Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Knitmas to All

Here's the view from the front door (cause that's as far as I'm going today). We had a blizzard this past weekend that left us with about 2 feet of snow. Now that I'm home, I can enjoy it's beauty. Getting home from New Jersey was quite the adventure that involved me, mom, brother & sis-in-law stuck on the interstate and finally stranded overnight in a Delaware hotel. Even though it could have been a nightmare - the kindness of strangers made everything bearable. Of course, I'll never see those folks again but I'd like to put the good karma out there.

- To the fellow driver who helped shovel out the exit that the plows had blocked with snow......... thank you for the extra muscle. I'm sure the other 4 cars that sped by once we finished were just as grateful.

- To the 2 young samaritans that shoveled & ultimately pulled the car out of the snowbank to the end of the ramp: Much is written & broadcast about the negative image of young, black men. You are evidence to the contrary. The gratuity you refused will be used to "pay it forward" and help someone else in need. As we pulled into the hotel, we saw you helping others on the highway. Bless you.

- To the hotel clerk who had been stranded there himself long after quitting time: thanks for your efficiency & cheerfulness in a time of stress (oh yeah & the late checkout).

- Lastly, to the 3 enterprising young men who shoveled, sanded & salted all the driveways, sidewalks, & porches on the block: Trump has nothing on y'all - kudos for finding a financial opportunity in this rescession.

I'm back home now & using up my vacation time until the first of the year. Enjoying a bit of shopping, some holiday decorating, & the last minute flourish of holiday knitting. A last minute request for the Every Way Wrap has me speed knitting to get this finished by Friday. If not, it will make a lovely entrance into the New Year.

Merry Christmas to All!!!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Weekend Knitting

My Fetching fingerless gloves were perfect last week when the cold spell hit D.C but I was missing a very important factor - a hat. So Friday, I started the Cabled Beret designed by Ashley Hasse. It was a really quick knit with beautiful cables and a nice slouch. The Bernat Cashmere Natural Blends that I used for the Fetchings is really warm. So now I have a hat & glove set just perfect for commuting to work.

OK - back to my holiday knitting..........

Friday, December 11, 2009

Holiday Knitting - Part I

Finished the Shale Pleated Scarf designed by Kirsten Hipsky. Quick knit with great texture. Used up the balance of Patons Classic Wool Merino from my stash. Had previously finished the Purl Arrows Hat that makes a nice companion piece.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

North Porch Hat

Hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! Mine was great & followed up by an early morning "Black Friday" visit to Fibre Space. High five to the shop....... no better way to get into the spirit of holiday gift knitting than surrounded by others enjoying yarny goodness on sale (lol). Although I only went to pick up a size 9 circ needle (yeah...right) - the Miss Babs yarn was screaming my name the minute I entered the store.

That's Lilac Laceweight (Yet) and Cadet Superwash (Yummy). Speaking of gift knitting, here's my first gift completion - the North Porch Hat by Kim Wagner Only one skein of Handpainted Misti Alpaca/Silk and two days of knitting........Wahoo!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Still Walkin' & Knittin'

This morning was a beautiful day for the "Help the Homeless" 5k walkathon here in D.C. It is one of my favorite annual walks. The sponsors estimate that over the course of a year, 2.5 to 3.5 million people will experience at least one night of homelessness. How devastating! What warms my heart is that each year there are more & more participants (aka more donations) and all along the route there are young performers - singers, theater students, cheerleaders, quartets, bands, etc that perform for the passing crowds. How refreshing to see young'uns take part/interest in such a worthy cause.

On the knitting front, I'm making great progress on my Cap Sleeve Cable Cardi. It's knit from the bottom-up & I'm at the arm holes. Can't say enough about how utterly delicious this yarn feels. Hope to finish in time to model it at Thanksgiving dinner. Here's a sneak peak:
Y'all know how much I love Tuesday Morning - especially their discounted knitting books. Today I was wandering the clearance aisles and found this really cool glass bowl that will be my yarn bowl. I've been stalking Etsy in search of a bowl to hold my yarn cakes (and keep them from rolling when I'm sitting watching TV. This is perfect......

Well must get things in order for the big dinner this week as well as my strategy for shopping the Black Friday sales. I'm excited that this year my newest LYS (Fibre Space) is opening at 6 am (lol). You know I'll be there........

