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I cannot begin to tell you how happy this little skein of prairie makes me. It's an appropriate colorway as well. 

Another perfect purchase from Happy Knits~

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Cardigan

I mentioned to my husband last night that I was chilly. How I wished for a cardigan, but I only have some zip-up hoodies. My husband simply replied "Why don't you knit one?" Well, that's a loaded question.

The idea of garment knitting terrifies me. To put that much time into something that could go wrong in so many places, it's been preventing me from getting started on anything like that. I'll knit a shawl without hesitation. Socks? No problem. A sweater? Run for the hills.

But I thought about this, I had just purchased Little Red in the City by Ysolda Teague before my move. It's a wonderful book, that has great patterns, and gently guides you through shaping (my biggest fear). The designs are adorable. I really want to try all of them, but I want to include my friends and readers in deciding which will be first.

You'll get to vote on which pattern, and at the end of the voting process, the color and yarn as well. Voting on the pattern will end on August 20th at 8PM PST.  I will take both this poll and a facebook poll into account. Please comment with which you'd be most excited to see, as I'll be posting throughout the journey of my first sweater for all of you to see!

Below are your options!

All photos are from Ysolda's Little Red in the City.

 1. Chickadee- I like the idea of some color work but I'm still hesitant to try it my first time out. Aren't the birdies cute though?!

2. Cria- I love this one, the shape is exactly what I was looking for. I'm just fearful that it would be boring to knit, with a little garter stitch and a LOT of Stockinette.

3. Laika- The lace throughout would be interesting but I'm not sure it's heavy enough to serve the purpos I want. Still, it would be a loved garment on warmer days too.

 4. Lauriel- I like the details of this one a lot. I'm not to keen on the length but I could probably adjust it easily enough.

Vote Away! I am seeking guidance, and it will be more fun if more people are involved. Happy Day!

Sock Summit: The People

Perhaps the most amazing thing about Sock Summit was the constant elbow bumping with Knitting Super-Stars!

I knew they'd be there but I expected 'Sightings' and very few of them. I was pleasantly surprised! If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know who I saw first...

See? This was two-for-one, Stephen was there too!
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Yes. Five minutes in the door, I nervously approached the registration tables. And there she was, answering a question. I stared, I'm not proud of that. I kinneared her.  She looked at me and I still stared. I mumbled about how surreal it was seeing her in person to which she replied "I'm alive, everyday..." I know she gets it all the time, but I was in awe.

It was just a year ago that I was introduced to her writing. I haven't been reading her blog for years, I'm fairly new to the whole knitting scene. The names are all fresh in my memory. But hers was the first that I felt akin to. Reading her books, I felt attached. I saw her several times on the marketplace floor. I should have documented that better.

I did ask her to sign my first book of hers later in the day.

I didn't stutter that time..

I played peek-a-boo with Stephen in the marketplace later on too! I saw Debbie running around a lot, although I know her better as @cockeye on twitter. I had a long conversation with Anna Zilboorg about the new trindle I had purchased, and she was very keen on getting one herself (another hands-were-shaking moment). I had a lesson in how to look for pooling patterns in a skein of yarn before you buy itfrom Miss Babs herself!!

In addition to my signing with Stephanie, I had two other signings that were my mission to make!

The wonderful Franklin Habit was perhaps my favorite Celeb! I had the hidden fortune of being last in his line so we were able to shoot the breeze for a while. He was a delight and I look forward to encountering him in the future! I only wish I had remembered to buy my copy of the Giovannina Stole while I was there. I did remember to get this though~

I was gushing about Franklin for days to anyone who asked how my weekend was. Maybe someday I'll meet Dolores!

My last mission of the day was to get to Cookie A.'s signing. I got there and handed my book to her. She sweetly asked if I knit socks and I told her I have. She asked if I had tried any of hers yet and I answered that I have Hedera on the needles at home.

She smiled and handed Knit.Sock.Love. back to me. I smiled back and walked away grinning. And then I realized I'd forgotten to get a picture. So I present you Cookie B.

