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July 2004
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September 2004

Stash Enhancing Day

whatiboughtCathy did a little more stash enhancement than I did last Saturday. I didn’t get carried away (there is a sale coming up!) but did find a couple of things to make the day more enjoyable. Why is it we just can’t stand the thoughts of ‘shopping’ and not buying, especially at the LYS? Here in SLC we do have many nice places to go and we hit three of the 6 (or so). Here is the sum total of my purchases. Not much I grant you but I’m happy with it all and there IS that sale. The pattern book from Jaeger has some very classic sweaters with great style. It’s a good stash book for future and regular perusal. I look through my knitting library regularly…just picking up a book and enjoying it from time to time. It offers a bit of inspiration for future knitting and keeps me enthusiastic (like I REALLY need to be pushed?). OK, back to the stash enhancement.

I also picked up the new Knitters. This is the first time I’ve purchased it in the last 2-3 years. It hasn’t had much that interests me lately. This issue has a very cool scarf and hat by Kristin Nicholas. It wasn’t all bad! But there really isn’t a lot good, either. Char had started the scarf and you can see it in a pile on the table in front of her in yesterday’s post (along with the balls of yarn for it…love her colors!) Also there is a T-neck raglan that I like very much by Robin Melanson. While knitting Sally’s Raglan I thought it would make a great T-neck and this is pretty close. There is a picture of the scarf on the Knitters site but not one of the T-neck. After seeing these two items I didn’t really look at the magazine carefully until I got home. As I sat turning the pages…what should appear? My favorite teacher, sensei, friend and all around wonderful woman, Shay Pendray! It’s a great article on her and there were many nice photos. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years and miss her presence in my life. The photo of her and her late husband Don playing in the snow as children brought back the many times I have seen this photo hanging in her home. She is an awesome person. This alone made the magazine worth purchasing.

silkalpacaglassneckI also bought some glass pendants to make a necklace for my sister birthday (and a couple of friends). Claudia had something similar on her blog so when I saw them at Soul Spun I knew what to do! They should be very pretty and fun to wear. You can see one on Claudia’s blog dated August 1st.
Last but not least is the yarn. It’s Blue Sky Alpaca, Alpaca & Silk. Oooo, think soft and petable. I had to have it and think it will become a pair of special socks for me! You just can’t believe what a lovely yarn it is until you touch it. It’s priced pretty nicely, too. I didn’t do much knitting over the weekend and promise a report on the concert tomorrow plus knitting progress the rest of the week.

Oh, and have you been trying to “Be Fit”? I did make my goal of walking all week and also made my weekly trip to the gym. I’m looking and feeling much better already! Week four and counting.

Tonight is Stitch 'n Bitch. It's such a great group and one I hate to miss. Shannon and Emily have joined Laurie, Steph (she just moved to Portland but we still claim her as OURS!), Susan, Barb and I in blogging. They are very astute and smart ladies. We all are!! I will run by to see y'all late, but I'll be there!

Thelma and Louise Hit LYS!

tbirdunravelsheepChecking my email first thing Saturday morning I found a message from Cathy written the day before. It said that she wanted to hit the yarns stores and have lunch before 1:00 on Saturday. Being game I called her right away. She picked me up in her new T-bird just before 10:00 and we took a ride around our valley to three of the LYS's. First off we headed to Unraveled Sheep. Char has only been open since October 2003 and she has wonderful yarns like Rowan and Shetland and tons of other goodies that keep us coming back. Sadly we didn’t buy while there (but the week before I bought Summer Tweed, remember?)

We then headed to the other end of the valley in the Black Bomb, hair flying, sunglasses on….looking very cool. One guy yelled at us “That’s too much car for you!” We just laughed and said “Eat your heart out!” He was obviously envious (in his way old Subaru). The day couldn’t have been more beautiful. We had clear skies, cool temperatures and the wind in our hair....ahhhh. Thelma and Louise came to mind and we did our best not to go off the deep end.

blkshpNext on the agenda was Black Sheep. This is our ‘main’ store. We *heart* this wonderful shop with it’s very cool ladies who attend to our every need, the very informative classes they offer and yarns, oh YARNS galore. The very best news is that in anticipation of the move to a new, bigger (by 50%) and better location they will be having a sale next weekend! They will then close on the 7th of September and reopen the following Saturday in the new spot. A sale of new fall yarns will start that day and go on into the next week. You can bet where I’ll be on September 11th at 10:00 in the morning. After the move I’ll show you before (old shop) and after (new shop) pictures of this great place. Here is Vonnie, the owner, helping Cathy with a purchase.

