Saturday, March 24, 2007

Yarny Saturday!

WOW! What an awesome Yarny Day!! Today was our class with Chris Bylsma! We had 14 people attend, and all learned some great techniques and tips. The first class was her Finishing class. It was great to hear how many LONG time knitters learned new techniques in this session. Here's my "finished" project from this workshop. Techniques included Shoulder seams, side seams, armhole seams, picking up, and buttonholes. We really loved one of the buttonholes in particular, one that had a beautiful finished look with no additional sewing or tacking.

The second workshop of the day was the Knit Weaving workshop. We dropped stitches and let them run down all the way to the bottom, the cast off the top edge and wove a variety of yarns into the 'gaps'. This technique offers tons of creative flexibility, as well as offering some techniques for "resizing" finished garments...for sleeves that are super-tight, kids sweaters in danger of being outgrown, expanding the size of a garment without requiring additional yarn...

It was a great group of people, and we all did AWESOME work! In the middle of the afternoon there was some talk of needing a chocolate fix... so when I got home and found THIS:

in my mailbox...well, it was just too funny! (More on the mysterious chocolate arrival in a moment...)

After a few minutes in class, I just knew I would be very upset with myself if I let another opportunity pass....that would be the opportunity to take Chris' Crayon Box Jacket class! It's being offered at one of the LYS's tomorrow, and I had thought about signing up, but for a couple of reasons had not. When I brought it up in class today, one of the other women offered me her spot, since she was having some scheduling conflicts anyhow. So, I'm spending ANOTHER day with Chris tomorrow!!

Ok, back to the Chocolate... I got home today to another lovely package from Ann (aka ChickaChickaKnitChick), my SP8 (who inadvertently outted herself *giggle). Anyhow, there are two main classes of things in the package... 1) Pressies for me to make for Ava Rose ;) There's a cute little bunny pattern and yarn for now, and a great Fiber Trends pattern for slippers in all sizes! Will either have to figure this one out and shrink it down EVEN MORE, or wait a year or two for this one...there's nothing that says I can't make a pair for ME in the meantime however!

You may also notice a Knitting Car Magnet in there... It's since been installed on my car, though I had to be a bit creative about it... You see, being a Saturn, known for it's Vinyl panels, there's not really all that much METAL on my car to stick it to! The gas cap was already claimed by Kelley and her DH (for my yellow smiley mag). So, that leaves hood, roof, and top of trunk... Found top of trunk last, and somewhat by accident, but decided it was the best spot (wasn't really too fond of the center of my hood, and *I* for one would never see it on the top of my roof). So, it now has a place of honor on the center of the top of my trunk!

The remainder of the package was lots of good reads! I got the (entire?) series of Maggie Sefton Knitting Mysteries, and another interesting novel about a woman who finds herself in a position of having to do Family Tree research to answer some very interesting questions about her newly born baby by learning more about her unknown father. What a great fit with my genealogy research!
So, while I'm still reading Color: A Natural History - my LAST gift from Ann, I have four more books now! On top of that, the KnitWits group had their NameTag contest last weekend! Sadly I did not got to attend (Dale's Memorial Service was beautiful and I feel like I learned a lot more about what an amazing person, mother, and grandmother she was!), but I did drop off my nametag in absentia. Here's the tag:

And good news! It won 2nd place! The prize was a YUMMY canister of Ghirardelli Hot Cocoa mix, a Borders coffee mug, and a book! Knitting under the Influence. It's a novel about knitters...also looks great! So, I'm happy to say that I have reading material to keep me busy for quite a while to come!

Friday, March 16, 2007


It is with heavy heart that I wanted to let you know that Dale Jarrett, an original member of the Orlando Area Knitters guild, passed away this afternoon.

Memorial service will be this Sunday, March 18th -- 4pm.

Presbyterian Church of the Lakes
4700 Lincoln Ave
Orlando, FL 32819

For more information, please see Dale's blog in the blog links section to the left.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Central Fl Fair Deadline Looms!

Have you entered your submissions for the Central Florida Fair yet? The online Submission deadline date is March 20th! Go to their website now to get signed in!

Can't remember your password? The site will email it to your address on record based on the name you give.

Do I have to register my submissions in advance? Last year people were able to register items when they walked in, however category grouping was not as reliable.

One of the groups was talking about requesting changes to the category structure - what ever happened with that? Because of changes in Creative Arts management, our requests got lost in the shuffle and did not get implemented.

Why should I put things in the fair? The Creative Arts competition includes a large number of categories with First, Second, and Third prizes - including CASH prizes! There's no fee to enter, but you might pick up a little stash cash!

What about Spinning? We had hoped to get them to add categories including handspun yarns, but as mentioned above, that didn't happen. I'm planning to use the Knitting Other category and make it clear that the yarn is handspun. Perhaps if others do the same, they'll add a new category on the fly (they reserve the right to do that if the number of submissions warrant it).

Other questions? Many are answered in the official rules on the fair's web site, but I'd be happy to answer any that I know the answers to.

GOOD LUCK to All!!

In other news, I had a lovely visit with DM and DsF this past week - well, other than the viral infection that she was so kind as to bring with her... :) We got to spend a day at Tarpon Springs, FL - the Sponge Fishing capital of the World! I got a really cool natural sponge and a couple of little plants to put in it. We also explored Mt Dora a bit (dropped by Knit and Needle Nook, but didn't spend any more money), Leesburg (dropped by Chez Casuelle to give a progress report on the CTH project), The Villages (dropped by the yarn shop up there too! A few nice things...nothing I desperately had to have), Yalaha (Bavarian Bakery - WOW!), Eustis (Flea Market)...hhmmm...lots of time in Lake County!

