Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fiber Christmas

Was awesome. I had a great time! I took a drop spindle spinning class because my exchange partner on the flat rate box swap local swap sent me a drop spindle and alpaca fiber and I needed to learn what to do with it. Its a lot of fun, although I have avoided getting into spinning for years now because I knew I would start wanting those beautifully dyed pretty braids of fiber you find hanging all over the place a fiber festivals. And they are so touchably soft. I was totally right, btw. I ended up bringing home some turquoise merino and black merino, which I will probably spin separately and then ply together and then I also brought home a pretty braid of blue and brown lovely softness. I've made a bit of progress on the alpaca fiber. I practiced more in the evening while Kellie and I sat around on the couch, stuffed full of sushi. I also came home with a loom! Just a little 16" one. The box looks straight out of the 70's but it seems to be good quality, all wood, and its something I can learn on before investing in a bigger more expensive one. Ben has said he can make me a stand for it, so thats cool. :-) Now I have to wait a whole week before Lena is going to teach me how to use it. How ever will I have that much patience? I guess I will have to spin and knit until then. The estate sale lady was there, tempting all with her incredibly inexpensive wares. The price went up from $1.50 a pound to $4 a pound, but for yarn thats still super cheap. And then later in the day t went back down to $2. And then a the very end of the day there were a few of us still hanging around and she let us pick out a red, a white, and a green for fiber christmas. So we will not even discuss how much yarn I came home with. Just not gonna talk about it. At all. A lot of it I should be able to weave with though, and I hear that goes pretty quickly compared to knitting so I could churn out more projects more quickly and maybe I will fly through some of that yarn.

It really was a wonderfully awesome day. Thank you so much to the Lowder family, Kate and Bridgett, and all the nice vendors and Rori and Kat for letting us chill with them and it was so good just to get to see people and relax and focus on fiber. :-)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fiber Christmas in July

is TOMORROW!!!! For me, anyway. I know it starts today, but I work all day today. Tomorrow I plan to enjoy a nice relaxing day of knitting and fiber folk. Maybe I can get someone to show me how the drop spindle my exchange buddy sent me works and then I could spin the alpaca fiber she sent. :-)

Well, better get dressed to go load-in American Idols Live. woo-hoo.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blocking the Vacation Clap!

I took the time this morning to pin out the Vacation Clap. Its not the best blocking job ever, I really wish I had some blocking wires. Oh well, I think it looks great. I can't wait to be able to wear it. Thank you sooooo much to Mountain Colors for helping me to be able to finish it. I will definitely be using Mountain Goat again, the yarn was so wonderful to work with.
And I will probably make the clapotis pattern again. Once you memorize the repeats, its a fairly simple but elegant looking pattern. :-)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Vacation Clap again

With the help of a lovely lady at Mountain Colors I was able to get the rest of the yarn I needed and finish my vacation clap! (the yarn came monday and I finished it yesterday). I am so happy with it. Its beautiful and soft and wonderful. I finished it while sitting behind the light board during focus for the load-in of Wicked, they all said it was pretty. And my partner in crime at the light board, Sarah, ended up having to use it to wrap up in because of how freezing the dang booth was, so she appreciated it as well. There will be more pictures as soon s it gets blocked. I am soooooo happy with it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Knitting at the ballpark again

I started a market bag yesterday using a pattern I got in a recent exchange and one of those giant balls of cotton that I have had laying around forever. Not that I really need another market bag. I have probably about a dozen of those reusable grocery bags and my mom recently gave me this really cool "green" set that has a grocery bag and an insulated bag and a big market bag and stuff and they all match and it pretty cool. But I've always wanted to make one of those stretchy cotton market bags, so I'm doing it anyway. I got over halfway done during last night's driller game, so the project doesn't seem like it will be a lengthy commitment. Who knows, maybe I can add this to my repertoire of quick gifts. This particular pattern has a doubled bottom that is open on one side so the whole bag can fold in on itself and button closed to make it easier to carry in a purse or in your car or whatever. Pictures soon. :-) Maybe I can finish it during meal breaks of the load in of wicked this week. Or one of the nights this week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More from the Road Trip

This is a lovely view of some state or another and the pretty scrubbies I was knitting as we were driving through it. It was one of the less scenic days with pretty much only major interstates. BTW - can you tell which colleges the scrubbies are for? I had to have some method of picking colors, so that was the method of choice this time.

Ben and I at his friend Collin's wedding. I love my hat! It was the first opportunity I had to wear it since I bought it. :-) Outdoor afternoon weddings are perfect for hats. We need to bring hats back, people.
Quick picture on our 20 minute stop in Niagara. Seriously, we were there 20 minutes. But once you look at the falls and take some pics, what are you supposed to do? But I'm glad we swung by there because it was nice to see the falls and now I can say I've been. :-)

It really was a wonderful trip. We both had a great time and everyplace we went was fun and interesting.

Back to the knitting, a wonderful lady at Mountain Colors is trying to help me find some yarn to finish my Vacation Clap. I am so very grateful to her. I can't wait to finish it, its sooooo pretty.

This week I have mostly been working on the stripey blanket charity project for the traveling stitch markers group. I am almost done with my section and I think the blanket will be moving on to the next person within a week. I know the knitting will get done, but there has been a lot of change and whatnot at work, so just finding time to mail something has become very difficult. Once things settle, that should get better, but right now its hectic.

