Thursday, June 29, 2006

Look What I Made in Camp!!!!

I told you I was having as much fun at camp as the kids. These are the knitting needles I made from wood dowels. We measured them at somewhere between a US 13 and 15. So I guess they are offically US size 14. Custom made, custom size. We sanded the %$#@# out of them. One of the girls sanded so much that they actually came out in two different sizes.

I have never seen so much excitement over fun fur. The girls just couldn't get enough of that stuff. I was happy to pass it along. They made purses, scarves, coasters, bookmarks, and pot holders in every color of the rainbow. They were all very "furry". We even hand spun yarn into little ankle bracelets. We never made it to KoolAid dye. Maybe next year.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Baby Booties Complete

All finished with one day to spare. I swear I knit that second bootie at least 3 times (if you count all the frogging I did). I kept slipping the yarn-over stitches. UGH! Yes, I know it looks simple. It's just a baby bootie, but whew. It will be fun giving them to my cousin at her baby shower this weekend in Pennsylvania. Let's hope they match Grandma's poncho and blanket.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Goodies for Secret Pals

I shipped out some more Secret Pal goodies today including some knick knacks from the Europe trip. I also helped out one of my teacher colleagues with her knitting camp. She had 4 girls who are going into 4th and 5th grade. It's so cool to watch them get over the initial frustration and actually start to enjoy the knitting. Tomorrow we're making knitting needles from dowels. I feel like I'm in camp, too. It's great fun. Oh yes, I finished one baby bootie. I really need to sign off of this computer and cast on the other one. Four days and counting.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Held hostage by a baby bootie

I realize that it's been a whole week since I posted. I have no excuse, but a lot of catching up to do. Part of it may be due to the knitting "clusture" in which I find myself. I have too many projects on the needles and in queue. Here's the short list in order of critical need:
1. Baby booties for my cousin's shower (next Saturday in Pennsylvania). I'll wait until they are finished to post a picture. More motivation to complete before Friday.
2. Family sock challenge - Blue/Black. Sock #1 is finished - pic below. (You know...second sock syndrome.)
3. Family sock challenge - Doug's Aran Alpaca. Ready to start heel.
4. Felted bag for One Skein Secret Pal - on row 7.
5. Lace socks for me - Still working on cuff.
6. Driftwood Shawl - More about that below.
7. I'm taking a felted clog class at Knit n Knibble starting on July 10.

I'm not even sure where to begin. First of all, the baby bootie took over because my grandmother crocheted a teeny-weeny Martha Stewart poncho for my cousin's new baby, then assigned me the task of making the matching baby booties. My cousin knows about the poncho and informed Gram that a baby could get lost, or worse, strangled, in a Martha Stewart poncho. So, Gram made a matching blanket. Way more practical. BTW - Gram has officially crocheted about 24 Martha Stewart ponchos. All female relatives in every direction have received one. Anyway, Gram sent me to Michael's for Bernat Baby Pink. I procrastinated. Big surprise. I'm almost done with the first bootie.

Knit n Knibble, my LYS, held a 2-year birthday celebration yesterday. I finally broke down and purchased a yarn swift and winder. Wooo-hoooo, I'm so excited. My son and I spent yesterday afternoon winding yarn, and getting the tangles out of a particularly stubborn skein. (But, that's another story.) While I was at KnK, I bought some pretty purple Cascade 220 and blue mohair for my Secret Pals. Most of the two hours I spent there was trying to decide what to get for them. It's so hard to pick yarn for someone else. I truly hope they like it.
I have been yearning to knit something with cashmere. I found the Driftwood Victorian Shoulder Shawl by BadCat Designs. It takes just one skein of Jade Sapphire 2-ply cashmere. That didn't feel like such a huge investment for a first lace shawl. I had to put the booties down for a while to get started on the pattern. The yarn is a beautiful sage green, but the pic doesn't do it justice.
And, last but certainly not least, another sock for the family sock challenge. I finished this on vacation. I managed to start the cuff of the second sock before the baby booties took over.

I'll try to post more this week. :-)

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Back from London and "The Continent"

The trip to Europe was great, but it's also great to be home. Unbelieveably, I did not stumble upon one knitting shop in London, Paris, Kaiserslautern, Heidelberg, or Amsterdam. What's up with that? Yes, I could have sought out yarn stores, but the truth is that I just didn't have time. We only spent 2-3 days in each location. Yarn was certainly NOT on the mind of my 12 year old son or 25 year old stepdaughter. I hoped to see one and say, "ooh, I just have to pop in there for a second," but that didn't happen. I did pick up a few little items for my secret pals, though. I got a few cool post cards at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, one of "Woman Winding Yarn" and another, "The Sheep Shearer". Who knew that Van Gogh had a fiber interest?

I also came home to a nice surprise from my One Skein Secret Pal. She even sent a sock pattern with a groovy little sailboat on the heel. I explained in my personal description that I was looking for some sock patterns with different heels. The yarn is also beautiful. Thank you so much Secret Pal!

Monday, June 05, 2006

World Knitting in Public - Literally

I'm taking my 25 year-old step daughter and my 12 year-old son to Europe for a little adventure to celebrate my step daughter's college graduation. We're leaving tomorrow. So, I'll be in Paris for "World Knitting in Public" Day. I hope to be knitting all over the place. I also hope to stumble upon some knitting shops. I'm taking these 3 sock projects, one fairly mindless, and two with a little more character. The brown socks are an oh-so-soft alpaca with a 12 row repeat aran pattern. These will hopefully be a Christmas present for my husband. I already had to frog them and go to a smaller needle because they were coming out quite LARGE. The blue pattern will be for another family member. (Knit round and round.) The green socks in Lucy's hand dyed yarn are for me. (That's a 4 row repeat.) So, that should keep me busy on the planes and trains. We'll see how much progress I make. You may see a post during the trip if we happen upon an Internet cafe with an open computer. Be back soon!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Speaking of Spoiling

No sooner did I mail out my SP packages when one arrived for me. I was overwhelmed and blown away. I received Lorna's Laces in my favorite color, purple. I have yet to knit a pair of socks with this yarn and I can't wait! She also sent three skeins of beautiful green Rowan "Summer Tweed". I just LOVE it!! Also included was a Botanical Body Bar in Mango Butter and Cranberry (sounds good enough to eat), an adorable cow mug, Chinese Flower green tea, and, yes...that little gold box in the center is a Godiva chocolate treat. THANK YOU SECRET PAL. You're the BEST!!!!!!!!

Secret Pals across America

I did some Secret Pal shopping this week. It's amazing how much thought goes into spoiling your secret pal. The pic on the left is for my "One Skein" secret pal. Included is a skein of Noro, the book "Knitticisms" and a one-skein mitten pattern (compliments of "Just Jucci's" blog) for my SP in Minneapolis. On the right is a summer fun pack for my SP8 secret pal. Included is a skein of hand-dyed Merino Wool, a pink bag to hold a small knitting project (proceeds go to Breast Cancer Research), another copy of "Knitticisms", and a pattern for summer socks from Spun Mag. My favorite one is the toeless sock. That's funky! Now you might say it's odd to post the SP gifts I plan to send. Then again, what's the chance that my SP will stumble upon this blog and say "Hey - That's the package I just got in the mail"? I told both SP's that my favorite Knitticism is "You know your yarn has control over your life when you try to spin the dryer lint into yarn." That's my crafty idea of the week.