Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long Overdue

Back in Sept/Oct I went to Portland to visit my cousin. The one that knits :) So we visited some yarn shops:



I forgot to take pictures of the other two shops, Knot Another Hat and a DIY yarn shop.

I started and finished some knitting projects:




I got to play with my adorable niece:


We also went to a ceramic painting studio. I painted a mug and put a ball of yarn in the bottom of the cup. The battery on my camera just crapped out, so I'll have to post a picture later after charging it up.

After my trip to Portland, I went to the doctor for wrist pains. Turns out I had tendinitis. Now, I don't want to say that my injury was due to knitting (mostly because is sounds like something someone much older than myself would have happen), but I can't deny it as a possibility. Anyway, I had to wear a brace for two long weeks. When that was finally over, I knit a bath mat with four strands of yarn held together and very large needles so that I could get a finished product very quickly.


This was also a great stash buster. I am actually yarn fasting right now. I am trying to knit up some stash before I buy anymore yarn. Hopefully I will get the stash down a bit so I can buy more yarn by the time Stitches West is here. I have about 4 months to do that! I better get knittin!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hopefully Soon

I am hoping that I will be able to post something about knitting soon. Reports were sent home this week and Thanksgiving break will be here very soon. That will give me some time to do more of the things that I enjoy, like knitting and blogging about knitting. I feel that my blog has been so neglected, that I had to post SOMETHING. Happy knitting to those of you who squeeze in some knitting time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

With 23 Minutes to Spare

Last weekend I participated in the Peninsula to Pier Shop Hop. I remember reading about it last year, but I wasn't able to participate. I was really excited about going this year. Unfortunately, I don't have any knitting buddies that I could take with me, but luckily my mom said she would go with me. She had been on quilt shop hops, but never a yarn shop hop. She was only available on Saturday, so the plan was to get as many in as possible and to hit the shops that were the farthest away. Mostly I am writing this blog to remember the whirlwind of shops. Sorry if it's too long (which I'm sure it will be).

Each of the shops had a one skein project. If you bought the yarn, you got the pattern for free. Some of the shops had their project yarn at a discounted price for the hop.

The first shop we went to was in Burlingame. It's called Yarn, Paper, Scissors.


It was an absolutely adorable shop. They had a cute little area for knitting that included a fireplace (although I'm not sure if it was a working fireplace). The shop mostly had yarn, but they also had supplies and classes for paper crafts (cardmaking) and sewing. The project was a cabled headband, so I decided to get the yarn and project at this shop.

The next stop was Nine Rubies.


This shop was more of a higher end shop. It was one of those shops where I feel uncomfortable because it seemed more posh. None of the staff was rude or anything, but I just got that feeling. Their project was a very nice silk bag, but I couldn't bring myself to buy silk yarn for a bag I probably wouldn't use.

The final shop in that area was Creative Hands.


This was a decent sized shop. The thing that I liked the best was this cheat sheet card to tell you the length of a sock based on the receiver's shoe size. Mostly, I make socks for myself. I usually try on the socks and measure them on my feet and have no idea how long to make socks for anyone with a shoe size other than a women's 8. I also bought their project yarn and got the pattern for a small felted purse.

After this shop, we made the long drive to Carmel to go to Knitting By the Sea.


This shop was very small and if I was in the area, I probably wouldn't go back. I don't want to bad mouth any of the shops, but some shops I just got a feeling of whether or not I would want to return. Their project was baby booties. I probably won't make the booties, but I did buy the yarn since it was tofuties on sale. I can always make another pair of socks.

Next was Monarch Knitting and Quilts.


This shop was nice and big. They even had two dogs in the shop (so cute!). Their project was fingerless gloves and I bought two balls of yarn so that my cousin could make a pair as well.

Then off to The Yarn Place.


This was a small shop. I did not buy anything at this shop. I think their project was a hat, but it wasn't really my style, nor could I think of anyone I would give it to. We didn't spend too much time at this shop.

After that was The Golden Fleece.


This was another one of the shops that I didn't get the best vibe from. I pretty much just had my passport stamped and went on my way. Their project was a felted hat that I wouldn't be caught dead wearing. It's funny because sometimes I would think, "Why do they have such an ugly project?" Then the more I thought about it, I realized that they have to have something for everyone. I mean, maybe some people were hoping that someone would have a felted hat and were not so stoked about the fingerless gloves. That's the great thing about knitting, there is always something for everyone.

