Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Stash

One of my readers asked me to post my stash purchase from my trip to Webs and the Yarn Harlot event of last Sunday. Top left to right are:

Blue: 57% Extra Fine Merino 33% Acrylic Microfibre 10% Cashmere
Blue/Pink/Cream: Louisa Harding angora & wool blend

Brown: Plymouth Yarns - Rockin Sox Superwash merino wool, bamboo and nylon

Maroon/Black: Plymouth Happy Feet

Black: Louet Gems - 100% Merino Wool

Webs donated 10% of their sales last Sunday to a local midwife program that was in jeopardy of closing. The total donation was $47,000. When I mentioned in my previous blog that Webs was so very crowded, the total sales were almost $500,000 that day. Staff maintained their composure and provided excellent customer service.

Correction: Kathy told me I had a huge $$$ error in the total. Darn, I think so highly of Webs that I was thinking big while awaiting my new glasses to Can you see the egg on my face?

I forgot to mention the wonderful doorprizes that Webs had at the Yarn Harlot event. For fear of getting the amounts wrong, trust me the prizes were very generous and the winners were delighted. They included Visa gift cards (to help with gas), books, Webs certificates, yarn, etc.

Brian so generously brought along a large bag filled with cotton yarn that he shared with Rebecca and I. I'll be knitting dishcloths and baby bibs.

Brian also compiled and bound a vegetarian cookbook which he gave to me. Lucky me!!!

Need I say more?

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yarn Harlot at Webs

The Yarn Harlot's book tour took her to Webs in Northampton, MA today. It was a thrill to see her and actually hear her voice. (See yarnharlot)

With all sincerity, I say that I wish that all my blogging friends had been able to come.

As a result, Tammy, you were correct. The combination of the Yarn Harlot, Webs and lunch with Brian took me out of my knitting slump.

Stephanie spoke with everyone in line for the book signing, and trust me, the line was very, very long. The blond is me, of course, and that is Brian (Brileyknits) in the background.
Brian and I kept checking each other's basket to see what the other was purchasing. Brian did well for himself. :>)

I'm not owning up to my purchases. I was good!
Rebecca and I traveled together. Remember Rebecca and the wonderful mitten she designed awhile back. Sorry, but she doesn't blog so I can't give you a link.

While waiting for Brian and I to "cash out" ,a/k/a "emptying our pockets", Rebecca amused herself and showed the fun side of her personality.

This gal is on the Vermont Ravelry group and said she was going and to say hi! She would be the one with the red-headed baby! ...and we did find each other. Isn't this baby the cutest little thing! Personality plus is what that baby girl has already!
The marquee outside the Calvin Theater welcomed the Yarn Harlot. Looking at the seating chart on the web, the place held 1,100-1,300 people. The place was packed. Because of the lighting I was not able to get pics but perhaps you'll see some on the Yarn Harlot's blog.

Stephanie was hilarious, absolutely hilarious! You must see her if you ever have the opportunity. As she spoke, occasionally you could hear the sound of a metal knitting needle falling to the floor. It was quite melodic!

We had lunch at Paul and Elizabeth's which has a menu of very healthy selections. The walls are covered with quilts and tapestries. It is open and airy.
One of the tapestries on the wall.
Rebecca and I at the restaurant!

Happy Knitting! I'm off to bed as I was on the road by 6:00 a.m. this morning and didn't return till almost 9:00 p.m. I'll catch up on blogs and comments tomorrow evening.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rosette Baby Bonnet

Pattern: Valley Yarns #200 April in December (pattern available for download at Webs)
Yarn: Southwick Valley Yarns (52% Pima Cotton - 48% Bamboo
Needles: Size 4 circular

Before I tell you about the bonnet, if you haven't read Brileyknits yet, please do so as he is having a bloganniversy contest that expires this Monday. Please tell him I sent you in his direction as he is awarding points for doing so.

