Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Home Again Home Again

Thanksgiving with the Family
We had a really nice visit with the fam over Thanksgiving break. It was really good to see everybody and hang out. (Shout out to all of you!) We a new member of our family--little Araline. (I was hoping to post some pictures from the trip, but my camera got turned on by accident and the battery ran out. Damn the luck.)

I did learn that I have more of a history of crochet and knitting in my family than I realized. My aunt Chris and Theresa both crochet and Chris also knits. I always knew that Grandma crocheted, as did my Grandma Fields and my aunt Christine. It was fun to chat about our projects. I'm pretty sure that Grandma will be pulling Theresa and Chris along to The Mannings for some shopping. (If you are ever in the area and you knit, crochet, or weave, check it out!) I was sad to see that the little knit shop in Gettysburg is up for sale. Hm--if only.

Shopping Finds and Projects
I picked up some Wool in the Woods to make a top-down summer sweater in brown/pink. I also picked up some yarn and a free pattern to weave a wrap.

I crocheted my shawl out of Fiesta's Ballet and used up all of it in my stash. I'm way off from being done, so I placed an order for more and put the project on hold. I still don't have the holiday pillow or pullover done. Best laid plans. I started getting overwhelmed and tired with the travel, holiday activities, and how busy we are at work. I am revising my project list to be a bit more realistic for the next few months.

One of the many things I need to do is get my Christmas cards together and sent out. I just received a picture of another new little cousin Jaxton with his older sister and brother. I think I'll make it into a little Christmas ornament for the tree.

What Else...

It has been over a week since I posted, so let's see what else has been going on? We have all but the tree up. We'll finish putting it up tomorrow night and will wrap the rest of the gifts. I still need to shop for PK, but I have his list now. I ended up asking Santa for a loom stand. I really want to weave more this coming year.

We went to a warehouse book sale at our work on Friday. You could load up on books for .50/lb. I picked up books for Aidan and Toys for Tots and Patrick had a great deal of fun. We spent $45.50. I couldn't help myself and totaled up the retail value when we got home. Ready for this? Over $1,200.00 worth of stuff!!!!!! Wow. I'll have to go to this sale more often!

We'll I'm off to watch The Amazing Race. (I'll post soon regarding my TV addictions and what the hell I'm going to do when the entire no new TV thing kicks in!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Live from Grandma's House

Well, another year, another Thanksgiving where we stuffed ourselves full of turkey!

Grandma, Patrick, and I went out to The Mannings this morning. I believe that Grandma and my aunts will be frequenting The Mannings from now on. I found a few things (surprise):
  • Put together a kit to weave a wrap: The pattern came free with the yarn purchase. I'm excited to go home and warp up the loom. I really haven't done any weaving in ages. I plan to take a class from Lisa over the Christmas holiday. Maybe I can practice on this shawl before then.
  • Purchased Wool in the Woods cotton to make a summer top-down sweater. I love Wool in Woods yarn. It has never really taken off well at the store in Indiana, but you can find it all over in PA.
  • Picked up some misc patterns that we don't have at S&S, including a weaving book of patterns. I'll have to show that to Molli as a potential new item.

I think Patrick and I will be traveling over to Gettysburg in an hour or so. He has his nose stuck in the Pfaltzgraf catalog right now and I keep hearing, "Hm." I think there are some things on his wish list. Of course, I will want to pop into the fiber shop off the square.

Well, not much else to blog about for now. We head home tomorrow so I hope to get my crocheted shawl finished on the drive home. I can then knock out the crocheted pillow at home on Sunday. So much for trying to get the top-down sweater done as well. I have a dentist appointment on Monday so if I come out of the meds early enough, I might be able to knock out some more on it.

Hope you all had a happy turkey day!

Monday, November 19, 2007


So, we are preparing to make the long drive out to PA for the holiday. I spent most of Sunday doing laundry (thanks in large part to PK) and wrapping gifts. That's right. I am taking all of the Christmas gifts for immediate family out with me for Thanksgiving. That also means that I have all but PK's Christmas shopping done. I'm so excited! I'm hoping that will keep holiday stress at a low this year.

