Thursday, March 31, 2011

Out Like a Lamb - Double Woolies

It looks like our March is going out like a lamb.
This is the first time in my recent memory that March has been this mild in my area.

So, it came in like a lamb and is going out as the same, I think this calls for Double Woolies.

Happy Spring to All~!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Get Your Tickets Fast - Best Melodrama Dinner Theater Action Around

Big news - the Lake George Friends of the Library Players have just announced this year's dinner theater offering entitled Murder at the Reunion or Our Family Tree Has Twisted Roots. It is scheduled for the weekend of May 20 and 21st.

Waste no time, call the Lake George Library and reserve your tickets! This is the best show in town. We have been going for four years now and have never been disappointed.

If you like community theater, this is the best event of the year in Teller County.

New Stash Begging To Be Project-ed

Many of you have heard that I usually shop for yarn with patterns in hand so that I have projects prepped for the "next to be knit" list. When I get them home, I pull out my supersize ziplocks and add yarn, pattern and any special tools, zip it up and add it to my projects bucket that sits in the living room. This saves on going through my yarn buckets and saying, "Now what did I buy this for?" puzzle, puzzle.

And, as you have recently read, I have been pulling patterns for yarn shopping at the Loopy Ewe, coming up in April.

What I had not anticipated is that I would be gifted with some special skeins that I will be matching up with some of those patterns that I want to work on in the near future. (thanks to CatWithCats)

So, I have pulled out the patterns and matched them up with a couple great skeins to get started on first thing next week.

I hope everyone has happy new things to work on~!

Monday, March 28, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month Club - March Update

Almost done with the second sock. It has been fun to knit just a rib-top tube. I can hardly wait to set in the afterthought heel.

All of this done while preparing for the knitting retreat. Not bad.

My next dilemma, what sock to start for April?!

I hope everyone has fun projects planned for the first full month of Spring~!

Summer Cardi Two - Final Pick Up aka New Method to Share

Most of you have heard that I am a HUGE Denise Needles fan. The idea of having one set of interchangeables, that can go anywhere and have a wide range of uses, from size 5US and up is wonderful.

My mother had an idea and presented me with a new addition to my set - crochet hook - because she knows I prefer this method for picking up stitches. So today I tried this new hook attached to my long cable to pick up the edge stitches to finish this second Summer Cardi. Pictured is the old way of doing it a few at a time as well as the new way.

This worked like a charm and the sweater is done, ready to wear for the Knitting Retreat this coming weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Craft-Staycation - A Fun Visit

What a fun idea! Instead of planning and executing a vacation away from home with all the travel and stay and pet sitting, take the week off and stay home to work on all your craft projects and learning a new technique.

That is what my friend, CatWithCats did in Denver for this spring break. I went up to visit with her today and found her happily crafting and knitting at home with her kitties. It was a great visit complete with a yummy brunch and stash reorganization and show and tell.
I hope everyone has a fun visit planned for this Spring~!

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Word of the Week - Week #10

What's the new word for 'cool'?

For all these years I still use the word "cool". Maybe it is time for a change.

My choice for new word is "fabu". I think it is fun to say and can mean just about everything from cool to fabulous. I have found some fabu new patterns, yarn and tools in the last month or so and the word fits the bill for most finds.

I especially like accenting it on the end with the drawn out "bu".

So, what new word are you trying out this week?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Picking Patterns for Spring Fling

The biggest part of getting ready for Spring Fling for me is not about what clothes to take, but what patterns to take so I can shop for yarn at the Loopy Ewe.

I have learned over the years that shopping with a pattern/project in mind is the best plan for me. Not only does it cut down on having yarn without a purpose but it keeps me honest about what I want to knit. This is not to say that I do not have some stray skeins that I bought for something but have since either forgotten what that is or have repurposed it for another project.

So, for the next week or so, I will be stalking my bookshelf and reviewing my many favorites on Ravelry to come up with a plan of what I am interested in knitting for the rest of the year. I will also be updating my wishlist at Loopy with yarns that I want to fondle in regards to the chosen patterns. I do not mind buying yarn online but only after I have seen it and touched it, live and in person.

