Thursday, January 24, 2008

I can spin now!

I'm too tired to recreate this entry :) It's a duplicate of my post to Charlotte Purls - but I'm too excited.

Thanks to my friend Shiori from Eastside Knitters - I can now spin with a Spindle!!! I can also ply a 2-ply yarn!!! I'm sooooooo excited!!!!



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why I am a dog person

I know I will get in trouble for this. When I look at blogs, Knitters all seem to like cats. Why?

A friend and worked shared this with our team and I thought it was funny. I wanted to share it with my knitting friends.

Here's a bit of yarn p0rn that made me drool and break my yarn diet. Why was I at a yarn store while on a Yarn diet? Especially Weaving Works one of my favorite shops in the USA? If you have to ask, I wouldn't be able to explain it to you!


Yes - that is Noro Sock Yarn. I saw it online and was like that sounds intereting. I saw it in the shop and the colors just POP. The single ply yarn looks differnt too. It knits up so pretty. I can't wait to wear my socks!!! Too bad for my current sock projects with 1 complete - I will have to put them on hold to get these done. :)

And one other knitted update - let's start with a question. Why does the most simple projects get the most rave reviews from total strangers (who don't knit)? I made this super quick Calorimetry (my new instant gratification project - LOL) and super, super quick, tiny scarf (using only the yarn I had left in the ball) for my trip to Seattle because last time I was so cold. It's in the 20s to 30s this week, so I am very glad to have it and wear it everywhere. I have been stopped and asked did some one make it for me. Everyone is so surpised that it isn't a hat but a headband when the see the back. In a knit shop - since this is Moda Dea Tweedle Dee yarn - I was asked what yarn it is b/c they haven't seen it before. And I was suprised that they weren't aware of the pattern. I thought I was the only one in the knitting world that hadn't knitted one yet looking at the number on Ravelry! I can wear the most complicated lace with *no* comments but a simple head scarf and scarf get's the most attention. Not that I wear my knitting for comments, but I'm just saying.....



Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ladies Leaving a Legacy

Yesterday was such a lovely day. Our Site Community organizer - Michelle Thomas [who literally knows everyone and I mean *everyone*]- sent email out to the African American women's alias for tickets because Microsoft was a sponsor of the event. I had not heard of it before - although Microsoft has participanted since the beginning for 5 years.

WOW - the event is a fund raiser for UNCF. Ladies Leaving a Legacy is organized by Vanessa Mitchell. This lady has a heart for service and love - and a really great time! Her favorite color is Orange and it showed. The decor was lovely with splashes of orange everywhere. Ladies who have been for a while know Mrs. Mitchell's tastes and the lovely organge outfits were all stunning. Let's just say everyone was dressed - as several speakers said - wearing our "dress up clothes". And the furs! I have no furs and can't really get into depriving a little animal of it's skin. But they sure were beautful on the gorgeous ladies.

The day was so positive and uplifting. There was prayer, a poem reading and just positive messges. A doctor of integrated medicine spoke on wellness and taking care of yourself in body, spirit, mind, socially and civically. POWERFUL! I have already started to take steps in this area and the overall message was so confirming. A lovely lady was honored for her service to the McCory Y and community. She was so lovelly and cute. Such an example of the Prov 31 woman. I want to be her one day. I just was amazed in her commitment to give back. And she was even working the crowd as she accepted her award!!! Gracious lady. I have to look up her name and update the blog.

I forgot my nice camera and brought my Radio Shack special, so please excuse the photo!


My tablemates were Microsoft employees and/or the wife of an employee and my friend Monica. We had the best, most positive converation. I am inspired to start a mini-LLL luncheon once a month at MS. We all decided that we need to regularly inspire each other in career, health, and overall wellness. Just drawing from their strength for 3 hours was so uplifiting to me. I want to spend more them with them. We all committed to also stay in contact and grow our network in LinkedIn. Of course with Michelle at our table, and she knows *everyone* so many leading ladies of Charlotte stoped by and was introduced. Especially if they were from Spelman or a Delta as Ms. Thomas is! :) I'm so bad with names, but I remember faces. One of the most memorable is a Lady is is chair of the newest community bank in Charlotte - Legacy Bank. It's in the capitol raising phase now and if I had some expendable $$, I would invest. It is a chance for *us* to be in at the ground floor of a bank! Not to many of those opportunities come around. Mrs. R. Flowers, a coworkers wife, sat next to me. She is just a spark of joy. We chatted about our babies, organic food, detoxing and loosing baby weight! We have a lot in common!

