Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Stash Dash 2015

I have recently started listening to the Knitgirlls podcast only because the Carolina Fiber Girls mentioned it.  They are doing STASH DASH.

The rules are, projects must be worked on between May 22nd and August 14th.  The challenge is to select a certain yardage and knit it.  I selected 5K.  However, the length for the race has been converted to meters.

I decided to work on completing some WIPs first, then start a few new projects.  Here is my list.

3 Color Cashmere Cowl
Cadence Socks
Jeck Socks
Kai-Mei Socks 
Sunday Swing Socks
Vanilla Toe Up Socks
Celestarium

My new project list is as follows:

Neighborhood Fiber Company Mystery KAL
Swedish Spring Shawl
Yowza Weigh it Shawl Version 3
Owlie Socks
Hat to match the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl

Here is a picture of all of the yummy yarn all in on place.


I started by kniting 84 meters on the 3 color cashmmere cowl yesterday.  This is where I left off. 

The lace pattern in the light grey is a 6 row pattern that is easy to remember. 

I plan on using the leftover yarn to design a hat to match.  I'm still working out the pattern schematics. 





Friday, May 8, 2015

Socks on a Plane!!!!!

These socks have been on quite an adventure.

I saw this beautiful yarn on Instagram one morning. A knitting friend of mine had just purchased it and took a picture. I immediately asked her where I could get it.

The answer was SpunRightRound's Etsy shop. Lately, I have been buying tons of yarn on Etsy. I believe that it's very important to support our knitter friends who own small businesses, because at the heart of it all, they are putting their time and effort into their work because they really love what they do. I am also very empowered when I see a woman successfully running a business on her own terms. It just so happens that the majority of indie yarn shops are run by women. So, it was a no brainier. 

I showed the picture to my Knatural Purls knitting group, who is always my sounding board when I have any knitting idea. I think I clicked "buy" before waiting on an answer. A few days later, the yarn had arrived from Rochester, NY. 

The colorway is FLUFF. I noticed that there is a definite similarity between this yarn and 2 other speckle-dyed yarns that I own. But, of course I had to have all of them. 


So, a friend of mine invited me to go to Toronto, in the middle of the winter, to attend a Machel Montano concert. Of course I said yes. Toronto was really cold, but his performances are always blazing hot. On the trip, I needed some plane knitting and that's when it hit me. SOCKS ON A PLANE 

The pattern is designed by Laura Linneman aka Lala Knits. It's a free pattern on Ravelry. Toe up with a cable going up the outer edge of the front of each foot. The heel is just a gusset and turn. No heel flap. No picking up stitches. This was a new heel construction for me, so I had to try it. 

I casted this on in February for my 60 Minute Sockagram Ravelry group. 


This pic is actually in the hotel room while we were just enjoying some nice beverages. Hehe. 

After all of the festivities, I finally got a picture of the socks actually on a plane.



So, fast forward to the month of May. I had already had 1 sock completed, and I just needed to work on the heel of the second.  



During Maryland Sheep and Wool, I told everyone who introduced themselves about 60 Minute Sockagram. Then I'm like Oh gosh, I need to finish those socks.
It didn't help that my friend Ladybean73 knit hers in a day. Geez!!  Making me look bad. Lol. 


So, I worked on completing the sock, and here is my finished product.

I have 9 grams of yarn left over.


Here is my sockagram video of the Socks on a Plane journey.  
 

 
 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Maryland Sheep and Wool 2015

 Here is a recap of my Sheep and Wool experience.

The last time I went was about three years ago, because it always is the same weekend as the TD Bank 5 Boro Bike tour. I volunteered for 1 year, and then rode the two consecutive years after.  It was a lot of fun, but I felt that it was time to get back to Maryland.  

My focus for this trip was all about connecting with other knitters and really getting to meet some really awesome people.  In the past it has been a mad dash for yarn, and all of the encounters I had with other knitters  became a blur.  I decided to take things a little slow this time around.

Firstly, I finished my sweater mid-week, instead of my usual stay up all night knitting the night before.  I decided to wear Japan sleeves, because I figured that there was a chill in the air in the early morning, and its a lightweight sweater, so I wouldn't melt wearing it.  Of course, I was running from the sun during those high noon hours, but I enjoyed every minute of wearing it. 



The sweater fits perfect, and I couldn't be any happier. The yarn is Madeline Tosh's Tosh Merino Lite, in Pop Rocks and Dirty Panther.  To my surprise, a lot of people came up to me to talk about the colors, the yarn, and the clever construction.  Joji Locatelli is a designer with such an eye for detail and out of the box construction.  I was happy to make conversation.  

In fact, I was prepared this time.  Earlier in the week, I ordered cards from overnightprints.com, so that I can have something to give to my new knitter friends. 
They were relatively inexpensive, compared to other online printing resources, and the quality is great. 

