Friday, September 29, 2006

Yet an other busy day....

I'm off again today for some more shopping (Olde Peddler Wools is having a sale!!!). I'm expecting Theresa and I will buy something... probably not much. (bwahahahahah!!!!).

I'm making progress on the charity auction entrelac satchel. I really need to speak to the designer of this pattern about using attatched I cord for seaming the bag together. What a royal PITA!!! I don't know what she was thinking (ya, okay, it seemed like a good idea at the time and I do like the way it looks, but I did include other techniques... yes, Lauren I could've done the "decorative whip stitch". I'm going to take that out of the pattern just so you don't continue to tease me about it... how does "a neat and even whip stitch" sound?)


So it's getting there. It's slow going, but sure does give a nice result. I think I'll look for some lining fabric while I'm out (oh and Debby: I really enjoy entrelac. Those little squares really aren't tough to do. Check out my pattern for the satchel and the step by step photos. If you can pick up stitches, purl 2 tog, ssk, and do a make one, you can do it. So basically if you knit socks with a heel flap, you can do it... and that also includes you Theresa! Some people don't like turning the work so much, but I actually like that part of it. I feel like it goes more quickly, but then I'm a short attention span knitter!).

And speaking of socks:


The Angel's Lace socks are moving along. About an inch to go before the heel flap.

That's about it, not much else to update. The sewing machine isn't back from the repair shop yet and it sounds like my back up machine needs to be oiled. I'm hoping I can do that myself... I would like to do some sewing this weekend, so we'll see!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Quickie...

I wasn't going to blog today: I'm off to go shopping and have lunch with a dear friend and I didn't have much to update (the sheep pajamas are done with the exception of the buttonholes and the sleeves hemmed).

However, I wanted talk about my Spring Forward Cardigan vs. Rose Leaf Pullover.

The Spring Forward was made using TLC's Cotton Plus, a 50% cotton/50% acrylic blend (or close to those percentages).

The Rose Leaf Pullover was made using Cotton Fleece (80% cotton/20% wool).

I've worn both of these sweaters a lot. The Spring Forward got a lot of wear back in the spring before it got too warm to wear it and I wore the Rose Leaf a lot over the summer (especially when I went somewhere that had too much a/c).

I was planning on wearing the Rose Leaf today for my shopping trip. However I've found a problem with the Cotton Fleece (and this isn't the first time this has happened). It doesn't keep it's shape. It's relaxed to the point that it looks sloppy on me. I had the same problem with my Sampler Cardigan (but I've also lost a lot of weight since I finished that one).

I am now so happy that I decided to do the math to get the TLC Cotton Plus to work for the Spring Forward. It's machine washable/dryable. It's kept it's shape and it's next to skin soft. I think it has great stitch definition.

So while I have a lovely stash of Cotton Fleece, and I love the colors... I'm now wondering if I'm going to be happy with the finished product over time?

Good thing I bought some TLC Cotton Plus in the sage green to replace my Sampler Cardigan, eh?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Nap Tested...

...Jake Approved:



Doesn't even mind napping on the cat flannel.

I did get the sheep pajamas started yesterday. The pants are done (and I think I'm going to go down a size for the next pair) and the top is well underway. I won't finish the top until my good machine comes back from the repair shop (it's that buttonhole thing again).

Not much else new. I had to take some time for a little clean up in my sewing room... something I should do between each project, but I never do.

Ann's going to stop by to felt her latest Lucy Bag (she's a little Lucy Bag knitting machine!) and I hope to finish up the sheep pajamas! I think I need to get back to some gift making this week... I also need to finish up the Entrelac Satchel before Monday. Ugh... I sorta forgot about that. Who decided to do the attatched I cord again??? oh, ya that was me....

Happy Knitting!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fabric and Yarn

I admit the main reason I knit and sew is so I can buy stuff. I love fabric. I love yarn. I love yarn because it makes fabric (which is why I have an interest in learning to weave, but not in spinning). I love the possibilities of what I can do with these supplies (actually, I love art supplies too... I think that's why I went to an art college... so I could buy art supplies).

