"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Oops! I did it again.

No. Unlike Britney, I'm not pregnant. BUT, I'm confessing to having another
airhead moment, in specific regards to the knitting world.

Garnstudio, which Celia keeps chatting up, has FREE patterns. Thousands of them. Not only are most of them attractive and modern with clean lines (most, mind you), but you can search by GAUGE. How freaking awesome is that? Then, you click on the little flag on the right (assuming that you want knitting instructions in English, not Norwegian) and presto! There's the pattern. There's also a handy dandy dictionary of knitting terms, in case you need some extra help. All this time, wasted, b/c I thought you had to purchase each pattern.

I'm trying to make this pattern with my BFY Primero. The 1500 yards gifted to me by my more than generous SP, Tiffany. I swatched a couple days ago, starting with US 6s. Though I think BFY Primero is some of the most beautiful and luxurious yarn I've ever felt/owned/seen, it looks like ASS when it's not knit in nice tight fabric. Went down to US 5s, and it was... ok. Not good enough. US 4s got me 11.5 sts/2inches, and a nice fabric... It's slow going, because I'm knitting continental again (the ribbing... always the ribbing), and I'm being a little (A LOT) OCD about making sure I"m not splitting the yarn.

Oh! Anyone know of a wooden circular needle that doesn't have a sharp point? I think that the BFY Primero is a bit slippery for Addis (that's what I'm using now) but I dare NOT use Addi Naturas and split every single stitch.

Since I got back from the east coast, I met up with Stacey, Amy (Stacey's friend from work who's recently been bitten by the knit bug), and Nachaele. Last night, Jeni and I went to Opal for happy hour sushi, followed by knitting at her house. All we got done was some swatching, b/c we spent half the night chasing after her new puppy.

Tonight, Michaele and I met up for a drink, because she's moved back to Denver! Whew. Seems like I'm squeezing in a lot of social meetups, but I want to squeeze in as much time with my Denver friends while I'm here.

I know I promised pics. I'm waiting to take a pic of my progress on my 88-04. Such nice patterns. why don't they give them names over at Garnstudio?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rocky Mountain High...

I'm actually NOT a John Denver fan, but I'm so happy to be back in Denver. Boston, i'm sure, is a very fun town, and after a few yrs there, I'll feel just as comfortable there. BUT, I had no sense of direction (where were the mountains telling me which way is West?) and it was muggy (even though it rained every day I was there). Everyone there says that the weather this past year has been unseasonably cool (in the summer) and mild this past winter. We'll see.

I met my parents there on Friday. The flight there was a bit of a nightmare, since I had a planned 1 hour layover in NYC that turned into a 7 hour layover. I got into Boston after midnight, instead of 7pm. I took the subway to the hotel, and during the ride there, some kid puked. Disgusting. (aren't you glad I shared?) At least I wasn't sitting next to him.

Since I've joined Stash-A-Long again, I didn't bother to try to visit any of the LYS there. I only brought 2 projects along with me, Madli and the Hill Country Yarn socks. I'll have progress pics on my next entry.

The apartment hunt was arduous. We looked at... around 10 apartments. Some were priced as high as $1800/month! Holy bejeebers! And no, that apt wasn't a house. I settled on a one bed one bath apartment that met all my minimum requirements (accepts cats, close to school, has parking, closet space) and the front door (just about) is one of my school's shuttle stops. Tres convenient, no? On the negative side, it doesn't have hardwood floors or air conditioning or a dishwasher. It's much smaller than the space I'm in now, but that's ok. The biggest negative? It has a PINK (gasp) bathroom. I'm talking 1970s mauveish pink tiles in the tub, floor, and up half the walls. Trimmed with the 1970s baby blue bathroom tile. Gag!!

Any suggestions on how I can try to detract from that type of garishness?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Oh Baby!

I'm very excited to report that Preggo is no longer Preggo, b/c she delivered her baby yesterday morning. We had cooked dinner together as planned (eggplant, of course). Around 6pm, Preggo's hubby and I started counting her contractions, which were fairly widely spaced and I suppose not very intense (seeing as Preggo had difficulties ascertaining if they were indeed contractions). I was over at their house past 1am, during which we were counting contractions, went for a walk, and heavily debating about whether she and her hubby should make the trek to the hospital. It was decided that she was in early early labor, and I went home...

So that she could call me 45 minutes later to ask me to come back. I stumbled, half awake/half asleep, over to their house to watch the little red headed monster.

To make the long story short, Preggo delivered her second baby, at 1043am on Thursday. It worked beautifully, b/c I'll be out of town for the next 5 days trying to find a place to live in Boston.

