Monday, August 27, 2007

Lots of Stuff Going On!

Wow! What a busy week it has been. We have been getting a bunch of new yarns in at the store. I picked up a yarn that is very abnormal for me. I usually avoid bulky yarn at all costs. I tend to get easy and don't want to wear a heavy sweater, but I loved this new yarn (Vignette by Nashua). I thought the colorway was gorgeous, and boy is it a fast knit. I did this in just a few hours.

I also started knitting Patrick's top-down sweater using the yarn I bought at Stitches Midwest. It is a great alpaca and merino blend. I think that it will be very cozy for him on those snowy January days.





I also finished my own top-down sweater. It is so nice and will be perfect for a rainy October day. (I was a little unhappy with the way it blotched, but I think it gives it character.)

I added a top-down class for November/December. It should be a lot of fun. I also added a Lucy Bag class, Intarsia, and Finishing class. If you are interested, please stop in the store to sign up soon. (You could get your class materials for 20% regular priced yarn and 40% of clearance through 9/1/07.)

Next weekend, I plan to work on the Beaded Shawlette all weekend. I'm going to work on the Lucy Bag and instructions the rest of today.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Kindess You Find in Life

I've had a pretty stressful week for a variety of reasons and was feeling pretty down. It has manifested itself in my body as this huge ball in my shoulder. Oh my does it hurt! I've been trying ice and heat and exercises, etc. Just as I didn't feel like I could take anything else life had to toss my way, you get reminded of the kindness in people. Despite the HUGE amount of new yarn in the store and preparing for our anniversary sale, Molli and Tonia both stopped to offer advice and suggestions to help ease the pain. Then Nancy came in for our Thursday night visits and massaged the knot for a bit. (She has magic hands for a therapist!) I know that all of these ladies have their own things going on, but it means a lot that they paused their own lives/thoughts for me. It is the little things that really show you the goodness that is around you. Sometimes I get going so fast and addressing issues (which seems to be the main core of a management position) that you forget that there are joys everywhere.

Okay, I'll stop rambling now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Working for the Weekend!



This weekend Patrick and I are going to visit Carol and Sam. I'm so excited to catch up and hang out. I miss having Carol just down the road.

She gets all the credit for getting me into knitting. I thought it would be a good pick me up for us both, so I enrolled us in our first knitting class. We were both hooked right away (after I finally figured out I was born to knit continental!) and had a lot of fun taking block blanket class for months on end.

Sorry not to have blogged much this week, but I'm pretty exhausted. It's been work, home, knit for a bit, sleep, repeat. I can't wait for labor day weekend! I plan to rest up and knock out the beaded shawl. I did start my Einstein coat and figured out how to adjust the placement and size of my buttonholes to accommodate my large buttons I bought at Stitches. I also started my Merino wrap. It's a lot of fun and knits so fast on those 10 needles with bulky weight. I should always try to have a bulky project going with all my other ones to fulfill my need to check something off the list.

In the interest of rambling, Patrick, Kristy, and I enjoyed a great lunch at Ocean World (http://oceanworldsushi.com/) today. If you are local to the Indy area and like sushi, it is the best around (in my opinion).

I'm off to veg out watching The Closer, Big Brother 8, and The Practice. I'm a total TV junkie, but it goes so well with knitting!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Beginning Knitting Class

I got home a little bit ago from teaching Beginning Crochet and Beginning Knitting. (I also had a great time hanging out with the ladies that came to knit the block blankets--such a great way to kick off a day. My kind of day--knitting, knitting, more knitting!)






As promised to the Beginning Knitting ladies here are some pictures to get you through the week as a reference until next Saturday. The following pictures step you through completing the knit stitch (that's little Riley in the background):











A Knit Stitch looks like a V.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Classes and Other Random Thoughts

Tomorrow I am teaching Beginning Crochet and Beginning Knitting. I just finished up the handouts and structure for the Beginning Knitting class. I already have a brief Crochet handout ready. (I find crochet much more fluid, so I didn't want to structure it too much. We'll see if that works in this first session.)


I have a full knitting class! I'm looking so forward to it. Should be fun to hook some new knitters and crocheters on the craft. I love the joy that they get and witnessing new friendships being formed.


I was a little bit stressed last night about getting my handouts and such ready, so I'm feeling better now. I did wake up at 4 with a splitting headache. I took my migraine medicine as prescribed and it didn't help at all. I made it through most of my business day and then came home and crashed for a few hours. Sometimes sleep is the only thing that helps. I am bummed though because that means I didn't get to sit and knit at the store like I wanted. I need to knock out the Einstein Coat so that customers can see it in person. I've had several people ask for it. Gotta get going on it!


