Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thrift Store Finds

Amy and I hit a couple of thirft stores today. First, we went down to the Goodwill Outlet on 6th Avenue South in Seattle. Amy found a filing cabinet there but I didn't find any sweaters worth buying even at 99 cents a pound. I didn't like how the clothes are all thrown into binds that you have to sort through.

So then we drove over to a regular Goodwill store at Dearborne and Rainer. It was HUGE with two sides, one for clothes, and the other for everything else. Plus they had a room in the back where they were having a special vintage sale.

I found 3 sweaters, one in the women's section, and 2 in the men's section. I seem to have better luck in the men's department and because men's clothes are usually bigger then women's clothes, there is more yarn in the sweaters. I ended up just buying one of the sweaters. A natural wool women's sweater. The label says: "100% Wool, Boston Traders, Hand-Frame Knitted in Hong Kong". It has a lot of textured stitch patterns on it so I should get a good amount of yarn out of it. I'll probably dye the yarn too.

I also scored some great looking and great fitting Naturalizer shoes for $3.99. The best part is that I can wear them with my hand-knitted socks and you'll be able to see the socks!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Reclaimed Yarn

Last night I got out my swift and wound up the yarn from one of the wool sweaters I unraveled. I got the sweater, along with a couple of others, last month at a thrift store with the intention of reclaiming the yarn to add to my stash.

It is a sweaters worth of yarn at least since it was a men's large sweater with lots of cables on it. I need to wash and hang it now to get all the kinks out. Then I plan on dyeing it but I'm not sure what color(s) or how. I'm going to a dyeing party on the 15th with women from my Wednesday night knitting group. So I want it all prepared by then.

After dyeing it I'm not sure what I'll do with the yarn. It is kind of scratchy as wool goes so it would be best as an outer garment. Or I might use it for felting projects.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Knitter's Book of Yarn Rocks

I just got done writing a review of Clara Parke's new book, The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn for the Knitting News Cast website.

If you can only buy one book this season, I totaly recommend it. I won't go into all the details here so you can read the review of The Knitter's Book of Yarn here.

However, I have to say that I love how this books covers the subject of yarn (much better then other books that have come out in the last year or two). I learned so much by reading it from cover-to-cover, which isn't something I usually do with knitting books.

And some of the patterns in the book are really GREAT!!! Jennifer Hagan who taught my cable class last week has several patterns in the book. I especially love the headband and fingerless gloves she has in there.

GO BUY THIS BOOK NOW!!! Or better yet put it on your Xmas list! It ROCKS!

Oh and there are two free patterns from the book out on the internet. They are Maine Morning Mitts by Clara Parkes and Princess Mitts by Jennifer Hagan

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today in the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday. So besides having the day off from work (yeah!),I'm having my mom and hopefully, my brother over (double yeah!).

I'm not much into cooking so we bought a prepared turkey and sides along with rolls and a pumpkin pie. Amy is making some kind of mushroom dish to eat since she is vegetarian and also some stuffing mix without meat in it. Plus she bought fixings for green bean casserole (yum!)

We also bought a sugar-free cherry pie (they didn't have sugar-free pumpkin) so I can enjoy desert afterwards with everyone else.

Hope y'all have a Happy Thanksgiving too!

P.S. While my mom is here, I'm going to have her try on her Wickedly Foolish Cardigan to see if it fits. I've knitted to just below the bustline. Let's hope it fits!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Japanese Knitting Books, Finally!

Last night we went to Uwajimaya near downtown Seattle and the International District. We had dinner in the food court and walked around the grocery store looking at all the Asian food they have. I bought some sushi and and Udon noodle bowl for lunch today. I also bought some edamame chips which tasted somewhat like Bugles but not. They were good. I still have some shrimp flavored chips to try for a snack today.

Amy got some chocolate covered macadamia nuts which would kill me so I wasn't even tempted to have them. But there were a lot of interesting looking sweets. I had red bean buns when I was in Japan my last year in college for Xmas holidays and I was tempted to buy them. But they have sugar in them at the 2nd or 3rd level ingredient so they are off my list. I try not to eat anything with sugar in it but if I do then it has to be the 5th or less ingredient. And even then I don't often consider it. Oh well. I really don't miss sugar. For me, the less sugar I have, the less I want it.
However, the main reason we went to Uwajimaya wasn't for the food but so I could look at and buy some Japanese Knitting books at Kinokuniya. Therese had brought one she had bought last week to knitting group. It reminded me that I had wanted to buy some Japanese knitting books and ordered some from Amazon Japan but somehow the order didn't go through and it had been such a chore trying to figure out what books to buy, that I never went back and reordered them.

