Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekend Update

I had a great class on Saturday in Woodland Park. It was a continuation of cable knitting, this time without the needle. My students decided that they preferred the needle for now, maybe later will like the idea of wowing people with the no-needle technique.

While I was there I played doctor for a scarf project being knit out of Homespun. I love this yarn however, do recommend to anyone wanting to knit with it, roll it into a ball and house it in a yarn bucket or plastic bag of some kind. It has a mind of its own and will end up looking like this.

The rest of the weekend I spent working on stitch markers for an order I received. I think they have turned out really nice and will be a fun addition to anyone's knitting collection. Pedro helped, of course, and makes a good project manager, as long as I can keep him from knocking all the parts off on the floor. He is feeling better and I hope we have this problem fixed. I will be looking into an herbal preventive for him.

I hope everyone had a good weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cardi Update

I went from the beginning cast-on of the main body to all cardi parts finished and loaded onto the big cable for the last 33 rows of lace of work. It is a really fun project and will prove to go faster than I had originally imagined.

So, with that said, I will be working on getting two more of these completed for the Missouri girls for an Easter gift. I got measurements and favorite color information from their daddy this weekend, and found the yarn on sale. It all looks like "Go Flight" for this project.

I hope all of you have fun projects to occupy your time!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's A Beginning: Officially...

After the gauge knitting with Mom over a week ago, I finally got the German cardi cast on. It all started yesterday morning when I realized that I was out of flower samples to knit and needed to start on some gift knitting. So I re-read and finished highlighting the cardi pattern. Then I cast on the requisite number of stitches for the body of the sweater and psyched myself up to do the seed stitch bands.

The reason I say "psyched" is because I have never had luck knitting the seed stitch pattern in the past. It does not matter if I read the pattern repeatedly, or knit very slowly and deliberately, I still end up with it looking wonky.

Yesterday I finally got it! The AHA! moment occurred when I read the pattern again. I fully expected to make the decision to substitute a garter border for my nemesis - the seed pattern. However, when I realized that something I have gotten good at is "reading" my knitting, I knew I had the seed stitch mastered.

The instructions read - "knit the purls and purl the knits." I started with that mantra in my head and had six perfect rows knit by the end of lunch. I am very pleased with myself and how it looks. I hope it looks good on the little girl it is intended for.

And in Pedro news, he is feeling better as far as I can tell. The doctor wants him to stay on the antibiotics for another week. It is getting more challenging to hide his meds in food that he will eat. He is such a smart cat. And while he is recuperating, he is assisting me at my beading table. He sits and watches me set up my "palette" and assemble the parts for the stitch markers. Of course, he has to reach out and try to take the finished items off the table. :-)

Best wishes to those who are trying to master the challenges in your life!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Monday: Weekend Update

I had a productive weekend of knitting class and prepping some stitch markers to sell at the shop. I am have many more sets to do, however at least know have a system to get them done in the wee hours of pre-dawn when I am up before work and the after hours while watching movies. I have to squeeze in as many creative hours as I can manage if I expect to get these things done.

Pedro, of course, assists me as much as he can. He had another bout of needing to visit the vet. We are still not sure what is troubling him, but he is on antibiotics again and all the lap time his momma can afford him. I hope whatever it is we can get him cured of soon. I hate to see him feeling punky.

If anyone has some herbal kitty cures for infection (boy kitty variety) I would like to know about it. Until then I am giving him lots of love and monitoring. I hope all of your best buds are in good health.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Roses, Roses, Everywhere

It may not be spring outside my door yet, however inside my house there are roses of several varieties "growing."

With my Knitted Flowers classes coming up, I have been knitting samples, finding yarn substitutions, and experimenting with adding beads to the flowers.

Even the shop is blooming with samples, and a big thank you to those who have knitted or provided backdrop items to display them on. I think that everyone who comes to take these classes will enjoy the satisfaction of experimenting with color and ideas for this small, quick to create items.

I hope you all are finding creative pastimes to greet the coming warm weather!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Monday: Weekend Update

I am happy to report it was a very busy and productive weekend. It started out Saturday with FROG (freezing fog) that finally dissipated in town around 1 p.m. from the reports I received. I went out in it around 8 a.m. to drive up to Woodland Park for my private student. I left very early to insure that I had enough time to drive as slowly as necessary to arrive safely. Once I got to the eastern edge of Woodland Park around 9 a.m. it was already starting to clear. By 11 when I met my client it was sunny and lovely.

We had a great time knitting leaves for the Tea Roses and talking about future projects. She showed me a great book all about making crafts with felted sweaters called Warm Fuzzies. It has some wonderful ideas in it.

