Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Got the Gold!


medal-web-small
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Wonderful Stephanie (aka the Yarn Harlot) sent all of the knitters who completed their 2006 Knitting Olympics projects a gold medal for their blog. Here's mine! I couldn't be more thankful to YH for her inspiration and I'm so proud of myself for getting over my knitting/color fears. Hooray!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cozy Corner


GrandViewYarn2
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This is the corner of the store that I was in most often...there was Wool in the Woods mohair, La Gran Mohair, Fusion and, on the left, wools in various colors and tweeds.

The Grand Vivian Bean


VivianBean
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This was our host and the owner of the Grand View Lodge and yarn store...Vivian Bean. Very helpful, friendly and worked hard to assure that we had a great time.

(Another knitter who also works at the store to help during knitting weekends was named Laurie...sadly, I didn't get a picture of her...she served us breakfast and snacks every day and was very wonderful, too.)

(On the left of the picture is Joanne, owner of the Chester yarn store I always write about)

The Yarn Store Encore


GrandViewYarn
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
A pic of the Encore yarn section (looked pretty, but I do so despise the yarn...apologize to all who do...sorry!)

The Grand View


GrandView
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Now I know why it was called the Grand View Lodge. This is the view from the big picture window in the knitting room that we were lucky to see every day : )

The Grand Group


GrandViewGroup
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
The trip to Grand View Lodge in Randolph, NH was AWESOME! I had the most fun, laughed the hardest and was the most relaxed than I've been in years. The company was amazing (met new friends) and the accomodations were much better than I hoped for.

The ride was 2.5 hours and we weren't sure we were at the right place when we arrived...it looked empty. But, after going in, drooling over the yarn and getting settled, I was very happy.

The rooms were a good size with two twin beds (very comfortable), a small fridge, microwave and a nicely clean bathroom (which is a necessity for me). I had a blast rooming with Donna (we're both Contact Lens Ladies) and we woke up happy and refreshed...or at least I did. The temperature was perfect at night...not too hot or cold.

The breakfasts in the morning were delicious (fresh eggs from Joanne's chickens, toast, homefries, juice and coffee one day and the next was homemade french toast with maple syrup from their own trees!) and Vivian (the owner) served us tea and desserts both days.

The store itself was impressive, though a bit cluttered with dated pattern books/yarn....the selection was an A-/ B+ in my opinion...from lots of Encore acrylic to Opal and Regia sock yarn to Berroco, Brown Sheep, Manos, La Gran Mohair, Debbie Bliss, 1824 wool, Noro, Fiesta La Boheme and more.

The pattern and sample collection was very good. Lots of Fiber Trends, Ann Norling and Noro and Plain and Simple. Very happy with what I could find.

All of this for $100 for Friday night, Sat and Sun. (except for the fact that I spent at least that much in yarn as well...whoops!)

I hope to go again soon and I think you'd love it, too!

Pictured: (top to bottom, left to right)

Donna, Vicki, Donna D., and Laurin
Ann, Margaret, Joanne (from A Knitter's Garden), Heather (more about her awesome stuff later), and Ericka.

(My friends are going to kill me that I didn't put the picture with me in it, but I am very un-photogenic...ugh)

Done!


SocksThatRockDone!
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
What a great pattern, huh? I placed them on the fleece covered rocking chair at the Lodge and they looked very cozy there.....ahhh.

Would I knit another pair in this yarn? YOU BET!

Socks That Rock - REALLY!


SockRockProgress
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
While at our yarn adventure, I finally finished Ian's socks....the Socks that Rock in color Smokey Topaz. Here they are just after I turned the heel....looking good!

The one problem was that I wasn't sure when starting this pair was if there was enough yardage. I shortened the leg part from 10 inches to 7 but, alas, it wasn't QUITE enough....the toe of the second sock (about 5 rows) wasn't finished...but the yarn was. SH*T!

But, my wonderful Vicki had an idea...why don't I find a yarn that is very close to one of the colors of this yarn to finish the toe....to my relief, I found that Debbie Bliss's Baby cashmerino (also a superwash blend) was almost the same exact smoothness and thickness of Socks That Rock...although slightly softer. So, I managed to find a beige-ish color to match and Ian couldn't even tell it wasn't part of the sock itself. WOO HOO!

