Sunday, November 30, 2008

Diagonal Lace Scarf and More

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Scarf (<--click for free pattern), also on Ravelry
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca - 1 skein
Needles: Size 7 circular
A closer look................
If you click on the link above, you'll see a more accurate picture on someone else's blog and discover how truly beautiful this pattern is. It was a fun, easy knit which took 3-4 nights. I knitted mine slightly wider as I love the feel of a full scarf.

Knitted to match the infamous lost, but now found, mitten. Picture is a little dark to show the start of the second mitten. I'm getting there folks but these mittens are on size 1 needles and uses the modular method so it really takes a lot of time.
Jakob, my grandson who will be 2 years old this week, loves tractors. I should say LOVES because his mom has to take the tractor keys along whenever they go out. Not much done yet on this little sweater but there is no real hurry as I am knitting a size to fit him next winter.
I traveled to Maine yesterday to visit Halcyon Yarns in Bath, Maine. I was a little nervous when I realized they were closing earlier than I had anticipated. It's a great yarn shop. However, considering the distance, I would travel to Webs instead in the future. It's hard to beat Web's for selection and customer service. While at Halcyon I only purchased a couple skeins of yarn. I was looking for Noro Silk Garden in colorway 229. They didn't have that colorway and I decided it was just as well as it is a pricey scarf to knit and falls in the $40-$45 range for yarn. It is a favorite with the Yarn Harlot and Brooklyn Tweed.

I was in Portsmouth, NH after dark when I stopped and asked for directions at a gas station. I had my car window rolled down and speaking to the attendant, I suddenly realized that there was something wrong with this individual who was now giving me the creeps. I realized I was blocked by an empty car in the front at the pump (owned by the station) and couldn't see well enough to quickly back out. I refused when he told me "Get out of the car, NOW!!" I finally managed to maneuver my car out of the station. It was a busy highway but would anyone have noticed if there was something wrong?

Brian, I was on the highway near the rotary headed (in the wrong direction, of course) to where Yoken's Restaurant was located but is no longer there.

Note to self: Make sure car doors are always locked, cell phone handy, and handbag on the floor instead of on the seat next to me. I should have been more selective as to where I stopped. The busy highway felt safe but in retrospect, I'm not so sure. Any other safety tips are welcome!!!! (besides making sure I know where the heck I am
I just thought of a great solution. Get my car one of those GPS systems!!! This way I won't have to stop and ask for directions.

Happy Knitting!!

Can You Believe This?

Early yesterday morning I decided that I needed to take a trip to Maine and inhale the smell of ocean air. I live in Vermont which is the only land-locked state in New England. Tough for a gal who has ocean water in her veins.

While driving through New Hampshire my car came to a screeching halt as I drove by this gas station and I saw this sign. This u-turn queen responded accordingly. Would have been even better if.............

I lived and grocery shopped in NH. For every $50 in groceries purchased at this Shaw's grocery store and using your customer card (Vermont stores do not participate because we have no Irving gas stations), you receive 10 cents off per gallon. You can accumulate your credits over a period of two months with a maximum fill-up of 20 gallons. So, if you purchase $100/wk. in groceries, at the end of two months you would get a $1.60 off per gallon for that one fill-up.

Dunkin Donuts also participates. For every $20 you accumulate on your card, you receive 5 cents off per gallon.

These customer cards cost nothing and prices at the grocery store have not been inflated.

On the return trip I planned on stopping to refill at this same gas station and the sign on the pump said..........!!

My car was quite happy to be fed caviar i($1.67 in NY) instead bologna ($1.92 in VT).

New Hampshire has no sales tax and no state income tax. I suppose that property taxes are probably pretty high to support the state. I'm sure that both Alison and Brian can clarify that point.

More later on my yarn shopping adventure and the laughter that commanded that I pull off the highway if this was going to be a safe trip.

It's been a good weekend and I hope yours has been also. This gal has to go eat breakfast and wind some yarn.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Catching Up!!!

I am way behind in blog reading and leaving comments. I am going to try to catch up this weekend.

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving! Mine was quiet with a change in plans at the last minute.

A few people have written me about patterns for some of my crafts. Your settings do not allow me to respond and I can't quite remember where you need to fix that in Blogger.

