Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Goodies and Gumdrops for me!

Happy early birthday to me! :-) Yea okay, so its not for another 11 days, but lookie here at the presents I bought for myself last Wednesday night at the Chester Knitting Guild at Joanne's "A Knitter's Garden" shop (she really needs a website so I can link it here, lol)....

First, here is a trio of absolutely amazing items from the wonderfully talented Heather. She made me this doggy-chic straight needle holder to match the circular one she created a few months ago. I regret not having photoed it open - you have got to see this thing... it is big enough to hold all the needles one could dream of owning HUGE (Heather says "Do I do anything on a small scale?" lol)! Then... while browsing some of her newest crafty creations in the shop, I instantly had to have these size 8 leopard handcrafted Sereknity needles. Aren't they the coolest (hands off - they're MINE and I can't wait to knit with them!). And... last but certainly not least, my very own skein of Goody Gumdrops yarn. I feel in love with this when I saw the photos of Gina's awesome sock - which has been entered in to the Ewe'll Love It sock contest btw -- ladies and gentlemen, vote for Gina!


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Here's a closer look at the yummy yarn and needles...

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I also picked up these row / stitch markers which my Mom had ordered from Heather... aren't they pretty?

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Not too many other photos for you today. Sadly, no new finsihed works... but have plenty "in progress", including these two creations... my 2nd Lion Brand sock and a navy baby hat for my friend Jenn's little bundle, Nate...

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I'm gearing up to start on some holiday gifts, but wanted to get these two things finished soon. I also can't wait to start my own pair of Smocked Gauntlets, which seem to be all the rage lately (and congrats to Heather for getting her very first free pattern "published" on Knitting Pattern Central too - you are one cool kat!).

That's all for now - been one crazy and stressful week around here ... which calls for some wonderful knitting meditation hours to come (and hopefully some finished works!).... till next time... HAPPY FALL!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tomkat Goes to Washington...

As promised, here is proof of my wacky little man Tomkat sighting from The Redskins game on September 11th! I compiled a few photos in to one for your viewing pleasure....

Tomkat

Tom & Nicole's adopted kids (Conor and Isabella) were there. I've just got one word for Katie .... J-E-A-N-S girlfriend! Should you ever have the opportunity to encounter The Great Tomkat and actually speak with Miss Holmes, would you please tell her she should dress more comfortably for a football game? No need to dress like the First Lady and heels are NOT for a football game ... jeans girl, jeans!!! Of course, she and Tom actually looked like they coordinated their outfits and she was attached to him 98% of the time... poor Katie!!!

Here's a couple more from the game...

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And here I am at
FedEx Field doing my new "stadium pose" (see earlier post from the Patriots game... I'm getting good at this, 'eh?)...

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I don't have the yarn shop photos for you yet, but check out what I found when we stopped to take a picture of the WWI monument in Richmond...

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Did you read that? BARKER FIELD!?!?! ha ha - LOVE it and couldn't resist taking a photo! I wanted to stop, but Matt thought we might look like stalkers in a doggy park without a leash... or doggy for that matter! :-)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Back From Vacation ... with More for the Stash!

I'm back.... from a fairly well jam-packed vacation which included the NASCAR Busch & Nextel Cup races in Richmond, the Redskins opening game vs Minnesota in Maryland (complete with a Tomkat sighting!), a venture through the 10,000 square foot Yankee Candle store mini-city in Williamsburg (where I purchased "Frostie's Favorite" coffee which sounds like it will be a most delicious knitting companion this winter - a chocolate, butter rum and hazelnut blend - YUM-O!), a drive up and down and back again, darned one way roads Monument Avenue - a very cool and beautiful street (the old architecture in this area is gorgeous!), and what else....

... visits to not one, but two local yarn shops!!!!

Although I was hoping to find some locally spun or dyed yarns, neither shop I visited carried any, though they did have some other wonderful finds.

My first visit was to Knitting Sisters (don't you love their logo?) in Williamsburg - a great shop (plenty of space, nothing crammed in and loads of delicious yarns and notions) that I wish were closer to home! Even during early afternoon on a Tuesday, there were several shoppers in the store. I was greeted with loads of fall colors and amazing textures (they were pricing some new yarns from fall lines that they were literally just unpacking) ... and despite how busy they were, I was welcomed to the store within moments of entering. Trying to "be good" and maintain control, I picked up only a handful of goodies as seen here...