If I could turn back time, I'd only knit the leg to 6.5 or 6 inches instead. Now, I believe the yarn skeins come in larger amounts of yardage, so that point is moot.....is that right?

Next pic is of the finished pair. (Thank goodness they're done and I was able to come home with a finished pair for Ian...he loves them!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympics Challenge Complete!


NLMittensDone!
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Woo-Hoo! Today, I finished the right (and last) mitten for the 2006 Knitting Olympics...also 2006 personal knitting project # 5. I am sooo psyched! As you can see, there are a few differences here:

- Left mitten's cuff is not as straight and the gauge is a tiny bit off.
- Right mitten is very slightly tighter than the left.
- Right mitten came out a little nicer than the first (left) mitten.

But, all in all, I am very proud of myself. I usually don't take a chance with my knitting...if it's easy and the directions are clear, I'll do it. I'm a conservative knitter on the whole. NOW, I feel as if I've taken a huge leap in my knitting skills.

This project was very difficult (more in thought than practice), especially on size 1 needles. I was very lucky that the Knit Picks yarn was very nice and easy to work with and the pattern was/is clearly written with no mistakes (although at the time, I'm saying to myself, "What the hell does THIS mean?").

I'm very thankful to the Yarn Harlot (awesome as she is) to inspire and challenge me to do this project. I never would have attempted this if it wasn't for her. Hooray for Stephanie!

Must also give some thanks to Grumperina, since I feel that reading her blog has also inspired me and constantly makes me say "OOOH" and "AAAH" and "God, I wish I knew her!" Hooray for Kathy!

Friday evening, 5 women (including me) from my ManchVegas Knitting group plus Joanne and her three friends are leaving for the Grand View Lodge in central NH for our Knitter's Weekend.

I'm nervous (first time away from Ben in his whole life!) and extremely excited. I hope Ian will do okay with the kids without me (and hope he doesn't set the house on fire or blow it up) and that he doesn't go crazy while I'm away.

I'm looking forward to finishing:

1. Ian's second sock
2. The baby blanket I started
3. Maybe the baby cardigan

(the other two projects...Mary Jane Lace Cardigan and Cashmere shawl must wait....don't want to overwhelm myself)

and also have a GREAT time....plus buy the Falling Leaves lace pattern from Fiber Trends and some yarn to make that shawl for someone....not sure who yet.

Wish me luck and will write when I get back on Monday!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jean Lou Chin (April 28, 1929 - February 19, 2006)


GrandmaChin&Me
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
My grandmother passed away this afternoon. I feel so lucky for having had her in my life and for all of the love and support she showed me. I feel incredible sympathy for my dad, since he's had to watch both his mother and father die of cancer.

This is a picture of us in October of 2002 at my baby shower...I was 7 months pregnant with Ben. She was just starting to become ill then of uterine cancer.

She will be missed greatly by all who knew and loved her. I love you, Grandma.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Pearl Rose Spindle


PearlRoseSpindle
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
A close up of the spindle...isn't the handpainted whorl beautiful? The entire shaft is painted, too! And there's even the indent for the yarn to rest in while spinning....a must for spinners or collectors of drop spindles.

(Shouldn't I be starting on the NL mittens # 2?)

Rose Garden Fibers....MUST VISIT!


RainbowBatt
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
I wanted to write a while ago about this wonderful online store for fibers, yarns and now spindles. This place is:

Rose Garden Fibers
http://rosegardenfibers.fiberlings.com
Michele Auker (Shel)
PayPal friendly

Not only is Shel super, super friendly and is very quick at responding to emails...she gives great advice and is SO helpful.

Her yarns are to die for...I mean it...I've bought at least 5 or more skeins of her yarn and every single handspun, handpainted skein has been a DREAM! I've mostly bought the angora/wool blend (some yarns feature sparkly fibers throughout...very pretty) but her wool blends are just as wonderful. The colors are the best part....aside from the fuzzy softness of the angora/wool blend.

The rainbow skeins I bought made the best slipper socks...which I wear to bed on a regular basis and three skeins I still have...I just can't bear to knit it up....they are just beautiful and making me happy looking at them everyday.

