Thursday, December 22, 2005

My First Completed Sock!

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Yea - I did it! I went in to my LYS where I took the sock class and had the teacher help me with the Kitchener Stitch. I was totally intimidated with the Kitchener, but after she helped me do the toe of this sock - it's easy. I have some beautiful sock yarns that my secret pal 6 gave me, but I'm forcing myself to do another one of these so I have a pair - it does actually fit! Then it's on to the nice yarns that Liz sent me. It's true when they say that socks are addicting. . .

Christmas Exchange Gift

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Guess who ended up with this family exchange gift? Because we have a very large family - 50 of us when everyone is present - females bring a gift for a female and males for male. Then we play a game where a story is read and every time the word "right" is mentioned, we pass the gifts to the right. When "left" is mentioned, you guessed it - they go to the left. The game goes really fast and the gifts end up who knows where. If a male gets a female gift, someone just trades with him, etc. My own daughter who has learned to do felted bags and has done a few for Christmas gifts this year ended up with this gift. I also put some bath and body stuff in the package. Not a problem - her favorite color is purple and she loved it. The actual color of the finished bag is more like the purple in the pre-felting picture. I couldn't get the post-felting picture to come out the right purple.

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Knit with a double strand of yarn, one strand Noro Kureyon and one strand Lamb's Pride - love that combination! Pattern is from the Pursenalities book and relatively easy to do. Felting took about 20 minutes in the washer and 3 or 4 days to dry as it's been a little cool.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My First Sock Progress

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I'm getting there! My goal is to get down to the toe so I can go back in to my LYS and have the teacher show me how to graft the toe and finish the sock. This has not been as hard as I thought and I even think that this sock might fit me. If so, I have enough of the yarn to make a second one and even wear them!! My secret pal sent me two beautiful skeins of sock yarn and a couple of patterns. Once this beginning (learning) pair is done, it's off to the good stuff.

Organize or Knit ????

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My main "stash closet" was overflowing, I had no more room to put any new purchases and my room was a mess! I also wanted to work on two projects, one of which is a Christmas present. My DH was going to be home late last night due to a meeting, so, the evening was mine!!! What to do?? Organization had to come first - I couldn't stand it. I purchased two of those plastic under the bed storage bins and cleaned some things out of this closet that I am not currently using (but still want to keep) and hid them away under our bed. What do you know - - I created more room for yarn, etc. This is the result - it's still not perfect, but out of the way (when the doors are closed) and my room is neater. No more yarn shopping for a while, I promise! By the way, my DH put these closets in for me about 2 years ago to help keep all of my "stuff" organized. Isn't he great?

I also decided to reorganize the side bar on my blog - check it out! When all was done, I still had a little time to knit before getting horizontal for the night.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sock it to Me!

I took a sock knitting class today at Bourgee Boutique in Claremont and I think I will enjoy adding socks to my repertoire of knitted items. I was able to get about half way done with my first sock (I had to leave class early to go the Stitch Cafe open house mentioned in the previous post). Shop owner, Gina, is so gracious - she invited me to come back one evening and she will help me finish the sock since I had to leave early. I'll post a picture soon.

Stitch Cafe Holiday Open House

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Holiday Open House at one of our favorite places - the Stitch Cafe in North Hollywood. Of course we had to come from far and wide to spend a couple of hours together shopping, eating, shopping, laughing, shopping, thinking about projects, shopping, colors, shopping, etc. When it was all said and done, we probably broke the bank, but came away with wonderful yarns for projects and fun - also made new friends. This was Melissa and Kelly's first trip to the Stitch Cafe and the first time Melissa, Christy and I met Kelly. It was also Melissa and Janet's first time to meet. Kelly was Melissa's stitch marker swap secret pal and we have all blogged back and forth. How nice to finally meet and have an evening of fun. Shop owner, Lisi, (dressed in black and white in picture) did a great job with this open house - besides shopping, we enjoyed great food and entertainment around a fire pit. We had actually checked out and paid for our purchases, but somehow sitting around the firepit with food allowed us to think about more projects and yarns we wanted to work with, soooo, you guessed it - another trip through the store and checkstand before we finally forced ourselves to leave and make the long trek home.

