Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Stitch Diva Strikes Again

I was down to the Mystery Stole and the Harry Potter Scarf; I’m sure sane people would think that enough, BUT . . . . Once I get a pattern/project conquered, I need to move to something new even while finishing the first thing. ADD? Probably, but I’ve always been this way and I cope.

I want to knit, I want to play with yarn, I want to learn, but I am in no mood to design. I have really been enjoying the Mystery Stole because all I need do is knit it. So I hit the computer—as well as books, years of magazines, the yarn shop—but couldn’t find anything I wanted to knit. This often happens.

Finally I found a pattern for a twisted stitch sock. Click here.
It’s called Brigit and was designed by Gigi Silvia; and it’s really lovely. Yes, I tweaked it. I took Austrian Twisted Stitches from Candace Eisner Strick and I’ve just received two books on the subject by Maria Erlbacher. Take a good look at those stitches in the background.The top design is knitted normally as the pattern directs, the next two designs are knitted with twisted knit sts (ktbl). Much neater, tighter effect. I didn’t really get it right until the third design which was knit after I charted the pattern. I learned the technique from charts and was getting bogged down in the verbage. I’m going to use them as samples in some sock techniques classes I’m teaching in August, so the errors will be teaching tools.

As usually happens, as soon as I found the sock, I began to plot a sweater. I thought I would redo the Stitch Diva Simple Bodice by Wendy Bernard. I liked the red one I did but I wanted to knit it with a different waist feature and a different bottom finish.

StitchDiva picked today to email me an opportunity to

1. buy patterns at a discount and

2. help some knitters.

Can’t pass that up. I bought Sahara, a sweater designed by Wendy again, and Shimmering Thread Necklaces.
Well, I need something to do with the beads leftover from the Mystery Stole.

Would have bought Trapeze but it is not yet available. I’ll get it soon.

I love these patterns because they follow the body and don’t leave inches hanging to add even more flesh to my ample body. The pics with them look too young, but they are so easy to adapt for me. Raise the neckline a little and lose the bell sleeves and it becomes quite a conservative, classically fitted sweater.

Class tonight with my very accomplished beginners and then to finish plans for all the August sock classes.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Sock Pattern--Chicken Feet

I have FINALLY posted a new sock pattern for you. This is called Chicken Feet. It is similar to Bird Walking, but I changed the pattern some and used a contrasting color. This is easy colorwork. You only use one yarn at a time and you don't have to cut them. Try a swatch of the cuff pattern if you have doubt. I think this is my best sock ever; I just wish my photos did it justice.

Look at the pattern on the heel. Here you do carry both yarns at the same time, but there are no floats to worry about. Actually the use of two yarns strengthens the heel.

Please enjoy! And let me know how you like it. Use the entire pattern or just a part. I guarantee your handpaint yarns will look good in this pattern. No pooling.

Now my DH can finally wear his new socks. He has become quite a dude. A few more pair and we might even see bright colors. Warning! Wool socks are addictive. Wear them once, wear them forever.

Now to stop knitting and paint the doggone living room. Ugh!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Personality Profile--sorta Myers-Brigg

Don't I wish some of this was me? Actually, it is close, but I hope I am kind. I really value Kindness. That's why I like Knitters so much.

Anyway, click on the topic above and it will take you to a website with lots of stupid tests that tell you about yourself. It's a way to rest your wrists and all of what I saw was flattering. Don't you have days when flattery is really needed?

If you are well-adjusted and mature, just stop reading now.

You Are An INTP

The Thinker

You are analytical and logical - and on a quest to learn everything you can.
Smart and complex, you always love a new intellectual challenge.
Your biggest pet peeve is people who slow you down with trivial chit chat.
A quiet maverick, you tend to ignore rules and authority whenever you feel like it.

In love, you are an easy person to fall for. But not an easy person to stay in love with.
Although you are quite flexible, you often come off as aloof or argumentative.

At work, you are both a logical and creative thinker. You are great at solving problems.
You would make an excellent mathematician, programmer, or professor.

How you see yourself: Creative, fair, and tough-minded

When other people don't get you, they see you as: arrogant, cold, and robotic

Crate and Barrel Update

Well, I had to call them and the reception was icy, but I am satisfied. The chair has been cancelled and I don't appear to have been charged the restocking fee. Sanity prevailed. The sofa comes a week from Friday. Now to paint. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shopping at Crate & Barrel


So May 5 I drag Steve to Crate & Barrel to buy a sofa and a chair. See pics here I loved the sofa; the chair was okay. But I bought both. The sofa was a stock item and could be here in 2 weeks. The chair was custom; 6-8 weeks. The clerk thought he could get them to bring the sofa and later the chair for just one delivery charge. I mean—I was paying a bunch for these two pieces. His manager said no. So I said I’ll wait for the chair.

July 2--10 weeks later—Ten weeks of a topsy turvy house working on my last nerve, I call to ask the status of my order. The lovely girl who answered put me on hold and returned to say, “I’ll have D call you.” I should have known then.