So my flannel that I ordered on Friday arrived yesterday (that certainly rocks, now doesn't it? Tymber Creek Fabrics... a super selection of flannels with fast and friendly service!) I prewashed and dried it so it's all ready for sewing today.

So anyone wanna guess what I'll be using first?



Click to enlarge

ya, probably the sheep. I'll want to have those ready for Stitches East (hmmm, you might see me walking the vendor floor with my sheep pj's carrying around Sam the Ram!)

My high end sewing machine is in the repair shop. Cleaning, oil and to fix the bobbin tension. It should be done by the end of the week, but Matt probably won't pick it up until Monday.

Knitting-wise not much new to report, a little sock knitting and I worked on Matt's sweater. I'm obviously planning on spending most of today in my sewing room. I gots me some pajamas to make! Or a jacket... I still need regular clothes. As much as I would like to wear nothing but pajamas, it's not always practical... unless I decide to become eccentric and I'm not quite there yet...

Oh, and Kristen, for a list of yarn shops in my area, check out Theresa's blog. She has a list on her side bar (her faves, and there are more than that). SE Pennsylvania is so full of yarn stores it's not even funny. If you're looking for a great vacation, you really can't beat the Lancaster, PA area. My friend Rosie has a Bed and Breakfast and she's willing to commute yarn shoppers around to the different stores. If you like to bike ride, there is no better place to bike! There's a reason all the local races are out that way. Quiet roads, lots of hills and lots of slow moving vehicles (ie: horse and buggies) already on the road, with some beautiful scenery. I should also add that Olde Peddler Wools in Morgantown is a yarn/cyclist lover's dream. Darlene also has a passion for biking and we end up talking more about that (and specifically Floyd Landis) while I shop there.

Well off to get out of my pajamas into real clothes so I can make more pajamas!!!!
Happy Sewing/Knitting!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

How's it going?

Actually, quite well, thanks for asking!

I did a little of this, a little of that over the weekend. I finished one of my gift projects on Friday (so no picture).

I also have all the entrelac done on the entrelac satchel, so now I'm doing the attatched I cord. Which is slow going!
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I also got a good chunk done on Matt's Natual Beauty Fair Isle:
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The back is done and I'm working on the front. The garter rib isn't the most exciting knitting in the world, so I'm looking forward to getting to the sleeves and back to some actual fair isle knitting on it!

I also finished up a repeat on the Diamond Fantasy Scarf:
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That's chart A and one repeat done. I love the look of this lace pattern and the yarn is just yummy. It's going to be a very cozy shawl when it's done.

Speaking of shawls, the Landscape Shawl (no pictures today) is getting really close. I have about 16 more rows to go. I try to work a row or two every day, so hopefully it well be done next week...

I also finally got the pajamas finished (also no new picture). I did use my "good" machine, but the bobbin tension is way off. Matt's going to drop it off at the repair shop today (hopefully). It's a decent machine, and I much prefer doing buttonholes with it than my backup machine. The backup machine will do until it comes back. I really enjoyed making the pajamas... so much so, that I ordered a bunch of cute flannels to make some more (including a special fabric for Stitches East... more on that when the fabric comes in).

Oh, and I did start something new:
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A sock using Cherry Tree Hill Farm sock yarn and the Fiber Trends Peak Experience sock pattern (the Angel's Lace pattern). Yep... and that's a lemming project. Theresa is making them (in a different colorway) in preperation for a class she's teaching at Olde Peddler's Wool in Morgantown and I thought they looked really nice. Easy interestiing pattern. Maybe one of these days I'll finish an other pair of socks. I seem to be pretty good at starting them... finishing them is a whole other story.

So a productive weekend, including a little shopping (a new yarn store opened up in Adamstown... right next to Stoudt's Brewery. Does life get better than a yarn store and a world renowned microbrewery?).

Today will be some laundry, some knitting and some sewing (not necessarily in that order...). My sewing room and my laundry room are at opposite ends of the house (can't physically be any further apart in our 60's split level), so doing laundry and sewing isn't the most efficient combination (however, I actually knit in the same room as my laundry...).

Okay, enough blogging... off to sort laundry!
Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Procrastination

I am the Queen of Procrastination.

