Saturday, April 30, 2011

Entrelac - Learned a New Technique at Fling Class

 For my class at the Fling I chose Entrelac Basics with JC Briar. It was enlightening. I learned how to read the charts and to knit backwards which makes it go so much faster when you do not turn your work every two stitches.

The book I had gotten on the technique is by Gwen Bortner and has many fun projects that I will find time for in the future.

I hope everyone has found something fun and new to learn~!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding at Spring Fling and a Visit to Loopy Ewe

Glad we got up an hour earlier than the advertised wedding start time in the Central Time Zone because it really started at 5 a.m. It was great to see the ceremony without the talking heads interference and with a member of the Commonwealth because she could explain some of the monarchy protocol of which we were not familiar.

We had pjs and pearls, coffee, fruit and will save the wine for this afternoon. Then it was off to breakfast and class or the trip to Loopy for some. I had the morning off to update the blog and knit on my moebius wrap, the Smultsrona, that I am now more than half way done. I really want to finish it and wear it home, we shall see.

My trip to Loopy was this afternoon and I  am happy to report that I got all the yarn for the projects that I had specified and stayed within my budget. The shop is fabulous and the customer service is stellar. If you have the opportunity to visit them in person you really should go, if not shop them online.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Arch, Check-In, Meet and Greet, Dessert(s) and Sock Balls

We gathered in the lobby for breakfast and to plan our morning trip to the Gateway Arch. The strange yellow ball in the sky signified that we had better weather to attempt the trip downtown.

The poor GPS had not been notified that the river drive that is the scenic route to the Arch was flooded so after a few U-turns and the Arch in sight we managed to get to the north end parking garage. And walked along the upper river walk to the south entry point. Our timing was perfect and we entered, bought tickets and went right to the top.
It is quite the thing to look at from the ground up and then look down from the viewing windows. And gives me an added perspective for when I watch Category 6, the weather disaster movie where the Arch is destroyed by a tornado.

Atferwards we took pictures and basked in the sun, people-watching, before we returned to the hotel for a bite of lunch and to check in for the Flingg.

It was great to meet and greet Flingers old and new while exchanging oohs and aahs over their knitwear. The evening progressed into snacks and a drink for supper and a yummy dessert bar before the much anticipated sock ball exchange, more knitting and meeting new folks.

We tried for an early bedtime since we planned an early morning of royal wedding watching. All in all, a great beginning to the Fling.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Travel Day and the Tornado Damage in STL

Drove through a snowstorm to the airport and did a Park and Fly at the Microtel. The new management there is wonderful and I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs to do this for their travel plans.

Arrived at the airport at O-dark-30, did you know that the desks do not open for check-in until 4:30 a.m. Yes, I waited in line with some that were complaining that they should open earlier. The line I was in was at least 60 deep with bags to check and it only took 12 minutes once they opened the desk. Pretty good if you ask me. Then I got to go through a body scanner for the first time. It was -- interesting but not as bad as everyone was whining about when it started. TSA agents do not look like they enjoy their jobs, another job option I can cross off my list.
Then it was go to the waiting area after I found water bottles to take on the plane. Loopy enjoyed his photo ops with the Tornado Shelter sign, something everyone should note the location of especially after what happened in St. Louis last Friday. When we queued up for boarding the TSA came through for a pat down. Interesting, I wonder what that is all about. I told them next time I expect hot rocks massage and not just a frisking, at least that gal had more humor about her job.

My plane knitting project was to finish the Siren Sleeves because I may need to wear them this weekend. It is not supposed to be too warm.

I got to share the row with a vet out of Granby who was delivering a 12-week old buff-colored cocker spaniel to his new family on Cape Cod. He was so sweet and slept in his carrier under the seat all the way to St. Louis, She breeds and shows cocker spaniels and is a recent transplant from north of Boston.

The damage at the St. Louis Airport is impressive, the surrounding area is covered in plywood, blue tarps, glass shards and downed trees. I am so glad I missed that particular storm. The crews on the ground are working double time to get things cleaned up and back to normal. It is quite a sight to see.

I managed to get on the first shuttle to the hotel that came by and checked into my room early. Now I am waiting for my cohorts to arrive from the north so we can go to the Arch this afternoon. The Sheraton Westport Plaza has gone through a complete redo and it is beautiful. This time I want to go down to the Chalet on the lake and have a drink at their bar so I can say I have been there.

We went out to dinner at Pappy's Smokehouse downtown. It was really good and while we were there we watched a slice of St. Louis culture walk by our table in line to order their own yummy dinners. It was lots of fun.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy White Easter

I think it only fitting that if we could not get a decent snowstorm all winter or even at Christmas, that we should have a white Easter at the end of April.

It rolled in last night and quickly covered the roof at the folks' house before dark and when I got up this morning it was still snowing and everything had a coat of white. It makes me want to sing: I'm dreaming of a White Easter, with every easter egg I dye, may your day be merry and white and may all your Easters be chocolate coated.

