Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vacations and new stuff...

Wow did we have a GREAT time in southern Utah! The canyon lands are amazing and we hiked until we couldn't hike one more trail. We made home base in Cedar City and went into Zion National park several times and from different directions. Here I am taking a break in the shade and of course there is knitting in my backpack! Imagine :)

Our daughter and her boyfriend stopped in Boulder Utah and we picked them up there. I am afraid they found the desert to be grueling riding, but amazing scenery! This part of the trip had amazing hills and at one point there was a 14% grade they would have had to ride up. They did hitch a ride back to Reno with us and are leaving for the Northern California Coast on Saturday (not so hot) . I couldn't believe that they rode what they did ride, WOW! It was really neat for all of us to be together as a family and Charles (our daughter, Shelly's boyfriend) is a fantastic cook. Off to the right is a hike we took in the center of Zion up to these cool pools and check out the tadpoles starting to turn into frogs (below).

We hiked up the river for a long way and here my kids are having a blast playing in the water together.

Of course on all of these hikes I did have knitting with me and did even knit when we stopped to take a break.

I did have internet access periodically and did peek at our site once in a while AND I see that the Spud and Chole yarns and patterns have come in to the shop.
I must admit that the patterns were there before I left, but I didn't get a chance to really browse and decide what to knit up. Ashley talked about the Boy Meets Girl Hats in one of her posts and they are adorable. The suggested yarn is the Spud and Chloe Outer Yarn and I can't wait to see it up close and in person!

Of course I spotted the Two-for-One Socks pattern, which calls for the Spud & Chole Fine Yarn imagine that I would be attracted to a sock pattern, ha ha!

So many of you had asked me about this cool new line of yarns and patterns before I left that I just can't wait to get into the shop tomorrow and touchy feely. I will let you know what I cast on and as always you can keep track of what we are knitting here on our project log.

I missed you all and look forward to tomorrow, as it is the 1st of the month and you know what that means right? Limited Edition Colors, woohoo!!! I just happen to know what this color will be called and do think I remember the colorway. Hmmm, it has been a while and a lot of yarns have passed before my eyes since that last time I saw it, but I think I remember. It is a really neat one! I will be getting my two hanks of the Lorna's Laces Sport weight yarn for sure!

Until next time I leave you with a picture of a friend I met on one of our many hikes and she was a real sweetie!
As always, happy knitting! Jeanne

Friday, June 26, 2009

Too bad the garden can't produce more knitting time...

So, I know it's been a while since I last posted but I have been spending most of my free time working in the garden. We finally got everything planted last week (now that it finally stopped thundering and lightening over my head) so that should free up a bit more of my time for knitting related things. I am so happy to finally have everything in the ground though! I am SO looking forward to those first garden-fresh tomatoes. Here's a little look at my labor of love:

I have, however, found a little bit of time to knit. Crazy, I know. I decided while things were so crazy that I needed something fairly mindless to knit on. I absolutely fell in love with the Sublime Kid Mohair that we got in about a month back that I just had to make something with it. Normally I can't stand to wear Mohair but this stuff is SO soft, I couldn't help but pet it to the point where Jeanne just told me I had to buy it. So I did.

I chose the "Aimee" pattern on the cover of Kim Hargreaves' Thrown Together book. I know you've heard me talk far too much about my undying love for her patterns, but I will say it again, I LOVE HER STUFF! So, I did my math and figured I would need just 4 balls of the Sublime. Well, once I got home I realized I actually needed 5--classic knitters mistake and I should know better than to not buy that extra ball. Of course, by the time I got to the shop the next morning we were sold out of the Loganberry color! Pooey! So I decided to knit a subtle gray stripe into the design making it a bit more preppy looking than I intended originally. Oh well, I think it is still going to be super cute anyway. I'm also knitting it in the round... it just made more sense to me. I really like how it's coming out, I may make another in plain black. You can never have enough black evening wraps right?

Lastly, a good friend of mine had a baby girl last week. Her name is Cassie but we just like to call her Hoot. So I am making little Hoot a Presto Chango out of the Debbie Bliss Rialto (the color is a much more subtle rose color in person) that we recently have on sale. My friend, who we like to call Gecko, will appreciate that it's machine washable and very soft. The yarn itself is a dream to work with, I just love it! I should be able to finish the knitting over the weekend and then it will be time for me to learn how to do the mattress stitch properly. Can you believe i've been able to avoid it all these years? I can't. I'm a little afraid but Sandy has assured me she'll be gentle with me. Here I go into uncharted territory....

Happy knitting,

Monday, June 22, 2009

So much yarn, so little time!

