Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Mystery Solved!!

Remember the yarn I bought last week at Modern Yarn? The pretty Handspun on the Web, that I couldn't find a web-site for? Well, as luck would have it, the gal who was working that night came searching for my blog (um, yeah, I mentioned I had a blog when I asked if I could take photos in the shop) and left me a comment with the web address!! Handspun on the Web is here! From what I can tell, they are only selling to yarn stores right now, but I was really glad to be able to check out the site and read more about that yarn. Thank you so much, Xtina. I didn't have an address to e-mail you back, but I'll leave a comment on your blog soon.

So, as you can guess, I was in New Jersey last week. I didn't blog much about it (I think I'm trying to block most of the week out), and the highlight of the trip was certainly Modern Yarn. I've re-read my post and realized I may not have sounded overly enthused about the store, but it really was a wonderful shop and if it were closer I would certainly be a regular. When I wrote the post last week, I was very home-sick! Pea was sent down to NJ for training, and I decided to go with him. I planned to spend my days in our hotel room, knitting, reading, blogging and working on graphics. As it turned out, the hotel was less than ideal. The high-speed internet was slower than my old dial-up. The rooms were not made up until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, thus making me feel like I should stay in the lobby so Housekeeping could get in there.( And one day, our room was not made up at all.) I got stuck in the elevator. And we had two (yes, TWO) ant infestations. The second was on Thursday night, interrupting my enjoyment of the Grey's Anatomy season opener. (Grrr) When we trudged down to the front desk (in my pajamas, I might add) to report that the wall NEXT TO OUR BED was crawling with ants, the manager (yes, MANAGER) on duty replied with "Well, you've been here all week. You're just having a problem now?" Why yes, because we thought it would be fun to pack up all our stuff the night before check out - in our pajamas - and move to a new room. That's how we get our kicks. He never even apologized for our inconvenience. Yeah, now that I've vented to all of you, I'm going to vent to their corporate headquarters.

So anyway, if my report of Modern Yarn was not as enthusiastic as it should have been, please know it was due to my frustration of being stuck in the Hotel from Hell. Hindsight is everything, and we should have begun complaining on Monday, but Pea and I aren't usually the kind to make waves. But next time, yeah, we'll be making a whole lot of waves. And one more note, I found out later that Kirsten had been at Modern Yarns just five hours before with her knitting group. I don't like to advertise on my blog when I'll be away, but I'm kicking myself for not finding a way to mention I'd be in the vicinity of Modern Yarns. I would have loved to have met up with her.

Well, enough whining. Many of you commented that you enjoyed seeing some of my stash in the background of my Ice Cream Man sock picture. Well, if you've got it, flaunt it, right? I thought I'd share a picture of my Out Of Control Sock Yarn Stash, so you can all understand why I shouldn't be buying any more sock yarn for at least five years.

What you see there, according to my Stash Spreadsheet, is enough yarn to knit . . . . are you ready? . . . FORTY THREE PAIRS OF SOCKS!!!! How did this happen? Do you remember when my sock stash looked like this ? (Scroll down a little) Or if you really want to laugh, like this? (Scroll down again) The funniest thing is if you read the second post, I thought I was out of control then. I had yarn for only nine pairs, and I thought I was out of control!! I was such a novice!!!

And right on cue, my evil lovely friend Nathalie has been tempting me with links to one of her favorite yarn sources and pointing out the great exchange rate from AUD to USD. Sweetie, you are killing me!! Must. Resist. No yarn until RHINEBECK!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Ice Cream Man

Do you remember the Koigu socks I started some time ago? Probably not, because I really haven't been blogging about them. Why is that? I have no idea!!! Could it be because the yarn didn't live up to all the hype? Certainly not!!! Let me tell you, this yarn lives up to EVERY bit of hype you can imagine. OH. MY. GOSH. I must have more Koigu.

So, you want to see my socks? Actually it's a sock and a quarter . . . and here they are!!

Oh so very pretty!!! Pea picked the yarn out for my birthday. The colors make me think of sherbet. Actually, I think it looks like a sherbet factory threw up. I mean that in a good way though!! As I knit them, I can't stop singing Ice Cream Man. Does anyone besides me know this song? I remember being out with a bunch of friends once and talking about it, and they all thought I was making it up. And I'm not even a big Van Halen or David Lee Roth fan. But for some reason, this song seems to follow me around. Therefore, I hereby name my lovely Koigu socks the "Ice Cream Man Socks" and they are the latest addition to my Classic Rock Socks collection!!