I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving this year. I've never been with this side of my family for this holiday. It will be really nice to visit, laugh, and hang out. I'm sure there will be plenty of pictures to post at a later date.

Of course, any road trip requires careful planning of knitting and crochet projects. I let myself break my UFO rule. I was sitting in my studio looking through patterns and looked up to see the perfect yarn for a crochet shawl. I started to swatch and that moved into an actual shawl and I'm about 1/3 through it now. My compromise since I broke the rules IS...I must complete the shawl, the holiday pillow, and the pullover sweater over vacation. This still leaves me two projects behind for November. Oh well. The important thing is to keep knocking the ones on the needles out so that I feel more free of them and can start (and finish) new things.

Since I'm rambling, I taught a beginning knitting class on Saturday. It was a full class and I hope that all the students felt like they got enough attention. That first session is the hardest of any knitting/crochet classes I teach. Everybody is nervous and the needles feel so foreign to them. In this class we had a lady from India, South Africa, Chicago, and New York (plus two Indiana ladies). It was a very cool experience to have all the different cultures coming together for a craft. I did have to control myself from peppering the South African student with questions. It is still my favorite trip I've ever taken and I can't wait to go back. Such a magical place.

Well, I'm off for now. Will try to post a little this week, but it is going to be crazy!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Kim Werker Wisdom

I am often asked if I like or prefer knitting over crochet or the other way around. I often find myself skirting around the answer and have never quite been sure why. I've always thought it was because...

  • I don't want to deter anybody from either craft because I am so passionate about both. Kind of like you wouldn't want to pick which of your children you love more. (Although I recently edited an book about parenting where the author states that it is natural to have a favorite as long as 1) you NEVER voice it and 2) it constantly changes as your children grow and have more in common with you. I don't know if I agree as I've seen many a friend go through the I'm not the flavor of the month syndrome--I suppose that goes back to point 1 about not voicing it. Maybe it should be don't voice or SHOW it in anyway. I digress, but you see how I think of the two crafts.)
  • At different times I prefer knitting over crochet and crochet over knitting. I associate crochet with family. Both of my grandmother's crochet/ed as does my aunt. When I'm crocheting, it reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel like I am continuing a tradition. When I'm knitting, I feel most like my true self. The rest of the world melts away.

Then there is the third bullet point of the look of the garment and the patterns. Well, Kim Werker recently guest posted on Knitting Daily regarding crochet and knitters. She nailed my thoughts. She suggested to knitters that they knit a swatch on suggested needles, crochet a swatch in a similar size hook, and then a third swatch on a larger hook:

"In either case, the crochet swatch will be thicker than the knit swatch. That's because a crochet stitch is essentially a tube, while stockinette stitch can lay pretty much flat. It's tempting to write off crochet right there, isn't it? To say, "Crochet is too dense and thick to make a flattering garment." But that's lazy, folks. Notice that the third swatch, on a larger hook, drapes much better than the one made with a smaller hook. A sweeping generalization about crocheting garments: Use a lighter-weight yarn and a bigger hook than recommended. This isn't because crochet is worse, it's simply that crochet is different from what you're so familiar with."

Such a great way to say this. I think I found a way to answer the knit/crochet prefer and suggest question!

(If you haven't checked out Kim's Crochet Me book, stop, drive to the store/travel via Amazon, and buy.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Crochet Classes Added

For those of you who want to expand your knitting into crochet (or enhance your knitting with crochet), I just added a few classes:

  • Beginning Crochet: December 8th-15th from 1-3
  • Crocheted Shawl Workshop on 1/21 (MLK day) from 1-4 (Even though this is a shawl, if you knit, I can get you crocheting away on this project. I am adding this project to my list of items to make in the next two weeks so that it will be in the store for viewing.)

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Lily Chin / A-List Celebration

This weekend was a fabulous time. Lily came to teach at the store and we had a celebration for winning the A-List category. What fun. I learned a ton, we had a little fashion show, some good eats and drinks, and I have tons of new ideas that I want to design. Here are some pix of the event.