The much-anticipated Spud & Chloe yarns and patterns are in and on the site! I spent the better part of Saturday morning getting...acquainted...with the patterns while addiAdd Imageng them to the system and I have to say, I'm really *really* excited for this line!

First off, it's all machine washable. Perfect for me (yeah, pretty much no-nonsense) and Cory (who has um, washed my hand-me-down cashmere bathrobe then put it in the dryer--by some miracle it didn't shrink!!!). After the wedding I'll be off my yarn diet...and I'll be in the clear of the 'sweater curse'...so it might just be time to knit him a sweater. In the meantime, he's been asking me for an earflap hat for years, so I might step outside my diet 'boundaries' for a moment and knit us up a set of Boy Meets Girl Hats.

Besides being machine washable, all three weights are superwash wool/organic cotton blends...so they're a 'green' knitting choice (for the girl who goes out of her way to buy recycled TP, this is a good thing!). And my favorite part--the patterns are really young, fresh designs. No hunting for a cute pattern and then hunting for the yarn to match--it's all right here!

Of course, with the wedding (gulp) just 8 weeks away, I haven't had an ounce of time to knit (or spin). I've finally accepted that yes...people will be coming in the house that day, so yes...I probably should finish unpacking and giving the less regularly used rooms a homey touch (like say, putting the books on the bookshelf in some semblance of order, and hanging the pictures on the walls rather than stacking them precariously against the far wall! I'm happy to report though that the office no longer makes me cringe!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Huck's Hat (in progress...)

Well, I'm slowly digging my way out of the new-baby abyss... and am slowly (read: very slowly) working on a hat for the new addition...

I'm making Huck his first hat - using 2 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (a personal favorite)... once stitch at a time, of course. Of course, it might be too small for him by the time it's done, but at least it will have been fun. As far as a pattern goes, I'm making this one up. He weighs almost 8 lbs right now and his head is about 12 inches around. I figured that the hat should be 4.5-5 tall and I cast on 110 sts with US 2 Needles. After joining in the round, I have been working every row as K3, P2. I think that i'm just going to knit for 4.5-5 and then do a 3 needle bind off, so the hat will be square on the top. We'll see! (and i'll keep you posted).

Oh yeah - don't worry - i won't leave the needles on the hat when i finally give it to him to wear... i just needed to try it on him first! (of course, the needles might make good protective gear for his head, eh?)

By the way, if any of you have a border collie, then you can understand why Buddy is already pushing for Huck to start throwing the tennis ball!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Road trip!! Wahoo!

I am leaving on Thursday to meet up with my daughter and her boyfriend, who are extremely hearty souls. They are bicycling from Green River Utah to Sedona Arizona! Phew, it makes me tired just looking at them here with their bikes on a test ride. They are taking all back roads and the mileage will vary from 600 to 1000 and their goal is to be in Sedona by the 4th of July. After that who knows, as they have saved up for a full 2 months on the road! Oh to be footloose and fancy free!

We will log about 1400 miles on our own (in the comfort of our truck and trailer :) so I am planning out my knitting arsenal. Let's see my husband will drive initially and I am working on a scarf/table runner in Classic Elites Yarn, Allegoro (one of my new favorites for sure). I can knit that up without too much trouble, except that it is lace and I will be shushing my crew constantly (shush, counting). Hmmmm, then there is my Courthouse Steps blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting and it isn't too big yet and is just garter stitch, that's a riding in the truck possibility.

Please note that I am doing this one in some discontinued Rowan yarn, but highly recommend looking at the Lamb's Pride Bulky as a great substitute.

Ok so now I get to consider a new project for the road (hmmm imagine? :) in Muench Yarns, Touch Me!

Quick digression here, Laura you torture me with these sales, I am going to have to start hiding my stash in the attic and bury it in the back yard. I bought enough Touch Me to make well something big, but I do have a plan for a long tunic vest using a twisted stitch pattern and I am just dying to get that one cast on.

Of course there is the worming issue to contend with and I wonder if the cab of the truck will give me the room I need to deal with that? If you are interested in some tips on worming you can read Laura's article on the subject and one of my favorite things is a glass bowl placed 5 feet away from me, with the yarn pulled off the ball in a kind of yarn 'puddle'. I will also, smooth my yarn as I work and tension is really important too. Well, it is feeling like the truck knitting needs to be the Allegoro project, or the Courthouse Steps blanket. At any rate wish me luck and gosh what rough decisions I have to make, ha ha!

As always, happy knitting!


Monday, June 15, 2009

A little faster gratification...

Well...it's done, and I have to admit (and doing so I'll try not to inflate my ego too much) that it's beautiful!