These are 3 of the many books I wanted to buy. I had seen the Guernsey and Aran Sweaters book on someone's blog last year but couldn't find it to order. I saw My Favorite & Mens Knit yesterday on a Japanese Book Site which has previews of pages from the books. And the last one with no English title was one that looks interesting because of the entralec cuffed gloves on the cover as well as some other great patterns.

The ABC's of Knitting site has several great resources for reading and using Japanese knitting patterns. The Basic Stitches, the How to Read Japanese Graphical Knitting page, and the Basics of Japanese Knitting are going to be very helpful for me to decipher the patterns because it all looks Japanese to me! ;)

I'm going to start off with a neck warmer from My Favorite and Mens Knits. It seems to have an easy cable pattern that I can figure out with my new knowledge of cables from my Cableology I class this weekend. I think the yarn that is used is a sock weight because it appears that you should have 32 sts per 10cm (4 inches). I think I have something in my stash that I can use.

I just found a Japanese Knitting and Crochet group on Ravelry and it looks like they have some more resources for translating patterns. Plus I'll be able to ask questions if I get lost.

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cableology I Class

I took a cable callas today from Jennifer Hagan of Figheadh Yarns at the Yarn Stash today. It was a lot of fun and I feel a little bit more confident about cable knitting.

Jennifer had a very informative hand-out on the definition, history, and classification of cable knitting. It has great information on reading charts and a cable stitch glossary which spells out what different kind of cables like C4F mean. I know I'll be referring to it often!

As part of the class we started on a Cableology I Headband. I've got the first of 3 sections about 1/2 way knit. There are several noticeable mistakes but it is a class project so I shouldn't expect to perfect! I'm using Cascade 220 in White so the picture doesn't show the cables very well.

Jennifer had on a beautiful zippered cabled cardigan that she just finished the pattern for. It is called Sarah. It has 3 different kinds of cables on it. I'm think I might not make the same collar. I might make it as a hoodie or just a simple collar like the icord edges she uses on the rest of the pattern. But that is one I'll have to graduate up to when I get better with cables!

While I was at the Yarn Stash, I also bought some Superwash Cascade 220 so that I can make a Hoodie Scarf. It has both right and left cross cables. It shouldn't be too hard now that I have a little bit more experience knitting cables.

My So Called Scarf

I got back from California from my business trip yesterday morning. It sure was nice to get off the plane and for the weather to be warm and the sun shining. It is one of the reasons I took the job here in Seattle. I knew that every month or so I'd be flying down to Oxnard and I'd get out of the rain and the cold. And although I think I've been doing well adjusting to the weather here, I didn't realize how much I missed the sun until I was back in it again!

On the plane I worked on My So Called Scarf. I started last Wednesday but I was having a hard time with the stitch pattern. It is an easy stitch pattern to remember but I kept forgetting an increase after a decrease every few rows or so, so it was coming out wonky on the sides.

So I decided to make the Bainbridge Scarf instead using the stitch pattern from My So Called Scarf. But I couldn't figure out how to get the stitch pattern to look the same in the round as knit flat. So I did the K1P1 that the pattern calls for but because I didn't have a measuring tape, I wasn't able to check gauge and it was WAY TOO BIG.

So I went back to knitting flat using the original stitch pattern for My So Called Scarf. I haven't decided if I'm going to keep knitting on it to make the My So Called Scarf or knit only 24 inches and seam it up and make the Bainbridge Scarf.

I guess I could make both. Keep knitting this as the My So Called Scarf and use a different yarn and the K1P1 for the Bainbridge Scarf. I think if I do that, I'll send the My So Called Scarf to my MIL because it is red and she could wear it to her Red Hat Ladies get togethers. Both her birthday and Xmas are in December so the timing is good. And I don't really have many Xmas gifts knitted yet either!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Blue Moon Fiber De-Stashing Saled

