Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Success! They fit!

Ah, the taste of sweet success. Or is it the sweet taste of success?

Either way, I am estatic... the socks (my first EVER) I've been working on for the past month or so were given yesterday to my dad (his birthday... happy birthday, dad!) and they fit!!! He loves them and was flattered to receive my first-ever pair of knit socks.

They were knit using Lion Brand Magic Sock yarn in Sea Blue. The fiber content is mostly wool, but with a little nylon, and they're washable. I love the way the striping turned out.

Here they are, being modeled by my dad's tootsies!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Back to my knitting roots

Today I visited University of Pennsylvania, to knit with the women who taught me to knit a few years ago. Every so often I try to join them in their weekly Thursday knitting circle. It's always good to see them, and share our projects.

This time I was able to show them my FINISHED first pair of socks!! Yes, you read that right... the pair of socks I've been knitting for a gift are done. And just in time, too. No final pictures, though, until the recipient gets to see them and try them on. I'm crossing my fingers that they fit, as I didn't have actual foot measurements and kinda went by the average length, etc for the size shoe the person wears.

After showing off the socks, I began working on a cute little crochet halter top. It's a bright sunny yellow --- a yarn called Scooter that's a cotton/rayon/nylon blend. Tiny shimmery nylon threads are twisted with the fibers and give Scooter a luminescent quality. I may not have enough of the yellow Scooter, but I have some skeins in a really sweet denim color, so I may do the edging in the denim; we'll see.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Pre-occupied -- with a database

Hello! Please forgive me as I've been lax in posting ... and may continue to be for a few days. I invested in a software program called Craft Manager that is designed specifically for craft business owners. It promises to help track my inventory and supplies and give me lovely reports to help keep on top of my business. I am thrilled to death, and of course, really into getting all my data in and settled and making it work. I have 30 days to determine if it will do all I need for it to do. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Update on yarn stash organization and sock project

Thanks to Craft Critique, who included me in their special "Organizational Carnival" June 13-14th.

An update on said yarn stash organization:
Those of you who read the original post know that I had a serious shelf mishap a few weeks ago as I began organizing my office area, (including my yarn stash!).

Thanks to a handy husband, all is well. :) It turned out that the shelf hangers that came with the furniture were not strong enough to hold all of my yarn! So my husband got super-duper hangers and fixed that problem. Now the yarn divider is at eye-level (the better to admire my pretties) and the ribbon yarns (of which I have a ton!) and project left-overs are on the bottom shelves.

And the socks I'm knitting are well on their way. Both have heels now, and one has been worked all the way to the toes! I have two weeks left to finish (they are a birthday gift)... can I do it?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

USS Nimitz

A few days ago, my husband and I received a one-page flyer in the mail from friends of his. Their son is serving in the Navy and is currently stationed on a carrier, the USS Nimitz. Those who serve on the seas (carriers, submaries, destroyers) are usually on board for 6 months at a time. That's 6 months with no land, and no family or friends.

The goal of the flyer is to gather as many "care packages" for these men and women on the USS Nimitz as possible. Hopefully our messages will bring smiles and a little piece of home to those who serve.

Ordinarily, I'm not one for writing to people I don't know, or getting involved in causes, or things like that. But for some reason, I think because my dad served in the Navy on submarines, this request has really stuck with me. After all, I grew up hearing stories about my parents writing letters to each other before my dad would even leave for his 6 months (submarines can't even receive mail!) so they'd have something tangible to open and make them smile while they were apart.

I am planning to knit something small and write a letter to be given to one of those on the USS Nimitz. Just something to show that I am glad to be an American, and glad that he or she is working to help preserve our freedoms. I am asking everyone I know to do the same. Send along a favorite book, a mini jig-saw puzzle, a handcrafted something, a puzzle book, a note, a photo.... anything that can cheer our men and women up and remind them of the home that's so far away (just don't send money; it's against Navy regulations).

All items should be mailed to one of the three addresses listed on the flyer before July 4th.

Thank you for joining me in thanking the men and women of the Navy!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stitches East Conference 2007

Knitting Universe sponsors many wonderful learning events for knitters, including the "Stitches" series of classes & yarn shopping. Stitches East is in Baltimore, MD this year in October. I attended just the yarn market part two years ago, and really had a great time. This year, since I work with yarn full time, I thought I should take advantage of the classes, too.

Thanks to YarnMama for urging me to register today; about half the classes are already sold out! If you are wanting to attend, you'd better pick your classes and register soon. They have deals with several nearby hotels and those are half booked up already (mainly for Friday night) too. I called just in time to take the last spot in two classes, and catch two more still open. I have a full 4-class schedule, which sounds like a lot of work, but I'm really looking forward to it. And yes, of course I've left enough time to shop! Thursday afternoon is for scoping out the market with my mom, and Saturday afternoon is for shopping with my friend YarnMama from the Newark knitters!

