Sunday, May 18, 2008

Oh What a Day

I'm exhausted. I spent the day (7 hours exactly) cleaning out the closet in my yarn studio. It had become a huge mess piled up to the ceiling and falling out the doors. All of my yarn is now organized in the yarn studio and the closet is set up with bags and my other crafting supplies. The containers are all set up and there is room to move around. 

As part of the organizing, I came to the following realizations:
  • I have every needle I could possibly need and should never purchase another one.
  • I had a lot of projects on needles that I wasn't going to complete. I, with a heavy heart, frogged them today. I am down to 8 knitting projects on needles and 2 crochet projects. I have a goal to be down to 5 by the start of the Olympics. (Note: I was at 15 before frogging.) 
  • I discovered some horribly tangled yarns that had been that way for at least three years. They are, um, gone.
  • I have a lot of yarn. I put together some for Nancy and Tonia to pick from this Saturday and whatever they don't want is going onto the Ravelry destash group. To further combat this habit (and save money), I have put a new rule on my shopping. If it is from a local yarn shop, I must think about it for 24 hours before buying. This will force me to look at all the yarn I already have. I am allowing myself to impulse purchase while traveling. It is part of the fun and I won't be traveling too much this year (although we did just purchase our tickets to track the train from Indy to Seattle for our friends wedding in September--should be very cool and lots of knitting time!)
I finally feel like I can sit my yarn studio and be creative. Can't wait.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Stitch N' Pitch

My little sales pitch today...(it was fun putting my PR classes to use!)

Sunday, June 1st at 2 pm

The Perfect Double Play

Stitch N' Pitch brings together two wonderful traditions — Baseball and the NeedleArts. Come to the Indianapolis Indians game on June 1st and knit, crochet, embroider, cross-stitch or needlepoint. Sit among friends, family and colleagues and cheer on the Indians! Beginners, intermediate and experts are all welcome. This event is sponsored by Stitches & Scones (www.stitchesnscones.com) and The National NeedleArts Association (www.stitchnpitch.com).

For more information and to order tickets, please call 317-896-4411 by May 24 at 4 pm. Tickets may also be purchased direct through the Indians box office. Please be sure to let them know you are part of the Stitch N' Pitch group.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Big Bang Theory

Okay. I initially thought the show Big Bang Theory was awful. The show has completely grown on me. Very funny. Since I had blogged about not liking it before, I thought I'd fess up. Hysterical!


Monday, May 5, 2008

Socks

I have never been much of a sock knitter. Can I make them? Yes. I just never got addicted to them the way most knitters do. I didn't enjoy making socks all that much. After attending the Yarn Harlot the other night and seeing tons of socks being knitted up, I got the urge to try again. This has caused me to think a lot about why I didn't enjoy it all that much. Here is what I've come up with and I'd love to hear suggestions from all of you on different approaches...

* I have always knitted a little looser. When I tried sock knitting years ago, I would have to drop my needle size into the 00 or 000 range to get gauge. This, as you can imagine, was very uncomfortable and not encouraging. I've found that over the years my tension has evened up a ton. To the point that I am getting 8 stitches per inch on a 2 right now when I should be getting 7! Guess I overcompensated. Oh well, these particular socks will either be a gift or for sale item. I was just glad to have fixed the tension issue.

* One of the main reasons why I think my sock tension is better now is that I am not using double points. Instead, I'm following Cat Bordhi's sock on two circs method. Works great for me. I tried the new two socks on one needle approach on Saturday night. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but it just seemed very awkward to me. I'll have to give this another try at some point so that I can get over the dreaded one-sock syndrome.

* Sizing: I find that lots of sock patterns only provide stitch counts for a few sizes. Why is this? I can figure most of it out on my own and there is always the Purl Stitch sock info to fall back on. I'm just curious why patterns aren't covering multiple sizes like sweaters do so that those knitters who want a ready-made pattern get them.

* Fit: When I knit socks there is the pretty little neat rib a the top of the sock. Then, I put it on and it is all stretched out. How stretched out is too much? I am afraid that I'm making too small a size for my chubby legs. I've looked at pictures online and my socks on look just like those, but it just looks a little pulled to me. I'm probably being too picky, but I want my knitting to be very high quality and I feel like I've done that with most things. Socks are my, um, Achilles heal.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Catching Up

Spiderman Update

Several posts ago, I put up a picture of an afghan I was making for my nephew. I ended up finishing it in about a week because it was so much fun.


If you have a little guy around and you crochet, this is a fabulous free pattern on the web--just Google spiderman afghan and several site locations will pop up.

Crochet Hook Case
For those of you who receive the Stitches & Scones newsletter, you should have received a link to a free needle case pattern (sometime last month). It immediately caught my attention because I had been wanting to try out some felted crochet on a large hook. This picture sequence shows the before and after felting. It turned out really well and will serve as a gift for a lucky someone this year. It only took an hour and a half to crochet and felt. The trickiest part for me was sewing down the inside portion, but even that went fast. All in all, about a 3 hour project from start to finish. Although it is designed for crochet hooks, it easily could be used for double points. I believe is it a Berroco pattern, and should be on their site in the free area. Enjoy!

Greencastle Fiber Event
A few weekends ago I dragged poor Patrick out to the Greencastle Fiber Event. It was a really frigid adventure, but well worth it. There was lots of great yarns (and other fiber forms). I picked up some wonderful alpaca from Frontier Fiber Mills. Patrick really liked it so I planned to make him a hat and then use the rest for whatever came about. I made his hat, then a matching scarf, and I still have an entire skein left! I might try and squeeze fingerless mittens out of it for him. He is set for next winter!


I also picked up a few skeins of yarn for myself:

1 Skein of Touch Pure New Zealand Wool--So soft and yummy. It is a an thin/thick yarn that I thought would make a nice summer top or wrap.

1 Skein of (yes, you guessed it) superwash merino from Maple Creek Farm. I am a sucker for some nice merino in beautiful colors. I also thought this would make a great shawl for summer. Would be really cute with a shift dress at a summer wedding. We have a few to attend this year, so maybe I'll get the opportunity.

3 Skeins of Natural wool/Llama Handyed Merino wool in a heather, brown, and green color--hand spun and amazing. I can't find the lady's name at the moment, but she is in the Chicago area. I am putting this with some brown alpaca and knitting up a sweater for myself.

Hello!
A quick hello to all the new knitters that joined the fiber arts world yesterday. It was great fun teaching you all and I look forward to next weekend!

Jane, it was so great to see you and hear that you have been reading the blog. I hope to catch up with you the next time you are in the shop.