I hope everyone has fun plans for their Spring~!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Summer Cardi - Sweater Two

I am making some size adjustments to the Open Summer Cardi by Knitting Pure and Simple for my second sweater. I am trying to get it finished to wear to the Knitting Retreat in Buena Vista the end of the month. I am about 3 inches away from adding the bottom ribbing.

It is being knit out of some stash yarn I have had for several years, Red Heart in Monet colorway. It is really pretty but another of those crispy yarns. I know that the trick is to get it finished and drop it into the washing machine for a gentle, cold water wash, then a couple rounds through the drier on air and lay out to finish drying. It is amazing how soft and non-acrylic it looks after that. I think this yarn is from the day when adding sizing to the yarn made it wind up easier, not sure, but that is what it looks like to me.

I will be making this one to come to just above my elbow and come closer together in the front with a bit wider ribbing so I can use a pin to hold it together if I want.

Another fun and fast knit on my needles, what is on yours?

Friday, March 18, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month Club - March Update

The first March sock is complete. I have started the second sock however it will be a fraternal twin as the first sock has an attitude about being duplicated. Something about cloning and Frankenstein and a crime against nature.

Actually, it is more about me not really liking this stitch pattern. I guess because I had to tinker with it to get the size I needed I just don't want to have to sit and figure it out again for the second sock.

So, I am taking advantage of this situation to knit my first afterthought heel sock. I am using the Totally Tubular pattern by Samantha Roshak with the variation of knitting the heel placement marking with waste yarn at the 7-inch mark then knitting the foot to total 9 inches = 16-inch tube knitting.

I will keep you posted on my progress. I want to see if this method goes faster for sock knitting or if I am just crazy like that. I hope everyone is enjoying their March~!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Word of the Week #9 - Heart

To like very much, ususally symbolized with a heart shape.

I heart knitting, 'nuff said.

Monday, March 14, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month Club: March Update

The Broadripple for March socks are coming along nicely. I am almost done with the decrease on the first sock. These are not going as fast for me because I am not spending any at-home time kntting on them. They have just been car knitting.

I like the ripple effect however may only knit this pattern once. This pattern is more meant for a tonal variegated yarn than a striping effect one. I think it would look better that way.

I hope everyone is having a fun March project~!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

(K)SOMC Continues

This is the monthly club class I am teaching currently. It has been fun so far with new stitch techniques to learn  and discuss ways to use them.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Much Mystery Knitting For Me

All will be revealed on April 1st in a little town called Buena Vista. It is difficult not to share these fun things with you now. All I can show you is a pile of supplies, pieces and parts.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hello! Pedro Here

Pedro has hijacked my blog for an evil plan of his own. I was reading him a wonderful tale of kitty that diverts knitting progress and he demanded that it be reprinted here for all our kitty loving friends to see.

So, here is the best story yet:

Cat in the lap will always foil one's toil
by Ardeana Hamlin

Sissy, my 16-year-old black cat, seats herself expectantly by my feet. I am sitting in the wing chair. I know what she wants and she knows what she wants, and for the next few minutes there's going to be a power struggle waged for possession of my lap. We both know who is going to win.

Sissy dislikes it when I knit and will do whatever it takes to derail my progress. First, she sits there at my feet, boring into me her feline thoughts, which I read with great ease. (I find this a bit unsettling - it may indicate I have lived WAY too long with this cat.)

Her thinking goes like this: Soft lap, warm lap, friendly fingers to pat me - stop knitting, stop knitting.

But I'm on to her attempts to brainwash me into her way of thinking. I keep on knitting.

Next, she jumps up on the arm of the chair and nudges, very gently, my hand with her head. She looks at me intently and I know exactly what she'd say if she could speak: Hel-lo. I am much more interesting than that ball of stuff spun from the fleece of a large cloven-hoofed animal. See how much more cute and cuddly I am. Plus, I purr.