I have a theory that empty sugar free kool-aid canisters would make good double pointed needle holders. They are stiff, so the needles wouldn't get crushed or broken in your bag. I must do some experimentation with this and see if it works. I am thinking that you could use them as is for loose double points and cut a hole in the lid for ones with project in progress. The project couldn't be very big, but a sock would totally fit. The yarn would be outside the container, obviously. If I make some and they work I will post pictures.

Now I am off to knit instead of writing about knitting.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Belated WWKIP day post

I realized while posting about my roadtrip that I had never gotten around to posting about Tulsa's WWKIP day events. And they were such fun, they definitely deserve a post.

Also known as A Day of Yarny Goodness, the festivities began at the cherry street farmers market. I had made some cloths for a potter friend of Ben's there because he had given me some adorable little cups a few weeks before. Below you can see the big brightly colored bowl he put the cloths in while we were sitting around talking. More than one person picked them up to see if they were for sale. :-)

Pictures of the knitting during the farmers market can be found here:

I had on a big sun hat, so you can find me hiding under that.

Next was the big yarn estate sale. This was an add on to our original plan, so we squeezed it in before lunch. Look at all that yarn, and thats just the front yard. You get inside and can barely walk. I hear she might open up for a few hours today....

Chillin after making purchases.
See my yarny puchases?

Then there lunch at Jason's deli and a yarn swap. I swapped away everything I brought with me (It wasn't much) and went home with some pretty purple handspund and some thick green wool that looks like it might be good for felting.

After lunch a yarn crawl commenced. We began at Loops, where I bought a t-shirt saying I Knit So I Won't Stab You. Second we went to Stitchworks and I got some nice cotton for an exchange. Third was Stitches of Tulsa, which I had never been to, but it seemed really nice. By then we were all very hot an pretty tired of crawling so we ht Sonic for cold drinks (ok, ok, I admit it. The person I was riding with and I hit sonic twice, before and after stitches. shhhhh, don't tell. Its not like diet cherry limeades are very bad anyway). Most of the people who were going to hit K1D2 (knit 1 drink 2) in the evening at Cosmos went to hide in the air conditioned comfort of a lovely lady's house (thanks for having us all, sorry I missed your next get together) and knit our little hearts out until it was time for the drinking to begin.

As I mentioned, K1D2 is at Cosmos and they had fixed the lights so they might retain our loyalty. We do love those $3 drink specials and the food is yum. And we had the best service we've ever had there this last time. Everything came out promptly and we never felt neglected.
At K1D2 the traveling stitch markers from the group on Ravelry known as the Stories of the Traveling Stitch markers moved on from me to their next journey. Gosh, its been so long now, I think NegativeCreep took them home with her for a while, but one of the ladies can correct me if I'm wrong. So this is their farewell picture from me. We had a good run, and I am sorry it was so busy and I didn't take more pictures, but they really are lovely stitchmarkers and I need to make sure the generous woman who made them and started this project knows that. The Oklahoma group is soooooo silent on that page, hopefully as they move around people will post.

But back to WWKIP day. It was awesome and I got to hang out with great people and I cast on and began that Vacation Clap that i posted about before. I wanted to have it a bit established before I got in the car and risked motion sickness. I did get some work done on my spiral socks as well, mostly while sitting with Joe at the farmer's market. Its hard to work with tiny bamboo needles when its really hot outside and your fingers get a little sweaty. The yarn just does not want to slide.

Well this has become a novel. I believe I will go sit on the couch for a while and work on the stripey blanket charity project until Ben gets up.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The tragedy of the Vacation Clap

Look, a very flirty polar bear!

He really was.  He hung out there just staring at us or whoever walked by for a really long time.  Every once in a while he would stick his head up for a breathe and then put it back down again.  That was at the Memphis Zoo, by the way, where we went after the amazing and awesome Graceland!
See?  Graceland!  Very awesome start to the road trip.  Everyone should go to Graceland at least once.  But more on the road trip antics later, I am getting side tracked from the tragedy of the vacation clap.

See it on the needles, resting on the dashboard?  Its all soft and pretty.  So the yarn I am using is Mountain Colors Mountain Goat, colorway Mystic Lake.  Very soft and pretty, didn't have a problem working with it.  I only had 2 skeins and I wasn't quite getting guage anyway, so I stopped 2 whole sets of increases short and went into the straight section.  I kept careful track of how far I got with the first skein, did exactly the same amount with the second skein and began the decrease section.  And ran out with the corner still unfinished.  Now I knew it was a daring move to do the same number of straight rows with skein 2 as with skein 1 because that didn't leave a lot of room for error.  This is off by more than my calculation though, my guess is one skein definitely had more yardage than the other.  Boo.  So what would have been a quickly finished clap is now a UFO.  
It gets a wee bit more tragic.  I bought the yarn on vacation and haven't been able to find any more of it.  So if you or anyone you know lives near a store that sells Mountain Colors Mountain Goat, let me know.  The colorway, again, is Mystic Lake.  Its very vibrant.  I know it can be hard to match hand painted yarns.  I am also willing to take people remnants, since I don't really need a whole other $25 skein of yarn (after all, there is a reason I only bought 2).  I stubbornly don't want to rip back either.  So please, please, please check your stashes and your friends stashes and your mothers stashes and see if you have any Mountain Goat Mystic Lake laying around.  Like i said, the ones I bought were very vibrant.  I bought them in charlottesville, VA, not that this information will help anyone.

And I was so close.  And it would have been totally done!  I could be wearing it! (if it wasn't 100 degrees outside)