Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Leafing out!

Spring is here! The trees are green and the weather is warm, too warm for a sweater. Which of course means I am knitting one! I finally cast on for my lace leaf pullover and am almost half way done with it, talk about instant gratification!

I am loving this project. I am using lambs pride bulky in Kiwi and my knit picks needles in us 15. Because I knit backwards, (I'm left handed) I had to do some serious tweaking of the pattern to make the placement of the leaf motif and the button hole come out just right. But I am very happy with the results. I can't wait to wear this sweater! I love the pattern and I am excited to have a warm comfy sweater that I can hang out in. Now I just need to find the perfect button for the neck.


The color is a little off in this picture, The green is actually a bit brighter. I have been using my scanner until I get a digital camera :(

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Yarn Crawl!

Over the spring break holiday I was lucky enough to get a little traveling in. We went on a short road trip around northern Arkansas. I felt that since I have lived in Arkansas for over a year and had really only seen two towns and the road in between them that I should take to time to really see it before I leave in a few months. We packed up my awesome blue VW beetle "Shela" and headed out! First stop was Mein Gummibaer's parents house in Mountain Home, then on to Fayetteville. I was surprised at how much Fayetteville reminded me of towns back east. Two story houses, slightly up-scale main street, an old collage green and lots of good places to eat and shop and a yarn store!! Hand Held knitting Gallery is in an old house on a shady side street. It has a chair on the porch and beautiful stained glass windows. Inside it is even more gorgeous! You step in and are greeted by a large display of delicious Koigu as well as the friendly voice of the owner. As you look around you find little treasures every where. This Claudia's hand painted in Ingrid's blues colorway jumped into my arms and insisted on leaving with me and I saw some Wagtail mohair that had the most beautiful shine I have ever seen, it begged and pleaded to be made into a lace shawl but I resisted because my credit card was smoking and I was afraid it would spontaneously burst into flame! I did get some Koigu for birthday socks for MG and I made a mental note to get some Blue Sky Cotton soon. It was so lovely and soft I could hardly believe I had not fallen in love with cotton yarn before. After a nice lunch in Fayetteville we were off to mt magazine to camp. Despite the dire weather predictions, we enjoyed our stay atop the "Island in the sky" and spent two lazy days in the sun and fresh air. Then we headed home but not before stopping in Conway at Bella Lana knitting for a nice chat with the ladies who sat knitting on the comfy couches and an amazing sale on tons of things in the store! I scored some Mission falls 1824 wool at 40% off! I have had some projects in mind for it but I hadn't had the chance to pick it up. I just couldn't resist when I saw it on sale! Over all a lovely trip, it was really nice to get away and spend some quality down time with MG. Not to mention getting my yarn fix!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crazy Socks! New projects.

My Crazy Green Socks
Two at a time on two circular needles, toe up
Invisible cast on short row toes
Short row heels
Picot hemmed cuff
Practically perfect in every way!
Next: What to cast on?
as per my knitting rules I have to have something for me on the needles and socks on the needles at all times. My crazy socks had been filling both those roles. So now I have not one but two openings. Added to this is the fact that I am currently trying to knit my stash. I don't have a big stash, most of my stash is projects waiting to get on the needles. I keep thinking of new things I want to knit but I have to get through the projects I have yarn for first. (that's why I want to knit my stash so I can think of something and knit it right away while I am really excited about it) I have been doing pretty well with only a few exceptions. I make exceptions for things that only happen once like babies and weddings and stuff. Socks for me are out because the only sock yarn I have for me is for my fair isle socks and I don't want something that complicated because I already have a lace shawl in progress. So the socks have to be for someone else. That leaves something for me.
The projects in stash for me are:
  • My stripes pullover (top down raglan my design)
  • Lace leaf pullover (the oldest thing in my stash)
  • Fair Isle Socks
  • Some odd balls with out a project in mind.
I guess it is pretty clear what I have to knit next, the lace leaf pullover.
I am a little worried about this pattern. I am a left handed knitter. I knit across the rows backwards and I knit through the back loops. Normally this is not a problem, my knitting comes out great and all is well. However this pattern has several tricky spots and the bottom and top are grafted together! But it is in bulky! (I am using lambs pride bulky in kiwi) Wish me luck!
In other news,
I am going on a road trip for spring break! I am going to have the chance to visit yarn stores! Yay! I have two stores on my list that are not too far out of the way. They are both in northern Arkansas. Hand held in Fayetteville and Bella Lana in Conway. I have decided to allow myself to buy some Rowan Calmer for some hats I have planned and hand dyed sock yarn because I have been sadly deprived of it for so long. Woo Hoo! Road trip!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Surprising Discovery.