Lizzie, can you leave a brief comment on this post telling folks how to do that...thanks! (Lizzie always knows answers to my gal!!!)

For the individual asking me about the pattern for the neck warmer, I can send that to you if you supply me with your addy. It is not copyrighted so we are good. For the individual asking me about the strawberry baby hat, that one was purchased and is copyrighted so I cannot provide you with the pattern. However, if you Google "umbilical cord hat", it is free on the web and on Ravelry. You can modify the pattern by randomly knitting in the seed stitches, etc.

On the knitting front, I finished a beautiful scarf yesterday and still need to block it and then I'll blog about it. I can't wait to show you as I am really pleased with this one. The colorway was selected to match the "Flaming Fan" mittens I am working on and blogged about several weeks ago.

I lost the first mitten for almost a month and then found it between the seats of my car. Knitted on size 1 needles, I was sick when I couldn't find it as it is one heck of a lot of knitting. It is the kind of knitting that will test one's patience which is in short supply these days with holiday stress. I couldn't even start the second mitten in hopes that the first one would mysteriously reappear as there is a "left" and a "right" mitten and I couldn't even remember which I had knitted. Would I end up with two lefts, two right, or one of each. I didn't like the odds so I patiently waited for it to turn up.

I am off to read blogs. I have almost 200 queued on my Google list. However, the ones I have been reading for some time and comment regularly are in my "A+ Blogs" folder (smile!!!) and will be read first.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Socks Anyone?

Every year, after the fact, I hear on my local TV news station that Cabot Hosiery (a proud Vermont company) had a fantastic sock sale to coincide with the opening of deer season. Year after year I have heard this so this year I decided to go.

The news reporter said 10,000 people were expected in the tiny village of Northfield, Vermont, population about 4,000. Surely, I must have heard wrong. I failed my hearing test yesterday. Perhaps they were anticipating sales of 10,000 pairs of socks. WRONG!!!!

I arrived and cars were parked, and double parked for several miles. Thinking positive, I drove to the entrance and was able to get a parking space.

I had the presence of mind before leaving the house to bring my walking stick with me. My legs can only stand so much. SMART ON MY PART!!! People will be careful not to bowl you over if they see you with a cane or walking stick. I was also moved to the front of the register line as a result as well...thank goodness as I would have had to just leave. I have severe arthritis in my legs.

The picture above was taken through the glass of one of the doors. Colorful and inviting as was the staff greeting you at the entrance. A sign states that the company is proud to say that there is no outsourcing. "Uncle Sam", dressed in his finest, walked around the facility. (Sorry, no picture.)

A peek inside the factory.

Sock blockers, anyone! Lizzie, for some reason I thought of you when I saw these, perhaps because I remember the sock blockers you made.

When arriving, a staff person advised you to immediately stand in line to cash out while a friend shopped and then you could trade places. Expect 1 hr.+ in line. No lie, there were at least 600-700 people waiting to pay for their purchases and I arrived less than two hours before the doors opened.

Just a small sampling of my purchases.
And several layers more.
Everyone I know is receiving socks for Christmas. Feels a little sacrilegious because I usually gift hand-knitted socks.
So, if all of this wasn't insane enough. I went to the other sale about 1/2 mile away. All t-shirts were $2 with other items slightly higher. All new and discontinued or slightly irregular items. Proceeds going to support the local police department and youth athletic programs in town.
Picture is a little blurry but the place was about 8 times larger than what you see.
People were walking out with garbage bags full of t-shirts, sweat pants, etc. (Note the cloudy, rainy day in Vermont (again).

Next stop planned was attending another knitting book signing in Montpelier but I decided to just return home. I was exhausted.

Oh, did I tell you I think I have a thing for socks. When I was newly divorced, every week I would purchase a pair of socks and a bottle of nail polish. It was comforting at the time.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meeting Alison Hyde

Alison Hyde , from "Wrapped In Comfort" was at my LYS, Kaleidoscope Yarns, for a book signing today! We've been blogging friends for awhile now and I just had to meet her. She is as delightful in person as she is on her blog.

