Monday, February 9, 2009

Chile Ristra Socks

Last week I saw an awesome new pattern on Ravelry for the Chile Ristra Socks by Grace Anna.

The pattern wasn't available yet, but test knitters were needed. I applied and was accepted, which I am so excited about! Grace Anna emailed the pattern to me, and I got it started over the weekend.
Here is the cuff. The yarn is Trekking Hand Art in Baltik. We picked up the yarn over the summer at Knitwit Yarn Shop in Portland,Maine. The colors are really hot and I thought they would go well with this spicy pattern!

Here is where Im at so far. The gusset decreases have just been completed, not much further to go!
As far as other news, Ive been on a huge sock knitting jaunt. Dianne and I seemed to have gotten our sock mojo back at the same time. Right now along with the Chile Ristra Im working on two socks at a time on one needle, a pair of beaded socks, and Lenore from the Yarn Harlotte. The one full pair Ive managed to complete, I gifted to my friend Jamee'. Obviously second sock syndrome has gotten a hold of me and isn't letting go any time soon!
Ive been spinning yarn like a mad woman, trying to keep up with the fiber Jamee' is having me spin out of her family's llama's. Right now, Im working on some llama that she had blended with merino wool and it's spinning up like a cloud! She will have yarn and fiber availble at the Virginia Llama and Alpaca Classic show in Lexington, VA in March. I will be there to help set up on Friday and then for the afternoon on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Knitty Christmas!

Christmas this year was one of the best ever. Andy and I had Elizabeth and Carl over for turkey on Christmas Eve and spent a wonderful evening relaxing and enjoying their company. Christmas day, we hung around the tree, had a mimosa or two and watched Christmas Vacation (the best movie EVER!), A Christmas Story and Home Alone. Andy has been working some major overtime and it was great to have some down time together. We got together with Andy's parents on Saturday for cake and the annual exchange of gifts. It was nice to have them here, as they haven't gotten to see our tree before.

The week before, Linda and I took a trip to Salem to check out some primitive shops and had lunch at Abeulo's where we celebrated our Christmas. Linda, as usual, was much too generous.(thank you girl! ) Then, yesterday, Dana , Dianne and I met Linda at the Old Liberty Station restaurant in Bedford for lunch, and celebrated Christmas some more! Thank you Dana and Dianne for all of the lovely gifts!

With all of Andy's overtime, Ive had some extra time on my hands which has been put to good use knitting. I was going to show some pictures here, but blogger doesn't seem to want to cooperate. In any case, here is the list:

1 pair hand spun socks, my own pattern
1/2 pair Falling Leaves Socks out of yarn gifted from Linda (who has no blog, but should!)
1 knitted mouse bottle topper
a tiny sweater ornament for Elizabeth
the "Weaved Beanie Hat" (I really think this should be called WOVEN, but whatever) for my gram in NJ
2 skeins of hand spun alpaca for Dianne
A Forest Canopy Cowl for Dana
And the start of the Vice Versa Scarf

All can be seen here: Ravelry Projects

Here is to a Happy and Healthy New Year with Lot's of Knitting!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Vortext that I am (willingly) Sucked into on a Daily Basis

Ah, the joy of Ravelry , she is my mistress for certain. Not a day goes by that I haven't logged on at least one time. A vortex of knitting, fiber and yarn. I swear Ive just logged on, and two hours have passed in the blink of an eye! So many beautiful patterns and such talented knitters. This has to be the very best knitting/fiber website ever!

Now, as in the above mentioned paragraph apparently I have spent all my free time (and then some) logged onto Rav and have totally neglected my blog! Christmas is nearly here and I am so behind on wrapping (haven't even started...) as well as cleaning that we may just have to have our company come to a semi clean and yarn littered home for dinner Christmas Eve. I doubt Elizabeth will mind, she does work in a yarn shop, but what will her husband think? Their home is beautiful and really, really clean. I can see it now: please pass the mohair along with the gravy......

