Friday, April 29, 2005

Treat Yourself :)

Treat Yourself

I have convinced myself that the purchase of yarn, patterns, needles, and tote bags are required items for every knitter to have--I mean you can't knit without those things(okay maybe you can without a cool tote bag, but there's storage to think about lol!)

But there are plenty of things out there you could "treat" yourself to. I have a three such things today:
1. ladybug stitch holders--they are soooo cute; I couldn't resist them when I found them on a trip to A Knitted Peace along with some great Interlacements yarn.
2. then there is Knitter's Balm by Healing Yew which I actually found out about while in Colorado and shortly after via the Denver Knits group. This stuff is great--my right thumb and forefinger get really dry and this just wipes it away--plus it's the perfect size--it fits neatly anywhere.
3. finally, there are the "sweater in progress" stitch markers. They were from Seahorse Designs.
I LOVE these markers--they are almost too pretty to use. This store is great and I really had to restrain myself from going nuts there--I could really get addicted to stitch markers :)

I'm sure that there are plenty of other "non-essential" knitting items you could recommend too. Like maybe a t-shirt from Knitty (did that too!) or maybe one of the new works of knitting fiction out. Anyway, being the enabler that I am; I encourage you to treat yourself or a knitting buddy to something--you'll be glad you did!

On the knitting front, I should finish baby blanket #2 today then it's on to the third and final(for now anyway). I still have to finish my sister's socks, my daughter's scarf, and my summer sweater. I have done 4 of the 6 pairs of socks in the 6 sox knitalong but I'm pretty sure I won't finish #6 before the end of May(considering they aren't even started yet).

Happy Knitting!!

Aloha :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Great friends, good food, and knitting

In the late summer of 2003 I had been struggling along with crochet. I had made two baby blankets that looked great and I had made numerous other things that did not. I taught myself the craft so I'm sure there are some major things I don't quite grasp--hence the need to basically make things that are square. I wanted a change--I wanted to knit, but there was no way I could teach myself. That's when I went to The Needlepoint Joint in Ogden, Utah to inquire about taking a beginning knitting class.

Little did I know that taking that class in October 2003 would change my life(not in the Oprah or Dr. Phil "change my life" way, but change it for the better none the less). After that class I bought enough yarn to make a baby blanket and when that was finished, I decided to try my hand at a sweater from the Stitch and Bitch book. I went back to the shop to order my Lamb's Pride bulky for the sweater and as I was checking out I happened to mention that I would probably be coming in for help. That's when I was told about a knitting group that would be starting on Thursday nights from 6-8 and that I was more than welcome to come.

I was afraid to attend at first; I was positive that the people in that group had been knitting forever and would definitely look down on and/or be annoyed by the "newbie" who dared to join their midst. I couldn't have been more wrong. Our group started out small--just 4 or 5 people--but it gradually grew and now I would guess there are at least 10-12 regulars with maybe 25 or so that show up occasionally. We have all ranges of ability and professions and I couldn't be more proud to be one of them. I have learned so much from everyone in that group--seeing everyone's progress and current projects; getting help with new techniques( I remember the night in spring 2004 when I learned to turn my first heel--how many socks have I made since then?); and talking about anything and everything( and I do mean everything!). They are a great bunch of people.

We just celebrated our belated one year anniversary and even though I will not be around much longer(as I have to move out of state) I wanted each and every one of them to know that they have made a difference in my life. Their friendship, expertise, and fellowship means the world to me. Maybe someday I'll have 1/10th the talent and expertise as Randy or Laurie--dare to dream!!!! :)

All of you that belong to a knitting group have probably had similar experiences and those of you that don't--get out there and try to find one OR start your own--you won't regret it!!

Aloha and happy knitting!!

Friday, April 22, 2005

If It Ain't Broke. . .

Last night it took me longer than usual to get the children to bed--it seemed like everything was running about an hour behind--but finally at about 10:30pm(too late for little ones to be up, I know) they went to bed. I decided that this would be a good time to get some work done on the second baby blanket in the baby blanket-a-thon. I got out my knitting bag and all the necessary equipment, put one of the "Bonus Materials" DVDs from my extended version of The Two Towers, and got to work. I'd been knitting along happily for about a half an hour when I looked at my ball of yarn---it's from here that things go down hill.

You see a couple of weeks ago I borrowed a ball winder and swift from one of my dear knitting buddies and I had a great time with it, so much so that I got a ball winder for myself(I'm hoping the swift will be a Christmas or Birthday gift--hint, hint). Well, if it can be wound in a ball, then of course I have wound it--as a matter of fact, if you sit still long enough in my house I will probably try to find a way to wind you or something of yours.

SO as I was sitting there last night knitting the baby blanket, I noticed that the ball was kind of deflating(center pull, very large ball of yarn) and I was having to take out some small tangles more often---that's when I got the "brilliant idea"(brought on no doubt by caffeine, a sick obsession with my ball winder, and the time of about 11:15pm--too late in the day for a Mom of small children to get a "brilliant idea") that I could wind the remainder of this ball into one of those cool ball wound "cakes".

