Sunday, January 27, 2008

Shiny Things
I am a pretty dull person in the jewelry that I wear compared to some of my more fashion conscious friends. They adorned themselves with name brand clothes, shoes, purses and finally shiny things. By shiny things I mean jewelry. Now don't get me wrong, I love jewelry. I have jewelry of all expense levels (mostly inexpensive levels) and I love the stuff, but I don't wear it. I used to though. I used to have a ring on each hand, a watch, a bracelet on my wrist, a necklace and of course I have double pierced ears, so two pair of earrings on at all times. That all came to a screeching halt back in 1997, when I enrolled in culinary school. The rules for no jewelry were hard and fast. I found it a bit tedious to take things on and off on a daily basis so eventually I was worn down and stopped wearing everything except a watch. I even took off my wedding rings for that period of two years where food sanitation and safety were an issue. I totally got out of the habit until three years ago.

The timing of all of this is rather ironic. I learned to knit three years ago and when I started knitting I put on my wedding rings, put back the double pair of earrings and I started wearing a pearl necklace that was a gift from my oldest son while he was stationed in South Korea. The funny thing is, not only did I start wearing jewelry, but knitting did too. I learned that in knitting there are pattern repeats and to avoid having to count constantly, you use a stitch marker. I was smitten. I started collecting all sizes and shapes of stitch markers.

Stitch markers can be just like jewelry. Some are plain and large...
Others are plain and small... And others come in various colors.Just like my person, I decided that my knitting needing something cuter. By cuter, I mean more colorful and fun. There are so many stitch markers out there that I got a headache looking at all of them. I felt a bit silly ordering little tiny shiny knitting jewelry and with shipping and handling, was not worth the money to me. I don't do a lot of Internet ordering and probably could have coupled the stitch markers with something else to make it worth the s&h, but I didn't need to.

Enter my good friend Sue Eckman Von Ohlsen from Minutiae. Sue is a Master Knitter whose talents are not restricted to just knitting, but some fabulous bead work. Her craftsmanship is on display on a monthly basis at TKC. There is a Stitch Marker of the month rack near the register that will attract anyone who loves shiny, pretty knitting jewelry. The markers are not expensive, and are made from Swarovski crystals. The first year Sue's theme was the birthstone of the month. This is how the stitch markers look in their packaging.

Here is what they look like since I have been collecting them over the last 13 months.

I was lucky enough to be gifted these little beauties... So if you are like me and love shiny knitting jewelry, dash by The Knitting Corner and give the markers a look.

Monday, January 21, 2008

One Skein Shy, Now Where Have I Heard That??

I was so proud of myself for finishing these more than a week ago.

These are for my MIL. She picked out the yarn and tried on a pair I made for myself and those fit her so we knew these would too. I hope you like them Joan. I just have to get them in an envelope and off in the mail to you.

When we passed through Nashville we stopped by The Haus of Yarn and I bought some more yarn and a book. I loved the model that they had in the shop and made this...well almost. I was one skein shy of a full shawl.

As you can see there is one corner that still have the circulars in them. As soon as my LYS orders that one last skein, I will get right on it and finish it. It's super easy and it's basically a beginner pattern. The pattern has a small, medium and a large shawl plus a lovely scarf. I wanted the shawl so the scarf was a bonus. I made it with this.
It's got tan, beige, brown, and gold. I thought it could be worn to an office setting or as an accent on a evening dress when the weather isn't quite warm enough. It needs a nice scarf pin.
The shawl is made with Dune from Trendsetter Yarns (this is the small sized shawl) . I have never knit with Mohair before. It fought back when I found two errors about 5 or 6 rows down, but it can be frogged with a little patience. I have very little patience for most things but after I frogged it back to the errors I re-knit it and then gave it a bit of a tug in each direction and it fell right into place. Just for good measure, I am going to wash and block it so see how it will hang. It says to dry clean, but I think a few swishes in the hand sink will be good enough. If it shrinks, it's then going to be called a scarf.

I have another pair of socks on the needles but haven't worked on them since Saturday. I will though. My feet are cold. We got a smattering of snow Saturday and Sunday, but here it is Monday morning and there is little or nothing left. I still have hope that we will get a few inches before our season is over by about March. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Happy Feet

I make no bones about it. I love the snow and got to do a happy dance this afternoon. I walked past the upstairs hall window and looked outside. What did I see... but little small flurries going a mile a minute. The weatherman messed up his forecast; said no snow is coming.

So what do happy little piggies do when it snows at the beach?? They go outside to check it out.
Then they squeal with delight and put on their winter's finery.
Can you see the little bit of snow on the sedium to the right of my foot? I was doing a happy dance for sure. Hopefully this won't be the last we see of the flurries for this year. I really need at least 2 inches.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Christmas Vacation-Part 2
The drive to Texas from Virginia was totally enjoyable as was the drive home. We took two days to get there and three to come home because of yarn. Thankfully, my SIL and my husband were wonderful to indulge my need for fiber. I know that they don't really understand, but hopefully when they get a gift it will make up for the time I made them come with me to look at skein after skein of yarn.