At 1:00, there was the Podcaster Meetup, and I was honored to meet some of the people that I listen to on a weekly basis, who make me happy when the world is crazy.

First, I met Shannon of the Minerva Turkey Podcast.  She gave me a big hug.  She is super sweet.  We talked about how the podcast makes me so happy.  We also chatted about hair color, hair products, how her podcast has enabled me to start shawls, and how knitters are such geniuses when they design  things with clever construction.  It's awesome how our brains are wired once the fiber fumes get to our head.   I felt like I could have talked to her for hours and I am so happy to have a new knitting friend,  even if she is all the way in Florida.  Friendship travels miles and miles through space and time.  It was an honor to meet her face to face after getting to know her through the podcast. 


The next podcaster I met was Janis from the Carolina Fiber Girls.  She came with FlatAnn, who represented Ann, the other half of her podcast team, who couldn't make the festival.  We chatted about my sweater, which was a featured "FOR REAL????" on their podcast.  I had joined it incorrectly, and it turned into moebius midriff madness.  They had a ton of laughs on the podcast, and I was laughing so hard when I heard them talking about it, that I cried.  It really was a spectacle.


In her podcast, Janis always talks about Maria from Elegant Economy Knits. She usually has an Instaknitnight going on Instagram.  I mentioned the Sockagram idea to her and she wants to include it. Woohoo.  I love the idea because its a great way to connect and see what everone is working on.  She laughed when I was like "OMG I hear about you on the podcast all the time".  


I totally had a fan girl moment with each of these ladies.  I love and appreciate all that they do to mix social media with knitting.  Timing could not have been any more perfect.  

Of course, there cant be all of this yarn around without a haul. This year, my haul was small but effective.  

I was well within my budget and made sure to only purchase things that I totally fell in love with. 
My designer friend RosiG has a mystery shawl currently going on with the Neighborhood Fiber Company.  I totally missed out on the beginning of the KAL, because I have been preoccupied with a bunch of socks. (More on that in the next post). However, I had the privilege of seeing the shawl on the drive to Maryland, and I totally fell in love.  I bought the same exact color that the sample is knit up in, and all I have to get now is beads. I am not at liberty to really talk about the finished product.  But, what I can say......is that the construction is pure genius, and the shear beauty of the shawl is breathtaking.  It is made with DK weight yarn, so you don't have to squint your eyes on a lace weight project.  It is sure to keep your neck and shoulders nice and cozy when worn.  

The rest of my haul is knitting essentials. Needles for a hat and a pair of socks, and a Fleegle Beader for that lace shawl project.  

I also had to get some fabulous fair food.  During the course of the day, I had a Lamb Burger, Chili Cheese Fries, Funnel Cake, and Lime Fizz.  Can someone say fried food overload???  I need a green juice fast. Lol. 

I had a fabulous time at Maryland Sheep and Wool. I cannot wait for the next festival. Here are some more pics from the trip. 

Hanging with ZENZIBELL and CARMELNAP on the ride from the parking lot to the fair.


Welcome, welcome!

The best mode of transportation. 

Socks on a Plane in Maryland

Sockagram April sock still in progress. 

A stitch counter given to me by Terrie, who is the founder of the Knatural Purls group. I Love Pink. 

ROADTRIP SELFIE!!!!

Refreshing Lime Fizz at the end of the day. 











  



Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's In the Stars

On March 14th I saw a Pi Shawl on Instagram that I fell in love with. I actually have a knitting friend who had been knitting it probably almost as long as I have known her. It's one of those shawls that can take months and months and months to complete. Although I have so much yarn in my stash, and so many UFO's, I still could not resist this. 

I'm embarking on a Celestarium journey. 
 I spent two days looking at yarn on Eat Sleep Knit's website. I must get my Yarnathon yardage after all is said and done. I settled on Purple Basil from Madelinetosh. I chose Tosh Merino Light because I love the feel of it. 

The yarn arrived Friday morning. Friday was an enormous day of cosmic events. A full solar eclipse, and a super moon during the vernal equinox. I felt that the universe was telling me that I had to cast this shawl on immediately. Coincidence? Or knitting fate? 
I love the little flecks of purple in the yarn. 
 
The circular cast-on took 3 tries before I finally got it. Initially my stitches were loose and a needle dropped before I could complete the first round of knitting. 

Here is the shawl with Chart A complete. 
More updates soon. Happy knitting everyone! 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Vogue Knitting Live Weekend.

After the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, people at work asked "What did you do last weekend?".  I said " I went to a knitting convention sponsored by Vogue Knitting Magazine".  They wanted to laugh when I said knitting convention, but then looked perplexed and said "Vogue...like the fashion magazine with all the celebrities and models".  Yes... VOGUE.  Oh, so NOW you are interested, huh?