I marched excitedly upstairs to retrieve the precious ball winder, brought it downstairs, set it up, and began to wind the ball. Things were going along great until one of the small tangles I had been plagued with while I was knitting turned into a giant mess of tangled yarn. BUT I didn't panic--I slowly tried to untangle the knot confident in my ability to do so. This, in fact, was NOT going to be the case--the more I untangled; the more tangled it got.

Now it's about midnight and of course I'm getting tired and short of patience--a very bad combination for someone trying to untangle a ball of yarn. You are probably saying to yourself, or the computer, "why didn't you just go to bed and leave it until morning?" That, my friends, is an excellent question, but I did not go to bed. I continued to fight with the ball, getting more and more frustrated; I began cursing the knitting goddess and powers that be and I even began to turn on my innocent little ball winder(because obviously it was calling to me from upstairs)---at 1am I did the unthinkable and got the scissors. By 2:30 am I had 4 small balls of yarn and one baggy containing the remaining tangled mass--which I did decide to leave until this morning.

So, boys and girls, what have we learned here?
There are a few ways you could go with this:
--I learned that if I am the slightest bit tired I should not in fact listen to the crazy voice in my head telling me to do anything but knit.
--I learned that I should have left the giant ball alone and dealt with the small tangles because then I would have had only two ends to weave in--my fiasco last night has now given me numerous more.
--I learned that a ball winder should only be used for what nature intended it for and not to fix something that was fine as it was(hence the "if it ain't broke" title)

Laugh at my stupidity if you will but keep it in mind the next time you get a "brilliant idea" in the middle of the night :)

Aloha :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

On the Needles

On the Needles

Merino the Lamb would like to present: "What's on the needles". There are 4 projects there(from left to right): a hooded t-shirt, a scarf for DD, a sock for my sister, and baby blanket #2 (from my personal baby blanket-a-thon/1.6 down-1.4 to go!). I think that I would classify myself as an ADD knitter because I have to have more than one thing going at a time: something challenging(the two color scarf), something for myself(the t-shirt), something mindless/comforting(the sock), and, lately, something with a deadline(the blanket).

I would like to direct your attention to the hat on Merino the Lamb's head--it is a gift for my nephew(due in about 2 weeks). I started the hat last night at 9pm, finished knitting it at 1am, and seamed it this morning--it is the fastest I've ever done anything. If I had known that baby hats were so easy, I would have done that for everyone instead of the baby blanket marathon I've gotten into!!

Have a great day and happy knitting!!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

Retail Therapy

As promised here is the picture of some of my recent book aquisitions. It doesn't really look like a lot, but I didn't post the pictures of the yarn, single patterns, and magazines I've gotten recently. It's kind of like the ostrich syndrome--if you don't see it; it's not there :)

A couple of reads: At Knit's End and Knitting: A Novel, I'm hoping they are good--it's a good start to my spring/summer reading list(which will later include the next Harry Potter and the second book by the young man who wrote Eragon). The mitten book looks great; I can't wait to try one! I bought the afghan book in hopes of having some quick projects for gifts, but even though they use big needles they also use a lot of yarn--so we'll see how much use that gets.

This weekend I've devoted to sock knitting then on Monday it's back to the baby blankets.

Have a great weekend!


retail therapy

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Trip through Blogland

I have spent the last week looking at blogs--knitting blogs specifically. I would say that I have not even put a dent the the knitting blog ring, but--WOW--what an ecclectic group all you bloggers are. Just in the 100 or so I have read; I've learned a lot about who's out there and who I seem to have things in common with. If I can ever figure out how to list links in my sidebar, I'll list some of my favorites.

As for my knitting, the baby-blanket-a-thon is going well(1.5 done/1.5 to go). Unfortunately, I thought I was further along on the second blanket than I actually am. I have to add 2 more pattern repeats than I thought. I have a pair of socks on needles and my 6th six sox sock on deck--who'd have thought it would be so hard to come up with what to put on the cuff of that sock :) My short sleeve hoodie is also coming along--I like working with cotton; I just dread the double duty of weaving in the ends!

Once my last package arrives, I'll post pictures of my recent knitting book acquisitions. I've definitely been doing some "retail therapy" lately. It seems that I will have more patterns than I'll ever be able to finish in this lifetime---I'll have to teach my daughter to knit and will them to her! LOL!

Happy knitting!
Aloha :)

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Today was a BEAUTIFUL day!!! The weather was the warmest it has been all year, two of my knitting buddies came over with kiddos for a playdate, I got to borrow and play with a ball winder and swift(I'm easily amused), and I started a new project.

Dale is still on the calendar but it's been cast aside for time being as I have started a short sleeved, hooded pullover for spring. Pictures to follow.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, April 02, 2005



As promised April will be the month I attempt to start Albertville(Dale of Norway Olympic Sweater Pattern). Here's a shot of the sweater to be :) It's hard to believe that all of that will turn into a sweater!

I'm still in the middle of the baby blanket marathon(1.4 down/1.6 to go). I also have the start the sixth sock in the Six Sox Knitalong. BUT I'm still going to start the sweater this month.

It's a beautiful day here, but our family won't be enjoying it as everyone is sick :( Hopefully, the nice weather will continue.

Have a happy knitting weekend.

Aloha :)