Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday: Wish List and a Garden Update

Ever since I saw someone using a drop spindle to spin yarn....I've been coveting getting into spinning.  It seems like such a "me" thing to do.  Plunging in and getting a wheel is a little unrealistic right now.  I do so want one some day soonish - perhaps this one or this one.  Until then, I'll practice on my soon to arrive drop spindle.  Drop spindles are found in many cultures and are very inexpensive.  What is a drop spindle you ask, see here.

It has been a long time since I've posted a garden update.  How does a neglected garden grow?
Apparently, pretty well.

These were all harvested within the last few days.  The small cherry tomatoes are from a volunteer plant that has taken off within the last month.  Did you read that right - a VOLUNTEER PLANT....as in....one that I didn't plant.  The best producing plant is one that I didn't have anything to do with - other than letting it grow and then staking it.  Oh well.  They are delicious.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Behold Kürbis


Wollmeise.  Yeah.  I understand now.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Wollmeise Shawl Watch


10/24 - back to work. I finished chart A on Friday and then froze. I was unsure how to read chart B once I got to the repeat. I looked at it and looked at it. I emailed the designer - super nice lady to answer my baby beginner questions.
I’m so in love with this shawl. I have already informed Mister that once it is finished I’m never taking it off.
Working tonight on the second round of Chart B.

Market

Yesterday was the harvest festival for the local market.  The day started off very eventful.  After parking, I heard a woman scream, "Stop that dog!"  I saw someone running and a cheerful terrier sprinting away.  I wondered if I could get him and changed my path to converge with the dog.  He was by this time slowing up a bit to take in the wonderful park smells.  Then he turned, looked at me and I made myself really exciting and interesting.  I play bowed at him, crouched down and asked him to come to me.  He leaped into my arms, wiggling, kissing, and very excited.  As soon as he realized that I had no intention of letting him free again he squeaked in protest - CRAP!  Game over!  The poor woman now caught up with us and I returned him to her.

It was then onto the market.  I visited Dyeabolical's booth.  Earlier in the yearn I had gone and picked up this lovely yarn.....








and made this lovely shawl:















I get more compliments on this shawl.  People just love the color.   Yesterday I picked up two skeins of yarn.
 Butternut Squish Strong Arm Sock Yarn
Merino Silk Lace yarn

The lace yarn was cast on to be a lace knit scarf yesterday.  I'm starting with an easy pattern - something that I can learn new stitches with but be able to watch TV while doing.  The Butternut yarn is giving me the eye and suggesting that it might be time for me to learn to knit socks.  I just love the color and the colorway name.  Perhaps my yarn is correct - perhaps I should learn to knit socks.  Bossy yarn.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yarn Diets and Binges

Okay, I broke my self imposed yarn diet.

Alpacas d'Auxvasse had a booth today at a local mall.  I went and came away with two skeins.

Alpaca Sock Yarn - new for Alpacas d'Auxvasse
Blend of alpaca, merino, nylon and bamboo.

100% Suri Alpaca - dreamy color don't you think?










I also purchased another skein of Wollmeise from a Raverler who was destashing.  It is a beautiful color - I'll show you when it gets here.

Tomorrow - is the last crafting day at the farmers' market.  I'm heading down to visit a favorite local spinner and dyer of yarn.  We'll see what comes home tomorrow.   The I promise myself - no more yarn.......for a while at least.

Wollmeise - Part Two

So yesterday I finally did it.  I made a decision and cast on the Wollmeise for a shawl.  I finally choose the Butterfly Bush Shawl.  I wanted to do a lace project and this one seems a nice beginning lace shawl.  I'm also a sucker for butterflies - especially since I'm in a period of transition as well.

Internet, I'm in love with it.  I love the blue of the yarn.  I love that I have loops of dark blue, medium blue AND light blue on my needle at the sametime.  Wollmeise might not cause me dramatics, but wow it is pretty.

So far this shawl has taught me new things.  How to insert a lifeline and I've learned new stitches: ssk, s1,k2tog, psso.  Neat!  It is fun to see the pattern slowly emerging.

Knitting: A Journey

So weeks ago when I first began to knit I can honestly say for a about a day - I hated it.  Just hated it.  I was convinced that I would always be a crocheter and never a knitter.  All the while I kept at it.  I kept knitting.  Then I began to love knitting and then hate crocheting.  Now, I'm more balanced.  I love both.  I honor both of my skills.  Now if you want to offer me some yarn to learn which one I love more, we might be able to talk about that confession.

With the acquistion of a new skill, I've been to many local branches of our public library in search of reading materaial.  I've found a few gems that I'll share.  The first is Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  The Second is Yarn Harlot also by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.  Both books are humorous accounts of knitting.  The first is a little more about knitting itself and help bring me through my initial dislike of the skill.  The second are essays about knitting and knitters.

I'm almost finished with  Yarn Harlot (note my clever bookmark - a ball band from yarn).  She has a follow up book  Free-range Knitter that I'll look for soon.

So I've done some rearranging in my purse to accommodate my projects.  I went to the container store last week and found a nifty little pill box with three compartments - one large and two small.  So now I have a new needle and stitch marker box.  For $0.99!