I have been knitting like a maniac. Making several Christmas gifts, sorry no pictures as they would be spoilers! My last favorite project was the Updated Old Classic:

I finally finished the Bird of Paradise socks on the way to NJ to visit my Grandma a couple of weeks ago. She liked the socks so much, that she is now the owner of them. I did manage to start another pair on the way home, not nearly as pretty though.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Happy New Year, and Happy Knitting to All!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yarn and the Economy

Knitters come in all shapes and sizes and from all walks of life. There are famous knitters like Julia Roberts, Martha Stewart and Catherine Zeta Jones to name just a few, who most likely have unlimted yarn budgets. Speaking for myself, my budget for yarn is defineatley not unlimited, and most likely yours has a spending cap as well. One of my favorite things is when my LYS has a sale, because that means I can get way more yarn for my money.

These days yarn can be found in a lot of different places, from Goodwill to Walmart and AC Moore and Michaels. Of course, it can also be found at yarn shops and fiber festivals and of course due to the miracle of modern technology, it can also be found online.

Keeping in mind all of the places that yarn can be found and purchased at, and also keeping in mind the state of the current economy, with gas being more than $3.00 per gallon, there are a lot of people putting their yarn budgets on hold. This has a trickle down effect in that if we stop purchasing yarn and other supplies at our LYS they may go out of business. Knowing this, I will keep shopping at my LYS. And I will keep shopping at a few other out of town (more than one hour from my home) shops that have great service as well.

What I won't do is shop where I do not get good friendly service. My time, gas, and yarn budget are too valuable to waste on feeling like I am a lowly for also purchasing yarn at AC Moore and/or Michaels. I have some really nice yarns in my stash, some I spun, some came from my LYS and the LYS near my mom's, and some also came from craft stores. I can bet most knitters stashes are like this too.

So if you are like me, and have some AC Moore yarn in your stash, hold your head high. Shop at the LYS that treats you great no matter where you purchased your yarn for you are a knitter, and the source of their pay check!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Montpelier Fall Fiber Festival

Last weekend, Andy and I took a trip to the Montpeileir Fall Fiber Festival. I entered the Luna Moth Shawl in the Handspun Wearables where it received second place. I was so surprised and excited when I saw the ribbon! It's the second shawl I have ever knit and the first (and only so far) one out of hand spun. It was also my first attempt at lace weight yarn. The purple and blue yarn was locks that I spun and it recieved second place in the Novelty division.

I also entered a skein of llama in the open/advanced plied hand spun division (it's the brown skein in the center with the blue ribbon). The fiber came from Posey Thisisit Llama Farm The llama' it came from is Mink Stole, named this because she will be the only mink that Joyce (owner) will get to have. The skein won first place! Pretty cool since the skein I entered last year (which won first and best over all) was from one of Joyce's other llama's, Lucky Star.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Best Knitted Tank Pattern Ever!

The weekend before last, Andy and I took a trip up to Orchardside Yarn shop for their annual fiber festival and sale. The shop is surrounded by mountains, with a babbling brook, and a free wandering peacock. The ladies at the shop were more than nice and helped me with my yarn and pattern purchases. I picked up Norah Gaughan's Vol 2 from Berroco so I could knit the Flow top. The pattern was well written and the top knitted up in less than a week! For this one I used Artyarns Marine which I loved! It fits perfectly which is more than I can say for a few other things Ive had on the needles...

I love the pattern so much, that we took a trip to Sereknity in Roanoke this past weekend to purchase some Berroco Flow in a lovely blue so I can knit up a second one. Sereknity is a great shop too, we had a blast and I came home with way more yarn's than I planned. I picked up another Berroco book with a cute linnen top which will most likely be the next item on the needles.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Spinning Hair of the Moe and Locks

It's been a busy spinning week. This is some awesome 50/50 mohair and wool that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool from Persimmon Tree Farm. I spun it into balanced singles and I plan to knit a small shawl or wrap with it. It's beautiful fall colors so I will save it for later on in the year. The mohair is very soft and bloomed nicely when I washed the finished yarn. I have to say this was one of the easiest rovings that I have spun. Wish I had picked up more of it since it spun so fast I was disappointed to be done with it.

These are some really nice dyed locks that I picked up at a fiber shop while we were in Maine. The locks were a little matted and still had a good amount of lanolin left in them. After fooling around with them and the flick carder, I decided to spin some novelty yarn rather than to fight with tangled locks. I was surprised and happy with the yarn, it's very nubby and has curly locks sticking out here and there. It should make great edging for a hat or mittens or maybe a bag.