I'm starting to notice that there's a certain degree of psychology involved in knitting. Well...for me at least. After finishing my Gayle jacket (an eleven-month marathon knit interwoven with buying a house, moving, and planning a wedding) I immediately picked up the Eyelet Halter...knit on size 3 needles....and began my top-secret bridesmaid knits (um, that may or may not be finished in time for the wedding...but the thought is there) also knit on size 3s.

Yesterday, I just looked at these pipsqueak-gauged projects...and snapped. I rifled through my stash until I found 4 balls of Big Wool Fusion (sadly, it's discontinued) and cast on the cover knit from the Holiday 2007 Knit Simple. It's just what I needed..two hours later I had the better part of the back of this chunky cropped vest finished:

When they say you can knit the vest in just one weekend, I'm quite certain they aren't kidding! And once it's finished and my confidence, and motivation, are just a bit stronger, I'm sure I'll have the gusto to finish all of those other projects I hastily cast on!


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Rain, rain, go away???

Well it has been raining here in the high desert and my veggies are HAPPY! This rain has been really unusual and I have been imagining being by the northern California coast which is one of my favorite places to hang out. In Reno we say just wait ten minutes the weather will change, so to have 8 days of rain in a row has been kinda neat.

I have been thinking about all kinds of crazy knitting projects, how about a knitted parasol, or fan? I have seen great patterns for the fans, but have yet to find the fan frames for them. It doesn't stop me from dreaming about lovely little knit things like that. For now I will have to be happy with working on bigger projects like my Shoal Water Shawl by Fibertrends. It's so pretty and I am now into the third repeat. I just love working with the Noro Silk Garden sock yarn and may actually make some socks out of it soon :) (this has to be a quick post lots of customers :)

I hope you are all getting enough fiber in your diet and happy knitting!


Monday, June 8, 2009

I can almost taste it...

I apologize for the late blog (I'm usually on like clockwork at 10:45 on Sunday night) but I was finishing feverishly into the morning hours.

All that remains now are one sleeve, the seam down the side, a few ends to weave in, and the crocheting of the button covers. I can't believe how warm (and heavy!) this jacket is going to be. Sure it's wool, and wool is warm but this is not your average wool. The fibers are thick and wiry and I'm quite sure that this jacket will be equally good defense against the wind as it is against the cold (forget that it's intricate and beautiful--I'm all about function haha).
This has been one of those projects that you just drudge through, knowing you have to finish it but not really seeing the end in sight, or the sense of accomplishment that will come when it is finished. Now that I've started the finishing work and I'm finally seeing all of the pieces come together it's absolutely incredible to think that (albeit over the last 11 months) I've knit all of that! Just a few more hours....


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Knitting and Thunderstorms.

Whew! It's been a crazy week. First of course there was the arrival of the newest little bean Huck, who has us all starry-eyed and shmoopy. Then there was the arrival of the newest color of the month, Jimmy's Journey, which is absolutely stunning! Finally, it's been storming like crazy here in Reno--that of Pacific Northwest proportions! We've been having the coolest thunderstorms followed by rain every day for the last week or so. For the high-desert, that's a lot of rain! My garden is extra happy because of it.

In all of this craziness, I still had time to begin a new project this week (add that to the other 9 or 10 I already have going and it's way too many). Anyway, I decided that I need a basic black cardigan so I bought 5 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Black (which is super yummy yarn to work with) and started looking for a pattern. I settled on the 16 Button Cardigan from Simple Style. I absolutely love how versatile this design is. You can wear it with the buttons in front or in back giving it an extra little bit of flair. I might even make the sleeves 3/4 length to make it as seasonless as possible. I'm not sure yet, I guess i'll cross that bridge when I come to it. (Side note: my apologies for the sideways photo. I couldn't get it to format properly, but you can kind of see the sweater.)

Anyway, i'm making progress on my sock as well. I did end up ripping it and starting over on a size one and I took the leap and went for the magic loop! I LOVE it! Check out how to do the magic loop using this little booklet. It's awesome! That's it for now, happy knitting everyone!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The littlest Bean is here!!!

Our littlest Bean is now here in the world and is absolutely the cutest baby ever! Of course I am biased as one his many Aunts. I bet he will be knitting in no time, but for now he is just being a cutie and has won the hearts of all the Bean's here in the shop.

He was born on May 28th and weighed in at a perfect 7 lbs 3 oz.! Laura looks fantastic and Doug seems to be fairing quite well with no sleep :) His name is Huckleberry and we will call him Huck for short.

Join us in celebrating this sweet new life and congratulating Doug and Laura. Anyone who is a parent knows that the best is yet to come on this special journey! Welcome to the family little Huck, aka the Rock! As always Happy Knitting! Jeanne