Next was The Swift Stitch.


This was the only shop that we had trouble finding on Saturday. I finally called the shop and they told me that their address was 402 and not 401 as it had been printed on the list. It was across the street in a shopping area. The project they had was a beret. I decided not to get that because, again, it wasn't my style. They mentioned they had $2 and $4 bins in the back of the store. That's where I went! I bought about 7 skeins of cotton yarn. Not sure what I am going to do with the yarn, but I can always find something.

Then, Luminous Threads.


This was our final shop of the day. I did not make a purchase at this shop, but my mom was able to get some fat quarters for quilting. It was good to see her find something for herself.

The next day, Sunday, I was on my own. I had 10 more shops to go. I forgot to mention early that there was going to be a raffle drawing at the end of the hop. If you went to 12 shops you could win a $150 shopping spree, $300 for 15 shops and $500 for all 19 shops. Needless to say, I was going for all 19 shops!

I had printed out directions for all 19 shops. Since the shops were closer to Eddie's house, I left from there on Sunday. He stayed home to watch football while I went shop hopping. Eddie has GPS on his cell phone and offered to swap phones with me for the day. Even though I had the directions from mapquest, I figured it couldn't hurt to have the GPS as well, especially since I was flyin' solo.

The first shop was one that was 5 minutes from his house. It's called the Knitting Room.


I have been to this shop before. I usually only go in there if I need needles or some knitting notions. They don't really have the selection of yarn that I prefer. I decided to purchse their yarn and got the pattern for their project. I don't know if I would wear this hat, but the yarn was only $7, so it wasn't too bad.

Next, I decided to go to the shop that would be the most out of the way shop for the day. It was called Continental Stitch.


Their project was a scarf that looked interesting, but the yarn was over $20, so I decided to pass since I probably wouldn't have bought it on any other day. I felt somewhat pressured to make a purchase at this store. It was very quiet and I was the only customer. I ended up buying some interesting black and white buttons. I'm sure I'll have a use for them some day.

After that I was off to Yarndogs.


This is a shop I had been wanting to go to for a long time. I saw them at Stitches West two years ago and wanted to check out their shop since then. Two years later, and here I was. Ha! Anyway, they had a scavenger hunt in their store just for the shop hop. They will take all the answer sheets and put them in a drawing for a $100 gift card. Here's hoping! I didn't end up buying the yarn for their project, but I did get a kit for a cute little felted coin purse. It should be interesting when I have to put the zipper in. I have never done that for a knitting project before, or for any project for that matter. Once I sewed a dress, but I made my mom put in the zipper for me. Should be interesting. Overall, a very cute shop. They even have a board game night at their shop, which sounds interesting. I would love to go back again.

Next was Green Planet Yarn.


I have been to this shop a couple of times. There was actually a Sunday Market going on and the street was blocked off. I felt total dread about trying to find a parking spot. I turned the corner, and just as I did, someone pulled out of their parking spot. It was perfect! I just got my stamp and left. I figured I would be back there again, and time was awastin'!

The next shop was commuknity.


This is another shop that I go to often. I hadn't been there in awhile though and it was interesting to see that they had rearranged the shop. This was by far one of the biggest knitting shops. Maybe the biggest one I have ever been to. I didn't purchase their project, but I did buy a pattern for the felted hedgehog. My cousin was asking me what she could do with all of her fuzzy yarn and I immediately thought of this project, so I got the pattern.

On the was to Bobbin's Nest there was a detour. I was SO thankful that I had the GPS.


Their project was a pair of socks. I bought the yarn because I loved the colors. They are light blue, white and brown. The salesperson told me that they would be having an anniversary party in two weeks with champagne and crab cakes. She also gave me a 10% off coupon for that day. I will definitely have to check that out!

Next was Yarn Place.


This was probably the smallest shop I went to (maybe even the smallest I have ever been to). I bought the yarn and got the project at this shop. The project was a hat with earflaps. Even though I live in sunny CA, I have always wanted to make one of these hats. The yarn is bulky, so it should be a quick knit :)

After that, I headed to Purlescence.