Then I was off to visit the folks. Mom and I started our sweater knitalong for the girls in Germany. Will have pictures when we actually have something done on the needles worth photos. We watched Madagascar 2 and ate a sumptuous surf and turf dinner. It was lots of fun.

I worked all day Sunday on my stitch marker orders. It is really fun taking a charm and deciding what color and composition of bead hangers I want to pair it with. Watched Shakespeare in Love and The Wedding Planner while I worked.

Then I made roast chicken for dinner and worked on a scarf out of one of the new Lion Brand Homespun colors for the shop. I realized that they need samples up in the yarn section so I am going to see what I can do to contribute.

Pedro assisted me in all my endeavors and was sound asleep when I left home this morning. Poor boy, I must have worn him out.
I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

I hope everyone celebrated the Big Day of Hearts with the ones you love. I had dinner and a movie with my folks after I had my private lesson and updated my future classes at Nuts and Bolts.

And, of course, my day started with whiskery kisses from my best boy, Pedro. He went out of his way to show his affection at 5 a.m. Although I believe it was just because he thought he needed his breakfast.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Day to Celebrate

I just received late notice that this month we can celebrate National Bubble Wrap Popping Day. Not sure which day it was/is however if you have some and need some stress relief, go ahead and pop it.

And if you do not have a piece handy, click here to pop it virtually. Happy popping!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekend Update

Saturday I finally got a badly needed haircut. Then I met CatWithCats for lunch and a movie. We enjoyed good Chinese food at The New Panda North up in the Northgate area. Afterwards we went to the Hollywood Theater at Interquest and saw Inkheart. It was a great movie. We both gave it a thumbs up!

Afterwards we went our separate ways towards home. I stopped at both craft stores on the way to pick up some pieces/parts for my beading projects. I am adding stitch markers for knitting and crochet to my Etsy shop - Coming Soon! They are fun to make and fun to give. As someone else commented - they are like jewelry for your knitting. And I present them on a pin that makes them wearable as well.

On Sunday, I set up my workspace to start putting the stitch markers together and, of course, my quality control engineer assisted me. At some point his attention was diverted to his next favorite pasttime, it started with little spring birds and progressed to Squirrel Watch.

I continued with beads and knitting, combined with movie watching - Igor and The House Bunny - both cute.

This morning I am listening to the wind howl and getting ready for another busy week.

I hope you all had a fun and productive weekend!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Progress Report: Handwarmers with a Thumb

The handwarmers I started the end of January are showing progress. I have the first one complete and the second one to the thumb gusset. The second one had a rocky start and had to be ripped out twice because I could not wrap my mind around symetrical cables. I ended up knitting it just like the first and, when theyr are next to each other I cannot see the difference.

I am knitting these off a pattern from Kimberly Gintar's free patterns. The yarn is YarnArt's Nope Lux worsted weight from Turkey, it is an interesting combo of wool30/acrylic70. It is very soft and warm. The handwarmer is long, the wrist portion comes halfway up my forearm. It will be good for gals who like to wear short sleeves in winter and still want to be warm. I hope to have these done in time for my first cable class as a sample, then I will gift them to their intended recipient.

I hope you are all creating fun things this winter!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February: Days to Celebrate!

We start out the month with a bang as the groundhog is dug out of his hole to see if he will see his shadow. If he does, we get six more weeks of winter. I cannot recall a February 2nd that did not portend that in a long time.

With the promise of spring on the horizon, we move on to February 5th to celebrate Fat Tuesday. This has something to do with Mardi Gras and Lent, however I have never quite figured it all out. Maybe if I lived closer to New Orleans... I think it means that for the next two weeks you get to party it up.

On February 6th we can all Wear Red in celebration of Heart Month. And more fun than that, Monday the 9th is Read in the Bathtub Day. I think that is a great way to spend a Monday.

On February 11th I will be celebrating Satisfied Staying Single Day with my best bud, Pedro. This will be quickly followed by Friday the 13th and the biggest of love fests, Valentine's Day. Interesting combo I think.

After the chocolate and roses wear off, we can celebrate Chocolate Mint Day on the 19th. And then the big party night arrives with Mardi Gras on February 24th. I think that is where all the beads are thrown and masks are worn and you cannot be held accountable for anything.

We will close out the month with a spicy celebration of National Chili Day. Hopefully it will be cold and snowy that week so chili will be a welcome treat.

I hope all of you have big plans to celebrate this month. Spring is on its way and this last official month of winter should be fun and memorable.