Friday, March 02, 2007

At last, a tiny bit of progress...

No, not on the CTH project...will work on that tomorrow. Tonight I was feeling very restless, unable to do Sudoku to save my life (I even screwed up the easy level puzzle!!), so decided to find something a little more physical to work on.

I've wanted for a LONG time to learn how to Navajo ply, but, well, I think I learn best in person with a demo/hands on. There IS a pretty good site with video online. It helped. Then there was the fact that since I want to do this to be able to spin striping sock yarn, the singles I have already spun are VERY thin...and kept breaking. Looked around for a bobbin with a heavier single...and found someone elses "first singles"...they were pretty wretched. But, I tried to ply them anyhow, with pretty disastrous results. Once that didn't work, I found another single I'd done a while back of a sample fiber someone had given me. That was a single that was destined to be more of a worsted yarn, so it worked MUCH better than the original one I tried. I did end up with a passable skein of yarn from it. It had a TON of twist in it, but that may just be because it was a totally dead single. So, I've washed it and it's hanging to dry. I don't think it'll be perfectly balanced, but it's not too bad as a first try. May try to ply a few more larger singles, then try to go back to the lightweight singles that I had started and see if I can work my way into them. May put up pics soon, but just wanted to share! I'll bring the skein with me to tomorrow's meeting.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What a COLORFUL life!

Yes, I said COLORFUL!! I got a new package in the mail yesterday from Chicka (pretty impressive, only two days in transit from Vermont!)... She tells me that since I'm "swimming in yarn", she's not sending me any more :( Ok, I'm just kidding...well, not about her not sending yarn, but about the frowny face. She's right, I've got yarn coming out of my ears right now!!

(Did I mention that I won the last "Teaching Fund Raffle" at K or K? I did! The raffle was a Simply NORO pattern book by Jane Ellison - are they numbered or something? This one has a lovely multicolored pseudo-basketweave shawl on the front. AND, two skeins of Noro Nadeshiko - 39% Angora / 38% Silk / 23% Wool in colorway 3 - a lovely grey tweed with white, green, pink, and rust in it...GORGEOUS!)

Back to Chicka...she sent me a box all about COLOR!! Take a peek:

The first thing I noticed when I opened it was the box of notecards...all with pretty colors on them! Looking further, I found a book entitled COLOR: A Natural History of the Palette. What a cool book! I'm very excited to read it, as it has a lot of great info on the development of early pigments and dyes. There's also a Wraps Per Inch tool for my spinning, a tiny little notepad of sticky notes with a beautiful cover (which I just found out Chicka and her DH MADE all by themselves!!! How crafty are THEY?!), a bag of assorted dyes in a "Beginner's Dye Set", a copy of the Twisted Sisters Sock book, and a GORGEOUS set of stitch markers...for my little needles that I seem to be using every time I turn around!

Here's a closer look at the stitch markers... Each has a single bead at the end, but the beads are amazing, with multiple colors and metallic filigree...WOW!

Thanks Chicka, it's a GREAT package!! I may be consulting with the Twisted Sisters on a project I'm working on myself soon...

Last weekend was a knitting retreat weekend! Even better, that retreat took us to Daytona Beach! A few of us got together, cooked in the condo...well, ok, I cooked...knitted a lot, visited a couple of stores...Threads of Time and AC Moore, and spent lots of time on the beach!

Speaking of Threads of Time - it was a surprising visit. I had sort of heard that there was a yarn store in Ormond Beach, but didn't really know any details, and it sounded pretty small... Well, it WAS small, but had a nice selection, including a number of yarns I'd never seen before. One in particular caught my was aptly named Obsession - a member of the Plymouth Yarn Italian Collection. This lovely species was 65% Nylon and 35% Rayon - 114 yds at 5.5 st/inch on 7's. They had it in 4 lovely colors. It was a pretty smooth yarn, probably a DK or Sport weight, but with places where the fiber sorta broke free of it's smooth's hard to explain really. I can totally see this yarn making an AWESOME Florida shell T-shirt. Sadly, after recent expenditures, I just COULDN'T justify purchasing enough of this lovely yarn to make a shell with :( I did use my new Knitting Journal from Chicka to take notes on it however, so I could remember what it was that I loved so much. It's an entry near the back of the journal entitled "Yarn Lust".

I didn't leave completely empty handed though...on the sale rack were a number of balls of Crystal Palace Waikiki...a lovely Florida friendly Viscose/Cotton boucle yarn. I picked up three balls of Chocolate Almond colorway - at 50% off! We did notice that should I choose to run two strands in some way, this would go GREAT with the leftover Burgundy Gloss that I have from the vest below. It's interesting...Michelle commented a week or so ago that my colors are changing...perhaps she's right...

I was inspired enough to drag myself out before sunrise on Saturday...some birds enjoying the surf before the sun came up, scrounging for some food...

Then the sun started to come could so live there and see this every morning...but then I guess it wouldn't be quite as special, would it?

Love the sun shining across the foam in the surf...

And if that wasn't enough, a kind gentleman and his wife were walking on the beach and commented that it was sad that I had all those pictures, but none with me in them! So here I am!

Overall, it was an awesome weekend, and I'd love to do it again sometime!

This weekend has other events in store...namely, I'm the captain of a Junior Achievement Helping Kids Shine Bowl - A - Thon team! So, on that subject, if you're still in need of a charity tax deduction, you're welcome to sponsor me in the bowl-a-thon! Just drop me an email if you'd like to sponsor me!