Also, please wish Briley/Brian a Happy Birthday! Today is his "big day" and I hope he finds a lot of craft time. I know he was going to a sale at his LYS.
The bonnet was so much fun to knit. It's been completed for awhile. The sweater is almost done with just one more sleeve to attach and buttons to sew down the front. You'd think I'd get myself in forward gear and complete it but I continue to be in a knitting slump. The yarn is incredibly soft and great to knit with.

Tomorrow, I am catching up to my co-worker and fellow knitter who is visiting family about 3 hrs. from here. We will then proceed to "Webs" and catch up to Brian/Briley for yarn shopping/lunch and see the yarnharlot at Webs and the Calvin Theater which has a seating capacity of over 1,000. Can you imagine an event with that many knitters! What fun it will be. Stephanie is on her book signing tour and as of yesterday, was stranded in Chicago due to bad weather. I think the weather probably will be cooperative today and let her continue on her journey. If you don't read the Yarn Harlot's blog, she is so very funny. She appeared at my LYS about 3 years ago but has since become so well-known that she is now going only to the larger knitting markets. Vermont has difficulty attracting anything that many of you may take for granted because of the low population of our state.
I'll post when I return with lots of pictures. I wish you could all be there.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In A Slump!

I have been knitting, and am almost done, with the rosette baby sweater. Pictures for you in a day or so.

Also, have been having difficulties leaving messages on 360 blogs. What else is new? Also having problems leaving messages on other blogs where the hosting site is not well-known. Will keep trying to catch up to old blogging friends.

I've been out of sorts with my knitting. I still need to work on the 2nd pair of socks for the exchange with Kim and have been having difficulty finding just the right pattern. I want it to be a pattern that will inspire me to not want to put my needles down.

Kim wants a brown pair of socks. I started a pair and didn't like the yarn till a few inches had been worked. However, if you make a mistake or drop a stitch, you might as well "bag' the project. Tuning in the the stubborn streak that I have, I've started this pattern four times already and have succumbed to defeat. The pattern is not so pretty that it is worth the hassle. So, I will look for other sock yarn and a new pattern at Webs this coming Sunday when I catch up to Briley for the Yarn Harlot event.

I have to tell you this cute story. My former co-worker came to visit last week. I had not seen her two children in quite some time. The conversation went something like this:

Joan: "Keagan, honey, how old are you now?"
Keagan: "I'm three and my sister, Julia, is five!"

There's a pause and...................

Keagan: "And how old are you?"
Joan: (Knowing that I was setting myself up!) "And how old do you think I am?"
Keagan: "I'd say, ahhhhhhhhhhhh 100!" and.............Julia noticing the look of shock on my face...
Julia leans over, cups her hand over Keagan's little ear and says......"No, tell her 89!" if that was going to make me feel better!

Don't you just love the innocence of kids!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Maine Blueberry Socks - Finished

"A Day Late and a Dollar Short"........let me tell you why!

It's going to be in the 70's in Vermont tomorrow. It will probably be even warmer south of here. Not exactly wool-wearing weather. However, I've completed Kim's Maine blueberries socks made of wool and bamboo. She lives about 6 hrs. south of here and will be even warmer there. The colorway for the socks is a bluish/greyish and much nicer than in the picture. It was my first project using bamboo and I really, really like the yarn. My co-workers, after viewing the socks, were amazed at how soft they feel.

I also completed one "Pay It Forward" gift to Briley and sent that package last week. The package contained a wool scarf and other goodies. For those of you who have not seen Briley's blog, I'll post pictures later this week. Of course, that also will need to wait for colder temperatures. Cotton anyone? What was I thinking?

I started a new pair of socks for Kim. I searched and searched for just the right pattern. (Remember the Goldilocks syndrome I seem to have lately?) It has to be fingering weight, size 2 needles and around 64 stitches. I wanted it to be a pattern I've never knitted before so I would not get bored. I made a decision to knit "Diagonal Rib Socks" from Interweave and on "Knitting Daily" After knitting two inches of cuff and starting the pattern, I am not happy with it so I'll be swimming in the frog pond again. (For you non-knitters like Kim, it's unraveling, ripping out.)

