Sunday, August 31, 2008

From Celtic to Japanese

I have to first confess that I have a Chick Crush. I'm smitten for Melissa Leapman. Go ahead and laugh. sigh. She is just adorable, funny and super witty... come on now. She wrote Cables Untangled. On top of that she also has a new book coming out... Continuous Cables and I got to peek inside. I'm telling you right now... go. pre-order this sucker and have that cable needle ready and waiting.

Her class was Celtic Cables was Saturday afternoon and the only bad part was the cold classroom, but a quick run to the cafe saved my fingers. ML was totally prepared with handouts, charts and a sarcastic New York attitude that left me a little gitty. I was pleased to see that her class was based off of her new book and how she pops a celtic knot right in the middle of no where.

My homework consisted of swatches which we then worked these fabulous charts and learned some serious increases and decreases to make the cables work.

You could hear from all over the classroom... this is too cool... awesome... and a couple of swear words thrown in because of a difficult decrease. Overall I loved the class and would highly recommend her as a teacher.

Saturday then turned into Sunday and there was Japanese Short-Rows with Susanna Hansson. I took her Beaded Wrist Warmers class last year and knew she would teach me something great again. I don't think I'll ever wrap my stitches again, in fact I've turned Japanese... ha, I'm bad, I know... couldn't resist.

Here is the results from creating two swatches, making short-rows then binding them together. More or less an example of shoulder shaping... but I'm thinking heals on socks. Her class was very detailed and planned out, with plenty of time to do the work.

What a great combination of classes for my third year at Stitches Midwest. This just gets me super pumped for next year. I also loved the new location. Free parking, less walking, better cafeteria food. The only thing about next year is that it's later in the year.. September 10 - 13. Which could be looked at as good or bad since my birthday is the 14th;) I think I should start saving now!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going Broke at Stitches Midwest

I do want to give a big heartfelt thank you to everyone for the support, comments and well wishes. You guys are the best. I'm so grateful to have each and everyone of you apart of my life.

~ : : : : ~

So, I know your curious to know what I got at Stitches Midwest. Well...lets just say that I had a budget and I went for broke. Yep... spent a little more then expected. I just saw so much that it was hard to pass up.

And to make things easy, I've numbered the awesome pile for you to gander. (click to enlarge - you know you want too!)

  1. 17 skeins Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in rich Black
  2. 8 skeins Shebridge Farms Softtouch DK weight in Robins Egg
  3. 2 4oz Mountain Colors Targree Top in Indian color
  4. 2 skeins Newtons Yarn Company Cashmere Merino in Kelly Green
  5. Lexie Barnes circular needle case
  6. 1 skein Mackintosh Yarns Celtic Sock yarn in Cocoa Swirl
  7. Inspired Cable Knits
  8. A Fine Fleece
  9. 1 8oz Frabjous Fibers BFL in Olive Tree

The only thing not on the list are some fabulous buttons. They deserve a close up look..

I love these green gems. The top section has a satin look, where as the side look like glass. I loved the booth that purchased these from. My buddy describes it like walking thru a rainbow.

I then could not resist these little buggers from this booth.

Now, to only decided what to cast on next! and then the tedious task of updating the stash photos on Ravelry.

Also, stay tuned as I hope to post about the classes, teachers and knowledge gained.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tear Drop

I presumed that my vacation was what I needed most of all to heal me. What I ended up discovering is that what weighs on you can make you stronger, brings you closer to those around you... building bonds with family and enlighten you in areas that were filled with shadow or doubt.

Even though I was on vacation, my mind was not at peace. Each day tolled and mounded on top of each other giving me the feeling of dread. The one thing I can always rely on is my knitting. I cast-on for the newest Rockin' Sock Club colorway Goody Goody in the pattern named Gumdrop.

I however have decided to call them my Tear Drop Socks.

Waking up at an unholy hour and boarding a plan at 6:15 a.m. is just wrong... and especially on a Monday. I pulled out my sock and started knitting. With each stitch I felt stronger. With each pattern line I felt braver. My tears fell and my heart stilled weighed heavy.

It wasn't until I entered the funeral home that I felt whole. With my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, aunts and uncles all surrounding me... I felt at home.

It's not easy losing a loved one. Especially when you feel that you just didn't get enough time. I felt like I really wanted to know her better and have tons of questions and yearn for answers.

I'm also hoping that when I pass, my existing family will celebrate my life to the hilt with an Irish Wake. I want everyone drinking, singing, dancing and telling of tales, memories and reminiscing the good'o days. Yes it's sad, but I want to go out with a bang!

Patricia M. Carlson
May 8, 1925 - August 20, 2008

My Grandmother was a pretty special lady. More then I think I will ever know. She was strong, brave and the rock in our family. I was lucky to have known her and will aways cherish the times we've spent together. And as a tribute to her, our whole family stood up at the service and sang...

When Irish eyes are smiling
Sure it's like a morn in spring
In the lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angles sing
When Irish hearts are happy
All the world seems bright and gay
And when Irish eyes are smiling
Sure they still your heart away

Friday, August 22, 2008

FO: Ravelympics Event

Event: Sweater Sprint

Team: Team Chicago

Pattern: Bistro Shirt from Oat Couture

Yarn: 8 skeins of Classic Elite Attitude (discontinued)

Needles: US 7 circ's

Start Date: August 8, 2008

End Date: August 22, 2008

Comments: The only thing I changed was adding ribbing instead of slip stitches on the edges and collar. The next big thing is this...