I'm such a dork!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Further enhancing the stash!!

As promised, Pea and I went on a little trip yesterday to a not-so-local yarn store.

We visited Modern Yarn!! From what I had seen on their web-site, I had a strong feeling I was really going to like this store. It was smaller than I had expected, but I still loved the selection.

The atmosphere of the store was great. They had tons of everyone's favorite knitting books for sale. Lots of pretty Lantern Moon needles and some great shawl pins. I was trying to behave and not buy too much - I'm supposed to be saving my money for Rhinebeck. I saw lots of tempting stuff, but in the end decided to only buy things not available at the yarn stores at home. I also reminded myself of all the sock yarn I already have, knowing full well the last thing I need is more sock yarn. So what did I end up getting???

Why, sock yarn, of course!! Was there ever any doubt? On top you see two beautiful skeins of Claudia Hand Paint Fingering in Turquoise Jeans. And along the bottom is a skein of Handspun on the Web. Is anyone familiar with this yarn? I had never heard of it before, but it was far to pretty to resist. The ball band doesn't have any information about where it is from, nor does it have a web-site. I also couldn't find anything when I tried to Google it, so if any of you are familiar with it, I'd love to hear.

I'm trying not to be too hard on myself for buying MORE sock yarn. After all, I figure it is preparation for next month, when it's time once again for Socktoberfest!! It was my duty to buy exciting new sock yarn in order to be a good participant, right? Right!! Anything to justify another yarn purchase!

And to further justify my recent rash of sock yarn purchases, I've been working pretty hard on socks. I'm cruising through the foot of . . . um . . . I struggle with what to call these socks. You know, it's the "Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk Socks" pattern. To call them "My Socks" sounds too pretentious, and after all, Chrissy wrote the pattern so they are really her socks!! But to call them "Karen's Socks" sounds like I'm talking about myself in the third person, and that's just creepy. (George is getting upset!!) So maybe I'll just call them my Walk-A-Thon Socks!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A FO and another prize

That's right, plenty of good stuff today. And actual knitting content!!!

The FO I've got today is my Mystery Socks. The pattern I used was Texture and Lace Socks. However, these socks will need to remain a mystery for just a little longer. They are done. I'm wearing them now. But I can't get a good picture on my own, so I'll have to add one tonight when Pea can take a picture for me. Don't let your anticipation build up too much, I'm really not thrilled with the pair. But it was a lot of fun to take a pattern without a picture and see what knits up. I would certainly do it again. ETA: Here are the Mystery Sock photos I promised.

I'm just not crazy about the pattern. I do like lacy socks, but maybe not in worsted gauge. The YO's are too big. And I don't think variegated yarn was the best choice for this pattern. But that's why they were "Mystery Socks". It was a fun experience!!

Now, on to what I can actually show you. One of my first banner clients, the lovely Nancy, sent this beautiful red Tahki Cotton Classic.

Okay, once again you are stuck with a very bad picture. But trust me, whoever wins this yarn will be thrilled when they see how beautiful it really is! I mean, even in the picture it looks pretty - but you should see it in real life.

Once again I'd like to thank all of you who so generously have sent me gifts to add to the raffle. On October 16th, when I draw the names, I'm going to feel like Santa Claus!

I guess that's it for today, but my next few posts should all have actual knitting content as well. And maybe even a trip to a new (to me) yarn store!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do you wish you could be like the Yarn Harlot?

You do, don't you? It's okay, you can admit it. I do too. I think we knitters all do, somewhere deep down inside. If knitting were a sport, she's be our Michelle Kwan . . . . although ironically, the Yarn Harlot has won Olympic Gold, while Michelle hasn't. That doesn't take away from her impact on the sport, however. But I digress. This post is supposed to be about knitting, not figure skating. Anyway, if knitting were a cult (and I'm pretty sure my husband is convinced it is) Stephanie Pearl-McPhee would be our . . . you know what, I'm not even going to go there. What with all the Kool-Aid dying and everything, that analogy is in poor taste, even for me. But if knitting were rock 'n roll, she'd be our Elvis.