Her Cinderella Fluff has got to be the best yarn so far....white angora/wool blend with gold sparkly stuff spun in with it...subtle but absolutely perfect...I made a baby blanket that was very hard to part with : )

She's recently started to offer fibers....and from the look of this.....well, you can see how delicious and drool-ifying they are. Soooo soft, too...it's BlueFaced Leicester top, I believe. I cannot wait to spin it!

You can see the drop spindle here, too. Shel handpainted it! So lovely....I'll put a close up pic next....it's only 20 grams...very petite and delicate for fine and medium yarns. You must check out all the other designs she has.....each one is very unique.

So...what are you waiting for....check out Rose Garden Fibers! HURRY! (oh and buy at least one skein to spoil yourself) : )

Super Secret Pal 7: again!


AnotherSecretPal7
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
My secret pal has done it again! Completely surprising and thoughtful gifts! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Manos! It's the exact color I've been eyeing for months and just never bought. I think I'll make a felted bag with it for my smaller projects. It's the most attractive colors!

The card with the cats is adorable...I have two cats...Mr. B and Jack, although they aren't as cute as the ones on this card...

The tub herbs are going to be used very soon...this new house has a jacuzzi tub and I'll be getting LOTS of use of the tub tea...mmmm.

The SHWOOMP! raspberry lip balm is going to be used very sparingly....I am a lip balm/gloss addict (not afraid to say it)...and it is just....ooooh! YUM!

The candle has a very unique smell and I can't wait to burn it next to the tub while I'm taking my bath.

And, the book....my two favorite things...mysteries and knitting.....if only it had yoga, too....we'd be in business!

Secret Pal 7....YOU ROCK!!! Super thoughtful and I'm VERY grateful : )

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Always Another Angora


PinkAngoraBooties
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
2006 Knitting project #4 done! Okay, this one is almost like cheating. The Angora Baby Booty pattern for this (also from LMKG by Joelle Hoverson) is so fun and quick. (note: I'm in the process of talking to her about a correction for this pattern, but it's minor.) Once I get the correction, I'll post it here.

I used only one small skein of 100% angora yarn by Valeria di Rosa...55 yards to a skein....color 8003...baby pink or pale pink. The yarn was sooo wonderful....I could make myself a bed out of it and just cuddle all day long....mmmm.

The light and camera were both on my side today and this picture looks very nice...subtle...shows off the soft, fuzziness of the yarn. (tent fingers and say, "E-x-cell-ent", like Mr. Burns)

Will I complete one more baby project before the day is done? We shall see.......

Taking a TEENY Time Out


CottonBabyHat
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay, I know I should be starting on my second Northern Lights mitten for the KO. BUT, I feel like I completely absorbed those 7 colors and now I can't bear to look at them for one day. Just one day.

SO....I decided to knit two tiny baby things for the upcoming baby girl of my husband's friend.

The book by Joelle Hoverson, "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", is pretty much my favorite knitting pattern book to date. Not that others aren't as good, but this one just has everything I love and organized just right for me. (The website.... http://www.purlsoho.com ....is completely and utterly my favorite luxury online yarn store...next to Knit Picks, of course) If you haven't knit anything from this, you MUST. NOW! (well, maybe you can wait a day or so....)

This cotton baby hat is made with less than one skein of Mission Falls 1824 cotton in the color Lilac. Totally soft, nubby and not as annoying to knit with as most cotton are...normally, I'm very anti-knitting cotton, but I made an exception this time due to the great yarn and very easy and enjoyable pattern. I believe you only need one skein for either of the two larger sizes as well.

As you can see, this is very cute and the icord tie makes it adjustable to tiny pumpkin heads to giant baby melons....very nice!

2006 Knitting project #3 done! (not counting all the other UFOs at this point...soon...soon...they will be done, too!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Whoops....and also UFO List


LeftFrontMitten
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
(Forgot to add the front view of the mitten....isn't it gorgeous? I give kudos to both Knit Picks for their beautiful Palette 100% peruvian wool fingering yarn and to the designer of this mitten, Joyce Chinn)

Needed to add my UFO List for my own piece of mind. I'm losing track of what the heck I have to do after I finish the second mitten. So, here it is:

- Finish back and sleeves of white baby vest with ribbon ties.
- Knit a pair of one piece pink angora booties.
- Knit sleeves and finish yoke of Mary Jane lace cardigan.
- Finish Ian's Socks That Rock socks...almost half way through the second sock.
- Finish (or don't finish and continue savoring) cashmere handpainted shawl...it's looking very nice so far!