I was starting to feel a little stressed about time. The shops closed at 4pm on Sunday and I started my hopping at 10:40 (a little later than planned). I quickly went in, got my stamp, circled the shop once, and left. The thing I really liked about this shop was their set up for knitting with others. They had a bunch of chairs (including rocking chairs) in the very center of the shop. Then the walls were covered with yarn. It was different to see the chairs as the center of the shop's focus.

From there I headed over to Full Thread Ahead.


The project they had was a lace shawl. I think I may have been worn out from all of the shop hopping, but just the thought of knitting lace made me cringe. Needless to say, I did not purchase the yarn for their project. They gave me a handout about their shop. On this handout, there was information about their knitting retreat. I have never been to one of these and have always wanted to. It's coming up pretty quick, so I'm not sure that I'll go, but it was good to have the info just in case.

Off to the final shop!!! Uncommon Threads.


It was less then a minute away from the shop before it. I made it there by 3:37pm, so I had 23 minutes to spare before closing. I proudly turned in my passport with all 19 stamps!! Here's hoping for the $500 dollar shopping spree. Their project was socks that are knit horizontally instead of vertically. It sounded interesting. The best part was that you could pick ANY sock yarn you wanted AND you got 20% off. By far the best deal of the day.

Overall, it was a great experience. I was a little bummed about having to go alone on Sunday, but it really wasn't that bad. Especially when I had the GPS as my co-pilot :) If there is ever a shop hop in your area, I highly recommend it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Knit!

I figured I would try to get in one more posting before this month ends. Time is just flying by!! That is one of the great benefits of being a teacher. It is rarely one of those days that never ends (like when I worked in an office).

I started working on a pair of socks for one of my sock clubs (I am so behind!). This sock club is at a LYS and I was hoping to start going to their knit-alongs. They were asking for people to call in to say if they were going to make it that week or not. The club meets every other week and for the last two sessions, I am the only person who called in advance to say I would be there, so both meetings were canceled. The socks that they would have been knitting together are not my favorite. I don't really care for the colors or the bobbles in the pattern. My mom suggested a relative who she thought the colors would be perfect for. They might just get a random pair of handknit socks in the mail :)

Last weekend I went to a BBQ Cookout at the fairgrounds with Eddie and my parents. It was SO HOT, but I still knit :) I took the socks with me and knit them while sitting on the grass, talking and listening to music. It was a nice day and it is nice to finally be knitting again!



Sunday, August 10, 2008

Winding Sock Yarn

This last year, I joined two sock clubs. What was I thinking?? I love getting the yarn and it's pretty easy since one is mailed to me and the other club just calls when it's time to pick up the yarn. I don't have to waste time deciding on a color because that part is done for me. The downside is that sometimes I get a color that I'm not so thrilled about, but it gives me an opportunity to "gift" those socks once I get the joy out of knitting them (I tend to be a little greedy and keep my hand knit socks). Since starting my job (I can't believe it's been 4 weeks already) I have had hardly any (no) time to knit. Even leading up to starting the job, I didn't do much knitting. Therefore I am behind by 2 months on both of my sock clubs. Today, I finally wound up the yarn and I feel like I made some progress.


Now all I have to do is knit the darn things. Ha!

I started the large sock monkey the week before I started my job. I was really hoping that I would be able to finish him, but I didn't. During the last four weeks, the only knitting that has been done is finishing the monkey's tail and starting his first leg. I still have to complete the leg, make the second leg, both arms, both ears and embroider a face. I like to finish one thing before starting another, but I might just start up on some socks. After awhile, knitting 10 stitches in the round to make tube-like limbs gets a little tedious.