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

Salute & hi-five to all our veterans. Thanks for all you do in service to our country. Today starts 5 days of the knitting zone for me. Plan to put in some dedicated knitting time; attend Thursday night's "Knit in Space" at Fibre Space; and knit/shop until midnight at A Tangled Skein's "Friday the 13th" knitting event. Finished the Baktus Scarf. Although the pattern was all garter stitch - the Kauni color strands kept it very interesting. Have already ordered another colorway of Kauni from Little Knits. Meanwhile, on to the next cable project (love cables!). It's the Asymmetrical Cabled Cardi by Yahaira Ferreira. Gorgeous cable band, high collar & cap sleeves.

I'm using Mirasol's Miski yarn that I bought from Webs at Stitches Midwest. The yarn is 100% baby llama and super-soft. Have completed a couple cable repeats and really like how the cables pop. Have a great holiday & happy knitting.......

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AWBC: In It To End It

We interrupt our regularly scheduled "knitty goodness" for a recap of the recent Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, NC on October 24 & 25. The walk had 1,100 participants and raised $2.3 million to advance access to care and find a cure for breast cancer.

This was my 7th Avon Walk. Many folks ask why I continue to walk and I can only quote my latest walker-pin: "I walk because I cannot walk away". You've heard all the stats & hopefully you know the importance of early detection, so I'll jump right into the highlights of the weekend. I walked with my friends Sharon (2nd walk from New York), Priscilla (2nd walk from Durham, NC) & Pat (1st walk from Miami, FL). Priscilla & Pat are twins who registered as Team Double Trouble and developed a cult-like following during the walk. We were also joined by their friend, Darryl (2nd year of walk support). Darryl holds a place of honor cause he has shadowed us along the entire route, taking pics, lightening our load by carrying coats, raingear & extra sneakers & ensuring we're always ok (Thanks Darryl, you rock!).

Opening ceremony started in darkness but with a promise of warm temps and of course rain. I am officially the rain-magnet since it has rained during every walkathon I have done (lol). The inspirational speakers did their job well to send us on our way with pep in our step. It was a sobering moment when Sharon & I came upon the group of young ladies who had pushed their Mom in a wheelchair last year. This year's wheelchair was empty with a sign posted on the back "We Miss You Mom!"

Sun quickly turned to rain but we were prepared - keeping a good pace, stopping at quick stops for hydration & snacks (the peanut-butter graham crackers remain everyone's favorite). Just for luck, I got my picture at Mile 7 to celebrate my 7th year. Mile 10 was lunch and I pulled ahead of the ladies for awhile because of my tendency to hit the wall at Mile 20 or 21. Sure enough, I slowed to nearly a crawl. Luckily, Sharon waited for me at Mile 24 and we finished Day 1 together. Pat & Priscilla entered the Wellness Village with a smile. My feet felt like the size of that giant Reebok sneaker (lol).

After a hot shower (in the heaven-sent trailer), a hot meal, & an Icy-Hot rubdown, I threw on the thermals & tucked into the sleeping bag for the night. We all were able to crawl out of the tents on the morning of Day 2, enjoy breakfast & begin the final 13 miles. The day was rather chilly but no rain. Pat & Priscilla must have eaten their Wheaties - they pulled ahead & met Sharon and I at the finish line. Yes, that is a look of wonder on my face, as well as a look of realization that the hotel was just around the corner. I'll finish this recap with a shout-out to the wonderful Avon crews that keep us going and laughing every year. With folks like the Moo Cow guy, Captain Cleavage, & our own Richard Simmons - who could think about the discomfort. Oh yeah - and blisters don't need chemo! How very blessed we are!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's A Wrap!

Every Way Wrap by Okmin Park
Elle Merino Tweed (6 skeins)
Started: Aug 22/Finished: October 14

Definitely one of my favorite projects. Had hopes of wearing it to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival (Rhinebeck)over the weekend but the rain & threat of snow kept me tucked away in the warm comfort of home (lol).

Taking a quick break from the Einstein Coat, I cast on this quick & easy Baktus scarf using the Kauni yarn purchased at the Ruhama's booth at Stitches Midwest.

Aren't the colors gorgeous? The principle is to knit a triangle using your exact amount of available yarn. It works with any kind of yarn, but the color strands in this Kauni are really special. (Note to self: must get more of this yarn....)

Next weekend I'll be heading to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, NC. Two days & 39 miles. This is my 7th year & I'll be joined by 2 of my WeightWatcher sistahs - Sharon & Cilla. Wish us luck (& sturdy feet)!

Happy knitting......