No need, says I. I just want to know where in the process we are. L. says ----long story short----In June—15th AND 22nd they received notice the fabric was back ordered until Aug. 1. The fabric I had been having second thoughts about a week after I bought it. But it was custom, so you couldn’t cancel after they started it. No one alerted me of the delay. No one let me know that I had a chance to change my mind. I told L. to have D. call.

He did. He was so nice. I said cancel the chair. He said he would have to ask his manager---the one who denied the delivery deal. I said that if his manager said No he should have the names and numbers of the three people above her when he called. I didn’t want to waste his time and I would be calling them.

The manager called. Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. ( A Southern saying that I understand, but have no idea how it means that.) I had such lovely taste. The chair was going to be dynamite with the sofa. I should keep the chair and just to make the delay up to me, she would comp the delivery fee. That nasty delivery fee that she had gouged me with in May.

”I’d just like to cancel the chair.”

Well, they had not called me because the delay was within the 9-10 week window they had first quoted me. August 1 (a date she didn’t know I knew) was not within the window. And the window was 6-8 weeks.

“Just deliver my sofa and cancel the chair.”

Well, the chair may be ready any day. In fact, the chair may arrive before the sofa. (Sofa should have been in local warehouse since May 20th when it could have been delivered for an extra $65 delivery charge.)

“Do you know for certain the chair is in production? Best find out. I want to cancel and just receive the sofa.”

Well, you’ll have to pay a restocking fee.

She is supposed to call me back. I didn’t ask about why I had to pay a restocking fee for something that had never existed. I knew I would get really ugly then. When we Southern Bell/Steel Magnolias get ugly, well-----you just don’t want to know.

I really wanted that sofa, but I’m not so sure anymore. Someone tell me again how wonderful Crate & Barrel is.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stash Sale at Charlotte Yarn

What a glorious day! Remi Haywood, owner of Charlotte Yarn, sponsored a stash sale for her customers. She provided tents, tables, coffee and bagels and watched us have fun. We met new knitters, saw old friends, and sold, bartered, gave away yarn. I made a bundle. Steve reminded me that I had paid more for the yarn than I sold it for, but I think having money in hand to buy new yarn instead of having yarn I don't re-e-e-ally want so much sitting in the attic is a fair trade.

Anyway, we set up about 8:30. Well, Remi's husband William did most of the work. He's a fantastic guy, but his mother is so great it isn't a surprise. Phyllis taught in CMS longer than I did. Now she drives an orange Hummer. That must mean something.

My table was embarrassingly full. And I only brought yarn that I had 5 or more skeins of. I hope we do this again and I'll bring the scarf stuff. Some came back home and some went to charity.

Lots of folks showed up to sell AND buy. Cristi Brockway was selling and May Shue was buying. May even brought a copy of her To Be Knitted database with yarns and amounts. We said, "Geek!" And we wished we were that organized.

More people came and William organized a team to set up the tents. I think we had four in all. It was bring your own chair and lots of knitting was done in our makeshift shade.

The Charlotte Knitting Guild was well represented by Vice-President Rachel Eldridge and member Dinah Barrett. Dinah kept my table straight and I know helped sell some yarn.

Charlotte Yarn staff was well represented by Natalie seen talking to Dinah.

Cristi and Amy laughed a lot, even though Amy bought the hot pink Sierra out from under Cristi. She told us about her exploits knitting from Stephani Japel's Fitted Knits. Made me want to knit another Simple Bodice.

DH picked me up at 1 and we went to Bricks for lunch; ran into Harriet and Michael there. Sweet Alabama Harriet gave me a skein of Koigu.

Came home to find Harry Potter waiting. Am on Chapter 8. Plan to finish it tomorrow and not to watch live TV or look anywhere at the net until I do.

Friday, July 20, 2007

More about Camp

Betty Dong sent some more camp pics, so I thought I would post them.

Silly me, I didn’t realize all the Maggie Sefton connections until someone explained them to me. I just read A Deadly Stitch and wow! Fort Conner (in the book) is clearly Fort Collins, Co. The yarnshop House of Lambspun is the shop I posted about on the 12th; see the pic of Lambspun there.

The restaurant is attached (Betty H, Eileen, myself and our fearless leader Gay enjoyed lunch there) and the golf course is just across the way. Only Helen’s cottage is missing. I know Rachel will have a fit about this because she likes her books so much.

This is Mary Ellen who is our mentor. She is holding one of her sweaters designed by DD Paula, our resident color specialist. She demonstrated cutting a steek for those who had not seen such. Mary Ellen is selling her patterns now; I saw them at My Sister Knits. She graciously sent me two and I can’t wait to knit them.

You expect yarns shops to have cats, but My Sister Knits has chickens. The shop is behind the owner’s home and both front and back yards are full of birdhouses, including felted ones. I’ve just put up some feeders in my yarn, but I want to make the felted birdhouses. I believe it is a Fibertrends pattern.

Lots of folks went out to eat, but not all of them behaved. Eileen and Peggy needed stern words.

Candace was a superb teacher and promised to return next year with new tricks for us. She is also a lot of fun. She is modeling Alice’s gloves which were featured in Knitters magazine a few years ago.