Gummibaer sniffs yarn! The other day as I was knitting away on the Shetland triangle, I happened to hand MG a ball of yarn. I kept knitting and out of the corner of my eye I caught it!
He sniffed the yarn!
Did you just sniff that yarn? I asked,
Uh yeah I guess so, was the reply.
Why? Does it smell funny?
No, I like how it smells.
It reminds me of my Grandmother,
She used to knit you know.
She did??!
Yeah, I used to sit by her chair and smell her yarn when I was really little.
You did?

Well you learn something new every day!
I guess that is why he never thought it was weired that I knit. When I first tolled him I knit he seemed slightly pleased but then never really showed an interest in it. That always seemed a little strange to me and now I guess I know the reason, he has a secret knitting history!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Leahy Concert and My Favorite Summer Recipe.

I had a great time at the Leahy concert. The music was fast paced and exciting and the dancing was impressive! Not only did they dance while playing their fiddles, but one of the ladies danced even though she was pregnant! I had a chance to talk to the performers during the day and after the show, really nice people, like most of the Canadians I have had the pleasure to meet! The overall feeling I got was that they were a family on a trip together. They had their kids with them and everyone was low key and friendly. If you ever get the chance to go see them I highly recommend it for anyone who likes Celtic music.

The weather was so nice this weekend that Mein Gummibaer and I decided to have a picnic in the park with our friends who are visiting from Germany. We had a bottle of wine from our trip this summer to Virginia and I made my favorite chicken salad. I got this recipe from my dear Aunt who lives in San Diego, California. She makes this with her leftover grilled chicken, it's delicious!

Chicken Tarragon Salad
4 cooked Chicken Breasts cut into cubes.
2 minced Shallots
Mix together with enough mayonnaise (or plain yogurt) to coat and season to taste with chopped fresh or dried Tarragon, A good quality White Wine Vinegar and Salt + Pepper.
Serve over a green salad, on a sandwich or enjoy as is!

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment! Getting a comment really lights up my day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Exciting news!

Not much knitting getting done in my neck of the woods. Work is busy so knitting takes a back seat. I am having fun with the Shetland triangle the lace is easy and the yarn is nice to work with.

Some exciting news, I am going to work at a Leahy concert! Yay! Leahy is one of my twin brother's favorite bands and I am really going to enjoy working at the show. Not only will I get to hear some great music but I should have time to sit and knit on my crazy socks as well! What could be better?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Shawl in progress

This is how far I got over the weekend. I am about halfway done with the repeats called for in the pattern but the rows get longer as I go along so I think I am more like a quarter of the way through. I plan to add several repeats to the pattern so that the shawl will be about 60" along the top edge after it is blocked. I am finding this to be a simple knit and enjoyable for the most part. I am slightly annoyed with myself because I have had to go back and fix several little mistakes. I rarely make mistakes (knocks on wood) while following a chart so I don't know what is up with me. Hopefuly I will get back into the swing of it soon! In other news my Crazy socks are comming along nicely, I have turned the heel and am on my way up the cuff. they should be finnished in the next few weeks I think.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Wedding Shawl

I have cast on! I am making a shawl for my sister's wedding. She has chosen Ruby zephyr wool silk for the yarn and I am using Evelyn A Clark's Shetland Triangle pattern form Wrap Style.I fell in love with this pattern when I saw this version and this version knitted up. Absolutely gorgeous! I am using my new Knit picks needles in size 5 (3.75mm). I plan to make the shawl a little bigger than it is in the book. So far it is going well, I was surprised that I only had to do the cast on once. I often cast on more than once because I am so picky about how it looks but this one was really easy! I have finished the neck section and have just started the main lace pattern. The lace is based on the traditional fir cone patten. I love it. I think this will be a long project and I am looking forward to knitting lace and making my first lace weight shawl. I have until August to finish it so wish me luck!