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In a Gray Mood

My favorite colors are earth tone. Probably why my hair turned gray so early (lol). Currently finishing up the Every Way Wrap (gray tweed). What a great pattern & perfect for those who are cable & chart-challenged like me.

Feeling like a cable semi-pro now so it's time to move on to the next project. Have admired the Einstein Coat in Sally Melville's Book 1: The Knitting Experience. It's a whole lotta garter stitch but beautiful in it's simplicity. Two guesses on the color I selected....... It's a mohair mix from my stash & it's paired with a darker gray cotton that I hope will give the sweater coat a little more stability.

I promise to spice up my next project....... Have some beautiful hand dyed wool with plenty of red & orange undertones. Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Where Did September Go?

Can't believe it's the end of the month already! What a busy month.....Had a wonderful time at Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL. Was bummed that they moved Stitches East from Baltimore to Hartford, CT - but this made up for it. Met up with my Aunt E & Cousin J for a wonderful weekend. Lots of yarny goodness, great food & fun times. Was able to stop at all my favorite booths: Signature Needles, Miss Babs, Webs, & Creatively Dyed Yarns. J officially dubbed me "crazy" for all my knitting madness - like waking up knitting:

Shopping at the expo in my "Where My Stitches At?" shirt:
And of course, hauling back the new stash:

I've made great strides on the Every Way Wrap - in fact only 2 more repeats & I'm done!!! Just in time to wear it to the Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool Festival in a couple weeks....... Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Every Way Wrap

The fall issue of Interweave has some gorgeous patterns. But my favorite by far - and the one that had me running to my stash bin was the Every Way Wrap designed by Okmin Park. It's a simple rectangle that converts into a wrap, a shrug, a vest, and a shawl collared cardigan. I had a granite-color tweed merino bought from Little Knits in a bag sale.....perfect.
Joined a Knit-A-Long with my local knitsistahs as well as an online Ravelry group. I've frogged a few times (first major cable project & first major chart project), but the results are well worth it. The weather here in northern VA turned breezy today - making me more excited to get this one finished - just in time for fall. Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Space Cadet

OK - I went back to Fibre Space today. That Miss Babs sockyarn was haunting me (lol). But could I just walk in, grab the sockyarn & go?

Of course not! That's the Miss Babs "Yummy" sockyarn in Plum; 4 skeins of The Fibre Company Terra (alpaca, wool, & silk - YUM); a Fibre Girl tshirt and my Fibre Space tote bag (free with purchase). The Terra will become a Springtime Bandit scarf. The scarf was on display & immediately caught me eye. Will look great with jeans.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sock Bandwagon

I knit my first pair of socks last year. Loved the finished product - didn't catch sock fever...... Well, it's a year later & after a couple of false starts, I'm knitting up my next pair of socks.
It's the twin rib pattern from the Sensational Knitted Socks book - my sock bible. The yarn is Trekking XXL & a wonderful colorway of blues, grays and a tinge of red. My knitsis, Deb, was kind enough to give me a refresher in the Heel Turn & Gusset (totally forgot the process & somehow the instructions weren't clicking). Well I may now have caught the sock bug cause I'm shooting to finish these this weekend so I can start another pair.

Of course the "bug" was helped along by a visit to the Grand Opening of "Fibre Space" in Old Town Alexandria. It's a wonderful shop with friendly staff and a unique inventory of yarn. Fell in love with the Miss Babs line of lace & sock yarn (hence my motivation to finish the current socks). I am definitely blessed to have a choice of LYS in this area.... In Stitches, Knit Happens, A Tangled Skein, Stitch DC - the list goes on & on. Fibre Space will see me often because 1)they sell pretty yarn; 2)they're on my route home everyday; 3)they sell soft yarn; and 4)I'm a yarnaholic.

BTW - DD didn't like the neckline of the striped tank so it's hibernating right now (that'll teach her......)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Knitty Goodness

Dang - can't believe I left my current knitting project on my desk at work. I carry my projects with me cause I knit daily - in the car or on the metro, on my lunch hour & again on the trip home. But yesterday was the end to such a hellified work week, that I literally ran out the building....... Oh well, what better reason than to start a new project.