I feel bad for the poor guy, but I need change!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is a rather boring post, but wanted people to know that I am still here! There won't be any pictures and only talk of the non-knitting I have done. I started my new teaching job two weeks ago and pretty much worked 12 days straight, 10 hours a day. Last week, I was at school until 6:30 each night (which is the time they kick us out at) trying to set up my classroom and preparing for the next day's lessons. As a first year teacher it hasn't been easy, but I figure it can only get better! I haven't been able to do ANY knitting. Today is my first day to kind of relax (although I'm still thinking about lesson plans). I have a bbq today for my boyfriend's sister and kind of wish I had brought some knitting. I am a month behind on my STRs and I just got the next shipment yesterday. Oh, I need to knit!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Finishing and Finished Projects

When I get to the part in a pattern that says "Finishing" I feel a sense of dread come over me. I love knitting!! I HATE seaming parts, weaving in ends, felting, etc. I finally finished this bag:


Now, it wasn't the knitting that was the hold up. It was the felting. I was going to give this bag to my mom back in May for her birthday. So the bag was definitely knitted up by the middle of May. I just had to felt it. Ha! I didn't get around to doing that until last week. Then I had to stitch on the handles. I pretty much did that right when it dried so that the bag wouldn't be sitting around for another 2-3 months. It's not that the felting or attaching the handles is hard, I just don't really care to do it.

Another project that works as an example is the following:


I got this yarn from my trip to Colorado. I finished the project in 2 weeks (which is quite an improvement from the market bag). The thing is, it took me about 3 or 4 days just to sew on the sleeves. I literally did one half of the seaming on each sleeve at a time.

Finally, I made this adorable guy:


(He's pictured here doing his morning yoga)

Eddie has decided to keep James (that's what he named him). Notice the lack of eyes. I knit up this monkey in less than 24 hours. He was made while I was at Eddie's house and I didn't have any embroidery thread with me. I wanted to bring him home so I could put on his eyes as soon as possible before it got to the point where he just sat around for months on end because of my dislike for the "finishing touches." Oh well, I guess he'll be blind for awhile.

Anybody else have this problem with finishing?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Officially Employed!!

Although it doesn't have anything to do with knitting, I have to start out by celebrating that I just signed my contract this morning for a teaching position!!! I was hired at a year-round school to teach Language Arts to 4th, 5th, 6th and ELD students. It is a position that very different from what I was expecting, but I think it will be a wonderful experience. Since I will be at a year-round school, I will start work on July 14th, much sooner than expected. I also started the masters program, but changed my schedule so that I am only taking one class. I really don't know how much time that will leave for knitting, but on the bright side, I will finally be making some money :)

To catch up a little...two days after I graduated from the credential program, I headed out to Colorado for a short vacation. On the airplane and in between activities I knit this:


While in Colorado, one of the activities was river rafting. Here are a couple photos (I'm in the middle on the left side of the raft if you're on it facing forward):



It was tons of fun and very cold!!! The guide told us that the river had 4000 cubic feet pass per second the day we went rafting. This may not mean much until I tell you that is it normally 400 cubic feet per second at this time of year. That's a whole lot of water!

I shopped at I Love Knitting in Denver. The staff was very helpful! I got some yarn and a book of patterns there. I am working on a bolero from the book. I don't have any pictures, but have almost completed the project. I will post pictures when I am finished.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Freedom and FOs

FINALLY!!! The school year has ended. I actually had my last assignment and presentation for the credential program on Tuesday. Then I finished my long term subbing job at the school where I student taught on Friday. Friday was actually a teacher work day and I offered to clean out the classroom I was subbing in. This is more difficult than you would think when it's not your stuff. They wanted everything cleared off the desks, so I just put it all in a box and on a shelf. Hopefully the teacher will appreciate it. While I was cleaning (and sweating) the principal came into my classroom and said that she knew a principal who was looking to fill some openings. She wanted me to call her right away! It was around 9am when I called the other principal and she asked me to come in for an interview at NOON!!! I had to leave early, rush home, shower and put together a portfolio. Talk about STRESS!!! Overall, I think the interview went well. They said they would let me know by Tuesday. It's not my first choice, but it's a job!

During last week I was also able to complete some projects. One was this bag for my cousin's birthday:


The other was this Baby Surprise Jacket for my niece. I made it to replace Trellis (see post below). It's not as detailed, or nice, but definitely a much quicker knit.



I didn't finish the two things in time to send the package early enough to make it by my cousin's birthday, but I did send it the day of her birthday (which I was impressed by considering all that I have going on). My cousin called me the day she received it. She was walking out the door to buy a book when she found the package. She was able to use the bag for her purchase. The next day, she said she was glad it was a little chilly so that her daughter could wear the jacket. I must say, again, that a knitter loves when her/his work is appreciated!