I can go on and on about LLL. My friends of color - next year I will be encouraging you to go!!!! If you are in Charlotte, don't miss it!

And lastly because it was not the most important part - the freebies :)

Vanessa loves orange and has a generous spirit. She spoiled us - this was my little loot.


A lovely bag - given to everyone.
A beautiful butterfly pin - given to all 1st time attendees.
Lovely hoop earrings - for those at a sponsor's table.
A program and wellness tips.

Something to remember a great day by! I'm looking forward to the pictures to be posted to the LLL site for 2008 and ladies - please join me in 2009!

And to make this a bit knitting related blog entry - I forgot to mention my Eastside Stitcher's friend Shiori is going to teach me to spin this week when I'm in Redmond!!! She had promised she would teach me when I came back and she found me in Ravelry so I could keep in touch with her. I let her know I'm coming and she is going to bring a hand spindle and fiber for me! I am *soooooooooo* excited. This group spins the most beautiful yarns. I've been drooling each meeting seeing what they have come up with. I so can't wait. And with the great SAFF news - Diane from Creatively Dyed Yarns is going to host Charlotte Purls at SAFF!!!! And feed us too!!!! I'm going to try to be able to spin well enough to spin some laceweight for a super special shawl/throw for me at home. Portable hugs is what I call them. :) And I've always wanted one that I spun the yarn. I'm so excited!


Janeen gave me a well deserved tongue lashing for not getting Joleen done by the end of her birthday. Her lovely house gifted by her Aunt and Uncle arrived on time, but Joleen was not available to move in. I had to stay up on Saturday to finish her.

First of all - Joleen is my little made up pattern. Given that - I am very proud of how she turned out. I'm most proud of using sock making techniques to put short rows and decreases in her feet to turn at the heel! I need to write the pattern down before I forget - my next doll will be a lot better because I learned a lot. Her hair is crochet chains, looped and secured in her scalp. Better than my first doll for Janeen - Flo's hair turned out. Overall all I think she's cute. I'm not impressed with my stitch work on her face, but I have never been good at needlepoint.


Joleen is hanging out at her new home with another gift Janeen received - a Nientendo Dog. Her arms are a bit straight - that's another feature I will change next time. But her head is stable, much better than the knitted doll - Flo.

I finished Jo so late I didn't have time to make her any clothes - so she is wearing a little swatch for now :) I have to make her something tomorrow before I head to Seattle so she isn't cold during the week.


I have sort of resisted making toys, they aren't my favorite thing to knit for some reasons. But seeing how proud Janeen is in showing her friends her first doll and this one when it is in progress makes me feel so good. I have to make Jason a bear and Jada a doll now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My 2nd Tam

These are addictive little projects. I started this one at the Saturday Charlotte Purls meeting and just wrapped it up. This one was made with Cascade Ecological Wool and Noro Kureyon. Both were great in this project - and it knitted at a larger gauge than her sister did. It could also be that I held the yarn a lot looser this time too having learned my lesson with the 1st project.


I like how the color work emerged. Here is #2 with her sister #1.


I think this pattern is a bit easier than the first one since there are many rows early on that have just one of the yarns. But that said - knitting with the two yarns isn't too bad. I did trip my self early on by trying to talk and knit and lost count. I had to frog a few rows because I didn't realize it until later. But once those rows were in place, I could knit the rest with less concentration.


I have to now start #3 - I'm thinking about making this with 2 solid yarns. I saw a hat that TurtleGirl made with Silky Wool that I liked the photo of. I have some of that yarn, so I may try it with that yarn. But I also wanted to try a sport or fingering weight and see if I can adapt it for my 14 month old. I think she would be so cute in a baby Tam. I'm headed to Seattle next week with lots of time to knit - so, I will have time to experiment!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Busy bee, Busy Me

2008 has really been my year of knitting so far. I have either been working on quick, satisfying projects or trying to complete some of my many, many WIPs. I have to get some WIPs out of the way so I can start some fabulous new projects I have planned but don't want to start with so many incomplete projects!

The main item I want to make is a sweater. I really want to knit a nice., nice sweater. With some super soft alpaca yarn I have and something I could not buy in a store. I don't want it overly complicated and ornate, but simplistic beauty. I've been on the hunt for a pattern for a while.

