The SnB Swap

As you may have heard, the SLC SnBers are a tightly knit group and, while we have fun every week, the best thing about having a swap is seeing people who can't visit that often.  Sadly, my camera never came out of the bag and when it did, the pictures were crappy. Such is the life, and light, inside a coffee shop. We love our Jitterbug, nonetheless.  

Bluemittsforsnb

Eliza was the recipient of the lovely Tree of Life mitts and she not only loves them, they fit her perfectly.  Beaverslide, vintage buttons, and a nice pattern, made knitting a pleasure, and seeing them on Eliza hands was icing on the cake.

Fromkatheryn

The very cool gift I received was knit by Kathryn, one of our newest members. She knit a long piece, covered with a two color design that created the number seven, folded it in half, and crocheted around the edge to create a thick mat. It is the perfect trivet for my teapot.

The festivities were fun and raucous.  All the gifts were not only beautifully knit, they were well received. We’re quite a group, and that's a fact.


Positivity

Ballbandsandtags2010

Rather than bemoan my lack of knitting skills, or confess my knitting nightmares, let's end the week on a positive note.  Above you see all the ball bands, or tags, from 2010s yarns. I get a kick out of saving, then trashing at the end of the year.  

Hammyforme

Hamamelis, the beautifully blue shawl, has been in the neglected stage of knitting. Usually, I'm not much for neglect but, apparently my knitting prowess has slowed and having multiple large sized projects is grounds for chaos and confusion. This past week Hammy was rescued from obscurity and has grown (and will continue to grow) quite nicely.

The SnB Ewe-tah grrls will be celebrating their 7th anniversary next week (SEVEN years we're been stitching and bitching together!).  The theme  for our swap project is...tah dah! SEVEN. (It was Susan, of course, who had to suggest a theme.) 

Swapsurprise
Cheryl (bless her) helped me find the right project (but, it's a secret until next week) and, with a little backward and forward knitting (damn that frog!), I made it through the project in a few days.  Deadline knitting averted, due to the misbehaving of my largest project. You gotta love that (or not). sigh

Woodruffbeginofcable
I get by with a little help from my friends and Suzy helped me into the next project, the beautiful tweedy Woodruff mitten. She fell in love at first sight and I tumbled right along with her.  We egged each other into finding the right yarn, which meant a trip to the  LYS, where we found the perfect wool, Tahki Donegal Tweed. She bought the most luscious red and I opted for Charcoal (at least it's not blue!). Knitting the swatch completely sold me on this yarn, as it softened, bloomed, and turned into a lovely fabric. (Someday I'll knit a sweater with this yarn!)

Until I can wrangle the larger project, get it corralled, tamed and behaving well, I will stick with smaller knitting projects (and my friends).


More About Twist and Knit

For multiple reasons, summer is not a good time for spinning and, my poor wheels, Emmylou and Corrina, spend months neglected and alone. Over the weekend the weather cooled and the desire to spin returned. Before I could spin, Corrina needed a little TLC, so with the new cloth, I polished her beautiful cherry wood finish, all the while dreaming of the soft, luxurious, and unique fibers we would spin into yarn. 

Fiber is often spun for the experience of working with the content and the resulting yarn can set aside unused. Spinning is about the process of creation, not necessarily using what results, thus handspun can marinate in the stash. Twist and Knit, Miriam’s first book comes to the rescue, with multiple patterns for the small and large skeins of handspun (or commercial yarns).

Twistandknitwithhandspun When the book arrived I went right to the handspun bin and started plotting and planning which yarn would work with which pattern. The white yarn is a soft as can be 3-ply Cormo from Wooly Wonka Fibers and should make up nicely into the cowl on the coverRav_linkredyarnball, perfect for winter’s cold. The white may have a dye job after knitting is complete.

The plan for the purple yarn is to knit the rustic and cozy Comfy ShawlRav_linkredyarnball in a 2-ply spun from Spinderella's thrums.  The shawl should be toatsy and warm, just right to throw over a jacket this winter.