Tomorrow is the big Stash Sale at Charlotte Yarn. Hope I make some money---to spend on more yarn.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Million Apologies

I have just discovered that a number of you have been unable to reach my free patterns due to my tiny geocities account. I am so sorry. You need to complain so I will know.

I have upgraded my site and the patterns are now available. Please forgive. More patterns coming soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Knitting Camp Day 1--yarn

Today I begin camp. Yesterday was a flight to Denver and an adventurous drive to Fort Collins in Edie’s big truck which pulled her traveling yarn shop. Five of us laughed and made fun of Edie’s Tom-Tom guidance system.

Every few minutes this low sexy woman’s voice would pipe in “Stay to the left.” Now I know why men like this device. I’m waiting for one in a male voice with a French accent.

Candace arrived sans suitcase. She was stranded in Chicago overnight, slept in the airport, and now has only one suitcase. The missing one holds all her fair isle samples and the yarn and handouts for class. We will soldier on this morning anyway and I know it will be successful.

I met Peggy Wells last night. Peggy is the daughter of the Brown in Brown Sheep. She and her husband now run the business. She’s very friendly and we share a serious interest in cotton yarns. We plan to sit down and talk a bit about better ways to market the yarns other than Lamb’s Pride. Of course, I have opinions!

The Residence Inn is quite nice and I love the setup for a workshop weekend affair. I share a suite with Gay, our camp director. We each have a bedroom and bath; the living room, dining area and kitchen divide the bedrooms. We have 3—yes, three—TVs. There is a lovely pond outside my window.

I do have the Versus channel, so I can watch the Tour de France. Also have lots of access to New Belgium Brewery’s Fat Tire ale. Don’t know how that will impact the knitting.

We had a brief discussion of color this morning and then went to lunch at the restaurant attached to Lambspun. This is the yarn shop fictionalized in Maggie Setton’s mystery series. They do weaving and spinning also. I wasn’t very impressed with the yarns, but bought a silk cap and some soy silk to spin. Also got a hook for my wheel; this one has an eyelet on it so I can chain it on and maybe keep it a while.

Bought some gifts (not pictured) and some sock yarn (doesn’t count). Also bought some new yarn Brown Sheep is just releasing to play with and some Prairie Silk.

Off to beer and burgers and then to watch the tape of the Tour.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Lace Vest

Finished object just in time to wear to camp. This vest has no body shaping, but the drape allows it to fit nicely on the body. I love the hand of the Hempathy yarn and after blocking it is still very nice.

My DGS, Zachary, spent the last 12 days with us and he is the photographer for these pics. Not too bad for a 5 year old.

The only adjustments I made were because my gauge wasn’t the same as called for. I use a fingering weight yarn. You knit the back, then each side and finally do a three needle bindoff to join. This means it is very easy to change the length of the piece. I also think you could easily add a panel or gusset to the underarm if you should so choose. I did not add any short rows to the bustline.

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy 05 off white
154 yards/50g skein. Blend of 41% cotton, 34% hemp, 25% modal with a gauge of 5.5 sts/in on size 5 needles.

Ilga Leja Antique Lace vest Ilga's site
Sizes: Small to 2X
Level: Advanced Intermediate
Suggested Yarn: Sport weight or double knitting yarn
Needles: 4.5 mm. (US 7)
Gauge: 18 sts = 10 cm./4 in

Monday, July 09, 2007

Colorado Knitting Camp

I've started my packing list. I leave Wednesday morning for Colorado and a reunion with some awesome knitters--awesome people,too. I wish I could take everyone I know to this event. The first year I went was just to give me something to do during a visit to DD who lived in Denver at the time. How could I know these women would change my life?

I didn't return until almost 10 years later--and it was like I had never left. They make every new camper feel totally a part of the group within the hour. Amazing.

Candace Eisner-Strick is returning this year to do a workshop on fair isle. Some of us are fairly new to this technique; others, like me, teach it. It really says something about Candace that we could care less what the topic is; we know we will learn some new tricks. She will bring suitcases filled with examples and I will steal as many good ideas as she will let me.

My biggest quandary is what yarn to take. Candace is bringing the complete line of Harrisville wool and Peggy Wells, owner of Brown Sheep, is bringing the complete line of their wool, and we have access to yarn shops--But! I am a Southerner who rarely wears wool--especially fair isle double layered things. I may take Louet Opal to design some socks and some thin cottons like Cotton Fine.

Clothes?? I'm not sure I'll have room. I may have to wear them all out there. Yarn is far more important.

Check in often. I'll try to keep you up to date. Second in importance to take is my computer.

Notice the Hufflepuff button on the side. I succumbed to being sorted. Yes, the book is on order. I am an unashamed Harry Potter fan.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Fireworks at the ballpark; Mini Stitch and Pitch

Charlotte Knights 7 Durham Bulls 3

After the game

We stayed to watch the WBT Sky Show

as it exploded right over our heads.


During the game, I started a new sock with my Socks that Rock. I have to invent a slip stitch rib to prevent the colors pooling. Pics and pattern for that next.