Saturday, November 24, 2012

Blue Sky Love

Hope everyone had a wonderful (& filling) Thanksgiving holiday.  I managed to bring home enough leftovers from daughter's house to ensure no cooking for quite a few days. 

This is my first year not venturing out for Black Friday.  I'm truly "ole school" - napping after dinner, rising at midnight, layering on the clothes to ensure warmth while standing in line waiting for the doors to open.  Unfortunately, this year's marketing (stores open all day Thanksgiving; sales starting a week early; non sale-worthy pricing) -  took all the anticipated fun out of it.  10 - 20% off doesn't even offset the cost of gas!  I was tempted by my LYS' early opening but I truly, truly, need to be on a yarn diet......... the stash is out of control. 

Speaking of stash, I'm doing very well on my quest to finish a decent amount of knitted gifts for Christmas.  My latest project completion is the Lovely Ribbed Cowl pattern from Purl Soho.

Made with Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino - it's as soft & cushy as it looks & the project only took 5 days to complete due to the ribbed simplicity.  This is my third project using this yarn & each time, I love it more & more.  When the yarn diet ends, this yarn will be at the top of my list. 
On to my next project - Slouchy Gauntlets - an extra long pair of fingerless mitts.  Suggested yarn is the same Suri Merino but I'm substituting using Rowan Felted Tweed.  Happy knitting!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Magic Yarn Ball

At last count, I belong to at least 41 groups on Ravelry.  From hat, cowl & sweater lovers to fans of Amazing Race & Top Chef - there's a group for everyone & everything on Rav.  One of my favorites is my swap group - Yarn Snobs Inc........... yes, that's right, I am a Yarn Snob!  Although I began my knitting journey with acrylic yarns, there is nothing quite like the feel of Alpaca, Silk, Cashmere & 100% Merino. 

The ladies of YSI have opened my eyes to lots of specialty yarns & we love to treat each other with all kinds of goodies.  Which brings me to our latest swap - the Magic Yarn Ball Swap.  Each swapper gets a partner. Starting with one goody in the middle - yarn is wrapped around small gifts for the recipient to find as they knit up or unwind the yarn. Our swap focused on items from each knitters wishlist.  I received my ball a couple weeks ago.

Beautifully decorated for fall/Halloween, my partner outdid herself (thanks, Mary)!  But the outside was just a warm up to the goodies inside.  It actually took me awhile to unwind because there were 3 separate sections of goodies.  A gorgeous tote with my favorite Fleur de Lis pattern, stitch markers & holders, chart keeper, tape measurer, note book, needle caps, scented soap and of course a skein of luxury yarn.

It's the cashmere/merino blend (Bugga) from the Sanguine Gryphon in Red-White Leaf  Beetle colorway. A gorgeous pink.  Mary also gifted me an added bonus of the Summer Wind Cowl pattern by IrishGirlKnits which will look lovely in this color, 
I'm off to start winding up my partner's ball.  Hoping to do mine justice.  Happy knitting!


Friday, November 9, 2012

The Week In Review

My daughter has an awesome timeshare in Williamsburg, VA so I've truly been chillaxing & putting in some dedicated knitting time.  My BFF came down last weekend so we spent some time at the Outlets, Ripley's Museum, & in Virginia Beach.  Drove back to NoVA on election day to vote with DD#2. 

That's my Knitters For Obama pin (WAHOO!).  Drove back to Williamsburg & spent Wednesday celebrating the end of all those dang political TV ads (can someone say excessive?).  Visited my favorite southern  LYS - Knitting Sisters - & picked up some new stash for my holiday gift knitting.
That's Rowan Drift, Rowan Felted Tweed, Regia sock yarn, Prism Lace Wool and a cool logo tote.  Really love that shop.  The ladies are super-friendly & the inventory is great.  I managed to finish a couple of projects using my Vogue Chicago stash....... my Lucy Hat & the Ombre Cowl.  Lucy Hat uses Madeline Tosh Vintage & the Ombre Cowl is in Rowan Kid Silk Haze.  Both projects were fun & gave me new appreciation of these yarns. 

In fact, I see that Little Knits has a fantastic price for the MadTosh Vintage so I'm off to make an order.  Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Yarn & Family Love

This has been a whirlwind year for me - full of highs & lows.  I'm getting used to the life of retirement & find that I truly enjoy the ability to travel on a whim.  The year started with Vogue Knitting  Live in New York, followed by Homespun Yarn Party, followed by Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival.  This was my first year hosting a knit2gether for "I Love Yarn Day" & I missed a couple of my favorites - Stitches Midwest & Shenandoah Fiber Fest.  The ultimate treat was my first New York Sheep & Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.  Tagging along with my knitsibs - Cici, Chelette, Arthella, and Wanda - it was truly a great experience. 

Eating, knitting, shopping, more eating.  The Rav meetup was fun.  Getting to meet & greet the knitty "celebs", bloggers,designers, and of course other Ravelers.  Stayed at home a couple days then made my way to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.  Great (cold, cold, cold) time hanging out with aunts & cousin, Jen.  Even took a sidetrip to Loopy Yarns .

 Final stop was Cincinnati, OH to spend a few days with family.  Kept abreast of impacts of Hurricane Sandy on the homefront while knitting up some of the new stash.  Quick visit to their LYS - Hank, A Yarn Boutique (of course more stash was acquired).  Very nice shop with a great inventory.  Back home now finishing up the Lucy Hat - from the latest Knitscene magazine.  It's a great pattern!
As the weather continues to cool down, my knitting mojo heats up so I'm in full knitting mode now.  Winter knitwear for me, the daughters, & the grandboys, as well as holiday gifting.  Life is good!