As I told you yesterday, last year, while recovering from surgery, Miriam asked if I would like test knit one of the patterns for the book. You may remember it was quite awhile before my brain worked as it should, and I admit to struggling with even the most simple of tasks, but after several false starts, and multiple errors of my own making, the lace became easier to read and the pattern repeat stuck in my head. I was off and running!

Amotteonthestone

Knitting Motte Rav_linkredyarnball was just what I needed and, as she grew, I knew I would recover my sanity and my memory. The big plus was working with my own handspun and realizing my own yarn wasn’t half bad! In fact, it was beautiful and it helped create a unique, and rewarding, shawl.  If I can spin, and I can knit it into something so clever, I can do anything. Knit on!


True Blue

Susanshowingcherylhowtomakeabag Thefirstbagsusanmadesaturday

Susan has been touting the little projects bags she's been sewing, because of their unique construction. Saturday Cheryl had a small tea party and after we drank our fill of tea, and ate many delicious treats, we started cutting and sewing bags of our own. Well, truth be told, I just sat and enjoyed the show while Susan, ElizaRav_linkredyarnball and Cheryl did the work. Even though I did little more than look on, we all ended up with a beautiful project bag (for a very small project, like socks). Cheryl has a few more pictures of the day. It was a day spent with true blue friends, who kept quiet about my surprise party the next day. It must have been difficult. 

Doesthisremindyouofanything

Sunday, as a ploy to keep me occupied until time for SnB, Shelley and Cheryl took me to lunch. We've been to the Red Iguana several times, but this time we tried Red Iguana 2. The decor was bright and colorful and the food was every bit as yummy as the the original location. (My tostadas were delicious, but the plating gave us a good laugh.) While we inside the colorful Iguana, Cheryl took a picture of my new "do".  I'm still trying to figure out the best way to handle it...maybe a different hairspray? It certainly shows off my new earrings, in any case.

  Colorfulandfunplace

The entrance is so bright and unique, with the colored glass cubes, that we had to stop for more pictures.  

Shelley-margeneinrediguana2 Shelleyandcheryliniguana

Shelley and me - Shelley and Cheryl

If anyone needs more proof that Cheryl is a true blue friend, she collected birthday wishes from many virtual (true blue) friends and put them into a little book.  It must have taken her hours to collect all the messages and it's a treasure I will keep forever. 

Susansgiftwasabeautifulshawl

And while we're on the subject of true blue, Susan designed and knit a shawl with yarn dyed by Kim. For months I've bugged Susan to write up the pattern and she kept putting me off.  Of course, now I know why. (The pattern should be available soon.)  Kim and Susan are as true blue as friends can be and I love wearing the shawl!

Here's a few pictures from the party.  At least Cheryl remembered to take a few pictures. Thanks, grrlfriend!

Cuttingthebestcakeever

Cutting the best chocolate (GF) cake.

Smithmejudymonica

Smith, Judy, Me, Monica

Snbgrrlsknitthroughanything

SnB grrls knitting throughout the party.

Smith + Friends = Love (10,000,000,000).


Showcasing Susan



Susansshowcase
The SnB Ewe-tah Grrls have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talented designers. We are very fortunate as several of our members are well known in the knit design world and a few more, who maybe lesser known, are no less talented. It isn't the water (at least not the water I drink), but our group does ferment and foment, support and encourage each other to greater heights.  Any knitting question, any problem that needs to be solved, the answer can be found in our group of accomplished, knowledgeable, long time (and new minted) knitters.

Detailofsusansfountainpenshawl Saturday night was Susan's night to shine.  Her star recently rose as her Fountain Pen Shawl was published in the Spring IK.  Blazing Needles, one of the newer shops in town, and a place that also encourages and supports the knitting arts, honored Susan with a special reception.  Above is a small showcase of Susan's recent talents.  The centerpiece is the Fountain Pen Shawl in Hand Maiden's Mini-Maiden. The design artfully posed on the side of the display is Susan's newest pattern, a scarf based on the shawl, Ink Spot.  The yarn Susan used is Habu's #: A-1 Tsumugi Silk, a tweedy silk noil yarn with an exquisite texture.  (I've started one of my own and I'll share details later.)  The yarn pattern combo will make a perfect summer scarf pattern, a beautiful way to keep the draft of air conditioning from freezing ones neck.
Laurietoastssusanwithkareninbackground
Shelleyaliciadanihavingagoodtime Chrisandcherylattheparty The evening was a load of fun with the Ewe-tah grrls hanging out, sharing lots laughter, and supporting one of our own.  Laurie, who always has the right words, shared a very nice toast for Susan. (Can you tell the room was full of hand knits!?)

