Friday, July 31, 2009

Sock Knitting Machine Demo Day

Green Valley Weavers and Knitters treated their customers to a fun afternoon event with prizes, food and drink, and a demonstration of the sock knitting machine.

Within the time that I stopped to visit she had produced two socks. It was amazing.

They are planning a stash party soon. Check their website for all the details and a list of their upcoming classes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sock Summit Homework and Tools

Even though I am signed up for five classes at Sock Summit, I have no real homework. The hardest part has been pairing up my tools with the yarn I will use to practice the new skills I will be learning.

I am going to knit a couple sets of sock legs so I am ready to practice the bind offs that Chrissy Gardiner is going to try to teach us in one hour. My other classes include one for the Magic Loop Cast On, one for adding beads to my knitting, another for creating the perfect rib with Cookie A, one for short row heels that are used with toe-up socks and finally some Japanese stitch techniques used in socks being taught at Knit Purl by Judy Sumner.

Sorting the tools that will have to go in my checked baggage has been a challenge. I don't want to forget anything however I do not want to take everything I own.

And the last mystery is what do I want to take for a travel project. I have considered the very small Harmony dpns on another mini sock which I should be able to finish en route to Portland on the nonstop flight. Then I think I should be working on a sock of actual size so I have a pair by the time I return from the Sock Summit. All these choices and so little time left to decide. As Cockeyed said this week, it is only (number inserted from countdown of how many days until I travel to SS09, in this case - 6) more sleeps.

I hope everyone has great plans in their future!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What's On My Needles?

I am loving this cold front train that is making a daily progression through Colorado. Last week when we were attempting to break the 100-degree high temp mark (pfffftttt....) I was hoping some cold front weather god would take pity on us and they have.

I just came back in from lunch and it is 58-degrees outside -- in July and it is wet. Yippee!

In knitting news, I have more fun things on my needles this week. To begin: I have two mini socks yet to knit for The Craft's Meow's booth (#1115) at Sock Summit. I will be delivering them to her when I arrive. I have a little bit left of some fun colors so I may knit another pair of the magic slippers for display purposes at the shop. They are so fun to knit and what a clever way to use up leftover sock yarn.

Last night I finished a second sample of lace knitting in the form of mini scarves for shop samples. I will be teaching a beginning lace class in September. These patterns will make up beautiful scarves which are great for holiday gifts.

Then I started the Prairie Boot pattern. I had the sole all knit and decided that I did not like it in single strand weight so ripped it out and knit it in double worsted strand weight. That is much better. I hope to start adding the top color to it. Again, this is a sample for the shop because one of my August students wants to knit this pattern.

And, hopefully this week, I plan to put beads on the yarn for a pair of Wristwatchers from this month's edition of Knitter's magazine. They are one of the Lite projects featured in the magazine and look fabulous and another great gift idea.

And in my other projects category, I have been creating stitch markers out of buttons for my swap item at Sock Summit. I have them all built and will be trading them attached to my Moo minicard to interested folks. It should be a lot of fun.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Heat of the Summer

I think the solution for the heat of the summer is lightweight knitting. (At the end of this post I will add my other solutions to beat the summer heat that are not knitting related).

I have been working on lots of projects this summer so far, most of them for either the shop where I teach as samples or for the upcoming, much touted Sock Summit 2009 event in Portland.

So when I realized that I will need a project, possibly besides a sock, on the needles for the trip to the "Big Show" I started looking at lace ideas. Since I have to be able to carry this item on the plane it cannot be the project shown on July 22nd on Loopy Ewe's blog.

My plan for this project is to work it on DK weight yarn and make a long skinny scarf for summer fun wear. Of course, I have to find yarn in my signature color. I am working on a couple versions of lightweight lace scarves to show different stitch patterns to display in the shop.

My signature color is being set up to knit during the World Record attempt at Sock Summit. When it is done it will be a faux mo in purple glitterspun that is more for fun wear than warmth.

And while I get all these things ready and lined up for future knit projects and SS09, I took a little break to do some fishing. And, as you can see, I caught a "cat"fish. I hope everyone is finding fun ways to beat the heat!

Other solutions: work a job that does not require you to wear a suit jacket and, for the guys, a tie; iced coffee or tea break, drinks with umbrellas, cold food for dinners, someone else's AC (aka shopping mall or Starbuck's) for blogging; trips to high mountain lakes; and a clean house.