Patrick helped to model one of Lily's sweaters. He had some practice when posing for his Alpaca pullover pictures. (If you notice in the previous post he is laughing because he asked me how to pose and I had him do the classic model pose where you stand for a side view and turn toward the camera to give a slimming effect. Like he needs any slimming!)

Here I am laughing at how slow I feel crocheting after watching Lily. Damn, she's fast! I felt like a turtle when I did a practice row. I'm very excited that she took the time to show me her method for getting rid of the little gaps in crochet rows. (If you crochet, check out her Crochet Couture book.)

She also signed a paper that we had both written on when teaching classes. I plan to have it as a piece of artwork in my studio. I thought it would be a cool piece of memorabilia.

Here is just a funny picture of Lin who happened to say hot wieners just as I took the picture! We got a good giggle.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Professor Patrick

Patrick will be teaching a writing course at IUPUI in the spring (pending student enrollment)!!!!! I'm so excited and thrilled for him. I know he'll be an excellent teacher.

Congrats, my love!

TCM 220 Technical Report Writing (3) Class: 3 Lab: 0 Rec: 0 P: ENG W131 or equivalent C: None Extensive application of the principles of clear writing in industrial reporting, with emphasis on adaptation to the audience; organization of ideas; and a concise, objective writing style.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Welcome Nancy!

Nancy M. is going to start working at the store on Thursdays and Saturdays. What fun!!!!

Welcome, Nancy! (There she is modeling one of Lily's beautiful sweaters. Can you tell she was thrilled?!?)

Recently Completed Projects

Now that I am back physically (was knocked out all last week, including an ER visit, with "viral syndrome," which basically means they couldn't figure out what was wrong other than I felt like you know what) and technologically (computer is back and working), I can finally post again. Here are the pictures of my recently completed projects--all completed prior to last week. I was so sick I couldn't even lift my head. Ugh. Here's hoping that is all over.

Here is Patrick modeling his new alpaca and merino top-down pullover. (This is one of the patterns you can work in the new Top-down Sweater class I am offering.) It is a good thing that I had him practice his modeling skills because he ended up being in the "Lily Chin Fashion Show" we had at our A-List celebration, but more about that on a future post!

Here is a picture of the baby Tulips sweater for baby Sydney. Dream in Color is such a nice yarn to work with. I didn't enjoy this pattern as much as other knitters. I thought about this for a long time. I think that the constant change of colors and thought of weaving in ends got to me. However, the finished project was worth it.

A picture of my felted Lucy bag. It took 20 minutes to felt (Plymouth Outback). This project brought back the fondness I have for felting. It also inspired me to start keeping a felting time record for my front loading washer. I don't know that the times will hold true for your washers, but at least it is a reference area. I was looking at the bag and my new clear button jar had this nice pin showing. I pulled it out and put it on the bag. It gave it a little finishing touch.

These next two pictures are of some new One Skein Wonders I knitted up. The red one is a birthday gift for Tonya. She saw mine in the store and really liked it. I offered to make her one and she seemed excited, so I whipped this up for her birthday. Hopefully she'll enjoy it.

I was originally making the little pink and brown one as a baby gift. However, as I was making it I thought, why not a doggie shrug. I put it on Kiki and she stuck her nose in the air like she was a stuck up little model. It worked really well on her.

And, I can't include a picture of Kiki without giving equal opportunity to Riley. So, after today's Reversible Cables class, I came home and chilled in my new studio. As I was knitting on a top-down Aurora 8 pullover, Riley cuddled up and took a little nap. Oh, so cute.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Computer Is Back!!!!

I'm so excited that I have my computer back. It has been such a week. No computer, very VERY very sick. I spent Tuesday in the ER. After many tests, all looks normal. So, the diagnosis was viral syndrome. Is that real? All I know is that I feel incredibly tired and sick to my stomach. It feels like I'm on a constant roller coaster. Permanent motion sickness. Any way, I did finish a few projects in the last two weeks, so I'll post more about those later. Just happy to have my computer back. Now, I need to get my body back in order!