Monday, August 28, 2006

More from vacay time

Thank you to everyone for your compliments on my Charlotte's Web shawl. I wore it inside at some of my orientation events at UT and know I will enjoy it for years to come. In response to those comments I will get a better picture outside asap to show the colors better. Most of the yarn came from Hill Country Weavers, but the deep purple came from Yarns 2 Ewe in Houston. Also, I had to vary away from Koigu as I was using a gift certificate at HCW to purchase the yarn. The deep purple, solid blue, and solid yellow are all Koigu. The variegated blue/purple and the variegated blue/yellow are Claudia's Handpaints. The Claudia's have the added bonus of having this great smell to them that I hope hangs on.
On my return trip day I blundered and left the keys to the first sister's apartment in Chicago at our parent's house in Indiana, and first sister was NOT in the city that day. My good friends Heath and Rebekah were also in transit so I was left with 6 hours before I needed to be at the airport. So I did what any resourceful knitter would do and found the nearest accessible yarn shop that I could lug my suitcase and backpack in to and have an extended sit and knit. I decided to return to Loopy Yarns which I had visited roughly a year before. If you are in downtown Chicago you have to make time to visit the store and it's owner, Vicki, and her very helpful staff.
I had a great time goo-goo ga-ga-ing over this guy, Tucker, who was tuckered out after greeting customers all morning (couldn't help the pun!). Vicki is fostering Tucker to decide if she wants to keep him so he may become an official shop dog. I purchased some Lorna's Laces Superwash yarn in a worsted weight for my brother's hat and US size 1 Addi DPN's to try out on the Widdershins socks I'm currently knitting.
Here's my nephew, AJ, looking a little disgruntled about being in his carseat on the drive into Chicago. It sounds like he was able to hold it together for the rest of second sister and brother-in-laws trek up to Wisconsin. Go Badgers!

Oh wait, I mean, Hook 'Em Horns!
PS While I waited on my return bus this afternoon to go home I was across from the field where the football team was practicing. Where I went for undergrad we didn't even have a football team so looking at the Champs is pretty cool.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Yeah, pictures!

Finally pictures are downloading!
My Charlotte's Web shawl. It was sort of an Indiana vacation knitting olympic project. I cast-on on the plane and finished knitting the last row as my return flight taxied to the gate! Here it is blocking...
And here is a close-up.
This is a picture of myself and my friend Rebekah at the Chix with Sticks yarn shop in Forest Park, IL. I got a fun magnet that just says "K1P1." I'm slapping it on the scooter as soon as we get it.
Last, but never ever least, here is Lauryn with her super cool crocheted Barbie sleeping bag, totally her own creation, complete with pillow.

More pictures to come!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Wow. It took me a couple of days to recover from my trip home to Indiana. I had suffered from seasonal allergies after I entered my twenties and they still flare up from time to time when I'm there. Austin is no friend to an allergy sufferer so I have bit the bullet and surrendered to the occasional need for Nasonex and generic Allegra. I pushed myself a little bit to much in the end and spent most of Tuesday in a daze - I even took a nap. I am not a napper. Napping makes me cranky and spaced out.

I have pictures to share but for some reason Blogger is not letting me upload any of them! Is anyone else on Blogger having this problem of late?

I did purchase yarn on my trip despite budget limitations. Tangled Web in Oak Park, IL, is sadly closing their doors. My friend Rebekah and I went to partake in the 40% off (this was on Aug. 10th so they may have closed by now) all remaining yarns. I picked up 6 skeins of luscious Rhapsody wool/silk blen and 1 skein of a Wool in the Woods boucle. Once in Indiana I had to make the usual visit to the Cass Street Depot in Fort Wayne. I should not have purchased anything but I confess to this one skein of Malabrigo Merino Wool in the Java colorway. I've since heard that Malabrigo is a wool co-op of sorts so I'll have to do some investigating into that. This yarn is destined for my first Shibori knitting project, a scarf of some sort. After my own LYS Hill Country Weavers, Cass Street Depot is a favorite. It's in a former train depot building and has shelves and cubbies of yarn in a spacious light-filled setting with wood floors.

I got to spend a lot of time on this trip with my best friend's daughter, Lauryn. When Lauryn showed the slightest interest in sewing about a year ago I sat her down at my mother's machine and we made a pillow together. For Christmas I bought her a mini Janome and we have enjoyed making several things together now. She has always caught on so quickly so I think she can now work on some things on her own as long as her mom is there to supervise (mom does not sew!). I've got to work up some small projects to put together with instructions to send to her. On this trip she made a sleeping bag for her Barbie (crocheted) and a pillow to go with it, pants for her baby doll, a swanky bag with fuzzy fringe. I neglected to photograph the bag but I'll share pictures of the other two when I can. Lauryn is awesome! Thanks for making so much time for me Lauryn (and Renee).

More on the trip in my next post. I'm busy with orientation for grad school and packing for our move closer to campus. Pretty exciting times!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Indiana Vacay

Howdy Ya'll! I'm having a great time in Indiana visiting with family and friends and getting a good chunk of knitting done. Every time I've tried to upload a photo from my folks computer though it does not comply so I guess that will have to wait until next Tuesday when I get back. I stayed over one night in Chicago when I flew in and my friend Rebekah finished the scarf that she and I began back on a trip in January. We all know how long a scarf can drag on! It's lovely, she's quite proud, and she's started on hats that are knit in the round.

