Wednesday, November 21

A Knitting Tattoo?

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. Life is good, eh?

So. I'm loosing my hair big time as of yesterday. All at once as predicted. Good thing I'm liking the hat thing. My look sans hat will be less than elegant. Can I improve that? Bobby and I have a marriage pact - no piercings, no tattoos. It's kind of a joke we say to others, but we mean it. Still, a knitting tattoo . . . some knitting still on the needles with trailing yarn along the scar on my head to a ball of yarn?


I finished Dad's hat by the way. Turned out real nice after wrestling with the top several times until I was happy. I'll get a picture of him in it - without the dpn adornment this time.

Don't eat too much turkey!

Sunday, November 18

Stitches East: Part II

I had taken a Ravelry sabbatical to focus on personal stuff for a while and now I'm playing catch up:D Gee I missed it. I just posted this on the Stitches East group and thought hmmmmmm . . . this is worth posting since I wrote it up so nice. It's on a thread of critiques of classes, a great resource for planning next year's choices. Knitters are saying what they liked and why. Class too long? Not enough time? Well organized? Just plain fun? We're telling each other now and the capsules of info will still be there for future class takers. Cool.

Round Up - Beth Whiteside

  • taught circular cast ons, dpn, magic loop, two circs

  • No homework

  • Made a cute neckwarmer for my sister.

  • Recommend? YES

Beth paces her class well and doesn't try to cram too much in. She gave a lot of attention to students and circled the room to give individual projects the once over and see that everyone was doing okay. Her style is easy enough to follow for a beginner and I can definitely recommend her for the extra tips division too. Just get down on your knees and pray that a know-it all classmate doesn't try to upstage your instructor during the entire class. I had a woman I wanted to strangle do everything from give personal anecdotes to pass around a giant bag of rubber bands for poor underprivileged unprepared knitters to use as stitch markers. Every five minutes. Beth took it with such grace and incorporated it into the class that I have to admire her even more.

Free-Form Potpourii - Colleen Davis

  • Showed how freeform garments and pieces are constructed. Gained experience through set pattern.

  • No homework

  • Made a cool looking thing from her pattern. I can go on

  • Recommend? MAYBE - just for the fun of it, but be prepared to stand for half an hour

Take in to consideration, my critique is incomplete. Another woman on a scooter and I missed about an hour of the class held standing around a table due to the small room and fatigue. I blame the facility/Stitches for the overcrowded room. A good deal of material was discussed up there. To her credit, Colleen tried to bring things to us. I didn't have the heart. She already broke the room into two groups. Can you imagine her repeating it a third time? Her voice was shot.

Your satisfaction with this class may depend on what you want out of it. Duplicating a set pattern created by her was a great way to see how the increases and decreases - picking up stitches on the diagonal affect the piece so it will lay flat. I would have preferred assistance exercising my own creative mind beyond the set pattern once it was finished - with a little guidance from the instructor. Perhaps though, she has this in one of her other classes. She talks about and shows a lot of her work - fascinating uses of color and texture. Inspirational to get rid of all those little bits in my charity bin. I think her covered purses were brilliant.

Off the Cuff Beaded Wrist Warmers - Susanna Hansson

  • Teaches on-yarn beading

  • Homework = simple Garter stitch swatch to achieve gauge, you do not need this to begin project.

  • SHOPPING LIST - be precise about her supplies - the "big eye" beading needle is two smooth wires joined at the tips. One person didn't want/couldn't knit with fingering yarn and did the project in another weight and bead size just to learn the process. I don't know what happed with her.

  • Began beaded wristwarmers - cute!

  • Recommend? YES

Sussana is well organized and gives individual attention to everyone's progress. I wish I could have taken this class today instead of in October. My own medical crap reared it's head quite unexpectedly and I couldn't deal with a couple aspects of her excellent class. Her handout is excellent and I will be able to finish these at some point, now that I am better. Walking away from a class with instructions or patterns in hand increases my sense of satisfaction. It also one of the marks of a seasoned instructor. I'll look for her next year for sure.

Switch to Continental Style Knitting - Leslye Solomon

  • Learn to knit Continental

  • No homework

  • No cute little project to show for it, but that is the way to go with this.

  • Recommend? YES

What a hoot! Leslye takes two pieces of whittled down PVC pipe(joke) and some rope up over her head and turns backwards so we can actually see her do this thing. It works great. I don't know how she kept her arms up wrapping that huge red yarn but her method of demonstration made all the difference to me. She has a silly and funny set of reminders to help you get your yarn placed right and turn your hand just so. All in all, an enjoyable, useful and entertaining class.

And if the woman who snuck into the class I paid for is reading this: I didn't buy your story that you paid for a different class that day. Leslye and I spoke later and I wish I had told you how much I resented you stealing so much of her time from me. A plague of moths on your yarn.

Stitches East: Part II

Things I'd do different:

  • Attend the Student Banquet - It shouldn't be hard next year to create a Ravelry area. If not, I'll talk to anybody. I'm like that.

  • Attend the Fashion Show - Again, gathering with a few friends? Doing something new? What's not to like?

  • Less Marketplace - Go on Thursday for sure and probably limit myself to one other day. Do not go to the marketplace every single day because it is there - I was a woman obsessed. I had my list. I shopped for what and where I wanted to buy and made my purchases after careful consideration. I made a few unplanned goodie buys. I made a few more. I got a sneak deal on the hush hush for my charity work. But the rest of the time I just rolled around and stared. For four days until closing, talking to friends or acquaintances I've met here on Ravelry. Wheels are a dangerous thing. I like to killed myself with exhaustion every day - a rather stupid thing to do considering I was 3 weeks post brain surgery and supposed to be taking it easy. But the happiness and sheer exhilaration of it all was better medicine :D Thank heavens Bobby picked my exhausted heap out front every night with food in hand.