Alison was wearing her "Julia" shawl. It is just absolutely gorgeous!!! This pattern has moved up my queue to 1st place. She had several of her shawls on display, each as beautiful as the other.
We all wanted to see Alison's Kaffe Fassett coat that she has mentioned in her blog. Words cannot tell you how beautiful it is. There are a total of 87 (did I get that right, Alison?) colors in the coat. It took her two weeks to knit it. Can you believe it? Now for all of you who think I get a lot of knitting done, well, Alison has all of us beat by a mile!!!
Here I am with Alison.
The room was filled with so much knitting energy and inspiration that I can't wait to get to my needles and start knitting one of Alison's shawls.
I'm so sorry I have forgotten this gal's name. Alison, if you can fill in for my poor memory, I'll correct the blog later. (It's Mad Angel (a/k/a Paula) (<--click).
This shawl is the "Blue Jay" shawl in Alison's book. At the risk of sounding's gorgeous. The yarn was spun on a spindle. I was in awe!
Kristine , Lucy, (almost neighbors of mine) and Alison. Kristine has been friends with Alison since her California days.
Sorry, that this picture is so blurry but I didn't want to leave it out. Kristine knitted these beaded socks for Alison. Need I say more!!!....ok, gorgeous!!

If you haven't purchased this book yet, you are missing out on some great patterns. I treasure my copy even more now that Alison has signed it.

I'm going on a crazy adventure tomorrow. More on that later! I want to enjoy today for what it was. I'm glad I didn't miss the event!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alligator Scarf Update

Pattern: Morehouse Merino Alligator Scarf
Yarn: Knitpicks Swish Worsted - Lemongrass Heather
Needles: Size 6

Well, three times is the charm! I had difficulty finding the correct colorway for this project so I kept starting over.

It took me less than 3 evenings to knit it. What a fun knit it was!!! I can't wait to see my grandson, Jakob, wear it. I'll have pictures for you in about a month.

I have finished the scarf and I must tell you the tail is so cute! A picture will be posted soon.

Someone asked me how I can get so much knitting done. Besides the fact that I've been knitting for more years than I care to number, and a lady never tells her age, weight or true hair color, I believe it is important to have the right tools, i.e. needles, to work with. I love my Denise Needles and highly recommend them. Read the pattern thoroughly before starting.

I attended my spinning group last Thursday and such a fun evening. We had a guest crafter/teacher doing 3-dimensional needle felting. The woman is a national award winner. Check out her link

Below is my feeble attempt at needle felting an Easter egg. Pretty pathetic but I am saving it to compare my improvement in future projects. It's like spinning! At first I spun "novelty yarn", and please don't be impressed as it was more like bungy cord, and slowly improved to the point where I am now happy with my own spun yarn.

Alison Hyde, author of the below-captioned knitting book, will be at my LYS, Kaleidescope Yarns this coming Friday. Alison and I have been blogging friends for awhile now and I look forward to meeting her and having my book signed.
Happy Knitting!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Tell Me!

Yes, you!!! You tell me!!! But first let me set the stage. Today I went to Vermont Teddy Bear, a world-wide known company. It's a fun place to visit.

Picture is a little dark but I wanted you to see that it is a huge place.

A colorful place with much anticipation of fun!
I wanted to see the political teddy bears!

First, there is the brown Obama bear with the classic white shirt with rolled-up sleeves!

Then we have..........
The grey (showing his age) fur Joe Biden bear!
and, we can't leave Sarah Palin out!!!
With her tiara, classic red suit, and hockey stick, not shown is her briefcase which carries her lipstick and baby bottle.
And where is the McCain bear, you ask?????
Well, the bear is sold out!!!
I asked the clerk if the same number of McCain bears were manufactured as Obama bears. She said, "yes".
Is that any indication of how the race is going? Do the Republicans have more money to spend as these bears cost upwards of $110-$120 give or take a few pennies. Of course, the Palin bear is the most expensive one because I was told her outfit is couture made or is that a subtle hint of the realism of it all?
And for you undecided voters, I couldn't leave you out.
There sure are a lot of you!
The variety of bears is limitless. They average around $100 each. While at the store today, people were buying bears but I saw noone buy one of the political bears. Perhaps, like the privacy of a voting booth, people are ordering them on-line.
I've already voted!!! I urge you to do the same. It will be a late night Tuesday and I'm staying up till the victory speech! ...even if it means crawling into work the following morning because I am so dog-tired...oops..bear-tired!!!
Happy Knitting!