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The goods are... 2 hanks of Claudia Hand Painted Yarns from South Africa (100% merino wool, fingering weight) in "just plum" for a pair of socks; 2 balls of Crystal Palace's Kid Merino in "fall herbs" (not sure what for just yet, but I couldn't resist the colorway, perhaps one this lacey scarf); 1 skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in "somerset" (not pictured here - I actually goofed and bought only one skein over the summer and have been hunting down a second to make a pair of socks; and my favorite budget crusher splurge, 1 hank of Colinette Tao 100% silk (yes, I said 100% silk!) in "venezia." I'm trying to hunt down an "open-y, skinny" scarf pattern for this since I'm too poor to buy 2 hanks -- if you have any suggestions, please do share!

My second stop was at
Got Yarn in Midlothian. She was actually having a semi-going out of business sale, as of today she will be an online store only (be sure to check it out - she promised below retail pricing now that she would not have retail store overhead). The shop was very small and a bit crammed, but with the 25 - 40% off sale, well worth the visit! My major disappointment was that Tootsie was not present when we visited (yes, I do realize that I may just be the only insane knitter who would show up at a yarn sale and be disappointed that a dog was not there!). Feast your eyes on the small stash I picked up...


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The goods from this purchase are... 2 hanks of Classic Elite Inca Marl (100% Alpaca) in color "1195" (mixed blues and grey tones) - not sure what I'll do with it yet but it is SUPER soft and was 40% off; a ball of Berroco Suede in black also 40% off (not pictured - got it in case I needed something to combine with my 100% silk, though I'm leaning towards trying to find a pattern to keep it all silk); 2 hanks of Koigu KPPPM in color "P142" for a pair of socks - I've heard some of my sock knitting friends rave about Koigu and since it is a bit pricey I took the opportunity of getting this at 25% off and throwing it in the quickly growing sock yarn stash; and finally a hank of Lorna's Laces Sheperd worsted (100% superwash wool) in "Tuscany" for 40% off - I feel in love with this gorgeous, deep hues, a "fallish" colorway (even though I typically go for pinks, purples and blues). Here's a close up of it with our leaves that are beginning to change color...

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Not sure what I'm using it for yet, perhaps socks (question for my "sock knittas" out there - is 1 hank of this enough for an adult pair -- I finally got it down that I need approx. 100 grams of fingering weight for adult socks, but of course this is heavier and I'm still a sock newbie, lol)?

I did take photos of the storefronts, but they are on the regular film camera, so those will be for later. I also haven't had time to download the digital pics yet, which include the Tomkat pics. Yes that's right, we spotted Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at the Redskins game during the pregame warm-ups. They were standing right down in front of us, though we were up in the nosebleed seats so we'll see how the come out...

Time for dinner... and another weekend of racing - the Chase is ON at
NHIS this weekend... til next time, KNIT ON!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I finished sock #1!

Look Ma ... no hands, just feet ... lol! I did it... finished my first sock yesterday! I was so excited I wanted to move on to "bigger and better" (aka nicer sock yarns), but I did cast on the 2nd Lion Brand Magic Stripes sock (you can even see the first round or two in the photo of my big footsie).... after all, I don't want to catch "second sock syndrome!"












So what do you think? No comments on my large feet necessary ... just the sock!




Over the rainy long weekend, we ventured up to Meredith, NH to meet family for dinner at Hart's Turkey Farm (YUM-O!) on Sunday evening, so I took the opportunity to leave a bit early and trek an extra 20 minutes North to Center Harbor to visit Patternworks (Matt was a good sport too - he even came in and poked around!). It was my 2nd visit - an okay shop, but definitely smaller than expected and the ladies who work there are not the most friendly or warm-welcoming (read: go on in, poke around a little, if you know what you want or what to browse, you're all set, but definitely don't expect any warm & fuzzies or much help). I went looking for some small DPN sizes in mind and picked up 0, 1 and 1.5. Of course I couldn't walk by the sock yarn (my new obsession!) without looking... or buying for that matter! I picked up a skein of Fortissima Disco Colori in grey and a skein of Sockotta in a vibrant mix of red, yellow, blue (think its "5613" in the bold stripes).


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I happened to notice a copy of
"Magic Loop" next to the sock yarn display and grabbed it (Heather was talking about this technique at knitting guild and it definitely sounds like a good one to learn -- anyone tried it? Thoughts? I'm in search of a booklet on knitting 2 socks at once method also if anyone knows of a good one!). I also scored a fun book called Hollywood Knits in the clearance bin for just $5.99!