Charity, Ialiuxh, and I had a wonderful time at the Blue Moon Fiber De-staching Sale at the Scappose Creek Inn in Scappose, OR yesterday. The inn is a cute B&B with 3 houses with several bedrooms in each. We stayed in Lindy's Loft which had a Queen sized bed and a daybed with a trundle bed. It was a good sized room for the 3 of us but the bathroom was tiny.
They have a couple of llamas on the property. I feed the completely black one, who is the female, right from my hand with llama food they have for sale. She wouldn't let the male get any food and when I tried to give him some, he was so agitated with her that he just spit! Well, having lived with alpaca for the last 2 years, I know better then to tempt fate and try to calm him down. The spit would just get more noxious! So no more food for them!
It was a bright sunny, beautiful day with the trees and landscape in full autumn colors. It was just nice being outside in the bright morning sunshine. The inn also had chickens and a rooster walking around the property.
But as nice as the B&B was and as beautiful the day was, we didn't go to Oregon for that. We went for YARN! Luckily, we were first in line at 9 am for the 10 am opening because, the place was crazy packed with people within 5 minutes. Here's Charity loaded up with yarn to sort. The best method was to grab what you thought you'd like, walk away from the mayhem, and sort it at a table away from the crowd. Then you take back what you don't like and get more to sort. I did this several times. Ialiuxh has it down to a science!
Here is what Charity and I ended up with. Mine is in the lower right hand corner. I bought 7 skeins of the lightweight Socks That Rock sock yarn and 2 skeins of De-vine, a worsted or bulky weight yarn, in pink.

The yarn Charity bought for her friend in England is in the lower left hand corner. And the new yarn for her stash is above.
Ialiuxh was very good by sticking to her "rules" for the sale. She only bought sock yarn which had purple, green, or orange.

After the sale we drove back home via two yarn store stops in Tacoma. We went to Lamb's Ear Yarn which is in a cute little house that has several rooms of yarn. I bought a couple sets of cable needles for my cable class next week at the Yarn Stash. On set is by Brittany needles and are straight birch wood. The other set is plastic in a "J" shape. I bought both because I don't know which type I'll end up preferring better.

The other yarn store we went to was Fiber etc. It was packed from floor to ceiling with lots of wonderful yarn. But by the time we got there I was whooped and didn't really look around much. I'll have to make another trip there when I have more energy. Who knew that yarn shopping could wear you out so much?!?

More pictures in my Google Album

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Can You Say Blue?

I must be able to because it seem like most of the projects I have posted on Ravelry are blue! Case in point, this Dark Country Blue Wickedly Foolish Cardigan.

It doesn't help that I'm using the same yarn that I used to knit my Transistion Sweater!

I do like how this is coming out except that the button bands seem to roll a little bit. Not sure blocking is going to help. But I read today of someone using some kind of fabric tape to help with rolling on a cardigan they did. I may have to look into that.

Tomorrow, I'm going with Charity and Ialiuxh to Oregon to spend the night at the B&B where Blue Moon Fibers is having their destaching sale on Saturday. Should be a lot of fun! (I will have restraint, I will have restraint, I will have restraint... Yeah, right!)

Hedgerow Socks and Ravelry Beta T-Shirt

Here is the start of one of the Hedgerow Socks designed by Jane Cochran for Knitter's Reivew. It is an easy knit but a little boring. I'm using Knit Pick's Essential sock yarn which feels really soft and warm. I think these socks are going to be for my mom for Xmas. They kinda match the cardigan I'm knitting her in the fact that they are both blue.

Yesterday, I received in the mail my Ravelry Beta T-Shirt. I ordered the XL and it may be a little too tight. However, I think if I wear it under a cardigan or jacket it will be just fine. It is made out a great soft feeling cotton fabric. I also got a couple of buttons that I ordered and they also threw in my very own Ravelry button. I have them all pinned to my knitting bag along with my Where's The Sheep button from Amy Singer's book signing of her book No Sheep For You.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monkey Socks Complete

Just completed tonight! I love how these turned out.

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: Fly*Dyed Shoefly, Petrol - 1 Skein

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Silver Bell Frogged

I had such high hopes for this cardigan. The minute I saw it in the 25th Anniversary edition of Vogue Knitting, I wanted to knit it.

But I definitely was way out of my league with it. I haven't done many patterns with charts and cables. This one had 6 different charts with 4 going on at a time.

Part of me feels bad, that I gave up to soon. But the other parts says that knitting is supposed to be FUN and this project wasn't any fun for me.

I'm going to take a class on cables and chart reading at the Yarn Stash in a couple of weeks. And I want to try a couple of simpler patterns that use charts and cables. Then maybe I'll give this pattern a try again.

Now I can have the fun of looking for another pattern!