Friday, August 27, 2010

*guilty* I visited a new yarn shop

Ordinarily I buy my yarn from Jill at Kaleidoscope (i DO consider her my LYS even though she's 300 miles away!) or online, direct from yarn companies.

However, I'm working with a few fabulous ladies who are test knitting my Dora shawlette pattern and thought it might be worthwhile for me to do a KAL with them. Well, of course the stashed yarn I wanted to use has become discontinued (WHY do I buy yarn on sale all the time?!?!). So I did some research on newer yarns and was going to go with some Classic Elite in one of their sport weights. I looked up local yarn shops on Ravelry and found one open until 6:00pm - perfect for me!

During the years I've lived in the area, friends have had mixed reviews about Accent on Knits, in Morristown...and have called them, on occasion, to see if they carry emergency yarn (they didn't). The owners are a husband and wife team...and Barry was at the register when I entered the shop. I was honest "hi, I'm new to your shop, can you help point me in the right direction?" And he was very helpful, telling me how the store is organized (by color...first time I've seen that) and that they offer first time customers a 10% off discount (how very nice!).

It was, quite frankly, a little hard to orient myself with this "by color" business. I found a yarn I liked in the mauve section, but then couldn't find it in the green section. I kind of like the idea of "here's the type of yarn AND the colors we carry" all in one place.

In the end I bought a bunch of Cascade 220, some sportweight yarn for the shawl and an alpaca lace. While checking out I got to chatting with Barry about my knitting, my test knitting for designers, and how I wanted to tech edit more often, etc. He seemed interested in what I was telling him...more so than some other shops I've popped my head into from time to time. I learned that their dog, a boxer, often came to the shop and that, because of their small jaws, they had a hard time playing with tennis balls (and often bust them open quickly). Barry and his wife also welcome bringing your children along while you shop (he must have spied my family waiting out in the car!). A perfectly nice way to spend some time after work, wouldn't you say?

While I may not always shop at AOK, it's nice to know there's a good shop, just around the corner, in cases of emergency or instant gratification.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knitting it Old School

While I've not yet gotten my petoushy (as the kids say) to the book store to purchase Knitting It Old School, I've perused the patterns on Ravelry and drool more and more with each click.

I read what Caro had to say about naming one of the sweaters (WileyWahine), I then came across this article and understand why the gals love him so. Hooray for people who see value in the "little guys".

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Back when I was wee youngster, I used to listen to underground college radio and longed to be a punk rock girl. Alas, being "different" was not easy in my high school, nor was the punk wardrobe something practical for my parents who handed down the majority of my clothes to my sister.

So I TAPED songs on my cassettes and listening to them on my Walkman the next day. I still have those tapes. They may be dust covered and inaudible, but they are a part of my history and i refuse to get rid of them.

On one of the tapes is a full comedy routine by the ever awesome Emo Philips. Periodically, my memory plays back this routine and makes me smile. He's not particularly funny, as he is odd and freakish, but that's what I still love about him.

In talking with my friend Erin about emo hipsters, I, obviously, wondered: What ever happened to Emo Phillips? Is he still alive? Is he still performing? Well, a quick google search later and I was watching a video clip from 1987, reciting, verbatim, the routine as he spoke. And I found myself smiling. Those glimmers of happiness from our youth...those sometimes awkward teen years...those bits of time when we felt a connection to something greater than ourselves and felt, momentarily, "understood"...that's what Emo Phillips does for me. And I'm smiling.

Yep, he's an odd duck...but here's the clip (check out: Golden Gate Bridge)if you've got a few moments to spare for a walk down memory lane.


Monday, August 23, 2010

New Patterns

Test knitting for so many folks has reminded me that I have a few patterns I'd like to self-publish...and so I'm working on them this month come hell or high water!

The first is a basic shawl/wrap pattern - available for free, and originally designed for kaleidoscope yarns to be included in their Tilli Tomas shawl packs earlier this year - named "Passion Flower". This is a quick knit...perfect for holiday gifting. Check out my Ravelry page to download the pattern

The second pattern is one that I'm half way through writing up - and gosh am i glad i took SO many notes when I designed it last year! Dora is a shawlette...although I'm sure it can be made into a full-size shawl if you used a larger needle (perhaps I'll test it that way before publication!). I've gotten such a positive response since I posted the shell page on can I put off writing it up any longer!?! Here's a photo/teaser...

So what's everyone else up to?

Happy knitting!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

no yarn, i said NO yarn (how about notions?)

Gosh, I think I've mentioned it before...but Office Space is one of my favorite movies ever [slowly mouthing 'miiiiicheal bollllllton'] ha ha

So I'm on this yarn diet. But you know, you're knitting and you ONLY need this "one thing" at the LYS which turns into "well the yarn was SUCH a low price, how could I pass it up?" Yeah, I'm SO there right now!