My eye doctor informed me that I have elevated optic nerves that otherwise look healthy. However, he also stated that you typically only see elevated nerves in people who have had major head trauma (which I haven't) or a brain tumor! Having established that I haven't had brain trauma, it seriously freaked me out. I have to say that in the midst of the headache I kept thinking, "It's the tumor causing this pressure in my head!" I'm sure I'm probably fine, but I do think I'll ask for a referral to get it checked out. Never a dull moment.


Well, I'm off to print the handouts, pack my knitting bag, and work on Einstein. (On a quick side note, Gita of Gita Maria came by Stitches & Scones yesterday. Molli was showing her the store site and blog and showed her my blog as well. How exciting to have someone who has had such great success actually even glance at my blog! I've also had a series of customers/friends tell me they have been checking it out. It makes me feel so excited to know that you are all out there. Let me know if you have blog suggestions, etc.)



I also found this picture of my Mom and Kaitlyn. (Kaitlyn is the little girl that What They Say is dedicated too--see Proud Wife posting.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Proud Wife

I decided to brag a bit on my husband. Today we located a reference to one of his poems on a blog (http://www.steveschroeder.info/news.html in the Feb. archive). It is so exciting to see people enjoying Patrick's poetry. The poem that this blog references was actually written for my little cousin who was a flower girl in our wedding. She was very taken with Patrick at the time and once said that when she was older he was going to be her "broom" not mine. I guess groom/broom do sound interchangeable when you are 4.

What They Say
for Kaitlyn

I've heard it said that the sky opens up
In Oklahoma - or is that Montana?
The body traced across this country
Suggests a girl with daisies in sunflower
Fields, where we search for the fisted hero
Who gathers carts in superstore lots.

Someone once told me that in the bayou
Where Texas meets Louisiana there
Exist hundreds of miles of refineries:
A post-apocalypse landscape where
A brief flash of beauty burns the retinas.

Someone once told me, "More people hate us
Than love us." And so it may be. But tend
Your garden of strawberries and daisies,
Make it as familiar as a wood spoon
Cooked with many years, nicked, cracked, and brown
With soups, oils, and burns. Then you will know
When you do see the sky open up,
When the sun is just right, the contours
Of heaven yield nothing to what they say.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Stitches Midwest Part II

Wow. Today was a really difficult day for me. I am terrified of dental visits so they give me gas to help me stay calm. For whatever reason today, I came home and was super out of it--way more than normal. I also just didn't feel well in general. I'm starting to feel a little bit better, but that's only after sleeping pretty much the entire day. (My dental hygienist, Dawn, is fabulous and works very hard to keep me calm. I don't know that I'd make it through the visits without her, Patrick, and my trusty iPod.)

On to more pleasant things, Saturday afternoon after hitting market with the girls, Patrick and I went to Woolly Lamb (http://www.woollylambyarn.com/). What a nice staff! They were so friendly and helpful. I had purchased some Maggi's yarn at their booth at market and the owner mentioned that they had a lot of it in stock. So, I decided to hit the store. I picked up the rest of the yarn I would need to make the merino wrap (already had some yarn from a trip a few years ago to my grandmother's house--hadn't figured out what to do with it yet). I also picked up the linen to make the long linen sweater in the Ireland book. Here's the pix of all my Maggi's buys.


There are three separate projects pictured here, so I'm so excited to work on them all. The rest of the evening we hung out at the hotel. I started to hit the tired wall and tried to talk myself out of finishing class the next day. Finishing is not my favorite thing today.

On Sunday I went to the Joy of Finishing with Christine Bylsma. First of all, she is absolutely fabulous. I've taken class with her before and always learn so much. A lot of the finishing class confirmed for me that I was doing things correctly. I did learn how to fix some issues that I've had with neck and button bands and she showed us a great buttonhole for larger buttons. It will come in handy with the buttons I bought to put on my Einstein coat.

After class I let myself make a five minute stop at market to pick up a ball of merino from Ellen's 1/2 Pint farm and some beautiful merino from Brooks Farm. I always find something that I love at both of these booths. They have wonderful colors and great yarn. I plan to make a top-down cardigan with the purple from Ellen's and maybe a Rolling Stone with the Brooks Farm. I tried to plan a purpose for each purchase that I made. Of course, that can always change.


Well, it was a great success all the way around. I'm completely exhausted between Stitches and the dentist. I hope to make it through the work week okay. I need to prep for Saturday class. I'll have block blanket group in the am and Beginning Knitting in the afternoon. I need to work on my beaded shawl this week to get it done and hang it in the store for the seminar in October. I also need to decide on a yarn for my own Einstein coat. I had thought about buying yarn at Stitches, but I would rather buy it at the store so that customers can see that as an option for when they shop.