Oh, I also got myself organized and update my wish list on Amazon.com, which I hadn't done in a while and also cleared (and cleaned) out my yarn closet. Still thinking about putting up glass shelves in the bedroom to display all the gorgeous stuff I have. That's a project of the future!

What do ya think of the mitten? Would love some feedback! : )

Day 6: Marvelous Mitten!


LeftBackMitten
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
It's Day 6 and I've finished the left mitten. Hoorah!!!!

The thumb was such a joy to knit....plain blue stockinette stitch. It was like heaven. Mmmm.

I have to say I'm as satisfied with the back as I am with the front, although the front is visually more impressive. The back was just as difficult, but it came out so perfect. I'm very proud of myself.

The right side of this left mitten looks weird in the picture....it doesn't really curve in like that...I think it just needs to be adjusted or something.

All in all..I'm head over heels in love with this mitten and I hope this feeling will offset my KAMS feeling....Knitting-Another-Mitten-Syndrome.

Wish me luck on casting on for the next one!

Gina Scarry's (I mean, House's) Best Valentine's Day EVER!


ValentineGifts
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
(Note: I think I'm watching WAY too many Richard Scarry videos with Ben....)

Reasons why yesterday was the best Valentine's Day that I can remember, in order of least to most important:

1. Ben was happy and good for me all day.

2. I got a lot of knitting done on my Northern Lights Mittens : )

3. Tim came home from school in a very good mood and didn't have a lot of homework.....this totally affects the rest of the night for me and Ian.

4. Ben ate dinner! He actually finished a whole bowl of mac and cheese....happy belly.

5. Ian and I got to go out to dinner at our favorite chinese restaurant...ALONE!

6. We had a chance to talk to EACH OTHER!

7. The food was fantastic (me...spicy beans with rice, Ian...chicken chow fun) as usual.

8. Ian bought me a CHAI! Yummy! (well, actually, I ended up buying myself the chai and him a coffee, but it was the thought that count : P )

9. Ian gave me a homemade (computer/photoshop) VDay card that was so awesome.....it surprised me and made me laugh...very close to the best card I've gotten from him ever. Loved it!

10. Last, but not at ALL the least...in fact, the most IMPORTANT and most THOUGHTFUL act in the history of our relationship....or at least WAY up there...Ian went to a yarn store to buy my gifts!!!!

Ian...my husband...went...to...a...yarn...store!

He even brought Ben (who is not at all well behaved at a place like this...saying "PEEESE"...to be held and hiding in your shoulder....and picked out these things:

- Skein of beautiful rose colored locally handspun yarn.

- A 8 oz ball of a handdyed mohair fiber for me to spin...gorgeous dark rose/pink color.

- A pair of chunky bamboo needles with hand formed tops made into terra cotta pots with flowers inside.

AND

- A very pretty shawl pin (much more sparkly and impressive in person) with purple and emerald crystals.

A color theme as well!

Okay....is this the best husband ever?

I LOVE YOU, Ian! (...and he's ALL mine!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Day 5: HOLY KNITTING GODDESS!


Day5NMittens
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Take a deep breath and feast your eyes upon my mitten! Woo Hoo!

I'm still shocked that I've made it this far. I feel like that shoemaker in that children's story who wakes up to find the elves have finished all of his shoe work overnight.

"Did I do THAT? " I keep asking myself....or at least I always think I'm asking myself in my mind....

"Yes.....", my husband says with a sigh. "Do you have to keep asking that?"

I'm giddy...I'm pumped.....this is SO wonderful....I LOVE color knitting ! ......

...then I think (to myself again)....

"I have to knit another one, don't I?"

And I hear a slightly irritated voice say, "Yes...." and then a sigh.

Huh.

Day 4: Easily Excited


Day4NMittens
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
OOOH! I'm feeling lots of excitement now....in the knitting way, I mean : P

The star pattern on the back of the mitten is turning out.....let me be less than modest here....friggin' awesome!