But I figure, I've got yarn, plenty of yarn. And I've got patterns too, of course. However, if I can get SUPER inspired by a new pattern, or part of a pattern, that will HELP me use up some of the yarn, it's ok to "invest" in new patterns, right? [gosh, i hope you're nodding with me right now]

And despite my moment of weakness when I purchased yarn to make test least those purchases had PURPOSE and were used up right away (for the most part). Who knows, those test knits could end up as gifts - BONUS! My latest "investments" have been a couple new Addi Turbo Lace needles from Kaleidoscope (hey Jill!) and some brass stitch markers from knitpicks. Useful things. Things that will spend years helping me with my craft.

All in all, I think I'm doing pretty good. I haven't gone cold turkey...and I haven't gone on a binge...just laying low somewhere in between. Keeping the status quo. How about you?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Insomnia, Busy and Knitting (of course)

Last night, at 11:00pm, I was sucked into watching some random Housewives show which was taking place in NYC during Fashion Week. At least I think it was a Housewives show. But they kept talking about LA...and there was very little wife to wife drama/conflict. So who knows, it could have been something else. In any case, I stayed up WAY too late watching something with no added value. Shame on me. Especially because I had gotten up at 4:45am to be at the office by 7:00 and had worked ten hours. I guess I was past the point of exhausted and had caught my second wind. Once I turned the tv off I laid there, listening to the fan and crickets, petting Peanut letting my brain wander. That's the worst part...really. The mental to-do list starts to take shape and it leads into anxiety and panic. Seeing as I thought yesterday was Wednesday probably didn't help either.

Today I was back up at 6am and the routine of the weekday...but desperately looking forward to the weekend and, possibly, a nap! Gosh, I do love naps....they're the bees knees.

On the knitting front I'm cranking along with the wedding shawl and am now praying that I don't run out of yarn! That'll teach me, right? I kept going with the body reps to make it bigger - and I thought I would have PLENTY left to do the edging. Hmmm, keep your fingers crossed - I'll know by tonight whether or not Knit Picks will be getting another order from choochooknits tomorrow morning - ha ha

Also, have you seen this hat yet? ZOMG...cute and comfy! I'll let you know when Kirsten releases the pattern. Oh, and just a tip - you MUST try the new Quince Osprey yarn - nommy nom nom!


Happy knitting until next time!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th WINNER!!!

In the spirit of making things right on a day where superstitious folks seem to think things go wrong, I drew the winner of my "for no other reason but to randomly have a contest" at 13:00 and the lucky knitter is...[insert cliche drum roll here]...WHITNEY!!!

Funny story: *just* after I used the random number generator to pick a winner, I received an email from her about a comment I made on her blog! Must be fate, right? ha ha

Congrats Whit!

And thanks to everyone who has commented/participated over the last few weeks. I'll probably have another September and/or Rhinebeck give-away - so stay tuned for things to come!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Today is my work anniversary - FOURTEEN YEARS - say wha?!?!

In honor of this accomplishment, they've inundated me with work and I'll probably be here late making OT.

Go team!

Keeping it simple, for an extra entry in my surprise give-away (which ends tomorrow at 1:oopm), what's the next "anniversary" in your life? Can be, marriage, work, knitting!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mods and Routines

Well, I have a secret to share. I changed patterns for the mystery wedding shawl. I also changed yarn. I also, started from scratch and put the original project in a time out :o)

Why? Well, I was never quite sure I would have enough of the original yarn to finish the project. Since its a discontinued KP yarn and I couldn't convince anyone on Ravelry to part with theirs, I had to make some tough decisions. To be fair, the yarn was bare and I can understand why dye-hard knitters (get it, DYE, ha ha) would have a hard time selling/trading it. The yarn is quite nice - some combination of alpaca, wool and *maybe* silk?

So the new project is SUPER TOP SECRET - well, besides that I just told you - oops

In other news, my routine is OFF this week. My "other half" (at work) is away for two weeks in Ireland and the sad. So my hours are off. My bosses are throwing me curve balls. Her bosses are asking questions I need to research. Worst of all...I'm forgetting to take my vitamin every day! I know, I know, it's a little thing, but it's "our" thing that we do after lunch. Centrum. Women's. She even made me put the bottle on my desk so I would remember. And I'm not. Ugh. How will I survive the next week and a half if this is what it's like on the third day? ha ha. I love and miss her - that's why she's a friend and co-worker, in that order. Hope she's having the best. time. ever!

So, today, in honor of routines, tell me one thing that throws you off if you don't have/do it every day? Coffee? Vitamins? Showering (ewww)?

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Overlapping Laces and Art History

I've been knitting a bunch of lace/shawl projects these last few months. A LOT of lace/shawl projects actually. I'm almost considering joining the 10 in 10 shawl group on Ravelry. But since it wasn't really my intention...for it to be a challenge...and just sort of became my calling, well, I'm not sure that would be fair (esp since it would be more along the lines of 10 in 10 in 6 months). Geez.

The problem I've run into recently is that with all these laces, my brain sometimes wanders off and I start working the LAST lace pattern, instead of the current one...whoops! I've done it a couple times, and while I only ever mis-knit a dozen stitches or so, it's funny that the patterns have stuck in my mind like that.

My friend Sue said that I have a "good hand" for lace knitting - and I'm thankful for her insight since she's been knitting for a long time. However, I never KNEW I was a lace knitter until I started doing it more and more. I suppose I resisted it. I suppose I thought it tedious (which it can sometimes be). Or maybe it was the practice makes perfect factor - I never "practiced" until now.

