Friday, January 26, 2007

Packed and Ready to Go

Well, I'm not technically all packed, but I am getting there. Tomorrow G and I are off to Aruba. Believe it or not, it's a work trip for me. Every year my company hosts a conference someplace tropical. So I will have to work, but I'll have some free time too. G has already made dinner reservations a few nights and he is going to use his birthday money to get us a couple's massage at the hotel's spa. We're going to have it on Thursday after my work responsibilities end. What a treat!

How many knitting projects do I need? I was thinking of just bringing two socks but leaving my sweater. The sweater would take up more room and it might be too hot to work. On the other hand, the five hour flight would give me plenty of time to work on it.

Last night I also stocked up on magazines for the trip. It's time to catch up on fashion mag reading.

I can't wait to be kniting on the beach!

Then when I return, I'll be cheering for the Bears in the Super Bowl! Go Chicago! Last night my mom asked me if I remembered where we were the last time the Bears were in the Super Bowl. Somehow I remembered that we were at a pig farm in Iowa. We lived in Dyersville, Iowa when I was a kid and some of my dad's patients had a pig farm and had us over for the game. Somehow that stuck in my memory. I guess it WAS the only time I watched the super bowl on a pig farm.

"See" ya in a week!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Project Spectrum and 2007 Knitting Goals

I joined Project Spectrum this year. I think I have enough yarn and fabric to participate.

In Feb/March for blue, white and grey: maybe a gray or two blue hats (perfect way to use up the baby blue yarn I got). Or starting a blue sweater, or a blue tank top. I could also do something with the cream (which is after all almost white) alpaca that I have. Could start my Tess socks in the blue, purple, green color. And if I don't finish, they would transition me into April/May.

April/May (green, yellow, pink): work on a lace shawl for my mother with yarn that has pink and green and maybe yellow in it. Also could start a pink lace shawl for me. Plus finish up those Tess socks.

June/July (red, black, metallics): start a red vest for my father for Christmas or his birthday. Also use my goldish mohair for leg or arm warmers (I think there is an armwarmer pattern in One Skein that would be perfect). Also could make a red hat and red fingerless gloves.

August/September (brown, orange, purple). I have some brown Manos cotton. But I might want to use it before Aug. Well, of course, I'll want to make a little summer sweater with it before Aug., but it is likely that I won't get to it, especially if I really do even a few of the above projects.

Oh, but the perfect Project Spectrum project will be this entrelac tote bag with colors from almost every section that I want to start soon.

When I look at the list of projects that I want to complete in 2007, I think I have them mostly covered in the above list. And, I'll be working on gifts that I wanted to do for last Christmas (ok to be honest the Christmas BEFORE last). If I finish, I may give them away before next Christmas. I just want to actually finish a couple of gift knits this year.

While I am on my 2007 knitting goals, I also want to learn to do two socks at a time, do toe up socks, do a cable project, use some of my stash (but not knit ONLY from stash), attend Maryland Sheep and Wool (sadly I've been out of town for the past two years. But so far, the calendar is clear that weekend), and attend more knit meetups and knit nights. I really enjoy the camaraderie of knitters. I may need to work smarter on those days. But I know I can do it, I just need to do it more often.

So that is it: a nice solid list of projects and goals, ambitious w/o being impractical.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Catching Up

So, it's been awhile since I really posted anything. I was mostly just lazy. Well ... I was traveling at the beginning of January. And I was sick with a nasty cold for about two weeks. But mostly I just didn't want to upload pictures. I don't know this is such a pain. It really doesn't take too long but I always put it off. I thought of doing it every day for the past few weeks, but I always decided to knit instead.

The good news is I have two projects to show!

But first my Christmas haul. I know it is a little after the fact, but Christmas was good to me, knitting-wise.

My mother-in-law did good. I got a beautiful wood swift from a Washington-based company called Dragonfly Turnings and With Wood, Naturally and a ball winder. Yeah! I spent a couple of days after Christmas winding up a lot of my stash.

She also got me some luscious yarn: three skeins of alpaca from Connecticut-based Twin Gate Farm in a color-way called "Crap Apple." Yum. And she got me three balls of baby blue yarn to make something for my nephews and another ball of different kinds of yarn wound together to make a open garter-stitch shawl. I may work on this and then give it to her for Christmas next year.

From my parents, I got three knitting books (OK, I picked them out so it wasn't really a surprise, but I was excited to finally get them).

And from my brother I got a gift certificate for Knitpicks. And I haven't redeemed it yet! I am waiting til I feel the urge to buy yarn. I guess that is pretty much all the time, but sometimes the urge is very strong and that is what I am waiting for.

So that is it: all in all a pretty good haul.

So since Christmas I have been working on the "Rachel" tunic sweater from Hot Knits (which has some cute patterns, but also a lot of stuff most definitely not hot. Maybe the "hot" in the title refers to how wearing the sweaters will make you feel, cause a lot of them are big, bulky things). I am done with the sleeves and almost done with the back. I using Cascade Eco. So far pretty easy, but as you can see I saved the front for last. I figured that by the time I get to that part I'll have done the math to figure out where to put the short rows. And now that the temps have dropped in Maryland maybe I'll actually finish it and be able to wear it. (We had snow over the weekend, just a dusting but it was pretty. Also a little odd since earlier last week G and I had our windows open all night it was so warm).

And a sock for G with hand dyed yarn.

I had two great knitting group outings this week. On Saturday, the Baltimore Knitting Meetup met at Teavolve in Fells Point. Teavolve was fun and I talked to some very cool knitters. I really like that group because I always meet new people.

And last night I hauled myself out of work a tiny bit early to go to the Columbia knitting group, which is always fun and sometimes wild.

So people are excited about A Tangled Skein. If I hear anything about when it is opening, I'll post about it.

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Yarn Shop in Hyattsville

Last month, G, L and I went to dinner at Franklin's in Hyattsville. And G noticed a sign in the building across the street that said ... coming soon A Tangled Skein (or Web?) ... yarn shop!

While, Hyattsville is not next door. And there are at least six other yarn shops closer to me, this new one will be especially nice. You see Franklin's is one of G's very favorite places on Earth. It is a micro brewery and pub (with really good food). When he was in grad school, G lived a five-minute walk away and credits about 10 of his current pounds to Franklin's beer. It is actually a cute place: It's very bright, has nice tall ceilings so the smoke isn't too heavy. And it is has a cute "general store" that sells old fashioned candy, cute little toys, more beer and random stuff. It is at the intersection of Gallatin and Route 1. And now, across the street, it appears there will be a yarn store. I always like going to Franklin's anyway, but once that shop opens, I think I may be suggesting we spend the afternoon in Hyattsville: lunch at Franklin's, a bit of shopping while G sits in the bar (I'll drive of course), maybe a movie at the Greenbelt theater that shows "art" films. Good times. I wish I knew when it was opening. I couldn't find anything about it on google.

p.s. I am knitting, will post about that, and the cool knitting stuff I got for Christmas--I've just been too lazy to upload photos--later today or this weekend.