Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Update

These 3-D, multimedia artworks can be found at the shop, Nuts and Bolts, where I teach in Woodland Park. The gal who makes them uses fabric, natural wood and other pieces from the forest near her house, and floral bits and pieces. They are really something to see. (click on the pic to embiggen)

The rest of my weekend was spent working on finishing the kid cardis so they can be mailed next week. One has to make the big trip across the ocean, the other two only to the Midwest. I understand from the two families that the weather is still calling for sweaters so these will be right on time.

Duckers is enjoying his job as a model for the cardis and matching kerchief. He will be modelling the peacock one this week before these are shipped off to Missouri for Easter wear for my nieces. I can hardly wait for the pictures.

I hope you had a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Knitted Flower Class

My knitted rose class was lots of fun. We all used different yarn can came up with different looks for our Tea Rose pins. It was interesting to see how the different yarns created a different feel and texture for the flowers.

And it was fun to discuss the variety of ways that they thought you could use the flowers to embellish clothing, baskets, picture frames, et al.

We have more flowers and ideas to explore thanks to Nicky Epstein's book Knitted Flowers.

One of my class participants showed off her very cool scarf that she bought and all of us decided that it would make a great stash buster project. May have to have a knitalong for this project.

I hope you are planning lots of fun things in your world

Friday, March 27, 2009

Finally Moisture but not "Storm of the Year"

Even though the storm that just rolled through has been called The Blizzard of 2009 by the local media, it did not produce as much snow for us as I had hoped for. The wind was vicious and with the snow it was difficult to drive in. However, I think the overall snowfall for CS was 4-6 inches, mostly in stripes of up to 2 foot drifts with bare spots to compensate.

My favorite part was the view into the parking lot where all the cars had their "eyebrows" up. It was very fun and practical. It helped keep the windshield wipers from freezing to the windows.

I had the opportunity to utilize the remote access to my office and work from home Thursday afternoon and today. I am grateful that I have the option.

It was a good shot of moisture that we have needed all winter. I hope the Spring Storms continue for the flowers' sake.

Monday, March 23, 2009

March is National Craft Month: Learn Something New

What new technique do you want to learn? Do you want to learn new knit stitch patterns? New crochet patterns? New card making or scrapbook techniques? Now is a good time to learn something more in-depth or completely new. I saw that Joann's and Hobby Lobby are both offering demos on Saturdays in March, there is still time to experiment with a new craft or add knowledge to your favorite.

Or you can take a class at one of the yarn shops or even a tour of what videos are offered on You Tube. For example: Cat Bordhi has the funniest video on her Hungry Stitch technique to keep the wobble out of your SSKs. She has several others and so do many other knitters. I rely on one in particular to refresh my memory of how to do the Moebius Cast On.

Even though I love the ease in which I can find instructions and videos on new and different techniques, I still think going to take a class is a great idea. Not only do you have the instructor right there in front of you to ask questions and discuss variations with, you also have other folks who are interested in learning and sharing their ideas which adds a whole new perspective to your experience.

I recommend to anyone that finding something you enjoy doing and learning more about it will add enjoyment to your daily life. I hope to hear news of your creations in the future!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Weekend and Kid Cardi Update

This weekend was dedicated to a belated St. Patty's Day celebration, complete with traditional dinner with the folks. The addition to the meal was a White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake courtesy of my brother in Missouri. He had sent some interesting dessert mixes in the Christmas box this year and this is the first time I had to try one of them. The pie was yummy (thanks bro') and so was the dinner (thanks mom). Then we watched the Madagascar Penguins extra DVD. It was very funny.

While I was there I showed Mom the progress on the kid cardis. I have two or three done except for button and end weaving, and the last one is almost ready to go on the big needle for finishing.

I am enjoying knitting these kid cardis so much. I just wish this pattern came in my size. I may have to do some designing of my own to figure out how to do one in an adult size. That will be like Pam Wynne who refabricated the pattern for the February Lady Sweater that is all the rage over at Ravelry. It came from Elizabeth Zimmerman's February baby pattern in her Knitting Almanac. Pam designed it to "fit a grown-ass woman" and it is lovely. I have plans to raid my stash and get started on a practice one soon.

The rest of the weekend was spent watching movies, airing out the house with all windows open while the weather was warmish on Sunday, and setting up to start the matching kerchiefs for the girls. At first I thought doing them in stockinette would make a nice fabric to embroidery on, however about 10 rows in I realized that it will roll up and not lay nicely so I ripped it out and started on a garter stitch version. This does not lend itself to having embroidery on it, but I have an idea to add decoration to them. I will share when I get the first one done. I think it will be cute and may add the matching deco to the sweaters as well.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Day of Spring or Spring Has Sprung

Happy Spring to everyone! I hope you see the flowers popping up soon. I hope we see some moisture here on the Front Range in Colorado. Fortunately, the news report today said that we have enough in the water reserves and the mountains have had an average snow accumulation for the year.