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP). I really wanted to go to one of the meet-ups, but it just didn't work out that way. I was determined to participate, so I took my knitting with me when I went out for pizza.



I think it would have been more fun to be with other knitters. Really need to find some knitting friends!! I've tried converting some of the friends I already have, but that hasn't really worked.

While I was working on my project, Eddie was watching me. The pattern for one row is "yo, k2tog." As he's watching me knit this row he says, "STOP, you're about to do two together!!" I had to explain what a k2tog is. It was so cute. He was like, "Oh, I just didn't want you to mess up." Considering he's not a knitter and doesn't know about k2tog's, that was an excellent observation!

After pizza, we came home and baked some peanut butter cookies. I knit in between batches.



The cookies were ok. They were a "lighter" version of peanut butter cookies. The only ingredients were peanut butter, splenda, baking soda and 1 egg. They turned out pretty dry, but don't really taste bad. Much better when you dip them in milk (according to my sister). While baking these, I learned that there is not really a way to substitute baking soda. When I was looking at the recipe, I decided I had all of the ingredients. When it came time to add the baking SODA I realized I had baking POWDER. Not the same. Fortunately, Eddie found some in the back of the cupboard (always a sketchy place to find things). To test the baking soda, I sprinkled some into some vinegar. It fizzed, so it was still good and it did it's job for the cookies. It really is the little things that can make you happy.

Today is my graduation from the credential program. I'm not all that excited about it because graduations are always SO LONG!!! It will be a nice close to the program though. The graduation is at 5pm (that's right on a Sunday...and Father's Day, ridiculous). Anyway, then I have one week off. I'm leaving for Colorado on Tuesday with my step-dad. Then the following week I start the Masters Program. I must be crazy!

Wow!! This was long! I'll finish up by wishing a HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all where it applies :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Farewell Trellis...You Were Loved!

You will never believe what happened!! My cousin called to inform me that her baby bag/backpack had been stolen from her car. It was a very nice bag in fact, but that wasn't the worst part. The beautiful sweater that I had knit for my niece was in it. We were both very upset over this loss. After she told me what happened this was basically our conversation:

L: Whoever stole it was probably hoping it had a wallet in it. What do you think they do with the stuff they don't want?

Me: They probably just chuck it on the side of the road.

We both sigh with misery.

L: I really doubt that the theif appreciated what they found in the bag.

Me: Yeah. I highly doubt the thief said: "Score!! A hand knit cabled baby sweater. Someone spent a lot of time on this and put a lot of love it to it too. It's priceless!! I scored big time!!"

If the thief did think that, it might have been some consolation.

Here is Trellis in the works:


And completed:


And when Trellis was too big, but her recipient wore her with pride anyway:


Trellis puts you right to sleep:


Trellis makes you happy:


And Trellis helped you coordinate with your best buddy:


At least I know that Trellis was loved for a long time while we had her with us. She will be greatly missed! My cousin also told me that she and her husband had planned on framing the sweater when my niece grew out of it. That's a whole extra level of love people. Although it's upsetting that she was stolen, nothing makes a knitter happier than a project that was appreciated, used and loved. I couldn't ask for more! Trellis will be missed, but her memory lives on!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh Happy Day!!!

I received my STR package today and I'm super excited about the color of the yarn. It's PURPLE!!!! Only the best color in the world :) The first month, it was red, which I'm not crazy about. Then it improved with green. It really won't get any better than this for me. I can't wait to start working on these socks and yet I will have to because I have so much school work to do! The end is near, but not here.

As you can see in the picture I also received a very handy luggage tag. I can't wait to go somewhere so I can use it!!!

I also received my sock club yarn in a bag filled with goodies from a LYS. The kit included the yarn, a sock pattern, point protectors that look like socks, candy, a pen, rinse free wool wash and powdered lemonade. I love it all and the bag it came in too!!

They will be having KALs the first and third Thursdays, but unfortunately I won't be able to go to either one this month. I have a class on Thursdays and thought about leaving early, but I have an appointment scheduled with an advisor for starting the masters program (yes, I'm nuts!). I really wanted to get out there and meet some knitters, especially since the World Wide Knit in Public Day is coming up. I know that there are knitters from this yarn shop that are planning on meeting up somewhere to knit in public. I was hoping to get to know some of them before the event. Oh well!! Next month!