I also wanted to show the progress on my Sweet Feet Hill Country Yarns sock!

I'm using US 0, but the label suggested 2s. The yarn has a very nice hand, and I love the colors so far. The sock will stay home as I travel to Boston, but I can't wait to see how it looks when I start the stockinette section.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Festivities continued...

Since I obviously didn't festivate enough on Saturday (cough cough, my checkbook would disagree, cough cough), I met up with a friend and went to the Denver Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday (in LoDo). We made a beeline for the food (and chowed down on some yummy roasted teriyaki chicken and some sushi), then sat outside to wait for the Taiko show.

That boy? Had yo yos and spinning tops down to an art form. I don't know how much time he spends practicing his yo yo moves, but damn. I was impressed.

I've slowed progress on Madli, b/c I've been knitting away on the Sweet Feet sock yarn from Hill Country Yarns. I love the colorway, but had to fiddle around with needle size. Since I'm usually a tight knitter (i use US 2 on Opal and Trekking yarns), I thought I would need a US 3 for a yarn that says to use a US 2. After casting on with a US 3, it was obviously too loose. Switched to US 2 DPNs, too loose. So, I'm down to a US 0, using magic loop. I've got about 2 inches of cuff done... we'll see how far I get before I leave for Boston on Friday.

Tonight, a few of us (Jeni, Stacey, Michelle, Nachaele, Wanda, Christina) met up in the DTC area for a free music concert and knit. Stacey brought her SP 7 along, who was in town on business. Cristina came all the way from CA, and it was so fun to meet her! After the concert, Stacey and I took Cristina to the Lambshoppe, where she bought some cotton fleece for Green Gables (I think). By then, it's almost 10pm, but were we tired? NO. We head to Monkey Bean.

During the day today, I was on the horn all day calling realtors to set up apartment viewings in Boston this weekend. I had a tough time, b/c I'm really sad to say goodbye to Denver and all my awesome friends. A couple nights ago, I was perusing all my old Evites, and saw my housewarming evite from almost 4 yrs ago, announcing that I had finally admitted I was in Denver to stay. I guess I was wrong.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Simply Irresistable: Estes Festival

Completely Satiated. For now. Hopefully for a LONG while. The rest of the week was spent hanging out with Preggo and her family. She's about ready to pop, but will likely be late (like her first). On Friday, I spent the day at the store, during which I noticed I was quite anxious. I was getting excited for the ESTES Wool Festival, which is happening this weekend. Thursday and Friday, classes/workshops were held... and today and tomorrow, the open wool market with vendors galore.

Michelle hosted us over at her house the night before, including Jeni, Zenifer, Lesley, Nachaele, Stacey, and Wanda spent the night knitting, gabbing, and chattering excitedly about our plans for the next day. What did everyone want to buy? Did we have specific patterns in mind to buy for? We strategized and came up with a plan for attack. Which had two simple parts.

EDIT: Amy (formerly of Knit it Yourself fame) joined us for most of the evening as well. It's SO unfortunate for the knit blogging community that she no longer blogs (hint hint) b/c she is one of the most knowledgeable and talented knitters I've ever met. Even though I rationally understand why she is on hiatus, I miss hearing and seeing her amazing projects.

1) Get to Brooks Farm Yarn as fast as we can. Buy whatever we can get our grubby little hands on.

2) Explore and purchase other yarn available at Estes at our leisure.

Jenifer showed us the beautiful and stunning results of her recent obsession with dying yarn. She's been exploring with sock, lace, and worsted weight yarns. I have pics of a few colorways, but those might have to wait. I need to show you all the evidence of my recent gluttony before I chicken out.

Starting from the upper right, we have some BFY limited edition superwash blend. Starting with the upper left corner, we see my 2 skeins of lace weight yarn, from Skaska. Both skeins are 100g, with 1315 yards each.
In the lower left corner, I've got more BFY yarn, Primero, in a beautiful green and blue colorway. Last, in the lower right hand corner, enough Plain & Fancy Sheep and Wool sport weight yarn to make a nice sweater.

Yarn details
Brooks Farm Yarn Limted Edition
Wool/Silk/Viscose Blend (60/20/20)
4 oz, 420 yds per skein

Skaska Lace weight
100% wool (i think)
100g, 1315 yds

BFY Primero
100% kid mohair
8 oz, 500 yds

Plain & Fancy Sheep and Wool
variegated (blue, green, cranberry colors)
sport weight
400 yards, 4 1/2 oz skeins

As if that's not enough to feel guilty about, I had also just purchased some of this beautiful yarn, which feels like butter when you knit with it.

