Monday, August 25, 2008

I LOVE this Sweater

When I went to the Sartorialist today, imagine my surprise and thrill to see such a pretty hand knit sweater being modeled. At least I think it is hand knit. Just lovely.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Languishing Blog, Red Hot Needles

I've been knitting like a fiend this summer, having finished not one, but two sweaters. I am astonished. I am so NOT a summer knitter. But this summer the projects have kept me knitting and it hasn't been too hot to knit here in Seattle with the exception of last weekend when it was in 90s and the house was hovering at around 87. And no, I don't have air conditioning. Most folks in Seattle don't.

I've also been completely monogamous all summer. First with the February Lady Sweater, then the Liesl that I knit in five days. I kid you not. Five days. I promise a blog next week about both sweaters which I am already planning on knitting 2nd ones, something I never do.

And lately I've been working on the Flying V Shawl with the yarn I bought at Noe Knits in San Francisco. Don't you love the way my new Knitpicks Options needles look with my shawl. Nothing like coordinated knitting. I'm nearly finished, not that this shot shows it, but had a complete breakdown of control last night and had to start another project.

What was the project that lured me out of my safe and productive one project at a time mindset?

Felted Dr.'s Bag by Pipp's Purses.

You can find finished ones at Ravelry or get your own pattern at Pipp's Etsy site.
Way too cute. And I have tons and tons of little balls of leftover Cascade 220 that need a home in something. Like another purse for Elizabeth.

BTW, if my husband asks, I'm NOT knitting a purse, bag or other hand carried contraption in which to put girl things. Not in the least. It's a sweater. For a clown. Yeah, that's it. It's a clown sweater. He'll believe that.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why Travel if Not for Yarn

I was off last week to the Romance Writers of America annual conference in San Francisco, but before I got down to the business of writing and working and meetings, I got the chance to hang with my good friend, Debbie Macomber and go on a yarn crawl she organized.

Okay, you haven't lived until you've gone into a yarn shop with Debbie. It is a riot. There are authors who write about knitting and can barely make a purl and pass themselves off as "knitters", and I won't mention names, but Debbie isn't one of those--she LOVES knitting. She adores yarn. She's a knitter's knitter. A few years ago when we were at a conference, she and I ran over to a local yarn shop and I came home with all these projects that I thought were way over my head and she was so encouraging that I think I knit them purely on her faith.

But along for the ride were Candi Jensen--of crochet fame and producer of the Knit and Crochet Today on PBS, and who was our delightful chauffeur and hostess to her hometown, Renata--Debbie's to-die-for right hand assistant, and fellow authors, Christina Skye and Marie Skinner. Here's the whole pack of us at ImagiKnit. (Moi, Christina, Candi, Debbie and Renata.)

Christina and I knew each other years ago when I lived in Phoenix for a year, but haven't crossed paths since, so it was wonderful to see her again. Of course we had to keep pulling her away from big, thick, heavy yarns, since she still lives in Phoenix, a place that really isn't designed for wearing a lot of wool. And who wouldn't like an author who wears her own hand knit shawl in her author photo! Here's Christina trying to make an anonymous entrance into Noe Knit where we both ended up buying the pattern for Artfibers Symmetrical Flying V Shawl and skeins of Blue Heron Yarns Beaded Rayon to make it.

Now this is the sort of project I would probably walk right past in a shop, and quite frankly, I did. Then it caught Christina's eye and she asked the lady in the shop if she could try the shawl on. And when she did, Wow! What a difference between hanging on an armoire, and hanging around one's neck. The drape and pattern were beautiful and we were both hooked on the project. I hadn't brought any knitting with me, hoping to find the perfect project on our crawl, so when I reached to buy needles, Christina insisted I borrow her Knitpicks Options, especially when I confessed I had never tried them. We all joked over lunch, "you can borrow a book and not return it, borrow a recipe and claim it as your own, but knitting needles--those you must return."

Can I just say these needles are incredible?! Where have I been? By the time I got home, I was online and ordering a set. And yes, Christina, the moment my new set arrives (in 5-7 days) yours will be winging their way back to you.

But back to our crawl. We started at ImagiKnit, which I have heard all about over the years from listening to Jenny and Nicole's podcast, Stash and Burn. The folks in the shop are very helpful, overly nice and when they realized Debbie was in the house, brought out all the stops for us. They also confirmed for me that Nicole is as nice and chatty in person as she is on the air. Met a few other Ravelry folks just shopping and since I was wearing my brand new and completely done February Lady Sweater, I got stopped every few feet. ImagiKnit is an amazing shop with floor to ceiling yarns and in every fiber and color imaginable. If you go to SF, it is a must stop shop.

With all our shopping and gabbing, we only got to the two shops (ImagiKnit and Noe Knit) and didn't make it to our planned stop at Artfibers, but Renata confided in me a few days later that she'd snuck out of the conference and hit it and bought a bunch of yarn, including some to die for silk. But then again, she wasn't the only one to bring home more yarn than books from a writer's conference. I also picked up enough of this, Terra in Cornflower to make another Liesl sweater. (Ravel linked). I knit one last week before I went to conference in like 5 days, so I would love to have another because it is so pretty and so much fun to wear.