So it is official, I now have pattern binders for crochet and for knitting.  I'm slowly accumulating knit patterns and trying to determine my next big project.  Do I go with the Wollmeise project or should I do a scrap shawl project to use up some of my remaining sock yarn pieces?

I've finished a bit of projects.

Mister's hat:










Clapochet


My first knit shawl:


Another easy hat:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wollmeise

It came.  Now what should I make with it?

Shawl patterns that I am considering:
Sorbet Shawl 
Lucky Clover - may be outside of my abilities right now.
Summer Stroll Shawl
It's Good to Be a Girl
Butterfly Bush Shawl

Help me make a decision!

ACK!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Playing Hard to Get

Wollmeise.  That word can cause websites to meltdown, whip knitters into a frenzy, and a lot of bad behavior.  I first heard of it shopping on of my favorite stores/e-retailers, The Loopy Ewe.  I learned that they have to release it into the market slowly, a little bit at a time, and no one knows when it will go up on the shopping site.  People will stalk the site - waiting.  When it hits the yarn goes fast - very fast - like minutes people.  The Loopy Ewe announces when the yarn hits with Facebook.  Then there is the flood of comments - scored some!  Whoohoo I got five skeins!  Dang - missed it again!

I've been online at such times - I go, I look, I dither about color and then suddenly there isn't a choice anymore.  Do I need more yarn.  No, really not.  I have lots of beautiful yarn.  I've never even seen Wollmeise in person.  Never touched it.  I'm curious about the stuff though.  Why does it drive so many people crazy.  Why do they fight over it?  One of the features that I'm not fond of on The Loopy Ewe is that products can be removed from your cart while you are in the shopping site or even in check out.  If someone is faster than you - your yarn is gone.  Eewww.  I understand that they can't hold merchandise for ever in limbo, but ewww.  I've never had this happen to me, but I've read the stories online.  

So how can you get your hands on Wollmeise if you are unwilling to jump into the virtual mosh pit?  Ebay has lots listed.  I read a post form the owner of Wollmeise that stated - sellers who repeatedly resell the yarn on Ebay may be blacklisted for future ordering.  Yikes!   So don't buy direct from Wollmeise and then turn around and sell it on Ebay.  Got it. I looked around and saw prices on Ebay were getting inflated than their retail sale price at the yarn stores.

So, I did what any sensible person would do.  I went on Raverly, found someone destashing a beautiful skein and bought it from him.  I'm excited.  The color looks truly wondrous.  I'm worried however; what if it doesn't live up to the hype?

Here is the same color - different skein of yarn.  What do you think?

Wollmeise Blaue Tinte Contrast





Friday, October 8, 2010

I'm a knitter now

So while I have plenty of free time on my hands, I've taken up knitting.  Last week I arrange for a private lesson with one of my favorite knit shops.  I began work on a scarf using Encore Worsted yarn in a yummy not quite navy blue.  The stitch that I was started on was simple - knit two, pearl two (k2 p2).  Thus began my leap into knitting.  At first it didn't go so well.  I dropped stitches, reversed stitches and generally did a good job of mucking it up.  Instead of going back to the shop to get help, I wanted to figure it out on my own.  I frogged the whole darn thing numerous times and got pretty good a casting on.  Finally I went to the shop and got some additional help.  Today, I'm a happy knitter.  I finished my first project which turned out to be a cowl instead of scarf.  I got bored with the basic stitch and I'm ready to take another leap into more advanced projects.


I've started a hat for Mister.  I go from knitting preschool to a middle school project - knitting in the round!  So far it is going really well.  I'm using a very very basic easy project to begin with - Knit Picks Easy Peasy Knit Hat which is also demonstrated on YouTube here.  So far It is looking like a smooshy circle - I knit on.


Meanwhile, I've been crocheting up a storm.  I've finished more shawls, scarves, a baby blanket, a baby hat and even my first cardigan.  Right now I have two projects on the hook - a scarf/wrap call Clapochet based on a knitted version Clapotis.  Both are free patterns.

This will be my second and third Clapochet.  One is in a very dream brown tone with silver thread - Dream in Color - Starry yarn and the other in Cascade Alpaca Lace painted yarn.  I've never worked with Dream in Color yarn, but I'm hooked.  This wrap is a commission for a friend.  She allowed me to pick the pattern and yarn color and I really hope she is pleased.  It will be a very dreamy wrap.  One thing I really like about this pattern is that it is not a one trick pony.  Need a scarf?  Great.  Need a wrap - good to go!

Here is my first execution of this pattern:

After I complete the Dream in Color Clapochet and Mister's hat I already have my eye on my first knitted shawl: LaLa's Simple Shawl.  I'm going to attempt this shawl by changing the yarn to a very delicate Dream in Color Baby.  It is a lace weight/really light fingering yarn.  I've chosen Cloud Jungle.  I've looked at it seem that folks have changed the needle size from 10 to a 6.  I'm going to try 8 and if not I'll go down.  We'll see.

It is very exciting to be able to crochet and knit!