I've taken advantage (again) of Knit Pick's great 40% off Summer Sale. My BFF - the mailman - left these goodies for me last week:

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

I've also found a unique way to store my needles - straights & circulars:

Hilarious! It's a wooden button scupture I found in Marshall's clearance aisle. You know you are a knit-a-holic when you spot something like this & immediately envision a knitting needle holder. The sales clerk asked me what I was using it for & I did not hesitate. The look I got from him.......priceless!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

How 2 Be A Bad-Ass Knitter

If I had to name the top 5 ways to spend quiet days, it would be: knitting, reading, music, movies, and cross stitch...... in no particular order. My knitting and reading worlds have collided and I'm straying from my mysteries & african-american authors to enjoy the Maggie Sefton and Debbie Macomber series as well as KnitLit, the Urban Knitter and Wendy Knits to name a few.

I chuckled after reading Wendy's Bad Ass Knitters' Manifesto and have officially adopted at least 4 of her top 10.......

1. Knit whatever the hell you want...whenever you want.
2. Buy as much yarn (& books & needles, etc) as you want, whenever the hell you want.
3. Never, ever apologize for knitting.
4. Never, ever apologize about how you knit: right-handed, left-handed, or with your toes.

So when my girls tease me for my knitting & yarn obsession, I just smile. When I cast on my fall sweater coat in the middle of June, I smile. As I clip the weekly A.C. Moore/Michael's 40% off coupons, I smile. And when I wrap, throw, or toss my yarn around my knitting needles, I just smile.......cause I Am A Bad-Ass Knitter!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Blowing the Dust Off.......

Been away from the blogworld but not knitworld.

I love summertime! The sun, the heat, the humidity - my favorite time of year. My knitting usually soars in the summer cause I can escape my sleeve-o-phobia. The 2 sleeves on my Minimalist Cardigan took longer to finish than the entire back & front (oh yeah - it's still in the basket waiting for seams). In the meantime, I started and finished this Soleil by Alexandra Virgiel. It's made from Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy - so soft & drapey.... Will definitely make it again & I'll follow the recommendations on Ravelry & add a few inches length to it.

Also started a striped, ribbed shell for DD. On a recent roadtrip to Roanoke, we got this fantastic Kollage Delicious (soybean) yarn at Sereknity Yarn Shop. DD fell in love with the turquoise color and when I got home I found a couple more skeins of a burnt orange in the stash. Planned to rib the entire piece but switched to stockinette stripe at the top. I'm diggin' the result:
Hope she likes it as much as I do.

For all you bargain knitters, don't forget to check your local Marshalls, Ross, T.J. Maxx & Tuesday Morning for knitting books. I've gotten quite a few books for less than $6! Lastly, found this great buy at Littleknits.com:
It's the Namaste Knitube. Very cool carryall for summer projects. Long enough to carry straights; divided so both ends open separately; strap long enough to carry backpack style.

Happy knitting & Happy Independence Day........

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Yarn Adventure

I'm an equal-color-opportunity knitter. I love yarn in all colors of the rainbow. So when my friend, Deb, suggested that we take a yarn dyeing workshop - my first thought was "Why should I when I can just walk into a store & go crazy?" Thankfully, Deb persisted and we took Karida's (Neighborhood Fiber Co) workshop yesterday. What a blast....... We learned some awesome techniques & ended up with some great stash!

Thanks to Karida for the pic. My hats go off to all the fiber artists that hand dye. It's quite an endeavor & I'm pleased with my outcome. But in the scheme of things, thank goodness for folks like Karida and Diane (Creatively Dyed Yarns) whose yarn makes me ooh & aah. Keep doin' your thing ladies....... we love ya!

It's March already & I'm fixated on finishing my first sweater of the year for the "Sweater A Month" group on Ravelry. I just have the sleeves & finishing to do on "The Minimalist":

Also started a pair of socks for DD#2......I've been a busy bee this month.

See ya soon!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Project Progress

Haven't been here in a while so I'll fast forward thru a great Christmas, mellow New Year & slammin' Inauguration Day. Managed to catch that weird "cough bug" that worked its way into bronchitis for me. Through it all, the knitting needles have been clackin!

I should know the Slouchy Beret pattern by heart - 5 of them completed to-date. This one was a Christmas present for my daughter's friend & co-worker. The final one is for my daughter who likes her bling. She picked out this great yarn at our LYS - In Stitches Needleworks - it's threaded with lots of metallic discs. It's working up nicely & should be finished this week.

We've heard from J's boyfriend in Afghanistan. He indicated he really wanted to learn how to juggle so we found an instruction book & I knitted up these juggling balls & filled them with black beans...... really cute - hope he likes them.

No progress on the Sweater-A-Month challenge. First selection is a victim of my knitting ADD. Really itching to start something new - just can't settle on what it is. So I'm off to browse the Ravelry queue,,,,,,again.