I also want to make a Fair Isle vest - and I have some other Fair Isle projects in mind. Fingerless gloves, a headband, a hat/tam (with more than just 2 colors).

So much to do, so little time. But this blog is to catch up on my busy January.

First of all - it's my mother's birthay month. She had commented that she liked a crochet scarf I had made - the color of the yarn. So I decided to knit her a scarf in that color for her birthday.


I love that color way too. It's Moda Dea Sassy Stripes in the Crush Colorway - I made it on Size 5 needles. I'm thinking about making a matching hat for her, but I haven't decided on a pattern. The pattern I used is the same one I used for the teacher's scarves. It's so fast, but it's nice and chunky feeling.

I love that pattern so much - I wanted to make one for me.


I'm using SWS in Natural Russet, needle size 7. This is my first time using this yarn, though its been in my stash for a while. It's a nice feeling yarn - although a bit hairy. It also sheds. I'm interested to see how the scarf will wear after a while and if the cables will stay nice looking or if it will get floppy due to the single ply and fuzziness. I want to wear this before I make anything bigger in this yarn. I knit so loosly, I don't want to make something larger with the yarn only to have it descend into a loose, floopy mess in a few washings. I would be very dissappointed.

Next up is a pair of socks that I have been working on for a while. Well actually, I completed everything but the heel in July, and then lost interest. So - last week I finally put in the heels.



The yarn is Ditto and Pace by Universal yarns. I bought it at Rave Knits when the Universal ladies would come and visit. I liked how both yarns knitted, not super luxurious like the merinos I love, but they seem to be longer wearing that some of my merino socks.


Here are another pair of socks that were unfinished. These were on hold at the heel. I don't know why I loose interest at the 2nd heel, but that is my typical stopping point and it take me to get on one of my finishing kicks to pick it back up again. I'm working on wrapping these up this week. They are knit with XXL purchased at Knit One Stitch Too. I love XXL yarn colors, but the yarn is a bit splitty, not my favorite to work with. These are a set of sock yarns I purchased to wear with jeans.

Once complete - I have to finish these two Fleece Artist Merino socks:



Aren't the yarns just simply wonderful? I love the colors the dyers choose. I'm having a hard time giving these socks away. I think that's why I haven't finished them yet.

I didn't make this hat - but I helped! Ashley - a young lady that I know and helped (along with my sister) teach to knit - wanted to make a hat. I helped her get started with this Stitch and Bitch hat. Didn't she do a fabulous job!!


Joleen has already been named by her "twin" Janeen. It's Janeen's 9th year birthday present from mommy. I have to get her and her clothes done by Friday!! I'm sort of making up the pattern as I go along because I forgot I gave my crochet toy book to my sister! So I didn't have a pattern to use. But so far - it's working out although the hands are a bit weird looking!


And last but not least - I had to start another tam. This is the #2 version, and I think one of the easist of the bunch because there are several rows with just one of the two yarns.


I guess you can tell I've been in a lot of phone meetings! :) My favorite time to knit, it keeps me listening and not doing email. At least that is what I tell myself!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

2008 is Shaping up to be a Year of Knitting

This week I've been on a hat obsession. You saw my knitted and crochet Tams. But the I saw the pattern Three Tams on Knitty and it fit exactly what I was looking for for my first Fair Isle project. Easy Fair Isle!

I used King George a Wool, Alpaca, Cashmere yarn for the Black solid yarn. It was a very soft and luxurious yarn. I had never seen it before, but could see myself using it again.

For the Colorwork - I used Colorchanges by Ironstone. Again, another new yarn to me. Very, very soft - a wool/acrylic mix. I really liked the vibrancy of the colors and pace of the color changes worked well for this hat.


It was my first time knitting with two yarns. I had been practicing trying to knit American style so I could use both hands when I decided to plung into Fair Isle. It did make it easier than picking up the yarn each time, but it took a while to get used to. Especially in the ribbing, it seem very slow at first.


But once I started knitting and didn't have to purl it speeded up quite a bit. I found it was very addictive because I wanted to see how each row built out the pattern. Plus - you uncover new colors in the yarn and it's sort of exciting. As a result - I finished it in a couple of days pretty much knitting only on this hat. It was faster than I thought it would be. I'm very happy with it and will make the other 2 versions.

