Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Long Time, No See

Okay, I could have been busy, but actually I've been stupid. Playing with medications--yeah, doctor is involved--and my brain has been weird.

Lots of activity during this time. First, my friend Shelley sells boutique wines, really good ones. My Sewing Bird Beaching group met for a wine tasting led by Shelley. It's easy and not very expensive so check out her site.

Anne's silver shoes were the perfect attire. We didn't knit because, well, wine and needles--you know.Patsy provided chocolate and cheeses to accompany the wine. If you haven't had dark chocolate with red wine, you are missing a big treat. Both taste better together.

The Hillary Clinton campaign opened there office here and I attended. I must have put together 100 yard signs, but I also took one home. Lots of young people working as interns. This is Nathan and Chris.

Kate met me there and we signed up to help some and got our buttons. We sneaked off before the local politicians spoke and had some wine and beer at Rooster's.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Freeform Fun

I don't care if I was the teacher, this was a great class. We had so much fun. Everyone caught on quickly and were willing to push their comfort zones. Look at the table of yarns we had to work with. Most brought lots of leftovers and we dumped them all on the table to share.
Jet produced her scrumble quickly and did not follow a single direction from my little pattern. Yea, Jet! She's just been waiting to do this and embraced the technique immediately. We did some serious yarn swapping at the end.
This is a view of some of the other students and a clearer view of Jet's scrumble.
Dawn knit this piece and loved it. I'm talking stroking it and jumping up and down. Dawn is delightfully strange.
Rachel's swatch was very different from the pattern I gave them. Rachel has never been afraid to risk with her knitting. I think she may have inherited that attitude, along with a lot of yarn and needles, from her grandmother.
This is Cynthia's piece. We had to threaten her to get her to stop thinking so much and just knit. She also shared her new kiddie afghan with the adorable cupcakes she had knit to sew onto it.

This is Jean's piece and it is all risk. She added the solid green piece after discovering she didn't like the business of too many patterned yarns together.

Leslie' s piece below is headed toward a great evening bag. The yarn choice is very nice on this.

I didn't get a picture of Hannah's piece but it was very nice. Hannah taught us all a new technique by mistakenly using a slip knot on the needle before picking up stitches to knit in a different direction. I started to "correct" her when I was struck with how this could help with getting the stitches all the way to the end of the piece when adding a border. Lots of new techniques are discovered by a mistake. Don't worry about your mistakes; embrace them. They teach you far more than your lucky guesses ever will.

Charlotte Knitting Guild Awards Night

My pictures are pretty lame, but the pieces were wonderful.
My vest on the front is nice, but Cristi's entrelac vest at the back was stupendous. Stunning colors and technically fine.
Harriet's vest on the back of the chair is such an interesting pattern; she has knitted three of them. The two toned sweater was knit by Rachel from the top down. She took that class from me and I am very proud of her work. This picture doesn't do justice to Jane G.'s bed jacket done in a vintage 40's style and very fine yarn. Everyone loved it.
These are our new nametags. Rachel discovered them and they work great. They are small pieces of white board with little stands that hold them up. Dry erase marker is easy and reusable.
Of course, some people began to add comments beside their name. This group is hard to control.
This category was too broad and will be changed some for next year. It contained everything from an embellished sweater to tiny, delicate booties. All of the pieces were cute.
The Home Dec category only had a few entries, but they were neat. The dish cloths had great patterns.
Winter Accessories abounded. I thought the shadow knit keyboard scarf was cool.
Scarves were in the Winter Accessory category and they were lovely.
These are some of the shawls. The one on the front was very much evening wear IMHO. Lace and lace edged shawls were popular.
The bag category was wonderful. Lots of color and interesting techniques.
This category was for people who had been knitting less than a year. Can you believe Dave is in this group and has already made a luscious pair of socks?
We had socks out the wazoo. Not unexpected; every meeting has two-thirds of the attendees knitting a pair. They are our favorite portable project.
Stunning amount of color and technique. Some were designed by their knitter; some had unexpected combinations of yarn. All were great.

We learned much from our first effort at a show. Next year we will advertise the categories much earlier so folks can hold on to some pieces long enough to enter them. Even with a fairly short notice, we had over 60 entries. I was blown away by the enthusiasm and support.

After the judging was complete, the good people of Universal Yarn in Concord gave us a yarn tasting. Jean Lux even gave us a Sponge Bob paper plate to hold our yarn samples. She had prepared 20 gram balls of several yarns and even gave full skeins of the newer yarns. Hal who owns the company came and talked a bit about the manufactoring end of the business and the many decisions that go into creating a new yarn.

This was one of our best guild meetings. If you live in the Charlotte area, you really should come to a meeting and see what we are about.

Campaign Office for Hillary Opens

Well, I misread the email and thought Hillary was coming to this. Dumb! But I'm glad I went to it. I put together about 100 yard signs and did some people watching that was interesting.
Many of the volunteers are young, like Nathan and Chris. They are so enthusiastic. There were a good number of us older types there. The age group in the middle didn't come until after 5. I guess they were working--something I used to do.
Kate met me there and we snagged buttons and stickers and yarn signs. We also talked to the interns to find out what kind of office supplies they need. When we realized that the only people speaking at this were some local politicians, we headed to Roosters for beer and wine and to talk fiber things. The bartender seemed very amused by us.

Wine Tasting Party

Once each month the staff from The Sewing Bird get together to catch up, eat a little, and talk knitting and sewing. This month my friend Shelley joined us to do a wine tasting. She's phenomenal and we had a blast. This is a superior way to have an easy party. Check out Shelley's website. The wine is wonderful; I drank more than enough to make that evaluation.
Toby and Marilyn worked hard at the swishing it through your mouth.

Beth and Anne are serious about their wines and contributed lots to the discussions.
This is Diane who tries hard to keep us straight and often succeeds. Patsy provided her home and lots of cheese and dark chocolate to assist our palates. Patsy has recently joined the staff at Charlotte Yarn so look for her there on Monday and Thursday. She's the funniest person I know. And one of the nicest.
After the tasting, talk turned to needlework stuff. These are some bags that Patsy has recently made and we loved them. Diane K. gave them a good look.

This is such an amazing group of women. Everyone is very talented in some way and talk often turns to creative ideas. No matter what your dilemma, someone always has a great solution.