I keep on knitting, but, heaven help me, I reply, "Yes, you are a beauty. And a very helpful cat, too. I'm very proud of you for catching those 62 mice since you came to live with me in 1996 after your 'mom' got sick and couldn't keep you with her in Denver anymore. I know your worth, Sissy. But right now, I want to knit this sock."

When I first met Sissy she was about 6 years old, and was so aloof communication was impossible. She went around with an evil look in her eye and well deserved the label, "The Cat from Hell." Every time I tried to touch her, she bit me. But given time - a lot of time - she learned that I am the mother cat in this household and won't tolerate rude manners. She learned not to bite and to come when I whistled - an old cat learned a new trick for which she was lavishly rewarded.

Encouraged by my praise of her mouse-hunting exploits, Sissy sets one dainty paw into the narrow space between the arm of the chair and my leg, as if testing the waters of my tolerance. Her other front foot quickly follows the first, then both hind feet. I shift over to give her a few inches of space. She hunkers down and waits.

I keep on knitting, but now I have to retrieve the ball of yarn from under Sissy's body. The yarn is wrapped around her tail, too, and a loop catches a hind foot. She glares at me with a look that means: See! I told you knitting was annoying.

After I untangle the yarn from Sissy's extremities, she goes into her "sidling mode." Slowly, almost imperceptibly, she brings one paw up and lays it across my knee. That paw is followed by the second front paw.

"Sissy," I say, by way of warning. She freezes a moment, then relaxes against my leg.

I knit a few more rows. Then, without warning, Sissy's head appears under the knitting in my hands. She rises up to butt her head against my chin in a display of such unadulterated joy I forget that we are engaged in territorial warfare.

I butt back.

Her ritual of head butting grows in intensity. I try to knit around her, but it's hopeless.

"Lie down," I say. She ignores me and keeps butting her head against my chin. I say it again and she folds up with a boneless kind of grace right squarely in my lap - precisely where she wanted to be 15 minutes ago.

The volume of Sissy's purr ratchets up a couple of notches and the triumph in her raspy tones is unmistakable.

Now I am knitting with a cat in my lap. This is no easy feat. The sock drapes across Sissy's back. The strand of yarn tickles her ears and offers her an irresistible opportunity to bat and bite playfully at it. I, of course, am not amused to have cat spit mixed up in my yarn.

Reluctantly, I set my knitting aside. Sissy lays back and closes her eyes. The tips of her front paws knead my arm rhymically. She's knitting.
Ardeana Hamlin may be reached at 990-8153, or e-mail
(C) 2005 Bangor Daily News Bangor, ME.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Fat Tuesday!

I found this shop in Littleton last week. They take their Mardi Gras time seriously. I hope everyone has a great day~!

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Word of the Week #8 - Sheepie

Unquestioning followers (from sheep + people)

Could also be called Sheeple

Not that this is always a bad thing. For example, your local yarn shop could not stay in business without its loyal sheeple aka folks who love fiber made by sheep and other fiber animals. Support your local yarn shop and you will benefit yourself and your fellow fiber lovers.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fast and Fun Knit

This weekend I have been working on putting the final plans into place for my first ever knitting retreat that I am hosting in Buena Vista the first weekend of April.

While I was doing that I went through all my stash looking for single skeins of yarn to be used in a mystery knit and ran across some bulky yarn that needed to be a headband. I practiced some techniques that will be used at the retreat and created this lovely little headband that I have been wearing in the house.

It is knit out of Patons Shetland Chunky on size 15US needles. It was done over 50 stitches and final width was about 4 inches unstretched and only used about 50 yards. It took me half a movie to complete, now that is a fast knit.

My new photo buddy wanted his picture taken with it. I found him at Hobby Lobby with the easter offerings and knew he needed to come home with me. I hope you think he is cute too~!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - March Update

I cast on the March Socks and after reading the pattern again I realized that this pattern and this yarn were not a match made in heaven. So I rethought the idea and had to modify the pattern to make up for the fact that this yarn is not elasticized.

