Friday, October 27, 2006

Lace Leaf Shawl finished!

Lace Leaf ShawlAfter what seems like eons of staring at yarn the color of pale pea soup, I have finally finished the Lace Leaf Shawl. Yeesh. I went home sick yesterday afternoon and, unable to sleep, I knit instead. Using wool instead of the metallic yarn called for by the pattern allowed me to get by with 19 repeats of the lace pattern -- not 26! As always, I wasn't convinced that it was going to look like much, but the miracle of blocking worked wonders once again. The pre-block length was about 57" (not including fringe) and the post-block length is something like 62" or so. The lace leaf pattern has opened up wonderfully, and once dry will make a lovely, lightweight wrap. For the amount of time I put in on it, I hope it rakes in a bit of dough for the auction.

And now, as much as I'd like to start a new project, I want to try and finish at least one more thing. For now, I think I'll be concentrating on my cabled sweater and one of the Christmas items. I keep saying I won't start a Lopi sweater until the cabled one is done, but we'll see how long my willpower holds out. To appease myself with a new and easy project, I may let myself start my cashmere neck gaiter instead. This weekend looks to be rainy and dreary, the perfect stay-inside-and-knit weather.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Weekday yarn store trip

It's not often that I get to go to a yarn shop, and it's almost unheard of for me to make a trip to one during the week. Luckily I had some comp time from working late on Friday last week, so I made use of it. Juli, Winnie, Patrice and I met Noelle at the Knitting Sisters and got her enough yarn to use for her very first project. It's a nice worsted weight, plum colored tweed. (I just need to remember to bring the pattern with me so she can get started tomorrow.) Somehow I resisted buying anything, but it's easier to do when you're broke.

This past Sunday was a bit of fun, too. Juli and I attended our first roller derby bout, put on by the Dominion Derby Girls. It was the Femmes Fatales vs. the Dirty Diesel Darlins. We, of course, were rooting for the Darlins as it's the team that Dawn (#911 Angy O'Plasty), a fellow knitter, is on. And they won! If you've never been to a roller derby bout before, you should check it out once before you die. I still want to know what the chariot racing was all about...

Friday, October 20, 2006

Book mania

Last Wednesday's knitting group has gotten me started on yet another book collecting binge. I had pattern envy after looking at Jan's holiday knits book, so I went to BookMooch to see if I could find a copy. Knitting books on that site seem to be fairly rare, but it's still fun if you like to read and don't mind swapping used books. I've had good results with some books on my wishlist so far. I guess I need to hurry up and read some of what I have at home so I can post more books and get more points!

Tonight is an all nighter at work, which means I'm going to get comp time. (I may even have to put in time on Saturday, too.) Noelle and I have begun making plans to hit the Knitting Sisters on Tuesday next week to get her some yarn. What better way to use my time off of work -- during the work week, no less! I keep telling myself I'm not going to buy anything when I go, but we'll see if there's anything good for sale in the 50% off bins. Otherwise, I won't feel guilty blowing the cost of a skein of Manos on a bottle of wine from the Wine & Cheese shop down the way. A nice Tokay, perhaps...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Another one joins the fold

I usually spend my Friday work lunches knitting in the library with a few co-workers, and today we had a new knitter join us. Not only is she new to our group, but she's truly new to knitting. She brought along a skein of Red Heart Super Saver (gah!) and some size 8 needles to get started... Patrice got her cast on and knitting in no time. Noelle, our new member, is a natural. With some practice, she'll be ready to get some decent yarn and start a scarf in no time. A few of us are already plotting a trip to the Knitting Sisters and truly set the hook of addiction. It also sounds like she'll be able to join our Wednesday night groups at B&N. We'll be glad to have her!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mom, can I have one?

I just couldn't resist reading an article recently featured on the BBC News website. Why? It talks about camel fossils found in Syria. Granted the fossils themselves are pretty neat, but the thought of all the extra fiber to be had from an animal twice the size of our modern-day camels was even more impressive to me. Camelids rock.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Picking up the pieces

Just when I thought life was getting back to normal, I find myself faced with roadblocks instead of mere speed bumps. So blogging, along with a lot of other things, had to be put on hold until some of the smoke cleared. Here I am, trying to make my way back into the real world... I have been knitting, mostly little things, useful things. A dishcloth to use up scrap cotton, a catnip mouse to keep Pandora occupied and out of my many project baskets. The Big Bad Baby Blanket is long since finished and I've started on the lace leaf shawl for the auction. It's proving to be a fairly easy lace pattern, especially with the help of my new magnet board from Knitpicks!

Backing up a little bit, I did go to the MI Fiber Festival in August. The basket class was fun, though I was worried at first because I've never made a basket before. (I was terrified of being the last one to finish, or ending up with a lopsided mess.) Our instructor was patient with all of us, coaching us through disasters that turned out to be only minor problems. And I ended up with a monstrous basket that I will probably use to tote around Lopi sweater projects in. Unfortunately, it was so large that I had to leave it behind in MI. It literally would not fit in the car, not with all the other stuff that was packed in it. While I was at the Fiber Festival I also picked up a yarn winder, and along with the swift I got from eBay... I've now got lots of balls. Of the lovely center-pull variety. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) The only yarn purchase I made in MI this year was some sportweight alpaca handpainted in beautiful autumn colors -- I love bargain bins.

I finally managed to get through the registration process for eVA, the state's (very difficult to use) purchasing system, and I'm now officially knitting garters for money. (And I thought the "Will Knit for Food" t-shirts were funny. Haha. Look at me now.) I guess there's a severe shortage at Jamestown, as they're ultimately looking for around 300 pairs of garters. Glad I'm not responsible for knitting all of them!! As easy and fun as the pattern is, it will still be nice to finish the auction shawl and get to work on Christmas presents. I have two items in the works and a third that I'd like to get done, but there's no guarantee at all on that one. And of course there's still oodles of stuff I want to finish for me! After all, winter is almost here and my cabled sweater isn't done. Ack. We're supposed to get nasty weather all weekend, so most likely I'll be hiding indoors and knitting for most of the time. Something is bound to get done!