Malabrigo worsted weight yarn, in colorways Azul Profundo, Violetas, and Lime Blue (starting at upper left, going clockwise). We won't even get into how much of this yarn I purchased. I will rationalize my apparent lack of anything related to restraint by saying that the yarn was a steal (cheaper than Brown Sheep or Cascade 220!)

This picture seems to say it best

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I'm So Madli In Love

And I don't think it's a healthy love either. It's obsessive, jealous, and all consuming. I can't possibly sustain this level of love, can I?

An overview of the progress. I've managed to re knit the part I frogged, and I'm done knitting two repeats (with at least one small error, which is non-noticable).

You can see the lace detail a bit better in this picture.

Please go wish Stacey a happy birhtday!! She turns 29 today!

Last night, some school friends (well, they're just friends now, since we're not in school anymore, but just like I call my knitting friends my knitting friends, even though they're more than just knitting friends... oh, you get the freaking idea) met up at Swimclub 32 in the Highlands area for some dinner and drinks. I highly recommend going, if you're not starving. It's kinda pricey for a bunch of snack sized plates and... it's the drinks. Most of the yum yum martinis are between $8-10. If you're going, you have to try the first martini (and if I had stopped there, perhaps I would remember the name of the drink). It has limoncello, strawberry puree, and it's icy, frothy, and yummilicious. We also shared some guacamole, pierogies, a cheese plate, vegetable lasagne (fresh made mozz, fresh tomatoes, pine nute, basil pesto, spinach). Very tastey (esp. the drinks) but I felt it was overpriced... so, check it out, but don't go hungry.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

one step forward, two steps back

I met up with Jeni for dinner and knitting. Jeni is always up for any kind of asian food (or so it seems) so we trolled down South Federal looking for an open asian restaurant (why are they ALL closed on the SAME day?). Saigon Bowl is always a good stand by, and I'm never disappointed (I always share the combination appetizer, 160).

After stuffing ourselves to the gills, we headed back to her house (which has the ever important air conditioning and the cute pup). She liked how my Madli Shawl looks so far, and wanted to start one with some of her super soft handpainted yarn... By the time I met up with Jeni, I had knit the entire border, the garter stitch rows, and a few rows of the center panel. I would show you pictures, but I've ripped it all the way back to the garter stitch rows because I noticed (after almost finishing an entire repeat of the pattern... almost 14 rows) that I had messed up somewhere.

LKAJSFKJA;WJEIJ(*u**(#uJAIWJFIj98PUP(R*#UQWP(*UQu9*(Pja3 mgqj389

was what I was thinking when I figured that out... but as some of you know, I obsess a little bit over my mistakes in knitting, and even though I think I've gotten better recently (I can deal with a couple unnoticable mistakes) but the yarn overs were completely off. It looked horrid. So... frog frog frog til I knew I was back on the right track.

Can you all see my nupps? (how come that sounds kind of.... dirty? or is it just me?)

In other exciting news, I got the yarn from Hill Country Yarns! And, though some of my knitterly friends might be disappointed, I will be keeping these socks. I'm not sure if the person who is checking blogs read enough of my posts to know my favored color scheme, but the yarn is blue, green, and white. PERFECTO.


and, just because

Sunday, June 11, 2006

the beginning of a beautiful (obsessive) relationship

Saturday, a bunch of us (Michelle, Wanda, and Joanne... plus a few famous knitters) took the Estonian Lace class, taught by none other than Nancy Bush.

What I hadn't realized is what a Nancy Bush junkie I am already! She has published four books, and I had three of them already (now I own all four). One of my favorite FOs, Ene, ALSO designed by Nancy Bush.

She started the class by telling us the history of knitting in Estonia, which was completely fascinating. She also explained that she calls the English method of knitting the "old way" because they've been knitting that way in Estonia since the 1300s. The funniest part? The youngest generation of knitters in Estonia prefer the continental method, b/c they consider it the Western method, therefore the 'cooler' way to knit.

After a dazzling display of different traditional patterns (I need the pattern to the Queen Sylvia shawl NOW NOW NOW...), she showed us how to Nupp... and that it would behoove us to knit LOOSELY. After making 5 sts where only one used to be, we would have to purl all 5 of those sts in the next row. Er... some of us (cough cough wink wink) needed to practice that part a few times so that the sts were loose enough.