I know, don't quit my day job.

Hoppy Easter to all and to All a Good Spring~!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Going to Camp Mouse

On our way to Camp Mouse, we had to stop in and shop for Pedro's birthday gift.

While he shopped the toy aisle he got some looks because he was the only cat there in a stroller.

We picked out catnip mice and a Furminator to help with the hairball issue.

I think he enjoyed his adventure.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Fling Checklist

So much to do, I better get busy.
Before I go, I have to complete the following tasks:

Pedro delivered to Camp Mouse with food and gear - check
House cleaned, fresh linens on bed, laundry done - check
Basic clothing items gathered and added to check baggage - check
Patterns chosen and wishlist printed for shopping at Loopy Ewe - check
Travel knitting project chosen and packed into Monroe bag - check
Little gifts for roomie assembled and packaged - check
Trip-It with travel confirms and information updated and shared with Camp Mouse - check
Electronics charged and ready for travel day - check
St. Louis Airport open after tornado on Good Friday - waiting for Monday to find out.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - April Update

I am halfway down the foot of the second sock and am planning to finish it in St. Louis this week.

The fun part will be putting in the heels with the extra two stitches each side to see if that takes care of the holes.

I will let you know.

Happy Sock Knitting~!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Magic Knt Bracelet

The magic of I-cord combined with magic wire and some beads makes a lovely fashion statement and a way to use up some of your leftover sock yarn.

Up until now, I have just knit a length of I-cord that goes around my wrist and joined it to make a bracelet. They are fun to wear and surprisingly warm.

This weekI had the idea that a formed bracelet would be a fun thing to try.

I did make one and have some adjustmests to make, more coming soon. For now, I will continue to make the soft variety.

Happy Inventing to All~!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sock Balls: Sock Balls Everywhere

Here is Little Loopy sitting in a bowl of sock balls. He is checking out my progress so far to create 5g sock balls to take to the Spring Fling and trade with others who are doing the Sock Blankie.

This batch fills a gallon (OOPS, I meant) quart ziplock bag. I figure I have enough yet to roll up to fill two more bags. That is on the list to finish up this week.

I have decided that the beginnings of my Blankie will be my travel knitting because I can do it on wooden dpns. I just have to decide how many balls to take on the plane. I do not want to be "underyarned" for this trip.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Trying Something New on the Moebius Cowl

Since I need a cowl for in the car and I do not want the good, hand-wash only one getting grubby, I decided to knit one out of the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Fig (yes, that is a shade of purple).

On this one I decided I needed to try a different bind off to give it a little more interest. So I chose to do a picot bind off.  In this case, I had a 56 stitch cast on, so when I went to bind off I cast on two, bound off (or as Lucy Neatby says "killed") four stitches and repeated to the end.

I think it turned out looking like a sea creature of some kind. I will be writing up the pattern and adding it to Ravelry in the near future.

I hope everyone if finding fun ways to make your projects pop~!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How Much Fun is a Long Tail Cast On?

In the past, I found the long tail cast on frustrating to say the least. Mostly because if you do not "guess" your tail measurement correctly then you have to rip it out and start over, sometimes more than once. Now some say that this is part of the "game" like Meg Swansen.

I realize that I learned how to do the Long Tail Cast On pretty darn good because I had to do it over and over and over and over and, well, you get my drift on this.

So, I discovered a formula by Nancy at KnitKnacks and we had a class on this. We tested it on every imaginable needle size and discovered that it works really well for the most used needle sizes with worsted weight. As you go up or down (higher than a 13 and lower than a 5) it starts breaking down. Our outcome opinion is that yarn size does matter in conjunction with these larger and smaller needle sizes.

All in all, it was a fun way to learn some math to go along with our knitting~!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - April Update

This is a really fun knit for the self-striping or handpainted yarn that needs only a simple pattern to show off the yarn.

The pattern is a plain tube topped with an inch-and-a-half of K2, P2 rib (or 2x2 rib) and a plain toe. I am going to knit the second one and then put in the heels.

After my first attempt on the second of the March socks, I realized that I need to pick up the live heel stitches plus a couple on each side to avoid the sneaky "hole".

The sock yarn for this pair is Red Heart: Heart&Sole in Green Envy, which at first I called a Spring color but, I decided,  is really for if/when the radiation cloud gets here, it will match with my "glow".

I hope everyone has a fun project going on that helps them get through all these days of worry and concern~!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Have I Been Working On?


In the process of learning and perfecting the moebius cast on and cowl, I decided that I needed to find a suitable yarn substitution for the shop. These cowls are knit on bulky yarn and, for most recipients, need to be washable as in machine.

