Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Wall of Samples and the Last Day of January

It was a splendid day to visit Woodland Park today. The weather was sunny, bright and warm for the last day of the first month of the new year. I had my first class with my private student and we worked on the Tea Rose pattern that is from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book. She did really well and, I expect, will be ready for the leaves in two weeks with two flower pieces ready to put together.

While I was there I added my latest design sample, the Gauntlet Cuff, to my section of the Wall of Samples. I also gave them the sample of the Tea Rose to hang up for future students. So far I am filling my section of the wall, and with shop's help they get ID'd with fun signage.

I even got to visit with the shop owner's dog, Sport. He is recuperating from his first hip replacement and needs to be kept quiet. So, he was soaking up as much attention as he could from the steady flow of customers. Way to go, Sport!

I hope all of you are finding ways to fill these winter days and enjoy the last day of January!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Previously In Knitting News

When I started the week I was in a quandary as to what to begin next. My list of requests is growing and sometimes I get the idiotic idea that I can start them all and manage to get them knit simultaneously. I am learning that multi-tasking with paperwork is one thing and knitting is another.

So, with that realization, I reviewed my list and decided to start a pair of handwarmers in a cable knit pattern (new to me) for a friend's daughter. The color makes me smile and the pattern is interesting enough that I don't want to put it down. Last night I even tried to knit the ribbing during Lost. That is how interesting the pattern is.

This weekend I will be starting the mother/daughter knitalong which will create the "granddaughter/nieces in Germany" sweaters. I will be knitting the soonest deadline one for the April birthday and mom will be knitting the one for the July birthday. We are using a Lion Brand pattern that incorporates a lace yolk and Cotton Ease yarn so it is three-season wearable. They should be lots of fun to knit. Of course we are making them a little longer than called for so a future growth spurt won't turn them into shrugs before their time.

I hope everyone is planning some fun activities for the end of the week.

Note: Pedro is happy the technical portion of the week is over because he gets to play in the big box that came with the printer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Borrowed a Meme for Fun

While I was trying to wake up this cold, windy morning I ran across a blog post by Carole Knits. It seems we are all looking for things to blog to get through this winter and she had stumbled on a fun meme idea. So I thought I should borrow it. Note: this is not because I don't have lots of things I should be doing, like prepping the paperwork for my knit cables class, or for my knitted flowers class. I am just at a standstill as to what to start next. This looks like fun.

Your Name - Donna

Four letter word - dill

Boy name - Don (named after my uncle)

Girl name - Deidre

Occupation - Driver

Color - dandelion (provided by Crayola)

Beverage - Dragonfly (it is a rum drink)

Something found in a bathroom - ducks (mine is full of them - I collect)

A Place - Durango

Reason for being late - dumbfounded

Food - drumstick

Something you shout - Dad burnit!

I think that woke my brain up. Your turn!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Monday: The Weekend Recap

I had a busy and cold weekend. The weather gods finally remembered what the calendar said and brought winter back to us. Pedro and I spent a quiet weekend cleaning the office space so I could change out to a new computer and printer. The computer switch over went smoothly, the printer - not so much. Got is all unpacked, hooked up per the "quick start" guide and when it said Power Up after you plug in the power I got nothing, no juice. Very frustrating at 6 AM. Oh well, I will be on the phone this evening with tech support. Hate to think it has to be returned as it was mail ordered. :-(

In Knitting News: I found more yarn to make some more Tea Roses pins and the stuff to make the pin back areas look more finished. Finished a gauntlet cuff that I really like the looks of, so I will be writing this one up. I am going to make myself a pair and try out some beading on it.

And I knit a cabled headband for Duckers. I think he looks very handsome in his matching scarf and headband. Next, I have to find him a sweater pattern.

This week I have plans to make some more DPN holders and stitch markers for my Etsy shop.

P.S. I should not be allowed around technology in the early AM. If I could have detected the difference between the ON button and the START button on the new printer I might have gotten further with the installation. My bad!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blogversary - Two Years - Imagine

I cannot believe it has been two years since I started this blog. I have to admit, at first I did not think I had enough of interest to write about and I was wrong. I have met several interesting people from my blog-venture and enjoy viewing my world with blog-ability in mind.

What an interesting way to share ideas, thoughts, adventures and my passions. I hope all of you are enjoying the way you interface with the world.

Friday, January 23, 2009

FO: Rose Pin

The tea rose is done and assembled. It is a very simple knit. I will be adding a felt round to the back to cover the assembly area as well as providing a solid base to place the pin back.

This rose turns out quite large. I am looking for 2-inch pin backs and, so far, have only found 1-1/2-inch. Will try one of those if that is all I can find.