Here is the hat post blocking on my daughter.


I also wanted to make a hat for my sister but she said she would prefer Calomitery another Knitty pattern. Now this was a fast knit. I started it today while at the hairdressers and made most of it there while getting my hair done! I only knitted a few more rows at home and cast off tonight. I like it and will have to make one for me too. But this one is for Doreen, the new mom.



Wednesday, January 02, 2008

I Need a ReTouch ...... Crochet Tam

While on vacation I picked up this cool crochet book that I just had to start using. Hip Hats and Cool Caps by Afya Ibumo. It's rare I find a book where I want to make everything. But I do with this one. My daughter has picked out her favorites and I have to make Baby Jada some cool caps too. This book has crochet hats that are in fashion and doesn't take expensive yarn to look good. I'm not usually a Red Heart type of person, but it made sense for this hat as I wanted to make it immediately and wasn't near my stash or a yarn store while on vacation. And It's durable and long lasting.


This hat may end up as a gift as I know a young lady who will love it. I still have to add the bill, but it was too cute and I hat to post pics. I have many more of these in my plans for the future because it was super fast and easy crochet. And did I mention cheap? As it's super cold in NC this week & I really need a ReTouch - I bet I will be working some of these hats by end of week too!!!


I decided it would look better with a brim, so I added that on afterward.


Plus - it's my first finished object of 2008!!!!!

On a sadder note - I seem to have returned from vacation with out my lace scarf. I really need it this week and am so sad to have lost it so soon :( I hope I left it at my friend's place. It was my most prized knit and I wore it everywhere - it's so sad to loose something you have spent so much time creating :(

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Myrtle Beach Finished Objects

I love vacations! We don't get to spend as much time as a family as I would like, so vacations are great for spending quality time with C and the 3Js. For the past 2 Christmas vacations we had hoped to get to Orlando and Disney World. I hear it's great to go Christmas time - no crowds! And really pretty. But - due to the arrival of Little Miss Jada - we have stayed a bit closer to home and went to Myrtle Beach. It is also great about the lack of crowds, but you get to see the beach and relax. This year we stayed in a new place Sea Glass Towers. The Condo was a bit small - 1 bedroom - for 5 people! But the view was great. You could see all of Myrtle Beach and the water. 2 1/4 walls were solid Glass :) C and I want to go back just the two of us perhaps :)

Here are the pics of our trip. I didn't get to go to the beach because my Blood Pressure was high that day and I had a headache. How can your blood pressure spike when you are on vacation? :( Another reason I need more vacations right?

Windows Live Spaces

I also love that I get to knit a bit more. This trip I wanted to make a Tam. I bought a book at the Seattle Weaving Works called Knitted Tams by Mary Rowe. First of all - Weaving Works is an Amazing store. I have a new love when I go to Seattle!!! You can find not just knitted items, but items for spinning and looms. But the yarn - so many choices. I was in heaven, except but broke! I bought some Shetland yarn because I have been wanting to try out Fair Aisle, and I thought a Tam would be a great project because it's small. The Knitted Tams book gives you great possibilities and teaches you how to design a Tam not just copy a pattern.

I didn't want to start out with color work until I was familiar with the shape, so I had some natural wool that was the perfect weight.



Not bad for my first try!! Now to try color work.

I also decided it was best to try to finish my present for Jada, and apparently just in time!!

This was a pattern I found in The Wheel, a magazine produced by Ashford who makes looms and fiber tools. They had a cool pattern called simply Cache that I have never seen anything like it before. It is sort of like a wrap for babies and innovative pattern. Soon as I saw it - I thought Zuri!



But it was a little big :( It fits Jada. But Zuri will grow into it!


Details for both projects (Yarn, needles, etc are on Ravelry).

I just need to add the buttons.

UPDATE: I updated the photo to include the Cache with the updated buttons. Aren't the Cows too cute! I found the buttons at Rave Knits when she was closing down. I bought several cute sets of buttons for future kids items. Now I just have to get knitting because these buttons are too cute to just sit in my stash!

Happy New Year

What could be better for the New Year than a new Niece! Happy New Year Everyone!!

Zuri Elizabeth Ray was born on Dec 30, so she arrived a little early. But she still is a sweet New Years gift to the Ray/Manuel family. And me as Auntie :) I've made her a little wrap - I'll post pics once it is done blocking!

Windows Live Spaces