Even though moving the yarns back and forth (thank goodness it's only two colors per row) is a pain in the butt (or as we *partly* French people might say....ASS!), the results more than make up for it....as you can see from this slightly dark, but accurate, pic.

I can't tell you how excited I am to finish up the star part and begin the decreasing for the fingertips. EEE!

My oldest son, Tim, said to me last night, "Mom, can I have those mittens when you're done? I promise to wear them every day!"

And feeling so much love for him (as I always do), I took a deep breath, smiled and said, "Uh....I'll think about it."

(May not win Generous Mom of the Year award, but HELL, it's my NORTHERN LIGHTS MITTEN for goodness sake!)

*I still might give them to him...of all of the men in my life, he'd be the one to appreciate them the most....he loves the 2 pairs of socks I've knit him and all the teddy bears, etc. And I love him : )*

Day 3: Comin' Along with Care


Day3NMittens
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay...getting the hang of switching yarns a little more. Found that it's better for me to carry the yarn only 3 stitches or less...is more annoying, of course, but looks neater this way. Corners are still a b*tch....both edges seem tighter than they should be, but attempting to ease off on the pulling when switching to needle number 2.

I really can't believe I'm the one doing this...I'm finding more confidence in myself than I thougth possible. Hooray for Knitting Olympics!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Day 2: Gettin' Good


NorthernLightsMItts2
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Not a good pic...darn that flash....bottom half of the palm is done with increases for thumb (on other side)....14 more rows accomplished. It's lookin' really good now that I"m adding more colors. It's a little more difficult charting the pattern and changing colors every row or so, but I'm taking my time and going slowly.

The colors I've used this day are: bark, orange, apricot, peach, red and blue.

Getting very close to the star pattern and I'm excited to see how that works out. I figure I have 6 more days to work on this mitten before I have to start the next.....and I have around 60 or less rows to go, so 10 rows or more per day should be sufficient.

What do ya think?

Day One: Knitting Olympics


NorthernLightsMitts1
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
On day one, I finished 30 corrugated rows of 2x2 ribbing in Knit Picks Palette yarn (100% peruvian wool...very nice)....colors bark (which they have wrong written as fawn), blue and pool. The cuff is done!

I was very happy to get as much done as I did. It was surprising how quickly I got used to switching the two yarns back and forth after a while. Getting the new and old ends secure is something I'm continuously working on, so that it looks neat and the ends aren't in my way.

It upset me that the ribbing with two colors is not at all like ribbing with one color...with one color, the ribbing is elastic and stretchy...it pulls in nicely on the purl columns. BUT, with this two color knitting, the yarn isn't all connected, so it's flatter, less elastic and stiffer (or is it more stiff?).

The yarn is a dream...very soft for wool and easy to work with. The pattern is okay so far....not too confusing and the color chart also has an additional symbol chart on the back, just in case you can't tell if the color is the same or just slightly different.

So far so good...wish me luck!

Red Ribbon Remembrance


RedAngoraRibbonScarf
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This is my third finished knitting project this year (not counting the ones in progress or my handspun yarns)....it is a red angora and ribbon scarf for my chinese grandmother. I'll be seeing her in a week or two and I hope to give it to her then.

She's had cancer for at least a year now (I lost my grandfather to cancer as well when I was 10) and she's hung on for as long as she could. She'll be going into a Hospice in Rhode Island (that's where I was born) and I plan to visit her with my sister and Mom on the 20th.

She's always loved red and that's also a very lucky color for the Chinese. I hope she'll hold it, feel it's super silky softness and know how much I love her.

Yarn used: Fonty Angora/wool blend and Fonty Serpentine Ribbon....both in red

Added small, glass rainbow red cube beads on the ends of the fringe. It looks more beautiful in person...like my grandmother.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lilac And Lamb


LilacAndLamb
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
The day was smiling on me....what a beautiful picture this is! Taking pictures outside is just the best....if it wasn't so darn cold all the time I'd take more out there. Should be able to soon since spring is so near. (or at least I'm willing it to be!)