I'm getting quite excited as the 27th of April approaches. My co-worker and fellow knitter, Rebecca, and I will be going to Webs in Northhampton, Ma. to see the Yarnharlot. Brian/Briley will be going also and we hope to have lunch together. Stephanie Pearle-McPhee is having very large turnouts at her events so it should be a lot of fun.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

I'm posting this picture because it puts a smile on my face. You don't even have to read the entire blog as I am just venting today and I need imagined sympathy.

Taken at Easter, I'm with my grandchildren, Joe (age 12), Nick (age 10), and Jakob (age 16 mos.) Those kids absolutely warm my heart. The bunny cake, which some years does not always look like a bunny, is a tradition I started when I was a young mother, trying desperately to impress my young daughters. Never mind that it is just two round cakes, cut and assembled to reach the desired result.

I did absolutely no knitting yesterday, nor have I yet today. It all started last week and I'll make it brief. I just want a little sympathy along with ideas of what you would have

Thursday: What is that smell? Office computer emits a strange odor that really is offensive, if you know what I mean! Laptop loaner is delivered but no links, printer, etc. Ugh!
Friday: Home modem dies. Tech support tells me I need to be home for them to remotely test the line.

Saturday: "Yes, m'ame, its the modem but customer order support not open on the weekends."

Sunday: Out of desperation, I venture to the Verizon store, hoping they have a modem in the back room they can dust off. Silly me!!! Best Buy, etc. modems not compatible.

Now, I am feeling really isolated! No internet!!! No blogging! No e-mails. Not even a puppy to wag it's tail at me.

Monday: Ma'me we need your customer # in order to help you. Trying not to let my face get flushed with frustration, I explain to the lady that Verizon has sold out to Fairpoint Communications. (this past month). Because I have PAPERLESS billing (don't do it, don't even think about it....just let them kill another forrest!) I can't give them my account number, nor pay my bill online as that feature has been discontinued. I finally plead and convince them to help me. Yes, we'll have a new modem in the mail to you along with a paper bill. It will arrive tomorrow.
In the meantime, I go to the P.O. to mail daughter knitting needles and they won't let me mail them. Not getting much accomplished today.

Tuesday: Note on the door from UPS. Modem has arrived. The note tells me I need to pick up the package in person and bring a PASSPORT and/or a picture driver's license. I'm beginning to wonder if I am on some terrorist's watch list? First the P.O. and now UPS. The dang modem only costs $39.99 but obviously someone thinks it's gold.
However, Kim's quilted wall-hanging to me arrives and that keeps me from going over the deep end.

Wednesday: I excitedly rush home with modem in hand after a frantic visit to UPS, anxious to connect via internet to my family and blogging friends again. No dial tone. I'm told that the problem is at the house and I need to find some Verizon box outside and test the line, being careful that it is not raining as they don't want me to electrocute myself. Yikes! Issue is mine and they will repair it for $96 for the first 30 minutes and then $46 for each additional 30 minutes. But check the box first and make sure.

Not even a bottle of wine in the house, I go to bed in tears. I'm exhausted. I hate phones, computers, anything dependant on electricity or some utility service. Can't even get a signal for my cell phone for the area where I live.

I can't even call in sick on Thursday. Can't send an e-mail telling them I'll be out with a migraine. Can't use my cell phone unless I drive down the road a couple of blocks so I might as well continue on my way to work.

Thursday: I find the little outside box, plug in my phone. No dial tone. Ah ha!!! The problem is theirs. In the meantime, I realize that anyone who knows about that little box can use my phone service if they want to (when it's working, that is).

The phone company apologizes when I call again (from work, of course). They will have service for me by 6:00 p.m. I'm so grateful that I am ready to kiss the customer service person's feet. Wait a minute, it was their problem right along.