We'll I'm off to knit a bit on my kimono before going back to sleep. I've already slept about 12 hours today, so I will probably hit a record for me!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stitches Midwest

We just got back from Stitches Midwest in Rosemont/Chicago. I had a wonderful time, spent way too much money, learned a bunch, and spent way too much money!!!!! But, boy, it was fun and I have some great new projects to knit.




When we arrived on Thursday we quickly checked into the hotel, ran over to registration, and grabbed something to eat. I then went off to my first class (Traditional Shetland Lace) and Patrick went off to Goose Island and the museum.

I haven't done much lace, so I thought this would be an interesting class to take and learn lots. Candice did a great job of explaining how the people of Shetland incorporated knitting into their culture and economy. We made two small cockle shell patterns and then seemed them together. which is how the Shetland scarves have the mirrored effect. Candice also provided us with Shetland yarn, which has a bit of a stickiness to it and makes the lace work easier.


I found that I love the look of lace, but I probably won't be doing a ton of it. I do plan to make a Shetland scarf, well, the pattern part anyway. I'll be using a lovely cashmere that I bought at market on Thursday evening. It is amazing to feel and the colorway is beautiful. It will be really nice to wear with a black sweater. It should look somewhat dressy as well.

I quickly found two projects that I was so excited to purchase and start. One is a kimono and the other is a baby doll sweater named Rainbows. The designer and her mother-in-law were incredibly nice and so excited to be selling the kit. (The girl in the Rainbows picture is the designer. I guess I should say woman, least I be attacked like Hillary! Full disclosure, although I live in Indiana, I am 100% liberal and not, um, happy with the current holders of office. Okay, back to the yarn!)


I also picked up a Joranda Paige bag at market on Thursday. These are wonderful bags!!!! They combine the functionality of knitting bags and purses together so that you can carry one bag. There are even little holders to thread yarn through so that you can knit and it keeps your yarn under control. I went back to my room happy as a clam and started knitting on the kimono garment. It is burgundy, pink, and beige. I bought a shawl pin to match, but I haven't located it yet in the unpacking process. (I actively tried to buy all colors that I wear, but NOT only all red, or all blue, or all black, which is what I have a tendency to do.) This garment uses the linen stitch to give a great woven look.

Patrick returned from Goose Island with a 6-pack of beer that was chilling when I got back to the room. We had Giordano's pizza. Yummy, yummy. (I have to say that I am incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful husband who is supportive of my passion. I love that he is artist himself via his poetry.)


Friday morning I woke up to panic. Intarsia class was starting soon and I was sure it was going to kick my butt. How do people complete intarsia without all the little holes and all the twisted yarn?!? I nervously went to class and Jane Slicer-Smith taught me the magic of intarsia. This is something I definitely see myself doing a lot of in the future. Her techniques and tricks were like magic to me and I loved reading the chart. For the first time I can remember, I preferred using the chart over the written instructions. It just seemed to make more sense with the intarsia sections.


After a quick stop into market to purchase part of my Maggi Knits stash (pictured later), I headed back to the hotel to meet up with Patrick. We had planned to go the Mile and shop, but it was soooooo hot and the trip would have taken a long time. We decided to stay at the hotel, watch a movie, and hang out together. It was really nice to just relax.


Saturday morning was Swing into Style class with Jane. We learned about garment structure and how to make a swing coat to suit your body. She has some gorgeous swing coat kits and one will definitely be going on my Santa list. After class I met up with Tonia, Lyn, and Kim from Stitches & Scones. We made our way from booth to booth. I had made a list of items I had debated purchasing. I went back to look at each thing and bought only 50% of them. It does pay to not buy right away! One of my purchases was one ball of qiviut, which is made from muskox fur. It is picked off of the trees that the muskox rubs against. It is light as a feather and beautiful. I plan to make a lace scarf out of this ball.

I really wanted to make something for Patrick and I had spotted this brown and cream 50% alpaca/50% merino yarn. It was from a small farm where they raise the animals and process the wool themselves. I plan to make him a top-down pullover. It should go very fast and he can use it during cold days this winter.
My biggest splurge of the weekend was silk/merino, superwash merino, and a skein of chenille from Tess Designer yarns. I plan to make a wrap that will be beautiful and I have a lovely shawl pin to go with it!!!!! Also in the picture with the Tess yarns are some extreme knitting needles. They are size 50. You can use huge numbers of yarn strands and can make rugs, blankets, and pillows with them. I plan to knit up some pillows for our bedroom. We'll see.