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Not a whole lot of other knitting going on (plent of WIP's though!), but I did finish up 6 baby and toddler hats to send up to Jenn today for Spafina Boutique in Rockport today.

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Planning to take a couple hat projects on vacation with me, since they are easy to work on the plane and in the car traveling ... and there will be a lot of car time on this trip. We're staying in Richmond, which is where the NASCAR races are, but we plan a day to Williamsburg and possibly a day to DC. Also, we just got tickets to the Redskins vs. Vikings game for Monday night too and that's in MD. We just might cover 3 states on one trip! And yes, I do have my list of local yarn stores in Richmond and Williamsburg to hunt down (and one of them in Richmond is closing on the 15th - perfect timing!!!)!


Friday, September 01, 2006

Has it REALLY been 2 weeks???

No way... 2 weeks since my last entry? That can't be! Where has the time gone??? Yesterday morning I got stuck behind a school bus on the way to work ... a school bus!!!??? Where did the summer go??? Don't get me wrong... I really can't complain considering that fall is my favorite time of year (and no, its not just because my birthday is in October!). It gets cooler and we can start wearing all of our wonderful scarves and handknit creations, the leaves turn beautiful colors, pumpkins, apples, hot apple cider, festivals and fairs galore and oh yea, FOOTBALL! Thanks to an associate with amazing season tickets (21 rows off the field - home side!), I got to see my beloved Patriots pumble the Red Skins (sorry Coach Gibbs and Mark Brunell!) 42 - zip! Check out the view...

This one aint' so bad either...
This one's even better... Tom Brady and Mike Vrabel in the same pic... damn I'm good (well, not that good... more than half my pics came out blurry, including the better of this view... argh!)

And since I never show my face, here's a rare treat ... (okay, you can stop laughing now) ... but anyway, here I am trying to be cute...

So... you probably wanna hear about some knitting now, huh? I've been working on a few projects... One of which being enhancing the stash, but we won't talk about that right now ... never know when Matt is reading... hee hee and btw, as you can clearly see he has another expensive hobby! I think you will all agree that clearly no matter how big my stash gets, it'll never equal the amount of money he spends on racing and a band, right???

My first sock is nearing completion... and I'm really loving knitting it. Now I can truly understand why so many of my knitting friends are hooked on socks!

Pictured next to the sock is a gorgeous skein of beautifully colored sock yarn that I just got off eBay (unfortunately its not superwash, so I'll be handwashing those babies... but I couldn't resist the goregous colorway). The colors didn't quite show as well in the photo (I was in a hurry taking these - can you tell?), but its gorgeous deep tones of purple, grey and black... gorgeous! I've been toying with the idea of starting a second pair of socks, but I'm worried I'll end up with "second sock syndrom." I will also not mention how many other projects are currently on the needles, nor how many are lined up and waiting to be cast on!

The Chester knitting group is working on some donation items for The Upper Room, including hats, mittens and blankets for the coming winter. Joanne also had these adorable little teddy bears for us to dress up as well. I made a little shawl on the fly (no pattern... no knowledge... lol). What do you think? I'm still not sold on it 100%, but its kinda cute. Matt seemed to think it should've been a "hoochie mama" bear with a tube top instead of a shawl, but that's for another time...

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Next to the bear is a gorgeous skein of 100% lace weight Australian Cashmere from Oze Yarn - you simply can NOT tell how gorgeous it is from this crap photo. Its a beautiful deep eggplant color. I got it as a kit to knit this beautiful lace scarf. For anyone interested in Oze's yarns btw, be sure to visit their website and request your free sample card -- I got mine in about a week and a half! They were also relatively fast on the shipping my scarf kit as well.

Those are the only photos I have for today ... sorry. Hopefully the butts Pats pics above do better justice than the knitting pics!

Zeus is healing quite nicely and probably a lot more active than he should be. He's been rather playful lately, baiting both Lola and Tut in to wrestling. Of course when we have to yell at them to stop jumping on their big brother, they definitely do not understand why they are in trouble!

On a very sad furry friend note, my deepest sympathies to Gina who lost her beloved Miss Tubbsie last night.... may she rest in peace with all the leafy green carrot tops a bunny could ever dream of.

Looks like its going to be a wet and dreary holiday weekend ... we were supposed to play up in Sunapee tomorrow, but that's no fun in the rain (hhmm... shopping maybe?) and of course Matt is supposed to race on Sunday (while I watch and knit of course), not sure about that either... was considering the Hopkinton Fair for Monday, but looks like rain again.... oh well, stay dry and KNIT ON......