These are the classes I signed up to take:
(Friday morning) Rolled Endings with Ruth Lantz -- all about the various bind-offs and when to use them
(Friday afternoon) Intro to Entrelac with Margaret Fisher -- this is so that I can complete one of my summer goals (albeit a little late): to knit a shrug for my sister
(Saturday morning) Build a Better Bag with Gwen Bortner -- I love knitted bags and I want to learn to make them even better
(Sunday morning) Shaping Shawls: Triangles and Trapezoids with Joan Shrouder -- I want to clear up the mystery of how and where to put increases/decreases to make shawls fit and drape correctly

The one class I missed out on is Art of Knitting Backwards with Candace Eisner-Strick. I am bummed about that, but on the flip side, that gives me Thursday afternoon to tourist Baltimore and the Yarn Market with my Mom. Anyone have any resources they can point me toward to learn knitting backwards on my own?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

W.W.K.I.P. Day was a (FUN!) success!

First, thank you all who participated in our first-ever W.W.K.I.P. Day event here in Newark, DE, and thank you to Stitches with Style, our LYS (local yarn store) who sponsored the event. It was a resounding success! Somewhere around 50 people were in attendance, both at Stitches with Style, and at McGlynn's Pub.

When I arrived at Stitches with Style around 10:30, I discovered 15 or so knitters already there, comfortably knitting around the table and on the couch. There was yarn shopping going on as well (nearly impossible to avoid, no?). Linda (the owner of Stitches) had sweet little blue tote bags printed especially for the occasion, and had stuffed them with lots of little goodies.

We moved to McGlynn's around 11:30 for the official start (and the knitting in public). The smell of popcorn greeted us at the door, and followed us to our section -- 5 tables full of knitters! There were 6 of us knitting at our table, and someone (a knitter) who simply happened to be out to lunch came over to our table to ooh and aah over our projects.

The surprise came when after lunch, many knitters moved back over to Stitches to continue knitting! Once you get started, it can be hard to stop! As a matter of fact, I got so caught up in knitting and talking to other knitters, that I forgot all about my camera and taking pictures.

I finally caved in and bought two skeins of Skacel Sofa yarn in soft pink with yellow eyelash. It's a super-thick chenille; very soft and warm. I think I'm going to try to make an open, airy wrap for myself for the winter since I'm always cold. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Teeny tiny yellow, green, and pink bikini!

Now that I feel as though I have the socks under control (somewhat anyway), I have a new project to share. My newest project is a string bikini crocheted of Katia Jamaica yarn.
I found this 100% cotton yarn at Stitches with Style (who just happens to be the sponsor for the Newark, DE meeting of WWKIP Day knitters TOMORROW!!!).

Katia Jamaica is a variegated color yarn; the one I chose goes from fluorescent yellow to kelly green to carnation to fuchsia, and back again. The perfect combo for a "look at me" type of bikini, I thought. For a 100% cotton yarn, which I always find a bit rough, this is very very soft (kinda necessary for a bikini). It is about 10-stranded, though, so is prone to splitting.

Take a look at the bottom so far (it's upside down; sorry). It is crocheted from back to front. I think it will take about 1.5 balls of Jamaica, and then I plan to use the rest of the yarn to crochet a little sarong-style cover-up to go with it.

One question I seem to be getting a lot in reference to this project is whether or not I'm going to line it. What do you think? To line, or not to line? Let me know!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Socks continued

The saga of the pair of blue gift socks continues. Last night, as we do every Tuesday night, the Newark Knitters met in Central Perk on Main Street to talk and work on our current projects. I, of course, brought the socks. ReluctantMANGO was there, and thankfully had brought a new book with her called More Sensational Knitted Socks. Between the book and ReluctantMANGO, I was able to complete the heel flap on the first sock and go on to turn the short rows for heel shaping! Not sure how well you can see what I did from the pic... I couldn't find a good way to take the pic!

The book was so awesome and conveniently laid out that I took my coupon from ACMoore's weekly ad and bought it today! Well, I bought the first one, Sensational Knitted Socks. It is written by the same woman, Charlene Schurch, and follows the same format as the one that
ReluctantMANGO brought to our knitting group, just with different sock patterns included. My goal is to complete the heel flap and shaping, using just the book and last night's experience as my guide, before WWKIP Day on Saturday.

In case you've missed all the other not-so-subtle hints and messages I and my fellow knitters have posted, WWKIP Day will take place internationally on June 9th -- this Saturday -- and there is an official meeting spot in Newark, DE! Sponsored by Stitches with Style, a truly superb knitting/yarn store at 16-E Polly Drummond Shopping Center in Newark, knitters from the area are welcome at the store at 10am, and then we'll move to McGlynn's Pub (8 Polly Drummond Shopping Center) at 11:30am for more knitting in public and food, of course! I hope to see you there! Please, come introduce yourself!