I will start by saying that I was so excited, I forgot to take pictures of most things. But, I will do my best to describe what I was feeling.  How can you put "ridiculously excited at every minute" into words.  The words just cannot contain the emotion.  Between seeing old friends, making new ones, looking at all the pretty yarn colors, finding new knitting accessories, and meeting designers of things that I actually knitted, I was floored.

First things first.  I had to meet up with my core knitting group, the Knatural Purls.  We are a fun bunch who celebrate our love of knitting and love (and sometimes war) with having curly hair.  As beautiful as it is, it can be a lot  of work to keep the hairstyles in great shape.  I'm glad to  ha the support system.   Another big topic of discussion.....finding the perfect hat for all of this hair.  More on that later.


The first booth I made a purchase at was The Dancing Sheep.  I saw a bag that had a corresponding fabric to a bag I made a few years ago, and just had to have it. 


Look at how happy the little bag is in it's new home. 


Then, I walked past Biscotte & Cie and couldn't resist making a purchase. Their sock kits are fun and gorgeous. I also love their self striping color ways. 



I ended up purchasing a pattern with owls on a tree and another with fish under the sea.  I ran into a small problem with my bank card being super protective of my account. They didn't want to let the transaction go through because the company is from Quebec.  I guess they though my card ran away to Canada for the weekend. So, I pulled out my American Express Serve card, which I preload with funds for yarn purchases (yes, I have a card for yarn...don't judge).  The transaction went through. Lovely! It pays to be smart about your finances. I later called the bank and sorted everything out with my card. 


My last yarn purchase was at Dragonfly Fibers. I had such a tough time picking a color. But, these spoke to me. I also figured that it was a limited edition, being that it is a Sock Summit color.  So, I had to have it.  

The next day I got to live one of my dreams.  I met the owners of Malabrigo at a trunk show at La Casita.  I was thrilled. I have been in love with Malabrigo ever since I first laid hands on it, and I was so happy that they decided to show at my favorite yarn shop in Brooklyn.  


Here I am in their lovely "Sunset Park" scarf, designed specifically for their book Rasta in Brooklyn. It's so warm and fluffy.

This time I am wearing Gowanus and Tawana is wearing what I think is Lineal from Malarigo Book Four.    This is actually size small.  I usually knit a medium, but bulky yarn has a tendency to expand, so it was a perfect fit.   

I really want this sweater.


Here are the lovely people that make it all happen.  There were hugs all around.   I tried to speak my best spanish and she tried to speak her best english, and we were able to discuss our love for this beautiful yarn.  She was amazed when I showed her all  of my ravelry pics of past Malabrigo projects.  The love for this yarn spans years.  

So, that  means it is time to present the yarn for the next project.  I am going to make a hat and cowl set for my friend Judith.  She chose chunky yarn in the Polyvoriento colorway.  She doesn't know how quickly you can fall in  love with Malabrigo.  She will find out soon enough. 


Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 - The Year of the Sock

As the beginning of the New Year makes its way into our lives, we start to think about all of the hopes we have for the future.  The countless items that we want to knit are just calling us from their pattern booklets and magazines.  The yarn that wants to get knit up into that oh-so-special-something is saying "Pick me, Pick me".  I have deided that this year, I am going to get serious about socks and I want you to as well.

I have more skeins of sock yarn than I can count.  1 bin of old sock yarn packed away in the closet, 1 bin of sock WIPs, 1 bin of socks to start now, and another bin of newly acquired sock yarn.  Sock yarn isn't stash, right?  Well, that's  the problem there in itself.  I have more socks in skein form than in completed sock form.  This year, that is going to change.

I usually run into a pattern of knitting only 1 thing for a little while, then putting it down and picking up something else.  Things get pushed to the front of the line if there is an upcoming event and I MUST finish that sweater. Otherwise, projects are languishing and I knit what I feel like.  So, what would happen if I devoted at least 1 hour a day entirely to a pair of socks? Well, they would definitely be completed and my feet would be nice and toasty.  

Let me introduce you to my novel idea.

It's called 60 MINUTE SOCKAGRAM

The instructions are quite simple.
Pick any yarn and any pattern (knit or crochet)
Cast on.
Set a timer for 60 minutes.
Knit for those 60 minutes and take a picture of your project.
Knit for another 60 minutes and take another picture.
Keep repeating those steps until the socks are complete.
Compile all of these pictures into a Flipagram post.
Post the competed project on Instagram and hashtag it #60minsockagram.

Here is the first 60 Minute Sockagram that I made.  
The yarn is Voolenvine Yarns "Deck the Halls"
The pattern is Zigzagular Socks by Susie White

 Here are some of my favorite photos from my project







You can find the Ravelry group here, if you would like to join in on the fun. 

 HERE