Personal thoughts on knitting, crochet, and other aspects of my life...

Sunday, December 31, 2006

When Knitting Becomes an Obsession

Knitting is an obsession for me and I can't wait to see what 2007 brings with regards to knitting and knitters.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

And...for your viewing pleasure, this wonderful animated video entitled "The Last Knit."

Friday, December 29, 2006

Secret Santa

At the salon where I work, we draw a name out of a bag to determine which coworker we will be gifting each holiday season. Then, the gifts are exchanged during our annual company holiday dinner. This is my 3rd holiday season working there. The first year, I picked the name of the salon owner and for his gift, I knit A a scarf. Well, that set the precedence. Last year for my gift, I knit K a scarf. This year, I picked V and, so as not to disappoint, I knew I had to knit. Just to keep it interesting, instead of a scarf I knit her these very 'Fetching' fingerless gloves, and headband, made from 1 skein of Nashua Handknits Creative Focus Worsted, color Zinnia.

Originally, I had only thought about making the mitts. But, they knit up so quickly, and I had so much yarn left over that I made V the headband, and even had enough yarn to make another one (slightly narrower) for myself. I just kind of winged it with the headband using an old Estonian Long Eye Stitch pattern that I learned in my Stitches East class with Merike Saarniit.

On the receiving end of things, I'm one of a group of 5 women friends, who also knit. Each Wednesday, we meet for lunch and afternoon knitting. Each holiday season, we also choose a name from a bag to determine which friend to gift. M drew my name this year and spoiled me rotten with this basket filled with luscious knitting goodies.

In the basket was an adorable "Sock Blocker" keychain with a pattern for a little sock to fit the blocker, some "Handknit by You" tags, a cute notebook specifically geared to sock knitting, and not one, but two gorgeous skeins of Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn. Huzzah!

And, one other knitterly gift received was from my sister-in-law (and spouse)...a pair of neon orange (US size 11) Knit Lite knitting needles. Too fun!!

Can a knitster girl ever have too many accessories?

Sunday, December 24, 2006


First up...Good Coffee.
The Knitters Coffee Swap has ended and I received a fantastic package from my swap partner, Kathy. Since we were out of coffee as of the day before the package came, when I opened the box and saw the Christmas Blend from Starbucks, my husband immediately took the coffee and poured it into our machine and we have been drinking it since then. It is yummy! Christmas Blend is one of my favorite Starbucks blends and it is only available at this time of year.

I love the yarn she chose for me. It is a perfect choice! It is Alpaca from a breeder/spinner local to her, in Michigan, and it is a gorgeous color...deep brown, like a rich dark-roast coffee. She sent enough to make socks. She also sent chocolate that had an interesting blend of flavors. It is milk chocolate with ground Ancho chilies and Ceylon cinnamon, sprinkled with roasted cacao good does that sound? In addition, she sent a set of beautiful stitch markers that were also made by a local artisan. And, she sent a cute purple notepad...seriously, I was trying to think if I had mentioned anywhere that purple is one of my favorite did she know? I get very excited over things that I have not seen before, and things I cannot normally get; so, the yarn, the stitch markers, and the chocolate all were very interesting and exciting for me.

Here is a closeup of the beautiful yarn. I think I know just the right sock pattern for this yarn. I'm thinking of the Cable Twist Socks from Hello Yarn. There are great pictures of these socks knit up in solid colors here and here.

I was very impressed and delighted with the package. Thanks, again to my Knitters Coffee Swap did good!

Next up...Good Deeds.
I don't usually do 'Charity Knitting'; however, I did knit a newborn cap for the Caps to the Capital project. I never photographed it because I finished it while I was at Stitches East and Stitches had a booth set up to collect the caps and send them directly to Caps to the Capital. If you are knitting a newborn cap for the Save the Children organization, don't forget that the knitted (or crocheted) infant caps need to be mailed by January 2, 2007.

Also, I recently completed a Chemo Cap for my friend J. It was interesting for me because I didn't tell J that I was making anything for her and I was feeling a little awkward about giving the cap to her. J has lost her hair from her chemo treatments and wears a wig. So, I wasn't sure how she would feel about me knitting for her bald head. I was pretty anxious about it; but, I knew that my heart was in the right place. I wrapped it up nice and gave it to her at work. As she was opening the box, I told her that I had knit her a little something to keep her head warm at night. She opened it and burst into tears... and hugged me so hard. I felt really good and realized that I had all that anxiety for nothing. Good thoughts are usually well received.

I used the "ChemoCaps Eyelet Hat" pattern from the Knitting for Peace book and knit it up with Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere.

Next...Good Karma.
Lisa Shobhana Mason, author of Yarnplay, is paying it forward for some good that came her way earlier this year. Through Decemeber 31st, buy her Bejeweled Scarf pattern online for $2.25 and $3.50 will be donated to F.I.R.E., the non-profit organization that delivers all of the knitted items to Mongolia for the Dulaan Project. I bought this pattern and am going through the stash now to find the right yarn. This is an easy way to do some good. Buy the pattern and suggest it to your friends, too.

And, finally...Good Holidays.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, happy, safe holiday season!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I'm In Love

... with Sea Silk yarn from HandMaiden. Sea Silk is a hand dyed 70% Silk and 30% SeaCell lace weight yarn that is to die for. HandMaiden describes SeaCell this way:
"SeaCell is a cellulose based fibre made from seaweed. It is highly breathable and very soft. When worn, your skin's natural moisture will release magnesium, calcium and vitamin E contained within the seaweed. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to protect the skin."
Holy Cow...It's not just yarn; it's a health aid! And, who do I have to thank for this luscious skein of secret pal!

It has been said that good things come in small packages. And, clearly, as in this case, it is true. Many thanks to Clandestine Knitter, my SP9 buddy, for this wonderful gift! I have lusted after a skein of this yarn for probably close to a year now. It's gorgeous! I just keep looking at it and fondling it, and smelling it.

Doesn't everyone smell their yarn? In general, I do love smelling yarn; but, this yarn has a very unusual smell. You can actually smell the seaweed. It not only has healthy properties, it smells healthy. Seriously!

I'm going to really have to think about what I want to make with this skein...something that would be worthy of this soft and shiny silk yarn.

One idea that Clandestine Knitter had was the Swallowtail Shawl from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits magazine. I like this pattern and even considered doing it before getting the Sea Silk. The Sea Silk is the perfect size skein for this shawl which calls for 400 m (exactly the size of the Sea Silk skein). However, Clandestine Knitter made a good point when she thought that it should be "something that was going to get worn next to the skin since that seems to be a big point of this yarn".

So for now, I will just stare lovingly at the yarn until I decide what to knit with it. Any ideas would be welcome.