Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Summer 2007 Knitting Contest

Since I knit all the time, but have a tendency to drop projects and begin new ones rather rapidly, I thought this contest, sponsored by Skeins Her Way, would be a great way to keep me on track this summer! Two women in my knitting group, reluctantMANGO and YarnMama, have already posted their knitting goal list for the contest. If you decide to lay it on the line and ante up a goals list for the contest, please be sure to mention my blog as your jumping point.

Here goes, my summer 2007 knitting goals:
1) Finish knitting my first pair of socks EVER! The cuffs are done; I'm moving on to the heels tonight.
2) Finish knitting the first item I've ever started for myself... a simple bandeau/tube top in raspberry Silky Look (Sirdar).
3) Finish the two knit purses that I have in various stages of incompletion.
4)Find a cute ribbon yarn pattern for little girls (preferably a shrug or wrap) and knit using some Anny Blatt yarn from Heaven (it was gifted to our group by an avid knitter who passed away).
5) Teach my mom how to purl, increase, and decrease using her Knifty Knitter looms.
6) Learn entrelac knitting so I can finally work on the shrug I promised my sister when I first learned to knit!
7) Knit and felt a purse using Lion Brand Wool. I bought the yarn, now to get brave enough to knit for felting!!

This may not seem like an ambitious list compared to others -- I am always thinking that I should be doing MORE -- but I am trying to keep in mind that I also crochet, sew, cross-stitch, and make wreaths. I'll keep trying to fight perfectionism!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Artist's reception at the Curiosity Shoppe Friday May 25th

I took a few pics with my cell phone during the lovely opening reception that Curiosity Shoppe held on Friday night for all the artists in this rotation. There were at least 18 of the artists in attendance, plus friends and family. The Curiosity Shoppe had two bands to play; one got shut down fast because they were playing on the outside landing/stoop of the shop and the Phila police said we were creating a public disturbance. But the other band, a male/female duo, played inside and were great! It was a really nice party that went on for quite some time. Dan and I had to leave around 11:30pm, but it was still going strong when we left.

Back to showing you the pics. They are a little fuzzy -- my cell phone doesn't do pics so well inside at night -- but you can see my Smileville Bears and some purses being displayed. The jewelry wasn't photographable as it's all displayed beautifully in glass cases, and for some reason, the pic I took of my crochet shawls on the mannequin came out all black. :(

Here are my bears (Da-lee, Lani, Oliver, Rupert, Sally, and Gramps) sitting on a vintage dresser below a mirror and two funky paintings.

Purses are all displayed on one large rack that has bars sticking out in all directions. Obviously, purses are a popular item to be making now as the rack was full of purses from many different artists. But below you can see my purple fringed bag (it's on the right side of the left pic) and my green bag (front and center of the right pic). They are both fashioned from toddler pants... so cute, if I do say so myself! :)

Other artists had done paintings, line drawings, fabric arts (hanging quilts, etc), jewelry, cards, magnets, and much more! Stop by the shop and check it out if you're in the area of 4th St. and South St. in Philadelphia!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Socks on vacation

Dan and I went to WV this weekend to whitewater raft on the New River. It is the second oldest river in the world (next to the Nile) and the rapids are anywhere between class I and class V (they are classed based on roughness, danger, and size, with the highest numbers being the most difficult/rough/dangerous). It was AMAZING, SPECTACULAR, and a real courage-builder for me as I'm usually not a danger-seeker. I will post pics when I have them developed; I had to use a disposable underwater camera so it wouldn't get ruined.

Despite the price of gas these days, we drove, because this place was really in the middle of WV boonies. So that meant that I had about 16 hours of passenger time to knit! I worked on the shirt I've had started for awhile... a simple tube top in K3, P1 rib... in shimmery pink Silky Look from Sirdar. No, I don't have pics yet. But I do have pics of my other vacation project ... the socks! I now have two socks (knit of Lion Brand Magic Stripes) that are 5" each (the cuffs). Tomorrow night when I meet my knitting buddies at the Central Perk in Newark, I will learn how to turn a heel! Yay!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Organizing the stash -- the yarn stash, that is

On Sunday, my hubby and I finally went shopping for an organization system for my office. Now that I've been working from home for 8 months, I have a very good handle on what supplies I use and how much of certain items that I need to keep on hand. And I am thoroughly sick of stepping over boxes and bags in my office. Both of those things made organizing my office somewhat urgent. :)

So we invested in an adjustable free-standing wardrobe, a tall bookshelf, and some additional dividers to customize the two. And after hours of assembly with Dan, and a marathon put-away session with my Mom yesterday, all the yarn was organized (wow, I have more yarn than I thought!) as was the fabric and all my books. Yes, there's more to do, but I am well on my way.

The bookshelf, as you can see, looks fantabulous. :) The white "blob" to the right is the side of the wardrobe. They are at right angles to each other.

Here is the wardrobe post-trauma this afternoon. Other than saying that the two shelves above the yarn were originally below it, I'll leave it at that.

So. Now to the trauma. I was so happy with my organization that I of course wanted to share. But as soon as I opened the wardrobe door this afternoon to take pictures, a shelf fell. Originally the yarn divider was at the top (right under the shelf that goes all the way across) resting on one shelf, and there was one other shelf before the bottom of the wardrobe. The shelf that fell was, of course, the one the yarn divider system was resting on. After a brief moment of panic, I realized that I could remove a shelf from the right, and use one of those shelf hooks to stabilize the precarious situation of my yarn. So I carefully took everything off of one shelf on the right, removed the shelf, and snagged the shelf hook. But before I could slide the shelf hook in and save the day, the shelf below fell in one corner. This became a slippery slope, where every time I moved, a shower of yarn would come down upon my head, and the shelves would slip in another corner.