I am also going to try to cut the pattern down and make a smaller one to see how it looks.

Tomorrow I will be stopping in the outlet store and buying more yarn to make a couple in other colors. I think I saw it available in yellow and lavendar.

My next flower project will be the ones that look like columbines. In the book they are called Moody Blues. Everyone I have showed it to here says they look like columbines. I'll let you know how those turn out.

Until then, I hope everyone is pursuing something that makes them happy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Knitted Roses and "Lost"

As promised, here is a picture of the knitted parts of the Tea Rose I have been building as a sample for the class I am teaching based on Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book.

Unfortunately, the picture of the finished product will have to wait until tomorrow. I did not have time to assemble this one last night and the first one is on my suit jacket at work. I will bring it home today and photo it for tomorrow's post.

These do not take long to knit and assemble. The flowers turn out large so I may try less stitches to make a smaller version. The leaves are super fast and easy to knit. And you do need four to finish one rose. I am going to get some more yarn this weekend and knit some up in other colors. I think they will make lovely Mother's Day gifts.

On the "Lost" scene, it looks like this season is going to be all about getting the Oceanic 6 members back to the island. I see the potential for more questions to be answered. It was interesting to watch them bounce around in time, supposedly, as the island shifted. So far, no explanation about why it is doing that. All in all, this is a cleverly written show. I am going to enjoy this season.

I hope everyone is having a good end to their week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

"Lost" Begins...

I watch a lot of movies and am a huge Netflix fan. I watch the news for the weather reports. Other than that I am not a network TV watcher. I do not have cable and have no plans in the future to get it. So, my confession is:

I am a HUGE "Lost" fan. It is the only network series I follow. It is posted on my calendar to ID date and time so I don't miss it. And, to really reveal my true obsession, it is the only show that I will put my needles down and give my full attention to the program.

And tonight is the season opener of Season 5. I am so excited to see what happened to the island after if vanished from view. And during the commercials I will knit. Tomorrow I will post my take on the return to the island and pictures of my first finished knit tea rose from Nicky Epstein's Knitted Flowers book.

Until then I hope you have at least one healthy obsession in your life!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Night: Dead or Alive Fish Hat and Book Review

I lead an exciting life. Once I get home, I stay in and usually find a myriad of entertainment in my own home. Tonight is was Gone With The Wind, steaming the Ooh La La scarf sample and finishing the matching cuff for delivery tomorrow. For the cuff, I think it will be a Michael Jackson special since I do not have time to finish its mate before delivery.

Last week at the Copper Creek Knitters meeting I was reminded of the hat pattern from Winter 2008. It is the funniest thing I have seen in a while and I want to knit one, the Dead or Alive Fish Hat. Someone mentioned that there are lots of good ideas @ Ravelry so I went "fishing." There are lots of versions of the hat in all colors and sizes and yarn weights. I think I have enough leftovers from my 20o8 gift knitting to make one for myself. Now I need to see if someone has done a Great White Shark version. Hehe...

While my mom was here, after our shopping trip to buy her new pants - congrats on shrinking out of your other ones :-) we looked at the books that arrived in the mail. She had seen the Knitted Flowers by Nicky Epstein, but neither of us had seen her Signature Scarves. It is a delight of ingenuity and dazzling photography. We especially liked the Oak Leaves, where each leaf is knit and felted separately then sewn together. It looks like there are about 40 leaves to knit. Quite a project. Then we thought the Mouse Trap one was very unique. The base of the scarf looks like swiss cheese and it has a knitted mouse pin to hold it together. Very fun. Another interesting thing the back of the book is a section on how to tie a scarf, pictured with several variations on a relatively plain scarf. It proves that scarves do not have to be just a boring knit.

And, I'd like to take this opportunity to send out a big Happy Birthday greeting to my friend, Gene Vories, author of several westerns and still writing. Have a great day!

And, of course, Pedro helped entertain us in his usual fashion. All in all, a productive and fun Saturday at my house. Hope you are finding ways to entertain yourself this weekend.

Note: Pedro is six months old in this picture and he is showing me how big his paw is. Fish in bucket picture is borrowed from Knitty and Mom loves her bonsai.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Knitting, Knitting

The Ooh La La scarf has taken on a life of its own. I have yet to knit a lace shawl, however, this scarf has given me the insight of what it might be like.

The other evening I watched a knit buddy working on a circular lace knit that will measure 6 1/2 feet when it is finished.

So, this scarf seems like a smaller feat. Once I got past the accomplishment of 400 stitches on the needles per row I realized that the next two increases, 800 and 16oo respectively, could take me more than a day to knit across each row.

