Sunday, April 30, 2006

Please Come to Boston

Last week NY, this week Boston. No, I'm not on a tour of major U.S. cities. Actually, it's just poor planning on my part that makes it impossible for me to get anything done at home. Last week was for some knitting fun. This week is for the Learning and the Brain Conference in Cambridge. I digress - that's my other life (teaching and grad school). But, I can usually squeeze a little knitting in wherever I go. I've been listening to the It's a Purl, Man Podcast. (See some other great Podcasts in the side bar of my blog.) He lives in the Boston area and talks a lot about Mind's Eye Yarns in Cambridge. So, I hopped on the train after the conference today and made it just in time to meet the owner (I believe it's Lucy) and buy some of her hand-dyed sock yarn. She even stayed open a little longer for me to wind the yarn. (I'll upload the pics when I get home.) She was lovely and very helpful. To emphasize what a small knitting world it truly is, she knows Elaine at Pine Tree Yarns in Damariscotta, Maine (another favorite knitting haunt). We both remarked on how cool it is to meet online knitting "buds" in person. Blogging is definitely a "village"!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

BAKG Retreat Weekend in New York

I just returned from the Big Apple Knitting Guild Retreat at the beautiful St. Ignatius Retreat Center in Manhasset, NY. This is one of my favorite trips of the year. I took the Flower Making Class with Nicky Epstein. She was very sweet and fun. I picked up her two latest books, Nicky Epstein's Flowers and Nicky Epstein's Felted Bags. Tatyana Mirer taught "Flip Flap Mittens" on Saturday and "Crochet on Knit" this morning. She is truly an artist. I was in the middle of the first mitten. The baby cable was done in 5 rows, the fifth being the twist row. Well, in my absolute brilliance, I started doing row 5 on every row. Boy, was I on a roll. I didn't notice the mistake until I had done it for 7 rounds. DUH! I was mortified. Rather than frog back seven rows, Tatyana was able to pull off just the twisted cable stitches and repair SEVEN ROWS without taking the rest of the good stitches off the needles. I was in complete AWE. As for the crochet, I'm hoping to knit a tank and add a similar crochet edging on the bottom. Cool.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Babies, Family Heirlooms, Pink and....Brown

In the beginning (2 month ago), there was only one pregnant teacher at my school. So, a few of us got together to knit squares to make a baby blanket. It came out great. Now there are FIVE pregnant teachers!!! Some have blamed the water. Others blame the knitters for deciding to knit these blankets. But, you can't very well give to one and not another. So...we continue to knit squares. When will it end?
Speaking of creating family heirlooms, my Great Aunt Geri crocheted this beautiful doily for my dining room table. It's just perfect and I'm so honored to have this beautiful piece. I'm especially honored that she took the time to make it just for me.

Back in January, I ordered some hand dyed yarn from Kerrie at HipKnits in the UK. Weeks went by and I didn't receive the yarn. Kerrie was great and sent another skein. More weeks went by...nothing. She asked if I wanted my money refunded. I declined. I was sure that she sent the yarn and it would appear someday. Well, it came yesterday!! I knew it would get here eventually. I'm thinking of knitting something out of One Skein, perhaps a scarf. Pink and brown look so cool together.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Pining for a Purple Purse

I'm taking a short break from socks to start my purple purse. I just love purple. I'm going to kick in some sage green for fun. This is a combo of Cascade 220 and Noro. Both are great for felting. My sister is running for Florida State Representative. She's holding a silent auction fundraiser later in May. If this comes out well, I'll donate it to the cause. (But, I might have to carry it for a little while first.)

Very Special "Snowbirds"

I had to share this little diversion from knitting. For the last 3 out of 4 years, this very special couple of snowbirds have visited our backyard and pool for a few days on their way back home. Apparently, some ducks mate for life. These are not native Floridian ducks. But, like many of our northern human friends, they come down for the winter, then head back home when the temperature starts to rise. Now these are real "snowbirds".

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

A single Mexi-sock

I have finished one of the Mexi-socks for the Family Sock Challenge. I was nearly finished with the whole sock when I noticed that I actually slipped a stitch on the heel! I couldn't believe it! I've NEVER done that before. So here was this run beginning to form at the heel. An anal-retentive, perfectionist knitter would have frogged down to the hole. Me? NO WAY. I repaired the run back to the place where it must have slipped off the needle. Then, I darned the sock by pulling some extra yarn through the loop and .....(drum roll please) made a KNOT!!!! Yes, the Grand Pahboo of no-no's in knitting, a knot. It looked ok to me. Off to sock # 2.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Sock Yarn Fest

Here are some of the yarns I can't wait to knit for the Family Sock Challenge. This is also giving me a chance to use my new digital camera. The colors are pretty true except for the "Socks that Rock". They look much prettier in person. Included here are Lorna's Laces, Socks that Rock, and Trekking XL. I'm still working on the Fortissima Mexico socks. I've been buried in school work. Three weeks to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Monday, April 03, 2006

SNAP!!!! A right of passage...

I'm sitting here watching the NCAA National Basketball Championship (Go GATORS) and knitting another sock for the Family Sock Challenge. I was getting ready to turn the heel and decided it was time to see if these puppies were going to fit. So, I tried them on...........SNAP. I snapped my first DP needle, ever. It's like a right of passage, a notch on the belt, a "yarn" to add to the "yeah, that happened to me" collection. I feel so experienced!

Did I already say GO GATORS!!!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I wish I had the "before" picture of my new craft room with bags of yarn everywhere, unfinished projects under the bed, big plastic storage boxes full of mixed yarn. This project actually took a couple months. First, I had a very hard time finding a unit that would store the yarn this way. I bought this at Grandin Road. It's a perfect set up. Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend it to others because the quality was questionable. I had to send two units back because they were damaged. This weighed a ton and was a real hassle to get up the stairs. But, now that everything is organized, I'm pretty happy. My husband is working on refinishing a rocking chair. Once that's in, it will be complete.

Linus really likes the stash even more than I do. He especially likes to mess it up. Sometimes he actually chews on it!!!! At least I keep the less expensive yarn on the bottom!