A good time was had by all and, most importantly, Susan had an inkling of how much we enjoy her friendship, how grateful (and fortunate) we are to have her encouragement and support in our group.
Susanandherdaughter
Susan with her darling and accomplished dauther.

Congratulations, grrlfiend!!



Thinking of Flowers

It's a busy week (living life can keep one running), but I have been able to fit in some knitting here and there.  As always, I'm looking forward to the weekend and more time to spend with a sweater, either Gray Mist or Wisteria, or both preferably.

Aneckofwisteriagrowsslowly

Wisteria reminds me, during these days of (a slight) inversion (it's ugly here, folks) that spring will come and bring beautiful flowers once again.  Wisteria also reminds me of the process and the joy that can be found in working stitch by stitch in the present.  She reminds me that while I dream of flowers, what is in my hands now is of utmost importance.  A few stitches here, a few more there and she grows.

The SnB gang (we aren't just grrls) had a "One Skein Exchange" for our 5th Anniversary party.

Cheryllookiedcuteinelizashat Chrislikelauriesbag Elizawashappytohaveheathersneckwarmer

Heatherwasexcitedbywarrensearwarmer Warrenlikedcherylsneckwarmer Susanwasexcitedbythecowl

All the "gifts" were in brown paper bags and no one knew what they had until the bags were opened.  Cheryl got a fun hat from Eliza, Chris got Laurie's (coveted) beaded bag, Eliza received Heather's very creative cowl, and Heather got Warren's very warm (and cool) ear warmer. Laurie received Chris' linen bread cloth (no picture), Warren's neck is now warmed by Cheryl's buttoned cowl and Susan (happily) got the Applewood Cowl from me.  I was the lucky recipient of Susan's gift and I'll share it with you after I get a picture of it with Acer.

The intent was not to torture you by dragging out the Acer debut (although that's not a bad idea).  Our first opportunity for a photo shoot is this weekend, but I can tell you this already, she one of my favorite sweaters ever. 


Tea Party

Alittleteapartykeptmebusyonsunday
I spent the whole weekend hanging out with grrlfriends.  That means there isn't much time to blog. Saturday we hung out in the needlepoint shop and knit all afternoon. Sunday it was nice to have a few friends over for tea and spend time chatting, laughing and knitting.  Since I spent the last two days having fun, there is now laundry and other household chores to do.  That's why weekends go so quickly! Two days just isn't time to do everything I want to do!


Hats Off to Debbie Stoller

Theslcsnbgrrlsatanniversaryparty07 The SnB Grrls feel like we owe a debt of gratitude to Debbie because she planted the seed in Laurie's mind that SLC NEEDED a Stitch 'n Bitch group. We may not have known how much we needed this group, but in the all of it, we couldn't live without it now.  Within a short period of time we went from meeting bi-weekly to meeting every week.  We also share so much more than 2 hours ever Tuesday.  How cool is it that we're no longer all grrls…we always have guy, at least one, who can put up with us all!  Our tightly knit group will be celebrating the beginning year five on January 8th!

Debbiesigningbooksatlibrary When we heard Debbie was coming to town we knew the only thing to do was let her now how much we appreciated the idea that brought us all together. Her books have brought great knits to beginning knitters everywhere, as well as more members to our group.  Last Thursday night Debbie shared with us how she learned to knit, why she knits, and the historical aspects of knitting. She is one savvy, witty, warm lady with a great attitude that has carried her far.  Knitting has had a big resurgence and there is no denying her hand in that surge. Her books and ideas take knitting across lines of age, gender, and thought, and into the region of the cool, funky, sassy and edgy. (If only more pictures had turned out well!)