Miss Mac just has to pass on the everyone out there that "Yesssss, I'm FOUR"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just Keep Knitting...

Today is my last day before vacation. Sweet, lovely holiday. This is were I do nothing. Besides hangin' with the folks and moseying along each day. The preparation for taking a week off is busting my arss the week before and then busting it up again the week after.

My vacation ends with a bang at Stitches Midwest and I'm a little concerned that I'm not fully prepared. I mean my homework is done, yet what will I wear? What shoes will be the best for shopping for hours in and around 200 booths! What bag should I bring to carry all my goodies? sigh. I guess it's not so bad, yet I don't want to forget my pajamas. That has always been the one consistent thing I've forgotten in past trips.

Well, we can't forget the most obvious of all things... what will I bring to knit? Oh Gosh... I haven't a clue.

I'm guessing my Ravelympic event will be done by then, since this is the front and I'm about a third of the way through. Maybe a sock... portable is always good.

Last night I made up a batch of Calico Bean Dip and I couldn't stand it and had it for breakfast. Thanks Janice for this lovely recipe, I seriously can't get enough. Here is the only evidence left after I ran out of scoops... I'm considering licking the bowl;)

On another bit of random news...

This bag is so cute. On my way to the train I spotted this lovely thing and had to take a picture of it. I'm not one of those girls that can spot the designer bag from 50 paces or anything... but it's just so cute. Now if I could only figure out what it is... Anyone else have a clue?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

As If You Didn't Know

Can you guess what my favorite color is?

I bet you don't have a clue;)

This morning I finished the back of my Bristo Shirt and with the needles free I took advantage and did some swatching.

They yarn is Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed. My brain is turning to mush and I can't seem to get gauge on 10.5, 11 or size 13's. The number stitches per inch is the same on all of them. Why is gauge so cruel?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Let The Games Begin

Today at 7:00 a.m. was the official starting time for Chicagoans to cast-on their Ravelympic events. I chose a event that would be challenging and yet saw as a possibility of completion.

I have joined Team Chicago for the Sweater Sprint event and think I will do fairly well. As my commute started today, so did my challenge.

The first cast-on consisted of K2, Slip 1 style... it turned out unsuccessful in winning me creative points in this category. I chose to take a point deduction and restart with a K1, P1 ribbing. I think in the end when all points are tallied you will see I was wise in this decision.

I have 17 days people. When the ending ceremonies for the Olympics is upon us I should have a finished object to present.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Today is Wednesday!

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment, you guys are awesome! Seriously, you made me tear up. After writing that post I felt lifted. Like a great weight was gone and I'm so grateful to have this outlet. Otherwise I would most likely take it out on my husband. He doesn't deserve that. Thanks again.

Lets talk knitting...

Slowly but surly I've been getting this together.

Second version of the Windmill Beret. It's funny looking back... it was SO HARD!! and now, not so much;)

In Spinning News...

The BFL Redwood Forest is all spun up and is measured out to be 9 wpi (wraps per inch) or a heavy worsted/bulky. Now I only need to toss this sucker on the needles to get me a great scarf.

I'm still a little confused as to the yardage... but I love it no less. If I were to guess, perhaps 200 - 250 yards.

I leave you with this quote. Can you guess where it's from?

I'm in the persuasion business and frankly I'm disappointed by your presentation.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Still Alive

Have you ever had one those days, weeks, months ... heck, years? were you just want to run away to Australia? I have no idea what brings it all on. I just get this overwhelming "I suck" feeling and I start judging my life. Nothing is right and all I see ahead of me is long working hours and missed opportunities.

It's part of the reason why I haven't blogged. I don't want to feel negative. I don't want to spread this horrible feeling I have onto others. It's a waste of energy and I just need to stop. breath. think positive.

In 6 hours and 10 day I will officially be on vacation.

Over the weekend I completed my homework for the Stitches Midwest classes.

Stitch & Bitch Wednesday is only one. day. away.

My sewing table has been evacuated by the creatures and is now a "Sew Only" zone.

As for any knitting news, there has been tons... just nothin' to show just yet. I've got a special project that I'm hoping to work into a free pattern or perhaps submit some place... just don't know yet.

Maybe I need some chocolate;)

Friday, August 01, 2008

FO: Cleopatra Stockings

Pattern: Cleopatra Stockings (only available for Rockin Sock Club members)

Yarn: 1 skein of Socks That Rock - Incredible Shrieking Violet Colorway - Medium Weight (not available to the general public until 2009)

Needles: US 1.5 circ's

Start Date: July 17, 2008

End Date: August 1, 2008

Comments: What can I day about the yarn but yum. I told myself that I would take on the pattern even if it looked like ass. I figured if I got to a point where I hated it I could always rip it out and start something new.

The pattern is a construction I was familiar with and the pattern was not boring at all. It would be less fiddly on DPN's as there are a lot of stitch movement.