When in college I had a professor who assigned a painting a week. They had to be dry. Ya, well, oil paintings take a while to dry, so it's best not to do them the night before they're due... unless you get very creative with fixative. Ya, I bought that stuff by the case. I would find anything else to do other than the project that I needed to get done.

Anyway, I still have this problem. I have a handful of things I need to get done, so I'm finding other things to do... like starting new projects:

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The Diamond Fantasy Shawl. This is a pretty sweet pattern. Easy to do. Nice sized charts and the edging is knit as you go. Love it. The yarn is the Fearless Fiber yarn that I just love. I will say that the yarn is a little closer to sport weight to fingering weight. Which is great for socks, however the Diamond Fantasy is in either lace or fingering weight, so it is going to be a wee bit bulkier than the pattern calls for. That's just fine with me... especially since I'm using lace for the Shoalwater Shawl:

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So I felt guilty that I hadn't been working on the Shoalwater (especially since I had to frog back the bind off for Nicole and her's is just lovely). So I worked away a few rows on it yesterday. Then I realized that I started on the wrong row on the chart and had to frog back all the work I did on it yesterday. So while I spent some quality time with it, there is zero progress!!

Since Lauren finished her latest project on Friday (ya, she does nice work, no?) I should feel inspired to finish at least one of my projects...

Oh, and by the way... the lastest Ratchet and Clank game that I was all excited about bites. It sooooo sucks it's not even funny. To say I'm disappointed in an understatement. The first 3 games in the series were so much fun, but the 4th is like a Jak and Dexter game and so not my taste (please game developers, let me change the controls... or I can't play your game). Oh well, just gives me more time to knit, right?

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Best Laid Plans...

I didn't get the buttonholes done yesterday. Just never got around to it. Thanks to everyone that left me comments on the new PJ's. They are really really cozy and are going to get a lot of wear this winter!

I did spend a lot of time trying to get my PS2 to read the new Ratchet disk. To no avail. Did a little research and found that the laser on the PS2 can get weak and not read thru dirt build up. So Matt took it apart last night and cleaned it for me. Looks like it worked... so I don't have to go buy a new PS2. Yay. However, it's also known to be a chronic condition and eventually the laser will stop working. But it works for now and so I can play.

I finally got around to blocking the Silver Creek Gansey. Sometimes blocking is a bad thing... I found a huge whopping mistake in the moss stitch on the front. I did one row of seed stitch instead of moss stitch. I was hoping I could just cut it, fix it then graft it, but that one row throws off all the other moss stitch on that side. So I'll be living with it. It's on the side so hopefully I'm the only one that will notice.

So I'm not sure what's in store for today... playin' it by ear!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A New Project!!!


I spent most of yesterday finishing up the new pajamas. I still need to do button holes (which I'm procrasting on... my back up machine isn't as good for the button hole thing as my higher end machine. I might play with it today to see if I can get it to work). I ended up doing fabric covered buttons (my favorite). I took a motif from the fabric so each of the buttons have little stars on them:


I did start a new project yesterday that might end up being a little time consuming:
Since our mail comes so late, I didn't get much chance to play yesterday (Matt gets tired of watching me play after 2 or 3 hours) and I'm not sure how I'm going to like this one. It's a different format than the others in the series.

So let's see... buttonholes, go for grocercies, fight thru the Deadzone to save the galaxy. Okay, that sounds like a busy day... better get cracking!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Obligatory Update

I feel like I should post something, yet I'm not really what to say.

The knitting is still just sort of hit or miss right now. I'm working on things sporatically. Nothing is making much progress.

I feel like sewing right now, so I'm making a pair of pj's. I love sewing pajamas. No fitting issues, they're fast, they're practical and I can go wild with the fabric (current pair is of cute doggies with moons). I'm going to finish up the pair I started yesterday. I could've finished them yesterday, but football starts at 1:00.

It looks like Matt's race team will be holding a beer and dinner night (no date set, probably early next year) and they'll be raffling off some things to help raise money for the team. I told Matt I would knit an aran style afghan to raffle off. Now I just need to decide what will hold my interest long enough to make... oh and find inexpensive, washable yarn. Just an other obligation project to add to my list.