Cherylinskullymittens  Susanandjessinhatandsushi

Jessinnijamaskandsusanlaughing Badpictureofdebbieandadrianssweat_3

Debbiesawesomenewlbooks The newest book, Son of Stitch 'n Bitch, maybe the best book yet.   It's full of creative, unique  and classic knits for grrls who knit for guys and guys who knit for themselves. We were all impressed with the patterns, many of which cross lines of age and gender.   Many of the projects were  things we knit for ourselves.  It was fun trying on the items that Debbie let us 'manhandle' and goofing off for each other.  We, the crowd at large, were very impressed with the variety of projects, techniques and yarns used. 

It was a great night and we love Debbie all the more.


Making the Best of Things

Clearblueskyandsnowymountain
While the weekend was full of fun, frivolity, fiber and friends, it wasn't full of Norma and I missed her terribly...we all did!   Every time I saw a beautiful view or had a great time, I thought of Norma and how she should be here.  We will make up for it when she comes out later, but you were missed so much Norma!!

Alessredredforeps After we found out Norma wasn't going to make it (Kim was able to cancel her flight) Anne let me know she was still up for some fun on Friday. I was more than willing!  We had breakfast with Cheryl and then headed to Black Sheep for some retail therapy. Susan met us and helped me find a red better suited to the other colors of my EPS. (Thanks Susan!)  It was such a beautiful day all the way around and it was great to spend time with Anne.

Maricamesusanandteriat3wishes Saturday, that wonderful thing called serendipity did come our way as Susan and I met up with Teri at Three Wishes and promptly bumped into Marcia (literally!).  It was fun to fiber shop, laugh and chat together.  (I did purchase some goodies, but they're gifts.) Retail therapy did it's job this weekend as did time with grrlfriends!

Thesnbgrrlsatcherylshouseandanicesp Saturday afternoon the SnBer's were invited to Cheryl's for a Holiday gathering. Cheryl knows how to host a party and we enjoyed wearing our crowns of gold from the Christmas Cracker's she had for each of us. The SnB gang now has a signature 'adult' beverage called the Mimsical.  It's the creation by our dear Mim (who apparently does a good job of designing more than knits) and comprises of a G & T with a bit of pomegranate liquor...we call it yummy and festive, too!

Bigskeinofhandspunforfeatherandfa_2 Bluebeginningofwoolenglove Because the guest room went unused there was time to finish plying the beautiful Cosmos singles and now have about 700 yds for a Feather and Fan Stole.  A little quite time here and there gave me a chance to start a new project...more knitting the blues, as I started Véonik’s Woolen Gloves.  Don't you just love the Apple Pie Cornflower Blue yarn?

Blueskyandtreesflockedwithsnow Smith and I made it to Silver Fork for the first time in weeks and it renewed our frenzied souls.  It was wonderful to be in the mountains with the blue sky and pure white snow.  We also carried off a successful Mitten photo shoot...details to come!  Happy Monday, everyone.


Best Laid Plans or I'd Rather Be Knitting

Suchaprettyfallday It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually it was very nice when I arrived home, which made a perfect opportunity to take Moxie for a nice leisurely stroll. The beautiful days of fall will soon be behind us. Sadly, it was nearly dark by the time we made it back home and the pictures I tried to take for todays post were middling to poor. Drat!  Another thing that took me off track from finishing up the planned post for today was Lark !  I'd rather visit with a friend any day than sit in front of a computer (even though I know all of you are on the other side of the screen).  She dropped off two skeins of her ultra fabulous alpaca/soy silk lace weight yarn. This is Raspberry Sherbet from Sky Lark Yarns.  Be still my heart...this is such luscious, luxurious yarn! The search starts for just the right pattern to show it off. Mim, what's up your sleeve?

Theincrediblesoftandlovelyskylarkya

Rather than fuss about the pictures and try to retake again and again (thank goodness this picture turned out!), I decided to spend the night knitting on a mitten.