I met Sarah walking around with my new friend Adam. After about twenty minutes of walking around I told Adam that all I had left to do that day was get my Cookie A book signed. Sarah piped up "Oh, I can do that for you!" Now let me be clear, I didn't know her name at this point, it was an almost automatic response by her, and Adam had a straight face. I fell for it until they started laughing. Apparently a lot of people had been mistaking her for Cookie all though the summit. Sarah does some designing herself though and you should check her out!

I am in awe of the people I met. I could not have dreamed that everyone would have been as sweet and approachable as they were. I saw Amy Singer giving Cat Bordhi bunny ears while she was signing books. The queen of Knitty and the Forensic Knitter in THE SAME MOMENT! It was almost an overload. I'm going to the next Sock Summit. I will register for classes. I will have another perfect weekend.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Not At My Best

This could be a post filled with excuses for all of you, but I won't do that to you... Not me! But today I'm not feeling very well, so I will share the sunshine in my life. It always picks me up and maybe the cuteness can help your day too!

 It's the little things.

My house is still filled with boxes and I'm pretty behind on laundry so I know where my priorities have to be tomorrow. I'll be back Monday (late, I know) with my Project Runway Recap, the remaining Sock Summit Posts, and some of my Work in Progresses!

See you Monday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SS11: Swag pt. 3

The conclusion of "The stuff" if you will. Devoted to the tools I picked up with the exception of the Amazing Trindle that you saw yesterday I offer you "Swag pt. 3".

My day started with the best of intentions, I was really reserved about spending money beyond my Blue Moon purchase. But the catalyst of my demise was expected as well. I knew ahead of time if I saw this I would have to get it, just one though. I wasn't going to over-do it, but I deserved this indulgence.

Yup, those are my new Signature DPNs, size 1 2.25mm, perfect for socks. I was at SOCK summit, I had to do it. I like my Harmony DPNs from KnitPicks well enough, but as my knitting improves I feel that some of my supplies should improve as well.
And look! Motivated from all of the amazing Sock Bliss, I was witnessing, the Signatures hopped into my long-neglected Java Socks and went right to work!

And while I was enjoying lovely company at the Little Red Bicycle booth, I spotted the perfect companion for my darling little green needles.

Aren't they charming? I'm a sucker for pink and green, I can't quite put my finger on it but it calls to me. These are Lizard Toe Stitch Markers and they're itty-bitty and perfect for sock knitting! I can't wait to try them out.

But in the interest of knitting on the go I searched high and low for a perfect project bag. One of the adorable drawstring ones that I could hang off my wrist while knitting in public (which I do quite often anymore, my husband has gotten used to playing my guide dog). And I found one! In the cutest fabric, from the nicest ladies at Stitchy McYarnpants!
Don't you love the chairs? I do! And the colors and the lining, which you can't see but is a deep purple and hasn't let a needle point through it yet.

I also visited Soak which was a sponsor of the event. I left my bottle of Unleash -the Ravelry Scent- in NJ on my parents' kitchen counter. My mom will be shipping it along, never fear, but in the meantime I picked up another bottle to be safe.
 I came away with a 14 oz. bottle of Lacey, their newest scent. I think it will be perfect for shawls I gift, and apparently it's well-liked because I bought the last bottle!

First, this is not for me. This screamed KnitXcore to me, so I'm spoiling the surprise here, but it will be in the mail sometime within the next week. It's a great little handmade chart keeper! If you pull the ribbon through the hole a few more inches it stands your pattern up too! And the gnomes... well, if you know him, you know why I chose the gnomes...

So those are the tools! All together my kitchen table looked like this on Sunday night!
I think I did pretty well!

SS11: Swag pt. 2

Alright, so yesterday you saw the yarn-haul. Today (or night if you're up late) I'll let you see the fiber I scooped up!

It really all started with this. I have been wanting a Trindle since my friend WillyG showed me his at our Tuesday Knit Nite. I had the express mission to snag one of these when I left for Sock Summit Saturday morning. But after two laps around the marketplace I didn't see any, I was crushed! Luckily, a helpful LSGer had the real scoop and gently guided me to where I needed to be.