Well, off to finish a pair of pajamas!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Yet an Other Quick One

Yet an other quick post today, as it's a busy week. Actually meaning that I don't have much to update today.

I had to cast on my new sock yarn yesterday (colors aren't accurate, artificial light means it looks more "yellowy" than in person):
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That's some Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn in the Ruby Slippers colorway. I'm trying the Mermaid Socks by Lucy Neatby (found in her book Cool Socks, Warm Feet). I really like the way it's turning out. I just hope they're not too big. I'm using a size 2 needle and probably could've gone down to a size 1.5

I'm surprised at how much dye transfer I'm having. This is the first time I've seen that with the Blue Moon yarn. I'm glad I'm using the Knitpicks needles, as my bamboo needles would be red by now.

I really need to get focused on some things. I have a couple of things getting close to finishing including some gifts. I just have no concentration on anything right now... and not just with my knitting.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Quick Update

The first panel is done on the entrelac satchel (the top attatched I cord was finished after I took the picture). The other panel is cast on and I'm on my second row. I should have that panel done today, but I might take a break and work on something else for a bit today.

Not much else to report. Got a bit of a bump on the head yesterday and I'm still a bit headachy, which makes me grouchy (oh and that whole camera/computer thing is always a fun way to start the day).

So off to take some asprin and do some knitting. I should go for grocercies. Ya that sounds like fun!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ugh Monday

I made a really yummy espresso spice cake yesterday. A nice coffee cake that was like a mild gingerbread. Great with coffee. However, even tho' I had decaf coffee, I didn't use decaf to bake the cake. I paid for it last night. Let's just say I'm a wee bit groggy this morning.

Had a lovely weekend. Since I'm beat this morning, I'm being lazy about photos.

I worked on Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle so the back is past the armhole shaping. So it's a straight (if not boring) garter rib to the shoulders.

I have the left front done on the Angora Cables and Lace sweater. The right front is past the cable section, so it's moving along well.

I cast on about 6 socks over the weekend, but none of them really worked well for what I wanted to do.

I worked a bit on some gift knitting.

I cast on an entrelac satchel for a charity auction. That's what I plan on working on today. I want to get it done so I'm not worrying about it at the last minute. Just like my other gift knitting.

It was a fun weekend. Football season is in full swing, the weather is more comfortable. Makes me want to work on an afghan. But I can't. Must finish up some things that are on deadline.

Off to knit! Happy Knitting!

Friday, September 08, 2006

What's With This??

I didn't knit much yesterday...

I spent 2 hours at Joann's browsing patterns and waiting to get fabric cut. My cutter was not very efficient.

Here's what I got:

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Fabrics to make two seperate outfits. The top fabric is for a skirt (more about that later). The next two fabrics are for a skirt (the patterned fabric) and a coordinating wrap knit top. The bottom fabric was to be for a jacket to match the first fabric. However, in better light, they don't match well at all. The skirt fabric has some black in it, and I think it's going to be easier to try to match that, as the browns just aren't working.

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Here's the patterns I bought. The wrap top is for the hot pink and the pattern in the center is for the jacket. I'll use skirt patterns I already have.

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Here's the first skirt finished. It's actually my favorite Vogue skirt pattern that I've had for like 15 years... classic never goes out of style. A good basic A line skirt. Two hours to sew. Perfect for fall. Now I just need to find fabric for a jacket.

So here's the funny part. I spent a lot of money at Joann's (pattern, fabric, thread, a zipper and sewing machine needles). I now have to make these clothes, which I can't try on first (which is why I love that skirt pattern) and hope they fit and look nice on me. However, I've been procrastinating on an order to LL Bean for some jeans and turtlenecks because I didn't want to spend the money. I spent more money at Joann's.

There's something really wrong with that.

So I've learned that I can do skirts well to fit, now I just need to work on the tops part of it. I think the knit top is a good start... I know it's easier to buy knit tops, so I think sewing them will be easier too. Right?

I had a lot of fun sewing yesterday. My machine worked well (thank goodness for cheap, yet reliable back up sewing machines). The skirt went together really well and I'm very pleased with it. So do I tempt fate and try to get a top made today or should I work on some of the knitting that sitting here? Maybe a bit of both...