If I don't blog for a few days, you can find me with my sleeping bag in a batless cave with my battery operated headlamp so that I can peacefully knit!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Feathered Star

Kim and I have been blogging friends for about two years. I’m a knitter and she’s a quilter and a beautiful one at that. We agreed to exchange a hanging wall quilt for two pairs of hand-knitted socks. Then, we both got busy and the plan was set aside for awhile. This week, Kim surprised me with the feathered star quilt hanging. She is so talented and I am envious that she can make as many quilts as she does. Her local fabric store must love her not only for her purchases but for her sense of humor. Every year she has a ‘peep war” (you know, those marshmallow critters) during Lenten season. It’s hilarious to say the least.

Oh, yes, Kim is the one who sent me the “carrot” buttons for a bunny sweater I knitted when JoAnn’s was out of them at my store. She is really a great blogging friend. I’m pretty fortunate, wouldn’t you say!!!

I have Kim’s first pair of socks almost completed. The “Maine Blueberry” socks I blogged about last week. I have a great pattern selected for the second pair and am trying not to cast on yet till the first pair has been completed.


I have no idea if the settings on this blog are reader friendly or not. I've made so many changes as I hear from folks. My home computer is still not operational. The new router box has arrived and hopefully that issue will be resolved by tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Knitting and Computers

It's a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I'd much rather be somewhere with my knitting. However, my home computer is currently "dead in the water" much like my visits to the frog pond with my knitting.

As a result, I am at work using that computer. It's a loaner as my "real" work computer fried itself last week. I have really realized in the last few days how totally dependant I am on computers and my knitting needles. The needles are to save my sanity!

I have completed one Maine Blueberry sock and I am very, very happy with it. The 2nd sock is halfway down the leg so the progress is great.

Will catch up with everyone as soon as my computer issues are resolved which will be REAL SOON!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Goodbye, Dear Friend!

No, I am not saying good-bye again to Yahoo 360. That was yesterday. My new friend of one month, pictured at the left, has to be returned this evening as it was my last spinning class. The instructor loaned me this Ashford spinning wheel which I enjoyed very much. It is lightweight which makes it very portable. When talking about my spinning class I tried not to refer to it as "my wheel" but I became attached to it anyway.

At first I spun roving that was so "elastic" that I could have attached it to a person and "bungee" jumped them all the way to China. So on the way to casting on the needles, it took a detour and lined a trash can.

Things didn't get much better but I received a lot of encouragement from both Briley and Angie. Not enough "twist" in places to this spinning and then too much. Again, I was suffering from the "Goldilocks" syndrome. At this point it was lucky the wheel was not mine as I felt like burning it.

Getting a little better but a long way to go yet!....................a really long way!

The classes were very interesting and I enjoyed them more than I had anticipated. I was sad to see the classes come to an end. afford a spinning wheel. Every time I think I can squeeze the money out of the budget, something breaks down and the $$$ are needed elsewhere.

I'm enjoying my new home at Blogspot and am starting to get comfortable. I've heard from some of you that I had not heard from in awhile and that is great. It confirms how difficult it was to communicate with Yahoo 360.
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Maine Blueberry Socks

I feel like a duck out of water. Having left Yahoo 360 and its many problems, this is my first post on this blog.

These socks, when completed, will be for a friend. More about that in a future post once "all the pieces" come together. I am using size 2 dp bamboo needles just for a break from the "Magic Loop" method.

The name of the free pattern is Blueberry Waffle Socks. However, I decided to call them "Maine Blueberry Socks" because of my fond memories of blueberry picking as a young girl living in Southern Maine.

Many a time, just a very young girl armed with my glass jar, I would venture into the fields and gather blueberries, eating some along the way. Occasionally, my heavy cache caused me to drop my container, breaking as it landed on the ground. Why not a plastic container? Because most products came in glass jars, and very little plastic, it was my family's way of recycling and keeping the earth green even if they were not aware of it at the time.

Blueberry fields are so beautiful. At one stage of the season, the fields are a fiery red. Blueberry farmers burn their fields every other year to promote growth. The plants return the following year more vigorous than ever.

The layout of this blog will be a "work in progress" for a little while. I'm trying not to feel "growing pains".

Happy Knitting!