This is the second skein I've spun for Joanne of The Knitted Garden in Chester, NH. This skein is even a little prettier than the last one...more purple in this one, I think. The yardage is slightly less, though....like 70 yards instead of 75. Here's the "SKEIN INFO":

100% Leicester Lamb, Handspun on Drop Spindle
Color: English Garden (I chose this...)
Yardage: 70
WPI (wraps per inch): 8 (making it either heavy worsted, bulky or super bulky...depending on what chart you consult)
Stitches Per Inch: 3 to 3.5
Needle Size: 9-11 (American)

If you look closely, you can see that the yummy yarn is nestled in the fork of my oh-so-awesome lilac tree, which will be blooming in the next 2 months or so, I think. Now, I don't know if it's a tree exactly...I always thought that lilacs only came in bushes, but this "bush" is at least 10 feet high, maybe higher. What's up with that?

You can also see my new business card (I seem to order them monthly...thank goodness for Vistaprint!)....had to get new ones this time because of our address/phone change and all that. I was also able to add my blog addy to the last line, which was cool. Plus, don't you just love the pic on top? So serene and peaceful....a perfect representation of knitting, spinning, yoga and Reiki.

What do you think?

Canned Peaches and Cream


CannedPeachCreamSilk
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
So, I FINALLY finished spinning the 100% pain-in-the-butt silk that I was working on. The silk itself was very nice (as I've said before), but the white nubs in it created much frustration. I think the fact that my drop spindle (the smaller one) had a slightly crooked hook made the spinning so much more difficult. Vicki suggested taking the hook out and straightening it...which I will do evenutally....but once I'm into something, it's hard to get me to stop...even though it would make things easier....weird, huh?

I thought of plying this yarn with a spool of DMC silver metallic thread....and as you can see...it looks kinda cool. It reminded me of a can of peaches with whipped cream on top...hence the name of the yarn. It was smaller than I thought it would be...only about 25 yards...but a nice lesson on plying with something other than the yarn itself. It was fun : )

I gave this mini skein to Vicki (it was her bday yesterday) because she is my Spinning Angel. I really mean it. I can ask the most idiotic questions about spinning and she answers with respect and a great sense of humor. She's the best spinning teacher....if there's anything I've created that's worth a damn, it's due to her. Of all the people I thought would appreciate this yarn, I knew it'd be her....

...and she DID!

Therefore....spun skein number 9....COMPLETE!

What do you think? (Be honest, but also kind)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cashmere Chase Concluded


CashmereShawl
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Finally! Finally! I found the wonderful, awesome fiber artist that created this cashmere yarn. I was forced to go through my stash (to semi-dilute it for the upcoming yarn swap with my knitting group) and was THRILLED to find the business card for this cashmere yarn creatoress.

I squealed and shrieked and smiled until my face hurt.

Then, I RAN downstairs to the iBook and looked at her website. There wasn't anything similar to the yarn I have, but...oh...the gorgeous, hand-dyed yarns and rovings....it was breathtaking...must have been on the computer for ages just looking and DROOLING! (she also has Perfect Buttons, literally)

This amazing artist is named Robin Pascal and you can find her here:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/rpascal21/

I emailed and babbled on to her about my love for this yarn and asked if she'd be making more...also somewhat begging her to create some colorways I was thinking of....she wrote back the next day! Awesome! She was very friendly and said she would be ordering and creating more cashmere in about a month.

EEEEEEEK! (a few jumps in the air and a little dance)

I'm sure my husband will be less than thrilled for me and my find....primarily because it means spending more money on yarn..."don't you have enough yarn already?" is the look I always get...sometimes the words, too. Clearly, he is a HAYSE...husband and yarn stash enemy. Must find suitable way to deal with him....

More later...I hear footsteps of the manly variety....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Camera Cashmere Close-Up


CashmereLaceClose
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
One more pic.....this is the lace pattern up close. It's called Garter Lace. The pattern is VERY do-able and only 10 lines to remember....with at least 4 being plain garter stitch. Not bad at all.

The colors could look much better here, but it's not too muted...in real life, there is:

- a soft, sherbet pink
- a pale, plush apricot
- a tangy, lemon yellow
- and a fragrant, soothing lavender (well, not actually fragrant...just go along with me, okay?)

And the feel of this thing is like....well...a Puffs Plus tissue rubbed on your nose after using the harshest- toilet-paper-known-to-man on it. It's like....

ooooooh...ahhhhh....OHHH....mmmm....yes!

Maybe I should be alone with my cashmere now.....