I wanted to share some Spring trivia with you to celebrate the Vernal Equinox. First, and I think most important, is the answer to a question that has puzzled me most of my life - why does the date for Easter change year to year? I finally found the answer, and here it is: The date of Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the First Full Moon on or after Vernal (March) Equinox.

Now that does not seem too hard does it? I wonder who had to do the math to figure out how to create that calculation.

Now, on to less mentally taxing trivia:

Around March 21st, the earth's position in its orbit around the sun places its equator in line with the sun. This time period is called the "vernal equinox" and is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. "Vernal" means spring and "equinox" means equal.

An emerald represents spring, rebirth, hope, peace, and tranquility.

Though baby birds are born with the ability to sing, they must learn the songs of their species. An isolated baby bird will learn simple songs, but not the complex songs of its species. A bird must hear in order to learn. Only a few birds can sing the songs of other species. The mockingbird seems to be the best at imitating the songs of other birds.

An area along the California and Oregon border produces 95 percent of all bulbs grown in the world for the potted Easter lily market. They produce more than 11 million bulbs annually.

On March 14th, Pedro and I saw the first robin in our front yard. He was very excited and chattered away at the bird that is almost the size of his favorite outdoor friend, Squiggy the squirrel.

I hope you are all planning fun outdoor activities for the good weather ahead!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I am still looking for a sock pattern with four-leaf clovers in it. Maybe my next year I will have a pair knit to wear for St. Patrick's Day.

Just some trivia tidbits to share about the Day of Green:

Green is associated with Spring. The three-leafed shamrock is a traditional symbol because Saint Patrick used it to represent the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as one entity. The first time St. Patrick's Day was celebrated in America was 1737 in Boston.

Wearing green will bring you luck so go out and show your green today!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend Update

I had a great turn out for the Ooh La La scarf class. I think everyone had a great time learning yarnovers, and the modified bind off. We discussed the difficulty of remembering cast ons and bind offs when you only do them once a project. There are classes coming up soon that are devoted to just those components of knitting.

The rest of my weekend was spent working on the kid cardis as the deadline for mailing them draws nearer. They are going to be really cute. I can hardly wait to see them modeled by their recipients...hint to the parents to remember to take and send me pics. :-)

I also worked in my stash to set up a list of projects I want to work on next. With a list I can prioritize what comes next and do I have everything I need to start. My next project is the Plain and Fancy scarf with the yarn I purchased from Brooks Farm Yarn at the Taos Wool Festival. I discovered while reading the pattern that it does not specify a needle size. The instruction reads "Appropriate knitting needles for the yarn you use." This does not help me.

So I went to Ravelry to see if I could find someone else who was working with this yarn and pattern. Not much luck as I found the same yarn, however in sport weight instead of fingering. And the pattern does not discuss gauge, just the following: "Gauge is not important." That is all well and good except I would like the scarf to look something like a scarf, not a doll blanket.

So I am still on the hunt for someone with information since Plain & Fancy does not have a website and only attend two festivals a year, Estes Park and Taos. I hope to have this knit and wear it to Estes Park in June.

While writing this I emailed the question to the designer. My guess is size 3 needles, will see if I am close. I hope you all have fun projects to spend time creating!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi Day - 3.14

So today is Pi day, by the date alone - 3.14.

And for those of us who are math-challenged, I vote to celebrate it with Pie and forget figuring out all the multiplication of calories, divided by the extra exercise, added to the fun you will have picking out a piece, minus the guilt about it and have fun squared trying to figure all this out.

If this were my last math-related class I ever took in college, calculus, my professor would have filled the blackboard with the equation to show you all of this. Happy Pi(e) Day!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kid Cardi Update - Easter Deadline Approaching

From pieces to the beginning of the finish of the first of two kid cardis destined for Missouri. I have completed the parts for the medium-sized bright red cardi for the youngest niece in Missouri. I have plans to knit a matching kerchief and practice some duplicate stitch on it.

The parts knit up fairly quickly and make a great traveling project. It goes with me to work everyday where I knit for a few minutes in the car before going it to open up the office, then I knit at lunch for 45 minutes and then it goes home with me to accompany my evening movie. Now that I have the parts on the large needle it will stay home where I will knit on it morning and evening while the peacock/teal colored one travels back and forth to get its parts knit.

I still have not gone out to look for the buttons to use on these cardis, however I will be looking soon as the month of March is zipping by. I still have to have them in the mail with plenty of time to arrive at their destination.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kid Cardi Update

The first kid cardi is done. Well, the knitting part of it is done.

I still have to weave in some ends, find a button and sew up the underarm and down the sleeves. Otherwise it is a "wrap."

I hope the intended recipients like them and get some wearing out of them. I have plenty of matching yarn leftover so I think I will knit up a matching kerchief for each.

Once I got this one going I realized that these knit up fairly fast for me so I should try to get measurements for the other two neices that live in Missouri. I called my brother, their father and asked for his assistance with the task. He happily complied and provided me with measurements and the favorite color for each girl. While I was betting pink and purple for these two as well, they surprised me with the request for "strawberry" red and teal.