So, where am I going with this? Well, as you are all aware, the Yarn Harlot has been on quite an extensive book signing tour. And you may remember a post back in July, when she was gifted with the perfect yarn to knit her Peacock Feathers shawl. (Scroll down to #10!!) It was from Susie, who handpainted it especially for her.

As it so happens, right around the time I wrote my diabetes / walk-a-thon post, Susie's husband was diagnosed with diabetes, making it a cause that was suddenly very near and dear to her heart. And look what she has donated to the prize pool!!

Yeah, that's a really horrible picture, but if you've clicked on the links in my post, then you've seen it in it's true splendor. Yes, this is a wonderful hank of "Midnight Rainbow/Harlot's Peacock". 1250 yards of lace-weight yarn. Beautiful lace-weight yarn. Merino/Tussah Silk yarn. Yarn that will also be knit by The. Yarn. Harlot. I'm excited just to have it in my house.

I will send this yarn to one lucky winner . . . and it will be a sad sad day when I have to part with this pretty yarn. I *might* come into the yarn room every day to admire and pet it. But if you simply make a donation at my Walk for Diabetes web page, I could be sending it to you, along with my ever-lasting gratitude!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A quick post.

Pea came home from work yesterday feeling like he was coming down with a cold. He seems better today. I, on the other hand, am stuffy, tired, and my throat is raw. How nice of my husband to share everything with me, huh?

Needless to say, I'm ready to go back to the couch, drink tea, and knit. (Heck, maybe I'll even have some actual knitting to show you in my next post!!) Before I do, I want to show you the beautiful yarn Kelly had donated to the prize pool!!

You know what's even better? SHE SPUN THIS WOOL HERSELF!!! As someone who has tried to spin and seen the results, I can tell you this lady has talent. She even spun some pretty sparkley bits in. Wow!!

Okay, that's it for me today. The excitement over the yarn has worn my poor sick (yes, I did type "sock" the first time) body out. If you need a re-cap of the prizes I've received so far, take a look here and bask in their splendor. I know they are making me feel better.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Freudian Slip

Last Saturday, I was passing the living room window when I noticed a lady walking off our lawn. What the heck was a lady doing in our front yard?? I took a closer look and noticed she had a little dog on a leash. The thought of her giving the dog a bathroom break in our front yard didn't sit too well with me, so I yelled to Pea "What is that lady doing out there? Her little dog better not have pissed on my yarn!!" He burst out laughing, finding it very amusing that I said "yarn" instead of "lawn". It's okay though. I guess the little dog can pee on my lawn, as long as he stays away from the yarn!!!!!

And how could I help but have "Yarn Brain"? Look at this lovely prize skein that arrived in the mail??

/This gorgeous yarn was donated by Kirsten at Through the Loops. The colors are so cheerful, this is going to knit up into one very special pair of socks. I just love her ballband too - it has a wonderful picture of her grandmother with her twin boys, one of whom is Kirsten's father. My dad is a twin too, so the picture made me feel quite sentimental.

As if all the wonderful prize yarn I've been showing you isn't incentive enough to make a donation, take a look at what my goal meter showed this morning.

That's right, just $10 more until I reach my goal. So, the first person who puts me at or over my goal will receive a little special something from me!! Then I'll RAISE my goal and we'll see if we can hit it again! ***ETA: We have a winner!! Today's donation from Kate brought my meter up to 105%!!! My deepest heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated so far . . . I never thought I would raise $500!! I've now re-set the goal to an even higher amount, and it will be fun to see how it goes.

Wait, that's not all. I've saved the best for last. There is a very exciting way you can do more to help. My very first blog pal and up-and-coming knit designer, Chrissy, has her first self published pattern up and ready to go. Now mind you, she is already a well credited designer, with patterns in publications such as MagKnits, KnitNet, and Cast On, and a sock pattern in the next IK!!! But this is her first self-published pattern, and she has offered to donate the proceeds from all sales between now and October to the Walk-A-Thon! She's calling the pattern "Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk Socks" and you can order a copy here!! I've been test knitting this pattern, and it's a great knit. This is only my second time knitting cables, but they are coming out great and keep the pattern very interesting. They also knit up very quickly and are a warm snuggly fabric - so they would make the perfect Christmas gifts. Go check it out . . . you won't be sorry!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

One for Me and One for You (Part Two)

I've got a couple more things that the mailman brought to show you today. And again, one is for me, and one is for one lucky winner!! Which would you like to see first? The one for you? Okay, fair enough.