There was no hesitation, I handed over my money, and walked away with my prize. The weight system and removable arms make this type of spindle really ingenious. Here is a link if you're interested as well!

Now after the trindle, I was more motivated to find some fiber to spin. I started looking for some beginners fluff. I found it at Fiber Optic Yarns.

I couldn't resist the Tardis blue. And besides, the trindle was lonely...

And then it blossomed. I needed some roving, some bright happy colors. After all, that's what I'm all about these days! So I went to the Woolgatherings booth and Saw the cheerful hues. I came away with these!

And that made the trindle even happier!

(I kind of feel like I'm in a childrens' book now)

Coming up:
  • I still have three more Sock Summit posts for including Swag pt. 3, The People, and lastly The Summit
  • Making the most of Ikea
  • Cross-Country- A Pictorial
  • More from my trip to California

Monday, August 1, 2011

SS11: Swag

There is so much to say. I think I'll have to break this into a few posts which means more fun for you! Here is the Acquired yarn from this weekend, as requested by several people!

Colorways: Daffodilly, Pride, & Saffron Jungle.

Go ahead, wipe the drool off of your lap/ desk/ arm, I'll wait. Ready? Alright then. This is my purchase from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. They are all Socks that Rock.  In order there is Lightweight, Mediumweight, and Heavy weight. The Saffron Jungle isn't for me though...

Those were my only purchases on Saturday, I got them my first time through the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Displays... I did however walk back through four more times on Saturday alone and demonstrated great willpower.
On Sunday I came home with these gems.

Holiday Yarns: Peach Sherbert- Little Red Bicycle: Beach Glass- Sanguine Gryphon: Sooty Dancer.
Too much at once? I'll slow down for you then...

This is Holiday Yarns' 'Flash Sock' in the colorway "Peach Sherbert". My plans for this? Socks for my daughter, I might be able to squeeze out two pairs of toddler-sized socks. What do you think?

This is 'Spark Lace' from Little Red Bicycle. The colorway is "Beach Glass" which reminds me of my best friend who collects Sea Glass. I love this yarn! The Stellina is so subtle that you almost miss it, the yardage is incredible at 870 yds for only $30. I don't like to talk prices, but that's a bargain!

And then there was my purchase from The Sanguine Gryphon. I wasn't going to do it at first, but then it was my last stop on Sunday, I really wanted something to take away from them. I succumbed and bought a skein of 'Bugga' in the colorway "Sooty Dancer". I think I'm going to treat myself with this one, after all the walking I deserve the 20% Cashmere in there!

Now I know what you're thinking already... 6 skeins? From a weekend of yarn shopping? Not so! Sunday morning, my husband accepted my invitation to join me and we even went to Happy Knits in Portland before heading to the Convention Center and I got some lovely things there. My husband, ever the good sport even treated (Thank-You Sweetie!).
That's my Happy Knits purchase! Now, I need a moment to tell you how cool it was to be there. I have shopped on Happy Knits online store in the past, they have the best Madelinetosh selection anywhere. I never really processed where their brick-and-mortar location was though! So when we found out the Coast Guard was moving us to Portland, imagine the glee that came over to me when I made the discovery I'd be in the same city as this great LYS! And now it is my LYS!

So some of you may know Happy Knits as the store that created the Flickr Pool for the Stephen West Mystery KAL that begins in a few hours. So I opted to buy my yarns for it from the source.

I went with the Fibre Co. Canopy in Quetzal, Orchid, & Tanager. Aren't they pretty? Quetzal will be my Color A, Tanager Color B, and Orchid is my Color C. Are you participating? What colors are you using?

I also had to pick up some Madelinetosh, look where I was! So I got the Tosh Lace in 'Tart' (above), and Tosh Sock  in 'Vermillion' (below). Maybe I'm going into a red phase?

Now I didn't leave with just my yarn, I left with the knowledge of a knitting group that meets on Tuesdays (!) and a goodie bag!
It's the cutest little project bag and a handy notebook, perfect for Happy Note-Taking!

I still haven't shown you the People I encountered, the other fiber I got, the tools I finally obtained, and that's only some of it! Stay tuned for a LOT more pictures!!