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Must Blog Quickly

So I got up this morning, and no email, IM or phone message saying that Lauren had gone into labor. Sigh, that means I have to blog or I'll get an angry IM from her (never disappoint a very pregnant woman... it's a lot of Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte's to make it up to her. Oh, and here's a recipe for a "home" version, but I'm not sure why you couldn't just make your own simple syrup with pumpkin pie spice?... oh and a grande has 288 calories. Wish I didn't know that, but the good news it's full of calcium. Which is good for Lauren, being an expantant mother and all?).

*cough* Anyway, let's see what to blog about? Knitting. Hmmm, did I mention that Lauren is close to going into labor? 'nuff said.

Wanna see what I've bought on Etsy this week? (have I mentioned I'm completely obsessed with this site? 24/7 arts & craft fair.)

Well, you all saw the beautiful hand dyed yarn from Fearless Fibers, yes?



Well, I made Theresa buy some yesterday (hey, enable is my middle name you know: Cindy Knitting Enable Park). Oh, and I guess I should also mention that I made her buy the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK book and the new Elsebeth Lavold, too. I'm really evil like that. Forcing people to buy knitting supplies.

The problem with Etsy is that it's constantly updated... you can sit there and watch things being added. Dangerous. Really dangerous. I've kept my actual purchases to a minimum (the one skein of yarn, one pendant, one pair of earrings). However, I've got a boatload of stuff I'm watching. No, I'm not linking to those... as I want them!!!!

So I'm working on this and that, Julie and I did some sewing and planning of some tote bags (hmmm, maybe we need an Etsy shop?) and dinner with our friends last night. Not a lot of knitting done. Hopefully that will change today. My hand are itching to get back to my angora cable and lace cardigan (the left front is at armhole shaping).

Just let me know if you need me to make you buy any knitting supplies. You know where I am...

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Aaaaahhhh, Fall!

We've moved into that great time of year that it's getting harder to get out of bed. It's cooled down quite a bit and man my bed was warm and cozy this morning. I could've stayed in for an other hour or so. However, Gena is just the opposite... she's up and ready to start her day bright and early and loves the cool brisk mornings.

So I feel a little groggy this morning. A little lazy. Very unmotivated.

So no pictures (do you really think I can get the camera/computer thing to work well 2 days in a rows. Me either so I don't want to bother).

I actually didn't get a lot of knitting done yesterday. I spent the morning shopping. I've decided that the clothes industry has a really really nasty sense of humor. Well, they did make me laugh out loud in the fitting room.

Here's what I learned:

At 5'2" I'm still shorter than a petite size.

Petite women are not allowed to have boobs. If the jacket fit me in the back, across the shoulders and was a good length, it wouldn't button over my bust line.

Women are not supposed to have small waists and large butts. If the pants fit me across my bottom, they gapped at the waist oh, say about 5".

Knit tops are the way to go (they'll stretch over da boobs).

I hate clothes shopping.

So at least I did find a few things to expand my wardrobe (3 knit tops... one of which I still need to shorten the sleeves on and a pair of knit cropped pants). I just would've rather bought yarn. At least my knitted sweaters fit me properly, are the right length and they're fun to make.

To compensate, I spent the rest of the day on Etsy looking for things with "sheep" on them. I'm trying to figure out how I can justify buying this.

I have a playdate scheduled with Julie today, so I'll be sewing, but not clothes. Maybe I'll get back to that later this week. (I'm thinking a black ultrasuade skirt would be real handy).

Happy Knitting (or sewing)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

whoot! pictures!

ah the sun and moon are in alignment so that my pictures went seamlessly from crappy camera to stressed out computer. So let's take a looky see at how far I'm along on non gift knitting:

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The Angora Cable and Lace Cardigan is slowly progressing. Okay, maybe not slowly, let's say "steadily". I enjoy the cable section a lot, but the stockinette sections can be a bit more of a challenge for me. However, the yarn is so lovely to knit with, I'm plugging along.

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These are the main socks I've been working on. Some Blue Moon Fiber yarn in the Seal Rock colors. It's the same slip stitch pattern I did the Claudia Handpaints yarn in. I've discovered that the slip stitch pattern only works with yarns that the colors don't stack. I tried maybe 3 or 4 different hand painted yarns (including an other Blue Moon Fiber yarn called County Clare) and if the colors stack at all, the slip stitch pattern gets lost.