To make a very frustrating story slightly shorter, I did eventually manage to rescue everything from below the yarn divider, remove the shelves, and sit the divider on the "floor" of the wardrobe, where it will now stay. The yarn still isn't all put away, though, because it turns out that the top of the wardrobe is a minuscule amount wider than the bottom, and the last partition of my yarn divider doesn't fit. Which means Dan gets to play with his power hand saw again soon. *Sigh*

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New artist rotation at the Curiosity Shoppe -- and I'm in it!

This post isn't really about a craft show, but it has to do with my schedule just the same.

See, just off South Street (on 4th St) in Philadelphia, PA, there is a cute little shop called the Curiosity Shoppe. Every other month, they select about 30 artists from the local area to feature in the front portion of their store.

And my work will be in that store beginning on May 25th (Friday!) until the end of July. I just met with one of the owners today, and dropped off some of my items. Please, if you are in the area, stop by the shop and look around! Peter and Hannah (the owners) are doing a wonderful thing by giving us artists a place to show our work.

Some of the items I have in the rotation are:
Smileville Bears
Crochet shawls (such as the one in this post that I donated to a benefit auction)
Funky jewelry (kinda like this, with shells and edgy designs)
Crochet flower pins (like the ones I showed in this post)
Paperback book covers

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Newark Nite and more crafty shows

Hello, and happy Thursday. It's Thursday already! Yikes!

This Saturday, I will be at the Shoppes at Louviers in Newark, DE for the 3rd Annual Kids Day America celebration from noon until 3pm. It will be a super-fun day.... food, games, fire truck and police car tours, Cinderella and other favorite characters LIVE!, and free giveaways all afternoon long. Join us for the fun!

Also, I have expanded my show schedule with three events here in Newark, DE:
* The first, Saturday June 2, is Newark Nite. From 5-9:30pm there will be music, food, and street vendors on Main Street in Newark.
* Then, as part of the 4th of July celebration, I will be at the University of Delaware Athletic Complex from 4-9pm on July 4. There will of course be food and entertainment, with fireworks at the conclusion of the evening.
* And finally, Newark Community Day, September 16, will take place from 10am-5pm on the University of Delaware's Green.

Please mark your calendars to come out, enjoy the community and entertainment, and of course, to visit my booth!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

World Wide Knit In Public Day mentioned in SPARK!!

Thanks to YarnMama, who contacted Spark Magazine about our meeting on June 9th. They published the info here (you need to scroll toward the bottom of the page to read it):
"KNITTERS OF THE WORLD, UNTIE!" I don't know about you, but I want to check out the "Spark 7" that the editors mentioned at the end of her letter. :)

And.... we are official! Yes, our knitting gathering at McGlynn's Pub is listed as an official gathering place on the website. Check it out!

In other news, I began a sock the other night, as I swore I would, at our Tuesday night knitting meeting (Central Perk Coffee Shop, Main Street, Newark @ 6:30pm on Tuesday nights. Join us!). Thanks to reluctantMANGO, who was invaluable to the socks' beginning (I confess that she re-cast on for me, after it took an hour for me to cast on so tightly that I couldn't even complete the first row of stitches!). I will post a picture of it as soon as it looks like more than a sketchy circle of stitches on itty-bitty tiny needles!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

World Wide Knit In Public Day --- update

I just spoke with Stitches with Style, the yarn store who is sponsoring our gathering on June 9th, and they are preparing a special gift for the first 50 people who arrive for How great is that?! Thanks, Stitches!!

Also, keep an eye on The News Journal; they just agreed to print a mini press release about the event being in Newark this year. I'm not certain yet if it will be online, or in print, or both; I'll get back to you on that fact.

I am getting so excited; I can't wait to see how many knitters show up en-masse! Now the most difficult part will be determining what project to bring! :)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

What can be better than a day full of wool and sheep and knitting friends?

Yes, I had all three yesterday, and it was wonderful! Three knitting friends from the Newark Knitters Group (YarnMama, reluctantMANGO, and RangerSarah), and I traveled together to the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, MD for the 34th annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was my first time there, but reMANGO and RangerSarah were very able guides through the hub-bub.

We started at 6:30am, and were rewarded with a decent parking place not too far from the entrance. Close enough, at least, that we could return to the car halfway through the day, to get our lunches and drop off our purchases to that point.

It seemed there was no where on the premises that the sound of sheep bleating didn't reach your ears. And they were all so cute: big ones, little ones, shorn and fluffy ones. I also saw my first alpacas (they remind me of llamas, but more sheep-sized) and llamas, which I find adorable. We took a break in the middle of morning shopping to catch a sheep dog demonstration, which turned out to be truly amazing. The dogs know exactly what to do to keep the sheep where the herder/master wants them, and do it with finesse.

(baby sheep, alpacas, and llama, top to bottom)

We all made some great purchases, as you can see in our "stash photo" at the end of the day! I personally picked up several sock yarns (I WILL make socks!!! I simply must learn. The super-soft, pink/white handpainted sock yarn from Shelridge Farm will be a good enticement.), some uniquely-colored green/black yarn with sparkles to make a scarf, and some candy-cane striped yarn to make a sleeveless top.