Now that I am on the bind off of 1600 stitches, I can appreciate the "long" knits. Tune in later this week for the finished project and my hints and tips regarding this pattern.

In "shorter" knitting news -- Duckers has a scarf.

I hope everyone is having fun this week.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy Monday: The Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning! There were many things going on this weekend at Chez Pedro's, besides the usual Nascat activities. Mostly he slept and raced. However he did investigate the newest member of our home, Duckers. My brother (the one in Missouri that used to drive trucks) sent me something that he had found in his travels. This is one I will actually build a scarf and hat for, he has real personality. Mom found him a frilly hat that may confound his sense of self but does look adorable.

On the knitting scene, I finished the quicky samples for the Ooh La La Scarf class and delivered them to the shop for display. I designed and knit matching cuffs to go with it. The quick-get-it-done sample was done with Red Heart in a varigated color. The full length sample is on my needles now in the yarn that the pattern calls for: Patons Classic Wool. The color I chose for the sample is named Rosewood. I like the feel of the knitting much better in wool. Can't wait to see what it looks like off the needles.

At the new yarn outlet in town I found some yarn to knit samples of a rose and a columbine for the Knitted Flowers class that I will start teaching in March. It is not exactly what the book calls for but it will do for now.

And in the birthday celebration part of the weekend, the folks came down for enchilada dinner and movie at my house. Then I went to theirs for breakfast the next morning. All in all, it was quiet and fun. They brought me a Snuggi for my chair. Dad decided I needed to stay warm while I knit in the evenings. We all tried it out and said YES, it is very warm.

Pedro has discovered that it makes a great bed for him to crawl into when I am gone to work.

I hope your weekend was productive with fun, memorable moments in it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January: Days to Celebrate

Let's begin with National Soup Month. I am a huge fan of soup meals in cold weather month and over the years have compiled a large recipe base. This month I will be trying my hand at a new recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup. I will post that recipe after I accomplish it.

Other fun things to celebrate in January are: on the 6th (today) is Clean Your House Day. I will be requesting that Pedro take care of that while I am at work. However, I am sure his version is to curl up in his kitty-hut on the bed and wait for me to do it on the weekend. Oh well, I try.

Tomorrow we can break out the blender and celebrate Strawberry Smoothie Day. Then, on Friday, we can snap, crackle and pop for Static Electricity Day. I will combating that particular annoyance with a recently shared home remedy of 1/4 fabric softener to 3/4 water in a spray bottle and spritz the carpet. That has saved a computer mouse or two at my office.

On the 14th you can celebrate Dress Up Your Pet Day. And while we are at it maybe they can join the birthday celebration for Winnie the Pooh on the 18th.

On the 21st let's get out there and celebrate National Hug Day which is right in the middle of National Book Week. And, on the 22nd, we can stuff ourselves on National Junk Food Day.

To wrap up the month, I think it is appropriate to celebrate Say Thanks Day on the 28th.

I, personally, will be celebrating a birthday this month (as many days as I can get away with) and hope that all of you find many reasons to celebrate!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Monday: The Weekend Recap

This past weekend was very productive for me. I had a class on Saturday on correcting common knitting errors with three attendees. It was great to see everyone and we had a good time purposely attempting to knit mistakes so we could try to fix them. The group also came up with good ideas for future classes. The plan currently is: cables in February and a fancy, ruffled scarf in March.

The scarf is one that was found in the 2009 Knitting Pattern A Day desk calendar. I spent Saturday afternoon googling size 7 circular needles in a 45-inch length and variegated Patons Classic Wool yarn. I will send my findings to the shop so they can order what we need to work with.

Yesterday it was snowing and blowing in town. A wonderful day to stay in and knit. And knit I did. I worked through almost a full skein trying to design a pattern for ruffled cuffs similar to the scarf pattern for the March class. And I tested the pattern on a sample mini scarf for the class sample to hang in the shop. All and all it was successful by the end of the day and the pile of knitting attempts seen here.

The cuffs are knit flat and then will get at least three buttons to close them up. They have a ribbed cuff so will not need to make buttonholes, just sew the buttons on for decoration and to close up the side.

I also found time to knit a few more rows on the cable scarf I am making for myself. It is made with two cables across with an eight row pattern. I am using Cascade 220 Tweed in plum. I think it will be really fun as a long, skinny, multi-wrap neck warmer.

And Pedro found time, between naps, to investigate a new fabric bag. At one point he was running through the house with the handle wrapped around his butt. It was hilarious.

I hope you had a fun and productive weekend! Happy Monday!