  • Buy Earlier - With all my shopping and despite all the warnings about sellouts, I didn't buy most of my yarn until Sunday. I am very happy with my selection on colors except I would have liked one more skein of the Brooks Farm I got. I missed out on my one skein of Noro from Stitches East to start my Lizard Ridge Memory Blankie - my fault. Still, more colors? Cool.

  • Better Classes - Fewer and wiser. I went from two 6 hour classes my first year(exhausting - no shopping) to 3 hour classes each day this year(plus shopping -exhausted). NEXT YEAR One or two things I really want to learn, not just a goal of picking one 3 hour class from what ever hasn't been sold out. I enjoyed 3 out of 4 of mine, but two of them really were just fluff. Fun, but tiring. I'd rather spend some time knitting in a Ravelry den with some friends.

  • Remember that food + drink = energy

  • Take more than one picture of a friend

Things I did this year and would do again:

  • Attend Keynote Speaker - It was free and Kaffe Fassett was a good speaker, his work was fascinating

  • Wear Ravelry ID - :D I was approached by more people than I care to count because of the little flag I made with Ravelry/tinkknitz. I found myself a regular ambassador to some of the vendors. I wish I had cards with the website on it - for the advertising opportunities for Casey and Jess. A guy from either Malabrigo or SWTC asked me a lot about the advertising. Now that we have tee shirts and buttons - next year should be crawling with Ravelers who didn't notice or join this group

  • Go over the floorplan and vendor list and mark a few things I do not want to miss - like where Ravelry friends work!

  • Bring address labels for contest entries - I didn't win, but there's always next year.

  • Attend Ravelry Meetup - it sure was fun to see everyone. I like the idea of an all-day hangout, but a real Gathering of the Clan is great fun.

Thursday, November 15

Celtic Knot Rocks

I realized too late I needed some nice stuff to wash my Dad's new hat before giving it to him for his birthday. I know it's supposed to soften up the wool and it would be nice for the Noro on his head and ears. Dashing off to The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop in Ellicott City on my way back from physical therapy today I figured I could scoop up something, polish off the hat, and voila! Gift complete.

Sure of my mission I entered, pleased to see not only Carole the owner but Lindsay of Storm Moon Knits anxiously awaiting a special delivery. Lindsay is to be a cover girl of sorts I hear! But I digress. I announced my need for fine fiber care and was dismayed to hear Carole's worried "I think I sold the last . . ." Ugghh! Oh damn. Well I guess I gotta keep going then. Leave it to me to need to go shopping like a Christmas Eve - eleventh hour - last possible minute . . .

She fumbled in her big bag on the table.

Out popped not one but two stalwart samples of Soak. Her personal sta
sh. She swore I was saving her from having it explode in her bag all over her projects.

I'm not the biggest, baddest knitter out there. I'm a slummer to a lot of fiber freaks. I use a lot of Acrilyc for a lot of charity projects and buy a lot of pretty string that I have lofty ideas of knitting into fantastic works of art for my family or heaven forbid - myself. breathe But I do love this thing we call knitting. And here Carole, recognizing a crazed woman about to schlep out in search of Blaa Blaa Yarn Shop to score some

LYS may come and go, but I'll be back at The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop for more.

It is unfortunate however that "The Late" precedes my name. I had forgotten Bobby had won tickets to a movie that night and off we went after my nap. Wednesday was my birthday. Yes, I share a birthday with my nephew four days after my Dad. Since it was my birthday we went out to Eggspectation to celebrate for breakfast. With PT, OT, drop off and pick up a car, and furiously knitting - I still didn't finish.

So here's how it went.

With everyone sitting in the living room, I picked up Dad's hat, still on the needles, and started a row.

"This is great yarn. It comes from Japan, Toy(so does she). Isn't is nice?" We talk a bit about knitting and she tells my sister how she used to make gloves with tiny needles as a small child. Each finger done separately on three needles like mine. I continued "I'm making this with yarn I got the first day of my treatment - it's a gift for a very special guy, but you know me - I'm not done yet. So Dad, would you try it on so I can see if it'll fit when I'm done?" He gave a start. And a big grin.

At least I saved Carole from the horrors of leaky Soak in her bag.

And I will be back to buy a nice bottle when the shipment comes in.


Monday, November 5

Oh Gawd. I bought yarn.

My Dad's birthday is November 10 and I decided to make him a hat with the needles he bought me last Christmas. Great planning, I know - I gotta knit this up fast. Nothing I got at Stitches was appropriate. Dang. I had to buy yarn. But it's not my fault. No! Really! Blame my husband. We were celebrating a bit this morning and my husband decided to take me to find Woolworks, a shop he says received the honor of "Best Yarn Shop in Baltimore" by City Paper. Three skeins of Noro Kureyon later, I was happy.

Two skeins of Noro is plenty for my Dad's big head. The last one will start my first square of Lizard ridge from Knitty. I'll be able to identify the block 'cause it will match my father's hat. I wanted to get my first Noro at Stitches East, but they were out before I remembered to get one. My plan is to make a square with yarn from different places I visit on vacation or to commemorate milestones of some sort. A memory Blankie. Today was the first day of my treatment for brain cancer.

A fine reason to buy yarn I think.