Concealing the Cuddly Cashmere


CashmereLaceShawl
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
Okay....so I'm supposed to be finishing up three projects:

1. My lace weight Mary Jane cardigan that is at least halfway done and is coming along very well (sorry no pics yet).

2. The second Socks That Rock sock in Smokey Topaz for my husband.

3. The ever-so-soft white merino wool baby vest that I'll be giving as a gift in March.

4. Finish spinning the final 2 ply yarn for Joanne...which I only have half of one single ply done so far.

So, why am I starting ANOTHER project when I know very well I have to finish those 4 things as well as begin my Knitting Olympics harder-than-hell color intarsia Northern Lights Mittens from Knit Picks?

Am I crazy? (just nod yes to be safe)

But, in my defense, I had just gotten my copy of "Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls" by Martha Waterman and was just dying to knit something. I dreamed about it all last night.

This morning, I jumped out of bed, got Ben busy with some breakfast and a counting video...then snuck upstairs. I found this AMAZING 100% handpainted cashmere in my stash...now, it's lace weight (instead of the fingering weight called for in the pattern) and only 2 oz (instead of the 4 oz called for in the pattern) BUT I'm going to deliberately ignore those two important details and....

....DO IT ANYWAY!

So what if it comes out to be a shawl for a doll? So what if it ends up looking like crap? Will this deter me? NO! (Although, secretly, I'm hoping and praying to the Knitting Goddess that she will surprise me with both details being irrelevant....just this once...and my shawl will be gorgeous and perfect!)

Please don't burst my bubble okay? Or, at least, let me live in my own dreamworld for this one project...or for all my projects...either is good : P

Cross your knitting needles for me!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Got Yarn? Yup.


TwoPlySkein
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
(Another badly lit pic of the beautiful new yarn...may want to reconsider sending this to National Geographic magazine....darn.)

Okay, so guess what? It's DONE!!!! My little baby Leicester Lamb yarn is plied! Woo hoo! (okay, taking a little breath....)

After my rest, I couldn't wait to finish it, so I threw (gently) each ball into a old gift bag and hung each one on the door knobs of my kitchen cabinets. Brilliant....worked perfectly....

Then, I started spinning in the "S" direction (counterclockwise) with my "Z" singles (clockwise spun). As I was spinning, the yarn just CREATED itself. It was like magic. Complete magic. It was so amazing that I couldn't stop...

I was so entranced that when Ben came in and said "Juice, Mama" and I tried to keep spinning while reaching toward the other counter for his juice cup. Didn't work. Darn it. Had to stop.

Finally, after I think an hour or hour and a half of spinning, it was done. OH, it was a good moment!

Next step....winding it onto the niddy noddy...was hoping I would miraculously have more yardage, but I was disappointed : (

Measured, tied and then onto the second most fun part....SOAKING! : )

Got out my blue mini tub and filled with very warm water, 1 capful of Eucalean, and 1 capful of Suave Milk & Honey hair conditioner (have you smelled this stuff? mmm...it's heavenly). Soaked for about 15 or 20 minutes. Hung to dry....took about 24 hours and I rotated it from time to time...I think it dried quicker because it was hanging very near to the wood stove...nice trick there.

So....what do you think?????

Off to rest my spinning arms (and hands) : )

Oh, Only One Ply


OnePlyYarn
Originally uploaded by yogagardengirl32.
This pic is not as nice as it could be. It was sadly dark and, for lack of a better word, YUCKY yesterday in New Hampshire. So, pic is not too clear. But, as you can see, the colors surprised me and look much softer and less "socky-gray" as I originally thought. Once the purple was incorporated, all was well. It was just that the green and salmon alone was....(shiver)....ewww.

Now, on to the more important phase (my first...I'm a plying virgin)....the 2 ply!

Steps:

1. Wound the newly spun yarn off of spindle onto niddy noddy. Measured and tied 4 places.

2. Remove from niddy noddy, place around my nice dining room chair, remove ties and start winding a center pull ball.

3. Now that arm is tired (and I got some upper arm exercise for the day), rest both arm and ball on table. (ahhh....)

4. Do again for the next ball....only after refreshing self with small piece of Dove dark chocolate. Mmmm!

More later......must regain s-t-r-e-n-g-t-h!