I started my Charlotte's Web shawl on the plane. This is one that I'd like to finish on this trip. So far I had to start it three times, tink alot in the first 30 rows, and then finally the pattern started to click and things have gone well (knock on wood) up through row 94. I can see why so many people liked it and made one for themselves. My colors move from purple to purple/blue, blue, blue/yellow, and the bottom edge will be yellow. I may do something more on the edge, we'll see.

I also cast on a Widdershins sock in my Hill Country Yarns Hook 'Em Horns colorway from the current issue of Knitty and so far I'm loving this pattern. I want to use every bit of yarn but love my socks with a heel flap and I think this pattern will solve that dilemna.

Also on the needles: the first of many Christmas presents. A Mommy Snug sweater for my sister. I'm just about done with the button placket section of the front and getting close to my first short rows.

And there has still been time for visiting! Several nice dinners with my parents and my friend Renee and her family. Renee's daughter, Lauryn, and I have done some sewing. There's been lots of hanging out and today I'm off to spend the afternoon with That Guy's nieces, nephew, and my future mother-in-law. Then we're having a sleep over. Remember sleep overs?


Monday, August 07, 2006

Gee's Bend Exhibition

My good friend Jamie and I went to Houston on Friday and Saturday to visit the Menil Collection and the Gee's Bend Quilts at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. While I enjoyed everything we saw, I was enthralled by the quilts. The exhibition continues until early September and then travels to Indianapolis, Indiana next. The Mason-Dixon Knitting books bibliography lists a book about the quilts as the only non-knitting source book that you knit from. The hundreds of knitters out there currently knitting log cabin blankets know that this is true.
Okay, so the last thing I need to be buying this month is yarn, and yet...We went to Yarntopia in Katy just outside of Houston and it is the only store that carries the Hill County Yarns and I simply could not pass up the Hook Em Horns colorway. I've got to have something to wear on my feet that one cold day in February that I get to wear the Longhorn Hoodie!
We stayed overnight at a friend of Jamie's (thanks Noah) and got to meet up on Saturday with Kelly from Kelp! I met Kelly the previous weekend at the Yarn Harlot event and I'm so glad we got to meet up again - she's got a great sense of humor and also enjoys knitting things that are way to hot to wear in Texas. Check out her groovy Target Wave Mittens. She also led us to Yarns2Ewe. I admit I bought one skein of Koigu as an alternative color for my Charlotte's Web shawl and it turned out to be a perfect match for it!

I'm getting ready to fly to Indiana for two weeks and also packing up my things since we have to move a week after I get back. It took several hours last night to go through the yarn and fiber, sorting out some more items to take to the Goodwill and other things that I'm destashing to my 2nd sister. I'm hoping to be able to post from Indiana, but I'm not sure about photos. We'll see.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Two more bags and...the Claw!

I was lured into making another round of bags for two reasons, the first being a fetching promise of Koigu from Monika in Ontario, and the second being a gift for Rebecca. Rebecca had some perfect yarn, with plenty of yardage and a great price for sale on the Destash blog that has made it possible for me to make the Mommy Snug sweater from the Spring 2006 IK. My 2nd sis is prego, due in January, and lives in Wisconsin - she's gonna' need it! Making just the two bags would be an inefficient use of fabric, something that pains me to no end. Working in costumes you can't avoid the waste unless you're going to keep every scrap because you might need it some day. Frankly, I need that space for my yarn and when I'm working I sew so much that I tend not to do it at home very often. Lately has been an exception due to the time off I'm taking. I actually feel like sewing.
The point is that in order to make the best use of the fabric I picked up I had to make four bags so these two are up for grabs.

Another reason for the's a good use of my creative energy since I've been knitting this gift. If my former boss Dave actually looks at my blog, well now is the time to head elsewhere on the internet or you might spoil the surprise for yourself.

Okay. I've been knitting this gift and feel compelled to say that this thing, however handsome it is, however loved it will be (I think it's pretty dandy and well suited to the recipient), it has become my nemesis. It has nearly broken my knitterly sanity. It is a blanket, a throw actually, but no matter. It's cotton. 100% cotton. As it grows it gets heavier and more unwieldy and it turns my hand into...
The Claw! I have recently had some rather desparate moments in which I realized that whether I wanted to crank through this thing or not, it had a pace all it's own. If I get any speed going, my hands fatigue quicker. If I pace myself the goodwill that I want to pour into it starts to slip away as each strip goes on endlessly (you guessed it, it's a log cabin). There have been points in which I had warning twinges in not only my hands but my wrists as well. Not. Good. So why can't I just set it aside and start another project and alternate between the two? Because I WANT. TO. FINISH. IT. I want it done before I leave next Wednesday for two weeks in Indiana with my family because it's to big to take along. Plus, there is IT looming on the horizon (More on IT in the next post, probably to come from IN) and I really don't feel like I can get moving on any of those projects until I finish this.

Sigh. Thanks for listening to my rant. I will beat this thing!