It has been since I last bought yarn!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Strong Am I With the Force

My parents recently invested in a security system for my sister, to replace the table leg with giant screw poking out of it she had, affectionately remembered as "Spike".


Yes, that's an aluminum bat, sometimes the "classics" are the best in home security. My sister, who lives alone and just feels better with this addition kicking around her house, was please that she was able to find a Spike replacement. Except, cozying up to an aluminum bat at night just isn't the warm fuzzy feeling she was looking for. So, knowing I cannot resist any requests from her regarding knitted items, she called me.

Her: "Can you make me a bat cozy?"
Me: "Huh!?"
Her: "The bat mom and dad bought me is ugly, it needs something, think you could knit it a cozy?"
Me: "Sure!"

This last week, while on her vacation, I knit my sister's baseball bat a cozy. (I tend to knit the crazinest stuff while she's on vacation!) Here's the challenge; since the bat would be used as a weapon of self defensive, I couldn't just knit it a cozy, your grandma makes for toliet paper covers. This cozy needed a certain level of "bad ass-ness" that says "DO NOT MESS WITH ME" but is also cuddly enough to sleep next to at night.


Obviously Yoda is the only answer here. (It also helps if you and your sister are MASSIVE Star Wars nerds.)


Pattern: Yoda Golf Club Cover by Tracey Rediker
Yarn: Various acrylics kicking around the leftovers in my and MiL's stashes
Needles: US size 7 DPN's
Notes: This pattern is modified to accomodate the bat. I cast on 28 stitches and periodically tried the tube on around the bat, modifying instructions to fit the bat snuggly. The bottom stretches enough to get over the top of the bat, so my sister can remove the cozy if she feels the need to really, REALLY hurt someone. (Hopefully this bat will only ever serve to look cute in her bedroom and won't be something she ever needs.)


The geek in me could not help but love this project, and while there seems to be a never ending supply of projects in various states of completetion waiting to be finished around here, I couldn't prevent myself from taking a quick time out to knit this. So- for geeks everywhere, I think it's important to remember, Strong Am I with the (knitting) Force!

Monday, July 19, 2010

New Hampshire Yarn Shopping!

Sheesh! Sorry, I’ve been an absent blogger. Stampede ended up occupying my knitting time this last week- and I was a busy girl, donning my cowboy boots and doing my part to enjoy a few corporate parties. Sadly, donning my cowboy boots meant neglecting my knitting and neglecting it even longer because we jetted off to New Hampshire to take in a wedding over the weekend. Not such a productive week on the knitting front.

On the other hand the YARN SHOPPING was divine.

Here’s the thing: New England and area is a yarn shop Mecca. If you wanted to travel around and visit stictly yarn shops? I'd tell you to look in to New England and skip everywhere else. They are EVERYWHERE. When we lived in Connecticut I was surrounded by truly awesome, large, gorgeous, fabulous, mind blowing yarn shops. (Yes those link to different shops that were close by and I'd visit frequently!) And don’t even get me started on NYC, and how often I’ve blown my vows “just to look, not buy” in Purl or School Products. Oi.

When the husband announced he was going to be golfing on Saturday morning, I immediately began mapping out yarn shops in the vicinity of Lake Winnipesaukee. 2 choices immediately popped up so I plugged them into the yahoo maps and away I went on Sat morning.


Patternworks was a dream- made even more euphoric by having a SALE while I was there. I always have the best intentions of taking pictures in the store, and then I get there and I totally chicken out. I chickend out again- but people, the store was lovely. Spacious, but not too big and crammed with lovely, lovely yarns. And the staff? Very sweet and helpful! When my eyes noticed this JoJoland Cashmere on SALE (400 yards for $18.99!)


I HAD to buy it. HAD TO. I’m pretty sure every knitter alive would disown me for leaving that kind of deal behind. Cheap Cashmere is the kind of things that only happens in fairy tales! (There are actually 2 skeins of this now, as this morning, back in Calgary, I called them and bought the last one so I had enough to make a shawl out of this.)

I also scored some lovely Regia Silk in "marine" (also on sale)- because Regia makes some perfect socks for the cold footed men in my life.


Patternworks is in a very charming building that also has a needlepoint shop and quilt store. (The nicest quilt store I have ever seen.) I was VERY greatful that I had not taken up quilting, because I would have spent EVERY. LAST. CENT. WE. HAVE. on fabric. Oh the fabrics there were so nice- they made me, a non-quilter, desperate to quilt! The selection was enough to make even the strongest willed crafter cry with joy!

After geeking out in the quilt shop and slinking around like I had stolen the cashmere (I didn’t MOM(s)- I swear I paid… it just felt like stealing with that deal!) I got back in my car and mosied on over to Lamb’s Ear’s yarns in Gilford, NH.


Lamb’s Ear is small but quaint. (That’s the unofficial motto of New England: “Small… but quaint!”) It was funny to go from MEGA selection at Patternworks, to teeny selection at Lamb's Ear. There was still some nice stuff there, but nothing I couldn’t get at home. (My unofficial yarn shopping rules- only stuff I can't get at home or on super deal.) I did, however, score some US 1 & 2 straight needles (I've had a very hard timing trying to find these) and a row counter which I was quite pleased about.


I did manage to make a little progress on the flight home on my long suffering purse sock- which really needs to be finished already!


Things should be relatively settled down now as far as my travel, which means there should be plenty of time to jump back into the knitting. There are lots of projects to look forward to in the next couple of months including; a finished Goodale sweater, 2 charity blankets I have here right now, my first toe up socks and maybe my first lace shawl. I'm hoping this summer is going to be rife with blog fodder and finished projects! Stay tuned!

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Results Are In!

I was full of anxious energy this week, dying to know what the results were for the Western Showcase this year! I even asked anyone going down to the Stampede grounds for the "sneak peek" night to keep it a surprise. Then, today at work took 40 zillion hours to get to 12:00, when I could leave and finally see the results for myself!

But, oh, it was worth the wait because I'm very pleased with the results. TWO FIRST PLACE finishes in their respective categories!

Textured Stitches (ie Cable Pattern)- Home Decor 1023


AND Stockinette & Garter Stitch- Home Decor 1033


My mother in law also did well in her category, placing SECOND in Stockinette & Garter- Accessory 1032.


Both of us are very proud of our ribbons! Sadly my pieces did not place in the overall section winners class this year, (last year's socks got 2nd in the section and a cash prize!) but the winners of those were very worthy pieces. I'd have to say in general the caliber of pieces submitted this year was higher than even last year- and so it feels so good to be deemed worthy against such stiff competition. The fierce compeitor in me is already wracking my brain to dream up submissions for next year- because I want to do better and keep pushing myself. But you'll get a brief reprieve form my obsessing for a little bit anyways.

My wee break (only "wee" as baby announcements keep tumbling in), from blanket knitting has seen some progress on Goodale.


Hey that almost looks like a sweater! It's a great project for tv watching and passing the time aimlessly. I'm hoping to be modeling it here soon.

And, I even managed to do a section (the light brown at the top) of the latest WCOBB blanket, "Dessert Before Dinner".


So yes, always a busy hive of knitting around here- but at least it's nice to know that I just might be "on to something" with this whole knitting thing! :-)

Congratulations to the many other winners this year- your submissions were great (WHOO BOY was that lace competition fierce... I pity the judges on that one), and you deserve your accolades!

Happy Stampede everyone!