Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Falling in Love with the Latest

When you knit like I do and design on the fly, there is a lot of experimentation involved. Not every project turns out as a WOW piece. Some projects are just one color and not very much pizzaz to them at all. It's always easier to work on a project that I LOVE and is a bit challenging. This latest "creation" is just one of those that I'm currently in LOVE with. I was wearing it yesterday and it was warm cozy and the colors were up-lifting.

First I want to tell you in case you have not noticed that I prefer COLOR! The bolder and brighter the better. I have my favorite color ways and I seem to pick the same colors, I think most people are the same way. There are times when I step out of my "comfort" zone but usually I gravitate towards the same hues and colors. Through the years I've found what looks good on me and I stick to it.

The shawl was knitted many years ago and the whimsical squiggly "stash buster" edge was added a couple of years after the shawl was finished. When I added it together with my current "Winged Vest" they blended perfectly. Adding my Silver monkey pin for the closer it seemed to add just the right little accent.

Made with Noro Silk Garden, wool yarn with silk from my stash. Yarn that I've had for a long time patiently waiting to become something. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Love going away but sleeping in one's own bed is really sweet. I'm not sure exactly why I decided to drive but I made it. 790 miles round trip. On the way up we stopped over at Avila Beach. One of my favorite beaches, along the California Hwy 1 route, very picturesque. 

Stitches West was a lot of fun, lots of "crazy" knitters and the market place was overwhelming. People were really helping the economy buying yarn and goodies left and right. Great classes to learn new ways to do things and after sitting around telling each other what we were learning. The lobby experience at the hotel was half the fun. 

They served french fries with "Gilmore Garlic" (Gilmore Garlic Festival) that not just smelled incredible but the taste was out of this world too. We gathered in the lobby of the hotel between activities to discuss what we bought, what we saw and learned. And a few good laughs. A good time was had by all.

On Saturday evening they had the "Student Banquet" dinner. This is the event where you can submit 2 garments to show off to the rest of the attendees and organizers your designs and knits. Sort of a "show and share" on steroids. At the end they pick the best "Editor's Choice". There was a lot of beautiful knitting showed I'm honored to be picked. The editor is Rick Mondragon and I was surprised he picked my two shawls as his choice for the best. Thank you Rick!


This was my second time to Stitches I was there in 2008 I won that time too with this one:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Santa Clara, Stitches West here I come

Stitch Marker Swap

When I inquired, the organizers told me that last year they had 11,000 thousand attendees! This is a knitting event! Wow. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Hungry Machine!

It's still happening!
How does this happen?
Why has this been going ?
Where could the socks go?

I've been carefully collecting single socks hoping that eventually the other sock will show up. But somehow they never do show up they just disappear. I've made my husband take one of the old machines apart to see if all the single socks are trapped somewhere in the "insides" of the machine. No luck at all, not one sock was found.

Store bought socks are not so painful but a pair of hand knit socks disappearing is a whole different story. Thank you for letting me vent!

My new plan is not to make matching pairs of socks but cousins and brothers. As long as the sock is made from the same weight yarn, same size and similar color or harmonizing color. I think this is the only solution.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

All Shook Up

Life is busy, trying to get everything done before driving up to Santa Clara is fun and exhausting. When I pack for a knitting event it's totally different than packing for just a vacation. First I would like to be a light packer but I never accomplish this. I fall into the what if I need this or that.

In reality I usually don't need everything I packed but if I did not pack it I need it and wish I had it. Then it makes a difference if I'm driving or flying. When driving I'm worse I take soooo much stuff it's comical.

Ok I have to stop posting this because this happened and I am all shook up!

I was at my local Staples making copies for a class I was teaching on Short Rows. Just standing there stapling the pages together. BAM! BANG, CRASH, KABOOOM! 

I thought that the meteor hit us, but no it was an old lady in a Cadillac! Drove right through the wall 2 feet from where I was standing. Scared me so that I started shaking like a bowl of jello. 

When I finally went outside to see what happened this lady was just sitting there cool as a cucumber saying that her brakes did not work. Although the witnesses said that she floored it, she must have stepped on the gas not the brakes.  I guess it was my Lucky Day! Lucky that she did not run me over.

Friday, February 08, 2013

TNNA, had a wonderful time!

Back from Long Beach, attending TNNA trade show. I told my husband that I was going out of town for a couple of days and he asked where I was going? I said Long Beach. Then he asked since when is Long Beach out of town? 

We live in Venice Beach and Long Beach is about 25 miles from our home. It takes about 30 minutes drive if there is no traffic. So it was sort of funny for me to call Long Beach out of town and staying at a hotel when I could have been in my own bed, silly me. I'll know next time. I think it would have been easier for me to just drive down each day..... oh well.

Got there on Thursday and took a weaving class. It started out really well then my eyes started crossing and my counting got confused and I got confused but I at least got the idea. I'm not the greatest weaver but I hung in there. All those stripes! Yikes my eyes!

Friday was "Sample it!"one of the most fun parts of the whole event. This is where the merchants put a small sampling of their wares together and you can purchase the items. I'll write about these in another post. The line to get in was looong, everybody loves Sample It. 

Saturday, Sunday and Monday is the actual show. The layout of the convention center was confusing to me but I was already tired and confusion came easily or perhaps all the wool fumes got to me. When I looked at the map it seemed pretty easy and straight forward but in person it seemed different. I carefully mapped out the booths that I was interested in first. 

The dark purple area to the left were the knitting related booths and the orange area are the Needlepoint stuff. I always check it all out because I love looking at all the pretty Needdlepoint canvases. And once in a while they stick a yarn or fiber related booth in with the Needlepointers. I always admire the needlepoint work but just can't seem to have the patience to do it. Needle felting maybe but not needlepoint. 

Unicorn Books, was my first stop they are my favorite part of the show. I wanted to say hi because they are so nice and to get tickets for the book signings I was interested in. We get to meet the authors of new books, which is great. I get to ask questions about their book, how long it took to write it, what inspired them, is this the first book they wrote etc. Love this part of the show. Of the 14 books they had my two favorites were:

The Artful Color Mindful Knits by Laura Militzer Bryant. As a dyer this book is full of wonderful information about color repeats, how to dye or pick yarns for "stacking" colors or "pooling" etc. The "magic number" how many stitches do you get from a color repeat. As I say, love this book and will get lots of use out of it. 

And the Principles of Knitting, revised and updated from the original version. A must have for a serious knitter. It's a huge book and full of Methods and Techniques. Those were the two books that I really appreciated getting. 

Next was Skacel, I always love visiting this booth because they have hands on "try this" and their products are of highest quality. Visiting with Karin and chatting about knitting and felting is always a lot of fun for me. 

They had the addi Quick Neelde Felting tool! I can hardly wait for mine to arrive. 

Last but not least I met the lovely lady from Kollage, square needles and Made in the USA! I cast on immediately to try these needles and I love the yarn also. 80% milk-20% cotton, so very soft!