soulspunWe then headed over to Soul Spun the newest shop in town. I have only been there once before but Susan told me they had Blue Sky Alpaca yarns and discount coupons for the upcoming BOW. Shannon, from our Stitch 'n Bitch group was there (on the right) and we enjoyed chatting with the owner, Somer. This shop is mostly novelty yarns so, if you are into scarves and ponchos this is the place for you. Somer is a crocheter and will try to join us at SNB soon. Maybe we’ll get her into knitting, too.
I did buy a few things but I’ll keep you waiting until tomorrow for full disclosure. The darling husband and I also went to another concert at the Red Butte Gardens Sunday night. It was quiet an ordeal so, more about that later, too. It takes time to do this blogging thing and I must have a way to entice you back as well. Stay tuned…

P.S. The pictures all pop-up so you can see them better. Typepad has become much faster in the last few weeks and there is great improvement in the time it takes to load these pop-ups. Please let me know if you like or don't like this format. Would you rather see large pictures with text around them or just get a peak and click the pictures you want to see more? Your wishes are my command.

Mountain Splendor...not!

It was very strange to be away from my computer for a full day. Wednesday was our company golf tournament and it was fun…I don’t golf but I drive a mean cart. 5:00 in the morning is 50 minutes before I usually wake…that is 50 minutes I really need, apparently. Fuzzy headed I left without my much wanted camera and one knitting needle (it turned out I had little time to knit anyway). We were at the Homestead Resort in Midway Utah, a very beautiful mountain valley. You would have loved the pictures and I'm sorry to deny you the mountain splendor. Surrounding the golf course are the Wasatch Mountains which are starting to fill with red splotches of color. All of a sudden it’s fall, baby! I promise to do better and when I return to the area for the BOW Fiber Festival over Labor Day weekend. There WILL be a camera in my bag. It may get covered by fibery, fleecy wonder…but it will be there. BTW, if you check the BOW website you’ll see a picture of several people sitting around a table. I’m on the end, sitting on top of the table with a large hat on my head. We helped to full some fabric that a friend had woven for a kilt. Norman Kennedy sang wonderful old songs (and we tried to sing along) while we slammed the yarn and passed our ‘wad’ to the next person. Very fun!!

makmewaresHere is the progress on my Making Waves Socks (click please). They had to be frogged because I didn’t follow Pam’s advice and make them a size larger. I took them back to the top of the ribbing and increased 2 stitches on each needle to get 80 stitches. They now fit, but by adding the extra stitches a strange and exciting thing happened. The spiral that had started in one direction in the ribbing has changed directions! Do you think I can do the same with the second sock!? The color is so pretty (the picture is a little washed out) and it’s enjoyable knitting the cables.

anneyarnA friend gifted this yarn to me for doing her a favor. It’s the glorious Anne by Schaefer. When she pulled it out of her bag I couldn’t help but gasp and say “Oh, I love that!” She handed the skein right over and said to keep it. The name of this colorway is (might be) Mary Pickford. I had been thinking of joining the Pool Along but this is so pretty I think I want some socks or maybe a small shawl…too many choices!

KnitSteph was also very kind to those in the RAOK ring and gifted everyone $5.00 to Adagio Teas. I had to spend it! So, I bought the tea pot there on the front page and some ginger tea, too. Yes, Laurie they have ginger tea!!!

Have a knitterly weekend!!

Even More Fickle

flowerbasksThe Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall 2004 issue of Interweave Knits is one more item in this fickle knitters basket. The Seaweed Wrap* was on my needles for the Lace Along sponsored by Kate and Julia. It is an endlessly long project and seems a little daunting when there is other knitting to do. So, when Sarah Elizabeth decided to have a Knit Along for the Flower Basket Shawl I decided to do it for both KAL’s (Julia gave permission for the change). A fickle, efficient knitter I am.

After Charlotte’s success (success breeds success) lace is less intimidating and actually fun. The Flower Basket is a great project for someone who likes simple lace that works up into an elegant and beautiful item AND is a size that can be finished quickly. The alpaca is a soft gray and is more like a fingering weight, perhaps even a little heavier. Since the yarn called for is lace weight doubled this isn’t too far off. The gauge doesn't matter so much to me as I just want a small shawl to protect my neck from winter drafts. After this picture was taken I couldn’t help but knit on. There are now two of 7 repeats complete….it’s another seductive project on the needles.

*It will not be abandoned just will not be a main project right now.