The yarn that we knit the one in Buena Vista out of are anything but easy care/washable. They have to be hand-washed and for most folks that is a pain in the sit-down-parts.
So, I got out some of my stash in the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick to see if it would make up a comparable finished product. It does. I asked the shop to order in some fun colors as well as some manly and/or neutral ones. I took the one I had finished to shop for display with a sign "Coming Soon." Lo and behold, when the shop owner tried it on I realized that it had to be hers because she looks so good in that color. I am knitting another one for display as I tell you this. Also, of note, she is allergic to wool, however managed to wear this one around for quite a while (around her neck, not like pictured) and could not tell there was wool in it. Yay!

I also knit up two more of the free patterns available for this yarn from the Lion Brand website for display. I believe that more people will buy yarn when they see samples knit up. The Raspberry one is called the Berry Hat and Scarf (love the hat!) and the other is called the Briarcliff Cowl in the Blossom. Both were very fast knits.  The Briarcliff called for it to be knit a total of 19 inches long, I stopped this one at 15 inches because it is so chunky. I think that it has a lot of embellishing potential.

I hope everyone has fun things they are working on~!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What is the Next "House" Project?

Simple City Shawl with Crazy Zauberalle is the next house project I want to cast on for house knitting. I had to order the needles because I did not own that particular size in the length they recommend. Now they have arrived I can hardly wait to get started.

That will happen now that I have finished the two moebius scarves I had to knit out of the Blue Sky Alpaca Organic Cotton that I bought over at Serendipity Yarns in Buena Vista last weekend. These scarves are light and yummy. Note: do not wear them with a black jacket because they will fuzz all over it.

Now, on with the knitting~!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weather of the Month - April Brings ?

The question mark is telling. In this part of the country, we can have one day of warm, sunny weather, the next a blizzard and the next high fire danger with high winds. Sometimes all three of those events can happen in the same day.

What we are hoping for this month is some much needed moisture, so I keep watching the radar pictures on the weather segments and hope to see a low pressure system go south of us into New Mexico. That is the best path for us to get any moisture.

Here's to hoping your April is a good one~!

Monday, April 4, 2011

KWCG Sock of the Month - April Begins

Before I announce my April Sock, I must say a few final words about my March socks. 1st, the afterthought heel is brilliant. I had some reservations however I was pleasantly surprised that blind faith paid off. The fraternal twins look good together.

Next on the needles is - you guessed it - a plain jane pair with the afterthought heel (have to practice) because this month is just crazy busy for me. These will be out of Red Heart - Heart and Sole sock yarn in Green Envy. So far the color is very springlike. My goal is to get the first sock done and the second started so I can finish it at Spring Fling.

In May I am considering a KAL with matching skein. We will have to negotiate on the pattern, I am leaning towards the Wollemeise Sock designed by Monica Jines  that I found on the Loopy Ewe blog for free. I love the patterning with the handpaint. Anyway, by May, we will have a decision and I can tell you more.

Anyway, off to knit the April socks. Happy Knitting to All~!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Knitting Retreat in April

What a great way to welcome April to the mountains.  The weekend weather could not have been better, it was warm, a bit breezy, and the snow held off until 12 noon Sunday as we were leaving.

We stayed at the Vista Court Cabins in Buena Vista that afforded us a guest house for some to stay in and a larger kitchen to cook in, plus two cabins for the rest of the participants. This gave us plenty of room to knit, visit, and enjoy the weekend.

The local yarn shop went above and beyond to welcome our group. They have a lovely selection of yarns, gifts, ideas and inspiration.

I think everyone had a wonderful time and we hope this can become an annual event~!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Nefarious Mobius

Our class for the Knitting Retreat was hosted by Serendipity Yarns in Buena Vista and taught by Mikki, pictured on the left. She perfected her Mobius cast on and made sure we had a good selection of Malabrigo Rasta to choose from to make the nicest cowl ever.

I have always described this cast on as diabolical and this class proved that anyone can learn it. It was great to see everyone so excited to get a project going and by the end of the weekend we had seven of the eight cowls completed.

I wore mine home in the snow squalls we found out across South Park. It is so warm and pretty. A big shout out thank you to Mikki and Tami (owner of Serendipity) for their warm welcome and super service. The shop is one not to be missed if you are in the area.

You can find more pictures from our event there on their blog, Serendipity Diary, listed on my blog roll on the left of the page. I hope everyone had a fun event this weekend to attend~!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mystery Knit Revealed

And it is MONSTER-OUS!

In preparation for my first hosting of a knitting retreat, I had the attendees bring leftovers of worsted weight and size 8US needles with them and, with the assistance of mom, we put together all the "toppings" to use as decoration of the knit monsters.

I think that everyone had a great time creating a little monster buddy over the weekend. I am waiting for some of the pictures from Sunday morning closing breakfast. I will post those when I receive them. For now, the monsters shown are the ones done as the mascots. I am still looking for a name for them. Please post a comment with your vote.

I hope everyone had a great first weekend of April~!