We knit up some samplers, which included lots of YOs, nupp stitches (a flatter and much more flattering version of a bobble), and decreases. We worked on the center of our samplers before lunch. During our lunch break, Michelle, Wanda, and I met up with Stacey, her mom, Jeni, and Nachaele for lunch at Tres Jolie, a cute tea and sandwich cafe on Main St in Littleton. The four of them took a beginning crochet class that morning at String.

After lunch, Nancy showed us how to pick up stitches (AUGH!) for the border. In Estonia, the traditional way to do the borders (which is the only part of the entire shawl that they call 'lace' by the way), is to cast on a bazillion and one sts, knit the border and cast off. Repeat. Sew these two lace panels around the border of your center, and voila! As astute as Nancy is, she realizes that most knitters aren't into suffering needlessly, and has adapted the method so that we can pick up around the edge of the center and knit the border.

She had some stuff for sale, all of which was handknit by Estonian women. If you look at the picture I took of her, the prices of the beautiful stuff was on the board in back of her. Here are some of the mittens, mitts (with pop tops), and socks.

Michelle's got my lace sampler, so we'll see how hers and mine differ after she finds time to block em. She used baby Ull (with US 3s), and I used Rowan 4 ply soft (US 4).

I had such a great time, I was severely regretting not taking her sock class today (Sunday), but I was grateful to sleep in today. Plus, I'm pretty sure my brain might've exploded.

However, I am now truly in love obsessed can't think of anything else I want to knit, with lace. I've been scouring my patterns to see what I want to knit next. In keeping with my Nancy Bush obsession, I cast on for the Madli Shawl tonight.

I'm using Black Water Abbey's lace weight yarn. Not the softest stuff I've ever knit with, but I'll give it a good soak in some hair conditioner later. It's much MUCH sturdier feeling than the Helen's Lace I used for Ene.

Playing catch up, please read Michelle's latest post to see what I was up to on Wednesday.

I also have a few FOs to report

Pattern: baby Bolero from One Skein
Needles: Addi turbos, US 8 and US 9
Started and finished: 6/8-6/9
Yarn: Classic worsted Long print

It's a sample knitted up for Colorful Yarns. By the by, they just got in OODLES AND OODLES of Mission Falls 1824 Wool. In EVERY. SINGLE. COLOR. I'm pretty sure they're giving a discount if you buy an entire bag.

Pattern: Child's Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Needles: Addi US7
Started and finished: late May 06 - June 8 06
Yarn: Classic worsted long print
For: Preggo's bun

*5 more days til Estes*

Friday, June 09, 2006

lazy in the heat

although it has cooled down considerably today (only mid 80s!!), it has been HOT HOT HOT here in Denver. Mid to upper 90s for over a week, and my air conditioning is broken. No wonder why there hasn't been a lot of knitting going on here. Of course, it figures that as soon as I think to borrow a fan from a friend (Preggo), it cools down. C'est la vie.

it also makes me lazy to paw through my stash and take pics of my recently acquired stuff. This weekend, i'll drag out the camera and show some pics of new stash enhancement and a coupla pics of LYS in Northern CO (Fort Collins and Loveland).

I also need to show the finished pic of the baby placket sweater out of LMKG (OSK, to some of you), that I knit with Classic Worsted Long Print (by Universal yarns). I'm currently working on a shop sample, the baby bolero from One Skein, using a skein of yarn that was returned to the shop (same yarn, different colorway). It's a super fast and easy knit. I'm going to ape Stacey and pick up stitches and knit the sleeves down, instead of knitting them loose, then grafting them on. Who likes finishing?

Today, I'm at Colorful Yarns all day, then a knitting group in the evening. Tomorrow, I've got an estonian lace class with Nancy Bush (Wanda, Michelle, and Joanne are all taking it too! and none of us knows exactly what Estonian lace is... but it sure sounds purty!), then hopefully we can meet up with some others to Knit In Public!!

Oh! I wanted to do the Not Meme I saw on Jon's blog.
where have you been?

1) New Hampshire
2) Massachusetts
3) New Jersey
4) New York
5) Philadelphia
6) South Carolina
7) Bermuda
8) Florida
9) Louisiana
10) California
11) Nevada
12) Utah
13) Colorado
14) Michigan
15) Ohio
16) Illinois
17) Canada (Toronto, Quebec, and Montreal)
18) Italy (Venice, Milan, Sacile)
19) Slovenia (Llubljana)
20) Austria (Salzburg)
21) Hong Kong
22) China
23) Taiwan (yes, some would argue that these three should be the same as "china")
24) Hawaii (not a different country, but might as well be... if you ask me)

and I'll add this section

Where I'd Like to Go:
1) Africa (as soon as they invent a bubble I can travel in... Holy BUGS Batman!)
2) Scotland, Germany, France, Spain... er, the rest of Europe.
3) Westerner Europe (like Prague and Budapest)
4) back to China. I didn't see the Great Wall, which is like a cardinal sin for having BEEN to China.
5) Australia and New Zealand. I wanna see the Koalas and Kangaroos. This vacation may be another spot that is sponsored by the traveling bubble.
6) Alaska. Another bubble. The mosquitoes! but I want to see polar bears.
7) South America: Brazil and Peru.
8) India. Taj Mahal.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Weekend Update