Red I know is red, teal is a bit trickier. It can be either blue-green or green-blue. I opted for a color called Peacock and hope I am right. It is really tough knitting for kids you do not get to see too often.

Those two cardis are slated for delivery before Easter and, current progress is, I have the body and one sleeve done, halfway through the second sleeve of the red one. Once it is loaded onto the very long circular for the lacy pattern part it is only about 40 rows of knitting left. It is a great project for the assembly-line style of knitting. The pieces can go back and forth to work with me and the larger project stays home for evening knit time.

I will take pics of the other two on needles as soon as I can. I hope everyone has something fun they are filling their time with! Happy hint 'o spring!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Knit Shop Adventure and Sock Monkeys Galore

Saturday I had the distinct pleasure of spending it in Denver with CatWithCats. I got to meet her two adorable kitties, Taffy and Purcy. They put on quite a show for me.

We went to Olde Town Arvada to her favorite yarn shop, Knit Knack to introduce me to the owner so I could show her my dpn holders and stitch markers that I make. The shop was so busy we did not get the opportunity to do that so just looked around at all the lovely things they have. Fortunately Cat found some yarn she was looking for and she showed me the awesome Sock Monkey window display. I understand that the display changes each month and the monkeys are dressed to celebrate whatever is the next holiday coming up. This month is all about the wearing 'o the green and these monkeys do it with abandon while sliding down the Cascade 220 rainbow.

Then we went to lunch at the Grandview Grill down the street. Yummy food and a nice, cozy atmosphere. I got the tour of the library, who can pass up an opportunity to scope out what great audio books and movies another library might carry.

We were off to Petsmart to buy cat food, I had promised her little furry roomies that I would not let her come home without their food. And I could not resist buying my own furry wonder his own scratching curl. He has been so good up until recently with just scratching on my dining room chairs that can and have been recovered. However, just the other morning I noticed he was clawing at the carpet by the door. Since I am an apartment dweller I do not want to replace the carpet because of him. So I took this item home for him and he likes it, a lot.

To get even for the great sales job she did to me at the Petsmart, I talked her into going into the Hallmark store where I introduced here to hoops and yoyo. It was great and soon, I know, she will be the proud owner of a Panic Button for her desk at work.

All the fun we had and I did not knit a stitch until I returned home Saturday evening, where I completed the final rows on the first German kid cardi. Look for pictures in the next post. Hope you had a fun-filled Saturday!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Square Root Day

For knitters, math is a factor. However, I realize that few of us, except for maybe Cat Bordhi, use square roots in our knitting.

Today, 3.3.9, is Square Root Day, according to the newscast this morning. This happens only 9 times per century. An interesting bit of trivia to brighten your day.

And a belated birthday wish to Cat Bordhi, her birthday was yesterday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Taming the Homespun

Thanks to a friend, I have the pictorial of how to tame Homesppun yarn that has gone rogue. Let's begin:

I began with this.

Then I worked my way through the spaghetti-like mess.

Once it was de-tangled, I wound the wayward yarn into a ball.

And, Ta-Da! it is tamed and back on the needles to finish the project.

My experience with Homespun is: it does not like to pull from the center smoothly and, if wound with a ball-winder, it will deconstruct itself into a pile of knots. The only logical thing to do is wind it into a ball and contain it in either a plastic jar, like shown above, or in a baggie.

Hope your yarn is behaving well in your world!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In Like A Lamb

The view from the parking lot of my day job.

The first of March greets us here in Colorado with mild temperatures and sunshine. It has been a dry winter and portends of water shortages and fire danger if we do not receive some moisture soon.

Other than those concerns it was a beautiful, calm day, worthy of some outside time.
I hope everyone is enjoying the coming hint of spring.

March: Days to Celebrate

According to the clocks, Spring has arrived. Here our weather continues to be warmer than average and very windy. We did see a bit of moisture on Saturday in the form of a skiff of wet snow. I want more! soon!.

Besides leaping ahead this month and the official First Day of Spring on March 20th, there is more to celebrate. On March 9th, you can help Barbie celebrate her big 50. That is difficult to imagine. Following the big party you can celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day on March 11th, then get ready for a second round of Friday the 13th, which is also Open an Umbrella Indoors Day.

Afterwards, celebrate Awkward Moments Day on March 18th and the first day of spring with Burning Snowman Day on March 20th.

I'd like to give a nod the the many quilters out there on National Quilting Day, March 21st and celebrate Maple Syrup Day at the same time.

I will be ready to celebrate National Spring Fever Week, scheduled for March 16-20th. And plan to look at pictures online (Pedro won't let me bring one home) to celebrate National Puppy Day on March 23rd.

Don't forget Napping Day on March 9th, and we will all be wearing o' the green on St. Patrick's Day on March 17th.

I hope everyone has plans to celebrate and often this month!