That's it for now. I'll post later about Saturday night and Sunday class, which was fabulous, and my last-minute buys. For now, I need to go. I have dental appointment tomorrow and I get massive anxiety attacks. I'll be taking my Valium shortly and trying to sleep through the night.



Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My Niece

Okay, so I don't have a niece yet, but when I do, they will be well dressed. I have the following projects ready and waiting for the day I hear the word that one of my sister/brother-in-laws is going to have a baby girl. (I have a nephew, Aidan, who I adore, but I feel so guilty putting a little boy in too many knitted items. He does have many a hat I made him and it makes me so happy when I see his blanket that I made when he was born still hanging out on his bed.)



* Tilli thomas dress

* Dress from Debbie Bliss book

* Coat from Debbie Bliss book

* Tons of frilly little things

* Pink crayon box jacket

* Fair Isle sweaters

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Picture of Me


Stitches Midwest

Stitches Midwest is 4 days (counting today) away!!!!!!! I'm so excited. I am one swatch away from having my homework done. I'm taking the following courses:
  • Joy of Finishing with Chrisy Bylsma (love her!)--I'm making myself take a finishing class. I've found that most knitters hate the finishing. It's such a project killer if you don't do it well, that I'm making myself concentrate on it. What better way than with Chris. I love her designs and took Stashology with her last year and had a great time.
  • Swing into Style (Coat)--Very excited about this one!
  • Traditional Shetland Scarf--I haven't done much lace work and I thought this sounded like fun. I try to take a mixture of techniques and project classes. You purchase the Shetland lace weight yarn in the class and learn the project. Should be a great addition for winter.
  • Intarsia: An Intro to the World of Color--I've completed a few Intarsia projects. I'm hoping to learn some new tricks to improve my intarsia knitting.

Today I will be blocking my knitted garments that I plan to wear at Stitches.

My current market shopping plan is...

  • Keep an eye out for yarn that would be good for my Einstein coat
  • Look at the Swing Coat kits after taking my class
  • Find some Maggi's yarn for several projects from the Ireland book I want to make
  • Shop for yarn for the new Stitch Diva Trapeze pattern
  • Unique, catch-my-eye patterns and yarn

With that said, it's all about price, so we'll see if I can find deals that allow me to get all of that!

New Friends

I taught the first session of One Skein yesterday and met two new friends. They are two lovely sisters who decided to delve into more knitting. (I also had a dear friend of mine, Kristy, who took the class. Kristy is using Tilli Thomas Disco Lights in black. It is going to be beautiful!) I had a lot of fun, and I hope that they did too. They did a fantastic job and picked up things very well.

The ladies asked me to add the Einstein Coat as a class, so I am planning to teach that as well.

Saturdays: Oct 6 1-3; Oct. 20 1-3; Nov. 3 1-3 $45.00 (Additional sessions will be planned if we need them.)

Of course, this means that I need to pick out my own yarn for the project. I have some buttons that I purchased at Tender Buttons a few years ago. I think I'll pick yarn that enhances these buttons, but who knows where I'll end up. I'll shop first in my stash!

Friday, August 3, 2007

TNNA Picture

My friend Carol found a picture of me on Stephanie Japel's photolog. It was taken in her One Skein Wonder class at TNNA (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nate_and_stef_japel/774078914/in/set-72157600754636339/). I am the one in all white in the second row. As you can tell from my other posts, I love her designs.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Class Information

I've had a lot of people ask about upcoming classes that I'm teaching. Here's some brief info for you.

One Skein Wonder Shrug:
8/4 and 9/8 from 1-3; $30.00 class fee (There are a few spots still open.)
9/22 and 9/29 from 9:30-11; $30.00 class fee
(This is a wonderful pattern that you can view at www.glampyreknits.com.)

Beginning Knitting
8/18 and 8/25 from 1-3; $30.00 class fee
9/22 and 9/29 from 1-3; $30.00 class fee
(You will learn knitting basics--casting on, knit, purl, binding off, fixing stitches.)

I am also offering other classes in crochet and knitting. You can see the class calendar at http://www.stitchesnscones.com/cgi-bin/classes.

If you are interested in a particular class, please let me know. I've had several people inquire about the Simple Knitted Bodice pattern. I'd be happy to add this class to the schedule for October/November.

Happy Knitting and Crocheting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Too Cute!


I took this picture to feature on a future blog about the dog sweaters I've made (yes, I'm one of those). Riley and Kennedy starting playing and I kept snapping pictures. This just made my day, so I thought I'd share.