The cast on number for a women's medium (what the pattern is written for) is 56 on size 1US (2.25 mm). That will never go around my leg. So I reviewed the Broadripple stitch pattern and calculated I needed 70 stitches cast on. Once I did that I realized that I now had an odd number of pattern repeats that would not fit over one needle. So I opted to separate the two repeats that do fit on each cable to have the middle stitches be a knit one, purl one rib pattern.

This idea worked well and I knit the Garter Broadripple pattern for the prescribed 12 rounds, then switched to the Ripple Stitch and knit it for 2 1/12 inches. At this point I realized that 70 stitches around was going to make the foot of the sock too big (sloppy) for my foot. That is when I decided to decrease three out of each K1, P1, section so now it is over 4 stitches with the pattern being p1, k2, p1 between the two pattern repeats on each cable. This brings the sock down to 64 total stitches, 32 on each cable. At this point, I am at the regular stitch requirement for a sock that fits, and an easy way to do the heel flap.

I turned the stitches 90-degress on the cables so I have the added stitch section split at either end and the two repeats of ripple pattern separated by the started and end two knit stitches that is part of their pattern. This brings the look of the ripple pattern closer together and will look better going down the foot.

At this time I am halfway down the leg and hope to be knitting the heel flap by the first of week on the first sock. I realized I made this sock more complicated than it needed to be but I hope I will have utilized the pattern to my best efforts and get a wearable pair out of it. However, this will not be my favorite pattern choice for future socks.

I hope everyone is preparing for fun projects for the Spring~!

Friday, March 4, 2011

K1B Vest: Progress Report

I am within an inch and a half of the desired length I want for the bottom of the vest. I like mine to come mid-hip line so it does not creep up when you sit down.

I hope to have it done by mid-month. The yarn is knitting up together very nicely and is going to look great with any color shirt.

I hope everyone is making good progress on their projects~!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weather of the Month - Spring Snows and Sunburn

Spring is on the Way - March came in like lamb which can mean bad weather for the end of the month, however it could mean double woolie if it is mild.
 In this part of the country we can see spring snows of any depth imaginable. I remember a six-foot snow storm in my yard one March around the 20th that kept us trapped in the yard for a week. The best part was shoveling out a path to get to the barn to feed the horses in over chest deep snow (once it started compacting because it was so wet).

Of course, once we did get plowed out, we had to contend with the mud caused by the very wet, heavy snow. The best part - the wildflowers were glorious that summer. So I always wish for a wet spring no matter what form it wants to take.

Spring snows can take many forms, including thunder snow - when it snows during a thunder and lightning storm; snain - combo of rain and snow; fat flakes - really big and wet snowflakes; corn or groppel or, as my favorite meterologist said this week - microburst of dippin' dots; all  are wet and wonderful at this time of year.
Snow enthusiasts greet spring sports with lighter weight clothing including tank tops and shorts. One thing to be wary of is snow sunburn. This is caused by the reflective nature of snow and the fact that most do not realize that they can get sunburned when it is 30-degrees outside.

I hope everyone has plans to enjoy this time of year no matter what the weather brings~!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month Club - March Socks Announced

**drum roll please**  Announcing the third pair of socks for 2011 - knitting for March - (crowd is cheering and clapping) - the Broadripple Socks from, Summer 2003, by Rob Matyska.

I am happy to say that he wrote up the translation for 2 circs which took some of the work out of it for me. Thank you, thank you.

I will be casting these on size 1US (2.25mm) with a candy stripe sock yarn I found on sale this weekend. I know, I said it would be from stash, but March demanded something bright and off the usual color scheme I had going, so this yarn became stash as soon as I bought it at 50% off. Enough justification, on to knitting.

The yarn is Indulgence Narrow with Aloe in colorway 113. It is superwash merino wool with nylon. It looks like it will be yummy to knit and should show off the ripple pattern with some fun colors.

I will keep you posted on the progress. I am parking Dad's sock for a couple days, it is 6 inches down the foot (need 9 inches before I do the toe).

I hope everyone has fun things to start for March~!