Can you believe the size of this ball of yarn?? Oh, well, I guess you really can't tell from the picture, but it's HUGE!!! (I should have put a quarter next to it for scale or something, huh?) A big thank you goes out to Kimberly, who donated this beautiful, glittery ball of Cherry Tree Hill's Oceania. There is about 1440 yards here, so the lucky winner can knit up quite a project with this!!

And what did the mailman bring me?? Take a look!

The ever so sweet and generous Jill send out prizes to everyone who participated in her You Know You Knit Too Much When . . . . Swatch Contest. The sock yarn you see there is by The Yarn Pirate and is called "Culture Club". Just perfect for a girl who spent her formative years in the '80s. Oh how I loved Culture Club!! (I know, I know, what were we thinking in the '80s??) Ahhem. Okay, Jill also knows what a OCD clean freak avid housekeeper I am, and knew a foot mop would be perfect for me. It has already come in handy, since I'm also a klutz. I used it just yesterday when I had a little run in with some iced tea. Thank you so much Jill, I love it all!!

I've got some more really exciting prizes coming up, so be sure to head on over and get your donation in. It looks like I may have to set my goal higher too - we've almost raised $500 already!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

One for Me and One for You (Part One)

Lookie, lookie, what I've got here!!

Aren't the gorgeous? Here, take a closer look.

This beautiful yarn was dyed specifically for the Walk-A-Thon by Scout. I e-mailed her with a jumbled up idea about yarn that reflected hope, healing and healthy living. Some how she came up with the perfect colorway!! Not only that, but she donated the prize skein!!!!

Ya want one of these beauties?? I know you do! So if you haven't done so already, hop on over and make a donation. One lucky person will win one of these skeins!! And please, be sure to support Scout's store.

In other knitting news, my "knit a sock a week" seems to be going really well. My first Koigu sock is done, and I'm working on the second Mystery Sock this week. As for the Almost Argyles . . . well, I sent those to the Frog Pond. I wasn't loving the pattern or the yarn - both of which are wonderful, but I just wasn't in the mood for them right now. They will be back . . . . when the time is right. But I've got so many lovely sock yarns and patterns calling me, it doesn't make sense to spend time on something I'm not thrilled with at the moment.

I did cast on another Ballband Dishcloth!! (Christine, that bug you sent me has taken a strong hold!!) What is it about these things that is so darn addictive??

Another new addiction I've found? Beaded stitch markers!! They are fun and easy, and the supplies are pretty inexpensive. I spent a lot of time over the weekend scouring Jo-Ann's and A.C. Moore's for pretty little beads. Oh well, having as many hobbies as possible is surely a good thing, right? Have any new hobbies caught your eye lately?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Always late to the party

Did you see the lovely post my long lost twin wrote for her sweetie's birthday on Friday? Well, because we are twins, my sweetie's birthday was on Friday too!! And since I'm always late (and perhaps a bad wife), I'm just getting around to posting about it today.

Don't feel to bad for him though, he's been having a wonderful weekend. He got a pile of presents and a knitted cupcake!! (Hmm, the ones in the book look so much cuter than this misshapen thing. I think I'll stick to the flour, milk and eggs kind next time!!)

Happy Birthday Little Pea!!He got waited on hand and foot and spoiled rotten. He told me how nice it was that I didn't even yell at him once on his birthday!! Yes, I do yell at him on a regular basis. Before you think I am too cruel, he's be the first to admit that he "likes to push my buttons to see how long it will take him to piss me off". I think of it as training for when we have children!

The rest of the long weekend is still all his, and we're having a great time relaxing and spending time together. Happy Birthday, Pea!! I love you so, and would be lost without you. I am so lucky I found you, and even more lucky that you are a patient enough man to put up with me. Here's to many more years of making people (my blog-pals included) gag at how very sappy we are. (Sorry guys!!)