Fickle Knitters?

summertweedstartIt can be a little bittersweet to finish a long term project like Kersti. Eileen also has this feeling with her recently finished Audrey. It’s a wonderful feeling to have something so well designed and wearable, complete and ready to wear. But, after fondling, caressing, holding and dreaming of the wonderful Kersti for so long it is strange to find another project in my knitting basket.

Most of us can be very fickle with our knitting. Few of us have knit just one thing from beginning to end without having something else on the side. We usually have 2, 3 or more projects on the needles and sometimes there are many more tucked out of sight (and mind) in a closet.

We are seduced by new yarns and patterns every time we open a knitting book or magazine, cruse the blogs or on line shops and, especially, when we enter a LYS. Our attention spans can be very short when something wonderful comes our way and we MUST ‘make’ it our own. The feelings of love for the current project can evaporate in the wind because of something more wonderful. The success of a newly finished item can also seduce you into a new project, in that it makes it easier to start a new project…success breeds success.

Summer Tweed is a good distraction from my Kersti withdrawal because of its warm color and silken texture. The color is much warmer than the pictures shows…more of a terra cotta with flecks of gold and deep red. The design element in the ribbing adds some interest to the stockinette body which is simple and elegant. It’s a perfect thing for chatting and knitting.

And, so it’s on to a new love, another wonderful sweater. It’s the process…

And the Winners Are...

What fun that was…yesterdays contest, that is. When you throw an idea out there you never know how others will respond. Respond you did! My Secret Pal doesn’t know how close she came to winning! That would have been a hoot. “Dear SP2 – Please send your address…” Thank you again, Secret Pal for a very nice gift.

Back to the contest…the winners were Melanie (700) and Larry (701). I have been to Melanie’s blog, Swim Knits, and she does such beautiful knitting. I LOVE her “Cable Tank” (just scroll down a bit). Larry, Knit Dad, is new to me and I’m so glad to meet him! Larry wanted to tell me about the Lost Points Shawl as he has knit it for a shop sample. He might get a few emails from me when I start to work on it. The ladder yarn is a bear at times but the effect is worth the effort…don’t you think?! Thanks to everyone for your tips on working with both yarns.

It was so much fun to hear from people who have been coming around for awhile. Some I had seen on the ‘stats’ and some have left comments before. But, many were new to me. Now I have even more friends on my Blogroll. Many fun comments were left and I have to confess I enjoyed it so much I milked it all day. It was fun to see the number climb. I just might do this again when another big number rolls around. It is always nice to hear from everyone who does not blog, too. Comments are not just for blogger to blogger, so don’t hesitate….we know you’re out there. I do hope you will continue to come by and to leave a comment from time to time.

And thank you for all the wishes for rain! It worked! It rained quiet a bit, off and on, all day and was very cool. I almost had to bring out my warm sweaters and it’s just too early for fall! We don’t want summer to end quite yet, now do we? No, Teresa, even if I have to wait to wear Kersti! But, we do hope the rain keeps on coming!!

Thanks to everyone who participated. It makes me wish my sock yarn stash was much bigger. For another contest you can check the Anne's blog, Busy Needles. Anne is one of the new people I met and she’s has a good one going.

Come back tomorrow for some knitting!!

What a Great Friday!

nicetoesYes, I know it’s Monday BUT, Friday was a great day!! My Kersti sweater was finished and showing off on the Kersti Blog for many wonderful friends who stopped by to say how beautiful she was. Thank you, everyone!!
On my way home I stopped by a favorite salon and had a pedicure….ah, toes that spend the summer in sandals need TLC on a regular basis. With toes newly clean and polished I headed home and found a package on my doorstep! sp2funstuffWhat to my wondering eyes should appear but something from my Secret Pal!! Inside was a card that said “Knitting Soothes my Soul”. (My sentiments exactly!) That is so much a part of what ‘Zen’ is for me. The gift inside was a kit for “The Lost Points Shawl”. The yarns are Melody, a ladder effect yarn, and Bamboo (now I tell you, is that not a perfect yarn for a ‘Zen’ blog!?) To boot, it is my favorite color of red, a dark, rich red and together the yarns will make an elegant shawl. My Secret Pal is a very cool pal!! Click to see how truly beautiful it is!

Saturday my darling husband and I made another trip to the downtown Farmers Market. We loaded up on beautiful fresh produce once again. But instead of getting a chance to take pictures of our lovely haul we had to clean spilled yogurt off of the veggies and out of my beautiful African basket….boohoo!