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This was a great opportunity and much fun to spend a few hours with my daughters, sharing a common interest. Melissa on the left, Christy on the right and a proud mom in the middle! Papa Taylor so graciously offered to take care of the grandkids, Jessie and Jared, so Melissa could have a "girls night out". We talked about the possibility of all of us getting together some time soon to knit and work on our projects and of course talk, talk, talk. Maybe we could find some place in the middle since we are really spread out and spend a few hours some time. This was a night to remember and lots of fun in the middle of the holidays!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another Knit-a-Long!

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OK, I'm a sucker for knit-a-longs. Actually, this one grabbed me because it looked quick and easy and I love how different it is. Also, I had 2 balls of Rowan Wool Cotton in a really nice plummy burgundy color that was beckoning me (just the perfect amount for the scarf, too). After casting on 180 stitches and then doing 2 more rows, one of which doubled the number of stitches, I realized that this is not going to be so quick. . . . it took me 2 1/2 hours just to get this far. Ouch! The Rowan Wool Cotton has a really nice feel and I think I'll be able to wear it around my neck just fine (a little sensitive to anything being right on my neck). Pattern is from Knit Picks and if interested in more information about the pattern or the knit a long, click here.

Christmas Gift Finished

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The special gift is done - ready to mail! I've been dying to work with a fabulous yarn - Muench "Touch Me". It's so soft and luxurious and feels great against the skin. After finishing the bag for my mother, I knew exactly what I would do to try the Touch Me yarn - make a scarf to match - especially since she lives in Michigan. Of course her favorite color is purple (mine, too) and she also has a purple coat. No brainer! The Touch Me was wonderful to work with and didn't "worm" on me at all, which I've been told it can do. After knitting it, I threw it in the washer with some towels on a warm setting and washed it - which I was also told to do by a shop owner. This really scared me because I was afraid I would mess up all my wonderful knitting. It came out of the washer small and hard (sort of felted). But then, as I was instructed, I threw it in the dryer with the towels on medium heat setting and dried it! Wow - it came out the right size and soft and absolutely beautiful!! I'm sure she will love it - maybe she'll let me wear it once the next time I visit her in the winter time!! Ha-ha! After working with that, I just have to make something else out of Touch Me!! Oh - the pattern I used for the scarf was a reversible sort of rib pattern called the "Farrow Rib". It's a free pattern I got off the web and I can't even remember where I pulled it from. So, here are the directions. The pattern is a multiple of 3 + 1. Striving for about a 6 to 7" width of scarf, cast on 25, 28, 31, 34 or how ever many stitches, in a multiple of 3 +1, it will take to get correct width. Row 1 - *K2, P1*, repeat to end of row, ending with K1. Row 2 - P1, *K2, P1*, repeat K2, P1 to end of row. Repeat Rows 1 and 2 to desired length of scarf. For this scarf I used size 8 needles. This is really easy to memorize and comes out beautiful!!! And - it is absolutely reversible!!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lucy Bag

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This is a gift for my secret pal - I don't think she knows who I am yet and won't see this until I reveal myself and give her my blog address. I knit this Lucy Bag out of Plymouth Galway in three shades of green - her favorite color. It was done single stranded with size 10 1/2 needles and felted really firmly and quickly. Interesting bag - would be great to tote some "stuff" around, etc. I hope she likes it - one can never have too many bags or totes. I even plan to make one for myself soon - so many projects on the burner . . . .

Incredible Secret Pal!

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What an unbelieveable secret pal I had. I still don't know who she is, but she promised to reveal herself soon - I hope! Since I mentioned that I was interested in learning how to knit socks, she sent me a great book on sock knitting, two patterns for different socks, with the yarn included to knit the socks, chocolate (yum!), lip balm, bath petals, a little travel pack with shower gel, foot lotion and body lotion and a shower cap (how did she know that we like to travel a lot), another fabric little travel bag filled with other travel essentials, and three sets of double pointed needles - perfect for the socks!

Wow, it sure was fun to go to the post office this morning and pick up the package, and then bring it home and open it as fast as I could to see what she sent. It's an awesome feeling to have someone who you don't even know spoil you like this, and I have also had fun spoiling my secret pal - - her package is going out tomorrow. THANK YOU secret pal! You are truly awesome and I hope you reveal yourself soon so I can thank you some more!