Sunday, December 31, 2006

Ending on a High

There hasn't been much knitting going on lately. Somehow it got lost among the flurry of Christmas preparation and celebration, despite my visions of sitting in front of a cozy fire enjoying the lights on the tree, holiday music playing in the background, needles and yarn in hand. I caught a cold the week before Christmas, which turned into bronchitus. Still, Christmas was merry. Shared with family, friends, good food and fun presents. DH gave me an iPod and I finally feel like part of the "in" crowd. I'm excited about not only having all of my favorite music at my fingertips wherever I am, but finally being able to download and listen to Cast On and Knit Cast.

As 2006 draws to a close, I've been reflecting on the year in regards to my knitting life. It has been the best so far! So many positive things happened this past year that enhanced my knitting skills and made knitting even more enjoyable. Let's explore, shall we?

It started in February, when I attended Stitches West with my mom and mother-in-law. I've been to Stitches before, but this was the first time I went with someone else, which made it even more fun. Both are new to knitting, so it's fun for me to share my passion and encourage them to learn and start new projects. And I'm glad they both enjoyed it enough to come with me again in '07!

Around the same time, I started attending an SnB group in my area. This has made a huge difference in my knitting experience, because I have met and become friends with other knitters who are as passionate about knitting and addicted to yarn as I am! I continue to learn from and be inspired by them. We've had some good laughs this past year and even though we no longer meet on a regular basis, I have made some very good knitting friends who I will keep in touch with. Thank you for making my knitting life more enjoyable and this past year more memorable!

I've gone on three yarn crawls, joined three KALS and participated in a Secret Pal exchange, none of which I had ever done before. Oh yeah, and I started this blog, which is connecting me to even more wonderful knitters out there in the world.

2006 has definitely been a high for me and my knitting. I look forward to I don't plan on crashing anytime soon! My bronchitus is getting better everyday and I get to bring in the New Year with DH and Nikko (maybe in front of a cozy fire, admiring the lights on the tree before we take it down, listening to holiday music...). Definitely with yarn and needles in hand!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No time to knit

In the words of Officer Barbrady from South Park, "Okay people, move along...there's nothing to see here...."

Seriously. With Christmas being 5 days away, there has been no time for knitting chez yarn addict. I'm jonesin' for some yarn and needles! I've even received my state-of-the-art speed-demon Option Needles to cast on Sahara and where are they? In the bag. Taunting me to open them and get started.

I might be able to get a quick fix in before Christmas. I'm really looking forward to the day after. I don't have to work, the festivities will be over and I can knit all day long if I want to!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Thanks Secret Pal!

A few days ago I received my first package from my Secret Pal. I was very excited to see what was inside.

Here's what I got:

2 skeins of Bernat Galaxy Yarn in a pretty purple with flecks of gold
A cute journal and 2 note pads
A little Ty Jingle Bear
A silicone trivet
A yummy smelling spice candle
Some decorated binder clips
A couple packages of hot chocolate
Mrs. Fields chocolates
And some Altoids

I'll have a good time using all of it. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Got Gauge!

I swatched for the Sahara pattern and my gauge was right on the mark. This almost never happens. I usually have to go down a needle size (or 2) due to being a loose knitter. I was worried about being able to get the right gauge at all with the yarn I wanted to use. The pattern calls for worsted weight and I consider the Harmony from Brooks Farm to be more of a DK. So the fact that I'm a loose knitter and the pattern suggests size 6 needles for a worsted weight yarn worked in my favor. I love it when that happens! : )

Here it is:

I still need to block the swatch to make sure nothing wacky happens to the gauge, but I think it's going to work. I bought this yarn last year at Stitches and I've been waiting for the right pattern to come along. The lace scarf I made a couple of posts back is yarn from the same company. What can I say about the yarn? I'm in love! This yarn is so silky smooth and light. It's like dipping your finger in whipped cream. And I love the subtle variation of color. It goes from a coral red to a darker garnet. I can't wait to see how it knits up in a larger fabric.

This pattern will be my first top-down sweater and the first time I knit a sweater in the round. So it will be a learning experience if nothing else. I have the pattern. I have the yarn. Only things left to do are to block the swatch (today) and get the right needles. I only have bamboo circulars which I refuse to use because the yarn catches on the join...very annoying. I think I'll order a pair of KnitPicks Options. My friend Mary let me try hers once. All I have to say is that you don't know what you're missing until you try these needles. Honestly. I thought I was fine trodding along with my bamboo gear. I have a lot of bamboo. Well, let me tell you....bamboo is to Options like a Ford Focus is to a Ferrari. The former are practical and get you where you want to go, eventually. The latter make it a far more sensory experience. They're fast and sleek. I highly recommend you try them.

In other knitting news...

I finally finished all the pieces to my nephew's hoodie. I'm going to block it today and then sew it up. This was supposed to be part of his birthday present in October. It will now be part of his Christmas present. Photos to come in a week or so.

I'm thinking of making this for my Debbie Bliss KAL using this yarn:

Another attempt to do some stashbusting. Again, I'm concerned about the gauge. This yarn calls for size 3 and the pattern calls for size 5. But hey, maybe my luck will stay with me and it will work perfectly.

Since I've been focusing on using yarn from my stash, don't think I haven't been shopping. Here are some of my latest acquisitions:

Pursenalities by Eva Wiechmann
A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker
Knitting Without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann

I have the yarn for a felted bag I want to make from Pursenalities. And the other two are the beginnings of my collection of their books - both are knitting legends.

I'm off to block before I go to work. Happy Monday!