My dear friend, Camille had a birthday over the weekend and her brother Thom had a party for her. The house was full of beautiful white gladiolas. We ate delicious pastries and enjoy coffee and chat. She also had some beautiful gifts. Happy Birthday, sweetie!
We ended the day at a play with friends….a fun night out.

silvermountainSunday dawned to a gorgeous day! We decided to head up the canyon to our favorite breakfast place, the Silver Fork Lodge. We sat on the deck drinking in the mountain view. It couldn't have been more perfect weather or a more beautiful day. It was distressing, however, to see so many trees dead or dying from many years of drought. That afternoon it did rain. Oh, how we love seeing even 30 minutes of rain (which is a long rain in Utah!). “They” promise a week of cooler temperatures and thunderstorms nearly everyday. We have our fingers crossed.

Let’s see now….my blog started in March of this year. It has been a very fun few months of blogging and getting to ‘know’ so many people with blogs and without. Having others leave comments is a real lift, a highlight, for bloggers. We know you are there, lurking, peaking in, because we see it in our ‘stats’. Soon my number of comments will reach 700! Now you don’t know if it will happen in 2 comments or 30 so, here is my contest, challenge and wish. Leave a comment, it must be a comment on today’s post. The person who leaves the 700th comment will receive the beautiful Wildfoote sock yarn in red AND in blue/red rag. BOTH! You can make socks with one color or mix them up. For the person who leaves comment 701 you’ll get the Wildfoote Handpaint yarn in shades of red. I love red so this is hard yarn to give away. Come on and comment, comment away and make it happen in one day!!
Click to make the pictures larger.

Made it to 50 comments! You guys are so good. Thanks for all the compliments and for stopping in. Now you DON'T have to stop leaving comments but the contest was won some time ago. Keep 'em coming if you's been fun! Winners will be annouced in the AM.

Stringing you Along...

tweedstartBefore the concert began on Wednesday (and before the rain), I cast on Summer Tweed for Chamomile. Mary Beth is right! It does create a beautiful fabric. The ribbing was just finished when she had to be stowed under my chair for safe keeping from the rain. Summer Tweed knits a little like cotton, as it has no give (70% silk 30% cotton). But it does have a nice texture and the color has a rich depth to it from the tweeded colors. Little flex of soft orange and burgandy enhance the color of the not-quite-ripe berry red. It's perfectly delicious knitting.

books2Annie posted about the new book Hot Knits and with just a few clicks on it was on its way. Ordered it sight unseen just on Annie's say so. It was a good recommendation! I also added The Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd to meet the 'Free Shipping' requirement and they both arrived yestereday. If you want to read a good review of Ann's book you can check Eilene’s blog. It should be a very helpful knitting reference, as was her first book of patterns.

At Stitch 'n Bitch I stared this scarf (from the Purl Book) that will be worn with Sally’s Raglan this winter. It’s an easy ‘mistake stitch’ pattern…simple, fast knitting. I know you want to see my Kersti! BUT, before showing you pictures of my finished Sally’s Raglan you must head over to Susan’s place and wish her a very happy birthday (tomorrow)! She deserves a ton of comments! But, then come on back to the Kersti blog

B-B-Bad To The Bone

I spent the night with George Thorgood (and the Destroyers) at the Garden. I might have lost a couple of pounds by shaken', rattlen' and rollin' to the down and dirty blues. My darling husband was along and he had only one word for the show, !!!DAMN!!!!

Shortly after we arrived at the venue the skies opened and it poured rain! Our emergency mylar blanket kept us dry and because this is Utah the rain lasted 15 minutes. A rainbow appeared, blue skies prevailed and we enjoy a fabulous concert. Everyday Cardi and hand knit socks kept me warm. Kersti came along, too! And if the pictures in the Garden turn out you'll see her tomorrow!!

Stitch and Bitch is on Tuesday nights and we have a great time talking about life, politics, knitting, reading and anything else that comes to mind. This Tuesday was no different but we did have a smaller crowd. We miss Steph! Hope she is well and finding Portland hospitable. Laurie has become a button maker extraordinaire! Check out the very cool buttons she made for the RAOK ring. (I changed the button on my RAOK ring to her ‘knitting’ button. It might be fun to change it from time to time.) Laurie is one awesome, caring woman. We have a great group because she thought Stitch ‘n Bitch would be a great thing for SLC knitters and it is!! We meet in a great little coffee shop/café and have a bonding experience every week.

I’m looking forward to the weekend and not doing much…except knitting! I’ll get the Summer Tweed on the needles and just might get some real time with the poor neglected Making Waves.

Come back and we'll see together if the pictures of Sally's Raglan turned out so you can see Kersti in all her glory!