While driving to Texas, I was thumbing through this book and that's what started this whole thing. I did purchase the book for the purpose it was intended for-traveling in the car with a trapped crazed knitter. The purchase price of the book itself, was the cheapest part. I had no idea just how much this book would end up costing me. There should be a disclaimer on a web site and inside the book itself, that this book is going to cost you a fortune before it's over! Exhibit A...

Since my husband's family lives in Richardson, I looked up shops there. Bingo! There was one there and you know what that meant-ROAD TRIP. Lucky for me my SIL was a good sport and she knew where the shop was. We had a hard time at first, but when you got there, we hit the mother lode. Too bad I didn't take any pictures of the shop.

I did take pictures of the two skeins of yarn that I bought and I sure have a lot to say about The Woolie Ewe. That is some kinda shop. It's huge. It's huge and crammed packed full of yarn from floor to ceiling. My SIL was amazed at all the yarn. I was like a kid in a candy shop and oh what candy they had.

I found some sock yarn that my own LYS does not carry. I don't want to be disloyal to my favorite shop, but I truly had to have this stuff. The neatest stuff about this brand of sock yarn, is the surprise it contains...It contains the reinforcement yarn that matches the skein. How wonderful for us. I am not sure it's enough for the heel and toe on two socks but wow, what a selling technique. I am impressed. So impressed I have already knit one of the two skeins that I bought. This is one sock that lacks a closed toe but the reinforcement yarn that came with this skein was used on the heel. I will use a beige that I had left over from another pair of socks for the toe. I was not sure when I started just how far that little spool would go. I will have a better idea when I hit the heel on the second sock. Right now I am just about 20 rows down from the cuff. So I have a bit to go. I will let you know how it turns out.

I can't wait to go to Dallas to visit family and camp out at The Woolie Ewe so that I can get a better look. You folks who live there have a real gem! Thanks to the person who told me about the shop at Ravelry. I do appreciate the tip.

So you know what I am going to say next right? Well, if I can hit one shop, why not two? Because they were CLOSED. We tried another shop but they weren't going to open until after we were hitting the road to come back to VA. Their lose, I still have credit on my card. Ha!

The drive home was just as productive as the stay in Dallas. I again referred to the knitting traveler's bible (my name for the book) and it yielded yet another place I thought we might be able to get to easily. Who ever drafted the ad for this place did a great job with directions from I40. We had no problems getting there and back onto the interstate when I was done. I think I was in the shop about an hour or so. Hubby scooted off the Target and I got to look alone. Man, what a place!

Since we were going home, I just happened to have my camera handy and got some shots of this place. Hub took the outside shots

Haus of Yarn, Nashville, TN

and I did the most important one...but of course THE YARN! My eyes were on overload at the shop. There was so much to look at and it was displayed so beautifully. The shop owner (whose name totally escapes me) told me that I had come the day after they had their once a month sock night. I didn't think anything about it until she said the sock knitters who come that night get to have first picks over the new sock yarn that had come in. The table with the baskets is the display that was there when they opened the morning I showed up.

I will show what I bought here in a later post. I can't wait to tear into this new stuff. I just had the best time with both our families and the icing on the cake was the find of two shops that are easy to find, the next trip home! If you are ever in Richardson and Nashville, I highly recommend both these shops.

Monday, January 07, 2008

What I did on my Christmas Vacation...

Hubby and I had no intention of going to Texas to see our families during our Christmas break from work. We talked about it and talked about it and decided we really didn't need to spend the money and we didn't want to leave our youngest son at home alone even though he had to work the whole time. I know that the fact we have not been home in more than 18 months weighed heavily on our minds. So at the 11th hour we talked to the kid, cooked an early Christmas dinner, opened gifts and then packed up and got out of dodge.

Getting out of dodge was pretty easy, and it was just the thing we needed to be renewed and refreshed. Our timing could not have been any more perfect. See, no one in the family knew we were coming home. I never called them to tell them anything at all. I was dying! I almost broke down in Nashville where we spent the first night of the trip. I was starting to panic thinking about what would happen if we showed up and NO one was home. What kind of nightmare would that be driving 27 hours from VA to TX and they moved the party. Hub held steadfast about not calling anyone. Here is my view from the passenger seat in the van of the pyramid in Memphis, TN. I know this seems a bit odd, but who on earth came up with this idea? Who builds a pyramid in the middle of the SOUTH???? I happened to have lived there back in the late 80s when this was built and it was a big deal, but still just seemed so silly to me. I love Memphis, but wouldn't this have been better built say some place in AZ or the desert of CA? Just saying...

This is one of the south's most famous bridges. It's the bridge that is most commonly called the Mississippi bridge, but it has another name. I doubt anyone that crosses this bridge calls it this.
I am old school, and just call it the Mississippi bridge. More folks call it that than by it's other name; I am sure!

While I was on the trip, I pulled a Yarn Harlot move... (see June 18 entry)

My picture is of a hat I was working on, but it works. A while back I showed pictures of this hat that I was knitting for my one and only nephew, Zachary. Well, here he is modeling his new hat. I a matching hat for his dad, my brother. They will look goofy together!
Here is another shot of Zach and his hat. See when you knit for family, they really do wear your stuff. I will write more about my vacation and how it relates to yarn later...hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and that 2008 will be a wonderful year for us all.