How many ideas can you come up with to help beat the heat? I hope you are all cool and happy!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Update - How July Flys

This is how our weekend began. Pedro is perched on his new vantage point that I built, not for his usage, but for the floor-clearing that was necessary for the carpet cleaning of traffic areas for the year. The leasing office is kind enough to offer this service after you have signed your lease for the year.

Once that was done on Friday morning, then I met the folks and my sister for the much-anticipated sixth movie in the Harry Potter series. It was great. Several humorous moments of teenage love pangs and new revelations of what drives who to do what. Of course, if you have read the books you already know the story but it is so much fun to see how they will interpret it for the big screen. Just a note, for this movie, IMAX is not really necessary for all but the first 15 minutes of the movie.

In knitting news, I felted the first clog for my class sample. It turned out beautifully. I really like this pattern for a fun knit and a great wearable item.

I will be teaching this class in October, just in time to make holiday gifts for your loved ones and friends.

In other knitting news, I am working on finishing the knitted samples of The Craft's Meow's sock yarn for her booth at Sock Summit 2009. She will be in booth #1115.

Only 17 days away and I have three more skeins to knit up. I decided that I have done several mini socks for display and needed to mix it up a little, so, I knit a pair of Magic Slippers from a free pattern off Sock Pixie's blog.

These are really cute and fun to knit. They will make a cute baby shower gift if you have or know of anyone with babies on the way. This pair took less than 25 yards total of sock yarn on size 1 needles.

In other knit related news, I have been adding DPN holders to my Etsy shop and have some new additions that I think are really cute. I will be adding Beach Monkeys this week, and I have a selection of Christmas ones that include precocious penguins, caroling raccoons, snowmen, Santa plus reindeer and Halloween ones. I will also be adding alligators and more monkeys.

While I was doing all this I was writing up my list of knitting supplies I have to pack in my suitcase to take to Portland for SS09. I am very excited to be going.

I hope everyone had a fun-filled weekend!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Weekend Update

Busy weekends that equal three days are the norm this summer. It has been a gift to have the extra day to pursue all the things I love and want to accomplish. That is top of my gratitude list.

This weekend I finished a pair of what my knitting class students are calling "recession stockings" since I showed them at our Christmas in July knitting class. They are knit off the Los Lobe Hose pattern and out of yarn from The Crafts Meow.

The photo is the first one I have taken in my new Deluxe Photo Studio that mom got me for Christmas. I have some more to learn about my camera settings, but so far I like the pics that I am able to take for my Etsy shop.

In other knitting news, I was reading someone's blog and saw that they had cats and remarked that the hardest part of their knitting life is the yarn competition that they have with the cats. I guess I am lucky because Pedro is not all that interested in yarn unless I leave it out for long enough that he just cannot resist the temptation any longer. Then he tries to eat it.

This week, while I was not knitting, I was designing and building more fun knitting accessories for my Etsy shop. I concentrated on DPN holders and have them in Halloween and Christmas themes, plus safari animals, devil ducks, monkeys, and some one-of-a-kind sheep, cow and donkey sets. Next on my to-do list is to make some more stitch markers.

And I discovered Electric Sheep. It is a podcast out of the UK. She has quite a following and discusses everything from weather to tea and lots of knitting related content. She is fun and funny to listen to, well worth a listen. Check her out by clicking here.

I hope everyone has multiple reasons to be grateful for their weekends!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Holiday Weekend: Update

My 4th of July weekend started out quiet with planning for two knitting classes next week. Then I went early to farmer's market on Saturday to buy corn and cherries.

I found a patriotic duck in a window. That brought to mind a song about how much is that ducky in the window....okay, so I was making up the words as I went along.

Then the market had lovely mixed veggies baskets. That is a great marketing technique if you do not know exactly what you want.

By Saturday afternoon the rain had moved in and by the end of the day we were bbq-ing indoors and making national news by getting an inch of rain in a very short amount of time. Needless to say, it made for very soggy fireworks watching.

And while it rained, Pedro did a lot of this on his dream curl. It is his favorite place to take a nap now that the weather is warmer.

In knitting news: I finished my first BSJ (baby surprise jacket). I have to say that just following the pattern without question worked just fine (thanks for the tip, CatWithCats).