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that there's so much I haven't blogged about lately. I'll follow up tomorrow with pictures, but I wanted to take a few minutes and just jot down a few happenings.

Stash enhancement:
Colorful Yarns had a sale this weekend, and anything with alpaca was 20% off. I bought three skeins of larkspur funny farm alpaca, in a green color (big surprise, right?). I thought since I'll be moving to the land where you're either frozen like a popsicle or a big sweaty stinky stinkerstein, that I would knit myself up a nice lacey scarf. Maybe I'll make myself a backyard leaves with it or something. or branching out. Hmmm. That won't get knit until after I move, b/c my A/C is broken, and I'm not crazy enough to knit an alpaca scarf in this heat.

I also switched out a skein of cherry tree hill yarn. I had a brownand red/orangeish skein that I wasn't completely in love with... it was an early purchase from Colorful. Tiffany was nice enough to let me switch it out with a blue variegated skein. of course, that didn't stop me from buying one skein too (a turquoise one).

At Lambshoppe, I have been slowly acquiring enough Noro Silk Garden #34 for a Klaralund of my very own. I have 6 skeins now, and need maybe 4 more? That'll be a fall project too (assuming that my school schedule allows for knitting time. even if it doesn't, i'll have subway commute time to knit, right?)

My most exciting news is that Hill Country Yarns has selected me to be a test knitter!! The requirements weren't super duper stringent, but I figured it was a good way (i.e. more pressure) for me to blog on a more consistent basis. Ideally, I'd like to post at least 3x per week. Of course, what I would fill all those posts with, I'm not really sure.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A trip to the fire swamp

but I didn't see any R.O.U.S.S. I did spot one of these though:

My brother and his wife had a dragon dance performed at the reception after the wedding. Overall, I had a much better time in MI than I expected, though some bumps and bruises. Sorry, no super funny conversations with the parents to share, but I will say that my mother has finally noticed that I have a tattoo on the inside of my right ankle. I've had it for about 8 yrs now.
Here's a pic of my new sister and my brother, cutting the cake:

The first few days were spend doing wedding errands, buying a wedding present for his new wifey (I helped my brother chose a stunning bangle bracelet), a birthday present (her b-day was the day after the wedding), printing wedding programs, burning music CDs for the reception, etc etc. The wedding went fairly smoothly, and the venue was beautiful (held at Detroit Symphony Orchestral Hall). The biggest glitch was that my brother started crying while she walked down the aisle, and lost his contact. My brother is probably legally blind w/o contacts/glasses. I'm talking, I can't read the highway signs until I'm about five feet away blind.

At the reception, I sat with a couple friends and all of my cousins from my mom's side. They had a new drinky drink... the espresso martini, with which I am now enamored. After we ditched the older crowd, the rest of us changed at the hotel and walked over to a nice bar to finish celebrating the night.

The next few days I spent with a college friend... visiting favorite haunts (such as Zingerman's, Espresso Cafe Royale, and just checking out all the changes to the campus since my last visit.

Unfortunately, during my time away, i spent very little of it knitting. No time before the wedding, and it was too HOT to knit afterwards. It wasn't that it was so HOT (80-85 deg) but the 80-95% humidity gets you every time. I did manage to visit one LYS, Busy Hands. I needed replacement US6 circs, b/c my friend's new puppy thought they were a chew toy.

When I got back, i was TIRED. And on a mission to finish knitting projects for the baby shower for Preggo.

I still need to finish up a felted clog for Preggo (just a sole), and a sweater for baby 2. Due date is June 23rd, so I have some time.

In other news, I'm so excited for the next couple weeks! A few of us are lucky enough to have signed up for the Estonian lace class next Saturday being taught by Nancy Bush. Now, I dont' really know what estonian lace is, but it sounds all technical like, and I'm sure I'll learn a bazillion and one things during this class. Of course, it'll get me all primed up to find yarn at the Estes Wool Market on June 17th for newly inspired projects.
I do have some new additions to the stash, which I'll share next time.