In the end, I really believe it's all part of the process of become a better knitter, just like when I took studio classes for my art history degree. As one of two art history majors at my college, my school frowned upon my enrollment in studio classes until I explained to a panel of professors that my degree and expertise RELIED upon the knowledge gained in painting, scuplture, printmaking, etc. Why, they asked. Simply put: The better I understand the process, the more appreciation I have for the art and the more in depth I can explain the complexities and importance of the piece. Take away the process and you're left with a very diminished of text and pictures...not something you've rolled up your sleeves and dug into! Needless to say, the Professors gave me a free pass to enroll in any and all college classes I wanted from studios to histories. They fought other departments to get me into specialized classes. They supported my thesis AND showed my paintings in the student shows. I was a better student because I embraced two worlds before others. Just as I continue to learn in my knitting.

Today's contest entry question (only a few days left - make your comments now!): what, about your craft, would you like to learn/conquer next?

Happy knitting!

Monday, August 09, 2010

Weekend knitting, reading and more

On Friday night I was able to finish knitting another test shawl for the lovely Kirsten Kapur. After some blocking, it was ready for a photoshoot on Saturday afternoon - don't you just love it?!

Roma Detail

and here's me...modeling it as a scarf...

Roma 1

In between projects I've been working on the lace shawl for Alyssa...again, it's super top secret so I can't share more info/photos right now...sorry

I also (finally) started reading the Wally Lamb book, "The Hour I First Believed" on Saturday. He's been one of my favorite author's since "She's Come Undone" was published in 1996. I'm still in the early chapters, but the book is beautifully written, as always.

We also went to the Children's Day evening parade and concert in Mt Tabor with Yarny Old Kim and some friends of ours. The kids got more candy than we know what to do with - and Ramona showed off her mad dancing skills at the concert (the band played 60s/70s Dead-style music). I'll post some photos/video once I get them off the camera - too funny!

Yesterday was more mellow (at last!) and ended with a solo visit with my parents and grandma.

The Punk comes back from his fishing vacation tomorrow (at last!) and will be home with us for the rest of the summer (i think). It's so weird to have him away for so long - he's probably grown another inch!

Well, that's it for now - happy knitting everyone!

Today's contest entry question (easy peesy): What are you crafting/knitting these days?

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Importance of Being Rhinebeck


Once more I say...Rhinebeck.


To SO many folks in the NorthEast Rhinebeck is MUCH more than a place where famous political families have weddings. It's more than a quaint town in the mountains. It's the weekend of all Fall weekends - it's THE SHEEP AND WOOL FESTIVAL!!!

And it's TWO short months away. Actually, 10 weeks...but who's counting? EVERYONE in the knitting/fiber community...that's who!!!

What will we wear? Something old? Something new? What's in our stash? What's on our wish list to buy!? Who will we see? What will we eat? The list goes on and on.

This year, I'm determined, time permitting, to knit the piece de resistance of my collection. But there are SO many options out there - as well as designs that are lingering in my mind! I'm reminded of wearing my Owls sweater with Yarny Old Kim last year. I recall Emily's beautiful brown cabled sweater. And running into Elspeth and Ann with their plethura of knitwear.

And then I came across this photo, taken at last year's festival...How gorgeous!

I scoured Ravelry...not to make it...but to learn more about. I spent countless hours searching endless options...Noro, Sweater, Cardigan. Rhinebeck, Cables. Nada! Who makes such a beautiful sweater and doesn't post it all over Ravelry? Goodness.

Regardless, I'm trying to figure out what I'll make, and when I'll have time to knit it. Decisions, decisions!

For a bonus entry in my mini-contest, tell me what you're wearing to Rhinebeck (or what you would wear, in case you're not going).

Happy decision making!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fated Yarn and a Mini Contest of sorts!

In July 2009 I purchased some yarn at Sticks and Strings in Scarsdale, NY on my way to a company outing. One was a green with yellow and turquoise tweed; the other was a golden yellow. They were fingering weight. But they were SUPER on sale and I "had to" have them. So, ever since that fateful day a year ago, they've enhanced my stash, nothing more, nothing less.

Until yesterday. A friend of mine sent me a test pattern and said "use fingering weight"...and use two colors. When I got home I paid my old friend, "Stash", a visit and said "ok, let's see what you've got for me today". Sure enough, I opened a bin and spotted the above mentioned yarns. I pulled out a couple other skeins to lay them out and compare color combos. But, as fate would have it, the green tweed and yellow gold were MEANT for this project - believe me, when I show you pictures in a week or so, you're TOTALLY going to agree with me. Even The Punk agreed that the colors were good for the pattern - guess my knitting is really rubbing off on him after all this time!

How about y'all? Any fated yarn use of late? And why not...let's make it a yarn contest...just because! Tell me your best fated yarn story and I'll pick a winner on/about August 13th - we'll MAKE it a lucky day! Winner will let me know their fave color du jour and I'll send them something nommy!

Happy knitting my friends!