And I finished my first pair of Fiber Trends felted clogs. They are all ready to felt. I will felt one and leave the other alone for display purposes. I think it is very fun to compare the size of what you have to knit to get a certain size when it is felted.

I moved on to knitting a trumpet flower from the Nicky Epstein Knitted Flowers book to make sure I understood the pattern before I try to teach it next week. And I will be practicing the cast on for the Inside Outside Scarf pattern, the other class on for this week.

And the SS09 countdown is at 30 days-ish, I am knitting wee tiny socks for TheCraft'sMeow booth during all my other available time. It is lots of fun to see the baggie filling up with colorful sample socks.

I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Readers' Burning Question Answered

Little did I realize when I posted the picture of the mini socks with my pattern cheater cards that I would get so many wanting to know where, how, who about them.

Okay, I can share this secret with you..... I made them.

Step 1: Find a pattern that you will probably knit more than once. Such as, basic hats, mittens, fingerless gloves, a particular scarf or shawlette, socks, most of these suggestions are for those who knit gift items that are easily done and much appreciated in the colder climes. The one that is in the picture is for wee tiny socks that I swap on Ravelry and am making some to trade and, for an indie dyer that has a booth, at Sock Summit 2009.

Step 2: Type up the pattern on an Avery template for postcards. I believe the Avery postcards are product #3263 and they are 4 1/4" x 5 1/2".

Step 3: Instead of buying the postcards (because I wanted brightly colored paper) you can prep the template and then use colored card stock to print it onto.

Step 4: Then I used a paper cutter and cut them into the postcard size. Once I had them cut out I took them to Kinko's and had them laminated.

Step 5: Punch a hole in the corner of each card and hang them as a group on a 35mm book ring (I found these at Walmart in the office supply aisle. )

These are so handy and they fit nicely in my little bag that I use for sock knitting.

Currently, for the wee tiny sock pattern, I have the basic instructions plus a card for the Eye of Partridge heel, plus one each for the Spiral Rib and one for Wrap Mock Cable stitch patterns.

I plan to make one for each of the favorite fingerless glove and hat patterns that I seem to make quite often. As well as one for the new baby slipper pattern I found that will be fun to make up out of leftover sock yarn.

Happy Knitting!

P. S. Items shown came from: The Tinkerbell sock bag is from WalMart, Loopy came from The Loopy Ewe, the sock needles are Bryspun size 2 in a 5-inch length and purple devil duck double point protectors are ones I make for my Etsy shop.

PPS. Answer to a veggie question: Peaches and Cream corn is grown in Pueblo and is a hybrid of yellow and white corn. When fresh, it is very sweet and tender. The best corn ever!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July: Days to Celebrate

First, I'd like to give a shout out to all my virtual friends in Canada. Have a great holiday!

Our own celebration is coming up on Saturday. In my town the largest fireworks display has been cancelled to save money. So, even though it is illegal to shoot off fireworks in the city without a permit I will bet there will be lots of impromptu displays around town.

In other days to celebrate, July is chock full of them. Here is just a sampling of fun things to do. You can celebrate National Hot Dog Day and National Ice Cream Day at National Picnic Day.

You can also celebrate today, along with Canada Day, Build A Scarecrow Day. Somehow I think those two things go together in the cornfields of central Canada. And today is also International Joke Day as well as National Postal Worker Day.

On July 6th you can celebrate Beatrix Potter's birthday and National Fried Chicken Day. OnJuly 8th, it is Video Games and Barns Day. On the 9th you can bake cookies for National Sugar Cookie Day and take them on the 10th to the Teddy Bear's Picnic Day.

By mid month you are probably about fooded out, but make room for National French Fry Day on the 13th. Then you can wear your beret and celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th followed by Cow Appreciation Day on the 18th.

Ugly trucks and chess share a day on July 20th and a special day has been set aside to celebrate? mosquitos. Who knew?! The end of the month brings Pioneer Day on the 24th, Threading the Needle Day on the 25th, All or Nothing Day on the 26th, the opportunity to celebrate your parents on the 28th and a chance to celebrate the two best food groups, lasagna and cheesecake on the 29th and 30th respectively.

So, don't let anyone tell you there is nothing to do this month. I think there is cause to celebrate something everyday!