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This is the yarn I bought from Fearless Fibers. I looove the yarn and the colors. I like the pattern, but again, not a good match. As you can see from the photo, the needles have already been pulled out from the sock. It was decided last night at SnB that the Diamond Fantasy Scarf will show the yarn off to what it deserves.

So let's see, there has been some other progress on some other projects, but can't talk about those. I plan on doing a little of this and a little of that today. Maybe run to the grocery store or something. It's a crappy day out there today. Seems like a nice day to stay in and knit...

Happy Knitting

Monday, September 04, 2006

This and That

Thanks to everyone that commented on my new design. I was getting tired of the old look and was ready for something a little more fallesque.

tenizmom asked in my comments about the storage for my yarn stash. The cubes came from Bed, Bath and Beyond (had to mail order them). I also saw that Walmart has them online. This is a great time of year to find this kind of storage since the kids are heading back to school.

I store my yarn in two ways. I buy the huge Hefty zipper bags (I think they're 2.5 gallons?). I cram the yarn in those for "stash storage". If the yarn comes in a closable bag, I don't move it, and sometimes it takes two of the zippered bags to hold the yarn. Once I cast on a project, they are then put into plastic tubs (the sweater storage boxes) and moved into my UFO/WIP closet (not shown).

I also keep my patterns in 3 ring binders, divided by "style" (one for cardigan, one for pullovers, one for accessories and one for afghans. Also there's one just for Patons, as I have a lot of them and one "mixed patterns" for those booklets that have both). Ya, you should see my sewing patterns... they're stored just like at a fabric store... by number in a pattern drawer with the covers in 3 ring binders by size. Okay, that's my "system".

Let's see what I've been knitting (okay "see" might be optimistic. My computer isn't reading my memory card again, so I have to figure which problem it is, and that requires a reboot... so I may or may not be adding pictures to this post later).

The angora cardigan is breezing along. I looove the yarn. It is so soft and drapey. The back is done and I've finished the cable/lace pattern on the left front.

Oh, and I cast on a pair of socks. I had to try my new handpainted yarn from Fearless Fibers (an Etsy shop... man, that place is DANGEROUS! For someone that loves handcrafted items, it's a frickin' gold mine). Here's the photo from the Etsy Shop:


I started a pair of socks with it, but I'm thinking I might prefer to "see" it more than just on my feet. So I'm now thinking of making the Diamond Fantasy Scarf... However, I do have that whole Shoalwater Shawl thing to finish (and let's not forget the Landscape, too... but I only have about 30 more rows to go on that one).

Well today is a holiday, so Matt's home (ya like he doesn't work at home 3 days a week anyway... and I'm sure some work will be done today). We don't have anything unusual planned... no picnics, etc, but I do have SnB tonight. I'm going to concentrate on some gift knitting today, unless something comes up.

Have a good Labor Day and Happy Knitting!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Curing Knitting Enuui

Feeling uninspired?

Current projects seem old, tired and just repetitious?

Need to add a little excitement to the knitting needles?

Have I got the solution for you:

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Try knitting with angora.

The photo doesn't begin to describe the beauty of this yarn. The way it knits. The sensual feeling of it sliding thru your hands with each stitch. This particular angora is actually a wool/angora blend by Elsebeth Lavold. (the color is wisteria and is more purplely/blue than grey). The pattern is actually a Classic Elite pattern from "Winter" and originally done in La Gran (which made the cables almost non exisistant). I was pleasantly surprised at how well the cables showed up in the angora. The photos mean nothing here. This yarn can only be explained thru the sense of touch.

So I was sitting in my knitting chair yesterday and every single project just seemed like work. Sigh. So I did go shopping. At the Knitting Park Stash. I bought that yarn earlier this year (on sale at 50% off... snap!) and I knew that I wanted to give the pattern a try. Viola! A perfect match, and a quick knit to boot.

So I feel impassioned about a project again. Sadly, I still have some obligation knitting to take care of, but at least I have a project that I look forward to working on!

Happy Knitting!!